As always, Caveat Lector! The material presented in the linked articles does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the owners of Cassiopaea.org. Research on your own and if you can validate any of the articles, or if you discover deception and/or an obvious agenda, we will appreciate if you drop us a line! We often post such comments along with the article synopses for the benefit of other readers.
The links will open a new window. To return to this page, simply close the new window.
The most successful tyranny
is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one
that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it
seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the
sense that there is an outside.
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong. --Voltaire--
For Web Searches, Try All the Web Better than Google
December 10, 2002 - As the World Turns Brought to You by The Bush Junta, Produced and Directed by the CIA, based on an original script by Henry Kissinger, with a cast of billions....
Congress rewards corporate tax evaders with our money - As the war on terror shows troubling signs of becoming a war of error, the Bush administration is waging a far more successful war on behalf of its corporate backers. The latest victory comes courtesy of Congress' 11th hour reversal of a provision in the Homeland Security Bill banning government contracts for companies that move offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes. -
This vote, shamelessly draped in the American flag, is so hypocritical, so despicable, and such an unmitigated "screw you" to every American taxpayer that it has sent me scrambling in search of a barricade to storm. -
The sleazy backroom maneuvering that yielded this year-end dividend for expat corporations offers a perfect -- and perfectly nauseating -- case study in how Washington works. The same leaders who never miss a chance to be seen tearfully singing "God Bless America" with their hands over their disloyal hearts have allowed profits to trump patriotism, even in a time of war. -
Earlier this year, with the stink of Enron, Global Crossing, and WorldCom filling the air, the House and Senate, after sensing -- and exhaustively polling -- the public mood, voted overwhelmingly to keep corporate expatriates from milking and bilking the government at the same time. It was a political no-brainer. A red, white and blue slam-dunk. After all, the sooner the issue was stamped "taken care of," the sooner those bothersome questions about Dick Cheney's serial use of offshore shelters while running Halliburton would fade away. [...]
Then Election Day came and went, and lots and lots of big corporate checks were cashed. It was payback time. And a bipartisan who's who of power lobbyists -- including former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, former House Ways and Means chairman Bill Archer, former House Appropriations chair Bob Livingston, and former Senate Intelligence chairman Dennis DeConcini -- made sure that the expat companies' government gravy train was kept running, "Mussolini-style," right on schedule. -
With the public's attention diverted elsewhere -- namely Iraq, and J-Lo and Ben's engagement -- the tax haven crowd found a much more receptive audience in Washington. Operating behind closed doors, and with next to no public debate, the lame duck Congress made an abrupt U-Turn and sliced-and-diced the no-contracts-for-tax-cheats rule. And without blinking an eye, the president happily signed the bill into law.
Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and one of CIA Director George Tenet's harshest critics, told ABC television on Tuesday morning: the congressional inquiry into Sept. 11-related intelligence failures as too soft on U.S. agencies, especially the CIA. - A joint inquiry by the Senate and House intelligence committees has drafted a final, mostly classified, report that is expected to face an approval vote on Tuesday. "Some of the people on the committee don't want to assign the blame or the accountability," Shelby said. "I am not one of those people." [...]
"Perhaps some of it could have been prevented," Shelby said of the Sept. 11 attacks. "There were a lot of missed signals, a lot of non-sharing of information." Shelby continued to heap criticism on Tenet. "There have been more failures on his watch as far as massive intelligence failures than any CIA director in history. Yet he's still there," Shelby said. "It's inexplicable to me."
Comment: This is just "red herring" stuff. Shelby is just as dirty as the rest of them, no doubt. They are trying to give the impression of "democracy" and "open debate." It's a foregone conclusion that the whole 9-11 complicity of the Bush Junta and the lackeys on Capitol Hill is going to be shoved in the same locker with the JFK investigation. Maybe our grandchildren will be able to read it...
The world's largest communications satellite was sent plunging into the Pacific Ocean Tuesday two weeks after a Russian booster rocket failed to put it into the correct orbit, Russia's space forces said. - The French-made Astra-1K was rendered useless following its Nov. 26 launch on a Russian proton rocket, when a Russian-made booster unit failed to push the satellite into its intended orbit. Its owners later established partial control over the satellite but said it would never be able to fulfill its main mission of handling signals for radio, television, mobile telephones and the Internet. - The Astra-1K, manufactured by France's Allocate Space corporation for Society European Des Satellites of Luxembourg, weighed nearly six tons and was the largest communications satellite ever built.
Islamophobia and anti-Semitism fueled by the Sept. 11 attacks and the Middle East conflict are in danger of becoming acceptable in Europe, the European Union's racism watchdog warned Tuesday.
