Sunday, February 28, 2010

That Hideous Act

After doing too little too late as far as kick starting the economy, expanding a war in Afghanistan, refusing to investigate the use of torture indeed refusing to end torture, leaving the economy in the hands of the same thieves that brought us to these dire straits in the first place, and leaving the wars in the hands of the Generals thereby effectively leaving our foreign policy in the hands of a bunch of jocks who never emotionally made it out of high school, and leaving health care reform in the hands of the people that have the least interest in implementing it and every reason not to, Obama now extends the Patriot Act for another year.

So I keep wondering what it will take, what unimaginable benighted horrendous act committed by Obama will shake the faith of the faithful. The reason I wonder is because I can’t imagine what horrible deed might be left undone by our progressive peace president though I shouldn’t say things like that because it does tempt fate. Things can always get worse no matter how many times we think we have reached rock bottom. Obama is living proof of this.

The huge irony of the Patriot Act is that after the government has led us into one fraudulent war after another, stolen our money, and stood aside while our jobs were shipped overseas the government has the gall to say it doesn’t trust us. That’s just a bit too much for me.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Real News:Afghan War Feb 2010(pt 1 of 2)

February 20, 2010
Yusufzai: Pre-9/11 saw great tension between Taliban and al Qaeda, then US invasion created common enemy.
(Pt 2 is directly below.)

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The Real News:Afghan War Feb 2010(pt 2 of 2)

from The Real News, "Afghans hate US backed war lords." The conclusion of Paul Jay's interview with Rahimullah Yusufzai.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Two Tribes

Another video from Russia Today- this time with nice crispy sound that syncs properly, but the video is somewhat washed out. C'est la vie, as Russians no doubt say.

Earlier today CNN posted a poll in which they stated that a majority(71 %) of respondents believe that Iran presently has nuclear weapons.(the poll also says that while a majority of the respondents are presently against military action, it also suggests great malleability in that opinion should the rhetoric heat up, and very little concern about adverse repercussions-- something I partly blame on a childishly jingoistic press. I wonder how many people put 2 and 2 together regarding the US de facto policy of destabilizing Pakistan, the one Islamic country that definitely does possess nuclear weapons and how people feel about that, or if they even give much thought to it.

Repercussions-- like what? Like another massive oil embargo, or the real unification of the Islamic world against the US, or a crumbling of America's capacity for international influence, when Russia and China AND even the EU finally decide that we're a nation of depraved nutballs who can't be trusted. And many thousands killed. Oh yeah, that.

Actually,I don't have a hard time accepting that a majority of Americans do in fact believe this regarding the supposed existence of Iranian nukes, even though the CIA itself apparently doesn't believe this. What I have a harder time understanding, and the poll doesn't address this, is why Americans tend to trust American elites so easily regarding the outside world. So that when a foreign country does something(or appears to do something) that American elites don't approve of and the usual American TV talking heads tell us that country X is defying us because they're irrational or crazy, they just accept this uncritically. And they just accept that country X cannot possibly have sane, legitimate reasons for those contrary policies that don't conform to US government wishes , whether said policies are hypothetical or real.

The thing is, people generally have no problem believing that our elites lie to us and screw us over in virtually all other areas, but apparently regarding foreign policy they just accept that these people who so frequently mislead and even just plain lie to us, nevertheless also know what's best and sincerely mean to protect us. I guess these are two separate questions. Exceptionalism again, at least for part of it. God gave Adam the right to give names to the animals, and to America to determine whether or not foreigners are crazy.

Michel Chossudovsky, above, says that the US has nuclear warheads in Turkey and in Europe that are aimed at Iran. Additionally, most experts agree that Israel has nuclear weapons, even if this is a mostly forbidden topic for discussion in the popular US media. My point is, although I don't think any country that doesn't presently have nukes should decide to get them, it's hardly insane or unreasonable for Iran's elites to want to have nuclear weapons. Given how actively belligerent both the US and Israel have been to various middle eastern and other Islamic countries, it strikes me as pretty understandable that the Iranians should want nukes.

