Lies that cost hundreds of billions of dollars

The Iraq war began ten years ago this month. More than just wrong:

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Fascism, cont’d

Original post here.

The Daily Beast and the Center for Investigative Reporting have new information about Police Militarization (h/t The Agitator).

I love that the feds gave Oklahoma $2 million for port security. – Radley Balko

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End of Life Decisions, Planning

Good article describing remarkable differences in how people in the medical field view treatment for life-threatening illness: How Doctors Die « Zócalo Public Square

It turns out they often don’t make the same decisions that are recommended to patients, and appear to place much higher value on quality-of-life factors.

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Sliding towards fascism

Since 9/11 American’s have been giving up their liberties. Most of the time it’s because they have been told it is necessary for their ‘safety’. Conservatives yell “socialism” at anything the President suggests, but I don’t hear anyone yelling ‘Fascism” at his lack of support for our rights or his active support for taking away those rights (Patriot Act, Domestic Spying/Eavesdropping, punishing whistleblowers, etc.). The biggest criminals in the world get away with slaps on the wrist while the least powerful have less rights then ever before.

I still remember Eisenhower’s warning:

Up through World War II war-profiteering was punishable by death. Today we have Haliburto/Cheney, Blackwater-Xi/Prince, and they are immune, supported by our legislators.

Ben Franklin wrote: Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

Here is an example of Law Enforcement in the US today:

An LAPD officer would forcibly extend the protestor’s legs, grab his left foot, twist it all the way around and then stomp his boot on the insole, pinning the protestor’s left foot to the pavement, twisted backwards. Then the LAPD officer would grab the protestor’s right foot and twist it all the way the other direction until the non-violent protestor, in incredible agony, would shriek in pain and unlink from his neighbor.

Source: ‘Family Guy’ Writer Arrested During Occupy L.A. Raid Shares His Anger In Vivid Account: LAist

And that’s the cold, methodical behavior to be expected from a militarized police. And the casual spraying of Pepper Spray into the faces of sitting, non-violent protesters that we have all seen. We also see SWAT/Militarized teams (body armor and fully automatic weapons) being used to serve warrants, bust alleged pot smokers, and to break up poker games.

Fear grips this nation, and I am ashamed for it.

How the War on Terror Has Militarized the Police – Arthur Rizer & Joseph Hartman – National – The Atlantic
Have American Police Become Militarized? – NYTimes.com
Defense Cuts Force Contractors to Look to Sell Spy Tech to Cops, Others – The Daily Beast
The growing militarisation of police 

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The American Legislative Exchange Council

I first read about The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) regarding Arizona’s new Immigration Law AB1070. ALEC was listed as it’s primary author, and poking around I started seeing a lot of information about this group that describes itself as a “nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who share a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty”, and although ALEC bills itself as bi-partisan, all it’s legislative members are Republican.

What I found alarming at first glance, is that the Corrections Corporation of America, who stood to profit from an increase in detaining (jailing) immigrants, is a Member of ALEC and was present when ‘model’ immigration laws (such as AB1070) were introduced to other ALEC Members who are legislators. No pretenses here, just straight-forward corporate business development…

So, a little history here, summarized due to nausea:

One of the founders of ALEC, Paul Weyrich, expressed frustration with the lack of traction the Lewinsky Scandal generated against liberals (and Democratic President Clinton) in a 1999 letter: “I think that we have to look at a whole series of possibilities for bypassing the institutions that are controlled by the enemy.” The ‘enemy’ he refers to, I believe, are sectarian Politicians, Judges, Democrats and Liberals, and apparently deception, misinformation and divisiveness are some of the ‘possibilities’.

ALEC boasts “Each year approximately 800 bills are introduced in the states which are based in whole or in part on ALEC model legislation. Annually, about 20% of these introduced bills become law.” Taking a look at these bills reveals what appears to be a consistent attempt to inject a mix of Moral Laws1 (e.g.; Abortion: Another of ALEC’s founders is Henry Hyde — known for pressing the amendment that Federal Funds never be used for Abortions) and rules supporting a free market with little regulation.

ALEC’s real interests seem to be in what most would refer to as a Theocracy2, and the fuel for this venture is from their willingness to sell out anything that stands in the way.  Paul Weyrich died on December 18, 2008, aged 66, at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, VA, but ALEC appears to be successfully carrying on his intent.

 

Who Is ALEC and Why Is It So Powerful?

  1. See: Sharia Law []
  2. “The real enemy is the secular humanist mindset which seeks to destroy everything that is good in this society.” – “The Rights and Wrongs of the Religious Right”, Freedom Writer, Institute for First Amendment Studies, October 1995. []
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