Thursday, July 31, 2014

OBAMAGEDDON



By Andrew P. Napolitano

It has been well established under the Constitution and throughout our history that the president’s job as the chief federal law enforcement officer permits him to put his ideological stamp on the nature of the work done by the executive branch. The courts have characterized this stamp as “discretion.”

Thus when exercising their discretion, some presidents veer toward authority, others toward freedom. John Adams prosecuted a congressman whose criticism brought him into disrepute, an act protected by the First Amendment yet punishable under the Alien and Sedition Acts, and Thomas Jefferson declined to enforce the Acts because they punished speech, and pardoned all those convicted. Jimmy Carter asserted vast federal regulatory authority over the trucking and airline industries, and Ronald Reagan undid nearly all of it.

The president has discretion to adapt law enforcement to the needs of the times and to his reading of the wishes of the American people. Yet that discretion has a serious and mandatory guiding light — namely, that the president will do so faithfully.

The word “faithfully” appears in the oath of office that is administered to every president. The reason for its use is to assure Americans that their wishes for government behavior, as manifested in written law, would be carried out even if the president personally disagrees with the laws he swore to enforce.

This has not always worked as planned. President George W. Bush once famously signed into law a statute prohibiting federal agents without a search warrant from reading mail sent to persons other than themselves — and as he was literally holding his pen, he stated he had no intention of enforcing it. That was a rejection of his presidential duties and a violation of his oath.

But today, President Obama has taken the concept of discretion and so distorted it, and has taken the obligation of faithful enforcement and so rejected it, that his job as chief law enforcer has become one of incompetent madness or chief lawbreaker. Time after time, in areas as disparate as civil liberties, immigration, foreign affairs and health care, the president has demonstrated a propensity for rejecting his oath and doing damage to our fabric of liberty that cannot easily be undone by a successor.

Item: He has permitted unconstitutional and unbridled spying on all Americans all the time, and he has dispatched his agents to lie and mislead the American people and their elected representatives in Congress about it. This has resulted in a federal culture in which the supposed servants of the people have become our permanent and intimate monitors and squealers on what they observe.

Item: He has permitted illegal immigrants to remain here and continue to break the law, and he has instructed them on how to get away with it. His encouragement has resulted in the flood of tens of thousands of foreign unaccompanied children being pushed across our borders. This has resulted in culture shock to children now used as political pawns, the impairment of their lives and the imposition of grievous financial burdens upon local and state governments.

Item: His agents fomented a revolution in Libya that resulted in the murder of that country’s leader, the killing of the U.S. ambassador and the evacuation of the U.S. embassy. His agents fomented a revolution in Ukraine that resulted in a Russian invasion, an active insurgency, sham elections and the killing of hundreds of innocent passengers flying on a commercial airliner.

Item: He has dispatched CIA agents to fight undeclared and secret wars in Yemen and in Pakistan, and he has dispatched unmanned drones to kill innocents there. He has boasted that some secret reading of public positive law permits him to kill whomever he wishes, even Americans and their children.

Item: His State Department has treated Hamas — a gang of ruthless murderers whose stated purpose is the destruction of Israel — as if it were a legitimate state deserving of diplomatic niceties, and this has encouraged Hamas to persist in attacking our only serious ally in the Middle East.

Item: His Department of Veterans Affairs has so neglected patients in government hospitals that many of them died, and it even destroyed records to hide its misdeeds. His Internal Revenue Service has enforced the law more heavily against his political opponents than against his friends, and it has destroyed government computer records in order to hide its misdeeds.

Item: He has relieved his friends of the burdens of timely compliance with Obamacare, and he has burdened his enemies with tortured interpretations of that law — even interpretations that were rejected by the very Congress that enacted the law and interpretations that were invalidated by the Supreme Court.

He has done all these things with a cool indifference, and he has threatened to continue to do so until the pressure builds on his political opponents to see things his way.

The Framers could not have intended a president so devoid of fidelity to the rule of law that it is nearly impossible to distinguish between incompetence and lawlessness — and I am not sure which is worse. Archbishop Fulton Sheen often said he’d prefer to deal with a smart devil than a stupid one.

But the Framers did give us a remedy, and the remedy is not a frivolous lawsuit that the federal courts will no doubt reject as a political stunt. The remedy is removal from office. This is not to be undertaken lightly, as was the case when this remedy was last used. But it is the remaining constitutional means to save the freedoms the Constitution was intended to guarantee.

The choice is between two more years of government by decree or two years of prosecution. It is a choice the president has imposed upon us all.

LAWYERS AND LIARS




Your government is your #1 enemy.  Brutal police and kangaroo courts are tools to enslave you to your government.  But badges and benches do not grant extra rights. It’s your duty as a citizen to become a popopaparazzo, recording police misconduct. Use your smartphone to unmask the police and other bastards of kleptocracy. 

