Saturday, March 27, 2010

Israel and America - Best Friends Forever

What is up with the BFFs, the United States and its Mini Me, Israel? Just a spat, or a realignment of alliances? And why?

Democratic support of Israel has dropped in the last year, but Republicans remain strong in support of Israel, mostly because of its important starring role in the upcoming Armageddon that Repubs cherish so much.

But where does the drop in Democratic support come from? Clearly there has been a corporate media propaganda push in which Fox News has not participated.

You got your Goldstone Report, which sternly rebuked Israel for attacking Gaza and killing 1,000 people. Not to discount human life, but come on! The US attacks Iraq and kills one million human beings and not a peep comes from the "international community", but Mini Me kills one/thousandth of its BFF, and all hell breaks loose!

You got your General Petraeus sudden concern for Arab public opinion and how it affects US soldiers occupying Iraq. Again, come on! The US invades, kills and occupies a Middle Eastern country but all of a sudden it's Israel's smaller occupation that is going to make Arabs mad?

You got your Biden snub, which was ballyhooed about the corporate media, and then Obama's dinner snub. Oh, snap! I guess he showed Netanyahou!

But, as Claud Cockburn said, "Never believe anything until it has been officially denied."

The loud denials and proclamations of eternal love suddenly emanating from the mouths of the political class should make Israel very nervous.

They can ask Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein, or Osama BinLaden what happens when the US turns against its former best friends.

The US can be fickle, if, say for instance, its pursuit of oil is being hampered by its ties with Israel. And now that it has bases in Iraq, does it need to keep up the friendship? With a massive military presence to enforce its interests, why keep the alliance with the tainted buddy?

Former President Jimmy Carter, author of the Carter Doctrine, which proclaimed that the Middle East had our oil, and we would kill to keep it, has become a champion of the Palestinians. Really?

The Palestinians are the greatest ally of Middle Eastern dictators, who use their plight to keep their citizens riled about Israel, instead of their own dictators.

Why would the US move against Israel, and by extension, against its favorite Mid Eastern dictators?

Is this the move where they overthrow the Saudi royal family, as dreamed of by the neocons?

Or do they want the "Arab Street" to support Obama's attack on Iran?

Whatever is going on, it isn't about justice for the Palestinians, you can guarantee that.

And you can also guarantee that oil is somehow involved.

That there is American oil, and those Persians and Saudis have it!

Bye, bye, Israel.








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Friday, March 26, 2010

The Battle Against Dehydration

For the last 10 years, Americans have been convinced that they must carry a bottle of water with them at all times, or face imminent dehydration and death. You wonder how people 150 years ago made it across Death Valley, when their descendants are unable to make it through math class without water.

I refuse to drink bottled water, since the environmental impact is so devastating.

Last week I attended a meeting, and noticed that everyone there had a drink in front of them, except for me. There were 23 people in the meeting.

The drinks ranged from flavored water to cans of soda, to unidentified drinks in Styrofoam cups. The meeting was 3 hours long, with a break every hour. There was a water fountain just across the hall.

Interestingly enough, I noticed that of the people with cans of soda, all were diet, except one.

The woman who had the can of Pepsi (non-diet) and I, the one with no drink at all, were the only thin people in the room.

Coincidence? Maybe not. Apparently artificial sweeteners help people to gain weight.

Yeah, it was a boring meeting.



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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Battling Fascists

The arguments between Democrats and Republicans are noisy and hostile. Both sides attack each other's morals, intelligence and sanity. You might be forgiven for thinking that they are on different sides.

Progressives point out that the "debates" are Kabuki theater, designed to keep the masses entertained and diverted, while the business of looting them continues unabated. In reality, they are on the same side. The side of the ruling class. And picking a favorite and rooting for it is like watching WWF and rooting for your favorite wrestler.

It's like a gang of thieves. Two of them stage a fight, and while the crowd watches, the third picks their pockets.

The Health Insurance Enrichment Act was the latest installment of the show. Now we will see the Financial Services Freedom Act and the Social Security Looting Act start.

And the "liberal" pundits carry out their part beautifully. After the Insurance Enrichment Act passed, Michael Moore, Thom Hartman, even Amy Goodman repeated the mantra, "It's not what we wanted, but it's a start".

No. It's not. It's a step in the wrong direction, and they should know it.

Yesterday I told my contractor, Fred, as it became clear that the Dumpster we hired would not fit all the old shingles that we had to dump. "Well, ideally we would like to put the shingles into the dumpster. But that's not feasible. Why don't we pick them all up and put them into another part of the yard? It's not want we want, but it's a step in the right direction".

He didn't want to do that. He insisted that we either put them in the Dumpster, or leave them on the ground where they were.

How disruptive to the process is that? Sure, the part of the yard I pointed to was further away from where any future Dumpster would be, but let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, shall we?

