Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guns vs. Butter vs. ButterGuns

In the struggle for our future,
there are two kinds of people in America:
Those who see military spending as an expense,
and those who see military spending as an income.

...We all know who's winning – yes, America's military/industrial complex – who receive more “defense” money than the next 10 countries combined. American taxpayers have been reduced to part-time slaves to pay for an oppressive police state and a military “empire” – that essentially goes to war for multi-national corporations. (We are definitely not getting our money's worth of freedom.)

Moreover, in the long run; everyone loses when our infrastructure suffers, our scientists don't have the resources to help us adapt, and our natural resources get depleted rapidly. (Think about it; nobody wants to live in an apocalyptic world where all we have left are guns.)

We can blame this huge waste of resources on our corrupt government and our auction style elections, but there's more to it.

Recently, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi admitted that Congress is afraid of the CIA.
Recently, Senator Dianne FeinStein revealed that the CIA is spying on the Senate.

And the only rational explanation for (political transparency) candidate Obama's transformation to (staunch spy supporter) President Obama – is that he too, is afraid of (or even blackmailed by) spies for the military/industrial complex.

This isn't the first time an American President has had to deal with a rouge military/industrial complex. In fact, this has gone back as far as President John F. Kennedy.

...On more than one occasion President JFK voiced his fear, to numerous people, that he feared a coup.

...And then, something that looked very much like a coup happened.


What was that? Didn't John McCain call the JFK assassination an “intervention?” "Intervention" sounds like an Orwellian term for “coup.” No wonder most of us continue to doubt the magic bullet theory.

But no matter who pulled the trigger(s) to kill President Kennedy, the war mongers regained control – and they got their Cold War – and their Viet Nam.

...Warriors got to be heroes, military contractors got to keep their jobs, and a few merchants of death got even richer.

Now, compare that to the Rolling Stone article Obama vs. The Hawks.

Some things never change.

Positions of power attract the power hungry.
The power hungry tend to be aggressive for power.
Tyrants are by definition aggressive, power hungry people.
Consequently, systems with concentrated positions of power typically creep towards tyranny and wars.

How do we prevent this?
With democracy.
And since American democracy hasn't been preventing tyranny creep, we need more direct democracy.

Fortunately, direct democracy might not be that hard to accomplish indirectly. Just vote for the candidates who promise to make decisions solely reflecting popular opinion.

Friday, March 07, 2014

Groupthink and the Koch Brothers

Wikipedia defines groupthink as; “a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an incorrect or deviant decision-making outcome.”

Of course, it makes evolutionary sense that members of a group would want to work together. Consequently, it makes sense that a beneficial form of assimilation might evolve. However, there is a potential for a catastrophically fatal flaw – groupthink. If the group is wrong; everybody in the group is wrong. The best the group can hope for to avert eventual catastrophe is that independent outliers might notice the fatal flaw.

I would like to cover two forms of groupthink in this post; political and economic.

Political Groupthink:

In a recent post of mine (Deny/Disrupt/Degrade/Deceive), I ended the article with a compliment to Senator Harry Reid.

...And as I expected, say anything nice about Senator Harry Reid, and I was bound to get trolled.

It's not very often you hear someone in political office speak the truth about corruption in Washington – not and name names too. What Senator Harry Reid said about the Koch brothers was not only true, but really needed to be said. Senator Harry Reid, in spite of all his faults; should be supported when he does the right thing. This should be true for everyone.

But a groupthink has developed that believes that Harry Reid can do no right. And if you know anything about politics, you know things like this don't just happen.

I live in Nevada. And I (vaguely) remember most of Harry Reid's career. But most importantly, I remember Nevadans' changing attitude about Harry Reid.

Years ago, there was no radical group of (Koch brothers financed / Fox “News” educated) haters who believed Harry Reid was the cause of everything evil. In fact, we all pretty much liked Harry Reid. That's why he got re-elected over and over again so many times I've lost count.

But now, those of us who still think Senator Harry Reid is a “keeper” (and the last election proves that it is most of us voters) don't often speak up in public. We know someone will attack us with a round of “how evil Harry Reid is for doing what almost all American politicians are doing.”

I'm not here to give a rousing praise of Senator Harry Reid's career. I'm here to point out the real reason the Koch brothers have already spent $14,500,000 on Senate races to oust anyone even like Senator Harry Reid.

...It's about money...
...It's about oil money...

But that's not what a recent Washington Post article said. The article; “Harry Reid really hates the Koch brothers. Here's why.” didn't even touch on why Harry Reid hates the Koch brothers. It just proclaimed essentially that this is all just politics and Harry Reid is just trying to counter all that money the Koch brothers are spending to influence American politics. They've trivialized what Reid said. They've trivialized what the Koch brothers have done. I think somebody put the wrong title on this article. It should have read; “Harry Reid really hates the Koch brothers. This is what we want you to think.”

Senator Harry Reid is the last of the old school politicians in power, and a lot of people want to take his power. And what do they want to replace it with? The Kochs want to replace it with “gas” power.

Nevada is a big state with lots of open range. California is right next to Nevada. There is a huge potential for solar power generation in Nevada, and obviously; the Koch brothers want to kill it. Apparently, they feel too many people will want to drive electric cars.

Harry Reid wants to support his home State, and obviously; the Koch brothers only want Nevadan's money (when we buy their gas). But somehow; the mass media (outside of Nevada) never mentions this. Could it be that it's because only the Koch brothers advertise with them?

