February 23, 2012
We Are Change
After reminding Rick Santorum that he said he doesn’t agree that the Patriot Act violates the 4th Amendment, Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change asks Rick Santorum to tell us what exactly the 4th Amendment is.
The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
February 20, 2012
By John Rubino
The US government’s obliteration of the Bill of Rights via the Patriot Act, the recent defense bill that allows the military to detain citizens indefinitely without trial, the health care law that forces citizens to buy insurance, and the attempted takeover of the Internet through SOPA and PIPA has gotten a lot of attention lately, and in a few rare cases has generated some effective push-back.
But according to an article in this month’s Harper’s Magazine (Killing the competition: How the new monopolies are destroying open markets, by Barry C. Lynn), US corporations are evolving into forms that are more threatening to their victims than anything emanating from Washington. As the author characterizes it, a new generation of monopolists are imposing their own private governments on their industries — and not always the industries one would expect. This long, detailed article should be read by anyone with a desire to understand how the US is evolving. Here I’ll highlight a few excerpts to summarize the major plot points:
Just a few years ago a software engineer’s talents were almost completely portable, allowing a programmer to move effortlessly between tech companies. In other words, there was a functioning market for talent in which the individual had power and choice vis-à-vis local employers. Then a handful of companies began to accumulate near-monopoly control over their product lines — and their workers.
But perhaps the best way to understand the true structure of America’s political economy in the twenty-first century is to talk to some of the people who publish, edit, and write books in America. These days, most articles on the book industry focus on technology. The recent death of the retailer Borders is depicted as a victory of Internet sales over brick-and-mortar stores, the e-book market as a battle between the Kindle e-reader and the iPad. But if we look behind the glib narrative of digitization, we find that a parallel revolution has taken place, one that has resulted in a dramatic concentration of power over individuals who work in this essential, surprisingly fragile industry.
A generation ago, America’s book market was entirely open and very vibrant. According to some estimates, the five largest publishers in the mid-1970s controlled only about 30 percent of trade book sales, and the biggest fifty publishers controlled only 75 percent. The retail business was even more dispersed, with the top four chains accounting for little more than 10 percent of sales. Today, a single company—Amazon—accounts for more than 20 percent of the domestic book market. And even this statistic fails to convey the company’s enormous reach. In many key categories, it sells more than half the books purchased in the United States. And according to the company’s estimates, its share of the e-book market, the fastest-growing segment of the industry, was between 70 and 80 percent in 2010. (Its share of the online sale of physical books is roughly the same.)
Not surprisingly, then, we find the same sort of fear among our book publishers as we do among the chicken farmers of the Sweedlin Valley. I recently sat down with the CEO of one of the biggest publishing houses in America. In his corner office overlooking a busy Manhattan street, he explained that Amazon was once a “wonderful customer with whom to do business.” As Jeff Bezos’s company became more powerful, however, it changed. “The question is, do you wear your power lightly?” My host paused for a moment, searching for the right words. “Mr. Bezos has not. He is reckless. He is dangerous.”
Later that same day, I spoke with the head of one of the few remaining small publishers in America, in a tattered conference room in a squat Midtown office building. “Amazon is a bully. Jeff Bezos is a bully,” he said, his voice rising, his cheeks flushing. “Anyone who gets that powerful can push people around, and Amazon pushes people around. They do not exercise their power responsibly.” Neither man allowed me to use his name. Amazon, they made clear, had long since accumulated sufficient influence over their business to ensure that even these most dedicated defenders of the book—and of the First Amendment—dare not speak openly of the company’s predations.
If a single event best illustrates our confusion as to what makes an open market—and the role such markets play in protecting our liberties—it was our failure to respond to Amazon’s decision in early 2010 to cut off one of our biggest publishers from its readers. At the time, Amazon and Macmillan were scrapping over which firm would set the price for Macmillan’s ebooks. Amazon wanted to price every Macmillan e-book, and indeed every e-book of every publisher, at $9.99 or less. This scorched-earth tactic, which guaranteed that Amazon lost money on many of the e-books it sold, was designed to cement the online retailer’s dominance in the nascent market. It also had the effect of persuading customers that this deeply discounted price, which publishers considered ruinously low, was the “natural” one for an e-book.
