Wednesday, March 31, 2010
"This is not a healthcare reform bill," says Socialist Party USA co-chair Billy Wharton, "It is instead a corporate restructuring of the American healthcare system designed to enhance the profits of private health insurance companies disguised with the language of reform"
As the Socialists note:
The bill passed by the House (March 21) would mandate all Americans to purchase health insurance coverage or face a fine. It would also create health insurance exchanges, an idea crafted by the right-wing Heritage Foundation, where people would purchase insurance from private companies. Those not eligible for Medicaid but who still could not afford to purchase insurance would receive public funds from the federal government to purchase bare bones coverage insurance plans from private insurers.
(Socialists) opposes this restructuring on the grounds that the mandates allow private insurers to use the coercive power of the state to enhance their private profits. Insurance credits will serve as a public subsidy to private companies. It is yet another case of public money that could be used for necessary social programs being funneled towards companies that engage in practices that are abusive and detrimental to the overall society.
Wharton argues, "public funds would be better spent in creating a national single-payer system.
Wharton wrote in his recent Washington Post piece -- titled "Obama's No Socialist. I Should Know" -- "The funny thing is, of course, that socialists know that Barack Obama is not one of us. Not only is he not a socialist, he may in fact not even be a liberal. Socialists understand him more as a hedge-fund Democrat -- one of a generation of neo-liberal politicians firmly committed to free-market policies."
This guy, Robert Scheer used to work at this place. He was fired after running his column for more than 12 years and working as a reporter for the paper 17 years, the Los Angeles Times ended a nearly thirty year relationship with Scheer for writing this column, among other related items. He currently runs this website. The corporate elites and their media are rapidly loosing control of the dominant story. Every computer is a printing press. Information is rapidly being decentralized.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
FORREST, WALLACE AND PALIN
Sarah Palin as Nathan Bedford Forrest. This is an Jayne Lyn Stahl piece is an interesting article
This article matches up with one of my pet theories of history which goes like this:
People wonder why Robert E Lee basically countered the command of his own government and signed the peace treaty with Grant when the south could have gone underground and fought and won a guerrilla insurrection.
The fact is this is exactly what the South did. There is a quote I have failed to bookmark where Lee was asked to lead this insurrection and he declined, informing them that he wasn't the man for the job and he recommended they ask Nathan Bedford Forrest
The Ku Klux Klan was that insurrection and they succeeded in running the "north" out and took back their government. This scarcely known document is a major document in US history and is known as the Compromise of 1877. Some of how this came to be is here, here and here. It is the real peace treaty between the South and the North.
There was a racist component of the KKK and especially the 20Th Century KKK. but while the racism was there, it wasn't the main story.
The South shall Rise again, and again, and again, and again until the secession is recognized and codified.
Being the grandson of Joseph Eugene Bee Stonewall Jackson Robert E Lee Roberts, I can tell you for sure, these Southerners will never forget. The oil has done been pumped out of Texas, hell, give it to em and let em fight the Mexicans for it. This time they'll lose for sure, and won't that be funny.
The inauthentic man faces a difficult balancing act, for he is not only avoiding the truth, he has forgotten where he put the truth...that is the kind of self-delusion that creates missteps and a hubris that often leads to downfall.
"Pride goes before a fall" -- hubris. It is also referred to as "pride that blinds", as it causes someone accused of hubris to act in foolish ways that belie common sense. Hubris indicates a loss of touch with reality and overestimating one's own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power.
And really, this applies not just to WellPoint, as FoxNews easily points out in the video, but to FoxNews, itself
The corridor was a political creation of the Great Game. The Anglo-Russian Boundary Commission of 1895-1896 demarcated the land as a buffer between British India and the Russian Central Asia. Once part of the Silk Road, the Wakhan Corridor has been closed to border traffic for almost 100 years due to political reasons.
Day 1: Tour starts Dushanbe
Day 2: Dushanbe
Day 3: Dushanbe – Kalaikhum
Day 4: Kalaikhum - Bartang Valley
Day 5: Bartang Valley
Day 6: Geisev Valley
Day 7: Geisev Valley to Ishkashim (Tajikistan)
Day 8: To Ishkashim (Afghanistan)
Day 9: Ishkashim – Keshnikhan
Day 10: Keshnikhan - Khandud
Day 11: Khandud - Goz Khan
Day 12: Goz Khan - Kret via hot springs
Day 13: To Sarhad e Broghil
Day 14: Sarhad e Broghil
Day 15: Sarhad e Broghil - Qala e Panj
Day 16: Qala e Panj - Ishkashim
Day 17: Ishkashim - Khorog (Tajikistan)
Day 18: Khorog - Kalaikhum/Yoged
Day 19: To Dushanbe
Day 20: Tour ends in Dushanbe
Will it be long before Petraeus’ cry rings across the majority of the citizenry fed up with America’s wars in the Middle East? And will this not put a sharper edge on the limp calls for Israel to think twice about continuing its apartheid policy, its relentless ethnic cleansing of Palestine? Does this not begin to pose the question of "Us or Them" for the American populace?
