Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Just Fucking OBSCENE!

Via makethemaccountable

Capital Eye
, 31-Jul-09

An abominable

The nation’s congressional candidates — 1,374 in all — raised $168.5 million between April and June of this year and spent $73.6 million of that. That includes anyone with an open committee, whether they’re running in 2010, 2012 or beyond.
I did the math. It works out to a mean rate of contrubution to every single Congressional candidate of $122,634.64. In one quarter. In the middle of a recession. With health-care for the average Murkin growing ever dimnmer, with the global climate catastrophe metastacizing, with the economy in tatters--but the banksters ever fatter and sleeker and greedier--the people either charged with or aspiring to govern us have been grubbing up to the lobbyist/special interest/corporatist money tit for every bit of lucre for which their vote--either real or potential--can be sold.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Douchebag Dumb-fuckism of the Day


And 10 Times as Many Clueless Pundits
07/28/2009 by Jim Naureckas

Asked by a Canadian viewer, "Has anyone noticed that life expectancy in Canada under our health system is higher than the USA?" Bill O'Reilly (7/27/09) responded: "Well, that's to be expected, Peter, because we have 10 times as many people as you do. That translates to 10 times as many accidents, crimes, down the line."
Yes, yes, he REALLY said that. Really.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

War Crimes? I'll Tell Ya What! Let's Make 'Em Into A Video Game!!!

Hallelujah! NPR's "Fair & Balanced" treatment of the new video-game, "Six Days in Fallujah!," renders the verdict: "A new video game has upset the families of some Iraq war veterans. "Six Days in Fallujah" takes gamers into a simulation of the 2004 battle. The creators say this is entertainment with substance. Critics say war is not for the amusement of others."

Marines who fought the engagement are said to have contributed (presumably with satisfactory remuneration for such) to the 'reality' of the game. USAToday, in April, printed this adulatory report, in which USer Marines explain:
"This is the first opportunity anybody has had to get this level of insight into an actual battle," says Peter Tamte of Atomic Games. "The missions are re-creations of real firefights, mapped out by the Marines in the actual firefight."

Dane Thompson, a corporal during the battle who ended his service as a sergeant in June 2005, says the game is "a way to get a small taste (of battle) without any of the danger or potential life-changing events. (The battle's) first week was hell on Earth."

Thompson, who helped capture a train station to use as a headquarters during the battle, says he and other Marines discussed tactics and even sketched out homes they had secured. Some of the Marines also had their likenesses digitized to appear in the game.

"Something that most people don't realize, there is this huge battle going on and we are getting shot at, there's buildings blowing up next to us, and we're still making jokes," he says. "That's how Marines are. I think they are going to try to bring that to the game, too."
So you, too, can experience the jolly camaraderie of Marines killing "raghaids" for fun and profit.

Except that the 'reality' of the battle, as reported by Dahr Jamail. He was on the scene and NOT "embedded" portrays the events there in 2004 (after the Iraqis had had the effrontery to kill, and then to defile the corpses of, a couple of Blackwater mercs sent there to kill them) and presents quite a different view. Moreover the Guardian's George Monbiot is explicit:
"Both the invasion of Iraq and the assault on Fallujah were illegal acts of aggression. Before attacking the city, the marines stopped men "of fighting age" from leaving. Many women and children stayed: the Guardian's correspondent estimated that between 30,000 and 50,000 civilians were left. The marines treated Falluja as if its only inhabitants were fighters. They levelled thousands of buildings, illegally denied access to the Iraqi Red Crescent and, according to the UN's special rapporteur, used 'hunger and deprivation of water as a weapon of war against the civilian population'."
Not to mention the flagrant, illegal use of white phosphorus... (The foregoing was shamelessly pilfered from NPRCheck, according to whom:
Interestingly, NPR's coverage of the video game is almost identical to the same "fair and balanced" story on Fox and Friends back on June 11, 2009 - although NPR's story is - if anything - more praiseworthy of the US destruction of Fallujah. Both stories cover only the critique of the video game as offensive to the families of US soldiers killed in Fallujah - not the atrocities committed by the US military there. Like Fox's coverage, NPR's positive spin focuses on the use of the game to teach about what NPR's Laura Sydell calls "a pivotal moment in the Iraqi conflict." Like Fox she allows game consultant and Fallujah veteran, retired Marine Captain Read Omohundro to tout the educational value of the game, claiming that it "will explain the war to people in a manner that helps them associate why war is not a game." Given the complete omission of the cost of the Fallujah attack on human life and infrastructure in the city, Leyden's statement that "Six Days in Fallujah recreates the feel and look of the city as well as actual events in the battle" is painful to swallow.