In January 2010, Macmillan at last claimed the right to set the price for each of its own products as it alone saw fit. Amazon resisted this arrangement, known in publishing as the “agency model.” When the two companies deadlocked, Amazon simply turned off the buttons that allowed customers to order Macmillan titles, in both their print and their e-book versions….
In 1978, 43 firms made and sold beer in the US, with the biggest controlling less than a quarter of the market. Today, more than 1,750 companies make beer in this country but Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors control 90% of the market. Harper’s asserts that this gives them the ability to decide which small brewers survive, and quotes a microbrewer: “When I want to get my beer on a store shelf, I don’t call the retailer. I have to beg Anheuser-Busch.”
In the 1980s, there were more than a dozen large ad agencies and scores of smaller ones on Madison Avenue. Today four—WPP, Interpublic, Omnicom, and Publicis—control almost the entire industry. “WPP alone controls more than 300 ad agencies, including such once iconic shops as the Grey Group, Ogilvy & Mather, and Hill & Knowlton. And the four giants vigorously shore up this power with strict non-compete employment contracts.”
Musicians are being squeezed by Live Nation, doctors by hospital management corporations. Retailing is concentrating into a few mega-box chains. The list just keeps going.
Will Kevin Trudeau Run For United States Congress? How To Fix America (What Newt, Mitt, & Obama wont tell you)
Kevin Trudeau is back, and he’s back with a vengeance!
Kevin outlines the beginning steps of How To Fix America. This is the information they are not telling you. You will not hear this discussed by Newt, Mitt, Obama, Trump, or any other pundits or politicians.
If you want to know How To fix America, you must watch this video.
Our liberties and freedoms are being taken away! Trudeau divulges what is wrong with America, and what YOU can do set it back on the right track!
January 23, 2012
By James Jaeger
“It’s not over. Hey may not be winning, but Ron Paul’s rise in popularity is huge compared to last election. His message IS getting out there.” –KTRN
Ron Paul will ride the GOP Bull as long, and as far, as he can because if he doesn’t, he won’t maintain as much of a media presence. This is a sad state of affairs — that the media has become an apologist not only for the entrenched government but the corporatocracy that purchases its TV advertisements and funds the political debates. As a result, Americans must go to the foreign media — such as the BBC, Al Jazeera, the DAILY BELL and RT.TV — in order to get unbiased reporting and the big picture.
But when we get towards the end of the GOP ride this election year, Ron Paul fans are hoping he will drop the Bull and Go Indy!
If he does, he will either defeat Obama or win himself. Dr. Paul can win because he can take at least 12% of the vote from the GOP; garner another 15% from Independents and take at least 11% from the Democrats. This will give him 38% — enough to win the presidency in a 3-man race. If he falls short of 38%, he may cause Obama to get back in. The Republican Establishment is terrified of either of these scenarios. They are now doing their best to — as campaign strategist, Ed Rollins advised — “Give Ron Paul the respect he deserves.” But after the RNC, and strategy-challenged voters across the nation, reject Dr. Paul and he goes Indy, you can be sure the CFR-infested media will do its best to scare the hell out of you by slapping you with every dominant social theme they can pull out of their playbook.
Mostly, apologists for the GOP will tell you that Ron Paul is a “spoiler.” The Dems will tell you that you can kiss ObamaCare goodbye and his policies will lead to more poor.
You, as a concerned citizen, however should not worry about any of this propaganda.
As we exhaustively cover in SPOILER, it makes no difference whether a Democrat or Republican is in the White House. There is nothing to “spoil.” Both entrenched parties are nothing more than flip sides of the same coin. Two wings of the same ugly bird of prey. Two departments of the police state. The DemoPublicans have done little more than expand the government towards PATRIOT Act-totalitarianism. These parties have monopolized power and placed WE THE PEOPLE on the road to serfdom ever since Woodrow Wilson and the advent of the Federal Reserve System 100 years ago.
January 19, 2012
By J.G. Vibes
“Hey government – hands off the Internet. I think we made that loud and clear.” –KTRN
Our whole lives we have been told that we have “freedom”, that we live in a “democracy”, that “we the people” have the ability to choose the kind of society in which we want to live.
