June 28, 2009 archive

The CIA Coup You Aren’t Supposed to Notice

Honduran President kidnapped, beaten, deported for trying to hold an election so that the people could vote on amending their Reagan given constitution written by SOA dictators.

I’m on some pretty wide ranging email lists, and often have volumes of mail. How I got on this list, I haven’t a clue. Today, my inbox was empty, but for this one:

Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs

Statement

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela condemns the coup d’├ętat that the Honduran oligarchy is attempting to perpetrate against the constitutional government of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales and the people of Honduras.

President Manuel Zelaya Rosales was kidnapped, removed from his home by force, rendered incommunicado for several hours, and violently expelled from his country by a group of unpatriotic, coup-mongering soldiers. The hooded soldiers kidnapped Chancellor Patricia Rodas and also arbitrarily detained and beat the Ambassadors of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. These shameless soldiers are responsible before national and international laws for the crimes that they are committing and for the violation of the constitution and its laws.

The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela strongly urges the international community to condemn this situation and urges that the necessary measures be taken by us to defeat this coup d’├ętat in Honduras and to reestablish the legitimate government of President Manuel Zelaya Rosales.

Caracas, June 28, 2009

Ministry of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs/ Translation by the Press Unit of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States

They BEAT all the Leftist Embassadors. Welcome to the prodigy of School of the Americas at work.

Meanwhile, the technology ate the rest of our country’s soul

The Boomers aged. Sure, not everything was perfect, not everything was back to normal. But we were staying fed. We were staying entertained. The electric bill was hard to pay but at least the damned AC worked when it got hot. Flick the switch, the dang thing turns on and works, that’s all want out of life.

Kids were hitting summer vacation. It was beach time, barbecue time, cold beer in the hot sun time. And frankly, we didn’t have the money anymore to haul our asses to DC for lobbying or NYC for protest marches. Transportation’s become rather expensive, doncha know. But really, don’t sweat it. Obama will end the wars soon. Just give him time. More time. More time. More time. Echo… echo… echo…

Then the kids started begging you to take them to see the new Transformers movie.

Now, only if you were ex-military would you cringe as you realized that the first such movie, which you’d been forced to sit through as a stoic, benign parent; was a two hour US Air Force Cyber Command recruiting commercial. The rest of the 98% of you who have never served, never known anyone who served, and don’t know or care what’s involved with military service would just resign yourselves to sitting through two hours of the usual Hollywood uber-simplistic stentorian morality play interspersed with robotic chase scenes and explosions set to glorious music.

But it’s just a petty annoyance, just as it’s a petty annoyance that the new Star Trek movie kinda messed with Kirk’s handling of the Kobayashi Maru. I mean, any true Star Trek geek knows that compassion and diplomacy, not JUST hacking your own computer system, was the Roddenberry way around a no-win alternative; just as surely as there are some of us who still swear by that “quaint” concept of the Prime Directive of the Federation. But most of the Star Trek geeks who’d remember that and could still afford to take their kids to the new movie today would agree that hacking computer systems is cool, too… right? So what’s not to like? Right?

Coup in Honduras

Today’s events in Honduras certainly seem to have a US OK stamped all over them.  

With Obama suggesting only that:

any disputes must be settled peacefully through negotiations

And the administration saying that they know nothing of Honduran constitutional law–they’re at the least saying it’s all OK, and at most that they knew about it and approved beforehand.

Reminds me a lot of Bush in Haiti.

It’s disgusting, and a lot of people could will get hurt.  

On the so called left, the excuse that this is justified by a Referendum on extending or removing term limits seems to be fooling many, but I mean c’mon, how do you justify lies in the press (the main paper in Honduras is claiming that President Zelaya has resigned, which is a lie) , shutting down media and electricity, curfews and Honduran troops in the streets with teargas, and a few reports of much worse.  

But the sad state of todays Obamabots is “He’s got this.”

I’m afraid he very well may have “got this”.

Just like other US presidents of the past also “got this” all over Honduras.

The reason we won’t have change is because the American electorate doesn’t want it–they’re totally fine with death squads in Central America, if Obama says it’s OK.

