Daily Archive: August 10, 2009

About my screen name and sig

    I have had many questions asked about my screen name and sig. Some people have accused me of being a Right Wing troll. Others have doubted my sincerity because of the meaning of my screen name. I thought I might explain my choice and point out a few facts, for those who may be interested.

    We have replaced the two minutes hate with the 24/7 hate/lie cycle.

    My hope is to challenge that, and to bring truth to light as best as I can.

    One of the first books I read as a young man was George Orwell’s 1984. Politically it opened my eyes and unplugged me from the matrix. I re-read the book once a year and every year since then. It serves as a reminder for what is at stake.

   But many would like to tell us that Government is always evil. They fail to recognize that the same can be said of Big Business.

   Big Business can be Big Brother too.

   In fact, Big Business may be worse than Big Government sometimes. Good Government can check Bad Business. Good Business has not once stopped Bad Government, and both Good/Good and Bad/Bad can exists as well.

   The question is how we keep both accountable. If we kill good government to save Big Business, Big Business will become Big Brother. That is the heart of true Mussolini Fascism, a combination of Big Business and Bad Government.

   And the wall between the reality of that and the reality they would sell us can be called the Ministry Of Truth.

The Ministry of Truth – Minitrue, in Newspeak – was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous pyramidal structure of glittering white concrete, soaring up, terrace after terrace, three hundred meters into the air. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party:

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

The Ministry of Truth contained, it was said, three thousand rooms above ground level, and corresponding ramifications below. Scattered about London there were just three other buildings of similar appearance and size. So completely did they dwarf the surrounding architecture that from the roof of Victory Mansions you could see all four of them simultaneously. The were the homes of the four Ministries between which the entire apparatus of government was divided: the Ministry of Truth, which concerned itself with news, entertainment, education, and the fine arts; the Ministry of Love, which maintained law and order; and the Ministry of Plenty, which was responsible for economic affairs. Their names, in Newspeak: Minitrue, Minipax, Miniluv, and Miniplenty.

The Ministry of Love was the really frightening one. There were no windows in it at all. Winston had never been inside the Ministry of Love, nor within a half a kilometer of it. It was a place impossible to enter except on official business, and then only by penetrating through a maze of barbed-wire entanglements, steel doors, and hidden machine-gun nests. Even the streets leading up to its outer barriers were roamed by gorilla-faced guards in black uniforms, armed with jointed truncheons.

The Orwell Reader.com

   Each day we see a precept from 1984 personified before our eyes. Part of my purpose in writing is to educate people to the real truth, as I perceive it from my progressive liberal perspective. Many may not agree with my views. I do not place a premium on agreement. Rather, the importance I place is on the FACT. That is where the truth shall be found.

   No one in their right mind who is not a fool can look at our Corporate controlled media and not see a similarity to Orwell’s Ministry Of Truth. The Right Wing Noise Machine is fully aware that their policies are not in the interest of the Average citizen of Earth. In order to convince the poor that they want free market fiscal conservative economic policies they have created a place that can be best described as the debate between fact and false. To deny fact, science and reality and equate it with falsity and lies. This is an important part of their agenda.

  Thus

  Ignorance = Strength

 The issue is whether you will make your own decisions, do you own research and form your own opinions, or if you will allow programmers to pre-program you.

  If we remain ignorant, we give strength to those who would exercise total power over us, whether they are Business or Politically oriented

Saving Pachamama: A Beginning

Photobucket

Don Mariano Quispe Flores

Pachamama, mother earth, Santa Madre Tierra, the earth, the planet is obviously in trouble.  This should by now be obvious.

The Q’ero of Peru, the descendants of the Incas, live in remote villages that are above 14,000 feet above sea level.  They have lived in these areas for hundreds of years. They live above the tree line.  They raise llamas, alpacas, vicunas, and other similar animals, and they grow big kernal maiz (“choclo”) and hundreds of species of potatoes.  And until recently they kept to themselves.  They stayed away from the cities.  And the Government.  And, of course, they kept their understandings of Shamanism and energy medicine to themselves.  They certainly didn’t tell North Americans about it. But then, relatively recently, they noticed the oddest thing, that the glaciers surrounding them were slowly melting.  Slowly becoming smaller.  Slowly disappearing.  And the spiritual teachers in the lineage decided that Q’ero who were healers, who were powerful Shamans, who knew that it was necessary to heal mother earth and her children, would have to go down the mountain and bring out their teachings and carry them across the world.

