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Posts Tagged ‘Hutaree’

Tax Day Musings And The “Tea Party”

Now that tax day has come and gone, some interesting stories and facts have emerged. First is the report that multi-national U.S. corporations such as ExxonMobil and General Electric paid no U.S. income taxes again but paid them in other countries according to a Think Progress report titled, “ExxonMobil paid no federal income tax in 2009” which said,

Last week, Forbes magazine published what the top U.S. corporations paid in taxes last year. “Most egregious,” Forbes notes, is General Electric, which “generated $10.3 billion in pretax income, but ended up owing nothing to Uncle Sam. In fact, it recorded a tax benefit of $1.1 billion.” Big Oil giant Exxon Mobil, which last year reported a record $45.2 billion profit, paid the most taxes of any corporation, but none of it went to the IRS.

Think Progress is citing the Forbes story by Christopher Helman titled, “What The Top U.S. Companies Pay in Taxes” which goes on to say,

Exxon tries to limit the tax pain with the help of 20 wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands that (legally) shelter the cash flow from operations in the likes of Angola, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi. Exxon has tens of billions in earnings permanently reinvested overseas. Likewise, GE has $84 billion in overseas income parked indefinitely outside the U.S.

You see, they are the East India Tea Company of our time. The real tea party was about the East India Tea Company through the Tea Act of 1773 being allowed to monopolize the tea market to the colonies by exempting it from paying taxes on tea shipped into the colonies and from paying taxes on any excess inventory. The smaller tea merchants of the colonies did not have such an advantage and thus they orchestrated the Boston Tea Party where East India Tea Company tea was dumped in Boston harbor and was born the expression “no taxation without representation”. Somehow, I don’t think the clowns showing up at the “tea party” rallies have these facts and concepts in their minds. They unwittingly support the East India Tea Companies of today because the corporate money and allied politicians that are funding their “grassroots” movement have put an alternative reality in their heads, that being, instead of the influence and control these corporations have acquired over the American political process (culminating in the current Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC), they believe the exact opposite has occured and “big government” has taken over the private sector. The Think Progress report went on to note the 2008 Government Accountability Office report that 2/3rds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1998 through 2005. Given the current debt of this nation through these continual tax cuts at the top coupled with the “free trade agreements” that have led to lower household incomes, fixed higher unemployment rates and deregulation such as Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which led the way to the financial collapse (sorry lunatics, it wasn’t ACORN, Carter, or poor minorities and immigrants) and watered down regulation enforcement which led to the mining deaths from Massey Energy run by Tea Party member Don Blankenship, this recent tax news is particularly disgusting.

Second is the piece authored by Dave Lindorf titled, “Your Tax Dollars at War: More Than 53% of Your Tax Payment Goes to the Military” which states the folowing,

The budget for the 2011 fiscal year, which has to be voted by Congress by this Oct. 1, looks to be about $3 trillion, not counting the funds collected for Social Security (since the Vietnam War, the government has included the Social Security Trust Fund in the budget as a way to make the cost of America’s imperial military adventures seem smaller in comparison to the total cost of government). Meanwhile, the military share of the budget works out to about $1.6 trillion. …

US military spending isn’t just half of the US budget. It is also half of the entire global spending on war and weaponry. In 2009, according to the venerable War Resisters League, US military spending accounted for 47% of all money spent globally on war, weapons and military preparedness. What makes that staggering figure particularly ridiculous is that America’s allies–countries like France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and Japan–account for another 21% of the world’s military spending. Fully 12 of the top-spenders among big military-spending nations are either allies of the US, or are friendly countries like Brazil and India. That is to say, America and its friends and allies account for more than two-thirds of all military spending worldwide.

China, in contrast, probably the closest thing to a real “threat” to American interests because of America’s treaty commitments to the island nation of Taiwan, and China’s claim that it is a part of the PRC, spends only some $130 billion on its military, much of which is actually devoted to maintaining military control of the country’s own 1.3 billion people, some of whom might prefer to be independent, or to be freer….

