The Entry of Ebola into the US Has Hallmarks of a Planned Happening

October 22, 2014
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Reprinted from Paul Craig Roberts

From youtube.com/watch?v=JnQVUf775VE: Ebola - What You're Not Being Told
Ebola – What You’re Not Being Told
(image by YouTube)

More information is available that suggests the the government had advance information that ebola was coming to the US and that the government expects a much larger outbreak of the disease in the US than it admits.

Keep in mind that Washington is evil and has been killing people in seven countries for 13 years based entirely on lies. Keep in mind that Washington has a long list of countries that it has destabilized.

Most recently, Washington overthrew the elected government in Ukraine and is currently working on the remaining independent governments in the Middle East, Russia, and China as Tony Cartalucci’s article documents. For six case studies of how Washington overthrows governments read The Brothers.

Here is a report from Natural News.

The U.S. government knew about the outbreak in advance, but didn’t warn the public

It’s now clear that the U.S. government has long known this outbreak was coming but did nothing to warn the public.

In early September, the government sought to purchase 160,000 Ebola hazmat suits from a U.S. supplier.

Furthermore, according to this report on SHTFplan.com, “Disaster Assistance Response Teams were told to prepare to be activated in the month of October.”

Don’t you find it strange that while the government itself was gearing up for an October disaster, the public wasn’t told a thing about any of this?

 

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente’s Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available here. His latest book,  How America Was Lost, has just been released and can be ordered here.

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Ebola’s grim original secret: How capitalism and obscene military spending got us here

October 22, 2014

WEDNESDAY, OCT 22, 2014 07:30 AM CDT

It’s time to look at America’s perverted sense of death, health and prevention — and how we’re spending our money
ROBERT HENNELLY
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TOPICS: EBOLA, CAPITALISM, FREE MARKET, MILITARY, VIRUS, MEDIA CRITICISM, LIBERIA, PUBLIC HEALTH, FEDERAL BUDGET, HEALTH, DEATH, POLITICS NEWS

Ebola’s grim original secret: How capitalism and obscene military spending got us here
(Credit: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast)
This week stateside, the edge may be off the Ebola story for the U.S. news media, as those people in Dallas who were close to the late Thomas Eric Duncan emerge from their 21-day quarantine. The Obama administration has appointed an Ebola czar and the military is pulling together a kind of infectious disease SWAT team that can helicopter in the next time a “world-class” American hospital fumbles an Ebola case.

Glad that’s resolved.

What a human tragedy it will be if we fail to grasp what are the existing pre-conditions that set the stage for this unprecedented global outbreak of Ebola.

Missing from the wall-to-wall coverage of the global Ebola crisis is a root-cause analysis that shows how unfettered free market global capitalism and our obscene spending on the military both play a part in creating the environment for this latest outbreak and the ones that are sure to follow.

Annually the world spends more than $1.7 trillion on the military. According to the Wall Street Journal the world spends a whopping $27 billion on the world’s public health. Keep that obscene imbalance in your mind the next time you see pictures of Liberians bleeding out in the street.

No missile killed them, but our greed and global death-oriented spending priorities have left fingerprints on all these bodies.

Here in the U.S. we spend close to $700 billion on the military annually, roughly 20 percent of the federal budget, equivalent to just under $2,500 per capita. Contrast that with our foreign aid for things like public health where we part with just $19 billon, or .6 percent of the federal budget, just $61 per capita. Twenty other nations actually give a higher percentage of their gross national product in non-military aid to nations in need than we do.

Our military spending squeezes out so much that needs to be done both at home and abroad. And there are lost opportunity costs of not doing what needs to be done, like seeing to it that places like West Africa, the epicenter of the latest Ebola outbreak, have a basic public health infrastructure.

This latest global pandemic shows just how yesterday our “homeland security” threat–based security matrix is. In the jet age of hop-and-a-skip Ebola, it feels fatally provincial. Ultimately, our essential homeland is planet Earth.

