Matt Taibbi got it a bit wrong. The "great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money" isn't just Goldman Sachs. It's the gigantic criminal enterprise that includes the entire Wall Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil and their International Bankster/Corporate co-conspirators. It is sucking the world dry and strangulating it into submission.
Empire is not enough. The satanic concept has been described in euphemistic jargon as Full Spectrum Dominance or The Shock Doctrine on Steroids. It is driven by shameless immorality, limitless greed, almost-cosmic corruption, breathtaking arrogance combined with astonishing ignorance, a collective malevolent uncontrollable psychopathy and lunatic lust for power, not to mention hate, paranoia and racism. Its terrible tools include massively destructive violence and brutality, terror, torture, murder, brain-numbing propaganda, almost pornographically intrusive surveillance, a Mt. Everest of lies and dishonesties, and every imaginable manner of fraud, thievery, trickeration and con. American Exceptionalism, indeed!
Tootling tunes of "Yankee doodle dandy","freedom" and "democracy" like a 4th of July fife & drum corps, the chest-pounding American Gigantasaurus big-foots across the globe leaving a trail of tears and collateral damage almost everywhere.
If you are keeping score at home, since World War 2, the last real war America actually won (with more than a helping hand from the Soviet Union), the good ole US of A has attempted to overthrow the governments of more than 50 countries; meddled in the elections of over two dozen; covertly or clandestinely infiltrated numerous nations around the globe; loudly and brazenly invaded others; bombed civilian populations and infrastructures with all manner of deadly explosives including chemical and biological WMDs (and a couple of nukes!); concocted or supported coups against at least a dozen legitimate governments; tried to assassinate a number of foreign leaders and succeeded more than a few times; trained and turned loose death squads on virtually every continent; and trashed and looted the economies of sovereign states all over the world. You can add the never ending "war on terror" and the new old Cold War to the diabolical dance card.
Lately, however, the chickens have begun coming home to roost from the monstrous war crime that was the "Lie-raq War". Pimped, pumped up and promoted to a fare-thee-well after 9/11 by the Bush-Cheney regime of unindicted co-conspirators as a righteous "cake-walk" campaign to preserve "our freedoms and way of life" from Islamist fiends and the WMDs they didn't have, the Bush-Cheney Lie-raq War utterly destroyed that hapless country, its infrastructure and functioning society. More than 4,500 US dupes...uh...troops were killed and over 32,000 wounded (both mentally and physically) for no legitimate reason. They stopped counting Iraqi casualties after 200,000. Four million Iraqis were made refugees. And maybe $1 trillion (who's counting?) was war profiteered out of Iraq's hellish misery and our own gullible citizens’ constantly propagandized fear that "Al-Qaeda is coming! Al-Qaeda is coming!"
Mission Accomplished. Not exactly.
In a stunning bit of regional blowback from that 8-year-long Iraq war crime and the current brutal 3-years-and-still-going-strong Syrian Civil War against the creepy dictator Bashar Al-Assad (150,000+ dead so far), in which the US has remained primarily a dazed and confused spectator, a largely unheard of gang of Allah-crazed and Saudi-created and -funded Sunni Islamist jihadis, who had been battling Syrian Army forces and other assorted jihadi fighters in this particularly grisly multi-sided Middle East death-match, suddenly stormed across the Syria-Iraq border into Iraq's heavily Sunni-populated Anbar province. They called themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
ISIS, it was breathlessly reported, was baaaaad. How baaaaad? Even Al-Qaeda kicked them out of the Crazy-for-Allah Club for being too crazy. And now, to everyone’s and no one's surprise, ISIS was going for the gold. And for the ultimate Islamist wet dream/US nightmare, the creation of a new global "Caliphate".
In a kind of blitzkreig not seen since Hitler's Panzers rolled into Poland in 1939, about 1,000 of these blood-thirsty Islamic militants in their matching black uniforms and shiny white armored-up Hyundai SUVs and Land Cruisers, overwhelmed this huge chunk of Iraqi territory quicker than you could say "Show me the money!" In a matter of days, they had captured Mosul, the country's 2nd largest city (pop: 2 million) and Tikrit (Saddam's hometown). In their continuing onslaught they have executed any Shi'ite men, women and children who crossed their path; wrecked Shi'ite mosques and monuments; taken over Iraq's largest oil refinery; reportedly robbed the Mosul branch of the Bank of Iraq of $250 million and set their sights on Baghdad, 220 miles away. The Iraqi Army (American-trained to the tune of $25 billion!) skedaddled at the first whiff of grapeshot and their corrupt and cowardly officers ran away even faster.
