When You Wish Upon A Death Star

Disney has given itself to the dark side.

I don’t say that as another outraged fan boy irritated by nerdy expectations, but as an historian who understands the profound inspirational power of art. I’m also astounded by the lengths that America’s imperial bread and circus brigades have proven willing to go to direct our ever fleeting attention spans toward their illusions.

Truth may be the first casualty in war, but the mechanics of that casualty involve significant co-opting of stories that bind our cultures together. The Vatican successfully assimilated the Celtic peoples of Northern Ireland by incorporating Judea-Christian names into ancient Gaelic stories, altering the cultural stories away from the traditions associated with the history of the people. These edits and omissions happened incrementally enough that after a while, many never noticed as their entire culture was rewritten.

Myths and Legends matter. They represent the art of informing subsequent generations of long established truths. And the medium of film presents perhaps the most powerful conveyance system ever conceived for expressing who we are and where our priorities lie. Cultural stories give us a shared sense of meaning and solidarity. The art of Cinema is the literal production of Motion Pictures, that is, pictures on the wall that evolve and morph and tell a story and pull you in and reconcile your emotional experience of the world.

Film was explicitly designed for dissent. It was designed to discuss alternative ideas. It was designed to push our collective narratives toward a perspective of advancing how our society examines itself – indeed, how we examine ourselves as individuals within it.

But an art form as influential as this couldn’t last as a pure medium forever. Greedy industrialists, seeing the obvious profit and propaganda potentials of film, smothered the reels with their greasy hands and began to turn it to the dark side. Now the engines of industrial art seem absolutely determined to sully one of the most important legends of the 20th century.

In essence, Star Wars: A New Hope was the story of an orphaned farm boy who became radicalized after a military strike killed what was left of his family, thus becoming indoctrinated in an ancient religion, in-turn deciding to accompany a band of insurgents on a terrorist attack that would kill hundreds of thousands of men and women. Given that appraisal, what unpatriotic pariah could possibly see any glory in such tripe? Given that appraisal, couldn’t we consider the rewriting of this myth as a good thing?

But Star Wars: A New Hope also represented the familiar story of discovering that we are more than just our flesh; that our being extends out into the universe around us; that we are all one consciousness; that the most yielding will always overcome the most rigid; that there is good inside the most evil among us. It told a story of profound forgiveness. A young man believed so strongly that his father could be saved from the dark side’s influence that he sacrificed himself to do so. After himself being tempted by the dark side, he tosses away his weapon and taunts the emperor by refusing to kill his father. The emperor responds by killing Luke slowly with painful force lightning, in-turn awakening a sense of empathy within Vader, who tosses the emperor into down the Death Star’s reactor shaft, killing him. Luke could not have known for certain that his gamble would produce fruit, but verified the belief that light will always overcome darkness in the end.

It seems rather obvious that the American Empire might want to co-opt and redirect our attention away from such a narrative. And it seems that the best way to kill something great, is to make as many copies of copies as possible and sell them to us.

So one of the corporations representing our friendly neighborhood Ministry of Truth bought the trademark to the story and now fills our consciousness with its mediocre rewrites, and not only because it knows it can make a buck doing so. Let’s remember why the demand for Disney to turn a buck on Star Wars exists in the first place: because the essence of Star Wars represented a unifying perspective that deeply touched and inspired millions, thus forming an entire culture around it – a culture now under attack by postmodern nihilism. Case and point, examine the line in the newest film:

Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. It’s the only way to become what you’re meant to be.”

Although this seems on the surface to mirror the sentiment of Forrest Gump’s assertion that “youve got to put the past behind you before you can move on,” it also constitutes an expression of postmodern nihilism. Within the context of producing yet another Star Wars film, the quote illustrates a mentality of complacency. It seeks to encourage cultural amnesia and historic myopia.

Disney’s new Star Wars films are proving themselves as tools for the subtle interjection of corporate messages and imperialist propaganda. They’re loaded with plot holes, logical fallacies, and embarrassing errors. They’re easy to understand, and instantly forgettable. They also happen to be worth a truckload of money.

In the same way, the cartoonish fairy tale we were all told about WMDs in Iraq was a corporate piece of imperial propaganda loaded with plot holes, logical fallacies, and embarrassing errors. But the story was easy to understand, and instantly forgettable. It also happened to be worth a truckload of money.

And these new Disney films have more in common with WMD’s than simply fulfilling their role as keys to distracting society’s attention. They’re stories that are received much differently by the people than they are the experts at public relations. They’re also stories with the power to shape culture by their immediate influence. The WMD story succeeded in mobilizing the massive forever-war that no one was allowed to challenge without undergoing accusations of betraying patriotic loyalty. As Reverend Billy Talen says, sentimental patriotism is the same thing as extreme consumerism, and Disney’s new Star Wars films seem to impose both.

The imposition of mindless entertainment seems to prevent such realization from ever occurring. We Americans can’t ever really know that much about foreign policy when the very engines of our culture – in this case, the entertainment mediums that dominate our collective consciousness with ever-increasing leverage – implicitly encourage us to passively accept blind obedience to authority. After all, you don’t want to spoil the circus for your neighbor by doing too much thinking, now do you? You shouldn’t remind people, for instance, that the most advanced humanoids that have ever walked this rock are right now dropping explosive shells on children around the world, while attending pastiche entertainments that explicitly glorify such behavior.

And why is this? Why does our culture seem to have such a pathological aversion to bad news – to criticism – to thinking? Could it have anything to do with the fact that many of the films we watch reinforcecompliance and apathy? Aren’t we just there to fill our minds withexplosions and cool space battles?

After all, it’s not as if films riddled with deus ex machinas might promote a culture of intellectual laziness, right?

Why be bothered by unnecessary indulgences such as plot and character development? We’ll forget all about this movie in a couple of months anyway – unlike the original films. But with each new addition we all care about the original story less and less. With every subsequent release of a new Star Wars film, a once great unifying cultural force that extended beyond the bounds of race, religion or class, becomes less significant.

At the same time, Disney has positioned itself to be one of the most influential departments in the ministry of truth, for as they co-opt the cultural icon of Star Wars, they have also aligned themselves with the annual repetition of Christmas. The aim seems obvious enough; release new Star Wars films around the holidays and you can maximize toy sales. It does indeed provide Disney corporation with an excuse to sell us the same Darth Vader and Millennium Falcon themed products every Christmas, thereby reinforcing the principal edict of American Culture: unfettered consumerism.

But something even more insidious appears to be happening as well.

Disney is gradually inserting itself as one of the principal arbiters of culture for modern American life. The stories and traditions of the Winter Solstice that extend back into the eons now must compete against a new corporate tradition that seeks to capture our collective attention. In one fell swoop, Disney assert themselves as the high authority of both Christmas and Star Wars, and in-turn, the attention of those to whom the lore matters.

Seen in this way, the new Star Wars releases aren’t “just movies.” They represent what may be among the greatest disappointments in cinematic history – a mockery of a once great cultural perspective. And we’re guaranteed to be reminded of it ad infinitum.

Perhaps surprise may be an inappropriate reaction regarding the behavior of Disney – a corporation that lobbied congress to extend copyright terms by decades in order to severely limit the public domain. And beings that influence breeds an addiction to power which can only beget a craving for yet more power, the consolidation of corporate influence seems to inevitably point to the eventual assimilation of all things relevant into a singular entity, like the Umbrella Corporation of Resident Evil.

I see two possible outcomes here. Both involve Disney’s continuous barrage of Star Wars movies, but they differ on why Disney stops producing them. In the first scenario, people begin to hate all things Star Wars and forget the original narrative completely. We’re forced to endure the mind-assault of a continuous barrage of increasingly awful things emblazoned with the Star Wars brand to the point that we might eventually forget all about the inspiring acts and deeds of courageous rebels taking on an intimidating Galactic Empire. It makes sense that this might be desirable for the American Empire.

The parallels between the original films and the American Empire seem too embarrassing for orthodox imperial culture to endure. To wipe away this inconvenient stain, the empire employs their skilled propagandists at the Ministry of Truth, and who better within the cabal of Hollywood, than Disney, to do this? It was Disney, after all, that wrote, directed and shot scores of propaganda films during the Second World War. So who better to erase an annoying tale of imperial hypocrisy?

Today’s Hollywood regularly celebrates mindless entertainment purely for the sake of mindless entertainment, as a lovely distraction away from the desert of the real. Corporate media institutions prey on the naive minds of audiences who lack their own life experience to make their own judgments. But surely, Disney oozes benevolence. What kind of heretic could possibly have suspicious eyes for the magnanimous magic of Disney?

If the big, bad wolf disguises himself within the folds of innocuous costumes to keep from prematurely alarming his prey, then what better vessel for the darkest forces of all to inhabit than the unassuming innocence of Disney? Then again, Disney’s recent acquisition of Fox for $52 Billion may threaten to war thin the perceived innocence of their brand.

In our first scenario, Disney masquerades through the world in the remains of an empty shell of inspiration, which seems like an unfortunate imperial triumph. So in the second scenario, I imagine a growing disgust for the use of electronic hallucinations to hypnotize us into set modes of thinking. It gradually takes more than one-dimensional characters and loads of special effects to maintain the attention of movie goers. Over time, a mind evolves among people who now grow tired of easily identifiable cliches, and cannot tolerate obvious fallacies or massive plot holes. A growing backlash begins to develop against the corporate consumer culture that seeks to dominate every aspect of our daily lives, especially around the holidays. Because Star Wars culture breeds Star Wars geeks. And if geeks are good at anything, it’s identifying inconsistencies. The culture of technically minded individuals who identified Han Solo’s mischaracterization of parsecs in the Mos Eisley Spaceport are the same folks annoyed by obvious plot holes. Geeks have led the way on many fronts, and they’re already losing interest in the Star Wars franchise.

Over time we begin to realize we’ve been sold another turd dipped in glitter; that the soft reboot that became Episode 7 constituted little more than a scene-for-scent remake of A New Hope, wherein we meet our protagonist on a desert planet – again – by means of a droid carrying top secret plans to a giant Super Weapon – again – who almost gets crushed in a trash compactor – again – before triumphantly flying through the exhaust trench of aforementioned Super Weapon – again – to blow up another ominous space station. It could be said to be a point by point copy of A New Hope, but without pesky distractions like good acting, thorough character development, well-defined dialogue, an original thought, a firm grasp of tension and release, or a reason to care about what happens to any of the characters.

For me, the primary metric for gauging any piece of art is the question, “What did it make me feel?” By this standard, the worst films I’ve ever seen didn’t make me feel anything. The only characters I cared about at all in Rogue One, for example, were the droid and the blind Jedi. When they died, I did feel something. But I can’t remember either of their names, so I obviously didn’t care very much. And why should I? The suicidal nature of their mission meant that all of the characters were made to be disposable from the very beginning. And I’ve already seen this movie – it was called Saving Private Ryan directed by Stephen Spielberg. The only difference between Spielberg’s Private Ryan and this new one is that the new one has storm troopers instead of Germans.

