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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 07/08/2012 - 07/15/2012
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chris Hedges: The allure of combat is a trap, a ploy, an old, dirty game of deception in which the powerful, who do not go to war, promise a mirage to those who do

from the boston review...

War Is Betrayal

Persistent Myths of Combat
We condition the poor and the working class to go to war. We promise them honor, status, glory, and adventure. We promise boys they will become men. We hold these promises up against the dead-end jobs of small-town life, the financial dislocations, credit card debt, bad marriages, lack of health insurance, and dread of unemployment. The military is the call of the Sirens, the enticement that has for generations seduced young Americans working in fast food restaurants or behind the counters of Walmarts to fight and die for war profiteers and elites.

The poor embrace the military because every other cul-de-sac in their lives breaks their spirit and their dignity. Pick up Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front or James Jones’s From Here to Eternity. Read Henry IV. Turn to the Iliad. The allure of combat is a trap, a ploy, an old, dirty game of deception in which the powerful, who do not go to war, promise a mirage to those who do.


Any story of war is a story of elites preying on the weak, the gullible, the marginal, the poor.


‘It’s not about defending the country or serving our people. It’s about working for some rich guy who has his interests.’


Killing becomes a job. You do it. Sometimes it unnerves you. But the demons usually don’t hit until you come home, when you are lying alone in bed and you don’t dare to tell your wife or your girlfriend what you have become, what you saw, what you did, why you are drinking yourself into a stupor, why you so desperately want to forget your dreams.

The disillusionment comes swiftly. It is not the war of the movies. It is not the glory promised by the recruiters. The mythology fed to you by the church, the press, the school, the state, and the entertainment industry is exposed as a lie. We are not a virtuous nation. God has not blessed America. Victory is not assured. And we can be as evil, even more evil, than those we oppose. War is venal, noisy, frightening, and dirty. The military is a vast bureaucratic machine fueled by hyper-masculine fantasies and arcane and mind-numbing rules. War is always about betrayal—betrayal of the young by the old, of idealists by cynics, and of soldiers and Marines by politicians.


War comes wrapped in patriotic slogans; calls for sacrifice, honor, and heroism; and promises of glory. It comes wrapped in the claims of divine providence. It is what a grateful nation asks of its children. It is what is right and just. It is waged to make the nation and the world a better place, to cleanse evil. War is touted as the ultimate test of manhood, where the young can find out what they are made of. From a distance it seems noble. It gives us comrades and power and a chance to play a bit part in the great drama of history. It promises to give us identities as warriors, patriots, as long as we go along with the myth, the one the war-makers need to wage wars and the defense contractors need to increase their profits.

so sad... we send our young and desperate to fight for the old and the rich...

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The NSA is in the process of profiling every one of us

as horrifying as this sounds, it's no surprise... since the government is collecting information on not only every electronic transaction - from phone calls to atm withdrawals to airline tickets to supermarket affinity card swipes - as well as assembling facial recognition information and feeds from the millions of surveillance cameras located virtually everywhere, the next reasonable step is to do something with it... kevin at cryptogon has been all over this for years (here and here, among others) and i've been posting on it since at least 2006 (here)... the objective clearly is to build not only profiles of individuals but also of their communities, their networks, their behavior patterns, their interests, their allegiances, their movements, their beliefs, and their vulnerabilities... why...? control... the more information the government has about ordinary citizens and their proclivities, the more control can be exercised, and the more control that can be exercised, the greater the opportunity to instill fear which, in turn, increases the control...

from raw story...
NSA whistleblower William Binney was interviewed by internet journalist Geoff Shively at the HOPE Number 9 hackers conference in New York on Friday.

Binney, who resigned from the NSA in 2001 over its domestic surveillance program, had just delivered a keynote speech in which he revealed what Shively called “evidence which we have not seen until this point.”

“They’re pulling together all the data about virtually every U.S. citizen in the country … and assembling that information,” Binney explained. “So government is accumulating that kind of information about every individual person and it’s a very dangerous process.” He estimated that something like 1.6 billion logs have been processed since 2001.

a video clip of binney's summary of his talk...


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Friday, July 13, 2012

A $7 BILLION loss at JPMorgan? WHEN are our criminal bankers going face some real accountability?

the crap keeps flowing nonstop and these guys keep walking the streets with zero consequences for fraud, malfeasance, mismanagement, lying, and outright theft... meanwhile, you or i could be literally tossed in jail over a minor traffic violation... when is this shit going to cease...?