Do we care? Well, for those who do, have a look: the Documents Courtney Love doesn't want anyone to read. What is interesting is the fact that Courtney's father, Hank Harrison, used to be a buddy of Ira Einhorn's and currently hangs out with the Sarfatti Crowd as chronicled in our Adventure Series.
A generation ago, the great investigative reporter and columnist Jack Anderson said that when the press was doing its best work, it performed as "the alternative source of information." He meant alternative to the government. Admittedly, it was another time, when editors and newsrooms ran newspapers. Anderson did his job so well that there were speculations in the Nixon White House about whether to have him killed. Right now, with the Bush administration talking war almost daily, I think the country could use a bit more of Anderson's "alternative" approach toward reporting national affairs. [...]
One of the key issues is whether Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was working with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and if Saddam is in league with al-Qaida now. The Bush administration, principally hawks like Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, are pushing this line very hard, despite the lack of hard evidence. No less than former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the other day that, "The link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida has not been made."
Even so, the link seems to have been made in the minds of many citizens back home by repetitive comments by administrative officials and, sad to say, the Associated Press, which I think has slipped toward the role of government organ in the run-up to a possible war, instead of the people's "alternative source of information."
The AP, as a result of insufficient resources, pressure or carelessness, has slumped toward this role because of broad overuse of anonymous sources for key stories on intelligence concerning al-Qaida, stories that have captured the front pages of the world's newspapers and topped the budgets on radio, TV and cable news. We're not talking inside baseball here. The AP has fantastic political clout; it serves 1,550 American newspapers, including this one, and 5,000 stations, most of them exclusively. [...]
But the most recent and egregious item was the Nov. 18 AP story that "U.S. intelligence has concluded that an audiotape of Osama bin Laden broadcast last week is real and was recently recorded, providing the first evidence in almost a year that al-Qaida's leader is alive." The AP's source of this muscular story that rocketed around the world was "one U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity."
On Nov. 30, European news nets carried a story, naming real, not spectral, scientists at a named Swiss research organization sayingthe bin Laden tape was probably a fake. The second story didn't get anything like the play of the original AP report, and so most people back home "concluded" that bin Laden is alive. [...]
Almost every reporter here uses anonymous sources. But it is a rare reporter or editor who will repeatedly use this device to convey information that might help start a war.
The Defense Department is working on final preparations for a system of military tribunals to prosecute suspected terrorists, the WALL STREET JOURNAL reported on Tuesday. MORE "Pentagon General Counsel William J. Haynes II said an Office of Military Commissions has been set up and could have the courts running 'pretty quickly' after President Bush gives the order." Defense officials are "readying a handbook listing the 'crimes and elements' that prosecutors will use to bring charges, Mr. Haynes said. The handbook, expected to be issued by year's end, will set forth 'standards of conduct for belligerents' that 'illustrate' possible crimes, but will not be a rigid code, he said. The tribunals themselves, which will consist of three to seven military officers, would have the last word on whether a particular offense should be considered a crime, he said." - "The handbook may define membership in al Qaeda as a war crime, he said. Doing so would allow prosecution of prisoners who haven't been linked to a specific violent act, but are known to have attended terrorist training camps or otherwise shown allegiance to the terrorist network." Comment: And you can bet that any criticism of the Bush Junta will be defined as "showing allegiance to the terrorist network" even if the person is a die hard American fighting to save the Constitution!
Technical Difficulties? - A clever graphic representation... Something you can share with friends and family - even if they are still sleeping.
Australia's high court has ruled that the financial publishers Dow Jones can be sued in the Australian state of Victoria over an article that appeared on their website. The defamation case was brought by Melbourne mining magnate Joseph Gutnik, who argued that the article could be read on the internet by people who knew him in Melbourne. Dow Jones had argued that publication of the article on its Barron's website took place in the United States and wanted the case to be heard there. It is thought to be the first such decision in the high court of any country to consider the question of jurisdiction and the internet.- Media organisations fear the ruling could unleash a flood of litigation around the world and will force them to review the content of their internet sites. - Mr Gutnik was delighted by the ruling. "It will certainly be re-established that the net is no different than a regular newspaper, that you have to be careful what you write and if you offend somebody or write malicious statements about people... then you can be subject to being prosecuted," he said. Comment: Boy, this is gonna open a can of worms! But it is an interesting ruling considering the use of the internet for so many criminal activities, and the hardship imposed on the victims by the refusal to assign jurisdiction.
