Monday, April 26, 2010

Yes, We Could… Get Out!

Yes, We Could… Get Out! by Tom Engelhardt

"And here’s the truth of the matter: the world won’t end, not in Iraq, not in Afghanistan, not in the United States, if we end our wars and withdraw. The sky won’t fall, even if the U.S. gets out reasonably quickly, even if subsequently blood is spilled and things don’t go well in either country."

In the Name of Zionism by Uri Avnery

"What makes the state into a "Zionist" one?"


Friday, April 23, 2010

Sanctioning Iran Is an Act of War

Sanctioning Iran Is an Act of War by Rep. Ron Paul

"I rise in opposition to this motion to instruct House conferees on HR 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, and I rise in strong opposition again to the underlying bill and to its Senate version as well. I object to this entire push for war on Iran, however it is disguised. Listening to the debate on the Floor on this motion and the underlying bill it feels as if we are back in 2002 all over again: the same falsehoods and distortions used to push the United States into a disastrous and unnecessary one-trillion-dollar war on Iraq are being trotted out again to lead us to what will likely be an even more disastrous and costly war on Iran. The parallels are astonishing."

Moyers on America: The Net @ Risk

The future of the Internet is at stake. Here's what everyone should know about the situation.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Demonizing Iran: US Media Continue Beating War Drums

Demonizing Iran: US Media Continue Beating War Drums by Dave Lindorff

No Israeli military effort cannot go forward without the full backing of the US, and to say otherwise is to simply perpetrate a fraud on the public, implying that Israel is an independent actor on the world stage. It is not.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The economy

Social Inequality in America: Widening Income Disparities. Workhouse Nation: Part One
by Vi Ransel

At the end of this long and comprehensive look at our economy come these quotes:

"It is in the interest of a tyrant to keep his people poor, so that they may not be able to afford the cost of protecting themselves by arms and be so occupied with their daily tasks (subsistence) that they have no time for rebellion." - Aristotle

"There are two ways to enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt." - John Adams

The Financial Terrorists Who Destroyed Our Economy Will Pay Zero in Taxes -- and Get $33 Billion in Refunds By David DeGraw

"The inequality of wealth in the United States between the economic top 0.5% and the remaining 99.5% of the population is now at an all-time high. The economic top 1% of the population now controls a record 70% of all financial assets."


All of this is occurring after giving these firms $14 TRILLION in taxpayer support - that works out to be $46,662 of your hard-earned money. That’s $46,662 for every man, woman and child in this country. If you have a family of four, sorry, your future just got robbed and you and your children just lost $186,648!

We're Living in a Kleptocracy: Fears of Socialism and Fascism Are a Distraction from the Naked Theft of Trillions By William Astore


Should US Be More Involved in Israeli-Palestinian ‘Peace Process’?

Should US Be More Involved in Israeli-Palestinian ‘Peace Process’? by Ivan Eland

"First, there are no other U.S. security interests that slavish support for Israel satisfies. The Cold War is over, and so is the need for the need for an isolated pro-U.S. outpost in the Middle East.


Second, U.S. involvement in trying to solve the intractable problem in Palestine – violence has been occurring there since the 1920s – merely convinces Islamist radicals that the United States is trying to help Israel legitimize the stealing of even more Arab land in the occupied territories


Finally, Petraeus’ line of reasoning assumes that the Palestine issue can be resolved. Experts have clearly delineated possible compromises on paper, but mutual hatred and distrust between the Israelis and Palestinians prevent obvious solutions
Heavy U.S. involvement and then likely failure is liable to highlight for Islamist radicals the belief that the impossibility of the U.S. being an honest broker in the conflict makes America complicit in one more continuing occupation by infidels of a Muslim land. Therefore, Islamist radicals’ stoked anger could lead to even more anti-U.S. attacks. "

Ivan leaves the conclusion, the what-to-do part, up to the reader.

I believe the matter should be given to the U.N. for resolution. The U.S. should be no more involved with Israel then any other country in the world.

The hasn't happened because the U.N. has been branded as - you guessed it - a bunch of anti-semites. Look into the track record of U.N. resolutions regarding Israel.

Does the US Government Understand the Terrorist Threat? by Ivan Eland

Another excellent analysis by Ivan Eland. He concludes:

If terrorism is to be stopped, the underlying causes have to be eliminated. In the case of Russia, it has to somehow recognize Chechen self-determination. In the case of the United States, an honest debate has to finally occur about the blowback effects from an unnecessarily interventionist and militarized U.S. foreign policy abroad. A nation’s foreign and defense policies are supposed to make its people and territory safer, not less secure.

