Monday, October 15, 2012

the REAL reason america used atomic weapons against japan



Washingtonsblog | History.com notes:
In the years since the two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, a number of historians have suggested that the weapons had a two-pronged objective …. It has been suggested that the second objective was to demonstrate the new weapon of mass destruction to the Soviet Union. By August 1945, relations between the Soviet Union and the United States had deteriorated badly. The Potsdam Conference between U.S. President Harry S. Truman, Russian leader Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill (before being replaced by Clement Attlee) ended just four days before the bombing of Hiroshima. The meeting was marked by recriminations and suspicion between the Americans and Soviets. Russian armies were occupying most of Eastern Europe. Truman and many of his advisers hoped that the U.S. atomic monopoly might offer diplomatic leverage with the Soviets. In this fashion, the dropping of the atomic bomb on Japan can be seen as the first shot of the Cold War.
New Scientist reported in 2005:
The US decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 was meant to kick-start the Cold War rather than end the Second World War, according to two nuclear historians who say they have new evidence backing the controversial theory.
Causing a fission reaction in several kilograms of uranium and plutonium and killing over 200,000 people 60 years ago was done more to impress the Soviet Union than to cow Japan, they say. And the US President who took the decision, Harry Truman, was culpable, they add.

“He knew he was beginning the process of annihilation of the species,” says Peter Kuznick, director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University in Washington DC, US. “It was not just a war crime; it was a crime against humanity.”
***
[The conventional explanation of using the bombs to end the war and save lives] is disputed by Kuznick and Mark Selden, a historian from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, US.
***
New studies of the US, Japanese and Soviet diplomatic archives suggest that Truman’s main motive was to limit Soviet expansion in Asia, Kuznick claims. Japan surrendered because the Soviet Union began an invasion a few days after the Hiroshima bombing, not because of the atomic bombs themselves, he says.
According to an account by Walter Brown, assistant to then-US secretary of state James Byrnes, Truman agreed at a meeting three days before the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima that Japan was “looking for peace”. Truman was told by his army generals, Douglas Macarthur and Dwight Eisenhower, and his naval chief of staff, William Leahy, that there was no military need to use the bomb.
“Impressing Russia was more important than ending the war in Japan,” says Selden.
John Pilger points out:
The US secretary of war, Henry Stimson, told President Truman he was “fearful” that the US air force would have Japan so “bombed out” that the new weapon would not be able “to show its strength”. He later admitted that “no effort was made, and none was seriously considered, to achieve surrender merely in order not to have to use the bomb”. His foreign policy colleagues were eager “to browbeat the Russians with the bomb held rather ostentatiously on our hip”. General Leslie Groves, director of the Manhattan Project that made the bomb, testified: “There was never any illusion on my part that Russia was our enemy, and that the project was conducted on that basis.” The day after Hiroshima was obliterated, President Truman voiced his satisfaction with the “overwhelming success” of “the experiment”.
We’ll give the last word to University of Maryland professor of political economy – and former Legislative Director in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and Special Assistant in the Department of State – Gar Alperovitz:
Though most Americans are unaware of the fact, increasing numbers of historians now recognize the United States did not need to use the atomic bomb to end the war against Japan in 1945. Moreover, this essential judgment was expressed by the vast majority of top American military leaders in all three services in the years after the war ended: Army, Navy and Army Air Force. Nor was this the judgment of “liberals,” as is sometimes thought today. In fact, leading conservatives were far more outspoken in challenging the decision as unjustified and immoral than American liberals in the years following World War II.
***
Instead [of allowing other options to end the war, such as letting the Soviets attack Japan with ground forces], the United States rushed to use two atomic bombs at almost exactly the time that an August 8 Soviet attack had originally been scheduled: Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9. The timing itself has obviously raised questions among many historians. The available evidence, though not conclusive, strongly suggests that the atomic bombs may well have been used in part because American leaders “preferred”—as Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Martin Sherwin has put it—to end the war with the bombs rather than the Soviet attack. Impressing the Soviets during the early diplomatic sparring that ultimately became the Cold War also appears likely to have been a significant factor.
***
The most illuminating perspective, however, comes from top World War II American military leaders. The conventional wisdom that the atomic bomb saved a million lives is so widespread that … most Americans haven’t paused to ponder something rather striking to anyone seriously concerned with the issue: Not only did most top U.S. military leaders think the bombings were unnecessary and unjustified, many were morally offended by what they regarded as the unnecessary destruction of Japanese cities and what were essentially noncombat populations. Moreover, they spoke about it quite openly and publicly.
***
Shortly before his death General George C. Marshall quietly defended the decision, but for the most part he is on record as repeatedly saying that it was not a military decision, but rather a political one.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

how do you survive an economic collapse caused by the contraction of credit, where credit is the medium of exchange in everyday transactions?

