Seeking refuge and reason in a world gone mad when “Just Following Orders” is akin to: “Heil Corporatocracy!”

by Sandra Long

Originally, this essay was intended to be a cozy, feel-good list of suggested activities to help make spending time with disparate individuals within our communities more mutually beneficial, satisfying, and productive. Indeed, the word “community” is rooted in the Latin words “munus” (the gift) and cum (together, among each other). Many peoples’ lives are already saturated with social contact. These associations are often surprisingly specialized. The bulk of your social network, for example, might consist of people with whom you have just one or two primary activities in common. Thus, technology powered by fossil fuels has allowed us the luxury of being finicky consumers of “specialized friendships.” I suspect generalized friends will make a comeback in the days ahead, so don’t burn your neighbors’ bridges.

Hitler was responsible for the deaths of perhaps 20 million people. What the heck does that have to do with community? Well, if history repeated itself today, and millions of lives were in jeopardy because of one misguided sociopathic idealist, everyone would hop online to sign the petition, and some would probably get creative and boycott his brand of cologne or sneakers, and make countless memes to get the whole world laughing in anger. But who would actually stop him? My first thought was that our tax dollar supported military or police force would protect us. But what if they were the ones carrying out the orders of mayhem? I don’t like to incur stupid or unnecessary personal risks any more than the next person; we value our own lives and security more than our neighbors — I’d say that is one of the big ugly truths that most people have in common. And the further from sight, the easier the suffering is to ignore.

Whether you’re a soldier, police officer, barista, or paper pusher, I can totally see how easy it would be to just carry out your duties and go home at the end of a hard day, pop in a movie, cozy up to a good book, and just be grateful for the good things that remain in your life. When you do not feel responsible for your actions this is surprisingly easy to do. Besides, if you quit, you’d be replaced within the week, no? So why not get the consumer rewards, and leave the guilty conscience to those giving the orders. It makes sense in a way, but it takes massive cooperation from individuals just like me and you to amass that kind of body count, and this remains true today, while technology has distanced us still further from our feelings of social responsibility.

The Corporatocracy, by externalizing the true costs of profit, has silently waged a War on Life — and they are winning. How do you fight a system that is Anti-Life? A system that does the hiring, the firing, the downsizing, tax collection, bailouts, and makes the rules that selectively address or choose to ignore the most relevant issues of our time. Hitler was like a fat bug, relatively speaking, he was easy to squash. But the enemy we face today is more like a river full of swimming salmon bombs. While the bombs are far more destructive than the bug, if you don’t recognize the inherent risks, you might just see an abundance of dinner and business opportunities within easy reach. We have built our societies on this river of risk. The slow ticking lulls us from cradle to grave into complacency with assumptions of safety, benevolence, and entitlements.

For more than 2 million years, humans lived on a durable pro-life planet. In the last few hundred years, the Earth has been mutilated into an anti-life Corporatocracy, a monocultural wasteland of unsustainability. The “too big to fail” governments and corporations of our time have taught us that money is a prerequisite to resources needed for survival. Every fertile corner, every fish and stream has been labeled a resource to be bought, sold, and defended from destitute trespassers. Animals are also considered resources, with the exception of a few humans.

Most humans, too, are resources, but a few are not. There is a hierarchical distinction in our valuation of human resources. Technically, the top 1% is not classified into the category of “resource” but rather privileged resource consumers. Their sacred paper entitles them to consume and weld power over all other resources on the planet, regardless of their physical and emotional aptitude or any prerequisite for sanity. They are rewarded for this privilege with our envy.

Meanwhile, you or someone you know could match another description: young, healthy, lively and bright, eager to learn, unwilling to fight, and very likely unemployed and strapped with school loans and consumer debt. This person is less than worthless; because “potential” does not buy food at the grocery store. Your 90-year-old comatose uncle might be worth many thousands of dollars a month in life support. But are we bitter? Yes, because living in harmony is not considered a valid life option. It says that we should take our place and that any old job is better than being worthless. It says that money gives you entitlement, the notion that freedom isn’t free, and our planet is just another resource waiting to be consumed by the humans with the most paper power.

