2012 Election Spectacle
2012 Election Spectacle
1 September – 2 October 2012
As the 2012 "election" spectacle grinds into overdrive, one wonders, how horrific will the future that the elites are writing, and that most of us are obediently going along with, be? The choice seems to be between two criminals; one, Obama, already a hardened war criminal, the other, Romney, currently a lesser pedigree of criminal who "has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth", if elected, might possibly out criminal-Obama. I should qualify the aforementioned, by expressing that the ruling elites are essentially above the law and enjoy immunity and impunity from investigation, prosecution, and certainly conviction. The United States "has an entrenched two-tiered system of justice: the country's most powerful political and financial elites are virtually immunized from the rule of law, empowered to commit felonies with full-scale impunity and to act without any constraints, while the politically powerless are imprisoned with greater ease and in far greater numbers than in any other country on the planet."
So-called voter ID laws, which, given the virtually non-existent bottom-up voter fraud, are little other than political instruments of legalized suppression of entire demographics of eligible voters, namely those unlikely to vote Republican, will potentially deny the votes, that is to say the basic rights, of millions of US citizens eligible to cast a ballot. "[T]hose with good intentions and blameless records who are barred from legally casting a ballot because they lack ID are not just being inconvenienced; they are being denied the right that defines democracy. Voting is so important to democracy's functioning as an equalizing force that it is the first thing those in power deny the minority and the last thing they grant. Campaigns for voter ID laws may have multiplied dramatically in recent years, but they are far from new. They are simply an innovation in a decades-long campaign to deny those at the margins – blacks, the poor, the disabled – the right to representation."
The present is pretty terrifying. From the perspective of the oligarchs, Republican or Democrat, and perhaps many if not most US citizens (ostensibly, increasingly fewer), the "system" is not "broken", rather it is functioning precisely as intended. The Consumption Industrial Complex has never been so expansive, so globalized. As Chris Hedges succinctly explains: "[O]ne way or another the corporate hemlock will be shoved down our throats. The choice before us is how it will be administered [either corporate brand Obama, or corporate brand Romney]. Corporate power, no matter who is running the ward after January 2013, is poised to carry out U.S. history’s most savage assault against the poor and the working class, not to mention the Earth’s ecosystem. And no one in power, no matter what the bedside manner, has any intention or ability to stop it." Hedges continues, articulating that what is left of the social safeguards "that stand between us and utter destitution—Medicaid, food stamps, Pell grants, Head Start, Social Security, public education, federal grants-in-aid to America’s states and cities, the Women, Infants, and Children nutrition program (WIC), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and home-delivered meals for seniors—are about to be shredded by the corporate state."
It's Big Business as usual, as the advertising campaign for the 2012 corporate power selection are promoting two slightly different franchises selling two brands of virtually the same product; Dell or Apple, Coke or Pepsi, McDonald's or Burger King, Nike or Reebok––Obama or Romney. We, the mass spectators, are inculcated with public relations rhetoric and idioms. Real concerns, grave concerns, that truly matter, that should matter, if there is to be an iota of decency in the next five, ten, twenty years, not even to speculate beyond, which is particularly unimaginable, are not allowed to be discussed. Obviously, if the rising global temperatures, increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, rising sea levels, increasing acidification of the oceans, the melting of the artic ice, and so on and on, are not even seriously discussed, reported on, explained and so forth, these perilous issues, these human-created realities, are certainly not being addressed, if at all, approaching anything remotely scale to these, and other, very real, clear and present dangers and catastrophes caused by imperial civilization. Crowds can chant "USA" as if in a stadium chanting "offense" to encourage their corporate sport team, but it means little to an outside observer, save that extreme jingoism is alive and well, that corporate power is creating insecurities among mass millions and exploiting those insecurities, shaping and shifting minds into narrow perspectives, and reveling in the skyrocketing sales of their product(s), be it the ideologies manufactured and sold, or religious fanaticism, or whatever.