More hype about Iran? By Stephen M. Walt

As right-on as Stephen Walt is with his book and articles on this subject, I think here he neglects to put the latest Next Big Threat, Iran, in context of the larger picture - which is the American military invasion of the Middle East and the occupation of their land, not to mention the threat to annihilate anyone who gets in the way. All of this motivated by Israel's political pressure on the American gov't to secure military authority in the region for Israel's security.

This is nothing less then the greatest fool's errand of the century! Nothing can be more stupid then running around shooting up and killing people, in a world brimming with terrible weapons, for a cause that only religious zealots support.


The 10 SCARIEST Charts Of The Recession

The 10 SCARIEST Charts Of The Recession by Nathaniel Cahners Hindman

This set of charts tells an interesting story. Too bad it's true!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

How To Survive The Apocalypse

How To Survive The Apocalypse: Some Things You Need To Know Before The World Ends by Jason Linkins

Sounds tongue in cheek, and alarmist, but it's probably a good idea to take a look over a survival guide. The one mentioned in this article can be found here, thanks to a reader contribution.


Inside Microsoft's Chinese Sweatshop

China's Youth Meet Microsoft

This is a remarkable story of a Chinese factory that produces products for Microsoft.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Remembering Iraq

Remembering Iraq by Andrew Bacevich

"Yet the commemoration of the Iraq War ought to have a second component: American soldiers and American citizens are owed an accounting of exactly what this war was about. Who devised it? What was its actual purpose? What did it achieve and at what cost? Why did so much go so wrong for so long? Who should be held accountable?"


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Your Taxes and War

Tomgram: Jo Comerford, Your Taxes and War by Jo Comerford

"If you’re an average American taxpayer, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have, since 2001, cost you personally $7,334, according to the “cost of war” counter created by the National Priorities Project (NPP). They have cost all Americans collectively more than $980,000,000,000. As a country, we’ll pass the trillion dollar mark soon."

Your Tax Dollars at War: More Than 53% of Your Tax Payment Goes to the Military by Dave Lindorff


Monday, April 12, 2010

Small-City Mayor Takes on the Pentagon

Small-City Mayor Takes on the Pentagon -- War Spending Should Be Spent on Americans, Not on Killing Afghans

"It was in the context of this kind of local pain that Ryan was stunned to discover just how much of Binghamton’s taxes were going to the military and to our distant wars, and how little was coming back to Binghamton in the form of aid and services."


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Afghanistan: Bill Moyers and Andrew Bacevich

Bill Moyers interview with Andrew Bacevich can be seen by clicking here. You'll have to click "View next story" to get to this video.

Andrew puts into words the arguments against the war in Afghanistan. Words that every American should hear.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

We were suckered

The Many Burdens a GI Faces in Afghanistan By Clancy Sigal

"Despite the fact, by now almost universally acknowledged (by all except Bush-Cheney and Blair-Brown), that we were suckered into a Middle Eastern war ..."


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

War status report

As Iraq Threatens to Come Apart, US Problems in Afghanistan Mount by William Pfaff

During the media's brainwashing pump-up for the invasion of Iraq, it was crystal clear to me that we'd wind up where we are today. And, according to this vision, that war - for military authority in the Middle East, let's be as crystal clear about this - is going to get a lot worse.

Since the beginning of this mess, before 9/11, I've wasted at least half of my time, killing my productivity (which my business has suffered for), to argue against the folly of that invasion. All for naught. All that time and effort changed exactly nothing. Well, I did manage to alienate some friends, family and anyone else who had bought into the nonsense spewing from our information supply, the propaganda machine.

Do I stand vindicated now? Maybe to myself, but otherwise not. People who didn't listen then aren't listening today either. Why is this? In a nutshell it's because people still turn to the TV and, worst case example, Fox News, for their information. Well, the very same people who manipulated information to make that invasion happen haven't gone anywhere - they continue to influence what appears on most American screens in very important ways, and the disaster of that invasion is at the top of their priorities. They haven't run out of excuses, diversions and the other propaganda tricks developed by histories greatest masters of manipulation.

To summarize what it seems too few people are aware: it was the Neocons, the signers of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), a gang chuck full of Zionists, who made that invasion happen. They had the right connections in Washington (AIPAC, who controls the gates into Congress), and in our information supply, especially the TV.

