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Congressional Report Validates Concerns over Article V Convention Proposals

February 12, 2016

Congressional report validates JBS convention concerns

By Robert Brown

An April 2014 report from Congressional Research Service (CRS), whose analysis is described as “authoritative”, validates many concerns voiced by the John Birch Society regarding an Article V convention.

Supporters of a convention claim that an Article V convention is a way to “bypass Congress” in making amendments to the US Constitution. Further, they claim it would be “totally controlled by the states”. We are told the states would select delegates, establish rules and subject matter for a convention, and could even arrest and replace delegates who overstepped the rules.

Contrary to these claims, the CRS report points to the ’70s and ’80s, when there was interest in an Amendment convention. During that time, Congress introduced 41 bills, which “generally included quite specific standards for state petitions, delegate apportionment formulas and delegate qualifications….” (p.36)

In these bills, Congress addressed how many delegates and how many votes each state would have. Supporters of a convention claim that, “Of course, we know it would be one state, one vote.” Contrary to this, Congress proposed the convention should represent the populations of the states, not just the states themselves. CRS reveals “Apportionment of convention delegates among the states was generally set at the formula provided for the electoral college.” (p.37)

According to this formula, California would have 55 delegates and votes, while other states would have far fewer votes among a total of 535. For example, Montana, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota would each only have three votes. This should cause concern for anyone whose views are not supported by the more populated states.

Undermining the claim that states can control their delegates, and arrest them for exceeding the bounds set by the states, the report observed, “Most bills provided that … delegates received immunity from arrest in most instances during the convention.” (p. 37)

The report explores the arguments of whether a convention would have limited or unlimited power, and finally concludes, “the question ‘what sort of convention?’ is not likely to be resolved unless or until the 34-state threshold has been crossed, and a convention assembles.” (p.27) In other words, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it”! But of course, by then it will be too late to stop it.

Remember, this report was written for Congress in 2014, to instruct them about their powers regarding an Article V convention. The over-arching message is quite clear. “Article V delegates important and exclusive authority over the amendment process to Congress.” (p.4) This exclusive authority applies to both methods of proposing amendments, those proposed by Congress and those proposed by an Article V Convention.

The history cited in the CRS report represents not only what Congress could do in the case that a convention is called, it represents what Congress has done in preparation for a convention. History is the most accurate predictor of the future.

Please see the entire report at the following link:

https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42589.pdf

Who is the Congressional Research Service?

From the website of Congressional Research Service (http://www.loc.gov/crsinfo/)
“The Congressional Research Service (CRS) works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for nearly a century.
CRS is well-known for analysis that is authoritative, confidential, objective and nonpartisan. Its highest priority is to ensure that Congress has 24/7 access to the nation’s best thinking.”

Trump Supports Universal Gov. Healthcare Martial Law Bill Sneaked Through Congress Stossel on Civil Asset Forfeiture: Legalized Theft – John Bevere: The Bait of Satan – Irwin Schiff: Secrets of Living an Income Tax-Free Life

January 23, 2016

BREAKING: Military Martial Law Bill Sneaked Through by Senate

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Congress, White House Ignore Grim CBO Debt Report

McConnell Would Give President Sweeping War Authority

ISIS massacres 280 civilians for ‘cooperation with the Syrian army’

The Fallacy of Obama’s Job Creation

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13 Hours: What The CIA And Hillary Don’t Want You To See

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Obama and GOP Unleash “Community Schools” to Replace Parents

ATF Gave El Chapo A .50 Cal Rifle

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Friday, 22 January 2016

Oklahoma Legislator Seeks to Rein In Civil Asset Forfeiture

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In the case of criminal asset forfeiture, the accused is afforded all the constitutional and statutory procedural safeguards available under criminal law. With criminal forfeiture, the accused must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt before property is forfeited.

With civil asset forfeiture, on the other hand, no conviction is required. It is used by both federal government officials and state and local law enforcement officers to seize property that they suspect has been used in wrongdoing — without having to charge a person with wrongdoing.

Civil asset forfeiture laws are an assault upon the very concept of private property and the legal position that an accused person is innocent until found guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

And one state senator is doing something about it.

Senator Kyle Loveless (shown — R-Okla. City) has taken up the fight to change civil asset forfeiture laws in the Sooner State. Despite arguments from Oklahomans who claim that their laws are different from those of other states, that does not appear to be the case.

Kaye Beach wrote in the Oklahoma Constitution newspaper,

Over a five-year period, law enforcement officials in 12 Oklahoma counties seized more than $6 million in cash, almost $4 million of which was taken without any criminal charge. Records indicate that of the $6.1 million dollars taken, only $2.1 million was seized from people who were actually charged with a crime, meaning more than 65 percent of the cash seized was taken without any criminal charges being filed.

“We want to change the dynamic,” Senator Loveless declared in unveiling his reform legislation. “When an innocent person in Oklahoma gets their property taken, they have to go before the government to get the property back. It’s a fundamental flaw. It’s an inversion of the system.”

Loveless began his efforts to change Oklahoma law on civil asset forfeiture near the end of last year’s legislative session. Not surprisingly, his proposal was met with stiff opposition from most police chiefs, district attorneys, and sheriffs in the state. Law enforcement targeted the senator’s proposal to put seized assets — whether cash, cars, houses, or other such property— into the general fund rather than in the coffers of the agency seizing the money or property. Some contended that Loveless simply wanted to beef up the general fund of the state in order to have more money to dole out. His modified proposal addresses that charge. It would send the forfeited property to a fund administered by a citizen oversight board to provide grants to drug treatment facilties, drug courts, and law enforcement.

“My intention is to remove the direct profit incentive of forfeiture,” Loveless explained. “An agency shouldn’t be able to grow its budget based on how much property it takes.”

Despite this concession, most law enforcement agencies that have benefited financially from the old arrangement are balking at the new proposal.

Mike Fields, district attorney in Enid, Oklahoma and president-elect of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association, admitted that seized drug proceeds now go to the agencies that seized them, but he contended that the proceeds are needed in the fight against illegal drugs.

“At a time when budget concerns are a priority across the state, it wouldn’t seem to make a lot of sense to make taxpayers pick up the tab for drug enforcement efforts currently funded by drug traffickers, dealers, gang members and cartel members,” he asserted.

Fields insisted that he did not believe the rights of Oklahomans were being violated “in any sort of systematic way,” because Oklahoma law enforcement and prosecutors are “accountable” to the people at the “ballot box.” There are “multiple layers of protection” in the system of civil asset forfeiture in the state, he claimed, adding, “Ultimately, a judge has to review and approve each and every case where property is forfeited to the state of Oklahoma.” Fields said that those whose property is taken under civil asset forfeiture laws have “due process rights, as well as a right to a jury trial, where an individual who has had property taken ultimately is judged by fellow citizens.”

While it is true that a person who has had cash or other property taken from them may demand a jury trial in some cases, this is not true in all cases. No such right to a jury trial exists for cases involving amounts under $1500. And the burden of proof is not the same as in a criminal case, where a person must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In any effort to regain property seized under civil asset forfeiture, the burden of proof has now shifted to the person whose property was taken and is only a “preponderance of the evidence.”

The harsh reality is that if law enforcement seizes cash, the expense of hiring an attorney and fighting to get the money back is simply not worth it for the suspect — the amount seized is generally less than the expenses of going to trial. Many times, a law enforcement agency does not even file criminal charges, but simply takes the cash or other property. Tom Fook, an official with the Michigan Association for the Preservation of Property, said he believed that “most” civil forfeitures in his state were little more than “curbside shakedowns,” involving seizures of hundreds of dollars, when it would cost thousands of dollars for a suspect to fight to regain the money.

The Institute for Justice, an organization which fights civil asset forfeiture abuses, has given Oklahoma a “D” for the lack of fairness in its civil asset forfeiture laws.

As previously mentioned, any changes to civil asset forfeiture laws are almost always opposed by law enforcement agencies, which profit so handsomely by it. Back in the 1990s, Sheriff Bob Vogel of Volusia County, Florida summed up the attitude of many at that time on the question of guilt of those from whom assets were seized: “We don’t have to prove the fact they [property owners] are guilty.”

One argument used against any reform of the practice of civil asset forfeiture is that those promoting such reform are favoring drug dealers over law enforcement. The drug problem is so severe, they contend, that law enforcement simply must have the “tools” to combat the drug kingpins. But It is unfair to charge those who wish to rein in the abuses of civil asset forfeiture as favoring criminals, just as it is unfair to charge those who argue for due process for accused murderers as supporting murder.

It is also claimed that budgets of law enforcement agencies are so strapped that taking away the assets seized in drug dealing and other crimes would create a great burden on sheriffs, police departments, and district attorneys.

However, in his press conference arguing for his bill, Senator Loveless cited examples of a district attorney who actually took up residence in a seized home, and another who used seized funds to pay off student loans.

In fairness, though, many involved in seizing assets which they believe are used in drug dealing or other crimes truly believe they are doing right and are perfectly honest. They see the ravages of the effects of drugs on addicts, and feel justified in taking whatever actions are necessary to combat the problem.

However, doing wrong to do right is still not right. Even in horrific murder, rape, and armed robbery cases, the accused are still afforded the due process of law. One provision of the English Bill of Rights, adopted in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution in England, was crystal clear: “Forfeitures before conviction are void.”

If one concedes that district attorneys’ offices, sheriffs’ departments, and police departments are underfunded — and in some cases, they no doubt are — that does not justify taking property from American citizens who have not been convicted of any crime. As U.S. Senator Daniel Webster stated in the 19th century, “Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of power…. The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.”

What are some of the “dangers” of the “good intentions” of civil asset forfeiture?

Although many examples could be offered, one from Forfeiting our Property Rights, by the late Henry Hyde, a U.S. congressman from Illinois, is instructive:

Willie Jones owned a landscaping service. He paid cash for an airplane ticket at the Nashville, Tennessee, Metro Airport. This was considered “suspicious” behavior — a black man paying cash — and the ticket agent alerted the Nashville police. Although a search of Jones and his luggage found no drugs, he did have almost $10,000 in his wallet. A “drug-sniffing” dog detected “traces” of drugs on the cash (a condition which is true of almost all U.S. currency).

This was enough for the police to seize the cash, ignoring Jones’ explanation that he needed the money to purchase plants and shrubbery from growers in Houston, Texas. No arrest was made, but the seizure almost drove Jones out of business. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) refused to return the cash, so Jones sued the DEA. Since he was black, he was able to make the charge that it was discrimination based on race.

