Archive for 2012

Democracy, Dollars & Drugs …………………..

http://www.veteranstoday.com

Critical Cargo

US 3D DIPLOMACY OF DOMINATION DOCTRINE:

DEMOCRACY, DOLLARS & DRUGS

By Colonel Eugene Khrushchev, Editor

Here’s a full transcript of my Q&A session where I fielded questions from a rambunctious Iranian journalist, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kourosh_Ziabari Kourosh Ziabari on US adventure in Afghanistan.

Q. There are reports indicating that since the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2003, the cultivation of opium has increased dramatically and the United States hasn’t taken any major steps to fight the drug trade in the war-torn country. You’ve written on this extensively. Would you please explain more about that? Is it a large-scale U.S. policy to condone the rise of drug production?

A Purportedly, the White House, whatever its political coloration, has been on the record against narcotics, at homeland and abroad. The grim reality is, much touted US War on Drugs is agitprop cover for US Drug War on us, worldwide.

Historically, Washington’s political, intelligence & military interference – into South East Asia, Sothern America, Balkans and Africa – has been followed by explosion of narco-production.

The United States doesn’t condone narcotics– it promotes drug production & consumption as a quintessential part of its undeclared 3D Diplomacy – democracy, dollars & drugs – to penetrate, corrupt & manipulate the countries from within.

Afghanistan is just the latest and the most glaring case study of grisly symbiosis & synergy between US boot print & local druglords, which has transformed the country into American narco reservation with more than 90% of opium & cannabis market share, quietly killing 100 000 annually, without any outrage in the mainstream media.

Q. Where is the war in Afghanistan heading to? Every day, we hear of more American and NATO troops being killed in bomb blasts along with more drone attacks on the unarmed civilians which bring destruction to the war-hit country that needs tens of years to be able to reconstruct its infrastructure. What’s your perspective on that?

What you postulated in the question – the war in Afghanistan – deserves a closer examination because all too often it’s misperceived as a vanguard of American GWAT, global war on terror.

Since 9/11, neither the White House nor the US Congress has declared any hostilities against any adversary anywhere, so in legal terms, America is not at war with anybody, including a smorgasbord of anti-government elements in Afghanistan.

However, it’s blatantly obvious, that America is neither at peace with Afghanistan, its neighbors or Muslim world at large.

In military terms, US occupation of Afghanistan, OED, Operation Enduring Freedom, is a type of unconventional mission, however impossible, which is a subdivision of asymmetrical warfare.

The most ‘unconventional’ thing about this Operation Enduring Opium, is to preserve & protect narco-democracy in Afghanistan under disguise of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency dog & pony show, while  sponsoring & schmoozing  with the frenemy and sometimes even shooting at them along both sides of the Duran Line.

On the other side, American mission in Afghanistan constitutes undeclared war against global security & stability where opium has been utilized as a hidden WMD, weapon of mass destruction & distraction to advance ‘chaos management’ strategy.

As for US KIA & MIA in Afghanistan, it’s just a drop in the bucket, compared to domestic homicide rate and Pentagon’s rape & suicide body count. In a sense it’s a bargain with American blood & treasure for the 3D Diplomacy of Domination Doctrine.

Until Afghans sober up from American ‘greed is good’ values, and switch from war & drug profiteering to soul-searching, they will remain low-maintenance narco slaves & mules in US reservation, deprived from faith and national  self-identity; fighting for democracy, dollars, & drugs.

Q. Do you agree with this American assumption that the Afghan National Army is incapable of providing security for the country without the U.S. presence? Is it a good justification for the continuation of the military presence of the United States in Afghanistan?

If would be unfair to present US stance  on Afghanistan  as undisputed consensus, because there has been no unanimity of views between US military, intel & diplomatic communities on Afghan affairs, including operational readiness of the  ANSF, Afghan National Security Force .

Whatever the White House assumptions on the issue, it cuts both ways.

On the one side, under US/NATO guidance, ANSF is unwilling & unable to take full responsibility and provide security & stability for the country.

On the other side, the US has stubbornly refused to get a reality touch that having spent billions of dollars, the Pentagon is in fact, training & financing the enemy: the current ANSAF is the future auxiliary force for the Taliban and the spiraling trend of the green-on-blue attacks is a harbinger of things to come.

Yes, for the US it’s a self-defeating approach to continue to train the Afghan Army and police, but paradoxically, this pseudo strategy offers a cynical excuse for permanent US residual force and occupation of Afghanistan.

Q. Would you please tell us more about the Red Team Study which investigated the mutual perceptions of the Afghanistan army soldiers and the NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan? It seems that they are not much friendly toward each other and vent different grievances toward each other. What’s your take on that?

Since September, I have posted a sequel on Afghan/American military & security ‘partnership’, based on the first Pentagon Red Team Study on the subject, which was foolishly re-classified after the embarrassing findings had already been spilled into the public domain.

Obviously, there’s no love lost between Afghan green and American blue forces, but the situation  is much worse than  just a lack of friendship and camaraderie between alien & indigenous ‘partners’.

The title of the report defines the problem as ‘A crisis of trust and cultural incompatibility’; I call it ‘bloody credibility gap’ http://rt.com/news/blogs/friendly-fire/unfriendly-fire-green-on-blue/  and ‘Afghan hatred vs. American disgust’ http://rt.com/news/blogs/friendly-fire/afghan-hatred-american-partnership/.

The initial idea behind the Red Team studies at the Pentagon was to play ‘devil advocate’ for the established policies and procedures, this time for US training mission in Afghanistan.

To the dismay & horror of top brass, this Red Team finding has accidentally revealed the main legacy of US occupation – top-down across the board institutionalized corruption, fueled by drug production in a host country.

However, the author came perilously close to the inevitable self-incriminating conclusion: it is nay to impossible to advocate devil’s design & deleterious deeds behind American pernicious policy in Afghanistan.

Q.What do you think about the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement? Will this agreement pave the way for the continuation of U.S. presence in Afghanistan after the troops’ withdrawal of 2014? Won’t such an agreement be detrimental to the interests and security of Afghanistan?

Well, if the American mentors themselves consider Afghan army & police force ‘a joke’ and are pretty outspoken about opium poppy puppet regime they hate but have to bolster, what kind of ‘partnership’ are you talking about?

The Afghan/American security misalliance is a livid example of smoldering antagonism, punctuated by point-blank green on blue stings; therefore by default any agreement between master and servant would be unilaterally enforced or violated at the whim of the overlord, notwithstanding the lofty legal verbiage committed to paper.

It is not this or the follow-up SOFA, Status of Forces Agreement between Washington & Kabul, which per se is detrimental to the future of Afghanistan.

It is open-ended US occupation – overt before 2014 and covert later – that constitutes clear & present danger to Afghan, regional and global security.

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Dr. Mahathir Mohamad opens the 9/11 Revisited Conference in Kuala Lumpur …………..

http://dprogram.net

Corbett) – Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, president of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation and former Prime Minister of Malaysia, opens the “9/11 Revisted: Seeking the Truth” conference in Kuala Lumpur on November 19, 2012.

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Pic of the Day : another child of Palestine (filed under : could be your child)…………….

http://electronicintifada.net

A Palestinian medic carries the body of Abdel Rahman Majdi Naim, 2, who was killed in an Israeli strike on a building housing media offices in Gaza City on 21 November 2012.

(Ismael Mohamad / United Press International)

“Most” killed in Gaza “deserved it” even though they were

children and civilians, says Israel’s Danny Ayalon

Submitted by Ali Abunimah on Wed, 11/21/2012 – 20:38
In a clear indication of Israel’s shocking callousness and disregard for civilian lives, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon today told PRI’s The Takeaway that most of those killed and injured in Israel’s eight day long bombardment of the Gaza Strip“deserved it.”“If you compare the situation in Gaza to the situation in Syria today,” Ayalon said, “where the Assad regime just mercilessly butchers people and children there is a big difference and I would say that most of the people that were hit in Gaza deserved it as they were just armed terrorists.”

Vast majority killed and injured are civilians and children

But in fact, the vast majority of those killed and injured were unarmed civilians. Up to 20 November, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, 91 of the 136 Palestinians killed were civilians, including 28 children and 13 women, and 922 of the 941 wounded were civilians, including 258 children.

So 66 percent of those killed, and 97 percent of those injured were civilians. Almost one third of the dead are children.

PRI, notably, did not challenge Ayalon on his false assertions.

News reports say that at least 22 more Palestinians were killed on 21 November, including at least two more children.

Earlier today, BBC correspondent Wyre Davies told World Service radio, “It’s quite alarming how many young children have been killed in this conflict.”

A video by Egyptian citizen journalists taken at Gaza City’s main hospital vividly shows the extent of the deaths and injuries to civilians.

In addition to the dead and injured, large numbers of civilians have been displaced. UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees, today said that:

Many families are gathering in overcrowded apartments located in areas that they hope are less likely to be targeted. However, as shelling of residential building persists, the population grows weary and evermore fearful.

The remaining 34 percent of the dead presumably include members of Palestinian resistance factions, some of whom will have been killed by Israel in what amount to extrajudicial executions while they were in their homes or other places.

Israel compares itself with Syria

It is only by comparison with the dire situation in Syria that Ayalon hopes he can prettify Israel’s horrifying crimes. But it is clear that Israel’s crimes, and the responsibility of leaders like Ayalon for directly ordering them or complicity in them, stands on its own.

Since Israel began its attack on Gaza on 14 November, breaking a tenuous ceasefire, four Israeli civilians and one soldier have been killed in fire from Gaza and 21 Israelis were injured this morning in a bomb explosion on a bus near Israel’s “defense ministry” in the heart of Tel Aviv.

