January 23, 2011 archive

“You Are the Un-Americans, and You Ought to be Ashamed of Yourselves”

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

On January 23, 1976, one of the greatest Americans of the twentieth century died a nearly forgotten man in self-imposed seclusion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  

Over the last three decades or so, you rarely, if ever, hear his name mentioned in the popular media.  Once every few years, you might hear someone on PBS or C-Span remember him fondly and explain as to why he was one of the more important figures of the past century.  In many respects, he had as much moral authority as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks; he was as politically active as Dick Gregory, Harry Belafonte, John Lewis, and Randall Robinson; and, as befits many men and women motivated by moral considerations, he conducted himself with great dignity.  For much of his life, not surprisingly and not unlike many of his worthy successors, he was marginalized and shunned by the political establishment of his time — until events validated their ‘radical’ beliefs and resurrected their reputations.

Throughout his life, few principled men of his caliber paid as high a price and for as long a period as he did for his political beliefs.

The Only Hope We Have Left

As The State Of The Union approaches, it is interesting that just recently see Dick Cheney http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=bloody-stools-from-accutane-use endorsed President Obama’s conduct of U.S. Foreign Policy:   Endless Bloodshed, Endless Futile Foreign Occupations, Prediator Drone Mass-Murder, Indefinite Gulag Detentions, CIA Torture Renditions, No Legal system (termination of Habeas Corpus), Criminalizing Whistleblowers, Assassinations, War Profiteering Corruption, etc. — the final proof of the depths of treachery, depravity, and global tyranny that Obama has aggressively promoted and protected.

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You’d think that giving us a Dick Cheney Foreign Policy, and a Mitt-Romney Health Insurance sentence, and a reverse robin-hood Bush-Reagan Tax Policy would be enough rightward, reactionary policy betrayal by Obama, but no.  We will soon hear about Obama’s coming plans for stripping away at Social Security, as he continues to appoint and surround himself with Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Robber Barons when formulating his “public policy” on economics.

Cutting the Debt is, in truth, an important priority for a Country awash in runaway $16 Trillion Dollar Debt — a number impossible to repay — and which threatens the solvency and legitmacy of the U.S. Dollar. But there is a right way to do that, and a wrong way to do that.  

If Obama had any brains, he would stop wasting away Trillions of Dollars on futile, corrupt Foreign Occupations and U.S. mass murder (which has also directly killed more Americans than any “terrorist” ever did, ever could, or ever would).

Instead Obama is going to strip away at Social Security — something that George W. Bush could not do, but under the cover of “bipartisanship” Obama will do.

What hope does this Country have left?   http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=quanto-costa-viagra-generico-25-mg-online None whatsoever, if we keep supporting Corporatist-Neocon Democrats like Obama, and their unholy GOP counterparts (God Bless America).

But as the 2011-2012 Presidential process begins to get underway, there is one coalition that could offer some real honesty, and some real solutions to our very real problems:



see The Only Hope We Have Left

While neither man could win on his own, the combination of Nader and Paul together represent a true left-right “bipartisan” coalition that would be based finally on putting the priorities of ordinary people first, and the priorities of Corporate Oligarchs where they belong — dead on arrival.

best buy lasix no prescription It’s time to back such a coalition.

Atheists and Agnostics Need Not Apply

If you don’t believe in a “higher being” and you serve in the US Armed Forces, you may be determined to be follow “spiritually unfit” and forced to undergo “exercises that use religious imagery to “train” soldiers up to a satisfactory level of spirituality.” This program, Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF), was designed by, Martin Seligman, an American psychologist and author of self-help books and the director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Selgman came under heavy criticism for his involvement in the Navy’s SERE program in 2002 and his association with Notorious SERE/CIA interrogator-psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen who use Seligman’s theories of “learned helplessness” to interrogate detainees.

Since then, Seligman has managed to reinvent himself as “Dr. Happy” and devised a way using his untested “Learned Optimism” program to make a killing-$31 million in sole source funds.

From Jason Leopold who first reported this story on the Army’s “spiritual testing”

   Soldiers fill out an online survey made up of more than 100 questions, and if the results fall into a red area, they are required to participate in remedial courses in a classroom or online setting to strengthen their resilience in the disciplines in which they received low scores. The test is administered every two years. More than 800,000 Army soldiers have taken it thus far.But for the thousands of “Foxhole Atheists” like 27-year-old Sgt. Justin Griffith, the spiritual component of the test contains questions written predominantly for soldiers who believe in God or another deity, meaning nonbelievers are guaranteed to score poorly and will be forced to participate in exercises that use religious imagery to “train” soldiers up to a satisfactory level of spirituality.

Brig. Gen. Rhonda Cornum, the director of the CSF program, has said, “The spiritual strength domain is not related to religiosity, at least not in terms of how we measure it.”

“It measures a person’s core values and beliefs concerning their meaning and purpose in life,” she said. “It’s not religious, although a person’s religion can still affect those things. Spiritual training is entirely optional, unlike the other domains. Every time you say the S-P-I-R word you’re going to get sued. So that part is not mandatory. The assessment is mandatory though and junior soldiers will be required to take exercises to strengthen their other four domains.”

But despite the verbal gymnastics Cornum seems to engage in over the meaning of “spiritual” and “religious,” it has been established that the spiritual component of CSF is deeply rooted in religious doctrine.

A press release issued by Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in January 2010 said renowned “Psychology of Religion” expert Dr. Kenneth Pargament was tapped to develop the spiritual portion of the test in consultation with Army chaplains, BGSU ROTC cadets, graduate students and officials at West Point.