So what is our biological value? What would be fair if there was such a thing as human equality? More than 3 billion people, roughly half the “wise” apes, are living on less than $2 each day. There are roughly 1,000 billionaires in the U.S., and 10 million millionaires. But as pointed out on Wikipedia, “It is common to limit questions of the world economy exclusively to human economic activity.”

Greed, like corruption, runs deep. Economic equality for 7 billion people by one estimate might tally roughly $8 each day. I think growing our own food, relying on community, borrowing things, and participating in a gift economy actually sounds like an improvement. It would be great for those of us who value our time more than the Corporatocracy says our time is worth. I have a dream that one day we will stop valuing one another according to our capacities to consume, and will begin a new Pro-Life Era. People who are benevolent enough not to reproduce themselves ought to be held in the highest regards, and if there are still hot showers in the future, these are the people who deserve them. The rest could do with a few more cold showers.

The enemy of these goals are numerous, but include those who profit from or contribute to ecosystem destruction, cutting corners, species extinction, perceived obsolescence, green house gases, overpopulation, factory farming, and consumerism, and pretty much everyone. We should just socialize the blame and get it over with. After all, the Corporatocracy is never going to take responsibility for giving us the orders to consume and pollute our planet. We come from a long line of bills, taxes, shopping, and inequality. While we weren’t personally asked if we thought it to be a good idea to gas, rape, mutilate, and otherwise exterminate life on this planet, chances are good we watched a few of the commercials selling the end products, and see that our homes are littered with the skeletal remains. Surely we deserve a little leeway, no? In court, ignorance of your actions only sets you free if you have a really good lawyer (yay for paper power!) or an extremely low IQ, and then only sometimes. Low IQ is of limited consolation for victims, particularly when those victims are now gone.

Many people long to escape the rat race. Who wouldn’t love to spend more time with their favorite people, or doing something that actually felt meaningful? Imagine if growing a garden, or reading a book was considered at least as valuable as earning a small paycheck at a fast food restaurant. These activities are far less destructive than the current model. The efforts of our lives would be far more satisfying without the thin veneer of coerced civility spurred by financial dependency. It would be more valuable to support each other with what we know and what we grow.

Without fossil fuels, following orders and being a corporate drone is no longer a valid life option. We need air, food, water, community. We do not need a “job” to defend the worth of our existence.

Building community and helping victims of the Corporatocracy is not for the faint of heart. Moving against the dominant paradigm is a dangerous task. Following orders and using your consumer power to make personal preparations while nature takes its course is probably the most common reaction to an insane situation. When Hitler was in full power, relatively few were willing to incur tremendous personal risks to help others. Those people did so primarily out of emotional attachment or a strong sense of morality. Resistance is not easy. From birth we are raised to obey our parents, police officers, teachers-pretty much everyone in an authority position. Our shared hierarchical worldviews ensure it will be emotionally and socially painful to resist those who are viewed by society as having legitimate power over us.

With Hitler, fortunately other nationalities didn’t buy into the notion that they needed to become Aryans to be of value. Unfortunately, in the Corporatocracy, that is exactly what has happened. If people can’t join the ranks of the wealthy through their own exploitative means, the dream is kept alive through the casinos, lotteries, inheritance, and pure dumb hope. Everyone wants to be a consumer: an organism that preys on other organisms. These tendencies are not particularly conducive to community building.