This writer has long contended that Israel has been risking a serious backlash in the U.S. When it erupts, it may not be pretty. And it may be especially dangerous given the long policy of crying "wolf" over anti-Semitism. It would seem very wise for American Jewry to boot out the neocons and Israel-Firsters from their midst and hasten back to the morality of the secular, humanist Judaism which was dominant in the U.S. not so long ago. It may not be simply a matter of morality but of self-interest.
Monday, March 29, 2010
clipped from: palestinechronicle.com
- M. Shahid Alam is professor of economics at Northeastern University, Boston. He is author of Israeli Exceptionalism (Palgrave, 2009) and Challenging the New Orientalism (IPI, 2006). He contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 9-11 attacks offered Israel would emerge from these wars as the undisputed regional hegemon, and, possibly, a world power
history took a number of ‘wrong’ turns. Iraq became a quagmire for US troops. Iran’s Shi’ite allies Iran gained control over much of Iraq, barring the Kurdish region. Soon, Iran had extended its influence into eastern Afghanistan. Israeli policy had boomeranged.
In a strange reversal, Iran now cast its shadow over much of the Middle East. It mocked Israel, stood up for the Palestinians, showed up the pro-American Arab regimes for what they are, forcing them to openly identify with Israel. In bitterness, some Arab commentators blamed the US for resurrecting the ancient Persian empire.
the US is insisting that Israel suspend new settlement construction in East Jerusalem to pave the way for ‘peace’ talks
On March 9, when the US Vice President, Israel’s settlement activity “undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us, and it endangers regional peace.”
Joe Biden was echoing the message delivered by General Petraeus, commander of US troops in the Middle East, to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the US Armed Services Committee. Hillary Clinton too reiterated this message in her speech to AIPAC.
June 1967, two destabilizing results, created it anew, its native problem in 1948 to retain the West Bank and Gaza, also, extremist Jews who began to colonize East Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza. Unable to drive out the Palestinians, this new round of colonization would turn Israel into an apartheid state.
In the 2000s, international civil society started taking notice. Movements
divest from, boycott and sanction Israel, Western legal systems to prosecute Israelis
sraeli leaders ow heckled
In 1982, in a bid to extend Israel’s northern border creating Hizbullah
In 2000, they forced Israel to withdraw unilaterally, and in July 2006 repulsed a fresh Israeli invasion, giving Israel a bloody nose.
Tehran was now positioned right next to Israel’s northern border. the same time to defeat the Second Intifada built the apartheid Wall. Gaza while sealing it from outside contacts
‘peace’ talks lost their urgency. pro-US Arab regimes a bit nervous: they needed the charade of ‘peace’ talks
Egyptian-Israeli siege of Gaza brought Iranian influence to Israel’s southern border
After the Cold War, the Zionists too – led by the Neocons – pursued the same goal.
Using the absurd thesis of the ‘clash of civilizations,’ they began to promote a Western war against the Islamicate
Israel’s long-standing war strategy. Israel took US money and weapons, but fought its own wars. built Israel’s military strength and prestige, kept the US military out of Israel’s path to hegemony
When al-Qaida struck on 9-11, Israel saw opportunity
ten years later, chickens are coming home, US military has spoken
Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse delivers the keynote address at the 2009 Campus BDS Conference at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.
Founder of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions for Palestine Campaign Omar Barghouti, talks about how the movement has progressed, its achievements and future goals. Founder of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions for Palestine Campaign Omar Barghouti, talks about how the movement has progressed, its achievements and future goals.
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Here is a map from the NYT's today. The "green line" is shown. The wall is the light dotted line. I'm not sure what this wall is called. It is 436 miles long. The Israeli's call it "separation fence", "security fence" or "anti-terrorist fence", "seam zone"
The Palestinians call it the racial segregation wall, or the "Apartheid Wall."
The International Court of Justice calls it "wall"
The BBC's style guide for journalists states "The BBC uses the terms barrier, separation barrier or West Bank barrier as acceptable generic descriptions to avoid the political connotations of "security fence" (preferred by the Israeli government) or "apartheid wall" (preferred by the Palestinians)."
Thursday, March 25, 2010
By Jonathan Mowat
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Mar 19, 2005, 02:34
What is new about the template bears on the use of the Internet (in particular chat rooms, instant messaging, and blogs) and cell phones (including text-messaging), to rapidly steer angry and suggestible "Generation X" youth into and out of mass demonstrations and the like -- a capability that only emerged in the mid-1990s. "With the crushing ubiquity of cell phones, satellite phones, PCs, modems and the Internet," Laura Rosen emphasized in Salon Magazine on February 3, 2001,"the information age is shifting the advantage from authoritarian leaders to civic groups." She might have mentioned the video games that helped create the deranged mindset of these "civic groups." The repeatedly emphasized role played by so-called "Discoshaman" and his girlfriend "Tulipgirl," in assisting the "Orange Revolution" through their aptly named blog, "Le Sabot Post-Modern," is indicative of the technical and sociological components involved.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
covert mercenary networks in "Afpak"), and Iraq to murder tribal militants. former senior Pentagon official Mike Furlong, International Media Ventures (IMV), to provide the US military with "cultural information" about Afghanistan’s Pashtun tribes.