I also question whether the US would in fact be threatened by the existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons arsenal, assuming we left them alone. Israel might possibly be threatened-- but even that I'm skeptical of. If anything, the likely net effect of a secure Iranian nuclear weapons arsenal might well be a better behaved Israel, one that doesn't threaten her neighbors so readily and is more likely to want to make legitimate concessions towards a real peace with the Palistinians, or-- at the very least-- stops launching so many "you kill one, we kill 500" military operations against her neighbors.

The problem of course, is that it be a secure nuclear arsenal. But who is likely to subvert Iranian nuclear security, besides Israel and the US?

Again, I'm not suggesting that for Iran to acquire nukes is a preferred outcome. As I've said before in comments here and elsewhere, I have often puzzled about why Ahmedinejad has never publicly suggested a linkage between greater co-operation in allowing IAEA oversight, and negotiating to account for and reduce(or even eliminate*) Israel's nukes. Also to clarify, when I say "nukes" I am specifically referring to nuclear weapons, and not simply powerplants, which after all they, along with the Israelis, are allowed by international law.

(*The "eliminate" is probably dreaming, hence in parentheses. Still there's no question to me that for neither Israel nor Iran to have nuclear weapons would be the ideal situation, and I don't see how a US military operation against Iran can do anything but kill more people and make that contingency even less likely to ever happen.)

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stack attack

KXAN TV Austin

Joseph Stack's swan dive into the Austin IRS building is unlikely to result in any change, either in the behavior of the government or people's attitudes, apart from possibly more busy-work type regulations governing recreational aircraft and their pilots, or so I imagine. He obviously understood the Marxist concept of heightening the contradictions, when he wrote,

I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are.

He also wrote, "Nothing changes unless there is a body count." One would like to think he is wrong about that-- I know I would. I read Stack's manifesto, much of which, considered apart from his actions, seems like the product of an intelligent and lucid mind. The FBI may have requested it taken down at, but it's available at numerous web sites. To me the statement Stack's ISP has posted there, telling you they complied with the FBI's request and also directing you where to see his statement, reinforces the veracity of Rob's comments here. (And yes, I was struck by the coincidence that I posted Gerald Celente's comments regarding a possible tax revolt the night before.) Anyway, I got his manifesto at the Business Insider, where (if you want another cheap irony) you'll notice that the first 20 or so comments were deleted because of complaints.

I also looked for a second-hand Piper Cherokee online, not wanting to buy one(As if! Me mucho poor.) but curious how much they go for, especially since Stack complained about how much money he was out. They seem to average in the mid 30 thousand dollar range used, although I found one that "needs work" for a quick sale for 15 grand. I suppose if all you need it for is to crash into a building you wouldn't care too much if it needed fixing up, not that I'm recommending that sort of thing. The photos also suggest that the back seat of a Cherokee is pretty cramped, so if he really did remove it to put an additional fuel tank in there it couldn't have been that large a tank. If he really was planning ahead you'd think he would have bought a different plane.

Over at ATR, Jonathan Schwarz described Stack's sentiments as "96 % left-wing", then said he was wrong, and it was "more like 76% left-wing, 15% right-wing, and 9% miscellaneous." (There's a 40 plus comments discussion about this, which is still open as I write this). I suspect that Stack's words and their relative lefty or righty-ness won't be evaluated in the wider world based on any standard intellectual criteria, but simply based on him being a middle-aged white guy and that his beef was primarily with the IRS, and those signifiers will be construed as shorthand for right-wing loon, case closed. Anyway, it's easier that way, in our increasingly tribal age. Why bother with reading, especially if its over 140 characters?

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Why, it’s Nobody’s Fault


WASHINGTON — After five years of often bitter internal debate, the Justice Department concluded in a report released Friday that the lawyers who gave legal justification to the Bush administration’s brutal interrogation tactics for terrorism suspects used flawed legal reasoning but were not guilty of professional misconduct.