As an interesting aside, if you look at this web page from Atomic Games, the company creating "Six Days of Fallujah" you can read the following in the "About Atomic Games" section:
"Headquartered in Raleigh, NC, Atomic Games is a video game development studio pioneering new kinds of Historical Action video games. Atomic is owned by a variety of employees and investors, including In-Q-Tel, a private venture capital firm funded by the United States Central Intelligence Agency."
Rest assured, no marines in the vid ever shoot any unarmed women or children, or call in artillery or air-strikes against buildings without knowing who's inside them.

It doesn't take much of a tin-foil hat to believe that the CIA has a covert agenda in their support of such sheer, pure propaganda devices. My congratulations to MyTWords for his good catch. (Emphases supplied, throughout. Ed.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Muchos Kudos To "Bluegal!"

This is brilliantly clear and concise, and told with admirable restraint; but that is almost totally unimportant.

Because the issue at stake here, really, is not the existence of Obama's birth certificate. It is that the Birthers, who are 99.999999999% white folks, do not have the nerve to face the social opprobrium that might descend upon them if they were just standing there shouting "Obama's a fucking NIGGER, for fucks'sake. Can't you see that? He's a fucking NIGGER! Why won't you listen to me? He's A NIGGER!!!!" Such discourse might elicit the disapproval of even middull murka, so coarsely expressed. So they complain about the birth certificate, as loudly and as ferociously and as tenaciously as they would if they were cheering on a lynching.

(Note I said "might." Prowling the webs, one encounters feculent pustules of exactly that sentiment, which I suspect, on such evidence, is much more wide-spread than most in the "exceptionalist" establishment would be comfortable admitting. Also, I lived in Louisiana during one period when David Duke had some prominence, and heard far too often for my comfort that Duke was "only saying what needed to be said, just that he mightn't be the right fella to be saying it.")

I say this as a privileged, white, male, born in 1946, and raised in a discreetly and genteelly racist home, with educated parents, and who at a certain point recognized the viciousness of his own prejudices and worked diligently, if never completely successfully, to eradicate them: a "recovering" racist asshole, am I. Perhaps, just as it is alleged to take a thief to spot a thief, it takes a (reformed) racist to recognize the real deal on the hoof.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Program Note: Bill Moyers, w/ Trudy Lieberman (CJR) Tomorrow Night

Bill Moyers Journal examines partisan messages on health care reform. (Photo: Stephen St. John / National Geographic, via Getty Images)
Airdate: Friday, July 24, 2009, at 9:00 PM (EDT) on PBS (check local listings).

The debate over health care rages on, but is real reform even on the table? "Bill Moyers Journal" examines the partisan messages that have emerged in the crossfire to find out who's playing politics to influence, and possibly derail, real reform. Bill Moyers sits down with Trudy Lieberman, director of the health and medical reporting program at the CUNY Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and Marcia Angell, senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Awwwww-some, part 3

This is very cool. But the asswipes in Blightey are trying to extirpate english badgers on the un-proven theory that they transmit some bovine disease.

Badgerz ROOL!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baucus: "Taking the Filth...errr...Fifth"?

Quite possibly the member of the Dim caucus who is the most unapologetically, thoroughly compromised, most corrupt, most sold-out to health insurance parasites' special interests, Slappsy Maxie "quietly" stopped taking campaign/PAC contributions from the Health Insurance Parasites on June 1, 2009. But not from lobbyists and industry officials.

But, according to DougJ, on Balloon Juice and the WaPo, not from HIP lobbyists.
Top health executives and lobbyists have continued to flock to the (Baucus’s) often extravagant fundraising events in recent months. During a Senate break in late June ('09), for example, Baucus held his 10th annual fly-fishing and golfing weekend in Big Sky, Mont., for a minimum donation of $2,500. Later this month comes “Camp Baucus,” a “trip for the whole family” that adds horseback riding and hiking to the list of activities.

To avoid any appearance of favoritism, his aides say, Baucus quietly began refusing contributions from health-care political action committees after June 1. But the policy does not apply to lobbyists or corporate executives, who continued to make donations, disclosure records show.

Baucus declined requests to comment for this article. Spokesman Tyler Matsdorf said the senator “is only driven by one thing: what is right for Montana and the country. And he will continue his open process of working together with the president, his colleagues in Congress, and groups and individuals from across the nation to get this legislation passed.”
Meanwhile, on Buzzflash, PM Carpenter--who is frequently way too forgiving of Dim pols for my taste--mines the same data and offers this analysis:
There he sits: Chairman of the powerful Senate finance committee, in too-prominent charge of health-care reform. Yet progress has bottlenecked, stalled, sputtered, and become suspiciously hypercomplicated and conservatively malodorous -- precisely the point at which real and sitting criminal defendants start muttering about pure "coincidences."

Uh-huh. Let's see. Let's do take a gander at Max's purely coincidental financial background in ... uh ... possible relation to the above complications.