New ceasefire announced

Ayalon’s comments came as Israel and Palestinian resistance factions agreed to a ceasefire, to take effect this evening. Under the terms of the deal brokered by Egypt, Israel will cease all attacks, incursions and extrajudicial executions in Gaza and ease the blockade, while Palestinian factions will refrain from firing toward Israel.

What remains to be seen is if the ceasefire will take hold and if Israel will implement its terms, given its history of violating such truces

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Most Humans are Dead Inside ………….

Lisa Guliani
http://www.Sott.net
Wed, 21 Nov 2012 10:18 CST

The more I see of Israeli atrocities against Palestinians, the more I want to go to Gaza.

What right do we in the West have to be safe and secure?

What right do we have to walk the streets in peaceful neighborhoods, to live comfortably, to go about business as usual, to have our self-satisfied little lives intact, to sleep in warm beds under houses without blown-out windows and caved-in roofs, with plenty of drinking water and 24/7 electricity, and the freedom of movement Palestinians can only dream about?

What makes us so special? It’s our government here in the U.S. that is funding and enabling these Israeli psychos to perpetrate mass murder.

At night, we can tuck our children snugly into bed and know they’re safe and warm, but we sit by in silence while the two most god-awful ‘governments’ in this world deny innocent children in Palestine and around the world these same basic securities.

Why do so many people think we in the West deserve so much – and why doesn’t it bother us that others have little or next to nothing?

What right do we have to live in a peaceful setting, never worrying that our skies will fill with missiles, never worrying that white phosphorous will rain down upon our heads?

What right do we have to anticipate and plan for our tomorrows when so many others can’t even plan for tonight?

When was the dropping-off point – when did it happen? Ya know, that point when people stopped caring about one another, stopped giving a damn about what happens to the other human beings out there?

Do you listen to people talk amongst themselves at work?

What are they talking about? Current events in Gaza? No. Drone strikes over Pakistan? No. Economic pillage by Wall Street banksters? Hardly. They’re talking about ’50 shades of Grey’. They’re talking about ‘Jersey Shore’. “Kim Kardashian’. The latest video game. Their Christmas wish lists. Black Friday shopping deals.

Nobody where I work ever touches current events unless I bring it up.

And then they manage the briefest of eye contact for a couple of seconds, and in those eyes, there is nothing, they’re dead. Nothing there. Zero empathy or concern or even a pathetic attempt at feigning mild interest. Just indifference. The subject changes so quickly, it’s almost as if people are using some kind of internal remote control device to ‘switch the channel’ or just ‘switch off’.

When exactly did it happen, this collective speedslide away from basic human decency?

What makes us so goddamned special?

Just what has become of you, America?

Who the hell do we think we are in this country, anyway?

The more I see of my ‘fellow Americans’ and the psychopaths representing my ‘government’ and the more I observe the conduct of the mainstream media in this country, the more I…..want to go to Gaza and be a human shield.

There is nothing so special about me that I deserve to live while others are having their lives ripped away.

There is nothing so special about me – or any of us here in the West.

I’m a working American, complicit in the mass murder of innocent people, just like the rest of you out there.

I owe the besieged people of other nations something more than words in the wind. So do you, America.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ~ Nelson Mandela

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Avatar

Lisa Guliani

Lisa Guliani is a former internet-based political talk show host, political writer, researcher, activist, conscientious objector, “known protester’, and self-described thought provocateur. When she’s not engaged in some odd combination of the above, she’s handing out smiles to the elderly, and also enjoys reading, music, cracking jokes, and hanging out with her buddy, Goose, who has yet to realize he’s a dog. Her favorite sections of SOTT?
It’s a three-way tie: Secret History, Puppet Masters and Society’s Child.

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Pics of the Day: The wrath of war (filed under: we choose our targets carefully) …………….

from : http://periodismohumano.com

some pics from the recent Israeli assault on Gaza .

The bodies of four sibling children who were killed in Gaza today in an Israeli air strike. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

see and read more here .

and more pics here from Mondoweiss.com .

Images of Palestinian children under attack

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UK Jewish MP: Israel acting like Nazis in Gaza …………..

“Israel was born out of Jewish Terrorism” Tzipi Livnis Father was a Terrorist” Astonishing claims in the House of Parliament. SIR Gerald Kaufman, the veteran Labour MP, yesterday compared the actions of Israeli troops in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland.

During a Commons debate on the fighting in Gaza, he urged the government to impose an arms embargo on Israel.

Sir Gerald, who was brought up as an orthodox Jew and Zionist, said: “My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town a German soldier shot her dead in her bed.

“My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza. The present Israeli government ruthlessly and cynically exploits the continuing guilt from gentiles over the slaughter of Jews in the Holocaust as justification for their murder of Palestinians.”

He said the claim that many of the Palestinian victims were militants “was the reply of the Nazi” and added: “I suppose the Jews fighting for their lives in the Warsaw ghetto could have been dismissed as militants.”

He accused the Israeli government of seeking “conquest” and added: “

They are not simply war criminals, they are fools.”

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Apocalypse Now: Israel bombards Gaza for fifth straight day with nearly 1,000 airstrikes paving the way for imminent invasion ……..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk

  • Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles are at muster points along the border
  • Hamas prime minister’s headquarters, police compound and huge network of smuggling tunnels were targeted
  • Follows Hamas rocket strike aimed at Jerusalem
  • Israeli military have targeted more than 800 sites since the operation began
  • Egypt’s president will today hold four-way talks with the Qatari emir, the prime minister of Turkey and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Cairo to discuss to Gaza crisis
  • Palestinian militants in Gaza fired four rockets at the Israeli port city of Ashdod while Israel used an Iron Dome missile interceptor battery in Tel Aviv after it again came under rocket fire from Gaza
  • Israel says its Iron Dome system has intercepted nearly 250 rockets since Wednesday
  • Yesterday, the White House defended Israel’s right to defend itself and decide how to respond to the rocket fire
  • David Cameron urged Israel to ‘do everything possible’ to end the crisis
  • Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander appealed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to go to the region for last ditch talks to avert full-scale conflict

By Leon Watson

PUBLISHED: 10:44 GMT, 17 November 2012 | UPDATED: 02:04 GMT, 18 November 2012

Israeli warplanes have struck Gaza militants for a fifth straight day as its military prepared for a possible ground invasion, though Egypt saw ‘some indications’ of a truce ahead.

Forty-seven Palestinians, about half of them civilians, including 12 children, have been killed in Israel’s raids, Palestinian officials said. More than 500 rockets fired from Gaza have hit Israel, killing three people and injuring dozens.

Israel unleashed its massive air campaign on Wednesday, killing a leading militant of the Hamas Islamist group that controls Gaza and rejects Israel’s existence, with the declared goal of deterring gunmen in the coastal enclave from launching rockets that have plagued its southern communities for years.

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Fierce clashes between Israeli forces and Gaza militants are continuing for the fourth day
Fierce clashes between Israeli forces and Gaza militants are continuing for the fourth day

A government compound was also hit while devout Muslims streamed to the area for early morning prayers, although it did not report any casualties from that attack
A government compound was also hit while devout Muslims streamed to the area for early morning prayers, although it did not report any casualties from that attack
Smoke rises during an explosion from an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City today
Smoke rises during an explosion from an Israeli forces strike in Gaza City todayThe Jewish state has since launched more than 950 air strikes on the coastal Palestinian territory, targeting weaponry and flattening militant homes and headquarters.The raids continued past midnight on Sunday. One targeted a building in Gaza City housing the offices of local Arab media, wounding three journalists from al Quds television, a station Israel sees as pro-Hamas, witnesses said.Two other predawn attacks on houses in the Jebalya refugee camp killed one child and wounded 12 other people, medical officials said.

These attacks followed a defiant statement by Hamas military spokesman Abu Ubaida, who told a televised news conference.

‘This round of confrontation will not be the last against the Zionist enemy and it is only the beginning.’

The masked gunman dressed in military fatigues insisted that despite Israel’s blows Hamas ‘is still strong enough to destroy the enemy.’

An Israeli attack on Saturday destroyed the house of a Hamas commander near the Egyptian border.

Missiles knocked out five electricity transformers, plunging more than 400,000 people in southern Gaza into darkness, according to the Gaza electricity distribution companyMissiles knocked out five electricity transformers, plunging more than 400,000 people in southern Gaza into darkness, according to the Gaza electricity distribution company
Palestinians inspect the damage at the office building of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh after being destroyed during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza Palestinians inspect the damage at the office building of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh after being destroyed during an Israeli airstrike in Gaza
A rocket is launched from Gaza as seen from near Sderot. Today it was reported militants deployed an Iron Dome rocket defence battery in central Israel.
A rocket is launched from Gaza as seen from near Sderot. Today it was reported militants deployed an Iron Dome rocket defence battery in central IsraelCasualties there were averted however, because Israel had fired non-exploding missiles at the building beforehand from a drone, which the militant’s family understood as a warning to flee, and thus their lives were spared, witnesses said.Israeli aircraft also bombed Hamas government buildings in Gaza on Saturday, including the offices of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and a police headquarters.Among those killed in air strikes on Gaza on Saturday were at least four suspected militants riding motorcycles, and several civilians including a 30-year-old woman.It came as thousands of soldiers and hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles were at muster points along the border, as speculation mounted that Israel was to launch a ground offensive.Tonight, David Cameron urged Israel to ‘do everything possible’ to end the crisis. In a phone call with Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu, he expressed sympathy for the continued ‘unacceptable’ rocket attacks.A Downing Street spokeswoman said: ‘The Prime Minister expressed his sympathy for the unacceptable rocket attacks that Israel continued to suffer. He also expressed concern over the risk of the conflict escalating further and the danger of further civilian casualties on both sides.

