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Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges

Chris Hedges

In the style of a Old Testament Prophet, Chris Hedges decries the coming capitalistic totalitarianism and urge activists to promote democratic socialism. Journalist Chris Hedges discusses the dramatic rise of a post-literate society that craves fantasy, ecstasy, and illusion as illustrated by the life of pop star Michael Jackson.

Chris Hedges, author of "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," is currently a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and the Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University. He writes for many publications, including Foreign Affairs, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, Granta, and Mother Jones. He is also a columnist for
Source: Chris Hedges: Empire of Illusion

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‘Heil Obama!’

Fascism comes
on little Obama-cat feet.

It sits looking
from sea to shining sea
on liberty-murdering haunches.
It won’t move on.

The sham of Obama as the "lesser evil" is over.

Glen Ford in “Eric Holder Tortures the Constitution” in Black Agenda Report writes:

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder this week attempted to explain how the U.S. Constitution allows the American president to be a law unto himself – to be judge, jury and executioner. Those are the powers that President Obama claims are inherent in his office: the right to kill at will, based on evidence only he is fit to examine and assess. This is a system of law without courts, without evidence that either the public or the condemned person has a right to see, or to contest. One man, with the power of life and death over any inhabitant of the planet, including citizens of the United States.

Legal Experts Destroy Rationale for Obama’s Assassination Policy … And Slam Democrats for Supporting It

Legal Experts Destroy Rationale for Obama’s Assassination Policy … And Slam Democrats for Supporting It

Obama Expanding Program Started by Cheney

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced at Northwestern University law school that the U.S. can assassinate U.S. citizens without any without disclosure of why they are even alleged to be baddies and without any review of any nature whatsoever by any judge, Congress or the American people.

    Northwestern University’s law school professor Joseph Margulies said:

      I defy anyone to read [Holder's] speech and show any differences between Obama and Bush on these issues, They both say we are in a war not confined to particular battlefield. … Both say we can target citizens without judicial oversight and that can happen anywhere in the world.

    Columbia law school professor Scott Horton notes that this assassination strategy was created by Dick Cheney, and is being carried out by the Obama administration:

      A lot of this seems to have been put in place under the tutelage of Dick Cheney. So here we see one of Dick Cheney’s ideas being ratified by Barack Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder.

Welcome to Police State Sacramento!

I went downtown to the Capitol on Monday night to witness a scene like that of Berlin, Germany in 1933, Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1968, or Santiago, Chile in 1973. There were hundreds of heavily armed Robo-Cops, the servants of the Wall Street 1 percent, ominously poised in front of the West Steps of the Capitol, ready to crush the First Amendment, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

CHP and police cars were everywhere on the streets, making getting through the area around the Capitol very difficult. The sight of these troopers infesting the streets of Sacramento to crush dissent - all at great expense to hard working taxpayers like myself - made me livid! Downtown was on virtual lockdown.

A total of 70 brave student and Occupy movement protesters were arrested in the State Capitol Monday night for defending democracy and protesting the raising of university tuition and fees. However, these were not the only arrests, according to Cres Vellucci of the Occupy Sacramento Legal Team.

"As reported, there were 6 earlier arrests - 1 allegedly having a knife, 3 others for a banner hanging episode in the rotunda and 2 for having 'illegal' signs," said Vellucci. "All were cited and released earlier Monday."

LA Police Department conducts joint exercises with the military

The LA Police Department, known for its brutality and corruption over the years, and the U.S. military conducted joint "tactical exercises" in downtown LA this week.

One Black Hawk, a helicopter that has served in combat in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan and other areas in the Middle East, and four OH-6 choppers - “Little Birds" - flew over the city during the exercise.

At one point they flew just above the US Bank building downtown and later flew over the Staples Center as the Los Angeles Lakers played against the Los Angeles Clippers inside (

According to a Department news release on January 23 (, "Multi-agency tactical exercises are to be conducted during evening hours around the downtown area January 22-26, 2012."

President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law

Posted by Amanda Simon, ACLU Blog of Rights

President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today, allowing indefinite detention to be codified into law. As you know, the White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA but reversed course shortly before Congress voted on the final bill. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use it and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations.

The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.

Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.

How UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi Brought Oppression Back To Greece’s Universities

Mark Ames: How UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi Brought Oppression Back To Greece’s Universities

Yves here. Reader sidelarge raised the issue yesterday in comments, of UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi’s role in abolition of university asylum in Greece. The story is even uglier than the link he provided suggests.

By Mark Ames, the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine. Cross posted from The eXiled

A friend of mine sent me this link claiming that UC Davis chancellor “Chemical” Linda Katehi, whose crackdown on peaceful university students shocked America, played a role in allowing Greece security forces to raid university campuses for the first time since the junta was overthrown in 1974. (H/T: Crooked Timber)

Occupy Sacramento marches on Jerry Brown's home

Occupy Sacramento and members of SEIU and other unions marched on Governor Jerry Brown's loft home Saturday to call for an end to the epidemic of violence by law enforcement agencies against the Occupy movement, as exemplified in the shocking video of police brutally pepper spraying peaceful UC Davis students at a protest.

