PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE AND PLACES

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Whose Country is It?

Unknown Birth of the American flag 1915

Hold on tight
To the place inside where the candle burns
And tend to the flame
Then it will always light your way
The vision seen
Was more than just a dream
And the truth will shine
Even through the darkest night

Samuel H. Gottscho May the good lord shine a light on you December 15, 1931
River House, 52nd Street and East River. Parapet, 27th floor, New York

 

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Whose Country is It?

 

When Harry Potter was just a toddler October 1935
Girls outside movie house in Amite City, Louisiana

And now our government

a bird with two right wings flies on from zone to zone
while we go on having our little fun & games at each election
as if it really mattered who the pilot is of Air Force One
(They're interchangeable, stupid!)
While this bird with two right wings
flies right on with its corporate flight crew
And this year its the Great Movie Cowboy in the cockpit
And next year its the great Bush pilot
And now its the Chameleon Kid
and he keeps changing the logo on his captains cap
and now its a donkey and now an elephant
and now some kind of donkephant
And now we recognize two of the crew
who took out a contract on America
and one is a certain gringo wretch
who's busy monkey wrenching
crucial parts of the engine
and its life-support systems
and they got a big fat hose
to siphon off the fuel to privatized tanks
And all the while we just sit there
in the passenger seats without parachutes
listening to all the news that's fit to air
over the one-way PA system
about how the contract on America
is really good for us etcetera
As all the while the plane lumbers on
into its postmodern manifest destiny

 

We have lived through a time of unprecedented affluence, and we have seen it as normal, and told ourselves we deserved all of it, that we are entitled to what it has given us. But it's over, and it will be no more, nor will it ever return in our lifetimes. If we are to live in a functioning society in the years to come, we will have to share much of our riches, and we will have to find out how to be fulfilled with much less material wealth. If we don't, our societies will collapse, and we will lose that wealth regardless. But looking around me, I see little hope that we will do all these things before it's too late. It you don't volunteer to share, the difference in wealth between you and your own children’s generation will become so glaring that they will come and take it away from you.
An era is over. We have been the last of the affluent, the carefree and the innocent. Not that we're really all that innocent, mind you, it was all just pretense all the way, many millions of people have died for our affluence. We just never told ourselves their life stories. They will be our stories soon.
Are you now ready to fight in the streets, to protect your family, to share your meal with the hungry? It’s not about being a leftie, or a softie, and I certainly am neither. It’s about survival. It’s about being smart enough to read the world you live in. The model of the nuclear family will die with the affluence. It’s never been but an aberration. You will, like your ancestors before you, need your family, your friends, and your neighbors.

Them's Fighting Words

The most remarkable thing about civil unrest is that there hasn’t been more of it. Politicians are making a hash of this country-and much of the rest of the civilized world. We know it. They know it. They know we know it. But we don’t feel we can do anything much to stop them.

That right there is the pre-condition for civil unrest-when people are frustrated and politicians are nervous.

Worse, that was how things stood before last fall’s crash. Before pols on both left and right launched the biggest mass transfer of wealth in history-transferring our wealth (what we had left of it!) to their friends on Wall Street and in the banking industry. In other words, that’s how things were before things got bad!

Now everybody’s talking about the ongoing catastrophe (even if we are in a momentarily sunny mood). But almost nobody is talking about the logical-maybe even inevitable-consequences of cynical or desperate politicians abusing an already fed-up populace: civil unrest.

I mean people taking to the streets. Or mass resistance. Or crackdowns because the government fears we might do something to upset its apple cart. It’s going to happen. Somewhere. At some time. It’s going to.

Don’t fall into foolish complacency. We who live in the country tend to have an “it can’t happen here” attitude toward political violence or social upheaval. We see those things as urban phenomenon. And mostly, they are. But there’s no ironclad rule that says they have to be. If anything disrupts the supply chain, for instance, rural areas could be the first to be cut off from food, medicines, fuel, or other necessities. If government breaks down to the point where it can’t deliver food stamps, housing vouchers, social security, or bureaucrats’ pay, the rural poor and unemployed could become just as restive as their urban counterparts.  