Iron Dome: Israeli soldiers watch as an Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket near the southern city of Beersheba todayIron Dome: Israeli soldiers watch as an Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket near the southern city of Beersheba today
A Palestinian youth takes cover behind a makeshift barrier (right) during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Qalandia checkpoint, in the occupied West BankA Palestinian youth takes cover behind a makeshift barrier (right) during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Qalandia checkpoint, in the occupied West Bank
Israeli soldiers fire tear gas towards strone throwers demonstrating against the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip in the village of Beit Omar, north of the West Bank town of HebronIsraeli soldiers fire tear gas towards strone throwers demonstrating against the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip in the village of Beit Omar, north of the West Bank town of Hebron’The Prime Minister said that the UK was putting pressure on both sides to de-escalate and urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to do everything possible to bring the conflict to an end.’It came after protesters gathered near the Israeli embassy in London to condemned the British Government’s stance on the conflict.Speakers took to a podium to condemn the Government after Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Hamas regime in Gaza bore ‘principal responsibility’ for the escalation of violence.Israel had been slowly expanding its operation beyond military targets but before dawn it ramped that up dramatically, hitting Hamas symbols of power. A three-storey apartment building belonging to a Hamas military commander was hit, and ambulances ferried more than 30 inhabitants wounded by the powerful explosion.Missiles smashed into two small security facilities as well as the massive Hamas police headquarters in Gaza City, setting off a huge blaze that engulfed nearby houses and civilian cars parked outside, the Interior Ministry reported. No one was inside the buildings.The Interior Ministry said a government compound was also hit while devout Muslims streamed to the area for early morning prayers, although it did not report any casualties from that attack.Also hit was a cabinet building where the Hamas prime minister has his offices. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was not inside.

Missiles knocked out five electricity transformers, plunging more than 400,000 people in southern Gaza into darkness, according to the Gaza electricity distribution company.

Israeli firemen douse a burning car after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip landed in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod todayIsraeli firemen douse a burning car after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip landed in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod today

A student from the University of Birzeit is carried away injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank town of BetuniaA student from the University of Birzeit is carried away injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank town of Betunia

Unexploded bomb: A Palestinian Hamas policeman looks at an Israeli rocket in the street in Gaza City on SaturdayUnexploded bomb: A Palestinian Hamas policeman looks at an Israeli rocket in the street in Gaza City on Saturday

In southern Gaza, Israeli aircraft went after the hundreds of underground tunnels militants used to smuggle in weapons and other contraband from Egypt, residents reported. A huge explosion in the area sent buildings shuddering in the Egyptian city of El-Arish, 30 miles away.

The tunnels have also been a lifeline for residents of the area during the recent fighting, providing a conduit for food, fuel and other goods after supplies stopped coming in from Israel before the military operation began.

Israeli aircraft kept pounding their original targets, the militants’ weapons storage facilities and underground rocket launching sites. They also went after rocket squads more aggressively.

Israel has put 75,000 reservists on standby amid speculation of an impending ground invasionIsrael has put 75,000 reservists on standby amid speculation of an impending ground invasion
Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem, center, visits Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh's demolished headquarters in Gaza todayTunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem, center, visits Gaza’s Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s demolished headquarters in Gaza today
Palestinians carry the body of Ali Al-Mana'ama, a Hamas militant in Maghazi Refugee Camp in the central Gaza Strip. A group of Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli air strike east of Maghazi Refugee Camp earlier todayPalestinians carry the body of Ali Al-Mana’ama, a Hamas militant in Maghazi Refugee Camp in the central Gaza Strip. A group of Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli air strike east of Maghazi Refugee Camp earlier today
Palestinians carry the body of Hamas militant Ali Al-Mana'ama during his funeral in Maghazi Refugee CampPalestinians carry the body of Hamas militant Ali Al-Mana’ama during his funeral in Maghazi Refugee Camp
A Palestinian youth gestures at Israeli soldiers during clashes in the Jalama checkpoint in the West Bank near Jenin cityA Palestinian youth gestures at Israeli soldiers during clashes in the Jalama checkpoint in the West Bank near Jenin city
Relatives look at the bodies of Ali Al Mana'ama, top, Ali Darwesh, centre, and Ahmad Abdujawad, Hamas militants, at the morgue of Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir Al Balah, central Gaza StripRelatives look at the bodies of Ali Al Mana’ama, top, Ali Darwesh, centre, and Ahmad Abdujawad, Hamas militants, at the morgue of Al-Aqsa hospital in Deir Al Balah, central Gaza Strip

The military has called up thousands of reservists and massed troops, tanks and other armoured vehicles along the border with Gaza, signalling a ground invasion could be imminent.

Palestinian militants, undaunted by the heavy damage the Israeli attacks have inflicted, have unleashed some 500 rockets against the Jewish state, including new, longer-range weapons turned for the first time this week against Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv heartland.

Following those attacks, the military deployed an Iron Dome rocket defence battery in central Israel today. The system, devised precisely to deflect the Gaza rocket threat, was deployed two months earlier than planned, the Defence Ministry said.

According to Israel its Iron Dome system has intercepted nearly 250 rockets since a round of fighting broke out on Wednesday, including an incoming projectile bound for Tel Aviv.

An Israeli Merkava tank is seen in a staging area on the border with the Gaza StripAn Israeli Merkava tank is seen in a staging area on the border with the Gaza Strip
Israeli children wave their national flag as they greet an army convoy passing on a road leading to the Israel-Gaza border near the southern Israeli town of OfakimIsraeli children wave their national flag as they greet an army convoy passing on a road leading to the Israel-Gaza border near the southern Israeli town of Ofakim

Palestinian militants in Gaza has kept up their cross-border rocket salvoes. Four rockets hit an apartment building in the Israeli Mediterranean port city of Ashdod, ripping into several balconies, and police said five people were injured.

Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip, said Israeli missiles wrecked the office building of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh – where he had met on Friday with the Egyptian prime minister – and struck a police headquarters.

With Israeli tanks and artillery positioned along the Gaza border and no end in sight to hostilities now in their fourth day, Tunisia’s foreign minister travelled to the enclave in a show of Arab solidarity.

Officials in Gaza said 42 Palestinians, nearly half of them civilians including eight children and a pregnant woman, had been killed since Israel began its air strikes. Three Israeli civilians were killed by a rocket on Thursday.

Israeli soldiers manning an Iron Dome battery outside a southern Israeli town take cover as one of several Iron Dome interceptor missiles are fired from the Gaza stripIsraeli soldiers manning an Iron Dome battery outside a southern Israeli town take cover as one of several Iron Dome interceptor missiles are fired from the Gaza stripChildren’s charity Unicef appealed for the ‘utmost restraint’ from both sides to prevent youngsters being killed and injured.Six Palestinian children aged between 10 months and 15 years had been reported killed and 60 injured in airstrikes on Gaza, it said, with another fatally wounded by a rocket that fell short.Israeli schools within a 25-mile radius were closed because of the ‘indiscriminate’ rocket attacks.Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander appealed to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to go in person to the region for last-ditch talks to avert full-scale conflict.’There is no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Over the decades violence has only led to more violence,’ he said.’What is needed now is an immediate end to the violence. We urge the UN Secretary General to visit the region this week to begin talks with all parties, and with partners in the region
Palestinian mourners bury the body of Hamas militant Shadi al-Sheir during his funeral in Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza StripPalestinian mourners bury the body of Hamas militant Shadi al-Sheir during his funeral in Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza Strip’There must now be a full-scale diplomatic initiative, led by the UN Secretary General himself, to try and bring this conflict to an end.’The only hope for peace and security for the citizens of the region will be through re-starting the stalled negotiations towards agreeing a two state solution.’Egypt’s president will today hold four-way talks with the Qatari emir, the prime minister of Turkey and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal in Cairo on Saturday to discuss the Gaza crisis, a presidential source said.Egypt has been working to reinstate a truce between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza, after an informal truce brokered by Cairo broke down.Israel launched a massive air campaign on Wednesday with the declared aim of deterring Hamas from launching cross-border rocket salvoes that have plagued southern Israel for years.The operation has drawn Western support for what U.S. and European leaders have called Israel’s right to self-defence, along with appeals to both sides to avoid civilian casualties.
Two Palestinian women view the rubble of their destroyed home after Israeli rockets hit the Hamas official house in Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip Two Palestinian women view the rubble of their destroyed home after Israeli rockets hit the Hamas official house in Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip
Ultra-Orthodox Israeli men help an elderly Israeli woman run to a shelter as a 'Red Alert' sounds in the southern Israeli coastal town of Ashdod, shortly after Palestinian militants fired a missileUltra-Orthodox Israeli men help an elderly Israeli woman run to a shelter as a ‘Red Alert’ sounds in the southern Israeli coastal town of Ashdod, shortly after Palestinian militants fired a missile
Palestinians search for victims beneath the rubble of the destroyed house of a Hamas official, following an Israeli air strike in Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip todayPalestinians search for victims beneath the rubble of the destroyed house of a Hamas official, following an Israeli air strike in Jabaliya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip today

Hamas, shunned by the West over its refusal to recognise Israel, says its cross-border attacks have come in response to Israeli strikes against Palestinian fighters in Gaza.

Hamas says it is committed to continued confrontation with Israel and is eager not to seem any less resolute than smaller, more radical groups that have emerged in Gaza in recent years.

