Friday, July 31, 2009

Why Obama's Peace Process is Still Going Nowhere

Why Obama's Peace Process is Still Going Nowhere by Ali Abunimah

The Biden and Clinton Mutinies By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

"The Biden and Clinton "foreign" policy is: 1) to recreate the same old Cold War (with a new appendage, the US versus Iran nuclear confrontation) for the same old reasons: to pump up domestic defense spending; and 2) to continue sixty years of supporting Israeli imperialism for the same reasons that every president from Harry to Dubya (perhaps barring Ike) did so: to corner Israel lobby money and votes. Regarding the latter, Obama did the same by grabbing the Chicago-based Crown and Pritzker family money very early in his campaign and by making Rahm Emanuel his very first appointment (the two are hardly unrelated)."


"So right from the start Obama was already an Israel lobby fellow traveler. "


"Hence Biden and Clinton's mutinies, conducted on behalf of the Israel lobby and designed to seize administration policy as Obama's popularity weakens. "


Thursday, July 30, 2009

America the Great ... Police State

America the Great ... Police State By Gore Vidal

"What the police in their ignorance have not figured out is that they have lost all credibility since World War II. They are sort of parasites on the fringe of society and do no particular good for anyone except possibly themselves. Certainly to hear them complain—you’ve never heard such whines as from a policeman who feels he’s been wronged! Apparently, all Earth owes him a living, and he’s the bravest man on any block."


"Anyway, the president has not done what he should have done, which is to have reminded us that the United Kingdom—a more livable nation than the United States, let me say with first-hand experience of both—has disarmed its police. There are no angry men wandering around carrying guns over there. This is a lesson to us, but we’ve armed practically every grange house in the United States because our regular guys just want to swagger around. "

Book Excerpt: ‘Empire of Illusion’ by Chris Hedges

"The American oligarchy, one percent of whom control more wealth than the bottom ninety percent combined, are the characters we envy and watch on television. They live and play in multimillion-dollar beach houses and expansive modern lofts. They marry professional athletes and are chauffeured in stretch limos to spa appointments. They rush from fashion shows to movie premieres, flaunting their surgically enhanced, perfect bodies in haute couture. Their teenagers throw $200,000 parties and have $1 million dollar weddings. This life is held before us like a beacon. This life, we are told, is the most desirable, the most gratifying"


"We consume countless lies daily, false promises that if we spend more money, if we buy this brand or that product, if we vote for this candidate, we will be respected, envied, powerful, loved, and protected. The flamboyant lives of celebrities and the outrageous characters on television, movies, professional wrestling, and sensational talk shows are peddled to us, promising to fill up the emptiness in our own lives."


"... It is this perverted ethic that gave us Wall Street bankers and investment houses that willfully trashed the nation’s economy, stole money from tens of millions of small shareholders who had bought stock in these corporations for retirement or college. The heads of these corporations, like the winners on a reality television program who lied and manipulated others to succeed, walked away with hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses and compensation. "


" ... The fame of celebrities, wrote Mills, disguises those who possess true power: corporations and the oligarchic elite."


The Disappearing Palestinian

The Disappearing Palestinian by Philip Giraldi


" ... Without a political consciousness and identity, a very Marxist concept, the Palestinians could not claim to recover something that, at least per Meir, they had never had. Meir’s view provided a suitable interpretation of recent history for the newly minted Israelis but it meant nothing less than a "nakba" or catastrophe for the surviving Palestinians."


"Israel has the most right wing government in its history presiding over a system of exploitative colonial rule that would be rightly called both racist and imperialist anywhere else in the world. That it is largely given a free pass is a tribute to the Israel Lobby’s effectiveness at silencing most criticism through its network of friends in the media and in political circles in both the United States in Europe. And that silence might become even more pervasive. The de facto conflation of criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism in hate crime legislation has already been used to attack critics of Israel in Canada and Australia. As such laws become more commonplace, it might soon mean that any and all criticism of Israel will become illegal in many countries."