In his last re-election, Reid ran against Tea Party candidate Sharon Angle. Though I don't know how much money they spent, the Koch brothers tried to oust Harry Reid by supporting a pathetically mediocre candidate. It appears that the Koch brothers didn't care at all about Nevada. They just wanted to kick Harry Reid out of office. (But there may be another reason they were willing to support such a mediocre candidate. She would have owed them big time.)

The Koch brothers wanted Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid's power.
And why? For the money, of course!
The Koch brothers want to force us to continue to buy their oil.
And with control of Congress, they could do it.

Examples of the oil industry's power in Congress:
Scotland already generates 40% of its power using renewables – and plans to have 100% by 2020. The United States, on the other hand only generates 9% of its power using renewables – and has no realistic plans for 100%. The difference; politics. Those with fossil fuel riches have manipulated our government to make it difficult for renewable energy to compete. “Our” government has given billions and billions in subsidies and tax breaks to fossil fuels – while ramping up and down subsides for renewables (which has repeatedly driven many renewable companies out of business.) In January of 2014, Congress did it again, when subsides for wind energy were not renewed. (Nonetheless, subsides for fossil fuel companies keep right on filling the bank accounts of the likes of the Koch brothers.) “Our” government allowed Texaco to purchase of the patent for the battery for the General Motors electric car, the EV1, and shut down all production of those batteries – setting back electric vehicles at least a decade. And “our” government has given the biggest polluters, the fossil fuel companies, exemptions to the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act (in the 2005 Energy bill).
This list could go on for pages.
And the Koch brothers want more.

On the other hand; Senator Harry Reid has represented Nevada in Washington since 1983. That means he still remembers when America was more like an actual democracy. Harry Reid remembers what Washington was like before the “Patriot” Act. Harry Reid remembers what Washington was like before the “Supreme” Court decision on Citizens United. Harry Reid remembers what Washington was like before so much of the Government was privatized. Harry Reid even remembers what Washington was like back when America wasn't in a perpetual state of war. What this means is that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has seen a better Washington and a better America. But apparently; many within the Deep State don't want us, or our elected representatives, to remember.

The Deep State wants us to believe that America is just fine with them running it. In fact, the very basis of conservatism is; don't change a thing. This isn't a coincidence. Conservatism is Deep State groupthink. And deep pockets keep it relevant.

The Koch brothers have discovered something about the vulnerability of the American psyche. In American elections; the candidate who collects the most money usually wins.

Political groupthink.

Want to know who's pulling the strings? Follow the money.
And why?
I suspect they just consider it an investment...
If you can't beat them in the marketplace, cheat. Buy some politicians to give you an unfair advantage. And if the present politicians say no, then bring in some new ones.

For example; the Tea Party started out with legitimate concerns. But it wasn't long before the Koch brothers essentially bought it. And a few years later, the Tea Party has the power to literally shut down the Federal Government. Talk about power. The Koch brothers have the power to tell America to do things their way or they will literally shut us down. 

No wonder Senator Harry Reid is so upset.

And the Koch brothers never could have done it without political groupthink.

Economic Groupthink:

Once one has enough money to pay for basic needs, money ceases to be a necessity.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the groupthink.
We all started to believe that we had to have as much money as we could get.

We hoard money. We waste money.
Some people steal money. Others pay people to steal it for them.
Our economy has devolved into a massive game of collecting money – with no real insight of the consequences.

Pillaging is definitely not the highest form of human activity.
And when humanity destroys, displaces, poisons, and ignores the fate of whole ecosystems, the consequences are ultimately disastrous beyond our comprehension.

To feel that money is more important than life on Earth?
That's not just insane... it's collectively suicidal groupthink.

But if you're old, like the Koch brothers, you just might be able to get away with environmental murder and die before you have to pay the price. But their children won't get away with it. Is it that the Koch brothers don't even care about their own children? No amount of money will protect their children from a total Environmental collapse.

Scientists have already informed us that we are well under way into the Earth's sixth great extinction event. Our climate is already changing. Our air, soil, and water are loaded with toxins, carcinogens, and endocrine disrupters. And the Koch brothers' strategy is to stay the course? Obviously, they've spent too much time isolated on their expensive estates – and they simply don't understand the real world.

The Koch brothers are zealous believers of oligarchy economic groupthink – you know, “free trade” (for everyone else). But that may not work out well for the Koch brothers for much longer. Everyone else is starting to catch on.

The prevailing economic groupthink is; more money, more status. But that hasn't worked out for the Koch brothers either. A significant portion of the population see the Koch brothers as the lowest, sleaziest, most despicable form of human life – with enough money to force their sick concepts on the world.

The Koch brothers have taken the money that was given them (they inherited it) and used it to make the world a more miserable place. For brevity, I'll only focus on their (and other oil companies') oil interests. The oil industry has a long cutthroat history of not giving a damn about anything but money. Examples:

  • Lead in gasoline – the gasoline industry has known since the 1920's that lead in gasoline would drive people crazy and kill them. But the industry callously put lead in American gasoline until the 1970's, when they were forced, by law, to stop. By the 1990's, violent crime in America had dropped precipitously. And as other nations banned the use of lead in gasoline, their violent crime statistics repeated those of America – and dropped precipitously within 20 years. Lead also lowers IQ scores and can kill from lead induced heart disease.
  • Other toxins in gasoline – Air pollution is now on the top 10 list of disease risk factors. And particulate matter from auto emissions is the root cause.
  • Oil spills everywhere – Just in the year 2012, the sum of American oil spills exceeded the volume of the Exxon Valdez spill.