‘We have not limited ourselves in means or in time,’ Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Israel’s Channel One television. ‘We hope that it will end as soon as possible, but that will be only after all the objectives have been achieved.’

The Islamist movement has ruled Gaza since 2007. Israel pulled settlers out of Gaza in 2005 but has maintained a blockade of the tiny, densely populated coastal territory.

The widened scope of targets brings the scale of fighting closer to that of the war the two groups waged four years ago.

Hamas, a group that remains pledged to Israel’s destruction, was badly bruised during that confrontation, but has since restocked its arsenal with more and better weapons, and has been under pressure from smaller, more militant groups to prove its commitment to fighting Israel.

Destruction: A picture taken from the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing following Israeli air strikes inside the Palestinian territory on Saturday Destruction: A picture taken from the southern Israeli border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing following Israeli air strikes inside the Palestinian territory on Saturday
Under attack: Israeli air strikes hit the cabinet headquarters of Gaza's Hamas government after militants fired rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Under attack: Israeli air strikes hit the cabinet headquarters of Gaza’s Hamas government after militants fired rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv
Airstrikes: Explosion and smoke in Gaza city as Israel extends their attack to Hamas government buildings including the building housing the prime minister's officeAirstrikes: Explosion and smoke in Gaza city as Israel extends their attack to Hamas government buildings including the building housing the prime minister’s office
Chaos: Palestinians observe rubble being removed from the site of an Israeli air raid in Gaza todayChaos: Palestinians observe rubble being removed from the site of an Israeli air raid in Gaza today
The damage caused by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod on SaturdayThe damage caused by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod on Saturday

‘We are sending a short and simple message: There is no security for any Zionist on any single inch of Palestine and we plan more surprises,’ said Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing.

Israeli leaders have threatened to widen the operation if the rocket fire doesn’t halt. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said options included the possible assassination of Haniyeh, the prime minister.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in an emergency session with cabinet ministers yesterday. Israeli media reported they approved drafting 75,000 reservists. Earlier this week, the government approved a separate call-up of 30,000.

Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich, a military spokeswoman, said 16,000 reservists were called to duty yesterday and others could soon follow.
She said no decision had been made on a ground offensive but all options are on the table.

President Barack Obama spoke separately to Israeli and Egyptian leaders yesterday as the violence in Gaza intensified. In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he reiterated US support for Israel’s right to self-defence.

Today the White House defended Israel’s right to defend itself against attack and decide how to respond to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, blaming  Hamas for starting the conflict.

Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said: ‘These rockets have been fired into Israeli civilian areas and territory for some time now. So Israelis have endured far too much of a threat from these rockets for far too long, and that is what led the Israelis to take the action that they did in Gaza.’

He told reporters the U.S. ‘wants the same thing as the Israelis want,’ which is an end to rocket attacks on Israel by Palestinian militants in Gaza.
The U.S is emphasising diplomacy and ‘de-escalation’ as keys to solving the conflict, Rhodes said.

To Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, he praised Egypt’s efforts to ease regional tensions.

Casualty: A wounded Palestinian child is carried into a hospital after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza StripCasualty: A wounded Palestinian child is carried into a hospital after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip
A Palestinian man carries the wounded child into a hospital ward for treatment following an Israeli air raid in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, on SaturdayA Palestinian man carries the wounded child into a hospital ward for treatment following an Israeli air raid in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip, on Saturday
A wounded Palestinian child receives hospital treatment following an Israeli air raid in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza StripA wounded Palestinian child receives hospital treatment following an Israeli air raid in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza Strip

Egyptian leaders had promised to support Gaza against the Israeli attack on Thursday amid increasing signs that a massive ground invasion could be launched by Israel this weekend.

President Mohammed Mursi said he would not leave Gaza on its own and condemned Israel’s ‘blatant aggression against humanity’.

The declaration, hours after a visit to Gaza by Egypt’s prime minister, increased tensions in the region where Hamas militants continued to fire rockets into southern Israel – with three landing near Jerusalem – and Israeli warplanes pounded Palestinian targets.

Mr Mursi, whose Muslim Brotherhood is linked to Hamas, did not elaborate on what form the support would take. Egypt is trying to broker a ceasefire or peace agreement but with Hamas firing rockets across the border, and Israel calling up 75,000 reservists, there are fears it may already be too late.

ISRAEL’S HOME-GROWN ‘IRON DOME’ DEFENCE SYSTEM

In four days of fighting against Gaza-based militants, Israel has used a missile-defense system called ‘Iron Dome’ to intercept rockets fired at populated civilian areas.

It says the new home-grown system has been a tremendous success. As of Saturday evening, the military said it had shot down some 240 incoming rockets, more than half the number of projectiles launched into Israel since Wednesday.

Here’s a quick look at the system:

  • Produced by Israeli-based Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Iron Dome is meant to shoot down rockets and artillery shells with ranges of up to 70 kilometers, or 45 miles. It has been operational since 2011.
  • How it works: The system detects launches of rockets and quickly determines their flight path. If it is headed toward populated areas or sensitive targets, it fires an interceptor with a special warhead that strikes the incoming rocket within seconds. Rockets headed toward open areas area allowed to land.
  • Currently, five Iron Dome batteries are deployed in Israel. Most are located in the south near Gaza. A fifth battery was deployed outside Tel Aviv on Saturday, two months ahead of schedule. Hours later, it shot down a rocket headed toward Tel Aviv.
  • Missiles cost around $40,000 a piece. In 2010, the U.S. provided $200 million to expand development. Additional funding is currently being considered, with $70 million already allocated for the 2012 fiscal year. (US defense statement just FYI: http://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=15285)
  • The system is part of what Israel calls its ‘multilayer missile defense’. It is meant to protect against the tens of thousands of short-range rockets possessed by militants in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon. Israel has also deployed its ‘Arrow’ missile defense systems for long-range threats from Iran. The military says its new ‘David’s Sling’ system, being developed by Rafael to stop medium-range missiles, will be activated by 2014.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a four-hour strategy session with a clutch of senior ministers in Tel Aviv on widening the military campaign, while other cabinet members were polled by telephone on raising the mobilisation level.

Meanwhile Jordan’s King Abdullah cancelled a trip to Britain next week amid fears that his country could be the next to experience the Arab Spring’s demands for change.

King Abdullah had been due to visit Britain to speak to the Jewish community in London. The cancellation followed protests in Amman which spread to other parts of the country. At least one person was killed and 75 injured, including 58 policemen.

Among those taking part was the Muslim Brotherhood, which Jordan has accused of inciting the unrest to score political points ahead of parliamentary elections  in January.

In Gaza, Egyptian prime minister Hisham Kandil held the bloodied body of a child during his visit to a hospital, promising: ‘Egypt will spare no effort to stop the aggression and to achieve a truce’.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said she was appalled that civilians were being killed, including three Israelis in their apartment and several Palestinian children, including a baby, and a pregnant woman.

Her spokesman, Rupert Colville, told reporters on Friday that Pillay condemns the indiscriminate firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel and is extremely concerned by the sharp increase in aerial attacks by Israeli forces on the heavily populated Gaza Strip.

With rockets from the Gaza Strip targeting Tel Aviv, Colville said Pillay ‘urges both sides to pull back from an increasingly dangerous confrontation.’

Israel targeted more than 130 locations in Gaza overnight on Thursday aimed at knocking out rocket-firing facilities which they say have been positioned close to schools and hospitals.

The conflict poses a test of Mr Mursi’s commitment to Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel, which the West views as the bedrock of Middle East peace.

On Thursday Foreign Secretary William Hague urged both Israel and the Palestinians to make efforts to halt the violence in Gaza, but made clear he believes Hamas bears the greatest responsibility for the current crisis, as well as the ability to bring it most swiftly to an end.

Mr Hague said he had spoken to the Egyptian foreign minister to urge him to use his country’s influence to try to negotiate a ‘meaningful’ ceasefire.

Protesters gathered near the Israeli embassy in London today condemned the British Government’s stance on the conflict in Gaza.

With placards, flags and chants, the activists branded Israel a ‘terror state’ and showed their solidarity with the people of the Palestinian enclave.

Speakers took to a podium to condemn the Government after Foreign Secretary William Hague said the Hamas regime in Gaza bore ‘principal responsibility’ for the escalation of violence.

Organisers claimed that ‘thousands’ of protesters had joined the rally.There was a major police presence in London’s Kensington area, with barriers and a gate blocking the road leading to the embassy.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2234343/Apocalypse-Now-Israel-bombards-Gaza-fifth-straight-day-nearly-1-000-airstrikes-paving-way-imminent-invasion.html#ixzz2CYvdvl8Q
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a smal clip from Gaza ……….

thanks to BBC for this one .

Israel vs. Gaza. my opinion (updated) …………….

Israel is only defending itself .LOL

no comment . The New Abu Ghraib 2010

In the Balfour Declaration of 1917 the UK promised Palestine to the Jews .

http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/balfour.a…

and now for years and years People are watching  mostly on Alternative News Channels in a allready pathetic agony this slow Genocide on the Palestine People and the destroying of their Infrastructure.
Pics from a post on ICH (information clearing house blog) are the latest testimony of Violence against Gazans in their 60 years of resistance .
But we’ve allready seen worse ,or ?
haven’t we ?

Look how strong we are . The New Abu Ghraib 2010

With love from Israel .The New Abu Ghraib 2010

The Zionist way: teach them how to kill and hate . The New Abu Ghraib 2010

(Note: You’ll never find this on the Mainstream Media Menu .
the next links are posts from Palestine & Gaza with very strong Images, viewer discretion is advised)

Nov. 2010 : The New Abu Ghraib

http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2010/11/16…

and here

http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/jenin1.html

after seeing this, nothing surprises me anymore regarding Israel .