"Washington might well buck that trend by insisting that Israel conform to the standards of the rest of the world in terms of human rights and acceptance of international law, but that is in practice difficult to achieve. As long as Israel’s numerous friends in congress and the press provide it with political cover and media cooperation, Tel Aviv will continue to behave recklessly towards its own Arabs and its neighbors with impunity. The sense of Israeli exceptionalism and entitlement that drive the process, which has been noted and challenged even by many liberal Israelis and diaspora Jews, is without a doubt racist in origin."

"There is also a central fantasy in Israeli life regarding what is needed to keep the country safe. A series of Israeli governments has been engaged in a holding action while making life miserable for the Palestinians under the assumption that they will presumably someday just decide to give up and go away."


" ... The United States and the rest of the world know perfectly well that the course that the Israeli government is on is both suicidal and unsustainable, but will they really do anything about it? Barack Obama seems serious at the moment — but when AIPAC and the Israeli Lobby really start serious pushback will he be able to take the heat? Every president before him has decided that pressuring the Israelis is not a game that can be won, but just maybe Obama might be made of sterner stuff."


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Truth about Socialized Medicine

The Truth about Socialized Medicine by Audrey Mayer

"I have been hearing a lot of pundits and politicians bemoan “socialized medicine” and its supposed inefficiencies and inequities. These horror stories are never accompanied by data, just hearsay and anecdotes from “a friend of a friend” in Canada or the United Kingdom. Rarely have I heard from people who have themselves experienced a universal public health care system. As one of those people, I thought I should speak up."

Casualties of War, Part II: Warning signs by DAVE PHILIPPS

"After two tours in Iraq, Eastridge was depressed, paranoid, violent, abusing drugs and haunted by nightmares. But because he was other-than-honorably discharged, he said, he was ineligible for benefits or health care. He was no longer Uncle Sam’s problem. He was on his own."

" “I had no job training,” he said. “All I know how to do is kill people.” "


" “When I was sentenced, the judge told me ‘Look at how many people go to Iraq, and how few come back and commit crimes,” Eastridge said, “But that’s not fair. A lot of the soldiers who go to Iraq just drive trucks or check IDs or sit in the Green Zone. Look at combat troops. And look at what kind of combat they did. My unit was in the worst neighborhood in the bloodiest part of the war. Even in my platoon, there were guys that stayed in the truck and guys that did most of the fighting. Look at that tiny number. It’s not the hundreds of thousands that go, it’s the few hundred that see heavy, heavy combat. It changes lives.” "


The human cost of war

The human cost of war

Did we kill 48,783 or 654,965 Iraqi's with the invasion, or was the number higher? The Oxford Research Group is tackling this question - and it's about time someone did.


Friday, July 24, 2009

From Iraq to Afghanistan, US Wars Not Going According to Plan

From Iraq to Afghanistan, US Wars Not Going According to Plan by William Pfaff

"This is not the way this war was supposed to end. For younger readers: Six years ago the American intervention was supposed to end in a multi-party democratic government, an ally of Israel against the supposed menace of Iran, the strategic base and headquarters for the U.S. as dominant actor in a "New Middle East," and a permanent and secure source of oil for the United States. None of this has happened. Iran is the principal beneficiary."

"The growing opinion in Europe is that Afghanistan is the United States’ "new Vietnam." The truth is that it is worse than Vietnam."

Poll: Majority in US Oppose Both Wars Growing Pessimism About Iraq Pullout Timetable by Jason Ditz

Can America Prevail on Afghanistan/Pakistan Front? No! It's Obama's war now, and a Vietnam-like quagmire is dead ahead. by Helen Thomas

Dubya's Dallas: Into the Belly of the Beast by Ray McGovern

From this article:

Okay, so maybe I laid it on a little thick in citing what Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering told his American interrogator in Nuremberg:

"Naturally, the common people do not want war. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a communist dictatorship....