  • Toxins in fracking fluids – as a consequence of some bizarre legal precedent, oil company “trade secrets” have priority over public health... They can put anything they want in fracking fluid, and don't have to tell us. What that means is they can literally get away with putting toxic waste in fracking fluids. And guess what? Water samples taken near fracking sites have found elevated levels of endocrine disrupting chemicals – which have been known to cause infertility, birth defects, and cancer.
  • Climate change – even the biblically bad weather we have been experiencing lately hasn't been enough to convince the mass media that the oil company financed climate deniers are lying to us. The world's economy has already been effected, and it is only going to get worse if we burn more gas. Nonetheless, that's precisely what the oil industry wants.
  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals in plastics – that's right, even petroleum plastics aren't actually safe. And what has the plastics industry done about this? They've hired exactly the same firms that the tobacco industry used to cover up the risks of second-hand smoke.

Scores of people have been (and will be) driven to illness and death because of burning of fossil fuels. Nonetheless, the fossil fuel industries continue to use their considerable political clout to hold back clean energy. Why?

Let's see... Koch Industries and affiliates stand to make as much as $100 billion on the Keystone XL pipeline. So it's no surprise the Koch brothers are so willing to spend millions on corrupting U.S. Politics.

The irony of all this is that if the Keystone XL pipeline can get Canadian oil to a world markets, they can charge higher world prices. In other words, the oil industry wants Americans to support the Keystone XL pipeline, so they can raise oil prices on us. (No wonder Senator Harry Reid called them unAmerican.)

The Koch brothers are worth billions. So why would they sully their reputations on such devious methods to make even more money? Economic groupthink? Rich American exceptionalism? A misplaced desire to keep their oil company afloat? Or just plain straight-up greed? My guess is that it is some combination of all of the above mixed with the unwillingness to accept the reality that they have done more harm in their lives than good. Like the oil they they want to force us to buy, the consequences of their existence are far worse than they would like to admit.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

They'd rather run this horse till it dies than change directions.

If you were out on a horse in the desert, would you sell your water? Would you let somebody poison the water hole? Of course not. It's simply a matter of survival. It would be unthinkable.

Fracking in Nevada is essentially trading our scarce water for someone else's profits. It should be unthinkable.

Please sign this Petition telling our representatives how we feel about fracking in Nevada:

The locations where fracking is being considered here in Nevada are areas of extremely high water stress.

Fracking consumes huge amounts of water.

Chemicals found in water near fracking sites has been found to be toxic, carcinogenic, and endocrine disruptors.

And when one considers methane releases at fracking sites, “natural” gas is no better than coal in causing climate change.

Face it; frackers are after the money, and they don't care about anything or anyone else. And they can get away with it because they are scheming demons and Americans haven't been willing to stop buying gas.

Our systems are broken.

What we have left are systems that are totally out of control and self destructive. And because a few politically powerful people are extending their income streams and a lot of people have “jobs” (essentially extending their income streams too), they don't want things to change. For the money, they don't care how much damage they inflict. Essentially, they'd rather run this horse till it dies than change directions.

That is the future they have chosen for us – a future in the middle of nowhere with a dead horse and no water.

It isn't going to be communism or socialism or terrorism that's going to take us out. It's going to be ignorance. It's going to be complacency. It's going to be the lack of will to change when our situation has critically changed.

We don't have the luxury of time to believe the lies anymore.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Deny / Disrupt / Degrade / Deceive

Well, it looks like the mass media has decided who will be the Democratic candidate for 2016.

Now wait a minute...

I saw what happened. The mass media has been endlessly talking about Hillary Clinton so much that most people don't even realize yet who else might be running.


So, did the powers-that-be pick Hillary Clinton? Things like this don't just happen. So, why?

(Personally, I like Hillary Clinton, and I think she should run for President.) But of the three most likely Democratic candidates, I suspect she would be the most like a Republican. Which may be why the mostly Republican oligarchy (who own the mass media) would rather promote her candidacy. However, there have also been two decades of bad press (ugly press actually) that has driven the right wing nuts to absolute hatred of Hillary Clinton. If Hillary Clinton were to be the Democratic candidate, we can be guaranteed Republican Clinton haters will show up in droves to vote against her. (Could this just all be part of a scheme to promote a Democrat the Republicans can beat?)


But what about those other two potential candidates?
  • What about Vice President Joe Biden? Well; he's an environmentalist. We even saw him on TV welcoming back the EPA employees after the fiscal shutdown. That was more of a brave act than we might think. We know from what happened to Vice President Al Gore (in the 2000 election) how much the oligarchy hates environmentalists. If Joe Biden were elected President, the environmental pillagers might have to pay more of the true costs of their actions. (And they might even lose some of those multi-billion dollar subsidies they paid off our elected representatives for.) Moreover, Biden supports unions. Big campaign contributors don't support unions. Let's face it, only people who actually work for a living and want a reasonable pay support unions. Joe Biden isn't the oligarchy's candidate. Who cares if he schooled Tea Party Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan in the 2012 debate. It even appears the oligarchy wants Democratic candidates who can't win arguments... But ultimately; they want someone they can control – you know – like Obama (who would have fast-tracked the Trans-Pacific Partnership "Treaty.")
  • What about Senator Elizabeth Warren? Well; she has spoken words against the big banks. She has a sense of fairness. That can't be tolerated. (Please read sarcasm in that last line.) 

We all know that the mass media makes its money from advertising. We all know that the mass media makes tons of money on election advertising. So, why would they want to spoil the horse race? They're not. This is how they change the horses in the race. The mass media still has two years to promote dark horse candidates of the oligarchy's choosing. This is how they manipulate our democracy. Misdirection.