However, if you ask most Americans what kind of place they want, I guarantee you that a vast majority would disagree with almost every government action that has been put forward in their lifetime.
If we truly lived in a free society, we would not be in a half-dozen wars across the planet; we would not be subject to authoritarian policies such as the PATRIOT act and the NDAA; and the government would not have grown to become the biggest and most menacing dictatorship in the history of the world. It seems that in the past year these major events have really resonated with a great number of people, not just in this country, but throughout the world.
In the past, the oppressed would beg and plead with the very people who were responsible for their condition because they knew no other way of affecting change in society. People would ask the government to change their ways because they were under the impression that those in authority actually cared about them. After generations of failing to create change through politics, people are now shifting the direction of their message towards one another, instead of pleading with politicians and organizations that don’t care about anyone but themselves.
With the recent protests surrounding SOPA and PIPA, we have really seen this new method of protest becoming more pronounced. Sure, there are still millions drafting petitions and thousands joining marches and making signs. However, nowadays these people don’t seem to be petitioning their government; it seems that more and more they are petitioning their fellow citizens. This is because the government is an obstacle; one which stands between the people and their freedom. Therefore, it is completely impossible to solely use the government as a tool to achieve freedom; this would be like trying to use a hammer to fix a broken computer, in both cases you’re only going to make the problem worse.
January 17, 2012
By Brennan Browne
Recently, Naomi Wolf penned a commentary entitled: “How Congress is Signing Its Own Arrest Warrants in the NDAA Citizen Arrests Bill”.
Her argument is that those responsible for passing the National Defense Authorization Act will inevitably end up its victims. She states, “Parliamentary leaders are the first to face pressure, threats, arrest and even violence when the military obtains to [sic] power to make civilian arrests and hold civilians in military facilities without due process. There is no exception to this rule.”
The problem with her rationale is not that it isn’t correct. It’s that it fails to recognize that a fascist coup has already taken place in this country.
The catalyst was the false-flag event of Sept. 11, 2001, and was solidified by the enactment of the PATRIOT Act. It was quickly followed by the massive purging of all individuals not pledging allegiance to the rabid, neocon, ideologies of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.
The Bush administration had 8 years to systematically rid the Dept. of Justice and its umbrella agencies of all political dissenters. With each successive appointment within the military, law enforcement and the courts, any hint of “liberalism” was quashed. This trend not only took hold on a national level, but state and local political appointee positions were purged of all progressives as well.
Anyone unable to recognize today’s Congress as one which is overwhelmingly comprised of right wing ideologues on both sides of the political aisle, has not been paying attention.
My question to Ms. Wolf would be, “Why would you need to arrest those already doing your bidding for you?”
Aside from the fact that Congressional members are already exuberant participants in furthering the fascist paradigm, there is another powerful element completely overlooked by Ms. Wolf — wealth.
The combined personal assets of individuals serving in the Senate, alone, totals well over a billion dollars. It takes a bit of time, but by Googling each Congressional member’s name you can usually find an estimate of their wealth.
Today is the day you have all been waiting for…KT is back, and he’s back with a vengeance! Our liberties and freedoms are being taken away! Trudeau divulges what is wrong with America, and what YOU can do set it back on the right track!
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January 6, 2012
By Patrick Henningsen
“How can a government issued ID card make any one more safe? People will still be able to travel here from other countries. This really makes no sense.” –KTRN
“As a nation, we will do everything in our power to protect our country. As Americans, we will never give in to fear or division. We will be guided by our hopes, our unity, and our deeply held values. That’s who we are as Americans … And we will continue to do everything that we can to keep America safe in the new year and beyond.”
- Barrack Obama’s opening address for the Department of Homeland Security 2011 Budget Report
The Orwellian overtones could not be more ominous. Contrary to Obama’s moral decree, America is already ten years into its latest social experiment – making fear and division its premier business.
One of the true hallmarks of any successful police state is a compulsory national ID. On this score, Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security has officially taken up challenge of making sure that no American will be left without one. Tennessee provided the launchpad for this new DHS police state project, but like anything with the DHS, it’s hard to actually pinpoint whose banner it is actually run under.