 

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Class of 1966,

Some may wonder or doubt historical account the soldiers of the revolutionary army under George Washington endured hunger, lack of supplies, a bitter Winter and then crossed the Delaware River in the night from Pennsylvania on Christmas Eve then marched to Trenton to fight and defeat the mercenary Hessian army of the British. What drove those men to endure such hardship? Many could have left because their enlistments were over; yet they went on to fight. The answer is hardly mentioned in history books. Their will to fight was hardened by their hatred  of the English!  A third of the army were Irish and a third were Scotish.

When Henry VIII separated from Rome and formed the Church Of England persecution of the Irish began. It ended with Ireland becoming a colony of England. The Irish Revolution about one hundred years ago made most of Ireland independent with the exception of six counties now called Northern Ireland. These counties are still ruled by England. All the sectarian fighting for the last hundred years were about the return of these counties to Ireland.

Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned and executed by her cousin Elizabeth I of England. Disagreement on who is the rightful heir to the throne of England was the issue. Supporters of Mary were stripped of their lands and were given the choice of staying in Scotland landless or go to Ireland to administer confiscated Irish lands. Some went to Ireland; which explains the presence Scotish names in the country today.

England holds on to Gilbraltar(it belongs to Spain) and the Falkland Islands(Malvinias, they belong to Argentina). In 1997, Hong Kong was returned to China after England took possession of the territory for a 99-year occupation after the last Opium War. It had to return Hong Kong or else millions of Chinese soldiers will overrun the British.

The best colony of England today was colonized in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank; owned and controlled by the Rothchilds and the Windsors.

Rene

 

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The Radical Takeover

The most sweeping takeover of the new millennium didn’t take place among the telecoms or the big oil companies, or in Silicon Valley. It took place in Washington, but we can see and hear and feel its effects nationwide on our televisions, radios, and computer screens. And America is much the worse because of it. I’m talking about the takeover of the Republican Party by its own lunatic fringe, and the Right’s hijacking of America.

Ronald Reagan’s GOP has been replaced by the dark, moldering, putrefied party of Bush, Cheney, Rove, Limbaugh, and Coulter. Morning in America has given way to Midnight in America.

Yes, the Republican Party has always had its far-right cowboys, its Jesse Helmses and Spiro Agnews. Yet they were removed from the party’s more sober core.

But these days, judging by the opinions and actions of the Republicans in office and the party’s candidates for president, it has become impossible to tell where this core stops and the fanatical fringe begins. Just look at what the party is endorsing.

We have a Republican Party that continues to back the White House’s delusions about Iraq at the expense of our military, our treasure, our safety, and our standing in the world.

We have a mainstream on the Right that supports torture, that confirmed an attorney general nominee who is officially agnostic on torture, and that rallies behind a president who refuses to define what the very word "torture" means.

We have a mainstream that supports — even applauds — the behavior of thuggish Blackwater mercenaries, that supports the gutting of our civil liberties, that opposes universal health care, and that has views on immigration that wouldn’t have been heard outside a John Birch Society meeting ten years ago.

It can no longer be denied: The right-wing lunatics are running the Republican asylum, and their madness has infected the entire country and poisoned the world beyond.

And just look who the GOP settled on as its 2008 standard-bearer: the most hawkish candidate in the running, who has said he wants the United States to stay in Iraq somewhere between one hundred years and ten thousand years — John McCain.

Despite an avalanche of evidence showing that McCain the Maverick has long ago been replaced by McCain the Pandering Pawn of the Party’s Right Wing, the press refuses to believe its own eyes. Right Is Wrong will show how the "Straight Talk Express" and its conductor have completely and cravenly gone off the tracks — and how the media steadfastly refuse to notice.

Even those bastions of the so-called liberal media, the New Yorker and the New York Times, have continued to portray McCain as a moderate who, in the words of New Yorker writer Ryan Lizza, has "the rare opportunity to reinvent what it means to be a Republican."