After the first shock and awe at the speed of the near-collapse of one-third of that Allah-forsaken country we had looted and ruined for eight years and left to its own discombobulated devices three years ago, the Bush Administration perps, who had originally lied us into this war crime, rose up on their hind legs and began to yowl: We won that war! We never should have left Eye-raq! We need to go back immediately and bomb bomb bomb Eye-ran...uh…Eye-raq! ISIS is coming! ISIS is coming! Eeek! It's all Obama's fault! As for the current Administration, Secretary of Botox John Kerry, predictably blustered and bloviated nonsensically. Obama, for his part, reverted to his natural Rodney (Can't we all get along!) King gene and hoped for a change... of subject.
Enter, once again, from stage left (or right) Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ever since the Obamacons and the old gang of unreconstructed Cold Warriors in Washington financed and orchestrated the February 22nd crypto-Nazi/fascist/oligarch coup d'etat against the corrupt but democratically elected Ukraine Government in Kiev, Uncle Sam has been pimping and promoting a bigger and better war crime. A new hot Cold War. Or better yet, World War X, the long wished-for looting and destruction of Russia. The once-upon-a-time Evil Empire. The big bad bear. The eternal boogeyman. Wolfish Western Banksters and Vulture Capitalists are standing by, salivating at the $zillions to be devoured from that corpse.
In delusional and dishonorable pursuit of that mad objective, Washington has engineered and been encouraging what has turned into a Ukrainian Civil War between our stooges in Kiev and the Russian-speaking population of eastern Ukraine, who reject the Kiev coup government. Officials in Kiev, eager to play their ghoulish part, refer to the eastern Ukrainians as "terrorists", "pro-Russian rebels", “insects” to be exterminated. Never as fellow-Ukrainians. A former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko (jailed for corruption in 2011 but released in time for the coup) actually expressed the wish that the Kiev government would nuke eastern Ukraine and all its ethnic Russians. Charming! To that end, the Ukraine military and its neo-Nazi militia accomplices have been bombarding eastern Ukraine and, in one terrible case in Odessa, burning at least 40 Russian-speaking Odessans alive after they had been locked inside a torched government building. While ever since their coup succeeded, the Obamacons and their fellow travelers have been feeding an endless stream of lies and propagandist tripe about Putin, the Russians and the eastern Ukraine population, to an over-enthusiastic but breathtakingly ill-informed and uncritical western Media that laps it up and spreads it thick to an ignorant but too easily manipulated public as if it were 2002 again. The mushroom cloud/smoking gun revisited?
Last week a Malaysian Airlines commercial jet was shot out of the sky over eastern Ukraine by a surface-to-air-missile, killing all aboard. The yelping, alibing and lying began immediately (if not sooner) on all sides. Nobody really knows who did it. Except, of course, the villains who did it and they're not saying. But every one of the players in this months-long murderous farce knows for sure that the other guys are guilty. American surveillance systems and spy satellites over eastern Ukraine might know the truth. But US Intelligence has had little credibility since being hoisted by its own petard over the known unknowns and unknown knowns of 9/11 and Lie-raq. (Can you say: “Curveball”) Seizing with unseemly speed on the tragic event, the Obamacons declared with straight faced theatrical outrage that they are dead certain Putin did it, even if he didn’t. And the Media has been breathlessly delivering that hoo-haa at fever pitch.
The Greek dramatist Aeschylus is believed to have wisely remarked 2,500 years ago that the first casualty of war is truth. That appears to be an accurate observation on most if not all the wars provoked by the American Empire in recent memory. Can you say: Gulf of Tonkin. Kuwaiti baby incubators. WMDs. It's not about the oil. You can now add to that daisy chain of dishonesty: What coup d’etat? The Kiev government is legitimate. Putin invaded Crimea. Putin shot down the Malaysian airline. Putin’s the real killer….no…wait…that was OJ.
Just as the Bush-Cheney political opportunists quickly climbed over the victims of 9/11 to provoke their long and too-much desired smackdown of Iraq with all its accompanying highly profitable destruction and chaos, the Obamacons and their Kiev puppets are crying crocodile tears and excitedly waving the bloody shirt over this tragic airline incident hoping to paint Putin as the patsy, the fall guy, for the new hot Cold War they hope to ignite.