Conclusion: Yoo and Bybee are guilty of flawed legal reasoning which caused them to give bad advice because they were evidently born yesterday so it wasn’t really their fault. Bush and Cheney who were also evidently born yesterday took said bad advice and therefore aren’t guilty either so it’s nobody’s fault, nobody’s at all. How magnificent and wondrous this all is, who says there’s no such thing as magic?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fascism USA: 2009, 2010...

The audio sync is absolutely horrible here, and I apologize for that, as I've found no better copy of this anywhere. All the same this interview with Gerald Celente on Russia Today is fascinating.

(note: Although I came across this fairly recently, it's not exactly current, but was recorded in April 2009. I suppose I should say misrecorded, given the sound quality. I don't get why they have these horrible technical difficulties, presumably operating with more resources than their occasional correspondent Lori Harfenist(aka "the resident"), whose man-in-the-street interviews I've periodically embedded here before. She doesn't have any of these problems with her videos.)

Having said that, even though a lot of what he says strikes me as relevant, I think Celente is wrong about the likelihood of revolution. (Actually it's not entirely clear if he's forecasting one or advocating for one. Presumably the former.) If we're headed towards a right-wing truly fascist government, which I'll admit seems increasingly likely, the two-party system with its multiple security-state water-carriers seem like they're strongly enough ensconced to prevent that.

I'm thinking of Even Bayh's comments upon announcing his retirement yesterday, about how he wants democrats to compromise more(!), as if the gridlock in D.C. is substantially the fault of those no-good liberals. Bayh's comments come to mind just because they are recent, but there are many, many other examples.

[a revision: the two links to Bayh's retirement announcement above don't make it clear; but I was referring to his comments in a Yahoo News/AP story which I haven't found reproduced in full elsewhere, which is odd. I hate linking to Yahoo News stories because they tend to disappear from online after 21-30 days:

"Disillusioned Bayh advocates electoral “shock” to broken system"

as, no doubt, this one will too.]

Avedon Carol[2007][more recently] and a couple of regular commenters at ATR frequently talk about the Overton window, a theoretical concept that's increasingly useful in understanding the rhetoric out of Washington. But as far as I can see, the window doesn't just apply to republicans and other right wing types pushing it rightward, but phoney-baloney democrats like Bayh and Rahm Emmanuel and our pal Obama validating and reinforcing right-wing tropes. I'm just waiting for BHO to speak after the 2010 mid-terms and apologize for being a socialist.

"tenebroust", below, is somewhat overheated in his presentational style, but I think the broader picture he sketches of the dynamic between the two-parties is essentially correct:

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Adoration

Almost without fail when I go to a liberal pro-democrat website everything is viewed through how it might possibly affect Obama’s presidency or how the republicans are bad-mouthing Obama unfairly. If a high-ranking Taliban leader is captured or killed by our military then this is automatically seen as how the democrats are better than the republican party, how much smarter Obama is than Dick Cheney. Amidst this hubris the vital facts that the Afghan War is illegal, morally wrong, and self-destructive are erased from the discussion. What is also lost to the conversation is that Obama is pursuing the identical course that Bush and Cheney followed. To hold up evidence that Obama is more efficient than his republican counterpart is to unwittingly, or wittingly, support American imperialism in all of its murderous aspects.

Plainly put, I don’t care about Obama or his presidency. I don’t care if he goes down in history as a good, bad, or mediocre monster. If you had a portrait gallery of all the presidents that ever were you could call it Murderer’s Row so what care I if one more is added to the list? What I care about is ending the rape of the Mid-East. What I care about is jobs and health care reform. But as long as Americans worship power and those who represent it whether it’s Obama or Reagan we’re never going to get anywhere.

