I understand that the NAACP opposes voter-ID laws. Given the long history of fighting against uses of state law to deny blacks and other minorities the franchise until the Civil Rights Movement prevailed, their deep skepticism over proposed stricter enforcement of eligibility laws can’t help but recall echoes of voter suppression in their communities, even if the new laws are innocent of any racial animus. We still have plenty of mistrust that will take generations to undo, especially given that we still have those with living memories of having been denied the right to vote.
Still, if the NAACP wants to make the argument against such laws, shouldn’t they do it in a forum that has some jurisdiction
The largest civil rights group in America, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), is petitioning the UN over what it sees as a concerted efforted to disenfranchise black and Latino voters ahead of next year’s presidential election.
The organisation will this week present evidence to the UN high commissioner on human rights of what it contends is a conscious attempt to “block the vote” on the part of state legislatures across the US. Next March the NAACP will send a delegation of legal experts to Geneva to enlist the support of the UN human rights council.
The NAACP contends that the America in the throes of a consciously conceived and orchestrated move to strip black and other ethnic minority groups of the right to vote. William Barber, a member of the association’s national board, said it was the “most vicious, co-ordinated and sinister attack to narrow participation in our democracy since the early 20th century”.
A New York Times story about a “modest” global tax mentions some of those supporting the idea but forgets an important one—the United Nations. I attended a November 30 U.N.-sponsored conference in Washington, D.C., where officials of the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) appeared on a panel endorsing the idea.
The UNDP is supported by about $100 million in U.S. taxpayer money annually. The U.N. as a whole received $7.7 billion from American taxpayers last year.
Olav Kjorven, Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau of Development Policy at UNDP, said that while U.S. taxpayers may not support the global tax idea, the French do. Indeed, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have proposed a financial transaction tax on the European Union in order to generate more bailout money for bankrupt European states.
A former UNDP official in the audience by the name of Fred Tipson said it was crazy for the U.N. to be promoting the raising of taxes to an American audience and that the world body should instead adopt the lingo of Occupy Wall Street and emphasize the problem of “social inequality.”
These and other exchanges with U.N. officials were captured in a video of the event. Alluding to an international IRS, U.N. official William Orme also said the imposition of the tax would require some kind of new global structure.
The Times mentioned that the global currency tax is an idea adopted by Occupy Wall Street—a subject we covered in a column on October 11. But the paper went on to quote an “administration official” as saying, “The president is sympathetic to the goals that a financial transactions tax is trying to achieve and he is pushing for a financial crisis responsibility fee and closing other Wall Street loopholes as the best and most feasible way to achieve those goals.”
But since the currency transaction tax proposals introduced by Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio in the House and Senator Tom Harkin in the Senate have very few co-sponsors, it is apparent that a major international financial crisis would be necessary to force such a measure through Congress.
The original DeFazio co-sponsors were Reps. Bruce Braley, Hank Johnson, John Sarbanes, Bob Filner, Betty Sutton, Earl Blumenauer, Louise Slaughter, Mazie Hirono, Peter Welch, John Conyers, and Maurice Hinchey. The original Harkin co-sponsors were Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
In the current crisis the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has already committed $353 billion to bailing out European governments. U.S. taxpayers provide approximately 17 percent of the IMF’s operations.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) introduced H.R. 2313 to repeal the $8 billion increased quota and the $100 billion line of credit to the International Monetary Fund that were voted by the Democratic-controlled Congress in 2009.
The idea of a global tax is being discussed at the U.N. Climate Change Conference taking place November 28-December 9 in Durban, South Africa.
The U.N. wants the global tax to generate additional foreign aid, which under the Millennium Development Goals of the U.N. could amount to $845 billion from the U.S. alone.
The Times story carried the headline, “Tiny Tax on Financial Trades Gains Advocates,” as if to minimize the nature of what is being proposed. It said the idea is supported by “the billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and George Soros, former Vice President Al Gore, the consumer activist Ralph Nader, Pope Benedict XVI and the archbishop of Canterbury.”
