Category Archives: Democracy

Jimmy Carter: “America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy”

We think that the former President of the United States is right. From all appearances the CIA-NSA-Military-Industrial Complex has taken a page out of the Vietnam Victory Manual finding it necessary to destroy Democracy in order to “save it”, sort of. The Empire strikes back and when it identifies enemies of the NSA et alia they usually get even.

The former President is also wary of the NSA and its agents. JIMMY CARTER had this to say about NSA monitoring:

“I have felt that my own communications were probably monitored. And when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write the letter myself, put it in the post office and mail it,” Carter said, “because I believe if I sent an email, it will be monitored.”

Julian Assange: Is Obama in Charge? Who Is?

Excerpt from POLITICO (March 7, 2014)

It has been six months now since the Edward Snowden revelations started to occur,” Assange said. “In that time, have we seen the commencement of a criminal investigation against [Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper for lying to Congress, or anyone in the National Security Agency for violating the law, the U.S. Constitution? No. Have we seen the firing of a single person associated with those breaches of the rights of American citizens and arguably others as well? The answer is no.”

Assange said the lack of response raises questions about who is in control.

“So who really calls the shots in the executive? Is it Barack Obama? Is it Clapper? Is it [NSA Director Gen. Keith] Alexander? Is it the intelligence complex as a whole?” Assange said. “We know when the government takes something seriously. It starts a formal investigation, it fires people, it reduces its budgets. We haven’t seen that. So the question is, does the civilian leadership have effective control of the 16 agency intelligence group under Clapper, under the DNI?”

NSA – STOP WATCHING US

 

Why Wikileaks Is More Important to Us Than Obama

An officer in the Afghani National Police raped a 16-year-old girl. When the girl went to report this to the local police commander, the commander ordered his body guard to shoot her. The bodyguard refused and the commander shot him. The only reason we know this is because WIKILEAKS reported it in a release of confidential government documents.

This is why JULIAN ASSANGE is besieged in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London. This is why Bradley Manning is serving time in a stockade. And this is why EDWARD SNOWDEN is in exile in Russia. The U.S. Government doesn’t want the truth to be told.

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SOURCE: The Afghan news item was published in The New Yorker (August 9, 2010). The opinion is ours.

 

Targeting Assange, and . . . . .

Democracy Now reports (Feb 18, 2014):

Top-secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden have revealed new details about how the United States and Britain targeted the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks after it published leaked documents about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. According to a new article by The Intercept, Britain’s top spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, secretly monitored visitors to a WikiLeaks website by collecting their IP addresses in real time, as well as the search terms used to reach the site. One document from 2010 shows that the National Security Agency added WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to a “manhunting” target list, together with suspected members of al-Qaeda.

This means that if you merely visited the WIKILEAKS website, as has the Dissenting Democrat, the NSA has monitored your visit.

And JULIAN ASSANGE is now on the “Target List”. Will he end up on Obama’s Kill List? We don’t know but it’s certainly possible. For those readers who live outside America, how does it feel to be subjects of the American Empire? For American readers, how does it feel to live in a Rogue State?

Heads up, drones in the air.

Killing People for Fun & Profit in Honduras

Americans need to know that in Honduras as around the world, our Government continues to support MegaCorporations against the people living in those countries. The U.S. Military trains and supports local military which oppress their people.

In Honduras, a democratically elected President was removed by a military in collaboration with Multinational Corporations and with the connivance of the Obama Regime.

Beautiful America, Land of Lesbians & Socialists

The Right-wing is in a tizzy over a Coca-Cola ad during which many people sang “America the Beautiful” in the different languages which make up the American melting pot. “Un-American” they say.

Rush Limbo started bouncing in his chair as he raged over this latest perceived insult to “his America”.

If they only knew.

“America the Beautiful” was written by Katherine Lee Bates, a professor of English at Wellesley College. If being an Eastern intellectual wasn’t bad enough, get this, Katherine was a Socialist and an active supporter of the rights of working people and women’s suffrage.

But that’s not all. Katherine Lee Bates was . . .  gosh! . .  a Lesbian!

So can you imagine what they’d say if they knew that the patriotic hymn so dear to their hearts was written by a Lesbian Socialist.

Friends, they’ll eventually find out but perhaps for their sanity and ours, we should probably keep the next little fact a secret just between us. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy, a Christian Socialist, who was cousin to Edward Bellamy, author of the Utopian Socialist classic “Looking Backward”.

Fact is that there were and are many patriotic Americans who are also lesbians, gays, Socialists, Anti-Capitalists, union members, immigrants, liberals, professors, students, artists, musicians, atheists, secularists, Buddhists and so forth. Get used to it, we’re not going anywhere.

The Selling of Pennsylvania

The State of Pennsylvania with very little fanfare or publicity has decided to “give” the State’s bridges to a private for-profit company for the next 40 years. So whenever one passes over a bridge in the Quaker State one will have to pay a private company for the privilege. Besides racking in the dough on tolls, the company will have what is called an “adverse action” provision in the contract so that if the State ever does anything which would reduce the company’s anticipated profits, the State will have to make up the difference thus guaranteeing the profit return.

A similar provision in the contract between Chicago and the company that took over the public parking meters is costing that city boatloads of cash. The parking meter company actually gets paid if a street is shutdown for repair resulting in empty meters. This little gem of a giveaway was engineered by the Bankster “Rammed” Emmanuel who prior to becoming the Windy City’s Mayor was the man who operated the strings allowing Obama to dance on cue.

One can imagine conditions where due to a new road or such, a bridge would be used less and result in lower revenues. The Company will still have to be paid regardless. Sweet deal, if you’re a bridge owner.