I spent this past weekend with Q’ero Shaman Don Mariano Quispe Flores at The Abode in New Lebanon, New York, along with some three dozen other shamans.  Don Mariano is 72 years old.  He does not know how to write.  Or to read.  He speaks only Quechua (though he does say a very few words in English and Spanish).  His village in Peru is about an 8 hour bus ride and then a 4 hour walk uphill from Cuzco.  This trip to the United States (he stopped in California and Washington State and Colorado before journeying to the East) was his first trip to the US, though he has been to Europe.  He is a very sweet, gentle, and humble man.  And a powerful, traditional healer.

Because Don Mariano speaks Quechua, his translator sometimes translated first into Spanish, and then someone else translated into English.  This was an incredible gift: I could hear what Don Mariano was saying three times.  No, I didn’t understand the first statements in Quechua, but I could feel and hear his tone of voice, and then it was repeated in both Spanish and English, so the content was repeated.  I’m not going to try to bring you all of Don Mariano’s teachings.

Instead, I bring you this very short essay to tell you something important that you probably already know only too well, just to remind you.

Pachamama, your Mother Earth, Santa Madre Tierra is in trouble and she needs our help and our caring for her.  She needs us to honor her.  And protect her.

This might involve traditional practices, like making offerings (“despachos“) and prayers for the healing of the earth.  It also might involve ceremonies, calling in the power of the Twelve Sacred Mountains (the Apus), the six directions, prayers, and healing thoughts.  These are all important.  But also important, perhaps even more important is our continuing awareness of Pachamama and our actions to take care of her as she takes care of us by feeding us, by giving us water, by providing shelter.

So I have a very simple request.  Please pause now, look up from your screen, go outdoors if you can, and see, if you can, the unbelievable, abundant world surrounding us, the world on which we walk.  Look at Pachamama.  And feel, if you can, in your heart gratitude for all Pachamama provides us.  This gratitude is incredibly important.  It is the beginning point to help the planet.

————————————

cross-posted from The Dream Antilles

Ray McGovern Speaks Out and Drops a few “Bombs!”

Ray McGovern, in a 2-Part video series, speaks with Jay Paul, Senior Editor of the Real News Network — Revisiting the Downing Street Memo.

While we have mainly focussed our efforts on the torture, McGovern gives us some play by play events and some in-depth observations as to our war of aggression against Iraq.  It is pretty jaw-dropping stuff!

Note this, as well:

With respect to waging a war of aggression-and that is a technical term defined by Nuremberg, the Nuremberg tribunal, which came after World War II. And what they said was that to institute a war of aggression is to commit the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only inasmuch as it contains the accumulated evil of the whole.  (emphasis mine)

A war of aggression is the worst crime of all, because “it contains the accumulated evil of the whole.”  Of course, that would include torture, and all the heinous crimes that we know were committed.

and, from the Principles of the Nuremberg Tribunal, 1950, No. 82

Principle Vl

The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under; international law:

Crimes against peace:

1–Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in

    violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

2–Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the

    acts mentioned under (i).

Here is Part I:

In Part II, McGovern speaks about “The person that leaked the memo did an ‘incredible’ public service.”

Part II over the jump!

Four at Four

  1. The LA Times reports Criminal investigation into CIA treatment of detainees expected. U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. is expected to name a criminal prosecutor to conduct an narrow-in-scope investigation “focusing on ‘whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized’ in Bush administration memos” that approved of torture.

    “Some cases have not previously been disclosed, including an instance in which a CIA operative brought a gun into an interrogation booth to force a detainee to talk, officials said.”

    “Obama and Holder have both said that they believe waterboarding constitutes torture.” But, “the U.S. anti-torture statute requires proving that an interrogator ‘specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering’ — a daunting legal threshold.”

    Meanwhile, the NY Times reports from London that the Head of MI-6 defends against torture allegations. Sir John Scarlett, “the head of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service”, is defending Britain’s counterterrorism policies, “rejecting accusations that his agency has colluded in the torture of terrorist suspects being interrogated abroad.”

    Scarlett claims there was “no torture, and no complicity in torture” by the British despite allegations from former prisoners held by the U.S. American officials also have denied the torture claims.

