On The Money with Peter Hebert

January 19, 2011

“Banker, banker … you have nothing.”

Filed under: Commentary — Peter Hebert @ 2:02 AM

Spaniards storm Banco Santander and sing: “Banker, banker … you have nothing. We have the money for the credit portfolio you want to collect on.”

January 18, 2011

The State versus the Individual

Filed under: Commentary — Peter Hebert @ 7:26 PM

In the immediate days after the Arizona massacre, Mark Potok appeared on MSNBC to rant on an on about the dangers of Ayn Rand and subversive ideas within “the radical right.” Potok never suggested banning or burning Rand’s books, but he clearly suggested that Rand’s ideas were threatening to his visions for what America should and should not be. But, Potok is wrong in blaming the right and in blaming Rand for her “dangerous ideas.”
The theme of the State versus the individual has its genesis in World War I protests. These anti-war and truther protests were led by leftists and anarchists. The idea of the individual versus the State, ironically, starts with the founder of the American Civil Liberties Union. This organization’s core message is that the State has no right over the bodies and lives of people. The organization rose as the result of the founder’s protests against World War I.
The Department of Justice and J. Edgar Hoover went after the pacifist professor Alexander Baldwin, who was the director of the Civil Liberties Bureau. After he refused to submit to the draft, Baldwin was charged, found guilty, and then sentenced on October 30, 1918 to one year in an Atlanta, Georgia federal prison. Before he was sentenced, Baldwin addressed Judge Julius M. Mayer with:

“The compelling motive for refusing to comply with the Draft Act is my uncompromising opposition to the principle of conscription of life by the State for any purpose whatever in time of war and peace.”

Baldwin in essence argued that the State does not have the supreme power over the individual. He spoke about freedom and was opposed to the “autocratic industrial system, with its wreckage of poverty, misery, crime, childhood robbed of its right to free growth ….”
After Baldwin got out of jail, he became the first director of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920. J. Edgar Hoover kept a file on Baldwin after his release and resumption of activities in the cause of individual freedom.
Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, anarchists, formed the No Conscription League, which stood in opposition to “all wars waged by capitalist governments.”
In her article “Patriotism: A Menace to Liberty” that appeared in the 1917 issue of Mother Earth, Goldman stated:

“The greatest bulwark of capitalism is militarism. The very moment the latter is undermined, capitalism will totter.”

In Goldman’s view, and in the view of the nation’s other anti-war protest groups, conscripted soldiers on both sides were just butcher’s assistants in the service of affluent industrialists with property and commercial interests.
Ironically, people like Baldwin, Goldman, and Berkman – leftists and anarchists – were the intellectual forefathers of the modern individualist, sovereign citizen, and truther that so upsets the establishment. Potok has it wrong, which is why mainstream media outlets like MSNBC undercut their credibility each time he appears to present his skewed take on the nation’s pulse beat and political landscape.
Potok might want to revisit the writings of Benito Mussolini. Under Mussolini’s fascism, the State creates the nation—not the other way around. And, man exists for the totalitarian state. The nation and people find their expression through national syndicates called corporations, which society creates through legislation. Mussolini’s fascism was opposed to humanism, liberalism, individualism, democracy, socialism, and the notion that the pursuit of happiness is a right. Potok is advancing patriotic fascism, not liberty and freedom that the overwhelming majority of Americans value.

Excerpts drawn from Peter Hebert’s Predator Nation, coming in late Spring or early Summer 2011.

January 14, 2011

Sowing Confusion and Profiting from Tragedy

Filed under: Commentary — Peter Hebert @ 5:56 PM

The mainstream media narrative of the Arizona massacre opened with Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, and a memo from the Department of Homeland Security. They stated that Jared Loughner was suspected to have had ties with, or had been influenced by, “white supremacists” and those with conspiracy theories about a “Zionist Occupational Government” in control of the United States. Were the narratives laid down in the early moments of the Arizona massacre true? No. Not at all. The facts show that Southern Poverty Law Center, Anti-Defamation League, and the Department of Homeland Security are run by self-styled “experts,” who are idiotic, because they have an agenda that is not aligned with truth or accuracy.