Codename: Operation Capstone. "the Cultural Engineering Group" of Florida, and "Counter-Narcoterrorism Technology Program" of Virginia funded Furlong with $24.6 million.
Furlong hired former special forces to assassinate Pashtun leaders and target tribal compounds for strikes by US Predator drones. free enterprise known as "Murder Inc."
Dewey Clarridge from the 1980’s Afghan war, were involved. IMV’s CEO came from major defense contractor L-3
huge ruckus. Pentagon has cut Furlong adrift. Shades of CIA agent Ed Wilson set up as a deniable "independent" arms and explosives to Libya and Angola. this intrigue blew, Wilson was buried alive in federal prison
This latest recalls 1980’s guerilla war in El Salvador government death squads and
1968–1972 Operation Phoenix in South Vietnam, killed from 26,000 to 44,000 suspected Communists
growing criticism of 275,000 mercenaries (AKA "private contractors") in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, operate without any accountability, legal structure, or oversight
US mercenaries are likely behind bombings of civilian targets in Peshawar. Indian intelligence spreading mayhem to destabilize Pakistan
Xe (formerly Blackwater) and DynCorp have raked in fortunes running private armies for the US. They are major donors to the far right of the Republican Party
private armies are goose-steps away from Nazi Brownshirts of late 1920’s Germany
US Special Forces in Afpak not until this month under control of McChrystal. They reported to Petraeus in Tampa. McChrystal rose leading US Joint Special Operations Command who were on campaigns of liquidation and intimidation in Iraq, and
To the Pentagon’s fury, CIA runs its own. paramilitary drone assassination ops. 90%
are civilians. "wet affairs" undermine the agency. CIA’s paramilitaries report to Langley. Pakistan is not informed
How many of the 15 other US intelligence agencies are running private armies. special forces from NATO whose operations are deep secret
Australia criticism for attacks on civilians by SAS units
Britain’s renowned SAS and SBS commandos are very active
US brands all as "illegal combatants, denying them due process and Geneva Convention
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
A neoconservative (also spelled "neo-conservative"; colloquially, neocon) in American politics is someone presented as a conservative but who actually favors big government, interventionalism, and a hostility to religion in politics and government. The word means "newly conservative," and thus formerly liberal. Many neocons had been liberals in their youth and admired President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The defining position of a neoconservative is advocacy of an American foreign policy that seeks to install democracy in other nations. That reflects both their emphasis on foreign policy and their downplaying the significance of the differences in cultures and religion around the globe. The neoconservative position was discredited in the failure of democracy in the Iranian elections of 2009.
The neoconservative movement emerged in the mid 1970s, played a limited role in the Ronald Reagan Administration, and then had a voice in the Defense Department under the George W. Bush Administration after 2001.
Neoconservatives are often preferred by liberals to portray the conservative voice in the media, as in television talk shows, newspaper columnists, magazines, think tanks, and advisory positions in Republican Administrations. Irving Kristol and Leo Strauss were the major founders of the movement.
Some prominent spokesmen include Bill Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Daniel Pipes, Charles Krauthammer, Richard Perle, Robert Kagan, Christopher Hitchens, Stephen Schwartz, Elliott Abrams, Ben Wattenberg and Carl Gershman.
In contrast to traditional conservatives, neoconservatives favor globalism, downplay religious issues and differences, are unlikely to actively oppose abortion and homosexuality. Neocons disagree with conservatives on issues such as classroom prayer, the separation of powers, cultural unity, and immigration. Neocons favor a strong active state in world affairs. Neocons oppose affirmative action with greater emphasis and priority than other conservatives do.
Neoconservatives did not dominate the George W. Bush administration but did support its foreign policy, and especially favored the Iraq War and its efforts to spread democracy worldwide. Neoconservatives also favor military action against Iran.
The Corporate Globalization Network (hereafter called the "Franchisor" agrees to provide to the Local Comprador (hereafter called the "Franchisee"):
1) training in media propaganda, subversion of democracy, and destruction of the middle class and intellectuals
1a) there will be an extra charge for corporate media propaganda in favor of franchisee's "movement" in the first world press
2) covert arms shipments and training for paramilitaries before the coup
3) organization and training of secret police and outsized armies after the coup
4) Chicago-school economic advisors to organize the pillaging of the economy by multinationals
5) access to money-laundering and capital flight services
6) diplomatic recognition from the U.S. and other gangster franchisors.
The Franchisee agrees to provide the Franchisor:
1) the superficial appearance of being a democracy
2) the destruction of all government price supports and subsidies for social services.
3) the privatization of all natural resources, such as petroleum and fresh water.
4) the outlawing of trade unions
4a) where this is not possible, assassinations of labor leaders is an acceptable substitute.
5) the avoidance or repeal of inconvenient laws on environmental protection
6) adherence to the dictates of the IMF, the WTO, and other international loan sharks.
7) the destabilization of neighboring regimes who refuse to "get with the program"
8) finally, the franchisee agrees to generally behave as the franchisor tells him to.
The Franchisor permits the Franchisee to make a profit:
1) by exploiting his citizens and his country's resources
2) by graft and corruption,
3) by intimidation and ethnic cleansing,
4) by growing drug crops or participating in drug smuggling,
5) by being an offshore banking haven,
6) or by any other of the various criminal means accepted by the global elites.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that black women get almost 40 percent of the country’s abortions, even though blacks make up only 13 percent of the population. Nearly 40 percent of black pregnancies end in induced abortion, a rate far higher than for white or Hispanic women.
"We have never had negative equity like this at the national level in as many different regions as we have now,"...borrowers who are underwater in 142 distinct markets
1. Las Vegas
whatever you bought it's worth about half. More than 81 percent of single-family home mortgages in Las Vegas had negative equity...it may take 20 years
to climb back
2. Merced, Calif.
5. Greeley, Colo.
6. Bend, Ore.
7. Minneapolis-St. Paul
10. Grand Rapids, Mich.
Gandhians with a Gun? Arundhati Roy plunges into the sea of Gondi people to find some answers...
Comrade Sukhdev asks if he can download the music from my Ipod onto his computer. We listen to a recording of Iqbal Bano singing Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s Hum Dekhenge (We will Witness the Day) at the famous concert in Lahore at the height of the repression during the Zia-ul-Haq years.
Masnad pe bithaiye jayenge
(When the heretics and the reviled will be seated on high)
Sab taaj uchhale jayenge
Sab takht giraye jayenge
(All crowns will be snatched away
All thrones toppled)
Fifty thousand people in the audience in that Pakistan begin a defiant chant: Inqilab Zindabad! Inqilab Zindabad! All these years later, that chant reverberates around this forest. Strange, the alliances that get made.
(English Translation) We shall see
We shall see
It is a must that we shall see
The day that has been prophesized
The one written on the Tablet of Fate
We shall see
When the insurmountable mountains of oppression
Shall blow as if cotton flakes
And beneath the feet of us common folk
This land will throb with a deafening sound
And upon the heads of the despotic folk
Lightening will strike a thundering pound.
We shall see
When from the Palace of our Lord
All earthly gods will be taken out
We, righteous ones, outcasts of Church,
shall don a glorious robe, no doubt.
All crowns will fly
All thrones will fall
We shall see
Only the name of the Lord will stay on
who is unseen, yet ever seeing
who is the sight, as well as the scene
The shout of "I am The Truth"* shall rise
which is true for you and I
and the creation of the Lord will rule
which is true for you and I.
We shall see
It is a must that we shall see
We shall see.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
The case is most notable for the obiter dictum statement that corporations are entitled to protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Preceding every case entry is a headnote, a short summary in which a court reporter summarizes the opinion as well as outlining the main facts and arguments.
The court reporter, J.C. Bancroft Davis, wrote the following as part of the headnote for the case:
"The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does."
In other words, corporations enjoyed the same rights under the Fourteenth Amendment as did natural persons. However, this issue is absent from the court's opinion itself.
John Chandler Bancroft Davis (December 22, 1822 – December 27, 1907), commonly known as Bancroft Davis, was an American lawyer, judge, diplomat, and president of Newburgh and New York Railway Company.
Acting as court reporter in the 1886 Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad case, Davis is a key figure in the corporate personhood debate. Journalists have since cited Davis's prior position as president of Newburgh and New York Railway as evidence of a conflict of interest in the corporate personhood interpretation of the ruling.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
To the delight of Mahmoud Zahar and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Israel's homemade weapons of mass destruction - pro-settlement bureaucrats with conflicts of financial and ideological interest - have done in one meeting what Israel's foes have sought for generations: driving a stake through the heart of Israel's relationship with the White House.
We should have known. But in the swamp of anomaly and impossibility that is Jerusalem, you can easily lose sight of, and belief in, the basics:
Bradley Burston is a columnist for Israel's Haaretz Newspaper, and
Senior Editor of Haaretz.com which publishes his blog, "A Special Place in Hell." During the first Palestinian uprising, he served as Gaza correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, and was the paper's military correspondent in the 1991 Gulf War. In the mid-1990s he covered Israeli-Arab peace talks for Reuters. He is a recipient of the Eliav-Sartawi Award for Mideast Journalism, presented at the United Nations in 2006.
Burston was born and raised in Los Angeles. After graduating from UC Berkeley, he moved to Israel, where he was part of a group which established Kibbutz Gezer, between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Burston served in the IDF as a combat medic, later studying medicine in Be'er Sheva for two years before turning to journalism.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
"He went on to say that Obama's anti-Semitism stems from years of indoctrination by controversial preacher Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom Obama distanced himself from during the election campaign."
Monday, March 15, 2010
Here is a video that discusses Hillary Clinton's recent disastrous tour in Latin America
The big changes that are taking place in Latin America are changes that took place for real structural reasons. The economic growth failure that has taken place over the last thirty years, s the worse economic performance in over a century an economic policy led by the IMF and the World Bank under US leadership.
