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|The United States Isn't a Country-It's a Corporation!
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|The United States Isn't a Country|
— It's a Corporation!
|by Lisa Guliani|
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
— Preamble of the original "organic" Constitution
"We hold these truths to be self-evident. That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness."
— Excerpted from the Declaration of Independence of the original thirteen united states of America, July 4, 1776
Fourth of July 2002 has come and gone, and Americans honored the holiday with a renewed patriotic fervor that reminded me of the Bicentennial celebrations of 1976. As is customary, traditional fireworks displays took center stage and scores of people turned out to witness the dazzling show in the summer sky. With mixed feelings, I sat with friends on a crowded Pennsylvania sidewalk beneath a glittering, mesmerizing explosion of color, pondering the keen sense of sadness and betrayal that overwhelmed my spirit. Looking around at the huge crowds gathered for the annual events, I thought silently, "We are not free." In truth, we have not been a free people for a very long time.
We celebrate this day in honor of our "independence". We call ourselves a free people in a land of liberty. Our anthems proudly sing the praises of this nation, and we raise our voices, wave our flags and join in song — but how many Americans realize they are not free? This is a myth perpetuated by the powers-that-be in order to avoid any major civil unrest, and to keep us all living under the thumb of a militaristic corporate Big Brother within the illusions that have been created for us. The truth of the matter is this: what freedom has not been stolen from us, we have surrendered willingly through our silence and ignorance. As Americans, most of us have no idea how our freedoms are maintained — or lost. Apparently, our ancestors didn't have a good grasp of this either. It is sad, but it is also very true.
Don't point to that beloved parchment, the Constitution, as a symbol of your enduring freedom. It is representative of a form of government which seemingly no longer exists in this country today. The Constitution has been thrown out the window, the Republic shoved aside and replaced with a democracy. The thing is; most people in this country remain unaware that this is so because they simply do not know the truth — what lies beyond the myths. Your so-called government is not going to tell you, either.
To even begin to understand what has happened to the Republic, we must look backward in time to the period following the Civil War. We must go back to the year 1871, which was the beginning of the decline of the Republic. When we examine what happened during that time in our history, we begin to piece together this troubling, perplexing puzzle that is "America" — only then should we answer as to whether we are indeed a "free" people or not.
So, let's roll backward into the past for a moment. It is time we learned what they didn't teach us in school. It is far more interesting than what they DID tell us. I think you'll stay awake for this lesson.
The date is February 21, 1871 and the Forty-First Congress is in session. I refer you to the "Acts of the Forty-First Congress," Section 34, Session III, chapters 61 and 62. On this date in the history of our nation, Congress passed an Act titled: "An Act To Provide A Government for the District of Columbia." This is also known as the "Act of 1871." What does this mean? Well, it means that Congress, under no constitutional authority to do so, created a separate form of government for the District of Columbia, which is a ten mile square parcel of land.
What??? How could they do that? Moreover, WHY would they do that? To explain, let's look at the circumstances of those days. The Act of 1871 was passed at a vulnerable time in America. Our nation was essentially bankrupt — weakened and financially depleted in the aftermath of the Civil War. The Civil War itself was nothing more than a calculated "front" for some pretty fancy footwork by corporate backroom players. It was a strategic maneuver by European interests (the international bankers) who were intent upon gaining a stranglehold on the neck (and the coffers) of America.
The Congress realized our country was in dire financial straits, so they cut a deal with the international bankers — (in those days, the Rothschilds of London were dipping their fingers into everyone's pie) thereby incurring a DEBT to said bankers. If we think about banks, we know they do not just lend us money out of the goodness of their hearts. A bank will not do anything for you unless it is entirely in their best interest to do so. There has to be some sort of collateral or some string attached which puts you and me (the borrower) into a subservient position. This was true back in 1871 as well. The conniving international bankers were not about to lend our floundering nation any money without some serious stipulations. So, they devised a brilliant way of getting their foot in the door of the United States (a prize they had coveted for some time, but had been unable to grasp thanks to our Founding Fathers, who despised them and held them in check), and thus, the Act of 1871 was passed.