It is actually not surprising to see President Pusillanimous (the Nobel Peace Prize winner!) rush to the front of this anti-Russia parade. For the past six years, continually lambasted and obstructed by the GOP loons and Teabaglicans, he has been largely feckless and ineffective on the home front except when it comes to handing out get-out-of-jail-free cards to felonious banksters and delivering Obamacare to the health insurance companies despite their pre-existing condition of greed. On the National Security dark side, however, he has been enthusiastically all in on droning to death real and imagined terrorists from Afghanistan to Yemen (including several American citizens!), supporting not-even-the-sky’s-the-limit global surveillance, cheerleading a war on whistleblowers and keeping the Military/Industrial Complex cash registers ka-chinging.
Of course, National Security and foreign affairs have often been the fallback default position of American Presidents sinking in the polls or considered weak. As the Wall Street/Washington DC Axis of Evil knows full well, “Shock and Awe” worked better on the Homeland than it ever did on Baghdad or Hanoi. And having wars is even better bu$ine$$ than winning them…
By Micki Mihich
Francisco de Assis Domingos, 55, lost his sight at 25 while hunting. He was hit by lead pellets from a shotgun accidentally fired by a friend. Francisco’s story forms the basis of the new film by Brazilian filmmaker Yves Goulart, born in Urussanga, in southern Santa Catarina, in the same hometown as the protagonist. “I remember that accident very well,” recalls Goulart, who heard that story as a child. “The whole neighborhood was shocked. It was also the first time I saw a disabled person walking with a cane in the street.” Goulart couldn’t have imagined that the story that so touched his childhood would be told by himself years later through cinema.
But to tell this story, Goulart mixes styles and challenges pre-established formats by using both fiction and documentary within the same work. Francisco’s past, from his birth up to his accident and blindness, from the moment he realizes his life is changed forever to the moment he accepts his disability and starts using a cane, is told under a fictional format, with actors playing real characters. From there on the film moves into documentary and we have Francisco himself and the people who are part of his life speaking directly to us. “It's like Francisco seeing the world through a fictional point of view before becoming blind and, after he’s blind and aware of the new challenges and limitations, he starts seeing the world through a real point of view,” says Goulart.
Not only does the mixture of styles give the film a unique identity: all scenes were shot in locations where the story took place, thus infusing the project with the energy of the sites. Francisco himself couldn’t hold back tears while listening to the actors’ voices during the shooting of the accident scene. With his back to the set, he ended up covering his ears not to relive the painful memories of the past. The participation of Francisco’s family members as actors also gave the film a unique authenticity. Adriano Domingos, 25, who played his father, reveals that he took this opportunity as a way to learn his father’s story: “I was born after the accident and never asked why it brought him bad memories. The script made me understand many things about life and especially what really happened on that day.”
The project took four years to be completed and counted on the collaboration of filmmaker Micki Mihich, who was brought on board to build the film narrative for the script and editing. “Goulart knew exactly what the first part of the story, the fictional one, would look like. But the documentary part was different,” says Mihich. “There are several ways you can tell a documentary story and he was trying to find the ideal one. Francisco’s story is epic and special, and Goulart wanted to make a film to reflect this. By watching and getting familiar with the material, I identified a huge similarity of Francisco's life with the Hero's Journey, also known as the Monomyth by Joseph Campbell. We decided to follow this path and everything fit together very well.”
“Epic” and “special” are adjectives that do not exaggerate when used to describe Francisco de Assis Domingos’s story. How many people do you know who are masseurs, bocce champions, radio presenters, country music singers and composers and motivational speakers? And all at the same time? And after becoming blind?
This is just an example of what Francisco de Assis – A Life Lesson has to show – and teach – the viewer. A story full of humor and emotion, tragedy and overcoming, sin and redemption. Francisco de Assis – A Life Lesson is one of those stories that are hard to believe happened, but they did – and we have a lot to learn from it.
President Obama is angry. Following a year of trying to convince Congress to pass an immigration reform law, President Obama vented his fury today in a scorching White House speech, saying it's time for him to act alone on the issue.
"The failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it's bad for our economy and it's bad for our future," he said. "If Congress won't do their job, at least we can do ours."
Obama explained that he would begin with refocusing immigration enforcement on the Mexican border following an avalanche of children illegally crossing the Mexican border from Central America.
