Article 43

 

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Twilight Of The Psychopaths

By Dr. Kevin Barrett
The Canadian
August 29, 2008

Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”
- John Lennon, before his murder by CIA mind-control subject Mark David Chapman

When Gandhi was asked his opinion of Western civilization he said it would be a good idea. But that oft-cited quote, is misleading, assuming as it does that civilization is an unmitigated blessing.

CIVILIZED PEOPLE, we are told, live peacefully and cooperatively with their fellows, sharing the necessary labour in order to obtain the leisure to develop arts and sciences. And while that would be a good idea, it is not a good description of what has been going on in the so-called advanced cultures during the past 8,000 years.

“Civilization, as we know it, is largely the creation of psychopaths. All civilizations, our own included, have been based on slavery and warfare.” Incidentally, the latter term is a euphemism for mass murder. Fgovernmen

The prevailing recipe for civilization is simple:

1) Use LIES and BRAINWASHING to create an army of CONTROLLED, systematic mass murderers;

2) Use that army to ENSLAVE large numbers of people (i.e. seize control of their labour power and its fruits);

3) Use that slave labour power to improve the brainwashing process (by using the economic surplus to employ scribes, PRIESTS, and PR men). Then go back to step one and repeat the process.

Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, injure, and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling any remorse. The inventor of civilization - the first tribal chieftain who successfully brainwashed an army of controlled mass murderers - was almost certainly a genetic psychopath. Since that momentous discovery, psychopaths have enjoyed a significant advantage over non-psychopaths in the struggle for power in civilizational hierarchies, especially military hierarchies.

Military institutions are tailor-made for psychopathic killers. The 5% or so of human males who feel no remorse about killing their fellow human beings make the best soldiers. And the 95% who are extremely reluctant to kill make terrible soldiers - unless they are brainwashed with highly sophisticated modern techniques that turn them (temporarily it is hoped) into functional psychopaths.

In On Killing, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman has re-written military history, to highlight what other histories hide: The fact that military science is less about strategy and technology, than about overcoming the instinctive human reluctance to kill members of our own species. The true Revolution in Military Affairs was not Donald Rumsfeld’s move to high-tech in 2001, but Brigadier Gen. S.L.A. Marshall’s discovery in the 1940s that only 15-20% of World War II soldiers along the line of fire would use their weapons: Those (80-85%) who did not fire did not run or hide (in many cases they were WILLING TO RISK GREAT DANGER to rescue comrades, get ammunition, or run messages), but they simply would not fire their weapons at the enemy, even WHEN FACED WITH repeated waves of banzai charges (Grossman, p. 4).

Marshall’s discovery and subsequent research, proved that in all previous wars, a tiny minority of soldiers - the 5% who are natural-born psychopaths, and perhaps a few temporarily-insane imitatorsdid almost all the killing. Normal men just went through the motions and, if at all possible, refused to take the life of an enemy soldier, even if that meant giving up their own. The implication: Wars are ritualized mass murders by psychopaths of non-psychopaths. (This cannot be good for humanity’s genetic endowment!)

Marshalls work, brought a Copernican revolution to military science. In the past, everyone believed that the soldier willing to kill for his country was the (heroic) norm, while one who refused to fight was a (cowardly) aberration. The truth, as it turned out, was that the normative soldier hailed from the psychopathic five percent. The sane majority, would rather die than fight.

The implication, too frightening for even the likes of Marshall and Grossman to fully digest, was that the norms for soldiersג behaviour in battle had been set by psychopaths. That meant that psychopaths were in control of the military as an institution. Worse, it meant that psychopaths were in control of societys perception of military affairs. Evidently, psychopaths exercised an enormous amount of power in seemingly sane, normal society.

How could that be? In Political Ponerology, Andrzej Lobaczewski explains that clinical psychopaths enjoy advantages even in non-violent competitions to climb the ranks of social hierarchies. Because they can lie without remorse (and without the telltale physiological stress that is measured by lie detector tests) psychopaths can always say whatever is necessary to get what they want. In court, for example, psychopaths can tell extreme bald-faced lies in a plausible manner, while their sane opponents are handicapped by an emotional predisposition to remain within hailing distance of the truth. Too often, the judge or jury imagines that the truth must be somewhere in the middle, and then issues decisions that benefit the psychopath. As with judges and juries, so too with those charged with decisions concerning who to promote and who not to promote in corporate, military and governmental hierarchies. The result is that all hierarchies inevitably become top-heavy with psychopaths.