More than two years later, a federal judge ordered the money returned.

The assumption in Jones’ case — and in those of hundreds of thousands of other Americans, black and white who have similarly had their assets seized without being convicted of any crime — is that a person would not be carrying large amounts of cash unless he or she was involved in some sort of criminal activity. But who decides what is “a large amount of cash”? And furthermore, it is not a crime to carry large amounts of cash.

Lest average citizens think such a nightmare could never happen to them, in reality it could occur quite easily. If tenants in a citizen’s rent house conducted a drug deal, for instance, or some other crime on the property, that property could very well be seized under the guise of “fighting crime.”

Congressman Hyde also considered civil asset forfeiture an example of a violation of the 8th Amendment, which prohibits “excessive fines.” He wrote, “There is little or no proportionality between the crimes alleged and the punishment imposed,” citing examples similar to the citizen’s rent house cited above, of hotels being taken because gangs used them for drug transactions, or apartment houses being confiscated because of drug deals allegedly taking place in some of the apartments. (One would think this would include the majority of the apartment complexes in the country.) And, of course there is the 7th Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.”

And, as a stunning and egregious example of what would have been one of the costliest civil asset forfeiture seizures at the time (it was later released), in 1988, the $80 million oceanographic research vessel Atlantis II was seized off the coast of San Diego because of the discovery of marijuana residue and two pipes in the ship’s crew quarters.

It is far past time for the civil asset forfeiture laws to be addressed not only in Oklahoma, but in all the states, and in the halls of Congress.

Photo: Senator Kyle Loveless 

Steve Byas is a professor of history at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College in Moore, Oklahoma. His book, History’s Greatest Libels, challenges the unfair attacks made against such historical figures as George Washington, Christopher Columbus, Clarence Thomas, and Joseph McCarthy.

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Communist China’s New Orwellian Scheme 100 Year Old Christmas List, How Materialistic We Have Become – CISA: How Congress Quietly Passed the 2nd Patriot Act Russian Defense Ministry Says Pentagon Imitating Fight Against IS – Whistleblower: Cell Phone Surveillance Devices

December 29, 2015

Communist China Unveils Most Orwellian Scheme Ever

Russian Defense Ministry accuses Pentagon of imitating fight against Islamic State

Czech President Calls Influx of Refugees to Europe an “Organized Invasion”

DOJ Suspends Asset Seizure Sharing; Value of Seized Property Exceeds That of Stolen Property

Arrested German jihadist: Islamic blitzkrieg coming

Love Thy Enemy? US Plot to Evacuate Top Jihadis From Ramadi Uncovered

Iraqi Soldiers Fighting ISIS Bombed by “Errant” U.S. Airstrike

FBI Nabs Pizza Patsy

100 Year Old Christmas List From A 7 Year Old Boy Shows How Materialistic Our Society Has Become

EU Exploits ‘Refugee’ Crisis it Created to Push Draconian Plan For Occupying Army

European Nations Such As Sweden And Denmark Are ‘Eradicating Cash’

Whistleblower Leaks Secret Catalog of Cell Phone Surveillance Devices

 

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CISA Is Now The Law: How Congress Quietly Passed The Second Patriot Act

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Zero Hedge
December 19, 2015

Update: CISA is now the law: OBAMA SIGNS SPENDING, TAX BILL THAT REPEALS OIL EXPORT BAN

* * *

Back in 2014, civil liberties and privacy advocates were up in arms when the government tried to quietly push through the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, a law which would allow federal agencies – including the NSA – to share cybersecurity, and really any information with private corporations “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” The most vocal complaint involved CISA’s information-sharing channel, which was ostensibly created for responding quickly to hacks and breaches, and which provided a loophole in privacy laws that enabled intelligence and law enforcement surveillance without a warrant.

Ironically, in its earlier version, CISA had drawn the opposition of tech firms including Apple, Twitter, Reddit, as well as the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and many others including countless politicians and, most amusingly, the White House itself.

In April, a coalition of 55 civil liberties groups and security experts signed onto an open letter opposing it. In July, the Department of Homeland Security itself warned that the bill could overwhelm the agency with data of “dubious value” at the same time as it “sweep[s] away privacy protections.” Most notably, the biggest aggregator of online private content, Facebook, vehemently opposed the legislation however a month ago it was “surprisingly” revealed that Zuckerberg had been quietly on the side of the NSA all along as we reported in “Facebook Caught Secretly Lobbying For Privacy-Destroying “Cyber-Security” Bill.” 

Even Snowden chimed in:

Shameful: @Facebook secretly backing Senate’s zombie surveillance bill while publicly pretending to oppose it. https://boingboing.net/2015/10/24/petition-facebook-betrayed-us.html 

Following the blitz response, the push to pass CISA was tabled following a White House threat to veto similar legislation. Then, quietly, CISA reemerged after the same White House mysteriously flip-flopped, expressed its support for precisely the same bill in August.

And then the masks fell off, when it became obvious that not only are corporations eager to pass CISA despite their previous outcry, but that they have both the White House and Congress in their pocket.

As Wired reminds us, when the Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act by a vote of 74 to 21 in October, privacy advocates were again “aghast” that the key portions of the law were left intact which they said make it more amenable to surveillance than actual security, claiming that Congress has quietly stripped out “even more of its remaining privacy protections.”

“They took a bad bill, and they made it worse,” says Robyn Greene, policy counsel for the Open Technology Institute.

But while Congress was preparing a second assault on privacy, it needed a Trojan Horse with which to enact the proposed legislation into law without the public having the ability to reject it.

It found just that by attaching it to the Omnibus $1.1 trillion Spending Bill, which passed the House early this morning, passed the Senate moments ago and will be signed into law by the president in the coming hours.

This is how it happened, again courtesy of Wired:

In a late-night session of Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced a new version of the “omnibus” bill, a massive piece of legislation that deals with much of the federal government’s funding. It now includes a version of CISA as well. Lumping CISA in with the omnibus bill further reduces any chance for debate over its surveillance-friendly provisions, or a White House veto. And the latest version actually chips away even further at the remaining personal information protections that privacy advocates had fought for in the version of the bill that passed the Senate.

It gets: it appears that while CISA was on hiatus, US lawmakers – working under the direction of corporations adnt the NSA – were seeking to weaponize the revised legislation, and as Wired says, the latest version of the bill appended to the omnibus legislation seems to exacerbate the problem of personal information protections.

It creates the ability for the president to set up “portals” for agencies like the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, so that companies hand information directly to law enforcement and intelligence agencies instead of to the Department of Homeland Security. And it also changes when information shared for cybersecurity reasons can be used for law enforcement investigations. The earlier bill had only allowed that backchannel use of the data for law enforcement in cases of “imminent threats,” while the new bill requires just a “specific threat,” potentially allowing the search of the data for any specific terms regardless of timeliness.

Some, like Senator Ron Wyden, spoke out out against the changes to the bill in a press statement, writing they’d worsened a bill he already opposed as a surveillance bill in the guise of cybersecurity protections.

Senator Richard Burr, who had introduced the earlier version of bill, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Americans deserve policies that protect both their security and their liberty,” he wrote. “This bill fails on both counts.”

Why was the CISA included in the omnibus package, which just passed both the House and the Senate? Because any “nay” votes  – or an Obama – would also threaten the entire budget of the federal government. In other words, it was a question of either Americans keeping their privacy or halting the funding of the US government, in effect bankrupting the nation.

And best of all, the rushed bill means there will be no debate.

The bottom line as OTI’s Robyn Green said, “They’ve got this bill that’s kicked around for years and had been too controversial to pass, so they’ve seen an opportunity to push it through without debate. And they’re taking that opportunity.

The punchline: “They’re kind of pulling a Patriot Act.”

And when Obama signs the $1.1 trillion Spending Bill in a few hours, as he will, it will be official: the second Patriot Act will be the law, and with it what little online privacy US citizens may enjoy, will be gone.

This article was posted: Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 7:42 am

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Tuesday, 09 June 2015

Chinese Tyranny 2.0

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Survivor Lizhi He, a practitioner of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong, spent 1,280 miserable days in a Chinese gulag. At a 2013 summit attended by this writer in the Israeli Knesset that focused on Communist Chinese organ harvesting, the survivor of the regime’s prison camps told his story to the assembled lawmakers and dignitaries, and described the savage torture he endured — months of being forced to sit motionless, severe beatings, being soaked in cold water in the winter, electroshock torture, humiliation, dehumanization, and much more. Many victims never make it out alive, though, so Lizhi, who almost lost his life at the hands of his captors, was fortunate in at least one respect.

Charged and prosecuted in a “sham” court for allegedly “sabotaging the implementation of the law,” Lizhi was imprisoned for his unwavering beliefs that defied the official orthodoxy espoused by China’s totalitarian rulers. The regime considers Falun Gong — a discipline it once promoted — to be an “evil cult” that must be suppressed at all costs. So when Lizhi, an award-winning engineer with the Construction Ministry, was caught sending letters to friends and colleagues explaining what he viewed as the truth about the movement, the reprisals were swift and horrifying. He was abducted in Tiananmen Square and hauled off to be tortured and brainwashed.

The prison camp was brutal. “In addition to the physical torture … we were forced to read literature defaming Falun Gong,” he explained after describing the barbaric torture methods employed against him and his fellow inmates — especially other prisoners of conscience and Falun Gong practitioners. “I was shocked by high-voltage electric batons…. All of these atrocities targeted my beliefs and conscience. Falun Gong prisoners were never treated like humans unless we gave up our beliefs.” He was also conscripted as a slave laborer making products for export.

Even today, countless victims remain in China’s notorious prison camps because of their beliefs. “It is sad to say that my experience of incarceration was just one of the hundreds of thousands of experiences of innocent Chinese people who practice Falun Gong,” Lizhi explained, urging the world to speak out. “Such tragedies are still happening in China in the name of law.” While the Canadian government helped rescue Lizhi and his wife, and Amnesty International and other organ­izations took up his cause, many others have not been so fortunate. At the same summit in Jerusalem where Lizhi told his story, a documentary entitled Free China: The Courage to Believe highlighted other atrocities — and it is all ongoing.

Despite claims to the contrary, the regime ruling mainland China remains brutal and authoritarian to the core — and it is now being groomed to play a leading role in what globalists and the dictatorship itself refer to as the “New World Order” (see the related article “China: Staking Claim in the New World Order“). If the Communist Party regime is going to “own” the New World Order, as globalist billionaire and Obama ally George Soros put it, what might such an order look like? To get a sneak preview, a look at the regime itself offers many hints.