  2. The Washington Independent reports Xe (Blackwater) wants to keep State Department security contract.

    Even as a wrongful-death lawsuit moves forward against the controversial private security company formerly known as Blackwater, the firm seeks to renew its contract with the State Department to guard diplomats when the deal expires next year. And the State Department shows no signs of ruling the company out of competition, despite a high-profile incident in 2007 that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead…

    In 2005, the State Department issued a four-year contract, valued at $560 million per year, to provide on-the-ground security for its diplomats in dangerous areas around the world with three leading private security companies: Blackwater, Triple Canopy and DynCorp. The U.S. military does not consider the provision of security for diplomats in war zones to be its job…

    While Xe may no longer be operating in Iraq, it is the only private security company guarding State Department employees in Afghanistan… Already, Xe has come under criticism for aggressive actions in Afghanistan reminiscent of its Iraq behavior.

    Meanwhile, The Guardian reports a British security guard ‘admits Iraq killings’. Daniel Fitzsimons appeared before a Baghdad judge after the shooting deaths of two fellow ArmorGroup contractors. “The British guard today admitted his crime of killing the two men,” said Major Abdul Kareem General Kalaph, an Iraqi interior ministry spokesman. Fitzimons faces execution if convicted.

  3. McClatchy reports Bombings kill dozens of people in Baghdad and northern Iraq. “Early morning bombings Monday in Baghdad and Mosul killed at least 49 people and wounded 231, the third large-scale attack on civilians in the past 10 days.”

    The NY Times adds “nearly 100 people have been killed and scores wounded in Mosul and Baghdad since Friday in the worst outburst in violence since June 30, when Iraqis officially took the lead on national security and American troops largely withdrew to their bases.”

  4. The Washington Post reports Corporate Mercenary extols the ‘art of firing’ people. Meet Kim Hall, as vice president of the Five O’Clock Club, she “coaches businesses on how to execute mass downsizings and often visits companies on the designated day to help coordinate a layoff.”

    He business is “is a profitable one. The Five O’Clock Club has nearly doubled in size during the past two years, and Hall has guided more than 200 companies and 1,500 laid-off workers through downsizings in the past six months.” Her company “charges each company about $2,000 per fired employee in exchange for providing layoff victims with a year of career coaching.”

    She is a paid liar. She avoids saying “unemployed.” According to her, these are “job-seekers,” or “separated employees,” or “affected workers,” or “people in transition.”

    And most of all, Hall says, you remain optimistic on the phone no matter the circumstances. You never mention that 250,000 people lost their jobs in one month. Instead, you say that job loss has slowed, the market continues to recover and the economy is improving. Always improving.

$133 million a day, and we’re losing

The war in Afghanistan, which we are losing, is costing us $133 million a DAY.   That’s right, $133 million a day.  That’s over 5.5 million dollars an HOUR, every hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, forever and ever.

Why forever and ever?  Because we’re losing, not winning.

Says who, you might ask?  Some hand-wringing “liberal”?    No, none other than General Stanley McChrystal, the warmongering, warcriminal in charge of the whole mess for the Americans.

US losing in Afghanistan, top general admit.


The top American commander in Afghanistan declared that the Taliban are winning in Afghanistan in a startling interview published Monday – a striking contrast to the “Mission Accomplished” rhetoric of the Bush Administration as regards Iraq.

His remarks appear carefully tailored to lower expectations and shift public opinion in support of operations in the war-torn country where few foreign powers have ever seen victory. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when they were routed by a US invasion.

Currently, US operations in Afghanistan cost taxpayers about $4 billion a month. That comes to roughly $133 million per day, or $5.5 million per hour.

Yeah, but we can’t afford anything here.  California is broke, prisons are melting down as prisoners riot for hours on end, schools are firing teachers, the entire social safety net is being set afire ….. why, so we spend money instead losing in Afghanistan?

Of course this begs the question:  why would the top General there actually admit to losing the war?  Well of course because we’re not spending enough money there yet.  And we’re not killing enough American troops!   So we need more American troops to sacrifice to the volcano gods of war:


McChrystal’s interview also appeared designed to augment support for increasing troop levels in parts of Afghanistan. Since President Barack Obama took office, the Pentagon has increased the number of US troops in the country. The strategy described suggests a “hearts and minds” approach which favors securing civilian areas rather than focusing on full-frontal engagement with militants.

“It’s a very aggressive enemy right now,” the paper quoted Gen. McChrystal as saying. “We’ve got to stop their momentum, stop their initiative. It’s hard work.”

The interview also quotes unnamed US officials arguing for a further increase in US troops.

Now to win an unwinnable war?   Spend more money.   Kill more boys.  Sure.  That works every time.  These people learn nothing from history.   Their egos are so huge they think they cannot lose, and the only reason they are losing is because those jerks in Washington aren’t giving them what they need!   Goddamn those jerks in Washington!   They’re not there man, they don’t know what it’s like!