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As President Obama does his best to shift back and forth from commander in chief of the war on terror to global public health advocate, he is going to find maintaining the public’s trust, both here and abroad, essential but difficult. For quite a while now the U.S. brand has been tied to its myopic prosecution of the the war on terror, even if it killed innocent civilians and put the global public health at risk.

How else does one explain the CIA’s fraudulent use of a public health vaccination program in Pakistan to harvest DNA from households they suspected of harboring Osama bin Laden? As a direct consequence of the CIA’s subterfuge bin Laden supporters targeted several public health workers administering polio vaccination for assassination.

Although that particular CIA strategy did not help the U.S. achieve its ultimate goal, there was major blowback. The U.N. had to shut down its polio eradication efforts in Pakistan, one of only a handful of countries in the world at the time where wild polio transmission still happens. So severe were the potential consequences that in January of 2013 deans of the 12 leading American schools of public health wrote President Obama directly, taking the CIA to task. “This disguising of an intelligence gathering effort as a humanitarian public health service has resulted in serious collateral consequences that affect the public health community,” read a press release put out along with the letter.

A week later Lisa Monaco, the White House’s top counter-terror and homeland security expert, wrote back pledging the CIA would not repeat the ruse.

But the damage may have been done, especially in the parts of the world where U.S.-based pharma multinationals’ vaccination products have long been viewed as suspect and with the same skepticism expressed by vaccination opponents stateside. By in the spring of this year the World Health Organization was reporting a resurgence of polio centered in the Middle East and Africa that “constitutes an extraordinary event and a public health risk to other States for which a coordinated international response is essential,” WHO warned the world. “If unchecked, this situation could result in failure to eradicate globally one of the most serious vaccine preventable diseases.”

For global context, keep in mind that in 1979 polio had been eradicated in the United States, but experts say maintaining that status requires high vaccination rates here and an aggressive program around the world. In an increasingly mobile world, the Centers for Disease Control warns that without a coordinated international effort “scenarios for polio being introduced into the United States are easy to imagine.”

No doubt this reality creates a dynamic tension between public health and commerce that is so present in the current “fly–no fly” Ebola debate. We have a media-induced near religious belief that only through unfettered global free trade and travel can a brighter tomorrow dawn. We think we have conquered the natural world but it can still kick us in the ass with fatal results. We have failed to grasp even the basic consequences of the mobility many of us take for granted. We are blind to the social and ecological costs exacted on the people of Africa by transnationals in the hot pursuit of everything from bauxite to crude oil.

Despite our 21st century genius we lose jet airliners and killer epidemics can percolate for several months in remote places like West Africa, impoverished by an extraction industry like the mining of bauxite used to make the aluminum we need for the planes we fly and the latest high-tech gadgets we depend on to stay connected. Our pressing question all too often is, Can we get an upgrade?

Suffice to say most Americans have no idea where this virulent Ebola strain has come from or how many people it has already killed. Media figures vary. Laurie Garrett, an analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations, told the PBS News Hour this week that for the first time officials at the World Health Organization had conceded the “bad news” that they had no real data from Liberia. Garrett says she estimates the actual Ebola death toll is between 15,000 and 16,000 deaths.

There is expert consensus that the Ebola tide has to be turned where it originated. We can’t just hermetically seal our borders.

According to the World Health Organization, “ground zero” for the outbreak was “in the remote Guinean village of Meliandou” where the borders of the West African nations Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone all meet. The first fatality, according to WHO, was a 2-year-old boy who died two days after he became sick around Christmastime of last year.

Within a matter of weeks his 3-year-old sister, mother and grandmother all had succumbed to what was still at that point a mysterious disease to the local doctors who were unfamiliar with Ebola because it had previously been only associated with countries in Central Africa. In one of the most medically underserved places in the world, local doctors were all too familiar with the regular outbreaks of infectious diseases like cholera and malaria but were baffled by what they were facing.