"The people can always be brought to do the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."


Thursday, July 23, 2009

About AIG and Wall Street

The Masters of Perfidy By JEFFREY ST. CLAIR

"So now the bills from this tableau of financial debauchery have come due. That $182 billion pay-out wasn’t a final call, but merely an opening bid. Tens of trillions may yet follow."

"No, AIG didn’t pervert the system. It was a creature of a perverse system. One that it is literally consuming itself from the inside out. A mighty leveling looms."

Living in a Police State By DAVE LINDORFF

"I’m sure police take a lot of verbal abuse on the job, but given their inherent power—armed and with a license to arrest, to handcuff, and even to shoot and kill—they must be told by their superiors that they have no right to arrest people for simply expressing their views, even about those officers."

"Insulting an officer of the law is not a crime. Telling an officer he or she is breaking the law is not a crime. Demanding that an officer identify him or herself is not a crime. And saying you are going to file a complaint against the officer is not a crime."


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Executives Receive One-Third of All Pay in the U.S.

Executives Receive One-Third of All Pay in the U.S. Posted by Pat Garofalo

"Highly paid employees received nearly $2.1 trillion of the $6.4 trillion in total U.S. pay in 2007, the latest figures available. The compensation numbers don’t include incentive stock options, unexercised stock options, unvested restricted stock units and certain benefits. "


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cheney’s Inferno

Cheney’s Inferno by Jeff Huber

This starts out looking like yet another anti-Cheney article, and I've read more then enough of them to want to just skip this new one. But I read further anyway, just to see.

By the time I was halfway through it, I realized this is more then just a simple note, it's a fact filled overview of Cheney's behaviour while in office. Needless to say again that this guy and the neocon gang belong on trail for what they've done.

Just one excerpt:

"Cheney subverted the operations of the entire executive branch by inserting neocon ideologues in key positions. Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, and Stephen Cambone strangled dissent in the Defense Department. Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley ensured that his boss Condoleezza Rice was nothing more to Bush than a workout partner and an office wife. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control John Bolton undermined Colin Powell’s efforts at statesmanship. In the second Bush term, when Rice moved to the top State billet, Cheney arranged to have Bolton made U.S. ambassador to the UN ..."


Israel and the Nutbar Factor

Israel and the Nutbar Factor Have Israel and its supporters gone over the edge? by Justin Raimondo

"What we are witnessing in Israel today is the degeneration of a once liberal democracy into a militaristic theocracy, one armed with nuclear weapons – and quite conceivably willing to use them against those they consider less than fully human. And if that doesn’t scare us into cutting them off – financially, at the very least – then we ought to prepare ourselves for the consequences. Because it isn’t going to be pretty… "


Monday, July 20, 2009

Battle hymn of the Internet

The Internet is under attack.

You probably know this already, but may be thinking that what's happened to yourself or a friend was a minor incident that involved "just you" or only a few people, and that you guys were just unlucky.

You may not realize that what's happening on the Internet is widespread and very serious because it's not getting any TV air time. After all, if it really was important it would be on the TV, right?

So each of us individuals aren't seeing the bigger picture of what's happening. Perhaps it's because we don't understand how fast things happen in the computer/network world, or perhaps we trust our "representatives" in Washington to protect us and the Internet, and will step in to fix things the minute the problems can no longer avoid mention.

To review: the Internet is far and away the best tool ever devised by mankind to level the playing field between the have's and the have-not's (i.e. the original concept of democracy) and can give us all a shot at better lives, helping others and making the world a better place - which, in case you haven't checked, isn't on the agenda now and hasn't been there for a long, long time.

Who would want to see the Internet degraded, even destroyed?

Those with power do not give up power. Ever. No matter what it takes. Through the magic of consolidated wealth, the fewer and fewer people with the power now have so much control they can mesmerize a population into launching and sustaining a military invasion for only their interests.

