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January 3rd, 2009
We begin the New Year with diminished expectations for the Obama administration in the face of worsening economic conditions following the Bushies’ End Game looting of the nation’s wealth. Predictions are now beginning to acknowledge that there’s not much hope for recovery until 2011 at least, credit card companies have jumped into the looting frenzy en masse to jump interest rates approaching 50%, juggled due dates and credit cut-offs even for cardholders and small businesses who have spotless records and pay off balances every month. Ranks of the unemployed continue to swell, reaching official levels close to 10% and unofficial levels over 15%. Citizens continue to die for lack of accessible, affordable health care, and states are now cutting their Medicaid and SCHIP coverage due to diminished income.
Nothing particularly happy about this New Year. Meanwhile, over in the Middle East where things have been decidedly unhappy for at least 4,000 years, Israel is at it again. Eight days’ worth of air bombardment of cities, towns and refugee camps have killed more than 400 Palestinians and injured more than 2,000 in retaliation for Hamas rockets fired into southern Israel across the border by that hopelessly terrorist enclave of perpetual victimhood and hate no other Arabic nations care to embrace for resettlement, knowing the players are incurable barbarians just like Israel does. After generations of forced incarceration in camps, this predicament was entirely predictable 60 years ago when the arrangements were made.Balance of Power, Economics, Foreign Policy, History, Israel, Palestine, Religion, Terrorism, War | Comment (0)
October 31st, 2008
Janis Joplin once sang someone else’s song very poignantly – “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…” – and that’s semi-true in my experience. We all make choices about what’s important in our lives, and usually become enslaved to that which we choose. At the low end of the scale there’s never enough, just paying the bills is a constant struggle. At the high end of the scale there is also never enough. The thirst for more and more and more rules lives and ruins them too.
As Wall Street melts down we’re suddenly informed we must Spend, Spend, Spend!!! They can never make up their minds. Either we’re not saving enough or we’re not spending enough, it’s always our fault. I call bullshit. Slave wages have not even kept up with the cost of living, they can’t have it both ways.
I read about a 50-something day care worker yesterday who a coworker noticed sitting in the corner crying. When asked what’s wrong, she finally said she couldn’t feel her face. The coworker was alarmed, saw one side of her face drooping as they were talking, speech slurring. She drove her friend to the hospital, but the woman just cried harder and wouldn’t get out of the car. Said yes, she must be having a stroke, but if she walked in the door she’d lose everything – house, car, meager income (job)… she was terrified. Her friend finally talked her into going, she is still in the hospital and her coworkers are trying very hard to raise the tens of thousands she’ll need to pay for the care. There is no insurance at that end of the scale.Barack Obama, Class War, Corruption, Depression, Economics, Eugenics, Foreign Policy, Gay Rights, Hate Speech, History, Hypocrisy, Market Crash, Osama bin Laden, Outrage, Politics of Hate, Propaganda, Religion, Sarah Palin, Universal Care, Voting Rights, War | Comment (0)
September 18th, 2008
Financial news of Wall Street meltdowns, Fed takeovers of big insurers and mortgage giants, and some serious death and destruction on the Texas coast from Hurricane Ike (which we’re finding out about piecemeal after 6 days of “Heckuva Job, Skeletor”), it has become more and more obvious that the country is in such terrible trouble that this will be one of the most important Presidential elections of our lifetimes.
So perhaps it’s not so surprising that both friends and enemies of Republican candidate John McCain are beginning to become alarmed at what appears to be some sort of serious mental decline that has taken hold and accelerating rapidly. What’s going on?Campaigns, Diplomacy, Federal Reserve, Foreign Policy, John McCain, Market Crash, Presidential Candidates | Comment (0)
August 20th, 2008
We should know by Friday (or, Thursday when the Obama camp promises to ‘leak’ the choice to selected bloggers who will immediately ‘leak’ it to the rest of us). Who will it be? Will we be surprised? Disgusted? Outraged? Glad?