As liberals complain about the unfairness of it all, that bad Dick Cheney dares to criticize the Obama, I wonder if they wonder why Cheney is criticizing Obama for doing the exact same things Bush and Cheney did albeit in a more cuddly manner. One luminary speaks of how Obama’s drone war drove Taliban leaders to another place yet there is little thought and no mention of the hundreds of civilian deaths caused by Obama’s drone war. All that matters is that the Obama has shown his mettle and that he is truly worthy of being a full-fledged member of Murderer’s Row. Obama murdered children the first week he was in office and he murdered children during the first day of the cowardly and despicable attack against Marjah and likely has murdered children as well as men and women almost every day in between. If there is something admirable about these dead Afghans I fail to see what it might be. Yet the adoration of the Obama continues unabated and from this I draw the conclusion that many liberals just don’t care about the growing piles of corpses heaped upon the sacrificial table of the Obama’s place in history as a great and noble leader.

The ugly truth that cannot stand the light of day is that this attack against Marjah where they are now collecting body parts of those we are “protecting” is being played out on the world stage to improve Obama’s and the democrat's sagging ratings. It’s pure politics and its purely disgusting because I cannot think of anything more disgusting than watching people, innocent people, people who are not and never have been a threat to America and have never done anything against America, being murdered so that a few politicians with hearts blacker than the inside of a black hole can gain an ephemeral blip in a popularity contest.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Academia And The ICCAE

David Price, writing for "Counterpunch," reveals a huge and horrifying new addition to our sorrowful list of crimes against freedom. In "How The CIA Welcomes Itself Back To American University Campuses: Silent Coup,"[link] he informs us that for the past five years, the CIA, under the names of the "Intelligence Community Centers for Academic Excellence," and its dark affiliate, the "Intelligence in Advance Research Project Activity" (the jerks should be prosecuted just for the horrors they inflict on the language) have been infiltrating college campuses.
After I read a snippet about this, I e-mailed Mr. Price asking for a list of the institutions that accepted this depravity. He promptly sent back his full article, which includes:
"In 2005, the first ICCAE centers were installed at ten campuses: California
State University San Bernardino, Clark Atlanta University, Florida International
University, Norfolk State University, Tennessee State University, Trinity
Washington University, University of Texas El Paso, University of Texas-Pan
American, University of Washington, and Wayne State University.
Between 2008-2010, a second wave of expansion brought ICCAE programs to another twelve campuses: Carnegie Mellon, Clemson, North Carolina A&T State, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Florida A&M, Miles College, University of Maryland,
College Park, University of Nebraska, University of New Mexico, Pennsylvania
State University, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute."
Price deplores what seems to be the indifference of the academic community: "...the silence surrounding this quiet installation and spread of programs like ICCAE is extraordinary. In the last four years, ICCAE has gone further in bringing government intelligence organizations openly to American university campuses than any previous intelligence initiative since WW II. Yet, the program spreads with little public notice, media coverage, or coordinated resistance."
Oh, damn. As a long time (27 years) employee at Rider University (also an alum), I feel such a sense of heavy darkness at this revelation. We learned long ago not to trust our elected representatives around a glass corner, that the mass media are ass-kissing slaves of the pols, and that churches can be as much a force for evil as good. I thought--fool that I am--that a tiny corner of idealism was still alive in Academia. Okay, I was wrong, and maybe there just isn't any hope anywhere.
Unless...unless...a viable third party can be born. God knows the other two are slouching toward Bethlehem in tandem.
Posted by Mimi at 6:33 AM


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Prop! goes the Ganda

As some of us had all too easily predicted, the latest atrocity committed by American troops and NATO – the assault on Marja in Afghanistan – is a fiasco of PR with the New York Times happily churning out propaganda by the bucketful. First we have…Countdown to an Afghan Offensive!

Why it’s just like a sporting event, countdown, get it? Countdown, 10,9,8,7,6,5,ready, set, go! Wait till our heroes start popping some rag heads, should be a great sporting season. Then, the Times almost waxes poetic with this...

In the Cold of Morning, Descending Into Conflict

Are you sure we aren’t in the novel section? Here, we are treated to an interesting variation of “It was a dark and stormy night…”

MARJA, Afghanistan — The helicopter was filled with men and dark in its cabin when a voice cut over the whir of the rotors.

“Five minutes out!”