Let’s see, over the last few years McCain has bowed to the party’s lunatic fringe on tax cuts, immigration, the intolerance of religious bigots, and torture … so you might wonder how is he reinventing what it means to be a Republican?

During the primary campaign, I waited in vain for one of the leading GOP presidential candidates to step away from the twitchy ideologues who have taken over their party, but instead they all held hands with Kristol, Rove, and Limbaugh and jumped. To a man, every one of the top-tier candidates — Giuliani, Romney, McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee — seemed intent on competing to see who could out-Bush Bush. Not a single one of them tried to put any distance between himself and the president — especially on foreign policy, the area of Bush’s most catastrophic errors. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee made a halfhearted attempt to speak out against an "arrogant bunker mentality" at one point and was called out by Mitt Romney to apologize. Huckabee promptly shut up, putting an end to any further rebellious attempts to amble off the reservation. As conservative pundit George F. Will put it, "They are, if anything, to the right of (Bush) on foreign policy. There’s a bidding war to see who can be more hawkish toward Iran."

The reign of Bush and Cheney and the rise of the neocons and the "nea-cons" (the "Neanderthal conservatives") have alienated traditional conservative intellectuals like they have Bill Buckley, the godfather of modern conservatism. In April of 2007, writing about Iraq, Buckley called public opinion on the war "savagely decisive" and concluded, "There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican Party will survive this dilemma."

And Michael Gerson, once Bush’s top speechwriter, offered this gloomy 2007 assessment of the state of the GOP: "The party is in a funk. There is a lack of creativity, very little domestic policy energy. I think it’s going to be a problem." Of course, along with being one of the party’s brightest thinkers, Gerson is a Bush loyalist, so his calling it "a problem" can be translated as "a disaster." If the Republican Party in its current form loses the next general election and ends up fading into obscurity and irrelevancy, we can use the words of Don Rumsfeld (trying to sugarcoat a different debacle) for its epitaph: "The dead-enders are still with us, those remnants of the defeated regimes who’ll go on fighting long after their cause is lost."

And that’s why it is vitally important to recognize what has happened, to see how the Right’s radical ideas became ordinary, and to know how to spot their remnants and echoes wherever they crop up. Regardless of the outcome of this election, the lingering aftereffects of the neaconservative shift will be with us for a very long time.

A key to understanding the fanatical Right’s takeover of the Republican Party and how these ideas spread to the rest of the country is looking at the role of the media — not the Fox News pseudo-newsmen or the talk radio blowhards — but the respectable, supposedly liberal media. Without the enabling of the traditional media — with their obsession with "balance" and their pathological devotion to the idea that truth is always found in the middle — the radical Right would never have been able to have its ideas taken seriously. If not for the media’s appeals to balance, movement conservatism would have been laughed out of the court of public opinion long ago. And when the press does attempt to dig into the ideological underpinnings of debates about policy and current affairs, it becomes trapped by another form of the media’s bipolar disorder. Besides seeing two sides to every issue, they insist on seeing most political battles through the lens of right vs. left. By reporting everything that’s happening in American politics through this prism, the media missed the big story: the hijacking of America by the lunatic Right.

The other not-so-innocent bystanders to the Right’s takeover are the Democrats who have continued to tread far too lightly when it comes to holding the GOP’s fanatical core accountable. Time and time again, the Democratic leadership has allowed itself to get played, run over, or distracted. Republicans wanted to deflect discussion of the war by arguing over newspaper ads and radio comments? Okay, Democratic leaders were game. Republicans wanted to avoid talking about children without health care by whining about Democratic Rep. Pete Stark’s tough assessment of the president and the Iraq war? ("President Bush’s statements about children’s health shouldn’t be taken any more seriously than his lies about the war in Iraq," Stark said on the House floor. "The truth is that Bush just likes to blow things up.") Sure, Democratic leaders were more than willing to take the GOP bait and reprimand one of their own.

Democrats are in the majority today because the positions they campaigned are in line with mainstream America. But if the lunatic fringe group now known as the Republican Party is to be stopped in its efforts to radically remake this country, Democrats are going to have to step up and defend the mainstream that swept them into power in 2006. So far, they have shown little stomach for that fight.

The Republican race to replace George W. Bush turned into a competition to see Who Could Be the Biggest Neanderthal. Who would stay in Iraq the longest? Who would cut taxes the deepest? Who would be all right with firing gay Americans from their jobs? Who would jump for joy the highest if Roe v. Wade were reversed? Who would build the biggest fence around America? Who would put an end to stem cell research the fastest? Who would reject evolution most passionately?

The problem for the nea-con Right is not that it is at odds with my views, but that it is at odds with the views of the American people. By significant majorities, the American people believe in the science of evolution, don’t want Roe v. Wade overturned, don’t want to turn back the clock on job discrimination laws, and want to bring our troops home from Iraq. The Right flashing back to the Reagan era is one thing; the Right flashing back to the Dark Ages and trying to take the country with it is quite another.

The Only Thing We Have to Fear

The Right’s hijacking of America would not have been possible without its masterful use of fear to sway a nation terrified by the 9/11 attacks. It’s a symptom of just how sick the radical Right is that their immediate response to 9/11 was to look for opportunities to push their agenda. Abroad, they saw a pretext for an attack on Iraq, a long-cherished objective. At home, they saw a chance to solidify a permanent Republican stranglehold on power if they could recast themselves as the "party that will keep you safe" and then keep fear alive. It worked for them in 2004, and they are trying it again in 2008.

Since 9/11, the Right’s fear-mongering has been relentless and revolting. It bottomed out during the 2004 presidential campaign with a sewer-level attack ad against Democratic candidate John Kerry, put together by a 527 group largely financed by a pair of longtime Bush backers. The TV spot showed pictures of Osama bin Laden, 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta, the Chechen school murderers, and the Madrid train bombings and asked: "These people want to kill us. Would you trust Kerry up against these fanatic killers?"

Somewhere — and I don’t think it’s heaven — Karl Rove’s mentor Lee Atwater was smiling.

 

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There were more similarities between Post-9/11 America and Third Reich Germany than just over-reliance on Blitzkrieg tactics, and we determined that the two nations were following parallel political courses. Most disturbing  was the painful conclusion that our American president, with his global war for a New American Century, was just another German fuhrer, with a world war for a Thousand Year Reich.

“This is a bad copy of a bad original,” he said.

“Drang Nach Osten” — The Eastern Offensive

http://www.darkpolitricks.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-o-matic/cache/c387c_httpwww.thecornerreport.commediahitler.jpgGeorge W. Bush came into office with a secret war plan and no excuse to implement it – just as Hitler had come into office in 1933 with the same predicament. Both of them wanted the prize of Middle Eastern oil. In Hitler’s case that meant going through “Judeo-Bolshevik” Russia on the way, while in Bush’s case that meant going through “Islamo-Fascist” Iraq. In Hitler’s case the guiding document was Mein Kampf, while in Bush’s case there were two. A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm was presented to the Israeli government in 1996 by American neocons Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and David Wurmser, among others. Resbuilding America’s Defenses was presented to the American government in 2000. Its arguments mirrored the Israeli document, and had been drawn up by the neocons as well. In 2001 Feith, Perle and Wurmser became key Bush administration members.

Neither Hitler’s nor Bush’s plans for world dominance could have been pursued without some good luck. Both leaders entered office with over half their nations opposing them, and an avid opposition that wanted to pull them down. Hitler’s good luck came with the Reichstag fire, blamed on Jewish Communists, which mobilized his fatherland to rally behind him. Bush’s good luck happened on 9/11, blamed on Muslim Fundamentalists, which mobilized his homeland to rally behind him.

In both cases, their followers smiled at their good luck, and began their new order of things. Hitler quickly instituted an Enabling Act for the protection of the German people, slated for expiration in five years, which was quietly continued. Bush quickly instituted a Patriot Act for the protection of the American people, slated for expiration in five years, which was quietly continued. Hitler created the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) to further protect the German people, while Bush created theDepartment of Homeland Security (Homeseca) to do the same for the American people.

