There have been a number of cases when Republicans opposed timely disaster relief when the catastrophe happened to other states, but demanded it when something bad happened in their own back yard. A perfect example is Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who voted against Hurricane Sandy relief in January, but is now trying to get federal money to help with the explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, Texas. I was preparing to write an article about this tendency, concentrating on Cruz, when I stumbled upon this article over at Fox News (yes, I do frequently read their site), describing one of the Senator’s complaints about President Obama. As I read, I sat in awe at the Senator’s dishonesty and Orwellian misrepresentations, and at the eager gullibility and almost breathless hero-worship of Fox News reportage.
Earlier this month, Senator Cruz released a “report” titled, “The Legal Limit: The Obama Administration’s Attempts To Expand Federal Power.” This paper describes six Supreme Court cases in which the Court unanimously ruled against the litigant supported by the Obama Administration. While it may be a surprise to many to see the Roberts Court to be united in a given ruling, it is hardly unusual for the Supreme Court to issue unanimous rulings, and every presidential administration sees its share of loses before the Court.
What is far more interesting, bordering on the breathtaking in its dishonesty, is the way Cruz misrepresented the issues in these six cases, and the motivations behind the position the Obama Administration held in each case.
Belief in a shadowy conspiracy of powerful men and women who are trying to take over the world is a meme that won’t die. My first experience with this brand of political belief was in a men’s bathroom stall in the Norlin Library at the University of Colorado, Boulder. There, I first learned of the Trilateral Commission’s plan to vaporize my cherished American freedoms.
Fear of the Trilateral Commission peaked 30 years ago, and now it’s mostly a quasi-historical oddity, but that doesn’t mean they’ve given up trying to control you.
Agenda 21 is a non-binding toothless statement of fairly general principles for sustainable development adopted by the United Nations in 1992. The “21” in the title refers to the 21st century.
The people who wrote Agenda 21 are tricky. This may sound like the usual administrative pablum to you, but buddy, it’s packed with all sorts of action items:
Scientific knowledge should be applied to articulate and support the goals of sustainable development, through scientific assessments of current conditions and future prospects for the Earth system. Such assessments, based on existing and emerging innovations within the sciences, should be used in the decision-making process and in the interactive processes between the sciences and policy-making. There needs to be an increased output from the sciences in order to enhance understanding and facilitate interaction between science and society.
A stirring call to arms, reminiscent of Shakespeare channeling Henry V’s St. Crispin’s day speech to the troops at Agincourt. “Should be! Needs to be!” Makes the pulse race, doesn’t it? (more…)
I don’t normally do tinfoil hat stuff (though I do owe you all a Kennedy assassination article). But some important information has recently come to my attention, and I need to share it.
We found out that the US government has discovered that the Chinese have been active on Mars. The government learned this because our Mars probes detected the Chinese equipment. The Chinese sent unmanned probes to the Red Planet — equipment which is powered by solar energy and producing oxygen from compounds in the soil, intended to create a habitable atmosphere on Mars. (more…)
Last week brought news (but, it should be noted, not “new” news) that the British Medical Journal is about to publish an article by journalist Brian Deer implicating defrocked British physician Andrew Wakefield in outright fraud related to his allegations of a link between vaccinations and autism.
In 1999, Wakefield and co-authors published a study in the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet which claimed a strong association between the use of combined mumps-measles-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism.
Given the incidence of autism-spectrum disorders, which now approaches 1% in the U.S., and the emotional pain inflicted on autism sufferers and their “neuro-typical” family members, it’s obviously of keen interest to the medical community and the public at large to get to the bottom of the current upswing in diagnosed autism cases. Wakefield’s article generated a huge amount of interest.
