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IMF - They Call It Democracy

 


“It’s not hard to bring out the worst in large numbers of citizens by constantly pressing their buttons; fear, hate, greed, false pride and blind loyalty are the main emotions used to manipulate people so much these last years. Reversing this process and empowering people through courage, love, generosity, humility and critical thinking is harder but it can and must be done.” -- Coleen Rowley for RootsAction; FBI whistle blower

What is what and who is who and who cares what if who is not, said the reflection to the shadow.



Julian Assange and the war against freedom
There is and never was anything illegal in the case of Julian Assange other than the continued and deplorable actions of dark elements within the US administration - actions which in any other instance would have seen the case thrown out - thrown out due to actions by these dark elements which themselves are outside of and shun both US and international law.
  Should the UK grant the US the Assange extradition request, then the UK administration and justice system will themselves become accomplices of those dark elements.
  One of the underlying tenets, or principles of modern journalism is to examine and report to the public any underhand, illegal or dubious activities of the powerful, including those in government.
  The current US witch hunt against Assange is the greatest threat to and assault upon journalism and the reporting of the truth in history.

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Covid-19 and the future
Social and domestic life in most of the developed and sheltered countries of our world has been torn apart by the covid-19 disease and the lock down measures taken by governments.
 
The wealth of a nation depends on the health and well being of its people and not on their enslavement by capitalism and its goals.
  The coronavirus tragedy unfolding in the US, which does not have a free national health service, will bear sad testimony to that.
  The same scenario is also unfolding in the UK, which once had one of the best free national health services in the world but which has been drastically under resourced by successive governments over the past decade and more.
  In the less developed and less sheltered countries the suffering caused in the main by other people continues unabated - except those suffering must now also face a pandemic.
  Humanity is truly at a crisis crossroads with few, if any, avenues of escape.
  We are not a pleasant species to ourselves when we find ourselves feeling backed into a corner, as human history undeniably shows.
  The only way out of the mess is for us all to work together as a cohesive species and try to forge a true global balance between nature and the survival of civilisation.
  At this present time such a reality appears further away than the ship smoke disappearing below the far horizon.
  Can we pull the ship closer?

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Julian Assange — a warning
The illegal seizure and arrest of Julian Assange should serve as a warning of just how corrupt the involved governments and their minions have become.
  One of the first tricks of dirty governing when faced with any embarrassing exposure of underhand activity is to attempt to discredit and assasinate the character of those releasing the information. History bears testimony to such acts.
  One of the accusations amongst many used to justify the seizure and arrest of Assange was that he used Wikileaks to “meddle” in the internal affairs of states.
  Given that such is exactly what the United States and United Kingdom has persistently done over the past 100 years, such an accusation can only be described as blatant, unashamed hypocrisy. History will reveal such human dregs for the garbage they truly are.
  Dark days indeed lie ahead.


 

Contributed opinion items appear below


Restoring the Threat of Impeachment for Future Office Holders       printable version
10 Jan 2021: posted by the editor - General, Features, United States

By David Swanson
In the past 150 years, U.S. presidents have lied, cheated, stolen, warmongered, incited hatred and violence, driven inequality and corruption through the roof, taken over major powers from the Congress and abused them, gained the power of nuclear war and abused it through numerous threats, accelerated the destruction of the earth's environment, failed to protect the basic rights of people, pardoned their cronies for outrageous crimes, committed thousands of specific, open, public, and indisputable impeachable offenses, and been impeached for only two things.

The first was lying under oath and obstructing a critically important investigation into consensual oral sex.

The other was obstructing an out-of-control propaganda operation about Russia, and pressuring the government of Ukraine by withholding deadly weapons from its Nazi-aligned war-making government.

Both impeached presidents were acquitted, came out of the process with stronger support than they'd had before, and had zero penalties imposed on them.

This is roughly what most of the U.S. public knows about impeachment, which is why this critical tool of public accountability is in danger of being dismissed by the public.

This is not, in reality, the full story. The U.S. House has impeached 20 officials, including President Andrew Johnson. Eight of them have been convicted in the Senate, three more resigned before they could be, and another was expelled by the Senate and the trial dropped. That's 12 out of 20 effectively dealt with.

Even this is not, in reality, any more than scratching the surface of the full story. The vast majority of impeachment efforts have led to resignations or firings, court rulings, or governmental actions that have resolved to some extent the offenses at issue, prior to achieving an impeachment, much less a conviction. An attorney general like Alberto Gonzales, for example, will typically be forced to resign before impeachment hearings can inform the public about all of his outrages, or about the power of impeachment. But that doesn't mean Gonzales would ever have left without the activist sliver of the public demanding his impeachment.

Even with presidents, the popular story only scratches the surface of what's actually happened. Richard Nixon only left because he was about to be impeached. Harry Truman only lost the power to take over factories because pressure was building to impeach him. John Nichols' book, The Genius of Impeachment, tells some of this history. But Nixon was quite a few years back now. Anybody paying attention knows that every president since could have been impeached for numerous outrages, and that both Clinton and Trump were not impeached for their worst abuses of power.

George W. Bush, who, according to CNN this week, merely "lived through the war on Iraq" (unlike, I would note, over a million of his victims) was a prime candidate for impeachment, as was his vice president. I organized dozens of experts to draft dozens of articles of Bush impeachment for Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who actually introduced a fraction of them (35) into Congress. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi blocked as unimportant an effort that we proponents called preventative, that we swore was about precedent, and that we grimly promised would see similar abuses of power in subsequent presidencies if not acted on.

Barack Obama and Donald Trump predictably expanded on numerous Bush power abuses. But only delusional, racist, rightwing impeachment efforts against Obama got much media attention. Advocates for Trump's impeachment since his inauguration day have long since compiled highlight lists of the most critical articles of impeachment being ignored by the Congress. To take just one topic, Trump has instigated violence against various groups since before his inauguration, including immigrants, blacks, leftists, etc. For Congress to suddenly care only when that violence reaches the halls of Congress is a serious problem, and should tell us all a great deal about who Congress "represents." But it is much better than nothing.

I think finally impeaching a president for a legitimate reason, for a public undisputed act, and for an act that the public wants him impeached for, could seriously help restore the status of impeachment in many people's minds, which could be very good for the future of U.S. government. It could also strip impeachment of numerous slanderous misconceptions. For decades we've been told that any impeachment would take months. The time and work supposedly involved has been a chief argument against numerous impeachments. In vain we have argued back that a vote could be held in 1 day. Now, suddenly, there's been an admission that we were right all along.

Of course, Congress has run screaming from public indisputable actions, in favor of dubious allegations. That has assisted the stalling tactics and evasion of which claims about long impeachments have been part. Trump has openly profited from office, incited violence, interfered with voting rights, discriminated on the basis of religion, waged illegal wars, blown people up with missiles, threatened nuclear wars, pardoned criminals, politicized prosecutions, abused immigrants, neglected those in need, intentionally and openly exacerbated climate collapse, instructed subordinates to break laws, supported coup attempts (in other countries), illegally torn up disarmament treaties, etc., etc., and Congress has preferred unproven allegations about Russia and Ukraine. To finally, at long last, impeach Trump for something he indisputably did would wipe away generations of pretense that an impeachment must be a long obscure investigation, while open power abuses are perfectly permissible.

So, it actually matters that right now we not let Congress get by with just rhetoric or with just the delusional passing of the buck to Mike Pence, or with merely finding some other means of barring Trump from holding future public office. It matters that Pelosi not be allowed to run out the clock on this impeachment. (Pushing the Senate trial into the next Congress and even the next presidency would be fine, and Pelosi fans may feel free to declare it the Genius of Pelosi, but no single person has done more to evade, stall, and sabotage the power of impeachment for decades, so wariness of her delays is always merited.) It matters because a precedent has to be set for presidents who try to overturn elections through fraudulent actions, dishonest demagoguery, and the instigation of violence. It matters because Trump may pardon everyone involved, because he may commit new outrages - even much worse ones, because his successors certainly will if he is given a pass, because if the Biden presidency doesn't start with a serious approach to turning the page it will not deliver anything the world needs, because Trump must be effectively barred from running for office again, because the nonviolent rule of law must reclaim respect now being gained by the increased use of military force in U.S. streets, and for numerous other reasons. But one key reason to impeach is to save the important tool of impeachment from being thrown in the trash.

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r

Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe.”
John Milton

                                                     Origins of Poverty
When man came on earth he did not live in a society or hierarchy nor was he endowed with poverty. Good health, longevity, natural cheerfulness were his own even as he found himself amidst plenty. Like other species he lived or perished as the external resources permitted but he lived or perished as a group. Only when the society organised itself into a hierarchy, it was possible for one layer to exist while another persisted during times of scarcity. Organised ways of living, knowledge of all descriptions, systems created for comfort etc. interfered with the natural living of MAN in hundreds of ways. With the passing of time these stratifications of society come to stay and even create a psychology by which even the victim takes his victimization for granted. No question arises in his mind. ...

Had not the society organised itself in such a way that segments of it are protected and other segments were defenseless, MAN would have remained as MAN and would not have been bifurcated into poor and rich.

r

Reality Page | Local comment

r

“Man was always destroying things, and beautiful things.
At the time they wouldn’t seem beautiful.
It was only afterwards that men felt pity for the things their hands had destroyed.”

  Walter Macken — The Scorching Wind

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Direct Input Headlines
When algorithms come for journalists - 22 Feb 2021 filed by the editor - Journalism
Leading digital players must adhere to democratic obligations - 15 Jan 2021 filed by the editor - Internet news
Restoring the Threat of Impeachment for Future Office Holders - 10 Jan 2021 filed by the editor - General, Features, United States
RSF condemns 'unnecessarily cruel' decision to keep Julian Assange detained - 06 Jan 2021 filed by the editor - General, Human Rights, Journalism, International, United States, United Kingdom
Covid-19 and mass inoculation - 28 Dec 2020 filed by the editor - Health, Opinion
Julian Assange’s extradition hearing marred by barriers to open justice - 10 Oct 2020 filed by the editor - Human Rights, Journalism, International, United States, United Kingdom
Arrest of indigenous Canadian reporter condemned - 16 Sep 2020 filed by the editor - Human Rights, Journalism, Canada


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