Blog Flux Directory Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe with Bloglines Blog directory
And, yes, I DO take it personally: 05/08/2011 - 05/15/2011
Mandy: Great blog!
Mark: Thanks to all the contributors on this blog. When I want to get information on the events that really matter, I come here.
Penny: I'm glad I found your blog (from a comment on Think Progress), it's comprehensive and very insightful.
Eric: Nice site....I enjoyed it and will be back.
nora kelly: I enjoy your site. Keep it up! I particularly like your insights on Latin America.
Alison: Loquacious as ever with a touch of elegance -- & right on target as usual!
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
Send tips and other comments to:

And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A taste of accountability for a heretofore unaccountable member of the elite ruling class

the people who pull our strings and tell us how to live our lives ain't exactly paragons of virtue themselves (as if we didn't already know that)...
I.M.F. Head Is Arrested and Accused of Sexual Attack

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was taken off an Air France plane at Kennedy International Airport just minutes before it was to take off for Paris on Saturday and arrested in the sexual attack of a maid at a Midtown Manhattan hotel, the authorities said.

Mr. Strauss-Kahn, 62, who was widely expected to become the Socialist candidate for the French presidency, was apprehended by detectives of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the first class section of the jetliner, and immediately turned over to detectives from the Midtown South Precinct, which covers the part of Manhattan where the hotel is, officials said.

“He is in N.Y.P.D. custody, being questioned in connection with sexual assault of a hotel chambermaid earlier this afternoon,” Deputy Commissioner Paul J. Browne, the New York Police Department’s chief spokesman, said Saturday evening.

A spokeswoman for the office of the Manhattan district attorney said that Mr. Strauss-Kahn had not yet been, “formally charged,” in the case, and that he was not expected to be arraigned before a judge until later in the evening.

'bout time some of the "unaccountable" super-rich elites have to face some accountability...

Labels: , , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

A headline to gag a maggot

gee... how nice for them...
Health Insurers Making Record Profits as Many Postpone Care

The nation’s major health insurers are barreling into a third year of record profits, enriched in recent months by a lingering recessionary mind-set among Americans who are postponing or forgoing medical care.


Yet the companies continue to press for higher premiums, even though their reserve coffers are flush with profits and shareholders have been rewarded with new dividends. Many defend proposed double-digit increases in the rates they charge, citing a need for protection against any sudden uptick in demand once people have more money to spend on their health, as well as the rising price of care.

it would be hard to swallow news like this under the best of circumstances but, reading this while sitting at my desk here in kabul, it's particularly nauseating... our super-rich elites continue to vacuum up every last teeny-tiny bit of money and power from the struggling masses and screw the common good and any semblance of "we're all in this together" thinking...

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Friday, May 13, 2011

More Greenwald on Osama: the Nuremberg connection

excellent, thought-provoking stuff as always...


Benjamin Ferencz is a 92-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen, American combat soldier during World War II, and a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials, where he prosecuted numerous Nazi war criminals, including some responsible for the deaths of upward of 100,000 innocent people. He gave a fascinating (and shockingly articulate) 13-minute interview yesterday to the CBC in Canada about the bin Laden killing, the Nuremberg principles, and the U.S. role in the world. Without endorsing everything he said, I hope as many people as possible will listen to it.

All of Ferencz's answers are thought-provoking -- including his discussion of how the Nuremberg Principles apply to bin Laden -- but there's one answer he gave which I particularly want to highlight; it was in response to this question: "so what should we have learned from Nuremberg that we still haven't learned"? His answer:

I'm afraid most of the lessons of Nuremberg have passed, unfortunately. The world has accepted them, but the U.S. seems reluctant to do so. The principal lesson we learned from Nuremberg is that a war of aggression -- that means, a war in violation of international law, in violation of the UN charter, and not in self-defense -- is the supreme international crime, because all the other crimes happen in war. And every leader who is responsible for planning and perpetrating that crime should be held to account in a court of law, and the law applies equally to everyone.

These lessons were hailed throughout the world -- I hailed them, I was involved in them -- and it saddens me to no end when Americans are asked: why don't you support the Nuremberg principles on aggression? And the response is: Nuremberg? That was then, this is now. Forget it.

To be candid, I've been tempted several times to simply stop writing about the bin Laden killing, because passions are so intense and viewpoints so entrenched, more so than any other issue I've written about. There's a strong desire to believe that the U.S. -- for the first time in a long time -- did something unquestionably noble and just, and anything which even calls that narrative into question provokes little more than hostility and resentment. Nonetheless, the bin Laden killing is going to shape how many people view many issues for quite some time, and there are still some issues very worth examining.

One bothersome aspect about the reaction to this event is the notion that bin Laden is some sort of singular evil, someone so beyond the pale of what is acceptable that no decent person would question what happened here: he killed civilians on American soil and the normal debates just don't apply to him. Thus, anyone who even questions whether this was the right thing to do, as President Obama put it, "needs to have their head examined" (presumably that includes Benjamin Ferencz). In other words, so uniquely evil is bin Laden that unquestioningly affirming the rightness of this action is not just a matter of politics and morality but mental health. Thus, despite the lingering questions about what happened, it's time, announced John Kerry, to "shut up and move on." I know Kerry is speaking for a lot of people: let's all agree this was Good and stop examining it. Tempting as that might be -- and it is absolutely far easier to adhere to that demand than defy it -- there is real harm from leaving some of these questions unexamined.

my country has moved so far from its principles... so very sad...