Listening to my friends repeat "At least it's a step in the right direction", I was eerily reminded of my Republican co-workers during the Bush years "We have to fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them here".

Neither soundbite makes any logical sense, but almost every camp follower repeats them as if they were received wisdom. Creepy.

Even creepier is that they think they thought of it all by themselves. They'll say, "Wait. Listen. Did you think of this?" And then they say it as if they were coining the phrase as we speak.

It reminds me of Christians, who have been trying to convert me my entire life. Inevitably inarticulate and slow, they get angry when I become impatient when they are trying to get out their well thought argument, and answer it before they actually finish. It's almost always this- (which I considered and rejected as inadequate in the third grade, and don't want to humor any longer)- "Look at this big, involved world. How could it just happen? It couldn't. Someone had to make it".

Yes. They think that they invented that argument, just like liberals think that they invented the "It's a first step" argument.

Sad.



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Friday, March 19, 2010

I Forgive you, Dennis

When Dennis Kucinich caved to White House (insurance corporations) pressure, many progressives screamed with disappointment.

"Et tu, Dennis?"

I watched Democracy Now, with Dennis and Ralph Nader, and Ralph pointed out that so many people look up to Dennis as the great dissenter, and look to him to be the One who will save us.

But Dennis isn't going to do that. He's going along with Obama and the corporate plan, even though he knows it's wrong.

At first I thought that Obama got Dennis on Air Force One, and threatened him with death. But now I don't.

Watching Obama give his speech in Ohio, with thousands of people cheering his lies, and Dennis there to witness it, I think I know why Dennis caved.

Obama railed against the insurance companies, against greed, against profiteering on sick people. He even used his own mother's death as propaganda. It was like the robocall I wrote about. And the crowd roared! The more he orated, the louder they roared. Someone called out "Vote yes!" And Obama turned to Dennis and said "Did you hear that?" And the crowd roared.

As Charles Krauthammer pointed out about Afghanistan, "the liberals get the speech, and the neocons get the policy". This could be Obama's Presidential motto. The sad part is that the liberals don't realize that they're only getting the speech.

So, I forgive you, Dennis.

Obama works the crowd to a populist frenzy in support of a corporate bailout. They are too stupid to stop cheering when he slides from attacking insurance company greed into giving insurance companies millions more customers and billions more dollars. The crowd is worked into a frenzy and pointed off a cliff, and they cheer as they pour over it.

What defense does Dennis have? The truth? The facts? Yeah, right. He can look to Ralph Nader to see what the Democrats can do to demonize an uncorrupt human being. The truth doesn't matter. The Democrats who voted for Bush (more than voted for Nader) are left undemonized, (just like the Blue Dogs who voted against the insurance enrichment bill are left untouched). Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris, and the purging of Black voters in Florida is left untouched.

The Supreme Court coup is left untouched. Even the fact that Gore actually won the election is unmentioned!

And millions of idiot Democrats fall for it. The venom spewed by these unthinking puppets is vicious. Dennis Kucinich doesn't want to be a target. He knows that the Democratic elite will target him, and he knows that enough Democrats will be misled that he will lose his seat.

Raul Emmanuel was right when he said that progressives are fucking retards. Not all of us, of course, but we have no voice compared to the Presidential bully pulpit and mass manipulation tactics.

At some point Obama learned that he can lie without consequence, just like Cheney learned that he could steal without consequence. Our Orwellian society is complete and the President can say Black is White (or in his case, White is Black), and the corporate media will amplify it and the liberal cheerleaders will wave their pom poms in support.

The Enlightenment experiment is long gone, and we live in a country which wages perpetual war for perpetual peace, with corporate subsidies in the name of "the people" and a President who never fails to end his speeches with religious ritual.



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Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Ticking Time Bomb

Alfred McCoy, in his book, A Question of Torture, pointed out that the favorite scenario of the torture apologist is the ticking time bomb scenario, fed weekly into Americans' brains by the pro-torture TV show, 24.

Mr. McCoy points out the numerous fallacies in this scenario. An excerpt from the article I linked to-

"Number one: In the real world, the probability that a terrorist might be captured after concealing a ticking nuclear bomb in Times Square and that his captors would somehow recognize his significance is phenomenally slender. The scenario assumes a highly improbable array of variables that runs something like this:

—First, FBI or CIA agents apprehend a terrorist at the precise moment between timer’s first tick and bomb’s burst.

—Second, the interrogators somehow have sufficiently detailed foreknowledge of the plot to know they must interrogate this very person and do it right now.

—Third, these same officers, for some unexplained reason, are missing just a few critical details that only this captive can divulge.

—Fourth, the biggest leap of all, these officers with just one shot to get the information that only this captive can divulge are best advised to try torture, as if beating him is the way to assure his wholehearted cooperation."

