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I’m not outraged at the government shutdown. Actually, I think it might be one more important step in the meltdown of the entire system which does not represent the people. In my opinion, it can’t come soon enough!
For as long as anyone can remember, Congress and the White House have been co-opted by Wall St, corporations, and the military industrial complex. Since the Wall St. bailout, income disparity between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of us is the largest since the 1920’s. The middle class is disappearing, and the ranks of the poor are expanding. The unemployed and under-employed are struggling and will never catch up in this environment.
The people in Washington, and that includes all the lobbyists and special interests groups, have kept the focus on greed and deception. They’ve succeeded in dividing Americans on everything from guns and immigration, and from healthcare to voting rights, all the while ignoring the most serious problems facing the U.S. and the planet.
So, while the planet continues to warm at a pace that will make life as we know it unsustainable in the next fifty years; while we do nothing to rid the planet of fossil fuels much less invest in renewable energy; while our educational system lags far behind the rest of the world; while college education is unaffordable; while our infrastructure is in disrepair; while states and municipalities are strapped and unable to provide basic services; and while those people in Washington continue to spend $1 Trillion a year on the business and export of war, they shut down the entire system that should be focusing on everything but Obamacare.
In two weeks, Washington will again play this ugly game of brinkmanship over raising the debt ceiling which will throw the entire U.S. and world economies into chaos, and will really put the hurt on everyone, including the 1% who risk losing their fortunes. Not even the greedy plutocrats want to see that happen. Maybe that would be a good thing. Maybe the order of the world would be transformed.
The answer to all of this is quite simple in my mind. A fundamental change is taking place, a natural, evolutionary demise of “the great American Way of Life” is underway. Claims of “exceptionalism” ring hollow. The belief that unlimited power and full-spectrum dominance can create a Pax Americana is falling apart. Perpetual war and an ever-increasing War Department budget not only has bankrupt the country economically, but morally.
The country that invented the atomic bomb, used it twice and continues to use it as a weapon of domination is on a march to destroy the planet either by its use, or by its inability to convert those war dollars into saving the planet.
With just $1 Trillion spent on the war machine every year, just about every problem in the world could be solved: poverty, hunger, clean water, clean renewable energy for everyone, education for everyone….Naive? I think it is naive to believe that Washington can solve any of these or do anything that is good for America and mankind. So, maybe, just maybe this meltdown is a good thing. From my point of view, that’s optimistic. Thinking that the present cast of thieves in Washington can do any good provides little hope for anything but more of the same.
Wonderful activism in Madison, Wisconsin. Citizens here have been protesting the administration of Scott Walker for 275 days. We could use this in Maine. Come to think about it, we need more of this everywhere! What an inspiration. Two hundred plus gathered on Friday, August 9, 2013. I’m a the Veterans For Peace National Convention here in Madison.
The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, and it is on that principle that the media (print, TV, and radio) has been referred to as the “fourth branch of government.” Informing the public by a free, independent, and objective media was supposed to protect us from tyranny.
This is a far cry from what the media has become today. In 1983, 90% of the American media was owned by 50 companies. In 2012, six giant media corporations control 90% of what we read, watch, and listen to.
All of the networks are controlled by giant corporations whose agenda is not to educate and inform the public, but to influence and brainwash the public. Left-wing and right-wing media only present what advances their agenda, the agendas of their corporate owners. We’re told what to think, what to buy, and how to vote, all the while we are distracted from all seriousness by a constant diet of reality shows, movies, and sports. We are being entertained and drugged by the controlling elite.
At a time when the American middle class is dissolving because manufacturing jobs have been shipped to third-world countries, and those that remain offer low pay, fewer benefits, and no retirement. 40 million Americans are without healthcare and millions have lost their homes. And, yet, we continue to sleep through it all, finding refuge in a digital never-never land.
But, all is not without hope. All over the planet, thanks to an open and free internet, truth is being told by individuals who blog, broadcast and produce TV shows who document the real stories the people of the planet need to know.