In many ways the newest of the Star Wars films can be described as yet another remake, but this time of The Empire Strikes Back; A wannabe Jedi travels from an isolated planet to train, ignores their teacher’s advice, then learns who her parents are. Next we swap out Billy Dee Williams as the betrayal character for Benicio Del Toro. Finally, our remake becomes complete with scenes of a ground assault led by 4-legged imperial walkers that look just a little bit different, attacking a rebel base on white-desert planet, but unlike Hoth, this planet is covered in salt instead of snow.

There are many reasons that the newest Star Wars films are among the least-liked Star Wars movies by audience reviews. They could be described as a Midichlorian dumpster fire that now threatens to consume timeless cultural icons.The fine minds at Red Letter Media have even dubbed the Last Jedi, “the cinematic equivalent of Homer Simpson’s makeup shotgun.” But the professional critics seem to like it. I wonder why that could be.

Remember, the Vatican assimilated the Celts by incorporating Judea-Christian names into the myths, altering the cultural stories away from traditions associated with the history of the people. While these edits and omissions happened incrementally, some assimilation happens much more quickly. When a particular ideology landed on these eastern shores, so did the onset of cultural amnesia here in the Americas. Within just a few generations, the roaring fire of long established traditions extending back through the centuries of Amerindian antiquity, shrank to a meek candle flame, struggling against the wind to stay alive. The same mentality that sought to co-opt and dominate all philosophical doctrines before, now have their sights set on the subversive stories that emerged from within that very heart of their own Empire.

The good news is that this reign of psychological terror can end as soon as we grow tired of their electronic hallucinations. People power defeats propaganda. Education, after all, is subversive by its very nature, for it forces questions to the forefront that our masters don’t want us asking.

I for one feel optimistic. Just as Luke knew there to be good within Darth Vader, I believe the concept of ethics can one day awaken within the ownership class.

 

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Gabrielle Lafayette is a journalist, writer, and executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show.

Death Becomes the Fakestream Media

CNN continues reeling from its propagandistic Russia coverage as the network plummets into international disgrace, losing three prominent journalists. Thomas Frank, Eric Lichtblau, and Lex Haris all resigned after the network was forced to retract and apologize for yet another baseless accusation of illegal Trump/Russia collusion. This comes as The New York Times simultaneously retracts their own ‘Russiagate’ canard, alleging “17 intelligence agencies” made US election hacking reports when only 3 did – and those conclusions were drawn not by the actual agencies in full, but by a mere two dozen loyalists within said agencies (NSA, CIA, FBI), hand-selected by Russophobic eugenicist Clapper himself. As investigative journalist Robert Parry observes, if you ‘hand-pick’ the analysts, you are really hand-picking the conclusion.

Embarrassments of this sort might be too numerous to count when it comes to viral media stories hyping dubious Russia threats over the last year, but most American’s are no more shocked by this than we were by the fact that pro wrestling represents little more than staged fiction. Incidentally, pro wrestling and CNN both share identical broadcasting territory since they both just happen to be in the entertainment business.

But CNN still revels in it’s reckless claims, as exemplified by a series of new reports compiled by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas called American Pravda. O’Keefe has presented footage of CNN producer John Bonifield making shocking admissions about “ratings” acting as the primary driver behind a Russiagate story that he admits is “mostly BS.” Bonifield even suggests that Trump could be correct in his characterization of the story as a “witch hunt.”

O’Keefe’s revelations also include footage of CNN commentator Van Jones admitting the whole Russia story is “just a big nothing burger.”

Bonifield is right about the ratings though. Blatantly inane anti-Trump Russia conspiracies command a large audience because there is a voracious appetite among anti-Trump news viewers for stories, no matter how false, that they want to believe are true. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but it certainly doesn’t appear to be as lucrative. By Wikileaks’ count, there have been 3,490 fake news stories reciting the “17 agencies” lie. Ratings indeed.

In spite of this latest fiasco, the corporate media seems to be digging their heels in even further. Take, for example, CNN’s CEO Jeff Zucker, who insists that his network is “trusted now more than ever.” Unfortunately for Zucker, the battle for “most viewed” does not necessarily translate into “most trusted,” as recent poll numbers regarding viewer’s trust in the network’s integrity stand in stark contrast to his remarks. And the Times’ belated correction affirms the growing perception that corporate media has engaged in a political vendetta against Trump, casting aside professional standards to the point of repeating false claims simply to denigrate him.

The good news is that the corporate-Deep State’s ploy to scare us into compliance with this narrative has failed. Accusing anyone who dared express any skepticism about the Russiagate story of being a Kremlin sympathizer, one of Putin’s “useful idiots,” or even an outright agent for the Russian government, only emboldened researchers committed to authentic journalism. The false Russiagate narrative continues to persist solely due to the US Deep State’s regime change ambitions in Moscow and Damascus.

But at the end of the day, the American people really don’t seem to care about Russian hacking. They care about their ongoing struggle to make ends meet. They care about how they’re going to feed their children. They care about their vanishing job security, pensions, benefits and living wages. And it appears perfectly obvious that Russiagate served as yet another attempted distraction to draw attention away from crimes committed right in front of all of us, every single day, by the American ownership class.

So perhaps now we ask ourselves whether America’s masses will tolerate yet another involvement in yet another illegal war with yet another sovereign nation.

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Gabrielle Lafayette is a journalist, writer, and executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show.

The Power To Tax Is The Power To Destroy

April 15th has come and gone, and you know what that means. Either you’re recovering from a hangover caused by celebrating Seth Rogan’s birthday, or you were likely stressing to meet the IRS deadline to file your income taxes – unless you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who choose not to.

This is a subject that immediately raises contentions, especially among those who feel resentment towards so-called “tax dodgers”. It’s not surprising that those who choose to pay the income tax would naturally feel an acute irritation toward those deemed by the corporate media as “tax cheats” who refuse to “pay their fair share,” creating a void that must be filled in by everyone else.

Indeed, a hailstorm of media hatred followed the announcement that Oscar winner Emma Thompson and her husband Greg publicly declared their refusal to pay another penny in income tax until justice is served to the thousands of HSBC tax dodgers who have laundered billions of dollars in Mexican drug cartel money.

But Thompson’s ultimatum is just another chapter in a long fight, and exemplifies an ever-growing movement that continues to challenge the preconceived norms about what income taxes are actually designed to do. Such ranks are filled with the likes of IRS whistleblowers, accountants, and lawyers, alongside peace activists who have ceased filing income taxes on the grounds that they refuse to fund America’s illegal wars around the world.

However, if my father pays more income taxes than Exxon-Mobile, it seems obvious that something is drastically wrong with this system. I’d bet my bottom dollar that if you’re reading this text, you’ve likely paid more income tax over the course of your life than Boeing, General Electric, and Verizon combined; because Boeing, GE and Verizon consistently pay zero income taxes.

But I suppose the irritation toward so-called tax dodgers is easy enough to understand. After all, why do they think they can avoid their social responsibility to pay their fair share – right? Doesn’t that just mean the rest of us have to work harder? Isn’t it hypocritical for anyone to rely on the same government services we all pay for, if they evade their responsibility to contribute to them? 

This might seem logical, but Income Taxes do not contribute to government services. Not one little bit.

We know this is the case from one of the most striking testimonies on this subject, which, believe-it-or-not, was voiced by the government itself, within the findings of a White House panel known as the Grace Commission. Joseph Peter Grace was appointed by President Ronald Regan in 1982 to identify waste and inefficiency in the US Federal government. Grace requested that members of his commission “be bold” and “work like tireless bloodhounds, leaving no stone unturned in their search to root out inefficiency. Unfortunately, their conclusions were so shocking that the report has been buried, and most have never even heard of it.

The Grace Commission’s final report submitted on January 15th of 1984 concluded:

“… all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services taxpayers expect from government… 100% of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal Debt “

“Interest on the federal debt” might be the most important phrase we can take from this.

Exactly zero percent of our Income Taxes fund our government…We’ve only had the Income Tax since the 16th Amendment’s fraudulent passage in 1913, which just happens to have been the same year that the Federal Reserve came into existence. Prior to that, Americans kept 100% of their earnings, going all the way back to 1776. There was no IRS. There was no filing deadline on April 15th. In short, there was no tax on labor.

And while it might be tempting to assume that because America’s government was smaller back in the day, it cost less and therefore didn’t have any need for an income tax until the 20th century when the whole thing became more complex.

But contrary to this notion, America’s national budget was actually rather hefty prior to 1913. America financed schools, colleges, roads, railroads, subways, the Army, Navy and Marine Corps, and many other services and institutions, just like we do today. And these costs were, relative to inflation, as significant in many respects as they are today.

So how did America fund all of those programs prior to the income tax? -prior to 1913? Well it clearly wasn’t through Income Taxes because they didn’t exist. The truth is that Income Taxes only fulfill the interest payments on the debt our government owes to the Bank it’s indebted to. America’s money is loaned at interest by a private Bank called the Federal Reserve Bank – a bank that is provably private as it lists unnamed shareholders on it’s website – shareholders who earn dividends based on the interest payments. The money that’s loaned to our government is loaned with interest attached to it, which means America has to pay that money back, plus interest, to the Federal Reserve Bank.

It’s like when someone obtains a car loan for 10 grand and has to pay back 12. Except the government borrows way more money and has to pay back way more interest. In fact, the Federal Reserve collects, on average, $36 million an hour in interest from the American people. And that’s where Income Taxes come into play. They’re not really taxes per se. They’re interest payments, and like all other interest payments, they disappear into the polyester pockets of our beloved bankers.

Of course, any diligent economics professor might interject at this point and say, “Well now wait a minute here – interest is how banks make their money; that’s how they stay in business.” Of course this is true. No argument there. When I pay the bank back 12 grand for a 10 grand loan, that extra two grand that I pay them is how the bank pays the salaries of their employees, keeps the building running, and – oh yeah – fills the stock portfolios of those who own the bank. Oops. That’s where this becomes a bit problematic, and if one is willing to follow the money, it’s easy enough to see how it’s corrupt as hell.

America is supposed to have a National Treasury. But our treasury has operated under “Emergency Powers” since the great depression (which, consequently, was caused by the very banking institutions that benefited from the crash).

What a coincidence.

Which brings me to the issue of collateral. When someone walks into a bank for that aforementioned ten-thousand-dollar car loan, the bank ask them to put something up as insurance to ensure they’ll pay the loan back – that’s known as collateral. But then, if the US government is loaned every penny it spends, then what has our government put up as collateral?

