Failed Empire

Chronicling the collapse of a failed society

Category Archives: Politics

End the Banking Monopoly: Support the Banxodus

If you have a bank account in the United States, the odds are pretty good it’s with one of the big boys shown in the graph above – the very institutions which created the financial crisis and are even now still contributing to the demise of America’s working and middle classes.  I used to have an account with Washington Mutual but pulled my money out after it became JP Morgan Chase, when I started noticing mysterious chunks of change disappearing here and there in various new “service fees.”  The level of blatant thievery that the big banks engage in on a daily basis is remarkable, yet their influence in America is such that the very notion of holding them accountable for their actions is unthinkable.  If I removed $20 from my neighbor’s wallet and called it a “service fee,” I would be arrested.  Yet if Bank of America does the same thing, it is simply the cost one pays for the pleasure of having a bank account in America.

BoldProgressives.org is championing a movement to organize a mass withdrawal of funds from the major corporate banks – a movement they affectionately refer to as the Banxodus.  These institutions derive their wealth and power from the resources of ordinary Americans, and there is no reason to think that with an organized, concerted effort we couldn’t bring them to their knees in a single day.

Spread the word, and do your part to help bring down the banksters once and for all.

Occupy Wall Street Takes Times Square

Truly a beautiful sight.  Let’s hope this is only the beginning – and all indications suggest that it is.

Occupy Wall Street at Times Square

To Protect and Serve…

…the corporate elite.  If this is genuine, and there is no reason to believe it isn’t, things could be about to take a dramatic turn for the worse:

9/11 Ten Years On: The Lost Decade

building 7

It’s hard to believe that a decade has passed since the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  What we did not realize at the time was that the tragedy was only just beginning on that beautiful morning in late summer, as we were soon to embark on a lost decade which would eventually leave hundreds of thousands dead, eviscerate human rights both at home and abroad, destroy the national economy and squander trillions on multiple corporate wars of aggression.

So where are we now, and just what exactly has been accomplished since that fateful day?

We are embroiled in no less than five wars throughout the Islamic world:  Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen.  More than 6,000 American soldiers are dead, tens of thousands more are permanently disabled.  Well in excess of one million civilians have been killed by our actions throughout the Muslim world, and the American economy has been sabotaged for generations to come by our multi-trillion dollar military expenditures.

The Patriot Act annihilated the very concept of civil liberties, while our Orwellian “War on Terror” has destroyed what few remnants there were of America’s standing in the world as a force for good:  Guantanamo Bay, indefinite detention without charge, torture, the now accepted Bush/Obama Doctrine of preemptive war.

The world is clearly a far worse place today than it was ten years ago.  The entire human race, thanks to the reckless actions of the corporatist Bush/Obama regime, has taken a giant step back.  2,700 dead on September 11, 2001 seems trivial in comparison.

But let’s look back on the events that triggered it all.  Just what do we know about the alleged attacks?  For starters, we know that the official story is completely false.  There are far too many questions which remain unanswered, and until these questions are answered no American can claim to know what really happened on that day.  While I do not purport to know what really transpired, I think the following questions require immediate answers:

1 – Why didn’t the official 9/11 report consider the source of funding for the attacks pertinent, particularly when there was clear evidence linking the hijackers to the Pakistani intelligence unit?

2 – What happened to Building 7?

3 – How is it possible that burning jet fuel caused two steel towers to collapse?

4 – What is Larry Silverstein talking about when he suggests “pulling it”?

5 – What happened to the remains of the plane in Pennsylvania?

6 – What happened to the remains of the plane at the Pentagon?

7 – Why won’t the Pentagon release the video of the plane striking it?

8 – What happened to the black boxes of the planes that struck the twin towers?

9 – What are we to make of the numerous eye-witness accounts which describe explosions in the basement, before the planes struck?

10 – What are we to make of the Project for a New American Century, and its document “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” which cited the need for a new Pearl Harbor event nearly two years before the events of 9/11?

I am not necessarily suggesting a conspiracy of any sort, nor am I implying an inside job in which the twin towers were brought down by controlled demolition.  But short of concrete evidence to the contrary – or at least, evidence which supports the official story – I will not rule them out.  The CIA has routinely been involved in such attacks on nations throughout the world; what is to prevent it from carrying out a false-flag attack on US soil?  Anything is possible, particularly in a nation as corrupt as ours.  And until we have answers to the above questions and many more, we can hardly claim to live in a free and open society.