What are the facts? Jared Loughner was not linked to American Renaissance as reported by Department of Homeland Security. He was not a returning veteran targeted and radicalized by anti government conspiracy theorists as suggested in an earlier report issued by Department of Homeland Security that enraged veterans. Napolitano stated, “We do not—nor will we ever—monitor ideology or political beliefs.” Yet, no one paying close attention to the Department of homeland Security believes that. Why then the unwarranted public indictment of American Renaissance? That organization’s positions are outside of the mainstream, and they have a First Amendment right to not be in the mainstream of opinion. Loughner was not interested in politics according to his friends and did not vote in the mid-term elections. He was a registered Democrat and also penciled in as an Independent. He was not a patriot or “truther” given that he video taped himself burning an American flag and posted the clip to You Tube. He was not part of a take our country back militia with camouflage, fatigues, and face paint that huddled with the boys in paint ball war games or beer bottle target practice. He also was not part of the Christian right with anti abortion positions given that he stated, “No. I will not trust in God.” Moreover, he had what appears to be a ritual altar, a “devil’s shrine,” with a skull. As one of my Facebook friends said, “A heart wherein rememberance of God is absent is liable to be controlled by the Devil.”

So why might Jared Loughner have gone on a shooting rampage? He had fixated a grudge on to Giffords. Why? He asked Giffords a question, “What is government if words have no meaning?” The Congresswoman replied to him in Spanish to a question he had asked in English. He concluded that she was “a fake,” which grew into a resentful grudge for being perhaps slighted and insulted. Jared Loughner was not political. But, like the majority in America, Loughner believed that “government was fucking us over.”

Was Jared Loughner Jewish and does it matter? He allegedly listed himself as Jewish on his MySpace page. His friend Bryce Tierney told Mother Jones that Jared’s mother was Jewish. Jared is not an uncommon Jewish name. It is rarely if at all used by others. Does it matter? No. It only matters if he is Jewish given how quick Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League attempted to sow fear of white supremacists and neo-Nazis lurking in America.

Who was Jared Loughner? He was a socially isolated person, detached and aloof. He was a pot head and a drug user, who allegedly quit using drugs. He once suffered from acute alcohol poisoning. He was in court in 2007 for a drug paraphernalia possession charge. He had nothing to do with Sarah Palin or the Tea Party. He more closely resembles Holden Caulfield from J.D. Salinger’s 1951 right of passage novel Catcher in the Rye or Alex DeLarge from Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 film Clockwork Orange.

Is there any relevance to Jared having read or owning a copy of Mein Kampf or Communist Manifesto as suggested by the “experts”? No. Anyone who wants to understand political science, political philosophy, and the 20th century needs to read those books otherwise they will remain not only uninformed, but easily manipulated by any state regardless of the nation in which they reside. Is it normal for a young person to be quirky? Yes. To want to get under someone’s skin? Yes. The issue is not the books or the dangerous and threatening ideas. The issue is that this young man never made a clean transition from adolescence into adulthood.

Jared Loughner was living out loud American Pulp Fiction as an alienated “liberationist.” Tierney, his friend, believes that Loughner thought like the Joker from the most recent Batman movie The Dark Night. “He fucks things up to fuck shit up, there’s no rhyme or reason, he wants to watch the world burn. He probably wanted to take everyone out of their monotonous lives: ‘Another Saturday, going to go get groceries’—to take people out of these norms that he thought society had trapped us in.”

Does drug use trigger schizophrenia or sociopathic behavior? Yes. Drug use can lead to mental illness. Moreover, antisocial behavior is more likely than schizophrenia as a result of drug use. Is there a relationship between mental illness and crime? Yes. The majority of those in jail for violent crimes suffer from mental illness. According to Dr. E Fuller Torrey, “A 2007 study by the U.S. Justice Department found that 56 percent of state prisoners, 45 percent of federal prisoners, and 64 percent of local jail inmates suffer from mental illnesses.” Ten percent of schizophrenics become violent. With over three million schizophrenics in the country, that is 300,000 potentially violent people. Arizona has 21,000 people with untreated schizophrenia. Ten percent of murders are committed by people with mental illness. Jared was one of them.

Was the massacre predictable? No. It could have happened anywhere in the nation.

Is mainstream media-driven polarization to blame? Both FOX News and MSNBC is packed with smug and self righteous talking heads, who are paid to shape public perception – not engage in real investigative journalism. Their competitive drive for authoritative dominance leads to highly charged debate and division in America, But, there is no evidence that the distasteful mainstream media is to blame for a mass shooting.

Is the two party system with over the top rhetoric to blame? There is no evidence of gun rhetoric used by political candidates as inciting violence. Psychotic thinking and political thinking are not the same. Psychotic thinking is a break with reality. Political thinking is based on divide, conquer, poll, and build consensus. What do the polls indicate? A CBS news poll indicated that 57 percent do not believe that the rough political environment was connected with the Arizona shooting. Should we tone down the heated rhetoric? Yes. Does it create a climate of hate? Yes.