We the people; you and I and everyone we know are the collateral to keep this financial farce floating forward.

Again, it’s important to understand that this happened during the great depression. In 1933 the country was broke. In turn it was forced to take out huge loans from the same Federal Reserve bank that caused the depression in the first place. And we were all put up as collateral, through, what was at the time, a brand new invention; birth certificates.

Despite what most of us might think about them, Birth Certificates today exist as an integral component of our financial system. That’s why your birth certificate looks like a bank note – because it is a bank note. It will even say it somewhere on the edges, which you may observe are designed with the same webbing you see on the back of your one dollar bill. If you don’t believe me, feel free to take a look at your own birth certificate. Mine says, “Midwest Bank Note Company.”

Do you know what’s printed on yours?

Prior to 1933 there were no such things as Birth Certificates. They didn’t exist. I don’t mean to suggest that we didn’t keep records of birth prior to 1933. Certainly, the Live Record of Birth was (and still is) a standard slip filled out upon a newborn’s arrival into the light of day. But it was not a “certificate,” which is a critical distinction because certificates are defined by our laws as “warehouse receipts.” But why would you keep warehouse receipts on people…unless you considered them to be “human resources?” And in this case, they’re also certified bank notes. And because they’re bank notes, they’re worth big bucks; approximately $750,000 per certificate.

Three quarters of a million dollars? Now you might be thinking, “Three-quarters-of-a-million dollars? Sweet! I’m rich! All we have to do is cash these babies in and I’m driving a new Tesla!”

But unfortunately for all of us, we can’t just cash in our birth certificates because they don’t really belong to us. They’re about us but they don’t belong to us. We’re required to have them because we can’t get work without them, because we’re required to compete with each other for sustenance and accommodations; the physical slavery of the plantations of yesteryear required the slaves be housed and fed; the economic slavery of today requires us to feed and house ourselves. Slavery never ended. The plantation owners realized it was expensive to feed, house, clothe and provide medical attention to their workers, and decided it would be a better idea to simply give everyone a dollar-fifty an hour and make them provide for themselves.

Nevertheless, this all might beg the question: if these birth certificates don’t actually belong to us – if we cannot benefit from their actual monetary worth – then who do they belong to? Well it’s a bit byzantine, but the primary beneficiaries are the shareholders of the the private, Federal Reserve bank. That figure of three-quarters of a million dollars is how much the average American is estimated will pay in Income Taxes over the course of their lifetime. That means that our financial system considers most of us to be little more than chattel.

In this way, birth certificates differ little from the deeds that plantation owners used to keep on their slaves.

Through this elaborate system, which does a brilliant job of keeping us ignorant of the fact that we’re anything but free, our central banking system has cleaned up in their task of extracting wealth from the country through the parasitism of interest; usury.

I find it decidedly appropriate that according to the Gnostic scriptures, compounded interest just happens to be the highest sin, worse than murder, worse than rape, worse than coveting your neighbor’s oxen. According to the Gnostic, Usury can earn you a place at the lowest and most terrible of the hell realms.

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We can see how the World Bank and International Monetary Fund extract wealth from third world countries through similar schemes. John Perkins wrote extensively about this in his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, describing this very process with regards to how the World Bank and IMF put entire countries in debt. And those banks are ultimately owned and run by the very same beneficiaries who own the Federal Reserve.

But Perkins isn’t the only one speaking out about this. He’s a drop in an ocean of voices. Over the past two decades, several former IRS agents have taken whistle blower status to shed light onto this, exposing such things as, for example, the fact that there is no way to file an income tax without violating your Fifth Amendment right that’s supposed to protect you from testifying against yourself, and that an unapportioned tax on labor is, in fact, completely unconstitutional – a fact corroborated by our very own Supreme Court.

And this isn’t just speculation. In 1894 the US Supreme Court actually ruled that an unapportioned tax on labor is unconstitutional. Despite the fact that it was declared unconstitutional, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was passed later on down the line to legitimize the scam of fleecing the American people. To this day, ardent supporters of the status quo, fawning economics professors and government authorities continue to insist that the 16th Amendment grants the power to unconstitutionally levy an income tax on the private labor of American citizens.

There’s only one problem with that: The 16th Amendment never legally passed the ratification process. The number of states needed to ratify the Amendment was never met; a fact repeatedly corroborated by modern case law.

As it turns out, the fraudulent passage of the 16th Amendment was so problematic that another series of lawsuits prompted yet another Supreme Court ruling, determining that the average American is not required to pay the tax, because the 16th Amendment’s powers only extend to corporate gains earned from corporate activity. After its passage, the Supreme Court ruled that the 16th granted no new powers of taxation. So if you didn’t have to pay the income tax prior to the fraudulent passage of the 16th Amendment, you didn’t have to pay it afterward, and that applies to the vast majority of us.

This is the dirty little secret and the reason why refusing to file with the IRS is completely within your legal rights. It’s also the reason why they rely on intimidation and scare tactics to enforce it.

There is no law that requires the average American to pay income taxes. No statute exists in the code that requires you to file with the IRS.

And if you’re wondering why people sometimes go to jail for refusing to file with the IRS, you may begin to see (if you haven’t already) how our government seems illegitimate, does not operate in the interest of the people, and has functioned to perpetuate the interests of a series of increasingly fascist organizations composing the so-called “deep-state” which relies on intimidation and coercion to secure their bottom line.

It just might be the most organized crime syndicate in American history. And it has become so outrageously powerful precisely because it flies the flag of the stars and stripes. They dress themselves up in the very symbol of the so-called free world that’s supposed to fill our hearts and minds with the prestige of the shining city on a hill. That facade of legitimacy is paramount because otherwise we might start associating them with mafia thugs who threaten to burn you for not paying your protection money. And they can get away with anything because they enjoy a monopoly on force. They have more guns and they enjoy using them. They have what it takes to take what you have.

They also know that if too many people begin to see through their legal fiction, we all might stop filing income taxes and the scam would end. So they have a vested interest in perpetuating the lie. In the words of John Turner:

The IRS fears the public gaining a knowledge of how their scam works.”

You know what’s interesting about John Turner? He’s not a tax cheat. He’s not a deviant. He’s not a conspiracy kook. He’s a former IRS Criminal Investigator.

Many activists and journalists have tried to talk with the IRS directly about these problems, including many prominent employees of the IRS itself, such as John Turner. But the IRS stonewall just about every inquiry that comes their way. In the words of another former IRS agent, Sherry Peel Jackson:

[the authorities] can’t answer because if they did, the American people will know the whole thing is a fraud.

And in the words of IRS Special Agent Joseph Banister:

Rather than pulling up a chair they pull out a club.”

In summation, the IRS are the lackeys for the Federal Reserve Bank, to collect interest payments on the federal debt owed by our government, who’s put all of us up as collateral after they went bankrupt in 1933. But that still doesn’t explain how we actually fund the government. We still have libraries and schools, roads and highways, special interest groups and entitlement programs, welfare and social security, Medicare and Medicaid, not to mention the most inflated military budget of all time. So if Income Taxes aren’t paying for any of this, then what is?

There exist countless other forms of taxation that Americans pay every single day: Automobile Registration, Building Permits, Court Fines, Parking Meters, Gasoline Taxes, Toll Booths, Traffic Fines, Marriage Licenses, Medicare and Social Security, Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Property Taxes, Inventory Taxes, Real Estate Taxes, Road Usage taxes, Septic, Estate, and Capital Gains Taxes, CDL License Taxes, Accounts Receivable Taxes, Utility Taxes, Workers Compensation Taxes, Tobacco and Liquor Taxes (aka “sin taxes”) and in most states there is also a Sales Tax.

I could go on but I think you get the point. The cost of everything goes up while wages stay the same. This is the story of our enslavement, and it’s killing us one dollar a time.

By this measure, when we include the Federal Income Tax into this grotesque mix, it appears that, according to the calculations of several accountants I’ve spoken to (who would rather remain nameless for the purposes of this piece) today’s average American pays 64% of their total earnings into various tax collection schemes. But that’s more than four-times the relative tax rate that contributed to the American Revolution, sitting about about 15% of total earnings.

Taxation without representation?

Today we’re paying more than four times the ratio of our earnings relative to what colonists considered so outrageous that the country declared outright war against their masters.

So what prevents Americans today from the kind of outrage that inspired a Revolution two centuries ago? Well for starters the world is a very different place; we’ve experienced the Industrial Revolution, the Civil Rights movement, women’s suffrage, two World Wars and the internet age since the late 18th Century. We should also consider the fact that there is no longer a physical frontier. It was perhaps much easier to stage a Revolution when the Atlantic Ocean physically separated one side from the other. And because the lines were clearly defined, when the British imposed taxes, Americans recognized the exploitation for what it was. Today many Americans honestly believe in the unquestionable authenticity of our tax system here at home.

But if major corporations pay nothing with regards to income tax, what are they doing that the rest of us aren’t doing? Why would a major corporation be exempt from paying any tax whatsoever? What is it about HSBC that allows their clients to become exempt from filing like the rest of us?

Major corporations and the government lackeys they employ like to think of themselves as exempt – because they are. They proved as much in the opening hours of Obama’s first term, when they bestowed upon themselves the charming expression “too big to fail.” This really translates to “too big to jail,” which should tell us something about who owns – and therefore runs – the levers of power. Washington D.C. remains as impotent as ever when it comes the wielding of real authority. As Mayer Amschel Rothschild once famously proclaimed:

“Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!”

This is why the IRS will never send SWAT teams into the headquarters of HSBC or Exxon-Mobil, or General Electric. Those corporations own the politicians who direct policy for the IRS. It’s the literal definition of fascism; the merging of corporate power with state power.

And all the while, these same corporate pirates deny the people the wages we deserve, and then sell our wages back to us with bank loans that we have to pay interest on, while they avoid paying interest on the huge loans they force the government to borrow in their need to perpetuate endless growth, ecocidal insanity and perpetual war.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can ask questions. We can demand answers. We are permitted to express ourselves. We are allowed to challenge the conditions of this arrangement. The only question that might stand in the way of this movement gaining real traction is, do we have the courage to do so?

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Gabrielle Lafayette is a journalist, writer, and executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show.

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain

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It’s hard to say how much of the spectacle is real and how much of it is merely theater. Having said that, the mainstream media assure us that Hillary won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College.  The whole scenario seems inverse from just about everyone’s projections, regardless of their leanings, with very few exceptions. The outcome doesn’t make any sense at first glance. Clinton was guaranteed all of the support from all of the major players; all of the industrial and corporate heads, all of the big banks – even the fucking Bush family were on her side! The wikileaks revelations confirmed that Trump wouldn’t be allowed to win. It was game, set and match.