The sixth-term senator Baucus, reported the Post, "stands out for the rising tide of health-care contributions to his campaign committee, Friends of Max Baucus, and his political-action committee, Glacier PAC." How "friendly" have they been? Very friendly. In fact, from 2003 to 2008, "Baucus collected $3 million from the health and insurance sectors"; and this additional statistic is every bit as staggering -- "about 20 percent of the total, data show."

In merely the last two preceding years, "health-related companies and their employees gave Baucus's political committees nearly $1.5 million." True enough, Max was running for reelection in 2008, so his corporate and lobbying and executive contributions were bound to spike. Their flagrancy, however, is what's breathtaking, coming in such large aggregate sums on the virtual eve of health-care reform's legislative introduction.

Montana Max's reelection coffers were notably non-Montanan, observed the Post; less than 10 percent of his ready cash was homegrown. "Top out-of-state corporate contributors included Schering-Plough, New York Life Insurance, Amgen, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield; individual executives such as Richard T. Clark, chief executive and president of drugmaker Merck, have also made regular donations."

The Post then added, almost tautologically, "Most of these companies ... strongly oppose a public insurance option." Yeah, most do.

And if you haven't read the Post piece yet, then here's a jaw-dropping kicker you'll love at first sight: "To avoid any appearance of favoritism, his aides say, Baucus quietly began refusing contributions from health-care political action committees after June 1." Goddamn that was considerate and self-sacrificial of him; and coy, too -- Max really flushed that "appearance of favoritism" away, didn't he?

Oh, it gets even better. Said his aides -- those who haven't yet departed for six-figure incomes from the health-care industry they're now "negotiating" with -- "the policy [the donor ban, that is] does not apply to lobbyists or corporate executives." (More than a few of Baucus' former staffers, by the way, "including two chiefs of staff, [now] lobby on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry." Fortunate happenstance. Dumb luck. Pure coincidence.)

In one, very fundamental way, the complications we're witnessing with comprehensive health-care reform have nothing to do with the health-care industry per se. It's literally innocent, as is, legally although not ethically, Sen. Max Baucus. Both are only doing what human nature too often dictates: looking after Number One.

No, the fundamental problem exists in the way in which lawmakers permit themselves to fund themselves. It is that which vastly transcends mere health-care reform and poisons virtually every other progressive measure, from energy revamping to defense spending to equitable taxation ... ad infinitum.

A public option in health care? Hell, until there's a thundering public insistence on exclusive public financing of political campaigns, the darker side of Washington's human nature will generally (ALWAYS) prevail. (edit supplied)
How corrupt is Baucus? From Bob Cesca's Awesome blog:
He's earning $1,500 a day from the healthcare and health insurance industries.

$1,500 a day.

And he's the chairman of one of the two Senate committees tasked with passing healthcare reform.
And don't let the phraseology confuse you: Fucking the American people as often, as consistently, as predictably as Mad Max does it is HARD WORK, and he truly "earns" his filthy remunerations. But while Baucus may be alone at the top of the corruption heap (or at the bottom of the pit), there are plenty of others who would, under an even remotely critical system, have so "splainin' to do." Via the "Sunlight Foundation" blog:
Yesterday afternoon, the Center for Responsive Politics came out with a report showing how many congressional lawmakers have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money into companies that have financial stakes in which bills eventually pass and become law. CRP has found many lawmakers are heavily invested in pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, industries that are very interested in what Congress does to health care. Nearly one in four lawmakers had invested some money in health companies during 2007, the most recent year CRP calculated lawmakers’ extensive personal finances. (In October, data for 2008 will be available in their personal financial disclosure database). Because lawmakers report the value of their assets in ranges, CRP can’t give exact figures. With that said, lawmakers had invested somewhere between $44.2 million and $93.9 million in health care related companies.
Yeah, baby, the fucking Fix is IN!!! Obama is "hollywoodin'" the whole thing, pretending to be ready to call the Parasites' "all-in." But he's ALREADY folded in all respects other than he hasn't mucked our cards...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ethnic Cleansing Can Be FUN! Just Tweecher Friendz

First, regard this. An Israeli Corp's cell-fone ad, it is almost too crass for mere words.

Now, the rejoinder:

DOTOF™: Lenin'sTomb
Meanwhile, via Alternet:
Israel and the EU Clash Over Settlements

By Mel Frykberg, IPS News. Posted July 21, 2009.

Israel's actions are strangling the Palestinian economy and making Palestinians more reliant on foreign aid, the EU said.

RAMALLAH, Jul 13 (IPS) - The Israeli Foreign Ministry's concern over an "unusually harsh statement" by the European Commission over Israel's settlement policy indicates a growing unease between Israel and the EU.

The European Commission (EC), the executive arm of the EU, said that Israel's settlement policy in the West Bank was strangling the Palestinian economy and forcing Palestinians there to become more dependent on foreign aid.