  • Federally run consumer complaint database at CPSC has been unfair and unreliable mess, so naturally CFPB wants one of its own [Kevin Funnell]
  • Los Angeles, Miami, Providence, and Cook County among municipalities piling on lenders with mortgage and disparate-impact suits [same]
  • “Just one way to stop corporate tax inversions: cut taxes” [Chris Edwards, NYT/Cato; more]
  • “The IPO is dying. Marc Andreessen explains why.” [Timothy Lee, Vox via Tyler Cowen]
  • No mercy for the Swiss: feds’ “fierce campaign” on overseas tax compliance “doing more harm than good” [The Economist; Doreen Carvajal, New York Times]
  • “Pretty much everything George Dvorsky says at io9 about corporate personhood is wrong” [Bainbridge] Dodd-Frank turns four, alas [same]
  • “There was no evidence, period.” Preet Bharara loses one as jury acquits in insider trading case [Ira Stoll, Future of Capitalism
  • In Philadelphia, the city has seized a widow’s home and car for forfeiture after her son was nabbed on charges of selling pot [Inquirer]
    More: Half-forgotten history of how the feds pushed the states to embrace forfeiture [Eapen Thampy, Forfeiture Reform] And for once good news: “Rand Paul introduces bill to reform civil asset forfeiture” [Balko again] And: Rep. Tim Walberg introduces a bill on the House side; video of Heritage panel today with Balko, Walberg and IJ’s Scott Bullock, Andrew Kloster of Heritage moderating.
  • Minneapolis police plan to keep $200,000 seized in a raid of a tobacco shop, even though they didn’t find any evidence to merit criminal charges. Meanwhile, a former Michigan town police chief awaits trial on embezzlement and racketeering charges for allegedly using drug forfeiture money to buy pot, prostitutes and a tanning bed for his wife. [Radley Balko
  • Nebraska cops seize nearly $50,000 from a Wisconsin man driving from Colorado, “a known source state for marijuana,” but a court orders it returned [same]. 
  • Connecticut police use forfeiture proceeds “to buy new police dogs, undercover vehicles, technology, fitness equipment — and to pay for travel to events around the country.” [New Haven Register]
  • That’s a widely shared objective right now, but at what price? In New Zealand, one of the two main political parties, Labour, is now contemplating rolling back the presumption of innocence, while the other, incumbent National, is contemplating allowing the criminal process to infer guilt from silence. [New Zealand Herald, more]
  • Operation Choke Point is a joint effort by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the bank regulators to limit access to the bank payments system by various businesses. Initially targeted at small-dollar nonbank lenders, Choke Point has grown to cover a variety of legitimate, legal businesses that just happen to be unpopular with DOJ, such as gun dealers and porn stars. Initial responses from DOJ claimed such efforts were limited to illegal businesses committing fraud. A recent report by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform reveals DOJ’s claims to be false. In today’s economy, almost any economic activity depends on access to the payments system; allowing DOJ, without trial or a right to appeal, to arbitrarily limit access represents an almost unprecedented abuse of power. 


DOUBLE STANDARDS

EU practices double standards on civil rights.  It’s freakish for EU to interfere in the civil rights of foreigners, but condone the abuse of my civil rights, a citizen of EU!  EU should get its own house in order before lecturing others. EU should rein in Greece, the most corrupt country of Europe with prisoners of conscience, testilying police, malevolent prosecutors, perjurers, and stupidest jurists.


AN UNCONSCIONABLE SILENCE

The political philosopher Edmund Burke once remarked that all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good folks to do nothing. A glaring example is my persecution by the government of Greece, which grossly violates my civil rights.


THEN THEY CAME FOR ME!

Martin Niemöller said:  First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Socialist.  Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Trade Unionist.  Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me!


GOVERNMENT STOLE MY LIFE

It’s been now four years since the Pasok government of Greece stole my life, my computer, and my files.  Nobody cares, nobody gives a damn!  I have done absolutely nothing, and I am being persecuted by the Greek government without any real reason.  My ordeal is against all rules of civil society and treaties that Greece has signed.  Greece, a country without a functioning justice system, has gone bananas.  Graecokleptocrats suffer from the Xenogiannakopoulou Syndrome, using the kangaroo justice as a political tool to gag political opponents.   Graecokleptocrats think the laws exist to give them whatever they want! 


STOLEN LIVES

GEORGE ORWELL’S MINILUV AND MINITRUE
MINISTRY OF PUBLIC DISORDER AND CITIZEN HARASSMENT
MINILUV

POLICE STEALING COMPUTERS!

On October 18, 2010, a gang of six brutal policemen of the violent Greek Cybercrime Unit (CCU), supervised by a dishonest prosecutor, raided my home in Athens and stole my computer, software, files, documents, and personal data.


HUMILIATED

The policemen locked me in jail for a night, they humiliated me with handcuffs, fingerprints, mug shots, and lies, leaked false information to the media parrots, and the Greek government initiated sham ex-officio court proceedings for a stack of freakish trumped-up charges!


URINATING IN A BOTTLE!

There was neither pillow nor toilet facility in my jail cell. I had to urinate in a bottle!  I, a 69-years-old man with high blood pressure, was not allowed to keep my hypertension pills with me. There was neither toilet paper nor soap in the whole CCU jail.


MINISTRY OF INJUSTICE, OPACITY, AND HUMAN DEPRIVATIONS
MINITRUE

Greece, a country of infinite political corruption, perjury, injustice, and brutal police, must be revamped.  Ex-officio law suit, αυτεπαγγελτος, the most dreadful word in justice, means the state sues somebody without involvement of the accuser.  This terrible scheme has been used by the freakish Greek government to persecute me. 

MARILIZARD KLEPTOCRACY

EX-OFFICIO TERROR

Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, sued me, and she wouldn’t show up in court, because the state took over her position! 


DISGUSTING KANGAROO JUSTICE


PSORIASIS OF DEMOCRACY


At the ex-officio law suit, the accuser just hits and runs!  This hit-and-run justice is the most disgusting kangaroo justice on Earth.  The accused must be in a position to face his accuser eyeball to eyeball. The right to confront and cross-examine one’s accuser is a sign of civility. The malicious accuser slings false accusations against you, the state takes over, the accuser disappears from the court, and the trial is postponed infinite times!  This is penalty of the presumed innocent.  This is penalty without trial.  This is kangaroo justice of Third World countries!  This is barbarity and brutality, pure and simple. Shame, shame, shame on Greece.