The paper could have added that supporters also include Fidel Castro and the Socialist International, among others.
One list of supporters includes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the Soros-funded Center for American Progress, and former Obama official Van Jones.
The Times said Gates had estimated the tax would bring in $48 billion. In fact, the Gates report says that such proposals could generate $100 billion to $250 billion per year.
Steven Solomon, a former staff reporter at Forbes, says in his book, The Confidence Game, that such a proposal “might net some $13 trillion a year…”
This is because once a “tiny” tax is implemented, it would be relatively easy to ratchet it up and take higher and higher percentages of money from the trillions of dollars exchanged daily in global financial markets. Any such tax would affect ordinary Americans with investment vehicles such as mutual funds and pension plans that engage in stock trades involving the movement of national currencies.
But the Times story portrayed the global tax as hurting Wall Street and the rich by running a photo of demonstrators in Nice, France, dressed up as Robin Hood, who “urged the leaders of the Group of 20 nations to do more to help the poor.”
The slant in favor of the tax is not surprising, given the fact that New York Times columnists Paul Krugman and Nicholas Kristof and The New York Times editorial board are listed as being in favor of it.
Interestingly, the U.N. event moderator, Elizabeth Shogren, and one of the U.N. officials, William Orme, Chief of Communications & Publishing at the UNDP Human Development Report Office in New York, have both worked for the Los Angeles Times, a point Shogren noted in her remarks. Orme’s background in journalism, before he became a U.N. advocate and employee, also includes reporting on international affairs for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Economist.
The Washington, D.C. event was for the purpose of discussing the UNDP’s 2011 Human Development Report, which includes several pages of discussion about how the tax should be promoted and implemented. Orme said that the report does not necessarily reflect the views of the UNDP itself. But he talked in positive terms about the tax.
The report urges “massive new investments” through “innovative new sources” like the currency transaction tax and notes that the idea was included in the 1994 edition of the Human Development Report.
Indeed, that Human Development Report went further, including an article by economist Jan Tinbergen calling for “world government” through a “strengthening of the U.N. system.” He also urged a “world police” with the ability to “subpoena nations” to appear before U.N courts.
U.N. promotion of the global tax comes at a time when Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, has introduced a bill, “The United Nations Transparency, Accountability, and Reform Act “ (H.R. 2829), to limit U.S. participation in some U.N. functions and start cutting back on this funding. It passed the committee by a 23-14 vote and currently has 141 co-sponsors.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at [email protected].
I read two very troubling posts today and I feel I have to comment. If they are true (and I have no reason to believe yet that they aren’t), then things are speeding up and it sends a cold shiver down my spine. Never a good sign.
In short, the Feds went to a Mormon cannery in Tennessee and wanted the list of all those who had purchased bulk food. When the proprietor informed them that no such list exists, they asked for credit card receipts or anything else that would give them info on the customers who did business there. The owner then told them that it was a cash-and-carry business and they would not give them that info either. Good for them. It is none of the Feds business who is buying or how much. From Oathkeepers:
A fellow veteran contacted me concerning a new and disturbing development. He had been utilizing a Mormon cannery near his home to purchase bulk food supplies. The man that manages the facility related to him that federal agents had visited the facility and demanded a list of individuals that had been purchasing bulk food. The manager informed the agents that the facility kept no such records and that all transactions were conducted on a cash-and-carry basis. The agents pressed for any record of personal checks, credit card transactions, etc., but the manager could provide no such record. The agents appeared to become very agitated and after several minutes of questioning finally left with no information. I contacted the manager and personally confirmed this information.
I believe this is a precursor to accusing Americans of ‘hoarding’ food and passing regulation both prohibiting bulk food purchases and the seizure from homes of such food caches. This would be blatantly unconstitutional and fascist. It is a level of tyranny we have not seen in our lifetimes in the Land of the Free, but I fear it is almost upon us. Be very careful who you tell that you have stockpiles of food. Keep your private life quiet and protect your family and their future by being discrete.