"It is the European taxpayers who pay most of the price of this dependence," read the Jul. 6 EC statement.

According to the EC, expropriation of fertile Palestinian land for the settlements, the settler-only bypass roads which serve them, and the hundreds of West Bank checkpoints manned by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have stunted Palestinian economic growth.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) states that 509 million dollars is spent annually on maintaining Israeli settler roads and checkpoints. The bypass roads are meant to make it easier and quicker for Israeli settlers to reach Israel proper, while the checkpoints ostensibly serve their security.

OCHA released a report in June saying that nearly 30 percent of the West Bank, which under international law belongs to the Palestinians, has been expropriated by the Israelis as closed military zones and for nature reserves.

Together with Israel's more than 100 illegal settlements - home to approximately 500,000 settlers in East Jerusalem and the West Bank - approximately 40 percent of the territory has been taken by Israel.

The West Bank is divided into area A, which falls under Palestinian control, area B, which falls under both Israeli military and Palestinian civil control, and area C, which falls under full Israeli control.
Israel, like the USofA which supports it previously did, must quell the aspirations of its unassimilable native inmates. Israel, qua "state," cannot allow an even remotely equivalent power to exist within its borders. It must either cleanse or suppress the Arab Palestinians. this is the final, inexorable codicil of the "Real-Politik" Laws of Imperialist Statehood.

That they deny it does not mean they do not persist at it...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Science In Dumb-Fuckistan, USofA

Pukes Go All In; "ThePrez" Folds

Health-care reform of any meaningful kind is dead.

Obama acknowledged it without having to say as much, today, by postponing the deadline he'd set to have a health-care reform package on his desk, before the August Congressional recess, until "the end of the year." ThinkProgress had the following:
Obama hits back at DeMint’s threat: ‘It is about a health care system that is breaking American families.’

President Obama today reaffirmed his commitment to reforming health care to control costs, provide affordable coverage, and ensure quality care by introducing competition and transparency into the current system. In his speech, Obama also took aim at comments made by one of the most ardent opponents of health reform, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC). DeMint last week declared that he would do everything in his power to kill health reform in the Senate. Obama struck back today by saying the debate “isn’t about me,” but rather a system that is “breaking American families”:

OBAMA: Just the other day, one Republican Senator said, and I’m quoting him now, “if we’re able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.” Think about that. This isn’t about me. This isn’t about politics. It is about a health care system that is breaking American families, breaking America’s businesses and breaking America’s economy.
Sounds like he's gonna call the bet, right? Listen!

But really, he folded.
Obama also extended his deadline for passing health reform. He previously called upon Congress to complete health care before the August recess, but today said, “Let’s pass reform by the end of this year.”
So, health-care reform, in any sense meaningful to the welfare of the ordinary citizen, is dead.

Oh, there'll be a bill. He ABSOLUTELY MUST get a bill to sign. And I can reliably assure you that it won't cost the Health Insurance Parasites a thin dime. And I can also assure you that no ordinary citizens will experience any positive change from the consequences.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What Has Happened To "The Press?"

It's quite an ubiquitous question, plaintively cried far and wee across the blogosphere, echoing louder now with the passing of the last of the giants of that earlier age: What Happened To The Press?

It's pretty simple, really. It's not competition. Nobody now does what "The Press" formerly did better than it did it, which is to report the news (as distinct from the manufactured "pseudo-events" of press releases, canned, speeches, and artful stenography).

What killed "the Press" (and make no mistake: "the Press" of the First Amendment is moribund, is brain-dead, comatose, on feeding tubes and ventillators) is "Corporatism."

Yup. Just that. Corporatism, plain and simply.

The "problem" with the SCUM** is that they are merely animatronic avatars, quickly and easily replaceable salary-servants in corporations the main business of which is not anything even remotely related to the functions of the Press as they were imagined when "the Press" was accorded the protection of the Constitution.

Corporatism is fundamentally at odds with the best principles of "the Press," the "fourth Estate." Corporations, since the very act of their original conception, have sought to gain control of the State. The wars of the 20th Century were fought to determine which form of Fascism would prevail. Corporations desire closed, authoritarian deliberations based on principles of possession and ownership of valuable resources. "The Press" has it's whole constitutionally protected purpose the exposure of the private details of public business, which is the one thing that CorpoRats detest most: Public oversight.

The corpoRats killed off the Press when they bought it out, lock, stock, and barrel, in the '80s and '90s. The corpoRats closed bureaus, fired staff, eliminated any semblance of any remaining "firewall" between the ad department and the city room (much as the wall of separation between church and state was eroded by similar forces). Bigger papers dropped bureaus; they all reduced the size of papers, both in physical dimensions and in the size of the news hole relative to ads. They were transformed by their new owners from the beacons of the peoples' interest into fucking suburban shoppers, with movie schedules, horoscopes, and celebrity gossip. People could get all that on-line, or off tv, and NOT have the distraction of having to actually READ anything.