(can’t get images to post) but see:

http://www.noticias24.com/enfo…

Been Denied Care? … take Hope, there IS a Solution!

cross-posted on the kos

About.com — Health Insurance

Question: What is a pre-existing condition exclusion period?

Answer: Insurance companies try to discourage people from waiting until they get sick in order to purchase health insurance. One way in which they do this is to impose pre-existing condition exclusion periods. This means that if you have a medical problem which exists at the time you enroll in or purchase your health insurance, the insurance company will deny all claims pertaining to this medical problem for a certain period of time.

(emphasis added)

http://healthinsurance.about.c…

So there IS Hope —

Just Stay at that Job Forever

Or NEVER get Sick —

And NO Problem!!!

They got you covered!  (as long as you can live with “Job Lock”)

Sunday Op-Ed

Photobucket

I’ve been reading here and there about changing hearts and minds, about reaching out to those on the other side of the divide, communicating with our “allies” in the Democratic Party and on the liberal blogs.  The thought goes something like this, “You are not helping your cause by this tone, you’re only reaching those who already agree with you.”

There’s a big difference, I believe, between reaching out and caving in.

Particularly when it comes to the liberal blogs, I find it strange that folks act as though we are politicians who must compromise our values in order to effectively communicate for our causes.

I don’t have to worry about getting elected or re-elected.  I have no lobbyists threatening to cut off my funding.  I don’t have Rahm Emmanuel breathing down my neck and threatening me to take a particular political position or lose the support of the powers in the party.

I am an individual and a citizen of the United States with all the powers that affords me.  I not only have the right and the obligation to petition my government with my concerns but the freedom to state those concerns in the form of staunch advocacy and solidarity with those who I believe are suffering from injustice.

The only real communication that can take place between human beings is on the ground of equality.  As Activist Guy commented so eloquently in my essay When the debate is over:

Common ground can only be found

after ground has been taken and held.  Common ground can only be found between equals, and since one side in any issue is the side of hegemony, they start out holding all the ground.  Some of their ground must be taken and held, and shown to be beyond recapture, before hegemony will negotiate honestly as an equal.

Idiot’s guide to the Power of a Majority in the US Senate

Crossposted at http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

Chapter #1

Dear members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, below you will find helpful definitions and other useful tools as you assemble your ability to effective use the tools of a majority party in the US Senate.

Step 1. What is a Majority Party?

   No need to fret little Harry. It’s just this simple.

Majority and minority parties

The “Majority party” is the political party which either has a majority of seats or can form a coalition or caucus with a majority of seats; if two or more parties are tied, the Vice President’s affiliation determines which party is the majority party. The next-largest party is known as the minority party.

Wikipedia.com

Until Texas or Alaska secedes, there are 50 States and 100 Senators in The US Senate. That’s two for every state!

Sunday music retrospective: Queen

Queen



Bohemian Rhapsody



I Want to Break Free

Docudharma Times Sunday June 28

Once the patients are treated, the militia removes them from the hospital to an undisclosed location, she said.




Sunday’s Headlines:

Feds squabbling over military’s border role

Battle for Iran shifts from the streets to the heart of power

Iraq trembles as US troops pull back

‘Historic day’ as loyalist groups finally lay down their arms

Brussels steps in to save the Great Hamster of Alsace

Mumbai: What really happened

U.S.-built bridge is windfall – for illegal Afghan drug trade

In Kenya, patients held hostage to medical bills

Health-Care Activists Targeting Democrats

Sniping Among Liberals May Jeopardize Votes Needed to Pass Bill

By Ceci Connolly

Washington Post Staff Writer

Sunday, June 28, 2009


In the high-stakes battle over health care, a growing cadre of liberal activists is aiming its sharpest firepower against Democratic senators who they accuse of being insufficiently committed to the cause.

The attacks — ranging from tart news releases to full-fledged advertising campaigns — have elicited rebuttals from lawmakers and sparked a debate inside the party over the best strategy for achieving President Obama’s top priority of a comprehensive health-system overhaul.