By now, most of us have heard of Edward Snowden – the former NSA contractor employee who has informed us of what our tax dollars are really being spent on – spying on us, killing poor people on the other side of the planet (they claim to be terrorists), and manipulating us into giving them even more of our tax dollars. His most recent release of information includes NSA online tactics for psychologically manipulating Americans and people of the world.

In the NSA presentation, the focus of their Online Covert Operations was to; Deny, Disrupt, Degrade, and Deceive. They called it the 4 D's.

But, as I have hopefully pointed out; the 4 D's have been around on the mainstream media for quite some time already.

...And what has that cost us? Let's see... billions of dollars of our taxes get pillaged, hundreds of billions of our tax dollars get wasted on something other than for the public good, corruption is required of our elected representatives, monopolies abound (example: though Americans invented the Internet, we pay the highest rate on Earth for the worst service), our food is tainted, what's left our water is being privatized, and our air is being polluted to the point that our climate has doomed our economy – and all the so-called “job creators” want to offer us is sweat shop pay.

It has been said that “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.”
Compared to the cost we are now paying, that seems cheap.

It is to be expected that politically powerful people would want to control and monopolize the Internet like they control and windfall profit from the mass media. It is to be expected that someone would want to corrupt the free flow of information so that they can manipulate us, control us, and enslave us.

Bill Moyers wrote an excellent review of the “Deep State” – the members of the oligarchy and the secret operatives who actually run our nation.

Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose. My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day.”

This Deep State has been around for a long time – controlling the things they care about. President Eisenhower called it the military/industrial complex, but it's bigger than that. And while we, the citizens of the United States have to struggle for years to get anything done, the Deep State gets its way almost without debate.

  • Americans don't get to vote on America's wars – and we appear now to be in endless wars.
  • Americans don't get to vote on what defines a terrorist – and now Americans with an opinion are being treated like potential terrorists.
  • American consumers drive the American economy – but American jobs have been exported by the millions over the past 30 years.
  • It is American consumers' own money which companies ultimately use to pay for advertising on American mass media – to manipulate us Americans.
  • American taxpayers' money is taken to pay for “our” government to spy on and manipulate us. 

    ...And this isn't something new: 


Moreover, our civilian police have been slowly transformed into a para-military occupying force in many parts of the country. Let's face it; this is what proto-fascism looks like.

All the while, the taxpayer supported “vampire squid on the face of humanity” (the banksters) continue to pillage our savings, investments, economy, and environment. Financially, the big banks are doing quite well – at the expense of the rest of us. (Which leads to an obvious conclusion; we may be better off without them.)

It is almost obvious that this is not really an economic recovery. It's just another bubble. And when it too bursts, we will be poorer. And we will be angrier. And we will blame whomever is in political office – probably President Obama and the Democrats (which might actually be the oligarchy's plan.)

But it is the unelected “Deep State” that is driving these decisions that only benefit the super-greedy rich. And quite apparently, the Deep State is often more powerful than our Constitutional Government. Our elected representatives still have to take their required bribes (campaign contributions), fear the (oligarchy controlled) mass media, and have to struggle against the sell-out politicians who themselves are a part of the Deep State.

The reality is that our “democracy” is in many ways nothing more than a facade, a shell of system – who's insides have been eaten away. We still call it a democracy though, because that sort of keeps us from fighting for a real one.

Nationally, what we do have is a form of corporatocracy that allows us to vote on which Deep State candidate we want to rule us. And if we vote for someone else, they have ways of bringing him in line.

Occasionally however, one of our elected representatives speaks out. Senator Harry Reid has just recently made one of those statements when he outed the Koch Brothers for being “unAmerican.”

"It's too bad that they're trying to buy America, and it's time that the American people spoke out against this terrible dishonesty of these two brothers who are about as un-American as anyone I can imagine."

Senator Reid was right. The Koch Brothers may have been born in America, but they obviously don't believe in American ideals. From their efforts to “buy America,” we can see that the Koch Brothers don't believe in free trade, they don't believe in democracy, they don't believe in a well informed public, they don't believe in fairness, they don't believe in justice... but they do believe in money.

This reminds me of an old movie; Chinatown. In the movie the private detective asks the super-greedy rich old man what he can buy with all of that money. His reply was “the future.” If this is the case with the Koch Brothers and the Deep State; then they are buying the worst future we can imagine – a polluted and poor failing fascist state still reliant on diminishing resources on a planet with a collapsing environment.

What a waste.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Let's Connect the Dots - Part 1

These are my initial thoughts on a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory.
With everyone's help, maybe we can transform it into a more accurate version of history.
At the end, I have a number of suggestions.
I welcome more suggestions. 
The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.” John F. Kennedy

You can complain about Big Brother and how this is a potential problem run amok, but when you actually look at the details, then I think we've struck the right balance.” Barrack Obama

Two Democratic Presidents. Two significantly different opinions. One President was assassinated while in office. The other President backed off from his similar opinion on secret government organizations as soon as he took office – and is still alive.

Throughout history, there have been signs of the times.

The 50 year anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy has come and gone and nothing has really changed. Though the Warren Commission (investigation into President John F. Kennedy's assassination) has been shown to be a farce (more on that later), and a 1977 House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded that there was a 95% probability that at least four shots were fired and that JFK was killed as a result of a conspiracy – and the Justice Department recommended a follow up investigation; no Federal investigations have been conducted in the 38 years since then.

Not only was JFK killed, but so was a thorough investigation into his assassination.
This is a sign.
This is a sign that those responsible for his assassination are still in power.

But that's not surprising considering the proto-facsist (corporatist-police) state we now live in.

