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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 03/07/2010 - 03/14/2010
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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

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In planning for universal broad-band access, why does the FCC have to "tread carefully"?

it makes a pathetic statement about our country when a government agency which, in this case, is clearly working for the common good, has to walk on eggshells with corporations that only have their profits in mind...
The plan envisions a fully Web-connected world with split-second access to health care information and online classrooms, delivered through wireless devices yet to be dreamed up in Silicon Valley. But to get there, analysts say the F.C.C. must tread carefully with companies like Comcast and AT&T that largely control Internet pricing and speeds. Already, there are questions about the extent to which the F.C.C. has jurisdiction over Internet providers.

one of my biggest beefs about our government and its leaders is how rarely they seem to work on behalf of the good of the commons... now, here's the fcc, with a plan to not only eliminate the internet class divide and bring the u.s. up to a par with the 28 other countries who have faster internet access than the u.s., and it's worrying about stepping on corporate toes... what a crock o'shit...

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Extremism comes only from the Muslim world, not right-wing white people with persecution complexes and semiautomatic weapons

this should clear up any lingering confusion...
There seems to be some confusion about who are the real terrorists these days. Allow me to shed some light on the issue.

John Patrick Bedell was angry at the totalitarian federal government that had devastated public education, private property rights and monetary policy, so he shot two security guards at the Pentagon. He was not a terrorist.

Andrew Joseph Stack flew a small plane into a building housing an office of the Internal Revenue Service in Austin, Texas, killing one IRS worker and wounding 13 people in the structure. Earlier that day, Stack wrote a diatribe on his Web page against the IRS and the federal government. “Violence not only is the answer,” he wrote, “it is the only answer.” Stack was not a terrorist.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist of Palestinian origin, opened fire on fellow soldiers in Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 and wounding 29. He strongly opposed U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is a terrorist.

At first there may be some confusion about these designations, but there are clear differences among the three cases. The first two violent attacks were carried out as political protests by white conservatives angry at the federal government for taking over their rights. The third was carried out by an Arab-American Muslim angry at the federal government for taking over other people’s rights.

America’s major media understand this distinction. They quickly explained that the first two cases were deranged individuals not part of any wider conspiracy. Three days after the Pentagon attack, The New York Times wrote that Bedell had been living with his parents and “seemed to slide into a deep paranoia.” The paper reassured us that “federal authorities said there was no indication that Mr. Bedell had a connection to any domestic or international terrorist group.”

On the day of the attack against the IRS, The Wall Street Journal conveyed the comforting news that federal workers had not been victims of terrorism. “I consider this a criminal act by a lone individual,” said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo.

The major media offered a split opinion on Maj. Hasan. Some went with the “deranged loner” theory. Thank God that Fox News kept up the pressure on President Barack Obama and the liberal media to label it a terrorist attack. As Sen. Joe Lieberman pointed out on Fox, “There are very, very strong warning signs here that Dr. Hasan had become an Islamist extremist and therefore that this was a terrorist act.”

Lieberman correctly understands that extremism comes only from the Muslim world, not right-wing white people with persecution complexes and semiautomatic weapons.

i was struggling with this issue but i think i'm finally beginning to understand...

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Israel claims national heritage status for 2 West Bank sites, announces new settlements, kills off the peace talks, and then...?

Photobucket Photobucket

and then seals off the west bank for fear of unrest...? WTF...???
Israel has sealed off the West Bank for 48 hours, preventing Palestinians from entering Israel because of fears of unrest.

first the announcement of the national heritage sites on 3 march... then the approval of new settlements in east jerusalem... then the phony apology to joe biden for taking a crap on his visit to promote the peace process... then, no big surprise, palestine pulls out of the peace talks... and now that israel has once again shown its true colors, it seals off the west bank because the palestinians might be upset... might be...? MIGHT BE...??? lordy lord...

and almost as bad is watching the vice president of my psychopathic country, after a momentary lapse into sanity, re-join and appallingly celebrate the psychopathology of israel

'US has no better friend than Israel'

US Vice President Joe Biden tried to put the furor over announcement of plans to build 1,600 units in Ramat Shlomo behind him, saying during a speech Thursday at Tel Aviv University that he condemned the move because as a friend he was compelled to "deliver the hardest truth," but adding that he appreciated the clarifications he received on the matter from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

He opened the speech by stressing the importance of US-Israel friendship and Washington's commitment to the security of the Jewish state, saying that "US President Barack Obama and myself know that the US has no better friend in the community of nations than Israel."

i'd sure like to know what israel has on our u.s. leaders that they can so slavishly serve the genocidal interests of another country...