So-called conspiracy theorists, some of whom deserve the pejorative connotation of that much-abused term, often imagine that secret societies of Jews, Jesuits, bankers, communists, Bilderbergers, Muslim extremists, papists, and so on, are secretly controlling history, doing dastardly deeds, and/or threatening to take over the world. As a leading “conspiracy theorist” according to Wikipedia, I feel eminently qualified to offer an alternative conspiracy theory which, like the alternative conspiracy theory of 9/11, is both simpler and more accurate than the prevailing wisdom: The only conspiracy that matters is the conspiracy of the psychopaths against the rest of us.

Behind the apparent insanity of contemporary history, is the actual insanity of psychopaths fighting to preserve their disproportionate power. And as that power grows ever-more-threatened, the psychopaths grow ever-more-desperate. We are witnessing the apotheosis of the overworld - the criminal syndicate or overlapping set of syndicates that lurks above ordinary society and law just as the underworld lurks below it. In 9/11 and the 9/11 wars, we are seeing the final desperate power-grab or endgame (Alex Jones) of brutal, cunning gangs of CIA drug-runners and President-killers; money-laundering international bankers and their hit-men, economic and otherwise; corrupt military contractors and gung-ho generals; corporate predators and their political enablers; brainwashers and mind-rapists euphemistically known as psy-ops experts and PR specialistsin short, the whole sick crew of certifiable psychopaths running our so-called civilization. And they are running scared. It was their terror of losing control that they projected onto the rest of us by blowing up the Twin Towers and inciting temporary psychopathic terror-rage in the American public.

Why does the pathocracy fear it is losing control? Because it is threatened by the spread of knowledge. The greatest fear of any psychopath is of being found out. As George H. W. Bush said to journalist Sarah McClendon, December 1992, If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us. Given that Bush is reported to have participated in parties where child prostitutes were sodomized and otherwise abused, among his many other crimes, his statement to McClendon should be taken seriously.

Psychopaths go through life knowing that they are completely different from other people. They quickly learn to hide their lack of empathy, while carefully studying others’ emotions so as to mimic normalcy while cold-bloodedly manipulating the normals.

Today, thanks to new information technologies, we are on the brink of unmasking the psychopaths and building a civilization of, by and for the normal human being a civilization without war, a civilization based on truth, a civilization in which the saintly few rather than the diabolical few would gravitate to positions of power. We already have the knowledge necessary to diagnose psychopathic personalities and keep them out of power. We have the knowledge necessary to dismantle the institutions in which psychopaths especially flourish - militaries, intelligence agencies, large corporations, and secret societies. We simply need to disseminate this knowledge, and the will to use it, as widely as possible.

Above all, we need to inform the public about how psychopaths co-opt and corrupt normal human beings. One way they do this, is by manipulating shame and denial emotions foreign to psychopaths but common and easily-induced among normals.

Consider how gangs and secret societies (psychopaths’ guilds in disguise) recruit new members. Some criminal gangs and satanist covens demand that candidates for admission commit a murder to earn their stripes. Skull and Bones, the Yale-based secret society that supplies the CIA with drug-runners, mind-rapists, child abusers and professional killers, requires neophytes to lie naked in a coffin and masturbate in front of older members while reciting the candidates entire sexual history. By forcing the neophyte to engage in ritualized behaviour that would be horrendously shameful in normal society, the psychopaths’ guild destroys the candidates normal personality, assuming he had one in the first place, and turns the individual into a co-opted, corrupt, degraded shadow of his former self - a manufactured psychopath or psychopaths apprentice.