Even President Obama has admitted in public that he doesn't know what the NSA secret police are up to. He too has been finding out about the NSA by reading newspaper accounts of Edward Snowden leaks. And yes, the NSA are now American secret police; because once they started to spy on Americans, they were no longer just analysts.

History has shown time and again that if one group of people has a combination of anonymity, power over others, and they are somewhat above the law; some among them will become corrupt and ruthlessly take advantage of that power.

I'm not alone in these assertions. Former President Harry Truman spoke out against the CIA. Retiring President Dwight D. Eisenhower made it a point in his last public speech (that would get nationwide coverage) to warn of the dangers of the military/industrial complex. And, as quoted at the beginning of this post; President John F. Kennedy found these secret government organizations' operations “repugnant.”

However, to my knowledge; no president since JFK has spoken out vigorously against America's “intelligence” agencies.
This too, is likely a sign.
The Presidents since JFK have been likely either afraid of the secret government organizations, or one of them.

Concerning President Barrack Obama, I suspect he is either afraid for his and his family's lives and/or he is being blackmailed (along with many members of Congress).
...When once pressed by some of his progressive supporters to do some of the things candidate Obama had promised, President Barrack Obama's reply was; “Don't you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?”

And what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.? He spoke out against the Vietnam war and the military/industrial complex – he went soft – and wound up assassinated. And like the JFK and RFK assassinations, many serious questions remain. (The jury in the 1999 wrongful death civil trial of Martin Luther King Jr. concluded that there was a conspiracy and that governmental agencies were parties to this conspiracy.)

These are signs.
These are signs that for the past 50 years, we haven't really been living in a democracy.
These are signs that a secret government has sway over our “civilian” government.

But how did we get here? How do we know these signs to be true? And just how bad is it really?

Let's attempt to connect the dots – and watch a pattern emerge – which the for profit mass media has been unwilling to share with us. (The reason I say “let's” is because I will read your comments and modify this story when I see fit and have the time.)

...We can start with Richard Nixon. Back when Richard Nixon was Dwight D. Eisenhower's Vice President; he worked closely with Allen Dulles, head of the CIA, on dealing with the newly communist country Cuba. Their goal was to overthrow Fidel Castro (or assassinate him). And if Richard Nixon had been elected President in 1960, the Bay of Pigs invasion might have had a much different ending.

But John F. Kennedy was elected President. And JFK didn't see the threat of Cuban communism as dangerous as the military/industrial complex did. JFK might have seen Cuba for what it really was; a tiny little island of poor people – no real threat to the United States – the most powerful country on the planet.

JFK had initially trusted American military leaders that the threat of communism was far worse than it really was – and sent 15,000 military “advisers” to Vietnam – another tiny country of poor people. But apparently, eventually JFK felt misled about the communist threat in Vietnam. President Kennedy's Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, wrote in his book In Retrospect; that on October 2 of 1963 President Kennedy made a decision to “begin withdrawal of U.S. Forces” from Vietnam.

The military/industrial complex must have concluded Kennedy had gone soft.

Fifty days later, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated; and Lyndon Johnson was left to deal with the “communist” threat.

[This has led to speculations that Johnson was in on the assassination. Even E. Howard Hunt accused him of being a part of the conspiracy. But this is silly. There was obviously no motive for Lyndon Johnson to participate in a conspiracy to assassinate JFK. Vice President Lyndon Johnson was next in line for the Presidency after Kennedy. Johnson was elected President in 1964 (and likely would have been re-elected in 1968 had it not been for the Vietnam war). It's quite possible E. Howard Hunt didn't actually know who the higher ups were in the assassination mission. But E. Howard Hunt was unrepentant, so he may have been trying to distract us. I suspect that there are many intentional distractions from the truth. That is possibly why there are so many conspiracy theories. There are very likely people who want to bury the truth. Wouldn't it make sense that they would try to bury the truth in a pile of distractions?]

President Johnson also initially trusted his military advisers. And they told him to send more troops to Vietnam – and more – and more – and more. (For more information on the Vietnam War watch the documentary Hearts and Minds.) And when it all failed – when the resolve of the Vietnamese people proved stronger than the massive military might of the United States – President Johnson was left with the blame.

Follow the money.”
That was the advice given to Woodward and Bernstein while they were investigating the Watergate break-in. And it has been excellent advice on most conspiracy investigations.

Lyndon Johnson didn't profit from the cold war. But a lot of people did profit – handsomely. These are the people we need to ask questions about. War costs billions. There are bound to be people who would willingly blow threats out of proportion, lie, or even kill for that kind of money.

I won't talk a lot about the Kennedy assassination. There are people who have studied this in much greater detail than I have. I recommend the movie JFK (director's cut) by Oliver Stone.

In my attempt to connect the dots; the question I would like to pose is; since LBJ probably had a good idea that the Kennedy assassination was at least aided by very powerful people, was President Johnson afraid? My guess is that he was often sitting there pinching his seat in fear. His boss had just been executed in public, the crime story sounds like a cover story, and with exception of one patsy, they got away with it. Let's face it, even if the alleged assassins had been on LBJ's side, he still had good reason to be afraid of them. And he would probably be afraid enough to do what they ask – like escalate the war in Vietnam (even if it might cost him the next election). In fact, he might even have been afraid enough to aid the assassins in throwing off the Kennedy assassination investigation (the one thing the conspirators would have wanted the most). How would he do that? By appointing Allen Dulles to the Warren Commission.