SHAME ON GREECE



CHINA TERRORIZES UIGHURS

 Ilham Tohti


The Chinese government’s announcement on July 30, 2014, of separatism charges against the Uighur economist Ilham Tohti is deeply disturbing. China’s state press reported online that the Urumqi People’s Procuratorate had formally indicted Tohti, a moderate advocate of greater respect for rights of China’s Uighur minority, for separatism. The charge can result in the death penalty.

The decision to indict on such a serious charge a man like Ilham Tohti, who is known for trying to bridge divides, shows how far China’s human rights have deteriorated in the past months. It sends precisely the wrong signal to Uighurs when tensions are at an all-time high.

The charge is based on articles published on Uighur Online, a website Tohti founded that focused on Uighur issues. The authorities alleged that the articles, some of which Tohti wrote and some of which were posted by his students and volunteers, have subversive intent. The charge is also based on Tohti’s interviews with foreign media. None of these articles or interviews incited violence or terrorism, according to his lawyers. The authorities have also cited as evidence Tohti’s lectures at Beijing Minzu University of China, where he taught. The authorities have refused to hand over videotape copies of the lectures to his lawyers, nor have the lawyers received a copy of the indictment.

There is no publicly available evidence that Tohti engaged in any form of speech or behavior that could be construed by any objective standard as inciting violence or unlawful action.

Tohti, who is originally from the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), was taken into police custody in Beijing on January 15. The Xinjiang police quickly transferred him to Urumqi, the region’s capital. On January 24, his wife received a formal criminal detention notification that Tohti was being held in Urumqi under “separatism” charges. On January 25, the Urumqi Public Security Bureau issued an online statement accusing Tohti of having engaged in separatist activities and having fanned ethnic hatred. He was formally arrested for separatism on February 25.

Tohti was not allowed access to his lawyers for over five months, until June 26. Police rejected the lawyers’ requests on the grounds that the case “endangers state security.” Tohti told his lawyers that he was not given food for 10 days and was shackled for 20 days.

Tohti has been outspoken and critical of many Chinese government policies in Xinjiang and toward the Uighur community. But he has always clearly stated in his writings and in the interviews he regularly gave to the foreign media that he opposed Uighur independence or separatism. Tohti denied the charges against him in the June 26 meeting with his lawyer.

There have been multiple incidents of serious violence in Xinjiang in recent months, most recently in Shache County, Kashgar, on July 28. Chinese state media reported that a group armed with knives attacked the town government building and police station, killing or injuring dozens of Hans and Uighurs. The report has not been independently confirmed.

The Chinese government has characterized this and other attacks as premeditated terror attacks, though many details about the attacks are unclear due to tight control over information from, and access to, the region.

The Chinese government has responded to escalating violence in Xinjiang with a yearlong crackdown, detaining and sentencing dozens of alleged terrorists.

While the Chinese government has legitimate security concerns in the region, it systematically conflates peaceful dissent with the use or advocacy of antigovernment violence and fails to acknowledge Uighur grievances. The government typically describes the grievances as tactics designed to foster separatism, religious extremism, or terrorism in the region. Uighurs have described in detail diverse human rights abuses in the region, including pervasive ethnic discrimination, severe religious repression, increasing cultural suppression, lack of respect for fair trials, and extralegal abuses such as enforced disappearances.

The Chinese government appears determined to silence Uighurs like Tohti, who for years has tried to peacefully express Uighurs’ legitimate grievances and advocate peaceful solutions. Demonizing moderates like Tohti won’t bring peace to the region. 

TAX REVOLTS



By Peter St. Onge 

History is full of tax revolts. It’s a fairly popular pastime, if historians are to be believed. But when do they come? What’s the spark and what’s the gasoline? 

In Sun-Tzu’s Art of War, he argues that long military campaigns are unwise because they exhaust the people, and he says that long campaigns exhaust “seven tenths” of the wealth of the elites. 

This is one of those oddly-specific claims that sometimes strike westerners as hilarious. But Sun-Tzu was a historian, and lived in an era with plenty of case studies of war’s destruction. So it’s worth exploring his rule of thumb here. 

One of the problems we immediately face is a lack of good statistics for most historical periods. Even in the twentieth century, statistics can be incomplete, biased, or poorly collected. Before then, all bets are off — the statistics stink in history. 

So we have two choices: either we completely ignore the past, and reinvent every wheel. Or else we estimate the past using these kinds of subjective commentaries like Sun-Tzu’s. The model is a radar, used not to “see” something but to estimate its location with fragments of data. 

So let’s use this “radar” method on Sun-Tzu’s “seven-tenths.” One interpretation is that he thinks there’s an upper limit to the devastation that can be imposed on your own citizens. This would be consistent with modern economic “marginal analysis,” where people value a loss more as it grows bigger. For example, if you take $10 from a billionaire, it’s not a big deal, but if you take his last $10 in the world he’ll fight you to avoid going hungry. 

In this light, Sun-Tzu is saying that once you pass the 70 percent threshold, people become desperate enough to shift from sheep to wolf. 

We can translate this into a modern hypothesis, that the people will accept up to a 70 percent tax rate with manageable protest, but go much beyond that and you’re likely to have problems. Now, we’re still a way off this mark in the US: spending at all levels of government in 2014 was about 42 percent. The highest spenders in the world, according to the  OECD, are the Scandinavians at about 50 percent. 

While these are high numbers, they’re still well below Sun-Tzu’s 70 percent. And the trends are not as bad as they might seem. While the trend is worsening, we’ve still got a ways to go: OECD average tax take grew about 4 percent between 1975 and 2010. At that rate the US wouldn’t get to 70 percent for another 250 years. Fortunately we’d have a “canary in the coalmine” as the Scandinavians would hit this threshold about 100 years earlier. 