In essence, this Act formed the corporation known as THE UNITED STATES. Note the capitalization, because it is important. This corporation, owned by foreign interests, moved right in and shoved the original "organic" version of the Constitution into a dusty corner. With the "Act of 1871," our Constitution was defaced in the sense that the title was block-capitalized and the word "for" was changed to the word "of" in the title. The original Constitution drafted by the Founding Fathers, was written in this manner:
"The Constitution for the united states of America".
The altered version reads: "THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA". It is the corporate constitution. It is NOT the same document you might think it is. The corporate constitution operates in an economic capacity and has been used to fool the People into thinking it is the same parchment that governs the Republic. It absolutely is not.
Capitalization — an insignificant change? Not when one is referring to the context of a legal document, it isn't. Such minor alterations have had major impacts on each subsequent generation born in this country. What the Congress did with the passage of the Act of 1871 was create an entirely new document, a constitution for the government of the District of Columbia. The kind of government THEY created was a corporation. The new, altered Constitution serves as the constitution of the corporation, and not that of America. Think about that for a moment.
Incidentally, this corporate constitution does not benefit the Republic. It serves only to benefit the corporation. It does nothing good for you or me — and it operates outside of the original Constitution. Instead of absolute rights guaranteed under the "organic" Constitution, we now have "relative" rights or privileges. One example of this is the Sovereign's right to travel, which has been transformed under corporate government policy into a "privilege" which we must be licensed to engage in. This operates outside of the original Constitution.
So, Congress committed TREASON against the People, who were considered Sovereign under the Declaration of Independence and the organic Constitution. When we consider the word "Sovereign," we must think about what the word means.
According to Webster's Dictionary, "sovereign" is defined as: 1. chief or highest; supreme. 2. Supreme in power, superior in position to all others. 3. Independent of, and unlimited by, any other, possessing or entitled to, original and independent authority or jurisdiction.
In other words, our government was created by and for "sovereigns" — the free citizens who were deemed the highest authority. Only the People can be sovereign — remember that. Government cannot be sovereign. We can also look to the Declaration of Independence, where we read: "government is subject to the consent of the governed" — that's supposed to be us, the sovereigns. Do you feel like a sovereign nowadays? I don't.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist or a constitutional historian to figure out that this is not what is happening in our country today. Government in these times is NOT subject to the consent of the governed. Rather, the governed are subject to the whim and greed of the corporation, which has stretched its tentacles beyond the ten-mile-square parcel of land known as the District of Columbia — encroaching into every state of the Republic. Mind you, the corporation has NO jurisdiction outside of the District of Columbia. THEY just want you to think it does.
You see, you are presumed to know the law. This is ironic because as a people, we are taught basically nothing about the law in school. We are made to memorize obscure factoids and paragraphs here and there, such as the Preamble, and they gloss over the Bill of Rights. But we are not told about the law. Nor do our corporate government schools delve into the Constitution in any great depth. After all, they were put into place to indoctrinate and dumb down the masses — not to teach us anything. We were not told that we were sold-out to foreign interests and made beneficiaries of the debt incurred by Congress to the international bankers. For generations, American citizens have had the bulk of their earnings confiscated to pay on a massive debt that they, as a People, did not incur. There are many, many things the People have not been told. How do you feel about being made a beneficiary of somebody else's massive debt without your knowledge or consent? Are we gonna keep going along with this??
When you hear some individuals say that the Constitution is null and void, think about how our government has transformed over time from a municipal or service-oriented entity to a corporate or profit-oriented entity. We are living under the myth that this is lawful, but it is not. We are being ruled by a "de facto," or unlawful, form of government — the corporate body of the death-mongers — The Controllers.