Problem is, it’s all lies. (more…)
We all know the bare bones of the Iranian Hostage story. Fifty-two American citizens were seized in November of 1979 when a group of militants and heavily armed students took over the American embassy in Iran. They were held for 444 days and released on January 20, 1981, minutes after Ronald Reagan concluded his inaugural address. Within weeks of the beginning of the Reagan presidency, arms began to flow from the US to Iran through Israel, giving rise to an enduring suspicion that Reagan’s campaign negotiated the release of the hostages and arranged for it to happen after the election was over, thus denying Jimmy Carter a long-sought diplomatic victory that might have aided his re-election.
Thousands of words have been written about this conspiracy theory, most notably the book October Surprise by Garry Sick, former member of the National Security Council.
While we can debate the pros and cons of the argument endlessly (and probably will continue to do so) I think a fascinating and lesser-known sub-plot to this story is the fate of Washington attorney Paul Wilcher. From a June 18, 2000 article, “Paul Wilcher and the ‘October Surprise’,” at Parents Against Corruption and Coverup (thepacc.org site no longer active, but you can look at the site from the Internet Archive here.):
On or about May 21, 1993, Washington attorney Paul Wilcher went to the Department of Justice and hand delivered a letter claiming holdover DOJ employees from the Reagan-Bush era were responsible for a number of government cover ups, unbeknownst to the Attorney General and President Clinton. The 100 page letter was addressed to Janet Reno. On or about June 11, Wilcher was interviewed regarding the contents of the letter. Later, after days of not hearing from him, worried friends contacted the police, who went to Wilcher’s apartment on June 23. His decomposing body was found [by police after pressure to investigate from White House press corps member Sarah McClendon] propped on a toilet…In January of 1996, PACC received an unsolicited copy of the Wilcher letter…the section on the ‘October Surprise’ is detailed, specific, and attributed to a Wilcher client with first hand knowledge, according to the letter.
Sarah McClendon, a White House reporter, published an article on July 4, 1993, titled “The Death of My Friend Paul Wilcher,”
Wilcher, who felt his family had been beaten out of their estate by corrupt judicial processes in Chicago, came here to Washington, to find a new life. Then he heard about a man whom he believed to be a political prisoner, Gunther Russbacher, the man who says he is being persecuted because he flew former President George Bush to Paris to meet with leading Iranians and make a deal to supply Iran with weapons in exchange for that government keeping the 52 American hostages until after the November election so that former President Jimmy Carter would not get, a boost. by bringing home the American citizens held there. Instead the deal was they were to be delivered to Candidate Ronald Reagan. That agreement was kept as soon as Reagan inaugurated in 1981. Wilcher was working daily for Russbacher.
From a July 14, 1993, letter to Attorney General Janet Reno from Dr. Garby Leon:
McClendon has been told that preliminary autopsy results have found no natural cause of death, and no other cause of death to explain Wilcher’s demise. Given that Wilcher, in his 40s, was in apparent good health, this seems fairly astonishing. A much larger issue is also implied here: if critics of our government are found dead in their bathrooms from obscure causes, and the government itself doesn’t take steps to find out why, then our freedoms themselves are threatened – as well as the activities that protect those freedoms. If individual investigation and criticism of government activities is chilled or intimidated into silence, then democracy loses its most important protection.
Given the massive amount of documented evidence, it is a bit surprising that so many people dismiss out of hand even the possibility that Reagan might have been involved in a political deal with the Iranians. Personally I believe this is because (especially nowadays) America has a powerful need for heroes, and Reagan fulfills that role for many people on both sides of the political divide. As a result they are unwilling to consider anything that might cast the former president in a venal or corrupt light.
- What If … Reagan had lost in 1980 (newstatesman.com)
- The October Surprise Of 1980 (crooksandliars.com)
- Thirty Years Later Carter/Mondale Blame Iran for Election Loss (waronterrornews.typepad.com)
Colorado’s recent gubernatorial race was entertaining on many levels, but a particularly hilarious component was the Great United Nations Takeover Bike Plot. This dire conspiracy theory was first outlined to a giggling public by Tea Party candidate Dan Maes in an effort to discredit Democrat John Hickenlooper, the eventual winner of the race and a big supporter of bike paths and bike-sharing in Colorado cities.