Tag Archives | Government

Federal Government Is Supplying Schools With Assault Rifles, Grenade Launchers and Other Military Gear

How mad is this? In addition to turning America’s local police forces into paramilitary occupying forces, the Federal government is also sending assault rifles, grenade launchers and all sorts of other military gear to public schools. Yes, you read that right, story via the Wall Street Journal:

A federal program that has drawn criticism in recent weeks for supplying surplus military gear to local police has also provided rifles, grenade launchers and armored vehicles to public schools, some of which were unprepared for what they were getting.

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In the wake of school shootings in Sandy Hook, Conn., and elsewhere, some school security departments developed SWAT teams, added weapons to deal with any contingency and called on the federal government to help supply the gear. But now the program is facing renewed scrutiny from both outside observers and police using the program.

In south Texas, near the Mexican border, the sprawling Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District has 34,700 students and operates its own SWAT team, thanks in part to military gear it was given in recent years.

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The Business of America is Dirty Tricks: Meet the United States Chamber of Commerce

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Former Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York | 65 LIberty Street by Gryffindor via Wikimedia Commons

Lee Fang writes at the Baffler:

Any glance at the inert state of political progress in our market-addled age has to leave even the most dogged investigator a bit bewildered. We live, after all, in an era of economic and ideological drift—of street occupations and ballot-box insurgencies. Yet our institutions of national government remain in shameful fealty to a laissez-faire fantasy. With metronomic predictability, the wise men of Washington preach austerity amid a raging jobs recession and wish away the bulwarks of economic security that make life in these United States (barely) tolerable for fixed-income retirees and poor people who have had the unpardonable bad taste to fall ill. As major manufacturing metropolises go bankrupt, as wages continue to go south while productivity climbs, as mortgages and pension plans are pillaged by the bailed-out banking class, we are trapped in a political consensus that urges government continually to shrink and depicts tax increases on the rich as an unholy abomination against the market’s righteous will.

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How the Government and Private Elites Have Teamed Up for Decades to Astroturf America

Dean G. Acheson, U.S. Secretary of State, January 21, 1949 to January 20, 1953

Dean G. Acheson, U.S. Secretary of State, January 21, 1949 to January 20, 1953

Recently it was reported that a blue-ribbon, anti-Iran nonprofit is so well-connected that it may have been working intimately with the U.S. government behind the scenes. Journalist Glenn Greenwald wondered whether the group, United Against Nuclear Iran, is in fact a government front. That would hardly be as unusual as you’d think.

After serving as President Harry Truman’s secretary of state, Dean Acheson reminisced that 1940s organizations he had supported — the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies and the Citizens’ Committee for the Marshall Plan — were “uniquely and typically American.” Many groups engage in protest, Acheson noted, but “few organize privately to support Government, and fewer still to support policies and measures not directly beneficial to themselves or their group.”

My research discloses that these organizations, far from being extraordinary, were just the most famous of dozens of elite, bipartisan “citizens committees” that have secretly collaborated with the administration of the day, whether Democratic or Republican.… Read the rest

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The US is an oligarchy, study concludes

"Bedsheet banner" by Charles Hutchins via Flickr.

“Bedsheet banner” by Charles Hutchins via Flickr.

Report by researchers from Princeton and Northwestern universities suggests that US political system serves special interest organisations, instead of voters.
The US government does not represent the interests of the majority of the country’s citizens, but is instead ruled by those of the rich and powerful, a new study from Princeton and Northwestern Universities has concluded.
The report, entitled Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens, used extensive policy data collected from between the years of 1981 and 2002 to empirically determine the state of the US political system.
After sifting through nearly 1,800 US policies enacted in that period and comparing them to the expressed preferences of average Americans (50th percentile of income), affluent Americans (90th percentile) and large special interests groups, researchers concluded that the United States is dominated by its economic elite.
The peer-reviewed study, which will be taught at these universities in September, says: “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

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How the Occupy Movement Helps Us Progress

Occupy Wall Street protesters have taken over Zuccotti Park as a base of operations. 17 September 2011 by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

Occupy Wall Street protesters have taken over Zuccotti Park as a base of operations. 17 September 2011 by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

The words ‘Occupy’, and the concept of the 99% and the 1% have become so enmeshed in our daily lives, hardly an American alive can deny their importance. Still, when pundits deign to look back upon the short history of the movement, and recent years’ progressive activism in general, they wonder “what good has it done”, and “where have they gone”, and “why couldn’t they just play by the rules?” The underlying implication is that such protests are somehow outside the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the political landscape, and therefore should be easily forgotten. But their ideas demand the attention of people everywhere, from Gezi Park to Taiwan, from Brazil to Ferguson, and anywhere citizens have been forced to exert their rights by literally occupying their own turf against tyrannical powers.… Read the rest

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Captain America on Immigration

I think this is a perfect summation of America’s dysfunctional immigration system.