With the passage of the Act of 1871, a series of subtle and overt deceptions were set in motion — all in conjunction and collusion with the Congress, who knowingly and deliberately sold the People down the river. Did they tell you this in government school? I doubt it. They were too busy drumming the fictional version of history into your brain — and mine. By failing to disclose what THEY did to the American People, the people became ignorant of what was happening. Over time, the Republic took it on the chin to the point of a knockdown. With the surrender of their gold in 1933, the People essentially surrendered their law. I don't suppose you were taught THAT in school either. That's because our REAL history is hidden from us. This is the way Roman Civil Law works — and our form of governance today is based upon Roman Civil Law and Admiralty/Maritime Law — better known as the "Divine Right of Kings" and "Law of the Seas", respectively. This explains a lot. Roman Civil Law was fully established in the original colonies even before our nation began and is also known as private international law.
The government which was created for the District of Columbia via the Act of 1871 operates under Private International Law, and not Common Law, which was the law of the Constitutional Republic. This is very important to note since it impacts all Americans in concrete ways. You must recognize that private international law is only applicable within the District of Columbia and NOT in the other states of the Union. The various arms of the corporation are known as "departments" such as the Judiciary, Justice and Treasury. You recognize those names? Yes, you do! But they are not what you assume them to be. These "departments" all belong to the corporation known as THE UNITED STATES. They do NOT belong to you and me under the corporate constitution and its various amendments that operate outside of the Constitutional Republic.
I refer you to the UNITED STATES CODE (note the capitalization, indicating the corporation, not the Republic) Title 28 3002 (15) (A) (B) (C). It is stated unequivocally that the UNITED STATES is a corporation. Realize, too, that the corporation is not a separate and distinct entity from the government. It IS the government. YOUR government. This is extremely important. I refer to this as the "corporate empire of the UNITED STATES," which operates under Roman Civil Law outside of the Constitution. How do you like being ruled by a cheesy, sleazy corporation? You'll ask your Congressperson about this, you say? HA!!
Congress is fully aware of this deception. You must be made aware that the members of Congress do NOT work for you and me. Rather, they work for the Corporation known as THE UNITED STATES. Is this really any surprise to you? This is why we can't get them to do anything on our behalf or to answer to us — as in the case with the illegal income tax — among many other things. Contrary to popular belief, they are NOT our civil servants. They do NOT work for us. They are the servants of the corporate government and carry out its bidding. Period.
The great number of committees and sub-committees that the Congress has created all work together like a multi-headed monster to oversee the various corporate "departments." And, you should know that every single one of these that operates outside the District of Columbia is in violation of the law. The corporate government of the UNITED STATES has no jurisdiction or authority in ANY state of the Republic beyond the District of Columbia. Let this sink into your brain for a minute. Ask yourself, "Could this deception REALLY have occurred without the full knowledge and complicity of the Congress?" Do you think it happened by accident? You are deceiving yourself if you do. There are no accidents or coincidences. It is time to confront the truth and awaken from ignorance.
Your legislators will not apprise you of this information. You are presumed to know the law. THEY know you don't know the law, or your history for that matter, because this information has not been taught to you. No concerted effort has been made to inform you. As a Sovereign, you are entitled to full disclosure of the facts. As a slave, you are entitled to nothing other than what the corporation decides to "give" you — at a price. Be wary of accepting so-called "benefits" of the corporation of the UNITED STATES. Aren't you enslaved enough already?
I said (above) that you are presumed to know the law. Still, it matters not if you don't in the eyes of the corporation. Ignorance of the law is not considered an excuse. It is your responsibility and your obligation as an American to learn about the law and how it applies to you. THEY count on the fact that most people are too uninterested or distracted or lazy to do so. The People have been mentally conditioned to allow the alleged government to do their thinking for them. We need to turn that around if we are to save our Republic before it is too late.
