Monday, October 31, 2011

Government's role is to protect and serve, or to dominate and control? Some say we're all slaves and say government control is the cause ..

Are you a slave?  How much free will do you really have?  These may sound obtuse being asked by someone who lives in Modern America, the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, etc.  We have lots of freedom here in the U.S.A. as well as many of the modern countries around the world.  We have freedom of speech, freedom to live where we want, many freedoms.  Yet there are many who say we're actually slaves, and the freedom is an illusion created to keep us docile while THEY control things to their own benefit.

Government protect serve

On my social media stream this picture popped up today which strikes on that meme.  Policemen beating people up, and tying the picture with their mantra "To Protect and Serve".  Ideally that's one of the roles of Government, to protect and serve the people.  But instead the picture reads "The Government: Protecting and Serving the Shit Out of You".

This obviously is trying to touch on the "We're Slaves" meme, that the Government is really a dictatorial dominating force squashing the life out of us.

This may strike you as odd.  There is little evidence around you that the modern governments in free countries like the U.S.A. are doing anything like this.  That is unless you're an OccupyXYZZY protester such as the recent attempted squashing of the Occupy Oakland protest.

This picture may represent a form of police conduct many of us in modern western countries are unaware of, have no knowledge about, etc.  But it reminded me immediately of statues I saw in Prague - Matthias Gate at the entry to Prague Castle.  The imagery of this gate is eerily reminiscent of this picture but that gate was created in the 1600's.  We should note that Prague Castle has been the seat of Czech government for hundreds of years.  The Kings of Bohemia, the Holy Roman Emperors, the Presidents of Czechosolovakia and the Czech Republic have had their offices in Prague Castle, and it's the biggest castle in the world.  In 2009 when Obama gave his speech calling for a Nuclear-Free world, the setting was this exact same courtyard.  Which is to say this isn't some out-of-the-way artwork at an obscure location with no meaning.  It's the entry gate to a castle complex with immense historical significance.

The Matthias Gate is a "triumphant arch," built in 1614, named after Emperor Matthias connecting the outer courtyard (Castle Square) to the inner courtyard of Prague Castle.  In effect it's the front door of the castle.

Matthias Gate, Prague Castle

Very nice and pretty, eh?  It was a beautiful weekend day in the summer of 2008, with throngs of tourists crawling all over Prague.  Nobody seemed to notice these two statues very much.  The symbolism will be a little clearer if we zoom in.

Matthias Gate, Prague


Matthias Gate, Prague


Unfortunately I wasn't able to find any reference discussing the symbolism of these two statues.

If we take them literally - I'd say they are from the viewpoint of those who dominate, and threatening their population with essentially "this is what will happen to YOU if you step out of line".  Given the setting these statues clearly were not created by the downtrodden to complain about those who are doing the downtrodding.  Its setting is the seat of government and seems to be a threat.

The relationship structure here - government deploying force that's theoretically used to "keep the peace" but which sometimes beats up its own citizens - that structure has been with us for millennia, right?

The gate was named after Emperor Matthias, who was Holy Roman Emperor from 1612, King of Hungary and Croatia from 1608 (as Matthias II) and King of Bohemia from 1611. He was a member of the House of Habsburg.  He gained the throne after a series of political maneuvers that included aiding "rebels" in the Netherlands until they deposed his uncle, King Phillip II of Spain, then later he imprisoned his own brother Rudolf, then the current Holy Roman Emperor, until is brother capitulated and gave the crown to Matthias.






Saturday, October 29, 2011

Master Teacher Calvin explains Occupy Wall Street - Is open revolt and exile is the only hope for Change?

Have a hard time understanding why there might be such a battle between Authority and the people in the street?  There's some ideas that only Master Teacher Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes) can explain.

Open revolt exile

Our relationship with Authority isn't always pleasant.  Sometimes Authority drives us nuts and we want Change.  But what if Authority is unable/unwilling to change?  What if Authority denies us any means of change?  What if Authority denies us any meaningful method to change the conditions of our existence?   What then?

We don't pick our parents, right?  Can't vote them out of office etc.  Okay, some kids do things like divorce their parents but it's extremely rare.  What about in the adult world?  In modern western societies we pick the president and other leaders, right?  We can rally around a cause, vote, and choose leaders.

Or, do we?

The elections are rigged, many say, to favor attributes other than insightful leadership.  Getting media attention (or not) is life (or death) for Candidates.  Almost always the Candidates with media attention are the ones who raise the most money, not the ones with the best leadership ideas.  The distribution of money among politicians is not even, not based on best leadership ideas, etc.  The system favors candidates having pull with rich people/corporations, so they have enough money to get the attention of the media, so they have a chance of getting elected.

But that's just the political offices, how about other Authorities?  Heads of companies, or heads of most other large institutions - none of them are chosen openly.  They can't be voted out of office by normal people.  The CEO of a corporation, they're hired by the Board of Directors in a closed process way in the background.  It's the Elite choosing among the Elite to decide who will remain in positions of Authority.  That's the very definition of Oligarchy, right?

The Pope of the Catholic Church, and leadership of most other churches, are chosen the same way.  In a hidden process, behind closed doors, choosing from between existing elites ..etc..

What's the option?  We the people have no leverage over the leadership decisions of corporations.  Yet, Corporations have massive influence and control over everything that goes on in our supposedly open and free societies.  Who chooses the products in the stores?  Corporations.  Who chooses the production processes, the side effects (including toxic pollutions) from those processes, etc?  Corporations.  Government is supposedly in an oversight role over this but after a few decades of undermining and being weakened by deficit spending and growing government debt, the government is too weak to do much to reign in corporate power.

What's the option?  We live in a society that's supposedly free and open, but controlled by Elites who deny us any meaningful method to change the conditions of our existence.

What's the option?


Friday, October 28, 2011

Crusading state-level Attorneys General seeking to take down corrupt financial industry - Maddow

This week a major focus on Rachel Maddow's show is the corrupt financial industry that nearly killed the U.S. economy.  The deed was enabled by corrupt business practices that were in turn enabled by relaxed regulatory regime.  Largely speaking, even though many companies in the financial industry died, bankrupted, merged, etc, the people who committed the practices are often still employed in the same financial industry, and the regulatory system around them has changed very little.

As Maddow recounts, earlier in this decade a crusading NY Attorney General, Elliot Spitzer, took down several corrupt NYC financial industry titans.  That was before he went on to a prostitute scandal and a stint as a CNN host.  In her coverage this week she focused on two Attorneys General, Eric Schneiderman from New York and Beau Biden from Delaware.   One take-away from this is that Change can happen when bright people pursue a course of correcting wrongs, and use their position of power to enable change in the world.

