Tag Archives | United States

Edwin Lyngar: Why I Fled Libertarianism — And Became A Liberal

Pic: Jacopo Werther (PD)

Pic: Jacopo Werther (PD)

via Salon

The night before the 2008 Nevada Republican convention, the Ron Paul delegates all met at a Reno high school. Although I’d called myself a libertarian for almost my entire adult life, it was my first exposure to the wider movement.

And boy, was it a circus. Many members of the group were obsessed with the gold standard, the Kennedy assassination and the Fed. Although Libertarians believe government is incompetent, many of them subscribe to the most fringe conspiracy theories imaginable. Airplanes are poisoning America with chemicals (chemtrails) or the moon landings were faked. Nothing was too far out. A great many of them really think that 9-11 was an inside job. Even while basking in the electoral mainstream, the movement was overflowing with obvious hokum.

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Swiss Banks Urge U.S. Tax Dodgers To Come Clean To Beat Deadline

Giuseppe-Colarusso-24

Giuseppe Colarusso

Affluenza, purported higher IQs, and now a headstart for those who already stack the deck?

via Politico

Swiss banks are quietly warning wealthy U.S. clients with secret accounts to come clean with the tax man in the next two weeks — or risk jail time, according to several letters obtained by POLITICO.

The letters come ahead of a New Year’s Eve deadline the U.S. government set for about 300 Swiss banks to take deals protecting them from prosecution. In exchange for confessing and shelling out mountains of Americans’ account information, they’ll get immunity. It is a new twist to the traditional bank-client relationship.

“The banks have every incentive right now to shove their American clients into compliance in order to reduce the penalties,” said tax attorney Jeff Neiman, who prosecuted Swiss banking giant UBS for the U.S. government.

The effort is part of a U.S. crackdown on American tax evaders and the banks that help them, which ramped up when Swiss banking giant UBS admitted as much with a $780 million settlement in 2009.

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Fidel Castro: ‘Oswald Could Not Have Been the One Who Killed Kennedy’

zapruder237

The Zapruder film: A moment before the Assassination

Jeffrey Goldberg travelled to Cuba, per Fidel Castro’s request to talk with him about a cover story he did on Israel’s threat to strike militarily at Iran’s nuclear facilities. The conversation got onto Kennedy, and this is what Fidel Castro had to say.

via The Atlantic

Fidel Castro shares at least one belief with the majority of Americans: He is convinced that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was not the work of a lone gunman, but was the culmination of a broad conspiracy. According to a recent Gallup poll, 61 percent of Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in Dallas 50 years ago. But Castro suspects that Oswald might not have been involved in the assassination at all. Here is what he told me–to my great surprise–over lunch one day in Havana: “I have reached the conclusion that Oswald could not have been the one who killed Kennedy.” Castro is of course a confident man, but he said this with a degree of surety that was noteworthy.

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Up in Arms: Why America is More Divided Than People Realize

upinarms-map

Click to enlarge

Colin Woodard, writer of American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, explains how America is more divided than most people realize and why.

via Tufts Magazine

THE BATTLE LINES OF TODAY’S DEBATES OVER GUN CONTROL, STAND-YOUR-GROUND LAWS, AND OTHER VIOLENCE-RELATED ISSUES WERE DRAWN CENTURIES AGO BY AMERICA’S EARLY SETTLERS

Last December, when Adam Lanza stormed into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, with a rifle and killed twenty children and six adult staff members, the United States found itself immersed in debates about gun control. Another flash point occurred this July, when George Zimmerman, who saw himself as a guardian of his community, was exonerated in the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Florida. That time, talk turned to stand-your-ground laws and the proper use of deadly force. The gun debate was refreshed in September by the shooting deaths of twelve people at the Washington Navy Yard, apparently at the hands of an IT contractor who was mentally ill.