Good Job, Jimmy! Carter uses Nobel speech to attack Bush war plans for Iraq - The 78-year-old Carter, the third US president to win the prestigious prize, did not directly name either Iraq or the United States but made clear his opposition to US plans to oust Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein. "For powerful countries to adopt a principle of preventive war may well set an example that can have catastrophic consequences," he said in accepting the prize, which recognises his years as an international mediator for peace. "We must remember that today there are at least eight nuclear powers on Earth, and three of them are threatening to their own neighbours in areas of great international tension," Carter said. [...] Carter often has been regarded as one of the better former US presidents, but saw his actual term in office, from 1977 to 1981, dogged by the Iran hostage crisis as well as a weak economy. A soft-spoken, "born-again" Christian with a broad, toothy grin, he was often perceived as naive and weak in the dog-eat-dog world of Washington insider politics.
Baghdad accused Washington of "banditry unparalleled" in UN history after the United States seized a crucial Iraqi arms declaration within hours of its delivery to the world body's headquarters in New York. -
Washington had earlier defended its removal of the massive declaration, saying it was essential to restrict circulation of sensitive details of how Baghdad made weapons of mass destruction to the five permanent members of the Security Council who are declared nuclear powers. But other council members questioned how they could judge US charges Iraq was lying about its banned weapons programmes if they were denied access to the full text of its "currently accurate, full and complete declaration". -
US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said copies had to be made "in a controlled environment in order to guard against the inadvertent release of information" -- an assertion backed by the French. - The 10 non-permanent members would be given sanitized versions later. -
Several sources who asked not to be identified said a US official, accompanied by Valdivieso, took the declaration away just three hours after it was delivered to the Security Council on Sunday in accordance with the deadline set last month. The documents were not signed for and Valdivieso did not even lay a hand on them, the sources said. "There were no face-to-face consultations, and many members are upset," a council diplomat said. The only one prepared to protest publicly, Syrian Ambassdor Mikhail Wehbe, said the act was "in contradiction with every kind of logic in the Security Council and against the unity of the council." -
In the Arab world, the Al-Raya daily asked whether that was not precisely the motive for Washington's decision to take charge of Iraq's declaration to the United Nations. "The method by which Washington obtained the dossier can only be termed an act of piracy," the Qatar-based daily charged. "This method is all the more suspicious because the US administration does not hide its belligerent intentions towards Iraq," it said. - [...]
The White House meanwhile announced 92 million dollars in military assistance to six groups opposed to the Baghdad regime ahead of a major opposition meeting in London later this week.
Comment: Last night I heard a disturbing bit of news. My son came home and announced that the father of one of his friends had lost his job. Well, that's not too unusual in these times of War madness. What was unusual was the information that came with it. You see, this man who has just lost his job was employed by the government as an employment counselor for the handicapped. It seems that programs designed to help the helpless are being dismantled right and left with no fanfare whatsoever. Nearly every family I know has, or has had, a relative who is handicapped in some way, either due to birth defects or a tragic accident, or who has suffered a catastrophic illness. While I am very much in favor of extended families taking responsibility for their less fortunate members, I am also in favor of our constituted authorities utilizing our taxes to assist such families.
Some years ago I wrote a little "Statement of Philosophy" which I would like to present here. Some of the figures may be out of date, it may be a bit naive, but I still think that the basic idea is sound.
I would like to suggest that, at any given moment in time, the whole of humanity constitutes a single organism in all its related parts; that these parts can be observed to hold a definite relation to one another; and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
If we examine the body of a single human being as the microcosm, and extrapolate what we see there to a principle, we can observe various segments of humanity to fulfill various functions as exemplified in the components of the body.
Using this principle, we observe that the relation between the vital organs of the body, and those which serve moving functions is relative to a distinction in humanity which can be given expression graphically as a bell curve; i.e. a small percentage of individuals will manifest high intelligence, a very large percentage will manifest "average" intelligence, another small percentage will manifest below average intelligence.
Further, we note that this distinction has been used historically to justify oppression of great masses of humanity, if not actual decimation.
In the body of a human being, this activity could be described as abuse of one part of the body by another under the control of a third. In extreme cases, such as wars or persecutions, it could be described as self-mutilation or even suicide.
Now, it is clear that this is entirely counter- productive to the evolution, indeed, the very survival, of humanity. I do not undertake to define any specific group as relating to any specific part of the body, I only wish to point out that those in our society who may seem, by mere observation, to serve no function at all, such as some who are mentally or physically impaired beyond any normal function, may in fact be vital to the life of the body by eliciting certain behaviors from other parts just as miniscule amounts of hormones can change the entire character of total bodily functions.
Having suggested this, I wish to point out several pertinent facts.