Then again, this is the country that placed actors Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger into ceremonial positions of artificial power. Actors on a stage. Masks in a play. Let’s try to remember that Trump is still just a figurehead, and so too would Hillary have been.

So who will fill the positions of the upcoming administration? It’s hard to say. Once again, there is a lot misinformation and disinformation polluting the airwaves. One headline claimed that Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan/Chase (one of the key players of the financial meltdown in 2009) was propositioned to serve as Trump’s secretary of Treasury, but turned it down. But upon closer examination that scenario doesn’t make any sense, since Trump isn’t the kind of guy to go around asking people if they want to be on his team. Trump’s entire TV show hinged on people coming to him for a job and turning most of them away. “You’re fired!”

Then there were headlines that Ben Carson, a creationist and retired neurosurgeon, was tapped as a potential secretary of education; that Myron Ebell—a longtime skeptic of climate change—is a likely choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency.

The New York Times reported:

Jeffrey Eisenach, a consultant who has worked for years on behalf of Verizon and other telecommunications clients, is the head of the team that is helping to pick staff members at the Federal Communications Commission.

Michael Catanzaro, a lobbyist whose clients include Devon Energy and Encana Oil and Gas, holds the “energy independence” portfolio.

Michael Torrey, a lobbyist who runs a firm that has earned millions of dollars helping food industry players such as the American Beverage Association and the dairy giant Dean Foods, is helping set up the new team at the Department of Agriculture.

There were reports that other potential appointees included oil-tycoon Forrest Lucas, venture capitalist Robert Grady, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross and oil company CEO Harold Hamm.Then rumors circulated that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was being considered as a potential attorney general. But none of these appointments were announced by Trump’s transition team, and there seems to be reason to believe that these rumors were created Giuliani and others as a sly means of applying for cabinet positions.

But even if Donald is considering these aforementioned names to fill his cabinet positions, that too is of little surprise. Despite Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp,” the alligators are the only ones who know where the drain plug is.

After several decades of super-concentrated Wall Street cabinets I would be earnestly surprised if Mr. Trump – who is himself in league with the Wall Street gangsters – decides to counter the will of the banks and fill his cabinet positions with anything other than finance oligarchs, just as every other administration since Carter has done.

We know from the wikileaks cables that Citibank’s “recommendations” for Obama’s cabinet 8 years ago were almost entirely on the money – long before Obama was confirmed as president. The reality is that said list was not full of recommendations. That cable was a direct order from the real power structures. And I am sure that in time, the same will be revealed about this moment as well.

But pay no attention to these men’s administrations. Get mad at the figurehead, minions! That is, after all, what they’re there for. And keeping our focus trained on the figurehead is a sure fire way to maintain our societal ignorance about what is actually going on in political life.

So what changed this week? How did we suddenly end up here? And what difference – if any – does it really make?

Here are some of the more distinct possibilities:

  • The FBI may be seeking indictments due to the wikileaks cables that confirm the crimes of the Clintons – which include but are not limited to solid confirmation of their involvement in pedophilia organizations and human trafficking vis-à-vis Pizzagate – but it would appear that the FBI are holding off on said indictments until after Obama steps down so that Barack cannot pardon the Clintons when charges are pressed – a legal situation that the major players may have seen as a bad investment for the future, especially if impeachment proceedings were to follow.
  • There is the possibility that Team Clinton’s incessant and unnecessary antagonism of Russia, in addition to their repeated threatening of a no-fly-zone over Syria (which, by the way, constitutes a declaration of war) made the military a bit nervous, especially since the American Empire bloated beyond a stable carrying capacity long ago.
  • Perhaps the investment class have doubts about the longevity of Hillary’s ability to command a presidential administration in the most stressful chapters of the American Empire, because, as once again confirmed by much of what wikileaks has revealed in the weeks and months leading up to this moment, Hillary isn’t exactly in the best health of her life.
  • Or perhaps team Trump out-maneuvered the vote-rigging software in key states – a possibility now corroborated by investigative reporter Greg Palast.

It could be a mix of several of these reasons. Maybe there’s something even bigger going on that none of us can see. But at the end of the day, all I can say with absolute certainty is that Trump’s victory made absolutely no sense given what we knew – or what we thought we knew – leading up to election day.

But what is perhaps even more interesting than the result of Celebrity Deathmatch 2016, is liberal America’s reaction to it. Why are so many people so unbelievably depressed? Why do so many allow inconsequential politicians to govern over their emotional state? Why give so much personal power away like that? Why allow what goes on outside of you to govern over our peace of mind? This was just a reality TV show, after all. So what if the season finale didn’t turn out the way you wanted or expected? Does that really warrant temper tantrums and sobbing fits?

No one shed a tear when the city of Damascus was reduced to rubble, along with tens-of-thousands of innocent lives. But a sporting event like the presidential reality show tosses in a surprise ending and everyone loses their fragile minds? It’s just sports. It’s like the Cowboys won and now everyone is walking around with a frown on their face and a slump in their posture. Why?

Let’s remember that what happens in Washington is only a symptom of the real power structures. I find it amusing that people who allow hatred of ceremonial figureheads like Trump and Clinton into their hearts have no idea who Zbigniew Brzezinski is; they usually have no idea of the depth and breadth of the crimes against humanity committed by Henry Kissinger (who enthusiastically endorsed Hillary); they have no idea who Jamie Diamond is; who Lloyd Blankfein is; who David Rockefeller is.

I think what so many people’s rage and sorrow is really about is the fact that our collective denial of what America has become is now finally ending. A lot of people started waking up after Bush’s illegal wars and the formation of the Patriot Act. But the a savior came onto the stage. When Barack Obama was placed into the White House liberal America went back to bed. Barack’s slick, charismatic, articulate salesmanship did not stop the crimes of the American Empire, but those crimes became easier to ignore because this salesman made us feel better about those crimes, and convinced the dim and naive that those crimes weren’t even happening (or that they were happening, but they weren’t crimes).

Never mind that Guantanamo Bay remains open to this very day. Never mind that torture, extraordinary rendition and the unconstitutional assassination of American citizens continues to this very hour. Never mind that not only was the Patriot Act continued under the Obama administration, but the even more draconian Freedom Act that places all of the burdens of proof for illegal surveillance in the private hands of Internet Service Providers, was approved and signed into law by the same, so-called “progressive” administration.  Never mind that the drone murders of hundreds of children and thousands of adult civilians continues. Never mind that the illegal bombings and troop deployments in Syria, Libya and Africa happened under the Obama Administration. Never mind the AFRICOM program. Never mind the frack attack that continues permanently poisoning watersheds from sea to polluted sea – a situation championed more fervently by Hillary Clinton than any other DC politician I am aware of. Never mind the Dakota Access Pipeline situation, which continues to grow scarier by the day. And of course, never mind the Banker Bailouts that delivered the final death blow to the US manufacturing sector while the investment class laughed all the way to the bank and created the very situation that made Trump’s popularity inevitable.

Does anyone actually think that fascism isn’t already here?

We have more people locked up in America’s prison system today than Stalin had locked up in the infamous Gulag Archipelago at the height of his reign of terror. More black men today are imprisoned today than were enslaved in the 1850’s. Police murders of unarmed civilians continue with unceasing repetition. All of this was allowed to take place under the auspices of America’s first – and perhaps last – African American president.

Obama’s calm, rational, likeable demeanor – his expert salesmanship – allowed Americans the luxury of ignoring reality behind a veil of innocuous jargon. That luxury is gone now. Americans finally have to start facing the music. The problem is, Americans have been ignoring it for so long, it seems rather overwhelming now. 8 years of Obama was the equivalent 8 years of a Prozac prescription. We didn’t deal with the reasons for our depression. We simply took a drug so that we might feel a lot better about those reasons. This slaughterhouse of a world sure was getting us down before our doctors at Citibank and Goldman Sachs recommended 8 years of Obama. But now that our prescription is ending, we’re finally left with a stark reality we’ve consciously chosen to ignore. It’s like our lollypop has been stripped from our grasp, so we’re left with no alternative but to sob angry tears of deluded disappointment.

Fascism isn’t on the horizon and Trump is not going to bring it about. He might make it worse, but it’s already here. It’s just beyond your front door. And with Trump as commander in chief, complacent Americans can no longer dismiss the obvious realities swarming around them.

Had Hillary won, would any of us really have any cause for celebration? What bizarre turn of events led us to wish for the ascension of someone who once described Black children as “super-predators,” who voted for the Iraq War, who sings the praises of fracking and “free” trade agreements – how did it come to this? We know now, from the Podesta emails, that Hillary was well aware that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are the main funders of ISIS and were at the time she was meeting with their heads of state and accepting huge sums of money from their governments on behalf of her foundation. What do you call someone who meets with people known to be financing terrorists?

While the mainstream pundits were shocked by the rejection of the candidate they had convinced themselves was the only rational choice, those of us who live a little closer to her so-called “deplorables” – who have been left behind by the Democratic strategy of Wall Street and Identity Politics – we were less surprised by this outcome. The disenfranchised, having endured a relentless economic beat-down over the past two generations, coupled with incessant slander against them by supposedly enlightened liberals, when offered a choice between the old boss and something different, not surprisingly, opted for something different.

And it’s not as black-and-white as anyone might think. What happened this election is very difficult to quantify because our limited human perceptions are ill-equipped to make sense of the staggering complexities of the increasingly confounding world around us. For example, I spoke to a maintenance worker this week who admitted to having voted for Trump, but told me that he felt ashamed to have done so. He said he was worried about what Trump might try to do as president, but he was more worried about what Clinton would do given her clear track record. But the media’s hate-filled narrative paints such people as rabid, mouth-breathing, homophobic racists. That kind of image branding doesn’t leave a lot of room for a conflicted working class desperate to break the cycles of globalization and poverty.

The media has doubled down, attributing [Trump’s] win to the notion that there are just more “racist white people” in the country than they originally thought. Which is fine so long as you can ignore the fact that Trump actually performed 8-points better with Hispanics than Mitt Romney did in 2012. But that fact doesn’t fit the mainstream narrative that now eggs on the behavior that many lefties claimed to be appalled by but are now succumbing to – that behavior being protests that unfortunately turned violent on Thursday night, characterized by bricks through windows, smashed cars, and fires lit in the street.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, most Americans would agree that violence and property destruction are counterproductive and should be condemned. That said, we’ve noticed that all the “Better Together” campaign rhetoric of the left that was so prevalent just a few days ago, has now completely vanished. Perhaps “Better Together – But Only If Democrats Win” would have been a more accurate slogan, no?

