Monday, July 06, 2015

Heeding Cheyney's Call

                                                 
From The Ramparts
                                                  Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                Heeding Cheyney’s Call


            On Wednesday July 15th at 6:30 PM at Zion Baptist Church Broad and Venango Streets in Philadelphia there will be a mass meeting to update and discuss the ongoing struggle to save and resurrect historic Cheyney University. The meeting is being called by Heeding Cheyney’s Call a broad based coalition of alumni, students, current and retired faculty and HBCU advocates who have sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the US Department of Education to remedy decades of deliberate underfunding, willful neglect and discriminatory policies that have adversely impacted the historic institution.  During the meeting the Heeding Cheyney’s Call Steering Committee will provide an update on the status of the lawsuit, where the university stands fiscally and operationally and the plans to save and enhance the university.
            Dr. E. Sonny Harris a retired mathematics professor and former president of the retired faculty union spearheaded the Heeding Cheyney’s Call initiative with Michael Coard, a well known activist attorney, and several officers of the Cheyney University National Alumni Association. The group took the name Heeding Cheyney’s Call because a line in the school’s Alma Mater reads, “When Thou Callest Alma Mater, never shall thou call in vain.” 
As alumni we knew we had to answer the call in Cheyney’s hour of need!  The group formed a steering committee and subsequently met with US Department of Education representatives, local, state and federal elected officials and education advocates in the early Spring of 2013. Everyone the steering committee met with stated emphatically there was no political will on the part of the Corbett administration to do the right thing.
 The July 15th meeting is to dispel false rumors about Cheyney’s pending demise, its closing and/or merger with West Chester University. Twenty-seven months ago Professor Harris called select alumni together to discuss the situation at Cheyney and formulate a plan to save and reenergize the university. He felt compelled to act because enrollment was dwindling precipitously, the fiscal situation was deteriorating and the    university leadership lacked the vision and skills to turn the situation around. It was apparent there was no desire by the Corbett administration to do the right thing short of outside legal intervention.
Corbett’s agenda called for the slashing of funds for education across the board, primary, secondary and higher education such as community colleges, the fourteen state owned universities and four state related institutions: Penn State, Temple, Pitt and Lincoln University.  Only last ditch efforts by Democrats prevented Corbett’s disastrous cuts from going into effect. Nevertheless, all public education took a major hit. “Governor Tom Corbett, newly sworn into office, proposed the most drastic cuts to a state’s public education system in the country. Basic education programs saw a 15% cut, a loss of $1.18 billion… Corbett proposed to cut PASSHE funding for its 14 sister institutions by 53.8% in his 2011-2012 budget. That would have amounted to a total of $625 million. These cuts would have also affected the four state-related universities (Temple, Pitt, Lincoln and Penn State). The General Assembly could have taken a stand against such draconian cuts. Instead they reduced the governor’s budget cut proposal to 20%, which amounted to a loss of $90 million in funding to the system and to the four state- related schools.” In Defense of Public Education In The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania http://www.ragingchickenpress.org/2013/04/01/in-defense-of-public-education-in-the-commonwealth-of-pennsylvania/
For Cheyney, Corbett’s funding cuts were even more devastating due to the Commonwealth’s bi-partisan history of underfunding the institution and its Draconian performance funding criteria which negatively impacted Cheyney and the other smaller PASHEE schools. While chronic underfunding has been bi-partisan, Corbett’s right wing agenda and his Republican cohorts’ support for it were instrumental in drastically cutting funding for public education while supporting additional appropriations for prison construction.
 “Since taking office Corbett has continued to build three new prisons, one in Benner Township and two in Montgomery County. He is also expanding nine existing prison, including SCI Cambridge Springs, SCI Forrest, SCI Houtzdale, SCI Mahanoy, SCI Rockview, SCI Greenburgh, SCI Laurel Highlands, SCI Pine Grove, and SCI Coal Township. These new and expanded prisons cost $68 million to build and add 5,000+ beds to the state prison system. Though the expansion plans were initiated by the Rendell Administraton, Governor Corbett has continued to aggressively move them forward. These plans are out of step with the national trend toward shrinking state prison systems.” Six Myths About Prison Expansion in Pennsylvania http://decarceratepa.info/content/six-myths-about-prison-expansion-pennsylvania.
Borrowing money for new prisons is especially egregious when according to the state’s own crime statistics, crime has been declining in Pennsylvania the past several years!  http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/pacrime.htm   But the Republican agenda of cutting social programs, building prisons and privatizing public services moved full steam ahead under Tom Corbett.
At a press conference in October 2013 Heeding Cheyney’s Call hinted at taking action to go into Federal Court to reopen a 1999 Consent Decree between the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania if the state did not repent and live up to the agreement.  That consent decree agreement called for the continued support of the Cheyney University and its Keystone Honors Program through special line item funding, facilities and technology upgrades, renovation and new programs. The Commonwealth had reneged on the agreement and HCC was going to hold them accountable.
From January of 2014 through late summer of 2014, the HCC negotiating team and representatives from Governor Corbett’s legal staff and PASHEE met ostensibly to find common ground to remedy the situation. Heeding Cheyney’s Call was joined in the negotiations by lead attorney Joe Tucker of the Tucker Law Group the largest Black law firm on the East Coast. Joe Tucker specializes in Civil Rights and Education law. We were also joined and assisted by Dr Earl Richardson, President Emeritus of Morgan State University and Attorney Pace McConkie two founding members of the Coalition for Equity and Excellence in Maryland Higher Education the group that successfully sued the state of Maryland on behalf of the four HBCUs there. The contributions of and support of Joe Tucker, Dr. Richardson and Attorney McConkie have been invaluable!
While discussions with the Commonwealth were cordial, they proved unfruitful. The Corbett administration was unbending and adamant; they said they were not going to give Cheyney any additional monies. Meanwhile conditions at the school worsened, enrollment continued to decline and as a result the deficits spiraled out of control. The president, Dr Michelle Howard-Vital, retired, but thankfully the Provost, Dr. Phyllis Dawkins served as acting president and provost until an interim president was hired.
 On October 29, 2014 Heeding Cheyney’s Call filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and The US Department of Education. The suit withstood legal challenges by both defendants and is proceeding on the Court’s docket. In the meantime Tom Corbett lost the gubernatorial election. His successor Tom Wolf a Democrat had campaigned to restore equitable education funding to both public and higher education. Wolf’s administration inherited the lawsuit. But unlike Corbett, Wolf’s people are willing to sit down and genuinely attempt to work out a solution. All parties know litigating this case will be protracted and an extremely costly affair.
It is important Cheyney alumni, the community at large and higher education advocates support Heeding Cheyney’s Call. Make plans to come out on July 15th to hear the facts about the lawsuit, why it was filed and its significance, learn the status of the negotiations and be prepared to help with the plans to revive and resurrect Cheyney University. The meeting begins at 6:30 at Zion Baptist Church Broad and Venango Streets parking is free after 6:30.


