Monday, October 31, 2011

Opus Dei control USA SUBPRIME COURT & Koch Brothers...Occupy the Koch Brothers and Stop the American Nightmare !

Understanding, like a puzzle, piece by piece, how the Opus Dei controls the United States Supreme Court and the Koch Brothers to serve their WORLD DOMINATION Agenda

THE UNITED STATES SUBPRIME COURT

No, that is not a misspelling. It is the rubric earned by the third branch of our government as they march forward burning up all respect for the institution that was created to keep government honest.

Once upon a time, the Supreme Court was viewed at the last resort for the citizen — a place where the lowest among us could go and be heard, a place where the rights of the individual would be honored, a power that could and would impartially enforce the constitution without imposing a political agenda upon the litigants, an impartial and neutral arbiter of disputes.

No longer. Recently, a series of anti-worker, anti-consumer, anti-citizen, pro-corporation rulings (Citizens United, AT&T Mobility and Walmart) have made quite clear that this is a court with a political agenda. All pretense of partiality have been brushed aside and the court right now is running off the fumes of respect it had earned throughout our history.

Over the past several decades, right-wing Republicans waged a campaign alleging that the Supreme Court was rife with judicial activism and that Democratic presidents were appointing tokens to fill quotas. In a harkening back to “if you smelt it, you dealt it” chants from high school, that is exactly what they did whenever they had the opportunity, and the Democratic Party, after its traumatic conflict in the Bork nomination process, enabled them.[1] But apparently the right-wing nominees are not held to the same rigorous standards of political orthodoxy.

Now, on the Subprime Court, we have three “justices” who look like they might be somehow affiliated (if not members, at least “cooperators”[2]) with a secretive, reactionary, Catholic cult group, Opus Dei: Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and John Roberts.


Antonin Scalia

Clarence-Thomas

John-Roberts

If you are unfamiliar with Opus Dei, here’s a brief rundown[3]: Opus Dei was started in 1928 by Spanish priest Josemaria Escriva. Escriva was a Franco fascist in Spain. Pope John Paul II, a right-wing pope canonized him a few years back overlooking longstanding procedures. Escriva’s so-called miracle, that qualified him for canonization was the spontaneous remission from cancer of a Carmelite num in the nineteen-seventies that a single Catholic doctor, nearly twenty years later declared was “unexplainable scientifically.” Opus Dei prevented critics of Escriva from testifying at church tribunals called to investigate his life. During the pontificate of John Paul II, two members of Opus Dei, Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne and Julián Herranz Casado, were made cardinals. Benedict XVI, the current pope and former member of the Hitler Youth, is a strong supporter of Opus Dei and of Escriva. Perhaps the reason is that Escriva has been quoted as saying: “Hitler ha(s) been unjustly accused of killing 6 million Jews. …In fact he had killed only 4 million.”

Opus Dei has always supported right-wing governments and dictators such as Franco and Pinochet. While the group is small, its members and friends disproportionately hold powerful positions both in the Vatican and the Subprime Court. Former FBI director Louis Freeh is suspected of membership. Former Senator Rick Santorum is a member. Also, in a curious twist. FBI mole Robert Hanssen was a member.

There are over 3,000 Opus Dei members in the United States. Opus Dei has more than 60 centers in or near 19 cities in the U.S.: Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Delray Beach, FL; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; Milwaukee; New York; Pittsburgh; Princeton, NJ; Providence; St. Louis; San Antonio; San Francisco; South Bend, IN; South Orange, NJ; Urbana, IL; and Washington, DC. Additionally, Opus Dei conducts activities in many other cities. Many of the centers are located near large college campuses, where Opus Dei attracts new members. Opus Dei operates five high schools in the United States: The Heights (for boys) and Oak Crest (girls) in Washington, D.C., the Montrose School (girls) in Boston, and Northridge Prep (boys) and The Willows (girls) in Chicago. They have retreat houses in Pembroke, Mass., near Houston and near San Francisco. By some counts, there are also as many as 500 cooperator communities.

