Book excerpts from a variety of educational nonfiction sources focusing mainly on current events and history of the activities of the US Government and the Multi-national Corporations that influence it
“Are you trying at all?”
"Well try harder or I'll have to spank you."
And that was it. His duty done. Dad seemed relieved He had of course (Frank Schaeffer "Crazy For God" 2007 p.15)
At Gai Matin, I took ski lessons with the advanced class. ...
Except for a couple of miserable and exceedingly fat Saudi brothers, I got on well with ...
I cured their nasty habit after they had been spitting on me every time they passed .... I cornered them in the locker room and punched each of the Arabs in the solar plexus, hard (Frank Schaeffer "Crazy For God" 2007 p.158-9)
After the good experience at Great Walstead, so did I. St. David's, located in Llandudno, North Wales—founded just four ...
The Head used to cane boys quite often. Unlike Mr. Parke, the St. David's Head used an actual cane, not a gym shoe. A beating would draw blood. (Frank Schaeffer "Crazy For God" 2007 p.196-9)
In 2000, after a close and disputed contest, settled by the Supreme Court, we elected a president who claimed he believed God created the earth and who, as president, put car manufacturers' and oil companies' interests ahead of caring for that creation. We elected a "born again" president who said he lived by biblical ethics but who played the dirtiest political games possible, for instance in the filthy lies his people spread to derail Senator John McCain's presidency primary bid. We elected a pro-life Republican Party that did nothing to actually care for the pregnant women and babies they said they were concerned for, but rather were corrupted by power, and took their sincere evangelical followers for granted, and played them for suckers. ....
It bears repeating Bush Jr., the bible-believing, born-again president, delivered up his Iraq fellow Christians to be destroyed. They fled, died, or went into hiding because a "faith-based" evangelical American president stupidly unleashed a civil war. And of course, Bush Jr. was also responsible for the killing of countless other innocent civilians caught in the sectarian strife.
The puny "president" I helped elect sent my son John to an ill-conceived, ineptly carried-out war, where my son's friend Alex Del Rio got his legs blown off, where Mark, the only son of my friend Mindy Evnin, was killed. And Bush Jr. was elected with the help of millions of evangelicals that Dad, Koop, and I, directly or indirectly, helped galvanize.
How could such a little man, a towering mediocrity, so clearly over matched by the job ever have been president? One reason is that single-issue politics deforms the process and derails common sense. It facilitates the election of leaders just because they are correct on "my issue."
Roe v. Wade has given us more than thirty years of culture war. The results have been tragic. For one thing, Roe has given us some terrible leadership. This works both ways. The Democratic Party has, until recently, also limited itself to candidates who are rigidly correct "theologically" on abortion and other social issues.
It seems to me that by demanding ideological purity on abortion (and other single issues as well), both parties have worked to eliminate the sort of serious smart pragmatic people who make competent leaders. What we are left with are those willing to toe the party theological line, who are talented at kissing the asses of their party's ideologues, raising money, and looking good on TV, but not much else.
But what if absolute consistency on any issue from the left or the right, religious or secular, is an indication of mediocre intelligence and a lack of intellectual honesty? What if the world is a complex place? What if leadership requires flexibility? What if ideology is a bad substitute for common sense? What if ideological consistency, let alone "purity," is a sign of small-mindedness, maybe even stupidity? (Frank Schaeffer "Crazy For God" 2007 p.345-7)
(Frank Schaeffer "Crazy For God" also cited by Linda Sharp
That is why China noticed that when the United States brandished the bomb to prevent the Chinese takeover of the islands the Soviet Union was in no hurry to brandish its (Jonathan Schell "The Seventh Decade" 2007 p.42-3)
Like the other fundamental reasons for wanting the bomb, this one has a long ... The physicist Niels Bohr, for instance, believed that the nuclear dilemma forced the world to choose between a new pair of alternatives: annihilation (something far worse than the cost of any war) and the end of war, a goal that rose as high above the evils of a warring world as nuclear annihilation sank below it. ......
.…. his initiative was repulsed, especially by Churchill, who thought Bohr should perhaps be locked up. (Jonathan Schell "The Seventh Decade" 2007 p.70-1)
* A 1975 National Security Decision Memorandum signed by Henry Kissinger details the U.S. willingness to cooperate with Iran (Jonathan Schell "The Seventh Decade" 2007 p.138-9)
No American attack followed. Asked just before the Iraq war by a visitor to explain why his country was pursuing its nuclear program, a North Korean general answered, "We see what you are getting ready to do with Iraq. And you are not going to do it to us." (Jonathan Schell "The Seventh Decade" 2007 p.140-1)
National Security Decision Memorandum 292 original PDF
National Security Decision Memorandum 292 HTML
History Commons: US confrontation with Iran
National Security Archive: U.S.-Iran Nuclear Negotiations in 1970s Featured Shah's Nationalism and U.S. Weapons Worries
Issues in Science & Technology: Controlling Iran’s Nuclear Program
Eyes on Iran, Rivals Pursuing Nuclear Power April 15 2007 Broad Sanger WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER "With Eye on Iran, Rivals Also Want Nuclear Power" NYT 04/15/2007
"A World Free of Nuclear Weapons," by former secretary of state George P. Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger former Senator Sam Nunn, “Reliance on nuclear weapons for [deterance] is becoming increasingly hazardous and decreasingly effective. (Jonathan Schell "The Seventh Decade" 2007 p.204-5)
"A World Free of Nuclear Weapons," by former secretary of state George P. Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger former Senator Sam Nunn—about as impressive a (Jonathan Schell "The Seventh Decade" 2007 p.13)
"A World Free of Nuclear Weapons," by former secretary of state George P. Shultz, former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger former Senator Sam Nunn
Apart from the United States, few countries use the death penalty. Only China and Iran execute more people than the U.S. No member-nation of the European Union uses it. Under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, it is regarded as a human rights violation, so no nation can be admitted to the European Union if it still has the death penalty on its books.
When Bush was elected president the federal government had not used the death penalty for thirty-eight years. Bush Reinstated it. (Bloggers note: This claim may be misleading, the death penalty was on the books long before Bush became president and other presidents and candidates also supported it; however the appeals for federal inmates on death row did run out at this time so the death penalty was in practice reinstated.) when he was governor of Texas, that state had more executions than any other, and Bush signed 152 death warrants-more than any previous governor of Texas, or any other American governor in modern times. Typically, he made his life-and-death decision after a half-hour briefing with his legal counsel. Only once, as governor, did he stop an execution.
Millions of viewers watching the second presidential debate in October 2000 were shocked when Bush described the fate of the three men who murdered James Byrd: “Guess what’s going to happen to them?” they’re going to be put to death. It's going to be hard to punish them any worse after they get put to death.” (debate transcript) the words alone do not convey the exultation, almost glee, that appeared on Bush’s face when he spoke of the coming execution of the men who had been convicted of murder. (As a questioner from the audience in the third presidential debate put it, Bush seemed to “overly enjoy” the fact that Texas leads the nation in the execution of prisoners. Bush denied that this was the case, but those who saw his expression in the earlier debate must have had difficulty in believing his assurance.) Undoubtedly the crime was dreadful, but such levity about the infliction of the death penalty makes a poor fit with the idea of promoting a culture of life.
