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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 02/28/2010 - 03/07/2010
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"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Friday, March 05, 2010

Nothing annoys your Senators more than having to do their jobs...

not bad...

How about that proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

What, you haven't heard of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency? Well, the folks at want to fix that. They've teamed up for "Presidential Reunion," a star-studded sketch released Wednesday aimed at calling attention to the need for such a board.

In the bit, a clearly flummoxed (and still heavy-smoking) President Barack Obama retires for the evening with first lady Michelle (Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph), unable to leave the country's weighty financial matters behind. "I'm just tired of getting my butt kicked from both sides on this," Armisen's Faux-bama says.

Once in dreamland, he's visited by a cast of comedians reprising their "Saturday Night Live" roles as presidential impersonators: Will Ferrell as George W. Bush, Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton, Dana Carvey as George H.W. Bush, Dan Aykroyd as Jimmy Carter and Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford. They all urge Obama to make such legislation a reality. The video is directed by Ron Howard.

Jim Carrey is the lone non-"SNL" alum in the video, playing Ronald Reagan. Phil Hartman, the best-known Reagan impersonator on "SNL," was shot to death by his wife in a 1998 murder-suicide.

The video was shot over 15 hours Sunday in Van Nuys, Calif., and is thought to mark the first time all living "SNL" presidential impersonators had gathered for a sketch. It quickly went viral, heating up Facebook and Twitter fast enough to make you say "Conan who?"

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Bring Dubya back... He's a lot more fun to hate...

what a worthless piece of shit obama is turning out to be...
President Obama's advisers are nearing a recommendation that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, be prosecuted in a military tribunal, administration officials said, a step that would reverse Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s plan to try him in civilian court in New York City.

The president's advisers feel increasingly hemmed in by bipartisan opposition to a federal trial in New York and demands, mainly from Republicans, that Mohammed and his accused co-conspirators remain under military jurisdiction, officials said. While Obama has favored trying some terrorism suspects in civilian courts as a symbol of U.S. commitment to the rule of law, critics have said military tribunals are the appropriate venue for those accused of attacking the United States.

we thought we were getting rid of bush but instead, what did we get...? a "bush of color"... just shoot me...

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Gaza, right on the Mediterranean, has to buy imported fish

and our pompous, navel-gazing news media continues to ignore the human rights disaster perpetrated by israel's genocidal policies that continues day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year in palestine and gaza...
Under a sea blockade, the coastal Gaza Strip has now become a seafood importer. Its desperate fishermen — cut off from plentiful fishing grounds by Israeli patrol boats — have turned to sneaking into Egyptian waters in tiny motorboats to buy their catch and bring it home.

Others bring in fish by land, in ice-packed plastic foam boxes pulled through smuggling tunnels from Egypt. And even though the Mediterranean is right on Gaza's doorstep, locals are creating fish ponds to provide Gaza's 1.5 million people their key source of protein.


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Monday, March 01, 2010

Obama lies as cravenly, if not as crudely, as George W. Bush

honestly, i hate to put up posts like this... i know chris hedges is completely and totally pissed off at our out-of-control system and the screwing we're taking at the hands of our super-rich, financial and political elites... yes, it ain't pretty, but it's largely true...

We owe Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney an apology. They were right about Barack Obama. They were right about the corporate state. They had the courage of their convictions and they stood fast despite wholesale defections and ridicule by liberals and progressives.

Obama lies as cravenly, if not as crudely, as George W. Bush. He promised us that the transfer of $12.8 trillion in taxpayer money to Wall Street would open up credit and lending to the average consumer. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), however, admitted last week that banks have reduced lending at the sharpest pace since 1942. As a senator, Obama promised he would filibuster amendments to the FISA Reform Act that retroactively made legal the wiretapping and monitoring of millions of American citizens without warrant; instead he supported passage of the loathsome legislation. He told us he would withdraw American troops from Iraq, close the detention facility at Guantánamo, end torture, restore civil liberties such as habeas corpus and create new jobs. None of this has happened.

He is shoving a health care bill down our throats that would give hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to the private health insurance industry in the form of subsidies, and force millions of uninsured Americans to buy insurers’ defective products. These policies would come with ever-rising co-pays, deductibles and premiums and see most of the seriously ill left bankrupt and unable to afford medical care. Obama did nothing to halt the collapse of the Copenhagen climate conference, after promising meaningful environmental reform, and has left us at the mercy of corporations such as ExxonMobil. He empowers Israel’s brutal apartheid state. He has expanded the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where hundreds of civilians, including entire families, have been slaughtered by sophisticated weapons systems such as the Hellfire missile, which sucks the air out of victims’ lungs. And he is delivering war and death to Yemen, Somalia and perhaps Iran.