John F. Kennedy, our last great president, in one of his historic speeches reminds the nation’s press of it’s obligations as the 4th branch of government. In it he warns against the threat of a closed society and “the very grave danger that the need for increased security will be seized upon those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment.”
Since 2001, we have witnessed the erosion of nearly all of our constitutionally protected rights. Fear of terrorism, domestic and foreign, has led to increased surveillance and the formation of a police state whose agents instill fear and punish dissent.
For decades, our leaders have withheld the truth about assassinations, wars and corruption at the highest levels of government, commerce, and finance. Because of this, humanity is on the brink of destruction as resources are pillaged, populations are murdered, cities are bombed, and billions of people are forced into poverty and starvation.
JFK warned about a “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means to expand its sphere of influence and achieve its goals… It is a system that has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. It’s preparations are concealed and not published. It’s mistakes are buried, not headlined. It’s dissenters are silenced not praised. No expenditure is questioned. No rumor is printed. No secret is revealed.”
Fifty years ago, JFK foresaw the creation of the world we live in today that is controlled by an elite few with the American military enforcing their domination and extraction of resources in every corner of the globe.
Kennedy pleaded with the press to help in the tremendous task to inform the American people. Sadly, the media, being co-opted and controlled by that “monolithic and ruthless conspiracy,” has failed miserably and it has led to the erosion of our civil rights and the eradication of our Democracy. JFK died because he stood up to the military industrial complex – the Department of War – and those who would conspire to destroy our freedoms and outlaw dissent.
In listening to one of the greatest speeches by any president, I was on the one hand inspired, but on the other greatly disturbed to realize what JFK warned about over 50 years ago represents the reality of our current situation in America and the world.
In the spirit and hope of a free and open society based upon an informed public, I share this incredible and timely speech of one of America’s great leaders.
Conspiracy theory? There indeed was a conspiracy. There is no doubt about that. But, the question is: who was behind it? Was it really Osama bin Ladin? Or, was it the CIA, the highest levels of government? Was it George H.W. Bush? Was it Dick Cheney?
Theories abound. The TRUTH demands that we keep an open mind and search for it. This documentary, 911: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out, will make everyone re-think the “official story” of what happened on 9/11/2001. It does not purport to answer the questions, who or why. It merely presents evidence not previously revealed and the testimony of experts in the fields of architecture, engineering, chemistry, and demolition that challenge the official report in a substantive way.
So far more than 1,500 architects and engineers and thousands more have signed the petition calling for an independent and unbiased investigation as to why and who did it.The evidence seems irrefutable. This country will never be able to reconcile itself or heal itself unless we search for the truth about what happened on 9/11.
The president and founder of Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth, Richard Gage, came to Portland on June 11, 2012 for a showing of the world premiere documentary that was attended by more than 60 people. I was allowed to film the event and an exclusive interview with Richard Gage. Excerpts from the more than two hours of video are contained in the second edition of my new Television Show, Truth TV, below. The video includes the official trailer, but I encourage you to visit the website and download the pre-release version of the entire documentary.
Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin survived a recall election on June 5, 2012 thanks to $60 million in outside money and $10 million from the Koch brothers. In what was a contentious and divisive contest that has lasted for months, a record number of Wisconsinites turned out to vote.
It all began last year when the Tea Party governor and his Republican controlled legislature passed legislation taking collective bargaining rights away from public employee unions as a way to close the state’s budget gap. As a result of the attack on public unions, tens of thousands of demonstrators filled the capital building and grounds for days and began the recall drive that collected over 900,000 signatures.
There were no winners in this election except for corporations and the super-rich. This is so for the following reasons. First, the state remains bitterly divided. Walker succeeded, in his own words, by “dropping a bomb and dividing and conquering.” This is all part of an ALEC blueprint being played out in Republican controlled legislatures across the country and in Congress where right wing radicals, the ponds in this scheme, have succeeded in bringing our government and our democracy to the brink.
Furthermore, the Democrats won back control of one senate seat in the recall and now can completely block Walker’s agenda and create gridlock. Not much good will happen to improve the lives of the working people of Wisconsin, and NO jobs will be created. People have got to stop believing this bullshit. It doesn’t trickle down. Never has. Never will.