“Following the young boy’s death, the mysterious disease continued to smolder undetected, causing several chains of deadly transmission,” according to WHO’s account. “Who could have ever guessed that such a notorious disease, previously confined to Central Africa and Gabon, would crop up in another distant part of the continent?”

It was not until March of this year that WHO officially posted the Ebola outbreak advisory. For months there was lots of public health hand-wringing. Experts were lured into complacency when local outbreaks seemed to wane, only to resurge with a vengeance, decimating a part of the world that, despite its great natural resource wealth, lacks basic public health infrastructure.

For Africa in the age of unfettered global capitalism, the leverage is still with transnational corporations that can easily exploit the corruption and political instability that grips so much of the continent. “With 24 percent of the world’s infectious disease burden, Africa has only 3 percent of the world’s health professionals, with massive shortages of physicians, nurses, technicians, health administrators and planners,” writes Jennifer Cooke, author of “Public Health in Africa.”

Any effort at coming to understand Ebola has to be pursued holistically. As reported earlier this month in the Digital Journal, there are expert estimates that West Africa has lost as much as 90 percent of its virgin forest lands to human activities including farming and mining. Scientists believe there is a corollary between deforestation and the increasing frequency and severity of Ebola outbreaks.

Ebola is a zoonotic disease, transmitted from animals to people. As the population grows and human settlement expands into the shrinking tropical forests, the local population, which survives off bush meat, is increasingly exposed to the disease present in species like fruit bats and chimpanzees. Such was the conclusion reached in the 2012 report “Ebola Virus Outbreaks in Africa and Present” published in the Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Medicine.

At the same time a never-ending cycle of political violence in the region makes it impossible to achieve the stability needed to establish and maintain the public health infrastructure necessary for a traumatized and often at risk population. All too often African leaders decide it’s more critical to spend money to buttress their military for their own self-preservation, as opposed to investing in the public health of their constituents. Add into the mix a terrorist group like Boko Haram and you have a civil society constantly under duress.

Historically, for Americans and Europeans, Africa was a place to get slaves, free labor. In modern times it is a place from which we extract diamonds, gold, bauxite, oil, whatever, at the lowest possible price, so as to make the most profit. It is just business. If you can add to your mass consumer market in the process, that’s fine too. But, overwhelmingly, the majority of Africans are left out of the global free trade wealth-creating machine that is fueled by Africa’s natural resources.

As for the U.S., with the fall of the Soviet Union and after Sept. 11, we have increasingly asserted ourselves with drone attacks and strategic military raids in Africa aimed at disrupting terrorist networks.

Despite all the rhetoric about being interconnected it is hard to get the developed world to really have skin in the game over the long term. Yes, President George W. Bush’s focused efforts to spend billions to fight HIV-AIDS in Africa was a bipartisan success that made a difference for millions.

Yet last year the Washington Post reported that President Obama actually became the first president since Reagan to back off the U.S. commitment to fighting HIV-AIDS, slashing hundreds of millions of dollars from the program.

What this Ebola outbreak has to drive home is the reality that U.S. aid to support public health in Africa is not a selfless act of charity but one of self -preservation. Over the decades of African relief ads on late-night TV we may have become inured to the image of starving and disease-stricken children. That’s not to say the world has not made progress. Consider that in 1990 the World Health Organization reported that around the world 12.6 million children under age 5 died. That’s almost two Holocausts a year.

By 2012 that was down to 6.6 million dead children and about half of them were from sub-Saharan Africa. But as we have seen with the death of the 2-year-old in Guinea last Christmas, the loss of just one can have repercussions felt around the world.

MORE ROBERT HENNELLY.

Fear linked to TV viewing and education level

October 22, 2014

LIFE

Education, TV habits play into what people perceive to be threats.

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BY BRITTANY HANSON / STAFF WRITER

university-christoper-fea
SAM GANGWER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Sociology professor Christopher Bader knows what you’re afraid of. And much like the movie “Poltergeist,” it’s coming out of your television.