The illegal wars and occupations, the largest transference of wealth upward in American history and the egregious assault on civil liberties, all begun under George W. Bush, raise only a flicker of tepid protest from liberals when propagated by the Democrats. Liberals, unlike the right wing, are emotionally disabled. They appear not to feel. The tea party protesters, the myopic supporters of Sarah Palin, the veterans signing up for Oath Keepers and the myriad of armed patriot groups have swept into their ranks legions of disenfranchised workers, angry libertarians, John Birchers and many who, until now, were never politically active. They articulate a legitimate rage. Yet liberals continue to speak in the bloodless language of issues and policies, and leave emotion and anger to the protofascists. Take a look at the 3,000-word suicide note left by Joe Stack, who flew his Piper Cherokee last month into an IRS office in Austin, Texas, murdering an IRS worker and injuring dozens. He was not alone in his rage.

“Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours?” Stack wrote. “Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political ‘representatives’ (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the ‘terrible health care problem’. It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in.”

The timidity of the left exposes its cowardice, lack of a moral compass and mounting political impotence. The left stands for nothing. The damage Obama and the Democrats have done is immense. But the damage liberals do the longer they beg Obama and the Democrats for a few scraps is worse. It is time to walk out on the Democrats. It is time to back alternative third-party candidates and grass-roots movements, no matter how marginal such support may be. If we do not take a stand soon we must prepare for the rise of a frightening protofascist movement, one that is already gaining huge ground among the permanently unemployed, a frightened middle class and frustrated low-wage workers. We are, even more than Glenn Beck or tea party protesters, responsible for the gusts fanning the flames of right-wing revolt because we have failed to articulate a credible alternative.

yep, yep, yep...

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Owning is being - we have become what we own

joe bageant...
There is a terrible science fiction-like awe in the autonomous American economic monolith, in the way that it provides for us, feeds on us and keeps us as its both its lavish pets and slaves. The commodity economy long ago enslaved Americans and other "developed" capitalist societies. But Americans in particular. The most profound slavery must be that in which the slaves can conceive of no other possible or better world than their bondage. Inescapable, global, all permeating, the commodities economy rules so thoroughly most cannot imagine any other possible kind of economy.

It comes down to owning stuff, and that the stuff we own also owns us (as anyone paying rent for a storage locker can attest). Transmogrified by industrial materialism, we have become what we own. More specifically, what we are observed by the rest of our society as owning. In the commodified society of industrial materialism, owning is being. So much so, that politicians bandy the term "ownership society" about, not only without causing the public to gag, but to cheers. Even liberals who claim to dislike the term don't want to be in a "We don't own shit society."


Loathe as Americans are to believe it, the Mexican people and the American people are in the same situation of being mugged. However, they are robbed at a different rate and from different positions in the global pecking order. We rob the Mexicans and global capitalism robs us. Fortunately we can still afford to buy our national food staple from Dominoes. Which makes us a superior people.


Americans are hope fiends. We always see hope somewhere down every road, chiefly because honestly looking at the present situation would destroy just about everything we hold as reality. Personally, as I often state and catch readership hell for, I do not like hope. When Obama ran it up the flagpole for us to salute, and so many saluted, my blood chilled. Made me feel that we were all in deeper shit than I had supposed (Nevertheless, I reluctantly voted for Obama. At the time it seemed It was either Obama, or continuing war, debt, and diminishing civil liberties. Ha!) Hope is magic thinking, believing that somehow, some larger unknown force is in motion to set things right.

The world is what it is, and its injustices are set right by peoples and nations morally intact enough to challenge its malevolent forces.

Hope is political pabulum for an infantilized nation.

and, at the conclusion of an almost unbearably cynical rant - a rant with which i profoundly and gloomily agree - joe abruptly and unexpectedly captures my own present mood...
In all honesty, I am sick of thinking about it, tired of burning up unrecoverable hours at the end of my 63-year old candle writing about it. So are many of my colleagues in cybernetic left-space.

Distance and solitude seem the only refuge. Which is why I am "aging Mexican," and almost monastically absorbed in the small daily rituals of sustenance these days. I do not kid myself that it is permanent or a real solution to the unbearable ugliness of the American condition.

But at the moment, four AM, a cricket chirps in the orange tree by my window, and my tortillas are perfectly lovely.

while i'm not one to be found cooking tortillas at 4 a.m., i do find myself increasingly engaged in mundane, mindless ritual, often in the quiet of solitude... there is something deeply comforting about lying on my sofa in the afternoon in my leafy little corner of buenos aires watching the sunlight sparkle and dance off the deep green leaves as they rustle softly in the breeze or, in the evening, listening to the sounds of the neighborhood as it putters about before settling down into the late night quiet... it tends to make all the sucking up of internet news headlines that i seem helpless to stop doing just a bit more tolerable...

