Recently I asked Skinner if I could use GD for some cyberbegging in order to attend the upcoming Passing the Torch: An International Symposium on the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The three-day conference is next week at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
Skinner said it would be OK to ask. For his support, I will always be grateful. The reason why I asked: DU is a Truth Machine.
"The heart grows stronger by facing the evils of the world." -- Ludwig van Beethoven
President Kennedy on November 1, 1963, Washington, DC.
Since there are so many millions of interesting discussions, I wouldnt blame you if you never saw me write that DU is a Truth Machine before. What I mean by that is DU connects people in a way that Corporate McPravda never can directly with each other and to what they need to know like nothing else before or since. People from all over the world come to learn and to share what they know and believe -- particularly where it pertains to democracy.
Reading up on all the DUers who need help to survive and stay afloat, though, kept me from asking for help. Then, today, DUer Snooper2 wanted to know if Id asked DU and wondered how much support I had gotten from my fan base.
As some of you know, I have little tolerance for those who make light of the assassination of President Kennedy. The reason is the assassination marked the moment 50 years ago the War Party took charge of the nation where Money trumps peace and the "Have-Mores get More" mentality of the fascist greedheads hold so much power that they can lie America into wars for profit with impunity.
Now I dont mind Snooper 2 and his questions. I do mind the tone that some have expressed toward my interest in the assassination of President Kennedy over the years. Many consider the matter something of no import. I completely disagree.
The conference will include presentations from many of the people I most respect on the tragedy, a historic turning point in our nations history. A short list of wholl be there, with links referring to an occasion I referenced them on DU:
Robert McClelland, MD
Cyril Wecht, MD, JD
There are others who will speak and discuss the assassination, its aftermath, the continuing media cover-up of the case, and what we as DUers and We the People can do to create a more democratic future.
While I cant promise to interview anyone specifically at the conference, I do promise to report to DU what they say at the symposium. I also promise to report what I learn while there.
Now my questions:
Who agrees with me - Who thinks the assassination of President Kennedy still matters?
Why do you hold the position you do?
I really would like to know.
Thanks for reading. Please let me know your thoughts. And while I'm not going to ask for cash, I would like to get your support through kicks and rec's and all the rest that is DU. Thank you, my Friends!
The following, written before 1999, details the history and hidden operations of the Class War:
The Origins of the Overclass
By Steve Kangas
The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.
The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA. This is not to say the machine is a formal CIA operation, complete with code name and signed documents. (Although such evidence may yet surface and previously unthinkable domestic operations such as MK-ULTRA, CHAOS and MOCKINGBIRD show this to be a distinct possibility.) But what we do know already indicts the CIA strongly enough. Its principle creators were Irving Kristol, Paul Weyrich, William Simon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Frank Shakespeare, William F. Buckley, Jr., the Rockefeller family, and more. Almost all the machine's creators had CIA backgrounds.
During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism. The CIA's expert and comprehensive organization of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of Americas wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent the highest level of inequality in the 20th century.
How did this alliance start? The CIA has always recruited the nations elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars. During World War II, General "Wild Bill" Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nations rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that "OSS" stood for "Oh, so social!"
Another early elite was Allen Dulles, who served as Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Dulles was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels. He was also a board member of the J. Henry Schroeder Bank, with offices in Wall Street, London, Zurich and Hamburg. His financial interests across the world would become a conflict of interest when he became head of the CIA. Like Donavan, he would recruit exclusively from societys elite.
What we've learned since then only reinforces Kangas: The 1-percent (especially the the 1-percent of 1-percent) use their ever-increasing wealth to condition, command and control the 99-percent of We the People.
PS: Steve Kangas died of a gunshot wound to the head outside the offices of Richard Mellon Scaife in Pittsburgh in 1999. His death was ruled a suicide. Tragic, especially considering that he was connecting the dots between the rabid right and the assault on President Clinton, mass media, Big Finance, etc. online and in a big way.
In 2001, I met Stiglitz whom I'd heard was quietly expressing grave doubts about austerity and structural adjustment à la Summers. He agreed to go public. Over several hours of discussion, which I recorded for BBC TV, Stiglitz charged that IMF-imposed austerity was " a little like the Middle Ages. When the patient died, they would say, well, we stopped the bloodletting too soon; he still had a little blood in him."
Stiglitz detailed for me the ill effects of the "structural adjustment" demands, including "free" trade, which he likened to the Opium Wars; bank deregulation, which he found ludicrously dangerous; privatization, which Stiglitz called "briberization"; and budget-cutting austerity.