To support the death penalty while opposing the killing of embryos or fetuses need not be inconsistent. As Bush said in A Charge to Keep: “Some advocates of life will challenge why I oppose abortion yet support the death penalty. To me, it’s the difference between innocence and guilt.” But to hold the two positions consistently, one would at least need to be very careful about supporting the death penalty. Since humans are fallible, any legal system that puts a large number of people to death will risk executing people innocent of the crimes for which they were charged. Several studies list people who have been condemned to death, and in some cases executed, who were later shown to be innocent. The Death Penalty Information Center has a list of 102 people wrongly sentenced to death in the United States between 1976 and 200. An investigation by the Chicago Tribune of all the 682 executions in the United Sates between 196 and 2000 found that at least 120 people were put to death while still proclaiming innocence, and in four of these cases there was evidence supporting the claim of innocence. When Florida Supreme Court Justice Gerald Kogan retired, he said that there were several cases in which he had “grave doubts” about the guilt of people executed in Florida. If Kogan had doubts, then so should we-he was chief prosecutor of the Homicide and Capital Crimes division of the Dade County State Attorney’s Office before becoming a circuit judge and then Chief Justice. Even a highly critical study of the Death Penalty Information Center list, published on a pro-death penalty Web site, acknowledges that there were thirty four people sentenced to death who were released on the basis of serious claims of innocence. After reaching that figure, the study points out that this is less than half of one percent of all defendants sentenced to death in that period. But even if 199 out of 200 people sentenced to death are guilty, that does not erase the wrong done to the one who is innocent.
Bush’s attitude toward the risk of putting to death the innocent is in contrast to that of another Republican state governor who had once been a supporter of the death penalty. In 1999, Governor George Ryan of Illinois became concerned about the risk of putting innocent people to death when an investigation by students in a journalism class at Northwestern university proved that another man committed a murder for which Anthony Porter, a death-row inmate for sixteen years, was about to be executed. Ryan set up a commission that, over three years, conducted the most thorough study of the death penalty over carried out in a single state. It concluded that thirteen condemned prisoners were innocent. The commission’s findings, Ryan later said, showed that “Our capital system is haunted by the demon of error, error in determining guilt and error in determining who among the guilty deserves to die.” The commission proposed changes to the criminal justice system that were repeatedly rejected by the Illinois legislature. Finally, just before he left office, Ryan could no longer live with the risk of executing the innocent: he commuted all death sentences in Illinois to terms of imprisonment.
No matter how careful Bush may have been, it remains possible-the Illinois experience suggests that, given the large number of executions in Texas, one could say “probable”- that during his tenure as governor of Texas, an innocent person was put to death. To justify taking this risk of executing the innocent, one would need to be very sure of one’s grounds for supporting the death penalty. How sure is Bush entitled to be? He has written; “I support the death penalty because I believe, if administered swiftly and justly, capital punishment is a deterrent against future violence and will save other innocent lives.” In the third of his debates with vice President Al Gore, when asked by Jim Lehrer, the moderator, whether he believed that the death penalty “actually deters crime,” he committed himself even more firmly, saying. “I do. It's the only reason to be for it. Let me finish, sir. I don't think you should support the death penalty to seek revenge. I don't think that's right. I think the reason to support the death penalty is because it saves other people's lives.” (debate transcript)
The problem with this defense of capital punishment is that most of the evidence is against it. Whether the death penalty is a deterrent is a factual question. Since it is not difficult to compare murder rates before and after the abolition or reinstitution of the death penalty, or in different jurisdictions that do and do not have the death penalty, there is relevant data. For example, after the 1976 U.S. supreme Court ruling that the death penalty is constitutional, a dozen states chose not to enact laws allowing it. These states have not had higher homicide rates than the states that did enact such laws-in fact, ten of them have had homicide rates lower than the national average. South Dakota has it, North Dakota does not. The homicide rate is higher in South Dakota than in North Dakota. Connecticut has it, Massachusetts does not. Again the homicide rate is higher in the state with the death penalty. The states in these pairs are roughly comparable in terms of their economic and ethnic mix. Moreover, homicide rates have risen and fallen in roughly symmetrical patterns in states with and without the death penalty, suggesting that the existence or absence of the death penalty has little effect on the incidence of homicide.
In 1992, California carried out its first execution in twenty-five years. Homicide rates in Los Angeles rose. Something similar happened when Oklahoma restored the death penalty. Keith Harries and Derral Cheatwood took the scrutiny down to the county level, comparing 293 pairs of neighboring counties, differing in their use of the death penalty but otherwise carefully selected to be similar in respect of their location, history, economy, and inhabitants. They found no deterrent effect from capital punishment, executions, or whether a county has a population on death row. They did, however, find higher violent crime rates in death penalty counties. Finally, it is worth noting that a study of the effect of executions in Texas from 1982 until 1997 (and thus including part of Bush’s term as governor) concluded that the number of executions was unrelated to murder rates.
Admittedly, there are some studies that suggest that the death penalty does have a deterrent effect. On closer examination, they usually turn out to have serious flaws. In any case, if Bush supports the death penalty only because “it saves other people’s lives,” he should, before signing 152 death warrants, have taken a hard look at the evidence to see whether it really does save lives. If he had done so he probably would have concluded that that the death penalty does not save innocent lives. Or at the very least, even if he were to take the most skeptical possible view of the abundant evidence against the deterrent effect of the death penalty, and a more favorable view of the few studies suggesting that it does have such an effect, he would have realized that he cannot possibly have any confidence that the death penalty does save other people’s lives. Given that, and the risk-slight in any particular case, perhaps, but substantial when the death penalty is used frequently, as it was in Texas when he was governor-that an innocent person will be executed, someone who is concerned about protecting innocent human life should oppose the death penalty.
There is one other respect in which Bush’s hard-line support for the death penalty does not fit well with his support for the protection of innocent human life. A person who is seriously mentally retarded is likely to be incapable of understanding right and wrong, and thus to be morally innocent, even if he or she did commit the crime. As a national consensus against executing the mentally retarded began to build, Bush, as governor of Texas, came out against a bill that would have prohibited the use of the death penalty against profoundly retarded criminals, with IQ’s of less than 65. His explanation for this position was simply: “I like the law the way it is right now.” Although Texans strongly support the death penalty, on this issue Bush was more extreme than most of his constituents-a 1998 poll showed that 73 percent of Texans were opposed to executing the retarded. The bill was passed by the Texas Senate, which is dominated by Republicans, but with Bush opposing it, it failed in the House. In May 1997, Bush denied an appeal for clemency on behalf of Terry Washington, a thirty-three-year-old mentally retarded man with the communication skills of a seven year old. Washington was executed.
If Bush supports the death penalty because he believes that it saves lives by deterring potential murderers, and if mentally retarded people are morally innocent, then in signing the death warrant for Terry Washington, Bush was deliberately causing the death of a morally innocent human as a means of saving the lives of others. That is of course, exactly what he refuses to support in the case of human embryos.