                                                -30-

Friday, March 27, 2015

Television Values and Our Worldview

                                                   From The Ramparts
                                                  Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                      Television, Values and Our World View

“Everyday we are exposed to a particular lifestyle portrayed in movies, tv shows, billboards and commercials. We see people dressed a certain way, living life ‘to the fullest’ – in a particular way. Unfortunately, these characters are created to sell products or raise ratings. Often what is portrayed may not be aligned with reality and yet we may feel that…We long to have the kind of life they live. We wish our lives were just as exciting. We wish we had such close relationships and friends. We wish we would run into that kind of luck we see on TV. We wish we can live just as recklessly, perhaps promiscuously without consequences. We wish we could be as happy as the people we see. We wish to look the way they look, have the body shape as they do… Media has a way of creating a longing for things we don’t have, whether or not they are realistic or not. Unfortunately our lives don’t wrap up cleanly in 30 minutes. Unfortunately there is consequences to our actions. Unfortunately reckless actions lead to pain, suffering and life long regret. Unfortunately reality says our life probably will not or maybe will never pan out the way we see on TV. Unfortunately we do have limits in ability, skills, and even physical appearance. Unfortunately the way a particular product brings completely happiness and satisfaction as seen on the joyous beautiful actors having fun is not true to reality. ” Influence of Media and Advertising In Our View of Life http://www.cleancutmedia.com/advertising/influence-of-media-advertising-in-our-view-of-life

There are several views about the mass media, to some they are merely a means to sell products and keep the economy afloat; to others the media is an insidious promoter of crass materialism and narcissism while others believe the media is a Trojan Horse and we bring the values contained within it, a particular view of the world, modeling behavior and telling us what to think and believe into our psyches. All three views are correct; together they reveal how pervasive, influential and ubiquitous mass media has become.
For example, the Fox Television Network was cofounded in 1985 by international media tycoon Ruport Murdock and after a series of bold programming moves has ascended to both the top network and cable news rating spots. Fox scored big by putting animated series in their prime time line up, snatching Sunday NFL from CBS and creating programming for a younger more diverse demographic audience. This year Fox scored another coup with its new series Empire.  Empire shot to the top immediately and is the mega hit of the 2015 season. Many industry insiders are saying Empire has revitalized network television viewing!
Fox began promoting Empire during the latter stages of the NFL season, when the program debuted a few weeks ago it caught on instantly. When I think about it, Empire is nothing more than a variation of New York Undercover which ran on the Fox TV Network from 1994-98, but with a twist. Both shows have a Hip Hop flava but instead of just showing recording artists at the end of the show in scenes in the night club owned by one of the character’s father in New York Undercover; Empire incorporates Hip Hop, R&B and the entertainment industry into the show itself. Show business is an integral component of the show. However unlike New York Undercover which was a gritty in the Hood action police series, the characters and artists in Empire are nestled around the opulent and decadent lifestyles of the main characters played by Terrance Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett and Bryshere Gray who are cast as music industry icons. The Empire series even had Malik Yoba who starred in New York Undercover as a prime character but he was killed off in the season finale.
While Empire debuted much later than the Showtime series Power, which is very similar in theme to Empire, Empire became an instant hit. Black people flipped out over it and praised it to the heavens on social media and it caught on in record fashion! Now everyone is talking about it even within the industry, “Another impressive aspect to Empire’s early success is its ability to reach large numbers of viewers while also over performing in certain demographic groups. Last week’s episode, for example, will end up reaching over 15 million viewers once a week’s worth of DVR data is tallied, putting it among the top ten most-watched shows on broadcast TV this season…  Women are certainly helping to drive tune-in for Empire, with ratings among female audiences about two times the size of the male viewership. But that’s actually not a huge gap, at least relative to many other hits. NBC’s Wednesday dramas (and its hit reality show The Voice) also perform about twice as well with women versus men, while ABC’s The Bachelor attracts three female viewers for every one dude. As for the ethnic makeup of Empire, the show’s majority-minority cast has paid off in a big way. Last week’s episode was by far the No. 1 English-language show on broadcast TV in homes with African-American and Hispanic heads of household — and by a huge margin. Among Hispanics, Empire out rated its nearest scripted broadcast rival (Fox’s Backstrom) by a 2-1 margin. And in addition to making it into one out of every three black homes, as noted above, among African-American women between 35 and 49, the show is literally the equivalent of a Super Bowl. Last Wednesday’s episode scored a 40.6 rating and 76 share in that group (including three days of DVR replays) — a number exceeding the rating of some NFL championship games this century.” Empire Is A Massive Hit, Here’s What It’s Success Could Mean For The TV Business, by Josef Adalian http://www.vulture.com/2015/01/what-empires-huge-success-means-for-the-tv-biz.html
When I first saw the promos I decided to watch Empire just to see the images and content it was going to propagate. Unfortunately it lived up to my worst apprehensions. Empire like Power promotes the theme that the recording industry specifically and Black business in general is undergirded and financed by crime.
I’m not naïve, I know organized crime was intricately involved in the music industry in the past, that organized crime controlled the juke boxes in retail stores and determined which records got into them, but both Power and Empire make it seem like the only way to make it in business is to have a criminal background and an illicit cash flow!
 I know from writing about Black businesses and entrepreneurs for twenty five years, that capitalization and lines of credit are major obstacles for most Black entrepreneurs; but most of the people I’ve interviewed over the years used sweat equity, their savings, family and friends support and in a few rare instances bank loans to start their businesses. But if you believe what you see on shows like Empire and Power, you think the only way to make it in business is to be a thug, drug dealer and a sociopath.
Before you tell me to lighten up, it’s only a TV show, and fantasy; or that some rappers did start out as street thugs or drug dealers; remember the role media plays in shaping values, perceptions and our view of reality. “People are often influenced as much by artistic, media, and pop cultural representations as they are by personal experiences. Most of what is known about the world comes from symbolic rather than experienced reality, particularly in advanced media-saturated societies like the United States. According to Ray Surette (1998), foremost researcher in the area of media and crime, what you know comes from ‘all the events you didn’t witness but believe occurred, all the facts about the world you didn’t personally collect but believe to be true, and all the things you believe to exist but haven’t personally seen’ Youth (and adult media junkies) tend to be more influenced by pop culture, are more technologically savvy, and are more likely to weave information from media sources into their worldview than older people. Children and adolescents largely rely on symbolic reality they draw from popular culture to form their cognitive scripts.” Jacqueline Helfgott Criminal Behavior Typologies and Criminal Justice, Chapter 10 The Influence of Technology, Media and Popular Culture on Criminal Behavior Coypcat Crime and Cybercrime
Empire reinforces three specific negative stereotypes: to be popular as a Black musician you have to be from the streets, inner city entrepreneurs have to be underwritten by criminality and murder and viciousness are how you make it in this world.
 Think about it, Terrance Howard’s character is a talented murderer; Taraji P. Hensen’s character “Cookie” is a street smart convicted felon who went to jail because she was a drug dealer! Plus Terrance Howard’s character denigrates all three of his sons because they are not street tough.
 Are crime and criminality a reality in the Black community? Certainly, but it is not the primary ethos of our people despite what the monopoly media says. The fact is the vast majority of us aren’t sociopaths and we don’t engage in illegal activities. But Hollywood doesn’t care about that.
The irony is the United States is a criminogenic society to its’ core; it exists because of its crimes against humanity, genocide, slavery and imperialism, and we see the criminality of the ruling class and their minions every day. Daily we are shown that US sponsored violence, war, plunder and rapine are okay, that massive Wall Street rip offs and malfeasance will go unpunished, that bribery and graft are legitimate ways to advance your career/business and the police can shoot and maim citizens with impunity.
The monopoly media promotes incivility, rudeness, personal aggression and hostility as well as greed, materialism and animus. The TV program Empire promotes these values also. The show’s co-producer, Lee Daniels, is aggressively pushing the envelope and venturing into uncharted waters for African-American program content by exploring story lines about homosexuality and mental illness. The show also makes success in the entertainment industry seem easy, like all you need is talent to make it. We all know that’s not true, innate talent must be nurtured and it takes hard work to make it and making it is not guaranteed.
 But we don’t have to be bamboozled, no one forces us to watch TV, to stream media nor does anyone hold a gun to our heads.  In the US we are given an almost unlimited choice of what to watch on TV, cable and the Internet. Just as Cassandra warned the people of Troy not to accept the Greek’s gift of the giant horse, not to take it into their city, I’m warning you not to consume too much TV.  Hopefully unlike the people of Troy you will heed my advice. If you are going to watch television and/or streaming media do not be a passive media consumer. Become a critical thinker and a skeptic about what you see, read and listen to.
                                                           