Well, here’s what it’s like for some of the Afghani people we’re spending $5 million bucks an hour killing:

Killing children doesn’t come cheap.  Hell, you can’t do it here without getting in serious trouble!   But in Afghanistan, you can use the highest tech weaponry in the history of mankind to kill children and it’s just A-OK and the government will keep giving you more!

   

The Bestest of All Possible …

(Simulposted at the Orange)

best of all possible worlds

I have literally lost track of the amount of comments that respond to analyses of Obama’s actions with “why are you surprised?” and “what did you expect?”

But I have to say the latest is downright hilarious.

Most of us already know the latest story about how the pharmaceutical companies, via their lobbyist, former Congressional Rep Billy Tauzin, publicized a deal they supposedly made with the White House which they claimed promised there would be no fooling around with negotiating (i.e., lowering) drug prices in health care legislation in return for a hefty investment in advertising and an $80 billion investment in the plan itself.

Caught between a pivotal industry ally and the protests of Congressional Democrats, the Obama administration on Friday backed away from what drug industry lobbyists had said this week was a firm White House promise to exclude from a proposed health care overhaul the possibility of allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices under Medicare.

We were promised transparency in these negotiations.  Of course, politial promises don’t count.  Why are we surprised?  What did we expect?

“Not negotiating behind closed doors, but bringing all parties together and broadcasting those negotiations on C-SPAN,” Obama explained in a Democratic debate in Los Angeles in January 2008, in language similar to many of his campaign stops.

However, the two biggest deals so far – industry agreements to cut drug and hospital costs – were reached in secret.

So now we see who has a seat at the table,  not because the Obama Administration was open and transparent, but because Billy Tauzin and the pharmaceutical companies panicked when they thought Congressional Dems were going to mess up their deal and demanded assurances from the White House.

Fashionably Stupid…When Will It End?

The dying era of Conservatism idolized the Fifties. An era in which everyone was white, all went to church on Sunday, understood that what was good for GM or any other Corporation was good for America, we could overthrow Iran or Chile at will and women knew their place….which was firmly under men. For five minutes on Wednesday night after the kids were in bed.

That was the myth that they grew up believing in.

I grew up in the Sixties, when science and brains were idolized and it was thrilling when someone DIDN’T fit in to the mold of the Fifties.

When being smart was a GOOD thing.

Smart people and good, smart ideas were valued and the world improved. Science flourished and knowledge for knowledge’s sake was embraced.

Is Eric Holder Tacitly About To Ratify Bush Administration War Crimes?

The opening of this article in the Los Angeles Times seems promising. Almost exciting!

Reporting from Washington — U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. is poised to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA abuses committed during the interrogation of terrorism suspects, current and former U.S. government officials said.

Wow! Could it be the breakthrough for which we’ve been hoping?

A senior Justice Department official said that Holder envisioned an inquiry that would be narrow in scope, focusing on “whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized” in Bush administration memos that liberally interpreted anti-torture laws.

Remind anyone of the Abu Ghraib investigation? Focusing on the lower ranking officials- making them the fall guys and gals- while allowing the people actually responsible to go free? Because this isn’t just a question of what the CIA officers did, this is a question of whether they were authorized by top level government officials to commit war crimes. Like by the president. And the vice president. And the secretary of defense. And the national security advisor. And the White House counsel, who became the attorney general. And the director of the CIA. And others.

Make no mistake: the techniques that were authorized were war crimes. They also were war crimes. And war crimes. And as someone once said:

I believe that waterboarding was torture.

Which would be a war crime. But as the Times article continues:

Obama and Holder have both said that they believe waterboarding constitutes torture. But an investigation would pose thorny political problems for the administration, and probably draw criticism over questions of fairness.

“An investigation that focuses only on low-ranking operators would be, I think, worse than doing nothing at all,” said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.

Worse than doing nothing at all. Think about it.

Lifestyles of the rich and stupid

Today’s run for bottles and cans brought me into the Bubble Zone of suburbia. The Bubble Zone is where people with more money than brains live. This is the legendary Gold Coast of Long Island. Pristine and well maintained roads that date back to the late 1600s wind through immaculate expanses of land dotted with huge, well hidden estates. These places have not seen anything even remotely resembling a kid knocking over another kid for their lunch money in approximately 200 years (with perhaps the single exception of 9/11, as this area was home to no small number of affected brokers for Cantor Fitzgerald, six-figure income executives working for Marsh Insurance, etc).