Suffering, Suffering

Many Westerners today have a much more positive image of the People’s Republic of China than that reflected by Lizhi’s testimony at the Israeli Knesset or by other eyewitness accounts. Even many who are aware that the regime has been one of the most totalitarian in history nonetheless believe that the PRC has “reformed” and is no longer even “communist.” But why should the word “communist” no longer apply to China when the regime itself officially claims to be communist? And why should we believe that despots have suddenly become “democrats” when mass murderers have not been brought to justice, and when, in fact, the regime still honors past communist rulers such as the blood-drenched Chairman Mao?

Of course, apologists for the regime who claim that Beijing today is less authoritarian than Mao’s Communist Party have a point. After all, under Mao, the Chinese Communists murdered more human beings than any other cabal of criminals and mass-murderers in all of recorded human history. To be less murderous than Mao and company, then, is hardly a noteworthy accomplishment. However, the claim that the “new and improved” Chinese tyranny is much different or superior to the “old” is more than a little disingenuous. The post-Mao regime, which is a product of Mao’s legacy, has never relinquished absolute, unrestrained power over its citizens. This was made very evident by the infamous Tiananmen Square massacre of peaceful protesters on June 4, 1989. And it is evident today, for anyone who is willing to open his eyes and look at the regime’s actions.

For example, while the outright mass extermination of dissenters has largely gone by the wayside, mass murder remains a hallmark of Beijing rule. The regime continues to slaughter millions of unborn children in forced abortions — part of its savage “one-child policy” — with assistance from the U.S. taxpayer-funded UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and Planned Parenthood, according to congressional testimony by experts. Despite allegedly “easing” the grotesque one-child policy, millions of women and unborn children in China continue being subjected to forced abortions, in addition to mass forced sterilizations and other crimes.

Just last month, an international scandal erupted when a teacher, five months pregnant, was ordered to have her child slaughtered — after having previously obtained permission from authorities to have a second. “Their experience dramatically demonstrates what I’ve been saying all along: China is continuing its horrific practice of late-term forced abortions,” Reggie Littlejohn, the president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, told LifeNews. “This is savagery and it must be stopped.” That particular kill order was halted, but only thanks to tremendous domestic and international pressure. To give some insight into just how little value China’s ruling cabal attaches to human life or the rights of women, consider that a few years ago at a UN “climate” summit attended by this writer in Copenhagen, an official representative for Beijing bragged about how China’s coercive one-child policy is reducing its “carbon footprint.”

Beyond mother and unborn children, other family members can also be punished when a woman has more than her allotted children. Chen Guangcheng, a blind, self-taught lawyer who was ruthlessly persecuted by the regime for his activism before escaping to the United States via the U.S. embassy, recently testified in Congress about the savagery. “To achieve its goal of population control, the Communist Party has established a vast system to carry out its policy. The Party has also signaled to those on the front line that jailing, beating, eviction, demolition and other such policies are not beyond the red line, even at the cost of life,” he explained. “In my village and neighboring villages, we could often hear and see groups of people, from a dozen to several dozen and headed by their local party chiefs, acting like bandits, beating villagers, and holding them in defiance of legal procedures, day and night. We could hear screaming and crying during these operations…. If these Communist bandits failed to get the pregnant woman to submit to a nighttime operation [abortion], they would take away family members, relatives such as uncles and aunts, siblings, and even other neighbors within a diameter of 50 meters of the target, usually including 10-20 households, by force, often with cruelty.”

Other classes of Chinese citizens are also butchered on a regular basis by China’s communist leaders for various reasons — especially members of the spiritual movement known as Falun Gong, to which Lizhi belongs. According to countless defectors, experts, survivors, and other sources, Beijing literally harvests body organs from political prisoners such as Falun Gong practitioners. Former Canadian Member of Parliament David Kilgour, also a former minister of state for the Asia-Pacific region, described the ghoulish slaughters in a book on the subject entitled Bloody Harvest. The book documents the author’s long investigation into China’s well-established organ trade. It concludes that the bazaar of organs comes not just from criminals sentenced to die, but from Falun Gong practitioners persecuted for their beliefs.

Those in disfavor with the regime who are not killed for their organs by Beijing’s butcher squads often face brutal treatment in China’s re-education gulags. A report released last year by Chinese Human Rights Defender (CHRD) about the regime’s “black jails” noted that in these secret gulags, whose occupants are up to 80 percent women, savage acts are perpetrated against “unofficial” prisoners. The victims never even have the benefit of a sham trial in one of the autocracy’s kangaroo courts. The report, “We Can Beat You to Death With Impunity”: Secret Detention & Abuse of Women in China’s “Black Jails,” describes the abuses in horrifying detail. “Inside these shadowy detention cells, the predominantly female detainees — including elderly women, migrant women, women who lost land or were victimized by forced eviction, women with disabilities, and mothers with young children — are subjected to appalling abuses, from physical and sexual assaults to deprivation of medical treatment,” the human-rights group explained.

Falun Gong practitioners are hardly the only targets of Beijing belief-focused persecution. Among others, the regime ruthlessly persecutes Christians and other minorities, as well as anyone and everyone who dares to challenge its tyranny, through denial of work permits, imprisonment, and even death. And despite claims that the persecution is easing, the facts say otherwise. According to China Aid, a Christian human-rights organization, the dictatorship’s crackdown on believers last year reached levels unseen in at least a decade, surging by more than 10,000 percent over 2013 in terms of the number of believers sentenced for practicing their faith, particularly in underground churches. But even regime-approved and -managed churches have found themselves in the autocracy’s cross hairs.

China Aid’s 2014 Annual Report of Religious and Human Rights Persecution in China, dubbed “The Year of ‘Persecution and Endurance,’” shows that religious persecution and human-rights abuses perpetrated by the regime in Beijing have risen by a shocking 153 percent over 2013 overall, based on six specific categories of persecution. In addition to the number of believers sentenced (which jumped from 12 in 2013 to 1,274 in 2014), the other categories of persecution are: the number of religious persecution cases, the number of believers being persecuted, the number detained, the number of severe abuse cases, and the number of individuals in severe abuse cases. Every category saw drastic increases in 2014 over the year before, Texas-based China Aid documented in its report.

China Aid has documented 572 cases of persecution in which 17,884 religious practitioners were persecuted — a 300-percent increase over the prior year. Because information is so tightly controlled by the communist regime and its Orwellian censorship and repression apparatus, the real figures of abuse are almost certainly much higher, China Aid acknowledged.

Beyond oppressing Christians, the government also seeks to control them, establishing regime-controlled “Protestant” and “Catholic” denominations that take orders from the atheist Communist Party of China, rather than Scripture or the Vatican and other church hierarchies. “The sinicization of Christianity amounts to de-Christianizing the church in China and eradicating the universal nature of Christianity under the appearance of constructing a ‘Christianity with Chinese characteristics,’ and, in the name of prioritizing the interests of the Communist Party, usurping Christian doctrine that ‘Christ is the head of Church,’” explains the 2014 China Aid report documenting the actions.

China’s government is even oppressive outside is own borders. Enduring decades’ worth of brutal occupation and terror are the people of Tibet, a country that has illegally been occupied by Communist China for more than six decades. More than a few analysts have accused Beijing of “genocide” in the formerly sovereign nation as China works to destroy the Tibetan culture and people — even importing massive quantities of Han Chinese to displace the previous occupants. Estimates suggest hundreds of thousands of Tibetans have disappeared. Tibetan monks have been treated especially ruthlessly, with the regime regularly murdering, kidnapping, and forcibly “re-educating” (brainwashing) them with “patriotic re-education.”

In 2011, the barbarity made headlines worldwide when communist “security” forces surrounded the Kirti monastery after a monk set himself on fire to protest the extermination of Tibetan culture by Beijing. Some 100 monks were “disappeared.” “As a former political prisoner, I have personally experienced the kind of torture inflicted on Tibetans in Chinese prison,” said Lukar Jam, the vice-president of a Tibetan organization of former political prisoners. “The Kirti monks are innocent and are under attack for simply expressing their internationally recognized right to freedom of religion.” Beijing says it is all for their own good.

Also suffering from Communist Party of China persecution is the Muslim Uighur population of Western China in Xinjiang. Many of the locals are against being ruled by Beijing and are seeking to regain independence. In response, the dictatorship has engaged in a brutal crackdown, with its “security” agents reportedly massacring protesters on the spot and firing indiscriminately into crowds of civilians on a regular basis — most recently killing four and wounding dozens after shooting into a protest in May 2014. “China is consciously hardening its policies against Uighurs,” Seyit Tumturk, the vice president of the World Uyghur Congress, told Al-Monitor. “Especially the harsh crackdown on religious values that the Uyghurs respect has nothing to do with combating terror. It is ethnic and cultural genocide on pretext of combating terror.”

Moreover, Beijing is working on a plan to uproot hundreds of millions of Chinese farmers from rural areas and forcibly relocate them to centrally planned new cities built precisely for that  reason. The New York Times described the scheme as the “Great Uprooting,” evoking memories of Mao’s ghoulish “Great Leap Forward.” Those who resist the forced evictions will face the wrath of the regime, as hundreds of millions of innocent Chinese have in years past. But, it will all be “legal,” as the regime’s constitution makes clear that all land is owned collectively.

But isn’t this “uprooting” the price of progress? Today, apologists for the regime often point to the growing prosperity of China and its alleged turn toward liberalizing the economy as evidence that Beijing has learned the error of its ways. Even here, though, the facts — and the regime itself — say otherwise. Consider, as just one example, the fact that virtually all of China’s major companies are actually owned and run by the regime, which can crack down on workers — dictating pay, where they live, etc. — on a whim. Even those firms that are not technically “state-owned” are largely run by pseudo-“capitalist” cronies of the ruling communist oligarchs. Foreign companies in China, meanwhile, must agree to extreme restrictions — often including participation in joint ventures with Chinese “companies” and “sharing” their technology and intellectual property — as a condition of operating in China. In late May, the Communist Politburo even approved a “regulation” ordering every workplace, even at nominally “private” companies, to have a Communist Party unit so that party policies can be “implemented across society.”