Most of the corporate-speak pandered from the corporate media is about "jobs", the "economy", "growth" and so on. Football, made the front pages of no less than two major newspapers, two separate days, during two consecutive weeks in September; what might have made front page "news" those four days instead? Indeed, corporate football is a mass spectator sport, just like corporate presidential elections, just like imperial life itself. Fans of the Ravens represent their pick by wearing their jersey's on the day of a game, sort of like high school students might, a difference of course being, high school students wearing school football jerseys are actually on their school's football team. Fans of the Ravens, or any team you like, wear their jersey's purchased at JC Penny, or any number of corporate box stores, just like fans of one party or the other of the one Business Party, plaster Romney or Obama stickers on the back of their SUVs, trucks, or sedans, or picket signs on their well-manicured and watered lawns. How wretched we are as a society, how sadistic we are as a culture.
"[W]hile Romney has been, courtesy of the magazine Mother Jones, exposed as a shallow hypocrite, Obama is in a class by himself. There is hardly a campaign promise from 2008 that Obama has not broken. This list includes his pledges to support the public option in health care, close Guantanamo, raise the minimum wage, regulate Wall Street, support labor unions in their struggles with employers, reform the Patriot Act, negotiate an equitable peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, curb our imperial expansion in the Middle East, stop torture, protect reproductive rights, carry out a comprehensive immigration reform, cut the deficit by half, create 5 million new energy jobs and halt home foreclosures."
According to Bill Moyers and Bernard Weisberger, the "monied...interests are playing to win the ferocious class war they launched 40 years ago with a strategy devised by the corporate lawyer Lewis Powell (later a Supreme Court justice) and a call to arms from the Wall Street wheeler-dealer William Simon, who had been Richard Nixon's treasury secretary. Simon argued that 'funds generated by business' would have to 'rush by multimillions' into conservative causes in order to uproot the institutions and the 'heretical' morality of the New Deal. He called for an 'alliance' between right-wing ideologues and 'men of action in the capitalist world' to mount a 'veritable crusade' against everything brought forth by the long struggle for a progressive America. Business Week noted at the time 'that some people will obviously have to do with less...It will be a bitter pill for many Americans to swallow the idea of doing less so that big business can have more.'"
The pacifism and obedience to the rule of the oligarchs is remarkable. One is found in a mixture of wonder and horror at the meticulousness of imperial rule, and the implications of civilization's destructiveness, which will become evermore apparent in the next ten years or so. The corporate spectacle of the 2012 presidential elections reveals, and revels in, the soulless culture of empire. The intellectual class is essentially comprised of gatekeepers to imperial power, in that most of academia provides an authoritarian veneer of credibility to the imperial elites. Like the fans of two football teams facing off in a championship game, the only thing that ultimately seems to matter, is which team wins. It's clear that politicians represent people with money, be they the rich flesh and blood people, or corporations. The Democrats and Republicans are sects of the one Business Party, with of course minor (at the macro level) though meaningful differences, in terms of the lives of millions in the US, and billions of human and nonhuman beings across the earth. Elite intellectuals articulate such esoteric notions as: "Whereas President Barack Obama has claimed the middle ground and crafted a strategy based on principled pragmatism, Romney is following in the footsteps of George W. Bush, relying more on bluster than strategy and veering to ideological extremes." What these privileged academics, one a professor of public policy and political science at Duke University, the other a professor of international affairs at Georgetown University, both "informal advisors to the Obama campaign", fail to mention is that Obama's administration has, arguably more times than not, followed "in the footsteps of George W. Bush" and often has gone extremely beyond the Bush doctrine, be it deporting more immigrants, murdering more people with more US drone attacks, continued and increased Warrantless Spying, the continued and increased US torture regime, and so forth––foreign policies which perhaps, "there is much good to be said about" in the eyes of these intellectual elites.