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Farm Confessional: I’m an Undocumented Farm Worker

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513 migrant workers jammed inside a truck trailer

Are Americans fat and lazy, or do the farms hiring undocumented farm workers bring down the pay and working conditions?

via Modern Farmer

I’ve seen on the news that some Congress members or American citizens say undocumented workers are taking their jobs. We’re not taking their jobs. In the 14 years I’ve been here, I’ve never seen an American working in the fields. I’ve never seen anyone work like Mexicans. In restaurants and construction, you’ll find Salvadorans and Guatemalans, but in the fields, it’s almost all Mexicans.

The work is hard — but many jobs are hard. The thing that bothers me more is the low pay. With cherries, you earn $7 for each box, and I’ll fill 30 boxes in a day — about $210 a day. For blueberries, I’ll do 25 containers for up to $5 each one — $125 a day.

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Jonestown: Paradise Lost (documentary)

This is a hybrid documentary about Jim Jones, Peoples Temple, Jonestown, and the victims. This includes the words of some of the survivors and dramatization of the real events. Please feel free to share your thoughts and recommendations.

via Top Documentary Films

An evangelical preacher led nearly a 1,000 followers from the United States deep into the jungles of South America. They would build a new community free of oppression and violence and it was to be their paradise on Earth, but outsiders threatened to expose the dark side of their leader. In one day two worlds collidedand paradise was lost. In November 1978 reporters around the world broke the news that Jim Jones and more than 900 of his followers died.

By the late 1960s and early 70s the streets of America erupted in violence and civil strife. War in Vietnam, civil rights marches and political assassinations played out on television.

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An excerpt from ‘They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45′ by Milton Mayer

960002_267614923363550_993352090_nEchoes from the past to consider in the present.

via University of Chicago

But Then It Was Too Late

“What no one seemed to notice,” said a colleague of mine, a philologist, “was the ever widening gap, after 1933, between the government and the people. Just think how very wide this gap was to begin with, here in Germany. And it became always wider. You know, it doesn’t make people close to their government to be told that this is a people’s government, a true democracy, or to be enrolled in civilian defense, or even to vote. All this has little, really nothing, to do with knowing one is governing.

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security.

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Target is Still Iran: Clear Cutting the Middle East and the Coming Blood Bath (Mapping World War III)

via chycho

world conflicts large

I. Introduction

One of the main reasons that we are on the brink of one of the greatest global catastrophes ever known to human civilization is because people do not have a clear picture of what is happening in the world.

“The chorus of denunciations of the New Hitlers in Teheran and the threat they pose to survival has been marred by a few voices from the back rooms. Former Mossad Chief Ephraim Halevy recently warned that an Israeli attack on Iran ‘could have an impact on us for the next 100 years.’” – Noam Chomsky, August 6, 2008

To remedy the lack of appreciation of this situation, the following maps are being presented to help in the visualization of what the United States of America is proposing, referred to as a crusade by some, World War III (2):

But even with the help of the Israelisespecially with the help of the Israelis!

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“Credibility” is Obsolete

Picture: Evan-Amos (CC)

Picture: Evan-Amos (CC)

Winslow Myers writes at Common Dreams:

Lord have mercy, a half-century beyond the Cuban Missile Crisis and almost as many years beyond Vietnam, our erstwhile leaders are still mouthing stale clichés about “credibility.” Remember Dean Rusk saying we went eyeball to eyeball with the Soviets and they blinked? Of course the world almost ended, but never mind.

And to go back a little further into the too-soon-forgotten past, some historians surmise that Truman dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki not to force an already forthcoming Japanese surrender, but to make ourselves more threateningly credible to the expansionist Soviets as the World War II wound down.

Credibility was the main motif of Secretary of State Kerry’s statement rationalizing possible military action against Syria. If we’re going to kill a few thousand non-combatants in the next few days or weeks, and it looks increasingly as if we are, could we not do it for some better reason than maintaining to the world, as if the world cared, that we are not a pitiful helpless giant?

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