                                             -30-


                                   
           



Friday, March 20, 2015

Pension Insecurity

                                                        From The Ramparts   
                                                     Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                      Pension Insecurity


“It's no secret that pension plans around the country are in trouble. The old-fashioned defined benefit plans in both the public and private sectors face funding shortages, and some radical solutions have been proposed to fix them. The trouble extends to so-called multiemployer pension plans that provide benefits -- or promise them -- to more than 10 million union members, including those of the Teamsters, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, and the National Electrical Contractors Association. Some are running alarmingly short on money, prompting a coalition of union officials and industry executives to put aside their differences and hammer out what they hope is a potential solution that involves compromises from all involved, including existing retirees.” The Fix for Multiemployer Pension Plans Jennie L. Phipps http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/fix-multiemployer-pension-plans-1.aspx
It’s no secret but it is not something the monopoly media talks about regularly because they don’t want workers to know what’s happening. The US pension system both the private and public sectors is in deep trouble. Current private and public pension systems are severely underfunded and face humongous shortfalls that will impact both future and current retirees. One estimate says private pension funds are underfunded to the tune of $343 Billion. “For many investors, last year's stock market gains helped make up for the heavy losses inflicted by the 2008 financial collapse. But it turned out to be a lousy year for private pension funds, which lost ground on their funding levels. After gradual progress rebuilding the funds they need to pay retirees, the average private pension fund held about 80 percent of what it needs to cover those payments, according to a report by benefits consultant Towers Watson. That's down from 89 percent at the end of 2013 and represents an overall deficit among large corporate plans of about $343 billion, nearly double the shortfall a year earlier. Much of the shortfall came from an increase in liabilities (or the amount they now expect to owe beneficiaries). Even as companies have pared back their defined-benefit plans—the ones that pay a guaranteed check for life—the cost of keeping that promise has increased. There are two big reasons: lower interest rates and longer life expectancies.” Private Pension Fund Levels Fall Behind John W. Schoen http://www.cnbc.com/id/102318731#.
Things are so bad for private pension funds employers and unions are coming together to resolve the crisis but their solutions do not bode well for workers and retirees. The workers many of whom are members of trade unions are going to be asked to work longer and take reduced benefits and some current retirees maybe asked to take cuts in their benefits. “The National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans, a coalition of unions and companies that employ union workers, has released its report, ‘Solutions Not Bailouts,’ which recommends taking these and other drastic steps: raise retirement ages in line with those of Social Security. Allow trustees of the most troubled pension plans to suspend some benefits and even cut benefits that current pensioners already receive. Create new types of plans, such as variable annuity plans in which the benefit would rise or fall depending on investment performance but provide a minimum ‘floor’ using conservative return assumptions. This would reduce employers' liability.” The Fix for Multiemployer Pension Plans Jennie L. Phillips http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/fix-multiemployer-pension-plans-1.aspx
The owners/employers are pushing for changes that will allow the ones who underfunded the programs in the first place, themselves, to suspend and or cut benefits for current retirees and workers. Keep in mind the government has a type of insurance fund that was created to cover the shortfalls when private pensions go belly up. That’s the good news. The bad news is the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp (PBGC) is experiencing a cash shortfall itself! “The latest annual report from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation makes for some very uncomfortable reading. The deficit in PBGC’s multi-employer program quintupled in 2014, soaring to $42.4 billion from ‘only’ $8.3 billion in 2013. That massive deficit is problematic for millions of workers who now stand to receive mere pennies on the dollar in promised pension benefits. It’s a huge headache, too, for federal taxpayers, who could be charged with bailing out underfunded private-sector pensions that were never intended to become public liabilities.” As The Pension Agency Falters Who Gets Stuck With the Bill? Rachel Greszler http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/1/rachel-greszler-as-pension-benefit-guaranty-corpor/
There is a vicious Class War going on in America and workers in the private and public sectors are under attack by the corporate owners. Since Ronald Reagan decertified the Air Traffic Controllers Union all unions have been under an unrelenting attack from both the Republicans and Democrats. There is a bi-partisan class war being waged by the millionaires in the US Senate and Congress on working folks. While Congress did move to infuse more cash into the PBGC by raising the premiums employers pay into it, these increases have not kept pace with the cost of living due to sub par returns on the investments and a failure to maintain the premiums in accordance with pension plan benefits and actuarial liabilities. So now Congress has to come up with another plan but don’t think they are going to give the tab to the people who bribe them with campaign donations. “The latest assault on private pensions may be coming from the U.S. Congress. Lawmakers on Wednesday were finalizing a deal to shore up the government's pension insurance fund with provisions that would raise premiums and allow troubled pension plans covering more than one employer to cut retiree benefits. As of midday Wednesday, the reform provisions, which drew loud opposition from unions and other groups representing retirees, were not included in the latest version of a massive, $1.1 trillion spending bill, according to a spokeswoman for the House Appropriations Committee. The measure may be voted on as an amendment in the Rules Committee, she said. Payments to backstop these so-called multiemployer pension plans have run to hundreds of millions of dollars in the last decade. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has warned it may run out of funds unless Congress implements reforms.” Congress Eyes Move To Cut Pension Benefits  John W. Schoen http://www.cnbc.com/id/10225713
Current and future behavior can easily be predicted by looking at past behaviors.  During bankruptcies by the airlines and steel industries in the early 2000’s the owners were allowed to file bankruptcy, renege on their pension fund obligations and dump their obligations onto the PBGC which was both overwhelmed and underfunded! “Legislation enacted in July 2004 relaxed funding standards across the board and specifically allowed two distressed industries, airlines and steel, temporary additional underfunding. If this legislation represented a massive bet for the government, then the Pension Protection Act of 2006 could be seen as doubling down on this bet. The new law generally requires plans to reach full funding over a seven-year transition period, with longer periods specifically allowed for airlines. If the funding levels do not recover over time, the PBGC will be forced to take on plans that have become even more severely underfunded. With the PBGC itself already severely in the red, the prospect of allowing any employers to further underfund their plans may come back to bite the agency with a vengeance.  Recent legislation was driven by the fact that the airline and steel industries, already financially weak, were particularly hard hit in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. United Airlines terminated all its DB plans, dumping an additional 120,000 employees into the system with a projected cost to PBGC of over $5 billion. This follows the distress termination of the US Air’s pilots’ pension plan. As one airline after another dumps pension plans on the PBGC, the temptation for the remainder increases. The industry is highly competitive, lacks pricing power, and suffers from overcapacity; established airlines are being undercut by start-up ventures with lower operating costs. Cutting costs by dumping pensions may be the only way some carriers can survive. Unfortunately, the U.S. taxpayer may end up paying the bill.” http://www.joeshmucksboard.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=18973&sid=a8c7461ec244cefb35d505cf96921b6d
            The goal of the one percent is to fleece the rest of us and to put us on the hook for their failures. So don’t be surprised if there isn’t a push to get taxpayers to bail out the PBGC sometime in the not too distant future! About twelve years ago Kelly Patricia O’Meara an investigative report with the Washington Times informed me about his situation when I had her as a guest on my Internet radio program. At that time the PBGC was insolvent. Since then Congress pumped more money into it but as the 2014 report indicates, PBGC is again facing major problems which will negatively impact employees in the larger unions like the Teamsters.
            The public sector   doesn’t have PBGC to bail them out, usually it is the taxpayers who are forced to step in and pony up the money to shore up the severely underfunded public pensions. “State and local pension plans are currently underfunded by $4.7 trillion, up from $4.1 trillion just last year.  Worse, just 36% of what is owed is now funded — meaning taxpayers at the state level will be asked to either pony up the taxes to pay for it or cut benefits sharply. All told, State Budget Solutions notes, the liability across the U.S. is over $15,000 a person. But not all states are equal: Three big, heavily unionized, mostly Democratic states account for 30%, or $1.4 trillion, of the pension underfunding — California, Illinois and New York. Because of chronic mismanagement and the power of public sector unions in these and other states, millions of citizens face a grave financial risk they might not even know about… A big problem is underfunded pensions aren't included in state budgets right now. So they're largely invisible. But $4.7 trillion is a lot of money, and as time goes on and the underfunding remains, states will be forced increasingly to raise taxes, cut services and/or add to their debt to make good on extravagant promises made by union-supported politicians to public employees.
The magnitude of the red ink has been carefully hidden by faulty and in some cases downright dishonest accounting. Many states routinely overestimate returns on pension investments, while underestimating the payouts. The State Budget Solutions report bluntly calls this a ‘betrayal’ of both retirees and taxpayers.” States In Danger As Pension Underfunding Of $4.7 Trillion Threatens Their Fiscal Health http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/111914-727280-unfunded-pensions-for-public-unions-threaten-states-fiscal-health.htm
            Unionized workers in the US are being fleeced and the politicians are siding with the one percent. Their goal is to decimate unions and return the nation to the gilded age of the robber barons. Tax breaks for the rich and corporations, pension cuts for workers. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