In other words, despite the appearance of markets, the giant Chinese companies are in actuality just extensions of the regime, and the economy is firmly under the iron fist of Beijing’s tyrants. According to the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, which ranks 178 countries based on how free they are economically, Communist China, in 139th place, is “mostly unfree” and among the most controlled in the world. The autocracy describes its “state-capitalism” regime as “Socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

There are certainly no “free markets” in China, then, except perhaps underground, but there is even less of a “free market” when it comes to ideas and opinion. The Chinese dictatorship operates the most sophisticated censorship regime on the planet, strictly controlling the Internet and the state-owned “news [propaganda] media.” The Orwellian information-control apparatus, often dubbed the “Great Firewall of China,” denies Chinese subjects access to anything the regime does not like. If they dare express themselves publicly, the comments will be censored and the thought-criminals duly punished. Only a totalitarian state fears and suppresses freedom of speech, religious freedom, and a free press.

Despite claims that Communist China is moving in the direction of greater freedom, the facts on the ground show otherwise. The tyranny may be slightly less obvious and overt, but the tyrants remain as ruthless and autocratic as ever. To borrow a phrase from George Orwell, if you want to know what a future “New World Order” led by Beijing might look like, “imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.” Americans must resist.

Photo: AP Images

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Related article:

China: Staking Claim in the New World Order

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Is Trump-Rubio Owned by Jewish Interests? US Targets Syrian Military – ISIS Brags About Exploiting Refugee Crisis – Will the IRS Take Away Your Right to Travel Abroad? Senate Votes to Repeal Most of Obamacare War is on the Horizon

December 8, 2015

US Targets Syrian Military

Over 35,000 Issued Same Fiance Visa As San Bernardino Shooter

Obama Plans Executive Action On Gun Control; White House Admits It Will Not Prevent Mass Shootings

Senate Votes to Repeal Much of ObamaCare, Defund Planned Parenthood

ISIS Brags About Exploiting Refugee Program to Send “Sleeper Cells” to Europe

COP21 Paris Climate Talks; Funded by an Unlikely Source

At UN Summit, Obama Blames America for Global Warming

San Bernardino Victims Defenseless in “Gun-free Zone”

San Bernardino Shooting: What They’re NOT Telling You

NSA Documents: E-mail Surveillance Continues With Less Oversight

Huge: Monsanto Going to Trial for Crimes Against Humanity

Senate rejects Paul’s crackdown on refugees

NATO’s Terror Convoys Halted at Syrian Border
Ted Cruz: ‘Overwhelming Majority of Violent Criminals are Democrats’

The War on Terror is Creating More Terror

German Police Chief: ISIS Hiding Among Refugees Entering Europe

Vladimir Putin: US knew flight path of plane downed by Turkey

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War Is On The Horizon: Is It Too Late To Stop It?

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Paul Craig Roberts
Prison Planet.com
December 8, 2015

One lesson from military history is that once mobilization for war begins, it takes on a momentum of its own and is uncontrollable.

This might be what is occuring unrecognized before our eyes.

In his September 28 speech at the 70th Anniversity of the United Nations, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that Russia can no longer tolerate the state of affairs in the world. Two days later at the invitation of the Syrian government Russia began war against ISIS.

Russia was quickly successful in destroying ISIS arms depots and helping the Syrian army to roll back ISIS gains. Russia also destroyed thousands of oil tankers, the contents of which were financing ISIS by transporting stolen Syrian oil to Turkey where it is sold to the family of the current gangster who rules Turkey.

Washington was caught off guard by Russia’s decisiveness. Fearful that the quick success of such decisive action by Russia would discourage Washington’s NATO vassals from continuing to support Washington’s war against Assad and Washington’s use of its puppet government in Kiev to pressure Russia, Washington arranged for Turkey to shoot down a Russian fighter-bomber despite the agreement between Russia and NATO that there would be no air-to-air encounters in Russia’s area of air operation in Syria.

Although denying all responsibility, Washington used Russia’s low key response to the attack, for which Turkey did not apologize, to reassure Europe that Russia is a paper tiger. The Western presstitutes trumpeted: “Russia A Paper Tiger.” http://www.wsj.com/articles/turkey-shoots-down-a-paper-tiger-1448406008

The Russian government’s low key response to the provocation was used by Washington to reassure Europe that there is no risk in continuing to pressure Russia in the Middle East, Ukraine, Georgia, Montenegro, and elsewhere. Washington’s attack on Assad’s military is being used to reinforce the belief that is being inculcated in European governments that Russia’s responsible behavior to avoid war is a sign of fear and weakness.

It is unclear to what extent the Russian and Chinese governments understand that their independent policies, reaffirmed by the Russian and Chinese presidents On September 28, are regarded by Washington as “existential threats” to US hegemony.

The basis of US foreign policy is the commitment to prevent the rise of powers capable of constraining Washington’s unilateral action. The ability of Russia and China to do this makes them both a target.

Washington is not opposed to terrorism. Washington has been purposely creating terrorism for many years. Terrorism is a weapon that Washington intends to use to destabilize Russia and China by exporting it to the Muslim populations in Russia and China.

Washington is using Syria, as it used Ukraine, to demonstrate Russia’s impotence to Europe— and to China, as an impotent Russia is less attractive to China as an ally.

For Russia, responsible response to provocation has become a liability, because it encourages more provocation.

In other words, Washington and the gullibility of its European vassals have put humanity in a very dangerous situation, as the only choices left to Russia and China are to accept American vassalage or to prepare for war.

Putin must be respected for putting more value on human life than do Washington and its European vassals and avoiding military responses to provocations. However, Russia must do something to make the NATO countries aware that there are serious costs of their accommodation of Washington’s aggression against Russia. For example, the Russian government could decide that it makes no sense to sell energy to European countries that are in a de facto state of war against Russia. With winter upon us, the Russian government could announce that Russia does not sell energy to NATO member countries. Russia would lose the money, but that is cheaper than losing one’s sovereignty or a war.

To end the conflict in Ukraine, or to escalate it to a level beyond Europe’s willingness to participate, Russia could accept the requests of the breakaway provinces to be reunited with Russia. For Kiev to continue the conflict, Ukraine would have to attack Russia herself.

The Russian government has relied on responsible, non-provocative responses. Russia has taken the diplomatic approach, relying on European governments coming to their senses, realizing that their national interests diverge from Washington’s, and ceasing to enable Washington’s hegemonic policy. Russia’s policy has failed. To repeat, Russia’s low key, responsible responses have been used by Washington to paint Russia as a paper tiger that no one needs to fear.

We are left with the paradox that Russia’s determination to avoid war is leading directly to war.

Whether or not the Russian media, Russian people, and the entirety of the Russian government understand this, it must be obvious to the Russian military. All that Russian military leaders need to do is to look at the composition of the forces sent by NATO to “combat ISIS.” As George Abert notes, the American, French, and British aircraft that have been deployed are jet fighters whose purpose is air-to-air combat, not ground attack. The jet fighters are not deployed to attack ISIS on the ground, but to threaten the Russian fighter-bombers that are attacking ISIS ground targets.

There is no doubt that Washington is driving the world toward Armageddon, and Europe is the enabler. Washington’s bought-and-paid-for-puppets in Germany, France, and UK are either stupid, unconcerned, or powerless to escape from Washington’s grip. Unless Russia can wake up Europe, war is inevitable.

Have the totally evil, dumbshit neocon warmongers who control the US government taught Putin that war is inevitable? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QxWYIAtCMU#action=share

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

What’s Behind Bernie Sanders’ Socialism?

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What’s Behind Bernie Sanders' Socialism?

At a town hall meeting in New Hampshire on October 30, senator and presidential candidate Bernie San­ders attempted to clarify in what sense he is a “socialist.” One voter in attendance, echoing the beliefs of many Americans, remarked, “I come from a generation where that’s a pretty radical term — we think of socialism (with) communism. Can you explain to us exactly what that is?” Sanders responded, in part: “If we go to some countries, what they will have is health care for all as a right. I believe in that. They will have paid family and medical leave. I believe in that. They will have a much stronger childcare system than we have, which is affordable for working families. I believe in that.”

Sanders went on to clarify that he regards himself as a democratic socialist: “What I mean by Democratic socialism is looking at countries in Scandinavia that have much lower rates of child poverty, that have a fairer tax system that guarantees basic necessities of life to working people. Essentially what I mean by that is creating a government that works for working families, rather than the kind of government we have today which is largely owned and controlled by wealthy individuals and large corporations.”

Sanders, the only self-acknowledged socialist ever to be elected to the U.S. Senate, is careful to distinguish “democratic socialism,” which supposedly distinguishes a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system, from more authoritarian and even totalitarian forms of socialism such as Marxism, Stalinism, Maoism, and communism generally.

In making such a distinction, Sanders is hardly alone. A number of influential socialists, such as Rosa Luxemburg, Eugene Debs, Erich Fromm, and Howard Zinn, view “democratic socialism” as “socialism from below,” demanded and implemented by the grassroots, and “authoritarian socialism,” such as Stalinism, as “socialism from above.” The Scandinavian model of democratic socialism mentioned by Sanders is a popular talking point among democratic socialists, inasmuch as countries such as Denmark and Sweden appear prosperous, happy, and free despite being socialist.

While polls suggest that Bernie Sanders is unlikely to capture the Democratic nomination for president, his newfound national prominence as a presidential candidate has spurred a renewed interest in socialism. Given America’s struggles with violent crime, chronic unemployment, healthcare affordability, and the quality and cost of education, what could possibly be wrong with the sort of socialism that the likes of Sanders and Scandinavia believe in?

The Evolution of Socialism

Modern socialism’s roots may be traced back at least as far as the French Revolution, although earlier experiments in forced communitarianism, such as the radical Digger and Leveler movements that sprang up during the English Civil War in the mid-17th century, have also cast long shadows.

Socialism in its many subvarieties is but part of a larger political stream of thought that we might call “utopianism,” which presumes to create a social order contrary to human nature. In addition to socialism, the utopian impulse has given rise to radical anarchism, as well as to experiments with coercive religious communalism, including the Jonestown commune of the Peoples’ Temple, led by Jim Jones (an atheist who deceived his followers with fabricated “healings” and supposed religious miracles).