That's what's happened to "the Press." It's gone and like so much else that is now gone, under the provisions of a spuriously inflamed anti-terrorism regime, like so much else we valued as our Constitutional birthrights, never to return.

Once lost, once forsaken, liberty is gone.

Never to return.


**SCUM = SoCalledUnbiasedMedia

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Looking for a video/audio of Steve Goodman's manically depressing "Watching Joey Glow,"** (there is none) for an entry I want to put up on The Guitar, commemorating the anniversaries of both the Trinity blast and my own conception (DOB: 4/20/46), I stumbled on this warm, witty, wonderfully drawn and animated, Warner Bros cartoon, circa 1941.

Who's got the pop-corn? The Milk-Duds?

You have to wear dark glasses if you look at him a while,
Or he'll fry your little eyes out with his incandescant smile.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Goldman-Sachs Are Scum!"

Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo, found this, at Matt Taibbi's site. As usual, there is nothing in Taibbi's analysis about which to complain:
Max Keiser: “Goldman Sachs Are Scum” | zero hedge.
“They are literally stealing a hundred million dollars a day. Goldman Sachs is stealing every day on the floor of the exchange. They should be in the Hague, they should be taken on financial terrorism charges. They should all be thrown in jail”

(Saith Matt:) "Man, and I thought I hated Goldman. Check out this video. If only American TV was like this!"
The exchange occurred on French television. It really is refreshing to hear such candor right out there in public, even if we'll never hear anything like it here, where it needs most to be heard...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A New "Dis-Appointment": Car Czar Rattner Resigns

Is there anyone in the upper echelons of world USer financial 'business' who is NOT utterly ande irredeemably corrupt? Rattner was not widely hailed when he was named to the post in the Obama regime; he was regarded as the executioner designated to undo the UAW. Via TPM-Muckraker:
Did Pay-To-Play Probe Cause Rattner's Resignation?
By Zachary Roth - July 15, 2009, 2:34PM

So: is Steve Rattner stepping down as the Obama administration's car czar because of the investigation into whether his private-equity fund used pay-to-play tactics to win business from New York's public pension fund?


First, let's recap: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has been conducting a broad investigation into whether investment funds paid politically connected middlemen to help them win contracts to manage state pension funds. Rattner allegedly arranged for the private-equity fund he co-founded, Quadrangle, to pay $1.1 million to the political consultant Hank Morris to help the fund win business from the New York pension board. Morris has since been indicted and charged with selling access to the board. The SEC is also conducting its own investigation.
From a previous story:
Rattner was the money manager referenced in an SEC indictment in a pay-for-play scheme run by the top adviser to the former New York State Comptroller that allegedly siphoned more than $30 million off asset managers seeking investments from the state pension fund.

Here's how it worked: the adviser, Hank Morris, also allegedly played a dual role as a "placement agent" matching private money managers with the manager of the $122 billion state pension fund, David Loglisci. When Rattner approached Loglisci on behalf of his private equity fund Quadrangle in 2004, Loglisci allegedly sent him to Morris -- who asked Rattner to pay a 1.1% "finder's fee" to a firm he represented for whatever investments Quadrangle received. Then, in a decidedly straight-to-video heist, Loglisci also allegedly convinced Rattner to have a division of Quadrangle pay $86,000 for the DVD distribution rights to a movie Loglisci's brother produced (The movie is called Chooch.)

According to the SEC complaint, Rattner eventually received $100 million from the pension fund Loglisci ran. But that's not all the business Quadrangle got via Morris, according to today's Wall Street Journal: Morris also secured $85 million from the New York City Employee Retirement System, $10 million from the Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension System and $20 million from the State Investment Council of New Mexico in 2005.
The outflow from these sewage-swimmers in the financial 'biz' is toxic on every level where it reaches.

Fucking greedy, scum-sucking, arrogant assholes like Rattner, Geithner, Summers, Rubin, and the rest need to be strung up. Normally I don't approve of capital punishment, but if it's appropriate for murderers, it's appropriate for thieves who steal billions the theft of which is tantamount to premeditated killing...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

I Do Not Feel Appreciably "Better" This 4th Than I Did Last Year At This Time

Not "better" about the direction in which the country seems to be heading in relation to our over-seas militaristic adventurism. I heard this week that Marines had swept into another valley somewhere in Asia. They were setting up "combat outposts" as they went, near "peaceful" villages. I was transported back 40 years, when "combat outposts" were called "fire bases." And the friendly villages were "pacified hamlets." The countries began with different letters--"A" vs "V"--but other than that the song hadn't changed. By even the current regime's rationality, if it worked, even torture would be alright.