                                                            -30-













Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 Predictions


                                                        From The Ramparts
                                                       Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                           2014 Predictions

            I don’t profess to be a fortune teller, an exotic Swami or professional prognosticator. I do know human beings are creatures of habit and if you discern people’s values, habits, patterns and/or proclivities you can reliably predict their future behavior. With that in mind, I am offering a few predictions for 2014 based upon past attitudes, values and behavioral patterns.
Looking at the West, especially the US with its history of open and clandestine invasion, genocide, neo-colonialism, neo-liberal imperialism and warmongering, we can safely say it will continue into 2014. The US will use even more drones to bomb innocent men women and children in places like Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan as they continue the totally bogus War on Terrorism.
The US will stay in Afghanistan to continue to reap record opium crops (60% of the world’s opium supply) that make the CIA, organized crime and Wall Street banksters so rich. In fact the US CIA World Factbook lists opium as Afghanistan’s leading crop. But Afghanistan is also awash in mineral resources such as: iron, uranium, cooper, cobalt, lithium, natural gas and some oil. Don’t count on the US vacating Afghanistan in 2014.
The American government in cahoots with the international bankers and multi-national corporations will put an even deeper palm print on the continent of Africa in: the Central African Republic which has abundant resources of timber, diamonds and cotton. The US will create pretexts to send more troops, drones or “aid” to Mali to ensure they keep tabs on the uranium, phosphate and gold there, Nigeria will be a focal point because the elites want to protect the Anglo-American oil interests there. Libya will be on the Western imperialists clip board as the consequent societal collapse following the 2011 US toppling of Qadhafi worsens.  Of course the kleptomaniacs also want the oil and gold there. The vampire elites are looking at South Sudan and will attempt to destabilize it further to gain full access to the oil deposits there while Israel covets the water from the Nile River. South Sudan also has gold and diamonds as well as fertile land that make it irresistible to the corporate theives. South Africa will be in the cross hairs for several important reasons: one they have linked with Brazil, Russia, India and China to form the BRICS powerful trading and economic block. The BRICS are talking about establishing a global bank that would rival the IMF, World Bank and Bank of International Settlements. That’s a no no that could lead to war. The BRICS pose a nominal threat to the Western banking cartels. Look for the Western shot callers to attempt to destabilize these countries internally. You may see or hear about riots, demonstrations and clashes with police but know the West is behind most of this! The West views South Africa as a weak link in the coalition. South Africa is also being watched because there is turmoil in the platinum mines with workers demanding higher wages. The thugs in the corporate suites won’t tolerate that. As we close out 2013, news about what’s happening in Congo and Uganda is being suppressed. Look for incidents in that region to make news early in 2014.
Expect tensions to escalate between Japan its US ally and China over disputed islands in the East China Sea. Recently China initiated an Air Defense Zone in the East China Sea and requested other nations apprise them of their military flight plans and have their military planes identify themselves when approaching the area. Japan and the US immediately indicated their refusal to comply and within hours sent planes and bombers into the area without notifying China. There were no confrontations but the next time Japan and the US did it, China scrambled jets to intercept and shadow their aircraft. China recently sent its only aircraft carrier into the region. On another occasion China sent three ships to confront a US Navy guided missile cruiser supposedly in international waters. This has the potential to escalate into full scale hostilities. A war with China that also involves Japan, South Korea, Viet Nam and the US would be one way for the US to get out from under the trillions of dollars of debt it owes both China and Japan. Don’t think I’m using hyperbole, the oligarchs are really that sick.  Hopefully cooler heads will prevail.
The global economy will teeter back and forth on the brink of collapse as the insolvency of sovereign nations and the “Too Big To Fail” banks pose an ever growing threat. The unregulated over leveraged global derivatives trade took AIG and Lehman Brothers down in 2007. That situation has not been resolved despite the bailouts, and ominously the derivatives bubble has grown to between 600 trillion with a “T” and 1.5 quadrillion dollars. That gargantuan total is bigger than the total global GDP of all developed and developing nations put together!  If it comes unraveled like it did in 2007 it will mean the end of the Western economic system as we know it. This news is being suppressed by the corporate media. You won’t find it anywhere except on a few sites like http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-coming-derivatives-panic-that-will-destroy-global-financial-markets and http://demonocracy.info/infographics/usa/derivatives/bank_exposure.html  The derivatives bubble will inflate even larger in 2014 bringing the world closer to financial Armageddon.
Keep your eyes on Detroit. In 2014 the one per cent vampires and vultures will pick that once great city clean leaving pensioners strapped, services cut to the bone and the poor in a lurch. This is the template the financial oligarchs plan to use on the state, local and federal levels. Keep in mind there are numerous municipalities, counties and states on the brink of insolvency. Over one hundred public worker pension funds are underfunded around the country by trillions of dollars. Politicians cannot raise enough tax money to cover the shortfalls. Keep in mind the US government is broke, it cannot pay its debts (that’s why they have to raise the debt ceiling). The federal government doesn’t have the money to pay for Social Security or Medicare!  In effect the US government is already in default to its own citizens!! So to forestall the inevitable, they will usher in austerity programs. For a preview, watch what they do to Detroit.  
In 2014 the Kleptocratic corporate elites and their cohorts in Congress will write and pass legislation that further undermines the social safety nets on the local, state and federal levels.  In 2014 more and more people will become knowledgeable about Frankenfoods the so called Bio-Technology industry that is destroying the global ecosystem. A grass roots movement will generate opposition to GMOs but the Obama administration will side with Monsanto and the other bio-tech giants.
Lastly there will be calls for Obama’s impeachment. Whether or not they will be successful is not clear. A certain foreign nation and their powerful lobby want to frighten Obama into following their “Middle East” war agenda. If he refuses they will sic their dogs in Congress and the media on him. 
The good news for 2014 is, more and more people will awaken to their/our divinity. Many more folks will discover and actualize their innate potential on a practical and meaningful level. Yes many will continue to live in ignorance and decadence; many will die prematurely but in 2014 more people will empower themselves in a mighty way. Many will dabble in urban gardening and organic farming. More people will live better, healthier happier lives. In 2014 many will wake up and empower themselves despite the collapse going on around them. Oh by the way, Happy New Year!

                                                           -30- 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

US Police State, No Longer A Secret

From The Ramparts


Junious Ricardo Stanton

The US Police State, No Longer A Secret





“Ethnic and religious 'profiling' is rife in all transport centers (airports, bus and train stations and on the highways). Mosques, Islamic charities and foundations are under constant surveillance and subject to raids, entrapment, arrests, and even Israeli-style ‘targeted’ assassinations... The second core group, targeted by the police state, includes African Americans, Hispanics and immigration rights activists (numbering in the millions). They are subject to massive arbitrary sweeps, round-ups and unlimited detention without trial as well as mass indiscriminate deportations.” http://rense.com/general95/riseofthepolicestate.html



During the Civil Rights and Black Power movements the psychopathic oligarchy that rules this country decided to crack down on all dissent. Following the elites' directives, the US government unleashed illegal, wide scale covert insurgency programs called COINTELPRO, Operation CHAOS, Project Merrimac and numerous others designed to infiltrate, undermine and destroy dissent and opposition to US racist domestic and imperialistic foreign policies. The ruling elites were determined to maintain and expand their empire by eliminating all opposition to their global war machine and domestic colonialism.

One of the ideological platforms of militant activists during the '60's and '70's was the African-American community was a colonized area kept in subjugation by institutionalized racist police, judicial and terrorist organizations operating on behalf of a race, color and class based system. They equated urban ghettos with concentration camps similar to the oppression on Native American reservations. They postulated rural blacks in the South and Mid-West were bond to a vicious and stultifying caste system that need to be exposed and broken. They pointed to this country's long history of surveillance, monitoring, terrorism and oppression of blacks that was still going on in the '60's and '70's.

As the Civil Rights movement morphed into a broader more global movement embracing the liberation struggles of people of color around the world, the US government moved to protect their corporate masters by intensifying its attacks on the leadership of grass roots organizations of all stripes and persuasions. The assassinations of Medgar Evers NAACP, Malcolm X (EL Hajj Malik El Shabazz) Organization of Afro-American Unity, Martin Luther King Jr. SCLC, Fred Hampton The Black Panther Party and the infiltration of organizations like the Nation of Islam coupled with the systemic framing, slandering, persecution, round up and killing of not only blacks but members of La Raza Unida, The American Indian Movement, radical labor organizations, the anti-war and environmental movements signaled the commitment of the elites and their minions to squash all dissent.

This was the beginning of the so called “culture wars” that are still raging today. The culture wars are really proxy fights by the fascist establishment using their media, institutions and personalities to demonize and rail against anyone who doesn't go for their okey-doke. This is why the system moved so deliberately and thoroughly to crush the Black Liberation and Afrocentric movements. Independent thought is a no no in the eyes of the ruling elites. You believe what they say or else!

On a more hard core level the US government funded and provided local police with advanced weaponry and technology for use against dissidents who lashed out against their oppression and terror. The governments “wars” on crime, drugs and terror are disingenuous euphemisms for the elites' wholesale attack on us using crime, drugs, Oklahoma City, Waco and 9-11 as a pretext. After all its an irrefutable fact the US CIA runs the global drug trade and the big Wall Street banks launder the money. This drug money is the source of much of their “black ops” budget. So its all a scam designed to facilitate a police state environment. “We're living in a fascist state in which absolute power is concentrated in a capitalist criminal cabal that uses military and police power to dominate the people mentally and physically. The U.S. had been moving toward a total police state since about 1913; but in 2012 the final nail in the coffin of democracy and justice was hammered into place with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act, Title X, Subtitle D (NDAA)!... Scores of U.S. cities are now using surveillance television camera systems to spy on citizens--shades of 1984. With video cameras perched atop buildings and poles, watching whatever American are doing, do you suppose there might be some potential for abuse in such systems? Christian Parenti's, article, "DC's Virtual Panopticon," in the June 3, 2002 issue of The Nation describes how 'police in Detroit and DC have used CCTV [closed-circuit television] to stalk personal foes, political opponents and young women.' Smile, you're on Kandid Kamera” http://www.hermes-press.com/police_state.htm

Abuses of the state became so widespread, rampant and egregious against white folks during the 1970's the US Congress was forced to investigate. Of the two major Senate investigations into these abuses one (the Rockefeller Report) was a total sham and white wash. The other (The Church Committee Report) was far more thorough and found the FBI and CIA had broken and circumvented federal state and local laws and violated the rights of countless Americans. Senator Church was an early opponent of the Vietnam War so he raised the ire of the Military-Industrial complex. In response, the Right Wingers and CIA surreptitiously funded opposition to Senator Frank Church's bid for reelection in 1981 and he was narrowly defeated.