If you're not aware, please check out Wolfowitz's history and his mentor, Leo Strauss, at the University of Chicago, and how the resultant Neocon philosophy has been acted out by Washington and our information supply, and most sadly of all, how it remains as powerful as every through this day.

A quote from William Pfaff's piece:

"Iraq under the Sunni tyrant Saddam Hussein, and his Ba’ath Party, was invaded by the United States (at Israel’s urging!) because it was considered a major threat to American interests and security (and in Israel’s case, allegedly to its very existence)."

US War-Fighting Numbers to Knock Your Socks Off by Tom Engelhardt

Read this litany of details on how our money was sucked right out of our pockets for the Neocon cause. If you're poor or struggling, you can relate to these numbers all the more.

NEOCON WARS - Hilarious STAR WARS Parody - Starring RON PAUL & NEOCONS

In case you haven't seen this Star Wars parody, please take an hour and a half or so to watch it. I only came across it today, and it appears to be 2 years old, but it's only more true today then it was then.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Wikileaks Releases Video of US Choppers Slaying Reporters, Civilians

Wikileaks Releases Video of US Choppers Slaying Reporters, Civilians Scott Horton

See how this video makes you feel.

A related story: Intelligence Agencies Allegedly Going to Extremes to Suppress Video Confirming Pentagon Massacre Cover-up

What happened to Ralph Nader? Read this story By Chris Hedges
How the Corporations Broke Ralph Nader and America, Too

"Nader’s status as a pariah corresponded with an unchecked assault by corporations on the working class. The long-term unemployment rate, which in reality is close to 20 percent, the millions of foreclosures, the crippling personal debts that plague households, the personal bankruptcies, Wall Street’s looting of the U.S. Treasury, the evaporation of savings and retirement accounts and the crumbling of the country’s vital infrastructure are taking place as billions in taxpayer subsidies, obscene profits, bonuses and compensation are enjoyed by the corporate overlords. We will soon be forced to buy the defective products of the government-subsidized drug and health insurance companies, which will remain free to raise co-payments and premiums, especially if policyholders get seriously ill. The oil, gas, coal and nuclear power companies have made a mockery of Barack Obama’s promises to promote clean, renewal energy. And we are rapidly becoming a third-world country, cannibalized by corporations, with two-thirds of the population facing financial difficulty and poverty.

The system is broken. "

The L-Curve by David Chandler

David talks about economics and the distribution of wealth in America. He also mentions this about the mainstream media:

"The mainstream media has been bought up by people in the "vertical spike." The primary channels for information and expressed opinion are controlled and filtered by a small, powerful group on the vertical spike whose interests are not representative of the majority of Americans. Even when there is no direct political message the programming is tailored to the perspectives and sensitivities of large corporations. The business of media is to sell advertising. Programming is simply the hook to hold an audience until the next commercial. Serious examination of ideas of any kind is seen as counterproductive because it may alienate or bore part of the potential audience. The result is nonstop sensationalistic binges of O.J., Princess Di, Monica, and Elian. The growing media monopoly dilutes and distorts the national dialog, and thereby destroys the basis for democracy. We must find ways to rebuild community and learn to talk to each other directly."

And from Chris Hedges article on Ralph Nader this mention on this subject:

“The real tragedy is that citizens’ movements should not have to rely on the commercial media, and public television and radio are disgraceful—if anything they are worse,” Nader said. “In 30-some years [Bill] Moyers has had me on [only] twice. We can’t rely on the public media. We do what we can with Amy [Goodman] on “Democracy Now!” and Pacifica stations. When I go to local areas I get very good press, TV and newspapers, but that doesn’t have the impact, even locally. The national press has enormous impact on the issues. It is not pleasant having to say this. You don’t want to telegraph that you have been blacked out, but on the other hand you can’t keep it quiet. The right wing has won through intimidation.”

Click here for another website with charts on the distribution of wealth in America.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bill Moyers at his best

Please spend 5 minutes watching this Bill Moyers essay on inequality in America

Give him a minute or two to get going and into the heart of his presentation.


Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US

Economist tallies swelling cost of Israel to US By David R. Francis

"Stauffer's list will be controversial. He's been assisted in this research by a number of mostly retired military or diplomatic officials who do not go public for fear of being labeled anti-Semitic if they criticize America's policies toward Israel."