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

All state societies be they French, be they American, be they any, are by definition violent systems


the musée du quai branly in paris is hosting an exhibition of ceramics from the peruvian moche culture that flourished between the first and eighth centuries... i have actually seen some of these many years ago during a trip to peru and was stunned at the explicit sex acts depicted... in the news article describing the paris exhibit, the exhibit curator, steve bourget, makes one of the most cogent observations i've yet read about the power of states and organized religions to exert control over people's lives...
Originally interpreted as evidence of a decadent culture, Bourget says the sexual acts should be seen as a visual discourse on the power of the Moche elite.

It's a story that has parallels with modern debates from the burqa to the death penalty.

"All state societies be they French, be they American, be they any, are by definition violent systems," Bourget said.

"The state gives itself the right to kill, to put people in jail, to control them."

In places where the ideological pole is strongest — from the Moche sacrifices through Ancient Rome to modern day Texas — the state tries to magnify its power through ritualized violence.

He says the Moche religion is not the only one to seek to control sexuality. The burqa is a form of control, as is the Catholic aversion to condoms, he says.

"You control sexuality, you control access to it, and in the process you give yourself power over groups, over people and you embed this power into values and you disseminate the values as being part of the population," he says.

"The population accept this because they believe its part of their values. They don't think they are being controlled."

i've been aware for many years that the essence of both state and religious control is based on convincing people that the source of authority and truth lie outside of themselves as individuals... "truth," "normalcy," and the definition of what is "right" and what is "wrong" must not be left to the individual but instead must come from the so-called "legitimate" - socially, religiously or institutionally sanctioned - holders of authority...

the very last thing a state or religious power structure can tolerate is people deciding for themselves what's right and wrong... the belief that we must abdicate our individual power to determine our own truth is succumbing to humanity's biggest lie, a lie that has been used over countless centuries right up to today to keep people in thrall to their masters... when that lie is finally laid to rest, we will finally be on our way to true civilization...

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Israel is committed to eradicating Palestine and Palestinians from the face of the earth [UPDATE: Israel apologizes for bad timing]

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aw geez... it's just bad timing, eh...? nothing wrong with the decision itself, eh...? how is it that the very people who have suffered the most hatred and persecution over the centuries can turn around and be such monsters...? oh, wait... the victim becomes the victimizer... silly me... i forgot...
Israel apologized Wednesday for disrupting the visit of Vice President Joe Biden with its announcement of 1,600 new homes in disputed east Jerusalem, but made clear it had no intention of reversing the order that has cast a shadow over the latest U.S. push for Mideast peace.

As Biden held talks with top Palestinian leaders in the West Bank, Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai, whose office announced the new construction on lands Palestinians claim for a future state, said the problem was about timing, not substance [emphasis added].

"We had no intention, no desire, to offend or taunt an important man like the vice president during his visit," Yishai told Israel Radio. "I am very sorry for the embarrassment. We need to remember that approvals are done according to law even if the timing was wrong. ... Next time we need to take timing into account."

the world community of nations should stop pussyfooting around, step up and put a halt to israel's slow, incremental, deliberate genocide... it's gone on for much too long...
Israel approved the construction of 1,600 new homes for Jews in disputed east Jerusalem on Tuesday — a move that immediately clouded a visit by Vice President Joe Biden aimed at repairing strained ties and kickstarting Mideast peace talks.

The Interior Ministry announced the construction plans just as Biden was wrapping up a series of warm meetings with Israeli leaders. There was no immediate reaction from the vice president.

Relations between Israel and the Obama administration have been chilly precisely because of the settlement issue.

The U.S., like the Palestinians and the rest of the international community, believes that Israeli settlements built on lands claimed by the Palestinians, including east Jerusalem, undermine peace prospects. President Obama has been more outspoken on the issue than his predecessors.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rebuffed calls from the White House to halt all settlement activity, agreeing only to a limited freeze that does not include east Jerusalem.

israel has set itself above all rule of law, any accountability and has completely forfeited any good will and credibility it might have had by pursuing a sincere course for peace...

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Robert Gates and Stanley McChrystal
(AFP/Jim Watson)

the spectacle of one of the super-rich elites' puppet masters heaping praise on the poor bastards who are giving their lives so that the super-rich can become even richer while those whose lives are on the line will very likely remain trapped forever in the poor underclass makes me want to run to the toilet and regurgitate my bran cereal and fruit breakfast...
FORWARD OPERATING BASE FRONTENAC, Afghanistan – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a hard-hit battle unit Tuesday that its heavy losses have helped the U.S. begin to push back against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

Gates visited a small, remote outpost 30 miles north of Kandahar, where the Fort Lewis, Washington-based Stryker unit has lost 22 men and suffered an additional 62 wounded since arriving here last summer.

The latest injuries came Monday night, and the latest death three days ago.