JPMorgan Fears Traders Obscured Losses in First Quarter

JPMorgan Chase which reported its second-quarter results on Friday, disclosed that the losses on a soured credit bet could mount to more than $7 billion, as the nation’s largest bank indicated that traders may have intentionally tried to conceal the extent of the red ink on the disastrous position.

Amid a swirl of questions about how the traders marked their bets, JPMorgan also said Friday that it would be forced to restate its first-quarter results.

If the trades, made out of the powerful chief investment office unit in London, had been properly valued, the bank said it would have lost $1.4 billion on the position in the first quarter.

Jamie Dimon, the bank’s chief executive who has consistently reassured investors that the losses would be contained, announced that the bank lost $4.4 billion on the botched trade in the second quarter. So far this year, the bank says it has lost $5.8 billion on the trades in credit derivatives.

In a statement, JPMorgan said that “the firm has recently discovered information that raises questions about the integrity of the trader marks and suggests that certain individuals may have been seeking to avoid showing the full amount of the losses in the portfolio during the first quarter.”

jamie dimon, crook-in-chief...

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ya know what REALLY bothers me about the campaign advertising in the 2012 Presidential campaign?

watching the romney and obama campaign ads, it's like whoever is putting them together is convinced that those of us sitting out here watching them have absolutely no idea about what's REALLY going on... they're condescending and completely discounting of the intelligence of the voting public...

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Obama's duplicitous foreign policy

yeah, no shit...

jeremy scahill via the nation...
On the campaign trail, Obama promised an end to torture, extraordinary rendition and secret prisons. But since taking office he has in fact doubled-down on some of the more insidious policies he inherited from the Bush administration. As Nation correspondent Jeremy Scahill explains, Obama has surrounded himself with war hawks, relied on targeted killing and acted unilaterally to defend US interests. Instead of drawing down the two major ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he has shifted combat to special operations units, prolonging US engagement and fighting a "dirty" war.

and to think how much i railed against george bush...

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guantánamo detainees drugged and then interrogated

it's not like this is so damn surprising given what we already know about what's gone on in gitmo but what we only suspect vs. what is revealed as fact is a big difference...

jeffrey kaye and jason leopold posting at truthout...
Detainees in custody of the US military were interrogated while drugged with powerful antipsychotic and other medications that "could impair an individual's ability to provide accurate information," according to a declassified Department of Defense (DoD) inspector general's report that probed the alleged use of "mind altering drugs" during interrogations.

In addition, detainees were subjected to "chemical restraints," hydrated with intravenous (IV) fluids while they were being interrogated and, in what appears to be a form of psychological manipulation, the inspector general's probe confirmed at least one detainee - convicted "dirty bomb" plotter Jose Padilla - was the subject of a "deliberate ruse" in which his interrogator led him to believe he was given an injection of "truth serum."

Truthout obtained a copy of the report - "Investigation of Allegations of the Use of Mind-Altering Drugs to Facilitate Interrogations of Detainees" - prepared by the DoD's deputy inspector general for intelligence in September 2009, under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request we filed nearly two years ago.

[Leonard Rubenstein, a medical ethicist at Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights and the former president of Physicians for Human Rights] said the failure to inform prisoners what drugs they were given means "some basic principles of medical ethics were cast aside, especially those requiring a doctor to explain his or her recommendation and seek consent for it as an affirmation of the dignity and autonomy of the patient."

"Even where consent is not forthcoming and involuntary medication is allowed after voluntary medication is not accepted, it should never take place unless this process is followed," Rubenstein said.

The cumulative effects of indefinite detention, interrogations, use of drugs, and other conditions of confinement also appear to have taken a toll on the detainees' mental state and impacted the DoD watchdog's ability to conduct a thorough investigation.

Indeed, when the inspector general sought to interview the attorney representing one detainee who claimed he was given mind-altering drugs during interrogations, the attorney responded, "at this state of his incarceration, [redacted] memory is severely compromised and, unfortunately, we are skeptical that he can provide you with any further details ..."

The investigation also found instances where "chemical restraints" were used on detainees "that posed a threat to themselves or others," which Rubenstein said, "is contrary to US Bureau of Prison regulations, decisions of the US Supreme Court and to medical ethics principles that forbid subordinating the patient's medical interests to prison security."


The inspector general's yearlong probe was launched in June 2008, two months after the publication of a Washington Post report in which some detainees claimed they were forcibly drugged and coerced into making confessions.