The changes that Mark Weisbrot is referring to in this video over the last thirty years is called Neoliberalism by the world and Reaganism, Thatcherism by the local marks.
Jeff Gates is the author of the highly-regarded Democracy At Risk: Rescuing Main Street From Wall Street, a sequel to The Ownership Solution: Toward A Shared Capitalism For The 21st Century. The latter book was described by one reviewer as "the best book on economics for a generation," and praised by Ralph Nader as "a Capitalist Manifesto, a blueprint for spreading the benefits of capitalism more equitably."
From those books comes these quotes
"In financial systems, results are downstream of the 'Chicago model' – a shared mindset from which today's results flow. Over the past half-century, this market-fundamentalist perspective evolved into the 'Washington' consensus to emerge as the guiding principle of the World Trade Organization (WTO) now taking this model to global scale."
"At the core of this worldview lies a premise whose purpose is easily stated: 'maximize financial returns and – trust us – all else will be fine.' Faith in that perspective ensured today's results," Gates explains.
The "law and economics" movement referred to by Gates also traces its origins to the University of Chicago. As key opponents of financial regulation, this movement was heavily funded by the same Olin Foundation that also supported neoconservatism through its funding of neocon think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute.
"Nowhere in this operating system is there any provision for the values essential to the long-term health of communities: fiscal foresight, civil cohesion and environmental sustainability. Money is the only value granted a voice."
"In the financial domain, 'the people in between' are securities bundlers, rating agencies and, most fundamentally, those who induce "the mark" (the public) to put their faith in the financial premise that enables this ongoing fraud.
"All flows downstream from a 'consensus' perspective – regardless whether the deception is a shared belief in Iraqi weapons of mass destruction or a consensus faith in the infallibility of unfettered financial markets. The modus operandi is identical – the displacement of facts with beliefs."
The countries in BRIC have excused themselves from neoliberalism. The only people still being screwed by this monster is the US and its allies. Far from being an FDR, Obama has hired the very worst of these engineers of neoliberalism, has doubled down, and is throwing this monstrous economic system into overdrive
Here are a couple of statements from this article:
Neoconservatives are often preferred by liberals to portray the conservative voice in the media, as in television talk shows, newspaper columnists, magazines, think tanks, and advisory positions in Republican Administrations.
This is not a new concept to me, although I don't think I have seen it stated this forcefully.
Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman, JFK, LBJ, Carter, Clinton, Obama, it is hard to look at this list and not see the architects and engineers of empire.
Glenn Greenwald is this era's chronicler of the process, see here,
Paleoconservatives, who dislike Neoconservatism intensely, have argued that it emerged from Trotskyite theories, especially the notion of permanent revolution. There are four fundamental flaws in the paleoconservatives' attack...
Paleoconservatives are basically what used to be called the Goldwater wing of the Republican Party, and before that, the Taft Wing. Their opinions are currently being "aggregated" here.
I think Gore Vidal summed up the process, found here:
There is only one party in the United States, the Property Party...and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt—until recently... and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.
UPDATE: See here
Saturday, March 13, 2010
"Hello," I said, taking a deep breath. "My name is Matt. My father was an alcoholic circus clown who used to beat me with his oversize shoes."
I closed my own eyes and kept going, immediately realizing what a mistake I'd made. There was no way this story was going to fly. But there was no turning back.
"He'd be sitting there in his costume, sucking down a beer and watching television," I heard myself saying. "And then sometimes, even if I just walked in front of the TV, he'd pull off one of those big shoes and just, you know — whap!"
I managed to tie up my confession with a tale about turning into a drug addict in my midtwenties — at least that much was true — and being startled into sobriety and religion after learning of my estranged clown father's passing from cirrhosis.
So it began. Our meetings were a prolonged, cyclical course of group-directed confession and healing that began on Friday evening and continued almost without interruption through Sunday afternoon. The basic gist of our group exercises was this: We were each supposed to reveal to one another what our great childhood wounds were, then write a series of essays and letters on the wound theme, taking time after the writing of each to read our work aloud. The written assignments began with an autobiography, then moved on to a letter written to our "offenders" (i.e., those who had caused our wounds), then a letter written to Jesus confessing our failure to forgive our tormentors.
Unfortunately, my one fleeting error of judgment about my circus-clown dad had left me shackled to a rank character absurdity for the rest of my stay in Texas. I soon found myself reading aloud a passage from my "autobiography" describing a period of my father's life when he quit clowning to hand out fliers in a Fudgie the Whale costume outside a Carvel ice cream store:
I laugh about it now, but once he chased me, drunk, in his Fudgie the Whale costume. He chased me into the bathroom, laid me across the toilet seat and hit me with his fins, which underneath were still a man's hands.
Again no reaction from the group, aside from an affirming nod from José at the last part — his eyes said to me, I know what you mean about those fins.
