Friday, December 28, 2007

Dictator Remains in Control of Nuclear Power

A concerned world watches in horror as a religious fundamentalist who seized power in a judicial coup 8 years ago remains in control of the largest store of WMDs on the planet. It has been reported that he believes that God talks to him, and tells him to smite his enemies. He is already responsible for the deaths of over one million people and seems determined to kill more.

"It is concerning that a dictator who seems to have no effective opposition in his country could have nuclear weapons at his disposal" states an unnamed diplomat from an undisclosed coutry. "There are no checks and balances to make sure that if he desires to bring about Armageddon, as is written in his religious book, that he won't use the thousands of nuclear weapons that his country has stockpiled to bring about an end to life on this planet. This kind of unlimited power should not be allowed."

The dictator's subjects seem paralyzed by indecision on how best to confront his rule. Early in his reign, iconic buildings in the country were exploded, with many dying, and the pro-government media blanketed the airwaves with announcements that the junta in charge at the time of the attack were the only ones able to prevent further attacks. Opposition media is small,ineffective and easily intimidated by those in power.

The dictator's consolidation of power was opposed at first by a few individuals in the weak legislature, but they were stopped by a biological weapon attack. A newspaper was also targeted in this attack. A convienent plane crash took the life of another opposition figure, and the legislature soon rubber-stamped all moves by the dictator to oppress his subjects and attack other countries.

Occasionally the citizens protest in an orderly fashion, hemmed in by police in riot gear, and unreported by the media. There are lawyers who have protested by filing lawsuits against the widespread imprisonment and torture of people swept up in dragnets and thrown into the gulag of prisons maintained by the empire around the world, but the verdicts of the courts are ignored by the junta.

Most of the citizens of the nuclear armed country believe that the only way to change the direction of the country is to participate in a quadrennial ritual in which they line up and push a button for one of two people who have been presented to them to choose. That person is then placed in charge of an enormous nuclear arsenal and everyone hopes that they are sane.

Responsible nations of the world must stand opposed to this rogue nation! Sanctions should be imposed until there is regime change. An unstable nuclear country should not be allowed to run rampant across the globe. The Security Council must stand up and take action.
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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Conversation with a new recruit

My young co-worker has joined the Army, because they are giving him $30,000 and promising him that they will send him to nursing school for 2 years.

The workplace is divided between those who wave the flag and tell him how proud they are and those who are concerned that he will be killed in Iraq. (No one but he thinks that he is going to nursing school instead of Iraq).

I thought that if I explained that he was going to be used as a storm trooper for imperialism, he would reconsider. He's a very sweet boy, but not too bright, so the co-workers on my side didn't think he would understand the concept. Here's how it went.

Me: "Do you realize that you live in an Empire? And life is sweet, because you are here. Do you know that Americans are 5% of the world's population and use 25% of the world's resources?"

Recruit: "So? You live here too".

Me: "But what if some people don't want to give us their resources?"

Recruit: "Then we kill them."

Me: "Yes. And that's what they want you to do".

Recruit: "That's OK. If you don't like it, then go move to another country."

My friend, who was listening to the exchange, looked at me and said, "I guess he does understand".
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Monday, December 24, 2007

We Know How This Movie Turned Out

Is this some sort of test? Are they experimenting with how much propaganda we can swallow without summoning up from the memory hole a sense of cognitive dissonance?

The corporate media is hawking the new movie "Charlie Wilson's War". I have seen print and TV reviews. They have gone back in time - to the days when the "Islamo-Fascists" were the "Afghan Freedom Fighters"! Don't they realize that we all know now how it all turned out?

Sure, Americans don't care that when the Afghan muhjadeen and their Arab supporters won the war, the progressive Afghan government that had been trying to modernize Afghanistan,( including improving the lives of its women), fell to warlords and fundamentalist Muslims that took Afghanistan back to the 16th century.

Sure, Americans don't care that when the USSR collapsed, its people's lives became poor and miserable, their life expectancy dropped, infant mortality soared, orphans multiplied, homelessness increased, women and girls were sold into sex slavery, and their natural resources and industry were sold off cheap. Americans have been conditioned to cheer that "we won" the cold war, and to celebrate the misfortune of the people we spent 50 years being conditioned to fear and hate. Never mind that as it turned out, they never did a thing to harm us. We still dance the victory celebration in the rubble of their lives.

But, come on, for six years now, Americans have been told that the Afghan government that emerged protected the Arab "freedom fighters" that turned against the USA. The propaganda has switched from fear of communists to fear of Muslims. How dare they go back to a time when the US was spending millions to support and arm the muhjadeen and present it as a wonderful thing! How stupid do they think we are? It is amazing to me that they would even try this.