The police state is much more evident today than during the days of COINTELPRO which is one reason for the passivity and numbness towards it. “Active support for the police state peaked during the first 5 years post- 9/11 and subsequently ebbed as the Wall Street-induced economic crisis, loss of employment and the failures of government policy propelled concerns about the economy far ahead of support for the police state. Nevertheless, at least one-third of the electorate still supports the police state, ‘right or wrong’. They firmly believe that the police state protects their ‘security’; that suspects, arrestees, and others under watch ‘must have been doing something illegal’. The most ardent backers of the police state are found among the rabid anti-immigrant groups who support arbitrary round-ups, mass deportations and the expansion of police powers at the expense of constitutional guarantees.

The third possible motive for acquiescence in the police state is ignorance: those millions of US citizens who are not aware of the size, scope and activities of the police state. Their practical behavior speaks to the notion that ‘since I am not directly affected it must not exist’. Embedded in everyday life, making a living, enjoying leisure time, entertainment, sports, family, neighborhoods and concerned only about household budgets … This mass is so embedded in their personal ‘micro-world’ that it considers the macro-economic and political issues raised by the police state as ‘distant’, outside of their experience or interest.” The Rise of The Police State http://rense.com/general95/riseofthepolicestate.html

Unlike the '60 and '70's ,today there is no widespread massive social opposition to US foreign and domestic policies. COINTELPRO is still operational only in the guise of the USAPATRIOT ACT and other post 9-11 police state legislation. “ The US Patriot Act was enacted by a Congress that had not actually read it. The only thing representatives and senators got was a two or three page compendium from the White House press office. Nobody was actually given the time to read the provisions of the act. The White House intimidated members of Congress into passing the bill by telling them that if they refused to sign it, they'd be labeled as 'unpatriotic'--something almost all members of Congress were frightened of at the time. Lieberman, Daschle and Gephardt later wrote a memorandum stating that Congress had effectively given the Bush Administration 'near dictatorial powers.'” http://www.hermes-press.com/police_state.htm

The police state quickly smashed the Occupy Movement once it could no longer be ignored and it gained momentum and raised awareness of the direct responsibility of the banksters and corporations in the decline of our standard of living and the escalation of economic apartheid in the US.

Anyone who raises the issue of class warfare in the US or who publicly stands up of the 99% gets demonized by the media and the system. If you doubt what I'm saying take a deeper look at what happened to Elliott Spitzer, John Edwards, Lou Dobbs (who has since resurfaced on Fox TV) and Rob Blagojevich. Each one of these white men was doing just fine within the system until they offended Wall Street in one way or another. Contrast their situations with the CEOs of the giant banks or with Jon Corzine who should be languishing in a federal prison; but nooo, they're free as birds living high on the hog thanks to this totally corrupt system.

The Big Brother police state is alive and well in 2012 and it will become more pervasive unless we take a stand to fight the powers that be.



-30-

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Big Brother Is In Your Pocket

“Everyone is interested in your private information, but it is not private any longer. The Internet and device providers have changed their terms of service so that all data that you use on their networks or devices belong to them, somehow. This is precious data to them as they can either sell it or use it for profiling purposes. Everything we do on the Internet leaves a trail back to us. Search engine entries, shopping lists, e-mail addresses and so much more which is ripe for the taking. Now governments and their intelligence agencies want a piece of that action and they have new tools to ascertain our intentions and possible future actions.” Trapped In The Grid: How Net-Centric Devices And Appliances Provide Voluminous Information To Intelligence Agencies And Their Business Partners http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4827




Eric Arthur Blair who wrote under the pen name George Orwell penned a novel called 1984 which was published in 1949. In it he depicted a dystopian society in the not too distant future when a cunning central government used constant surveillance, misinformation, fear, nationalism and the threat of perpetual war to control the people. The main character in the novel was named Winston Smith. His job was to rewrite and reinterpret history by painting it in the perspective of the ruling elites. The central government conditioned and brainwashed the people to accept lies and a language of disinformation as part of their every day existence. Winston commits the crime of thinking for himself thus he becomes a target for more surveillance, intrigue and intervention. That intervention included deception, betrayal and torture in an attempt to get Winston to confirm, enjoy servitude and an induced semi-comatose state to go along with the Big Brother societal program.

What sprang from Blair's imagination exists here and now in real time reality. We are living in the exact social environment and psychological milieu Blair (Orwell) described. Big Brother is alive and well in the US of A. Since the shift towards a totalitarian police state has been fairly gradual (up until recent years) and the corporate media a key component of the fascist Big Brother propaganda program is being used to distract us, lie to us and create a false reality at the behest of the ruling elites; we didn't/don't see it coming. We're like frogs in a pot of water where the heat is being increased incrementally rather than all at once. Nevertheless their plan is to cook us to death, it will just take longer.

We are living in the exact same world envisioned by George Orwell. We are seeing a gradual decay of society, we are constantly spied upon by the government, we are viewed as threats if we dissent or criticize the powers that be and the government uses brutal and lethal force to put down any type of resistance and opposition to their program. Winston who was a fairly well of member of the party in control lived this same reality! We are in the grip of a fascist police state. If you doubt what I'm saying meditate on how the young people in the Occupy Wall Street movement have been treated while big time government and Wall Street insider thieves and crooks get off Scott free. (Bernie Madoff is only in jail because he turned himself in.) We are in a constant state of war and have been since WWII. We are led to believe (as in all past wars) these wars (and potential wars) are righteously being waged for freedom and safety.

Despite the lies of the government, the military and the telecommunications industry, we are under constant surveillance, spied upon, with citizens informing on each other; and we have been for quite some time; even before 9-11! The bogus pretext for all this spying and surveillance is of course “national security” and the “war on terror”. No one ever raises the question, how can you wage war on terror, when terror is neither a place nor a people? Terror is a tactic, a tactic the shadow governments of the ruling elites (whether its the KKK or the Illuminati) have used for millennia. The mind control apparatus' (organized religion, media and educational system) jobs are to dumb us down, keep us  afraid and fearful (full of fear) so the authorities can “protect” us from the bogymen they created in the first place; like The Devil, or real people like Osama bin-Laden, Saddam Hussein or Joseph Koney.

One way they keep us under constant observation is through technology, the Internet, social media like Google, Facebook, Twitter and cable television. These inventions are the tools being used by the corporations, intelligence agencies and shadow government to spy on our every move, monitor our thoughts and activities, along with the use of cameras, satellites and other devices. The most sinister aspect of all this is, we have been tricked into buying the very gizmos and gadgets and using the very tools, software, platforms and applications employed to pry into our privacy and indoctrinate us into the New World Order !