In anthropologist Colin Turnbull’s book The Mountain People, the focus of individuals within the tribe has become acquisition of food, to the extent community loses all meaning. Old people are cast off and left to starve, then young children are left behind. Breeding-aged pairs represented the strongest combination, however, even partners turned against one another when times were hard. As Pfeffer and Salancik note in The External Control of Organizations, “the key to organizational survival is the ability to acquire and maintain resources.” This means growing carrots and sharing the seeds, instead of competing for carrots and hiding the seeds.
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Sandra Long is a well-traveled psychology major currently attending the University of Arizona, where she is pursuing a thematic minor in quality of life planning. She is a toad-loving, harmony-seeking, herbal-tea-drinking observer of humanity who aspires to live near a hot spring, and grow her own carrots.
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Guy will be visiting Michigan, again, in February 2012. I’m scheduled to speak in Traverse City on 11 February, and I’d like to spend the subsequent two weeks speaking and consulting for the usual fee (i.e., room, board, and transportation). Please let me know if you’d like to host my visit.

Comments 128

  • Remember that 30% of the population I said was disposable in the economy? This bill appears to look forward when these folks take to the streets (or are forced into the streets). It gives the military the authority to detain them indefinitely without recourse to habeas corpus or trial. The rest of the people will essentially do what they are told, work longer hours for even less pay as the economy squeezes the 30% into oblivion.

    Collapse will begin to get ugly soon, I fear. And during Collapse, it will not be as simple as losing your home and livelihood. It might well mean imprisonment for many with no hope for freedom.

    That is the way I interpret this bill and its relation to current events. God, I hope I am wrong.

  • Victor, prisons are expensive. My guess is that before we know it, imprisonment will be reserved for only the most violent of criminals. As for troublemakers, it will be much cheaper (and easier) to simply have them disappear.

  • TRDH

    Perhaps….you might be right…but it seems strange that FEMA camps are now being activated all over the country. Apparently, DHS has recently issued invitations to bid on camp services of all kinds. Seems to me they are getting these facilities ready for something. Of course, the timing might only be coincidence.

  • guess I’m getting paranoid…probably need a vacation… ;-)

  • Victor, TRDH – when Hitler was busy just offing those he didn’t like, he wasn’t being smart. It took the businessman Alfried Krupp to set him straight – you work them first, then off them. The Arms of Krupp by William Manchester details the activities of the Krupp family through several generations.

    What happened to Alfried after the war – from wiki “After the war, the Allied Military Government investigated Krupp’s employment of slave laborers. He was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and the forfeiture of all property. However, after three years, New York banker John J. McCloy, serving as American High Commissioner for Germany arranged for Krupp to be pardoned and the forfeiture of property was reversed”

    It may well be that you are not paranoid Victor and the Fema camps are to be slave labor camps. Heck convict labor paved the roads of the south. Need more roads paved, convict a few more people to prison… Or the other way – Poorhouses were actually Workhouses – per wiki on poorhouses “Often the poorhouse was situated on the grounds of a poor farm on which able-bodied residents were required to work; such farms were common in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries; it could even be part of the same economic complex as a prison farm and other penal or charitable public institutions.” In fact the County Nursing home where I volunteered as a teenager had been a poorhouse and had an underground tunnel connecting it to a nearby prison.

    TRDH I would guess that in fact the most hardened convicts who are troublemakers will be done in first, and the rest will be given the longer road of being worked to death.

    While we still can, watching Cool Hand Luke is a good lesson in the use of convict labor and the fate of those who refuse to buckle.

  • Victor – stay warm and safe please….
    “100MPH STORMS ON THEIR WAY
    Travelling conditions will again be treacherous with more flooding expected
    Monday December 12,2011
    By David Jarvis
    BRITAIN was told to brace itself for the worst weather in 30 years – with forecasts of gale-force winds, snow, sleet and torrential rain.
    The Met Office issued a weather warning of gales as strong as 100mph and a freezing wind chill factor bringing the coldest week of the winter so far.
    Experts said there will be little respite until the New Year with more brutal weather during the run-up to Christmas.”
    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/289401/100mph-storms-on-their-way

  • “RIGA, Latvia – Latvia’s largest bank scrambled Monday to head off a run among depositors who were gripped by rumours of the bank’s imminent ruin.”
    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/latvias-largest-bank-fights-off-depositor-run-rumours-103638265.html

  • Thanks, Robin, for taking the time (as I have) to read Senate Bill 1867. I share the same concern you do that a military system authorized to arrest anyone for any reason at anytime is NOT a good thing.