Labels: , , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Blogger was down all day yesterday (and so was I)

i would have put up some posts yesterday (friday) but blogger was down all day - or at least it said it was down... maybe it had something to do with where i'm accessing it from (afghanistan)... in any case, friday is my one-day weekend here and, given the intense work schedule i've been keeping (roughly 12 hour days, 7 days a week), i was way overdue to simply kick back and veg all day in my room while listening to music and occasionally dozing... (yeah, ok, i did do a couple hours of work, but, hey...!)

anywayz, i'm back and will be putting up an excellent glenn post in about two minutes...

Labels: ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If dictators support the U.S., and the population is under control, then what’s the problem?

you can see this policy playing out every day around the world...


The U.S. and its allies will do anything they can to prevent authentic democracy in the Arab world. The reason is very simple. Across the region, an overwhelming majority of the population regards the United States as the main threat to their interests. In fact, opposition to U.S. policy is so high that a considerable majority think the region would be more secure if Iran had nuclear weapons. In Egypt, the most important country, that’s 80 percent. Similar figures elsewhere. There are some in the region who regard Iran as a threat—about 10 percent. Well, plainly, the U.S. and its allies are not going to want governments which are responsive to the will of the people. If that happens, not only will the U.S. not control the region, but it will be thrown out. So that’s obviously an intolerable result.

In the case of WikiLeaks, there was an interesting aside on this. The revelations from WikiLeaks that got the most publicity—headlines, euphoric commentary and so on—were that the Arabs support U.S. policy on Iran. They were quoting comments of Arab dictators. Yes, they claim to support U.S. policy on Iran. There was no mention of the Arab—of the Arab population, because it doesn’t matter. If the dictators support us, and the population is under control, then what’s the problem? This is like imperialism. What’s the problem if it works? As long as they can control their populations, fine. They can have campaigns of hatred; our friendly dictators will keep them under control. That’s the reaction not just of the diplomatic service in the State Department or of the media who reported this, but also of the general intellectual community. There is no comment on this. In fact, coverage of these polls is precisely zero in the United States, literally. There’s a few comments in England, but very little. It just doesn’t matter what the population thinks, as long as they’re under control.

it's all about serving our "national interests"...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

A permanent state of legalized thievery by the defense industry supported by disenfranchised, taxpaying serfs

what is the matter with these fuckheads...? if they were being honest, they would simply put the cards on the table and say they were declaring a permanent state of legalized thievery by the defense industry, supported by hordes of indentured, taxpaying serfs who will have absolutely no say in the matter...

john nichols...

The House Republican leadership, working in conjunction with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-California, has included in the 2012 defense authorization bill language (borrowed from the sweeping Detainee Security Act) that would effectively declare a state of permanent war against unnamed and ill-defined foreign forces "associated" with the Taliban and al Qaeda.

The means that, despite the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan (which GOP leaders in the House have refused to officially recognize as a significant development), the Department of Defense will be authorized to maintain a permanent occupation of Afghanistan, a country bin Laden abandoned years ago, and a global war against what remains of bin Laden's fragmented operation.

Instead of an explicit declaration of war with Afghanistan or the ill-defined global conflict, the GOP leaders has slipped language into the spending bill that simply announced the U.S. is "engaged in an armed conflict with al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces" and that claims an old "Authorization for Use of Military Force necessarily includes the authority to address the continuing and evolving threat posed by these groups."

That's about a wide-ranging as it gets, and the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee argues that the language makes a mockery of the Constitutional requirement that Congress check and balance the executive branch and the Department of Defense when it comes to questions of extending wars.

i'm here in afghanistan, working my butt off, attempting to assist a large and important chunk of the afghan government to be able to chart its own course with strong, capable leadership that will be focused on what's good for the afghan people... it totally grinds my ass that my own country can't walk it's own friggin' talk...

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What we’re experiencing right now is a top-down disaster

The idea is that we got into this mess because voters wanted something for nothing, and weak-minded politicians catered to the electorate’s foolishness.

So this seems like a good time to point out that this blame-the-public view isn’t just self-serving, it’s dead wrong.

The fact is that what we’re experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. The policies that got us into this mess weren’t responses to public demand. They were, with few exceptions, policies championed by small groups of influential people — in many cases, the same people now lecturing the rest of us on the need to get serious. And by trying to shift the blame to the general populace, elites are ducking some much-needed reflection on their own catastrophic mistakes.

goddamit, i really hate posting on the same friggin' topic time after time after time after time, but the ugly reality is still smacking us in the face so i guess i'm just going to have to keep on keepin' on...

regarding the last sentence of the above excerpt, i would posit that krugman is sadly deluded if he believes that our super-rich elites have made "catastrophic mistakes"... i feel about that the same way that i believe george w. bush and his cronies were "incompetent"... no way in hell... what's been happening is the result of deliberate efforts on the part of our handlers and their puppets to suck as much of the global collective wealth and power into their own pockets... and there's been no mistakes made, at least not as far as i can see... they're doing one HELL of a good job...

Labels: , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments