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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 06/26/2011 - 07/03/2011
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Greece should "tell the IMF and EU to go to hell"

our super-rich, elites, their banksters and governmental puppets are bound and determined to continue stomping out any semblance of a middle class and any trace of a social contract anywhere they might still exist... since there are still a few governments that take the responsibility to foster the common good seriously, they must be set up and dispatched expeditiously... knocking over greece, a country at the forefront of populism and democracy for well over 2000 years, is the first european domino to seriously totter and it looks like it's going to fall... yes, and then there's italy, spain, ireland and portugal...
Plan to Spoon-Feed Greece to Death

The original bailout was 110 billion Euros, now it takes another $85 billion (and counting). When the fire sale of Greek assets does not bring in enough money, the banks and IMF will place even harsher terms on Greece.

Notice the plan to spoon-feed payments to Greece in 12 billion-euro bites while demanding "progress". This will ensure Greece is sucked dry (at fire sale prices) of any government assets worth owning by the time the "bailout" is over.

Portugal, and Ireland should make note of the process. The same "bailout" plan will be used on them unless they tell the IMF and EU to go to hell.

note to those of you in germany who might be looking on smugly and thinking about how well your economy is doing relative to the rest of the eu and the world... don't think for a minute that you're immune... your plan simply hasn't yet been put in motion...

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Accountability...? Rule of law...? Pish-tosh... Fuhgeddaboudit... Not in MY country...

to say that this is a sad moment for my country would be an understatement in the extreme... i read stuff like this and i just want to crawl into a hole and never come out...


Torture crimes officially, permanently shielded


The answer is resoundingly clear: American war criminals, responsible for some of the most shameful and inexcusable crimes in the nation's history -- the systematic, deliberate legalization of a worldwide torture regime -- will be fully immunized for those crimes. And, of course, the Obama administration has spent years just as aggressively shielding those war criminals from all other forms of accountability beyond the criminal realm: invoking secrecy and immunity doctrines to prevent their victims from imposing civil liability, exploiting their party's control of Congress to suppress formal inquiries, and pressuring and coercing other nations not to investigate their own citizens' torture at American hands.

All of those efforts, culminating in yesterday's entirely unsurprising announcement, means that the U.S. Government has effectively shielded itself from even minimal accountability for its vast torture crimes of the last decade. Without a doubt, that will be one of the most significant, enduring and consequential legacies of the Obama presidency.

i've repeatedly asked and am asking again, how did we get so far off the rails...?

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Strauss-Kahn: when you're one of the super-rich elites, how easy it is to discredit the story of an immigrant hotel housekeeper

all you need to know about the case is contained in the first sentence of the second paragraph...

from the nyt...

The sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn is on the verge of collapse as investigators have uncovered major holes in the credibility of the housekeeper who charged that he attacked her in his Manhattan hotel suite in May, according to two well-placed law enforcement officials.

Although forensic tests found unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter between Mr. Strauss-Kahn [emphasis added], a French politician, and the woman, prosecutors now do not believe much of what the accuser has told them about the circumstances or about herself.

Since her initial allegation on May 14, the accuser has repeatedly lied, one of the law enforcement officials said.

Senior prosecutors met with lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn on Thursday and provided details about their findings, and the parties are discussing whether to dismiss the felony charges. Among the discoveries, one of the officials said, are issues involving the asylum application of the 32-year-old housekeeper, who is Guinean, and possible links to people involved in criminal activities, including drug dealing and money laundering.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers will return to State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Friday morning, when Justice Michael J. Obus is expected to consider easing the extraordinary bail conditions that he imposed on Mr. Strauss-Kahn in the days after he was charged.