Of course there is positive change and negative change.  Someone in a position of power can create a corrupt system, or work to remove corruption.  It depends on how they apply the power their position gives them.

These people who are in public service - ideally their job is serving the better interests of all.  Consider the Attorney General job.  It's about seeing justice is served, lawbreakers are found and punished, the law is applied in a just manner, etc.

But history is replete with people who used positions of power to instead feather their own nests, or work with cronies to feather each others nests, or create a regime of dictatorial control, or .. etc .. on and on ..  There have been plenty of Attorneys General who used their positions of power to hide corruption, to stonewall investigations, etc.  Again, it's a matter of how each individual uses their time in the position of power.

During the interviews below, Maddow asked Beau Biden (son of Vice President Biden) why these investigations are happening at the state level rather than the federal level.  Interesting question, and he answered that while there is a lot of state-level investigation, that it seems the state level investigators are cooperating, there is also federal level investigations.


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This starts a little slow with analysis of Republican advertisements, the poor pitiful state of Democratic advertisements .. etc ..  The segue point is a Democratic ad that really hits hard on the mortgage crisis corruption.   Almost half of Arizona home-owners are "under water" with foreclosures "everywhere" but Romney's message to Arizona is that he wants the mortgage crisis to "hit bottom" and that home-owners are on their own.

In other words - the banks (e.g. the rich 1%) got bailed out, while we the 99% get foreclosed.

Would it work to brush the corruption under the rug and ignore it?  The business-friendly Republicans want to brush this aside, but does this mean they think "business-friendly" means "corruption-friendly"?

A lot of the base raw feelings driving the Occupy protests is this exact issue.  Rampant financial corruption and corrupt practices.  Who is going to step up to the plate to correct this?  A minute ago I suggested that people in positions of political power have a choice, to use their power for the good of all, or to use their power to protect corrupt practices keeping the game going.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Later in the show they had Glenn Greenwald on to shill for his latest book, but this weaves into the same narrative.  This book, With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful, "lays bare the mechanisms that have come to shield the elite from accountability" and "shows how the media, both political parties, and the courts have abetted a process that has produced torture, war crimes, domestic spying, and financial fraud".

The book has a chapter titled - Too Big To Jail - great meme.

Basically, he was there to talk about officially sanctioned corruption and the general pattern that the rich get away with things we little people would be in jail over.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In this segment Maddow shows, with numbers charted on a graph, the effect of the system.  Note that Greenwald identified a tipping point 40 years ago when Richard Nixon got pardoned, and by being pardoned started this "Too Big To Jail" precedent that's been used to let others get off with little or no punishment for misdeeds.

Here the graph shows how, upon the election of Ronald Reagan, the economic well-being of the 99% and 1% began to diverge.  The Rich got Richer far faster than the rest of us, creating an enormous gap in financial well-being.  Reagan did a lot to remove the regulatory system that had kept the financial system in check, keeping corruption out of finance.  One thing that enabled was for the rich to get richer, and it enabled the rampant corruption.

Oh, and this more-or-less proves how bogus were the "Trickle Down Economics" of the Reagan era.  We see right here that there's no trickle-down.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This is the segment where she talks about Elliot Spitzer in the period he was the crusading New York Attorney General, the role now held by Eric Schneiderman above.  The segment starts with a quote from the Chamber of Commerce complaining about Spitzers effectiveness.  From the Chamber of Commerce perspective we can imagine they saw Spitzer as a threat, but that just fits the meme where "business-friendly" really means "corruption-friendly" doesn't it?

Thanks to Spitzer, Wall Street was being "perp walked" for stuff they used to routinely get away with.

Sure, investments are not a sure thing and investors should certainly know this.  THe one thing investors deserve is honest advice.  Instead what they got was crap self serving advice that actively misled investors to investing in crap.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Immediately after the prior segment, we have Beau Biden (VP Biden's son) on to talk about what Delaware is doing.  Where Delaware enters the picture is jurisdiction.  Where Delaware is the preferred state to register corporations, those corporations are subject to accountability by Delaware's judicial system.

Beau Biden as the Delaware Attorney General has just launched a lawsuit against the entire mortgage industry.

The allegation is that in the mid 90's the banks privatized regulation of mortgage notes, so that mortgages could be securitized so that they can be traded on the open market.  A result of the securitization was that it's now nigh-on-impossible to determine who actually owns a given house, because the mortgage originator securitizes the mortgage to sell the mortgage securities on the market.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Former Keystone XL pipeline lobbyist hired by Obama campaign

Writing on the LA Times blog Neela Banerjee reports that the Obama re-election campaign has puzzlingly hired a lobbyist who had worked on lobbying for approval of the widely hated Keystone XL pipeline.  Environmental activists are working hard to block that pipeline with Bill McKibben describing it as "game over" for being able to control climate change if the pipeline project were to be allowed to go forward.  Obama ran in 2008 on a platform that included green jobs, green technology, and working hard to address climate change and environmental issues.  The Keystone XL project is exactly wrong for that sort of campaign platform.

The (former) lobbyist is Broderick Johnson, described as "founder and principle" of the Johnson Communications Group.  Last spring he was a lobbyist working for Bryan Cave LLP and his client roster included Microsoft, Comcast and TransCanada.  His work for TransCanada in turn focused on supporting the “submission for a presidential permit for Keystone XL Pipeline.”  He lobbied members of Congress as well as the Administration and the State Department.  However TransCanada denied he lobbied on behalf of the Keystone XL project.

The Obama campaign describes his role as “serve as a national surrogate for the campaign and our representative in meetings with key leaders, communities and organizations.  Broderick will be an ear to the ground for the campaign's political and constituency operations, helping to ensure that there is constant, open communication between the campaign and our supporters around the country.”

A little side story to this is that Johnson's wife is Michele Norris, host of NPR's All Things Considered.  She has announced she'd be taking a hiatus from that show during the campaign, and would refrain from covering the campaign.

The Keystone XL pipeline is a horridly bad environmental disaster from beginning to end.  The purpose of the pipeline is to carry "oil" extracted from the Alberta tar sands, pipe it to Houston area refineries and then sell the oil on the export market.  Because tar sands are poor quality "oil" resources, extraction involves huge machines scraping up the tar-soaked sands, carrying this sand to other gigantic machines that steam-treat the sands (at huge energy cost) to convert the thick sticky tar into something which can be piped long distance.  The pipeline route is planned to cross many environmentally sensitive locations, at huge risk in case of pipeline leaks or bursts.  The result will be a continuation of the regime of using oil, rather than switching to other energy sources.  See: to encircle the White House on Nov 6 protesting Keystone XL pipeline

The Obama Administration promised us during the campaign as well as via several actions since, such as the bootstrapping of a clean energy revolution, that official policy would be to encourage a switch to clean renewable energy.  In a weekly address last spring Obama suggested Instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, we need to invest in tomorrow's


Former Keystone pipeline lobbyist hired by Obama campaign to encircle the White House on Nov 6 protesting Keystone XL pipeline

Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy San Jose campers were warned a week ahead of time they would be fined and arrested

Earlier today I posted about how the Occupy San Jose group had gotten arrested this morning. It's not like the arrest was a surprise, they had been warned at least a week ahead of time.  The first two videos are local news coverage.  After those two videos is a series posted by the OccupySJ team and it is an interesting encapsulation of the protesters and their goals, of police who probably are in agreement with the protesters but have to enforce the law, and news media not quite representing the situation accurately.