Opus Dei has secretly carried on the former Vatican “Index of Forbidden Books.” It maintains a list of some 6,892 books with the highest rating of “6” which means they are totally banned. (There are lesser classifications requiring “permission” to read from various levels of Opus Dei leadership.) Examples of authors who have some of their books TOTALLY banned are: Woody Allen, Isabel Allende, Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume, Joseph Campbell, Gustav Flaubert, Allen Ginsberg, Mary Gordon, Gunter Grass, Herman Hesse, John Irving, James Joyce, Carl Jung, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Milan Kundera, Harold Kushner, Doris Lessing, Sinclair Lewis, Mary MacCarthy, Somerset Maugham, Toni Morrison, Alice Munroe, Vladimir Nabokov, V.S. Naipaul, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz, Harold Pinter, Marcel Proust, Philip Roth, John Updike, Voltaire, Alice Walker, Gary Wills and Tennessee Williams.

There are some first-hand accounts that seem to give credence to some of the allegations of cult-like behavior of the group. Author, Véronique Duborgel in her book Inside the Hell of Opus Dei, describes the techniques of psychological isolation similar to those sometimes used by sects that she experienced during 13 years she spent as a member of the group. A recent UK Daily Mail On Line had an article about an Opus Dei “Numerary” Sarah Cassidy, 43, single, celibate, who admits to using a cilice — a wire chain around her upper thigh with sharp prongs that dig into the skin and flesh to suppress her desires and atone for her sins. There are numerous reports that Opus Dei makes candidates for membership sleep on boards. It restricts Numeraries’ ability to communicate with the outside.

The organization does not identify its members. Apparently it will deny that a person is a member if it can do so plausibly. None of the “justices” in question will confirm or deny his relationship with the group; giving the appearance that membership is not something to brag about. But the connections between these three “Justices” and Opus Dei are just too close to ignore.

Scalia “attends St. Catherine of Siena Church in Falls Church, Virginia, St. Catherine’s has a strong Opus Dei presence. It is the parish for many Opus Dei members and cooperators, such as former Senator Rick Santorum. Scalia’s wife reportedly attends Opus Dei functions on a regular basis. Scalia has already tipped his hand when it comes to his political persuasions affecting his legal decisions, particularly when it comes to equal rights and civil liberties.[4]

When Clarence Thomas converted to Roman Catholicism, the conversion was handled by the Opus Dei “priest to the political stars” John McCloskey, with the assistance from Paul Scalia, another OD priest, and son of ‘Justice” Scalia.

Chief “Justice” John Roberts sends his children reportedly attend an Opus Dei school in Maryland.

Nor are these three Opus Dei fellow-travelers immune from a conflict-of-interest laden agenda. Scalia has acknowledged a friendship with Dick Cheney and admits flying to Louisiana as a guest of Cheney on an Air Force plane for several days of duck hunting with Cheney and an energy company executive. Both Scalia and Clarence Thomas have had dealings with David and Charles Koch, key sponsors of tea party conservative groups, and have been guests of the brothers at resorts. Clarence Thomas gave a private speech at an event hosted by the Koch brothers which he failed to disclose. Between 2003 and 2007, Virginia Thomas, Justice Thomas’ wife, earned $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, according to a Common Cause review of the foundation’s IRS records. Thomas failed to note the income in his Supreme Court financial disclosure forms for those years, instead checking a box labeled “none” where “spousal non-investment income” would be disclosed. Virginia Thomas founded a political group, Liberty Central, that’s predominately hews to the Tea Party’s vague philosophies of limited government, free enterprise, national security, and personal responsibility, and is also funded charitably by Koch Industries.

“Justice” Roberts’ financial-disclosures admit to ownership in at least seventy-eight stocks including Dell Computer, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Intel, Agilent, Cisco, Novellus, Hewlett-Packard, Lucent, Nokia, Pfizer, Merck, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Hillenbrand, Becton, Dickinson, Time Warner, Disney, Blockbuster and Citigroup. As a lawyer, Roberts represented Fox Television, Peabody Coal, the National Mining Association, Litton Industries Toyota, Chrysler and NBC. As recently as August 2010, Roberts sold his stock in Pfizer Inc. just so he could rule on an important case it had before the Subprime Court. Obviously, he is not above manipulating his stock holdings in the context of his judicial activities.