    I’ve read Sec. 1032. Our interpretations differ, however.

    As stated in (a) (1) of Sec 1032, the requirement for military custody applies to any person who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by Public Law 107-40 and who is defined as a COVERED PERSON under Section 1031.

    A COVERED PERSON under (b) of Sec. 1031 is defined as “(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks, or (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”

    As I understand the English language, a COVERED PERSON under Sec. 1031 and Sec. 1032 does not include military arrest of anyone for any reason at any time.

    Now, as you noted, there is an exception stipulated in (a) (1) of Sec. 1032, which refers to paragraph (4).

    Paragraph (4) reads “The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.”

    Agreed, paragraph (4) is a mouthful and does leave room for ambiguity, however, I question your leap to “slammer for life” and abolishment of the “laws of war, including the Geneva Conventions” because under paragraph (3) of (a) it is stated that “for purposes of this subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war has the meaning given in section 1031(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1033”. Section 1033 refers to “Requirements for Certifications Relating to the Transfer of Detainees at United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Foreign Countries and Other Foreign Entities.”

    Furthermore, in (d) of Sec. 1032, the effective date is defined as “60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to persons described in subsection (a) (2) who are taken into the custody or brought under the control of the United States on or after that effective date.” Persons described in subsection (a) (2) are defined as “(A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Quada or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Quada and (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners”.

    Regarding your comment, “ they can be held without reason – GITMO – > GULAG ARCHIPELAGO”, I refer you to (b) of Sec. 1032 which states that applicability of Sec. 1032 does NOT (1) “extend to citizens of the United States” or (2) “extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States”.

    Again, I strongly dis-favor any form of “military arrest of anyone for any reason at any time”. With such in mind, I have to admit that I’ve yet to find any wording within Sections 1031, 1032, or 1033 that would lead me to believe that was the case. I’ll continue to look for the “big kahuna” as you labelled it. I hope you do as well. If you should find it before I do, please post to NBL the relevant section number, page number, and line number.

    Thank you.

  • 100MPH STORMS ON THEIR WAY

    Kathy

    It is getting just a tad windy and rainy out now…. ;-)

    But all is fine.

  • More evidence much of the western world has gone completely mad. From Kathy’s link:

    ‘Jonathan Powell, senior weather forecaster at Positive Weather Solutions, …..

  • Indefinite Detention of American Citizens: Coming Soon to Battlefield U.S.A.

    By Matt Taibbi

    December 12, 2011 “Rolling Stone” — There’s some disturbing rhetoric flying around in the debate over the National Defense Authorization Act, which among other things contains passages that a) officially codify the already-accepted practice of indefinite detention of “terrorist” suspects, and b) transfer the responsibility for such detentions exclusively to the military.

    The fact that there’s been only some muted public uproar about this provision (which, disturbingly enough, is the creature of Wall Street anti-corruption good guy Carl Levin, along with John McCain) is mildly surprising, given what’s been going on with the Occupy movement. Protesters in fact should be keenly interested in the potential applications of this provision, which essentially gives the executive branch unlimited powers to indefinitely detain terror suspects without trial.

    The really galling thing is that this act specifically envisions American citizens falling under the authority of the bill. One of its supporters, the dependably-unlikeable Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, bragged that the law “basically says … for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and that people can be jailed without trial, be they “American citizen or not.” New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte reiterated that “America is part of the battlefield.”

    Officially speaking, of course, the bill only pertains to:

    “… a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.”