One caveat for Sun-Tzu’s scenario is that regulation was pretty primitive in his day. By one estimate these regulations add another 11 percent to government’s “take,” bringing the number up to 53 percent, but still below 70 percent. 

A second big caveat is that this is all assuming past trends continue. History doesn’t have perfect case studies, so we don’t know what happens when an internet-and-computer wielding state gets the upper hand. So we could get to 70 percent much faster. 

On the other hand, the State has become much more clever at hiding its taxes. Payroll withholding and hidden regulatory costs might not stir the people the way that a direct requisition might. And then, of course, there is the hidden tax in a central banks’ inflation of the money supply. 

Taking it all in, my guess is that this back-of-the-envelope “radar” tally suggests that current tax trends are plenty sustainable, for better or worse. Unless the trend changes significantly, taxes will likely continue rising slowly and, like the frog in boiling water, people will grumble and that’s that. 

There may be other catalysts, of course — the “culture wars” or incessant stoking of ethnic and racial animosity could come to a head. But on current trends taxes won’t be the spark. 

SPY STORIES






By Wayne Madsen

British Home Secretary Theresa May, who has found herself in the middle of a huge pedophilia cover-up scandal involving top leaders of her Conservative Party, has found time to raise an old canard: the death by radiation poisoning of international ne’er-do-well and former Soviet and Russian intelligence agent Alexander Litvinenko.

Litvinenko, a former KGB officer, arrived in Britain in 2000 and immediately began associating himself with anti-Russian oligarchs based in London and Israel. In November 2006, Litvinenko died from polonium 210 poisoning. The Russian government generally and President Vladimir Putin particularly were immediately blamed for sending secret agents to London to kill Litvinenko. The story being proffered by Litvinenko’s criminal associates was not even worthy of a dime store spy novel. 

It is clear that May is conveniently using the downing of Malaysian Airlines 17 in eastern Ukraine to turn up pressure on Russia… The British government held an inquest into Litvinenko’s death and concluded there was insufficient evidence to tie it to Russia. The Crown Prosecution Service has stated there is no new evidence, even with May’s pressure, that would convince it that there were grounds to reopen the case. 

Litvinenko’s younger brother, Maxim Litvinenko, has charged that it was British intelligence agents who killed his brother in order to build up pressure on Putin. Maxim also said the Americans and Israelis could have been involved with the British in his brother’s murder. There is evidence to support Maxim’s contention. After Litvinenko’s death, there was increasing evidence that the radioactive poisoning was the result of a plot by anti-Vladimir Putin criminal syndicates based in Britain, Israel, Ukraine, and Poland to embarrass the Russian government. Suspicions about the role of the exiled Russian-Israeli criminal syndicates in the poisoning of Litvinenko, including that headed by Litvinenko's friend, wanted oligarch Boris Berezovsky, re-surfaced after former Russian Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar became violently ill after eating breakfast at a conference he was attending in Dublin, Ireland. Gaidar said he was poisoned by the same anti-Russian elements who poisoned Litvinenko. Gaidar died at the age of 53 of pulmonary edema.

Maxim said his brother was to return soon to Russia and his patron in Britain, Berezovsky and his Mafia associates, had every reason to prevent such an occurrence. In addition, Walter Litvinenko, Alexander’s father, has also stated that there was no reason for Putin to have wanted his son to die. Maxim and Walter Litvinenko ran afoul of Berezovsky after the oligarch provided them funds to open a restaurant in Rimini, Italy. Maxim works for a company that helps Russians take advantage of tax-free investments in the nearby Republic of San Marino. 

May has taken up the discredited cause of Litvinenko’s widow Marina and her friend Alexander Goldfarb, both of whom are part of the international pressure network against Putin and his government. That network has been bolstered by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, freed early from jail in Russia, and who is now using cash he stowed abroad from his firm Yukos, before it was nationalized, to finance anti-Putin activities in Britain, Ukraine, and other countries.

The Litvinenko story is one that exposes the deep ties of the Russian-Israeli mafia and its longstanding operations against Russia.

In June 2008, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that it was willing to work with British law enforcement agencies after Britain withdrew unfounded accusations originally leveled against Moscow regarding its alleged role in the affair.

It is clear that by penetrating the inner sanctum of the Russian-Jewish oligarch network in Britain, Israel, and even Chechnya, Litvinenko knew too much about the anti-Russian network and the British, American, and Israeli intelligence agents who aided and abetted their operations, which included financing and carrying out terrorist attacks inside Russia.

Litvinenko spent a great deal of time in Turkey. It was no coincidence that Turkey was the home to a major support network for the Chechen guerrillas. One of their leaders, Ahmed Zakayev, was a close associate of Berezovsky and also had links to Litvinenko.

Litvinenko's dodgy association with leading Russian-Israeli mafia figures, most of whom were wanted by Russia for looting and misappropriating the assets of the Soviet Union, likely made him a convenient target for an exotic gangland-style hit. His reported role as a Russian-Israeli double agent, selling secrets to the highest bidders, also shortened his life expectancy. Litvinenko also was problematic for a number of criminal syndicate leaders especially considering the fact that his special operations task in the FSB was the targeting of foreign businessmen -- many of whom were leading figures in the global Russian-Israeli Mafia, some with direct links to the White House. Litvinenko, therefore, knew many of the secrets about the Russian-Israeli Mafia -- secrets that likely cost him his life, especially if, as maintained by his brother Maxim, that he was due to return to Russia before his assassination.

