Concerns about the coming disaster…

by Frank Paynter on October 4, 2008

Homework…

Modern Money Mechanics

Zeitgeist: Addendum - 1984 News

“The paralyzing necessity to preserve an institution, regardless of its social relevance is largely rooted in the need for money or profit.”
- Zeitgeist: Addendum

* * *

Since 2001, during the dark days of the Bush administration, something encouraging has happened in the western hemisphere. In many places the economic control of the landed aristocracy, the oil companies, the coffee Oligarchs, the drug cartels, and the military juntas is giving way to the will of a voting majority of the people. Democracy is re-emergent in the western hemisphere.

Bolivia — Evo Morales, the country’s first indigenous President, leads the MAS party (Movimiento al Socialismo).
Chile — Michelle Bachelet was sworn in as President of the Republic of Chile on March 11, 2006.
Ecuador — Rafael Correa, a trained economist who describes himself as a humanist, a Christian of the left, and a proponent of socialism of the 21st century, took office in 2006.
Venezuela — Hugo Chávez, a critic of neoliberalism, globalization, and United States foreign policy, was elected President in 1998, re-elected in 2000 and 2006.

With the coming debasement of the US currency and the displacement of the US middle class, the foreclosures, the job losses, the evictions, I think it’s vital that we learn from our neighbors how to gain control over our own economy, how to restructure the global corporations, and how to distribute wealth fairly. But we have to be careful:

The John W. Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2006 (PL 109-364), “named for the longtime Armed Services Committee chairman from Virginia,” was signed October 17, 2006, by President George W. Bush. The Act “has a provocative provision called ‘Use of the Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies’,” the thrust of which “seems to be about giving the federal government a far stronger hand in coordinating responses to [Hurricane] Katrina-like disasters,” Jeff Stein, CQ National Security Editor wrote December 1, 2006.

“But on closer inspection, its language also alters the two-centuries-old Insurrection Act, which Congress passed in 1807 to limit the president’s power to deploy troops within the United States … ‘to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy’,” Stein wrote.

“But the amended law takes the cuffs off” and “critics say it’s a formula for executive branch mischief,” Stein wrote, as “the new language adds ‘natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident’ to the list of conditions permitting the President to take over local authority — particularly ‘if domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order.’”

“One of the few to complain, Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., warned that the measure virtually invites the White House to declare federal martial law. … It ’subverts solid, longstanding posse comitatus statutes that limit the military’s involvement in law enforcement, thereby making it easier for the President to declare martial law,’ he said in remarks submitted to the Congressional Record on Sept. 29.”
- SourceWatch

At what point, asks the DNHC blog, will the looming economic disaster facing this country be declared an “emergency”? Before or after the scheduled November election? The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team is in place now, trained to deploy and use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” according to 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier. Cloutier referred to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.

The Army Times has updated their story on the First of the Third to clarify that, “The package is for use only in war-zone operations, not for any domestic purpose.” And if you believe that, there’s this bridge in Brooklyn…

Cloutier says, “It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

There are over one million residents of the US on the Homeland Security Terrorist Watch List. The fear that the Bush scion, Cheney, and their corporate cronies feel is obvious from the number of people they have under surveillance. I think it’s that fear that brought the First of the Third home for active duty within these borders.

The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385) passed on June 16, 1878 after the end of Reconstruction. The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services (the Army, Air Force, and State National Guard forces when such are called into federal service) from exercising nominally state law enforcement police or peace officer powers that maintain “law and order” on non-federal property (states, their counties and municipal divisions) in the former Confederate states.

The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the United States National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress. The Coast Guard is exempt from the Posse Comitatus Act.

The Posse Comitatus Act and the Insurrection Act substantially limit the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement.
- the ‘pedia

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Seriously U.S.Americans, What the Flying Fuck?! » A Division by Zer0
10.08.08 at 6:51

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill 10.04.08 at 9:39

Frank! Say it ain’t so!

This crowd scares the bejeezus out of me. There is virtually nothing at this point that would surprise me about the extent of their nefarious activities. Makes me think twice about the second amendment; me, who wouldn’t allow Power Rangers in the toybox. Here I am thinking about being forced to defend my country of birth against a coup that has actually already taken place.