The rising tensions between Democratic legislators and constituencies that would typically be their natural allies underscore the high hurdles for Obama as he tries to hold together a diverse, fragile coalition.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad regime plots purge after Iran election protests

The supreme leader’s brutal crackdown has crushed dissent on the streets

From The Sunday Times

June 28, 2009  Marie Colvin


Opponents of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, are bracing themselves for a purge if, as expected, he returns to office following the country’s bitterly disputed presidential election.

His defeated rival, Mir Hos-sein Mousavi, who came a distant second in a poll he insists was rigged by the regime, has continued to defy what he has called “huge pressures” to halt his campaign for a new vote.

Last week his communications with the outside world were severely restricted, his web page was taken down and his newspaper was closed, with 25 of its employees arrested.

Supporters said they feared Mousavi could become another Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese pro-democracy leader who has spent 13 of the past 19 years under house arrest.

Mousavi inspired hundreds of thousands of Iranians who poured onto the streets to demand that the results of the June 12 election should be annulled.

USA

U.S. and Russia Differ on a Treaty for Cyberspace



By JOHN MARKOFF and ANDREW E. KRAMER

Published: June 27, 2009


The United States and Russia are locked in a fundamental dispute over how to counter the growing threat of cyberwar attacks that could wreak havoc on computer systems and the Internet.

Both nations agree that cyberspace is an emerging battleground. The two sides are expected to address the subject when President Obama visits Russia next week and at the General Assembly of the United Nations in November, according to a senior State Department official.

But there the agreement ends.

Russia favors an international treaty along the lines of those negotiated for chemical weapons and has pushed for that approach at a series of meetings this year and in public statements by a high-ranking official.

More good news on the LGBT front: HIV travel ban to be lifted soon

Last week I posted a diary about LGBT legislation before Congress, suggesting that all was not doom and gloom in the fight for LGBT rights.  Now there’s more good news coming down the pipeline: on Friday the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) posted on its website the words that activists have been waiting years to see:

Title: Medical Examination of Aliens: Removal of HIV Infection as a Communicable Disease of Public Health Significance

With this we move one significant step closer to getting rid of one of the worst and most discriminatory bits of immigration law currently on the books: the HIV travel ban.

Late Night Karaoke

C89.5

The New Doctor Who is Fantastic! 20090627

BBC America just ran the new installment of Doctor Who.  It has surpassed my expectations, let alone hopes.  David Tennent is so well suited to the role of The Doctor (and to think that I did not like him very much at first, since Eccleston was so good) that one actually believes that he believes that he is The Doctor.

For those of you not hip to this series, I can not even begin to begin to explain.  It started as a children’s television program on BBC in 1963, starring William Hartnell as a very aged Doctor, traveling with his first companion.  She was, in the story, his granddaughter, and this has never been resolved in the years of the series.

Dear Mr. President…


There has been a lot of left-wing teeth-gnashing over the policies of the United States’ fake-progressive president Barack Obama. Left-progressives’ anger with the Obama administration is understandable given the new White House’s actions to (for example):

* Significantly expand the reach and intensity of imperial violence (replete with the mass slaughter of civilians and the related escalation of targeted assassinations) in South Asia.

Link

* Promote a notorious assassin and death-squad leader (Lt. General Stanley A McChrystal – former chief of the military’s special Joint Special Operations Command) to the position of Commander of U.S. Forces in the newly merged “Af-Pak” war theater. [1]

* Sustain the criminal occupation of Iraq beneath rhetoric of withdrawal. [2]

* Increase “defense” (empire) spending, consistent with the following statement in a report issued by the leading Wall Street investment firm Morgan Stanley one day after Obama’s presidential election victory: “As we understand it, Obama has been advised and agrees that there is no peace dividend.”[3]

* Revive military commissions.

* Continue the practice of renditions.

Link

* Maintain secret prisons for persons “held on a short-term, transitory basis.”

* Continue the unspeakable torture of prisoners by an “extrajudicial terror squad” (Jeremy Scahill’s description of the Pentagon’s sadistic “Immediate Reaction Force” in Cuba) at Guantanamo Bay. [4]

* Advance the policy of “indefinite detention” (potentially permanent incarceration) for Guantanamo prisoners for whom no legally compelling evidence can be marshaled.