In June of 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that, given the growing national consensus, executing retarded persons is “cruel and unusual punishment” and hence a violation of the Eigth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.(Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.45-9) Murder rates by state. Death Penalty Information Center
Tom Paine, the supporter of American Independence and author of the Rights of Man wrote in Dissertations on First Principles of Government: “He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself”. (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.75)
Suppose someone says, “We should clone human beings because aliens have told us to do so.” We would, if we were to take this ridiculous claim seriously, ask for evidence that these aliens really exist, that they have told us to clone humans, and that there is some reason why we should do what they tell us to do. Suppose their response to our questions is, “I have encountered aliens in moments of deep despair, and they have entered into my head and my heart, and I love them and know I can trust them. Open your hearts to them, and you too will come to love them and see they are right.” If we are told that no evidence for the existence of the aliens will be offered, and we should take these claims on faith, we would, rightly, refuse to pay them any further attention. So suppose, then, that someone tells us that human embryos should not be destroyed because "human life is a sacred gift from our Creator." He also refuses to offer evidence, and when asked how he knows this, says it is a matter of faith, and we should open our heart to the Lord, and to Jesus, his only son, and we too will see things as he does. That answer may be more widely held than the justification that the bizarre Raelian sect has given for setting out to produce a human clone, but as a justification for public policy within the sphere of public reason, it fares no better. (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.104) also cited by John Burgeson (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.104) also cited on Talking Points Memo
Richard Dicker, a director of Human Rights Watch in New York, which has lobbied for the court's creation, said the suspension of military aid today amounted to a defeat for the current campaign against the court. "This policy is creating a dilemma where the administration has to chose between sound military cooperation with democratic nations and this campaign of ideology against the international criminal court," he said. (from original source cited
Dicker then added pointedly, “I’ve never seen a sanctions regime aimed at countries that believe in the rule of law rather than ones that commit human rights abuses.” (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.133-4) also cited on Talking Points Memo
When, shortly after taking office as president, George W. Bush was asked what he would do about global warming, his answer was, “We will not do anything that harms our economy, because first things first are the people who live in America.” Asked whether the president would call on drivers to sharply reduce fuel consumption, the White House press secretary, Ari Fleischer, replied, "That's a big no. The President believes that it's an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policymakers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessed one." (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.135) also cite in Brad’s Useful Quotes (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.135) also cite in AMK’s Journal
In an internal memo leaked to the New York Times, an EPA official stated that the White House version “no longer accurately represents scientific consensus on climate change.” (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.136)
The most notorious example of a country going to war against another nation for harboring and supporting terrorism is still Austria-Hungary’s attack on Serbia in 1914, which triggered a world war that cost nine million lives. Austria-Hungary’s case for going to war rested on Serbian involvement in the assassination of the Austria-Hungarian crown prince and his wife in Sarajevo. The conspirators admitted that they had been trained, armed, supported, and given safe passage across the border by Serbian government official. Austria-Hungary handed the Serbian government an ultimatum, demanding that it bring the conspirators to justice and allow Austria-Hungarian officials to supervise the prosecution to ensure that the trial of guilt was pursued to the end. This ultimatum was widely seen as a violation of the principle of national sovereignty. The British foreign minister, Sit Edward Grey, called it “The most formidable document I have ever seen addressed by one State to another that was independent.” The American Legion’s official history of the Great War denounced it as a “vicious document of unproven accusation and tyrannical demand.” Many historians studying the origins of the First World War have condemned the ultimatum, as failing to respect Serbia’s sovereignty. They are especially critical of the fact that after the Serbian government accepted many, but not all, of the demands in the ultimatum, Austria-Hungary refused to enter into negotiations, instead declaring war.
Although the U.S. administration-unlike the Austro-Hungarian government in respect to Serbia-had no evidence of the involvement of Afghan’s government officials in the events of September 11, Bush’s ultimatum to Afghanistan was no less threatening to that country’s sovereignty than Austria- Hungary’s was to Serbia. He demanded the closure of all terrorist camps, and access for U.S. officials to ensure that they were no longer operating. In one important respect, he went further than Austria- Hungary, which was content for Serbia to put those who had aided the terrorists on trial. Bush insisted that Al Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan be handed over to the U.S.-where one might suspect that it would be difficult for them to get a fair trial. (The subsequent history of American procedures for dealing with those captured in Afghanistan has shown this to be reasonable.) (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.145-6)
Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, asked the U.S. government to provide evidence of Osama bin Laden’s involvement in the events of 9/11, and indicated that if this was done, he would be willing to hand bin Laden over to an Islamic court in another Muslim country. (This proposal was later softened to a requirement that the court have at least one Muslim judge.) There was also a suggestion that the Organization of the Islamic Conference, a group of more than fifty Muslim countries, should be consulted. The request for evidence of bin Laden’s involvement-no such evidence had been made public at that time-was surely a reasonable one, in accord with normal requests for extradition. The U.S. would itself insist on evidence before handing someone within its borders over to another nation wishing to put him on trial for a capital offense. Yet, the request, and the proposal for a meeting, appear to have been totally ignored, just as Hungary ignored Serbia’s counter offer in 1914. (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.151)
The result has been graphically described by Philip Gourevitch, author of we Wish to Inform you That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families, a heartbreaking book on the Rwanda genocide:
…seven hundred poorly armed U.N. peacekeepers in the north-eastern Ituri region have watched helplessly over the past few weeks as massacres by tribal militias have filled graves with fresh corpses at about the same clip that the dead of Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror have been exhumed in Iraq. (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.)
22“If men struggle with each other and strike a woman with child so that she gives birth prematurely, yet there is no injury, he shall surely be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide. 23“But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise. (Exodus 21:22-5) (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.206)
Tertullian, Origen, and Clement of Alexandria-leading thinkers of the early church- all agreed that a Christian could not be a soldier. If one of the faithful becomes a soldier, Clement said, he must be cast out of the church, for he has “scorned God.” It was not until 312, when Constantine, the Roman Emperor, became a Christian, that this attitude changed, and Christian thinkers like Augustine began to develop the doctrine of the “just war.” (Peter Singer “The President of Good and Evil” 2004 p.207)
Chicago Tribune “Questions of innocence: Legal roadblocks thwart new evidence on appeal” By STEVE MILLS
Chicago Tribune “Shadows of doubt haunt executions: 3 cases weaken under scrutiny” By STEVE MILLS, MAURICE POSSLEY and KEN ARMSTRONG
Associated Press “Fla. Judge has ‘Grave Doubts’ on Guilt of Some convicts Executed” Bar Brief statement from Florida Supreme Court Justice Gerald Kogan
Tom Paine, “Dissertations on First Principles of Government”
FAR FROM INFINITE JUSTICE: JUST WAR THEORY AND OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM by Stephen R. Shalom Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law Vol. 26, No. 3
ROMA INTEGRATION IN EUROPE: WHY MINORITY RIGHTS ARE FAILING By Iskra Uzunova Arizona Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 27, No. 1
Philip Gourevitch, “Wish to Inform you That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families” in New Yorker Magazine
Philip Gourevitch, “Wish to Inform you That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families”
I was careful to acknowledge the possibility that revelations actually occur. It is beyond the capacity of science to demonstrate that the divine does not communicate directly with certain individuals; there is no possibility of constructing an appropriate detector. We must, therefore, admit the possibility of an active supernatural realm closed to scientific exploration. To confess these limits to scientific epistemology is not to suggest that we cease efforts to account for religious phenomena within a scientific framework. There is no necessary incompatibility between these efforts and faith. “The rise of Mormonism” By Rodney Stark, Reid Larkin Neilson p.27
And how could any rational person make sacrifices on behalf of unseen supernatural entities? The answer: When it comes to religion, apparently reasonable beings are unreasonable- religion is rooted in the irrational. Keep in mind that claims about the irrationality of religious sacrifices have not been limited to great sacrifices such as asceticism or martyrdom. At issue are such ordinary acts as prayer, observance of moral codes, and contributions of time and wealth.
Whether it be the imputation of outright psychopathology, of groundless fears, or merely faulty reasoning and misperceptions, the irrational assumption has dominated the field. The notion that normal, sophisticated people could be religious has been limited to a few social scientists willing to allow their own brand of very mild religiousness to pass the test of rationality-as in Gordon W. Allport’s concept of “intrinsic” religion…… “The rise of Mormonism” By Rodney Stark, Reid Larkin Neilson p.86
“Acts of faith: explaining the human side of religion” By Rodney Stark, Roger Finke
It was not bishops but the religious “fantasies” of the masses that most concerned Engels. Freud wrote about religious illusions, not about church taxes, and Wallace asserted that “belief in supernatural powers is doomed to die out, all over the world” (1966:265), because as Bryan Wilson explained, “the rational structure of society itself precludes much indulgence in supernaturalist thinking” (1975b:265).