A free Internet challenges this whole way of doing business. It shines the light of day into the darkness of their minds and enterprises. It makes possible not only access to information, but, most importantly, contains the seeds for tools (coming soon, if not pre-empted) that has been missing from the people-side the political equation since the dawn of politics: the means to organize

It goes without saying that the very idea of organized people is anathema to the small group with the power and wealth, which were never intended to be distributed. Do you remember the game of Monopoly, where in the end someone usually winds up with all the hotels, railroads, etc., and wins the game? Same in real life, as money and power are gained and consolidated into the hands of fewer people and interests.

How else to explain how the spirit of America could have delined so much over the years?

Would the people with the power kill the Internet outright? Of course not. That would bring about rebellion against themselves. What's a better way to get the job done without any linkage back to them? This is where our problem really becomes clear: all they have to do is nothing, and just leave the dirty work to the attackers. It's called "using a proxy", and we've seen it before.

How many highly skilled programmers are among our enemies and are busy working on software to attack our Internet and computers us with? How many millions of people across the world bitterly hate what they believe is American arrogance and belligerence?

Maybe there was a time when America's enemies distinguished between our rulers and our people, but our protracted impotency to do anything to stop the onslaught of killing and destruction must by now have earned their disdain.

How could the Internet be destroyed?

It doesn't have to be destroyed, just degraded or controlled, so it no longer carries the potential to grow as our information source and organizational platform. In an aside I'll not that advertising on whatever is left of the Internet will persist and grow, of course.

To see how this could happen requires these simple understandings: 1st, the power of just a very few skilled programmers working together. 2nd, understanding that this is psychological war, the likes of which mankind has never seen before. This means accepting that something brand new can exist.

The formula for psychological warfare is basic and simple: first control the media, then you control the message. Then use your mastery of language and library of clever phrases to repeat your theme in appealing messages countless times to stick it into the unconscious minds of listeners.

One perfect example of effective spin: we allow these attacks to be called
"viruses", which our computers can "catch" if we're not careful (think STD). Goes with the territory and is the very nature of the word. And people accept this word by repeating it. What's the problem? The word is completely misleading. These
"things" are really hostile attacks launched by people to harm other people. Does "virus" conjure up that imagery? Why not?

Because some really intelligent people see this happening, we are starting to see some really good alternative news websites with information and opinions from really smart people that can actualy make a difference. The missing piece, so far, is the "how to organize" part, but left to our devices this will be solved.

What is happening today, and must be stopped, is people turning away from the Internet as it's positive imagery is slowly (slow boil!) being supplanted with negative imagery. Towards this end, there's nothing quite as effective as a few costly "virus" attacks. A person burned once or twice by these attacks tends to get defensive and gun shy, and aren't so fast to get back on the horse and do more with it. Instead of embracing the Internet and making it better, it's back to the TV set!

It might be interesting for you to consider that TV and telephones operate now on the same mechanics as the Internet - so wouldn't you think they would also be attacked? Maybe the attackers just didn't get around to them yet?

In a nutshell:

1st: the world has no shortage of highly skilled programmers. Some number of these programmers have joined together to create and unleash these attacks. We don't know how many there are, but we should know it doesn't take very many.

2nd: The handful of people who control most of America's power are pre-occupied with pushing propaganda for their own interests - and have no interest at all in seeing the Internet become a political challenge, thus they are very unlikely to do anything to stop these attacks (other then some great sounding catch-phrases, of course!).

Thus there are (at least) 2 major forces at work seeking to destroy the Internet's greatest gifts: programmers who want to hurt America, and the psyops campaign controlled by the relative handful of people holding America's power.

Why the alarm?

The speed with which things happen in computer/Internet-land is awesome, even incomprehensible. After more then forty years of programming computers, I continue to be flabbergasted by how fast things move in this world.

As for the Battle hymn of the Internet: it needs to be written.