Indeed, Mr. Strauss-Kahn could be released on his own recognizance, and freed from house arrest, reflecting the likelihood that the serious charges against him will not be sustained. The district attorney’s office may try to require Mr. Strauss-Kahn to plead guilty to a misdemeanor, but his lawyers are likely to contest such a move.

even when faced with "unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter", never for a moment underestimate the capacity of our super-rich elites to sidestep accountability and make the legal system bend to their will...

make no mistake, it wouldn't matter who made the accusation against dsk, we would be seeing a wholesale destruction of the accuser's case... now, far be it from me to blindly defend an individual who is involved in a corrupt scheme to bring down an important global official, but none of the following passes my smell test...

[T]here were inconsistencies in the accuser’s asylum application when she came to the United States, unusual financial transactions into her personal accounts, and she had contacts with an incarcerated drug suspect. The day after she allegedly suffered the Strauss-Kahn assault, she was recorded talking to the suspect in jail about the possibility of getting money by proceeding with the charges against Strauss-Kahn.


While the accuser’s ties to these alleged criminal elements did raise serious doubts, law enforcement sources say they have not come across anything to suggest a premeditated conspiracy.

and this just in...
Dominique Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest on Friday as the sexual assault case against him moved one step closer to dismissal after prosecutors told a Manhattan judge that they had serious problems with the case.


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Thursday, June 30, 2011

A headline to love...

probably...? PROBABLY...??? ain't it great...?
Los Alamos Fire: Why Nuclear Waste Is Probably Safe

yes, i did add the italics...

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Greek police are beating Greek citizens on behalf of internation banksters - "paper terrorists"

max keiser...

a big picture you can be sure we won't get from any traditional media source in the u.s...

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I now all but disregard what Obama says, and watch only what he does

learning to disregard words in favor of actions is the oldest and hardest lesson anyone can learn... i've had to re-learn it many, many times in my life and yet i still choose to give the benefit of the doubt unless and until i'm given reason to think otherwise... i gave obama the benefit of the doubt, perhaps long past the time he'd ceased to deserve it...


[O]ne does not advance in Washington power circles by adherence to any sort of principle or actual conviction. One accumulates power by saying anything and everything necessary to acquire and hold onto it: one key reason I now all but disregard what Obama says, and watch only what he does.

so sad...

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

At a single address in this sleepy city of 60,000 people, more than 2,000 companies are registered

the good ol' us of a... is this a great country or what...!
At a single address in this sleepy city of 60,000 people, more than 2,000 companies are registered. The building, 2710 Thomes Avenue, isn't a shimmering skyscraper filled with A-list corporations. It's a 1,700-square-foot brick house with a manicured lawn, a few blocks from the State Capitol.


Reuters investigation has found the house at 2710 Thomes Avenue serves as a little Cayman Island on the Great Plains. It is the headquarters for Wyoming Corporate Services, a business-incorporation specialist that establishes firms which can be used as "shell" companies, paper entities able to hide assets.

Wyoming Corporate Services will help clients create a company, and more: set up a bank account for it; add a lawyer as a corporate director to invoke attorney-client privilege; even appoint stand-in directors and officers as high as CEO. Among its offerings is a variety of shell known as a "shelf" company, which comes with years of regulatory filings behind it, lending a greater feeling of solidity.


All the activity at 2710 Thomes is part of a little-noticed industry in the U.S.: the mass production of paper businesses. Scores of mass incorporators like Wyoming Corporate Services have set up shop. The hotbeds of the industry are three states with a light regulatory touch-Delaware, Wyoming and Nevada.

The pervasiveness of corporate secrecy on America's shores stands in stark contrast to Washington's message to the rest of the world. Since the September 11 attacks in 2001, the U.S. has been calling forcefully for greater transparency in global transactions, to lift the veil on shadowy money flows. During a debate in 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama singled out Ugland House in the Cayman Islands, reportedly home to some 12,000 offshore corporations, as "either the biggest building or the biggest tax scam on record."

Yet on U.S. soil, similar activity is perfectly legal. The incorporation industry, overseen by officials in the 50 states, has few rules. Convicted felons can operate firms which create companies, and buy them with no background checks.