The UNITED STATES government is basically a corporate instrument of the international bankers. This means YOU are owned by the corporation from birth to death. The corporate UNITED STATES also holds ownership of all your assets, your property, and even your children. Does this sound untrue? Think long and hard about all those bills you pay, all those various taxes and fines and licenses you must pay for. Yes, they've got you by the pockets. Actually, they've had you by the ass for as long as you've been alive. In your heart, you know it's true. Don't believe any of this? Read up on the 14th Amendment. Check out how "free" you really are.
With the Act of 1871 and subsequent legislation such as the purportedly ratified 14th Amendment, our once-great nation of Sovereigns has been subverted from a Republic to a democracy. As is the case under Roman Civil Law, our ignorance of the facts has led to our silence. Our silence has been construed as our consent to become beneficiaries of a debt we did not incur. The Sovereign People have been deceived for hundreds of years into thinking they remain free and independent, when in actuality we continue to be slaves and servants of the corporation.
Treason was committed against the People in 1871 by the Congress. This could have been corrected through the decades by some honest men (assuming there were some), but it was not, mainly due to lust for money and power. Nothing new there. Are we to forgive and justify this crime against the People? You have lost more freedom than you may realize due to corporate infiltration of the so-called government. We will lose more unless we turn away from a democracy that is the direct road to disaster — and restore our Constitutional Republic.
In an upcoming article, we'll take a closer look at the purportedly ratified 14th Amendment and how we became "property" of the corporation and enslaved by our silence.
I am saddened to think about the brave men and women who were killed in all the wars and conflicts instigated by the Controllers. These courageous souls fought for the preservation of ideals they believed to be true — not for the likes of a corporation. Do you believe that any one of the individuals who have been killed as a result of war would have willingly fought if they knew the full truth? Do you think one person would have laid down his life for a corporation? I think not. If the People had known long ago to what extent their trust had been betrayed, I wonder how long it would have taken for another Revolution. What we need is a Revolution in THOUGHT. We change our thinking and we change our world.
Will we ever restore the Republic? That is a question I cannot answer yet. I hope, and most of all — pray — that WE, the Sovereign People, will work together in a spirit of cooperation to make it happen in this lifetime. I know I will give it my best shot — come what may. Our children deserve their rightful legacy — the liberty our ancestors fought so hard to give to us. Will we remain silent telling ourselves we are free, and perpetuate the MYTH? Or, do we stand as One Sovereign People, and take back what has been stolen from the house of our Republic?
Something to think about — it's called freedom.
My heartfelt thanks goes out to the following people for their gracious and generous assistance in researching this subject: Ken S. of American Revolution II Online News, Paul Walker of RMN News, Bob Taft, Stanooch, and Willy Whitten — true Patriots, one and all.
If we are stupid enough to surrender our freedom to a bunch of lousy international bankers, then we deserve to live in bondage. — Lisa Guliani
|A newly released U.S. diplomatic cable discloses the existence of previously undisclosed participants in the Sept. 11, 2001, plot
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A newly released U.S. diplomatic cable discloses the existence of previously undisclosed participants in the Sept. 11, 2001, plot
A newly released U.S. diplomatic cable discloses the existence of previously undisclosed participants in the Sept. 11, 2001, plot: a group of Qatari men who conducted surveillance of targets in New York and the Washington area before leaving the United States on the eve of the attacks.
The three men flew into the United States on Aug. 15, 2001, and “visited the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, the White House, and various areas in Virginia” before flying on to Los Angeles, according to the cable, part of the cache of documents obtained by the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks.
But a U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to comment on classified material made public by WikiLeaks, said that the three men were “looked at” within days of the attacks and that investigators concluded they could not be charged.
“There is no manhunt,” said the official, playing down a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper that disclosed the contents of the cable. “There is no active case. They were looked at, but it washed out.”