But a closer examination of the violent protests reveals a darker truth. Thousands of these protesters were recruited and are being paid by Billionaire globalist financier George Soros’ MoveOn.org. While the dimwitted may be joining in, the foundation of these riots are not organic crowds of concerned Americans, but paid protesters responding to Craigslist ads. Whether this is an attempt by the Banking elite to intimidate Trump into following their age-old status quo agenda, or to provoke a color revolution in America by stoking the flames of ethnic tribalism remains to be seen.

But nuance rarely finds a home in the mainstream media and I fear that many well-meaning, highly-educated, fellow human beings, have been infected by the fear-mongering of polarity consciousness.

Meanwhile, as anti-Trump protesters in Portland apparently “smashed shop and car windows, threw firecrackers and set rubbish alight…chanting “We reject the president-elect!”, the president-elect has announced his intentions to pursue progressive financial policies that sound as if they could have come from Bernie Sanders, including a “21st century” version of the 1933 Glass-Steagall law that required the separation of commercial and investment banks. Then again, what politician hasn’t told us exactly what we wanted to hear? Rhetoric aside, we’ll see what actually happens.

But the reason that large numbers of people – especially poor white people – voted for Trump is not because they are fascists, it’s not because they’re racists, it’s not even because they’re homophobic. It’s simply because their lives have disappeared, due in large part to neoLiberal Democratic policies (such as NAFTA). The way they see it, any change is worth a shot as long as it’s actually real.  The liberal elitists have had nothing to offer poor people, apart from pious and asinine suggestions that they “get a degree” or “move to where the jobs are.” When the backbone of America is labeled as unnecessary racists because they cared more about their lost jobs, plundered communities, and diminished prospects, do not be surprised when they act in the interests of survival. Civilization and anarchy are only seven meals apart, and desperate people can not be blamed for their behavior, especially if the conditions that brought about their desperation could have been avoided but were not avoided because it was more convenient to ignore them.

As Pulizter Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges wrote yesterday:

In presidential election after presidential election, especially after Nader’s success in 2000, so-called progressives succumbed to the idiotic mantra of the least worst. Those who should have been the natural allies of third parties and dissident movements abjectly surrendered to the Democratic Party that, like the Republican Party, serves the beast of imperialism… The cowardice of the liberal class meant it lost all credibility, much as Bernie Sanders did when he sold his soul to the Clinton campaign. The liberal class proved it would stand and fight for nothing. It mouthed words and ideas it did not truly believe. It bears significant responsibility for the phenomena that created Trump. It should have had the foresight to abandon the Democratic Party after President Bill Clinton passed the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement, to build parties and institutions that defended the interests of the working class. If it had stood up for working men and women, it might have prevented [this outcome].

Many liberals are choosing to blame this outcome on simple racism. They say that Trump won because America is simply more racist than we thought. But you can’t claim that race is a social construct and then go around blaming everything on white people; you can’t have it both ways.

This hypocrisy is obvious to people who do not fit any of the demographic categories that modern neoliberalism has canonized as being worthy of having their pain acknowledged. And while the result of this was a win for Trump on the presidential ballot, please take notice that 7 of 9 Marijuana initiatives passed, as well as 4 of 5 minimum wage initiatives and 3 of 4 firearm initiatives. The people who voted for Trump are probably not who you and I have been led to believe they are. You have more in common with Trump’s supporters than you may suspect.

One upshot of all this is that it’s now conservatives’ turn to go through the same process of disenchantment that many lefties did during the Obama administration when liberal America began to realize who Obama’s funders were in 2008 and who filled the ranks of his entire administration. However, the desire for real change will remain a driving force for those who voted for Trump as well as those who voted for anyone else, and that is where our opportunities lie. If we can find it within ourselves to focus on all that we have in common, and not on what separates us, we just might be able to join forces with Hillary’s so-called “deplorables” for the benefit of everyone. Divide and Conquer is the name of THEIR game, and while I hate to be the bearer of bad news, if you’re one of the people who is playing into that Divide-and-Conquer game by focusing on what makes you different from your neighbors instead of what makes you the same as them, you’re part of the problem. Do we value a diversity of ideas or not? Do we value the freedom of speech or don’t we?

Learning is not about agreement. If we all had to agree about everything all the time none of us would ever learn anything. And now that I think about it, if we all had to agree about everything all of the time, that’s the central ruling edict for just about every dystopian novel and film I’ve ever seen or read. If we can actually be okay with people having different ideas than we do, we might just be able to work with them, and working together is the only thing that will build real solidarity and create real solutions. We’ve all heard it before but I’ll say it again – united we stand, divided we fall. Hard truths like this take a minute to learn but a lifetime to master.

It’s easy to sit in our posh coffee bars with our chic laptops and trendy ideas and philosophize about the world out there. It’s easy for us to talk about how open minded and forgiving we are. But unless and until we’re willing to talk with people who hold very different perspectives than us – perspectives, I remind you, that were garnered through a very different experience of reality than our own – and substantively demonstrate our tolerance, patience and compassion, then what good is any of our political theory? What good are ideas if they’re never implemented?

I ask you to look inside of your heart and consider what kind of world you really want to live in. Do you want to build a just world for everybody, or just for your friends? Do you truly care about what happens to other human beings on this planet, or just about what happens to people who hold the same ideas as you do? How big is your heart? How open is your mind? Is there room in there for the toothless redneck? For the heroin junkie? How about the homeless vagrant? If we really do claim to care about everyone, then shouldn’t we be expressing that by reaching out instead of recoiling in horror from imaginary demons of our own creation? You can’t call somebody bad and expect them to be good, after all. We talk a good game about inclusiveness and compassion, but it doesn’t mean a damn thing if we can’t put those tools to use when it isn’t easy, or comfortable, or convenient to do so. How you act in conditions of adversity is what defines you as a person.

Perhaps people will once again, out of disgust or apathy or laziness, unplug from political life until the next election when the whole, sad spectacle is doomed repeat all over again. But perhaps not. Trump’s inauguration might be just what it takes to finally shake Americans out of their ignorance, out of their complacence, and out of their slumber.

Then again, does any of it really matter? In the ultimate scheme of things, we’re on a rock, floating in space. There are 400 million known galaxies in our universe. The dimension of Samsara does not represent the highest dimension of existence . This is not heaven. This is not the only vibrational reality in the universe. This life does not represent the panacea. Let’s get real about where we are and what we’re meant to do while we’re here; this fleetingly short period of time that represents the lives we take for granted and waste on the most trivial and vacuous of obsessions. Ask yourself: What’s really important? What really matters?

When our brief, bright lives begin to flicker out, are we going to lament the most common regrets that people repent on their deathbeds? I wish I had been more loving to the people who matter the most to me; I wish I had been a better spouse; I wish I hadn’t spent so much time working; I wish I had taken more risks; I wish I had lived my own dream; I wish I had taken better care of myself; I wish I had done more for others. It’s only fear that keeps us from doing these things. So let’s try to remember how to forget that fear.

This analysis was written by Joshua Davis and Brandt Miller, Edited by Gabrielle Lafayette
Contact the research team at outerlimitsradioshow@fastmail.fm

DEBUNKING AMERIKA’S 2016 ELECTION

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The establishment have pulled out all the stops with the 2016 election, which presents the two most hated candidates in American history. Convincing the American people to accept the old game is no easy task for the establishment. The latest round of propaganda includes the creation of a new super PAC in support of Clinton which was kicked it off with a video featuring wealthy celebrities including Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr, Don Cheadle, Keegan Key and others, edited together to berate the viewer with a very simple message: “We’re rich so our opinions are more important than yours.” The video is entitled Save The Day and if you’ve seen it, you probably weren’t aware that it was a Super PAC created by Hollywood director Joss Whedon.

“But what is a Super PAC?” you ask? Super PACs are a type of independent Political Action Committee (PAC) that are legally permitted to raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, and individuals. You might remember that one of the touchstones of the Bernie Sanders campaign was the fact that it did not accept money from Super PACs.

But the Save The Day propaganda video wasn’t the only helping hand Hillary received from her friends in Hollywood, as her subsequent appearance on the mock celebrity interview show “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis further exemplifies the extent to which moneyed interests are willing to go in their vain attempt to distract Americans from their awakening to the realization that there are no political solutions, that the elections are merely a spectacle, and that it doesn’t matter who is elected – continuity of the status quo marches on regardless of whose face is on it. Those who see the corruption but fail to understand the meaninglessness of the presidential circus understandably favor Donald Trump because of his appearance as a political outsider, and to express their fury at America’s dwindling economic status (that took perhaps one of its hardest blows from NAFTA during the administration of Hillary’s husband).

Meanwhile the media have granted Trump billions of dollars in free television coverage to constantly push a message of fear: the Donald is going to usher in an era of Fascism. But doesn’t America already resemble a fascist state? Look around. You ever hear about this endless string of police murders (more Americans have been killed by police since 9/11 than soldiers killed overseas)? You ever hear about the use of slave labor in our massive prison industrial complex that houses nearly two-and-a-half million prisoners (most of whom are there for the victimless offense of drug possession)? Have you been following the violent treatment of peaceful protesters at the Dakota Access Pipeline? And how about the NSA’s egregious dragnet surveillance programs that constitute the most invasive obstruction of the Fourth Amendment in US history? Or the elimination of due process and Habeas Corpus through the extraordinary rendition (or kidnapping) of American citizens made legal under section 1021 of the NDAA? Have you watched the slow, institutionalized normalization and justification of torture programs? And what about the unprecedented war against the whistleblowers who have sought to make the American people aware of these simple truths? All of this constitutes the actions of a kind of fascism. We’re there already. So Donald Trump is not the problem. We’re there.

The most recent murders of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina and Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma, illustrate the out-of-control nature of America’s particular brand of inverted totalitarianism, which is faceless fascism under a corporate umbrella, and make it all the more obvious that we’re already there. Donald is not our problem.

It’s not just the incremental militarization of police agencies around the country through programs that “donate” unnecessary military gear to the cops with increasingly ridiculous equipment, such as the 8 Apache Gunship helicopters outfitted to brandish anti-tank capabilities that are now in the possession of the law enforcement agencies of Brevard County, Florida.

What’s perhaps most amazing about the string of horrifying police killings is why they’re happening. We’re made to believe that these are random individuals. They’re not. So many of these people are described as neighborhood peacemakers, political activists and community organizers, and they’re being assassinated in broad daylight in exactly the same fashion that the US government carried out the systematic elimination of Black Panther leadership throughout the 1960’s and 70’s. Part of the reason that this is happening has to do with the United States law enforcement community’s relationship with Israel – former Israeli soldier Eran Efrati has exposed the incestuous relationship that American police departments share with the Israeli military; that NYPD has offices in Tel Aviv and that Metro officers are regularly sent to Israel to be trained in the art of suppression, vis-à-vis the Palestinians. This is why the justice system refuses to prosecute the officers responsible for these murders – the murders are not exactly accidental as much as they are coincidental to present day policy. The police are not there to protect you. They exist to protect the oligarchy from the masses. The courts are not there to uphold justice. The courts exist to maintain the subjugation of the masses. So if the purpose of the police and the courts isn’t what we were told, what then is the function of elections?