Third,, implicit in all is the claim that all aspects of modernization it is science that has the most deadly implications for religion…… “The rise of Mormonism” By Rodney Stark, Reid Larkin Neilson p.97
additional Google books with the same quote
Beating the devil out of Them was virtually stillborn. The month it was published, the original publisher, Lexington Books, (Murray Strauss “Beating the devil out of Them” 2009)
Well aware that war was afoot, Scowcroft had tried to head it off with an August 15, 2002, Wall Street Journal op-ed piece titled “Don’t attack Saddam” and TV interviews. As a purveyor of the realist school of foreign policy, and as a protégé of Henry Kissinger, Scowcroft believed that idealism should take a backseat to America’s strategic self-interest, and his case was simple. “There is scant evidence to tie Saddam to terrorist organizations,” he wrote, “and even less to the Sept. 11 attacks.” To attack Iraq, while ignoring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said, “could turn the whole region into a cauldron and, thus, destroy the war on terrorism.” A few days later, former secretary of state James Baker, who had carefully assembled the massive coalition for the Gulf War in 1991, joined in, warning the Bush administration that if it were to attack Saddam, it should not go it alone. (Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” 2007 p.5)
(Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” first 6 pages at Salon
One of the key figure behind the its ascendency was Chaim Weizmann, a young chemist at Manchester University who met Charles Prestwick Scott, (Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” 2007 p.105-8)
One of the first people Begin sought out was Jerry Falwell, who had just begun to achieve national recognition and who saw the birth of Israel as the (Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” 2007 p.109)
After “A Clean Break,” the neocon machine shifted into higher gear. The drumbeat for war began. (Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” 2007 p.148)
Asked if there was any talk at the Rome meeting about destabilizing Iran, Ledeen replied by E-mail, “Please mr. unger, have the good manners to go away and stay away.” (Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” 2007 p.235)
David Addington oversaw Cheney's aggressive and highly secretive legal staff.29
Stephen Hadley kept Condoleezza Rice in check at the National Security Council, lest she fall back into Scowcroft’s orbit. Wurmser had been moved out of….
But the real push was delayed until the second week of September. As Card famously put it, “From a marketing point of view, you don’t introduce a new product in August.” (Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” 2007 p.250-1)
Iraq was merely just the beginning. To Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and the PLO Perle added, “We could deliver a short message, a two-word message: ‘You’re next.’” (Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” 2007 p.290)
If the President deems that he’s got to torture somebody, including by crushing the testicles of the person’s child, there is no law that can stop him? (Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” 2007 p.300)
Bush Advisor Says President Has Legal Power to Torture Children
Another factor in the 2004 election was fear itself. As John Judis explained in “Death Grip,” … Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski …. (Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” 2007 p.318)
The best general introduction to this field is Drew Westen's recent book, The Political Brain, but the research that is perhaps most relevant to the 2004 election has been conducted by psychologists Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski. In the early 1980s, they developed what they clumsily called "terror management theory." Their idea was not about how to clear the subways in the event of an attack, but about how people cope with the terrifying and potentially paralyzing realization that, as human beings, we are destined to die. Their experiments showed that the mere thought of one's mortality can trigger a range of emotions--from disdain for other races, religions, and nations, to a preference for charismatic over pragmatic leaders, to a heightened attraction to traditional mores. Initially, the three scholars didn't attempt to apply their theory to elections. But, after September 11, they conducted experiments designed to do exactly that. “Death Grip” by John Judis
Hate filled the air, at times evoking the specter of McCarthyism, the hate and fear mongering of Father Coughlin, and even the assault against reason undertaken by the Puritans. (Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” 2007 p.330-4)
If the once powerful Christian Coalition had become moribund — and it had — that was because it had been replaced by a far more powerful institution: the Republican Party. Indeed, in 2004, no fewer than 41 out of 51 Republican senators voted with the Christian Coalition 100 percent of the time. When the new Congress took office in early 2005, it included Tom Coburn, newly elected senator from Oklahoma, who believed that doctors who performed abortions should be executed. Asserting that global warming was a hoax, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) compared environmentalists to the Nazis. He argued that American policy in the Middle East should be based on the Bible, that Israel had a right to the West Bank “because God said so.” And on the Senate floor, in a speech about the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, he displayed an enormous photo of his extended family, and told the august assembly, “We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.”
Meanwhile, the White House sought extraordinary means to get its message across. In late January 2005, a man named James Guckert showed up at a presidential news conference using Jeff Gannon as a pseudonym, and lobbed softball questions to President Bush. “Senate Democratic leaders have painted a very bleak picture of the US economy. . . .” he told President Bush. “Yet in the same breath they say that Social Security is rock solid and there’s no crisis there. How are you going to work — you’ve said you are going to reach out to these people — how are you going to work with people who seem to have divorced themselves from reality?”
Inhofe said: “I believe very strongly that we ought to support Israel; that it has a right to the land. The is the most important reason: Because God said so. As I said a minute ago, look it up in the Book of Genesis. It is right up there on the desk. In Genesis 13:14–17, the Bible says:
"The Lord said to Abraham, 'Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where you are northward, and southward, and eastward and westward: for all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed forever. . . . Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it to thee.'"
That is God talking.
The Bible says that Abraham removed his tent and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar before the Lord. Hebron is in the West Bank. It is at this place where God appeared to Abram and said, "I am giving you this land — the West Bank". This is not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true. Craig Unger “The Fall of the House of Bush” excerpt at rkmbs.com
Full text of "Report of the congressional committees investigating the Iran- Contra Affair : with supplemental, minority, and additional views"
In reality, Corporate Air Services was not a CIA front. The real proprietor of the small air fleet, through several dummy corporations, was Richard Secord. Behind Secord stood not the CIA ..... Felix Rodriguez, a friend and former colleague of vice president George Bush's national security adviser, Donald Gregg. ..... Seventeen days later, Al Shiraa published the story of the arms sales (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.21-2)
We began negotiations for a proffer of testimony from Robert Earl,. A Rhodes scholar ..... We began extensive interviews with Felix Rodriguez, aka Max Gomez, who had overseen the Ilopango Donald Gregg (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.93)
Casey's supervision of North was apparent from the information provided by Clair George, the CIA's director of operations
Through Felix Rodriguez (Max Gomez), vice president George Bush's office had been drawn into North's activities. Donald Gregg, the vice president's national security advisor and Rodriguez's former CIA supervisor, told us that he had recommended to the U.S. embassy in El (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.105)
Asked dissuade Regan, McFarlane admitted, "not having the guts Bill Casey, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, and Cap Weinberger would have said I was some kind of commie." (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.120-)
Hakim's early-June testimony on the finances of the Enterprise and the share in them that he had set aside for Oliver North
Hakim had also unilaterally reversed proclaimed U.S. anti-terrorism policy. Bowing to a demand that the Iranians had been pressing in vain from their earliest indirect overtures to U.S. officials, Hakim (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.123)
Rob Owen took the stand next. We needed his testimony to confirm North's active supervision of his work in supporting the Contras. Our according to Richard Gadd; a "workaholic ... a work of art," according to Rafael Quintero, "wonderful patriotic American," according to Joseph Coors the beer mogul (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.186-7)
Next in seniority was Lawrence H. Silberman, the judge I had most dreaded having on the panel. He had written the court of appeals opinion holding that the statute authorizing the appointment of independent counsel was unconstitutional (a holding that had been reversed by the Supreme Court); he had been hostile when interrogating my associate counsel in various matters we had had before the court; and at a D.C. circuit conference he had gotten into a shouting match about independent counsel with Judge George MacKinnon, the chief of the panel that appointed me. Silberman not only had hostile views but seemed to hold them in anger.