Rumsfeld Confirms Obama is Bush III

creepy Donald Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld knows a fellow Corporatist when he sees one:

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says President Barack Obama has come to accept much of the Bush Doctrine out of necessity, despite what he campaigned on in 2008.

Rumsfeld said that Obama needed to keep the Guantanamo Bay detention center open because of national security concerns, and it was the best solution among a host of bad options.

“They ended up keeping Guantanamo open not because they like it – we didn’t like it either – but they couldn’t think of a better solution,” Rumsfeld told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday.

Rumsfeld then listed a handful of other Bush administration policies that have continued into the Obama administration, something that he sees as vindication of the policies.

“The same is true with the Patriot Act, and military commissions, and indefinite detention. All of those things were criticized but today are still in place two-and-a-half years later because they are the best alternative to the other choices – and they are in fact successful in keeping America safer,” he says.

As usual, of course, Rumsfeld and his ilk are incapable of refraining from twisting the truth in some way or another.  For Rumsfeld to suggest that Obama campaigned against the Bush Doctrine is disingenuous, as Obama’s campaign was little more than a collection of vacuous platitudes.  “Yes, we can” continue our multiple wars of terror; “Yes, we can” ignore the rule of law and illegally detain people without charge or recognition of basic human rights; “Yes we can” continue a 30+ year streak of government policies that strongly favor the rich while decapitating America’s middle class.

And then we have Rumsfeld’s bogus assertion that the Bush Doctrine and its associated tenets – Guantanamo Bay, indefinite detention, the Patriot Act – are somehow the “best alternative to other choices.”  Of course, the vagueness of the term “other choices” leaves open the slimy possibility for a sliver of truth; but to what other choices are we referring?  Mass genocide?  Mandatory castration?  Government-imposed lobotomies?  (Actually, a form of nationalized lobotomy already exists; we call it public school.)

Obama never campaigned against the policies of the Bush administration, because he never had any intention of implementing anything different.  We have been living under a One-Party State since at least the Reagan administration, but that single Party has been becoming more and more brazen in its attempts to enslave the masses for the benefit of the Elite.  The Obama administration represents perhaps the most blatantly corporatist regime in the history of our nation – which says a lot, considering the notoriety of its predecessors.

U.S. elections are now and have long been a sham, and they will only continue to degenerate thanks to the preposterous Citizens United Supreme Court decision.  There is no meaningful difference between the Republicans and Democrats and has not been at any time in the modern era; to vote Democrat is merely to enable to the continuance of our long, dark slide into the depths of the dismal Right, where corporations hold more rights than humans, and the common good is sacrificed for the ever-growing profits of the Elite.  Any person who willingly identifies himself as a Democrat or Republican, and votes accordingly, is a part of the problem, and should be held accountable.

Boycott the One Party State.

Americans Elect: Democracy in the Internet Age

This is exactly the kind of development we need to get us out of the current One Party State:

Though many feel we are stuck with a two-party system after numerous attempts to elect a viable alternative candidate have failed, a new Internet-based political movement is emerging. The goal? To put a presidential nomination on the 2012 ballot derived completely from open voting on the Internet. Called Americans Elect, the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization isn’t a traditional new political party, although it must register as one. Instead, it’s a way to nominate candidates in a more democratic fashion. So far, the group has submitted the required number of signatures to put a nomination on the ballot in eight states and has plans to be on 18 by year’s end. Democratic representation is an old idea that modern technology is reinventing, and the movement has the potential to change American politics forever…and that means 2012 will be an even wackier election year than it is already shaping up to be.

So how does one vote for an Americans Elect candidate?

Visit Americans Elect to find out more.

Murdering Murdoch: Whistleblower Found Dead, American Public Shrugs

creepy Rupert Murdoch

We may now add murder to the deepening scandal surrounding the man who brought us, among much other tripe, Fox News:

Whistleblower in Murdoch Phone-Hacking Scandal Found Dead

On Monday, Sean Hoare, a former reporter who helped blow the whistle on the Murdoch-owned News of the World, was found dead in his home. Hoare had been the source for a New York Times story tying phone hacking to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who would later become director of communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Coulson was arrested as the scandal broke open earlier this month. Police say Hoare appears to have died of natural causes, but the determination had not lessened suspicion of foul play. Hoare not only talked about phone hacking, but phone tracking as well, or as he said they called in the newsroom “pinging,” where he said News of the World would pay police, he believed, to track individuals’ locations.