That's why I think this may be a test. They are trying to see how stupid we are and how deep the memory hole is. The corporate media must be in on the test, because I haven't yet seen one review bring up the fact that Charlie Wilson's boys are the ones we are now being taught to hate and fear.

As Lily Tomlin said, "No matter how cynical I get, I can't keep up".
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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Gore Vidal on Kucinich

Gore Vidal has weighed on the Kucinich dissing, much more eloquently than I could, so I'm linking to it (on Truthdig.com)
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas blessings

This is the one time of the year that Americans are allowed to wish for peace on earth, goodwill to all men - without being called a communist. In the interests of peace and goodwill, let me suggest the following.

As you string lights to celebrate the season, remember that in Iraq, electrical grids were targeted by American bombs during the invasion, and still are not completely repaired.

As you tuck your children into bed at night, be thankful that you do not have to worry about armed gunmen kicking in your door in the middle of the night, terrifying your children and possibly hauling you away to prison for unspecified crimes.

Be thankful that you still have your children, and they have you, unlike countless (because not deemed worthy of counting) children in Iraq who are orphans, and countless parents who have lost their children.

Be thankful that you still have a house to live in, unlike an estimated 3,000,000 Iraqis who are now refuges, both inside the country and in nearby countries, such as Syria.

As you give your dollar to St Jude's to help sick American children who need medical care, remember that in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, children are being maimed by mines, and leukemia and birth defects have skyrocketed since America dropped tons of depleted uranium on those countries. Doctors in Iraq have fled the violence, and those remaining struggle without proper supplies or facilities.

As you complain about the traffic to the mall, be thankful that you don't have to deal with roadblocks manned by armed military who don't speak your language, but demand your compliance anyway. Be glad that you don't have mercenaries allowed to careen through your streets shooting at will, without sanctions to compel them to obey the laws.

Celebrate your good fortune at being born in America, God's favorite country. Your are blessed above all the other 5 1/2 billion people on this planet and God wants you to kill any of the rest who interfere with your lifestyle. And God wants all other beings on this planet to exist simply to serve your needs and supply you with goods and services. It is written in the Bible. Ask Pat Robertson.

Amen. Merry Christmas.
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Update on Gore's commitment to global warming

Last week I complained about Gore's solution to global warming. Faced with disastrous climate change, he proposes a tax.

His role in the Kyoto talks has gone down the memory hole, but Common Dreams printed an article by an Englishman that brings it back. Check it out.
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stolen Elections x 2 - Hidden News

The Ohio Secretary of State has determined that the voting machines in Ohio were easily hackable and the 2004 vote in Ohio could have gone to Kerry. Remember that the exit polls in Ohio showed Kerry was leading Bush by a comfortable margin. We were shown people waiting in line in the rain for up to nine hours to vote as if it were a triumph of democracy! I don't think they were waiting to vote for Bush.

To add insult to injury, just two weeks later the US taxpayers spent millions to overthrow the election results in the Ukraine-because the exit polls showed a discrepancy! The corporate media reported this without ever mentioning that the US election two weeks before had equal exit polling discrepancy.

And the spineless Democrats refuse to this day to talk about the stolen election. It was the Greens and the Libertarians who paid for the (limited) recount in Ohio. And since the evidence in Ohio has been destroyed we will never be able to get an accurate accounting of how citizens in Ohio voted.

It was admitted in 2000 that Gore won the popular vote, but lost the more important Supreme Court vote. Defenders of Bush claim that he won Florida, but that was debunked. Unfortunately, it was deemed unpatriotic after 9-11 to criticize the fake President, since he did so well at speaking into a bullhorn 2 days after the attacks (after hiding in a cave the actual day), and we were told that we were comforted by his ability with a bullhorn, and it bought us together, and made us feel safe, blah, blah, blah. I'm sure you remember the propaganda, because it's still being repeated, unlike the truth of the Florida election, which was published under false headlines, and then dropped.

So we have been ruled for seven years by an illegitimate junta. 2000 was a coup, and 2004 was a deceptive farce. And still Americans do not pay attention, because the media tells us that Bush is the President, and that we believe that he keeps us safe. Interesting that the "free press" did print (once, in some papers) that the 2000 was stolen, and now that the 2004 election was probably stolen. And it was printed that Bush ignored warnings of 9-11.

It doesn't matter that the truth is printed once. It is drowned by the corporate media chorus that tells us that "we" believe that Bush is tough on terrorism, that "we" admire his "strength", and that he is a legitimate president.