What is perhaps most ironic is that this has all happened under the auspices of an administration that’s headed up by America’s first African American president, because there are more black men in prison today than were enslaved in the 1850’s, and every single week we’re bombarded with yet another string of videos showing militarized police unnecessarily murdering African Americans or their SWAT counterparts suppressing the ensuing protests that invariably follow. Is Obama simply apathetic about African American lives, or is it simply that presidents do not have any of the authority or power that most Americans ascribe to them?

As outlined by Douglas Adams in the lat 1970’s, “The job of the president is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it.” The President is only a figurehead—he wields no real power whatsoever, and our electoral circus is no different. We get so caught up in it as if elections determine the country’s socioeconomic or geopolitical trajectory – and as if we could even influence them – as if the Electoral College doesn’t determine the outcome, as if the candidate with the most Super PAC money doesn’t always win, as if electronic voting machines in swing states have repeatedly proven to favor the establishment candidate – even when Exit Polls reveal that the machines are counting the votes incorrectly, as if our elections aren’t decided years in advance at the Bilderberg Meetings of the world’s most powerful oligarchs, and as if the founding fathers actually desired a popular democracy in the first place (their idea of a democratic Republic did not grant the power of the vote to women, or Native Americans, or African slaves, or even white men who didn’t own land).

For those paying attention, it was obvious who the oligarchs would crown as the next leader of the American empire as early as June of 2015 when Hillary Clinton’s top advisor attended the annual conference of the global ownership class known as the Bilderberg group in Telfs-Buchen, Austria. If you’re unfamiliar with the Bilderberg group I implore you to explore the investigative reporting of Daniel Estulin and Jim Tucker. But the point is, whenever a political hopeful or their associates attend a Builderberg meeting, it’s a clear signal that the owners endorse them as a candidate who will serve the interests of the corporate machine, and the oligarchs therefore do whatever is necessary to put those candidates into power with their money, muscle and influence. Obama, for example, attended the 2008 Bilderberg meeting in northern Virginia prior to his presidential debut.

So it comes as no surprise that longtime Clinton friend and ally Jim Messina of The Messina Group attended the 2015 globalist conference. Messina also heads up the super PAC Priorities USA, which supported Obama and is now firmly in the Clinton camp. Messina also spearheaded Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, and has just come back to the US after leading the deeply unpopular UK prime minister David Cameron to a surprise majority victory in British elections (of course, David Cameron resigned following the UK’s democratic decision to leave the EU).

Savvy journalists called it like they saw it, reporting that the globalist favorite for United States 2016 election would surely be decided in Austria, where there was little doubt the ownership class would stack 100% of their chips behind the Clinton camp.

The question for the oligarchs since then has been how best to convince an American constituency – who have become increasingly suspicious of corporate power – into accepting an establishment candidate like Hillary as the next Führer of the American Empire. This has proven especially difficult considering the Clinton’s sordid history with pay-to-play politicking through the infamous Clinton Foundation. Despite public awareness of the truth, television personalities like John Oliver continue to signal establishment support for the Clintons by glossing over the most disturbing aspects of the Clinton Foundation, such as:

  • The siphoning of Haiti relief money following the 2010 earthquake that prevented millions of homeless and starving Haitians from receiving aid
  • Profiting from the mowing down of Colombian Rain Forests through the petroleum giant Pacific Rubiales, whose founder Frank Giustra sits on the board of the Clinton Foundation
  • Protecting an African Warlord on behalf of a Swiss mining company called Lukas Lundin that violates international law to exploit Africa’s natural resources and paid the Clintons $100 million to keep the international community off their back for violating international sanctions in Sudan and elsewhere
  • Selling Nuclear Weapons technology to the Chinese to finance Bill Clinton’s reelection campaign in what has become known as the Chinagate scandal that resulted in the indictment and arrest of many top Clinton officials

When it became clear that many liberal, American women weren’t taking the bait of accepting another corrupt Clinton as the “historic milestone” to follow up the disappointment that was the nation’s first African American president, Hillary’s campaign managers resorted to gender shaming women with Madeline Albright’s abominable declaration that there is a special place in hell for women who don’t support Hillary. This is the same Madeline Albright who calmly justified to a bedazzled 60 Minutes television audience in 1996 while serving as Bill Clinton’s UN advisor that the half-million dead children who perished as a result of America’s economic sanctions in the Mid-East was “worth it”. The owners have exposed their arrogant hand by parading a genocidal apologist onto the stage in yet another attempt to hypnotize Americans into accepting our new “Great Leader.” And if there ever really was a special place in hell for women who don’t support each other, then where-oh-where is Madeline Albright’s support for Jill Stein?

So when Albright’s declaration about “women who don’t support each other” backfired, the owners resorted to the one tried-and-true tactic that has worked like a charm in just about every presidential election in our collective memory; the lesser of two evils scare tactic.

This strategy is simple – scare the bejeezes out of the people with an opposing nominee to pressure everyone into supporting the person who has already been granted the palace by the real power players. This is why the media have given so much air time to Trump while practically blacklisting Bernie and outright ignoring Dr. Jill Stein. And let’s not forget that voting machines are designed, programmed and manipulated by the very corporate elites who own the system, and seek to preserve their power by rigging apparently democratic elections; this is why swing states are plagued by voting machine glitches, gerrymandering, prohibitive voter ID laws and even conspicuous acts of outright fraud. Presidents are not elected. Presidents are selected, and not by you or I.

In many ways, Donald Trump is the trump card for the elites – he demonstrates the worst of the worst that this decaying empire is capable of producing. He’s perfect for scaring Americans into accepting Hillary. Moreover, Trump reinforces the faux-feminism of the Clinton Cartel by demonstrating his very own brand of bona fide chauvinism with his beauty pageants and constant mouth-diarrhea. The media have worked hard to turn the 2016 electoral farce into a men-versus-women circus. The problem is that women don’t automatically support Hillary just because she’s a woman any more than men support Trump just because he’s a man. In fact, Hillary’s disingenuous bombast has been described by many as bourgeois feminism – a particularly vile brand of ideological feminism that neglects millions of immigrant women, poor women and the women under America’s bombs.

We’ve been told incessantly that this is “history in the making,” since“never before has a woman run for president!” “What an historic milestone!”

It’s amazing how short some people’s memory is – especially now in the acceleration of the internet age – for the historic occasion referred to in this instance has already been achieved many times over; in 1872 Victoria Woodhull ran for president after being nominated with the Equal Rights Party with Frederick Douglass as her running mate. Then there was Belva Ann Lockwood in 1884, Grace Allen in 1940, Ellen Jensen in 1952, Charlene Mitchell in 1968 –the list just goes on and on.

But many Americans don’t know that – after all, millions of Americans can’t tell you why the 4th of July is a federal holiday.

So clearly, this is not history in the making, unless we radically alter the proposed statement: This is the first time in American history that the oligarchy have chosen a woman who is part of their club to play the symbolic, irrelevant, and ceremonial role of President of the United States.

Fortunately, reading the comment sections of the aforementioned videos and articles reveals an inspiring truth; that after decades of broken promises, blatant corruption and political impotence from Washington, many Americans aren’t buying into the BS anymore.

But such territory is unknown. Charting a course through uncharted political wilderness is a wildly uncertain endeavor, and our tendency to retreat to the familiar side of the river is strong when the water’s currents prove scary and cold. For many, a familiar lie is preferable to unknown truths.

We know that the elections are rigged. We know that there are no political solutions. We know that the banks and corporations are infinitely more powerful than the politicians they control. So why do we default back to this bogus idea that, “This time it’s different”? Why do we tell ourselves that, “This time it really matters,” when our experience tells us otherwise? Why do we delude ourselves with the false hope that, “This candidate might be different”?

Remember Bernie Sanders? He only played his role. When America’s confidence in the political process was at an all-time low, he got people excited about it again. He got people thinking, “Gee, maybe politicians can change this slaughterhouse of world we’re all suffering within.” And then he did what those of us who were paying attention knew he would do: he endorsed the Democratic nominee – just like he said he would two years before his campaign even started – before taking a bow and exiting stage left. In the weeks and months since the DNC he has only betrayed the message of his campaign entirely, parroting the politics of fear and peddling the nonsense of lesser-evilism. The same is true of other turncoats like Elizabeth Warren and Robert Reich, whose allegiance to the system outweighs all logic, and certainly outweighs their genuine concern for the American people. The politics of fear predominates the narrative of every election. It’s obtuse ideology paves the way for exactly what we know is the wrong way to go. And the 2016 cycle is no different.

Even if, by some miracle, a candidate who seems to actually have the best interests of the planet and the people in mind (say, someone like Dr. Jill Stein) was allowed into the Oval Office and sworn in as president, their proposed policy positions will always be massively outgunned by the money, resources and lobbyists of the military-industrial-complex, the oil companies, the banks, the prison system, Wal-Mart, the Koch brothers, Monsanto (oops, it’s Bayer now), et cetera.

If Jesus Christ himself somehow became president, with the Buddha as his vice president, and the 12 disciples fulfilling the roles of secretary of state, defense, treasury, interior, and so on, the system would continue right on the way it always has because it’s structure determines its trajectory. It doesn’t matter who the players are.

America’s imperial system is a self-actualizing feedback loop that grants a monopoly of force and authority to the ownership class by siphoning resources away from anyone who refuses to bow at their feet. Distraction from this reality is the explicit purpose of electoral politics.

This is why Chris Hedges has so repeatedly insisted that “getting the right people to rule” is the wrong question. The question is, “How can you make the power elite afraid of you?”

Then again, perhaps we don’t actually want things to change. Perhaps Americans really enjoy the delicious hatred and finger-licking loathing that each election cycle brings to the table. It is, after all, an entertainment spectacle constituting the greatest show on earth. Perhaps Americans are addicted to complaining instead of actually implementing solutions to our problems. Solutions require work. Complaining is a comforting default. It takes less effort to tolerate and complain about our enslavement than it does to alter the underlying foundations of it. Maybe we enjoy being ruled. Self-reliance, after all, requires personal responsibility. Laziness can never grant or maintain liberty. Boundless infinity scares the weak at heart so we’ve constructed cages of complacency justified by fear.

Perhaps we’re just as addicted to pointing the finger “out there” and blaming external personalities of our collective creation for the way things are. We’re too spineless to face our own shadows so we simply project them onto other people, and who better to point our fingers at than people as corrupt as Hillary and Donald?