Did Barack Obama’s race have anything to do with the Arizona massacre? Did “negro phobia,” to borrow an odd phrase used by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, fuel the massacre? No. The Obama Administration’s failed domestic, foreign, and economic policies indeed served as a lightening rod that divided America. But, race and failed government policies were not the cause.

Who are we as a people? We are a nation of high talk and a lot of denial of reality. The shooter, Jared, is a lost soul from a lost family from a community that saw the signs, yet did not intervene. Wednesday, the crowd applauded and applauded. Napolitano scripted as a high priest, not as the greeter from Walmart with the smiley face, “If you see something, say something.” An empty platitude wasted on a nation out of touch with the other families in the neighborhood and schools.

Are Walmart and its customers to blame for the Arizona shooting? No one called Janet Napolitano at the Department of Homeland Security. Perhaps, not enough people shopped at Walmart. Janet Napolitano seems to think that Walmart plays a strategic role in the nation’s security against domestic terrorism. But, how does Walmart play a role in detecting mental illness and drug abuse?

Senator Pete Domenici (R-Arizona) was an advocate for better mental illness treatment. His daughter was a victim of this disability. I went to high school with her in the late-1970s. One third of our high school used drugs. We were the children of Congressmen, Senators, State Department personnel, and your run of the mill doctor, lawyer, and business owner. I don’t know what triggered his daughter’s mental illness. But, Domenici was an advocate for treatment of a silent and painful tragedy in many families across the nation.

What motives would Potok of Southern Poverty Law Center and Foxman of Anti-Defamation League have in propagating lies and misdirects through the media and Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement, and the public? Why would these organizations routinely propagate widespread fear about “armed Klan paramilitary forces,” “violent neo-Nazi extremists,” “skinheads” and the like? In the minds of people like Potok and Foxman, the world of non-Jews harbors a population of rabid anti-Semites and neo-Nazis beneath the surface of civility. Why? These organizations always do what they do best: sow confusion and profit from tragedy.

Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League purport to serve as a watch dog to protect Jews and Americans against hatred. But, is this true? No. If the perception of anti-Semitism, hatred, and bigotry can be created and sustained, the contributions come in. These organizations are funded by contributions. In 2000, Southern Poverty Law Center pulled in $44 million in contributions from the victims of their fear mongering. In 2009, Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual contributions had dropped to just $3.2 million, but it had accumulated $200 million in assets. Were these organizations at the forefront of racial profiling and housing discrimination issues in connection with mortgage lending and the foreclosure crisis? No. Why? How do you get the bankrupt with no assets to send in a check? It’s not going to happen. The checks come in from the middle class and affluent, some of whom are Jews, who have been victimized by Potok and Foxman’s unwarranted fear mongering.

Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League advance self-serving propaganda and anti-American interests that undermine freedom of speech. Southern Poverty Law Center recently objected to Public Broadcasting Service in Denver for broadcasting a documentary film about FEMA camps – an issue with its genesis in Oliver North’s Congressional testimony when Reagan was President. The Anti-Defamation League has a record of objecting to stations like the Public Broadcasting Service for airing programs that are critical of Israeli policies that have an adverse impact on Palestinians. Critics of the Anti-Defamation League have also pointed to Islam-o-phobia in America as being rooted in some of its statements to the press. Political opponents have been routinely labeled “anti-Semites.” Are they Jew haters? No. They are advocates for free inquiry and free speech. Some members of the Anti-Defamation League were on the watch list by the United States government after World War II. As recently as the 1990s, police raids took place on their offices in California for theft of police records.

Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League smear Americans, like people in Arizona, as haters and racists for wanting immigration laws enforced. What could be the motive for this? Could Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League represent corporate interests that want a North American Union or a New World Order run by bankers and corporations? I don’t know. What I do know is that these two organizations are frauds, should be repudiated and discredited.

Chris Matthews of MSNBC blamed Palin. Democrats blamed guns. Glenn Beck of FOX News blamed truthers. Hillary Clinton while in the Middle East blamed “extremists.” Anti-Defamation League blamed those with “a distrust of government.” Southern Poverty Law Center blamed “white supremacists” and readers of Ayn Rand. Homeland Security blamed American Resistance. No one blamed heavy drug use, mental illness, isolation, and alienation. What should we conclude? All of the “experts” are idiotic and liars.