With no experience as a trial judge and little as a trial lawyer, Silberman had served under George Shultz as solicitor and then under-secretary of the Labor Department during President Nixon’s first term. He had served briefly as deputy attorney general in the early 1970’s. I had dealt with him during this period and had tentatively evaluated him as overly bright and cynical. He had served as ambassador to Yugoslavia under Presidents Nixon and Gerald Ford. After returning to private practice in Washington Silberman had become advisor on foreign policy matters to Ronald Reagan’s campaign organization. In this capacity Silberman had been on the fringe of the negotiations to avoid the possibility of an "October surprise"— the pre-election release of the U.S. embassy staff held captive by Iranian radicals. He and Robert MacFarlane had represented Reagan in at least one meeting with a person who claimed to have influence with Iranians who might affect the timing of the release of the hostages. Among some career officers in the State Department, he was jokingly referred to as “our ambassador to Khomeini.”
Passed over for appointment to head the State Department or the CIA, Silberman had remained in private practice but had served on various government advisory committees dealing with foreign policy; he had also advised George Shultz on matter concerning the Middle East. Even after Reagan appointed him to the court of appeals in 1985, Silberman had continued to give speeches at Federalist Society meetings. He was an obvious prospect for a right-wing appointment to the Supreme Court. I feared that North’s appeal would provide him with an opportunity for a virtuoso performance designed to catch the ear of President Bush.
Yet I was reluctant to request that Silberman disqualify himself. Prior government service or political activity did not bar him from serving on the panel. His unfavorable view of independent counsel, if it arose in the course of litigation rather than outside the courtroom, was not a basis for disqualification. Too late, I learned that he had a personal animus: He despised Judge Gerhard Gesell. Indeed, Silberman had stopped having lunch in the judges’ lunchroom because of his antipathy for Gesell. Had I known that, the scales would have tipped in favor of my seeking his recusal. (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.248-53)
Silberman and Santelle briefly acknowledged that my staff and I had successfully insulated ourselves from the testimony. The remainder of their opinion however, was written to imply that we had deliberately used North’s testimony to refresh witnesses’ recollections, although the undisputed fact was that we had done no such thing. (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.256-7)
opponents of North's prosecution seized on the opinion as vindication, but the strong dissent by the chief judge softened the blow for us. ... Lynch was not available to represent us in a further appeal, having accepted an appointment as the chief of the ... Before petitioning the Supreme Court, however, we had to move for reargument to give Judges Silberman and ... Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who would later be appointed to the Supreme Court) wrote a dissenting opinion that criticized Silberman's having (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.260-1)
Our public relations capabilities were minimal compared with those of Congress, the White House, and the agencies we were investigating.
Our But the Washington Press corps, perhaps the best group of reporters in the world, regularly published (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.264-5)
At our last staff conference in 1990 and again in early 1991, we evaluated the case against Donald Gregg. He had testified to the grand jury and to Congress that he had not known that Felix Rodriguez was helping North supply the Contras until August 1986, when Congress was about to authorize the CIA to take back the responsibility. Gregg had said that he had never told Bush about Rodriguez's role in North's operation. James Steele however, had admitted to having told Gregg in January 1986 that Rodriguez was busy helping the Contras, and Oliver North had claimed that Gregg had known about his activities as early as 1985. a February 1986 report to Gregg from his assistant, Samuel Watson, on resupplying the Contras was annotated with the phrase "Felix [Rodriguez] agrees," in Gregg's hand writing.
On July 24, 1990, at Gillen's request, the FBI had conducted a polygraph examination of Gregg. The examiner ahd concluded that the polygraph indicated deception on Gregg's answers to the five most relevant questions he was asked. We knew that while Bush was still vice president, Boyden Gray had interrogated Gregg after discovering a memorandum by his assistant listing one of the topics for a May 1986meeting between Rodriguez and Bush as "Contra resupply." When we tried to question Gray about the results of this interrogation, President Bush stepped in and asserted his attorney-client privilege to prevent Gray from testifying about what Gregg had told him. Although Gregg had made no claim that Gray was his lawyer, he would probably have done so if we had contested the president's claim.
Our investigation of Gregg retained it's vitality because of the results of his polygraph examination, but such results are inadmissible in court, so we could not make a solid case against him without the cooperation of either Felix Rodriguez or Samuel Watson. Rodriguez was a hardened operative, a former CIA agent who constantly protected Gregg, under whom he had served in the CIA. Even though Richard Secord had informed that Rodriguez's fellow operative Raphael Quintero had told him that Rodriguez had telephoned Gregg every time weapons were delivered, we could not persuade Quintero to testify against Rodriguez. We would have to decide whether it was worth our time and effort to prosecute Rodriguez for denying that he had made the calls, when he was likely to persist in the denials even if convicted and thus would never testify against Gregg.
As for the other potential witness against Donald Gregg, we continued to gather proof that Samuel Watson had known quite early about Rodriguez and about North's Contra supply activities, but we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Watson had reported this to Gregg and the vice president. Watson's secretary was ready to testify that he had dictated a memorandum specifying "Contra resupply" as a subject to be discussed by Rodriguez and Bush in may 1986. another secretary corroborated her. Watson denied it. A case against Watson would consist simply of two secretaries' saying that his denials were false. We believed that he had lied, but we did not want to be diverted into a slander case against Watson to try to compel him to talk. Craig Gillen argued against prosecution, saying that he could not see a juror's blood rising over Watson's dispute with his secretaries. "It's a fragment of a day in a larger picture."
Watson declined to make a proffer, and his lawyer would not consent to our subjecting Watson to a polygraph examination. Our only remaining choice was to give him immunity and ....
John Poindexter denied ever having given information to Gregg. Poindexter said that as national security adviser he had dealt directly with the vice president (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.270-2)
Even though several witnesses had lied to us and to Congress, we had decided not to obtain indictments that were peripheral—those that might punish the lies of subordinates, without producing useful witnesses against Ronald Reagan, George Bush, or key officials who had supported or covered up the president's illegal covert actions. a year earlier, we had suspended our investigation of William Walker, who had been Eliot Abram's principal assistant; Edwin Carr, who had the U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, Paul Thompson, who had been Poindexter's military assistant and council to the National Security Council, and—with considerable misgivings — Donald Gregg and Samuel Watson, who had been members of George Bush's vice presidential staff. (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.318-9)
Before leaving Washington, Shultz had directed Hill, Platt, and Abraham Sofaer to pull together the record of what he had known and what he had
That afternoon as Hill took notes, Shultz had analyzed where the administration stood and what it must do The illegality of the administration's actions had not escaped Shultz. "We appear to have violated our own laws," he had told Hill. "Certainly (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.322-3)
he had known of the November 1985 Hawk shipment but believed it not to have been an arms-for-hostages deal
Although Shultz had never held elective office, few others in recent history had matched his career of outstanding government (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.334-5)
In analyzing the appropriateness ..... accepting Steven Kirk, who had turned out to be an advocate for the defense government's good will (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.432-3)
I was tempted to ask Dole to disclose any relationship he had with Bennett's law firm. Too avoid the appearance of attacking Weinberger on the eve of his trial, however, I decided not to ask Dole for any disclosures.
