Westerners have noticed their politics, and Saudis have noticed their patronage: thank you, Captain Obvious (and notes on Rooster Cockburn)


captain_61df62_1383191

First Captain Obvious saved the day at the Rutherford Institute:

John Whitehead wrote:

The government is not our friend. Nor does it work for “we the people.”

Our so-called government representatives do not actually represent us, the citizenry. We are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests whose main interest is in perpetuating power and control.

No matter which candidate wins this election, the police state will continue to grow. In other words, it will win and “we the people” will lose.

Americans only think they’re choosing the next president. In truth, however, they’re engaging in the illusion of participation …

More than terrorism, more than domestic extremism, more than gun violence and organized crime, the U.S. government has become a greater menace to the life, liberty and property of its citizens than any of the so-called dangers from which the government claims to protect us.

The government knows exactly which buttons to push in order to manipulate the populace and gain the public’s cooperation and compliance.

Fear, which now permeates the populace, leads to fascism.

If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.

America’s shadow government—which is comprised of unelected government bureaucrats, corporations, contractors, paper-pushers, and button-pushers who are actually calling the shots behind the scenes right now and operates beyond the reach of the Constitution with no real accountability to the citizenry—is the real reason why “we the people” have no control over our government.

The government does whatever it wants.

You no longer have to be poor, black or guilty to be treated like a criminal in America. All that is required is that you belong to the suspect class—that is, the citizenry—of the American police state. As a de facto member of this so-called criminal class, every U.S. citizen is now guilty until proven innocent.

“We the people” are no longer shielded by the rule of law. While the First Amendment—which gives us a voice—is being muzzled, the Fourth Amendment—which protects us from being bullied, badgered, beaten, broken and spied on by government agents—is being disemboweled.

Government eyes are watching you. They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet. Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to form a picture of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line.

By gradually whittling away at our freedoms—free speech, assembly, due process, privacy, etc.—the government has, in effect, liberated itself from its contractual agreement to respect our constitutional rights while resetting the calendar back to a time when we had no Bill of Rights to protect us from the long arm of the government.

Private property means nothing if the government can take your home, car or money under the flimsiest of pretexts, whether it be asset forfeiture schemes, eminent domain or overdue property taxes. Likewise, private property means little at a time when SWAT teams and other government agents can invade your home, break down your doors, kill your dog, wound or kill you, damage your furnishings and terrorize your family.

If there is an absolute maxim by which the federal government seems to operate, it is that the American taxpayer always gets ripped off.
..

All you need to do in order to be flagged as a suspicious character, labeled an enemy of the state and locked up like a dangerous criminal is use certain trigger words, surf the internet, communicate using a cell phone, drive a car, stay at a hotel, purchase materials at a hardware store, take flying or boating lessons, appear suspicious, question government authority, or generally live in the United States.

Despite the revelations of the past several years, nothing has changed to push back against the American police state. Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—continue to be choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.

Forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, and forced inclusion in biometric databases are just a few ways in which Americans continue to be reminded that we have no control over what happens to our bodies during an encounter with government officials.

Finally, we all bleed red. And we all suffer when violence becomes the government’s calling card. Remember, in a police state, you’re either the one with your hand on the trigger or you’re staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. The oppression and injustice—be it in the form of shootings, surveillance, fines, asset forfeiture, prison terms, roadside searches, and so on—will come to all of us eventually unless we do something to stop it now.

http://rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/a_few_ugly_truths_you_wont_hear_from_the_2016_presidential_candidates

Thank you, Captain Obvious. We all knew that already.

Now here’s something you knew was coming:

RIYADH: Hundreds of Pakistani construction workers are to fly home from Saudi Arabia this week but without the salaries they have waited months to receive, embassy officials told AFP.
A total of 405 Pakistanis owed wages by once-mighty Saudi Oger will fly home from Wednesday courtesy of the Saudi government, said Abdul Shakoor Shaikh, the Pakistani Embassy’s community welfare attache.
They are among more than 6,500 Pakistanis who, he said, have not been paid by the construction giant for that past eight or nine months.
Large contingents of Filipinos and Indians have also gone months without pay from Saudi Oger, which is led by Lebanon’s billionaire former premier Saad Hariri.
In all, more than 30,000 Saudi Oger workers are affected.
Employees of Oger and other construction companies, which are dependent on state contracts, have suffered because of delayed receipts from a Saudi government whose oil revenues have collapsed over the past two years.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/990761/saudi-arabia

The “Arab News” version is another case of “Thank you, Captain Obvious.” But notice how it doesn’t depict any threat to the government; it portrays the government as benevolent, the workers as under control, and the corporate interest as the only real loser.

roostercogburn
Patrick “Rooster” Cockburn sees signs of change on the horizon:

Hundreds of foreign hospital workers in Saudi Arabia, unpaid for seven months, were on strike this week and were blocking a highway in Eastern Province in defiance of the ban on strikes and demonstrations in the Kingdom. The employees’ anger was deepened by the belief that the very same employer who has been holding back their salaries regularly offers massive fees to international singers who perform at his parties.

Things are not well in Saudi Arabia and this week there were two pieces of bad news. Hitherto, there have been protests like this by foreign employees suffering from the knock-on effects of cuts in state expenditure following the drop in the oil price. In work camps far out in the desert workers complain that, not only have they stopped receiving money owed to them, but they are no longer even receiving supplied of food and electricity.

But today the cuts are for the first time hitting public sector workers who are Saudi citizens, 70 per cent of whom work for the government. So far the austerity is limited with lower bonuses and overtime payments and a 20 per cent reduction in the salaries of ministers, though those close to political power are unlikely to be in actual need.

Cracks in the Kingdom: Saudi Arabia Rocked by Financial Strains

That’s a different picture. The workers were not powerless; they were blocking roads. The government is not a boundless river of freebies; it’s under strain trying to meet its payrolls.

The Saudis still have their family armies, plus their hired mercenaries, plus however much backing the Pentagon can give them. If their balance sheet gets bad enough, they will have to shed some of their hired mercenaries, and no one really knows how the Pentagon will react.


Postscript:

Following suit with a Senate vote earlier on Wednesday, the US House of Representatives has voted to overturn the president’s controversial veto on 9/11 legislation, a first for the Obama Administration.

The House voted overwhelming to overturn Obama’s veto of Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which allows the families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government for its alleged involvement in the attacks. CIA Director John Brennan © AFP 2016/ Jewel Samad CIA Director Warns US Congress Not to Allow 9/11 Lawsuits Against Saudi Arabia The House voted 348-77 with one present vote. Earlier on Wednesday, the Senate voted 97-1 to override the veto.

https://sputniknews.com/us/20160928/1045807453/911-veto-override.html

I suspect that all such lawsuits will be subverted by the people who actually masterminded 9-11.

If the newspapers are full of lawsuits against the Saudis, the man in the street might actually blame the Saudis, instead of the insiders who set the whole thing up….

Advertisements
This entry was posted in political economy. Bookmark the permalink.