Don’t know if I have a favorite in this beauty contest. I’ve heard a lot of things, and thought about others. I’ve heard Hillary is out of the running, but she sure seems to still feel it’s her ‘right’ to be on the ticket. And given that she got half the votes cast, she may have a point. But how effective could Obama’s leadership be if he had a 2-fer on the Veep end that worked constantly against his policies and hogging the spotlight? So no, I wouldn’t be happy to see Hillary’s name drawn.Barack Obama, Blogosphere, Campaigns, Conventions, Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Presidential Candidates | Comment (0)
July 24th, 2008
Jerusalem and Berlin
Now, THAT’s how you woo the world! Our erstwhile allies are all pretty darned tired of being bullied. Maybe it’s not too farfetched to hope that Americans might finally get tired of being bullied too.
The Bushies (including John McCain) reacted to Obamapalooza just as everyone paying attention would expect. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice issued orders the night before Obama left to State Department employees in all the scheduled tour stops that they must not attend any speeches or events or aid Obama (or the other two US Senators on the tour) in any way when they’re in-country. But since assisting US leaders – or even arranging their events, as has been done for McCain’s travels – when they’re in-country is part of the diplomatic corps’ job description, most pointedly ignored the orders.
This is going to be a fun election.Filed under Barack Obama, Campaigns, Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, Marketing, Presidential Candidates, Religion | Comment (0)
April 10th, 2008
…all the respect it deserves
In the wake of China’s crackdown on civilians and Buddhist monks and priests in Tibet, its links to Myanmar’s military rulers and genocidal juntas in Sudan’s Darfur region, this year’s Olympic Torch Run is meeting with anti-PRC protests along its route. Protests last week in London and Paris turned violent and were met with crackdowns of their own. The flame arrived in San Francisco Wednesday morning, a city with the largest number of Chinese residents in the US, and it was met with protesters.
The Dalai Lama told reporters outside Tokyo on Wednesday that he supports China’s hosting of the Summer Olympic Games, but insisted no one has a right to tell protesters “to shut up.”
The torch run seems a particularly good target for protest of China’s dismal record on human rights. The run was invented for the 1936 games in Berlin by Carl Diem, leader of the German Olympic Committee as a favorable propaganda vehicle for Hitler’s Third Reich.
So don’t be fooled by right-wing denunciations of the ongoing protests as the torch makes its way across the globe. It is a spectacle that never occurred in ancient Greece, but was invented to serve Adolph Hitler and announce him to the world he was about to throw into massive, murderous turmoil with his dreams of conquest and hatred of ethnic minorities and Jews. Linking the torch run to its notorious beginnings is apropos as a vehicle of protest against China’s brutal policies and involvement in ethnic and religious violence across the globe.
REMINDER: Don’t forget, kiddies – This is Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, brought to you again this year by the David Horowitz Freedom Center!Filed under China, Foreign Policy, History, Marketing, Propaganda, Protests | Comments (2)
December 7th, 2007
Unmasking the Puppet Master …hiding in plain sight
Many years ago during the worst of the paranoid breakdown of “Tricky Dick” before his forced resignation, and again during the sneaky, behind-the-scenes horrors being brought to light in those infamous Iran-Contra hearings that made Ollie North such a wingnut hero, I used to console myself with the thought…
“As long as Frank Zappa is running around free, this is still America!”
Today, as we enter year number 8 of the most damaging and destructive American administration of my [Truman+] lifetime, Frank Zappa is dead and the steady erosion of our rights and standing in the world is worse than I’ve ever seen it. But I do have another true hero of freedom to console myself with…
“As long as Keith Olbermann is running around free, this is still America!”