Litvinenko’s associates were dangerous because of the types of crimes in which they were involved. The involvement of Litvinenko with Israeli organized crime bosses was reported concurrent with The Washington Post reporting on the counterfeiting of U.S. $100 bills by a South Ossetia-based organized crime ring operated by Russian-Israeli mobsters based in the Republic of Georgia and Israel. 

Litvinenko was also linked to Italian Mafiosi figures who, in turn, were linked to the CIA. One of Litvinenko’s close Italian friends was Mario Scaremella, a self-styled security expert. Scaramella was linked to Joe Salvetti, a top U.S. intelligence official or CIA pezzo da novanta (big gun), said to be the one-time CIA station chief in Rome. Salvetti introduced Scaramella to former Italian Interior and Foreign Minister Vincenzo Scotti, who was accused of having contacts with the Naples-based Camorra crime syndicate during the 1980s and 90s, and Louis Palumbo, another CIA intelligence officer with family roots in the Campania Region and who possessed perfect CIA bona fides.

On October 27, 2004, a courier for the counterfeit ring, Hazki Hen, met with an undercover Secret Service agent at a hotel in Linthicum, Maryland near Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Hen, who had just arrived from Tel Aviv, offered to exchange $230,000 in counterfeit Ben Franklin notes for $80,000 in real currency. Hen also agreed to supply an additional $1.5 million in counterfeit hundred dollar notes and discussed the potential of delivering as much as $100 million on counterfeit bills in the future. Hen and his associates were also reported to have been counterfeiting U.S. Postal money orders and American Express Traveler's Checks in Eastern Europe.

Hen was not charged by the Federal government until November 2005 and then, after he claimed he was too ill to stand trial, was permitted by federal prosecutors to return to Israel. Such a miscarriage of justice is par for the course in the United States and Britain, where Israeli gangsters have the necessary political and financial clout to both deter, and in the case of Theresa May’s recycling of old unsubstantiated charges, restore criminal cases.

On March 23, 2013, Berezovsky’s body was found hanging at his estate in Berkshire, England. After the Thames Valley police initially described the circumstances of Berezovsky’s death as unexplained. However, after a post mortem, it was quickly concluded that Berezovsky committed suicide by hanging himself. Many observers have their doubts. Berezovskty, like Litvinenko, had recently expressed a desire to return to Russia. In either case, Britain’s MI-6, the CIA, and the Israeli Mossad could permit people like Litvinenko and Berezovsky return to Moscow to debrief Russian officials on all the operations of the global Kosher Nostra and its links to the highest echelons of Number 10 Downing Street, the White House, and the Knesset.

Theresa May wants to raise the specter of Litvinenko’s death but in doing so she will bring unwanted focus on the seamier side of British, American, and Israeli intelligence activities.

VIVA DONBAS!





The Kiev government is a dysfunctional bankrupt usurper that is deploying western taxpayer money to wage a vicious war on several million Russian-speaking citizens in the Donbas—the traditional center of greater Russia’s coal, steel and industrial infrastructure. Donbas and Russia have been Saimese twins economically and politically not merely for centuries.

The largest bribes originate in the military industry. Military procurement is a corrupt business from top to bottom. The process is dominated by advocacy, with few checks and balances. Most people in power love this system of doing business and do not want it changed. War and preparation for war systematically corrupt all parties to the state-private transactions by which the government obtains the bulk of its military products. There is a standard 10% bribe to kleptocrats for military purchases.   

The Donbasers— who properly fear for their lives and property were the nationalists and neo-fascists who run the Kiev government to prevail—are not terrorists by any stretch of the imagination. That is just insipid Washington propaganda.  Instead, they are the Russian speaking remnant of the Soviet empire who fear an ethnic cleansing and who noted well the fate of their kinsmen in the hands of Ukrainian thugs during the fire at Odessa.


 Once again, the American Warfare State has confected a false narrative to justify policies and missions that have nothing to do with the safety and security of the citizens of Lincoln NE and Wooster MA. About 55-years ago such a false narrative arose in the form of the domino theory that lead to the carnage of Vietnam. Ten years ago it cropped up in the form of the WMD story that led to the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Today, it is the preposterous story of Ukrainian territorial integrity, terrorists in the East and a latter-day Hitler in the Kremlin. Unfortunately, false narratives are what the Warfare State does.


STUPID G-7 STATEMENT 

We, the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, join in expressing our grave concern about Russia’s continued actions to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. We once again condemn Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea, and actions to de-stabilize eastern Ukraine. Those actions are unacceptable and violate international law.

We condemn the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and the deaths of 298 innocent civilians. We demand a prompt, full, unimpeded and transparent international investigation. We call upon all sides to establish, maintain and fully respect a cease-fire at and around the crash site, as demanded by UN Security Council resolution 2166, so that the investigators can take up their work and to recover the remains of all victims and their personal possessions.

This terrible event should have marked a watershed in this conflict, causing Russia to suspend its support for illegal armed groups in Ukraine, secure its border with Ukraine, and stop the increasing flow of weapons, equipment and militants across the border in order to achieve rapid and tangible results in de-escalation.

Regrettably however, Russia has not changed course. This week, we have all announced additional coordinated sanctions on Russia, including sanctions on specific companies operating in key sectors of the Russian economy. We believe it is essential to demonstrate to the Russian leadership that it must stop its support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine and tangibly participate in creating the necessary conditions for the political process.