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Booz Allen Executive VP, former Admiral and former intelligence chief, fear-mongers for his company

all in the name of national security, of cuss, of cuss...
Mike McConnell on how to win the cyber-war we're losing

The United States is fighting a cyber-war today, and we are losing. It's that simple. As the most wired nation on Earth, we offer the most targets of significance, yet our cyber-defenses are woefully lacking.

o-o-o-oook... so, check the next paragraph...
The problem is not one of resources; even in our current fiscal straits, we can afford to upgrade our defenses. The problem is that we lack a cohesive strategy to meet this challenge.

translation: we need to increase defense spending even MORE, and, oh, btw, my company is a prime defense contractor... we also need to develop a national strategy, and, oh, btw, my company can do that too...

and what does this dinosaur put forth as the model for protecting against this high-tech challenge...? why, the cold war, the boogieman that made so many of these old farts and their companies rich beyond measure...

During the Cold War, deterrence was based on a few key elements: attribution (understanding who attacked us), location (knowing where a strike came from), response (being able to respond, even if attacked first) and transparency (the enemy's knowledge of our capability and intent to counter with massive force).

Against the Soviets, we dealt with the attribution and location challenges by developing human intelligence behind the Iron Curtain and by fielding early-warning radar systems, reconnaissance satellites and undersea listening posts to monitor threats. We invested heavily in our response capabilities with intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarines and long-range bombers, as well as command-and-control systems and specialized staffs to run them. The resources available were commensurate with the challenge at hand -- as must be the case in cyberspace.

Just as important was the softer side of our national security strategy: the policies, treaties and diplomatic efforts that underpinned containment and deterrence. Our alliances, such as NATO, made clear that a strike on one would be a strike on all and would be met with massive retaliation. This unambiguous intent, together with our ability to monitor and respond, provided a credible nuclear deterrent that served us well.

it seems obvious that we're being prepped for the next great enemy... first, it was the soviet union and the threat of nuclear annihilation... then, it was terrorism and the fear of someone wearing a suicide vest under every bed... now, we need to quake in terror of an electronically savvy enemy penetrating the very networks that makes our interconnected life possible...

ask yourself... who stands to lose the most if mcconnell's vision of the horrors of cyber war comes true...? would it be you and me...? probably not... would it be the super-rich elites whose billions and billions of dollars/euros/pounds/yen/renminbi electronically circle the globe thousands of times every day looking for a place to land where it can make them yet more...? yes... that's who would suffer... poor babies... ain't buyin' it...

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Another Sunday morning headline to drive a saint to drink

when i voted for barack obama, the last thing i expected was a george bush clone bent on the continued destruction of the 4th amendment...
Obama gives Patriot Act another year with no privacy protections

If the Patriot Act hadn't been approved for another year, Sunday would have looked much different.

Sunday could have meant the government was no longer given permission to wiretap the phones of Americans and seize their records and property.

But since the bill was approved by Congressional Democrats earlier this week and signed into law by President Obama on Saturday, this Sunday is just another Sunday for Americans living with the Patriot Act.

To be fair, many Democrats asked for additional protections for the privacy rights of American citizens.

But Republicans said that would detract from the ability of the country's intelligence agencies to track down terrorists. Lacking a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate to pass the bill with the extra provisions, Democrats left them out.

Democratic Rep. Jane Harman opposed the House's approval of the extension, citing abuses during the administration of President George W. Bush.

"While I strongly support using the most robust tools possible to go after terrorists, Congress must revise and narrow -- not extend -- Bush era policies," Harman said.

Glenn Greenwald of had the following to say of the overwhelming support of the law's extension:

One of the strangest prongs of conventional Beltway wisdom is the lament that there is not enough bipartisanship. The opposite is true: many of the most damaging acts inflicted on the country by Washington are enacted on a fully bipartisan basis -- the most destructive political act of this generation, the invasion of Iraq, was fully bipartisan, as were most of the post-9/11 civil liberties abuses and other Bush-era initiatives-- and, at least in certain areas, the harmonious joining together of Republicans and Democrats continues unabated.

so, jane harman was opposing the extension, the very congresswoman who, throughout the bush administration, stood by and supported the very constitutional abuses that got us here in the first place...? gimme strength...

and greenwald is 100% correct... there is no daylight between the republicans and the democrats... neither party nor the scoundrels who have the nerve to claim they're carrying out their oath of office give one whit about the common good of the country... it's power and money and the more of each the better...

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