But of all the manifestations of utopian­ism, socialism in its many guises has proven the most enduring and — at least in our day — by far the most popular. It is often divided into revolutionary socialism — of the sort that convulsed the world in 1848, the Russian Empire in 1917, China in the 1940s, Cambodia in the 1970s, and so on — and democratic socialism, which has found favor in the parliaments and Congresses of every Western country since at least the mid-20th century. Revolutionary socialism has appeared in several flavors, but may be roughly divided into national socialism (of which German Nazism is the best-known example), which appeals to nationalism and racial exceptionalism to justify the implementation of state control over the private sector, and international socialism, which seeks to export socialism worldwide and has as its goal a unitary global socialist order. Democratic socialism, meanwhile, has been known by many names (including, in the United States, “progressivism”), but may be characterized in general as an effort to institute an egalitarian socialist order by “working within the system,” using a gradualist (or “Fabian”), long-term strategy to persuade democratically elected governments to legalize socialist programs such as government-controlled healthcare and school systems.

The difference between revolutionary socialism, especially Marxism and its ideological offspring, and democratic socialism is primarily a matter of degree; communism has been characterized as “socialism in a hurry” because of its insistence on the violent overthrow of “bourgeois” society and government. In point of fact, the League of the Just, the underground group of European revolutionaries who became the first proponents of communism, considered themselves socialists. Friedrich Engels, the wealthy colleague and patron of Karl Marx who helped bankroll the early Communist Party in Europe, explained in the preface to the 1888 English edition of the Communist Manifesto the virtual equivalency of communism and socialism as they were then understood:

The history of the Manifesto reflects the history of the modern working-class movement; at present, it is doubtless the most wide spread, the most international production of all socialist literature, the common platform acknowledged by millions of working men from Siberia to California.

Yet, when it was written, we could not have called it a socialist manifesto. By Socialists, in 1847, were understood, on the one hand the adherents of the various Utopian systems: Owenites in England, Fourierists in France, both of them already reduced to the position of mere sects, and gradually dying out; on the other hand, the most multifarious social quacks who, by all manner of tinkering, professed to redress, without any danger to capital and profit, all sorts of social grievances, in both cases men outside the working-class movement, and looking rather to the “educated” classes for support. Whatever portion of the working class had become convinced of the insufficiency of mere political revolutions, and had proclaimed the necessity of total social change, called itself Communist…. Thus, in 1847, socialism was a middle-class movement, communism a working-class movement. Socialism was, on the Continent at least, “respectable”; communism was the very opposite. And as our notion, from the very beginning, was that “the emancipation of the workers must be the act of the working class itself,” there could be no doubt as to which of the two names we must take.

Engels’ distinction between “working class” communists and “middle class” socialists is misleading. The theoreticians, leaders, and financiers of both movements were typically middle-class intellectuals (such as Marx) and upper-class money men (such as Engels). In particular, Robert Owen, the Welsh social reformer whose Owenite movement in England and America is credited with coining the term “socialism,” was a middle-class merchant and mill manager, as well as a successful entrepreneur who eventually became a prominent member of the elite Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. Owen set up utopian communes in Britain and America, where he advocated causes such as the eight-hour workday. His experimental communities were regarded with narrow suspicion by most early Americans because of their repudiation of free enterprise and the private ownership of property.

Owens’ first American community, New Harmony in Indiana, lasted only two years before collapsing. One disaffected member of New Harmony recognized that the community failed because of its repudiation of personal property rights and liberty, admitting: “We had a world in miniature — we had enacted the French revolution over again with despairing hearts instead of corpses as a result…. It appeared that it was nature’s own inherent law of diversity that had conquered us … our “united interests” were directly at war with the individualities of persons and circumstances and the instinct of self-preservation.”

Late in life Owen, who had renounced Christianity as a young man, became intensely interested in spiritualism, in which he immersed himself for the last four years of his life.

The followers of Charles Fourier, another early utopian socialist, set up cooperative communities (which he called “phalanxes”) in Europe and America; “Fourierism” found expression in locations as far-flung as Ohio, Texas, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, and counted among its adherents prominent American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Fourierism sought to eradicate poverty by raising wages and establishing a minimum standard of income for all members of the community. Fourier was also intensely interested in human sexuality, and encouraged complete sexual freedom in his phalanxes. He also was an early proponent of homosexuality and homosexual rights. His program called for nothing less than total sexual emancipation and for universal education. Fourier, who died in 1837, was also one of the earliest political reformers to call for a “new world order” of universal harmony and international cooperation.

These men and others were the first of the utopian, non-revolutionary socialists, to whom modern democratic socialism owes much of its ideological pedigree. The interest in such conceits as state-mandated minimum wages and eight-hour workdays is as characteristic of socialism today as it was two centuries ago — but today, such policies have been almost universally embraced and are seldom even acknowledged as socialist innovations. Meanwhile the repudiation of Christianity and of Judaeo-Christian morality evident in both Fourierism and Owenism is still very much a feature of the modern Left — the ideological heirs of Owen, Fourier, and their ilk.

The other early strain of socialism, the communism of Marx and Engels, had its organizational roots in the European revolutionary underground that grew out of the French Revolution and its aftermath. Philippe Buonarroti, for example, was one of Marx’s most important influences. A member of the Babeuf conspiracy in late revolutionary France, Buonarroti was a professional agitator and subversive who advocated a conspiratorial and revolutionary path to radical socialism. His History of Babeuf’s “Conspiracy of Equals,” based on his own experiences, was a recipe for revolutionary egalitarianism that was a must-read for 19th-century socialist revolutionaries, including Karl Marx.

Even a cursory reading of Marx’s most famous work, the Communist Manifesto, reveals Marx’s lust for revolutionary violence, a passion clearly not shared with more genteel utopians such as Owen and Fourier. Yet in reality, how different was Marx’s communist program? Marx — like Owen and Fourier — was opposed to Christianity and traditional morality, and their eradication by force became one of the paramount goals of the communist program. Marx, like other socialists, believed that capitalism and inequality of wealth were responsible for all of the ills afflicting humanity, and sought to eliminate them by eliminating private property. However, Marx and the communists differed very clearly from other socialists of the day in ambition; where Owen, Fourier, and others were content to publish pamphlets and set up small utopian communities wherever they could attract a sufficient following, the communists sought nothing less than the complete overthrow of the existing sociopolitical order, by violent means and everywhere in the world.

In pursuing these goals, the communists proved to be far more resourceful and better organized than other socialists; in the same year (1848) that the Communist Manifesto was first published, nearly every nation in Europe was convulsed by revolution in what turned out to be the opening spasm of communist revolutionary activity that captured the world’s two largest countries (Russia and China) in the 20th century, not to mention countless smaller states all across the globe.

The Communist/Socialist Program

The Communist Manifesto articulates a clear, simple program for the advancement of communism, a program that must be held to be the first comprehensive enunciation of the socialist program as well, except on a different timetable. Most of the elements of Marx’s famous “ten planks of Communism,” which appeared very radical when they were written, are almost universally accepted today. They are:

1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to work. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of all the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the populace over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c, &c.

Of these, numbers two (heavy progressive income tax), five (a monopolistic central bank), six (state control of communication/media and transportation), and 10 (“free” public schools and abolition of child labor) have been nearly or entirely accomplished in the United States and most other Western countries. Most of the others are well on their way to fruition in the United States. Number one, for example (the abolition of private property) has not yet been fully realized, but private property rights have been diluted to the point of being nearly meaningless, thanks to the proliferation of heavy property taxes, environmental and zoning regulations, and countless other government controls limiting the ways in which “private” land may be used.

Number four (the confiscation of the property of emigrants and rebels) has only recently gained momentum, with asset forfeiture laws allowing the state to strip property from people accused of criminal activities, leading to flagrant, systemic theft of private assets by local, state, and federal governments alike. Meanwhile, as more and more Americans living overseas are forced to pay ever-heavier taxes to Washington (no other country besides Eritrea seeks to tax its citizens living and working abroad), increasing numbers of them are seeking to renounce their American citizenship. The federal government has responded by branding them disloyal and levying enormous new excises that, for wealthy individuals, may amount to confiscation of a significant portion of their assets.

Thus the “Communist” program of Karl Marx is being brought to fruition in the United States and the rest of the Western world, but largely without revolution, bloodshed, and purges — at least not yet. While the communist movement in Europe sparked a number of violent uprisings during the 19th century. It made little progress on the other side of the Atlantic — at least not openly.

But in America, the decades after the Civil War saw the birth of a new political movement every bit as foreign to American traditions and hostile to personal liberty as revolutionary communism, but with a gentler countenance: “progressivism.” Birthed as a movement for broad social reform in Europe and the United States, by the end of the 19th century, the “progressive” agenda had won many adherents in Washington, including Theodore Roosevelt and Indiana Senator Albert Beveridge. Senator Beveridge’s legislative activities in the first years of the 20th century embodied the progressive program; among other things, Beveridge sponsored a bill for federal meat inspection, fought for the passage of anti-child labor legislation, and supported the federal control of railroads, the institution of an eight-hour work day, and the regulation of “trusts” (Big Business). Senator Beveridge, like most progressives, was also a strong supporter of American interventionism, of which the Spanish-American War was viewed as a noble example of enlightened empire-building. Self-styled progressives such as Woodrow Wilson popularized the notion that America’s proper role was to make the world safe for democracy. Progressivism also figured prominently in the push to create a universal public education system championed by progressive John Dewey, in the fledgling conservationist/environmental movement fostered by Theodore Roosevelt, and in the drive for the federal government to have direct regulatory authority over the business sector. All of this, and much more, was defended in the name of using the power of the state to achieve positive good, to engineer improvements in society that the private sector, left to its own devices, would supposedly neglect.

Yet for all their benign rhetoric, the progressives were bitter foes of the ideals of America’s Founding Fathers and of the limited constitutional government they created. Wrote historian William Leuchtenberg: “The Progressives believed in the Hamiltonian concept of positive government, of a national government directing the destinies of the nation at home and abroad. They had little but contempt for the strict construction of the Constitution by conservative judges, who would restrict the power of the national government to act against social evils and to extend the blessings of democracy to less favored lands. The real enemy was particularism, state rights, limited government, which would mean the reign of plutocracy at home and a narrow, isolationist concept of destiny abroad.”

Over the last century, progressivism has carried the day in the United States, with activist government coming to dominate virtually every aspect of what was once the private sector. It is taught and learned unquestioningly in public schools, universities, and law schools, usually under the banner of “liberalism” or “progressivism” — but it is socialism all the same, listing as its achievements many of the ideals of the Owenites, Fourierists, and communists.