That means that three out of nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are not only prone to corruption but have some direct connection with Opus Dei and support the same right-wing causes as the organization. With a U.S. Opus Dei membership of about 3,000 that’s quite a coincidence. Being generous, let’s say that the three “justices” in question are simply cooperators and not members of Opus Dei. There are 500 cooperator communities. Perhaps it would be reasonable to put the number of cooperators in the hundreds of thousands. But even then it would mean membership in Opus Dei was less than one-tenth of one percent of the total population but miraculously one-third of the Subprime Court.

I usually steer away from conspiracy theories, but the sheer improbability of such a confluence of Opus Dei association (three of nine) is staggering. And it is simply not a good thing for collaborative jurisprudence to have three “justices” who invariable vote in lockstep. They are irretrievably welded, politically and religiously to a corporate first, anti-civil rights political agenda. Imagine the hue and cry if somehow three members (or fellow-travelers) of the Communist Party managed to get appointed to the Supreme Court.

No worker, environmentalist, civil libertarian or progressive of any kind is going to get a fair hearing from this group. This is not a fair court. It is not an impartial court. It is not an untainted court. Nor is it a court that is concerned with precedent or justice. It is merely a right-wing political brake on any progressive reform that people are able to wring out of the system and a means of transferring even more power to the wealthy. Being a big corporation or a religious outfit in this context is to hold the highest of trump cards.[5] Being a mere worker, poor, and without resources means that justice for you will be denied, despite the merits of your grievance. It is not therefore a court to be respected.

[1] Recently, the nomination of Professor Goodwin Liu for a U.S. Judgeship was a abandoned by the Democrats in the face of a Republican filibuster because he had been a member of the A.C.L.U. and because he criticized the nomination of Samuel Alito, another right-wing justice who has a long string of pro-corporate votes.

[2] “Cooperators” of Opus Dei are non-members who collaborate in some way with Opus Dei — usually through praying, charitable contributions, or by providing some other assistance.

[3] The information on Opus Dei was obtained from the attached research track: The Opus Dei In the US Government number of opus dei cooperators in united states – Google Search number of opus dei cooperators in united states – Google Search America Magazine Types of membership of Opus Dei – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ODAN – What is Opus Dei Opus Dei – FAQ opus dei membership united states – Google Search. Much of the information came from the website of the organization itself. Some other material was obtained from Salon.com. Only neutral material was used, although I do admit to editorializing a teensy weensy bit. For instance, when I describe the governments of Francisco Franco and Augusto Pinochet as “right-wing dictatorships.”

[4] In a dissent in the case of Lawrence vs. Texas, in which the court invalidated laws criminalizing sodomy among consenting adults, Scalia accused his colleagues of having signed on to “the so-called homosexual agenda” and “taken sides in the culture war” against people who simply want to protect “themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive.

[5] Three recent cases attest to this. In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a 5–4 decision (Scalia, Thomas and Roberts in the majority) held that corporations had the same free-speech rights as real people. In another 5-4 decision AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the court, with the same cast, gave corporations the right to refuse to do business with anyone who refuses to sign away their right to bring a class action lawsuit. Then in yet another corporate give away, Walmart v. Dukes, the court eviscerated workers’ rights to bring a class action, with Scalia finding facts where none were found in the record. As far as the majority is concerned, all a corporation has to do is say it and it is true.