And how about some videos from the Occupy San Jose group:-










Dylan Ratigan MSNBC exposes Federal Reserve Con

This video is from July 2010 and in it Dylan Ratigan takes apart the Federal Reserve system, calling it a large con.  To help out he has Congressman Alan Grayson who, as a former economist, was one of the few in Congress who actually understands the problem with the system.

The notes attached to this video reflect something I'm thinking - I've never heard of this Ratigan fellow until just an hour ago, have watched several clips on youtube, and posted all of them but am not entirely sure what to think about the guy. (

To Clarify: I'm NOT a fan of MSNBC at all. And I'm still not sure where this guy Dylan Ratigan stands; Good guy?Bad guy? Not sure.

But I've seen him here on YT several times breaking down the Federal Reserve Con, telling it like it is, exposing Bernake, Greenspan, Geithner & the enemy of America, The Federal Reserve.








Dylan Ratigan calls the 2008-9 bank bailout the greatest theft in history

An interesting analysis of the bank bailouts - a process which began during the Bush43 administration.  There was fraudulent banking going on, fictitiously inflating the value of bad securities, and the problem hit hard when the regulators said "wait a minute" and revalued everything to its proper value.  The bad debt was then transferred to the taxpayers, but the people who created the bad system still got their yearly bonuses.

Dylan Ratigan from October 2009 covering a large protest against bankers in Chicago

Highly recommended video to watch to remind us about what was happening with the banking system bailout, and what he calls fraud and stealing.

Dylan Ratigan demonstrates the fraudulent shell game leading to the 2007-8-9 mortgage crisis

The youtube video is from October 2009 and has Dylan Ratigan, Eliot Spitzer and comedian Sherrod Small play a game of credit rating theater. There is extreme truth in this little bit of comedic fiction, including the fact that absolutely nothing has changed. Pass this one to a friend.

Dylan Ratigan explains the mess we're in, on air - your Congress is bought, incapable of making legislation, etc...

This is a piece from the Dylan Ratigan show from August 9, 2011, which I first heard in episode 280 of the C-Realm Podcast (see

I don't know who this guy is - but I'm totally impressed by what he has to say.  If one is wondering why so many are worried or up in arms, well, it's the discussion Ratigan makes here on his show.  I think even those who cannot articulate their thoughts this well, understand this intuitively.


He then further explained himself a few days later.

KMO covers the Occupy Wall Street protest on the C-Realm podcast

The C-Realm podcast by KMO is almost always highly recommended by me.  His conversations are always intriguing and mind expanding (well, almost always), and episode 280: OWS – the Spark is among his top episodes.  He was traveling in New York and decided to drop by the Occupy Wall Street crowd in downtown NYC and got some amazing interview material with people in the street.  He then talked with Justin Ritchie, of the Extraenvironmentalist Podcast, to put the protests into an interesting context.


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British and American lawyers debate: Was the US Declaration of Independence legal, or not. WTF?

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corp) recently ran a news magazine article about a debate, held at Philadelphia's Ben Franklin Hall, over the legality of the U.S. Declaration of Independence.  Was it legal for America to declare itself independent or not.  It's interesting to think about this in the context of current events with the Arab Spring and now the Occupy Wall Street movements where the population is standing up to demand change.

To start with there can easily be a WTF reaction to there even being a question whether the Declaration of Independence is illegal or not.   (if you don't know what WTF means, you simply don't get out enough)  Let's start there … how could there even be a debate on this.  The U.S. is a fully legal country, recognized as a country everywhere, so how could there be a question that its founding moment was illegal.

The British case against the Declaration of Independence goes thusly: (Is the US Declaration of Independence illegal?)

The Declaration of Independence was not only illegal, but actually treasonable. There is no legal principle then or now to allow a group of citizens to establish their own laws because they want to. What if Texas decided today it wanted to secede from the Union?

Lincoln made the case against secession and he was right. The Declaration of Independence itself, in the absence of any recognised legal basis, had to appeal to "natural law", an undefined concept, and to "self-evident truths", that is to say truths for which no evidence could be provided.

Further they claim the grievances cited by the Founding Fathers were pretty minor things.  That's the British point of view mind you, and while I'm not entirely in agreement it does give interesting food for thought.

If a population has proper grievance against their rulers, what are they to do?  Lodge a complaint with the powers that be?  Vote them out of office come next election?  Run a recall election to boot them out of office right away?  Rise up in mass protest to demonstrate the ruler has no support and should therefore resign?  Pull your guns out of the closet and start fighting?

Those are a number of possible reactions and you can surely think of a few examples of each path.  For example Arnold Schwarzenegger became Governor of California when a group of citizens started a recall effort against Gray Davis, booted Gov. Davis out of office, installing Schwarzenegger in his place.  In Egypt the Mubarak regime was toppled by a mass protest that was relatively peaceful.  However in LIbya the Qaddafi regime required a massive civil war, fighting from city to city, bloodshed, and outside intervention, before the regime fell. ( and

I suppose from the viewpoint of the leaders of Egypt, the massive protests that ended up toppling the Mubarak government were illegal and perhaps treasonous.  From the viewpoint of the protesters, it was the government that was illegitimate, brutal, dictatorial, and had to go.  Would there have been a "legal" way for the Egyptians to change their government?  Apparently there wasn't because that government rigged the system to disallow any change.

In the case of Libya that leadership promised to crush any its own population who dared defy the regime.  Clearly Qaddafi thought the Libyan protesters (rebels) were illegal and treasonous.  Hence the Libyans who sought change had no choice but to battle for change, because Qaddafi wasn't going to allow peaceful change.

In other words it's all nice and proper to say populations who secede from their rulers are illegal and treasonous, what is a population to do when the rulers in question give no meaningful method for the population to peacefully create change?

Occupy San Jose arrested on Friday morning and expected to remain in Jail until Tuesday

The Occupy San Jose protest was arrested in the wee hours of Friday, October 21.  Below is an email sent to the OSJ-Legal mailing list which they requested to have reposted widely.