On the day that Dole asked for information about my salary, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney appeared on the NBC program Meet the Press and denounced Weinberger's indictment as a "travesty." Said Cheney, "I was the senior House Republican on the committee that investigated the Iran-Contra matter ... the fact that now—six years after the fact— the special prosecutor, who has yet really to nail anybody, and has spent millions of dollars, is out trying to prosecute, I think is an outrage." On December 11, the Associated Press reported that Dole had received $13,000 in campaign contributions since 1987 from members of Bennett's law firm. (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.482-3)
In the postmortem, we received more praise than criticism, Newsday columnist Robert Parry, for example, had this to say: ""Undeterred by persistent attacks against him in his investigation, Walsh has dragged out more truth about the scandal than anyone else .... without Walsh and his small band of prosecutors, .... (Lawrence Walsh “Firewall” 1997 p.514-5)
he Institute for Historical Review
I recall the days of rushing off to Stride Rite to buy two pairs of sensible leather shoes for each of my children every three months (one for church and one for everyday) plus a pair of sneakers. (Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p.17)
The widely publicized rise in shootings, gangs, and dangerous drugs at public schools sent many parents in search of a safe haven for their sons and daughters. Violent incidents can happen anywhere, as the shootings at lovely suburban Columbine High School in Colorado revealed to a horrified nation. (Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p.25-6)
Alternatively, we could take the usual liberal approach, calling for more government regulations of the housing market such as price caps. But we don't think the solution lies with such complex regulations. …… Nor would we be arguing for outright government subsidies (Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p.33-6)
And then there are sports. In winning years a few of the big programs might break even thanks to the sell-out crowds and television deals, but for most colleges the cost to field teams in every sport from football to water polo must come out of the general budget. ….Columbia University allocates even more, redirecting $ 7 million of its general revenue to make up the shortfall in athletics. (Elizabeth Warren “The Two Income Trap” p.43)
But Mrs. Clinton stayed firm in her fight against "that awful bill." She was convinced that the bill was "unfair to women and children," and she intended to stand by her principles, even if it cost some Democratic party candidates campaign contributions. Over the ensuing months, she was true to her word. With her strong support, the Democrats slowed the bill's passage through Congress. When Congress finally passed the bill in October 2000, President Clinton vetoed it. The following summer, an aide explained to me the abrupt about-face: "A couple of days after Mrs. Clinton met with you, we changed sides [on the bankruptcy bill] so fast that you could see skid marks in the hallways of the White House." Thanks to Mrs. Clinton, families still had one financial refuge left -- at least for the moment.
But the story doesn't end there. The banking lobbyists were persistent. President Clinton was on his way out, and credit card giant MBNA emerged as the single biggest contributors to President Bush's campaign. In the spring of 2001, the bankruptcy bill was reintroduced in the Senate, essentially unchanged from the version President Clinton had vetoed the previous year. (Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p.125-6)
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” also cited on debtpro123
Consider the example set by Citibank, America's largest credit card issuer. In 1990, I [Elizabeth] was hired as a one-day consultant by Citibank to address a gathering of some forty senior lending executives. The task: use my research to suggest policies that would help Citibank cut its losses from cardholders in financial trouble. I arrived at Citibank's New York headquarters with dozens of graphs and charts tucked in my file folders. I was ushered into a large, brightly lit conference room where each chair was filled by someone outfitted in a starched shirt, silk tie, and dark suit. The executives stayed with me all day, eating lunch at the conference tables as we continued our discussions about the effects of unemployment on loan defaults and the rising number of bankruptcies among two-earner families. (Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p.138-9)
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” also cited on debtpro123
What about families' access to credit? Deregulation of the mortgage lending industry was not a right-wing conspiracy; it was actually supported by most Democrats as well. Many liberals got behind the move for traditionally liberal reasons: They wanted to defend lower-income families. They had been persuaded that the risks posed by overaggressive lenders might not be as dangerous as once was thought. A deregulated lending market could even prove to be a critical tool to help low-income and disadvantaged groups improve their lot. After all, working-class families needed credit to start businesses, to build homes, and to send their kids to college -- things that upper-income families had long had plenty of opportunities to do. (Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p.149)
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” also cited on debtpro123
If America's crippling addiction to debt could be shaken off with a simple regulatory change, what are the politicians doing about it? The answer, quite simply, is nothing.
As the number of mortgage foreclosures skyrockets, as credit card debt soars, as the lines at the bankruptcy courthouse stretch out into the street and around the block, all we hear from Washington is the sound of silence. There has been no serious progress on any proposal to rein in predatory lending: no measure to control credit card fees, no proposal to ban creditors from trying to collect from a dead person's brothers and sisters, and certainly no bill to bring back meaningful limits on interest rates. The national political parties have found time to take positions on the speed of the Internet, ergonomic standards in the workplace, and regional restrictions on dairy products, but they have claimed no position on the financial issues that profoundly affect millions of middle-class families.
There is, however, one notable exception to all that inaction. Congress has paid attention to one troubling statistic -- the rapidly growing number of families filing for bankruptcy. High interest rates and aggressive marketing of complicated debt products echo through the bankruptcy statistics, as record numbers of families seek refuge in the bankruptcy courts after getting in over their heads with too much easy credit at exorbitant interest rates. In 1994, Congress created a bipartisan commission to study the issue. The group's charter was relatively straightforward: to investigate why so many families were in trouble and to develop recommendations to improve the situation. I [Elizabeth] was named senior adviser to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission.
Three years later, the commission delivered its report to Congress. The 1,100-page document detailed why so many families were in trouble (job losses, medical problems, and divorce) and identified certain lending practices that put families at particular risk. More important, it reaffirmed that the bankruptcy laws were, for the most part, working as Congress had originally intended: to offer families a fresh start in the wake of financial and personal disaster. It concluded with recommendations for modest legislative changes that were designed to curb abuses by both borrowers and lenders.
But the Congressional bankruptcy commission was not to have the final world. While the commission was busy gathering facts, holding hearings, and analyzing current practices, another group also went to work, advancing a very different perspective. The "National Consumer Bankruptcy Coalition" (NCBC), the clever moniker of the banking industry lobby, was pushing its own agenda. The major banks had hit on a new strategy to reduce their bankruptcy losses. Rather than stop lending to families in financial trouble (as Elizabeth had counseled Citibank), they had a simpler and more profitable solution -- restrict the rights of consumers to file for bankruptcy.
If fewer people could turn to bankruptcy for relief, more families would be subject to collection efforts from banks -- and every other creditor -- forever. Those families might never pay off their bills in full, but they would continue to rack up the interest and penalties, and at least a few would make some small payment every month, effectively becoming lifelong profit wells for their creditors. For the rest -- those who simply could not come up with the money, no matter how hard they were squeezed -- the lenders might eventually write off some of those loans voluntarily. (Although one wouldn't guess it from all the fiery rhetoric, bankruptcy filings account for just a fraction of lending industry losses; in the large majority of cases, the bank simply gets tired of trying to collect.) But if a family were not permitted to file for bankruptcy, it would be the lender, not the family in trouble, that would decide when the collection calls should stop.
And so the banking lobby drafted a new bankruptcy law. To get all the lenders on board, the coalition added changes that would give better deals for car lenders, mortgage lenders, education loan servicers, landlords, credit unions -- in short, better deals for everyone except families in trouble. The credit industry moved fast, persuading two friendly congressmen to introduce their bill in September 1997, a month before the official Bankruptcy Commission was scheduled to release its report. From then on, all eyes were on what Hillary Clinton would eventually dub "that awful bill."
The "awful bill" was long and complex, couched in virtually unreadable prose. But to a trained bankruptcy lawyer, the intent was unmistakable: to undercut virtually every protection in the bankruptcy laws. Under the proposed legislation, child support payments would no longer take precedence over all credit card debt. As a result, more single mothers would be forced to compete with professional collection agents when they needed money from their bankrupt ex-husbands. Homeowners who had fallen behind on their mortgages would be prevented from catching up on past-due house payments until they had also paid off their credit card debts, increasing the likelihood of foreclosure. Families would no longer be able to free themselves from certain unsecured debts, so they would be required to make payments (plus penalties, late fees, and interest) on some of those bills for the rest of their natural lives-even if those payments took up 100 percent of their paychecks.