Antonin Scalia, AT&T Mobility, Charles Koch, Citizen's United, Clarence Thomas, Cooperators, David Koch, Dick Cheney, Fox Television, Goodwin Liu, Heritage Foundation, John Roberts, Josemaria Escriva, Koch brothers, Liberty Central, Louis Freeh, National Mining Association, Numeraries, Opus Dei, Paul Scalia, Peobody Coal, Pfizer, Pope John Paul II, Rick Santorum, Robert Hanssen, St. Catherine of Siena Church, Tea Party, Virginia Thomas, Walmart

This entry was posted on June 22, 2011, 3:12 and is filed under Essays, Politics, What's New. You can follow any responses to this entry through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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Campaign for America's Future

Op-EdPublished: Thursday 3 November 2011

We cannot allow the Koch brothers’ so-called ‘American dream’ to continue to be our national nightmare.”

Occupy the Koch Brothers and Stop the American Nightmare

The very name of a Washington conservative conference this weekend is the height of subterfuge. It's called the "Defending the American Dream" conference, which is not about defending the actual American dreams of most Americans (the focus of our own "Take Back the American Dream" conference), sponsored by Americans for Prosperity, which is not an organization that promotes what is needed for broad American prosperity.

This actually is the latest effort by the billionaire Koch brothers, founders and key funders of Americans for Prosperity, and their corporate and political allies to hijack our democracy and pillage our economy. It's their attempt to perpetuate an American nightmare of continued income inequality and a government held hostage to the whims of elites. It is thus a perfect target for the latest Occupy-style protest.

The Other 98% and Health Care for America Now are sponsoring a "Koch Brothers Guerrilla Drive-In" Friday evening at the Washington Convention Center, where the conference is being held. The plan is to have an outdoor showing of a documentary on how the Kochs are using their fortune to pursue their grotesque mangling of American democracy.

The conference itself brings together many of the players in and elements of their grand scheme. For example, there is James O'Keefe, the person who dressed up as a pimp in a scheme to get damaging video footage for his scurrilous slander of the group ACORN, doing a lecture on "investigative journalism." There's Grover Norquist on a panel on "pro-growth tax reform." (He's lately been championing Texas Gov. Rick Perry's "flat tax" plan, which would allow the wealthy to slash their tax payments and would explode the federal deficit, forcing Norquist's longtime shrink-government-and-drown-it-in-the-bathtub objective.) There's Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, on a panel on the Environmental Protection Agency's "job-crushing regulatory assault"; he will be speaking on behalf of the Koch brothers, his leading campaign contributor, and the oil and gas industry, his biggest source of campaign cash. At least two Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and Herman Cain, are also scheduled to appear.

NationofChange is a 501(c)3 nonprofit funded directly by our readers. Please make a small donation to support our work.

No conservative conference is complete without the deification of Ronald Reagan, and there will be plenty of that going on at the Friday night "Tribute to Ronald Reagan" dinner, which will be followed by a screening of "Atlas Shrugged." (No, I am not making this up.)



But what makes this conference significant is not the tired repetition of right-wing bumper-sticker slogans, the over-the-top characterizations of Obama administration policy or the pathetic preening of presidential candidates to show off how extreme they can be. It is the very real damage that the Koch brothers and the forces that this conference is assembling are doing to our economy and to the 99 percent of us for whom the American dream of economic security is becoming increasingly out of reach.

Consider what the Koch brothers have actually been "defending":

Their $45 million effort to buy control of Congress. That's the amount of money Forbes magazine says Americans for Prosperity spent in the 2010 elections. That money helped Republicans control the House with the most extreme group of conservatives elected in modern history. With this group firmly in control, every effort by the Obama administration to move legislation to revive the economy has been thwarted and previous successes in health care and financial reform have come under unrelenting attack. The stream of anti-regulation, anti-labor legislation passed by the Tea Party-besotted House is pretty much lifted straight from the Koch brothers legislative agenda.

The destructive efforts of the American Legislative Exchange Council to co-opt state and local governments. Rather than promoting state and local governments as entities that are particularly equipped to respond to the public interest because of their proximity to the people, ALEC mounts campaigns that leave state and local governments facilitating private greed rather than serving the public good. In August The Nation's Lisa Graves explained that "of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: it gives the Kochs a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding." Examples include legislation that allows energy companies to avoid fines for polluting, that push privatization of public education, and that prevent states and localities from regulating the rogue behavior of financial institutions.