One of the highlights from Bader’s study released today on what Americans fear is a link between fear and TV viewing. People who watch a lot of talk shows or true-crime TV, tend to be more fearful, according to Bader’s study.

The Chapman Survey on American Fears is the first extensive study on fear by Bader and a team of more than 20 students and faculty. Bader plans to conduct the study annually.

The things that fearful people appear to have in common: a low education level and a high level of watching television, specifically talk and true-crime shows.

Bader said a surprising find in the research shows that many Americans think crime rates are on the rise, despite evidence to the contrary. Violent crimes reported to the police from 1993 to 2012 show that the crime rate has been falling, according to FBI Uniform Crime Reports.

“The violent crime rate has been going down for years, but Americans don’t feel that way,” Bader said.

Chapman researchers asked a random sample of 1,500 Americans about the prevalence of eight crimes, including child abduction, gang violence, mass riots and serial killing, compared with 20 years ago.

School shootings ranked tops among people’s fears. About 45 percent of the surveyed sample of people thought that school shootings were happening “a lot more often,” compared with 20 years ago; 2.4 percent said school shootings are happening “a lot less often.”

Those surveyed had a choice of “a lot more often,” “more often,” “about the same,” “less often” and “a lot less often.”

So far this year, there have been three. The number of shootings since 1996 has varied between none in 2004 to seven in 2012. The second highest number was six in 2001.

Rounding out the top three categories of crimes that the sample thought were happening “a lot more often” were gang violence, about 28 percent, and pedophilia, nearly 28 percent.

When combining the “a lot more often” and “more often” responses, nearly 83 percent of people thought school shootings have increased in the past two decades, followed by human trafficking, nearly 66 percent and gang violence, about 64 percent.

When it comes to terrorism, which Bader’s study categorized as “man-made” disasters, the South and Northeast were most fearful of terrorist attacks, while the West and Midwest fear financial collapse.

What are Americans biggest personal fears?

1. Walking alone at night

RELATED:

“Never heard of so much sickness & death in such a short period” says Fukushima evacuee

October 22, 2014

ENENews


“Never heard of so much sickness & death in such a short period” says Fukushima evacuee — Writes about strange diseases in young people, deadly tumors and hemorrhages, pets missing hair, child losing all their fingernails, polydactyl baby — Doctor: My friends are dying of cancer, one after another

Posted: 21 Oct 2014 11:26 AM PDT

“Yes to GMO Labeling” Events – and The Power of Your Plate

October 22, 2014

Dear Reader,

We have a tradition in the Kucinich household that on the day of our birth we take the time to focus on what it is we want to create in the upcoming year.

This year, on her birthday, October 22, Elizabeth is focusing on helping to pass a GMO labeling initiative in Oregon. She wants to help empower civic activism and consumers’ right to know what they are eating, protect the integrity of our food supply and work towards regenerative organic agriculture which is in harmony with natural systems and has the power to reverse climate changethrough creating healthy soils.

So tomorrow, we are flying to Oregon to campaign for “YES on 92

Events:
Oct 22: Portland
YES ON 92 – Rally for GMO labeling, 5pm:
Birthday fundraiser dinner for YES on 92

Oct 23: Eugene
YES on 92 Lunch (free)

We then fly to LA for the UNRWA walk and then on to Colorado to campaign for GMO labeling and YES on 105.

Last week Elizabeth and I spoke in Des Moines, Iowa at “Occupy the World Food Prize” on October 14th. Here are the videos:

Dennis: in Des Moines talks food sovereignty, OWFP Elizabeth: Nourishing the world and reversing climate change with regenerative organic agriculture

As some of you may remember, I was instrumental in introducing the GMO issue into the US Congress years ago with a national labeling bill.

I saw first hand how the GMO industry, led by Monsanto, used deceitful practices to mislead the American public and Congress about the nature of GMOs and how safety testing of GMOs for toxicity, allergenicity, anti-biotic resistance and functional characteristics was defeated by monied interests.