The San Jose Mercury News published an article, San Jose: Eight Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested, one cited

San Jose police arrested eight Occupy Wall Street protesters and cited one man in a wheelchair early Friday for violating a city ordinance that forbids camping out on city property.

Sgt. Jason Dwyer said the arrests came about 3 a.m. near Fourth and Santa Clara streets at San Jose City Hall Plaza, where protesters have been complaining about corporate greed for more than a month as part of a nationwide movement.

… "Basically, this comes down to a sanitation issue," Dwyer said. "There is just a lot of trash and public urination and it can be very unsanitary."

The article goes on to quote Shaunn Cartwright disputing the characterization from the police

"There is no trash," she said. "We are very conscientious. I have personally picked up the trash myself. We take away all our trash and we recycle. We use the bathrooms of local businesses and we even clean those bathrooms because they've been so nice to us."



----- Original Message -----
*From:* Daniel Mayfield <mailto:Dan@...>
*Sent:* Friday, October 21, 2011 6:41 AM
*Subject:* [SBM] Occupy San Jose Busted 3:00 am Friday morning

See the below note from Tom on the OSJ legal team

At 3 am 8 police officers (on overtime?) and 5 police cars arrested and
transported to county jail the protestors outside city hall in San Jose

One person in a wheel chair was cited and released the others were all
taken to jail in apparent violation of PC 853.6(i)

More importantly all of their belongings were taken by the Police.
Because of cut backs the SJPD property room is not open until Tuesday

IF the individuals taken to the jail are not released from the jail (
and the DOC does a better job on releasing felons than they do for those
in on a misdemeanor) the they will have to stay in custody until at
least Monday and probably Tuesday.

This was clearly a coordinated well thought out plan. The day was picked
(Friday morning) on purpose and the confiscation of the food , money ,
tents, was no accident.

Please remember that the city has on at least two other occasions
allowed people to "occupy" the city plaza area where they have been in
agreement with the content of the protestors speech. Here since the city
was threatened by the content of the speech the city has chosen to
selectively enforce the ordinance.

theordinance itself is probably unconstitutional because it does not
contain a process for granting a waiver of the fees associated with free
speech rights


Daniel M Mayfield
Carpenter and Mayfield
Phone (408) 287-1916. Fax (408) 287-9857

This message is for the intended recipient only. It is from the law
offices of CARPENTER AND MAYFIELD. Any interception, detection,
infection, inspection, hoodoo, voodoo, sneak and peak, or any other
unethical or unconstitutional spying on the part of the U.S. Department
of Justice, Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, NSA, or any other alphabet
agency, is strictly prohibited. Violators will be prosecuted, punished,
and publicized. If you have received this email in error please destroy
it and let me know of my mistake.

Thank you for your cooperation

Begin forwarded message:

> *From:* Thomas Higgins <vetlaw@...
> <mailto:vetlaw@...>>
> *Date:* October 21, 2011 4:37:13 AM PDT
> *To:* osj-legal@...
> <mailto:osj-legal@...>
> *Subject:* *[OSJ--Legal] OSJ in jail*
> *Reply-To:* OSJ Legal Committee <osj-legal@...
> <mailto:osj-legal@...>>
> Cracker, Jerome, and about ten occupiers were arrested, placed into a
> paddy wagon, and transported to jail. Elaine and I are going to try to
> salvage the tents, etc.
> Legal may need to take further action re jail. Press.
> More later.
> _______________________________________________
> OSJ-Legal mailing list
> <mailto:OSJ-Legal@...>

Reposted from:

Will Occupy Wall Street, as an experiment in consensus-building, FAIL?

An article on CNN suggests that, because Occupy Wall Street is using a pure consensus process, it will ultimately fail.  Perhaps a pure consensus process won't scale up to work for the country as a whole, but I wonder if that means OWS will fail to influence U.S. politics.  Whether a given experiment FAIL's or not does depend the the yardstick against which you measure success or failure.

Would success mean that consensus becomes the process for every political decision in the U.S.?  What changes as the outcome of the OWS experiment will mean success?  The tail end of the article holds up the Tea Party as an example of success, and how they went from protests in the street to taking dozens of political offices around the country.  In other words, the CNN article would judge a protest movement by its success in getting people elected to office so they can directly change policies and laws.

The Tea Party is an interesting example because they were the exact opposite of consensus.  You may remember the many times Tea Party activists attended political events with the express intent to disrupt, to shout, to scream, and other forms of basic belligerence.  OWS's consensus process seems like a breath of fresh air after all the shouting and belligerence from the Tea Party.

By way of example the CNN article gives this story:-

Earlier this month, Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, showed up at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Atlanta and asked if he could address the crowd. The distinguished civil rights leader wanted to speak to the people in his district, and at first, it looked like he had the support of the group.

But then, one man, while acknowledging Lewis' contributions to society, said the Occupy Wall Street movement is a Democratic process, "in which no singular human being is inherently more valuable than any other human being." That led to a 10-minute group discussion before it was decided by consensus that Lewis should not be allowed to speak.

In other words, a sitting U.S. Congressperson was not allowed to just assume they could speak before an OWS General Assembly.  Through a consensus process.  A couple paragraphs later the article makes this claim as the starting off point for discussing the Tea Party electoral success:

"I think that's the danger of this kind of process," Linsky said. "If we say we're going to operate by consensus, which is everybody has to agree, well, the only way you can get everybody to agree when people have different agendas is to agree on something that is so ethereal as to be meaningless."

Linsky warns that this addiction to a process in which everybody has a voice could spell the demise for Occupy Wall Street. His advice to people taking part in the demonstrations is to run for office, work for a campaign and learn from the tea party.

Again, how would you define success for OWS?

I wonder whether OWS were to spawn some OWS-inspired candidates to win offices next year, how long would it be before they were corrupted by the political process and become like any other hated politician?

I think the system is wrong and that electing a few people to office to change a few laws won't fix the system.  I also think many OWS people would agree.

Occupy Wall Street: An experiment in consensus-building

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Libya: The Real U.S. Drone War

Earlier I asked about the drone war being fought in Libya by Western powers ( and wondering about what will be expected of the new Libyan government because of what the West did to support the rebellion.  The Libyans would not have overthrown Ghaddafi on their own, and instead the massive support with drone aircraft (and other aircraft) made a huge difference.  A Wired news article published today, in the wake of Ghaddafi's death, goes over the drone deployment against Libya.

It took three weeks for NATO's (U.S.) war machine to arrive in Libya.  There have been 145 drone strikes since then, quite a bit more than the 57 drone strikes in Pakistan this year.

It's likely that Ghaddafi himself was killed by a drone strike - though, todays reports are unclear and confused with several different versions of the events.