The budget cuts and free-market nostrums, Stiglitz told me, were as cruel as they were stupid. And he said of those who profited off these IMF diktats, "They don't care if people live or die."
Stiglitz went on to win the Nobel Prize in economics for his skepticism of Markets über Alles.
PS: What a coincidence to see all the Goldman people heading European nations' austerity drives.
NSA spying is fascistic, of real benefit only to the wealthiest of the wealthy.
Turnkey Tyranny: Surveillance and the Terror State
By Trevor Paglen New York, NY, USA
June 25, 2013
Politicians claim that the Terror State is necessary to defend democratic institutions from the threat of terrorism. But there is a deep irony to this rhetoric. Terrorism does not pose, has never posed and never will pose an existential threat to the United States. Terrorists will never have the capacity to take away our freedom. Terrorist outfits have no armies with which to invade, and no means to impose martial law. They do not have their hands on supra-national power levers like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. They cannot force nations into brutal austerity programs and other forms of economic subjugation. But while terrorism cannot pose an existential threat to the United States, the institutions of a Terror State absolutely can. Indeed, their continued expansion poses a serious threat to principles of democracy and equality.
At its most spectacular, terrorism works by instilling so much fear in a society that the society begins to collapse on itself. The effects of persistent mass surveillance provide one example of such disintegration. Most obviously, surveillance represents a searing breach of personal privacy, as became clear when NSA analysts passed around phone-sex recordings of overseas troops and their stateside spouses. And while surveillance inhibits the exercise of civil liberties for all, it inevitably targets racial, religious and political minorities. Witness the Department of Homeland Securitys surveillance of Occupy activists, the NYPDs monitoring of Muslim Americans, the FBIs ruthless entrapment of young Muslim men and the use of anti-terror statutes against environmental activists. Moreover, mass surveillance also has a deep effect on culture, encouraging conformity to a narrow range of acceptable ideas by frightening people away from non-mainstream thought. If the government keeps a record of every library book you read, you might be disinclined to check out The Anarchist Cookbook today; tomorrow you might think twice before borrowing Lenins Imperialism.
Looking past whatever threats may or may not exist from overseas terrorists, the next few decades will be decades of crisis. Left unchecked, systemic instability caused by growing economic inequality and impending environmental disaster will produce widespread insecurity. On the economic side, we are facing an increasingly acute crisis of capitalism and a growing disparity between the haves and have-nots, both nationally and globally. For several decades, the vast majority of economic gains have gone to the wealthiest segments of society, while the middle and working classes have seen incomes stagnate and decline. Paul Krugman has dubbed this phenomenon the Great Divergence.
A few statistics are telling: between 1992 and 2007, the income of the 400 wealthiest people in the United States rose by 392 percent. Their tax rate fell by 37 percent. Since 1979, productivity has risen by more than 80 percent, but the median workers wage has only gone up by 10 percent. This is not an accident. The evisceration of the American middle and working class has everything to do with an all-out assault on unions; the rewriting of the laws governing bankruptcy, student loans, credit card debt, predatory lending and financial trading; and the transfer of public wealth to private hands through deregulation, privatization and reduced taxes on the wealthy. The Great Divergence is, to put it bluntly, the effect of a class war waged by the rich against the rest of society, and there are no signs of it letting up.
Consider the Banks and Banksters that are too big to jail:
Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail
How HSBC hooked up with drug traffickers and terrorists. And got away with it
By Matt Taibbi
Rolling Stone, February 14, 2013 8:00 AM ET
The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays, almost like the government was hoping people were too busy hanging stockings by the fireplace to notice. Flooring politicians, lawyers and investigators all over the world, the U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever. Yes, they issued a fine $1.9 billion, or about five weeks' profit but they didn't extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses.
People may have outrage fatigue about Wall Street, and more stories about billionaire greedheads getting away with more stealing often cease to amaze. But the HSBC case went miles beyond the usual paper-pushing, keypad-punching sort-of crime, committed by geeks in ties, normally associated with Wall Street. In this case, the bank literally got away with murder well, aiding and abetting it, anyway.
Also known as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, HSBC has always been associated with drugs. Founded in 1865, HSBC became the major commercial bank in colonial China after the conclusion of the Second Opium War. If you're rusty in your history of Britain's various wars of Imperial Rape, the Second Opium War was the one where Britain and other European powers basically slaughtered lots of Chinese people until they agreed to legalize the dope trade (much like they had done in the First Opium War, which ended in 1842).