This manipulation of shame has the added benefit of making psychopathic organizations effectively invisible to normal society. Despite easily available media reports, American voters in 2004 simply refused to see that the two major-party presidential candidates had lain naked in a coffin masturbating in front of older Bonesmen in order to gain admission to Skull and Bones and thus become members of the criminal overworld. Likewise, many Americans have long refused to see that hawkish elements of the overworld, operating through the CIA, had obviously been the murderers of JFK, MLK, RFK, JFK Jr., Malcolm X, Chғ, Allend, Wellstone, Lumumba, Aguilera, Diem, and countless other relatively non-psychopathic leaders. They refuse to see the continuing murders of millions of people around the world in what amounts to an American holocaust. They refuse to see the evidence that the psychopaths҈ guilds running Americas most powerful institutions use the most horrific forms of sexualized abuse imaginable to induce multiple-personality-disorder in child victims, then use the resulting mind-control slaves as disposable drug-runners, prostitutes, Manchurian candidates, and even diplomatic envoys. And of course they refuse to see that 9/11 was a transparently obvious inside job, and that their own psychopath-dominated military-intelligence apparatus is behind almost every major terrorist outrage of recent decades.

All of this psychopathic behaviour at the top of the social hierarchy is simply too shameful for ordinary people to see, so they avert their gaze, just as wives of husbands who are sexually abusing their children sometimes refuse to see what is happening in plain view. If deep, deep denial were a river in Egypt, American citizensȒ wilful blindness would be more like the Marianas Trench.

But thanks to the power of the internet, people everywhere are waking up. The only obvious non-psychopath among Republican presidential candidates, Ron Paul, also happens to be the only candidate in either party with significant grassroots support.

If love is embedded in the Revolution Ron Paul heralds, that is because Dr. Paul a kindly, soft-spoken physician who has delivered more than 4,000 babies implicitly recognizes that government is the invention and tool of psychopaths, and therefore must be strictly limited in scope and subjected to a rigorous system of checks and balances, lest the psychopaths tools, fear and hatred, replace love as the glue that binds society together.

The decline in militarism since World War II in advanced countries, the spread of literacy and communications technology, and the peopleҗs growing demands for a better life, together represent a gathering force that terrifies the pathocracy, (those alternately competing-then-cooperating gangs of psychopaths who have ruled through lies, fear and intimidation since the dawn of so-called civilization).

Since nuclear weapons have made war obsolete, the pathocracy is terrified that its favourite social control mechanism ritualized mass slaughter Ғ is increasingly unavailable. And if war was the great human tragedy, the pathocrats pathetic attempt at a war-substitute ח the transparently phoney war on terrorҗ is repeating it as sheerest farce.

Truly, we are witnessing the twilight of the psychopaths. Whether in their death throes they succeed in pulling down the curtain of eternal night on all of us, or whether we resist them and survive to see the dawn of a civilization worthy of the name, is the great decision in which all of us others, however humbly, are now participating.

Dr. Kevin Barrett, co-founder of the Muslim-Christian-Jewish Alliance for 9/11 Truth, LINK, has taught English, French, Arabic, American Civilization, Humanities, African Literature, Folklore, and Islam at colleges and universities in the San Francisco Bay area, Paris, and Madison, Wisconsin. Barrett became a 9/11 truth activist in 2004 after reading David Griffin’s The New Pearl Harbor and conducting follow-up research that convinced him Griffin had accurately summarized evidence indicating 9/11 was an inside job.

In the summer of 2006, Republican state legislators and Fox newscasters demanded that Barrett be fired from his job teaching an introductory Islam class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but the University refused to buckle, and Barrett got high marks from his students. He has appeared in several documentary films, lectures widely on 9/11 and hosts three radio programs on three different patriot networks.

SOURCE

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Which professions have the most psychopaths? The fewest?
By Eric Barker
December 11, 2012

First off, psychopath doesn’t just mean someone who cuts you up with a chainsaw - though the majority of people who do things like that are psychopaths. Whats the definition?

Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.

So which professions (other than axe murderer) do they disproportionately gravitate towards җ or away from?

psychopath-profession.jpg

And the next thing that comes to mind is: Why?

Most of the professions on the right require human connection, dealing with feelings and most of them dont offer much power. Psychopaths, by their very nature, would not be drawn to or very good at these things.

On the other hand, most of the roles on the left do offer power and many require an ability to make objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings. Psychopaths would be drawn to these roles and thrive there.

That said…

Chef? Really? I guess it pays to tread lightly around anyone who has a set of knives bearing their initials.

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Posted by Elvis on 08/30/08 •
Section Revelations • Section Dying America • Section Spiritual Diversions
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The State Of Working America 2008

For Most, Economy Yields More Of Less.