The next troubling part of the report:
And here in Tennessee, we just learned that Nashville Metro Public Health and the Tennessee Department of Health are conducting “door-to-door assessment of disaster preparedness … using a tool designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to go door to door and check to see how disaster ready you are. .. in 30 neighborhoods in Davidson County [TN] that have been randomly selected to be the target of a door to door assessment.” I have confirmed that that is a state run effort.
This sounds like government and state reconnaissance of individual households to find out if they are hoarding food and/or weapons. Not good. The local government claims that they have good intentions – I don’t believe it. You cannot trust the government and the Feds. They are not doing any of this out of concern for you. I smell a rat, big time here. Oathkeepers states it flatly and correctly:
“Deprivation of food has long been a weapon of war and oppression, with millions intentionally starved to death by fascist and communist governments in the 20th Century alone.
Accordingly, we will not obey or facilitate orders to confiscate food and other essential supplies from the people, and we will consider all those who issue or carry out such orders to be the enemies of the people.”
If those who carry out such orders to confiscate food are enemies of the people, then that same label also fits anyone in the government compiling lists of Americans who store food. There is no legitimate reason for the Department of Homeland Security to compile such lists. Al Qaida suicide bombers are not known to store powdered milk and buckets of wheat. Nor are they known to store away dehydrated carrots and instant potatoes, or fruit punch mix for the kids. But the Mormons are known to do so, and so are many other Americans who have the common sense and maturity to take personal responsibility for ensuring that their families will have food, come what may.
It is part of Mormon Church religious doctrine to store food for hard times and emergencies, with a recommendation that each family store a year’s worth of basic dry goods along with three months worth of store-bought canned and boxed foods. To facilitate that practice, the Mormon Church runs its own food storage canneries selling powdered milk, wheat, flour, rice and beans, sugar, salt, and various other dry goods either in bulk 50 lb bags or in #10 cans for long term food storage (up to 30 years for some items). These Church canneries also often sell food storage items to non-church members, seeing it as both morally right and prudent to help their neighbors store food, whatever their faith. The cannery in Tennessee that was “visited” by federal agents follows that practice of helping the general public become better prepared.
On to the second post of interest. This is rumor and has not been confirmed, but where there is smoke there is usually fire. This is said to have occurred in the National Guard:
He just got home from a EDRE (emergency deployment readiness exercise) at the armory. He said that during the exercise 3 companies of infantry were polled by questionare about the drill and it’s purpose. One of the questions was, will you as a member of the Nat. Guard use lethal force against the American public if ordered to do so? One of the men stepped forward and refused to take the poll and explained that it was a moral judgement on his part and that he could not do so. He then placed his weapon on the ground and fell in behind the formation. Devon said it was like a waterfall, Every member layed their weapons on the deck and fell in beside the one lone specialist. This included ALL NCO’s, STAFF NCO’s and SENIOR NCO’s. The only people left in front of the original formation was 3 Capt’s. 2 Lt’s and the BN Commander who was so upset he started having chest pains from yelling and screaming about court martials and disbandment of the unit into other units.
The Specialist who first layed down his weapon was held in county jail by the Bn CMDR, awaiting a hearing under the UCMJ. He was there for a few hours and has been released. An investigation is being conducted into those who started the poll and no charges against the soldiers are being filed.
If this turns out to be true, it is very disturbing. I am gratified the soldiers behaved as they did, but why was this EVER asked of them? From Oathkeepers:
Again, this is unconfirmed, and we are working on confirming it. Please keep that in mind. But this is certainly the kind of mass, whole-unit stand-down that may well become necessary, especially in light of the treason of the US Senate, which voted 93-7 to authorize military detention and trial of U.S. citizens — claiming the power to apply the laws of war to the American people in the same way as they are used on a conquered, enemy population, like Iraq or Afghanistan. While National Guard units can, and have been used for riot control without violating their oath, we suspect that this survey was asking them about whether they would do something far worse than just keep the peace during riots. We will do our best to get to the bottom of this, and provide all details once confirmed.