War Without Purpose

War Without Purpose by Chris Hedges

"Al-Qaida could not care less what we do in Afghanistan. We can bomb Afghan villages, hunt the Taliban in Helmand province, build a 100,000-strong client Afghan army, stand by passively as Afghan warlords execute hundreds, maybe thousands, of Taliban prisoners, build huge, elaborate military bases and send drones to drop bombs on Pakistan. It will make no difference. The war will not halt the attacks of Islamic radicals. Terrorist and insurgent groups are not conventional forces. They do not play by the rules of warfare our commanders have drilled into them in war colleges and service academies. And these underground groups are protean, changing shape and color as they drift from one failed state to the next, plan a terrorist attack and then fade back into the shadows. We are fighting with the wrong tools. We are fighting the wrong people. We are on the wrong side of history. And we will be defeated in Afghanistan as we will be in Iraq."

Beyond the Hype: Cronkite and the Vietnam War by Norman Solomon

"Media eulogies for Walter Cronkite -- including from progressive commentators -- rarely talk about his coverage of the Vietnam War before 1968."

"Also in 1965 -- the pivotal year of escalation -- Cronkite expressed explicit support for the Vietnam War. He lauded "the courageous decision that Communism's advance must be stopped in Asia and that guerilla warfare as a means to a political end must be finally discouraged." "

Celebrating Cronkite While Ignoring What He Did by Glenn Greenwald


Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Lesson From Vietnam for Obama’s War in Afghanistan

A Lesson From Vietnam for Obama’s War in Afghanistan by Joe Galloway

"Presidents right up to today’s like to surround themselves with such self-assured and certain men, men whose eagerness to find war the answer to most problems often grows in direct proportion to their lack of experience in uniform or combat."

Russia’s Sickness: ’Anti-Americanism’ by Christopher Dowd

"You see, it isn’t what we do that so upsets foreigners. No. See — what makes them mad at us, what makes them crazy is that they have this disease — this disorder — this condition, if you will, called "Anti-Americanism." "

Obama’s War Signals Iran in the crosshairs by Justin Raimondo

"Who wants war with Iran? Who has been demanding it, hoping for it, and doing their best to provoke it? What faction of the foreign policy "community" has been warning that Iran is months away from creating a nuclear weapon, and will certainly target a small "democratic" US ally in the region, one which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad purportedly (but not really) threatened to "wipe off the map"? "

"It’s no secret the Israel lobby has been in the forefront of the effort to mobilize American political, diplomatic and military muscle for a dust-up with Iran: the alleged "threat" emanating from Iran was the theme of the last AIPAC conference, and the propaganda machine that does Tel Aviv’s bidding has been going full-bore since the Iraq war ended in "mission accomplished," targeting Tehran as the next victim of our post-9/11 madness. The current power struggle within the Iranian leadership, that culminated in the election fraud protests and the hard-liner clampdown, set the confrontational tone for the pro forma "negotiations" that will segue seamlessly into the second act, and, finally, the third – which will be played out here in this country, on the op ed pages of the nation’s newspapers (what’s left of them, anyway), and around dinner tables all across America. "


Thursday, July 16, 2009

What Economy?

There's Nothing Left to Recover - What Economy? By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

" ... This should tell even the most dimwitted patriot who “their” government represents."

"Nothing in Obama’s economic policy is directed at saving the US dollar as reserve currency or the livelihoods of the American people. Obama’s policy, like Bush’s before him, is keyed to the enrichment of Goldman Sachs and the armament industries."

"Matt Taibbi describes Goldman Sachs as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentless jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.” Look at the Goldman Sachs representatives in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. This bankster firm controls the economic policy of the United States."


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Bush-Cheney Assassination Program

Killing Hope, Sowing Terror The Assassination Bureau By MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.

Is Obama Continuing the Bush-Cheney Assassination Program? by Jeremy Scahill

What happens when people realize that the Bush/Cheney/Neocon gang unleashed these hit squads to murder people who are essentially guilty of disagreeing with the gang's policies?