Second, because of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision that allowed unlimited and undisclosed amounts of obscene money in elections, corporations (naturally bent on busting unions to increase their bottom lines), Super PACs, special interests, and the obscenely rich contributed more than $60 million to put Walker over the top. His opponent, Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, trailed far behind with only $18 million raised. When factoring in the money each campaign raised, the disparity was 7-1.
This demonstrates just exactly why the super-rich and corporate dollars have trumped our voices in elections. Because “money is speech,” Scott Walker is not beholding to the people of Wisconsin but to the Koch brothers and super rich who contributed to his campaign.
Consider this: the number of registered, corporate lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled since 2000 to more than 34,750 who lavished $3.5 Billion on the 535 members of Congress in 2010 alone! That’s millions of dollars for every U.S. Senator and member of Congress. Corporations and the rich own Congress and us!
This very same agenda is being played out in the presidential election and in state elections all across this land. We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars to buy politicians and to win elections.
Third, there is no shortage of money – anywhere – except in the pockets of the poor and the middle class. Productivity has risen steadily over the past 30 years. Corporations have been earning record profits. The only problem is the 1% have increased their wealth by 361% over that period while the wealth of the 99% has remained flat or decreased. More and more of the middle class are falling into poverty while the richest 1% have tripled their share.
CEOs and financial industry employees made more than all 16 million unionized employees in the United States, and they made as much as all 17.5 million full-time government workers in the United States.
And, as if to pour salt in the wound, the richest 1% pay less in taxes than the average American. According to the IRS, the wealthiest 6 families in the United States reported an average income of $202.4 million, down for the second year as the Great Recession slashed their capital gains.
In addition to the six who paid no tax, another 110 families paid 15 percent or less in federal income taxes. That is less than half what the rest of us pay!
Overall, the top 400 paid an average income tax rate of 19.9 percent. The top 400 earned five times that much every day. Corporations like G.E. and Exxon Mobil not only do not pay taxes, but receive huge government subsidies! And yet, the Republicans and their Tea Party rogues would have us believe that cutbacks in social services, infrastructure, education, pensions, and more taxes on the working class are required to balance the budget!
Corporations, Congress, and state legislatures are victimizing the working class and blaming us for all of our problems. Americans has been duped into believing that unions, government workers, and the poor are the problem in this country. This is the biggest scam in the history of the United States. No wait, it is the biggest heist in our history.
Fourth, Americans still cannot see that the Republicans and Democrats we elect do NOT represent us. We are still locked into the belief that America is a democracy where everyone has a vote and that our elected politicians represent us. This is a myth that blinds us as to who is really in control of the economy, defense, agriculture, energy, and education.
At the top of the pyramid are a small group of wealthy families who control the Federal Reserve, Wall St, and the banks, that in turn lend money to corporations. Those corporations in turn contribute billions of dollars each year buying the members of Congress, who in turn do their bidding.
George Carlin was prophetic and way ahead of his time in this famous piece on “its a big club and you ain’t in it.” It is a must watch, even if you’ve seen it before.
We’re not talking just about corporations like Proctor & Gamble, Kraft, Coke, Pepsi, and Disney. We’re talking about the military industrial complex and the Department of Defense that soak up 60% of our tax dollars every year! They are the corporations that are building warships, advanced fighter jets, bombers, and drones. They are the corporations that have turned space into a giant spy network and into the battle ground of the future. They are the corporations that are manufacturing rockets and missiles and all of the weapons we sell all over the world. America’s largest export, by far, is weapons and military technology!
Here’s what the scheme looks like.
You can see this graphic and a stunning documentary @ thrivemovement.com
And for what? The answer to that question is frightening. 1) to control the world’s resources: oil, water, precious and rare metals, and food; 2) to dominate and control the planet and space; and 3) to control us by neutralizing our voices in elections and doing away with our constitutionally protected rights of free speech, peaceable assembly, and the redress of grievances to our government.