We remain convinced that there must be a political solution to the current conflict, which is causing rising numbers of civilian casualties. We call for a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Ukraine, and underline the need to implement President Poroshenko's peace plan without any further delay. To this end, we urge all parties to establish a swift, genuine and sustainable general cease-fire on the basis of the Berlin Declaration of 2 July with the aim of maintaining Ukraine's territorial integrity. We call upon Russia to use its influence with the separatist groups and ensure effective border control, including through OSCE observers. We support the OSCE and the Trilateral Contact Group as central players in creating the conditions for a ceasefire.

Russia still has the opportunity to choose the path of de-escalation, which would lead to the removal of these sanctions. If it does not do so, however, we remain ready to further intensify the costs of its adverse actions.

Obama had a phone conversation with Petro Poroshenko, the President of civil war-torn Ukraine. He assured him that the United States will lend a helping hand. We are sailing in the same boat, he said. Looks like a boat is too small for Kiev, it would prefer it to be a cruiser size ship or even an aircraft carrier. Poroshenko told CNN on July 21 that he wants Ukraine to become MNNA (Major Non-NATO Ally) to bring it under the US military umbrella without the participation in the North Atlantic Alliance.

Participants in the military industrial complex are routinely blamed for mismanagement, fraud, abuse, bribes, and waste. All of these unsavory actions, however, are typically viewed as aberrations, malfeasances to be covered-up, while retaining the basic system of state-private cooperation in the trade of military goods and services and the flow of bribes. These offenses are in reality expressions of a thoroughgoing, intrinsic rottenness in the entire setup.

It’s obvious Poroshenko can do nothing to cope with political and economic crisis in the country. Not so self-confident and destitute of popular support he pins his hopes on foreign aid, first that of all the US. Practically the military and all other Ukrainian power and political structures are under surveillance of US advisors. According to Poroshenko: Even as we address the immediate threat to our country, Ukraine must attend to other pressing needs. Ukraine can use U.S. leadership and assistance in our efforts to curtail corruption, revive our financial institutions, reform our energy policy and liberalize our agricultural sector. Additionally, we need U.S. natural gas to shore up our energy supplies so that we cannot be blackmailed by Moscow. We need a reliable partner and ally to help fuel our nation.

History teaches that Empires always devour themselves. The military industrial complex must be abolished. The Coalition of the Unwilling continues to grow. The blowback from poorly-conceived military actions no longer seems distant or removed.
Scare tactics are absurd and insulting as the mushroom cloud metaphor brandished by Condoleezza Rice and President Bush in the fall of 2002.  The bellicose rhetoric must stop.
Little did Obama’s school boy chums in Hawaii, watching him race up and down the basketball court, know how prescient they were when they nicknamed him Barry O'Bomber!
Lies about weapons of mass destruction are used as weapons of mass distraction in order to invade countries.  George Bush and Tony Blair lied to the world in order to invade Iraq.  This is a war crime, pure and simple.  Nevertheless, these two war criminals were never sent to Hague. 

The warning that he who lives by the sword dies by the sword goes not only for individuals but for entire societies. It is a warning to all of us. A country or a society that lives with the violence of pre-emptive war in fact self-destructs.

There are many warriors and worriers in Occident.  Occidentals cannot impose democracy on Orient with iron and blood.  Occidentals cannot remake the world with bribes and bombs!  There is no reason for Occident to go bankrupt in order to save corrupt regimes. Let Orientals solve their problems themselves without foreign interference.  Imperialism serves no purpose. 


It’s hard to conceive Americans doing away with such an inveterate part of Ukraine’s life as corruption or reviving the forlorn arable land. Or how will frugal Yankees help to restore financial institutions. They have already made it clear that there is no reason for Ukraine to expect financial flows. Poroshenko expects much from shale gas extraction by US companies on Ukrainian soil. But that’s distant future. The question is what is he going to do this very winter? Right now you can get American gas only in a test-tube. Poroshenko wants to do away with gas pressure from Moscow. That’s what Europeans are constantly talking about. But this is only wishful thinking while the Ukrainian President sounds real hostile to Moscow. On and off what he says coincides with the primitive platitudes coming from US State Department briefings. The White House starts to more often use brazen lies not lifting a finger to adduce any evidence. No facts to talk about, quite often the accusations against Russia are based on Internet publications. More often anti-Russian statements are made by officials. For instance, White House spokesman Josh Ernest, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is responsible for the death of the Malaysian Boeing in a war zone in Ukraine.

Kleptocrats promote the elitist, racist, and war-causing Wilsonian doctrine of intervening abroad to impose democracy and Western culture on foreigners at the point of bayonets.  When presidents misuse our military on an unprecedented scale – and Congress lets them get away with it – the resulting stress causes military suicides to increase dramatically, both among active duty and retired service members. In fact, military deaths from suicide far outnumber combat deaths.
The real solution to foreign conflicts is for us to end all foreign aid, stop arming foreign countries, encourage peaceful diplomatic resolutions to conflicts, and disengage militarily. In others words, follow Jefferson’s admonition: Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.
Hermann Goering used to say the people don't want war, but they can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.

Kiev likes American concoctions. Actually Poroshenko dances to the US tune: The United States should consider imposing even tougher and wider-reaching sectoral sanctions on Moscow. And Europe needs to follow the lead of the United States and impose sectoral sanctions of its own.

So the President of Ukraine is the one to tell Europeans what to do. The reason for hubris displayed by Poroshenko is the introduction of a bill to make Ukraine a US Major non-NATO ally (MNNA). The bill is sent to Congress by ten representatives. If it becomes a law, NATO will simply be informed about it. Washington will not need Brussels in this case. But the President of Ukraine is too hasty – there are still doubts about the willingness of the United States to make Ukraine a member of the privileged society.