No states license mass incorporators, and only a few require them to formally register with state authorities. None collect the names and addresses of "beneficial owners," the individuals with a controlling interest in corporations, according to a 2009 report by the National Association of Secretaries of State, a group for state officials overseeing incorporation. Wyoming and Nevada allow the real owners of corporations to hide behind "nominee" officers and directors with no direct role in the business, often executives of the mass incorporator.

given the supreme court decision on citizens united, i have to ask, how many of these false front corporations now serve as conduits for cash to elect our public officials...?

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VoteVets endorses General Sanchez for U.S. Senate, the same Sanchez who approved torture at Abu Ghraib

what is it with memory in my country...? either people don't remember, don't WANT to remember or never have bothered to find out in the first damn place...

here's my response to votevets and their execrable endorsement of ricardo sanchez for the u.s. senate seat in texas...
Dear Friends.

Ricardo Sanchez is the one who authorized the torture/enhanced interrogation techniques used at Abu Ghraib and then lied about it in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on 19 May 2004. He would like you to believe he's rehabilitated but, unless and until he is held accountable for his past actions, he has no business presenting himself as a serious candidate for the United States Senate. Furthermore, as a Vietnam Veteran and someone who is currently working in Afghanistan, i think it is an absolute disgrace that an organization like VoteVets would endorse such a candidate.

Before putting more of your organizational credibility on the line, I suggest you follow up on the following links.

I know General Sanchez thinks all of this is behind him and, for most people who don't pay close attention, it probably is, but General Sanchez is just as guilty of war crimes as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and, more recently, Barack Obama.

Shame on you VoteVets for not properly vetting your endorsements.


U.S. Army 1968-1971
Vietnam Veteran

and here's the votevets endorsement...
On Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 8:10 AM, Ashwin Madia <> wrote:

Dear XXXX,

Today I’m writing with some exciting news. We have a chance to send a veteran to the Senate, from Texas. Not only that, but this veteran also happens to be a retired Lieutenant General who commanded forces in Iraq. Today, we’re endorsing Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (USA, Ret.) for Senate. He needs your help.


General Sanchez has a compelling story and honorably served our country in uniform. He’ll make an outstanding Senator for the people of Texas. We're always happy to see veterans entering politics as a way to continue their public service, but it's especially encouraging to see one of our military's finest minds, General Sanchez, look to continue that service as a public servant. General Sanchez knows what this generation of warriors has gone through, and how Washington can best serve them. For the people of the state of Texas, they will have a Senator who is committed to America’s security, and just as committed to the state he loves

General Sanchez graduated from Texas A&I University in Kingsville, Texas, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1973. After decades of service, following nomination to Lieutenant General, he assumed command in Baghdad, Iraq, of the Army’s Fifth Corps and became the commander of one of the largest combat forces deployed in US military history. Upon the reorganization of command-and-control structures in Iraq, he commanded Headquarters, Multi-National Forces (Iraq) from 14 May 2004 to 1 July 2004. After 33 years of service, he retired in 2006.


Texas is a huge state, and running for office there isn’t cheap. But any donation you can afford will go a long way towards sending Ric Sanchez to the Senate. This is an open seat, because Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is stepping down, so it is an excellent opportunity for a candidate with strong credentials – like General Sanchez – to win. Please click the link above, and help get him to the finish line!


Ashwin Madia

Iraq War Veteran
Interim Chairman,

Paid for by VoteVets Political Action Committee
Not Authorized by Any Candidate or Candidate’s Committee

sad... accountability seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth...

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Monday, June 27, 2011

So devoted is the U.S. Government to defending the actions of Israel's that it will even preemptively justify violent attacks on its own citizens

glenn follows up on my post yesterday about ray mcgovern and the gaza aid flotilla...
[T]he Clinton State Department is now explicitly threatening Americans who participate in the flotilla with criminal prosecution (h/t Jason Ditz):

The United States on Friday warned activists against plans to send a new aid flotilla to challenge Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, saying it would be irresponsible and dangerous. . . . "We underscore that delivering or attempting or conspiring to deliver material support or other resources to or for the benefit of a designated foreign terrorist organization, such as Hamas, could violate U.S. civil and criminal statutes and could lead to fines and incarceration," [State Department Spokesperson Victoria] Nuland said.