This is the picture of the U.S. prosecuting a war by proxy - that is, robotic proxy.  Rather than directly commit troops on the ground in real combat, we're sending robots out to kill people and fight the war for us.  I sometimes wonder if that makes us cowards.


Libya: The Real U.S. Drone War

Leader's Demise Is Messy, Mysterious

US drone took part in Libya strikes, hit unclear

Gaddafi's death - who pulled the trigger?

Will the economic hitmen undo the political change from the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements?

Today it appears that Libya's leader Moammar Ghaddafi has fallen after an uprising / revolution that had a certain amount of support from Western Powers.  Other countries have seen massive protests this year, in a couple cases resulting in a change in the government.  The massive protests include in the U.S. with the Occupy Wall Street movement that's inspired similar protests around the country.  But videos like the one below make me wonder just how much difference will be made in the long run, and whether the international power elite are working overtime to gain leverage over the protest movements so they can control the outcome.

e.g. in Libya, what agreements were made between "rebels" and the outside powers who supported the "rebels"?  Is the Libyan rebellion truly independent?  I doubt that.  The zillions of dollars spent on sending cruise missiles, unmanned drones, and military air support of the rebels, that monetary support had to come with strings attached, right?

The Egyptians toppled their leader, but now have a Military government who isn't behaving much better than the previous leadership.  The Libyans have toppled their leader (apparently) but will the result be any better than before?

The audio in this video is John Perkins, author of 'Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded--and What We Need to Do to Remake Them' and 'Confessions Of An Economic Hitman', talking about the system of globalized control via economic leverage that's spewing pain and suffering all over the world.

An interview with RT TV in 2009.






Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Is China rattling their sabers towards Japan? Geopolitics in Asia

China is no longer a 3rd world country. They are rapidly industrializing and their military is growing stronger and stronger. Maybe they'll try to use that military against other countries in addition to the economic power they're exerting on the world stage. According to Defense Tech, Japan is reporting a higher rate of jet fighter intercepts where Japanese fighters scrambles to intercept Chinese jets attempting to enter Japanese airspace.

The record-setting 83 times between April and September of this year was three times the number of interceptions made by the Japanse Air Self Defense Force against Chinese planes during the same six-month period in fiscal year 2010, according to the Japanese paper Asahi Shimbun.

This comes as China is fielding its first aircraft carrier, anti-ship ballistic missiles, a ton of spy satellites and even MRAPs. Oh yeah, it’s also developing a stealth fighter and a host of new UAVs.

Chinas policy is to "protect that which is ours" but they haven't clearly stated what they think is theirs.

“I’d be a lot happier if knew exactly what their intent was,” said Bruce Carlson, National Reconnaissance Office director while discussing the Pentagon’s space warfare preparations last month. “They’re an incredibly modern society but their military philosophy goes all the way back to probably, 4,000 years ago. They believe in deception, that’s just one of their mantras so I remain concerned about their intent and exactly what it is, I do not know — but I’m concerned about it.”

Japan Intercepting Record Numbers of Chinese Planes

Is anger against Bank of America and the banking system behind Bank Transfer Day?

While looking through Youtube for videos related to Bank Transfer Day, I stumbled across one from 2009 with a personal rant against Bank of America and calling for a mass walkout against BofA.  It's a very personal rant against Bank of America because they had the gall to raise his credit card rates.

By the way there's an easy way to be unaffected by credit card rates.  Always pay off your card in full every month.  They can't charge you interest fees if you don't carry a balance.

In any case given that Bank of America committed the largest number of foreclosures, there's sure to be a huge amount of anger targeted in their direction.

He accompanied the video (the only one he's posted) with the following statement:

If you are like me, you are concerned, frustrated, and a bit confused that Bank of America has been allowed, and enabled, by the U.S. government to suck the life out of our financial system. In addition, if you are like me you are very pissed-off that BOA has recently sent out letters to customers, like myself, that our credit card interest rates have nearly tripled. Because they feel like it. Regardless of the customer's history and good standing with the bank.

Both personally and professionally I believe this brand has become a joke, a picture of sleaze that even Larry Flint can not compete with. At least Larry Flint makes money the old fashioned way, he earns it! BOA has to steal their money from us to continue to fuel their failing machine.

I believe it is time that we Bank of America customers tell these pirates that we are not going to take this anymore and we are going to give our business to the smaller regional and local banks that deserve the business.

I ask each of you to close your accounts at BOA and walk out the door this week. Tell them goodbye, and that we are not going to bend-over for them anymore and take this crap! If we all do this it will send a message that extortion-based banking is no longer acceptable in this new era of customer empowerment. I also ask that each of you share my new interpretation, with your friends and family, of what I believe the acronym BOA should now stand for, as well as the new logo Bank of America should employ since it is much more fitting and aligned with their business model.

A PBS News Hour report from 2 weeks ago discussing "monthly usage fees" that are now being charged by Bank of America.

Here's another individual rant about BofA posted on Sept 9, 2011

Dear Bank of America,

I closed my checking and savings accounts today, because I heard that Bank of America foreclosed on a Florida couple who did not even have a mortgage loan through B of A. When this couple sued you and won, your company stiff-armed them and refused to pay the court judgment. The couple then foreclosed upon one of your branches in an attempt to recover the judgment and their costs.

When I think about how stupid someone would have to be to foreclose on someone who does not have a mortgage loan, it boggles the mind. Not only is it indicative of appalling ignorance and lack of true customer service ethics, it is a clear sign that your company is being run by criminals.

When I went into the branch today to close my accounts, I heard that you have now decided to close the local branch in order to save money; no doubt, you need to save that money because of the way you have been pissing away cash by financing bogus mortgages. Now the decent and friendly people at my local branch who have been serving this community for up to 20 years will soon be looking for work rather than having to drive many miles to work at the nearest remaining branch. I commiserated with them and wished them all well. They have been loyal to your company and to people like me for years, and they are being shafted by snot-nosed crooks (probably with freshly-minted MBAs) in the higher echelons of your criminal enterprise.

I took my cash and went home only to see that your dumber-than-a-box-of-rocks online banking system had sent me an email stating that my account was now empty and had fallen below the minimum $25 balance. Amazing deduction, Sherlock! I closed the account!

I am now sorry I ever allowed myself to associate with your company, for it enabled people of no character to conduct business with my cash, which, you can bet, you will never see again. I will tell everyone I know of my experience and urge them to put their money in reputable institutions which do not attempt to extort money from innocent victims.











Would 'Bank Transfer Day' make any difference in anything?