What a incredible system. You can't really complain that there is no free press, because the occasional truth is printed by the occasional newspaper. One truth will be printed by the New York Times, one by the Wall Street Journal, one by the Washington Post. In the meantime, the propaganda is spewed by all media; newspapers, magazines, the 24 hour news channels and the radio.
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Friday, December 14, 2007

Gravel kept from debate also


Yesterday, I talked about how Kucinich was blocked from participating in the charade that was the Democratic primary debates.

It turns out that Mike Gravel was also barred. Charade or no charade, having straight talkers participate in a nationally televised program apparently cannot be allowed. This is why they try to ban Ron Paul from the Republican versions.

I called the Des Moines Register to register my outrage at Kucinich's banishment, but it had zero effect. I didn't talk about Gravel, but he speaks for himself in the above video.
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kucinich Barred from Debate

I have some cognitive dissonance going on here.

I believe that there is no democracy in America, if you believe that democracy entails people governing themselves, whether through elected officials or directly.

We are told that voting is the only way that Americans can participate in the running of our country. But it has been shown that our elected officials do not do what we expected them to do when we voted for them. And now that the voting machines are in, there is no way of even knowing if the politician the most people voted for will be pronounced the winner.

We recently went through two facades of democracy in my small community. One was when they wanted to put in a new WalMart. The community mobilized against it. There were public meetings, and the mayor solemnly considered the public input, and everyone got their say. And the WalMart is almost finished now.

The second was closer to home. A few years ago, against the neighbors wishes, the city spent millions of dollars to widen this small country road. They said it was to reduce traffic, which was absurd, because there is very little traffic on this road. And I wondered at the time why they put sewers, driveways and fire hydrants in the soybean fields along the road.

It all came clear three weeks ago, when the owner of the soybean fields went to the planning commission and the city council for a change in the zoning of his fields to residential, so he could put in some housing projects. The planning commission voted 7-0 against it, because it is in a flood plain.

My neighbors came by to ask me to sign a petition against it, which I did, and to ask me to come to the city hall meeting to speak against it. I had to work, so couldn't go, but I did point out that the fix was clearly in, and the meeting was a sham and a fraud, designed to make the citizens feel as if their voice was heard. She looked at me as if I had said I loved to eat babies. Imagine doubting the power of the people in our democracy!

The zoning change passed and they will pave over the fields.

So what's the cognitive dissonance? Although I believe that the entire election spectacle is a fraud and a sham, when they openly refuse to follow the forms of democracy, when they announce that they are just going to kowtow to the powerful without caring about the appearance, I go from cynical to outraged.

How dare they tell Dennis Kucinich that he cannot debate with the others because he doesn't have the backing of powerful interests? They should pretend that all voices must be heard. They must go through the motions of pretending that the people have a choice. Just dispensing with the charade is too blatant, even for cynical me.

I was just as outraged when Nader wasn't allowed to debate Gore and Bush, and when Rich Whitney wasn't allowed to debate Blagojevich and Topinka in the Illinois governor election. I was outraged when Halliburton got no-bid contracts in the Iraq invasion. Don't they care about the appearance of conflict-of-interest any more?

No, apparently they don't. The looting of the Treasury by insiders continues openly and shamelessly. The dissing of non-corporate-sponsored candidates continues without even the pretense that we will follow the forms of democracy we learned about in civics class (which they dispensed with so long ago that many younger people don't have a clue what has been lost).

And I swing from cynical disgust to outraged disbelief.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An Unbelievable Solution

So Al Gore gets the Nobel Peace Prize for his movie, An Inconvient Truth, and he gets up in Stockholm and talks about global warming and the house is on fire, and we need to mobilize for war against global warming, and then he comes to his solution- carbon tax credits. WHAT?!!

The arctic is melting, the polar bears are drowning, and so did New Orleans and Indonesia, the fires are burning in Australia and California, and he wants to pass a tax? This is every bit as bizarre as the neocon solution-deny there is global warming and then say, oh yeah, we guess there is. But it's China's fault and we need to build more nuclear power plants with taxpayers money.

America uses more energy and dumps more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than any other country. But our lives aren't better than those in Europe or Japan who use much less energy.

The ruling class is trying to convince Americans that environmentalists want us to freeze in the dark. That is bullshit, spoonfed to the ignorant masses like pablum. We can use much less energy with efficient appliances, cars and houses. That can be done without changing anyone's "lifestyle". And taxpayers can quit funding urban sprawl. Who do you think pays for the infrastructure on those McMansions that are springing up all over our farmland? That would be the taxpayers; subsidizing developers who otherwise would have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to put in power lines, waterlines, telepone and cable lines, and sewers, sidewalks and streets.