Originally conceived under the Bush Administration in November 2002, supposedly in response to the attacks of September 11, 2011 and the dubious anthrax attacks (both these events have not been proven to be carried out by foreign agents), the DHS along with its stepchild the TSA, have become a bottomless pit of federal and grant money, who’s only achievement to date has been to instigate increased control and monitoring of the US domestic population – bullying its way through the legislative branch at the same time as the USA PATRIOT Act.
The new DHS national ID card program was officially rolled out this week in the state of Tennessee. From January 1st, 2012, ID cards are longer optional, they are the law. The new state law requires that all Tennessee citizens must present a federal or state-issued photo ID in order to vote at the polls. The law also requires the DHS to issue photo IDs for voting purposes – at no charge. Residents appear to have given in without any serious fight, giving a new dimension to the state’s lofty moniker as a “Volunteer State”.
December 22, 2011
Aware and Prepare
“Remember, it’s always about the money – always.” –KTRN
If you have been keeping up with the Republican debates, one thing is for sure, there are opposing opinions on national security and defense. You have Ron Paul, a defender of civil liberties and rights who says that the military industrial complex, war propaganda and bills such as the Patriot act are stripping US citizens rights and liberties. On the other side of the coin you have…everyone else who seems to support the fear, war mongering and military industrial complex. The Defense Authorization Act was just approved which contains language that innocent US citizens can be detained for undetermined amount of time, without being proven guilty.
Would you be surprised to find out that military contractors are the ones funding the defense authorization act, they are exactly the ones who profit from war as the sovereignty and financial power of the US falters.
November 11, 2011
By Ayesha Kazmi
“Apparently if you protest the government, you are a terrorist. Is this even the United States anymore?” –KTRN
In our not-so-distant history, protest in the United States was handled by local law enforcement that treated demonstrations and marches as mere nuisance, mediating and directing as needed. Today, observing the interaction between Occupy movements and law enforcement suggests something different is afoot. Present Occupy protests are now being defined by a bewildering set of law enforcement strategies – and current practices display a worrying new trend.
While riot police are not necessarily an everyday feature at any given protest, the sheer frequency with which we are witnessing their presence on city streets throughout the United States is enough to give average citizens cause for concern; the excessive force being routinely deployed is alarming.
Within the first few days of Occupy Wall Street, protesters began to notice the presence of the NYPD’s Counter Terrorism Unit at Liberty Plaza. Joanne Stocker, who has become a fixture since day one at Wall Street, recalls within the first few days waking up to a Counter Terrorism Unit van, parked on the fringes of Liberty Plaza, which was taking video of her and her friends while they slept.
Protesters at other Occupy encampments give similar accounts. Robin Jacks, a member of Occupy Boston’s media team, relates being photographed multiple times by police. Dustin Slaughter, who has spent time both at Occupy Wall Street and Occupy Philadelphia, attests to the presence of the NYPD Counter Terrorism Unit at Liberty Plaza, saying that the Counter Terrorism Unit have been at Liberty Plaza filming on a regular basis. Slaughter also comments: “Philadelphia Police Homeland Security Units have had a regular presence at the Occupy Philadelphia encampment.”
Protesters are indeed correct to view the law enforcement they encounter at Occupy with a critical eye. The USA Patriot Act, which had its 10-year anniversary last week, gave the US government virtually unchecked powers to spy and track the activity of ordinary Americans without probable cause right after the 9/11 attacks. For that reason, it should come as no surprise that law enforcement agencies – thus empowered – have shown up at various Occupy protests armed with cameras, most certainly, to keep surveillance on protesters who are merely exercising their first amendment rights.
Reports of targeted arrests of informal “leaders” at Wall Street, Chicago and Boston indicate surveillance measures are operating. In Boston and Chicago, reports of extended and humiliating detentions of targeted occupy “leaders”, typically from Direct Action, media, legal and medics groups, are disturbing. Dan Massoglia of the Occupy Chicago media team further reports that arrested individuals were deprived of their phone call, food and water, and that mattresses were removed from cells, while one woman was placed in solitary confinement.