    As Glenn Greenwald notes, the key passages here are “substantially supported” and “associated forces.” The Obama administration and various courts have already expanded their definition of terrorism to include groups with no connection to 9/11 (i.e. certain belligerents in Yemen and Somalia) and to individuals who are not members of the target terror groups, but merely provided “substantial support.”

    The definitions, then, are, for the authorities, conveniently fungible. They may use indefinite detention against anyone who “substantially supports” terror against the United States, and it looks an awful lot like they have leeway in defining not only what constitutes “substantial” and “support,” but even what “terror” is. Is a terrorist under this law necessarily a member of al-Qaeda or the Taliban? Or is it merely someone who is “engaged in hostilities against the United States”?
    rest at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article29955.htm

  • 1031(e), “Nothing in this section shall be construed…”, the only word that matters is “construed” because the Supreme Court are the only ones with the power to construe the law. The Feinstein Amendment 1031(e) permits citizens to be imprisoned without evidence or a trial forever, if the Supreme Court does not EXPLICITLY repeal 1031.

    Subtitle D–Detainee Matters

    SEC. 1031. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.

    (e) Authorities- Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

    In other words, if other laws require that detainees be charged and brought to trial within specific times, this section does not affect – contradict or uphold – them.  If other laws were affirmed, there would be words to the effect “shall not withstand”. 

    SEC. 1032. REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY

    (1) IN GENERAL- …… shall hold a person  military custody ……. pending disposition under the law of war.

    (b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    In the case of citizens, it is not a requirement to hold them in military custody. This does not imply that it is forbidden to do so. 

  • (sigh)

    I’ll give this one more shot and then you’re on your own.

    Robin:

    You said: ” The Feinstein Amendment 1031(e) permits citizens to be imprisoned without evidence or a trial forever, if the Supreme Court does not EXPLICITLY repeal 1031.”

    Nope, that’s not what 1031(e) says.

    1031(e) says that it’s not the bill’s intent to supersede (or replace) existing law(s) as they pertain to the detention of American citizens or other lawfully resident aliens. Present law takes precedence. To wit: whatever is currently in place is what is enforced.

    You said regarding 1032 (b) (1), “In the case of citizens, it is not a requirement to hold them in military custody. This does not imply that it is forbidden to do so.”

    I’m not sure what you’re driving at here. 1032(b)(1) explicitly states that detaining a person in military custody does not extend to citizens of the United States. Are you saying that you want them to add the word “forbidden”? I fail to see how that’s going to make the wording any stronger than it already is.

  • Vic: “TurboGuy

    BTW, I don’t believe you ever supplied me with that evidence on Russia’s intent in the Middle East for war, and for Russia’s release of smallpox into Africa.

    Could you please furnish those? Apologies if you supplied it and I missed over it.”

    Not a problem there buckshot! Give’er a read!

    http://bioethics.net/journal/j_articles.php?aid=91

    I never said that Russia “Released it into Africa” I said they “Accidentally” let some get loose, as in, either misplaced it, or someone decided they wanted it. They didn’t exactly have the greatest of controls over their stockpiles of weaponry back in the early 1990’s. Now the disease is re-emerging in some African communities. Coincidence? Possibly. But the disease *WAS* eradicated except for two sources, and the Russians may or may not have had control of theirs for a while there and think a smidgen might have gotten loose. How many nukes did they TOTALLY lose track of now?

    I say that Russia is actively stoking Middle Eastern war specifically because it is they that have the most to gain from it. Occam’s Razor. While I happily admit that it is my opinion, and my opinion alone, it is backed up by past Russian actions both inside and outside Russia.

    Vic: “As for Russia and China, you can say all you want about what they would do if they could, but that is simply your opinion and not necessarily the truth at all. Both Russia and China have stated that in today’s world, economics is the way to gain power and to protect one’s interests most intelligently.”

    And again they’re trying to do so specifically because they are totally unable to do so through military might. Would they if they could? Absolutely, and they are more than happy to flex military muscle when they feel it’s prudent. Invasion of Georgia? Sabre rattling over Taiwan? Sabre rattling over the South China Sea?