Apparently, Mitt Romney is dangerous, because he does not quite grasp the reality of imperial power. "The United States unquestionably occupies a unique role in history of which it should be plenty proud, and American security and leadership ultimately rest on the nation's economic strength [the destruction of the real world] and [global] military superiority. It's also true that most threats can best be met and problems best be solved if the U.S. plays a leadership role." Furthermore, "Brute force and national self-confidence certainly have their place, but they can do more to invite resistance than acquiescence unless wielded with care. How the United States deploys its power and influence is key to its success as the world's dominant country." Moreover, "Americans don't want a president who is too gun shy. Against bin Laden, in drone attacks on terrorists, in Libya, and in developing a NATO-backed missile defense system, President Obama has shown that he is not." Indeed. Arguably, he, like his predecessor(s), is a war criminal. Finally, "And oddly, especially for someone who touts himself as a savvy businessman, Romney refuses to realistically address how to right the U.S. economy. The outsourcing of jobs, the stagnating income of America's middle class, growing inequality -- correcting these ills requires more than cutting taxes and federal spending while maximizing corporate profits." This is an odd assertion, given the divorce from reality, namely, that the "outsourcing of jobs, the stagnating income of America's middle class, growing inequality" are directly caused by "cutting taxes and federal spending while maximizing corporate profits." The authors fail to express how Obama has realistically addressed "how to right the U.S. economy." There is of course no mention of the destruction and poisoning of the earth, and the looming dystopian future caused by civilization and the corporations castled within.
In Romney's corner, in the "debate" between elite intellectuals along partisan lines, is professor of political science and public policy and Bass Fellow at Duke University. According to the author, Romney is "sound and sensible". "Obama deserves credit for preserving the war on terror legal framework he inherited from President George W. Bush and for building on the counterterror special-operations/stand-off-drones and other special capabilities developed during Bush's tenure." Striking, considering that the 2000 presidential election was fraudulent, and arguably so was the 2004 election, and in general, the outright and widespread criminality of the Bush regime in the eight years of his administration's reign. The professor goes on, "It is good that Obama, after years of delay, finally did get ratified the signed free-trade agreements he inherited from the Bush administration. And it is good that Obama went along with the British and French and the U.S. Congress, who took the lead in pushing for stronger sanctions against Iran." So what's the problem? Apparently, "all of these successes have one thing in common: they are simply following in the path of Obama's Republican predecessor and fully consistent with what Romney would do [apparently, if he had been elected president in 2008]. They are evidence of the wisdom of the bipartisan mainstream in American foreign policy, not evidence of Obama's own foreign policy merits." The author cannot be serious, for he must know that doctrinal policy, which has continuity going back decades, is not written by Obama, just as it would not be written by Romney were he president––they do not even write their own speeches. I won't bother to quote anymore from the professor's article, which is one of mostly vacuous pretense.
It is curious, how Obama is able to spend all those hours raising enormous amounts of wealth, traveling and campaigning at various functions and events, giving speeches, all the while, being able to perform his ostensible duties as president of empire. A similar question might be asked of the infamous Paul Ryan. Certainly the same question may have been raised in 2008, 2004, 2000, and so forth, about others cut from the same oligarchic fabric.
Addicted to Koch
Fredrick C. Koch, grandfather of the infamous billionaire David and Charles Koch brothers, interestingly and ironically enough, built an oil empire predicated on business dealings with Stalin's Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s. Given the "free" market ideological rhetoric of the Tea Party Movement, chiefly funded by the Koch brothers, the history of the Koch brothers' amassed fortune, owed to socialism and totalitarianism, is quite curious to say the least. The oil billionaires "would not have the means to bankroll their favorite causes had it not been for the pile of money the family made working for the Bolsheviks in the late 1920s and 1930s, building refineries, training Communist engineers and laying down the foundation of Soviet oil infrastructure." By the 1950s, grandpa Koch was an "anti-communist and joined up with the right-wing Birchers. He bankrolled a John Birch Society chapter" and ranted "of a massive communist conspiracy to take control of America, saying that the Reds were eroding American universities, churches, political parties."