To win over legislators, credit industry executives lobbied extensively and donated more than $60 million in political contributions. This was followed by a public relations strategy that would make any spin doctor proud. Instead of telling the public that the bankruptcy reform bill would improve profits for credit card companies and giant banks (not exactly the most sympathetic group), the NCBC and its supporters in Congress announced that the bill would help the American family. To quote Democratic Representative Rick Boucher: "The typical American family pays a hidden tax of $550 each year because of . . . bankruptcies of mere convenience." The implied promise, repeated so often that it has become an article of faith, was that changing the laws would put $550 a year in the pocket of every bill-paying American family.
Well that certainly sounds good; after all, who wouldn't want some extra cash? But there are a few serious problems with this claim. First, the figure is a gross exaggeration. According to the NCBC, the same banking lobby group that generated the $550 promise, only 100,000 of the 1.5 million families who file for bankruptcy each year could afford to repay some of their debts. In other words, under the proposed bill, those 100,000 bankrupt families would be expected to generate $550 for every household in America, since the other 1.4 million are already tapped out. So we did the math. Suppose the laws were changed, and those 100,000 families could no longer seek protection from the bankruptcy courts, and they were forced to repay as much as they possibly could. In order to return an amount that added up to $550 for every household in America, each one of those bankrupt families would have to repay more than $550,000 in a single year! In our sample of more than 2,000 bankrupt families, not one even owed $550,000, let alone earned enough money to repay that amount. But even if a magic fairy somehow gave all the bankrupt families every dollar they needed to repay their debts in full, what makes anyone think the banks would pass that money on to consumers? Recall that the credit card industry got a $10 billion windfall from falling interest rates in 2001 that they did not pass on to their customers. Why would this supposed $550 per family be any different?
Nevertheless, the combination of intense lobbying and a good cover story had its intended effect. Despite President Clinton's veto, the bankruptcy bill was reintroduced in the next session of Congress. This time, even Senator Hillary Clinton bowed to big business. She had been in office two months when she had her chance to vote on what she had called that "awful bill." Sure, the official Bankruptcy Commission had better credentials than the banking lobby. Yes, her husband had actually appointed the Chairman of the Commission and two of the commissioners. And she clearly understood that families in trouble would be hit hardest by the proposed changes. But the Bankruptcy Commission did not make campaign contributions or have its own lobbyists, and neither do families in financial trouble. Senator Clinton had taken $140,000 in campaign contributions from the banking industry, and she proved willing to overcome her "strong reservations about whether this bill is both balanced and responsible" and voted in favor of "that awful bill." (Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p.153-6)
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p.)
Regardless of your insurance status, your heirs will not be required to pay your balance; in most cases the credit card companies will write off your debts even if you never purchased the credit protection insurance. ….. If you can scrape together some money, buy a real disability policy from a reputable insurance company of put your money in the bank. (Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p.167)
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p. 123- …. also cited on debtpro123
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” also cited on debtpro123
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” also cited on debtpro123
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” also cited on debtpro123
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” also cited on debtpro123
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” also cited on debtpro123
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” also cited on debtpro123
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” also cited on debtpro123
(Elizabethe Warren “The Two Income Trap” p. 156-7 also cited on debtpro123
It is a privilege to be included among the fine set of essays that constitute this psychology and education section of the Palgrove-Macmillan series on “the day that changed everything,” namely the 9/11 surprise attacks on the world Trade Center and the Pentagon. Philip G. Zimbardo, Matthew J. Morgan “The impact of 9/11 on psychology and education: the day that changed everything?” p.xix) http://www.scribd.com/doc/20621358/The-Lucifer-Effect-by-Philip-Zimbardo
http://www.scribd.com/doc/23890551/The-Dark-Alliance newspaper article 109 pages
John B. Watson, the popularizer of behaviorism in America, proclaimed the limitless power of positive reinforcement to modify personality traits and temperament with his immodest boast: Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select- doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors.
Modern behaviorist say that shyness is a learned phobic reaction to social events. This learning may be the product of : • a prior history of negative experiences with people in certain situations, either by direct contact or by watching others getting “burned”;
• not learning the “right” social skills:
• expecting to perform inadequately and therefore becoming constantly anxcious about your performance;
• learning to put yourself down for your own “inadequacy”-“I am shy,” “I am unworthy,” “I can’t do it,” “I need my Mommy!”
According to behaviorists, a child can learn to become shy by trying to be effective in a world dominated by adults. A forty-nine-year-old teacher relates this story: John B. Watson quote along with some material on conditioning
Philip G. Zimbardo, “Shyness: What it is and what to do about it” 1977,1992 p.42-3)
In our culture where, as James Dobson says, Beauty is the gold coin of human worth and intelligence it silver coin, shyness may be the debit statement….
To be labeled “communist” by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s was to be condemned as an evil tool of Russian totalitarian forces of oppression. It’s the other way around for “bourgeois capitalists” in Moscow. Philip G. Zimbardo, “Shyness: What it is and what to do about it” 1977,1992 p.51-2)
Birds don’t do it, bees don’t do it; but parents and educated teachers do it. They lay shyness trips on their children and students. They do so by tossing around the shy label when it is not deserved, by being insensitive to their shyness when it is there, and by creating or perpetuating environments t5hat breed shyness. Philip G. Zimbardo, “Shyness: What it is and what to do about it” 1977,1992 p.58)
I remember one day way back when I was in second grade. The little girl seated in front of me was squirming in her seat long enough that it was obvious to us kids where she had to go. Her hand went up, but Mrs. Bachman did not notice it. The hand began waving more frantically until it caught the teachers attention. Philip G. Zimbardo, “Shyness: What it is and what to do about it” 1977,1992 p.69-70)
Such a “catastrophe theory” of child development runs contrary to traditional ideas that deprived, abusing environments breed madness and badness. Serene, benign, enriched environments were thought to be the cradles of sanity and adult success. The support for this view came largely from observations that adults who were mentally ill or law breakers came from impoverished or high-stress backgrounds. The thinking behind this is faulty. Only a minority of all those who grew up under adverse circumstances are in our jails and mental hospitals. Those who bend instead of breaking may develop and utilize the self-reliance necessary to carve a significant place for themselves in society. Philip G. Zimbardo, “Shyness: What it is and what to do about it” 1977,1992 p.74)
The point to be made here is that we must encourage our children to express their feelings-positive and negative ones-when they are being experienced. Philip G. Zimbardo, “Shyness: What it is and what to do about it” 1977,1992 p.112-3)
Behavior always occurs in a context; try to understand the context before evaluating, judging, and reacting to the behavior. Philip G. Zimbardo, “Shyness: What it is and what to do about it” 1977,1992 p.191)
“Have you hugged your kids today?” Rosita Perez poses this question on her bumper sticker. She hugs hers and thinks we should hug ours because it’s good for their well being. Researcher James Prescott goes further in advocating physical contact as a means to reduce violence between people and nations. His research shows that cutures where physical contact is minimal are more aggressive, and people who do not like close physical contact with others are more punitive in their values toward lawbreakers, endorse the death penalty for capital crimes, and are more bigoted and authoritarian. Philip G. Zimbardo, “Shyness: What it is and what to do about it” 1977,1992 p.198)
In a Washington, D.C. facility for delinquent boys, violence was an ongoing problem that the staff dealt with in all the usual ways. They voiced their concerns, rewarded nonviolence, gave counseling and therapy to repeated offenders, and punished the incorrigible troublemaker-all exercises in futility. It was not until they decided to analyze the situations in which aggressive behavior occurred that the violence was controlled. Most of the incidences of aggression took place in the hallways, particularly at corners, where one boy often bumped into another coming around the bend. One bump led to another, push came to shove, and another fight erupted. The simple solution was to break down the wall with its blind turn, widen it, and curve it. No more traffic accidents at the intersection, and the incidents of violence were significantly reduced. Philip G. Zimbardo, “Shyness: What it is and what to do about it” 1977,1992 p.209-10)
Howard Zinn “Just and Unjust War” Eugene Debs “The master class has always brought a war, and the subject class has always fought the battle.” (Zinn p41)
Eisenhower told Henry Stinson “Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary. (p52) also cited at common dreams.org Admiral William Leary “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.” also cited at Doug-long.com
Norman Cousins was a consultant to General MacArthur during the American occupation of Japan. Cousins writes of his conversations with MacArthur, "MacArthur's views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed." He continues, "When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor."