The memorial service on Wednesday served to respect the dead; and comfort the survivors, wounded, and grieving nation. The heroic were honored. Yet, there was much that was out of place. Elected and appointed officials, not clergy, served as readers of the liturgy with readings from the Old and New Testaments. Was there anything wrong with that? Yes and no. Cheering college students and applauses gave us the impression that America is populated with social and emotional misfits, who were out of step with what should have been a solemn assembly. We were puzzled by what struck us as really bizarre and inappropriate responses given a shooting spree massacre and assassination. I don’t think members of government should act as our high priests reading from the Old and New Testaments, and I think the American Civil Liberties Union should stay out of the matter. It’s inappropriate for our elected and appointed government representatives to cross into a sacred sphere in that I would rather have seen a rabbi and a priest handle the service. Janet Napolitano’s reading of Isaiah was moving, but her self-branded image as the mascot for Walmart detracted from the message.

What were the proposals from Congress? It was not a law requiring members of Congress to not answer in Spanish when the question is posed in English. It was not a law to encourage faith in God or respect towards religion as a civilizing force for good. It was not a law requiring Americans to turn off the television and spend more time with the neighbors. It was not better mental health care programs and outreach for the untreated. It was not a say no to drug abuse campaign. It was not a drug rehabilitation program.

It was paranoid. Restrict the size of a gun clip. Yet, just one bullet is enough to cause a national tragedy. It was self serving. Restrict gun owners with a weapon to 1,000 feet from an elected official. And, what about every one else? Jon Stewart’s response was not only mocking of the small mindedness of some in American government, but more clever. Were members of Congress giving in to fear as suggested by Stewart? I don’t think so. I think Congress was doing what it knows how to do best – being pig headed and stupid to continue to anger the majority of Americans.

What was the public reaction? Sales of handguns, especially the Glock, experienced a nice upward bump. The public uses the same logic as all governments around the world. If the other side has five tanks, we will have ten tanks. If the other side has five fighter jets, we will have ten that fly higher and faster. Is the public naive, fearful, or simply wanting to be prepared given the intelligence data? On the surface it would seem the public response is odd, but it is not given that the wisdom of crowds is far wiser than the wisdom in the halls of Congress.

January 11, 2011

911 … Police, fire, or rescue? Not sure, but it’s a nightmare

Filed under: Commentary — Peter Hebert @ 7:14 PM

It was a cold and heartless January 2011 with one exception. Ted William’s golden voice caught nationwide attention, and a prodigal son was lifted from homelessness as he returned to a life with dignity.

December 31, 2010, John Wheeler III’s body was discovered in a Delaware garbage dump. Wheeler, a former Pentagon official, had sued a New Castle couple for building a home across the street from his house. Wheeler may have been too smart for his own good. West Point, Harvard business school, and Yale law school are all of the credentials that could easily turn good brains into a loathsome character that displays repulsive arrogance. Wheeler was connected to three Presidents, had the highest security clearances, and was an expert on biological warfare. He knew too much and was opposed to the use of biological weapons. If someone wanted to make a statement, Wheeler’s tragic ending was that statement.

On New Year’s day and in the days that followed, odd reports of mass animal kills surfaced around the world. Birds, fish, alligators, turtles, and shell fish caught the world’s attention as mass kills were reported in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, California, Illinois, Florida, Brazil, Australia, Sweden, and Italy. In the post office the topic came up, and a woman directed me to Zephaniah, which I looked up when I got home. The Old Testament prophet Zephaniah warned, “I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth, ” declares the LORD. “I will sweep away both man and beast; I will sweep away the birds in the sky and the fish in the sea—and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble. When I destroy all mankind on the face of the earth,” declares the LORD. (Chapter 1, Verses 2-3). Many people at social networking sites posted suspicions of phosgene gas and the death of Wheeler as an inside the government attempt to silence a whistle blower. Scientists, however, said that mass animal kills are normal.

January 8, Jared Loughner went on a psychotic shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona where he shot 16 and killed six people. True to his video clips posted online, Loughner “let the bodies hit the floor.” Among them were United States District Court for the District of Arizona Judge John M. Roll, who was shot dead; and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head.

Loughner’s behavior, when more carefully examined, appears less to be connected with political ideology. His book list was required high school and freshman college reading. Loughner appears to be in the same line of people as the Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedel and the Virginia tech shooter Seung Hui Cho. These tragic lives resemble Holden Caufield’s out of Catcher in the Rye. On the continuum between schizophrenia and MK ultra, however, Loughner leans towards the MK ultra side of the scale given his statements and video clips and appearance in court. A mere one percent of the population is schizophrenic. That’s about three million Americans.