Suburbs are created farther and farther into the countryside, drawing commuters who have to drive to work, since roads are built by taxpayers, not trolley or rail lines. The average American spends hours a week commuting. This is time spent very non-productively, unless you count the production of carbon dioxide as they idle in traffic.

The reality makers tell us that it is too expensive and unrealistic to conserve energy. Caulk your house and put up awnings over your south and west windows? Outrageous! What kind of crazy talk is that? So what if it is possible to supply our electricity needs by wind generators and concentrated solar collectors. Do you realize how much that would cost? Unaffordable!

Instead, we'll spend billions to create coal burning plants with hundreds of miles of pipeline to pump the carbon dioxide under the ground. That's much more feasible and cost effective. Yum, enjoy the tasty bullshit, ignorant masses.

Or build 30 new nuclear power plants, at a cost of billions. We already have much nuclear waste we can't dispose of. How many depleted uranium bombs can we drop on other countries? Sooner or later, they're going to complain. How much more nuclear waste will 30 new plants produce? And what about the terrorists that we have to give up our rights for? Here we are, lining up to show our IDs to Big Brother because of the scary terrorists, and we're going to build more nuclear plants? Am I the only one who finds this extremely suspicious?

I demand that my tax dollars go to fund alternative energy and smart design. I no longer wish to have my country drop depleted uranium on other countries in order to get their oil so that SUV drivers can commute 50 miles to work each day. This is immoral and unsustainable.

And Al Gore should have the cojones to say so.
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Monday, December 10, 2007

The effect of post war immigration on America

I am reading a book on the history of the CIA. It reminds me of something I've noticed before. After WW11, (you know, the good war, fought against the evil Hitler), the USA helped Nazis back into power in Europe, supported Nazi collaborators in Eastern Europe and, together with the Vatican and other Nazi sympathizers, set up a ratline to funnel war criminals to safety in Latin America, and to America.

Then the US started intervening in other countries to stop them from going communist. Going communist was defined as having a government which put the interests of its people ahead of the interests of American business.

The people in these countries who were treasonous to their own people and supported American bribery and death squads were rewarded with power and money. Sometimes, though, they were thrown out. And then they were let into the USA.

Two very large groups of people who immigrated to the US are the Cubans and the Vietnamese. Most of both groups are very reactionary. I remember reading about one naturalization ceremony with 1,000 or so Vietnamese, all of whom registered Republican after the ceremony.

Remember that the propaganda is that the Nazis were "appeased" until they attacked Poland. This is not true. They were not appeased. They were supported by top industrialists and financiers in the US and England. Hitler was attacking the communists and that was alright with the top boys in America and England, including George Bush's grandfather, Prescott, whose ties to a German bank continued well past the time that America entered WW11.

The Nazis didn't really lose the war. Hitler may have, but his anti-communist backers remained and were put back in power by the US. And now they have consolidated their power here in the US, and the descendants of those Nazi, Cuban, Vietnamese, and the smaller influx of various dictators, CIA collaborators and death squad members let into this country after WW11 are supporting them.

I work with a Cuban immigrant and a Croatian immigrant. One night they were busily discussing the necessity of torture and war against our "enemies". I was disgusted. But I realize that part of the reason their fathers were let into this country in the 1950s and 1960s was so that they could help turn American to the right. American immigrants before 1924 tended to be more left radical, as befits tired, poor, hungry to be free cheap labor. That's why immigration was tightened up in 1924.

But there was still enough radicalism left to get Americans unemployment insurance, Social Security, and union protection. Later we got environmental protections and some workplace protection. Women, African Americans and gays got some recognition.

All this is anathema to the corporate elite, and it's all under attack. And they imported fascists to help them. And good liberals blather on about the melting pot without realizing that the pot is overseasoned with right-wingers.
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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Cheney loses one on Iran

So what to make of the NIE on Iran? nie-1.png
Let's see. Mainstream media is pushing the "oh, they had a program, but it's all over now" story. More liberal sites are pointing out that the decider-in-chief was told in August that there was news on Iran, but we're supposed to believe that he didn't ask what, and they didn't tell. Well, maybe. It depends on how big an idiot you believe Bush is and if you believe that he is really entrusted with any power, or even important information.
When I googled NIE and Iran, I got many hits from last year, talking about how it was being repressed. But only Amy Goodman on Democracy Now has talked about that, that I saw.
No one is talking about the part where they assert that Iran had a nuclear weapons program until 2003. What? Where did that come from? The IAEA has not said anything like that. I think that the unproved assertion is a bone thrown to Cheney.
It is clear that Cheney and his boys want to attack Iran. But there are powerful figures who think that's crazy. It looks like the release of this document means that the US is not going to attack Iran. Too bad, crazy neocons. Come back in 20 years and try again.

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