ALEC's efforts to suppress voter turnout. The Koch brothers' fingerprints are all over the efforts by various Republican governors and legislatures to pass voter ID laws that use trumped-up allegations of voter fraud to deliberately disenfranchise voters most likely to oppose their agenda. "It was ALEC’s draft legislation that inspired a spate of recently passed voter ID laws that, if allowed to stand, are expected to marginalize the impact of students and people of color at the polls in Texas, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Kansas," Adele Stan reported for the AFL-CIO blog. Patrick Caldwell at the American Prospect wrote that "the rules are often configured specifically to favor the Republican base at the expense of excluding likely Democrats."

Their assault on public workers. Scott Walker won the governorship of Wisconsin and the ability to execute his attack on public workers there with the help of $43,000 in direct contributions from the Koch Industries political action committee and indirectly through the $1 million that Koch's PAC gave to the Republican Governors Association. The Kochs are also major supporters of Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who earlier this year credited "the strong support" of Americans for Prosperity for his now faltering attempt to strip Ohio state workers of their bargaining rights.

The dominance of extremist candidates in the 2012 presidential race. Koch bothers money can be found in the pockets of at least three of the most extreme Republican presidential candidates: Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and, especially, Herman Cain. Rachel Maddow reported that the Cain connections include a campaign manager from the Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a now ex-spokesperson from another Americans for Prosperity affiliate, and the economic advisor who came up with Cain's infamous "9-9-9" tax plan, who was a member of Americans for Prosperity's advisory board. This is no surprise, because, as the Associated Press has reported, Cain has historically been a shill for the Americans for Prosperity legislative agenda. The Kochs have said they will pour at least $200,000 into the 2012 presidential campaign. "At least" is the operative phrase; expect the Kochs to funnel millions of dollars into the 2012 campaign through a variety of channels, most of which—thanks in part to the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling—will be unrestricted and largely untraceable.

Their ability to violate the law with impunity, and to punish those who hold them accountable. A Bloomberg Markets magazine investigation published in October calls it "the Koch method," in which employees of the brothers' oil and gas companies "were shown by their managers how to steal and cheat." The stealing and cheating, according to Bloomberg, ranged from not paying royalties for oil extracted from federal land to bribing foreign officials to win contracts—and firing the company compliance officer who discovered the bribes and called them to the attention of top corporate officials. "For six decades around the world, Koch Industries has blazed a path to riches -- in part, by making illicit payments to win contracts, trading with a terrorist state, fixing prices, neglecting safety and ignoring environmental regulations. At the same time, Charles and David Koch have promoted a form of government that interferes less with company actions," the magazine wrote.

Unregulated, unaccountable corporations. Extremist elected officials who disdain the concept of a government serving the common good. Workers stripped of the ability to negotiate collectively for fair pay, working conditions and benefits. Hundreds of millions of corporate dollars drowning out the voices of working-class and middle-class people. Voters forced to jump over ever-higher obstacles to vote for candidates who represent them, assuming those candidates can even get on ballots. This is the Koch brothers' dystopia. What they are defending is indefensible.

For at least a few hours on Friday evening, the Washington Convention Center should be the focus of Occupy movement and its allies, for the Koch brothers embody just about everything the Occupy movement is against—members of the 1 percent who act as if our economy and our democracy should be their personal servant, and that the 99 percent should feel satisfied with the crumbs off their table.

It is time for us to declare that we are the real Americans for prosperity, those of us who believe that workers should receive a fair wage for a fair day's work and be treated with dignity; that companies should be accountable for the harm that they do to people and the environment; that health care is a basic right for every person; that the education of our children shouldn't be turned into yet another corporate profit center; that government can and should work for all of the people, not the privileged few; that our democracy is the property of the people and cannot be owned by those with the most money.

We cannot allow the Koch brothers' so-called "American dream" to continue to be our national nightmare.

http://www.nationofchange.org/occupy-koch-brothers-and-stop-american-nightmare-1320331923

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