Economic Policy Institute
August 30, 2008

Despite surging productivity, Americans suffer from dwindling income, rising inequality, eroding living standards and declining expectations

As business cycles go, the one that started in 2001 is a study in sharp contrasts. The men and women of the America workforce were incredibly productive, but more than in any previous cycle, the economic fruits of this growth eluded them. Unless current trends take an unexpected new direction, this will be the first business cycle ever recorded in which Americas middle-class families will end the cycle with less real (that is, inflation-adjusted) income than they had at the beginning.

It’s not that the potential wasn’t there for a happier outcome. After all, during the round of contraction and recovery just ended, GDP rose a healthy 2.5% per month. But the promise implied by that growth nearly 20% across the full cycle - never materialized for the vast majority. Instead, the lions share of the benefits only reached the wallets at the highest end of the income scale, bypassing most of the people whose work made that growth possible. The State of Working America 2008/2009, released today by the Economic Policy Institute in an online preview version, provides a detailed picture of the 2000-2007 business cycle, its impact on America’s working people and families, and its implications for the current downturn. In this 11th edition, EPI economists Lawrence Mishel, Jared Bernstein and Heidi Shierholz update and expand on previous volumes with the latest data and analysis in a new introduction and commentary, plus chapters on jobs, wages, family income, and income mobility released today. (Additional chapters on poverty, and wealth will follow, along with a new chapter on health care, with the publication of the full print edition of the book by Cornell University Press in January 2009.)

In their REVIEW OF THE CURRENT ECONOMIC PICTURE, five dominant factors emerge: strong growth in productivity, weak growth of jobs; stagnant or falling real household income for most families; increasingly unequal distribution of the benefits of economic growth; and the increasingly rigid economic stratification this inequality produces. The book discusses these factors in their historic context and describes their implications given the downturn now underway.

Weak Jobs Growth

The 2000-2007 business cycle was the first ever to record a drop in the share of the working age population that was actually working. The 1.1 percentage point decline in labor force participation translates to about 1.4 million people who could otherwise have been working or actively job-hunting. The economys failure to generate enough jobs shows up quite dramatically in measures of long-term unemployment, which rose dramatically in the 2000-2007 cycle. The share of the unemployed who were out of work six months or longer rose from 12.1% during the 1990s to 19.4% in the 2000s. Disproportionately large shares of the long-term unemployed in 2007 were more experienced workers (age 45 and older) and college educated. This cycle’s jobs growth performance was dramatically slower than in past recoveries. While, on average, jobs grew 2.0% a year during previous business cycles, growth was one-third as fast just 0.6% during the period from 2000-2007. Just to regain the jobs lost during the 2001recession took nearly four years (47 months) - more than twice as long as the 21-month average in all other post-World War II cycles. “If job growth from 2000 to 2007 had matched the 1990s cycle, the economy would have added 7 million more jobs than it did,” co-author Heidi Shierholz noted. “The weak jobs situation means that the potential of millions of productive, hard-working Americans has been left untapped—a profound disservice to them, their families, and the economy as a whole.”

Squeezed Paychecks

The cost of weak jobs growth is also borne not solely by the unemployed but also by those with jobs. When jobs are scarce, employees have little leverage to bargain for better wages and benefits. The share of involuntary part-timers (that is, those would want but cannot find full-time work) has continued to rise as employers cut costs by reducing work hours. As of June 2008, with the economy again shedding jobs at a recessionary pace, the number of people involuntarily working part-time has risen to about 5 million. That same month, nearly a fifth (18%) of the unemployed had been out of work for at least half a year. Although the economy has expanded by 18% since 2000, most Americans household income does not reflect that growth. Quite the opposite: real income for the median family fell by 1.1% from 2000-2006. A small increase in the median family’s hourly wages (1%) was more than wiped out by the 2.2% drop in annual work hours. Moreover, whatever wage growth occurred since 2000 was based on the momentum from the 1990s recoverywages did not improve at all over the 2002-07 recovery. This performance contrasts sharply with the previous business cycle. From 1989 to 2000 hourly wages that grew 4.7% and annual work hours that expanded 4.1% were the biggest factors that generated real income growth of 10.5% for middle-income families.

