* IF VIOLENT CRIME RATE IS AT 40-YEAR LOW, WHY IS U.S. SPENDING $100 BILLION A YEAR ON POLICE?
By Noel Brinkerhoff and avid Wallechinsky, Information Clearing House
[…] Crime rates today are at their lowest levels in 30 years and the rate of violent crime has dipped to a 39-year low. Yet the number of arrests between 2009 and 2010 declined only slightly, according to the Justice Policy Institute (JPI), which noted in its new report that police spending increased 445% between 1982 and 2007 and federal funding for police burgeoned by 729%.
Meanwhile, local, state and federal governments spend more than $100 billion each year on public safety and to maintain police ranks that exceed 710,000 nationwide. […]
* HOW EXTREMISM IS NORMALIZED
The Obama administration has converted once unthinkable government claims into permanent political fixtures
By Glenn Greenwald, Salon
[…] This is something that we already knew. The New York Times‘ Charlie Savage had previously reported that Obama OLC lawyers David Barron and Marty Lederman had authored a “secret document” that ”provided the justification for acting despite an executive order banning assassinations, a federal law against murder, protections in the Bill of Rights and various strictures of the international laws of war” (“The memo concluded that what was reasonable, and the process that was due, was different for Mr. Awlaki than for an ordinary criminal”). Attorney General Eric Holder then publicly claimed: “‘Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.” Both of those episodes sparked controversy, because of how radical of a claim it is (Stephen Colbert brutally mocked Holder’s speech: “Due Process just means: there’s a process that you do”).
But that’s the point: once something is repeated enough by government officials, we become numb to its extremism. Even in the immediate wake of 9/11 — when national fear and hysteria were intense — things like the Patriot Act, military commissions, and indefinite detention were viewed as radical departures from American political tradition; now, they just endure and are constantly renewed without notice, because they’ve just become normalized fixtures of American political life. Here we have the Obama administration asserting what I genuinely believe, without hyperbole, is the most extremist government interpretation of the Bill of Rights I’ve heard in my lifetime — that the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee that the State cannot deprive you of your life without “due process of law” is fulfilled by completely secret, oversight-free “internal deliberations by the executive branch” — and it’s now barely something anyone (including me) even notices when The New York Times reports it (as the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer asked yesterday: “These Dems who think executive process is due process: Where were they when Bush needed help with warrantless wiretapping?” — or his indefinite detention scheme?) […]
* GLENN GREENWALD: OBAMA’S SECRET KILL LIST ” THE MOST RADICAL POWER A GOVERNMENT CAN SEIZE”
Source: Democracy Now!
* WHO WILL THE PRESIDENT KILL NEXT? IT’S A SECRET
By Bill Boyarsky, Truthdig
The revelation that President Barack Obama is personally selecting names for a kill list of suspected al-Qaida terrorists is a striking illustration of what actually occurs behind the White House’s closed doors.
The New York Times revealed Tuesday how the president “has placed himself at the helm of a top secret ‘nominations’ process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical.” He insists “on approving every new name on an expanding ‘kill list,’ poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre ‘baseball cards’ of an unconventional war.”
The Times described how more than 100 members of “the government’s sprawling national security apparatus” meet in a video conference to go over potential nominees for the death list and “recommend to the president who should be the next to die.” The nominations then go to the White House where Obama, guided by his top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, approves names added to the list. […]
* UNCONSTITUTIONAL NDAA PROVISION BLOCKED BY FEDERAL JUDGE
Source: The Young Turks
* WHEN YOU CAN’T WIN – CHEAT: ELECTION FRAUD FROM COAST TO COAST
By Wendy Gittleson, Addicting Info
Look for election fraud and voter suppression to be an overriding theme in this year’s Presidential election, even if it’s underreported in the mainstream media. Nearly six months before the election, we are already seeing local and statewide efforts to purge the voter rolls of Democratic voters.