The cable, sent on Feb. 11, 2010, from the U.S. Embassy in Doha, Qatar, to various agencies in Washington, including the FBI and the CIA, recommended that an individual named Mohamed al-Mansoori be added to a government watch list. The cable said he was a threat to civil aviation in the United States and abroad.
The cable goes on to explain that Mansoori assisted the group of three Qataris – identified as Meshal Alhajri, Fahad Abdulla and Ali Alfehaid – while they were in the United States.
Mansoori, from the United Arab Emirates, lived in Long Beach, Calif., in September 2001. “He is suspected of aiding people who entered the U.S. before the attacks to conduct surveillance of possible targets and providing other support to the hijackers,” the cable states.
The existence of a surveillance team supporting the 19 hijackers led by Mohammed Atta appears to add a new element to the narrative of the plot’s execution. There is no direct mention in the 9/11 Commission report of such a team.
Two of the hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, first landed in Los Angeles, and the report says it is likely they would have had some “friendly contacts” in California. Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, denied that al-Qaeda had any operatives in the state, according to the commission’s report.
The report also notes that there was evidence that a second wave of attacks was being prepared. Philip Zelikow, a member of the commission, said that this group of Qataris might have figured in such a plan. He noted that by the time the Qataris reached the United States in August 2001, the 9/11 plan was largely in place, so surveillance by such late arrivals appears odd.
“Not everything is in the report, and my memory of the details has dulled with time so I can’t say if we had some trace of this group,” Zelikow said. “They might have been seen by us as a group that was part of a second wave, and if that was the case, we wouldn’t have named them for obvious reasons.”
The three Qataris are part of a 2002 FBI list of individuals whom the government wanted to interview about the Sept. 11 attacks.
After leaving the East Coast, the three men stayed at a hotel near the airport in Los Angeles. The cable says the hotel rooms and the men’s plane tickets were paid for by a convicted terrorist, who was not named in the document. The three men also spent a week traveling around California with Mansoori.
Hotel staff later told investigators that the men had “pilot-type” uniforms and computer printouts listing pilot names, airlines, flight numbers and flight times.
The men were scheduled to fly to Washington on Sept. 10, 2001, on the Boeing plane that was hijacked the next day and flown into the Pentagon. Instead, the men flew to London and then on to Qatar on Sept. 13.
Mansoori’s visa was later revoked and he was apparently able to leave the United States unhindered.
The CIA and the FBI declined to comment on the cable.
|6 Terrifying New Weapons Being Created by the Pentagon
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6 Terrifying New Weapons Being Created by the Pentagon
Here is the Pentagon's battlefield vision of tomorrow.
In the future, the power of magnetism will be harnessed to make today’s high explosives seem feeble, “guided bullets” will put the current crop of snipers to shame, and new multi-purpose missiles will strike targets in a flash from high-flying drones. At least, that’s part of the Pentagon’s battlefield vision of tomorrow’s tomorrow.
Ordinarily, planning for the future is not a U.S. government forte. A mere glance at the national debt
, now around $14 trillion and climbing, or two recent studies
showing how China's green technology investments have outpaced U.S. efforts should drive home that fact. But one government agency is always forward-looking, the Department of Defense’s blue skies research branch, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
1. Mayhem Without the “Y”
Even in military culture, where arcane, clunky, or sometimes witty acronyms
are a dime a dozen, DARPA projects stand out. Sometimes it almost seems as if like the agency comes up with a particularly bad-ass name first and then creates a weapons system to suit. Take as an example the Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition or -- wait for it -- MAHEM
This program, run out of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, seeks to “demonstrate compressed magnetic flux generator (CMFG)-driven magneto hydrodynamically formed metal jets and self-forging penetrators (SFP) with significantly improved performance over explosively formed jets (EFJ) and fragments,” according to the agency’s website.
If you’re scratching your head about what that could mean, don’t ask DARPA. When I inquired about the basics of how the weapon would function, a simple lay definition for the folks paying for this wonder-weapon-to-be, spokesman Richard Spearman insisted that “sensitivities” prevented him from giving me any further information.