Israel is a belligerent, arrogant state whose machinations at home and abroad have brought our world into territory we don't want to be in. I refer specifically to their war in the Middle East, it's long term consequences, and the underlying social and economic impact, not to mention Zionist participation in the side-show of pulling off the greatest heist of all time by those who created and then exploited deregulation of banks in the form of derivatives and other exploits that were manipulated to put tons of our tax money in their pockets. But the main show is in the Middle East, where they have bet our farm on achieving military authority in the region. We're being very slow to realize it, but this process (war) by it's very nature either escalates or de-escalates, and it's escalating. This mean more of our blood and guts, and more of our money.

Study the national debt. You don't have to be a genius to see what's happened, is happening, and where we stand today. Factor in that war isn't going to be over anytime soon, and is far more likely to expand then contract. Incremental expansion, just as happened with Vietnam. Each side ups the stakes, invariably.

The seeds of hatred have been sown among too many people for us not to suffer retaliation. It's only a matter of time, says Warren Buffet, myself and some others who have taken the time to do their homework and disbelieve the endless propaganda on the TV. If we invaded two countries over a few buildings on 9/11, what will we do after a larger attack?

The weapons are too horrible. We don't know - and we don't want to find out - what the modern day variant of the escalation theme looks like. Is it possible that some small group of people who hate us can get their hands on vials with biological weapons - and deliver them to the middle of a dozen of our cities at the same time? Science fiction yesterday, real possibility today. But would our enemy do such a thing? Have you ever seen them doing a beheading? People killing themselves to take out small groups of people are common. How fast would any of them sign up for the job of delivering something far more powerful? Line down the street? Would they be able to get such weapons? I've read that the breakup of Russia put some of them on the black market. Why has it taken them so long? They see time differently.

As to the inevitable 'anti-semite' charge, I'll say again that I've never met a Jewish person I didn't like, and I have family and friendship involvements that are cherished. My father fought the Nazi's at the time, and truth be told, people living today have no more claim on their ancestor's hardships then do, say, American Indians. I'm sick of seeing this 'anti-semite' claim being used to squash valid criticism. In my opinion, it's been the very lack of criticism that has fed the warmongering spirit that drives Israel today. The plight of the Palestinians, in case you aren't aware, is intolerable. And to think we're benefactors of this rogue state - it's no wonder we have people out there seriously hating us. This is not good.


Friday, April 2, 2010

What War with Iran Means

What War with Iran Means by Patrick J. Buchanan

"Before the War Party stampedes us into yet another war, the Senate should find out if Tehran is really on the "verge" of getting a bomb, and why deterrence, which never failed us, cannot succeed with Iran."

Pat Buchanan is right on the money with his brief analysis on the prospect of attacking Iran.

Recently I've posited on the shift of troops from Iraq to Afghanistan - that the underlying reason is to keep large numbers of American troops in the area and at the ready, once they had to leave Iraq and before they came home. That is, Afghanistan was never about a commitment to win anything, but a place to park troops and equipment and keep them ready for the next round of the war to establish military authority in the region for the benefit of Israel and their minions in Washington.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Obscenity of War

The Obscenity of War By Amy Goodman

"The Eikenberry memos recommend policies opposite those of Gens. David Petraeus and Stanley McChrystal, who advocated for the surge and a counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan. Eikenberry wrote that President Hamid Karzai is “not an adequate strategic partner,” and that “sending additional forces will delay the day when Afghans will take over, and make it difficult, if not impossible, to bring our people home on a reasonable timetable.” Petraeus and McChrystal prevailed. The military will launch a major campaign in June in Afghanistan’s second-largest city, Kandahar. Meanwhile, with shocking candor, McChrystal said in a video conference this week, regarding the number of civilians killed by the U.S. military, “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.” U.S. troop fatalities, meanwhile, are occurring now at twice the rate of one year ago."

McChrystal's Night Raiders By Gareth Porter

"But there is a glaring contradiction between McChrystal's new counterinsurgency credentials and his actual policy toward the politically explosive issue of night raids on private homes by Special Operations Forces (SOF) units targeting suspected Taliban.

Since he took over as top commander in Afghanistan, McChrystal has not only refused to curb those raids but has increased them dramatically. And even after they triggered a new round of angry protests from villagers, students and Afghan President Hamid Karzai himself, he has given no signal of reducing his support for them."

The Criminal NSA Eavesdropping Program by Glenn Greenwald

"While torture and aggressive war may have been the most serious crimes which the Bush administration committed, its warrantless eavesdropping on American citizens was its clearest and most undeniable lawbreaking. Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker yesterday became the third federal judge -- out of three who have considered the question -- to find that Bush's warrantless eavesdropping program was illegal ..."