Oregon – Vote YES on 92
Colorado – Vote YES on 105
             … TODAY!!

Lastly – great news … The film GMO OMG, exec produced by Elizabeth, WON best documentary at the Environmental Media Awards in LA. Want to learn more about GMOs? I suggest you watch it!

We are all in this together, and invite you to join us on our journey to reclaim and reinstate the power of the people in all aspects of the American experience.


Dennis
@Dennis_Kucinich
www.facebook.com/Dennis.kucinich

The Anatomy of the Deep State

October 22, 2014
On Tuesday, October 21, 2014 7:24 PM, John Steiner/ Margo King <steiner_king@earthlink.net> wrote:

 

Would be most interested in how you think this article (and its accuracy) relates to our cross spectrum work and the possible arising of new leadership!
John
February 21, 2014
by Mike Lofgren
 
Selections and worth the whole read!
 
During the last five years, the news media has been flooded with pundits decrying the broken politics of Washington. The conventional wisdom has it that partisan gridlock and dysfunction have become the new normal. That is certainly the case, and I have been among the harshest critics of this development. But it is also imperative to acknowledge the limits of this critique as it applies to the American governmental system…
 
…Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose…
 
…That the secret and unaccountable Deep State floats freely above the gridlock between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is the paradox of American government in the 21st century: drone strikes, data mining, secret prisons and Panopticon-like control on the one hand; and on the other, the ordinary, visible parliamentary institutions of self-government declining to the status of a banana republic amid the gradual collapse of public infrastructure.
 
…The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction…
 
..The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to “live upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.” “Living upon its principal,” in this case, means that the Deep State has been extracting value from the American people in vampire-like fashion…
 
..We are faced with two disagreeable implications. First, that the Deep State is so heavily entrenched, so well protected by surveillance, firepower, money and its ability to co-opt resistance that it is almost impervious to change. Second, that just as in so many previous empires, the Deep State is populated with those whose instinctive reaction to the failure of their policies is to double down on those very policies in the future. Iraq was a failure briefly camouflaged by the wholly propagandistic success of the so-called surge; this legerdemain allowed for the surge in Afghanistan, which equally came to naught. Undeterred by that failure, the functionaries of the Deep State plunged into Libya; the smoking rubble of the Benghazi consulate, rather than discouraging further misadventure, seemed merely to incite the itch to bomb Syria. Will the Deep State ride on the back of the American people from failure to failure until the country itself, despite its huge reserves of human and material capital, is slowly exhausted? The dusty road of empire is strewn with the bones of former great powers that exhausted themselves in like manner…

 

All The Wealth The Middle Class Accumulated After 1940 Is Gone

October 21, 2014

Posted: 10/20/2014 12:05 pm EDT Updated: 10/20/2014 12:59 pm EDT
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Here’s more proof the middle class is dying.

The middle-class share of American wealth has been shrinking for the better part of three decades and recently fell to its lowest level since 1940, according to a new study by economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics.

In other words, remember the surge of the great American middle classafter World War II? That’s all gone, at least by one measure.

In this case, “middle class” is defined rather expansively as the bottom 90 percent of all Americans. “Wealth” is the total of home equity, stock and bond holdings, pension plans and other assets, minus debt. As such assets are mostly owned by mid- to higher-income households — and considering most Americans define themselves as “middle-class” — it seems reasonable to use the bottom 90 percent as a proxy for the “middle class.”

Saez and Zucman discussed their paper in a blog post for the Washington Center For Equitable Growth on Monday that included this stark chart:

middle class

Debt has been the big force driving net wealth lower for the middle class, according to Saez and Zucman. Brief bubbles in stock and home prices in the 1990s and 2000s only temporarily offset the steady, depressing rise in mortgage, student-loan, credit-card and other debts for the bottom 90 percent.