A century and a half later, it appears not much has changed. With its strong on-the-ground presence in many of the various ex-colonial territories in Asia and Africa, and its rich history of cross-cultural moral flexibility, HSBC has a very different international footprint than other Too Big to Fail banks like Wells Fargo or Bank of America. While the American banking behemoths mainly gorged themselves on the toxic residential-mortgage trade that caused the 2008 financial bubble, HSBC took a slightly different path, turning itself into the destination bank for domestic and international scoundrels of every possible persuasion.
It sounds like a broken record: The Have-Mores keep getting more and more and the 99-percent of We the People increasingly get less and less.
95 Percent of Recovery Income Gains Have Gone to the Top 1 Percent
By Matthew Yglesias | Posted Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, at 3:31 PM
Important inequality update from Emmanuel Saez:
Top 1% incomes grew by 31.4% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 0.4% from 2009 to 2012. Hence, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years of the recovery. From 2009 to 2010, top 1% grew fast and then stagnated from 2010 to 2011. Bottom 99% stagnated both from 2009 to 2010 and from 2010 to 2011. In 2012, top 1% incomes increased sharply by 19.6% while bottom 99% incomes grew only by 1.0%. In sum, top 1% incomes are close to full recovery while bottom 99% incomes have hardly started to recover.
The same set of data shows that the recession years were egalitarian in the sense that the top 1 percent's income share fell, but the incomes of the 99 percent also felljust not as fast as the incomes of the richestso the catastrophic recession approach to reducing inequality doesn't look so good.
No wonder they hate Wikileaks, which spell out precisely who benefits from the Secret Government and how:
Wikileaks Release Suggests Stratfor Inside Info Plan with Goldman Sachs Exec
By Ryan Villarreal: Subscribe to Ryan's RSS feed
February 27, 2012 6:26 PM EST
WikiLeaks released more than 5 million e-mails Monday hacked from U.S.-based global intelligence firm Strategy Forecasting Inc. (Stratfor), revealing an alleged plan between the firm's CEO and a Goldman Sachs executive to set up an investment fund that would rely on inside information gathered by the company.
A September 2011 company-wide e-mail composed by Stratfor CEO George Friedman indicates that Goldman Sachs financial adviser and former Managing Director Shea Morenz was directly involved in the establishment of the investment fund StratCap.
"Shea Morenz provided us with two opportunities," wrote Friedman.
"First, he made an investment in Stratfor designed to give us the capital needed to build our staff and our marketing. Second, he proposed a new venture, StratCap, which would allow us to utilize the intelligence we were gathering about the world in a new but related venue -- an investment fund. Where we had previously advised other hedge funds. We would now have our own, itself fully funded by Shea."
When it comes to Secret Government and Secret Government Surveillance and Secret Inside Information, it's not a coincidence. We should call it what it is: It's a conspiracy on behalf of the 1-percent. And We the People are the victims.
The fact of the matter is that there is nothing the republicans in the house are doing that is unconstitutional, so for starters, this is an example of yet another unforeseen outcome. The original constitution institutionalized slavery, regionalism, property rights over human rights, restricted full civil rights to property owning white men, wasn't clear about the role of the Supreme Court, and defined an upper legislative chamber that quickly became an institution of open corruption.
The whole mess disolved in less than 100 years in a bloody civil war, and was reconstituted in republic 2.0, a new and different corrupt mess that carried on for another 70 years until it too reached a crisis in the form of the Great Depression. The current version, republic 3.0, is also at a crisis point. The original constitution is more or less irrelevant, claims to be the true standard bearers for that piece of parchment are absurd.
The problem isn't with the Constitution, it's with the people who think they're above it. A Department of Justice that enforces the Constitution and the nation's laws equally for all will go a long way toward solving the nation's problems as well as taking out the corrupt Congress, federal agencies and conservative neo-NAZI courts.
As for your example of the current budget crisis, President Obama has kept his ace up his sleave. The 14th Amendment enables him to protect the good faith and credit of the USA, if he wants to use it.
It's most telling that Mainstream Media -- the same corporations that say Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone; Iraq had WMDs twice; and that undeserving homeowners were responsible for the $16 trillion dollar bankster bailout -- won't touch the NSA story.
Old and outmoded. We can still have rights and protections with a new system of government. Unfortunately, that will never happen as too many worship a piece of 18th century paper.
The problem isn't the Constitution; it's the traitors who undermine it and those who fail to defend and protect it.
Smedley Butler named them, they tried to stop FDR, they killed JFK, and they foisted Nixon, Rehnquist, Reagan, Scalia, Bushes, Roberts, and who knows whom else on us -- We the People -- to preserve and expand their power, wealth and privilege.
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