"I take executive action [order] only when we have a serious problem, a serious issue, and Congress chooses to do nothing," Obama said. "And in this situation, the failure of House Republicans to pass a darn bill is bad for our security, it's bad for our economy and it's bad for our future."
The president's declaration comes two years after he circumvented Congress to modify administration policy for young people who have lived in the U.S. since before the age of 16, among other requirements.
The president's 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order directed immigration officials to desist deportation of young people who had lived in the U.S. continuously since 2007 and had no criminal record.
Republicans claim is was Obama’s unilateral action in creating DACA that has led to the present humanitarian crisis on America's Mexican border. Unaccompanied minors have been slipping through our border ever since DACA went into effect.
June 6, 2014 - Washington D.C.
On this day, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) informed the public of its’ new renewal system for the many thousands of youths who were granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Renewal of DACA assures that DACA holders will continue to be safe from deportation for an additional two-year period. Similarly, they will continue with work authorization and to be qualified to get a Social Security card, and, in most states, be permitted to apply for a driver's license.
The renewal instruction arrived just in time, as . DACA beneficiaries are requested to apply for renewal, four or five months before their expiration date. Those who were granted DACA in September and October of 2012 – must act immediately. Despite the fact that DACA beneficiaries who apply for renewal will have to go though another fingerprint check most discover that the renewal process is generally clear and that most DACA beneficiaries should be able to apply for the renewal on their own.
USCIS has made clear that people who have been granted DACA will qualify to renew barring criminal activity, traveled without authorization, or abandoned their U.S. residence. Nobody granted DACA will age-out of the DACA program. And those enlisted in school at the time of their initial application will not be rejected if they had to stop studying for other obligations.
To apply for renewal, DACA beneficiaries will need to use a redesigned and somewhat shorter form of the DACA application, pay a filing fee of $465 (unless waived), and submit to a background check. Regardless of the paperwork, DACA beneficiaries will discover the renewal process simpler than the original application process. Where in the original application, they had to provide substantial documentation, those filing for renewal will be obliged to submit proof with their application, unless he or she received DACA from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as opposed to USCIS, and those with new facts including removal/deportation or criminal history that were not previously submitted, will be required to submit documentation alongside their requisition.
DACA applicants must be careful to renew timely otherwise, they may face work sanction and problems renewing their driver's license. To avoid any serious problem, DACA beneficiaries are asked to seek renewal around four prior months their termination dates. This should to give USCIS sufficient time to process the request. Also, as per USCIS, the individuals who apply far enough ahead of time of their termination date may be given an automatic renewal if there are processing delays.
Notwithstanding the excitement round DACA renewal, the 1.15 million potential DACA applicants who have not yet filed for their original DACA process, should not erroneously presume that the initial application period has expired. In reality, the re has been receiving some 10,000 new applications every month.
Of course it’s great that President Obama has helped many thousands who arrived in the U.S.at a young age, but it is just not enough. These children need permanent security, not the ability to live legally in the U.S. for two years at a time. Only with the passage of a comprehensive immigration reform will this country finally begin it reconstruction and return to its rightful place as the apex of democracy in action.
When an immigration case has run its’ course and the alien has not violated the terms of the bond, ICE cancels the immigration bond. Once this is done, ICE notifies the Debt Management Center of the cancelled bond. After the cancellation is processed, which can take a long while; the obligor receives a Form I-391 Notice - Immigration Bond Cancelled. The instructions requires the obligor is file for a refund of the principal and any accrued interest.
If a cash bond is breached, ICE notifies the obligor through a Form I-323 (Notice - Immigration Bond Breached). As per the bond agreement, ICE is permitted to remain with the principal amount from breached bonds. Nevertheless, the obligor is permitted to receive a payment of accrued interest.
If you have acted as an obligor and placed a cash bond and would like to have the cancelled bond amount refunded to you by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, follow these instructions:
1. If you are in possession of the original immigration bond receipt (Form I-305) and your copy of the immigration bond contract (Form I-352), mail Form I-305 and Form I-352 to the address listed below.
2. If you no longer have the original receipt (Form I-305), complete Form I-395 (Affidavit in Lieu of Lost Receipt of United States Immigration and Naturalization Service for Collateral Accepted as Security) and mail a notarized original to the address listed below. Include a copy of the bond contract (Form I-352) if available.
Forward bond documents or questions to:
Debt Management Center
Attention: Bond Unit
P.O. Box 5000
Williston, VT 05495-5000
Telephone: (802) 288-7600
Facsimile: (802) 288-1226