Maybe it’s because I was born into the US Navy (NIS planning officer) where courage and resolve and honesty and patriotism were a way of life my siblings and I were fed along with mother’s milk. Qualities completely expected and always encouraged, a reflection of total dedication to defending and preserving that which was most noble about our nation’s aspirations as a beacon of freedom in the wider world. We were proud of that even if we were always “the new kid” in our classes for moving around the country/world a lot, always picked on by the bigger kids for being outsiders or having funny accents or just for being ‘military brats’.
So when Keith Olbermann looked right into the MSNBC camera this past Wednesday and said to the current occupant of the White House that…
“The Chicken Little of presidents is the one, sir, that you see in the mirror.”
…I just had to laugh out loud. If that idiot child at 1600 was watching, the whole thing no doubt went right over his pin-sized head. I have no doubt he has no idea who the heck Chicken Little is, and hasn’t the IQ to find out. Why, as this nation was being attacked on 9-11 he was having real trouble following along with the kindergartners reading “My Pet Goat,” and was far more interested in how that story turned out than in what was happening in New York City.
God bless you, K.O., and keep you free!Analysis, Bush, Foreign Policy, History, Intelligence, Media, War | Comments (2)
December 5th, 2007
16 US Intelligence Agencies agree, but not with Bush/Cheney…
With Bush and his cadre’s recent hyperbolic rhetoric introducing “World War III” in the same sentence with Iran, it looks to me like the various US intelligence agencies don’t plan to be made scapegoat once again for Bush/Cheney’s delusions of Hitlerian grandeur. They all got together this time and reported in the most recent National Intelligence Estimate that Iran does not have nuclear weapons and is years away from having nuclear weapons even if it tries really hard. CNN reported that…
A declassified summary of the latest National Intelligence Estimate found with “high confidence” that the Islamic republic halted an effort to develop nuclear weapons in the fall of 2003.
Worse, this report was prepared in December of 2006. Which explains why Cheney and the boyz were so anxious to keep a lid on it while they beat the drums toward a opening a new front in their forever-war. Ex-CIA counter-terrorism expert Larry Johnson offered this observation:
Analysis, Bush, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Military, War | Comment (0)
There are some unsung heroes in the National Intelligence Council who insisted on the integrity of the product. In the face of enormous political pressure to tailor information and pull punches that undermine Bush Administration talking points, the intelligence professionals did their job. They told the truth based on the facts in hand.
November 1st, 2007
Update w/New Links and List of Deaths
Way back in early September I posted about a strange incident at Minot AFB in North Dakota, where 5 (now increased to 6) stockpiled nuclear warheads were taken out of storage, armed, attached to supposedly decommissioned Advanced Cruise Missiles, loaded onto the pilons of a B-52 strategic bomber, and flown to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana – a forward staging base for deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq.
My analysis at that time was that the whistleblowers who reported the incident to The Army Times – which then broke the story – were just doing their job, which had to do with some rather obvious “Saber-Rattling” by the Bush administration against Iran. In that post I noted that ex-CIA analyst Larry Johnson agreed with my analysis on his blog.
On Halloween investigative reporter Dave Lindorff posted a diary on DKos based on his article for The American Conservative [October 22 issue online]. He titled his diary The Air Force Cover-Up of that Minot-Barksdale Nuclear Missile Flight and it’s full of little tidbits of information from the Air Force’s investigation report on the incident.Foreign Policy, Military, Nuclear Weapons, Propaganda, Russia, War | Comments (11)
September 19th, 2007
Today be International Talk Like A Pirate Day, so I think it be a Cracken good idee to invite me matey Cap’n Randall to spin a sea-yarn for all us swabbies. About dark buckaneers an’ dirty deeds in foreign ports, blunderbuss firing and cannonballs’ thunder, and Davy Jones’ locker.
The Cap’n eats fire, ye bilge rats! Don’ ye cross ‘im or he’ll sent ye straight to Davy Jones!
Follow me below to the bilges if ye dare….Corruption, Foreign Policy, Mercenaries, Military, Talk Like a Pirate, War | Comment (0)