“Many middle class families own homes and have pensions, but too many of these families also have much higher mortgages to repay and much higher consumer credit and student loans to service than before,” Saez and Zucman wrote.

Another important factor has been that incomes have stagnated for most Americans over the past few decades, once adjusted for inflation. Along with rising debt levels, stagnant wages have made it impossible for most families to save very much money.

And who has been the beneficiary of this middle-class misery? The top 0.1 percent of Americans, whose incomes have just kept rising, and whose share of wealth has soared to levels not seen since Jay Gatsby was still staring at the blinking green light at the end of Daisy Buchanan’s dock:

roaring 20s

In fact, the middle class is not alone in suffering from shrinking wealth. The rest of the top 10 percent of Americans below the 0.1 percent — the “merely rich,” Saez and Zucman call them — have also suffered from falling household wealth over the past four decades.

This rising inequality of wealth can only lead to more inequality of income and wealth in the future, Saez and Zucman warned, echoing French economist Thomas Piketty. The very rich will just keep getting richer by living on the returns from their wealth, while the rest of us will keep falling behind.

Ebola: Genetically Modified Organism developed in US Biowarfare Laboratories in Africa.

October 21, 2014
Ebola-USA

 As I read this notice from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the US National Institutes of Health, the US Government and Pharmaceutical corporations have been conducting ebola tests on humans. http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT02041715

This is official confirmation of Dr. Boyle and Dr. Broderick’s reports that the US government has conducted ebola experiments. Perhaps the vaccine was not effective, and those on whom the experiment was conducted came down with ebola and perhaps also employees in the US bio-warfare laboratories located in Africa where the experiment was conducted. 

It appears that the test consists of giving an ebola vaccine and then exposing the unaware person to ebola, apparently an engineered version for bio-warfare. Whatever the tests are, it is clear that Boyle and Broderick in their articles below are correct that experimentation with ebola by the US government is underway.

Two Scientists Say Ebola Originated In US Bio-warfare Lab

Experts have brought to the public’s attention that ebola is a genetically modified organism developed in US biowarfare laboratories in Africa.

In the two articles below reproduced from Tom Feeley’s Information Clearing House (a good site worthy of your support), Dr. Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois and
Dr. Cyril Broderick of the University of Liberia and the University of Delaware provide their fact-based assessments. Dr. Boyle drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the US implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.

For speaking out, both Boyle and Broderick will be viciously attacked by the US print and TV media. Remember the case of Gary Webb who exposed the CIA’s drug-running that supported the Contras in Nicaragua. The cocaine that launched the War on Drugs was brought in by the CIA. http://www.opednews.com/articles/WPost-s-Slimy-Assault-on-G-by-Robert-Parry-CIA_Cocaine_Gary-Webb_Journalism-141018-836.html

These are the URLs for the articles by Dr. Boyle and Dr. Broderick:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40012.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40013.htm

See also:  http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/10/no_author/its-the-worse-strain-of-ebola-ever/

 

One-Third of Americans at or Near Poverty

October 21, 2014

Poverty and inequality are on the rise. (photo: file)
Poverty and inequality are on the rise. (photo: file)

ALSO SEE: UK’s Poverty Commission Warns Britain
May Be Permanently Divided Between Rich and Poor

ALSO SEE: 21 Cities Already Restrict Sharing
Food With Homeless, 10 More Cities Planning to Do So

By Matt Bruenig, Demos

21 October 14

 

ome people think of poor people as a small, especially degenerate class of people. I and others have tried to push back against this understanding by pointing out, among other things, that 60% of poor people are children, elderly, disabled, or students, that poverty rates differ significantly across the life cycle (with the oldest, non-elderly workers having about half the poverty rate of the youngest), and that the ranks of the poor are much more fluid than many imagine. In this post, I raise another issue with this understanding, which is that it puts too much weight on the poverty line and ignores the number of people who are near poverty but not in it.