The irony is not lost; that his grandsons are essentially hugely responsible for eroding US institutions from high schools and universities, to churches, political parties and entire branches of government, is not hyperbole. Today, Koch Industries "operates thousands of miles of pipelines in the United States, refines 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily, buys and sells the most asphalt in the nation, is among the top 10 cattle producers, and is among the 50 largest landowners. Koch Industries also poured hundreds of millions of dollars into right-wing organizations like Institute for Humane Studies, the Cato Institute, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, the Bill of Rights Institute, the Reason Foundation, Citizens for a Sound Economy and the Federalist Society––all of them promoting the usual billionaire-friendly ideas of the 'free' market, deregulation and smaller government." Some "billionaire-friendly ideas", which massive amounts of money is funneled into promoting through the aforementioned, and many other organizations, include raising the retirement age from 65 to 70, the destruction of Social Security––the federally administered earned entitlement social program which many people in the U.S. depend on––the re-segregation of public schools, the dismantling of the public education system, the recruitment and placement of university professors and the curriculums they teach, destroying Unions and the wage earners the Unions are supposed to represent, Voter ID laws (or, voter suppression), co-opting the EPA and its federally mandated responsibilities to distort and prevent regulation of greenhouse gases, and so on, the Keystone XL pipeline (bearing in mind that Koch Industries has been responsible for hundreds of oil spills and allegedly stealing millions of dollars worth of oil, mostly from "wells located on federal and Native American lands"), and so forth.
Indeed, the billionaires have significant influence from presidential elections (Mitt Romney ostensibly being their man) to local school boards. According to research conducted by the University of Massachusetts, Koch Industries is the top tenth air polluter in the United States. Irony seems like hypocrisy, for it abounds so prevailingly; David H. Koch, gave $100 million to "help build" the Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which bears his name. It's probably impossible to determine how many people have died as a result from the cancerous chemicals released by Koch Industries into the air, water, and land.
There is much more to express. Take, human slavery. "Like many Americans, I once lived under the impression that large-scale slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation (and the Civil War) in 1863. My travels both domestic and abroad have coupled with my attendance at conferences by organizations like Not For Sale and Slavery No More to show a truer picture, one that forced me to confront my Americentric worldviews and my absolute naiveté."
The belief that the United States is the center of the universe is dangerously and destructively prevalent; "God Bless America" being one slogan which encompasses such a belief. Extremely unsettling is the narrow-minded mentality of millions of US citizens who are inculcated to believe that the US empire is exceptionable and teeming with beneficence––given the imperial history of genocide and slavery, and ecocide, which continues through the present. "There are more slaves today than at any point in human history – 27 million worldwide. The best numbers on the subject reflect that 1-1.2 million children are trafficked every year, and 100,000 human trafficking (both sex trafficking and trafficking for forced labor) is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today, and it's the fastest growing. 80% of trafficking victims are women and girls." Human slavery, among a flood of other substantial horrors of imperial civilization, is not on the agenda of permissible doctrinal discussion. Gestures from Obama's executive are elegant on paper and lead one to the conclusion that there will be profound emancipation of modern slavery, domestically, and internationally. However, beyond the politicking and ordained initiatives of bureaucracy, Obama's "fight against human trafficking", however presented as well intentioned, will probably mean little next to nothing to the actual victims, the estimated 27 million worldwide and the 100,000 in the United States. The exhibition of imperial morality is so vacant, it does not even bemuse itself.
That the US is the largest police state in the world, and that some 100,000 human trafficking victims are in the US, is very telling. "Considering the sheer size and social penetration of its police and imprisonment apparatus, the United States is not only a police state, but the biggest police state in the world, by far: the police state against whose dimensions all other police systems on Earth must be measured."