As near as can be told, though, you should imagine an anti-tank round with a powerful magnetic field. Upon impact, it will utilize magnetic force to ram a jet of molten metal into the target. Theoretically, this will pack more punch that today’s high-explosive-propelled projectiles and lead, according to DARPA, to “increased lethality precision.”
2. Hasta La Vista, Baby
In the 2003 science-fiction sequel Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
, or T3
, a metal monster from the future, a Terminatrix, is sent back to alter the present in order to ensure a future where machines rule the world and humans face extinction. Today, DARPA, the Air Force, and a couple defense industry heavyweights are seeking to change the future of munitions with a monster of their own -- “a high speed, long-range missile that can engage air, cruise missile, and air defense targets.” The name of the program? I kid you not: Triple Target Terminator (T3)
Designed to be fired by either manned aircraft or drones, the Triple Target Terminator seeks to “increase the number and variety of targets that could be destroyed on each sortie” by allowing an aircraft to engage in air-to-air combat or air-to-ground attack with the same armament. Just what future air force the U.S. military imagines itself attacking with this weapon is not the sort of thing you’ll find out from DARPA. Spokesperson Spearman told me that “sensitivities” again prevented him from explaining even the basics of the system or its future uses. “A good part of the program itself is classified,” he assured me.
Last fall, Defense Industry Daily reported
that Raytheon had received a $21.3 million contract for the Triple Target Terminator (T3) program. This was followed, a few weeks later, by the same sum being awarded to Boeing for work on the project. These contracts constitute an initial one-year attempt to design a missile that meets “program objectives” and will set the stage for future efforts.
In a prepared statement provided to TomDispatch late last year, DARPA declared: “Depending on successful phase completion, follow on efforts will continue in two more phases with multiple-technology risk reduction demonstrations, including live fire from tactical aircraft. The program is structured to last three years, culminating in test demonstrations in 2013.”
3. Anti-Ship Shape
Once upon a time, broadsides and boarding parties typified warfare on the high seas. In the future, the U.S. military has its sights set on something slightly more high tech. To that end, DARPA is now developing a Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) that seeks to provide “a dramatic leap ahead in U.S. surface warfare capability.”
Designed to evade advanced enemy countermeasures, this would-be smart weapon is supposed to permit “high probability target identification in dense shipping environments, and precision aimpoint targeting for maximum lethality.” DARPA isn’t talking about this program either. LRASM, Spearman told me in December, was “in the final throes of getting all its contracts awarded. Until that happens and we have an official announcement, I can't set up any media engagements on that one.”
By mid-January when I followed up,
the final throes had yet to cease, but just days later DARPA awarded two contracts, totaling $218 million, to military-corporate powerhouse Lockheed Martin
for work on two different LRASM missiles. “Lockheed Martin is proud to offer our technology for Navy solutions,” announced
Lockheed’s tactical missile honcho Glenn Kuller. “These LRASM contracts will demonstrate two mature tactical missiles for new generation anti-surface warfare weapons capability; one low and stealthy, the other high and fast with moderate stealth.”
4. Bullet Ballet
It’s the farthest thing from a fair fight. A man peers through an advanced telescopic sight. He zeros in on his prey, a figure without a sporting chance who has no idea that he’s being targeted for death. The sniper, who has lugged his 30 pound, .50 caliber rifle up a ridgeline in order to kill with a single shot, breathes slow and steady, focuses, waits, waits, and finally pulls the trigger. A breeze he never felt, somewhere in the 4,000 feet between him and his target, sends the round off course. The sniper doesn’t log another kill. The human target gets to live another day.
To the U.S. military, this is a terribly sad story, and so they’ve turned to DARPA to look for a happier ending -- in this case via the Extreme Accuracy Tactical Ordnance
, or EXACTO program which aims to allow “the sniper to prosecute moving targets even in high wind conditions, such as those commonly found in Afghanistan.”