    I agree with you, and them, that the best way to confront the United States is economically. Hit this country in the pocketbook and we’ll do more damage than nuclear weaponry could dream of.

    Vic: “In the end, the fact remains that it is the US that is putting all its resources into the military/industrial complex and expanding its military influence across the globe. No one else is doing that. No one. That one fact should be a pretty clear and obvious hint to you as to where we should look to control aggression in the world.”

    And my reply to you is that war is the continuation of diplomacy using different means. They’re using the ammunition they’ve got. We’re encircling them they way we do it best: Militarily. The problem with this is……?

    You’re like a broken record here, and I keep pointing out that they aren’t doing it BECAUSE THEY CAN’T! They don’t have the means in terms of military manpower (Russia) or Logistically (China). What part of that isn’t getting through to you?

    Microdiamonds eh? Okay. Alone that’s no big deal, I’ll give you that. Neutron initiator? Modeling studies? Fishy? Naw! Heck, I build Neutron Initiators for the local children on the Fourth of July! Those Modeling Studies? Those are just informational. Pshhh, those are for straight line winds!

    I read your other replies, but they’re little more than backtracking blather and unbridled hilarity undeserving of retort. I suppose my attention span was long enough to get through those… You keep saying that Iran’s doing this instead of that and you simply do not know. Hell, I don’t know. But I’ve got articulable reasonable suspicion that if someone says they’re going to rain fire on a country, and are going through the motions to build a bomb to do it with, they mean it. Lesson to you here: If someone says they’re going to kill you, BELIEVE THEM! And take steps to prevent just that. Israel and the United States aren’t the ones saying they’re going to wipe Iran off the map. Iranian leadership spout that drivel pretty much daily, and it seems that Israel is taking steps to prevent the Iranians from getting their hands on that bomb.

    Ed/Resa, thanks. Victor and I are just having a little fun calling each other stupid. Though I don’t believe he is, and honestly I agree with him for the most part. Gawd, I’d never admit that to him. And this place was getting boring with everyone agreeing constantly. Groupthink sucks. I figured I’d give ol’ Vic a little poke and get this conversation interesting. Princess (VT) is fun, but Vic is far more well read and articulate. All Princess does is call me an asshole, not that he’s wrong, but sheesh!

  • The section in italics from my preceding comment is from Kathy C’s link.
    The section (regarding detention) is not to be construed to affect other existing laws, either negatively or positively. The requirement that they be held in military custody does not apply to citizens: the option to hold them in custody, military or otherwise, is not excluded.

  • Smallpox was considered by the World Health Organization as eradicated in 1979. It is a mandatorily reportable disease everywhere that there is a reporting system for transmissible diseases. That includes every country in Africa. Also, it is reportable by national governments to the World Health Organization. If anyone has any credible information about the remergence of smallpox anywhere on this planet, it is imperative that they promptly contact the World Health Organization (or if a local re-emergence, their local reporting system also).

    This does not apply to human monkeypox virus, which causes a very similar disease, but is much more benign.

  • TurboGuy

    We’re encircling them they way we do it best: Militarily. The problem with this is……?

    The problem with this is that in doing so the US is fomenting political/economic/social instability across the world – intentionally. And doing untold damage to people, families, lives, livelihoods, and the environment. What kind of example to the world is it to promote militarism across the globe to ‘establish peace and democracy’? What a fucking sham!

    The other problem with this is that the US is doing immense harm to itself – not only its reputation around the world (it is becoming a hated nation), but to its own people. As a result of its unbalanced priorities (choosing guns over butter), it is denying its people a stable economy, a solid infrastructure (money goes to guns, not roads and bridges and housing and hospitals and schools and alternative energy), a sound educational system (its public education system from primary through college is suffering immensely), it’s third world health system, its political process (bought up by the military/industrial complex and the international bankers), its Constitution (being destroyed by a sick paranoia and fear of everything that might be an enemy). It has made not only every country in the world a potential enemy (you are either for us or against us) but now its own people an enemy (NDAA). The trillions spent on the irrational American fear of everything that moves is sucking the life out of the country. The American Government is not protecting its people: it is destroying them and their hope for a future for their children. And not only them but for a good portion the rest of the world as well – wherever they have ‘US interests’ (read ‘corporate interests’) to protect – which is EVERYWHERE.