This far-seeing action was delivered courtesy of Republicans and Obamacrats who sought to get Government off our backs while putting the State on its back so as to facilitate profitable ravishing.

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SOURCE: Ellen Dannin, “The Stealth Privatization of Pennsylvania”, TruthOut.com (January 29, 2014)

Labor Candidates Win in Ohio

The Democrats Can’t Win Without Labor but Labor Can Win Without the Democrats

The electoral victory of Kshama Sawant in Washington State and the near victory of Ty Moore in Minneapolis have raised hopes in left and progressive circles. Another such light, also ignored by the corporate media, was the December 2013 municipal elections in northern Ohio Lorain County.

The local city council, endorsed by the Democratic Party, lined up against the workers and for local business interests to break city-union agreements and bust local unions (Sounds like Republicans don’t they? Increasingly, local Dems are modelling themselves after Obama and trying to outperform the master in servicing their Corporateer masters).

The workers were fed up and they brought their concerns to the local Labor Council. Getting along by going along has ceased to be the operating policy of local labor leaders who are gearing up for a return to militancy. The Unions decided they7 had had enough and kowtowing to local Dems was stopped. Labor put together their own ticket and ran as an “Independent Labor Party”.

Fantasy? Folly? Yes, that would be the reaction of practical pols. But things are getting so bad that it is no longer practical to be practical. Labor stopped being the kept courtesan of the Democrats, kicked her Pimp in the privates and asserted her independence.

The Labor Party ran 26 candidates . . . . . . And WON 24 ELECTIONS !!!

One victory was particularly enticing — Frank DeTillio, Chairman of the local Chamber of Commerce, ran and had all the “best people” on his side, he lost to Josh Thornberry, teacher and Union member, who had working families on his side.

The County Chair of the Democrats announced an effort to purge his party of union leaders holding Party office. But this little bit of petty revenge will not likely deter the successful Labor candidates. Labor would rejoin a REAL Democratic coalition serving the public interest but can no longer be thought of as in anyone’s pocket.

If Democrats continue to abandon working men and women throughout the country, Labor Parties may become the wave of the future.

SOURCE: http://www.labornotes.org

Beating & Shooting Citizens for Fun & Profit

Stand up and get SWAT-TED down

On July 29, 2008, Cheye Calvo and his family were “visited” by a gang of thugs who roused him from his bed, forced him to the floor at the point of a gun, and handcuffed him. His mother-in-law likewise was threatened. The thugs shot and killed his two dogs.

A crime?

Certainly, in the moral sense, but otherwise the thugs operated under the law inasmuch as they were the local County Sheriff’s deputies and SWAT* units of the County police.

You see the local Gestapo of Prince George’s County, Maryland, “suspected” that Cheye Calvo might be part of a drug-running ring. Later on it was determined that, oh-oh, there was a flaw in their reasoning, Calvo and his family were innocent. This probably wouldn’t have come up if the thugs, er cops, had attacked you or me, but Cheye Calvo was the Mayor of Berwyn Heights, Maryland, and had enough pull to compel a proper investigation.

The subsequent investigation found,

  • that the Mayor and his family were not involved in drug-running,
  • that the County police had neglected to notify the local police (the county cops didn’t want to share since the more arrests made by an agency meant more federal grant money),
  • that the warrant, which only appeared three days after the attack, was in violation of the law,
  • that a proper pre-raid investigation was not conducted,
  • that the dogs, shot numerous times, had been running away from the shooting officers; and,
  • that the force used was “unbelievably excessive”.

That must have rated an apology? No, the Sheriff said, six months later, that he would do it again since the war on drugs justifies anything done in its name.

Mayor Calvo got some justice when his lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum. Nevertheless, others are less successful. Plain citizens, who are not Mayors, can be manhandled, beaten and killed by the police without repercussion.

On June 7, 2011, Kenneth Wright was dragged in his underwear from his home at 6 am and tossed into his front yard in full view of his terrified children. Reason? His ex-wife was delinquent on student loans.

On May 16, 2010, 7 year old Aiyana Jones was shot and killed as she slept on her family’s couch. Her crime? None, nor was anyone in her family criminals on the run. The police accidentally invaded her home looking for someone who had no relationship to Aiyana or to anyone in her family. Whoops!

Jose Guerana, 26 year old veteran Marine who did two tours in Iraq, was sleeping soundly after a 12 hour shift at work. When a gang broke into his home and threatened his wife, Jose thought it was a home invasion such as that suffered a year before by other family members. Jose grabbed his gun and within seconds was shot sixty times by SWAT officers.

Although the officers claimed that they only returned fire, investigators determined that Jose had not fired a shot and that the safety was on his rifle. As Jose lay on the floor of the home he tried to save, the police refused to allow paramedics to attend to him and he died.

Jose had no criminal record. No drugs were found in the house. But the cops had a “righteous shoot” because they suspected that there may have been drugs. Jose, like us, was a workingman, not a Mayor, he didn’t have the clout to get a measure of justice.

The police, equipped with weapons suitable to destroy Fallujah, pumped up with Federal grants to fight terrorism or drugs, rewarded with asset forfeitures, and free of the oversight that used to be provided by legislatures and courts, can now treat “citizens” like the sheep they think we are.

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* SWAT or  “Special Weapons and Tactics” refers to militarized police units established for extraordinary service such as fighting terrorists or well-armed gangsters. Nowadays, the SWAT approach is used for simple service of warrants and for the apprehension of those accused of minor misdemeanors. It’s fun for workaday cops to dress up and play-act as Army-men. In 1980, there were 3000 SWAT actions, today there are more then 50,000 annually.