The men of Company K, Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, shoved their clips into their rifles and pulled back their bolts. A chorus of clanks rose and fell. [They shoved their what, where?]

The whir of the rotors filled the cabin again. The helicopter banked in the darkness.

“One minute out!”

The men of Company K hollered and whooped.

Oh lock and load baby, lock and load! Oh I love the manliness of it all, and such good writing as well. I mean “A chorus of clanks…” that’s like, you know, some real awesome imagery. “A chorus of clanks”, all that’s needed is some unison farting and this could be journalism at its finest hour. Yesterday we were treated to…

Coalition Troops Storm a Taliban Haven

Indeed, the Marja operation will be the first real test of General McChrystal’s strategy — that is, whether it can spare civilian lives without compromising the safety of his men.

“The first test is, can you do this without killing a lot of civilians,” the senior NATO commander said. “I would rather you take longer, I would rather you go deliberately. Whatever we do to limit that, actually, in my view, makes us look more powerful.”

The centerpiece of the Marja operation is the Afghan government-in-waiting that will move into the town the moment the shooting stops. That is an attempt to compensate for past failures, when an inadequate government was left behind.

In May 2009, British and Afghan forces conducted a large military operation in Marja itself. It was a bigger than expected fight — and the allies vowed to go back in again.

Today, they are.

So as our troopers slaughter Afghans what it’s actually about is whether General Stanley’s “new” plan is a success or not, kind of an experiment to see how many Afghans it manages to murder. An unknown and unnamed NATO commander sees the number of bodies stacking up as a test. But the bestest part ever, even betterer than the moronic NATO commander is the way this particular piece of propaganda ends,”— and the allies vowed to go back in again. Today, they are(Shades of Dug-Out-Doug!).”

At any rate as far as the NYT goes these “articles” are pure crap. I’m amazed that it takes as many words to convey absolutely no useful or insightful information as the people who write for the Times use.

Friday, February 12, 2010

those pesky distinctions

gays in the military and new york magazine

screenshot from New York magazine, referencing this cbs news story.

and,catching up from last month:

"Bunch Of Phonies Mourn J.D. Salinger"

cross-posted at Hugo Zoom.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Q: Why does UPS need a bailout?

A:They don't, and they're not seeking one.

Q: Then why does Brownbailout dot com make it sound like they are?

A: Well! Therein lies a tale:

I realize most of you have already browsed through the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009(which, apparently, is still pending in '10.). But if you are a dunderheaded sort like me and haven't heard, Fedex discusses it at their site,

If you go there and give it a cursory once-over, you'll come away with the idea that UPS is lobbying for a government bailout. (see below)

brown bailout number 2

But if you poke around a bit, you'll get to a page on the site, "buried bailout" in which they (sort of) admit that what they're calling a bailout is actually legislation that would make the regulations governing Fedex and UPS more uniform, although this is expressed in deliberately deceptive verbiage that suggests that UPS is less-efficient, suffering the presumptive ill-effects of being "a 100 year old trucking company"(this phrase, along with "bailout," is used several times throughout the site.):

The bailout bottom-line is this: What’s the difference between a 100-year-old trucking company and a modern airline that flies packages around the world every night? Answer: everything. Yes, both carry parcels and packages, but how they do it is obviously and vastly different.

UPS’ bailout would shoehorn FedEx Express – an airline created in 1971 focused on next-day delivery of essential goods and documents around the world – into the same operating rules as a 100-year-old trucking company. FedEx Express and other airlines operate just fine under airline regulations, but UPS doesn’t like competition. Keep in mind, UPS chose to form as a separate trucking company for its pickup and delivery operations.

So “Big Brown” is throwing around its political weight and seeking a bailout from Congress, so that it can saddle its only remaining U.S. competitor with the effects of its own decisions. And at the end of the day, all of us who rely on overnight-deliveries – medicines, paychecks, critical replacement parts, essential inventory, and the like – pay the cost.