I don't feel "better" about the Constitution. It still seems to lie, in tatters, under the shit-encrusted loafers of the new administration as it was under the shit-encrusted boots of the previous one. "We" are still torturing 'detainees,' despite the lies. Preventative detention is official policy. More and more electronic surveillance is being authorized in the name of combating "terrorism," but even with new powers, the authorities have been powerless to prevent the recent outbreaks of right-wing/eliminationist domestic terrorism.

Obviously, I do not feel "better" about the economy. I am retired, on a fixed income, and i saw my tiny retirement nest-egg, acquired only after the last 15 or so years of my many and varied careers, eaten away to less than HALF it's value even a year ago.

I don't feel any better about the steps being undertaken to meet the challenge of global climate change. I am beginning to think nobody will have to political will to do anything to reduce the hazards that our gobal 'life-style' generates in such profusion. It's been well-established for almost half-a-century that these conditions were going to ensue, that there had by then already been enough carbon released to raise the global temperature significantly. I am, if anything, more content than ever that I never reproduced, so that none of my get will be facing these impending disasters of food, water, energy, migration, drought and inevitable warfare.

I do not feel "better" about the prospect that something meaningful will ever b done to resolve the nests of corruption, villainy, greed, mal- and misfeasance that is the zso-called US Health System. The vested interests have far too much power/money/influence. They have the whip-hand, and the smiling, compromising, community organizer doesn't have either the personal stones or the electoral mandate to actually stand up to 'em. Obama beat a remarkably weak GOP ticket, by far too small a margin.

I have more or less by now formalized the notion that has been kicking around in my head for this last year, since it became likely that Obama would be #44:
Obama's main job as President is to make people forget the disasters the last 40 years of proto- and crypto-Fascism have inflicted upon the country, and prepare the way for the next Bush.
Obama beat an incredibly weak GOP ticket by WAY TOO SMALL a margin.

McCain: 70-year-old, demented, tainted, ptsd denier/survivor (a lot like the dry drunk recently departed), morally smudged, ethically challenged, congenital liar,

Paired with the most incredibly inept, indisputably ill-prepared, vapidly vainglorious, unknown parvenu from the boondocks of Alaska, whose own sordid connections discredited even her prior position;

on the heels of EIGHT years of the most obvious, most blatantly partisan manipulation and exploitation, war, terror, and economic collapse...


What is WRONG with this picture?


Woody's Bloggy Enterprises are going on a short hiatus after tonight.Well, actually, the blogs will stay here whilst Woody and friends embark on a manic, musical, odyssey which might see us dangling a digit or two in the Great Gi-chi-goomi, who knows. I'm leaving Budreau, my sweet but territorial 80-lb pit-bull home, with instructions to keep an eye on things while I'm gone. A week? 10 Days? Two Weeks? Gonna sleep out under some stars. Eat camp food. Drive A LOT of miles. Can you say "ROAD TRIP!!!!!"

Friday, July 03, 2009

Shar-ity: "Si Se 'Bote'"--The Million Can March

At C&L, BlueGal appeals for "sharity":
In case you haven't heard, the Million Can March is a counter protest to the teabagging protest redux scheduled for the Fourth of July. Good luck wi dat, teabaggers.

Since the news cycle is spinning the Missouri legislator who thinks summer nutrition programs for kids de-motivates them, the Million Can March is all the more timely. And should we remind the leading Tea Party advocate in the Senate, David Vitter, that food banks also need donations of disposable diapers?

But seriously, I'm already in the process of cleaning out my pantry and getting some food over to the local food bank.

The idea is to do something positive in response to the Teabagger business. The instigator of this project, Rev. Phat of Les Enrages, points out:
This all started with a vague notion that we should do something more than just have a good laugh at the next round of tea parties scheduled for July 4th. I thought that if teabaggers are so afraid of socialism, maybe we could show 'em socialism on a national scale. And what is more socialistic than sharing our food with others.
And in the spirit of forgiveness, Rev. Phat invites conservatives to provide the drinks: dry packaged drink mixes and other non-perishable beverages are welcome at food banks, too.

For bloggers/webmasters the flash image above is free to copy, and there's a free-use set of non-flash images on Flickr courtesy of Tengrain. There's also a Facebook group (login req.) for those wanting to promote the activism.