Unbalanced Growth

The growth that economic statistics report may have seemed imaginary to most American families, but it was very real for another group. The people at the very top 10% of the income ladder reaped the lionגs share of the rewards of economic growth, more than 90% of all the growth from 1989 to 2006. And the higher up the ladder they started out, the greater the rewards. For the bottom half of that top 10% (the 90th to the 95th percentile) income grew 32%. But in the rarefied air of the top 1%, income more than tripled (203.7% increase) and in the top 1% of that top 1%, incomes more than quintupled - increasing by 425% to an average income of $30.5 million for that group in 2006. “While most Americans were struggling, the good times were rolling among the top 10%,” said co-author Lawrence Mishel. “We have seen a large scale skimming of the benefits of growth from the bottom 90% of Americans to the top 10%, and especially to the top one percent and, even more so, the top one-tenth of a percent.”

Income Immobility

It may not be surprising to see the old saying “the rich get richer coming true. But if another saying is true, that in America we can all work hard and “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps,” maybe we can count on upward mobility to get us a bigger share of the pie. But the authors exploration of data on income mobility shows that the “bootstrap theory” does not describe most peoples’ experience. While some mobility exists, significant shares of families remain near their same position in the income scale. For example, about 60% of families that start in the bottom fifth are still there a decade later. At the other end of the income scale, 52% of families that start in the top fifth finish there at the end of the decade. There is also less income mobility in the United States than in many other advanced countries, including European countries like Germany and Denmark whose societies are perceived to be more rigidly stratified than ours. Inequality itself leads to diminished mobility. The greater concentration of income tends to limit access to the tools that would help make that climb possible. The report examines the gap between top and bottom in completion of a college degree among students with similar academic potential. So wide is that gap that high-achievement students from low-income families are no more likely than low-achievement students from high-income families to complete a college degree.

“When income concentration creates barriers to the resources and opportunities that would enable people to get ahead through their own initiative and efforts, that violates our fundamental sense of fairness,” said co-author Jared Bernstein. “Americans do not object to unequal outcomes if they mean that some people are working harder and smarter, but we do object if the deck is being stacked by unequal opportunities.”

Challenges Ahead

With the next recession underway, Americans now face fresh challenges. Over 400,000 jobs were lost in the first half of 2008 as the unemployment rate rose to 5.5% - up from its 4.4% low point in March 2007. Economists expect unemployment to reach 6.4% in 2009. For African-Americans and Hispanics the outlook is graver. While both groups made significant gains in employment rates during the full-employment recovery of the latter 1990s, those gains were reversed in the 2000-2007 cycle. Based on historic patterns, the authors expect unemployment among African- Americans to be around 11% - by the end of 2009. The story of working America today is one of promise the vigorous growth achieved by the hard and smart work of millions of Americans. It is also a story of how that promise has been broken, as too few of those contributions are fairly rewarded.

ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE (EPI) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States and around the world. EPI’s mission is to inform people and empower them to seek solutions that will ensure broadly shared prosperity and opportunity.

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Posted by Elvis on 08/30/08 •
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Obama The Savior

Did you hear Senator Obama’s acceptance SPEECH for the 2008 Presidential Democratic nomination the other night?

It’s just about everything I want to hear.  But I can also hear the words of my wise old mother; “Talk is cheap.”

Lets hope he backs up his words with real action if elected.

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To Chairman Dean and my great friend Dick Durbin; and to all my fellow citizens of this great nation;

With profound gratitude and great humility, I accept your nomination for the presidency of the United States.

Let me express my thanks to the historic slate of candidates who accompanied me on this journey, and especially the one who traveled the farthest a champion for working Americans and an inspiration to my daughters and to yours—Hillary Rodham Clinton. To President Clinton, who last night made the case for change as only he can make it; to Ted Kennedy, who embodies the spirit of service; and to the next Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, I thank you. I am grateful to finish this journey with one of the finest statesmen of our time, a man at ease with everyone from world leaders to the conductors on the Amtrak train he still takes home every night.

To the love of my life, our next First Lady, Michelle Obama, and to Sasha and Malia ֖ I love you so much, and I’m so proud of all of you.