Yes, that Allen Dulles. The former head of the CIA. In fact, the longest serving head of the CIA (kind of like J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI). The man who must have thought he was the most powerful man on the planet, until he was fired by President Kennedy for the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

When Allen Dulles was head of the CIA working “for” President Kennedy, he attempted to force President Kennedy into a war with Cuba. The invasion plans had already been made (back when Nixon was Vice President). The Cuban Nationalist troops were ready. But if America had openly invaded Cuba, a sovereign nation than had never attacked the U.S.; then the Soviet Union would have invaded Berlin – and the Cold War would have inevitably escalated – possibly to nuclear war.

[This sounds horribly frightening to us now, but there were U.S. generals (parodied in the movie Dr. Strangelove) who believed a nuclear war was winnable at the time – and were quite tempted to make the first stike.]

Initially, President Kennedy supported the Cuban Nationalist invasion of Communist Cuba. But he didn't want the world to know the U.S. was supporting them with bombers. The CIA had used obsolete World War II bombers painted to look like Cuban air force planes. But it was a lousy cover, and after the first bombing raid, pictures came out that showed they were American planes. At that point, President Kennedy backed down.

So, Allen Dulles' top man, Richard Bissell, schemed up a way in which President Kennedy had to participate. Bissell OK'd the Cuban Nationalists to invade Cuba. The troop odds were 1,200 to 20,000. Without an air attack, the Cuban Nationalists wouldn't stand a chance. But they invaded anyway believing that Allen Dulles would convince President Kennedy to win the war for them from the air. But Kennedy stood firm. There was no more air support, and the Cuban Nationalists either died or were captured. Consequently, the many in the CIA and the Cuban Nationalists blamed Kennedy – for essentially standing up to them – for telling them no.

Now this too is a sign.
This is a sign that as far back as the Kennedy administration, America's secret government has been very powerful on some issues.
Apparently, Allen Dulles believed he was so powerful, he could politically force the President of the most powerful nation in the world into war... Wow.

...And then Allen Dulles gets fired by President Kennedy.
...And then President Kennedy gets assassinated.
...And then President Johnson appoints him to the Warren Commission?

There isn't a human being I would trust less on the Warren Commission than Allen Dulles. This was the one man on the planet who knew most about conducting coups and assassinations – because he oversaw them back at his old job as head of the CIA. If there was a conspiracy kill Kennedy, it was quite likely Dulles' old buddies were involved. Even retired, Allen Dulles would have done everything he could to protect the CIA. He might have even been willing to derail the investigation.

This too is a sign.
To appoint Allen Dulles to the Warren Commission, President Johnson must have suspected that there was CIA involvement in the Kennedy assassination – and that Allen Dulles would cover it up. And why would Allen Dulles accept the appointment if he knew his participation would permanently taint the conclusions of the Warren Commission? Right from the start, it only makes sense that both President Johnson and Allen Dulles suspected CIA involvement in the Kennedy assassination. Right from the start, they both must have suspected a conspiracy. It simply makes no sense that President Johnson would appoint Allen Dulles to investigate the assassination of the man who fired him if Johnson did not think there was a conspiracy. It was politically a lose/lose situation – unless Johnson appointed Dulles to covertly influence the outcome. Which means either President Johnson was a participant in the conspiracy (which makes no sense also), or he knew they could kill him too. So he gave them what they wanted – a kangaroo court.

But apparently, Allen Dulles didn't have to do the dirty work. Arlen Specter and Gerald Ford were the ones accused of tampering with the evidence. And yes, that was the Arlen Spector who later became a powerful Senator – and the Gerald Ford who later became America's first un-elected Vice President and President.

House Majority Leader Hale Boggs also sat on the Warren Commission. Later, in 1971 and 1972; Hale Boggs claimed that the Warren Commission was false and a cover up. He accused Arlen Specter as the major cover-up artist... Hale Boggs died in 1972 in an airplane crash. (Later, airplane crashes would become commonly suspected as CIA assassinations.)

Even today, 50 years later; the CIA is still resisting the release hundreds of secret documents relating to the Kennedy assassination.

Continue to Part 2

Let's Connect the Dots - Part 2

Richard Nixon was a firm supporter of the conclusions of the Warren Commission.
Robert Kennedy may not have been.

This may have been significant. Robert Kennedy was President John F. Kennedy's right hand man in office. Robert Kennedy shared many of President John Kennedy's political views – and political enemies. In fact, the timing of Robert Kennedy's assassination implied a politically motivated conspiracy. Robert Kennedy was ahead in the 1968 Presidential campaign when he was assassinated. And if Robert Kennedy had become President, he would have been in position to open an unbiased investigation into his brother's assassination. And Robert Kennedy probably would have ended the Vietnam war...

...But before that, President Johnson couldn't win his 1968 re-election because America wasn't winning the Vietnam war. Johnson bowed out of the campaign. However, President Johnson hoped to negotiate a peace before the 1968 election – to help his Vice President, Hubert Humphrey. Negotiations were underway... and then the talks mysteriously collapsed. The South Vietnamese suddenly no longer wanted to negotiate. Later it was revealed that a representative for Nixon made a back room deal with the South Vietnamese. Apparently, he offered to give the South Vietnamese a better deal if they continued the war until after the 1968 election. This ruined Vice President Hubert Humphrey's hopes for winning a close election.

Personally, I don't suspect any involvement from the U.S. Intelligence community on this particular secret act of treason, but this is a good indicator of Nixon's character.

Nixon was willing to plot the assassination of a foreign leader (Fidel Castro), support the overthrow a democratically elected leader (Chile), conduct a “drug” war (to jail dissidents), make a secret deal with the South Vietnamese to continue the war until after the 1968 election, continue the war for over another four years, and even heavily bomb neutral countries (Cambodia and Laos). Richard Nixon was not a nice guy. But he never really got into trouble so long as his actions benefited the military/industrial complex.