In contrast to the Israel-must-always-be-defended mindset of U.S. political officials, compare how other governments view the possible shooting of their citizens by a foreign country:

As the second "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" gets ready to sail this week, Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore urged Israel to avoid any repeat of last year's actions against the convoy, Irish media reported Sunday.

"Israel must exercise all possible restraint and avoid any use of military force if attempting to uphold their naval blockade," Gilmore, who also holds the post of trade minister, said after meeting with Israeli Ambassador to Dublin Boaz Moda.

"In particular, I would expect that any interception of ships is conducted in a peaceful manner and does not endanger the safety of our citizens or other participants," he added, reiterating the country's position that the Gaza blockade was "unjust and counterproductive'" and that the violence that marked last year's flotilla venture was "completely unacceptable and unjustified."

That type of uncontroversial statement -- you shouldn't shoot our unarmed citizens -- is inconceivable when it comes to the U.S. and Israel. So devoted is the U.S. Government to defending the actions of Israel's that it will even preemptively justify violent attacks on its own citizens, threaten Americans protesting Israel's policies with prosecution for aiding Terrorism, and isolate itself from the world to defend them.

what the fuck is wrong with my country...?

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Putting your beliefs - and, quite possibly, your life - on the line

robert naiman is on the same vessel, along with ray mcgovern and numerous others...

my hat is off to folks like this, putting their lives and their principles on the line in support of their deeply-held beliefs...

Spirits of Justice Going to Gaza

Exclusive: “The Audacity of Hope” is a boat carrying Americans through the Mediterranean Sea as part of a small flotilla challenging the Israeli blockade of Gaza, where 1.5 million Palestinians live largely cut off from the world. One of the Americans aboard the ship is former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who describes some of his motivations and those of his shipmates.

By Ray McGovern

June 26, 2011

For those who engage in the common struggle for Justice, an invaluable grace comes from getting to know new friends similarly engaged — and equally willing to speak with more than words.

Thus, it has been a great grace to get to know folks like Alice Walker personally as well as through her writings — including some new ones. In one recent article, Alice addressed her reasons for joining the other 49 of us by putting her body on the line in sailing with “The Audacity of Hope,” the U.S. boat to Gaza. She wrote:

“There is for me an awareness of paying off a debt to the Jewish civil rights activists who faced death to come to the side of black people in the South in our time of need. I am especially indebted to Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman who heard our calls for help — our government then as now glacially slow in providing protection to non-violent protestors — and came to stand with us.

“They got as far as the truncheons and bullets of a few ‘good ol’ boys’ of Neshoba County, Mississippi, and were beaten and shot to death along with James Cheney, a young black man with formidable courage who died with them. So even though our boat will be called ‘The Audacity of Hope,’ it will fly the Goodman, Cheney, Schwerner flag in my own heart.”

As for me, I will be flying in my own heart the flag of Jonathan Daniels, a Danforth Graduate Fellow of 1961, with whom my Fordham ’61 college classmate Brian Daley, S.J., author Palmer Parker, and I spent a week of Danforth Fellow orientation on the shore of Lake Michigan in September 1961. Four years later, Jonathan was dead. Here’s some of the rest of the story:

On Aug. 13, 1965, Jonathan Daniels, in a group of 29, went to picket whites-only stores in the small town of Fort Deposit, Alabama. All were arrested and taken to jail in the nearby town of Hayneville. Five juvenile protesters were released the next day. The rest of the group was held for six days; they refused to accept bail unless everyone was bailed.