Four years ago, I stood before you and told you my story of the brief union between a young man from Kenya and a young woman from Kansas who weren’t well-off or well-known, but shared a belief that in America, their son could achieve whatever he put his mind to.

It is that promise that has always set this country apart ֖ that through hard work and sacrifice, each of us can pursue our individual dreams but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams as well.

That’s why I stand here tonight. Because for two hundred and thirty two years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors—found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can’t afford to drive, credit card bills you can’t afford to pay, and tuition that’s beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government’s making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.

America, we are better than these last eight years. We are a better country than this.

This country is more decent than one where a woman in Ohio, on the brink of retirement, finds herself one illness away from disaster after a lifetime of hard work.

This country is more generous than one where a man in Indiana has to pack up the equipment he’s worked on for twenty years and watch it shipped off to China, and then chokes up as he explains how he felt like a failure when he went home to tell his family the news.

We are more compassionate than a government that lets veterans sleep on our streets and families slide into poverty; that sits on its hands while a major American city drowns before our eyes.

Tonight, I say to the American people, to Democrats and Republicans and Independents across this great land enough! This moment ֖ this election is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: “Eight is enough.”

Now let there be no doubt. The Republican nominee, John McCain, has worn the uniform of our country with bravery and distinction, and for that we owe him our gratitude and respect. And next week, we’ll also hear about those occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need.

But the record’s clear: John McCain has voted with George Bush ninety percent of the time. Senator McCain likes to talk about judgment, but really, what does it say about your judgment when you think George Bush has been right more than ninety percent of the time? I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready to take a ten percent chance on change.

The truth is, on issue after issue that would make a difference in your lives ֖ on health care and education and the economy Senator McCain has been anything but independent. He said that our economy has made “great progress” under this President. He said that the fundamentals of the economy are strong. And when one of his chief advisors ֖ the man who wrote his economic plan was talking about the anxiety Americans are feeling, he said that we were just suffering from a “mental recession,” and that we’ve become, and I quote, “a nation of whiners.”

A nation of whiners? Tell that to the proud auto workers at a Michigan plant who, after they found out it was closing, kept showing up every day and working as hard as ever, because they knew there were people who counted on the brakes that they made. Tell that to the military families who shoulder their burdens silently as they watch their loved ones leave for their third or fourth or fifth tour of duty. These are not whiners. They work hard and give back and keep going without complaint. These are the Americans that I know.

Now, I don’t believe that Senator McCain doesn’t care what’s going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn’t know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people’s benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

It’s not because John McCain doesn’t care. It’s because John McCain doesn’t get it.

For over two decades, he’s subscribed to that old, discredited Republican philosophy - give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. In Washington, they call this the Ownership Society, but what it really means is you’re on your own. Out of work? Tough luck. No health care? The market will fix it. Born into poverty? Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps ֖ even if you don’t have boots. You’re on your own.

Well it’s time for them to own their failure. It’s time for us to change America.

You see, we Democrats have a very different measure of what constitutes progress in this country.

We measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job ֖ an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton’s Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She’s the one who taught me about hard work. She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she’s watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don’t know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.

What is that promise?

It’s a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It’s a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves - protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who’s willing to work.

That’s the promise of America the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.

That’s the promise we need to keep. That’s the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.

Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes ֖ cut taxes for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington’s been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he’s said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I’ll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I’ll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I’ll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can’t ever be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation to provide every child a world-class education, because it will take nothing less to compete in the global economy. Michelle and I are only here tonight because we were given a chance at an education. And I will not settle for an America where some kids don’t have that chance. I’ll invest in early childhood education. I’ll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries and give them more support. And in exchange, I’ll ask for higher standards and more accountability. And we will keep our promise to every young American if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford a college education.

Now is the time to finally keep the promise of affordable, accessible health care for every single American. If you have health care, my plan will lower your premiums. If you don’t, you’ll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves. And as someone who watched my mother argue with insurance companies while she lay in bed dying of cancer, I will make certain those companies stop discriminating against those who are sick and need care the most.

Now is the time to help families with paid sick days and better family leave, because nobody in America should have to choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child or ailing parent.

Now is the time to change our bankruptcy laws, so that your pensions are protected ahead of CEO bonuses; and the time to protect Social Security for future generations.