If accurate, this is reminiscent of the stand-down during Katrina by SSGT Joshua May’s Utah National Guard Unit, where the whole unit let their commander know, in a peremptory refusal, that they would not participate in any gun confiscation.
The young man who originally posted this on Facebook will not be posting on it further out of respect for his friends and the fact that the military is now investigating this internally. I would really like to know for certain whether this happened or not, because if true, it is like the canary in the coalmine and baby, she’s blasting for all she’s worth if this occurred. I read the comments on this and people are upset and very concerned over it and rightly so.
There is soooo much going on that I can’t keep up with it. But I sense things are beginning to spiral out of control and next summer should be a doozy. Store food, get items to barter and buy guns and lead. Keep it to yourself and get ready for one hell of a ride. I’m sure we’ll hear much more on Feds and rumors of Feds…
Addendum: Certain people seem intent on correcting my canary reference, it was made tongue in cheek. Canaries in a mine shaft are a warning if they drop dead, but I was also referring to a loud warning. I was combining a couple of references that seem to have gone over the head of a couple of people who are more intent on correcting me than reading the intent of the message.
My new book, “Barack Obama and the Enemies Within” is selling well.
It’s sitting at just over 13,000 (out of 8,000,000 titles) on Amazon) and at 29th in the American history, 20th Century category.
I’ll be doing an extensive book tour through the United States early next year, speaking at public meetings, Tea Party and conservative events, etc.
This will probably followed by a second book, later in the year. I have firm invitations so far in Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, New Jersey, New York, and Florida, plus tentative “bookings’ in several other states.
If you’d like to me speak to your group, sometime next year, please email me and we’ll see what we can work out.
Affirmative action, the policy designed to assist historically under-represented minority groups and women with access to university admissions, has received an important boost from the Obama administration.
On Friday, the Department of Education jointly with the Department of Justice issued a new Guidance on the Voluntary use of Race to Achieve Diversity in Post-secondary Education.
The new guidelines reverse anti-affirmative action policies adopted by the Bush administration that forbad any use of “quotas” emphasizing instead so called “race neutral solutions.”
“Post-secondary institutions can voluntarily consider race to further the compelling interest of achieving diversity,” says the guidelines.
Bush’s rule stressed limitations on the use of affirmative action. By way of contrast the Obama policy opens the door of possibility again to achieving diversity by considering race and ethnicity as one of several considerations in admissions. In this regard the New York Times writes, “The guidelines focus on the wiggle room in the court decisions.”
In place of the Bush measures, which resulted in a steep drop in minority admissions in top universities, with the new framework “the Obama administration has aligned itself strongly with the right of colleges to consider race and ethnicity in admissions decisions,” writes Inside Higher Education.
The new policy will have major implications for educational and judicial policy across the nation, all in perfect time for the 2012 election.
In 2003, the Supreme Court in rulings involving the University of Michigan, rolled back the use of race and ethnicity.
Now, the Department of Education and the Justice Department say that universities seeking diversity may include consideration of high schools attended, including cases in which the class population is mostly minority, mentoring programs aimed at minority students, and high schools who partner with historically black colleges, among other factors.
While acknowledging the use of some race neutral admissions programs, the new policy says schools need not be bound by them. “Institutions are not required to implement race-neutral approaches if, in their judgment, the approaches would be unworkable,” the guidelines argue. The document continues, “In some cases, race-neutral approaches will be unworkable because they will be ineffective to achieve the diversity the institution seeks. Institutions may also reject approaches that would require them to sacrifice a component of their educational mission or priorities (e.g., academic selectivity).”
Dr. Gerald Horne
The Supreme Court may hear a new challenge to affirmative action at the University of Texas in the spring, placing it in the middle of the presidential election campaign.