The video of the November 18 protest ( has gone viral throughout the world, exposing the state of California under Jerry Brown as a virtual police state that routinely uses violence to suppress any dissent to rule by Wall Street and the 1 percent.

After marching from the park, protesters gathered on the other side of 16th street from the Governor's loft, yelling, "We are the 99 percent," "The people united, will never be divided," "When do we want? Justice! - When do we want it? Now!"

Not surprisingly, Brown was not there to hear the pleas of the protesters. A media advisory that I received from the Governor's office on Saturday stated, "The Governor has left the state."

"Governor Brown, we challenge you to take up the fight with Occupy," said Kevin Carter of Occupy Sacramento. "We occupy for the First Amendment, free speech, peaceful assembly and the redress of grievances against the government. As the Governor, you should lead this fight."

The Ominous Growth of Paramilitarism in American Police Departments

*** I actually wrote this two years ago, but I think in light of all the police rioting against the occupy movement, it's information is even more striking, topical, and relevant today ***

Before you dismiss this and say, "it can't happen here," click this link, and then click this link; the problem is that it happens all too frequently as seen in this recent video about the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh. Stick with the video, the first 30 seconds or so of the video is music, but then comes an interesting report

CATO: The Ominous Growth of Paramilitarism in American Police Departments

Report from OccupySF

More pics here

Report from OccupySF

    So this afternoon I went over to San Francisco for the first OccupySF march/demo. It started about 3 p.m. in from of the Bank of America building in the financial district. In front of the building is a large black sculpture which has been known facetiously as "Banker's Heart" ever since it was installed- it had been fenced off. When I first got there around 2:30 there were probably as many cops as participants, but as three o'clock rolled around, I'd say there were at least a couple hundred people. Lots of SEIU people, lots of ACCE people (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), other unions including UAW and NNU (National Nurses United), a few Anonymous people, some with Guy Fawkes masks, others with scarves over their faces. Diverse crowd, not surprising for SF, of course.

George Orwell's "1984" Nightmare

Great Speeches and Interviews is committed to showing the dark side of civilization. In pursue of that goal we present the radio play of George Orwell's "1984" from the NBC University Theater starring David Niven. He cautions that any government can become totalitarian.

"The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power....The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power." -George Orwell, 1984

Source: Audio Book - 1984 George Orwell .mp3

Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is interviewed by Dylan Ratigan. They discuss how the hopes from 2008 presidential campaign were crushed in 2011.
Source: Glenn Greenwald: Cultivating Hope While Perpetuating Unfairness Is Cruel

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Of Course Obama and Kleptocrats Savage Sick, Elderly, Young, Poor & Working Class

Paul Street in “Whose Black President” on what the Obama administration has wrought:

... Barack Obama has belonged to Wall Street, corporate America, and the Pentagon from the beginning. Consider his first year in the White House – a study in the triumph of corporate-imperial conservatism. With its expansion of the monumental bailout of hyper-opulent financial overlords, its refusal to nationalize and cut down parasitic financial institutions, its passage of a health “reform” bill that only the big insurance and drug companies could love (consistent with Rahm Emmanuel’s advice to the president: “ignore the progressives”), its cutting of an auto bailout deal that raided union pension funds and rewarded capital flight, its undermining of global carbon emission reduction efforts at Copenhagen, its refusal to advance serious public works programs (green or otherwise), its green-lighting of escalated strip mining and hazardous deepwater oil drilling, its disregarding of promises to labor and other popular constituencies (remember the Employee Free Choice Act?) and other betrayals of its “progressive base” (the other side of the coin of promises kept to its corporate sponsors), and its appointment of a Deficit Reduction Commission “headed [in economist Michael Hudson’s words] by avowed enemies of Social Security” (Republican Senator Alan Simpson and former Clinton chief of staff Erskin Bowles), Obama’s “change” and “hope” (corporatist Bill Clinton’s campaign keywords in 1992) presidency epitomized the power of what Edward S. Herman and David Peterson call “the unelected dictatorship of money.”

Shock Doctrine Debt Ceiling Extortion and the Legislative Coup d'etat (Part 1)

What's happening right now is a multifold kabuki theater power grab by both major political parties to consolidate power from the many (the people) to the few (oligarchs).

What this is is really involved and wonkish and they count on most people not being able to pay attention because of their daily lives. This is a process that's been ongoing since at least early in the Bush Admin when they worked in concert on the passages of numerous anti-civil rights legislation. Both parties are in on the act (act as in a play) where they accuse each other of obstruction and partisanship in public but work with each other behind closed doors in a conspiratorial power-grab. The Republicans are naturally onboard with this, but the Democrats have a harder time because they have to feign support for democratic principles.