In an effort to clear the voter rolls of “non-citizens,” Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott is targeting Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters by sending them notices informing that without proof of citizenship, they will not be eligible to vote. According to the Tampa Bay Times, out of the more than 2,600 people that have been sent the notices, White people and Republicans were the least likely to have been targeted. The Times found that:
About 58 percent of those identified as potential noncitizens are Hispanics, Florida’s largest ethnic immigrant population. They make up just 13 percent of the overall 11.3 million active registered voters.
“I’m upset, because if someone is an American citizen, it is his right to vote. How can they be asking for this?” said Juan Artabe, a 41-year-old Democrat from Cuba who said he became a citizen in 2009.
“Very poor job by the elections department,” Artabe said. He said he was contacted last week by the Miami-Dade elections office and sent in a copy of his citizenship papers so he wasn’t struck from the voter rolls.[…]
* COLONIZED BY CORPORATIONS
By Chris Hedges, Truthdig
In Robert E. Gamer’s book “The Developing Nations” is a chapter called “Why Men Do Not Revolt.” In it Gamer notes that although the oppressed often do revolt, the object of their hostility is misplaced. They vent their fury on a political puppet, someone who masks colonial power, a despised racial or ethnic group or an apostate within their own political class. The useless battles serve as an effective mask for what Gamer calls the “patron-client” networks that are responsible for the continuity of colonial oppression. The squabbles among the oppressed, the political campaigns between candidates who each are servants of colonial power, Gamer writes, absolve the actual centers of power from addressing the conditions that cause the frustrations of the people. Inequities, political disenfranchisement and injustices are never seriously addressed. “The government merely does the minimum necessary to prevent those few who are prone toward political action from organizing into politically effective groups,” he writes.
Gamer and many others who study the nature of colonial rule offer the best insights into the functioning of our corporate state. We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized. We are controlled by tiny corporate entities that have no loyalty to the nation and indeed in the language of traditional patriotism are traitors. They strip us of our resources, keep us politically passive and enrich themselves at our expense. The mechanisms of control are familiar to those whom the Martinique-born French psychiatrist and writer Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth,” including African-Americans. The colonized are denied job security. Incomes are reduced to subsistence level. The poor are plunged into desperation. Mass movements, such as labor unions, are dismantled. The school system is degraded so only the elites have access to a superior education. Laws are written to legalize corporate plunder and abuse, as well as criminalize dissent. And the ensuing fear and instability—keenly felt this past weekend by the more than 200,000 Americans who lost their unemployment benefits—ensure political passivity by diverting all personal energy toward survival. It is an old, old game. […]
* ILLINOIS REP. MIKE BOST IS FURIOUS OVER PENSION REFORM
* JACQUE FRESCO – RESOURCE BASED ECONOMY
Jacque Fresco is a self-educated structural designer, practitioner of science, concept artist, educator, and futurist. He is considered by many to be a modern-day Da Vinci. Peer to Einstein and Buckminster Fuller, Jacque is a self-taught futurist who describes himself most often as a “generalist” or multi-disciplinarian — a student of many inter-related fields. He is a prolific inventor, having spent his entire life (he is now 95 years old) conceiving of and devising inventions on various scales which entail the use of innovative technology. As a futurist, Jacque is not only a conceptualist and a theoretician, he is also an engineer and a designer.
His organization, The Venus Project works to provide a global vision of hope for the future of humankind in our technological age. The Venus Project reflects the culmination of Jacque’s life work: the integration of the best of science and technology into a comprehensive plan for a new society based on human and environmental concern. It is a global vision of hope for the future of humankind in our technological age.
A major documentary entitled, Future By Design, on the life, designs, and philosophy of Jacque Fresco is now available at http://www.fbdthemovie.com. The film Zeitgeist Addendum featuring Mr. Fresco and The Venus Project produced by Peter Joseph was released in 2008. A sequel to this documentary Zeitgeist Moving Forward was released in 2011 featuring Mr. Fresco, his work, and direction for the future. […]