In the meantime, more overt socialism continued to evolve, with the organizational starting point of modern democratic socialism probably being the founding, in London, of the Fabian Society in 1884. Unlike the communist revolutionaries, the Fabians were dedicated to the promotion of socialism by gradualist means that mimicked the patient, piecemeal military strategy of Roman general Fabius Maximus. Fabius wore down the invader Hannibal and his formidable army by waging a years-long war of harassment and attrition that eventually led to the Carthaginian conqueror’s withdrawal from Italy. Aptly, the Fabians adopted as their first coat of arms a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and their symbol the patient tortoise.

From its inception, Fabianism attracted many prominent supporters, including George Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells, and Annie Besant. They advocated a minimum wage and a national, government-run healthcare system, among many other familiar projects. They proved ambitious organizers. In 1895, they founded the London School of Economics, which remains one of the world’s most influential centers of economic thought and policymaking, and in 1900, the Labor Party, which became the dominant political party in Britain during much of the 20th century, ushering in legislatively much of the socialist program in Britain. In other parts of the Anglophone world, “liberal” political parties like the Democrats in the United States and the Liberal Party of Canada rushed to align their priorities with those of Britain’s Fabian-inspired and  -controlled Labor Party.

Meanwhile, socialism in America was organized into an overt political force with the establishment of the Socialist Party of America in 1901, a merger of the Social Democratic Party of America and the Socialist Labor Party. Drawing much of its early support from labor unions, the Socialist Party soon had its own champion, the indefatigable Eugene Debs, who dedicated his life to the transformation of American society along socialist lines. Whereas the progressive movement was a way to enact the socialist agenda without calling it by name, the Socialist Party and its flamboyant leader provided pressure from the radical Left, propagandizing the masses without successfully electing anyone to actual positions of government power.

Debs, a five-time Socialist Party candidate for president, got his start on the radical fringes of the Democratic Party in the late 1800s, organizing labor strikes. He was eventually jailed for his agitation, and embraced the socialist program while in jail. Because of his exceptional oratorical skills and personal charisma, Debs rose rapidly to prominence in the American socialist movement.

As we have seen, the establishment Left, then as now, self-identified as “progressive” rather than “socialist,” but only because “socialism” was such an unpopular term. In point of fact, the American progressives, in both style and substance, were almost indistinguishable from the more honestly named Fabian Socialists of England, while the firebrand Debs and his followers resembled more the Old World revolutionary agitators than boardroom socialists.

It is worth noting that the Socialist Party of America was a coming together of both labor union-centered socialism (sometimes called syndicalism) and democratic socialism. And the latter group, beloved of presidential candidate and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, is indistinguishable in its turn from American progressivism and British Fabian socialism. All of these groups attempt to institute socialism by popular consent and are content to work within the forms of the law to accomplish their ends instead of trying to violently uproot existing laws and social norms by revolutionary subversion.

Among those aims that have successfully been achieved legislatively in the United States are the federally mandated minimum wage and 40-hour work week; the prohibition on child labor; federal control over the agricultural, banking, manufacturing, and healthcare sectors; federal limitations on business activities and private property ownership in the name of environmental protection; government subsidy of college student loans and academic research; federal control over public schools and education; a heavy graduated federal income tax; and the federal monopoly on the money supply and control of the banking sector, as embodied by the Federal Reserve. These and a myriad other federal intrusions into the workings of the formerly free market and curtailment of the formerly sacrosanct right to private property are all elements of the socialist program, a program that seeks to substitute for private, consensual enterprise and individual, God-given rights forced, centrally-controlled economic activity and egalitarian “collective” rights enforced by state decree.

Bernie Sanders’ own presidential platform includes such socialist staples as a sharp increase in the minimum wage, creating a “single payer” government healthcare system, creating a universal government child care program, breaking up financial corporations deemed too large, instituting a government program to provide job training for young people, legislation to strengthen the power of unions, and legislation to impose a carbon emissions tax on businesses. This on top of the vast web of existing socialist controls — which Sanders enthusiastically supports — over private property, enterprise, and nearly every God-given right once protected by the Bill of Rights. Sanders is, for example, a perfervid supporter of gun control and heavy, progressive, ubiquitous taxation, and, in general, government involvement in every conceivable aspect of our private lives.

But inasmuch as the aims of progressivism, Fabian socialism, and communism — as well as the democratic socialism so beloved of Bernie Sanders — are all the same in the long run, so must they have similar outcomes for humanity, sooner or later.

And what are those outcomes? In his magisterial work on socialism, economist Ludwig von Mises pointed out that the basis of economic activity is voluntary exchange, which is enabled by economic calculation. Absent voluntary exchange, rational economic calculation (pricing and valuation) is impossible, except for very simple economic domains such as individual households. Wrote Mises: “Without calculation, economic activity is impossible. Since under Socialism economic calculation is impossible, under Socialism there can be no economic activity in our sense of the word. In small and insignificant things rational action might still persist. But, for the most part, it would no longer be possible to speak of rational production. In the absence of criteria of rationality, production could not be consciously economical.”

Thus socialism as an economic system is fundamentally irrational and impracticable. Its universal implementation would trigger a swift end to the complex, extended economic order that the free markets have built up over the centuries. It is possible only piecemeal, as arid expanses of centralized control within the fertile, life-giving pastures of the free markets. For a time, the successes of capitalism confer on socialism — which parasitizes free enterprise like a lamprey its host — the false appearance of vitality. But even fragmentary socialism of the type that now characterizes the American economy is always retrogressive, not progressive, destructive and not productive. It — and not “irrationally exuberant” capitalism — is responsible for mass impoverishment, recessions, and depressions, yet it is seldom indicted nowadays in the courts of media or public opinion.

Socialism — in the guise of national healthcare; a graduated income tax; an inflationary central bank (the Federal Reserve); government subsidies of agriculture, automobiles, and a myriad other sectors; or any of a host of other illegitimate government controls on the economy — is inflicting a death of a thousand bureaucratic cuts on the American and world economy. And because it is almost never held to account, more socialism is always demanded as a remedy. ObamaCare, for example, did not appear out of thin air, but was proposed as the solution to the havoc already wrought on the healthcare sector by previous socialist half measures (Medicare and Medicaid chief among them).

Because socialism is fundamentally utopian and irrational, it also places great emphasis on uprooting and destroying the entire social fabric upon which the free market and a legal system limiting the power of government rests: the traditional moral values practiced by Western society for centuries. This is the reason that most socialists are instinctively hostile to religion, for example, and supportive of all policies that militate against the family and practices destructive to it, like sexual license, abortion, homosexuality, and the sexualization of children.

In the end, socialism can only survive by growing, throttling the life out of the free markets, destroying the economic growth that has been the wellspring of human progress for half a millennium, and implementing ever-more radical attacks on the traditional moral and social order. The havoc wrought by socialist policies inevitably produces pressure for more socialist measures to solve them, as with America’s never-ending but wholly manufactured “healthcare crisis.” The loss of economic freedom will eventually lead to the loss of all other freedoms, just as Marx envisioned. So-called class distinctions will be obliterated as humankind descends into the abyssal equality of universal serfdom. Socialism, then, regardless of its flavor, is the willful campaign to extinguish the lamps of civilization and eradicate every vestige of human progress.

Bernie Sanders and his fellow socialists from Washington to Scandinavia may refuse to accept socialism’s true nature. But Senator Sanders likely also does not recognize that his chief rival, Hillary Clinton, is also a socialist, as are many of the Republican presidential candidates (in fact, Sanders’ cumulative Freedom Index score, as good a yardstick as any of socialist leanings, is 26 percent which, while no great shakes, is significantly higher than “Democrat” Hillary Clinton’s 19 percent). Indeed, whether “progressive,” “liberal,” or even “moderate,” nearly everyone in Washington in both parties supports most of the planks of the socialist movements in days past, from minimum wages to the Federal Reserve to graduated income taxes. The only difference between them and Bernie Sanders is that the senator from Vermont is a little more honest. But they are all equally culpable in waging a campaign that, sooner or later, must destroy civilization, if allowed to run its ruinous course.

Photo: Flickr: DonkeyHotey

This article is an example of the exclusive content that’s available only by subscribing to our print magazine. Twice a month get in-depth features covering the political gamut: education, candidate profiles, immigration, healthcare, foreign policy, guns, etc. Digital as well as print options are available!

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White House Gave ISIS 45 Minute Warning Before Bombing – Secret US Prisons You’ve Never Heard of Before – Russian Jet Shoot-down: What They’re Not Telling You – Another BLM Land Grab – Flying With Jetman

November 24, 2015

White House Gave ISIS 45 Minute Warning Before Bombing Oil Tankers

Russian airstrikes destroy 472 terrorist targets in Syria in 48 hours, 1,000 oil tankers in 5 days

Syrian Leader: Impossible to Weed Terrorists Out of Migrants Coming to U.S.

Dramatic Footage Emerges Of Paris Attacks

More Signs the Economy Is Slowing

DONALD TRUMP Lays Out Plan for ISIS: Blast the Hell Out of Them… Bomb the Hell Of Them (VIDEO)

Cooler Heads Prevail at Texas Climate Summit

UnitedHealth Wants Out of Obamacare: Single Payer Socialism Begins

Don’t Adopt Our Gun Control Laws, Australian Politician Tells US

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

GOP Congress Prepares Surrender to Obama on Education

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Establishment Republicans in Congress are quietly plotting their next massive surrender to the Obama administration, a “bipartisan” education bill that solidifies federal control of schools and keeps Common Core while entrenching a dizzying array of unconstitutional “education” schemes. Among other measures, the legislation re-authorizes most of two widely criticized and totally unconstitutional federal education statutes known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and No Child Left Behind (NCLB). It also expands pre-kindergarten schemes and federal control over the youngest Americans while keeping lawless mandates on states. And while opponents are up in arms about the scheming, the radical, lobbyist-backed legislation has the Obama administration, the GOP establishment, Big Business, Big Government, and Big Labor celebrating.

According to multiple news reports, Congress is sending a pair of massive education bills — one passed by the House, the other by the Senate — to a conference committee this week. As The New American documented in July, both versions are packed with unconstitutional measures, including taxpayer-funded handouts to cronies, more powers over education for the lawless Obama administration, more federal testing schemes, and much more. In the conference committee, lawmakers are expected to iron out the differences between the two bills before voting on the “compromise” again in the full Congress and sending it to Obama to be signed into law. The White House has already signaled its support for the legislation, so if activists cannot stop it in Congress, analysts say the monster bill will likely be enacted. Media reports said lawmakers may hold a vote on the final product as soon as this month.