Consider the real effect of these murders on their family and friends. Do you really think that everyone will "run and hide" or do you think they are hearing "a call to Jihad" against what is injust in anyone's religion?

Do you realize the size of the populations we have been sowed hatred in? And now this? Do you understand, do you realize, the injustice they feel?

Remember how we behaved in WWII when Americans really believed in the injustice of the Nazi's and the Japs? Today we're in the opposite role, for it is we who have doled out the injustice.

Middle East policies centered around one-sided support for Israel, such as the treatment of the Palestinians for 60 years, the murder of countless Iraqi's, Afghani's and people throughout the region, not to mention these highly inflamatory assassination squads (would they be recruiting and positioning their own hit squads, perhaps if not before, now?). This report is certain to cause considerable and widespread outrage among countless people.

It was this gang, with their friends in key editorial positions throughout our information supply, who duped us into the invasion of those countries - and the real unbelievable part is they still haven't been stopped. The seizure of American blood and money for their cause goes on today unchecked. Throw some new and unusual faces into the political mix and - you get to start the propaganda machine all over again.

Just turn on any of the major "news" channels and consider the hot stories of today in light of the bigger picture. If you don't know the facts - the other side of the story - check out sites like antiwar, commondreams and counterpunch and others.

It's been at least 8 years now. How many reasonable people think that what's happened in this time is what should have happened? By any stretch?

All weapons that are turned on you are terrible. Modern weapons are terrible beyond any of our imaginations. Yet here we are today, sitting back and doing nothing while monsters like Cheney and the rest of the Neocon gang continue suckering us into carrying on their Middle East crusade.

This is the worst thing that ever happened to this country, going on right now, and the "news" is talking about everything else.

"We wouldn't be fooled again!!" Roared a song from the 60's. So much for that, huh?

We've got to stop them!

Someone once asked "what can I do?"

Turned out to be one of the hardest questions of this whole sordid affair. The best I can come up with is read stories in the alternate websites and talk to people - anyone who will listen. Pick up a pen or a keyboard and write. Just don't do nothing. If you do nothing, then you are indifferent, and that word has been used to describe the opposite of love, which it may well be.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Some Choice Words for the 'Select Few'

Some Choice Words for the 'Select Few' by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

"That's how it works. And it works that way because we let it. The game goes on and the insiders keep dealing themselves winning hands. Nothing will change -- nothing -- until the money lenders are tossed out of the temple, the ATM's are wrested from the marble halls, and we tear down the sign they've placed on government -- the one that reads, "For Sale." "

Bush Surveillance Program Was Massive by Pamela Hess


Friday, July 10, 2009

CIA Lies

Why Isn't Congress in Open Revolt? CIA Lies By DAVE LINDORFF

From this article:

"All of this will eventually come to light, I am sure. But it is unlikely to come to light courtesy of the Congress, which is showing all the assertiveness of a field mouse. Nor is it likely to be exposed by the corporate media, which have long since thrown in the towel on serving as a Fourth Estate. And it sure won’t come from the Obama administration, which is even opposing timid calls in Congress for a broader future requirement for notification of Congress about CIA activities and actions. When it comes to exposing the crimes and abuses of the Bush/Cheney years, the Obama administration has decided it likes what it saw, and wants to continue with the new executive powers and secrecy that it inherited."

"So we’ll have to wait for honest whistle-blowers and for the alternative media to find out the real story here."


Obama's Biden Problem

Obama's Biden Problem By ALEXANDER COCKBURN

Some clips from this article:

"Appropriately, it was on the topic of Israel that, as vice president, Biden first tossed aside unmanly prudence. Even given the zeal of almost every member of the US Congress to satisfy the Israel lobby, Biden has always been conspicuous for his slavish posture towards the Holy State."