Norman Cousins, The Pathology of Power, pg. 65, 70-71. cited at Doug-long.com
Douglas MacArthur was allegedly in favor of using the bomb in Korea though and supposedly it was Truman who refused to do so this time.
Colin Powell when asked about Iraqi casualties at end of the first gulf war “That is not a matter I am terribly interested in.” (Zinn p90)
Antonin Scalia at the University of Chicago Divinity School “For the believing Christian death is no big deal.”
“In 1970, the US government and several multinational corporations were linked in opposition to the candidacy and later the presidency of Salvador Allende” (Zinn p.147) original source the Church Committee Report
Amartya Yen “Global capitalism is much more concerned with expanding the domain of market relations than with, say, establishing democracy, expanding elementary education, or enhancing the social opportunities of society's underdogs." (p 210) also cited in the world traveller
All of this was in sharp contrast to European values as brought over by the first colonists, a society of rich and poor, controlled by priests, by governors, by male heads of families. For example, the pastor of the Pilgrim colony, John Robinson, thus advised his parishioners how to deal with their children: "And surely there is in all children ... a stubbornness, and stoutness of mind arising from natural pride, which must, in the first place, be broken and beaten down; that so the foundation of their education being laid in humility and tractableness, other virtues may, in their time, be built thereon." Howard Zinn "Peoples history of the United States” p.20)
White servants had not yet been brought over in sufficient quantity. Besides, they did not come out of slavery, and did not have to do more than contract their labor for a few years to get their passage and a start in the New World. As for the free white settlers, many of them were skilled craftsmen, or even men of leisure back in England, who were so little inclined to work the land that John Smith, in those early years, had to declare a kind of martial law, organize them into work gangs, and force them into the fields for survival. Howard Zinn "Peoples history of the United States” p. 25)
Fear of slave revolt seems to have been a permanent fact of plantation life. William Byrd, a wealthy Virginia slave owner, wrote in 1736:
We have already at least 10,000 men of these descendants of Ham, fit to bear arms, and these numbers increase every day, as well by birth as by importation. And in case there should arise a man of desperate fortune, he might with more advantage than Cataline kindle a servile war... and tinge our rivers wide as they are with blood. Howard Zinn "Peoples history of the United States” p.35)
At the very start of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, the governor, John Winthrop, had declared the philosophy of the rulers: "... in all times some must be rich, some poore, some highe and eminent in power and dignitie; others meane and in subjection." Howard Zinn "Peoples history of the United States” p.48)
Locke's statement of people's government was in support of a revolution in England for the free development of mercantile capitalism at home and abroad. Locke himself regretted that the labor of poor children "is generally lost to the public till they are twelve or fourteen years old" and suggested that all children over three, of families on relief, should attend "working schools" so they would be "from infancy . . . inured to work." Howard Zinn "Peoples history of the United States” p.73-4)
Before this, the Cherokees had, like Indian tribes in general, done without formal government. As Van Every puts it:
The foundation principle of Indian government had always been the rejection of government. The freedom of the individual was regarded by practically all Indians north of Mexico as a canon infinitely more precious than the individual's duty to his community or nation. This anarchistic attitude ruled all behavior, beginning with the smallest social unit, the family. The Indian parent was constitutionally reluctant to discipline his children.' Their every exhibition of self-will was accepted as a favorable indication of the development of maturing character.. . Howard Zinn "Peoples history of the United States” p. 137)
The presidential election itself had avoided real issues; there was no clear understanding of which interests would gain and which would lose if certain policies were adopted. It took the usual form of election campaigns, concealing the basic similarity of the parties by dwelling on personalities, gossip, trivialities. Henry Adams, an astute literary commentator on that era, wrote to a friend about the election:
“We are here plunged in politics funnier than words can express. Very great issues are involved… But the amusing thing is that no one talks about real interests. By common consent they agree to let these alone. We are afraid to discuss them. Instead of this the press is engaged in a most amusing dispute whether Mr. Cleveland had an illegitimate child and did or did he not live with more than one Mistress.” (Zinn "Peoples history of the United States p.)
….The control of women in society was ingeniously effective. It was not done directly by the state. Instead, the family was used-men to control women, women to control children, all to be preoccupied with one another, to turn to one another for help, to blame one another for trouble, to do violence to one another when tidings weren't going right…..
….The approach was summed up by the warden at the Ossining, New York, penitentiary: "In order to reform a criminal you must first break his spirit." That approach persisted. Howard Zinn "Peoples history of the United States” p.514)
The fundamental facts of maldistribution of wealth in America were clearly not going to be affected by Carter's policies, any more than by previous administrations, whether conservative or liberal. According to Andrew Zimbalist, an American economist writing in Le Monde Diplomatique in 1977, the top 10 percent of the American population had an income thirty times that of the bottom tenth; the top 1 percent of the nation owned 33 percent of the wealth. The richest 5 percent owned 83 percent of the personally owned corporate stock. The one hundred largest corporations (despite the graduated income tax that misled people into thinking the very rich paid at least 50 percent in taxes) paid an average of 26.9 percent in taxes, and the leading oil companies paid 5.8 percent in taxes (Internal Revenue Service figures for 1974). Indeed, 244 individuals who earned over $200,000 paid no taxes. Howard Zinn "Peoples history of the United States” p.571)
A Carnegie Endowment study showed that two young people of equal standing on intelligence tests (even accepting the dubious worth of intelligence tests for children brought up under different circumstances) had very different future depending on whom their parents were. The child of a lawyer, though rating no higher on mental tests than the child of a janitor, was four times as likely to go to college, 12 times as likely to finish college, and 27 times as likely to end up in the top 10 percent of American incomes. Howard Zinn "Peoples history of the United States” p.663)
Noam Chomsky: "9/11" 2001 for free E-book click here Noam Chomsky: "Counter-Revolutionary Violence: Bloodbaths in Fact and Propaganda" 1973 for free E-book click here
Noam Chomsky: "Deterring Democracy" 1991 for free online copy click here
Noam Chomsky: "Failed states: the abuse of power and the assault on democracy" 2006 for free E-book click here
Noam Chomsky: "Hegemony or survival: America's quest for global dominance" 2003 for free preview click here
Noam Chomsky: "Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies" 1997 for free E-book click here
"Rethinking Camelot: JFK, Vietnam and the political culture" by Noam Chomsky
Richard Clarke “Against All Enemies” 2004 http://www.scribd.com/doc/6531685/Richard-a-Clarke-Against-All-Enemies
Sam Harris “The End of Faith” 2004 on line copy
Alice Miller: "For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence" 1990 for free online copy click here additional material from Alice Miller also available
Olivier Maurel: “Spanking: Questions and answers about disciplinary violence” 2005 for free online copy click here additional material from Alice Miller also available
Jeremy Scahill: “Blackwater” 2007 on line copy at issuu.com
Jeremy Scahill: “Blackwater” on-line copy at knizky.mahdi
Bob Woodward “State of Denial” download site source
Howard Zinn: "A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (P.S.)" 2005 for free copy click here
Report of the Select Committee of Assassinations of the US House of representatives
Clay Shaw Trial transcripts
additional information available at History Maters.com
Copy of JFK’s “Peace Speech” at American University
Other speeches by JFK
James Douglass Ground Zero Center for nonviolent Action website
Daniel Ellsberg’s website