And now is the time to keep the promise of equal pay for an equal day’s work, because I want my daughters to have exactly the same opportunities as your sons.

Now, many of these plans will cost money, which is why I’ve laid out how I’ll pay for every dime ֖ by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens that don’t help America grow. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy.

And Democrats, we must also admit that fulfilling America’s promise will require more than just money. It will require a renewed sense of responsibility from each of us to recover what John F. Kennedy called our “intellectual and moral strength.” Yes, government must lead on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But we must also admit that programs alone can’t replace parents; that government can’t turn off the television and make a child do her homework; that fathers must take more responsibility for providing the love and guidance their children need.

Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility ֖ that’s the essence of America’s promise.

And just as we keep our keep our promise to the next generation here at home, so must we keep America’s promise abroad. If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament, and judgment, to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that’s a debate I’m ready to have.

For while Senator McCain was turning his sights to Iraq just days after 9/11, I stood up and opposed this war, knowing that it would distract us from the real threats we face. When John McCain said we could just “muddle through” in Afghanistan, I argued for more resources and more troops to finish the fight against the terrorists who actually attacked us on 9/11, and made clear that we must take out Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants if we have them in our sights. John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the Gates of Hell but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.

And today, as my call for a time frame to remove our troops from Iraq has been echoed by the Iraqi government and even the Bush Administration, even after we learned that Iraq has a $79 billion surplus while we’re wallowing in deficits, John McCain stands alone in his stubborn refusal to end a misguided war.

That’s not the judgment we need. That won’t keep America safe. We need a President who can face the threats of the future, not keep grasping at the ideas of the past.

You don’t defeat a terrorist network that operates in eighty countries by occupying Iraq. You don’t protect Israel and deter Iran just by talking tough in Washington. You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice ֖ but it is not the change we need.

We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country. Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe. The Bush-McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans—Democrats and Republicans have built, and we are here to restore that legacy.

As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

I will end this war in Iraq responsibly, and finish the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. I will rebuild our military to meet future conflicts. But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century: terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate change and disease. And I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

These are the policies I will pursue. And in the weeks ahead, I look forward to debating them with John McCain.

But what I will not do is suggest that the Senator takes his positions for political purposes. Because one of the things that we have to change in our politics is the idea that people cannot disagree without challenging each other’s character and patriotism.

The times are too serious, the stakes are too high for this same partisan playbook. So let us agree that patriotism has no party. I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America ֖ they have served the United States of America.

So I’ve got news for you, John McCain. We all put our country first.

America, our work will not be easy. The challenges we face require tough choices, and Democrats as well as Republicans will need to cast off the worn-out ideas and politics of the past. For part of what has been lost these past eight years can’t just be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits. What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose our sense of higher purpose. And that’s what we have to restore.

We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country. The reality of gun ownership may be different for hunters in rural Ohio than for those plagued by gang-violence in Cleveland, but don’t tell me we can’t uphold the Second Amendment while keeping AK-47s out of the hands of criminals. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. Passions fly on immigration, but I don’t know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers. This too is part of America’s promise ֖ the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in common effort.

I know there are those who dismiss such beliefs as happy talk. They claim that our insistence on something larger, something firmer and more honest in our public life is just a Trojan Horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values. And that’s to be expected. Because if you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare the voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.

You make a big election about small things.

And you know what it’s worked before. Because it feeds into the cynicism we all have about government. When Washington doesn’t work, all its promises seem empty. If your hopes have been dashed again and again, then it’s best to stop hoping, and settle for what you already know.

I get it. I realize that I am not the likeliest candidate for this office. I don’t fit the typical pedigree, and I haven’t spent my career in the halls of Washington.

But I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the nay-sayers don’t understand is that this election has never been about me. It’s been about you.

For eighteen long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said enough to the politics of the past. You understand that in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same old politics with the same old players and expect a different result. You have shown what history teaches us ֖ that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming. Because I’ve seen it. Because I’ve lived it. I’ve seen it in Illinois, when we provided health care to more children and moved more families from welfare to work. I’ve seen it in Washington, when we worked across party lines to open up government and hold lobbyists more accountable, to give better care for our veterans and keep nuclear weapons out of terrorist hands.