Israel is defending an occupied  Land by waging a genocide against the Palestine people and nobody really seem to care.

A few days ago in Pakistan a Taliban shoots a Girl and the western MSM was all over it .

(She got a flight to London and all the best medical care possible as i recall )

but this happens in Palestine everyday, everyday Palestines get shot by Israeli snipers and soldiers …………

or just beaten

No help for her ?

Meanwhile a lot of People on the western MSM News find quit fashionable lately to report on Killing People everywhere in the World but not on Gaza or Palestine

and this same Mainstream Media who often failed to report about this unfair Conquest (slaughter) is to nobodys surprise more than 80% in zionist/jewish hands.

A blueprint for standart MSM propaganda & comment trolling :

Israel is allways to be painted as the victim while the Palestines are more or less disgraced as “lost cause moneysucking (USA/EU/UN Aid) weaklings”.

and this after 60 years of Palestinian resistance with a shrinking Infrastructure and a high mortality rate on young males .

Palestine Map ( 1948 to 2001) here

http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Maps/Stor…

Sorry,but I’m going just to trow up now after i’ve read a latest zionist german MSM post regarding the Israeli response to the Qassam Brigade attacks .

The Zionist Immigration ( Seddler) Factor of Palestine as i recall

Palestines are completly outnumberd because of the ongoing stream of new settlers claiming they own the holy land .

most of those Settlers are paid partly by the Israeli Gov. and they come from everywhere in the World .

now as i recall only some 15% of the Jewish Population is decendend of the Middle East tribes from around Palestine and can therefore rightfully live there .

some 85% of the jewish Population worldwide now are decendants from the mongol Khazarians who radicated in Asia somwhere between Russia and Turkey , Those Khazars adopted Judaism later in 760  a.d.  and were called Ashkanazi Jews .

this so called Settler Jews of Khazarian/Asian origin are therefore in a way common Invaders and occupiers and have little to do with the so called Holy Land dispute .

( Khazarian Empire/eastern Turkey map pic here )

https://twitter.com/Hussamov11/status/270077486489026560/photo/1

P.S.

I’m no Anti semite or racist in any way . I like Palestine and their Inhabitants who rightfull should live there and i have nothing against Jews or whatsoever race as long as they live peacefully with their Neighbours ………

but i admire the Palestine People for their fighting spirit and their endurance in their 60 year ongoing Resistance

and i feel kind of sorry for the Jewish Population who finds no peace .

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Ron Paul’s Farewell To Freedom ………………

This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36 year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.

It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.

To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.

The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.

In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways—thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.

All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.

The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.

The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”

Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.

I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.

If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty. There certainly was a strong enough sentiment for more freedom at the time of our founding that motivated those who were willing to fight in the revolution against the powerful British government.

During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible. Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America. Tens of thousands of teenagers and college age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.

I have a few thoughts as to why the people of a country like ours, once the freest and most prosperous, allowed the conditions to deteriorate to the degree that they have.

Freedom, private property, and enforceable voluntary contracts, generate wealth. In our early history we were very much aware of this. But in the early part of the 20th century our politicians promoted the notion that the tax and monetary systems had to change if we were to involve ourselves in excessive domestic and military spending. That is why Congress gave us the Federal Reserve and the income tax. The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be “progressive” ideas. Pure democracy became acceptable.

They failed to recognized that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.

Some complain that my arguments makes no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies.

But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady. It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.

The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.

This neglect ushered in an age of redistribution of wealth by government kowtowing to any and all special interests, except for those who just wanted to left alone. That is why today money in politics far surpasses money currently going into research and development and productive entrepreneurial efforts.

The material benefits became more important than the understanding and promoting the principles of liberty and a free market. It is good that material abundance is a result of liberty but if materialism is all that we care about, problems are guaranteed.

The crisis arrived because the illusion that wealth and prosperity would last forever has ended. Since it was based on debt and a pretense that debt can be papered over by an out-of-control fiat monetary system, it was doomed to fail. We have ended up with a system that doesn’t produce enough even to finance the debt and no fundamental understanding of why a free society is crucial to reversing these trends.

If this is not recognized, the recovery will linger for a long time. Bigger government, more spending, more debt, more poverty for the middle class, and a more intense scramble by the elite special interests will continue.

Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.

If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.

This continuous move is no different than what we have seen in how our financial crisis of 2008 was handled. Congress first directed, with bipartisan support, bailouts for the wealthy. Then it was the Federal Reserve with its endless quantitative easing. If at first it doesn’t succeed try again; QE1, QE2, and QE3 and with no results we try QE indefinitely—that is until it too fails. There’s a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option. The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won’t be pretty.

The current crisis elicits a lot of pessimism. And the pessimism adds to less confidence in the future. The two feed on themselves, making our situation worse.

If the underlying cause of the crisis is not understood we cannot solve our problems. The issues of warfare, welfare, deficits, inflationism, corporatism, bailouts and authoritarianism cannot be ignored. By only expanding these policies we cannot expect good results.

Everyone claims support for freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others. Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.

Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited. These are the politicians whose goal in life is power. Their success depends on gaining support from special interests.

The great news is the answer is not to be found in more “isms.” The answers are to be found in more liberty which cost so much less. Under these circumstances spending goes down, wealth production goes up, and the quality of life improves.

Just this recognition—especially if we move in this direction—increases optimism which in itself is beneficial. The follow through with sound policies are required which must be understood and supported by the people.

But there is good evidence that the generation coming of age at the present time is supportive of moving in the direction of more liberty and self-reliance. The more this change in direction and the solutions become known, the quicker will be the return of optimism.

Our job, for those of us who believe that a different system than the one that we have had for the last 100 years, has driven us to this unsustainable crisis, is to be more convincing that there is a wonderful, uncomplicated, and moral system that provides the answers. We had a taste of it in our early history. We need not give up on the notion of advancing this cause.

It worked, but we allowed our leaders to concentrate on the material abundance that freedom generates, while ignoring freedom itself. Now we have neither, but the door is open, out of necessity, for an answer. The answer available is based on the Constitution, individual liberty and prohibiting the use of government force to provide privileges and benefits to all special interests.

After over 100 years we face a society quite different from the one that was intended by the Founders. In many ways their efforts to protect future generations with the Constitution from this danger has failed. Skeptics, at the time the Constitution was written in 1787, warned us of today’s possible outcome. The insidious nature of the erosion of our liberties and the reassurance our great abundance gave us, allowed the process to evolve into the dangerous period in which we now live.

Today we face a dependency on government largesse for almost every need. Our liberties are restricted and government operates outside the rule of law, protecting and rewarding those who buy or coerce government into satisfying their demands. Here are a few examples:

Undeclared wars are commonplace.

Welfare for the rich and poor is considered an entitlement.

The economy is overregulated, overtaxed and grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system.

Debt is growing exponentially.

The Patriot Act and FISA legislation passed without much debate have resulted in a steady erosion of our 4th Amendment rights.

Tragically our government engages in preemptive war, otherwise known as aggression, with no complaints from the American people.

The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted. Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.

It’s now the law of the land that the military can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, without charges or a trial.

Rampant hostility toward free trade is supported by a large number in Washington.

Supporters of sanctions, currency manipulation and WTO trade retaliation, call the true free traders “isolationists.”

Sanctions are used to punish countries that don’t follow our orders.

Bailouts and guarantees for all kinds of misbehavior are routine.

Central economic planning through monetary policy, regulations and legislative mandates has been an acceptable policy.

Excessive government has created such a mess it prompts many questions:

Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?

Why does the federal government restrict the drinking of raw milk?

Why can’t Americans manufacturer rope and other products from hemp?

Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?

Why is Germany concerned enough to consider repatriating their gold held by the FED for her in New York? Is it that the trust in the U.S. and dollar supremacy beginning to wane?

Why do our political leaders believe it’s unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?

Why can’t Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?

Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?

Why should there be mandatory sentences—even up to life for crimes without victims—as our drug laws require?

Why have we allowed the federal government to regulate commodes in our homes?

Why is it political suicide for anyone to criticize AIPAC ?

Why haven’t we given up on the drug war since it’s an obvious failure and violates the people’s rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?

Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?

Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?

Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?

Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?

Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?

Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?

Why can’t people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?

Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a “kill list,” including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?

Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.

Why is it is claimed that if people won’t or can’t take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?

Why did we ever give the government a safe haven for initiating violence against the people?

Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?

Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets? Aren’t they the same?

Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?

Why are there not more individuals who seek to intellectually influence others to bring about positive changes than those who seek power to force others to obey their commands?

Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.

Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and foreign policy?

Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?

Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there’s such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?

Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration? Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes. The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems. Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.

Too many people have for too long placed too much confidence and trust in government and not enough in themselves. Fortunately, many are now becoming aware of the seriousness of the gross mistakes of the past several decades. The blame is shared by both political parties. Many Americans now are demanding to hear the plain truth of things and want the demagoguing to stop. Without this first step, solutions are impossible.

Seeking the truth and finding the answers in liberty and self-reliance promotes the optimism necessary for restoring prosperity. The task is not that difficult if politics doesn’t get in the way.

We have allowed ourselves to get into such a mess for various reasons.

Politicians deceive themselves as to how wealth is produced. Excessive confidence is placed in the judgment of politicians and bureaucrats. This replaces the confidence in a free society. Too many in high places of authority became convinced that only they, armed with arbitrary government power, can bring about fairness, while facilitating wealth production. This always proves to be a utopian dream and destroys wealth and liberty. It impoverishes the people and rewards the special interests who end up controlling both political parties.