* Intimidate England (with a threat to withhold intelligence data on potential terrorist attacks!) into preventing a Guantanamo victim from having his day in court on the Bush administration’s torture practices. [5]

* Sustain the Bush administration’s abrogation of habeas corpus rights in regard to the roughly 600 “enemy combatants” kept at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan (where people rendered out of other countries like Yemen and England can be considered “war [-zone]” prisoners!. [6]

Link

* Advance nauseatingly specious legal and moral arguments (“better to look forward than backward”) to prevent serious federal investigation of the Bush administration’s human rights crimes.

* Sustain George W. Bush’s domestic wiretapping program.

* Invoke the “state secrets” (akin to the divine right of kings) doctrine to prevent disclosure of evidence in response to lawsuits emerging from Bush era rendition and surveillance policies.

* Suppress photographic evidence of U.S. torture practices.

* Justify all this and more in the name of the supposed “global war on terror” that was supposedly launched in legitimate defense against the supposedly unprovoked jetliner attacks of September 11, 2001.

Link

* Disregard qualified progressive defenders of civil liberties and human rights from consideration for appointment to succeed Supreme Justice David H. Souter and to thereby counter the hard right leanings of the court’s conservative majority. [7]

* Send clear signals of intent to roll back and partially privatize Social Security and Medicare benefits.

* Betray campaign pledges to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to insert stronger labor and environmental protections. [7A]

* Betray campaign pledges of serious intent to advance an elementary and overdue labor law reform (the Employee Free Choice Act).

* Force and approve an automobile industry re-structuring that drastically cuts domestic autoworkers’ jobs, wages and benefits while subsidizing General Motors’ further shifting of jobs abroad. [8]

Link

* Advance a tepid, business-friendly health care “reform” that leaves the leading parasitic insurance corporations (major campaign sponsors of his) in power.

* “Methodically erase single-payer advocates from the picture” (Glen Ford) of health care reform despite the fact that a majority of Americans have long favored a single-payer (“Medicare for all”) health insurance system. [9]

* Spend trillions of federal dollars on taxpayer handouts to giant Wall Street firms who spent millions on his campaign and who drove the economy over the cliff. Obama’s Wall Street bailout rejects the elementary bank nationalizations and public financial restructuring that are required to put the nation’s credit system on a sound and socially responsible basis, choosing instead to guarantee the financial, insurance, and real estate industries’ toxic, hyper-inflated assets while keeping existing Wall Street management in place. It amounts to a giant effort to “keep perpetrators afloat” (liberal economist James Gailbraith) through a scheme in which the government takes more than 90 percent of the risk but private investors reap at least half the reward.

I could go on. It’s not a pretty story. And it’s only going to get worse.

Infuriating as these policy actions (and inactions) and this corporate sponsorship may be to people of the actual Left (a different category than the broad-brush “Left” used in “mainstream” U.S. media), however, serious progressives have no business being surprised or disappointed by Obama’s presidential trajectory. Candidate Obama made his “deeply conservative” [10] corporate-imperial centrism clear to those willing to undertake elementary investigations of his political and ideological record. As Scott Horton noted last March on Antiwar.com, “those who bought into the slogans ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’ last fall should have read the fine print. We were warned.”[11]

Link

There’s another and better (or at least more pleasing) reason, moreover, for radicals to temper their angst over the “betrayals” and other transgressions of the new White House. There is something to be gained on the longer path to radical change from experiencing all this terrible if predictable – and in fact predicted – policy under the nation’s new chief executive.

The dawning Age of Obama is potentially a great “teach-able moment” for left thinkers, communicators, activists who are ready and willing to take up the challenges of productive and progressive demystification and rebellion.

As Obama himself (along with John Edwards) repeatedly noted during the presidential campaign, in a comment that has not fallen from Obama’s lips since he reached the White House, “change doesn’t happen from the top down. Change happens from the bottom up.”

Click the link –> The Dawning Age of Obama as a Potentially Teach-able Moment for The Left

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