Personally, I think they both should be deported to Peru and prohibited from reentering the US until they each undergo guided Ayahuasca therapy for at least a year. And yet the country is being led into accepting both of them as worthy of our praise and admiration.

If we want the world to change around us, the first thing we have to change is ourselves. We would do well to heed the wise observation of French Sociologist Jacques Ellul who proclaimed:

There are no political solutions, only technological ones; the rest is propaganda.” 

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Gabrielle Lafayette is a journalist, writer, and executive producer for the Outer Limits Radio Show.
Catch the cloudcast at mixcloud.com/outerlimitsradioshow
Check out the more frequently updated tumblr page at outerlimitsradioshow.tumblr.com
Contact the research team at outerlimitsradioshow@fastmail.fm

Break the Cycle of Genocide this Thanksgiving

Just a few weeks ago, CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou made the following suggestion to President Barack Obama: Rather than following the White House tradition of “pardoning” a turkey destined for a thanksgiving dinner table, he should extend that courtesy instead to some of the thousands of human beings caged up in America’s federal prisons. And rather than continuing to make another routine charade of this presidential power, he should use this privilege to provide clemency to Leonard Peltier.

Coinciding with the American Thanksgiving holiday, 2015 will mark the 46th National Day of Mourning for the Native Americans, an annual event meant to honor Native American ancestors murdered at the hands of European invasion and expose the bloody history behind the November holiday. Despite popular belief, Thanksgiving is a day rooted in the homecoming celebration of colonists returning safely from raids and massacres against Native American villages. The term was coined by wealthy Puritan Governor John Winthrop following a “successful” massacre of 700 women and children of the Pequot Nation in 1637 – a “Thanksgiving” was observed to celebrate the war party’s safe return. While we might teach our children that the holiday is about unity and peace, nothing could be further from the truth. While Natives and Pilgrims did share one quaint meal on one occasion, that meal has nothing at all to do with the annual “Thanksgiving holiday” nor its reference to marauding colonists. The Native Americans haven’t forgotten, hence the National Day of Mourning observed each year at Plymouth Rock.

In addition to “Thanksgiving,” the newer but equally insulting and redundant exposition of “turkey pardoning” comes as a supreme insult to the Native Americans. Not only will America continue an observance as historically misunderstood as it is brutal, but the President of the nation will openly mock his ability to free the people who are in the most desperate need of it.President Barack Obama pardons Courage the turkey in 2009_2

Every year at thanksgiving the American President participates in a strange tradition that makes a routine charade of his power to pardon prisoners. As his tenure in Washington sunsets and calls for the pardon of American Indian Activist Leonard Peltier grow to fever pitch, thanksgiving 2015 is culminating into a perfect storm of irony. While the political class roundly reject the proposed immigration of Syrian refugees on the basis that they might be violent, religious fanatics just like the Pilgrims turned out to be, President Obama is scheduled to grant clemency to a turkey while 46 million other members of that bird’s species are slaughtered to celebrate the ongoing genocide of 100 million Native Americans, including Leonard Peltier who was wrongfully imprisoned 39 years ago for murders he did not commit.

Since Leonard was an impassioned and effective activist for the Native American cause, his imprisonment constitutes political leverage of a high value for our federal government. If President Obama continues ceremonially granting clemency to an animal whose species undergoes their own genocide every November, he is only continuing a multi-faceted insult against Native Americans that stretches back to the establishment of “Thanksgiving” itself.

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Leonard Peltier was born on 12 September 1944 in Grand Forks, North Dakota. As a descendant of the Anishinabe, Dakota, and Lakota Nations, he traces the roots of his activism to the rampant discrimination and vicious poverty that were inseparable from daily existence as an Indian child growing up on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa and Fort Totten Sioux reservations in North Dakota. To adequately appraise the circumstances of Leonard’s incarceration, it is paramount to understand the conditions of Indian Reservations at the time his life took a turn for the worst.

In 1943 the United States Senate conducted a survey of the state of Indian affairs. Living conditions on reservations were found to be appalling, and severe poverty was commonplace. The Senate found The Bureau of Indian Affairs and federal bureaucracy to be at fault due to extreme financial mismanagement. But instead of investigating, the government instead chose a policy that would terminate the recognition of 109 tribes by 1964—effecting 12,000 Native Americans in turn forcing thousands more Natives from lands that had sustained their tribes for generations, into metropolitan centers.

The Klamaths who owned valuable timber property in Oregon and the Agua Caliente, who owned the land around Palm Springs were some of the first tribes to be affected by the U.S. government’s new “Termination Policy.” These lands, rich in resources, were taken over by the Federal Government. Approximately 2,500,000 acres of trust land was removed from protected status and sold off to non-Indians as tribes lost official recognition. Thus the dire poverty that so troubled Natives on reservations in 1943 grew far worse as the meager amends allotted to tribal members was greatly diminished, and a long chronology of Indian Eradication marched ever onward.

It was at this time that Leonard was growing into a teenager. With his father, he attended meetings on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota to discuss the government’s decision – Turtle Mountain was one of three reservations which the U.S. Government chose as the testing ground for their new Termination Policy.

Leonard recalls an Ojibwa cousin of his standing up angrily and asking in a loud, emotional, tear-filled voice, “Where are our warriors? Why don’t they stand up and fight for their starving people?”

Remembering that moment, Peltier later said, “That sent electric vibrations from my scalp all the way down my spine to the soles of my feet! It was like a revelation to me — that there was actually something worthwhile you could do with your life, something more important than living your own selfish little life day by day. Yes, there was something more important than your poor miserable self: your People. You could actually stand up and fight for them… and as I would come to see in later years, all Indian people, all Indigenous People, all human beings of good heart. I vowed right then and there that I would become a warrior and that I’d always work to help my people. It’s a vow I’ve done my best to keep.”

During one particularly difficult winter on the Turtle Mountain Reservation protests against the Bureau of Indian Affairs became particularly fierce due to the desperate lack of food, as the termination policy withdrew federal assistance, including food, from those who chose to ignore the government decision and remain on their land. Following these protests, B.I.A. social workers came to the reservation to investigate the situation. Leonard Peltier and one of the organizers on the reservation went from household to household before the arrival of the investigating party to tell the local people to hide what little food they had. When he got to the first house, he found that there was no food to hide and the same story was repeated in each of the households that he went to. This experience awakened him to the desperate situation for all people on his reservation, and the resulting protests and demonstrations by tribal members introduced Leonard Peltier to Native resistance.

From that point, Peltier lived his life for his People, doing what he could to help. He protested for fishing rights in the Northwest, helped found a Native halfway house for ex-prisoners, and worked for several years as part owner of an auto body shop which he used to employ Native people and to provide low-cost automobile repairs for those who needed it. His community volunteer work included Native Land Claim issues, alcohol counseling, and participation in protests concerning the preservation of Native land within the city of Seattle.

But his first real experience with confronting the might of the U.S. Government was his participation in the 1970 peaceful takeover of the abandoned Fort Lawton, outside Seattle, Washington. The Fort was on “surplus” federal land to which the Indians were granted first right under the law.

Faced with government machine guns and flamethrowers, the protestors were taken into custody. Peltier and the other Natives were beaten by law enforcement repeatedly from the time of their arrest to the moment they were caged in their cells. When finally released, Peltier refused to leave the Army stockade until all the other protestors had been freed.

Ultimately, the Indian’s challenge was successful. Today, Fort Lawton is an Indian cultural center.

After Fort Lawton, Peltier traveled the country where, in Colorado, he joined the American Indian Movement (AIM).

“AIM was born out of [the] turmoil [of “termination”]… The attempt to destroy us had only made us stronger, more aware, more dedicated. Every single one of us was willing to lay down our life for our cause, which was the very survival of Indian peoples…The growth of the Indian movement and the history of AIM are intertwined with my personal history… We found our inspiration and our strategy in the example and message of AIM leaders such as Dennis Banks, John Trudell, Russell Means, Eddie Benton-Banai, and Clyde and Vernon Bellecourt — all imperfect men, no doubt, yet men whose vision and bravery and fiery, even incendiary, words gave voice to a whole generation of Indian activists, myself included.”

In 1973 the Wounded Knee occupation marked the beginning of a three-year period of political violence on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The tribal chairman hired vigilante teams self-proclaimed as “GOONS,” to rid the reservation of American Indian Movement (AIM) activity and sentiment. More than 60 traditional tribal members and AIM members were murdered, and scores more were assaulted. Evidence indicated GOON responsibility in the majority of crimes but despite a large FBI presence, the U.S. Government did nothing to stop the violence. Instead, the FBI supplied the GOONS with weapons, ammunition, and intelligence on AIM members, and ignored the violent criminal fallout that resulted.

By this time Leonard Peltier was an AIM leader, and was asked by the traditional people at Pine Ridge to support and protect those being targeted by the mercenaries. Peltier and a small group of young AIM members set up camp on a ranch owned by the traditional Jumping Bull family, setting the stage for an event that would not only go down in history as one of the darkest days in Native American history, but a day that would change Leonard Peltier’s life forever.

On June 26, 1975 two FBI agents in civilian clothes driving unmarked cars followed a pick-up truck onto the Jumping Bull ranch. Fearing another attack from the local mercenaries, local families immediately sounded the alarm and a shoot-out erupted. It’s unclear who fired the first shots, but when the initial firefight ended, two FBI agents and one Native American lay dead, culminating into a nationwide manhunt, as more than 150 agents, GOONS, and law enforcement surrounded the ranch. While the deaths of the FBI agents were thoroughly investigated, the Native American, Joseph Stuntz, who was shot in the head by a sniper’s bullet, has never been investigated, nor has anyone ever been charged in connection with his death.

According to FBI documents, more than 40 Native Americans participated in the gunfight, but only AIM members Bob Robideau, Darrell Butler, and Leonard Peltier were brought to trial.

Mr. Robideau and Mr. Butler were arrested first and sent to trial. A federal jury in Iowa acquitted them on grounds of self-defense, finding that their participation in the shoot-out was justified given the climate of fear and violence that existed on the Pine Ridge Reservation, and further, that they could not be tied to the close-range shootings.

Leonard Peltier, who had fled to Canada, was arrested on February 6, 1976. The U.S. Government wanted to try Peltier for the death of the two FBI agents, but had to legal extradite him from Canada to do so. So, to justify the extradition, the United States Government presented the Canadian court with affidavits signed by one, Myrtle Poor Bear who said she was Mr. Peltier’s girlfriend and allegedly saw him shoot the agents despite the fact that Ms. Poor Bear had never met Peltier and was not present during the shoot-out. Soon after, Ms. Poor Bear recanted her statements, asserting that the FBI had threatened her and coerced her into signing the false affidavits.

Mr. Peltier was thus extradited to the United States where he was tried in 1977. Every aspect of the trail was rigged against Leonard.