“F├╝hrer Prinzip” — The Unitary Executive

 

Both leaders were believers in the authoritarian concept. A few weeks before assuming office, Bush said outright that he thought dictatorship would be a fine form of government, if he could be the dictator. They both believed that power should come from above and obedience should come from below, and they offered protection in exchange for loyalty. Thus no one was surprised when Hermann Goering made a fortune helping to run Germany, just as no one was surprised when Irving “Scooter” Libby received a pardon for his pro-Bush political crimes in America.

Both leaders supplemented their new security police and security acts with concentration camps such as Dachau and Gitmo, initially designed for only a small percentage of national enemies. Both dispensed with international rules and regulations in their treatment of enemies in those installations, and applied a wide variety of innovative persuasive techniques to extract information and obtain confessions. The lessons learned in these proto-type camps proved to be invaluable in later establishments such as Auschwitz and Abu Ghraib.

Both leaders relied on agreeable legislatures. In Germany the Reichstag cheered enthusiastically as it endorsed the increase in police powers, the reduction in civil rights and the national march to world war. In America Congress did the same things, but in more subdued fashion, even with a show of dissent. In Germany, Hitler declared a dictatorship under Article 48, provided by the old Weimar Constitution in the event of a national emergency. In America Bush recently issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD 51), thereby legalizing a dictatorship in the event of a national emergency.

“Gott Mit Uns” — God’s on Our Side

Neither Hitler nor Bush could have effected their radical plans without a party full of functionaries and a compliant national media, of course. Hitler relied on his “Nazi” party, an acronym of his National Socialist Party. He had a brilliant individual named Joseph Goebbels to control the Reich Propaganda Ministry and rally the public behind Nazi policies. Bush relied on his “Nozi” party, an anagram of Zion. He had a brilliant cartel of Zionists to control the American Mainstream Media and rally the public behind Nozi policies.

The greatest accomplishment of both the Nazi and Nozi parties was convincing themselves and their citizens that they were not conspirators of any sort, but rather the victims of an international conspiracy. The Nazi party said that Judeo-Communism was the hidden enemy, against which all the powers of a determined fatherland had to be directed, and that they were the targets of anti-German propaganda. The Nozi party says that Islamo-Fascism is the hidden enemy, against which all the powers of a determined homeland have to be directed, and that they are the targets of anti-Semitic propaganda.

The rest of the world didn’t buy the pro-war propaganda from Germany’s Nazis three generations ago, and they don’t buy it from America’s Nozis three generations later. The way the rest of the world sees it, what we have been taught to call the axis of evil is not so dangerous to the world as the axis of America. They see American naval forces massing in the name of national defense against Iran, and they remember Iraq. They see Israeli air forces attacking Syria, and they remember Lebanon. The rest of the world knows who we have become, even if we don’t.

 

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Ruins are the visible symbols and landmarks of our societies and their changes, small pieces of history in suspension.

The state of ruin is essentially a temporary situation that happens at some point, the volatile result of change of era and the fall of empires. This fragility, the time elapsed but even so running fast, lead us to watch them one very last time : being dismayed, or admire, making us wondering about the permanence of things.

Photography appeared to us as a modest way to keep a little bit of this ephemeral state.

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William Livingstone House #

Thanks for the history lesson guys.  I love this format ASC started.  

I believe we have no chance to change the ways things are going because in addition to the rich, no thats not right, the super rich,  who have no interest in preserving this Country... we have the hoards crossing the borders who begin their stay by giving our laws the middle finger.  They also and dont give a dam about this Country and will go home when things get really tough, unless they stick around to shoot us down in the streets like the father and both of his sons shot dead on the streets of San Fransicko recently because the illegal thought he was being blocked at an  intersection. And how do you explain that to a grieving wife and mother. Great reason for three people to die but it fits the intellect of the Country he came from.  Both of our political parties covet the illegal immigrant, one for the cheap labor and the other for the obedient thoughtless voting block they can be counted on to provide.   