And that's the problem, according to Jeff Gates, author of the highly-regarded Democracy At Risk: Rescuing Main Street From Wall Street, a sequel to The Ownership Solution: Toward A Shared Capitalism For The 21st Century. The latter book was described by one reviewer as "the best book on economics for a generation," and praised by Ralph Nader as "a Capitalist Manifesto, a blueprint for spreading the benefits of capitalism more equitably."
"In financial systems, results are downstream of the 'Chicago model' – a shared mindset from which today's results flow. Over the past half-century, this market-fundamentalist perspective evolved into the 'Washington' consensus to emerge as the guiding principle of the World Trade Organization (WTO) now taking this model to global scale."
Jeff Gates' latest book, Guilt by Association: How Deception and Self-Deceit Took America to War, traces the corruption
to a network who "share an ideological bias sympathetic to Israel
the intellectual roots of neoconservatism can also be traced to Chicago, where University of Chicago Professor Albert Wohlstetter's cadre of students included Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz. Wohlstetter himself had been a protégé of another University of Chicago Professor, Leo Strauss. Considered to be the "intellectual godfather" of the neocons, Strauss significantly advocated a "philosophy of deception."
The pace is poised to quicken in this policy-enabled redistribution of wealth – from the bottom to the top."
* Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer based in Japan.
Who’s to blame for the Iraq war?
A not-so-trivial quiz
(Islam Times) - Maidhc Ó Cathail presents a detailed 20 question quiz with answers at the end. This quiz clarifies many points about the Iraq War.
This month marks the seventh anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Despite the passage of time, there is still much confusion, some of it deliberate, about why America made that fateful decision. The following questions are intended to clarify who’s to blame for the Iraq war.
1. Ahmed Chalabi
2. In 1982, “A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s” appeared in Kivunim
3. “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” a report prepared for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996
4. A November 1997 Weekly Standard editorial titled “Saddam Must Go”
5. In Tyranny’s Ally: America’s Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein, published by AEI Press in 1999
6. On September 15, 2001 at Camp David, the Deputy Defense Secretary attempted to justify a US attack on Iraq rather than Afghanistan because it was “doable
7. On September 23, 2001, which US senator, who had pushed for the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998
“suggests Saddam Hussein
involved in the September 11 attack
8. A November 12, 2001 New York Times editorial called an alleged meeting between Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi agent in Prague an “undisputed fact”?
9. A November 20, 2001 Wall Street Journal op-ed argued that the US should continue to target regimes that sponsor terrorism, claiming, “Iraq is the obvious candidate
10. George W. Bush’s January 2002 State of the Union address described Iraq as part of an “axis of evil
1. “Yet whether or not Iraq
no victory in this war if it ends with Saddam Hussein still in power
“How to win World War IV”?
12. Which Pentagon Defense Policy Board member
“I believe that demolishing Hussein’s military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk”?
13. “If we win the war, we are in control of Iraq, it is the single largest source of oil in the world
14. In a September 20, 2002 Wall Street Journal
could be hiding nuclear material “in centrifuges the size of washing machines” throughout the country?
15. “Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990—it’s the threat against Israel.
16. According to a December 7, 2002 New York Times article
to make sure that Secretary Powell did not make too many concessions
17. Who was Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff, until he was indicted
who drafted Colin Powell’s fraudulent February 5, 2003 UN speech?
18. According to Julian Borger’s July 17, 2003 Guardian article titled “The spies who pushed for war,
Who was the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy who headed the OSP
19. Which British-born professor emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University
“Clash of Civilizations,”
Answers: 1. Albert Wohlstetter 2. Oded Yinon 3. Richard Perle 4. William Kristol and Robert Kagan 5. David Wurmser 6. Paul Wolfowitz 7. Joseph Lieberman 8. William Safire 9. Eliot Cohen 10. David Frum 11. Norman Podhoretz 12. Kenneth Adelman 13. Charles Krauthammer 14. Benjamin Netanyahu 15. Philip Zelikow 16. Elliott Abrams 17. Lewis “Scooter” Libby 18. Douglas Feith 19. Bernard Lewis
Conspiracy theories and government infiltration
Sunstein co-authored a 2008 paper with Adrian Vermeule, titled Conspiracy Theories, in which they wrote, "The existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories, we suggest, is no trivial matter, posing real risks to the government’s antiterrorism policies, whatever the latter may be." They go on to propose that, "the best response consists in cognitive infiltration of extremist groups", where they suggest, among other tactics, "Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action."
Sunstein and Vermeule also analyze the practice of secret government payments to outside commentators, who are then held out as independent experts; they suggest that "government can supply these independent experts with information and perhaps prod them into action from behind the scenes," further warning that "too close a connection will be self-defeating if it is exposed." Sunstein and Vermeule argue that the practice of enlisting non-government officials, "might ensure that credible independent experts offer the rebuttal, rather than government officials themselves. There is a tradeoff between credibility and control, however. The price of credibility is that government cannot be seen to control the independent experts." This position has been criticized by some commentators, who argue that it would violate prohibitions on government propaganda aimed at domestic citizens.