And I’ve seen it in this campaign. In the young people who voted for the first time, and in those who got involved again after a very long time. In the Republicans who never thought they’d pick up a Democratic ballot, but did. I’ve seen it in the workers who would rather cut their hours back a day than see their friends lose their jobs, in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb, in the good neighbors who take a stranger in when a hurricane strikes and the floodwaters rise.

This country of ours has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military on Earth, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our universities and our culture are the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.

Instead, it is that American spirit ֖ that American promise that pushes us forward even when the path is uncertain; that binds us together in spite of our differences; that makes us fix our eye not on what is seen, but what is unseen, that better place around the bend.

That promise is our greatest inheritance. It’s a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours ֖ a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot.

And it is that promise that forty five years ago today, brought Americans from every corner of this land to stand together on a Mall in Washington, before Lincoln’s Memorial, and hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream.

The men and women who gathered there could’ve heard many things. They could’ve heard words of anger and discord. They could’ve been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred.

But what the people heard instead people of every creed and color, from every walk of life ֖ is that in America, our destiny is inextricably linked. That together, our dreams can be one.

“We cannot walk alone,” the preacher cried. “And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate, and so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone. At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise that American promise ֖ and in the words of Scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Thank you, God Bless you, and and God Bless the United States of America.

Posted by Elvis on 08/30/08 •
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Internet Data Usage Metering Part 2

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It wasn’t more than a few years ago that telcos were CRYING about a FIBER GLUT.

As Susan Crawford points out below, the Comcast 250G cap is a crock of crap and and another veiled attempt for TELCO AND CABLE COMPANIES to control THE INTERNET.

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Planning The Future

Susan Crawford’s Blog
August 29, 2008

Im a Comcast internet access customer, and I donҒt have a television here in Ann Arbor.  There, Ive said it.  I remember thinking when other people used to say they didnҒt have televisions that they were just being sanctimonious cranks.  I swear Im not being a sanctimonious crank.

With a good internet connection, and a big/friendly enough monitor, you dont need to subscribe to cable content any more.  I was thoroughly content watching the convention this week on C-SPAN.  But I was watching C-SPAN - and I was also following the TWITTER feeds of thousands of people.  Plus I was watching the comments on DAILY KOW.  It was the most convivial, richest way to watch a major speech that I have ever experienced.

Having cut all of those cords (no landline phone either), IҒm worried about a future in which Comcast gets to say that Ive used ғtoo much bandwidth and have to be cut off.  That future is coming on October 1, when COMCAST WILL IMPLEMENT A 250 GB MONTHLY CAP.

Comcast sees a future in which people use the internet to send a few emails or look at a few web pages.  They donԒt want people watching HD content from other sources online, because that doesnt fit their business model. So rather than increase capacity, they’d rather lower expectations. 250GB/month is about 50-60 HD movies a month, but were not necessarily going to be watching movies.  Maybe we’ll be doing constant HD video sessions with other freelancers, or interacting with big groups all over the world in real-time.  Who knows what well be doing - it’s all in the future.

But rather than build towards a user-powered future, Comcast wants to shape that future in advance - in its own image. The company is not offering additional bandwidth packages to people who want more.  They just want to be able to shut service off at a particular point - a point of bandwidth use that most people arent using right now, so that they won’t be unhappy.  By the time we all want to be doing everything online, Comcast users (the company hopes) wont expect anything better.

Here’s a COMMENT that makes the competitive picture clear:

Q.  How does this factor in with users of your Digital Voice service? On average how much bandwidth does that service take up?
Bill G. [Comcast]: Digital voice has no affect [sic] on this, the 250 gig cap is allotted for just downloads

So Comcasts own services won’t be limited, just downloads of other peoples services and material.  And don’t get us started on those asymmetric uploads.

Comcasts cap is being widely discussed, which is a good sign.  Building in an assumption of scarcity rather than building out better access - that’s strange.

What business doesnt want to build capacity to serve the future?  I’ll tell you - listen, now - a business thats confident it can plan for the FUTURE IT WANTS.  A business whose plans don’t include serving as a neutral transport platform for other peoples material.  A business that is focused on maintaining scarcity.

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Posted by Elvis on 08/30/08 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
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