Gates praised the 800-soldier unit and told the troops that as the fight shifts toward securing Kandahar itself later this year, they will again be "at the top of the spear."

so there gates sits, telling these guys that their nation is ever so grateful that they're dying, all the while knowing that, among those he's talking to, several more will undoubtedly die, some within days... how can a deceitful bastard like that look himself in the mirror in the morning...?

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Monday, March 08, 2010

Two calls for rebellion

chris hedges...
There are no constraints left to halt America's slide into a totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics are a sham. The media have been debased and defanged by corporate owners. The working class has been impoverished and is now being plunged into profound despair. The legal system has been corrupted to serve corporate interests. Popular institutions, from labor unions to political parties, have been destroyed or emasculated by corporate power. And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police. The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.

Those singled out as internal enemies will include people of color, immigrants, gays, intellectuals, feminists, Jews, Muslims, union leaders and those defined as "liberals." They will be condemned as anti-American and blamed for our decline. The economic collapse, which remains mysterious and enigmatic to most Americans, will be pinned by demagogues and hatemongers on these hapless scapegoats. And the random acts of violence, which are already leaping up around the fringes of American society, will justify harsh measures of internal control that will snuff out the final vestiges of our democracy. The corporate forces that destroyed the country will use the information systems they control to mask their culpability. The old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of despotic regimes, will empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence within American society and deflect attention from the corporate vampires that have drained the blood of the country.

"We are going to be poorer," David Cay Johnston told me. Johnston was the tax reporter of The New York Times for 13 years and has written on how the corporate state rigged the system against us. He is the author of "Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense and Stick You With the Bill," a book about hidden subsidies, rigged markets and corporate socialism. "Health care is going to eat up more and more of our income. We are going to have less and less for other things. We are going to have some huge disasters sooner or later caused by our failure to invest. Dams and bridges will break. Buildings will collapse. There are water mains that are 25 to 50 feet wide. There will be huge infrastructure disasters. Our intellectual resources are in decline. We are failing to educate young people and instill in them rigor. We are going to continue to pour money into the military. I think it is possible, I do not say it is probable, that we will have a revolution, a civil war that will see the end of the United States of America."

bill quigley...
It is time for a revolution. Government does not work for regular people. It appears to work quite well for big corporations, banks, insurance companies, military contractors, lobbyists, and for the rich and powerful. But it does not work for people.

The 1776 Declaration of Independence stated that when a long train of abuses by those in power evidence a design to reduce the rights of people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it is the peoples right, in fact their duty to engage in a revolution.

Martin Luther King, Jr., said forty three years ago next month that it was time for a radical revolution of values in the United States. He preached “a true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies.” It is clearer than ever that now is the time for radical change.


Forty three years ago next month, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. preached in Riverside Church in New York City that “a time comes when silence is betrayal.” He went on to condemn the Vietnam War and the system which created it and the other injustices clearly apparent. “We as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing oriented” society to a “person oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered.”

It is time.

food for thought, for sure...

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More pandering to the corporatocracy, this time Big Sugar

one of the little known stories of corporate rape and pillage in the u.s. involves "big sugar," a virtual monopoly that has kept almost all of the government of florida, city, county and state, as well as a large chunk of the federal government in its pocket for generations... doesn't look like that's about to change any time soon...
When Gov. Charlie Crist announced Florida’s $1.75 billion plan to save the Everglades by buying out a major landowner, United States Sugar, he declared that the deal would be remembered as a public acquisition “as monumental as the creation of the nation’s first national park, Yellowstone.”


Nearly two years later, the governor’s ambitious plan to reclaim the river of grass, as the famed wetlands are known, is instead on track to rescue the fortunes of United States Sugar.

The proposal was downsized only five months after it was announced. By April 2009, amid the deepening recession, the state said it could afford to purchase only 72,800 acres of United States Sugar’s land, for $536 million. The company would stay in business and the state would retain the option of buying the remaining 107,000 acres at a future date.

United States Sugar dictated many of the terms of the deal as state officials repeatedly made decisions against the immediate needs of the Everglades and the interests of taxpayers, an examination of thousands of state e-mail messages and records and more than 60 interviews showed.


Negotiations favored United States Sugar from the start, when the state accepted two outside firms’ appraisals of the company’s land that used figures from the height of the real estate market, according to documents.

When a “fairness opinion” commissioned by the state found that those appraisals had overvalued the land by $400 million, Florida officials orchestrated a public relations campaign to discredit the findings, internal e-mail showed. Appraisers from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which was required to sign off on the deal, were also cut out of the process after raising concerns, e-mail messages showed.

When it came time to decide which land to buy, state officials acknowledged that United States Sugar was, as one official put it during an interview, “pretty much in the driver’s seat.” The water district overseeing the restoration will end up with six large disconnected parcels under the current deal, including all of United States Sugar’s citrus groves.

florida has always been for sale and you can be sure that the pockets of many florida politicos were well-lined courtesy of this deal...

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