The trial was held in North Dakota before United States District Judge Paul Benson, a conservative jurist appointed to the federal bench by Richard M. Nixon. Key witnesses like Myrtle Poor Bear were not allowed to testify and unlike the Robideau/Butler trial in Iowa, physical evidence regarding the event on Pine Ridge was severely restricted.

An FBI agent who had previously testified that the agents followed a pick-up truck onto the scene – a vehicle that could not be tied to Mr. Peltier – changed his account, stating that the agents had followed a red and white van onto the scene, a vehicle which Mr. Peltier drove occasionally.

Three teenaged Native witnesses testified against Mr. Peltier, all later admitting that the FBI forced them to testify, and still, not one witness had positively identified Mr. Peltier as the shooter.

The U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case claimed that the government had provided the defense with all FBI documents concerning the case. To the contrary, more than 140,000 pages had been withheld in their entirety.

An FBI ballistics expert testified that a casing found near the agents’ bodies matched the gun tied to Mr. Peltier. However, a ballistic test proving that the casing did not come from the gun tied to Mr. Peltier was intentionally concealed.

The jury, unaware of the aforementioned facts, found Mr. Peltier guilty. He was convicted for the deaths of the two FBI agents and Judge Benson, in turn, sentenced Mr. Peltier to two consecutive life terms – a sentence he is serving to this very day, 38 years later.

Leonard Peltier is now an imprisoned Native American considered by Amnesty International, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Congress of American Indians, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Reverend Jesse Jackson, and the Dalai Lama, among many others, to be a political prisoner whose release should be immediate.

Following the discovery of new evidence obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Mr. Peltier sought a new trial. The Eighth Circuit ruled, “There is a possibility that the jury would have acquitted Leonard Peltier had the records and data improperly withheld from the defense been available to him in order to better exploit and reinforce the inconsistencies casting strong doubts upon the government’s case.” Yet, the court denied Mr. Peltier a new trial.

During oral argument, the government attorney conceded that the government does not know who shot the agents, stating that Mr. Peltier is equally guilty whether he shot the agents at point-blank range, or participated in the shoot-out from a distance. Mr. Peltier’s co-defendants participated in the shoot-out from a distance, but were acquitted.

Judge Heaney, who authored the decision denying a new trial, has since voiced firm support for Mr. Peltier’s release, stating that the FBI used improper tactics to convict him and that the FBI was equally responsible for the shoot-out.

Today, Leonard suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, and a heart condition. Time for justice is short.

Despite his imprisonment, which poses numerous barriers, Mr. Peltier has made remarkable contributions to humanitarian and charitable causes. He has found ways of getting people from different tribes, with a history of animosity, to come together in peace. He advocates for peaceful resolution of all issues that deal with Native Americans and respect for the rights of others.

He has worked with Dr. Steward Selkin on a pilot program on the Rosebud Reservation, the Leonard Peltier Health Care Reform Package, to document needs and requirements for delivery and care. The ultimate intent of the program is to fundamentally alter health care delivery on reservations throughout the U.S.

He has worked with Professor Jeffery Timmons on a program to stimulate reservation-based economics and investments in Native American business enterprises, including a component to teach business ownership and operation to the young people of First Nations.

In 1992, He established a scholarship at New York University for Native American students seeking law degrees. He also was instrumental in the establishment and funding of a Native American newspaper by and for Native young people in Washington State. In addition to having supported two of his grandchildren from prison, Leonard Peltier has also sponsored two children through ChildReach, one in El Salvador and the other in Guatemala. Every year, he sponsors a Christmas gift drive for the children of Pine Ridge and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. Peltier also serves as an honorary member of the Board of the Rosenberg Fund for Children and on the honorary advisory committee for the Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign.

He has organized an emergency food drive for the people of Pohlo, Mexico, in response to the Acteal Massacre. He also frequently contributes to Head Start programs and domestic violence shelters to help address funding shortfalls.

Peltier has helped several Indian prisoners rehabilitate themselves by advocating a drug-and alcohol-free lifestyle while encouraging pride and knowledge in their culture and traditions, and works to develop prisoner art programs thereby increasing prisoners’ self-confidence.

Leonard Peltier has been widely recognized for his humanitarian works, winning honors including but not limited to: 1986 Human Rights Commission of Spain International Human Rights Prize; 1993 North Star Frederick Douglas Award; 2003 Federation of Labour (Ontario, Canada) Humanist of the Year Award; 2004 Silver Arrow Award for Lifetime Achievement; 2009 First Red Nation Humanitarian Award; 2010 Kwame Ture Lifetime Achievement Award; 2010 Fighters for Justice Award; and 2011 Mario Benedetti Foundation (Uruguay) – First International Human Rights Prize.

In 1999, Leonard Peltier’s memoir was published — “Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance” (St. Martin’s Press).

The work received wide acclaim and attracted the attention of luminaries such as Britain’s Queen Elizabeth. As a result, the European Parliament approved a resolution calling for Peltier to be freed and France’s former First Lady Danielle Mitterand — then president of the French human rights organization, France Libertés — also called for the release of Leonard Peltier.

Editor Harvey Arden said, “Leonard Peltier’s powerful memoir, a Native American spiritual testament, will shake the conscience of the nation… and the world. It’s a flaming arrow aimed at the circled wagons of American injustice.”

In 2009, for the sixth consecutive year, Leonard Peltier also was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Leonard Peliter was an activist scapegoated for a complex culmination of circumstances in South Dakota. His trial was a mockery, the evidence used to convict him does not exist, and evidence that proved his innocence was ignored. 39 years later, organizations and individuals the world over continue to demand clemency for Leonard, because the only hope he has at this point is a presidential pardon. Beings as Obama is nearing the sunset of his second term, the next year constitutes Leonard’s last hope of receiving the freedom he deserves in time enough to enjoy what life he has left.

Four decades after our government locked up an innocent man, isn’t it time to right this wrong?

Kiriakou concludes: “With his presidency coming to a close and Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s the perfect time for Obama to offer a gesture to help make amends with our nation’s original people. Instead of pardoning a turkey, he should pardon Leonard Peltier instead.”

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If a path to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst. It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society, and if we fail to remember our history we’re doomed to repeat it. But as yet another Thanksgiving approaches it should be our goal to right the wrongs of atrocities gone by instead of continuing to mindlessly celebrate the genocide of Native American peoples. This doesn’t mean we sulk off and pout over our guilt or make a public display of our collective shame and self-loathing. It simply means we endeavor to stop doing harm.

As the 46th National Day of Mourning beckons, let’s ask ourselves what the adult thing to do is. Should we defend the lie and celebrate the extermination of a hundred million human beings by eating turkey and watching football? For most of us, national holidays like Thanksgiving are the only times we have to settle down from our wage slave jobs and enjoy time with our families, but reaffirming an archaic celebration of genocide is not the solution. If we never have time to see our families but for a few fleeting evenings during the holiday season, perhaps it’s time we rethink our relationship to the American Empire and analyze why the ownership class allow us so few moments of uninterrupted peace with our loved ones.

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If a path to the better there be, it begins with a full look at the worst. For Native Americans, the idea of celebrating Thanksgiving is tantamount to Jewish peoples celebrating Hitler’s birthday in April.

Does that seem like an exaggeration? It’s an understatement.

While Hitler’s were undoubtedly among the most evil acts ever committed by human hands on Earth, they pale in comparison to those of other dictators throughout history. If we simply analyze the numbers, we see that Hitler murdered somewhere between 10 and 16 million people he deemed unworthy of existence. Numbers like that are difficult to comprehend, but we can at least try to fathom what 16 million people looks like – what the loss of 16 million people feels like – can’t we?

16 million people seems like a lot, but what then are we to make of Joseph Stalin, who killed 40 million people through similar means? He had concentration camps as well, after all. Stalin was directly responsible for the violent deaths of three to four times as many human beings as Hitler. But when we think of the iconic symbol of evil, few of us think of Stalin’s face.

And what about Mao Zedong in China? Estimates of his killing spree top out at round 100 million human beings. Surely, the murder of 100 million people is indisputably more grotesque than the murder of 16 million, isn’t it? So why then is Hitler our symbol of evil in the west?

There is no doubt that he was evil, but by statistical merit, isn’t Stalin more sinister? -wouldn’t we consider the crimes of Mao to be significantly more monstrous than those of Hitler?

By this measure, no empire is more murderous than the Anglo-American world Empire. Between the genocide of the Native Americans and the transit deaths of African slaves across the Altantic, America murdered more than 300 million human beings. That means that America is responsible for the violent deaths of three times as many people as Maoist China, and that’s without including America’s long history of illegal wars. In 239 years of existence America has been at war for 218 of those years – barely two decades of intermittent peace throughout two-and-a-half centuries of history. And yet, despite all of this, we think of America as that shining city on a hill where the edicts of freedom and democracy dwell, while Hitler remains our idea of evil — a man, by the way, whose rise to power was financed and supplied by American and British corporations. Hitler would never have risen to power if it weren’t for Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, the Bush family’s Union Banking Cartel, IBM’s punch card system for categorizing Germany’s “human inventory”, IG Farben’s chemical weapons, Rothchild Bank loans, and many other logistical supports. So I’ll ask again – why exactly is Hitler our symbol of evil in the west? What more do we need to have happen on this planet for the majority to understand that the power behind the throne is more powerful than the throne itself?

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Is it possible for us to break this cycle, or will we look on as another turkey pardoning transpires at the White House at the hands of a black president as the oppressed remnants of Native nations observe another national day of mourning – as Native activist Leonard Peltier rots in an American prison? If there’s a path to the better, it starts with a thorough look at the worst, and the unjust imprisonment of Leonard Peltier stands as one of the worst ongoing crimes of the American Empire, worsened by the ridiculous charade of turkey pardoning, among the death of 46 million turkeys to celebrate the theft of America from 100 million Native Americans.

Call the White House comment line and demand that Leonard be freed, at (202) 456-1111

Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible.
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
just as doing nothing is an act.
Let who you are ring out and resonate
in every word and every deed.
Yes, become who you are.
There’s no sidestepping your own being
or your own responsibility.
What you do is who you are.
You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message.
You are the message.

Mitakuye Oyasin.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse,

~Leonard Peltier

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This article was a collaboration between Alexandria “Rain” Smith and Gabrielle Lafayette
Catch the cloudcast at mixcloud.com/outerlimitsradioshow
Check out the more frequently updated tumblr page at outerlimitsradioshow.tumblr.com
Contact the research team at outerlimitsradioshow@fastmail.fm

Sources:

http://www.freepeltiernow.org/peltier.html

http://www.freeleonard.org/case/

http://www.aimovement.org/peltier/

http://www.freepeltiernow.org/