THE BODY OF HUMANITY HAS, HISTORICALLY, BEEN SELF- MUTILATING.
This has severely limited the rate of progress. This is invariably expressed in political and economic terms. I could describe this behavior as the act of an insane man who believes his arm is a snake and hacks it off, or that his foot is a rat and crushes it. He is baffled as to why he can no longer feed himself or walk.
In other words, the vital organs of humanity have forgotten their need of the masses of muscle, bone, sinew and skin which support, protect, move and, in fact, constitute the means of existence.
In fact, it seems that some small part of the brain of humanity has split off like a case of MPD, and has determiend that it can exist without a body.
Economically this is expressed in the fact that one percent of the population holds thirty-six percent of the wealth.
To put this into the clearest of terms, this means, generally, that if the total wealth of the nation consisted in one hundred dollars, one person would have thirty-six dollars and the remaining ninety-nine people would have to divide up sixty-four dollars.
While it is true that the brain requires a slightly higher percentage of nutrients for proper function than the remainder of the body, this inequity constitutes virtual starvation of the rest of the body. This social malnutrition is the cause of the many disease processes which threaten to destroy humanity.
However, it must be noted that the body has several unique instinctive mechanisms which activate in times of extreme stress. Certain chemicals activate primeval defense actions, which, of necessity, divert energy and nutrients from other areas. In extreme cases, consciousness may be lost or a stroke may occur which, unfortunately, can cause permanent damage to the brain. Numerous revolutions of history are examples of this mechanism in the body of humanity.
Perhaps it is not going too far to suggest that social problems can be expressed and even predicted through analysis of a single individuals' biological state under various stresses.
If that is the case, then we can conclude that it is not merely advisable, but absolutely crucial to the health of humanity to nurture and provide for the masses as one would for their own body.
From this philosophical standpoint, it seems that primary objective of government should be to correct those conditions that harm the "body" of the people.
Poverty is the mother of crime and revolution, and so, the importance of this issue cannot be overstated.
Strong medicine must be swallowed and, until the body is restored to health, supportive actions and therapy must be implemented.
GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE IN THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO WISH TO SERVE AND WHO ARE QUALIFIED BY A THOROUGH TESTING PROGRAM AS WELL AS EXTENSIVE BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION. IT SHOULD CERTAINLY NEVER BE IN THE HANDS OF THOSE WHO ARE EVALUATED ACCORDING TO "ELECTABILITY" IN TERMS OF CONNECTIONS, LOOKS, CHARM, OR BUDGET.
GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE MADE UNDESIRABLE TO THOSE WHO SEEK ONLY MONEY AND POWER. PRESTIGE AND HONOR SHOULD BE THE REWARDS OF STATESMANSHIP.
How could this be done?
A. OUTLAW EXPENSIVE POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS. THE TOP THREE QUALIFIED CANDIDATES - qualified by a testing process and background investigation - SHOULD BE GIVEN EQUAL MEDIA REPRESENTATION GRATIS.
B. OUTLAW LOBBYING AND SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS. THE ONLY THING THAT SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO BRING LEGISLATION TO BEAR ON ANY MATTER SHOULD BE POPULAR SUPPORT AS DEMONSTRATED BY APPROPRIATE PETITIONS. EACH ACT OF LEGISLATION SHOULD BE CLEARLY STATED AND SUBJECTED TO REFERENDUM.
C. ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS SHOULD BE PLACED IN OFFICE BY MAJORITY VOTE ONLY. OUTLAW THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE AND PARTY POLITICS.
D. SALARIES OF ELECTED OFFICIALS SHOULD REFLECT AN AVERAGE OF THE INCOMES OF THE CONSTITUENTS. IN THIS WAY, THEY WILL HAVE A BETTER IDEA OF HOW EVERYBODY ELSE LIVES AND WILL BE MORE MOTIVATED TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF THE PEOPLE. BARRACKS TYPE LIVING QUARTERS SHOULD BE PROVIDED FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS TO LIVE IN WHILE PERFORMING GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS. EXPENSIVE RESIDENCES, PARTIES, CARS, TRIPS, AND OTHER PERKS OF SERVICE MUST BECOME OBSOLETE.
E. OUTLAW HONORARIUMS, SPEAKING FEES, CONSULTING FEES, GIFTS AND OTHER ASSOCIATIONS FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS WHILE IN OFFICE. IF THEY CAN'T LIVE ON THEIR SALARIES, HOW DO THEY EXPECT ANYONE ELSE TO?
The above measures are simple and would quickly result in societal adjustments for the good of all the people. Naturally it must be expected that great resistance to these ideas would issue from those possessing great wealth. The wealthy control the government, religion, social customs and social institutions. They have access to very clever theoreticians who invent theories to justify everything they do.