“We believe we have a path forward that can lead to a successful conference, and that is why we are recommending to our leadership to appoint conferees to take the next step in replacing No Child Left Behind,” said a joint statement released by the top Republicans and Democrats on congressional education committees. “This is a law that everyone wants fixed, and teachers, parents, and students are counting on us to succeed. Our efforts to improve K-12 education will continue to reflect regular order, providing conference members an opportunity to share their views and offer their ideas. Because of the framework we’ve developed, we are optimistic that the members of the conference committee can reach agreement on a final bill that Congress will approve and the president will sign.”

While Republican In Name Only (RINO) lawmakers were falsely claiming the bill rolls back the federal “footprint” on education — “bootprint” would have been a more appropriate term — Education Secretary Arne Duncan was celebrating the legislation. “It is good news for our nation’s schools that Congress is taking the next step forward toward a serious bipartisan plan to revamp the outdated No Child Left Behind law,” said Duncan, who was instrumental in imposing Common Core and has been openly touting his efforts, with UNESCO as his “global partner,” to turn American children into “green” and global citizens via the “weapon” of education. “America’s students deserve a bill that increases educational opportunity for all and lives up to the civil rights legacy of the original Elementary and Secondary Education Act. We are encouraged that Congressional negotiators appear to be moving toward a framework that accomplishes those goals.” Duncan has also been a proponent of government boarding schools that would keep children 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Unsurprisingly, crony capitalists in favor of Common Core are celebrating the effort and demanding even more federal control over education. “Both the Senate and House versions of ESEA legislation contain elements that business leaders support, but more needs to be done to deliver a meaningful education to our students,” President John Engler with the crony capitalist Business Roundtable, a major supporter of Common Core, wrote in a letter to lawmakers last week. “A strong K-12 education is important to the success of all students in our nation and, in turn, to the future of the American economy. ESEA offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make that future as bright as possible.” The letter did not specify why crony capitalist CEOs believe the federal government is constitutionally allowed to, much less able to, deliver an undefined “strong K-12 education.” For virtually all of America’s history, that responsibility mostly remained with families, churches, and local communities, all of which are increasingly being sidelined.

Among other demands, Engler and the Big Business CEOs he represents are pushing for more “accountability” of schools and teachers to federal bureaucrats — code word for submission to unconstitutional federal mandates. And in a move likely to further inflame the ongoing parental and teacher uprising against dumbed-down “education” from Washington, D.C., the Big Business lobbyist also told lawmakers to unconstitutionally coerce state governments into forcing at least 95 percent of students to take federally funded Common Core tests. The Business Roundtable, of course, represents the CEOs of U.S. and foreign companies such as bailed out-mega-banks Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., as well as Big Pharma, Big Oil, and more — in essence, the Big Business wing of the globalist establishment.

Radical teachers unions responsible for much of the engineered decline in U.S. education were celebrating the draconian bill, too. “Today we are a step closer to rewriting a federal education law that commits America to the success of every student regardless of ZIP code,” claimed the National Education Association’s (NEA) Lily Eskelsen Garcia in a statement. “While we welcome this progress, our work is not done. We look forward to working with the congressional conference committee members to ensure that we produce a bill that, when signed by the president, gives every student the opportunity, support, tools, and time to learn.”

Outside of Big Business, Big Government, and Big Labor circles, however, education experts and activists were not amused by the latest GOP betrayal of the voters who put them in office to stop Obama. In a series of blog posts, for example, Charlotte Iserbyt, author of Deliberate Dumbing Down of America and a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Education in the Reagan administration, urged Americans to flood congressional phone lines demanding a “no” vote on the “compromise” legislation. Director Neal McCluskey with Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, meanwhile, dissected some of the worst elements of the bill and noted that it was all “unconstitutional.”

If it is unconstitutional, which it is — Congress has no delegated authority to meddle in education, and the 10th Amendment specifically prohibits it — then all lawmakers who take their oath of office seriously must vote no. The New American will publish another article on opposition to the scheme soon. Republicans, though, who ran on promises of reining in and stopping Obama, must reject this radical scheme to further empower an administration that is out of control. From imposing Common Core with bribes and bullying to backing “community schools” to further sideline parents, the current White House has accelerated the decades-old dumbing-down agenda like no other in history. If liberty, real education, and prosperity are going to survive into the future, the radical Obama-GOP pseudo-education agenda backed by Big Labor, Big Business, and Big Government must be defeated.

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Texas Ranchers, Counties Sue Feds Over BLM Land Grab

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Private landowners get help from counties in attempt to stave off federal takeover

Adan Salazar
Prison Planet.com
November 18, 2018

Multiple ranchers, a sheriff and several Texas counties are suing the federal government for unconstitutionally attempting to seize thousands of acres of private property along the Red River.

Claiming the US Bureau of Land Management is violating citizens’ Fourth and Fifth Amendments and “infringing upon the sovereignty of local county governments,” a lawsuit filed in US District Court by nine private landowners, including one county sheriff, in addition to Wichita, Clay, and Wilbarger counties, seeks to end the dispute with the feds once and for all.

The lawsuit claims the federal government’s “ownership of property is limited to bottom-half of the sandy riverbed outside of Texas.

“Nonetheless, the BLM asserts that its boundary extends well past the riverbed into Texas and, in some instances, more than a mile outside of its lawful territory.”

Plaintiff and rancher Ken Aderholt spoke out last month about the federal takeover threatening nearly half of his family’s land and home.

Despite Aderholt possessing a deed to 1,250 acres of property in Harrold, Texas since 1941, the BLM recently deemed the title worthless, asserting ownership of some 600 acres.

“The BLM is saying we should have never had a deed to it. That Texas should have never produced that deed,” Aderholt told KAUZ.

“It is a land grab,” Aderholt insists. “As far as I am concerned, this is private property.”

aderholt-rancher-blm

Other ranchers included in the lawsuit say the BLM is targeting more than half of their land, with some unaware of the exact acreage being claimed by the agency.

Wichita, Clay and Wilbarger counties say the BLM’s claim “interferes with [their] ability to regulate and provide services for the health, benefit and welfare of [their] citizens, and infringes upon [their] sovereignty.” Wichita County Commissioners claim Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gave his blessing prior to participating in the lawsuit.

Additionally, plaintiff and Clay County Sheriff Kenneth Lemons asserts the BLM’s “vague assertion of ownership and jurisdiction interferes with [his] ability to discharge his law enforcement duties by preventing him from being able to discern” local from federal land.

“Furthermore, [the BLM’s] assertion of ownership causes trespassers to encroach onto private landowners’ land and engage in unlawful activity under the belief they cannot be removed because it is federal public land,” the lawsuit reads.

The feds argue the 116-mile stretch along the Red River has been theirs all along.

“The BLM has maintained that the entire parcel of land along 116-miles of the Red River in question has been public land managed by the federal government since the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, confirmed time and again with Spain and the Supreme Court of the United States rulings,” reports John Ingle for the Times Record News.

The ranchers and counties worry the BLM’s “vague assertions” have cast “a cloud upon individual Plaintiffs’ titles, preventing them from disposing of their property, borrowing against it, or otherwise fully enjoying their property.”

BLM Lawsuit by Spencer Williams

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Doctors Without Borders: US Planes Intentionally Shot Staff – David Irving on Faking the History of Hitler – Petra Band: Reunion Concert with Voltz – Cato: American Decline Accelerating – Whistleblower: CIA/West’s Funding of ISIS

November 13, 2015

Trump Correct About TPP and China

Government adds record $339 billion to debt in first day after budget deal

GOP Turns to Budget Reconciliation to Repeal Parts of ObamaCare, Defund Planned Parenthood

MI5 Candidate “Jihadi John” Supposedly Killed in Syria

Another Phony Payroll Jobs Number

Deaths in German Concentration Camps

Cato: American Decline Accelerating

Soros Admits Involvement In Migrant Crisis: ‘National Borders Are The Obstacle’

German Town: Migrants Riot in Church, Steal From Stores, Defecate on Gardens

The Re-enserfment of Western Peoples

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Doctors Without Borders: US Planes Shot Staff as They Fled Kunduz Hospital

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Joshua Krause
The Daily Sheeple
November 8, 2015

After US forces utterly destroyed a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz last month, the charity was quick to call the incident a war crime.

The US government apologized for the bombing, and promised to investigate what they claimed was an honest mistake. However, Doctors Without Borders has recently released their account of the bombing, which sounds less like an unfortunate mistake, and more like a genuine war crime.

For starters, the attack didn’t involve one errant bomb that happened to land on the hospital. It was an hour-long assault, and staff members sent 18 distress signals to officials in Afghanistan and the US throughout the duration of the bombing. What’s worse is the fact that some of the staff were shot from above as they fled the carnage. “Many staff describe seeing people being shot, most likely from the plane, as people tried to flee the main hospital building that was being hit with each airstrike…Some accounts mention shooting that appears to follow the movement of people on the run. [Doctors Without Borders] doctors and other medical staff were shot while running to reach safety in a different part of the compound.”

Long before the staff begged US officials to stop the attack, the existence of the hospital was widely known. It’s been located in Kunduz since 2011, the buildings prominently display MSF flags, and the charity alerted US forces to their presence in the days leading up to their air campaign over Kunduz. That’s why MSF is still looking for a real explanation for the attack.

“The question remains as to whether our hospital lost its protected status in the eyes of the military forces engaged in this attack — and if so, why. The answer does not lie within the MSF hospital. Those responsible for requesting, ordering and approving the airstrikes hold these answers.”

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21 Signs That Americans Are The Unhappiest People In The Entire World

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Michael Snyder
End Of The American Dream
November 11, 2015

How can we possibly be so miserably unhappy?  For a nation that supposedly “has it all”, we sure are depressed.

In America today, suicide rates are soaring, antidepressant use is skyrocketing and virtually every new survey that comes out shows that we are deeply dissatisfied about something.  But we live at a time when there are more things to enjoy than ever before.  When I was growing up there was only a handful of television channels to choose from, but now there are hundreds.  We have more movies than we could ever possibly watch, more books than we could ever possibly read, and the greatest video games ever made are at our fingertips.  With all of the entertainment that surrounds us, you would think that Americans would be happier than ever before, and yet we continue to become even more depressed.  Everywhere I go, I see people that look like they have had the life completely sucked out of them.  So why is this happening?  The following are 21 signs that Americans are the unhappiest people in the entire world…

#1 A scientific study that was just released found that U.S. adults are becoming less happy over the years

“Adults over 30 are less happy than their predecessors,” concludes a study published online Thursday in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, which examined happiness data from more than 50,000 adults, gleaned from the General Social Survey, carried out by NORC at the University of Chicago, a nonpartisan, independent research organization, which has collected information about American adults since 1972.