It is so bizarre. We are actually assisting and cooperating in our own demise as free minded sentient beings. We are being conditioned for servitude, psychological conformity, mindlessness and peonage under the guise of progress, convenience, having “friends” and security. This is not just a local or USA phenomenon. The same thing or worse is happening all over the world. Europe is increasingly under surveillance with cameras and other devices. “Europe's largest 'white hat' hacker group, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC), recently reverse engineered and analyzed an anonymously submitted malware program. Nothing out of the ordinary for security researchers. However, to its surprise, the group discovered this particular malware was commissioned by German police and used to spy on German citizens. As if state-sponsored eavesdropping were not enough, this malware has also been found with remote control or backdoor functionalities that enable the uploading and executing of other programs, including the siphoning of personal data. Most concerning is the news that a laptop had the malware added by the German authorities when the user passed through customs at an airport... The German action followed the leaking of documents revealing via Wikileaks that the Bavarian police had commissioned the home-based security firm DigiTech to design a Trojan for its own use. What the CCC report and others show is that the Trojan program, Backdoor:W32/R2D2.A (also known as 0zapftis), was being used to go much farther than plain wiretapping.” State-Sponsored Malware Revealed in Europe http://www.internetevolution.com/author.asp?section_id=717&doc_id=234519

That's just the back end. It gets worse when you consider what is happening just to get the materials to manufacture this stuff. The fact is millions of Africans living in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other regions of Central Africa have perished because of the ongoing wars being fought over minerals and resources such oil, gold, uranium and specifically coltan the pivotal mineral used to make computers, cell phones, notebooks, laptops, iPads etc. How many Africans had to die for us to sport the latest smart phones, iPhones and laptops? How many Africans have been killed so Big Brother can expand its global spy capabilities?

These gizmos are merely a part of an even larger network of spying and surveillance. “There have been a series of related and interesting developments in the field of global intelligence gathering. The NSA is building a brand new data center in Utah in order to connect with some new intelligence sharing systems such as the Defense Intelligence Enterprise and the Global Information Grid. The Global Information Grid is a massive military system which pulls information from every piece of sensory military hardware in space, land, sea, or air and manages it. The Defense Intelligence Enterprise takes which is already in place and shares that data with national intelligence agencies and their respective international partners. This behemoth is nothing but trouble as citizens around the world are being caught up in this information whorehouse. I am sure that most people would not appreciate their private conversations end up on foreign military or intelligence networks.” Trapped In The Grid: How Net-Centric Devices And Appliances Provide Voluminous Information To Intelligence Agencies And Their Business Partners http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4827


This is Big Brother mind control at its best. The ruling elites knew no one was going to knowingly buy something that is going to be used to enslave them or spy on them. So they had to develop a way to make the products “hip” “Kool” and “to die for” so we would buy them. So they did what they did to market cigarettes in the 30' 40's 50's and 60's, they made it appealing and desirable. They targeted specific groups like the college kids,younger people and certain professionals to get them in the pipeline. Once they became “hip” and utilitarian the funds and marketing were made available to popularize them. We have been feed a bunch of lies about Google and Facebook and the other tentacles in the spy network to induce us to buy them and use their products like gmail.com,YouTube and Twitter. We have been conditioned to think this is progress, that they are merely the latest consumer products and status symbols, when in reality they are part of the shadow government's surveillance network and global spy grid.

Am I saying these inventions were created by the elites? Not necessarily, they just backed them once they figured out how they could exploit them for their New World Order. Have you ever asked yourself why these products are so universal or why they are supported by almost everything? Is there anything that doesn't ask you to use Facebook or follow them on Twitter? Duh, it's so you'll use them which will allow Big Brother to keep track of you, know what you are thinking and what you are doing. Have you ever asked yourself why and how Bill Gates of Microsoft and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook were able to create a virtual monopoly in their particular marketplace? It's because the shadow government pumped money into them and uses them along with the other telecommunications giants they own to be part of a total global surveillance system to spy and keep track of all who use them. So the smart phone, iPhone or iPad you are bragging about and carrying around with you is really Big Brother's way of keeping tabs on you. But that's not their ultimate goal. They will only use these until such time they can convince us to allow them to implant an RFID chip in us. And they are working on that as we speak. In the future Big Brother won't just be in your pocket, it will be embedded inside of you. Food for thought



-30-

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Infamous List

                                                           From The Ramparts
                                                        Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                          The Infamous List

    If you want to see just how corrupt the US system really is, go to the blog  http://governmentgonewild.org/thelist and check out the US Congress critters in both parties who have increased their wealth during the years 2004-2008. This list  also shows their net worth in 2009. Looking at the names you will probably see your own so called representative. I say so called because over the last few years its been clear the people in Washington have not I repeat have not represented our wishes and interests, or the interests of ordinary working folks. If you doubt what I’m saying just check the voting record of your Congressman and Senator and the voting records of their peers.  For example most Americans opposed the invasion of Iraq, the Wall Street bail outs, the TARP program and even the so called health care reform legislation that was passed and is scheduled to go into effect in 2014. None of that benefited us and even the health care legislation is not what it was cracked up to be. Yet they voted for them anyway.
  
Check out http://governmentgonewild.org/thelist and look for your Congress person’s name on the list. What you will see is a disturbing trend, so called public servants who are supposed to be doing the will and work of the people are getting fabulously rich as their bank accounts and net worth increase exponentially far beyond what you and I are making by not doing the will of the people. Now I do not begrudge anyone earning a living or accumulating great wealth if he or she does it honestly and honorably. But what we are seeing today in this country and around the world and this list bares this out, is the people entrusted with running the country, supposedly doing what is right and making the decisions that impact the lives of not only people in America but around the world are feathering their own nests rather than doing what is best for us. These vampires are getting rich at the expense of we the people !
   
We hear so much about corrupt despots, and ruthless dictators in Latin America, Africa and Asia who have squirreled away millions in European or Carribean bank accounts but see for yourself what is going on under our noses right here in the US by our own elected officials. That’s why I call the US a banana republic. Last year I wrote a piece entitled Blood Sucking Congress Critters, in it I said, “This is no conspiracy theory or wild speculative accusation. It is fact. The Opensecrets Website and Project Censored have documented the fact US Congressmen and Senators are heavily invested in the companies that make the body scanners being used in all the major airports in the country. If you doubt what I’m saying on this topic go to http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/11/several-federal-lawmakers-invested.html and read the facts for yourself. They name names and where possible tell how much each one has invested in  the companies based upon the lawmakers own financial statements.
   
That’s not all, Project Censored which monitors the corporate media and routinely exposes the major stories they suppress is on the case. One story tells how the Congress critters invested in stock of the defense contractors making billions on the bogus War on Global Terrorism that is wrecking havoc around the world. In their book Censored 2010 The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008-09, censored story number 14 was Congress invested in Defense contracts. ‘The nonpartisan Center for Responsible Politics has calculated that more than 151 members of Congress have up to$195 million invested in major defense contractors that are earning profits from the US military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan... ’ So our elected representatives are making huge profits off of  the laws they pass. This is a clear conflict of interest if not outright unethical. It shows just how morally bankrupt this country has become and how deeply the rot is spreading  throughout this society.  Remember, these two stories are just about the military industrial complex and Homeland Security industries. When you factor in big Pharma, oil and energy, agribusiness, insurance (Healthcare for example) and Wall Street (bailouts, protection from fraud prosecution by the SEC and Justice Department etc) we can understand why when our Congress critters  vote, they vote the interests of their benefactors and for money making opportunities for themselves not the interests of we the people. This means Congress is getting rich off the deaths and maiming of US soldiers  and the innocent people all around the world our drones, missiles and bombs are killing .”
   