Popular theory holds that, while concentrated wealth may seem unfair, it is good for economic prosperity. A couple of con artists once made an emperor a new set of clohtes too!
We believe in prosperity and comfort and freedom from want for all. Some who are more industrious will naturally have more than others. We take no issue with that. We support and encourage enterprise. However, we seek to ensure that those who are not so driven will be enabled to establish and maintain a comfortable and fulfilling lifestyle. And we do not believe that the masses should have to foot the bill for the foolishness of the government.
WE BELIEVE THE FOLLOWING MEASURES ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE RESTORATION OF HEALTH TO OUR SOCIETY:
Since the primary problem is economic, we believe immediate measures must be taken to divert economic nourishmnet away from the head and into the body. These measures are described by Dr. Ravi Batra, Professor of Economics at Southern Methodist University, and consist of the following:
A. ENACT TAXATION IN PROPORTION TO BENEFITS RECEIVED FROM THE GOVERNMENT. SINCE DEFENSE OF OUR WAY OF LIFE IS THE PRIMARY BENEFIT WE RECEIVE, AND IS THE MAJOR PART OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET, THOSE WHO HAVE THE MOST TO PROTECT SHOULD PAY THE MOST TAXES FOR THAT SERVICE. THOSE WHO HAVE ACCUMULATED GREAT WEALTH HAVE BEEN VIGOROUSLY PROTECTED AT GREAT EXPENSE OF LIFE AND MONEY FROM THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR UNTIL THE PRESENT. FROM THE CREATION OF OUR GOVERNMENT, THE WEALTHY HAVE BEEN PROTECTED AT THE EXPENSE OF POOR AND MIDDLE CLASSES, SO, A WEALTH TAX SHOULD BE RETROACTIVE.
THIS TAX SHOULD BE IMPOSED ON NET WORTH INCLUDING STOCKS, BONDS, REAL ESTATE, PRECIOUS METALS, PAINTINGS ETC. AN EXEMPTION OF ONE MILLION DOLLARS SHOULD BE ALLOWED FOR PERSONAL AND LIVING EXPENSES. THE SECOND MILLION WOULD BE TAXED AT A MERE 2%, THE THIRD 3% AND SO ON UP TO 7% OF EVERYTHING ABOVE SEVEN MILLION. THIS TAX RATE WOULD GENERATE REVENUES AMOUNTING TO $240.2 BILLION DOLLARS, BASED ON $15 TRILLION IN TOTAL WEALTH. THIS TAX WOULD APPLY TO ALL FOREIGN INVESTORS AS WELL. THIS MONEY SHOULD BE USED TO IMMEDIATELY BALANCE THE FEDERAL BUDGET. AT THE SAME TIME, GOVERNMENT SPENDING MUST BE FROZEN AND CAPITAL CONTROLS AGAINST MOVING MONEY OUT OF THE COUNTRY ENACTED. SEVERAL THINGS WOULD RESULT FROM THIS PLAN.
B. FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS MUST BE REGULATED.
C. CHARGE FOREIGN COUNTRIES FOR DEFENSE. IT IS CHEAPER FOR THEM TO PAY US THAN TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN THEIR OWN STANDING ARMY. AS MUCH AS $290. BILLION OF OUR NATION'S DEFENSE BUDGET IS SPENT ON DEFENSE ABROAD. FOLLOWING WW II AMERICA OFFERED A DEFENSE UMBRELLA TO IMPOVERISHED ALLIES. AT THAT TIME IT WAS THE WORLD'S LARGEST BANKER. THOSE SURPLUSES HAVE DECLINED TURNING AMERICA INTO THE WORLD'S LARGEST DEBTOR. WE CAN NO LONGER COMPETE IN WORLD TRADE BECAUSE OF OUR LARGE DEFENSE SPENDING. WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO OFFER OUR DEFENSE SERVICES FOR FREE. CHARGING 1 TO 2 PERCENT OF OTHER NATION'S GNP FOR DEFENSE WOULD BRING IN OVER $100 MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY. IT IS A SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR PROSPERITY AND PEACE IN THE WORLD. IF OTHER COUNTRIES IMPOSED A WEALTH TAX AS WELL, THEY WOULD EASILY BE ABLE TO BRING THEIR BOOKS INTO BALANCE.
In closing I would like to borrow a phrase to state the sum total of this philosophy: I believe in governmnet of the people, by the people, and for the people - and I desire to see that it does not perish from the EARTH!
Fair Use Policy
Contact Webmaster at signs-of-the-times.org