The plan is for DARPA scientists to develop “the first ever guided small caliber bullet.” If you’ve ever watched a heat-seeking missile follow a fighter jet in a lame 1980s action flick (or the smart bullet
from the 1984 Tom Selleck sci-fi disaster Runaway
), then you get the idea. DARPA is focused on creating a maneuverable bullet (controlled by a guidance system) that moves with the target, adjusting in flight to slam into a human head and turn it into a red mist -- thus writing an upbeat ending to tomorrow’s sniper stories.
When asked for further information in mid-December, Spearman told me that “the PM [project manager] for EXACTO is in the process of transitioning his replacement into DARPA, making neither of them available for interviews.” About a month later, the new project manager, he said, was still not up to speed and thus both officials remained unavailable for comment.
5. The New Blitz
As Nazi air power pounded London during World War II, England’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill sheltered
in an underground bunker to stay alive. Today, the leaders of other nations have bigger, stronger bomb shelters than Churchill’s and the U.S. military wants the means to destroy them without generating the negative press that using nuclear weapons might incur.
To bust those bunkers, DARPA’s Strategically Hardened Facility Defeat
program is investigating nuke-free, earth-penetrating munitions to counter the “threat posed by our adversaries' use of hard and deeply buried targets.” Specifically aimed at the “senior leaders, command and control functions, and weapons of mass destruction” employed by “‘rogue’ nations,” these powerful, high-impact weapons will be designed to tunnel deep into the earth before exploding.
6. Things That Don’t Go Boom in the Night
Not all DARPA projects are designed to kill people and destroy hard targets. Some are geared toward delivering men, materiel, and someday robots
to do the job instead. Others are aimed at intrusive surveillance, cyber-war, or making silver-screen dreams come true.
One long-term focus
of military futurists and DARPA scientists has been the “urban environment.” (Think: the billion or more poor and potentially rebellious people already living in the slum cities of our planet.) The Urban Ops Hopper
program, for example, seeks to develop small robots or semi-autonomous land drones -- unmanned ground vehicles or UGVs in mil-speak -- that can “adapt to the urban environment in real-time and provide the delivery of small payloads to any point of the urban jungle while remaining lightweight [and] small to minimize the burden on the soldier.” And yes, they might even hop.
For many years, the Pentagon has dreamed of persistent surveillance of planetary hot spots, developing, for instance, drone technologies to serve as spies in the skies across the globe. In 2003, Noah Shachtman
, writing for the Village Voice
, profiled the military’s Combat Zones That See, or CTS program. The rationale for the effort was, he wrote, to “protect our troops in cities like Baghdad, where… fleeting attackers have been picking off American fighters in ones and twos.” However, he added, “[D]efense experts believe the surveillance effort has a second, more sinister, purpose: to keep entire cities under an omnipresent, unblinking eye.”
|"This is a test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test..."
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"This is a test of the Emergency Alert System. This is only a test..."
You've heard that warning before, but it may soon come directly from the White House.
The Federal Communications Commission
has approved plans to hold the first test of a "Presidential Alert," or a broadcast warning that might be issued in the event of a serious natural disaster or terrorism threat.
It may seem like a scene out of George Orwell's "1984" or some other apocalyptic Hollywood blockbuster, but government officials have wanted for years to establish a way for the White House to quickly, directly alert Americans of impending danger.
Commissioners voted last week to require television and radio stations, cable systems and satellite TV providers to participate in a test that would have them receive and transmit a live code that includes an alert message issued by the president. No date has been set for the test.
It would be a national version of the tests that already occur everyday on broadcast television stations to test a system that issues warning when tornadoes or severe thunderstorms strike or AMBER Alerts are issued for missing children.