Don’t believe it. Watch this video of Paul Weyrich, the founder of ALEC, the shady, right wing organization behind the Republican assault on workers, the middle class and the poor.
The Walker recall and every other election are merely distractions that serve to continue the myth that the politicians we elect represent us and are capable of caring for the common good when, in reality, they are doing the bidding of the rich and powerful. The only thing that governments do in this scheme is to collect our hard-earned money, control our lives and keep us in check.
The recall in Wisconsin is nothing more than an expensive side-show designed to deceive and distract while the 1% continue to plunder the planet and make serfs of 99%.
I met Bruce Gagnon a few months ago but only after hearing about him from other people. Seemed like everybody knew Bruce. Turns out, just about everybody who’s an activist of one sort or other knows Bruce. And Bruce knows everybody!
Bruce and I finally met at a state-wide Occupy meeting in Augusta. Wasn’t at all what I expected from the advance billing. He struck me as a quiet, even shy, non-assuming person. Can’t remember him speaking publicly. We connected because we both had expressed frustration at the lack of cooperation among the many advocacy groups which resulted in a losing battle at the legislature.
We chatted briefly during a break and I said I’d like to get together soon since he lives in Bath, Maine and I live just across the river in Woolwich. It was a couple of months later when we finally did meet. An internet citizen journalist based in Iran (yes, Iran) wanted someone to interview Bruce about the Occupy movement.
When I suggested we meet, Bruce asked if I could tape the interview, which I did. But, after taping the 4-5 minute interview for this Iranian show, I started asking Bruce about his background and how he became involved in the Global Network Against Weapons and Arms in Space. As soon as he started talking, I turned the camera on and came to know the man.
I believe Bruce is one of a very few people who sees the big picture and can speak to all that is wrong with our country. Everyone talks about connecting the dots. Bruce does it with amazing clarity and conviction. He travels constantly and is in great demand all over the planet.
Take the time to watch this video and get to know Bruce Gagnon and his mission in life. Then check out his website: http://www.space4peace.org/ and his blog: http://space4peace.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, May 15h, 2012 will be remembered as day of infamy when LePage and the Republican controlled Legislators attacked the citizens of the State of Maine! On this day, voting along party lines, the Republicans eliminated vital healthcare for 20,000 Mainers…the poor, the sick, the elderly, and children.
There was an 11th hour rally that attempted to sway the Tea Party Republicans from approving the lord of the evil empire’s budget to devastate the most needy in our society while giving huge tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest among us, who neither wanted it nor asked for it.
I’m disheartened that the many advocacy groups still cannot come together to stage a massive and continuous occupation of the state house to scare the living daylights out of the elected officials who supposedly represent us. I can only hope that those Republican legislators return home to their small towns and face the wrath of their friends, neighbors and relatives whom they have abandoned and betrayed.
I gave the opening address at the March Against Fiscal Madness rally in the Maine State House on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. The rally was attended by over 100 concerned citizens protesting Governor LePage’s radical, right-wing assault on the middle class and the poor.
The clip opens with an original song by Morgana Warner Evans, a high school student from Topsham, Maine.
ALEC – The American Legislative Exchange Council…. “legislative exchange?” That’s right. ALEC is made up of the super rich like the Koch brothers and multinational corporations that develop “model legislation” for right-wing controlled legislatures and Congress. Each state has ALEC co-chairs and Republican legislators doing their bidding….er…”exchange.”
These legislators (and governors) bring this legislation home and present it as their own bright policy initiatives, when in fact the same pieces of legislation can be seen moving through Republican controlled legislatures in dozens of states. The legislation is hostile to the environment and our voices in our government.
ALEC’s corporate partners buy legislators with millions and millions of dollars to enact legislation that enables them to exploit our resources and ruin the middle class. Don’t believe it? Watch this segment, especially the short clip of Paul Weyrich, the right-wing radical who founded ALEC. It should make our hair raise.
I’ll present Part II in the next Occupy Maine TV show that will expose the ALEC players in Maine beginning with Governor LePage.
For now, if you don’t know what ALEC is, start by watching this short video and then continue your own research into this shadowy organization.