One of the detainees at the center of The Washington Post report, Adel al-Nusairi, a former Saudi policeman who was imprisoned at Guantanamo from 2002 to 2005, is prominently featured in the inspector general's report and identified as "IG-02."

According to his attorney's notes cited in The Washington Post, al-Nusairi claimed he was injected with an unknown medication that made him extremely sleepy just before he was interrogated in 2002. When his captors awakened him, he fabricated a confession for US interrogators in hopes they would leave him alone so he could sleep.

"I was completely gone," al-Nusairi told his attorney, Anant Raut. "I said, 'Let me go. I want to go to sleep. If it takes saying I'm a member of al-Qaeda, I will.'"

and you can be sure, if it happened at guantánamo, it also took place at bagram and all the other black sites...

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Glenn: There can be no human interaction that is beyond the reach of the U.S. government

i've been saying for many years that there is no electronic communication that is beyond the reach of the u.s. government... what i've come to realize is, as glenn says, there is no form of human interaction or, indeed, human behavior, that is beyond the reach of the surveillance apparatus of the u.s. government... and i'm also reasonably sure that, if you're a "person of interest," surveillance can be conducted wherever you might be on the planet, and that would include in the air, under the oceans or under the ground... with many millions of surveillance cameras in use around the world, with biometric and facial recognition technology, with spy satellites that can spot a gnat scratching its ass in the depths of carlsbad caverns, and with many other technologies undoubtedly in use that we've never even heard of, if "they" want to keep an eye on you, be assured, "they" can do it...

If you even go into any normal American city or even, increasingly, small or mid-sized towns, there are all kinds of instruments of surveillance everywhere that you probably don’t even notice. If you wake up in the morning and drive to your local convenience store, you’ve undoubtedly been photographed by all sorts of surveillance cameras on the street. If you go to the ATM to take out money to buy things, that will be then recorded. If you go into a convenience store to buy things you want to buy, you’ll have your photograph taken and will be reported.
An article in Popular Mechanics in 2004 reported on a study of American surveillance and this is what it said: “There are an estimated 30 million surveillance cameras now deployed in the United States shooting 4 billion hours of footage a week. Americans are being watched. All of us, almost everywhere.” There is a study in 2006 that estimated that that number would quadruple to 100 million cameras -- surveillance cameras -- in the United States within five years largely because of the bonanza of post-9/11 surveilling.


The principle being that there can be no human interaction, especially no human communication, not just for international between foreign nations but by America citizens on American soils that is beyond the reach of the U.S. government.

thomas drake, former employee of the nsa...
If you take what has been happening in the post-9/11 security world, what you’re see is the establishment of a surveillance society – the establishment of a surveillance network. People don’t realize the extent to which we’re surveilled in many, many ways. The extent to which vast amounts of our transactional data in all forms – electronic forms, your emails, your tweets, bank records and everything else – are all subject or suspect in terms of surveillance. It raises the specter of the rise of so-called “soft tyranny.” It raises the specter of you being automatically suspicious until you prove that you’re not; the specter of a universal and persistent wiretap on every single person. If not – they can create one. Because what happens if they don’t like you? What if you speak ill will against the government? What if you say something they consider disloyal? That is not the country I took an oath to defend four times in my government career.
There is also a fear element. Fear in itself is control. What would people do when they are fearful is they would begin to censor themselves. It sends an extraordinary chilling message that if you speak out – they are going to hammer you hard. Our security has become our state religion, you don’t question it. And if you question it – your loyalty is questioned.

if you feel like someone's watching you, it's not just paranoia...

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Monday, July 09, 2012

Max Keiser: A kleptocracy of central bankers run our lives

my question to which i never hear a satisfactory answer is why are we putting up with it...?

the keiser report from 7 july on rt... 
Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss why nobody is freaking about LIBOR in America, while JP Morgan caught doing an Enron on US energy markets and GlaxoSmithKline pays 10% of their ill-gotten gains for bribing doctors and scientists across America. In the second half of the show Max talks to Kevin Sara of the TuNur solar export project of Tunisia about solar exports from the Middle East and toxic derivatives exports from the City of London.

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Sunday, July 08, 2012

Sunday with Mr. Fish - The Rewrite

a nice juxtaposition to my post about the declaration of independence on the 4th of july and the post i put up last sunday with bill moyers' thoughts on that same document...

mr. fish via truthdig...


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