First, 15 states have the MNNA status, for instance Japan, the Philippines, South Korea, but none of them is situated near the Russian border. They are all located rather far from the NATO responsibility zone. In Europe NATO members Latvia and Estonia have common borders with Russia. The status of American major ally will allow the deployment of troops and bases on Ukrainian soil. In this case the US troops will be used as an instrument of pressure against Russia and may be even the European Union depending on the situation creep.

Second, Ukraine is going through hard times with unknown outcome. The Kiev regime has shed too much blood and is responsible for too many lives. The White House could not drag Russia into the battle raging in Ukraine, the anti-terrorist operation is near to failure, the industry is going down, unemployment is up, and the small and medium industry is in doldrums. In future the discontent will be on the rise. The major US ally status cannot solve the internal problems of Ukraine. It is actually nothing more than another step on the way of exacerbation of tension with Moscow. The US lawmakers don’t make a secret out of the fact it is aimed against Moscow.

Representative Sander Levin said: We want to make it clear that the United States stands with the people of Ukraine. We will help the Ukrainian people defend themselves from Russian efforts to destabilize Ukraine.

The statements of this kind show complete inability to understand that the future of the relations between Russia and Ukraine is not defined by the correlation of forces and the attempts to quell the Novorossiya resistance with the help of armed chasteners will lead to nothing.

Third, from the very start of the conflict Americans rendered Ukraine material, medical and food aid. US private military contractors conduct activities in Ukraine; the United States cooperated with the armed formations of some Ukrainian tycoons. Nobody knows how many children, women and old men are killed because of American participation. The Ukrainians themselves will not forget it. Any American presence on Ukrainian soil is nothing else but occupation, no law on major ally status will change it.

Many people have the misconception that sanctions are an effective means to encourage a change of behavior in another country without war. However, imposing sanctions and blockades are not only an act of war according to international law, they are most often the first step toward a real war starting with a bombing campaign. Sanctions were the first step in our wars against Iraq and Libya, and now more sanctions planned against Syria and Iran are leading down the same destructive path.

Nothing promotes peace better than free trade. Countries that trade with each other generally do not make war on each other, as both countries gain economic benefits they do not want to jeopardize. China is a massive nuclear power yet it does not seek military confrontation with the United States. Trade is much more profitable. Also trade and friendship applies much more effective persuasion to encourage better behavior, as does leading by example. Alarmingly, tough new sanctions are under consideration that would also punish Iran’s trading partners, including China, Russia, and possibly our NATO allies such as Germany.

Conversely, sanctions allow regimes to blame their shortcomings on foreigners, thereby maintaining a hold on power. They rarely even inconvenience elites in the target countries. They simply provide a common enemy to rally the people against and undermine internal dissent. Consider how well the embargo has worked against Cuba. Fidel Castro and his regime may be annoyed by the inability to trade with their neighbors just 90 miles away, but American businessmen also lose out in the bargain. That means less jobs and less freedom at home.

Americans have been militarily involved in the Persian Gulf region now for 20 years. Experts have predicted that the cost of this continuous and expanding war will reach 6 trillion dollars. The hostilities and our overt involvement in Iraq can be dated back to January 16th, 1991 when the defensive operation, Desert Shield, became the offensive operation, Desert Storm. Though the end of the Persian Gulf War was declared on April 6th, 1991 with a U.S. military victory, the 20 year war was just beginning.

USA and Britain have had an intense interest in controlling the oil of the Middle East dating back to the overthrow of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. This interest expanded during World War II with FDR’s promise to protect the puppet governments in the Persian Gulf region, especially Saudi Arabia. Though this arrangement never sat well with the citizens in the region, a fairly decent relationship remained between the Arab people and the American public. But animosity continued to build with American ever-present military involvement in Iraq.

The American military assistance to the Mujahedeen in the 1980s, now the Taliban, helped the Muslim defenders, one of whom was Osama Bin Laden, oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. At that time, Americans were still not seen as occupiers, and the radical Muslims, encouraged by the U.S., were expected to direct all their efforts toward the communist threat. That all changed with the breakup of the Soviet system and the end of the Cold War when, as the lone superpower left standing, we named ourselves the world policeman. It was then that the resentment by Arabs and Muslims became directed toward the United States, now seen as an invader and an occupier.

Continuous bombing and crippling sanctions against Iraq during the 1990s, the appearance that the U.S. did not care about the plight of the Palestinians, and American military bases in Saudi Arabia, led to attention getting attacks against the United States. The 1998 embassy attacks in Kenya and Tanzania and the attack of the U.S. Cole in the year 2000 were warnings that war was far from over. The horrible tragedy of 9/11 shouldn’t have been a surprise, and many believe it was preventable. Currently, the war has morphed into a huge battle for control of the Persian Gulf region and Central Asia. This involves Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Iran. Foolish policies lead to foolhardy conflicts. 

The United States has chosen Ukraine as its main satellite in the post-Soviet space, but Washington risks losing the trust of Georgia and Moldova. It’s not an occasion that the Senator Bob Corker’s bill introduced into the Congress offers a list of countries to receive the MNNA status. Washington is happy about the fact that a number of former Soviet republics are motivated to side with the United States in its confrontation with Russia. But there are reasonable people who doubt the US Ukraine policy could be a success after the failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, during the Arab Spring, including Syria.

Foolhardy conflicts lead to unsustainable costs and a multitude of unintended consequences. To name a few, Americans have spent trillions of dollars based on the false pretense of defending freedom and American Constitution. The notion has been furthered solidified that war no longer needs to be declared by Congress, and can be pursued as a prerogative of the president. Americans are now seen by the world not as a peace maker, but rather a trouble maker and aggressor.