Necklace of wampum. During trade the beads were counted, removed, and re-assembled on new necklaces. Native American shell beads were also sometimes woven into belts or other mnemonic and ceremonial devices that demonstrated the wealth and commitment of a tribe to a treaty.
szabo | From the very start, England's 17th century colonies in America had a problem -- a shortage of coins [D94, T01] The British idea was to grow large amounts of tobacco, cut timber for the ships of their global navy and merchant marine, and so forth, sending in return the supplies they felt were needed to keep the Americans working. In effect, early colonists were supposed to both work for the company and shop at the company store. The investors and the Crown much preferred this to paying in coin what the farmers might ask, letting the farmers themselves buy the supplies -- and, heaven forbid, keep some of the profit as well. 

The colonists' solution was at hand, but it took a few years for them to recognize it. The natives had money, but it was very different from the money Europeans were used to. American Indians had been using money for millenia, and quite useful money it turned out to be for the newly arrived Europeans -- despite the prejudice among some that only metal with the faces of their political leaders stamped on it constituted real money. Worse, the New England natives used neither silver nor gold. Instead, they used the most appropriate money to be found in their environment --durable skeleton parts of their prey. Specifically, they used wampum, shells of the clam venus mercenaria and its relatives, strung onto pendants.

Clams were found only at the ocean, but wampum traded far inland. Sea-shell money of a variety of types could be found in tribes across the American continent. The Iriquois managed to collect the largest wampum treasure of any tribe, without venturing anywhere near the clam's habitat. [D94]. Only a handful of tribes, such as the Narragansetts, specialized in manufacturing wampum, while hundreds of other tribes, many of them hunter-gatherers, used it. Wampum pendants came in a variety of lengths, with the number of beads proportional to the length. Pendants could be cut or joined to form a pendant of length equal to the price paid.

Once they got over their hangup about what constitutes real money, the colonists went wild trading for and with wampum. Clams entered the American vernacular as another way to say "money". The Dutch governor of New Amsterdram (now New York) took out a large loan from an English-American bank -- in wampum. After a while the British authorities were forced to go along. So between 1637 and 1661, wampum became legal tender in New England. Colonists now had a liquid medium of exchange, and trade in the colonies flourished. [D94].

The beginning of the end of wampum came when the British started shipping more coin to the Americas, and Europeans started applying their mass-manufacturing techniques. By 1661, British authorities had thrown in the towel, and decided it would pay in coin of the realm -- which being real gold and silver, and its minting audited and branded by the Crown, had even better monetary qualities than shells. In that year wampum ceased to be legal tender in New England. In 1710 briefly became legal tender in North Carolina. It continued to be used as a medium of exchange, in some cases into the 20th century -- but its value had been inflated one hundred fold by Western harvesting and manufacturing techniques, and it gradually went the route that gold and silver jewelry had gone in the West after the invention of coinage -- from well crafted money to decoration. The American language of shell money became a quaint holdover -- "a hundred clams" became "a hundred dollars". "Shelling out" came to mean paying in coins or bills, and eventually by check or credit card. [D94] Little did we know that we had touched the very origins of our species.

no wonder we've heard scant little about her...,



wikipedia | In 2003 she was accused of conspiring to act as an unregistered lobbyist for the Iraqi Intelligence Service and engaging in prohibited financial transactions with the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein.[1][2][3] Lindauer was found mentally unfit to stand trial in two separate hearings. During her incarceration she won the right to refuse forced antipsychotic medication which the Department of Justice claimed would render her competent to stand trial.[4][5] She was released in 2006 and all charges were dropped in 2009.[6]

Saturday, October 13, 2012

rotflmbao...,




will the military "war on drugs" hold up politically as well as the military "war on terror"?

NYTimes | The Honduran Air Force pilot did not know what to do. It was the dead of night, and he was chasing a small, suspected drug plane at a dangerously low altitude, just a few hundred feet above the Caribbean. He fired warning shots, but instead of landing, the plane flew lower and closer to the sea.

“So the pilot made a decision, thinking it was the best thing to do,” said Arturo Corrales, Honduras’s foreign minister, one of several officials to give the first detailed account of the episode. “He shot down the plane.”
Four days later, on July 31, it happened again. Another flight departed from a small town on the Venezuelan coast, and using American radar intelligence, a Honduran fighter pilot shot it down over the water. 

How many people were killed? Were drugs aboard, or innocent civilians? Officials here and in Washington say they do not know. The planes were never found. But the two episodes — clear violations of international law and established protocols — have ignited outrage in the United States, bringing one of its most ambitious international offensives against drug traffickers to a sudden halt just months after it started. 