It is becoming evident that Murdoch’s revolting media empire, a veritable propaganda factory, has extensive ties to the wealthy and powerful, including government officials and the police force that is entrusted with maintaining public order.  What is less apparent, however, is why exactly this has come to the fore now.  What has Murdoch done to fall out of grace with the ruling elite?

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Bogus Poll Reveals Americans’ Pervasive Belief in the Fictional Republican/Democrat Divide

Bush and Obama, BFF

If it’s not A, it must be B, because life is always black and white, right?

Voters are increasingly displeased with President Obama’s handling of the economy, but a new poll finds most Americans still think George W. Bush is responsible for the nation’s dismal financial state.

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, 54 percent of those surveyed say Bush is responsible for the “current condition” of the economy, compared to just 27 percent who blame Obama. Among self-described independent voters, a key 2012 voting bloc, the number shifts slightly: 49 percent point the finger at the former GOP president, while 24 percent blame Obama.

Part of the problem, of course, is the simplistic wording of the question which automatically creates a false dichotomy of Republicans versus Democrats.  The question might have been, which administration is more responsible for the current financial crisis, which then translates into the definitive statement that voters “think George W. Bush is responsible.”  This simplified version of reality, which suggests that the complex terrain of the political frontier is easily understood in concrete, black-and-white terms, is then absorbed by an impatient and apathetic public whose attention span is incapable of grasping anything beyond the 10-second sound byte.

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Dennis Kucinich and the Reality of Class Warfare in America

Dennis Kucinich speaks out

A lonely voice of reason in the wilderness of our corrupt single-party Corporate State:

The rancorous debate over the debt belies a fundamental truth of our economy — that it is run for the few at the expense of the many, that our entire government has been turned into a machine which takes the wealth of a mass of Americans and accelerates it into the hands of the few. Let me give you some examples.

Take war. War takes the money from the American people and puts it into the hands of arms manufacturers, war profiteers, and private armies. The war in Iraq, based on lies: $3 trillion will be the cost of that war. The war in Afghanistan; based on a misreading of history; half a trillion dollars in expenses already. The war against Libya will be $1 billion by September.

We have to realize what this country’s economy has become. Our monetary policy, through the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, privatized the money supply, gathers the wealth, puts it in the hands of the few while the Federal Reserve can create money out of nothing, give it to banks to park at the Fed while our small businesses are starving for capital.

 Mark my words — Wall Street cashes in whether we have a default or not. And the same type of thinking that created billions in bailouts for Wall Street and more than $1 trillion in giveaways by the Federal Reserve today leaves 26 million Americans either underemployed or unemployed. And nine out of ten Americans over the age of 65 are facing cuts in their Social Security in order to pay for a debt which grew from tax cuts for the rich and for endless wars.

Sadly, Kucinich stands little chance of having any impact from within the rotting heart of the corporatocracy he despises.  In a nation where the flow of virtually all information is controlled by a vast corporate media machine, where style perpetually trumps substance and political debate is always relegated to the realm of the 10-second sound byte, Kucinich’s passionate and reasoned diatribe will be drowned out in the maddening din of propaganda, pushed to the fringes of our extreme-right corporate-controlled society.

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House Approves $649 Billion Military Budget as Austerity Measures Loom

tomahawk factory

Forget the sick and elderly, we have wars to fight:

The US House of Representatives has approved a 649-billion-dollar military spending bill, increasing the Pentagon budget while the country is facing austerity measures and huge debt crisis.

The bill, passed with an overwhelming vote of 336-87 on Friday, boosts the Pentagon budget for the 2012 fiscal year beginning on October 1 by some $17 billion compared with the current spending, Reuters reported.

The measure, which was about $8 billion less than what President Barack Obama had sought, would provide $530 billion for the Pentagon’s primary budget and $119 to cover the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The approved bill excludes funds for US nuclear programs or military construction which will add another $33 billion to military spending in later bills.

The increase in military spending comes while huge budget reductions are expected in other agencies, affecting food aid for low-income women, health research and energy efficiency.

And while Barney Frank is a bit of a tool, he really nailed it on this one:

“The military budget is not on the table. The military is at the table, and it is eating everybody else’s lunch, “Frank said.

There’s not much more for me to say about this, folks.  This is a theme I have pounded into the ground over and over again, but nothing ever seems to change.  It’s a bit nauseating to observe the American public fervently buying into the fabricated budget crisis, arguing about arbitrary debt ceilings and deciding which important social services should be cut, but the military machine churns on unhindered all the while.

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