The People’s World also quotes long time Communist Party supporter and affirmative action advocate Dr. Gerald Horne, of the University of Texas:
Dr. Gerald Horne, author of Reversing Discrimination: The Case for Affirmative Action, said the Obama policy “is a step back from the precipice to which Bush (and the high court) led us. It is a significant step forward, particularly given the political constraints.
Horne, a historian, who was incidentally the first academic to publicly reveal the ties between between a young Barack Obama and Hawaiian communist Frank Marshall Davis, is an old affirmative action hand.
Attorney General Eric Holder appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee today, which is chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). He was there for a another round of testimony regarding the botched ATF “gun-walking” operation known as “Fast and Furious,” according to a FOXNews article today.
However, by the way that Holder carried himself and addressed the committee, you would think that he was given a Sterling Silver “stay out of jail and on the job” necklace to wear, because he continued obfuscate and reject any semblance of personal responsibility.
Holder even read a [falsely] gratuitous statement into the record, which illustrated a sociopathic disregard for his department being a direct accomplice in thousands of murders–committed by criminals using the Fast and Furious firearms his department “lost”…
“Although the department has taken steps to ensure that such tactics are never used again, it is an unfortunate reality that we will continue to feel the effects of this flawed operation for years to come. [The] Guns lost during this operation will continue to show up at crime scenes on both sides of the border.”
During the hearing, although Holder decried the “gun-walking” tactic as “inexcusable” and “wholly unacceptable,” he denied department leaders played any role in the crafting of Fast and Furious.
Then Holder said such a program “must never happen again … We cannot afford to allow the tragic mistakes of ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ to become a political sideshow or a series of media opportunities … Instead, we must … recommit ourselves to our shared public safety obligations.”
It seems there might be more to the [hidden] agenda of Fast and Furious that meets the eye, which is equally troubling, as FOXNews reported that Holder used the hearing to prod Congress to support efforts to give the Justice Department broader legal tools to track firearms purchases…
Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales.
ATF officials didn’t intend to publicly disclose their own role in letting Mexican [drug] cartels obtain the weapons, but emails show they discussed using the sales, including sales encouraged by ATF, to justify a new gun regulation called “Demand Letter 3”–requiring some U.S. gun shops to report the sale of multiple rifles or “long guns.”
This email traffic occurred between ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait and Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious–for example:
“Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”
“Bill–well done yesterday… (I)n light of our request for Demand letter 3, this case could be a strong supporting factor if we can determine how many multiple sales of long guns occurred during the course of this case.”
Once this ATF email traffic was conveyed to Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), he had this to say…
“There’s plenty of evidence showing that this administration planned to use the tragedies of Fast and Furious as rationale to further their goals of a long gun reporting requirement … It’s pretty clear that the problem isn’t lack of burdensome reporting requirements.”
Grassley and Issa sent Holder a letter, asking “whether officials in his agency discussed how Fast and Furious could be used to justify additional regulatory authorities.” So far, they have not received a response, which prompted this statement from Issa … “In light of the evidence–the Justice Department’s refusal to answer questions, about the role Operation Fast and Furious was supposed to play in advancing new firearms regulations, is simply unacceptable.”
But yet, Eric Holder walked out of the Congressional hearing today without a care, as he was headed back to his fortress–the United States Justice Department, where he rules the law enforcement industrial-complex in America.
Just like Al Capone’s “Protection Racket” apparatus in Chicago…
Over two and a half million struck. It dealt the biggest blow yet to the government’s attempt to make workers pay for capitalism’s crisis.
Towns and cities across the country saw huge rallies that brought workers together to defy the cuts.
Over half a million marched — including some 10,000 in Dundee, 20,000 in Bristol and 50,000 in London...”
Below, British Socialist Workers Party leader Alex Callinicos (who recently visitedOccupy Wall Street) speaks on “After 30 November how can we bring down the government?” and his belief that Tahrir Square Egypt was the beginning of a worldwide revolutionary process – perhaps more significant than the Russian revolution of 1917.