    THAT is my answer to ‘The problem with this is……?’

    You keep saying that Iran’s doing this instead of that and you simply do not know. Hell, I don’t know. But I’ve got articulable reasonable suspicion that if someone says they’re going to rain fire on a country, and are going through the motions to build a bomb to do it with, they mean it.

    That’s right. Agreed! I don’t know and you don’t know. And obviously the Evil Axis does not KNOW, even after all the intense investigation and inspections and intelligence efforts. They only suspect. Yet they are screaming for war just as they did with Iraq, only this time it has the high potential to end in a world war, as China and Russia will never let Iran go down without a fierce fight.

    Your lack of critical thought and research is astounding. Not only have you accepted without question from your masters that Iran is busily engaged in building a nuclear weapon, but you have obviously bought hook, line and sinker the propaganda that Iran threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the map. You probably haven’t ever investigated that except to read the NY Times or Washington Post for your views on the subject. But let me assure you there is another, more truthful account of this vitriolic piece of misinformation.

    Try this analysis from Arash Norouzi is you are intellectually honest enough for a proper interpretation of what was really said from the Farsi language (I have several more excellent references, but I don’t want to tax you, and you probably won’t read them anyway):

    http://antiwar.com/orig/norouzi.php?articleid=11025

    Some quotes in case your attention span gets in your way of working through the entire document:

    WHAT was ACTUALLY said:
    Before we get to the infamous remark, it’s important to note that the “quote” in question was itself a quote – they are the words of the late Ayatollah Khomenei, the father of the Islamic Revolution. Although he quoted Khomeini to affirm his own position on Zionism, the actual words belong to Khomeini and not Ahmadinejad. Thus, Ahmadinejad has essentially been credited (or blamed) for a quote that is not only unoriginal, but represents a viewpoint already in place well before he ever took office.

    Further on what was said:
    So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in Farsi:

    “Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad.”

    That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word “regime.” pronounced just like the English word with an extra “eh” sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase “rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods” (regime occupying Jerusalem).

    So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want “wiped from the map”? The answer is: nothing. That’s because the word “map” was never used. The Persian word for map, “nagsheh” is not contained anywhere in his original Farsi quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase “wipe out” ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran’s president threatened to “wipe Israel off the map.” despite never having uttered the words “map.” “wipe out” or even “Israel.”

    Further – the CONTEXT of what was said (ever heard of that word ‘context’?):

    While the false “wiped off the map” extract has been repeated infinitely without verification, Ahmadinejad’s actual speech itself has been almost entirely ignored. Given the importance placed on the “map” comment, it would be sensible to present his words in their full context to get a fuller understanding of his position. In fact, by looking at the entire speech, there is a clear, logical trajectory leading up to his call for a “world without Zionism.” One may disagree with his reasoning, but critical appraisals are infeasible without first knowing what that reasoning is.

    In his speech, Ahmadinejad declares that Zionism is the West’s apparatus of political oppression against Muslims. He says the “Zionist regime” was imposed on the Islamic world as a strategic bridgehead to ensure domination of the region and its assets. Palestine, he insists, is the frontline of the Islamic world’s struggle with American hegemony, and its fate will have repercussions for the entire Middle East.