It’s no surprise then that much of what goes on in Washington is driven by aggressive partisanship and power seeking, with philosophic differences being minor.

Economic ignorance is commonplace. Keynesianism continues to thrive, although today it is facing healthy and enthusiastic rebuttals. Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.

Supporters of all government edicts use humanitarian arguments to justify them.

Humanitarian arguments are always used to justify government mandates related to the economy, monetary policy, foreign policy, and personal liberty. This is on purpose to make it more difficult to challenge. But, initiating violence for humanitarian reasons is still violence. Good intentions are no excuse and are just as harmful as when people use force with bad intentions. The results are always negative.

The immoral use of force is the source of man’s political problems. Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world. Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned—or especially when well-intentioned—the results are dismal. The good results sought never materialize. The new problems created require even more government force as a solution. The net result is institutionalizing government initiated violence and morally justifying it on humanitarian grounds.

This is the same fundamental reason our government uses force for invading other countries at will, central economic planning at home, and the regulation of personal liberty and habits of our citizens.

It is rather strange, that unless one has a criminal mind and no respect for other people and their property, no one claims it’s permissible to go into one’s neighbor’s house and tell them how to behave, what they can eat, smoke and drink or how to spend their money.

Yet, rarely is it asked why it is morally acceptable that a stranger with a badge and a gun can do the same thing in the name of law and order. Any resistance is met with brute force, fines, taxes, arrests, and even imprisonment. This is done more frequently every day without a proper search warrant.

Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society. Permitting such authority and expecting saintly behavior from the bureaucrats and the politicians is a pipe dream. We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000. Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.

Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.

We must reject the notion of prior restraint in economic activity just we do in the area of free speech and religious liberty. But even in these areas government is starting to use a backdoor approach of political correctness to regulate speech-a dangerous trend. Since 9/11 monitoring speech on the internet is now a problem since warrants are no longer required.

The Constitution established four federal crimes. Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books—they number into the thousands. No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system—especially the tax code. Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China. I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws. Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.

The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year. When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist.

Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.

A government designed to protect liberty—a natural right—as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.
A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously—though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”

Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.

Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.

The results are not good. As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed. The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.

Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.

Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2. There is no other choice. Claiming there is a choice of a “little” tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a “touch of pregnancy.” It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise. What we see today is a result of that type of thinking. And the results speak for themselves.

American now suffers from a culture of violence. It’s easy to reject the initiation of violence against one’s neighbor but it’s ironic that the people arbitrarily and freely anoint government officials with monopoly power to initiate violence against the American people—practically at will.

Because it’s the government that initiates force, most people accept it as being legitimate. Those who exert the force have no sense of guilt. It is believed by too many that governments are morally justified in initiating force supposedly to “do good.” They incorrectly believe that this authority has come from the “consent of the people.” The minority, or victims of government violence never consented to suffer the abuse of government mandates, even when dictated by the majority. Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.

This attitude has given us a policy of initiating war to “do good,” as well. It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified. This is similar to what we were once told that: “destroying a village to save a village” was justified. It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was “worth it” to achieve the “good” we brought to the Iraqi people. And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.

Government use of force to mold social and economic behavior at home and abroad has justified individuals using force on their own terms. The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified, is the reason why violence will increase when the big financial crisis hits and becomes a political crisis as well.

First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government. Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority. If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.

When needs are pressing, conditions deteriorate and rights become relative to the demands and the whims of the majority. It’s then not a great leap for individuals to take it upon themselves to use violence to get what they claim is theirs. As the economy deteriorates and the wealth discrepancies increase—as are already occurring— violence increases as those in need take it in their own hands to get what they believe is theirs. They will not wait for a government rescue program.

When government officials wield power over others to bail out the special interests, even with disastrous results to the average citizen, they feel no guilt for the harm they do. Those who take us into undeclared wars with many casualties resulting, never lose sleep over the death and destruction their bad decisions caused. They are convinced that what they do is morally justified, and the fact that many suffer just can’t be helped.

When the street criminals do the same thing, they too have no remorse, believing they are only taking what is rightfully theirs. All moral standards become relative. Whether it’s bailouts, privileges, government subsidies or benefits for some from inflating a currency, it’s all part of a process justified by a philosophy of forced redistribution of wealth. Violence, or a threat of such, is the instrument required and unfortunately is of little concern of most members of Congress.

Some argue it’s only a matter of “fairness” that those in need are cared for. There are two problems with this. First, the principle is used to provide a greater amount of benefits to the rich than the poor. Second, no one seems to be concerned about whether or not it’s fair to those who end up paying for the benefits. The costs are usually placed on the backs of the middle class and are hidden from the public eye. Too many people believe government handouts are free, like printing money out of thin air, and there is no cost. That deception is coming to an end. The bills are coming due and that’s what the economic slowdown is all about.

Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government. It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money.

To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected. Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.

Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed. The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.

Most politicians and pundits are aware of the problems we face but spend all their time in trying to reform government. The sad part is that the suggested reforms almost always lead to less freedom and the importance of a virtuous and moral people is either ignored, or not understood. The new reforms serve only to further undermine liberty. The compounding effect has given us this steady erosion of liberty and the massive expansion of debt. The real question is: if it is liberty we seek, should most of the emphasis be placed on government reform or trying to understand what “a virtuous and moral people” means and how to promote it. The Constitution has not prevented the people from demanding handouts for both rich and poor in their efforts to reform the government, while ignoring the principles of a free society. All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power.

If the people are unhappy with the government performance it must be recognized that government is merely a reflection of an immoral society that rejected a moral government of constitutional limitations of power and love of freedom.

If this is the problem all the tinkering with thousands of pages of new laws and regulations will do nothing to solve the problem.

It is self-evident that our freedoms have been severely limited and the apparent prosperity we still have, is nothing more than leftover wealth from a previous time. This fictitious wealth based on debt and benefits from a false trust in our currency and credit, will play havoc with our society when the bills come due. This means that the full consequence of our lost liberties is yet to be felt.

But that illusion is now ending. Reversing a downward spiral depends on accepting a new approach.

Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections. We cannot expect a Federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.

The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda. This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation.

Many of our religious institutions and secular organizations support greater dependency on the state by supporting war, welfare and corporatism and ignore the need for a virtuous people.

I never believed that the world or our country could be made more free by politicians, if the people had no desire for freedom.

Under the current circumstances the most we can hope to achieve in the political process is to use it as a podium to reach the people to alert them of the nature of the crisis and the importance of their need to assume responsibility for themselves, if it is liberty that they truly seek. Without this, a constitutionally protected free society is impossible.

If this is true, our individual goal in life ought to be for us to seek virtue and excellence and recognize that self-esteem and happiness only comes from using one’s natural ability, in the most productive manner possible, according to one’s own talents.

Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.

Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliance and productive, become the true victims.

What are the greatest dangers that the American people face today and impede the goal of a free society? There are five.

1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.

2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of “blow-back” is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.

3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.

4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.

5. World government taking over local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.

Happily, there is an answer for these very dangerous trends.

What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted the simple moral premise of rejecting all acts of aggression. The retort to such a suggestion is always: it’s too simplistic, too idealistic, impractical, naïve, utopian, dangerous, and unrealistic to strive for such an ideal.

The answer to that is that for thousands of years the acceptance of government force, to rule over the people, at the sacrifice of liberty, was considered moral and the only available option for achieving peace and prosperity.

What could be more utopian than that myth—considering the results especially looking at the state sponsored killing, by nearly every government during the 20th Century, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. It’s time to reconsider this grant of authority to the state.

No good has ever come from granting monopoly power to the state to use aggression against the people to arbitrarily mold human behavior. Such power, when left unchecked, becomes the seed of an ugly tyranny. This method of governance has been adequately tested, and the results are in: reality dictates we try liberty.

The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried. The idealism of government sanctioned violence has been abused throughout history and is the primary source of poverty and war. The theory of a society being based on individual freedom has been around for a long time. It’s time to take a bold step and actually permit it by advancing this cause, rather than taking a step backwards as some would like us to do.

Today the principle of habeas corpus, established when King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215, is under attack. There’s every reason to believe that a renewed effort with the use of the internet that we can instead advance the cause of liberty by spreading an uncensored message that will serve to rein in government authority and challenge the obsession with war and welfare.

What I’m talking about is a system of government guided by the moral principles of peace and tolerance.

The Founders were convinced that a free society could not exist without a moral people. Just writing rules won’t work if the people choose to ignore them. Today the rule of law written in the Constitution has little meaning for most Americans, especially those who work in Washington DC.

Benjamin Franklin claimed “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” John Adams concurred: “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

A moral people must reject all violence in an effort to mold people’s beliefs or habits.

A society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society. All great religions endorse the Golden Rule. The same moral standards that individuals are required to follow should apply to all government officials. They cannot be exempt.

The ultimate solution is not in the hands of the government.

The solution falls on each and every individual, with guidance from family, friends and community.

The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow. This is of greater importance than working on changing the government; that is secondary to promoting a virtuous society. If we can achieve this, then the government will change.

It doesn’t mean that political action or holding office has no value. At times it does nudge policy in the right direction. But what is true is that when seeking office is done for personal aggrandizement, money or power, it becomes useless if not harmful. When political action is taken for the right reasons it’s easy to understand why compromise should be avoided. It also becomes clear why progress is best achieved by working with coalitions, which bring people together, without anyone sacrificing his principles.

Political action, to be truly beneficial, must be directed toward changing the hearts and minds of the people, recognizing that it’s the virtue and morality of the people that allow liberty to flourish.