Sheeples we are. Sheeples off to slaughter.

I am assured by my elders that there’s nothing to worry about, that any such speculation is as wild-eyed and crazy as believing the 9/11 conspiracy theories (which I wonder about, too). I’m told that Americans would never allow such a fate to befall us.

But then, I never thought Americans would go for torture, secret prisons, killing a million Iraqis and some 4,000 American troops for what seems like corporate gain and little else except, maybe, I don’t know, oil; allowing babies to drown while they vacationed and ate cake, spying without warrants on American citizens, unlimited detention without charges . . . the list goes on and on and on and on. It’s exhausting and I’ll bet no one can actually keep it all in their head at one time because its implications are just too huge.

All this while the country argues about such unsolvable issues as abortion, God, guns and gays, distracting the public attention from the criminal acts they don’t have the shame to hide. There are at least a million of us with cause to worry that our sharp eyes and minds may make us targets during martial law. The implications seem all too clear, but surely my elders are right and I’m being overly concerned. Surely.

Damn it Frank, say it ain’t so.

Frank Paynter 10.04.08 at 10:14

Here’s the thing, Jill. We’re kind of in the same boat as Butch and Sundance when they were at the edge of the cliff, high above the river and their pursuers were galloping down on them guns-a-blazing. “Jump!” says Sundance, and Butch replies, “But I can’t swim!’ Sundance, ever the optimist, says, “Hell, the FALL will kill you.”

The American middle class is being squeezed hard right now, and the squeeze will soon be downright python-esque. We’re going into a time of high unemployment and inflation and the nasty people represented by Palin and McCain will remain alienated from the rest of us, whether they win the election or not. They’ll want us worshiping their Jesus and following their odd rules about science and the human body.

Something revolutionary needs to happen, but what? I’m hoping innovation and a common goal shaped by a sane administration with our input can carry us through the next few years and into a more sane and safe future. But right now, there are a lot of guys with badges, guns, and tasers running around all officious and shit. Trick is to stay out of their way and make fun of them at every opportunity.

Jill 10.05.08 at 9:43

I feel better. Thanks.

Jill 10.06.08 at 8:39

Here’s Naomi Wolf who’s all over our this stuff claiming the coup happened on October 1 and tells us what to do. I don’t want to do this stuff, life is hard enough and I’m tired. But I guess if I have to stand up and save my country . . . what’s your take?

Frank Paynter 10.06.08 at 9:47

“First we get terrified and then we get down to work.”

We need to stand up for people who are victims of Homeland Security excesses, support them through the justice process. We need to exploit these new media to exercise freedom of speech and organize our resistance to the formation of a police state. We need to give the Obama administration a list of priorities… near the top of the list should be getting the 1st of the 3rd off the streets, restoring National Guard to state service, retracting Executive Orders that permit martial law. We have to end mercenary contracts.

We have to get active and get focused and push back against inhuman policies and practices.

We have to eliminate the “War on Everything.” The War on Terror is a hoax that needs to be exposed. We have to recognize the truth of what Wolf is saying, but we don’t need to be panicky about anything. The big news that Wolf has missed is that her epiphany is about fifty years late. US power has been projected in secrecy and unconstitutionally for decades. The McCarran Act of 1950set up domestic camps for containing “enemies of the state.”

I think it’s important to be aware of Wolf’s perspective and not debunk it, but I also think we need to look for ways to make our democracy work for us. I’m doubtful that a citizen’s arrest of Cheney can be accomplished now. But I’m not doubtful that, like Pinochet, he can eventually be brought to justice.

Here’s the link to an interview with Wolf where she says we are under martial law already. I think it’s not that bad. If they steal the election from Obama, or assassinate him as Palin seems to have condoned today, then we are at a whole new place… they will have to mobilize those troops they have on station. Let’s burn that bridge when we come to it.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are turning up the heat out there. Palin is stoking the fires of anger and fear. From the Washington Post:

“And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,’” she continued.

“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.

“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.

Palin went on to say that “Obama held one of the first meetings of his political career in Bill Ayers’s living room, and they’ve worked together on various projects in Chicago.”

It was Palin’s duty to tone down hate speech and death threats, yet no reports of her encountering the extremist have been published. I hope the Secret Service has his number.

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