But, here's the thing. Ironically, we have a chance to see if this works in real life on the very person who is pushing it in public to this day, long after the US voted in a President who lies about US torture, instead of bragging about it. Most Americans prefer it that way.

Dick Cheney is certain that there will be another attack in the US, but he is refusing to tell where and when! If anyone knows about terrorism , it's Dick Cheney. If anyone knows about about terrorist attacks on the US, it's Dick Cheney. So when he makes a threat, it's more believable than just about anyone else.

Why should we stand and wait while this madman continues to taunt us with his refusal to name time and place? Here we are, upholding his constitutional rights to free speech and immunity from cruel and unusual punishment, while he goes free to plot with the attackers.

No. We must arrest and torture Dick Cheney until he tells us what he knows. He won't mind. He knows that the Constitution is just a god damn piece of paper, as he taught his idiot regent Bush.

We must keep Americans safe! Torture Dick Cheney!



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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Robo Call for Insurance

Last night I got a robocall. A forceful man told me that insurance companies make too much profit. Yeah! I said. They pay their executives too much money, and deny people benefits, and deny coverage to those who need it, and co-payments are too high. Yeah, yeah, yeah and yeah!

Then he tells me to call my Congressman to support the Health Insurance Subsidy Act.

WTF?

This roboman (and Obama) think I'm an idiot. If health insurance companies are so bad, why are 43,000,000 more people going to be forced to pay them premiums?

War is Peace. Black is White. If you are against insurance profiteering on the sick, support the bill to funnel billions more dollars to them.

The truly pathetic thing is that so many Democrats fall for this doublespeak. Sad.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Right Wing Consistency

Many progressives are baffled by the apparent inconsistency of right wingers who insist that every fertilized egg be carried to term, but then support killing actual living human beings, whether in war or with the death penalty.

But if you talk to them, it is all very consistent.

It's all about punishment. Women who don't "keep their legs closed", (which is the most common saying among "pro-lifers"), must have the baby. Don't bother pointing out that a child should not be a punishment, or that someone too irresponsible to use birth control is certainly too irresponsible to raise a child, or even that you can get pregnant with your legs closed.

Common sense is simply ignored, and they continue to repeat that if a woman is irresponsible, she can't have an abortion.

But when they talk about crime; (and it's rather creepy how they fantasize about their own children being raped, tortured and murdered); they are all about killing the imaginary murderer of their child.

Wouldn't it be better to make sure that every child born is wanted, and therefore has less chance of being abused and neglected, which is usually the background of actual real life murderers? No, right wingers seem to prefer salivating over fantasies of revenge, more than actually preventing harm to their children.

The same with supporting bombings, invasions, occupations and torture. Nothing is too violent to inflict upon other peoples, as long as right wingers are convinced that it is punishment for some dirty deed. Or maybe they were thinking about dirty deeds against Americans. Thought crimes are enough to make them guilty and deserving of mass punishment.

Right wingers are all about revenge and punishment. Ironically, the government that they hate is the one that they trust to mete out the punishments. So I suppose they aren't too consistent there. But in matters of life and death, it's all about innocent life (which can only be pre-birth) and accused guilty, worthy of death.



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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cop on the Beat


More and more people are expressing amazement that the US hasn't yet collapsed.

What on earth could be keeping it going?

We are trillions of dollars in debt, but no one calls it in, the US is allowed to swagger around the world killing people, the President says outlandish things and everyone nods as if it is wisdom.

Then I thought of the old movies, where the cop on the beat takes apples from the merchant, and he doesn't say anything, because, well, he would get arrested on a trumped up charge, or beaten, or killed.

Is it that simple? Will we be allowed to keep stealing and killing indefinitely, because no one is strong enough to stand up to us?

Who's going to demand that the mafia godfather pay his debts?

No wonder the war budget is off limits.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Rep Massa Makes a Joke

I can see that a Congressman should resign when a dead body is found in his office. (Or preceding it). Although why he then gets a TV show is beyond me.

To be bi-partisan about it, Barney Frank's gay lover ran a prostitution racket out of his home, and Barney is still in Congress. So anything less than murder should be OK, right?

But a joke? Someone makes a joke and someone else complains and a week later he's out?

There is something really, really fishy here. Rep. Massa says that the Obamabots wanted him out because he voted against the health insurance company enrichment bill that the Wall Street bosses want passed so badly. Massa is for single payer.

I believe that more than I believe that someone was devastated by a joke.

Obama's bosses aren't content with the bank bailouts, the nuclear power handouts and the expanding wars.

They want people like me, people who can't afford to pay for health insurance, to be forced to buy a defective product under threat of fines or jailtime.

And they will screw anyone who stands against them.

Look out, Dennis Kucinich!

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