    Ahmadinejad acknowledges that the removal of America’s powerful grip on the region via the Zionists may seem unimaginable to some, but reminds the audience that, as Khomeini predicted, other seemingly invincible empires have disappeared and now only exist in history books. He then proceeds to list three such regimes that have collapsed, crumbled or vanished, all within the last 30 years:

    (1) The Shah of Iran – the U.S. installed monarch

    (2) The Soviet Union

    (3) Iran’s former arch-enemy, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein

    In the first and third examples, Ahmadinejad prefaces their mention with Khomeini’s own words foretelling that individual regime’s demise. He concludes by referring to Khomeini’s unfulfilled wish: “The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time. This statement is very wise.” This is the passage that has been isolated, twisted and distorted so famously. By measure of comparison, Ahmadinejad would seem to be calling for regime change, not war.

    So there you have it – the Zionist regime will disappear in time just as the Soviet regime disappeared in time.

    TPTB really count on people who unquestionably believe anything trash they put out and obey their calls to war to ‘protect civilians’ and to ‘bring democracy’ to the world – which is the exact opposite of what they are really up to.

    People who don’t think and critically analyse and are really open to and seek out other points of view, are people who are doomed to slavery.

  • Victor, Turboguy

    To keep my statement short.
    Empires on the decline.
    They start to expand ever more, become one of those bubbles themselves.
    Bubbles implode, they simply have to, don’t they?

    Need proof? Have a look in history at all those empires.
    Find one, that reversed it’s fate?

    Now, admitting this time COULD be different, there has never been a time that next to instant information on the facts, not believes, COULD make a change.
    But it won’t, believes, no matter how “§$%”$%!”§$%§”% they are, are ruling as ever.

  • TurboGuy

    I never said that Russia “Released it into Africa”

    Perhaps not directly but you made it sound like that – Russia “Accidentally” let some of their stored and weaponized Smallpox get loose a while back and now the disease is turning up in Africa again.

    “A while back” is like 20 years ago at the time of the chaotic breakup of the USSR. You make it sound like they lost it only recently. And you also try to lead people to believe they did it purposefully by your placing quotation marks around “accidentally”. “And now” in the same sentence leads to the conclusion that it was lost and then set loose in Africa.

    Now the disease is re-emerging in some African communities. The article says nothing about this. Indeed, as the article clearly states, smallpox has been eradicated (outside of weaponised versions of it) and has not re-emerged anywhere. Actually, what you are talking about is a related, but far less harmful, disease that has been seen in Africa recently – monkeypox. And it has absolutely NOTHING to do with Russia or weaponised smallpox.

  • “We cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
    -Abraham Lincoln

  • With thanks to Sandra Long, I’ve posted a new entry this morning. It’s here.

  • Bernhard

    Agreed. All empires must face the day when they are no longer. The US is no exception to that. Indeed, it has been observed by some that the life-span of empires gets shorter over time. The empires of old lasted far longer than they do in more recent times. I think part of this is as you have observed – technology enables faster communication and faster change.

  • You folks can argue over the meaning of words and phrases all you want, but certainly Obama and the members of congress believe that the bill allows for the arrest and indefinite detention of American citizens on American soil by the military. I really don’t care what the bill actually states – this is the way the makers of that bill interpret it and thus reveals how it will be implemented.

    https://rt.com/usa/news/obama-detention-defense-levin-635/

    Americans trusting their government not to harm them will be completely surprised, horrified and shocked when the troops start rounding up the ‘enemies’ on their streets and in their neighbourhoods. Instead of the black autos used by the Gestapo, you will be fearing the appearance of the Hummer pulling up at your drive.

    It is then that Americans will be introduced to real and unmasked fear.

    And we in the UK and Europe probably won’t be much further behind.

  • ‘Kicking so many cans down the road’ and denying responsibility for our reckless overconsumption, relentless overproduction and rampant overpopulation activities today can fulfill nothing more than the promise of a disastrous future for children everywhere tomorrow. Choosing now to live outrageously greedy lifestyles that are patently unsustainable provides all the wrong lessons to our children, who must learn to live sustainably before it is too late for human behavior change to make a difference.