All joint operations in Honduras are now suspended. Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, expressing the concerns of several Democrats in Congress, is holding up tens of millions of dollars in security assistance, not just because of the planes, but also over suspected human rights abuses by the Honduran police and three shootings in which commandos with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration effectively led raids when they were only supposed to act as advisers. 

The downed aircraft, in particular, reminded veteran officials of an American missionary plane that was shot down in 2001 by Peruvian authorities using American intelligence. It was only a matter of time, they said, before another plane with the supposedly guilty turned out to be filled with the innocent. 

But the clash between the Obama administration and lawmakers had been building for months. Fearful that Central America was becoming overrun by organized crime, perhaps worse than in the worst parts of Mexico, the State Department, the D.E.A. and the Pentagon rushed ahead this year with a muscular antidrug program with several Latin American nations, hoping to protect Honduras and use it as a chokepoint to cut off the flow of drugs heading north. 

Then the series of fatal enforcement actions — some by the Honduran military, others involving shootings by American agents — quickly turned the antidrug cooperation, often promoted as a model of international teamwork, into a case study of what can go wrong when the tactics of war are used to fight a crime problem that goes well beyond drugs.

why war against our origins and our possibilities?

realitysandwich | Various traditions recall the events of a "First Supper." In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the story unfolds in a garden called Eden. In that version of the myth, a serpent persuades humans to eat the fruit of a sacred Tree of Knowledge, thus bringing man and God together. In the patriarchal reformation of Judaism, with its morbid dread of the power of the goddess, the story of the First Supper was revised. But even there, the jealous god observes that the food made humans more like Himself, endowed with knowledge of good and evil and the wisdom of the angels.

Such substances are now termed entheogens. Combining the ancient Greek adjective entheos ("inspired, animated with deity") and the verbal root in genesis ("becoming"), it signifies "something that causes the divine to reside within one." When used in rituals, entheogens can be seen as sacramental substances whose ingestion provides a communion and shared existence between the human and the divine. In the context of ceremony and ritual, the individual becomes "at one with God."

Prior to the recent revival of interest in psychoactive plants and compounds, the need for a new word for these botanical mediators led psychiatrist Humphry Osmond to coin the term psychedelic, "to fathom Hell or soar angelic," as he described it in a letter to Aldous Huxley. Within just a few years, however, conservative backlash against the 1960s counterculture had contaminated the word with the perception of criminality, recklessness, and abuse. The term was derived from the Greek words psyche, for the "human mind, soul or spirit," and delos, "clear, manifest." In fact, early experimentation with such substances in the modern West suggested similarity with psychotic states, as implied in the coinage ofpsychotropic.

An entheogen is any substance that, when ingested, catalyzes or generates an altered state of consciousness that is deemed to have spiritual significance. Symbolic surrogates, lacking the appropriate chemistry of psychoactive plants and compounds, may induce a similar experience through cultural indoctrination and suggestion or personal subjectivity, and could also be termed entheogens. Like shamanism itself, entheogenic spirituality is dependent upon and defined by the states of consciousness experienced. In many cultures, accessing such states is considered culturally essential to the perpetuation of a society's underlying natural and spiritual interconnection with the cosmos. Altered states of consciousness are very often considered indispensable to such core shamanic practices as diagnosis of ailments, curing, soul retrieval, and communication with deceased ancestors.

In myth, transformations of consciousness are an integral element in the basic story of the hero or heroine who encounters pathways of communication between the human and an otherwise invisible realm, and such experiences are viewed as part of the ongoing renewal of the community's spiritual well-being. These transformations even underlie the semishamanic philosophies of Gnosis in the ancient Classical world. Among other peoples, they ensure perpetual contact with the wisdom and benevolence of the spiritual worlds.

Generally speaking, however, the study of entheogens is a comparatively recent phenomenon, as is their recognition as a formative influence on the shaping of both shamanic and so-called developed cultures. It is now widely accepted among specialists that entheogens and the ethnopharmacology of their plant sources represent one of the most direct, powerful, reliable, and indeed ancient means of inducing "authentic" shamanic states of consciousness. Entheogens may, in fact, be the most reliable way of inducing a profound and sustained alteration of consciousness commonly associated with ecstatic, shamanic states. Hence they are at the heart of such dependable and repeatable ceremonies as initiation rituals and other religious Mysteries.

When entheogens are taken in the context of a society's sacred shamanic ceremonies, the culture's mythopoetic traditions are often relived and reinfused with profound immediacy and power, heightening their spiritual sense of connection.