And then President Richard Nixon ended the Vietnam war... and then he had to step down from his office – because of the Watergate break in cover up. Of all the low down dirty rotten no good things Richard Nixon is accused of, the Watergate break in cover up is the most benign.

Later, Ronald Reagan would skate through the far more damning Iran/Contra arms-for-hostages investigation unscathed. But President Reagan had the support of the military/industrial complex, and President Nixon no longer did.

Nixon claimed that Watergate was a setup. What if he was telling the truth?

America at the time was in turmoil. Support for the “war” in Vietnam had gradually shifted to resistance. Apparently, President Nixon knew that the South Vietnamese would ultimately lose and he didn't want that to happen before the next U.S. election. So, he drug the war on for four more years. Had President Nixon continued to claim the war was winnable in 1972, he would have lost the election. So instead, President Nixon claimed he had a “secret plan” for getting America out to the war. And American Conservatives, rather than voting for a Liberal, chose to fall for Nixon's line.

I was only a 12 year old kid at the time, and it was obvious even to me what the “secret plan” was. Landslide re-elected President Nixon escalated the war and then later tried to negotiate out. Which means Nixon's “secret plan” for ending the war was to go on the offensive. No wonder it was secret. It was just more of the same. Nonetheless, President Nixon eventually did end the Vietnam war. (With an agreement not much different than what President Johnson had negotiated in 1968.)

But that's not what Kellogg, Brown, and Root (later KBR) really wanted. That's not what the military/industrial complex really wanted. They were raking in billions of taxpayer dollars. America had dropped more bombs on Vietnam than in all of World War II! That's expensive. That's a lot of money for the merchants of death. And they wouldn't have been happy to find out their income stream would drop because America's President had gone soft.

So, how does military/industrial complex stop an American President from keeping his promise of peace to the people? I would suspect threats and/or blackmail. Watergate might have been that threat.

It is well known that five of the seven Watergate burglars were once on the CIA payroll. And at least one of them was still on the CIA payroll when they broke into the Democratic National Committee’s office.

Nonetheless; even if President Nixon knew of, or even ordered the Watergate break-in; the militarily/industrial complex may have used the threat of political controversy against Nixon to keep the Vietnam war going. Or, they may have used Watergate as a political assassination to take him down for shutting off the floodgates of money.

When Nixon stepped down in 1974, Vice President Gerald Ford became President. That's right, the same Gerald Ford who was on the Warren Commission – the same Gerald Ford who admits to changing an autopsy evidence report concerning the site of one of John F. Kennedy's bullet wounds.

Gerald Ford became the first U.S. President to have neither been elected President or Vice President. Nixon just picked him. And since President Gerald Ford had been on the Warren Commission, there was no doubt he would also defend its conclusions. But even President Gerald Ford couldn't keep a lid on everything. The Senate and the House decided to conduct independent investigations.

In 1975, the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with respect to Intelligence Operations concluded: Domestic intelligence activity has threatened and undermined the Constitutional rights of Americans to free speech, association and privacy. It has done so primarily because the Constitutional system for checking abuse of power has not been applied.”

In 1976, a Detroit News poll indicated that 87% of the American population did not believe the Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman who killed President Kennedy.

In 1976, The House Select Committee on Assassinations was created to probe into the assassination plots to kill Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy.

Also in 1976, former Warren Commission member President Gerald Ford appointed George H.W. Bush director of the CIA. This was not likely a coincidence. Bush's predecessor had delivered important files the “civilian” government had ordered. And the files had shown CIA to have essentially gone rogue in many instances. CIA director George H.W. Bush, however, made it very difficult for the House Select Committee on Assassinations to obtain CIA files. Information went on lock down.

It has even been discovered that the CIA liaison during this period, George Joannides (who was brought out of retirement – much like Allen Dulles was on the Warren Commission); was in charge of paying the anti-Castro organization DRE $450,000 a month (in today's dollars) back in 1963. DRE was the organization that linked Lee Harvey Oswald to Fidel Castro. Members of the group even had a scuffle with Lee Harvey Oswald that resulted in his arrest. Needless to say, George Joannides had something to hide – which made him about as uncooperative a liaison as the CIA (George H.W. Bush) could find.

Nonetheless, even with all of the roadblocks; the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in early 1977 there was a conspiracy to kill President Kennedy.

By then, Jimmy Carter was President. Carter had promised in his campaign speeches to deal with the “rogue” element of the CIA. He fired George H.W. Bush and 200 CIA operatives close to him. And in 1979, President Jimmy Carter fired another 700 CIA operatives.

...And then Jimmy Carter lost the 1980 Presidential election to Ronald Reagan.
...But what was really important is why and how he lost the election to Ronald Reagan.

President Jimmy Carter not only reduced the size of the CIA, he also persuaded America to use significantly less fossil fuels, and he kept America out of war for his full 4 year term as President (of which he is the only President in living memory to do so). This obviously made President Jimmy Carter unpopular with the military/industrial complex.

In 1979, a protest in Iran escalated into an American hostage situation. The U.S. Embassy in Iran was overtaken by opportunistic protestors – who found themselves in the favor of the Ayatollah Khomeini – and in control politically with America.

The history of Iran is tainted with the 1953 overthrow of its democratically elected leader, Mohammad Mosaddegh, and a subsequent oppressive dictatorship by the Shah of Iran until 1979. It has since been revealed that the CIA was instrumental in the overthrow. Blowback from this cruel dictatorship ultimately led to the Iranian hostage crisis. The CIA created the problem back in 1953. But it was President Carter who's image was tarnished. The Iranian hostage crisis made President Carter look powerless. After a failed rescue mission, the hostages were separated and hidden all over Iran. From that point on, President Carter's only options were to give them what they wanted or wait. Negotiations proceeded, and then suddenly mysteriously failed.