"As for Biden crossing Obama regarding Israel and Iran, vice presidents are not supposed to contradict presidential policy. But Biden’s genuflections to the Lobby are so ingrained, he simply can’t help himself. In his mind he’s already campaigning for the nomination in 2012 and wants to make sure the Lobby knows he’s still on board."


Bombings Across Iraq

Bombings Across Iraq as Violence Continues to Soar. Scores Killed in Last 48 Hours, Over 250 Wounded by Jason Ditz


To Mitigate Economic Armageddon: Slash the Defense Budget

To Mitigate Economic Armageddon: Slash the Defense Budget by Ivan Eland

Some clips from this article:

"The U.S. government is deeper in debt than it has been since just after World War II. When Bill Clinton, who actually reduced the federal deficit as a portion of GDP, left office, the Congressional Budget Office projected an $800 billion dollar yearly budget surplus for the years 2009 to 2012. Now CBO projects an annual budget deficit of a whopping $1.2 trillion. "

"To really put a dent in the $1.2 trillion dollar deficit, the U.S. must end the counterproductive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and, instead of bringing the forces home, simply dismantle them"

"In other words, the nation must take the radical step of designing a much more modest military that fulfills only the Constitutional mandate to "provide for the common defense," instead of maintaining a global armed presence and constantly intervening in the affairs of other nations — that is, being offensive. Adopting the more restrained foreign policy of a republic, instead of the current expansive posture of an empire, and significantly shrinking the standing armed forces would return America to the fine tradition of the nation’s founders. "


Russian Lessons

We aren’t the first to try nation-building in Afghanistan. By Paul Robinson

Take the time to read this, if you care at all about what's happening "over there", and you really should care because this is affecting you far more then the propaganda machine is saying.


When Will The Recovery Begin? Never

When Will The Recovery Begin? Never by Robert Reich

One reader response to this article caught my attention because I would construct a very similar list. I've copied it below.


Response to this article from Cygnus-X1-isaHole:

Mr. Reich is a bit wiser than Mr. Krugman. There'll be no recovery until EVERY problem is addressed.

Here's my short list:

(1) Shred NAFTA, WTO
(2) Dissolve the Fed into the Treasury and restore the job of controlling money supply and credit to the people.
(3) Increase the minimum wage to at least $10/hr.
(4) Pass EFCA
(5) 90% Top Marginal Tax Rate on incomes over $3 million
(6) Close all corporate tax loopholes
(7) Put Glass Steagall back in place
(8) End trading in Credit Default Swaps, Eliminate all debts owed thru them
(9) Tax Hedge funds between 35-50%
(10) Cut Defense Budget 50% Immediately
(11) Freeze all Pentagon funding until they can pass an audit
(12) End all wars/occupations and close all military bases
(13) Pass single-payer healthcare
(14) Enact a Public-works program ($3 trillion) to build an entirely new energy infrastructure (solar, wind, thermal and the lines that'll carry the new electrons) putting millions to work.
(15) Force banks to properly state the actual debt on their balance sheets. End government subsidies. If they cannot survive let them fail or let the FDIC reorganize them.
(16) Pass cram-down legislation allowing homeowners to renegotiate mortgages before bankruptcy judges
(17) Imprison every person involved in financial fraud...from the Wall Street Banker to the most powerful in government.
(18) Return control of the airwaves to its rightful owners, the public, and use antitrust legislation to break up media megaliths. The people MUST KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON TO PREVENT RECURRENCE OF THE ABOVE.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Adding Up the True Costs of Two Wars

Adding Up the True Costs of Two Wars by Joseph Stiglitz & Linda Bilmes

"This wartime spending undoubtedly has been a major contributor to our present economic collapse. The U.S. has waged an expensive war as if it required little or no economic sacrifice, funding the conflict by massive borrowing. As we've observed in the past, you can't spend $3 trillion on a reckless foreign war and not feel the pain at home."

A Quagmire for Obama by Derrick Z. Jackson

"But questions are emerging as to whether Obama is slipping slowly into his own quagmire, in another guerrilla war"