From 2010 to 2014, adults over 30 had an average happiness score of just 2.18, compared with 2.24 a decade ago. That’s significant considering happiness scores were measured on a tiny scale from just 1 to 3, with 1 being “not too happy” and 3 being “very happy.”

#2 Young people are also becoming increasingly depressed.  Just check out what one study conducted at San Diego State University discovered

Americans are more depressed now than they have been in decades, a recent study has found. San Diego State University (SDSU) psychology professor Jean M. Twenge analyzed data from nearly 7 million adolescents and adults from across the country and found that more people reported symptoms of depression — including sleeplessness and trouble concentrating — compared to the 1980s.

Twenge’s findings show that teenagers in the 2010s experience memory trouble 38 percent more often than their 1980s counterparts. Teens are also 74 percent more likely to have trouble sleeping and twice as likely to see a professional for mental health issues. College students in the study reported feeling overwhelmed by academic and personal demands 50 percent more often than their 1980s counterparts.

#3 Back in 1987, 61.1 percent of all Americans reported being happy at work.  Today, 52.3 percent of all Americans say that they are unhappy at work.

#4 A different survey found that 70 percent of all Americans do not “feel engaged or inspired at their jobs”.

#5 One survey of 50-year-old men in the U.S. found that only 12 percent of them said that they were “very happy”.

#6 The number of Americans diagnosed with depression increases by about 20 percent each year.

#7 According to the New York Times, more than 30 million Americans take antidepressants.

#8 Doctors in the United States write more than 250 million prescriptions for antidepressants each year.

#9 The rate of antidepressant use among middle aged women is far higher than for the population as a whole.  It is hard to believe, but right now one out of every four women in their 40s and 50s is taking an antidepressant medication.

#10 Compared to children in Europe, children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants.

#11 In America today, there are 60 million people that abuse alcohol and there are 22 million people that use illegal drugs.

#12 America has the highest rate of illegal drug use on the entire planet.

#13 One recent poll found that 71 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the direction that things are going in this country.

#14 America has the highest divorce rate in the world by a wide margin.

#15 America has the highest percentage of one person households on the entire planet.

#16 100 years ago, 4.52 people were living in the average U.S. household, but now the average U.S. household only consists of 2.59 people.

#17 According to the Pew Research Center, only 51 percent of all American adults are married.  Back in 1960, 72 percent of all adults in the United States were married.

#18 The suicide rate in the United States is now the highest that it has been in 25 years.

#19 According to one absolutely shocking study, 22 military veterans kill themselves in the United States every single day.

#20 The suicide rate for Americans between the ages of 35 and 64 rose by close to 30 percent between 1999 and 2010.  The number of Americans that are killed by suicide now exceeds the number of Americans that die as a result of automobile accidents every year.

#21 The rate of suicide is highest during the holidays that come at the end of the year, and 45 percent of all Americans say that they dread the Christmas season.  The following comes from a Psychology Today article

We are told that Christmas, for Christians, should be the happiest time of year, an opportunity to be joyful and grateful with family, friends and colleagues. Yet, according to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is the time of year that people experience the highest incidence of depression. Hospitals and police forces report the highest incidences of suicide and attempted suicide. Psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals report a significant increase in patients complaining about depression. One North American survey reported that 45% of respondents dreaded the festive season.

So why in the world is this happening?

We have one of the highest standards of living in the world and we are surrounded by massive amounts of entertainment.

Yet we are severely depressed.

And during the “happiest time of the year” we get even more depressed.

Clearly something has gone very wrong.

Even more entertainment is not going to fix us, and neither will more drugging.

So what will finally make us happy?

Please feel free to tell us what you think by posting a comment below…

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Iceland Jails 26 Corrupt Banksters – Did the Holocaust Really Happen? – Why Are Men Frightened of Marriage? – The Great Food Stamp Binge – Washington Persecutes America’s Greatest Patriots – Rand Paul Begins Filibuster – Want a Raise? Work for the Gov.

October 30, 2015

Rand Paul Begins Filibuster to Stop Debt Deal

How Big Is The National Debt? It’s As Big As 120 THOUSAND Floyd Mayweather Fights

Iceland Has Now Sent 26 Corrupt Bankers To Prison

VIDEO: Cruz BLASTS Media, Crowd Goes Wild

China’s One-Child Policy Becomes Two-Child Policy

Baghdad Allows Russia to Bomb ISIL Terrorists Running From Syria Into Iraq

IRS Expands Surveillance Capacity, Buys Stingray Cellphone Trackers

Washington Persecutes America’s Greatest Patriots

Justice Department Declares Lois Lerner Innocent in IRS Targeting Scandal

Former Intelligence Analyst: Political Correctness Is A Manipulative Tool For Centralizing Power

 

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CUTDC.COM opposes Marxist redistribution schemes like welfare programs and food stamps.  See how the Dept. of Agriculture pushes dependency on those who don’t want or even need assistance, including many Hispanic immigrants.

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Friday, 09 October 2015

Want a Raise? Work for the Government

Written by 

It used to be that the way to get ahead was to work harder, work smarter, find your passion (à la Tony Robbins), marry the boss’s daughter, or be the boss’s daughter (or son). But, according to the latest study from the Cato Institute, the best way is to “sell your soul to the company store” (apologies, Johnny Cash): Work for the government. Preferably, the federal government.

Since the 1990s, federal government employees have enjoyed greater increases in salary growth than those in the private sector, with federal workers in 2014 earning 78 percent more, according to the latest report from Cato, entitled “Downsizing the Federal Government.”

In 2014, based on numbers provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the average federal worker in 2014 made $84,153, compared to just $56,350 in the private sector. But when benefits are added in, such as healthcare and pensions, the average federal worker’s total compensation package jumps to $119,934, 78 percent more than the private sector’s average total comp of $67,246.

This is more than workers make in the information technology, finance and insurance, and professional and scientific industries. Part of the vast difference is due to the increasing number of highly paid positions in federal agencies as they “become more top-heavy,” according to Cato. Part “is also fueled by routine adjustments that move federal workers into higher salary brackets” with the passage of time, regardless of performance. And part of the gap is caused by federal jobs “that are redefined upward into higher pay ranges.”

The argument that the government should have a high-end workforce fails when workers performing ordinary work are paid outsized salaries. For instance, the average compensation in the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration — a government agency that hands out business subsidies — is about $140,000 a year. In the office of the Department of Agriculture’s chief economist, the average salary is about $174,000 a year.

The benefits package that federal workers receive is substantial, including health insurance, retirement health benefits, a pension plan with inflation protection, and a tax-favored retirement savings plan with the government matching workers’ contributions. In addition, they receive outsized holiday and vacation benefits, flexible work hours, incentive awards, and, if necessary, generous disability benefits as well.

Lily Garcia, a human resources specialist, outlined that package for federal workers in an article in the Washington Post entitled “Uncle Sam Is a Boss You Can Rely On”:

Health Care: The Federal Employee Health Benefits Program offers the widest selection of health care plans of any U.S. employer. Federal employees also have access to vision and dental plans, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, and long-term care plans.

Paid Time Off: Federal employees enjoy liberal amounts of paid time off, including 13 days of sick leave per year, 10 paid federal holidays, and 13 to 26 days of paid vacation, depending on years of service.

Retirement Benefits: Federal employees have access to retirement benefits through the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employee Retirement System. Under both plans, retired employees receive an annuity, which is complemented by Social Security benefits and participation in the Thrift Savings Plan that offers 401(k)-type investment options.

Family-Friendly Policies: Another notable benefit of federal employment is family-friendly policies, including flexible work schedules, telecommuting, part-time jobs, and job sharing. Not to mention the fact that federal employees enjoy first priority and subsidies at a number of top-notch day care facilities.

There are more than 2.1 million people working for the federal government, costing the American taxpayer nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars a year. The list of government agencies at Wikipedia runs 23 pages, along with the disclaimer that no one is really sure just how many federal government agencies there really are.

But state and local governments pay their workers more than the private sector as well, just not quite so handsomely. According to Cato, federal workers earn 43 percent more than state and local government employees, still well above the average private sector employee.

The federal “quit rate” and “fire rate” also reflect the job security of the cushy, highly-compensated federal jobs. Just one-half of one percent of federal civilian workers get fired in any given year for poor performance or gross misconduct, while the quit rate is one-quarter the quit rate in the private sector. In fact, the higher the compensation, the lower the fire rate:

For the senior executive service in the government, the firing rate is just 0.1 percent. By contrast, about two percent of corporate CEOs are fired each year, which is a rate 20 times higher than in the senior executive service.

The report from Cato doesn’t include “double-dipping,” either, with some enjoying the benefits of “triple-dipping.” For example, a naval officer, retiring after 20 years, is often invited back to his same office, at his same desk, performing the same duties, only without the uniform. Another 20 years and he qualifies for a second pension, plus all the attendant health benefits. Plus Social Security. If the retired officer then hires back on as a consultant, he enjoys the “triple-dip” effect.

On the flip side, there are those who have figured out how to have the government work for them. One such person is Kiara, age 30, who lives in Baltimore. She has been on welfare since she was 18. She has four children, and receives $780 in food stamps (SNAP) every month and $500 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). She and her children are also covered by Medicaid and the special supplemental nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which helps her feed her children in addition to SNAP. She also lives in government-subsidized housing. In a video on YouTube, she says she is very comfortable not working and is happy to take the free money. As noted at the Wounded American Warrior website:

She sports a trendy bag (possibly a knock-off, maybe not), a cell phone (Obamaphone?), “bling” in the form of rings and earrings, and numerous tattoos, all of which cost money, and can’t be bought with welfare money, unless one engages in welfare fraud.

Cato’s study serves to remind just how costly government becomes when it slips its constitutional bounds. It also serves to suggest just how much better off the economy would be if all that highly-paid talent were engaged in the private sector instead of in government.

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A graduate of an Ivy League school and a former investment advisor, Bob is a regular contributor to The New American magazine and blogs frequently at http://www.LightFromTheRight.com, primarily on economics and politics. He can be reached at badelmann@thenewamerican.com.

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