Everything is beautiful and peaceful here and so it has ever been since at least 1950. You would never know, walking around in this area, that millions of Americans are unemployed, losing their homes, starving and struggling to pay for their medical care. This is the type of place where Bill O’Lielly and Hannity and most of Parasite Petey King’s constituents live – a land that doesn’t believe in the change that’s badly needed a mere 3 miles down the road.

But there is one thing that has been perennially true since the days when I was one of these upper middle class cluetards and walked amongst them regularly, and that is that people with more money than brains LITTER. Their kids drink beer in the woods and depart, leaving the evidence. Their adults are just as bad. Give a rich bitch a place to throw a bottle or a can that isn’t a garbage bin and I guarantee you, honey, they will throw them there by the shit-ton.

So I wandered the Bubble Zone seeking bottles and cans, and lo, I most assuredly found me some; along with no small amount of golf balls, baseballs, softballs and tennis balls. It was this last which led me to the discovery of the remains of… well, I guess it could be called lunch… for yet another American upper class suburban cluetard for whom even these idyllic surroundings are not enough of an escape from reality.

Our rich bitch, who shall remain nameless, went to Walgreens to pick up her prescription for Buspirone. We should all be glad that Buspirone, unlike it’s contemporaries Xanax, Paxil, Zoloft, etc is apparently “not addictive” and has “no contraindications with alcohol”, because even the idyllic surroundings of the LI Bubble Zone tennis courts AND Buspirone were insufficient to calm her delicate nerves. For lo, the rich bitch decided to wash down her Buspirone, some Greek yogurt and 75% of a package of fresh raspberries (the other 25% having been thrown away) with two boilermakers.

Now this was of some interest to me, little miss Bottles n’ Cans, and was the only reason why I was bothering to peek into this bag of refuse in the first place. I shall give credit where it is due – she could have chosen worse beer to create her boilermakers. Blue Point does some nice beer, although I infinitely prefer Hoptical Illusion to the two bottles of Summer Ale that she opted to profane with an airplane bottle of Skyy Vodka each. But after all the difference between Hoptical Illusion and Summer Ale well describes the difference between a wild eyed, crazy redheaded ex-Sergeant who survived 9/11 and, well… what?

What kind of a too-frail-to-survive-reality creature is it that needs to wash down her antidepressants with two fuckin’ vodka boilermakers at the tennis court in order to get through her beautiful suburban day?

Is this that American Dream princess that the sexist guy at the bottles n’ cans machine was talking about while he was making fun of me, maybe? The one who gets by on her looks and whose man ensures she doesn’t have to work? Sheeyit, from the looks of this fine dining experience, she needs to work her ass off just to deal with a broken nail!

Folks, when the shit eventually DOES hit the fan, and the rot that these upper class cluetards are allowing through their venal greed and fear to eat away at the rest of our nation eventually DOES come home to them, do you really think such as we will be in trouble? Do you really think these folks are ready for prime time Apocalypse disaster or warfare? Are they even going to have a prayer in hell when the time comes when they have to compete for food and shelter with the poor and the middle class that they have left hanging out to dry for generations?

Is this the American Dream, or the American Induced Coma?

Do people who have everything they want and STILL need to lunch on boilermakers and antidepressants to keep what little reality that can still reach them at bay REALLY DESERVE a future where they remain untouched in their Bubble Zone, while the rest of the country is breaking it’s back for nickels and dimes?

–Thx for the FP, EKH.

Obama is a monkey/nazi says Lobbyists behind teabagger movement

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Seriously, these are the grassrootsy guys.

Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

   The plaster the founding fathers and claim 1st amerndment rights. The problem isn’t their first Amendment rights, but how they use these images to influence the easily deceived to act against their own interests and in favor of special interests.

  Free speech is not a problem until special interests try to buy up yours.

   Meet the kings of phony astroturfed protest groups opposing change, reform, President Obama and whatever else you got except free market ideology and cutting taxes (for the rich).

   How do Joe The Plumber, racism, Republicans, Nazis, Ron Paul supporters, NWO CT theorists, ACORN CT theories, teabaggers, Oil industry insiders, free market advocates and health care opponents all tie in together?

   Natuarally?

   No. Only professionals are capable of this sort of co-ordination.

   The stupidity is just icing on the home made Entenmann’s cake.

Much more on this below the fold.

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