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Taken from Captain Vol 7 14 (credit to Imgur user Snowchill).

via Policy.Mic:

Why Cap’s words matter now: Congress will leave soon for its August recess, potentially leaving the crisis on the border with Mexico completely unresolved. With just hours left until the legislative branch leaves town until Sept. 7, the president’s requested $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the crisis of unaccompanied child refugees fleeing to the U.S. from Central America has not been assigned. Obama’s legislation is quite likely dead in the water.

A competing House GOP-sponsored bill which funds spending through September may have a rocky road in the Senate. The Republican version has provisions designed to appeal to the anti-immigration crowd, like eliminating hearings for child migrants in order to speed their deportation. While Democrats consider those provisions a poison pill, it is still possible that most conservative opponents of immigration reform will decide the bill doesn’t go far enough.

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Randall Carlson on Rewriting History, Bridging the Gap Between Science and Religion and Avoiding Catastrophe

Via Midwest Real
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Every night we go to bed taking it for granted that tomorrow will come. Sure, from time to time we have an unpleasant thought along the lines of “worst case scenario, my heart will give out and I won’t wake up.”

But, what if that wasn’t the worst case scenario?IMG_1109

As we speak, massive chunks of instant extinction are flying by the vessel we inhabit at preposterous speeds. If one of them crosses Earth’s path, it could easily be game over for the human race.

As long as we’ve been aware of that inconvenient fact, it’s been good for precisely one thing- apathy. That’s because the ability to do anything about it was completely absent from the equation. Well, that’s not the case anymore. We actually do have the technology and intelligence to do something about it. However, thus far, we’ve shown a complete and total lack of will to seriously discuss it.… Read the rest

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Synopsis of Our Present Predicament: What the Future Holds

via chycho

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In short, the main problem with our society is that our education system is designed to instill obedience, and it has done so extremely well. We have willingly consumed propaganda to the point where our hypnosis has turned us into servants of totalitarian regimes:

“The political philosopher Sheldon Wolin uses the term inverted totalitarianism in his book Democracy Incorporated to describe our political system. In inverted totalitarianism, the sophisticated technologies of corporate control, intimidation, and mass manipulation, which far surpass those employed by previous totalitarian states, are effectively masked by the glitter, noise, and abundance of a consumer society.”

Bill Hicks – JFK

Further information on the JFK assassination at: “Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City”, and “The Death Of John Kennedy: The Media helped sell the lie of the lone assassin”.

We have allowed poverty and inequality to flourish by believing in Wall Street’s mantra, practicing accounting magic of indefinite growth, and normalizing scarcity based economics.

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Does Uncle Sam Have a God Complex?

Uncle Sam (pointing finger)As a matter of faith, some people believe that God can see and hear everything. But as a matter of fact, the U.S. government now has the kind of surveillance powers formerly attributed only to a supreme being.

Top “national security” officials in Washington now have the determination and tech prowess to keep tabs on billions of people. No one elected Uncle Sam to play God. But a dire shortage of democratic constraints has enabled the U.S. surveillance state to keep expanding with steely resolve.

By the time Edward Snowden used NSA documents to expose — beyond any doubt — a global surveillance dragnet, the situation had deteriorated so badly because the Bush and Obama administrations were able to dismiss earlier warnings to the public as little more than heresy.

Eight years ago, in the book “State of War,” New York Times reporter James Risen devoted a chapter to the huge expansion of surveillance.… Read the rest

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How To Impeach A President

Pro-Impeachment anti-war protester 2007We haven’t had a good old fashioned presidential impeachment since the 20th century, so just in case y’all forgot, here’s how courtesy of Vox:

Last weekend, the South Dakota Republican Party voted to call for the impeachment of President Obama. It seems to be the first official adoption of impeachment as policy by a state GOP organization, but it’s the latest example that parts of the conservative base are yearning for it. Since Republican leaders aren’t on board, impeachment seems unlikely to actually happen unless some major new scandal emerges. But — just in case — here’s how the process actually works.

The Constitution says that the president can be removed from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.” But many have argued that the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors” is really up to the House to decide. When Gerald Ford was House Minority Leader, he said, “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.” And as a practical matter, he’s absolutely right.

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