The poverty line, which is defined in dollar terms, is a useful construct, but also a limited one. A person who is $1 below the poverty line is not that much worse off than a person who is $1 above it, $2 above it, or $3 above it. The poverty line and the poverty rate that goes along with it makes it easy for people to conceptualize the poor as a standalone bucket of people. But, in fact, many of the poor are essentially indistinguishable from a much larger mass of people who do not find themselves in the poverty bucket.

For example, the supplemental poverty data that was released last week showed 15.5% of people (49 million people in total) to be below the poverty line. This is a small enough group that you could maybe cast them off as especially bad or inferior or whatever. But sitting just above the poverty line is another 53 million people who aren’t in poverty but are near it. That is to say, 32.5% of Americans are below 150% of the poverty line, a total of 102 million people (the same figure under the official poverty metric is 24.3%). If the poor are an especially bad underclass of people, who are the 53 million people who are in their midsts but not quite poor? Is it really the case that a rotating class of one in three Americans is full of mainly garbage human beings? It seems unlikely.

The 150% of the poverty line figure is also, in a sense, arbitrary. It also involves picking some income line and putting everyone beneath it in a bucket. But the income distribution, especially at the bottom, moves up at a fairly gradual (as opposed to punctuated) clip. When you look at the entire income distribution rather than picking lines, there is never any especially large gap that demarcates the poor from the rest. It’s a sliding scale all the way up. So where on that sliding scale would you say the bad people end and the good people begin? Which are the people who need Paul Ryan’s life coaches and which are the people who don’t?

(Note: In this graph, 100 refers to the the poverty line, 150 refers to 150% of the poverty line and so on. As you can see, nearly half of Americans are within 200% of the poverty line under the supplemental poverty measure.)

 

Reality of National Security State Trumps ‘Delusions’ of U.S. Democracy

October 21, 2014
Published on
by

In the halls of U.S. government, “policy in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions,” political scientist argues in new book

On the morning of President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, America was ready for a change. Tufts political scientist Michael Glennon explains why that change never came. (Photo: Eddie Codel/flickr/cc)

“I think the American people are deluded.”

So says Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon, whose new book, National Security and Double Government (Oxford University Press), describes a powerful bureaucratic network that’s really pulling the strings on key aspects of U.S. foreign policy.

The ‘double government’ explains why the Obama version of national security is virtually indistinguishable from the one he inherited from President George W. Bush.

“I think the American people are deluded… that the institutions that provide the public face actually set American national security policy. They believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change,” Glennon told the Boston Globe in an interview published Sunday. “Now, there are many counter-examples in which these branches do affect policy… But the larger picture is still true—policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.”

Glennon argues that because managers of the military, intelligence, diplomatic, and law enforcement agencies operate largely outside the institutions meant to check or constrain them—the executive branch, the courts, Congress—national security policy changes very little from one administration to the next.

This explains, he says, why the Obama version of national security is virtually indistinguishable from the one he inherited from President George W. Bush. It’s also why Guantanamo is still open; why whistleblowers are being prosecuted more; why NSA surveillance has expanded; why drone strikes have increased.

“I was curious why a president such as Barack Obama would embrace the very same national security and counterterrorism policies that he campaigned eloquently against,” Glennon said. Drawing on his own personal experiences as former legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as conversations with dozens of individuals in U.S. military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies and elected officials, Glennon drew the following conclusion: “National security policy actually bubbles up from within the bureaucracy. Many of the more controversial policies, from the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors to the NSA surveillance program, originated within the bureaucracy.”

To dismantle this so-called “double government”—a phrase coined by British journalist and businessman Walter Bagehot to describe the British government in the 1860s—will be a challenge, Glennon admits. After all, “There is very little profit to be had in learning about, and being active about, problems that you can’t affect, policies that you can’t change.”

But he is not hopeless. “The ultimate problem is the pervasive political ignorance on the part of the American people. And indifference to the threat that is emerging from these concealed institutions. That is where the energy for reform has to come from: the American people,” he said. “The people have to take the bull by the horns.”

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