This is one list the congress critters definitely don’t want us to see, but all the information I’ve quoted is available to the public; check it out for yourself. Once you do you will understand why things are going the way they are. However the good news is we don’t have to go out like this as a people. If we want a different world and we aught to, all we have to do is visualize a different reality by thinking beyond existing parameters, believe in it,  work towards it and it will manifest because I genuinely believe there are more of us around the world who want peace, harmony and justice than those working for and getting rich off of conflict, war and oppression.

      -30-


   

Common Threads

                                                                 From the Ramparts
                                                           Junious Ricardo Stanton
                                                                 Common Threads

    “While the media has gone to arms length to obfuscate the matter, there is mounting evidence that Dominique Strauss Kahn was framed.  According to media reports, the 32-year-old Guinean Sofitel housemaid received the modest sum of 100,000 dollars paid into her bank account. The New York Times acknowledges the payment but fails to analyze the source of these payments. In an utterly confused statement, the NYT suggests that the money was deposited in the housemaid's account by her Guinean boy friend who is serving time in a high security prison” Mounting Evidence that Dominique Strauss Kahn was Framed by Michel Chossudovsky  www.globalresearch.ca

    Question, what do Dominique Strauss Kahn, Col. Muammor Gaddafi, Elliott Spitzer, Rod Blagojevich and Saddam Hussein all have in common? Answer, they ran afoul of the international banksters, money changers and their friends in high places. Each one of these men was attacked and demonized literally and figuratively by the corporate media, tried in the court of public opinion and adjudged guilty by the corporate media in a vicious attempt to ruin them and set them up as examples of what happens when you go against the agenda and hegemony of the psychopathic banking cartel attempting to run the world.
  
Each one of these men in his own way was targeted by the banksters and their cohorts because he posed a serious threat or obstacle to the plans and program of the blood sucking cabal who have mastered usury, corruption and fraud to the point they can take down the global economic system and reduce us all to debt peons, wage serfs and tax slaves. Each one was butted and hounded because he either stood in the way or actively opposed the evil plans of the banksters on the local, national or international levels.
 
 Saddam Hussein’s mythical WMDs were the false pretext the US used to take him out. Saddam was no threat to the US militarily. The real reason he was offed was because of the US sanctions against Iraqi, Saddam Hussein decided to sell Iraqi oil in Euros rather than US dollars. This was a huge no-no. Although when he first started few paid much attention. However as the Euro eventually surpassed the dollar in value other OPEC nations started contemplating selling their oil in Euros too. This would have posed a colossal threat to the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. So from that perspective Saddam Hussein had to go. They added a bonus to the military-industrial complex by making it a major invasion/occupation to gain a toehold in the region rather than just assassinating Saddam Hussein like they do on so many other occasions. The first things the US did once they deposed Saddam Hussein and took control of the country was to resume selling oil in US dollars.
 
 How does Elliott Spitzer fit into this? When he was the New York State Attorney General he gave the Wall Street shysters a lot of grief by hounding them, exposing their Ponzi schemes and fraudulent dealings and taking them to court. Most times the Wall Street firms settled out of court but the fines and media exposure hit them hard where it hurt the most, their pockets. As New York’s governor Spitzer pushed his AG to go after them aggressively and to get the other states’ AGs to do likewise. So to get back at him the big Wall Street investment firms exposed Spitzer’s high priced hooker hook up and used the mind control apparatus to make us think it was a major crime of moral turpitude that somehow disqualified him to serve as governor. They won, Spitzer stepped down as governor.  They didn’t kill him, he didn’t go to jail  and now he makes bigger bucks as a TV commentator for CNN
 
 Rod Blagojevich was the governor of Illinois. Republic Window and Doors a small Chicago window and door manufacturing company closed their plant and the workers asked the governor’s office for help. Bank of America had shut off Republic’s credit and without a line of credit they would go bankrupt leaving their two hundred employees without jobs.. The situation even made the national news. Governor Blagojevich intervened on behalf of his constituents but BOA wouldn’t budge. So Blagojevich ordered all Illinois state agencies to stop doing business with Bank of America ! That was his real sin, not the stuff they charged him with. Soon afterwards the FBI knocked on Blagojevich’s door in the middle of the night, raided his house and took him out in hand cuffs under the glare of the TV lights for all the world to see. When the first trial ended in a deadlocked, the banksters ordered their boys in the Justice (sic) Department to try him again.  That sent a clear message not to dare mess with the real organized crime syndicates (the banksters) who run his country.
  
 Muammor Gaddafi’s crime was not that he attacked the so called Libyan “rebels”  he had a legal right to do so, they were in open rebellion against his government. His real crime for years was that he was lending money to African nations from the huge profits from Libya’s lucrative oil and natural gas industries at reasonable rates. Naturally the IMF, World Bank and Bank of International Settlements loan sharks took umbrage at this. The shysters resented Gaddafi’s generous terms to his fellow Africans. Gaddafi was also heavily investing in African infrastructure paying for modern roads, state of the art utilities and telecommunications systems all across the continent. The West didn’t like that either, he was making black Africa competitive and undermining the Neo-Colonial powers of Europe and the US. Gaddafi  was also partnering with China, allowing China to access Libya’s oil and gas, which pissed the US off. Worse he hinted  he was going to raise the price of Libyan oil and gas in direct opposition to OPEC policies or even nationalize them altogether. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was that Gaddafi was spearheading an effort to create a new currency based on Africa’s gold which would have broken forever the US, France and the EU stranglehold on Africa. For that Gaddafi  had to go!! Not only is the West  trying to kill Gaddafi (they’ve already murdered his son and grand child) they froze (stole) the billions of dollars Libya had in foreign banks and they’ve run the Chinese technicians and workers out of Libya!!!
  
 The last dot to connect is Dominique Strauss Kahn the former head of the IMF. How does he fit into this and how could a fellow vampire be the target of the good ol’ boy network of banksters you ask? Simple, they considered him a renegade. Strauss was rumored to be the leading candidate to run against the president of France Nicholas Sarkozy; and under Khan’s watch the IMF wasn’t as ruthless as normal so he had to go. Why? First because Sarkozy is the lapdog for the international bankster gangsters and warmongers and the global elites want to keep Sarkozy in there. Sarkozy in France and Angela Merkel of Germany were put into office with help from the multi-national corporations, the US CIA and other entities to stop France and Germany from thwarting the gangsters plans for the “Middle East” and to be more engaged in the US NATO global war program.
  
The rape story was designed to besmirch Khan’s character and get him ousted as head of the IMF. When was the last time an international big wig was treated like a regular street criminal, handcuffed, taken to a real jail and his mug shot flashed all over the world ? Come on. When have the safety or rights of a black woman ever been protected against a rich and powerful white dude?   Now that he’s stepped down from the IMF position, and the IMF has a new head; the case against him is unraveling as we speak. It was all a set up and the banksters win again.
  
 Don’t believe the hype and don’t fall for the okey-doke. Look beyond the smoke and mirrors. Always ask yourself  who benefits, then follow the money. In each of these cases the bankers benefit and the money trail leads to the oil companies, the international bankers and the military industrial complex. The only place it doesn’t lead to is we the people.

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