Donate a can or two to your local food bank this week. Feeding America has a food bank locator if you need help finding one in your area. Thank you

Thursday, July 02, 2009

“It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”- - Thomas Paine

On Sibel Edmonds blog today, this heroic naturalized citizen reminds us "home-groaners" of our responsibilities:
Here comes our Fourth of July. Surely what is left of our Bill of Rights is worth celebrating, and just as surely what has been taken away is worth fighting for. So let us enjoy that cold beer, savor that hot dog, and while doing that let us reflect and renew our pledge to fight for those irreplaceable American liberties that have been taken from us; the fight against our ‘real’ foes. Are we prepared to make the same pledge those founding fathers made 233 years ago?
Via Wiki:
Edmonds was fired from her position as a language specialist at the FBI's Washington Field Office in March, 2002, after she accused a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving foreign nationals, alleging serious acts of security breaches, cover-ups, and intentional blocking of intelligence which, she contended, presented a danger to the United States' security. Since that time, court proceedings on her whistleblower claims have been blocked by the assertion of State Secrets Privilege. On March 29, 2006, she was awarded the PEN/Newman's Own First Amendment Award in recognition of her defense of free speech as it applies to the written word.[5]

Both Franklin and Jefferson, two of the smartest guys to whom we attribute the inspiration for the Founding, repeated sentiments like these (the rhyme is Franklin's, I believe): "Those who would be both safe and free desire that which never was, nor ever will be."

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Not "If." When": Former Spook Yearns For "The Next Attack"

This sick fuck Michael Scheur, ex of the CIA, provides a very good reason why all the current members of the organization need to be sent to labor camps for re-education.
No you did not mis-hear. Listen again:
"The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama Bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States --- because it's gonna take a grassroots, bottom up pressure -- because these politicians prize their offices, prize the praise of the media, and the Europeans. It's an absurd situation again, only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them effectively, consistently and with as much violence as necessary."
This bloody-minded, vicious, criminal shitwhistle actually would WELCOME another, even bigger, more horrendous, more destructive, more deadly, more damaging 'terror' attack because in the aftermath the people would demand that the Government re-instate the rule of torture ad violence to preserve their 'safety.'

Now watch while Glenn Beck nods and agrees as Scheuer asserts that the only way to "save" the US (from illegal immigrants, of course) is for Osama bin Laden to succeed in detonating a weapon on American soil.

BlueGirl posted these musings on Antimedius this morning:
Being a sane person, I do not tune in to the Glenn Beck weep-fest. When he or one of his guests does or says something outrageous, I get it the next day from the blogosphere, so yesterday when he hosted former CIA official Michael Scheuer, I missed it when the guest and the host were pining for another massive, 9/11-type attack in order to advance their political philosophy.

His exact words were "The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama Bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States --- because it's gonna take a grassroots, bottom up pressure -- because these politicians prize their offices, prize the praise of the media, and the Europeans. It's an absurd situation again, only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them effectively, consistently and with as much violence as necessary."

What a sick, twisted individual Scheuer is - and Beck, too, because he didn’t even feign shock. He just nodded along in agreement, like the dope he so obviously is.

These fringe lunatics and the faux noise consuming morons who nod pray to their god for a violent attack against Americans on American soil fancy themselves the patriots and I was unpatriotic for opposing an illegal war in Iraq because I knew we were being lied to and I knew it would be a gigantic clusterfuck that would bleed our military and our treasure for years to come - and I was right, by the way. I am apparently unAmerican and don’t have a patriotic bone in my body because I support the stimulus, cap-and-trade and single payer health care.

But it’s perfectly acceptable to wish for the violent, heinous deaths of thousands of Americans on national television because the fringe loonies don’t like the government Americans elected.
Scheuer has been spoken of with admiration by numerous folks on the Left, since he left the abandoned Osama Bin Laden team at the CIA. I think he should be locked up, in solitary, with that odious shitheel Glenn Beck, until one of 'em--doesn't matter which--dies.

META-Note: I considered putting this piece on the Anosognosia blog, but decided not, because Scheuer and Beck are NOT ignorant of their pathologies. they know them and wallow in them.

"Where Were You On Iraqi "Sovereignty Day"?" "Huh? What? Who?"

As USer troops withdrew from Iraqi cities yesterday, to meet the commitment of reducing USer presence in-country, the Iraqi puppet government declared a National Holiday. Jeremy Scahill presents a farily jaundiced view of the proceedings at Information Clearinghouse this morning:
Despite the big show, the U.S. occupation continues. It is very doubtful that—decades from now—Iraqis will tell their grandchildren about where they were on “National Sovereignty Day.”

By Jeremy Scahill

June 30, 2009 "Rebelreports" -- The puppet government in Iraq has named June 30 as “National Sovereignty Day,” and—without mentioning the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis maimed, killed, tortured or made refugees by the U.S. invasion and occupation—thanked the occupiers for placing them in power.

“President” Jalal Talabani termed today “a glorious day,” saying, “While we celebrate this day, we express our thanks and gratitude to our friends in the coalition forces who faced risks and responsibilities and sustained casualties and damage while helping Iraq to get rid from the ugliest dictatorship and during the joint effort to impose security and stability.”

