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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 01/16/2011 - 01/23/2011
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, January 22, 2011

American wars will continue until the country's giant corporations ... become financially unsustainable

pretty much...
American wars will continue until the country's giant corporations, which pay the politicians in Washington's corridors of power, become financially unsustainable, says senior fellow at the Nation Institute, Chris Hedges.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Lieberman ... devoted his entire career to attempting to send other Americans' children to fight war after war after war

glenn, as usual, takes no prisoners and i, for one, am so glad there's someone willing to call b.s. on our seemingly endless national hypocrisy, particularly when a senator as odious as lieberman is being lionized...

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State bankruptcy as a tactic to destroy public sector unions and eat their pension plans

it's a terrible thing to feel ashamed of your own country, but after watching private sector unions, pension plans and jobs being lobotomized by the corporate strategy of declaring bankruptcy, i don't have the stomach for this...
Path Is Sought for States to Escape Debt Burdens

Policy makers are working behind the scenes to come up with a way to let states declare bankruptcy and get out from under crushing debts, including the pensions they have promised to retired public workers.

Unlike cities, the states are barred from seeking protection in federal bankruptcy court. Any effort to change that status would have to clear high constitutional hurdles because the states are considered sovereign.

oh, yes, it's perfectly ok to toss trillions of dollars to the banks to bail them out after they lost big in the wall street casino, it's perfectly ok to throw trillions of dollars at a war in iraq waged under false pretenses, it's perfectly ok to keep throwing trillions of dollars at the war in afghanistan while watching billions of it fly out of kabul in the satchels of corrupt warlords to be deposited in their personal accounts in dubai, it's perfectly ok to allow homeowners to lose their homes in fraudulent foreclosure proceedings, it's perfectly ok to let u.s. employers continue to export jobs overseas while our real unemployment hovers above 15%, but is it ok to bail out our cities and states and the people who serve them, the people who are reaping the ass end of the financial rape and pillage of our economy...? hell, no...! let the bankers keep their stratospheric salaries and bonuses but when it comes to a public employee and his pension...?

i'm so fucking disgusted with my country...

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday photoblogging: sunrise/moonset

7:20 a.m. pacific time, high desert, nevada...



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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Obama may be a nice man personally but he's the spokesperson for American hypocrisy

and nothing exemplifies that hypocrisy better than the ritual bearding of chinese leaders over human rights as obama did today with chinese president hu jintao...

read this carefully, particularly the section where i have taken the liberty to add emphasis...

Mr. Obama said that when it comes to differences on human rights, “I have been very candid with President Hu.”


After promoting the virtues of Chinese and American cooperation at the ceremony, the president — the 2009 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize — used the ceremony to deliver a gentle reminder to China, which is holding the 2010 winner of the prize, Liu Xiaobo, as a political prisoner.

“We also know this,” the president said: “History shows that societies are more harmonious, nations are more successful and the world is more just when the rights and responsibilities of all nations and all people are upheld, including the universal rights of every human being.”

well, mr. obama, i couldn't agree more and your words would carry a great deal more weight with me, with many of my countrymen and with a large chunk of the rest of the world IF we didn't have to take into account some supremely inconvenient facts...

glenn, in a post yesterday, enumerates the ongoing rule of law and human rights abuses of our own government, abuses that were pushed hard in the bush/cheney administration, abuses that now, in way too many instances, are being maintained and even strengthened by the obama administration, and how, in a sad ironic twist, obama is now reaping praise from the very bush/cheney officials that brought us these abuses in the first place...

Gen.[former Bush NSA and CIA Director Michael] Hayden put it best, as quoted by The Washington Times:

"You've got state secrets, targeted killings, indefinite detention, renditions, the opposition to extending the right of habeas corpus to prisoners at Bagram [in Afghanistan]," Mr. Hayden said, listing the continuities. "And although it is slightly different, Obama has been as aggressive as President Bush in defending prerogatives about who he has to inform in Congress for executive covert action."