The middle class cannot, or will not be organized. Its to much of a mixed bag.   The super rich and organizations for the poor both know that and capitalize on it. The anchor  baby benefit that is available to the illegal invaders and the presence of organizations such as Acorn to keep them in line and needy,  assures nothing is going to change.  I heard yesterday that 63% of the Countrys grade school children are now on the free breakfast and lunch program and that in some areas the schools are kept open during summer vacations and holidays to provide the meals their mothers should be preparing. No wonder the schools need so much money.  As the Russian would say..."What A Country".   

Where does that leave the middle class....up shit creek ..thats where....and yes momma ...the creek is rising....  Bill

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Michigan Central Station #

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Woodward Avenue #

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Atrium, Farwell Building #

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18th floor dentist cabinet, David Broderick Tower #

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Bagley-Clifford Office of the National Bank of Detroit #

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David Whitney Building #

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United Artists Theater #

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Fort Shelby Hotel #

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Ballroom, American Hotel #

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Melted clock, Cass Technical High School #

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Donovan Building #

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Old First Unitarian Church #

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Piano, Saint Albertus School #

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Luben Apartments #

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Woodward Avenue Presbyterian Church, built in the Gothic revival style in 1911 #

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Rich-Dex Apartments #

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Classroom, St Margaret Mary School #

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Biology classroom, Wilbur Wright High School #

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St Christopher House, ex-Public Library #

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Fisher Body 21 Plant #

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Room 1504, Lee Plaza Hotel #

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Detroit?s Vanity Ballroom with its unsalvaged art deco chandeliers. Duke Ellington and Tommy Dorsey once played here. #

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Packard Motors Plant #

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Waiting hall, Michigan Central Station #

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East Methodist Church #

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East Side Public Library #

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Offices, Highland Park Police Station

Subject: Whose Country is It?

Class 66...........As Rene said it, the best colony of England today was colonized in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank; owned and controlled by the Rothchilds and the Windsors.

A political-economic oligarchy has taken over the United States of America. This oligarchy has institutionalized a body of law that protects businesses at the expense of not only the common people but the nation itself.

A nation that cannot fulfill its Constitution’s stated goals surely is a failed one. How else could failure be defined? By allowing people with no fastidious loyalty to the nation or its people to control it, by allowing them to disregard entirely the Constitution’s preamble, the nation could not avoid this failure. The prevailing economic system requires it.

The answer is that a political-economic oligarchy has taken over the nation. This oligarchy has institutionalized a body of law that protects businesses at the expense of not only the common people but the nation itself. Businessmen have no loyalties. The Bank of International Settlements insures it, since it is not accountable to any national government.

Thomas Jefferson knew it when he wrote, “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gain.” Mayer Amschel Rothschild knew it when he said, “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes the laws.” William Henry Vanderbilt knew it when he said, “The public be damned.” Businesses know it when they use every possible ruse to avoid paying taxes, they know it when they offshore jobs and production, they know it when the engage in war profiteering, and they know it when they take no sides in wars, caring not an iota who emerges victorious. IBM, GM, Ford, Alcoa, Du Pont, Standard Oil, Chase Bank, J.P. Morgan, National City Bank, Guaranty, Bankers Trust, and American Express all knew it when they did business as usual with Germany during World War II. Prescott Bush knew it when he aided and abetted the financial backers of Adolf Hitler.

Woody Guthrie sang, “This Land Is My Land, This Land Is Your Land,” but it isn’t. It was stolen a long time ago. Although it may have been “made for you and me,” people with absolutely no loyalty to this land now own it. It needs to be taken, not bought, back! America needs a new birth of freedom, it needs a government for the people, it needs a government that puts people first, but it won’t get one unless Americans come to realize just how immoral and vicious our economic system is.

ASC

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Biology classroom at George W Ferris School in the Detroit suburb of Highland Park #

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The ballroom of the 15-floor art-deco Lee Plaza Hotel, an apartment building with hotel services built in 1929 and derelict since the early 1990s #

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Michigan Theatre #

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Packard Motors Plant #

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