We are in living in a perpetual state of war. This is a multi-front Total War. There is a war against nature, against the poor, against "terrorism", and so forth. "Mark Twain coined the phrase [Feast of Fools] to represent his...observation that a society consisting of the sum of its vanity and greed is not a society at all but a state of war."
Consider, that the "U.S. incarcerates more people than any country in the world. [Moreover,] that 25 percent of prison inmates in the world are locked up in the U.S., [and] African Americans comprise one out of every eight of the planet's prisoners." With federal and state funding for civic and social services drastically cut or nonexistent in domestic empire's poorest communities––funding for education, healthcare, mental health, addiction and counseling, community centers, job training, transportation, and so forth–– with the immense flow of drugs into the poorest communities and the criminalization thereof and disproportional enforcement of the arbitrary drug and harsh sentencing laws, with little to no prospect of escape from the bondage of poverty, the US police state makes an enormous profit on the incarceration of mainly impoverished People of Color. "[A]ccording to United Nations figures, China is 87th in the world in the proportion of its people who are imprisoned. China is a billion people bigger than the United States – more than four times the population – yet U.S. prisons house in excess of 600,000 more people than China does." In other words, "non-whites make up about 70 percent of U.S. prisons", meaning, the number of People of Color imprisoned in the United States is equivalent to "the entire prison population of China, a country of nearly 1.4 billion people."
The Prison Industrial Complex, like the School to Prison Pipeline, like the Healthcare Industrial Complex, the Military Industrial Complex, and so many other colossal institutions of horrors and injustices of empire, are not discussed, let alone addressed, in the spectacle-domain of public discourse. War with Iran, is fanatically being propagated by the U.S.–Israel aggressors, through corporate media. The sponsorship of grave ongoing criminalities including the economic sanctions regime, state-sponsored terrorism, and so on, and intended future violations of law and humanity are to a great extent encased in the masquerade of serious journalism and promoted as beneficent, albeit obligatory. Remarkably, the tens, hundreds of thousands of Iranians, and others, that would be killed as a direct result of agressive U.S.–Israel War on Iran, is a topic not even considered a variable in the equation of promoting, yet another, massive international crime.
"As Israeli leaders engage in frenzied posturing over a possible military strike on Iran, we again have pundits, experts and commentators speculating how an Israeli offensive would play out. They search for the meaning behind the inflammatory rhetoric of Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and ponder the impact of a war on Western political, strategic and economic interests." "[T]heir narrow focus on strategic and tactical aspects of a potentially serious conflict conveniently avoids the fact that we are talking about the mass murder and maiming of Iranian civilians, as well as many others in the region." Incidentally, this is a patent indication of Déjà vu; Afghanistan and Iraq are two clear cases where mass murder, imprisonment, and torture were branded and sold to the mostly obedient imperial public as "promoting democracy" and "fighting 'them' there, so we won't have to fight 'them' here," and other such psychopathic notions of justifying the maintenance and expansion of empire. Probably well over a million human beings, mostly women and children and elders, were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq in the past 10 plus years because of US military conquest, millions more were maimed, imprisoned, and displaced.
[S]ince the spread of nuclear radiation does not stop at national borders, civilian populations throughout the region, including those of U.S. allies, will be forced to suffer the horrific consequences of any Israeli military adventures in Iran." Likewise, the US sanctions regime against Iran does not stop at the Iranian ruling class, indeed, it hits ordinary Iranians hardest; the horrific consequences of US sanctions against Iran are not up for discussion.