According to Business Week, which isn't generally regarded as a hotbed of radicalism, Fedex objects to the legislation in question because it would make it easier for their employees to unionize. They also note that Obama has gone out of his way to praise Fedex's CEO, Frederick "Winkie" Smith for bold, innovative, blah blah blah. Actually, I don't remember what Obama praised him for, because after a certain point, even in print, Obama's I-never-met-a-Reaganite-I-didn't-like blather gets to be too much for me. But then again, maybe I just don't fully appreciate how bold and forward-thinking our president and his jet-setting friends are.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There is much agony...

...over Craig Becker’s not being confirmed by the senate. And it’s all because the democrats lost their majority in the senate when Ted Kennedy was replaced by a republican. This is a tempest in a teapot because Obama can appoint Becker during recess if he wanted to.

If you want to blame someone blame Obama for he has only himself to blame. I’m not sure anyone as far to the Looney bin right as Obama is has ever described themselves as a progressive before. In his first year Obama managed to alienate many of his former supporters who now see him for the fraud he is. Obama shoved an unpopular war down the American gullet spending money that would have done more good on domestic issues like job creation and real health care reform which is far more important to the public than another dumber than dumb-ass war.

I’ve been saying for years that one of the reasons for off-shoring jobs was to weaken the labor unions which is exactly what it has accomplished. Labor unions have been an engine for a more progressive society so off shoring jobs is not only about cheap non-union labor for higher profit it’s also about removing the influence of labor on government and this has been going on for years. It is always assumed that the democrats are a pro-labor party because of the affiliation of the unions with democratic candidates in the past. But it was Bill Clinton who signed NAFTA into being and millions of Americans have been paying the price ever since.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

When Tragedy Strikes

Dennis Perrin writes...


Yes. The real tragedy of this imperial war is how it keeps the Obama administration from succeeding, which clearly is the main priority among liberal patriots. If we can stem American blood and treasure from going into Afghanistan, then President Change will be free to construct the New Tomorrow that so many Dems and libs believe is Obama's "real" purpose.

From my own conversations with the faithful I have to agree with this. In the end there is no purpose to chase the presidency other than the pursuit of power yet people love to indulge in fantasies which is no doubt preferrable to reality yet does little to alter the imperial death dive. And as my friend Jonathan Versen says Americans are just not that concerned about the death toll of our victims. Liberals want Obama to succeed because Obama represents how democrats are smarter and better than republicans (yes I know democrats and republicans should be capitalized but that infers a respect for them that I do not feel). And if liberals can only prove their inherent superiority everything will fall into place and the natural order of the universe will be restored.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Thank God for That

The big lie is that the American military is protecting Afghan citizens.


Marjah is regarded as a stronghold of both Taliban insurgents and drug trafficking networks which must be removed to "protect" the people who live there. But so far the warnings have only had the effect of encouraging civilians to flee.

And how are they protecting the Afghans? By leveling their homes with mortars and missiles.

The evacuation of most civilians from the town of Marjah and surrounding areas will give commanders greater leeway to use mortars-and-air-to ground missiles which have enraged Afghans in the past when responsible for civilian deaths.

So protecting Afghans can be summed up as first, driving them from their homes followed by destroying their homes. That’s social change of a sort. It’s difficult to understand why the Afghans are so upset since we are only helping them. But fear not for Stanley aims not to alienate them.

The counterinsurgency plan pushed by Stanley McChrystal, the US commander of all Nato forces in Afghanistan, aims not to alienate the population.

Thank god for that because if we were really waging war it’s hard to imagine what more we could do to these people. And of course the Afghans are truly appreciative of Stanley’s efforts on their behalf.

But a Marjah resident, an elder reached by phone, who was not prepared to give his name, said he had evacuated his family a week ago because he feared "the worst attack ever".

"Always when they storm a village the foreign troops never care about civilian casualties at all. And at the end of the day they report the deaths of women and children as the deaths of Taliban," he said.

A typical reaction to the above by a progressive would be “Oh I just don’t believe we would do those things or the guy is just a liar trying to make us look bad, probably a Taliban in disguise who likely just hates Obama."