"There's never been a test from top to bottom where it's issued by FEMA and it goes straight down to all the different levels of EAS to the American public," Lisa Fowlkes
, with the FCC's public safety and homeland security bureau told Federal News Radio on Monday
. "So this is a way for us to glean, okay, if there were an actual emergency and the federal government needed to activate the Presidential EAS, making sure that it actually works the way it's designed to."
Separately, FEMA is working on a new system that would send emergency alerts as text messages to wireless phone users. The system is still about two years away from full implementation, according to the agency.
|Debts Should Be Honored, Except When the Money Is Owed to Working People
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Bankrupt states could tell teachers, highway patrol officers, and other public employees that they're not getting the pensions they were expecting, even if already retired.
This seems to be the lesson that our nation's leaders are trying to pound home to us. According to The New York Times
, members of Congress are secretly running around in closets and back alleys working up a law allowing states to declare bankruptcy
According to the article, a main goal of state bankruptcy is to allow states to default on their pension obligations. This means that states will be able to tell workers, including those already retired, that they are out of luck. Teachers, highway patrol officers, and other government employees, some of whom worked decades for the government, will be told that their contracts no longer mean anything. They will not get the pensions that they were expecting.
Depending on the specific circumstances, they may find their pensions cut back 20 percent, 30 percent, perhaps even 50 percent. There would be no guarantees if a state goes into bankruptcy.
There has been a concerted effort to bash public-sector employees by either highlighting the few instances where pensions actually are exorbitant, or just making things up. Untruths about Goldman Sachs, General Electric, or any other major company rarely appear in the media and are usually quickly corrected when they do. However, exaggerations or outright fabrication are a standard practice for those who report on state and local budgets when it comes to public employees.
The public has been bombarded with stories of public employees retiring with six-figure pensions while still in their early 50s. There may be some instances of such inflated pensions, but that is far from the typical story. If we look to New York State, the hotbed of bloated public budgets, we find that the state's main retirement system pays an average pension of $18,300 a year
. For many workers, this is their whole retirement income since they were not covered by Social Security.
This is the general story of public pensions. Public-sector workers are often better situated than their private-sector counterparts, in that they even have pensions. But study
shows that these workers paid for their pensions with lower wages than their private-sector counterparts. It is tragic that so many private-sector workers cannot count on a secure retirement, but it won't help them to make workers in the public sector equally insecure
And, there is the matter of paying debts. State governments are legally obligated to pay retirees the pensions they worked for just like any other debt. It is fascinating to see the interest by many pro-business conservative types in defaulting on this debt.
Many of these same people have been determined to argue that homeowners who are underwater in their mortgages should pay their debts. They certainly have not been offering them any assistance in staying in their homes.
In fact, back in 2005, some of the same crew were busy rewriting the bankruptcy law. They wanted to make it harder for individuals to get out of their debt through bankruptcy. They felt it was so important the people paid their debts to credit card companies and other lenders that they actually applied the law retroactively. People who took out debt under one set of bankruptcy rules suddenly found that Congress had changed the rules after the fact and they would now be subjected to a much harsher set of bankruptcy rules.
Let's see if we can find a pattern here. When families take out a mortgage in the middle of a housing bubble, which may have been misrepresented at the time of sale, the homeowner has an obligation to repay the money to the bank. When people take on credit card debt, they absolutely have an obligation to repay the bank - even if it means changing the rules after the fact.
However, when the government signs a contract with workers, it doesn't have to pay the workers' pensions if it proves to be inconvenient. Of course, we may also throw in the fact that when the flood of bad mortgage loans issued by the banks threatened to push them into bankruptcy, the Treasury and the Fed give them trillions of dollars of loans at below market interest rates.
There certainly seems to be a pattern here. The story has nothing to do with preferences for the market or government intervention. The picture here is very simple: the rules get changed whenever it is necessary to make sure that money flows upward from ordinary workers to the rich. In 21st century America, upward redistribution seems to be the guiding principle.