"Surely the most sensible way to deal with Iran's nascent nuclear weapons capacity is to call all the nations to the table to negotiate a treaty to ban the bomb." Interestingly and importantly enough, apparently that is exactly what Iran has done. Iran opened the 2012 Non-Aligned Movement summit, calling for full abolition of the world's nuclear arsenals by 2025. "That would mean abolishing the 20,000 nuclear bombs on the planet––in the US, UK, Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel––with 19,000 of them in the US and Russia. In order to get Russia and China to the table, the US will also have to give up its dreams of dominating the earth with missile 'defenses' which, driven by corrupt military contractors and a corporate-owned Congress, are currently being planted and based in provocative rings around Russia and China." Quite terrifyingly, although unsurprisingly, there is zero indication that the US would even consider moving in a direction of nuclear abolition––which is the only sane path to take in terms of nuclear power.
"The ritual performance of the legend of democracy in the autumn of 2012 promises the conspicuous consumption of $5.8 billion...Forbidden the use of words apt to depress a Q Score or disturb a Gallup poll, the candidates stand as product placements meant to be seen instead of heard, their quality to be inferred from the cost of their manufacture. The sponsors of the event, generous to a fault but careful to remain anonymous, dress it up with the bursting in air of star-spangled photo ops, abundant assortments of multiflavored sound bites, and the candidates so well-contrived that they can be played for jokes, presented as game-show contestants, or posed as noble nights-at-arms setting forth on vision quests, enduring the trials by klieg light, until on election night they come to judgment before the throne of cameras by whom and for whom they were produced." 
"The shaping of the will of Congress and the choosing of the American president has become a privilege reserved to the country's equestrian classes, a.k.a. the 20% of the population that holds 93% of the wealth, the happy few who run the corporations and the banks, own and operate the news and entertainment media, compose the laws and govern the universities, control the philanthropic foundations, the policy institutes, the casinos, and the sports arenas. Their anxious and spendthrift company bears the mark of oligarchy ridden with the disease diagnosed by ancient Greeks as pleonexia, the appetite for more of everything – more McMansions, more defense contracts, more beachfront, more tax subsidy, more prosperous fools. Aristotle mentions a faction of especially reactionary oligarchs in ancient Athens who took a vow of selfishness not unlike the anti-tax pledge administered by Grover Norquist to Republican stalwarts in modern Washington: 'I will be an enemy to the people and will devise all the harm against them which I can.'"
The oligarchs are the enemy of all of life; empire, and modern civilization generally is the enemy to all of life. There is a deadly serious war against Bees, Pacific Salmon, Polar Bears, Passenger Pigeons, Redwoods, and countless individual nonhuman lives across every area of the Earth. The oligarchs and their empire is the enemy of every river and stream, of the oceans, the wetlands, the grasslands, the air. Indeed, civilization and this imperial way of life, is the enemy of the Earth––which is to say the real world––and all her biodiversity and interconnected and interdependent individual strands of life. We are well beyond the tipping point whereby the ontogeny of individual life is not complete without the complete destruction of another individual life.
By mimicking the one, 10, or 20 percent oligarchs, and submitting to the arbitrary powers, laws, and legitimacy of empire, by surrendering our self-sovereignty for imperial citizenship, we too, are enemies of the Earth, and all the different manifestations of individual nonhuman life.
Undeniably, we are the enemies of humanity, for ours has been replaced with a callousness that is toxically masked as compassion or normalized indifference. We have no compassion, save when it suits are egotistically and profitable short-term aims, and only then, it is bestowed conditionally, within parameters of self-congratulations. Emphatically, this author is ashamed to be a human being, and specifically, ashamed to be a citizen of US empire. Ours is a diseased culture, though perhaps the disease is such that it is not easily identified. In fact, the parasite will remain healthy for a while longer while it consumes its host; eventually, the host will continue to evolve into an untenable and uninhabitable place for the parasite. Our culture is that parasite; there is no question that our imperial way of life is parasitic. There are countless questions as to what some of us might, and are able, to do about it.
 John V. Walsh , "Vets For Peace Votes to Impeach Obama for War Crimes," Counterpunch (September 13, 2011 ), http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/09/13/vets-for-peace-votes-to-impeach-obama-for-war-crimes/ (accessed September 24, 2012).