Meanwhile Iran, which the White House and Congress are portraying as America’s arch enemy despite its not having invaded another country in hundreds of years, isn’t even on the list of the top 17 military big-spenders. Iran’s current military budget is a teensy $4.8 billion, about the same as the estimated $5 billion spent on the military by North Korea–America’s other “major enemy.” Each of those country’s military budgets is about one-quarter of the military budget of Australia, or a third of the military budget of the Netherlands.

Given that some estimates have put us having over 1000 military bases in 135 counties, this is all massive overkill that threatens the US with implosion not unlike what happened to the Soviet Union. This is the military industrial congressional complex that President Dwight Eisenhower once warned Americans about. When you throw in the no bid contracts that took place in Iraq, the information Judicial Watch gathered on the Cheney Energy Task Force had concerning Iraqi oil reserves and multi-national corporate interests interested in them in March, 2001, long before the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, it all draws quite an unspoken picture. And there isn’t much talk of the TAPI pipeline in Afghanistan or US installed Afghan leader Hamid Karzai once being a pipeline negotiator for the Unocal bid either.

And the last news item or story is that income taxes according to William Gale, co-director of the Tax Policy Center and director of the Retirement Security Project at the Brookings Institution in a CBS News Hotsheet report titled, “What’s Obama Doing to Your Taxes

are at their lowest level in 60 years. …

“The relation between what is said in the tax debate and what is true about tax policy is often quite tenuous,” Gale told Hotsheet. “The rise of the Tea Party at a time when taxes are literally at their lowest in decades is really hard to understand.”

Despite the facts, polling data in another CBS Hotsheet report titled, “Tea Party Supporters: Who They Are And What They Believe” the following results are noted,

Sixty-four percent believe that the president has increased taxes for most Americans, despite the fact that the vast majority of Americans got a tax cut under the Obama administration. Thirty-four percent of the general public says the president has raised taxes on most Americans.

While the 34% of the general public believe the opposite of reality (which is in itself an indictment of mainstream corporate media), the numbers for the “Tea Party” are quite staggering. The cause is explainable though, as noted,

Sixty-three percent say they get the majority of their political and current events news on television from the Fox News Channel, compared to 23 percent of Americans overall. Forty-seven percent say television is their main source of Tea Party information, the top source; another 24 percent say they get Tea Party information from the internet.

Lately, there has been some effort in the mainstream media to legitimize the “tea party”. But let’s be honest for a moment. These people are nothing but low information voters driven to irrational anger by charlatans at the Fox News network and right wing radio as well as monied interests and right wing organizations to shut down dialogue and accountability for political gain instead of legitimate concerns. The fact many of them believe President Obama is not legitimately the president of the United States and doesn’t have a legitimate birth certificate is not rational or sane dialogue. The fact they call him a Communist, Marxist, Nazi, and Fascist likewise given that some of these things are quite opposite of each other. The fact they are calling the new Health Care Bill socialism while is it basically a copy of Republican Mitt Romney’s Health Care in Massachusetts, was patterned after a rendition of a bill written by AHIP and authored by a former health insurance executive, and is pretty close to the Nixon effort at reform should be enough to reveal these people do not live in a reality based thought process. If anyone should be mad at the bill, it should be liberals and progressives who were shut out of the process. And what’s worse, much needed regulatory financial reform is being sold to these gullible people in the “tea party” movement by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) as a “permanent bailout” instead of reregulation of the financial industry to make sure what happened never happens again. These liars and hate speakers on the right and complicit Republicans are playing dangerous games with the future of our republic. The fact that a basically conservative approach at reforming our health delivery system was met with madness and violent overtones and the recent arrest of Hutaree Militia members planning to carry out murder should be tampered down immediately and this movement discredited before more tragic results occur. On April 13th while eating at a local Burger King, I saw a man that was agitated and mumbling but with some discernable words concerning Chris Matthews of MSNBC and that he had enough of him and the lying liberals. He proceeded to get louder and louder and he began saying that all the liberals in this country needed to be killed (repeatedly) which started making others a little uncomfortable. I have a message for this man. Turn off Fox News, your radio, and seek professional help before you bring harm to yourself and others. And for those of you spreading the lies, hate speech, paranoia that is dividing my country, from the charlatans at Fox News, the hate speakers on right wing radio, to the Republican members of Congress encouraging this garbage, please stop and start helping fix this country’s problems you have helped create.