In examining this issue that bases a soldier’s fitness on his/her religious beliefs, Jeff Kaye, makes this observation and wonders what’s next?

The fact the Army is enforcing religious ideology upon soldiers is already outrageous enough, but the piquant irony by which the primary theorist of the program is also one of the primary theorists behind the use of certain techniques to break down and torture people, and whose theories were used by DoD/CIA psychologists to devise a diabolical torture program, well… one’s head could spin for days processing the internal contradictions. But that’s America today, a torturing country that uses huckster psychology to promote ersatz spirituality in soldiers sent to invade foreign countries for the purpose of selling arms and controlling oil and gas supplies.

What’s next? Will atheism be pronounced a new form of “material support to terrorism”? Will Elmer Gantry replace Robert Gates as next Secretary of Defense? Gates has been President Obama’s Secretary of Defense nearly as long now as he served as same in the administration of George W. Bush.

Truly, nothing can be considered strange anymore.

First they went after the gays . . . .

h/t to emptywheel at FDL

Open Thread: What Circles So Perfectly

From a Friend

Ben Stein Says Obama Should Be the Next Republican Candidate For Pres

Stein must have read my suggestion a few weeks back.

On Sunday Morning this AM.

Even the hardcore Republicans are now beginning to see who Obama is.

Maybe some of you techno wizards can get a link to a video up.

Privatization

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Former Spy With Agenda Operates a Private C.I.A.

By MARK MAZZETTI, The New York Times

Published: January 22, 2011

Over the past two years, he has fielded operatives in the mountains of Pakistan and the desert badlands of Afghanistan. Since the United States military cut off his funding in May, he has relied on like-minded private donors to pay his agents to continue gathering information about militant fighters, Taliban leaders and the secrets of Kabul’s ruling class.

Hatching schemes that are something of a cross between a Graham Greene novel and Mad Magazine’s “Spy vs. Spy,” Mr. Clarridge has sought to discredit Ahmed Wali Karzai, the Kandahar power broker who has long been on the C.I.A. payroll, and planned to set spies on his half brother, the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, in hopes of collecting beard trimmings or other DNA samples that might prove Mr. Clarridge’s suspicions that the Afghan leader was a heroin addict, associates say.

Mr. Clarridge, 78, who was indicted on charges of lying to Congress in the Iran-contra scandal and later pardoned, is described by those who have worked with him as driven by the conviction that Washington is bloated with bureaucrats and lawyers who impede American troops in fighting adversaries and that leaders are overly reliant on mercurial allies.

His dispatches – an amalgam of fact, rumor, analysis and uncorroborated reports – have been sent to military officials who, until last spring at least, found some credible enough to be used in planning strikes against militants in Afghanistan. They are also fed to conservative commentators, including Oliver L. North, a compatriot from the Iran-contra days and now a Fox News analyst, and Brad Thor, an author of military thrillers and a frequent guest of Glenn Beck.

For all of the can-you-top-this qualities to Mr. Clarridge’s operation, it is a startling demonstration of how private citizens can exploit the chaos of combat zones and rivalries inside the American government to carry out their own agenda.

Making money in blogging.

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The latest rumor circulating about Keith (not that I’m star struck or anything, but he did in fact take the time to respond to a post of mine once, so it’s just professional courtesy) is that like Howard Fineman, Tucker Carlson, and others, he’s seeking his next fortune in the world of new media.

Did Keith Olbermann Bolt MSNBC to Create Media Empire?

By Dominic Patten & Sharon Waxman, TheWrap.com via HuffPo

Published: January 21, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

With two years left on his $7 million a year contract, Olbermann was seeking a full exit package but he really has his eye on creating his own media empire in the style of Huffington Post, according to the individual. That way, Olbermann would control his own brand and, in his view, potentially earn far more as an owner.

Umm…

Here’s a bit of free advice which, I’m afraid, is all I can afford.

I’ve heard that it’s possible to make money from blogging, but that’s certainly not my experience.

If you want to crosspost, you’re more than welcome to register.  I’d be grateful for your content.

Chinese Puppet-in-Chief Visits US Puppet-in-Chief

Six In The Morning

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=cialis-online-store The Law Takes The Otherside      

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=viagra-generico-100-mg-online-prezzo-piu-basso-a-Roma

enter Police join protests in Tunisia

Thousands of demonstrators including police officers, lawyers and students, have taken to the streets of Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, in another day of unrest in the North African country.

At least 2,000 police officers participated in Saturday’s demonstrations, according to the Associated Press news agency. They were joined by members of the national guard and fire departments.

Crowds gathered in front of the office of Mohamed Ghannouchi, the interim prime minister, and on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, the main street of Tunis.

The rally was the latest in a month of turmoil that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia’s longstanding ruler, sending him into exile in Saudi Arabia on January 14.

Late Night Karaoke

United States of Bankruptcy

Since when is the TBTF JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs more important to the United States of America than anyone of forty four states now facing a budget crises? http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=acquistare-vardenafil The amount of bailout money that was afforded the banking cartel is more than 10 times all the US State deficits ‘combined’.

Postcapitalism: political economy and hope

As you may have heard, over at DailyKos.com preparations are afoot for “DK4” — the adoption of new software for the DailyKos.com front page, which will (in my view) hasten the fracturing of the community there into little, sectarian groups.  This will mirror (in my view) the larger phenomenon of the resurgence of tribalism in world society in light of the failure of global governance to do much more than support the forces of capital accumulation.

There are, nevertheless, still endemic social problems which are not addressed by getting together in little groups.  

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