Killing people is called murder and murdering people is wrong. I cannot begin to convey how important it is to understand this. I fully realize this sounds stupid yet progressives cannot wrap their minds about this simple and easy to understand concept.

The ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are not about bringing social change to these nations and regions. These wars are driven by the military industrial complex and personal political gain. The “Hearts and Minds” plan is only something that the military came up with after they found themselves losing the war to a bunch of scrawny and ill-fed Afghans and quite frankly it is intended for American consumption more than anything else. See, we good. And” Helping” Haiti does not, I repeat, does not even begin to make up for the millions of deaths we are responsible for in our knee-jerk response to 9/11.

Personally, I don’t believe appealing to progressives by pointing out body counts does much good because that no longer matters to the neo-progressive. The neo-progressive is a reality based creature whose cynical outlook on life is unrivaled. Yes sir, the new progressives know what’s real and what isn’t and what is possible and what isn’t. I know this because that’s what they keep saying. I guess I must be dense because I just don’t see the difference between the neo-progressives and their twins the neo-cons.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

2 women

Added On February 6, 2010
The wife of the CIA double agent who killed 7 CIA operatives in Afghanistan gives her first sit down interview to CNN.

Added On February 7, 2010
Fmr. GOP V.P. nominee Sarah Palin participates in a question and answer session at the Tea Party Convention.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Dancing in the Dark

McClatchy has always seemed a bit better on their reporting than some other news outlets. Today they have the following article which almost seems anti-war, a shocking event from any news outlet.


Report:8 Americans Died Defending Worthless Afghan Outpost

WASHINGTON — A U.S. military investigation into a battle last October in eastern Afghanistan that cost eight American soldiers their lives has concluded that the small outpost was worthless, the troops there didn't understand their mission, and intelligence and air support were tied up elsewhere in the province.

American troops dying for nothing, even the blood and guts patriots could get upset about that, and it’s almost anti-war. I think we could expand on the two main points of interest from the above quote. First, the report concluded the outpost was worthless, yay, a good start but let’s stretch it to – the whole war is worthless except to a bunch of politicians and the fat corporate cats perched on top of the economic pyramid. Second, the troops didn’t understand their mission. Well that goes without saying believing that they are defending mother and apple pie. The thing is very few understand the “mission” yet again to admit that the troops, our vaunted heroes, are confused about the “mission” is a step in the right direction for our news media. There is no mission other than to keep the imperial wars churning, bouncing back and forth between different occupations and fronts. Tired of Iraq? Well then, we’ll just bounce on over to Afghanistan. Tired of Afhanistan? Time to jump back to Iraq! But then there are oodles of options; Yemen, Iran, Somalia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Britain, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, China, maybe back to Vietnam! Uruguay, Paraguay, they’re in the way! The Bronx, Watts, hell we could bomb those bastards as well, we’ll just call them al Qaida.

If you took our entire culture beginning with the brain washing received in public schools (I pledge allegiance to the flag) and the ceaseless propaganda we are fed as adults you could embody it all as a piece of cloth wrapped about our eyes while we grope around in the dark avoiding the truth where ever it might lay. Sort of like that statue of blind justice except without the justice part.

Joe Rivas in 2010

(the photo is from 2005, when I first discussed Joe over at HZ.)

My friend Joe Rivas is a proud person, but he needs help right now. In particular, he wants people here in the Dallas Ft Worth area to see if they can persuade local media like the TV stations to do a story regarding his present situation. (I'm going to leave this up as the most recent post for a while, so new content may appear just below.)

Anyway, he discusses it here:

"Obama, Persons with Disabilities Need Jobs Too!"


Thursday, February 04, 2010

In the Spirit

Though I view Obama as a monster like all his ilk I just have to mention something. When I was taking a class on North American Indians years ago I kept coming across accounts of Native Americans who were gifted speakers and whites even some anthropologists always seemed to be amazed by this. And you have to wonder why people should be amazed; I mean Native Americans are human beings so why shouldn’t they produce gifted speakers? The racism here is subtle but there none-the-less. I have a similar reaction to people who carry on about Obama’s speeches. Why shouldn’t a black man be a gifted speaker? Not that I agree with those who see him as a great orator, he’s okay I guess though it strikes me as fairly mediocre. It’s almost like “Look, wow, that black man can tie his shoes, isn’t that amazing? Why they’re almost human!”