F.B.I., The Joint Terrorism Task Force, And Homeland Security Raids Occuring In Michigan And Other Areas.

Reports are coming from several local sources of large operations by the FBI and Homeland Security in process yesterday, March 27th and today, March 28th. Given the locations, there is speculation these operations could be militia related. If not, maybe some sort of terrorist situation though that as an explanation has been denied. Locations in Indiana and Ohio have been cited as well. First there is this from clickonDetroit,

ADRIAN, Mich. — The FBI confirmed to Local 4 that there were several law enforcement activities in the Lenawee/Washtenaw County area late Saturday night.

“The federal warrants are sealed and we can not comment at this time,” said Sandra Berchtold, media/applicant coordinator for the FBI in Detroit.

Local 4 crews could see FBI helicopters flying over the area.

and there is this from WXYZ.com

Action News has learned Homeland Security and the Joint Anti-terrorism Task Force is also involved in a major operation.

Federal officials would not say who they were targeting or where, but the FBI has set up a command center at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department in Ann Arbor, where they have brought in two satellite trucks and a radio tower.

There is also this from Chicago Breaking News,

Hammond police assisted with an FBI raid Saturday evening in the Indiana city, but federal officials would not release any details.

Hammond officials did not know the circumstances surrounding the raid, which began about 7 p.m. and lasted two hours, said a police dispatcher.

The raid occurred on the 1900 block of Calumet Avenue, the dispatcher said. There were no injuries reported.

As news on this develops, it will be posted when definitive answers are provided.

UPDATE:
Various news sources are saying a Michigan Militia group are targeted in the raid. There is this report from AnnArbor.com for readers here to read. The following is from the article,

The FBI conducted raids Saturday night in Washtenaw County and Lenawee County in an investigation involving members of Hutaree, a Christian-oriented militia group based in Lenawee County, AnnArbor.com has learned. ….

“I can confirm that there is ongoing law enforcement activity in the Ann Arbor general area,” Pack said in a written statement. “Since the federal warrants are under court ordered seal, legally we cannot provide further comment at this time.”

Local Michigan militia member Jimmy Schiel said he was told five people were arrested – including one known member of Hutaree. Schiel said the five were reportedly arrested during a raid at a service in the Ann Arbor area for a Hutaree member who died recently. Schiel was told about eight Hutaree members were present. Schiel, who said he was invited but did not attend, spoke to a Hutaree member who was at the service, he said.

Fox News is reporting

Seven people have been arrested for allegedly selling pipe bombs in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, Fox News has learned.

The Times Leader Online published on Friday, March 26th this following report titled, “Possible Monroe terrorist plot foiled” which mentions an improvised booby trap and explosive compunds,

AN IMPROVISED booby trap was outside a Monroe County residence where explosive compounds, numerous blasting caps and a large amount of ammunition were among the articles seized, leading to charges against a 50-year-old man, according to Sheriff Charles R. Black Jr.

Two search warrants were executed this week, based on information that a government facility was a potential target for an explosion, Black noted.

Charlie Leroy Russell, 50, a Wayne Township resident, was arrested and faces four counts of unlawful possession of dangerous ordnance, which are fifth degree felonies, and five counts of illegal manufacture or process of explosives, which are felony 2 offenses. Black reported that additional charges are pending a review by the grand jury.

UPDATE 2:

Members of Hutaree Militia Group Charged With Conspiracy To Kill Police

In a report from the Associated Press titled, “Militia members charged with police-killing plot“, it says that nine members of the Hutaree Militia are charged with conspiring to kill police officers and plotting to kill more at a funeral for a slain officer by detonating bombs. It indicates eight are in custody and one is still at large. This follows the raids by the FBI, Homeland Security and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Once other officers gathered for the slain officer’s funeral, the group planned to detonate homemade bombs at the funeral, killing more, according to newly unsealed court papers. ….

According to investigators, the Hutaree view local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel as a “brotherhood” and an enemy, and planned to attack them as part of an armed struggle against the U.S. government.

Andrew Arena, head of the FBI’s field office in Detroit, said the case “is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society. The FBI takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.”

The five count indictment can be read here (pdf file).