"I think the basic facts here indicate that these attacks occurred as a consequence of a conspiracy," Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic senator from Nebraska who was a member of the commission, told me. "Unlike the Kennedy assassination, we're not asking, 'Was there a conspiracy?' In the case of the attack on the United States you begin with the presumption that there was a conspiracy. The 'conspiracy theorists' are presenting an alternative conspiracy."
Whether you take the official view or the conspiracy theorists' view, the 9/11 attacks were not only spectacularly horrific, they were also spectacularly strange and complex. Ultimately, for many of us who aren't experts, choosing what to believe about 9/11 is something like a leap of faith. If you trust members of the 9/11 Commission and the government's structural engineers you'll put your money on the official explanation; in a larger sense, if you trust your government you'll find it truly difficult to comprehend the possibility that anyone on the inside could have been behind something like this.
And it's on the key point of motive -- why would the government do this?
Bob Kerrey, the former Democratic senator from Nebraska who was a member of the
"Unlike the Kennedy assassination, In the case of the attack on the United States you
begin with the presumption that there was a conspiracy.
Whether you take the official view or the conspiracy theorists' view, the 9/11
attacks were spectacularly strange and complex
Choosing what to believe about 9/11 is a leap of faith
That means no matter what you believe about 911. It is a leap of faith. No matter
where you leap, there are consequences.
If you choose to leap into the arms of Cheney/Rove/Zelikow/Bush that means more of the same and a serious acceleration of that "same". This year alone that amounted to a minimum of an unsustainable $1 Trillion military budget and global war.
If you choose to leap the other way and enough people take that leap, then the
logical conclusion of that leap is revolution
There are no decent leaps to choose from.
Friday, March 12, 2010
“The people who move the world can also stop it,’ radical dockworkers like to say, and that captures the essential fragility of a global production and distribution system that depends on the precise coordination of hundreds of thousands of moving parts. If some of those moving parts—workers at a major trucking hub, a major rail switching network or, especially, a strategic string of ports—refuse to do their part, the whole system gets jammed up. Refuse long enough and broadly enough, and the system would be in crisis. “
U.S. Supreme Court’s notorious January 21, 2010, ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission,
“The United States was born in rebellion against corporations,” Gaffney writes. “The U.S. Supreme Court soon began restoring their power. When it overreached, strong executives and popular movements set it back: under
- Andrew Jackson,
- Abraham Lincoln,
- Teddy Roosevelt, and
Gaffney assays, “Will ‘ordinary’ taxpayers rebel, as they did in the American Revolution, Emancipation, the Progressive Age of Reform, and the New Deal, or will corporate power wax unchecked until it replaces democracy altogether?
I hoped Avatar would get a big Oscar. It would have honored a truly uncompromising anti-war, anti-American-Empire movie.
The Hurt Locker, including ones for Best Movie and Best Director. The film’s director, Kathryn Bigelow, said at the end of her acceptance speech, “I'd like to dedicate this to the women and men in the military who risk their lives on a daily basis in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world and may they come home safe.”
There is also surely no way that any movie about a serving unit in Iraq would have been in the running for an Oscar back in Bush time.
The Hurt Locker with scenes shot in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. “We had these Blackwater guys that were working with us in the Middle East and they taught us like tactical maneuvers and stuff – how to just basically position yourself and move with a gun,” Hurt Locker actor Anthony Mackie told the New York Times’ Melena Ryzik.
“We were shooting in Palestinian refugee camps. We were shooting in some pretty hard places. It wasn't like we were without enemies. There were people there looking at us, 'cuz we were three guys in American military suits runnin' around with guns. It was nothing easy about it. It was always a compromising situation.”
The New York Times writer Melena Ryzik describes how Mackie showed her how the Blackwater men trained him to hold his weapon. “If you're a trained killer,” Mackie told Ryzik, “you're very precise.”
Feb 19th Press Conference WebCast Recording Is Now Available
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and 7420 other supporters including A&E students
have signed the petition demanding of Congress
a truly independent investigation.
The petition is open to everyone.
Sign the Petition
News from AE911Truth
Mar 11, 2010
CrossTalk on 9/11: Whodunit?
200+ Senior Military, Intelligence Service, Law Enforcement, and Government Officials
1,060+ Engineers and Architects
250+ Pilots and Aviation Professionals
400+ Professors Question 9/11
300+ 9/11 Survivors and Family Members
200+ Artists, Entertainers, and Media Professionals
41 U.S. Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Agency Veterans Challenge the Official Account of 9/11 – Official Account of 9/11: “Terribly Flawed,” “Laced with Contradictions,” “a Joke,” “a Cover-up” English, Danish, French, German, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Swedish
Senior Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement,
and Government Officials Question
the 9/11 Commission Report
Many well known and respected senior U.S. military officers, intelligence services and law enforcement veterans, and government officials have expressed significant criticism of the 9/11 Commission Report or have made public statements that contradict the Report. Several even allege government complicity in the terrible acts of 9/11. This page of the website is a collection of their statements. The website does not represent any organization and it should be made clear that none of these individuals are affiliated with this website.