Finally, on Aug. 20, the prisoners were released without transport back to Fort Deposit. After release, the group waited by a road near the jail. Jonathan with three others — a white Catholic priest and two black protesters — went down the street to get a cold soft drink at Varner’s Grocery Store, one of the few local stores that would serve nonwhites.

They were met at the front by Tom L. Coleman, an engineer for the state highway department and unpaid special deputy, who wielded a shotgun. The man threatened the group, and finally leveled his gun at 16-year-old Ruby Sales. Daniels pushed Sales to the ground and caught the full blast of the gun. He was killed instantly.

The priest, Richard F. Morrisroe, grabbed the other protester and ran. Coleman shot Morrisroe, wounding him in the lower back. Coleman was subsequently acquitted of manslaughter charges by an all-white jury.

Richmond Flowers, Sr., the then-Attorney General of Alabama, described the verdict as representing the “democratic process going down the drain of irrationality, bigotry and improper law enforcement.”

Coleman died at age 86 on June 13, 1997, without having faced any further prosecution.

Jonathan Daniels, my friend who died way too young, was no stranger to the South. He had lived in Kentucky and Arkansas as a child. More important, he was educated at Virginia Military Institute, a military college whose history and tradition were inextricably bound with those of the South. He ultimately won the highest tribute from his classmates by being elected valedictorian of his class.

As a Danforth Graduate Fellow, Jon first chose to attend Harvard University to study English literature, but had long felt a desire to enter parish ministry. After a year at Harvard, he was admitted to the Episcopal Theological School. His subsequent involvement with the civil rights movement followed as a logical extension of his beliefs and faith tradition.

His considerable knowledge of the South was an invaluable help to him and to those with whom he worked to bring some Justice down that way.

In a remarkable paper, which Jonathan wrote during his first stay in Selma, he addressed how our motives, as he put it, can be “healthy and free within the ambiguities and tilted structures of a truly fallen Creation.” He added:

“I found very real, if ambiguous confirmation in that beloved community who ate and slept and cursed and prayed in the rain-soaked streets of the Negro ‘compound’ in that first week in Selma.”

At Jonathan’s memorial service, the dean of the Episcopal Theological School, Rev. John B. Coburn, referred to the meaning he said Jonathan’s life and death should have for us:

“Jonathan says he ‘strained’ an ear to hear what he should do. And he heard: ‘He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. …’ Then he knew what he must do. And he did it.

“God calls us. Life calls us. Mankind calls us to strain our ears. Wherever we are, in whatever situation we are called to hear what we should do. Then let us do it, for a man has died. God has died. And Love has come back again. So we have hope.”

Justice was the main concern not only of the God of the Hebrew scriptures, but also of Jesus of Nazareth, and (I am gradually learning from instruction on the Quran) the teachings of the Prophet as well.

No Justice was to be had in Lowndes County, Alabama, in the Sixties. Today, Justice cannot prevail in Gaza — and the other occupied territories seized by Israel in the June 1967 war.

The New York Times made an unusually candid revelation in 1982 quoting from a speech in which Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who held that top post from 1977 to 1983, admitted that the 1967 war was carefully pre-planned by Israel.

“In June 1967, we had a choice,” Begin said. “The Egyptian Army concentrations in the Sinai approaches do not prove that Nasser was really about to attack us. We must be honest with ourselves. We decided to attack him.”

The New York Times, which in those days was a far more independent newspaper than it is now, actually printed Begin’s words, though it has forgotten them since.

And so, all aboard “The Audacity of Hope.” And what grand company I find myself in: Justice friends, old — like Ann Wright, Medea Benjamin, Ken Mayers, Robert Naiman and Kathy Kelly – and new — like Alice Walker, Paki Wieland, Gale Courey Toensing, and dozens of others.

May the spirit of Jonathan Daniels and the spirit of Ruby Sales (herself now a close friend who owes her own prophetic, productive life to Jonathan’s sacrifice in 1965) with us — together with those of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman,and James Cheney.

They are truly models of the enduring strength that comes of daring to hope.

bless 'em... bless 'em all...

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