Coming up on Nov 5th some activists are trying to organize a nationwide "Bank Transfer Day" where people would transfer their money out of big banks, and into credit unions.  Why on Nov 5?  It's Guy Fawkes Day, which is related to a 1600's era Englishman who wanted to blow up the English Parliament and later inspired a comic book (and even later a movie) named V for Vendetta.  Between the Fawkes mask in the Bank Transfer Day logo, and the choice of day, one can assume their intention is destructive, to cause some harm to the banking system by removing money from the banks.

When we deposit money in a bank account it increases the asset base of that bank.  That is, deposits in bank accounts are carried as assets on the bank's books.  Bank's lend their assets (the money we deposit in the bank account) and earn revenue based on interest (and bank fees) they charge from the loans.  Our money deposited in big megabank accounts increases the power of the megabanks.  If we instead deposited money into credit unions, it would shift power from big megabanks to smaller local banks.

The Bank Transfer Day Facebook page talks about this, the difference between banks and credit unions, and some recent bank reform laws.  Banks are for-profit companies whose Board of Directors are appointed by shareholders, where Credit Unions are non-profit companies whose Board of Directors are selected from members, that is the account holders.  This probably means, as the BTD people suggest, that decisions running Credit Unions are more closely aligned with account holders, than decisions running the big banks.

Maybe we'd have a better world if the credit unions were stronger and the big banks were weaker.  But … the BTD crew is inciting us into committing a mass run on the bank, which would crash the system.  Or are they?  They say that's not their intention, nor is their intention to crash the system.  A mass withdrawal of money from banks seems like the very definition of a run on the banks, and as we know this is something which can cause big havoc.  The Great Depression was caused when a stock market collapse (1929) spooked the population, who tried to withdraw their money (run the banks), to keep the money at home, causing the banking system to have no money and therefore collapse.

That's what they're risking with this call for action - crashing the banks.  The BTD crew suggests in their Facebook page notes this isn't a true run on the banks like what caused the Great Depression.  Rather than keep their money at home, the instructions are to switch from big banks to credit unions.  Money will still be in the banking system, but instead with organizations that are friendlier to real people than the big banks.

What I'm wondering is whether it will make a difference?

This reminds me of boycotts ...  Boycotts tend to have a short blip of an effect, you avoid buying gasoline from the particular brand for a day or a week or whatever, and eventually go back to that brand.  In this case the big banks have been rightfully tarred with negativity due to the 2007-8-9 financial collapse and the mortgage crisis.   Would transferring bank accounts have a similarly short term effect?

I rather doubt there will be very many people switching their bank accounts.  Banking relationships are more permanent, with longer ranging effects, than gasoline purchases.  Right?  There's all sorts of things connected to your bank account, automatic deposits, automatic payments, credit cards, and so on.

The major difference would be a relocalization of banking relationships.  A criticism some have of the current financial system is the siphoning of profits out of a local area to the pockets of remote business owners.  This depletes the financial strength of a given location.  Relocalization calls for buying from locally owned stores, and using a locally owned bank, and maybe even taking the step of creating a local currency.  The point of that is to keep profits within the local community, keep money circulating locally, keeping financial strength in your local place.

Relocalization of this sort is a larger thing than a blip of an event riding the coat-tails of a protest movement that might fizzle out once the snow starts falling.  Relocalizing the economy is a long term large scale project of education and action.

In any case here's a few videos:-

Fox News talking about "Should Wall Street be Worried"?  Towards the middle they start getting riled up about how Dodd-Frank is preventing the banks from doing things, and over the Government acting to Prevent a Bank from "investing their own capital" in whatever they want.  Uh..  Do they not recall how the financial system recently collapsed?  Have banks been reduced to utilities who must follow the edict of government?  That's how banks used to be run, with strictly laid out interest rates that gave banking huge predictability, and safety, but made banking jobs incredibly boring.  Decades of deregulation made banking a more interesting career, but let banks go into riskier businesses, and let banks create financial crises.

The rightful role of Banks probably is more like a utility.  Their job is to manage investment dollars.  This is a fundamental bedrock of society, and if we want that to be a solid bedrock then banks must be tightly regulated.

A local news program going over the difference between banks and credit unions

Protesters from Occupy Santa Cruz wanted to close their bank accounts, but got kicked out of the bank and threatened with the police.

Another group of protesters, in St. Louis, also prevented by BofA from closing their accounts.


The Denver Community Credit Union makes a plea for Credit Unions...




Steve Jobs

Rachel Maddow talks about the Good Old Days when Enron was the worst financial crisis..

Last week Rachel Maddow had an insightful piece about big bank swindlers, the Occupy Wall Street and Bank Transfer Day activism movements, and had Barney Frank on to talk about the Dodd-Frank bill.  Last night she had another piece about the recent history of massive swindles of the American population, focusing on the Enron scandal which should have sunk the Bush43 Presidency, and the later the 2008 financial system collapse.  The cause of both of these problems directly stem from deregulation of the banking and finance system, allowing these institutions to cook the books, make fraudulent transactions, and essentially swindle the population.  The response to those problems was to create two regulatory systems, the Dodd-Frank law and the Sarbanes-Oxley law.  The current crowd of Republican Presidential Candidates want to undo those laws, repeal them, in effect returning the country to the regulatory system that allowed the Enron collapse and the later general financial system collapse of 2007-8-9.

Under the old system Rachel talks us through a deal between Blockbuster Video and a large energy company who wanted to launch a joint venture with Blockbuster related to online video streaming and sharing.  That deal eventually fell through at a loss of $113 million, but that large energy company didn't record it on their books as a loss.  That company, Enron, recorded the $113 million as income and was part of the larger cook-the-books fraud committed by Enron.

Enron was a major supporter of the Republican party, to the extent of lending GW Bush the use of their corporate jet during his 1999-2000 Presidential campaign.  Enron was also in the room during Cheney's secret energy policy planning in early 2001.

Basically Enron was propped up by accounting tricks in a charade of lies and shell companies.  Later in the 2007-8-9 financial system collapse we had a different set of companies running a massive charade of lies, accounting tricks, etc, eventually defrauding the American public of massive quantities of money.

But the Republicans want to undo the modest regulatory stuff that came into being after these problems.  So that these kind of problems can happen again?

Let's be real - the actions of these fraudulent were enabled by decades of deregulation.  I can't imagine that Dodd-Frank or Sarbanes-Oxley did very much to recreate the necessary regulatory structure required for an honest and open financial and business climate.  As Barney Frank said during the prior episode, if the population had been calling loudly enough for tough financial reform, then Dodd-Frank could have done much more.

There have been decades of deregulation and I can't imagine that the Republicans are the only culprits here.  Both Democrats and Republicans have been taking payola from the major corporations for decades.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

U.S. not "trying that hard" on exports according to GE's Immelt - Balance of Trade and economic weakness

Reuters recently ran an interview with GE's CEO Immelt in which he laid out a case that the U.S. economy is weak because the U.S. is not trying hard enough to raise exports.  The basic idea is that it's other countries who are building actual products for export, and that the countries who export actual products are the ones earning revenue.  The U.S. manufacturing has been weakened by decades of globalization moving what used to be U.S. manufacturing to other countries.  I'm sure that General Electric has done their share of offshoring and moving manufacturing overseas, so this is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black.

"We're not trying that hard," Immelt told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event in New York on Monday. "We haven't really tried as hard as we can to compete, educate and sell our products around the world, and I think we can do better."

Immelt is a CEO of a major corporation, a life-long Republican, and a top advisor to the Obama Administration on Jobs and the Economy.  Hence what he has to say carries some weight.  He's also part of the 1% right?

The nation's economic malaise, now in its third year, has left many Americans angry and frustrated, Immelt said, and people in power need to empathize.  "Unemployment is 9.1 percent. Underemployment is much higher than that, particularly among young people that don't have a college degree," Immelt said. "It is natural to assume that people are angry, and I think we have to be empathetic and understand that people are not feeling great."

Immelt offers a poorly stated plan for a solution to this:  "The only way to solve this specific problem is growth," Immelt said. "If unemployment comes down, people will feel better. If unemployment goes up, people will feel worse, no matter what goes on Wall Street."

Ah.. if only it were that simple.  Growth!  Right!

Uh.. the reason the U.S. manufacturing is weak is because of offshoring production into a globalized economy.  Sorry, Immelt, but I think your suggestions deserve to be ridiculed.


U.S. not "trying that hard" on exports: GE's Immelt

Messaging Miracle (VIDEO): Obama Says GOP Plan is “Dirtier Air, Dirtier Water”

The Obama Administration has found a winning talking point on their Jobs plan.  To focus on how the Republican plan is "Dirtier Air, Dirtier Water" .. etc ..


Who protects us from banking swindlers? Rachel Maddow, Barney Frank, on the Dodd-Frank law that's getting attention in OccupyWallStreet and 'Bank Transfer Day' protests

The OccupyWallStreet movement and its sister movement, Bank Transfer Day, are up in arms about banking bailouts, the general state of banks swindling the mass populace, and so on.  Part of the anger is at the Dodd-Frank bill.  Rachel Maddow had Barney Frank (the Frank in Dodd-Frank) on to discuss protest movements and consumer protection laws.

Maddow started the segment going over the Bank Transfer Day planned protest - and discussing what she calls Banks and other Corporations committing Swindles against all of us.  An example was an American aid worker who was in Haiti on the day of the massive earthquake last winter, who shot a bunch of cell phone video uploading it to the Internet so she could tell her friends and family she's okay, and ended up with a $35,000 charge for going over her data plan allowance.  A recent regulation change is requiring cell phone companies to notify their customers before committing the swindle of charging for going over data plan limits.

Whether that particular instance was a swindle or not is debatable - but it's true that in general the Corporations and Rich People (the 1%) are continually lobbying to tilt the playing field in their favor, to remove regulations in the name of personal freedom and whatnot but for the real purpose of swindling us - their customers.

I would refer back to something like the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration.  Perhaps the food industry feels overly burdened by the regulations, but the food industry also proved a hundred years ago that they're quite willing to sell crap poisoned products they claim are food.  In other words - in the Conservative wing of the world they have an ideology of Enlightened Self Interest, and that by removing laws everyone will magically act out of Enlightened Self Interest and make their behaviors benefit others, because they know in Enlightened Self Interest other peoples behaviors will benefit themselves.  It sounds great in theory until you remember that there are plenty of people who have zero enlightened self interest, and are instead bent on screwing everyone they can so they themselves can get ahead.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Arrests of OccupyWallStreet protesters in Boston, arrest threats in Seattle ...

The OccupyWallStreet movement is the latest happening thing in America.  To me it seems like some memes from the "Arab Spring" touched nerves in the U.S. and became this outrage at Wall Street.  What's happening is in cities across the U.S. (maybe it's spread to other countries?) clusters of people have formed, camping out in their downtown areas (e.g. in San Francisco they're camped out on the sidewalk in front of the SF branch of the Federal Reserve) demanding ..something..  It's one thing to have outrage, it's another thing to focus the outrage into meaningful change especially when there's so many opinions of just what change there is to make.

It's also interesting to view this process through the different lenses available.  These popular uprisings have happened in several countries this year, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya, and now the U.S., and in each country events have unfolded in different ways, and it's been portrayed differently.  There's a way ones perspective or point of view changes how you interpret these things.

In the U.S. we're seeing Officialdom responding to protesters camped out downtown with police force and arrests.  In NYC a couple weeks ago hundreds of protesters were herded onto the Brooklyn Bridge, where they were arrested for blocking traffic.  We see below that in Boston a hundred or so protesters were arrested in a 1am raid with police attacking a group named "Veterans for Peace".  Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has expressed sympathy for the issues expressed by the protesters, saying that corporate fraud and greed are issues he's worked on his whole political career, "But you can't tie up a city" in defending the arrests.  In other words he's saying that the functioning of the city is more important than the protest/ers?

In Seattle the protesters were told the city was not at that time planning to commit any arrests.  However the location of their encampment, Westlake Park, is supposed to close at 10pm each night and the city officials are demanding that protesters obey that regulation, and are threatening arrests.  Further police there are banning people from carrying umbrella's; it's Seattle, everyone carries umbrella's, but protesters who want to stay outside for days at a time and stay dry will rely on umbrella's, so by banning umbrella's it's a sneaky way to make it hard on protesters to do their thing.

I'm sure the Mayor of Cairo had similar thinking last Jan/Feb with the thousands upon thousands of protesters camped out in the center of that city.  I'm sure he woulda said something like "But you can't tie up a city."   The throngs of Egyptian protesters had huge international positive press coverage, with throngs of people around the world rooting for them.  I'm sure it was inconvenient to the Egyptians to have their city blocked up by protesters, with Officialdom in part simply desiring to restore "order".  The Egyptian protesters could have complied with "you can't tie up a city" and kept their protests limited enough to let the city keep functioning, but they didn't.  They had a political regime to change, a society to remake into a positive format, converting it from brutal dictatorship to one that treats its people humanely.

The job of the Mayor is to keep the city running, right?  One could argue that a Mayor who lets protesters run rampant and disrupt things isn't doing his/her job in keeping order.  Even if in the greater scheme of things, the protesters are advocating for positive and worthy change, in the process they're disrupting order.  It's the job of the Mayor or Governor or whatever Officialdom, to work to keep the population orderly and functioning smoothly.  In other words "you can't tie up a city".

On the other hand creating change does mean interrupting the current order of how things are done, so things can be changed into a new/different order.  You can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs.

You might think that in the U.S. we don't have as dire a situation as they had/have in Egypt.  That our situation in the U.S. isn't as desperate as the Egyptian's or Libyan's.  But, maybe our situation is as dire, or more so, and maybe our situation is part and parcel of their situation.

The Occupy<City> movement has identified "Wall Street" as the culprits.  What they're be pointing to is the corporate-greed-control complex that has subverted the political systems not just in the U.S. but around the world.  In the U.S. a symptom has been the rampant fraud in housing mortgages - Almost a quarter of all home mortgages today are currently underwater, 2 million homes are in the foreclosure process – and at least 5 million homes have already lost to foreclosure since 2007.  A lot of it due to corporatists who set up a fraudulent system to defraud these millions of home owners out of their homes.

But the same corporatists are committing other financial sins all around the world.   "Globalization" means that it's the same global-elite-power-corporatists everywhere.  They are dominating not only the U.S. but the whole world economy.  The issues faced in Egypt in part are the same issues we have in the U.S.  In both cases our political systems have been subverted by the global power/money/elite structure, and many rightfully see e.g. the economic meltdown etc as a symptom of the looting and fraud behind the banking chaos.



Boston Police Attack Veterans for Peace by @haveyoumetter for @DigBoston

Boston’s mayor: “Civil disobedience will not be tolerated”

The worst OWS moment so far

Seattle pressures protesters to relocate

Jubilee 2012?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Presidential Candidate Romney would bring Bush's NeoCon's back into power for more of their abysmally failing policies

In a speech on Friday Oct 7, 2011, Romney made a promise which should cause many to reject him for seeking to re-establish the utterly abysmal policy failures of the Bush43 administration.  Most news coverage didn't comment on on the meaning of the promise, but fortunately Rachel Maddow not only noticed this but opened her show that evening with awesome discussion of that promise (see video below).  What was the promise?  It was that he would lead the country into what he called “an American Century.”

The speech was his foreign policy vision, was delivered at The Citadel, and was on the 10th anniversary of the start of the Afghanistan war.  The speech called for strengthening the military and economy, which is expected rhetoric from a Republican.  What stands out is the phrase “an American Century,” the history of that phrase (Project For A New American Century), that he has hired a dozen or so PNAC Neocon's to be foreign policy advisors, and how the rhetoric strongly refers back to the PNAC Neocon policies that fueled the utter abysmal failures of the Bush43 years.

Sounds nice and benign doesn't it?  Calling for a stronger military and economy is expected from Republicans.  The phrase "An American Century" surely sounds nice to a country accustomed to being the strongest/richest country of this era.  To understand the significance of “an American Century” we have to revisit the Bush43 years, and think over what happened, so that by remembering our history we can avoid committing the same failures again.

His words connect directly with The Project for a New American Century, an infamous Neocon think-tank from the 90's that concocted the whole nightmare plan of "Let's Invade Iraq To Establish Moderate Friendly Democracy In The Middle East To Sway The Middle East To Be Friendly To Us".

The Invade-Iraq-To-Sway-The-Middle-East plan originated in the mid-90's in position papers published by the PNAC.  PNAC members used those position papers in political rabble rousing, congressional testimony, etc, and eventually many PNAC members came into power when Bush43 was elected.  Then the 9/11 attack happened and you may recall the perpetrators had been living in Afghanistan but were primarily Saudi nationals.  And that Iraq had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.  And the Bush43 administration lied and connived things to make it look like Iraq was a horrible evil threat that had to be extinguished, never mind that the threat came from Afghanistan and that the threat-mongers were getting away scott-free.  The illegal war against Iraq was launched because of how the Bush43 administration twisted facts around the 9/11 attack to justify attacking Iraq.

Hence the PNAC Neocons originated the Invade-Iraq plan in the 90's, they came into power with Bush43, then used their first opportunity to twist American policy into committing the U.S. to a war to topple the Iraqi government.

But let's get back to Romney - because his actions are more profound than a simple statement in a speech.  He has hired a dozen or more former Bush43 Administration staffers, as foreign policy advisors, who had played key roles in creating the policies just outlined, and were of the PNAC Neocon crowd.  When Romney promised us “an American Century,” then, he can only have been referring to the Project For A New American Century.

Especially given the rhetoric from the speech that's directly out of the PNAC talking points:
“In an American Century, America has the strongest economy and the strongest military in the world.  In an American Century, America leads the free world and the free world leads the entire world.”
“If America is the undisputed leader of the world, it reduces our need to police a more chaotic world.  But know this: While America should work with other nations, we always reserve the right to act alone to protect our vital national interest.”
“full spectrum of hard and soft power to influence events before they erupt into conflict.”
These statements come directly out of the PNAC mythology.  That America must assert a Pax Americana upon the world because we are the strongest country, the sole remaining superpower, and that it's our duty as a moral and strong country to force other countries to behave correctly.  Or something like that.

The last statement eerily harkens of Bush43's pre-emptive war doctrine.  That it is correct to stomp on countries we knew are going to commit evil before they did so.  And that we have the right to "act alone," presumably flouting international law just as the Bush43 administration did.

What actually happened under the Bush43 administration was wholesale flouting of International law, repeated treasonous acts by  administration officials, lies to Congress, lies to the UN (The "case" for War), lies to the American people, the launching of an illegal stupid war against Iraq (Background material for the second Gulf "War"Is the Gulf War II Impeachable?Powell Rebuts criticismNext: Iran?It's Official - No WMD FoundThe Man who Knew: More about the LiesPerle admits invasion was illegal: Say what?Review: Uncovered: The Whole Truth about the Iraq …Review: Will they trust us again?How the White House Embraced Disputed Arms Intelli…US Invasion of Iraq officially FRAUDAn utter and abysmal failure) that has caused tremendous pain and suffering throughout the Middle East, and much more.

As Maddow noted in the segment visible below, Romney also announced his national security advisory team.  That team of 22 people included 15 from the Bush43 administration, 6 of whom had been part of the Project for a New American Century crowd.  These are the people who advised the Bush43 administration into doing all the stupid things perpetrated in those years.

Hence, it's fair game to assume his plan is to reincarnate the Bush43 years.  Lest we want to live through that nightmare story again, this is a presidential candidate that must be defeated.

In Foreign Policy Speech, Romney Calls for an ‘American Century’

Mitt Romney calls for century of American dominance: Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential frontrunner, has called for a century of American dominance and greater defence spending, in his first major venture into US foreign policy.

Romney Gives Bush Neocons Another Chance

And for more on PNAC, here's Source Watch's site on them -- Project for the New American Century.