The Constitution or more laws per se, have no value if the people’s attitudes aren’t changed.

To achieve liberty and peace, two powerful human emotions have to be overcome. Number one is “envy” which leads to hate and class warfare. Number two is “intolerance” which leads to bigoted and judgmental policies. These emotions must be replaced with a much better understanding of love, compassion, tolerance and free market economics. Freedom, when understood, brings people together. When tried, freedom is popular.

The problem we have faced over the years has been that economic interventionists are swayed by envy, whereas social interventionists are swayed by intolerance of habits and lifestyles. The misunderstanding that tolerance is an endorsement of certain activities, motivates many to legislate moral standards which should only be set by individuals making their own choices. Both sides use force to deal with these misplaced emotions. Both are authoritarians. Neither endorses voluntarism. Both views ought to be rejected.

I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out “the plain truth of things.” The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY.

If you find this to be a worthwhile message, spread it throughout the land.

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Why the EU should not follow GE path to agricultural Armageddon ……………

Blogpost by Lasse Bruun – November 12, 2012 at 10:19

When a warning comes loud and clear from someone who has lived through what can only be described as agricultural Armageddon, it’s usually a good idea to heed their advice.

Close up of an ear of corn.

This week Greenpeace has linked European farmers, decision makers and consumers with American famers and an agricultural scientist to give a picture of what we could expect if we follow the path of US and Argentinean agriculture.

And this is not a path you’d want to take.

Greenpeace commissioned renowned agricultural economist Dr. Charles Benbrook to produce the first ever forecast of how Europe would be impacted if the European Commission goes ahead with its plan to authorise the cultivation of so-called herbicide tolerant genetically engineered (HTGE) crops.

 

24 August 2012Wendel Lutz is one of two American farmers featured in the Greenpeace film, ‘Growing Doubt’

The forecast gathers eyewitness accounts from Wendel Lutz and Wes Shoemyer, two American farmers featured in our documentary Growing Doubtfilmed in Argentina and the US. Farming communities have talked to us about how herbicide tolerant crop monocultures have affected their economy, environment and society. And now the US farmers are travelling with Greenpeace on an 18 day tour of Europe, inviting farmers groups, local communities and national politicians at each stop to discuss their growing concerns about these threats.Their message is clear: European agriculture will be irreparably damaged if HTGE is allowed to be cultivated.

So, who would actually benefit from HTGE crops?

Ecosystems and biodiversity will of course not benefit from having more agrochemicals sprayed on them.

If we are to learn anything from the experiences of our American visitors, many European farmers can expect inflated seed prices, more expenses for buying much more pesticides and the heavy labour and increasing cost trying to get rid of the resistant weeds that inevitably follow the HTGE crops . And those would be the lucky ones.  A lot of farmers would simply cave in to the “big boys” who will be leading the farm consolidations that seem to follow the HTGE crops marching in.

Dr. Benbrook’s forecast paints an especially grim picture for Europe: if EU farmers take up HTGE technology as quickly as in the US, glyphosate use in maize crops – the most important and widely grown crop in Europe – will increase by over 1,000% by 2025 over current use, and total herbicide use will double.

Where there are HTGE crops, farmers seem struggle, communities suffer and costs increase. The effects ripple out across rural communities right up to our supermarket shelves.

It’s time to act.

We have to push the European Commission extra hard to ensure that HTGE crops aren’t given the green light for cultivation. Once we open the floodgates for HTGE there will be no turning back – the farmers we’ve spoken to in Argentina and the US can attest to this. In the words of Wes Shoemyer:  “So far, the EU has stood very firm. It still has a chance to retain its independence, to retain its integrity.”

EU decision makers must decide: are they going to support the environment, farmers, consumers, and their constituents or are they going to support the agroindustry breathing down our necks?

We can see where the HTGE path leads and it’s not one we should be forced to follow.

Share our solutions with your friends – check out what Greenpeace is doing for a healthier agricultural system.

Lasse Bruun is a Sustainable Agriculture Campaigner at Greenpeace International

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Argentina Unrest: Brought to you by Goldman Sachs ………………..

Activist Post

Wall Street-owned media group “Clarín” spearheading anti-government drive in South America’s Argentina.

Tony Cartalucci, Contributor

The US-engineered “Arab Spring” brought us the “April 6 Youth Movement” in Egypt, run by Wall Street-backed Mohammed ElBaradei in coordination with the Muslim Brotherhood, the “February 17 Revolution,” consisting of Al Qaeda terrorists of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in Libya, and now Argentina has the “8N,” or “November 8″ movement working in coordination with foreign-owned Argentinian media group, “Clarín.”

Clarin has been enthusiastically supporting the protesters and laying the rhetorical groundwork justifying their street presence.

The Guardian reported in their article, “Argentina protests: up to half a million rally against Fernández de Kirchner,” that (emphasis added):

Word of the demonstration spread through social networks. Many organisers remain anonymous, but Mariana Torres, administrator of the Facebook page El Anti-K, one of the most active in calling for the rally, said she was delighted: “It was a true feast for democracy.”

There was no single cause of discontent. Many in the middle class are angry at the highest inflation in a decade, estimated at a yearly 25% by private economists, currency controls that have created a black market in dollars, and one of the slowest economic growth rates in Latin America.

Banners and chants also took aim at recent corruption cases and Fernández’s efforts to limit the power of big newspaper and TV conglomerates. Clarín, the country’s most powerful media group, has stepped up its criticism of the government before the introduction on 7 December of a law that will weaken its empire.

Mention of the “El Anti-K” Facebook page by the Guardian is interesting for two reasons. First, Mariana Torres and collaborator Marcelo Moran who created the page, have made the unlikely and unqualified claim that they possess no affiliations whatsoever with any political organization. The level of support the protests have received from special interests within Argentina and abroad alone raise serious concerns regarding the veracity of “El Anti-K’s” claims.

Image: Featured on the “El Anti-K” Facebook page, this banner expresses support for the “Fox News” of Argentina, Grupo Clarin. The overwhelming support for a large, special interest media outfit, owned by Goldman Sachs, undermines any legitimacy the 8N movement claims to have.

Second, while the Guardian attempts to portray “El Anti-K” as a separate entity from Clarin, the page itself is riddled with suspicious defenders of Clarin, with one comment even reading (translated roughly from Spanish):

Clarín is a company and as a company is defined is precisely to unite human effort and capital to obtain a benefit. If this is within the law, we who bought their products or services should shut up or find another alternative. The Kristina government is the one who uses our money that we pay (in taxes), then steals it and distributes it for its own interests.

While surely any government is guilty of taking from the people their hard earned cash and misappropriating it in a variety of ways – to somehow claim that Clarin is simply an honest business operating within the law to “unite human effort and capital to obtain benefit,” and that its own unwarranted influence is not a factor, is naive at best. Just how much unwarranted influence does Clarin have to draw from? It is backed by one of the largest corporate-financial institutions on Earth, Goldman Sachs.

Clarin_Shareholders_page43pdf

Image: Taken from page 40 (43 of the .pdf) of Grupo Clarín’s 2011 Annual Report. Goldman Sachs is the largest (and only) named major shareholder of the Clarin Group. The .pdf can be found here.

And as illustrated throughout the duration of the US-engineered “Arab Spring,” a corporate-financial institution like Goldman Sachs is not single entity operating on its own, but part of a larger cartel of corporate-financier interests, who do not secretly plot in smoke-filled board rooms their agenda, but fund well-known policy think-tanks like the Brookings Institution, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the American Enterprise Institute, and the International Crisis Group (ICG). These think-tanks in turn produce policy that is executed by Western politicians, and talking points which are sold to the public through the vast Western corporate media as well as local outfits like the Clarin Group in Argentina.

US government-funded fronts like the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House, and George Soros’ Open Society build up opposition groups inside targeted nations, at times directly funding groups when indigenous special interests are either incapable or disinterested in collaborating with foreign special interests.

In Argentina it is clear that indigenous special interests are linked with Western designs – just as they are in Venezuela, and a nearly identical campaign to undermine both nations is underway.

There is a Real Opposition in Argentina.

And while the current government of Argentina is an obstacle for foreign interests, it is by no means perfect. According to readers from Argentina, there are legitimate opposition groups without ties to foreign interests, or the protesters who recently took to the streets, and in fact, are vehemently opposed to foreign meddling in their country.

They have enumerated grievances against the government of President Cristina Kirchner, but they are poorly covered by local and international media.

It would benefit these groups immensely if they exposed the current protests for what they are, and instead of holding their own protests, began pursuing a program of pragmatic solutions to address their grievances.

The governments of both Venezuela and Argentina do employ populism. If they did not, a Western proxy-candidate would move in and use populism to build a pro-West “people’s movement” as an unassailable voting bloc, just as US-backed Thaksin Shinawatra has been doing in Thailand. Populism is a socioeconomic tool, and only as good or as bad as the people wielding it. And like any tool, overuse has its consequences.

The tension in Argentina is produced by the benefits of populism reaching their limitations in the face of external pressure, sanctions, and attempts at destabilization both political and economic. Just as has been pointed out in Venezuela after recent elections, more permanent solutions must be explored, and genuine opposition groups have an opportunity to lead the way.

If you are in Argentina or are familiar with genuine opposition groups in Argentina, please contact the Land Destroyer Report at cartalucci@gmail.com to describe enumerated grievances and solutions they have put forth, as well as any websites in English or Spanish describing their cause.

Tony Cartalucci’s articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at Land Destroyer Report.   Read other contributed articles by Tony Cartalucci here.