On September 6, 1980, Sadegh Ghotbzadeh, who was still acting foreign minister of Iran, was quoted by Agence France Presse that he had information that presidential candidate Ronald Reagan was “trying to block a solution” to the hostage crisis. But apparently, nobody on the Carter team read the article.

Jimmy Carter lost a very close election in 1980. And immediately after Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, the hostages were released. The signs of a conspiracy to hold the hostages until after the election were screaming at America. (Reminiscent of Nixon's deal with the South Vietnamese.) But the mass media put the subject behind us, and America obediently moved on...

Now let's think about this; even if candidate Ronald Reagan didn't know anything about the Republican October Surprise; President Ronald Reagan must have figured it out. Reagan knew he had no more options with the Iranians than Carter had. Consequently, President Reagan must have figured the conspiracy out (at the very latest) as soon as he was inaugurated.

President Reagan must have known that a little act of treason swayed Americans enough to get him elected. So apparently, he played along and allowed his covert operatives to run amok.

Years later, America found out that President Reagan's covert operatives were secretly selling arms to Iran and using the funds to support vicious right wing military actions in “communist” Nicaragua (approximately a couple hundred thousand people were killed). This solidified America's suspicions that a deal had been made to hold the hostages until the election so that Iran could buy weapons from the U.S. to fight Iraq. (But little did Iran know the U.S. was also sharing intelligence information with Iraq – playing the two countries at war against each other.)

The Iran/Contra controversy however, wasn't the only thing the Reagan administration was essentially trying to cover up. They blocked the regular release of archival records. There are U.S. laws that require the State Department to declassify and release records after a 30 year period. The Reagan administration, for the first time in U.S. history, blocked those releases essentially so they could keep Americans from finding out what happened in Guatemala and Iran back in the 1950s.

Meanwhile, President Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada – another tiny country of poor people. And even though Cuba, the bad guys in this story, immediately offered to negotiate the whole issue; Reagan ordered the attack anyway. He did so at a convenient time for the mass media to be distracted from the arms-for-hostages trails. Personally, I feel that this invasion was a case of the tail waging the dog and not particularly important – except for the fact that this little military victory marked the return, for all to see, of the United States as bully to the world.

Meanwhile, the Iranian arms-for-hostages investigation ended up with a couple of convictions and no one going to jail (Presidential pardons), and no one on the executive team harmed. It's as if the Reagan administration (like the Nixon administration before them) had friends in high places to protect them.

Though conservatives may disagree; I see President Ronald Reagan as the leader of a corporatist counter-revolution. The hippies and the anti-war protestors that hounded President Nixon had disbanded and moved on. The assassinations of the 1960's and the revelations about the CIA were receding in memory. And the debts of the Vietnam war were still crushing the economy. Everyone just wanted to live their lives without being pushed around. And Ronald Reagan told us what we wanted to hear; “Government is the problem.”

After years of being drafted, busted, overtaxed, spied on, lied to, and having our leaders assassinated; Americans already believed that Government was the problem. But that's not actually what Ronald Reagan meant. That's just what he wanted us to think.

The Reagan administration was hell-bent on forcing back the gains Americans had made during the 1960's and 70's. Reagan was the first to gut our environmental protections. Reagan stopped enforcing monopoly laws and set forth a corporate takeover of America. Reagan began the privatization of government functions, which further enriched big business at the expense of a functional government. Reagan introduced “trickle-down economic theory” (which his Vice President Bush labeled “voodoo economics”). Thus began the destruction of the middle class. Reagan crushed the air traffic controllers' union, which initiated a corporatist war against unions. Reagan deregulations ultimately led to the Savings and Loan crisis, which led to a huge bail out by U.S. Taxpayers. And, of course; President Reagan escalated the Cold War, and deficit spent like a drunken sailor on “defense,” buying $600 toilet seats and $3000 coffee pots.

Note on the chart that during the Reagan military buildup there was no actual war.

Ronald Reagan told us that “Government was the problem” so that he could get rid of the good laws – the laws that held back big business from cheating, polluting, and stealing wealth from the little guy and the taxpayers. And many Americans backed him up apparently because they thought they might get a cut of the action.

But the laws that oppressed the little guys stayed in place. Which kept the little guys angry. Which kept pressure on Washington to scale back big government. Which only benefited big business. Thus began the downward spiral of the corporatist counter-revolution and the continued bloating of the military/industrial complex.

This is a National debt graph by President. The red lines are the debt incurred during the Republican Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr., and Bush Jr. The blue lines are the debt incurred during the Democratic Presidents Clinton and Obama. The green line represents what would have happened if the Republican Presidents had balanced their budgets as they had promised, and Democrats did just what they did.

Where did all that debt come from? It came from the Reagan military buildup for the Cold War. And it came from the Gulf Wars. The spike at 2008 represents the repercussions from the banking crisis. But part of the reason for the continued debt rise in Obama's term is that defense spending hasn't gone down (like times before when war winds down). Apparently, the merchants of death are having their way with Democrats now too. (And moreover, it exposes that these military occupations aren't quite over. When American troops left Iraq, they left behind 20,000 American “personnel.”)

President Ronald Reagan railed against “welfare queens,” and borrowed billions to give to the military/industrial complex. Moreover, President Ronald Reagan supported the “intelligence” community, no matter what they did.

Continue to Part 3