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WICHITA, Kan. - I am sure I am not alone among the many people who voted for President Obama, who are disappointed that so many of Mr. Obama's promises have not been kept.

However, I think we need to view Mr. Obama's reticence to follow through on his promises in light of the track-record of all Presidents in the last 50 years who tried to use the power granted to the office of the President.

To wit: I contend there are powerful -- though unelected -- individuals who wield enormous influence over presidential decisions, national legislation and all governmental policies in general.

Winston Churchill referred to these individuals as "the high cabal." Sociologist C. Wright Mills referred to them as The Power Elite, in his book of the same name. And, in the book, Propaganda, that Joseph Goebbels and Herman Goering used as a "how-to-guide" when they whipped up the German public into a hate-filled killing machine, the book's author, Edward Bernays, referred to these powerful individuals thus ...

jack-and-the-wall-street-giants.jpgWICHITA, Kan. - A friend of mine sent the following comment regarding the death of Osama bin Laden: "Can we now say 'mission accomplished?' He was killed in a walled compound near a Pakistan military base, and not in Afghanistan. It's time to end the expense, bring the kids home, and begin a peace time economy again."

I told my friend that I agree wholeheartedly that we should withdraw from Afghanistan.

However, I had to qualify my enthusiasm with an observation. Just as Eisenhower warned us against allowing the 'military industrial complex' to take over our government, the sad truth is - that's exactly what has taken place. The military industrial complex has, indeed, taken over our democratic processes on behalf of the oil / energy conglomerates, Wall Street and the banks. Sadly, I think it would be delusional to assume that those who really determine our foreign policies would ever give an inch in regard to their steady march toward world hegemony.

We must remember that candidate Obama's promise to "leave Iraq" turned out to be a decision that was "above the President's pay-grade."

WICHITA, Kan. - Like many other progressives, I voted for President Obama with the hope that he could facilitate positive change. But, alas, on issue after issue, Obama has been playing a one-note samba titled "Let the corporations have their way." The guy who was elected because he was "from the outside" has put in place a team that seems to be full of insiders.

In regard to our expectation that Obama would rein-in the banking industry, it's frustrating to find out the banking industry is not only fighting rule changes, but virtually the same rules and same people are still in place that led to our economic crisis.

I agree with Thomas Jefferson, who said, "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

WICHITA, Kan. - Friends, if you don't think the mainstream media plays a major role in the formulation of American foreign policy, I would politely suggest you are living in denial. If a hayseed from Kansas like me figured out from multiple news sources that the Bush administration was lying about the "Iraqi threat" prior to the invasion in 2003, how could a majority of Americans and Congress members become so thoroughly fooled and panicked that they virtually clamored for America's first-ever "pre-emptive war"?

Today, we know that the Bush administration knowingly issued 935 proven lies prior to the invasion. So, I can only assume that the Bush administration was following the advice of one of the world's most infamous manipulators of public opinion who said, "It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion ... news should be given out for instruction rather than information."

WICHITA, Kan. - Joseph Goebbels famously said, "If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth." As Hitler's Reichsminister of Propaganda, Goebbels used repetition to mold the German public's perception of reality as easily as if it were a clump of wet clay.

Karl Rove, Goebbels' modern-day equivalent during the Bush administration, effectively used Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, Judith Miller at The New York Times and other mainstream media to hammer home the lie that Iraq had WMDs. And, according to the Center for Public Integrity, another 934 additional lies as well, which they repeated so often that they successfully panicked the public, stampeded Congress and fraudulently obtained permission to invade Iraq.

WICHITA, Kan. - Abraham Lincoln said, "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."

Unfortunately, recent history has demonstrated that those of us on the receiving end of the cascade of 24-7 information have a tough time ascertaining whether information we receive is factual or a total misrepresentation of the truth. Besides, who has the time to fact check the New York Times, or CNN for heaven's sake?

We get distracted by our jobs. Our families demand attention. Let's face it: questioning the validity of the information we absorb about world events, politics or history is just not "on our radar."

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