And that list, impressive though it is, doesn't even include the due-process-free assassination hit lists of American citizens, the sweeping executive power and secrecy theories used to justify it, the multi-tiered, "state-always-wins" justice system the Obama DOJ concocted for detainees, the vastly more aggressive war on whistleblowers and press freedoms, or the new presidential immunity doctrines his DOJ has invented. Critically, this continuity extends beyond specific policies into the underlying sloganeering mentality in which they're based: we're in a Global War; the whole Earth is the Battlefield; the Terrorists want to kill us because they're intrinsically Evil (not in reaction to anything we do); we're justified in doing anything and everything to eradicate Them; the President's overarching obligation (contrary to his Constitutional oath) is to keep us Safe; this should all be kept secret from us; we can't be bothered with obsolete dogma like Due Process and Warrants, etc. etc.

so, apparently our president feels perfectly justified giving a mini-lecture to the chinese president on human rights, a lecture he and his fellow leaders in china richly deserve... but it seems to me that the power of such a reminder is seriously compromised when the united states has so obviously ceded the moral high ground but steadfastly refuses to admit it... without honesty, humility, transparency and accountability, to say nothing of the strength that comes with living up to our own cherished principles, we haven't got a leg to stand on... so sad...

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Secrecy is the biggest danger to democratic society

rt... was publishing classified and secret documents long before WikiLeaks made headlines. Cryptome co-founder John Young told RT such sites are allowed to stay online so that spy services might keep an eye on their visitors. There is no secrecy on the Internet, John Young warned.

so what to do...?


Foster the understanding that secrecy is the greatest danger to democracy not its protector. A few counters to anti-democratic beneficiaries of secrecy around the globe:

The first step is to set funding according to how few secrets are kept. The more secrets, the less funding, the fewer secrets the more funding. Thus openness will be rewarded rather than penalized. Now it works the opposite way: secret funding promotes greater secrecy.

This should apply to all secret keepers who claim to serve the public not just governments.

Second step is to set up public overseers of secrecy who have no stake in keeping secrets. This will exclude congress members, high officials and those who classify information and protect the archives against public access. Do not expect honest oversight by those who are "cleared for access to secrets" -- getting cleared is entrapment by a self-serving system.

Third step is to set severe penalties for whoever advocates greater secrecy for any reason.

Fourth step is to penalize anyone who benefits from secrecy.

Fifth step is to keep the door open to debate on new ways to combat insidious secrecy and to guard against its reinstitutionalization by crises, lying, deception and rigged threats. Disbelieve claims secrecy is needed to combat those out to steal secrets.

Merely a beginning to cure a long-lasting disease spread by secretkeepers fearful of true democracy.

one of the key points in the video clip is that the biggest conspiracy theorists work for the national security state, manufacturing the overblown fears and the "enemies" that go with them...

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Is the house of cards built by our super-rich elites starting to tumble...?

well, we can only hope...

today's nyt...

A former senior Swiss bank executive said on Monday that he had given the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, details of more than 2,000 prominent individuals and companies that he contends engaged in tax evasion and other possible criminal activity.

Rudolf M. Elmer, the former head of the Cayman Islands office of the prominent Swiss bank Julius Baer, refused to identify any of the individuals or companies, but told reporters at a press conference that about 40 politicians and “pillars of society” worldwide are among them.

He told The Observer newspaper over the weekend that those named in the documents come from “the U.S., Britain, Germany, Austria and Asia — from all over,” and include “business people, politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates — from both sides of the Atlantic.”

Mr. Assange said that WikiLeaks would verify and release the information, including the names, in as little as two weeks. He suggested possible partnerships with financial news organizations and said he would consider turning the information over to Britain’s Serious Fraud Office, a government agency that investigates financial corruption.

after you've absorbed the above, let's get a little bit grittier...

here's jesse ventura bearding the fat cats...

ya gotta love jesse... he's kind of a rush limbaugh that actually has some substance...

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yes, I know Hillary's portfolio is focused OUTSIDE the U.S.

and, yes, as secretary of state, i know that's the way it is for hillary... however, when you're dishing out advice to other countries, you should REALLY be careful of the old "those who live in glass houses" dilemma...

here's hill talking about recent events in tunisia...

Thursday, Secretary Clinton delivered what the New York Times called a "scalding critique" to Arab leaders at a conference in Qatar.

"The region's foundations are sinking into the sand," Clinton said, calling for "political reforms that will create the space young people are demanding, to participate in public affairs and have a meaningful role in the decisions that shape their lives." Those who would "prey on desperation and poverty are already out there," Clinton warned, "appealing for allegiance and competing for influence."

dontcha kinda think, hill, m'dear, that there are a lot of people, young and old, in the united states who might like to "participate in public affairs and have a meaningful role in the decisions that shape their lives"...? yaknowhutimean, hill...?

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