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Assad to RT: ‘I’m not Western puppet – I live and die in Syria’ (EXCLUSIVE) …………

Election 2012: Ron Paul’s Revenge! ……………..

http://original.antiwar.com

My election prediction

by , November 07, 2012

What’s particularly nervy — galling, really — about the idea that the US ought to be spreading our democratic system across the globe is the fact that we don’t have anything close to democracy in this country. Nor do we have what the Founders intended to create: a republic, where the power of the state is limited by the Constitution. This is underscored every time Americans go to the polls, where they are confronted with “choices” determined by lawmakers whose chief interest in life is getting reelected with as little opposition as possible. These guardians of the polity have made it virtually impossible for so-called third parties — i.e. parties not controlled by corporate interests and foreign lobbyists — to even get on the ballot.

And if you don’t like this state of affairs, and take action, the State will smack you right in the face. Take the case of Richard Winger, the third party expert and political analyst, editor of Ballot Access News, who, together with other interested parties, sued the state of California so that all candidates would have an equal right to show their party label on the ballot. With the passage of an “open primary” law, which effectively abolished third parties, California’s third party candidates couldn’t even identify themselves on the ballot. The lawsuit failed, however, and the judge ruled that the plaintiffs had to pay the court costs of the big corporate moneybags who had sponsored the “open primary” legislation to being with. Winger and his fellow third partiers got a bill for $243,279.50.

Isn’t “democracy” wonderful?

Well, no, it isn’t, not the current American version, which merely serves to legitimize — in a “legal” sense, at any rate — what is in reality an oligarchy. As this election season dramatized once again, the differences between the two state-subsidized state-privileged “parties” is chiefly rhetorical: this came through loud and clear during the Obama/Romney foreign policy “debate,” but it’s true on domestic issues as well. The bipartisan consensus is clear: maintain the Welfare-Warfare State pretty much as it has existed since the New Deal, with allowances made for trimming around the edges here and there. No matter who wins this election, the victor will have to impose a program of “austerity,” i.e. burdening the lower and middle classes with new taxes and program cuts, while granting new opportunities for corruption and cronyism to the political class and the oligarchs, foreign as well as domestic.

Libertarians are not small-‘d’ democrats: we don’t believe in the efficacy or legitimacy of the system — but we don’t (or shouldn’t) disdain it. For this is the one concession an otherwise authoritarian-minded political class must make in order to continue their system of “legalized” thievery and mass murder. They must ask, if only symbolically, for the consent of the governed — what Ayn Rand called “the sanction of the victim.”

But we don’t have to be victims: we can utilize this chink in the armor of the State to drive a stake through its rotten heart — because any and all weapons in the battle for liberty must be in our arsenal. Yet we also should have no illusions: everyone saw how the GOP leadership, in league with the Romneyites, stole a good half of Ron Paul’s delegates to the national convention. It was such a brazen display of thievery that the Republican governor of Maine — where arguably the most egregious rip-off took place — refused to attend the Tampa coronation.

And it isn’t just about the Paulians. Every dissident tendency in the country has been silenced by repressive ballot access laws which give the oligarchic parties ample “legal” ammunition to keep outsiders off the ballot. Previously, Democratic party lawyers practically followed Ralph Nader around the country as he tried to attain ballot status, suing to keep him off as soon as he qualified and all too often succeeding. The Republicans targeted Gary Johnson in the same way this year. A more disgusting display of “legal” repression” has never even occurred in such bastions of “democratic” authoritarianism as Belarus and Putin’s Russia. Indeed, it is easier for a political party to attain national ballot status in Russia today than it is for the Libertarian party or the Green party to get on the ballot in, say, Pennsylvania.

Congressional districts are so gerrymandered into shapes which give the incumbent a job for life that we might as well make the office appointive, or even hereditary. That way, the American political class can confer on itself all the titled magnificence and glitz of its model and progenitor: the British aristocracy.

In the face of a steady assault of election spending legislation attempting to limit contributions, and requiring all kinds of “disclosure” — conceivably subjecting donors to official retribution — the near invincibility of incumbency is a fact of American political life in much of the country.

The War Party has two wings: the Democrats and the Republicans. All others are outsiders, whose ability to storm the gates is “legally” restricted by a nearly impassable series of bureaucratic obstacles designed to keep them out while still maintaining the “democratic” illusion, i.e. the phony two-party system, which is in reality a single entity.

It is a delicate operation, in the course of which the political class must walk a fine line between repression and allowing some degree of free expression. This year how that line is drawn, and who draws it, is going to make a big difference — and perhaps a decisive one.

There’s nothing like an election to show up the essential fraudulence of the democratic system, particularly how it’s practiced in America. Nothing makes this point clearer than the Republican voter suppression campaign, which is designed to keep African-Americans, Latinos, and others from voting. Aside from the ugly racial implications of this deplorable effort, one can kind of see the Republicans’ point: after all, with a candidate so widely and intensely disliked, even by his own supporters, what else can they try? Asking people for all kinds of identification at the polls, and putting partisan zealots on guard asking people to identify themselves, is straight out hooliganism. Did you think the Romneyites were above that?

As I write, we don’t know who will win this presidential election, but I made my prediction long ago and I’m sticking to it. I even half-seriously averred that, by nominating a complete nonentity, the Republicans were deliberately throwing the election. Romney’s candidacy postponed the ideological blood feud that’s going to break out when he goes down to a well-earned defeat, but the Karl Rove/Fox News grand poobahs of the GOP can’t delay it indefinitely. Just add the Ron Paul vote to the Republican column, the day after the President declares victory, and see what you come up with. Most of Paul’s voters stayed home on election day, or else voted for Gary Johnson, the Libertarian standard-bearer this time around.

And that, I predict, will make all the difference.

When the President spoke of voting as “revenge” the other day, the wimpish girlish Republicans immediately started up a chorus of whining — one reason why they’re such losers, and why they deserve to lose. Yet I was heartened to hear Obama say it, not only because revenge is such a major (albeit unacknowledged) factor in politics, but because it’s particularly appropriate this election year, and even more so from my own ideological perspective. Because what we’ll see, this Election Day, might justifiably be called Ron Paul’s revenge, and, as Ralph Cramden would put it:

“How sweet it is!”

Okay, I’m posting this on Election Day, before the results are in: tune in here for an update after we know who won, and by how much, to see me either exult in the sheer accuracy of my prophecy, or else eat crow.

Update: It’s 8:13 pm PST, and the President has been reelected. Once again, the neocons have dragged the GOP down to defeat. Netanyahu placed his bet on the wrong horse. In spite of soaring unemployment, a collapsing economy, and widespread disenchantment with the incumbent, the Republicans still managed to lose.

Why?

Conservatives will claim it’s because Romney stood for nothing — and that’s true in terms of domestic policy. He reversed himself on every major domestic issue, from health care to abortion and tax policy. But on foreign policy he did stand for something: a huge increase in the military budget in spite of our looming bankruptcy, unconditional support for Israel on each and every issue, and war with Iran. This was the main dividing line between the Ron Paulians and the Romneyites, and the main reason why no endorsement from Paul (the elder) was forthcoming. Given the closeness of the election in several key states, particularly Ohio — the state that put the President over the top — support from Paul’s voters would have made the difference. Ron got over 113,000 votes there in the GOP primary.

And that made all the difference.

Update : related post from VT :

Why didn’t the Republicans steal the election?

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Prop 37 to Label GMO Foods Fails in California …………….

Activist Post

It appears that the big advertising push by big food companies defeated the California’s Proposition 37, a ballot initiative to require labeling of genetically modified foods (GMOs).

The last few weeks has seen a stunning reversal of poll numbers in favor of Prop 37. Nationwide polls consistently show around 90% of Americans support GMO labeling, and a month ago California polls showed over 60% supported labeling.

Then, large food conglomerates pooled their funds to oppose to the measure and outspent the citizens Right to Know campaign nearly 6-to-1 ($45 million to $8 million).

Here is the list of the top donors that opposed labeling:

MONSANTO COMPANY $8,112,069
E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO. $5,400,000
PEPSICO, INC. $2,145,400
GROCERY MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION $2,002,000
BASF PLANT SCIENCE $2,000,000
BAYER CROPSCIENCE $2,000,000
DOW AGROSCIENCES LLC $2,000,000
SYNGENTA CORPORATION $2,000,000
KRAFT FOODS GLOBAL, INC. $1,950,500
NESTLE USA, INC. $1,461,600
COCA-COLA NORTH AMERICA $1,455,500
GENERAL MILLS, INC. $1,230,300
CONAGRA FOODS $1,176,700
KELLOGG COMPANY $790,700
SMITHFIELD FOODS, INC. $683,900
DEL MONTE FOODS COMPANY $674,100
CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY $598,000

Below is one of the many “Vote No on 37″ commercials used to convince the public that labeling is not important:

Some radio spots even claimed that labeling would raise prices at the grocery stores in an attempt to scare voters. After this barrage of ads, polling as recent as two weeks ago showed less than 40% of the people still supported labeling GMOs with over 50% opposed to it.

As the final vote tallies come in from California, it looks like Big Business has bought themselves a seemingly impossible double-digit victory — currently leading 55% to 44% with 41% of the vote reporting.

By any standard this is an unprecedented turnaround in such a short period of time, especially for an issue that seems like an obvious “Yes” vote. Who would not want to know what’s in their food?

Some are already speculating that Prop 37 poll numbers were being fudged in the lead up to the vote to make stealing the vote less obvious.  Although this would normally seem outrageous and conspiratorial, it seems nearly as believable as the miraculous last-minute win by Big Agribusiness.

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