Thousands of American service members have been killed and tens of thousands wounded with a sharp increase in service-connected suicides. A million veterans are seeking medical treatment and disability benefits. Millions of citizens have been killed, wounded, and displaced in the countries on the receiving end of American bombs, drones, sanctions, and occupation. The region has suffered huge environmental damage as a consequence of American military occupation.

Christians from Iraq have suffered the worst rout in the history of Christendom. Iran and Iraq are now better allies than ever with strong anti-American sentiment. Iraqi political stability is a joke. Ending hostilities in Afghanistan is a dream. China and Iran have been drawn into a closer alliance against the United States. America’s uncontrolled deficits are senselessly fuelled by needless militarism.  Americans are now much poorer and less safe.

There was no Al-Qaida in Iraq before Americans invaded in 2003. Today, there is. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq. War always leads to government growth and the sacrifice of civil liberties. In the past 10 years, this has been particularly costly to us, with the acceptance of military tribunals, torture, assassination, abuse of Habeas Corpus and PATRIOT-Act-type legislation.

Senseless war and senseless destruction and death should not be rationalized as providing a great service in protecting American freedoms, American Constitution, or maintaining peace.  The only value that can come of this is to recognize that American policies are flawed and they need to be changed. Without this, history will record that the sacrifices were all in vain.

Statism needs war, a free country does not. Statism survives by looting; a free country survives by production.  If men want to oppose war, it is statism that they must oppose. So long as they hold the tribal notion that the individual is sacrificial fodder for the collective, that some men have the right to rule others by force, and that some alleged good can justify it — there can be no peace within a nation and no peace among nations. 

Men who are free to produce, have no incentive to loot; they have nothing to gain from war and a great deal to lose. Ideologically, the principle of individual rights does not permit a man to seek his own livelihood at the point of a gun, inside or outside his country. Economically, wars cost money; in a free economy, where wealth is privately owned, the costs of war come out of the income of private citizens — there is no overblown public treasury to hide that fact  — and a citizen cannot hope to recoup his own financial losses (such as taxes or business dislocations or property destruction) by winning the war. Thus his own economic interests are on the side of peace.

In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, however, we are in big trouble. The truth is that foreign spying, meddling, and outright military intervention in the post-World War II era has made us less secure, not more. And we have lost countless lives and spent trillions of euros for our trouble. Too often official government lies have provided justification for endless, illegal wars and hundreds of thousands of resulting deaths and casualties. 

Out of sight and out of mind appears to be the motto for most citizens. Like past imperial powers, war has become both constant and largely invisible. Military personnel die and funerals are held; service men and women are injured and families suffer. But most citizens go about their lives with little sense that their government is sending fellow citizens to kill and to die in their name.

On the ultimate test of hawkdom, the willingness to send U.S. troops into harm’s way, Ronald Reagan was no bird of prey. He launched exactly one land war, against Grenada, whose army totaled 600 men. It lasted two days. And his only air war, the 1986 bombing of Libya, one day.

He resorted to military force far less often than many of those who came before him or who have since occupied the Oval Office. After the 1983 assault on the Marine barracks in Lebanon, Reagan found no good strategic reason to give our regional enemies inviting U.S. targets.  Whereas Bushes and Obama embraced the Wilsonian notion that America can help transform parts of the Middle East into democracies, Reagan considered the Middle East a jungle and Middle East politics irrational.

In his celebrated essay The Stalemate Myth and the Quagmire Machine, Daniel Ellsberg drew out the lesson regarding the Vietnam War that came out of the 8000 pages of the Pentagon Papers. It was simply this: Policymakers acted without illusion. At every juncture they made the minimum commitments necessary to avoid imminent disaster, offering optimistic rhetoric but never taking steps that even they believed offered the prospect of decisive victory. They were tragically caught in a kind of no man’s land, unable to reverse a course to which they had committed so much but also unable to generate the political will to take forward steps that gave any realistic prospect of success. Ultimately, after years of needless suffering, their policy collapsed around them.

The sun recently produced solar flares that could disrupt electronic communications. This is a reminder that severe solar activity would be devastating. While solar weather can cause severe damage to a power grid and other electronic devices, we remain unprotected from its effects.

Space weather offers a preview of what would happen if Occident were attacked by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weapon. An EMP is a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy caused by the rapid acceleration of charged particles.  A nuclear weapon detonated at a high altitude would send the U.S. back to the 18th century. Cars would not start, all power would go off, computers and all other electronic equipment would not work, and planes would fall from the sky. An EMP has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of Occidental society, as well as to the ability of Occident to project influence and military power.

American national security interests are not served by the interventionist foreign policy mindset that has dominated both political parties in recent decades. He also understands that there is nothing conservative about incurring trillions of dollars in debt to engage in hopeless nation building exercises overseas.

We can afford to have an adequate national defense which keeps us free and safe and keeps everybody afraid to throw a punch at us, as long as we don’t make some of the decisions that previous administrations have, which is to overextend ourselves overseas and think we can run foreign governments.

Bush decided to be the mayor of Baghdad rather than the president of the United States. He decided to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan rather than reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That had tremendous consequences. Richard Nixon said that America’s national defense needs are set in Moscow, meaning that we wouldn’t have to spend so much if they weren’t shooting at us. The guys who followed didn’t notice that the Soviet Union disappeared.

Is there any amount of money that would satisfy the Pentagon hawks? Even if we were to slash our military budget in half, America easily would remain the world’s dominant military power.  Our problems don’t result from a lack of spending. They result from a lack of vision and a profound misunderstanding of the single biggest threat to every American man, woman, and child: the federal debt.