Judge Roll made a controversial ruling. “In 2009, Roll ruled that the case Vicente v. Barnett could go forward. The $32 million lawsuit brought by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) against Arizona rancher Roger Barnett on behalf of 16 Mexican plaintiffs charged that the plaintiffs were assaulted, threatened, and held at gunpoint by Barnett and members of his family.” For those who believe that life is random and filled with accidents, Roll was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Among the many sentiments on the Internet regarding Roll after his murder were those that expressed relief that he was gone, but disapproval of his murder.

Congresswoman Giffords switched from the Republican to the Democratic party in 2010. She supported President Obama’s health care plan, which provoked both a nationwide protest and litigation by many states against the federal government. To compound matters, Arizona’s District 8 sits on a 114 mile border with Mexico. As described by The New York Times, “The district has become a caldron of divisions over government spending, immigration, health care and Barack Obama.” Her vandalized office and the really rough town hall meetings were the “if you see something, say something” signs that Janet Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security failed to notice. The gun rhetoric used by some politicians and some in the media also escaped Napolitano’s notice. The department’s focus under Napolitano instead was on Walmart’s mostly lower income and foreign born customers, who follow low prices. Loughner followed those low prices and bought his bullets at Walmart. No one saw anything suspicious, so no one said anything, and no one called Napolitano. Even if they had, no one at Department of Homeland Security would have picked up the phone since the government agency is closed on the weekends. Besides, his parents, neighbors, classmates, and teachers reported nothing, because they knew nothing.

The earlier comments about a “hate crime” possibly at play given that Giffords is Jewish was misplaced since Loughner is also Jewish. The likelihood that Loughner targeted Giffords, because of race or religion made no sense. Yet, FOX News reported “suspected anti-Semitic motives.” And, a Department of Homeland Security memo noted that Loughner may be linked to anti government and anti “Zionist Occupational Government” organizations (i.e., the belief that Jews control the U.S. government). Smear and fear mongering Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center made the mainstream media rounds to warn the mesmerized nation about the dangers of white supremacists and gold hoarders as potential terrorists. Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League asserted that Loughner had “a generic distrust” of government (like about 80 percent of the American public). Loughner also had a dislike for religion (like the American Civil Liberties Union). He mocked Christianity and believers like the Columbine killers Eric David Harris and Dylan Bennet Klebold (Klebold also had a Jewish background). He also had a vague interest in conspiracy theories (like any reader of a Congressional commission report as in the Warren Commission or the 9/11 Commission). None of these idiotic “experts,” who shape public opinion, addressed mental illness or family dysfunction as the more likely contributing factors in shaping a natural born killer.

Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church announced that he was thankful for Loughner’s actions and planned to picket the funerals. It seems that in Phelps’ repulsive presentation of God to the world, the wrath of God is here, and America deserves it and more.

Zionists and New World Order planners behind American politics promoted Sarah Palin to a national level far beyond what was warranted. She’s got good looks and poor judgment, hardly the qualifications for The White House. Palin’s gun rhetoric appealed to those afraid Obama sought to disarm Americans prior to ushering in socialism and rounding up resisters into FEMA camps by railway cars. All the bravado about being locked, loaded, targeted and stuff like that really worked better in a John Wayne film. It’s the type of imagery that foreigners to this day think about when they look at America. It’s the rough riding American with cow boy hats, crocodile boots, and quick trigger fingers. Thanks to her handlers and backers, Palin took the notion of the ugly American to a new level. She was not alone. The mainstream media fully participated in the over the top rhetoric and fueled the polarization of our society.

But, the poor taste in public discourse and rude behavior in the political process are not the reasons Loughner locked, loaded, and targeted people in public. Andy Warhol said that everyone gets their 10 minutes of fame in America. In this case, it was global notoriety. Loughner showed up in court looking like Aleister Crowley with a bizarre triumphant look on his face complete with shaved eyebrows. Yes, Loughner wants the world to know he’s insane. What he did was insane. What is equally bizarre is how poorly connected Tucson’s residents are. The neighbor across the street from the Loughner’s since 1972 did not even know that family’s last name. The same alienation and isolation in America’s neighborhoods is probably nationwide, a social illness, due to over exposure to television as a substitute for community and socializing.

January 10, Ashley Turton, a lobbyist, was burned to death in her BMW SUV that was parked inside her garage near Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Her husband Dan Turton works in the White House as the deputy director of legislative affairs, and is the liaison with the House of Representatives.

I see a lot of troubling and suspicious things, but Janet Napolitano at Department of Homeland Security is not the person to call unless it’s descriptive name calling as in idiotic. Had I called 911 during the first 10 days of January 2011 and heard, “Police, fire, or rescue?” I would have answered, “Not sure. But, it’s a nightmare.”

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