The Corbett Report
5 March, 2010
When losing a discussion on the facts of 9/11, a so-called 9/11 "debunker" will often rely on an old canard to "prove" that 9/11 could not have been an inside job: "So many people want their quarter hour of fame that even the Men in Black couldn't squelch the squealers from spilling the beans," write self-satisfied defenders of the government story. According to the logic of this argument, if there are no 9/11 whistleblowers then 9/11 was not an inside job.
A nutjob, right?
But he joins quite a few other Congressmen:
According to the Co-Chair of the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 and former Head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Bob Graham, an FBI informant had hosted and rented a room to two hijackers in 2000 and that, when the Inquiry sought to interview the informant, the FBI refused outright, and then hid him in an unknown location, and that a high-level FBI official stated these blocking maneuvers were undertaken under orders from the White House(confirmed here)
Current Democratic U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy said "The two questions that the congress will not ask . . . is why did 9/11 happen on George Bush's watch when he had clear warnings that it was going to happen? Why did they allow it to happen?"
Current Republican Congressman Ron Paul calls for a new 9/11 investigationand states that "we see the [9/11] investigations that have been done so far as more or less cover-up and no real explanation of what went on"
Current Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich hints that we aren't being told the truth about 9/11
Less helpful were his (The vice president)comments that Israel's announcement on building in East Jerusalem was endangering American troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is the kind of rhetoric that does exactly what Mr. Biden has studiously avoided doing, linking the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to America's larger Middle East challenges, and it unnecessarily calls into question Israel's role as an ally and the impact on American interests. The Mearsheimer and Walts of this world will delight in this kind of criticism of Israel.
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
The American Revolution shook up the entire world. The thirteen British colonies that would become the United States of America, fought and won against the most powerful imperial power on the planet. In the years following the American victory over the British, the hopes of the masses were betrayed. As a result, there were many popular movements and uprisings. But none had as big an impact on the psychology of the ruling class and the future structure of the U.S. government as Shays’ Rebellion of 1786-87, which some have called “The American Revolution’s Final Battle.”
Friday, March 05, 2010
We'd like now to present you with 8 pieces of the evidence that we've promised.
These pieces relate either to physical impossibilities or to logical implausabilties in the Official Story as that Story addresses the U.S. military's unprecedented lack of response, the hijacked airliners, the crash into the Pentagon, and the collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings, on 9/11/01.
volume of the building within 30 seconds of the start of the collapse.
In an effort to draw more attention to the critical issues and troubling questions raised by the testimony of these insiders, The Corbett Report has just released a documentary exploration of key government and corporate whistleblowers, including a discussion of whistleblower protection and what the public can do to facilitate a wider distribution and awareness of this information. Download an mp3 audio file of the documentary or listen to it in the player below:
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
- 1 911 Truth Videos
- 1.1 AE911Truth Press Conference, Feb. 19, 2010
- 1.1.1 Part 1/6 – AE911 Truth 1000 – SF Press Conference
- 1.1.2 Part 2/6 – AE911 Truth 1000 – SF Press Conference
- 1.1.3 Part 3/6 – AE911 Truth 1000 – SF Press Conference
- 1.1.4 Part 4/6 – AE911 Truth 1000 – SF Press Conference
- 1.1.5 Part 5/6 – AE911 Truth 1000 – SF Press Conference
- 1.1.6 Part 6/6 – AE911 Truth 1000 – SF Press Conference
- 1.2 AlienScientist's 911 Videos
- 1.3 Niels M. Harrit - TV 2 News Interview
- 1.1 AE911Truth Press Conference, Feb. 19, 2010
- 2 Resources
- 3 See also
# David Ray Griffin, author of "The Mysterious Collapse of WTC 7", talking about the questionable science of NIST, concluding that they lied and are party to the cover-up;
# Steven E. Jones, professor Emeritus from BYU who talked about evidence found in the WTC dust that can only be explained by intentional demolition; and
# Eric Lawyer, founder of Firefighters for 911 Truth, who pointed out the many ways in which long-established protocols for handling crime scenes involving fire and building collapse were egregiously violated, consistent with a cover-up.
My favorites were the presentations by Eric Lawyer (video 6/6), and Steven E. Jones (videos 4b/6 and 5/6)
The question isn't who or why anymore so much as how. How could 200 thousand tonnes of steel have dropped to the ground in under 11 seconds because of a fire? Over a thousand engineers and architects say it simlpy couldn't, not the way it happened on September 11, and now they want a new investigation. Tim King has been following this issue in quite some time.
For more from our Washington bureau go to http://www.youtube.com/RTAmerica
Monday, March 01, 2010
"The prospect of the Arctic being navigable during summer months, leading to both shorter shipping routes and access to untapped energy resources, has impelled the Chinese government to allocate more resources to Arctic research,"
She points out that the country has one of the world's strongest polar scientific research capabilities and already owns the world's largest non-nuclear icebreaker.
Last year Beijing approved the building of a new high-tech polar expedition research icebreaker, to set sail in 2013.