 Matt , Taibbi. "Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital." Rolling Stone, August 29, 2012. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829 (accessed September 24, 2012).
 Glenn Greenwald, With Liberty and Justice for Some, (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2011), 13.
 Ann Marie Cox, "Voter ID laws and roll purges are the real defrauding of US democracy," The Guardian (18 September 2012), http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/18/voter-id-laws-roll-purges-fraud (accessed September 25, 2012).
 Chris Hedges, "How Do You Take Your Poison?," Truthdig (Sep 24, 2012), http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/how_do_you_take_your_poison_20120924/ (accessed September 24, 2012).
 Bill Moyers, and Bernard Weisberger, "Money in Politics: Where Is the Outrage?," The Huffington Post (08/30/2012), http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-moyers/money-in-politics_b_1840173.html (accessed September 1, 2012).
 Bruce W., Jentleson, and Kupchan Charles A. "A Dangerous Mind." Foreign Policy, August 30, 2012. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/08/30/a_dangerous_mind_mitt_romney (accessed September 1, 2012).
 Peter D., Feaver. "Sound and Sensible." Foreign Policy, August 30, 2012. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/08/30/sound_and_sensible_mitt_romney?page=0,0 (accessed September 2, 2012).
 Yasha Levine, "The Roots of Stalin in the Tea Party Movement," AlterNet (April 16, 2010), http://www.alternet.org/story/146504/the_roots_of_stalin_in_the_tea_party_movement?paging=off (accessed September 1, 2012).
 Kroll, Andy. "How the Koch Brothers Backed Public-School Segregation." Mother Jones, Aug. 15, 2011. http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2011/08/koch-brothers-school-segregation-americans-prosperity (accessed September 1, 2012).
 Environmental Protection Agency , "Koch Industries, Inc. Oil Spills Settlement." Last modified August 01, 2012. Accessed September 1, 2012. http://www.epa.gov/compliance/resources/cases/civil/cwa/kochcwa.html.
 See Note 2
 ALEC Exposed: Source Watch, "Koch Industries." Last modified 11 July 2012. Accessed September 1, 2012. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Koch_Industries.
 OpenSecrets.org, "Koch Industries." Accessed September 1, 2012. http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000186.
 Michael Cooper, "Cancer Research Before Activism, Billionaire Conservative Donor Says," The New York Times (March 4, 2011 ), http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/05/us/05koch.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all (accessed September 1, 2012).
 Cameron Conaway, "There Are Now More Slaves Than at Any Point in Human History," AlterNet (August 28, 2012), http://www.alternet.org/investigations/there-are-now-more-slaves-any-point-human-history (accessed September 30, 2012).
 White House, "Fact Sheet: the Obama Administration Announces Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking at Home and Abroad." Last modified September 25, 2012. Accessed October 2, 2012. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/09/25/fact-sheet-obama-administration-announces-efforts-combat-human-trafficki.
 Glen Ford, "US is the Worst Police State in the World – By the Numbers," Common Dreams - Black Agenda Report (August 31, 2012 ), https://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/31-5 (accessed September 30, 2012).
 Lewis H Lapham, "Feast of Fools: How American Democracy Became the Property of a Commercial Oligarchy ," Truthout - TomDispatch (20 September 2012), http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11656-feast-of-fools-how-american-democracy-became-the-property-of-a-commercial-oligarchy (accessed September 21, 2012).
 See Note 22
 Elizabeth Murray, "The Human Cost of War on Iran," Consortium News (August 23, 2012), http://consortiumnews.com/2012/08/23/the-human-cost-of-war-on-iran/ (accessed September 30, 2012).
 Alice Slater, "Iran Call for Nuclear Abolition by 2025 is Unreported by New York Times," Common Dreams (August 28, 2012), http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/28-3 (accessed September 30, 2012).
 See Note 24