Many Native Americans were horrified by what they considered to be the barbaric behavior of the first white “settlers” most especially the white man practice of beating their children. But then Native Americans had a whole different world view, indeed a different reality than that of the invading whites. For example their concept of time was completely different. The idea of meeting someone at a pre-arranged specific time would be a completely foreign concept. The idea of owning the land and land owners was also completely foreign to Native American thinking. Some tribes had no leaders and people existed in a state of equality; men, women, and children. All were equal. There were war-like nomadic tribes and there were peaceful agrarian tribes. The pre-Columbian Native Americans illustrate some of the many possibilities for the way societies can be structured. And you look at us; we seem to be stuck in a rut. A government that has become an outdated rolling pile of junk running on one or two cylinders and two gas tanks away from the junk yard but we can’t imagine any other way of life. That’s pretty pathetic – the universe summed up as democrat or republican. Perhaps, just maybe, there might be something better? Something different? No?

For the Native American the world was imbued with spirits that might take the form of an animal among other things. Western man fills his world with cheap commercials where actors are paid to tell you lies. It cannot be denied that the monetary system that rules our lives have made whores out of all of us in a way that Native Americans never were. I don’t write this to idolize the Native Americans; after all, they’re just human beings. My point is that there are more possibilities than those that our culture forces upon us. The assumption has always been that the west is superior to those it has conquered and over-run and that superiority has always been based on the idea that our technology and science has made us the rightful rulers of the world. The evidence however is against us. One has to only look at the body strewn path soaked in human blood which invariably leads right back to our doorstep.

Haitian abduction story, Pt 2

from CNN:

"I warned her, I said as soon as you get there without the proper documents, you are going to get into trouble, because they are going to accuse you, because you have the intent to pass the border without the proper papers and they are going to accuse you with kids trafficking," Carlos Castillo said he told the group's leader, Laura Silsby, during a meeting Friday.

Four hours later, Silsby and nine other Americans were turned back from the border. They were arrested and taken to a jail in Port-au-Prince.

"This woman knew what she was trying to do was not legal," Castillo said.

A CNN reporter attempted to get reaction to Castillo's comment from the jailed Americans, but they would not discuss the matter, responding to questions by singing "Amazing Grace" and praying.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Innocents abroad, sneaking across the Dominican border edition

afp-yahoo haiti story 3feb10-140am-4

bbc-haiti abductions-5

raw story-3feb10-abductions afp 445am ct-6

CNN-3feb10-us detainees-haiti kidnap story 4am ct-2

OK, what's with all these damn quotation marks? Even the BBC and Raw Story? And is it really the fault of the (undoubtedly vile) interpreters? Who says so, and why doesn't the CNN headline read,

Detainees 'thought' Haiti police gave OK?

Wouldn't that be a bit more consistent?

@#!in' liberal media.


Montreal Gazette, Haiti questions Americans over child 'kidnapping' (also AFP, like the Raw Story item)

And, from Global Saskatoon, Parents reclaim children in Haiti adoptions,(Reuters, sans quotes. It's also the only story listed here that discusses the issue of psychological trauma the children may be experiencing, unless the AFP stories are truncated, as wire stories often are.)

In the Montreal Gazette story, the writer observes

Haiti's police said some of them were handed over voluntarily by their parents. A woman at police headquarters who said she was the mother of five of the children said a local pastor acting as an intermediary told her they would have a better life if they went with the missionaries.

That may well be true, but a decent person must realize that duress is a factor here. Even if, as the story goes on to state, the Americans thought they were doing 'God's work', you'd think God would encourage them to wait a few months and realize that "asking" to give the children an "opportunity" for a better life under the present circumstances amounts to preying on the families while they are in an exceptionally vulnerable state.

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