Meanwhile the Iraqi “Prime Minister” Nouri al Maliki—clearly living in his Green Zone bubble—stated: “The national united government succeeded in putting down the sectarian war that was threatening the unity and the sovereignty of Iraq,” adding, “Those who think that Iraqis are unable to defend their country are committing a fatal mistake.” Perhaps Maliki has been hanging out too much by the swimming pools and cabanas in the Green Zone and missed these events:
There was a significant spike in violence before the June 30 withdrawal. More than 250 people were killed in a series of bombings, including one on June 20 that left 81 dead outside a mosque in northern Iraq and another in a Baghdad market on June 24 that killed 78.
As we listen to these proclamations from Iraqi “government” officials praising their fake holiday, let’s remember this fact from veteran journalist Patrick Cockburn, who has covered Iraq more than almost any other Western journalist:
Iraq is the world’s premier kleptomaniac state. According to Transparency International the only countries deemed more crooked than Iraq are Somalia and Myanmar, while Haiti and Afghanistan rank just behind. In contrast to Iraq, which enjoys significant oil revenues, none of these countries have much money to steal.
In a grotesquely symbolic move, the Iraqi government marked “National Sovereignty Day” by “open[ing] up some of its massive oil and gas fields to foreign firms,” according to the Wall Street Journal: “In a televised ceremony, international oil companies were invited to submit bids for six oil and two gas fields, a process that marked their return to the country over 30 years after Mr. Hussein nationalized the oil sector and expelled the foreign firms. The fields on offer hold about 43 billion of Iraq’s 115 billion barrels of crude reserves — among the largest in the world.” Among the companies bidding were the Western oil giants ExxonMobil and BP (which reportedly won a contract on Tuesday). As The New York Times reported, “A total of 8 of the world’s 10 top non-state oil companies are competing for licenses to help develop six oil fields and two natural gas fields.”

While the U.S. has hyped up the “handover” to the Iraqis, it is largely a show. Underscoring that point, the top US military commander in the Iraqi capital, Maj. Gen. Daniel Bolger, handed over the keys to the former Iraqi Defense Ministry to an Iraqi military commander and spoke of how now “Iraqis take the lead in Baghdad.” To keep up appearances, the US military, according to The New York Times, has begun “ordering soldiers to remain in garrison for the next few days to give the Iraqis a chance to demonstrate that they are in control.” Note the phrase “for the next few days.” As for the official ceremonies marking Iraqi “Independence Day,” the Times reports:
The military parade in the Green Zone on Tuesday — at the official monument to the unknown soldier — was attended primarily by Iraqi reporters and dignitaries. The public could not reach it because of extensive security restricting access to the area.
Many of the celebrations on Tuesday seemed contrived. Police cars were festooned with plastic flowers, and signs celebrating “independence day”were tied to blast walls and fences around the city. On Monday, night a festive evening celebration in Zahra Park with singers and entertainers drew primarily young men, many of them off-duty police officers.

The Washington Post’s Ernesto Londoño, whose report reads like Iraqi “government” propaganda (it begins: “This is no longer America’s war.”), reports:
Anchors on state-run television wore folded Iraqi flags over their shoulders, and the station kept a graphic of a small Iraqi flag waving under the date “6/30” on the top left corner of the screen.
Away from the show, U.S. forces will indeed remain in Iraqi cities to “to train and advise Iraqi forces,” while huge numbers position themselves just outside the cities and could redeploy or strike in moments:
The U.S. hasn’t said how many troops will be in the cities in advisory roles, but the vast majority of the more than 130,000 U.S. forces remaining in the country will be in large bases scattered outside cities.
While a lot of the media hype today focuses on the U.S. “withdrawal,” that is hardly the reality. As previously reported, U.S. military commanders have said they are preparing for an Iraq presence for another 15-20 years, the U.S. embassy is the size of Vatican City, there is no official plan for the withdrawal of contractors and new corporate mercenary contracts are being awarded. The Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA) between the U.S. and Iraq gives the U.S. the right to extend the occupation indefinitely and to continue intervening militarily in Iraq ad infinitum. Article 27 of the SoFA allows the U.S. to undertake military action, “or any other measure,” inside Iraq’s borders “In the event of any external or internal threat or aggression against Iraq.”

As the airwaves and internet are flooded with reports of this new Iraqi sovereignty and U.S. withdrawal, it is important to remember a bit of history. Five years ago—almost to the day— President Bush put on an almost identical show. His proconsul L. Paul Bremer “handed over sovereignty” to the Iraqi government just before he skulked out of Baghdad on a secret flight (right after he issued an order banning Iraq from prosecuting contractors). Despite the pronouncements and proclamations and media hype, the occupation continued and real sovereignty was non-existent.

It is very doubtful that—decades from now—Iraqis will tell their grandchildren about where they were on June 30, 2009, “National Sovereignty Day.” At the end of the day, this is U.S.-style Hallmark hype and will remain so until every last occupation soldier leaves Iraqi soil.