Entheogenic epiphany is commonly described as a state in which people experience their individual distinctions dissolve in a mystical, consubstantial communion with a force of profound sacred meaning. This ecstatic experience is interpreted as a pure and primal consciousness and sometimes described as the direct contact with the unobscured root of being. Since shamanic spirituality is inherently practical, it ascribes the highest importance to the regular access to such transcendental states; this point of contact ensures the undisturbed continuation of natural cycles and helps perpetually maintain a society's underlying sense of centeredness, equilibrium, and balance. From a shamanic perspective, ecstatic contact also protects against the potential dangers of unappeased or neglected gods or spirits. The entheogenic experience, though entirely strange, dissimilar, and inexplicable in mundane language, is often described as feeling more real and vibrant than ordinary consciousness.

Friday, October 12, 2012

wait, why no comparable mainstream backstory on the cia selected sinaloa syndicate?



ABCNews | The new head of the Zetas drug cartel is a former Dallas resident who is scorned as a traitor by many of his own cartel soldiers and mocked as an ex-"car washer" by his enemies, but has risen to power thanks to a fearsome reputation for violence.

"[Miguel Angel Trevino Morales] is extremely brutal, to the point of sadism," says George Grayson, an expert on the Zetas. "He is prepared to advance his interest through unspeakable violence." Grayson's recent book on the cartel, "The Executioner's Men," opens with a scene in which Trevino Morales slowly beats a female police officer to death, in front of her colleagues, with a two-by-four.

Trevino Morales, also known as El 40 or the Monkey, became the uncontested head of the Mexico's most feared drug cartel when former kingpin Heriberto Lazcano was killed in a shootout with Mexican Marines on Sunday. Lazcano had been linked to hundreds of murders, including the massacre of 72 civilians, but Trevino Morales is allegedly even more bloodthirsty. One of his preferred methods of dealing with enemies, say authorities, is burning them alive.

Trevino Morales, 41, was born in Mexico but spent some of his formative years in Dallas, Texas, where authorities say he had a criminal record as a teenager. He has a dozen siblings and reportedly still has family in the Dallas area.

According to the Associated Press, he became a teen go-fer for the Los Tejas gang, which was powerful in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo, just across the Rio Grande from Laredo, Texas.
Trevino Morales joined the Zetas soon after their formation. The Zetas began in the late 1990s as the security wing of the Gulf Cartel. The 14 core members of the Zetas, including Heriberto Lazcano, all had military backgrounds, and took ranks based on when they'd joined the group. Lazcano was known as Z-3. By 2004, due to the death of Z-1 and the arrest of Z-2, Lazcano had become the leader of the Zetas.

NPR Chicago World View Discussion of Fukushima and World Nuclear Politics



NRC whistleblowers warn of nuclear accidents caused by dam failures and effort to suppress disclosure

beyondnuclear | Independent warnings from government whistleblowers within the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have surfaced alleging that U.S. nuclear power stations sited along major rivers and below reservoirs are vulnerable to a catastrophic nuclear accident following major dam failures.

In July 2011 with the flood waters along the Missouri River still rising around Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun nuclear power station, David Loveless, a NRC Senior Reactor Analyst concluded in a post-Fukushima technical review for the flood analysis at the nuclear power stations, that the reactor would not survive the gross failure of the Oahe dam—one of six dams on the Missouri River upstream from the nuke. Loveless cites analysis that a dam break would hit the reactor on the Missouri River with a wall of water knocking out electrical power systems and water pumps vital  for reactor cooling.  The group, Clean Nebraska, has recently written to NRC Chairwomen Allison Macfarland in an appeal to not allow the restart of the reactor pending a full investigation.

Then in September 2012, Richard Perkins, an Nuclear Reactor Regulations engineer and the lead author of “Flooding of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Following Upstream Dam Failure,” asked the agency’s Office of Inspector General to investigate his allegations that the NRC “staff intentionally mischaracterized relevant and noteworthy safety information as sensitive, security information in an effort to conceal the information from the public”  where “agency records that show the NRC has been in possession of relevant, notable, and derogatory safety information for an extended period but failed to properly act on it. Concurrently, the NRC concealed the information from the public.”

Perkins further charges that his concerns regard a government deliberate cover-up and violation of law involving fraudulent safety claims to surrounding communities and their representatives.

Another NRC anonymous whistleblower, drew even more attention to risk of nuclear accidents following dam failure to the Oconee reactor in Senecca, South Carolina, stating, “The probability of Jocassee Dam catastrophically failing is hundreds of times greater than a 51 foot wall of water hitting Fukushima Daiichi,” the engineer said. “And, like the tsunami in Japan, the man-made ‘tsunami’ resulting from the failure of the Jocassee Dam will –- with absolute certainty –- result in the failure of three reactor plants along with their containment structures.

for "those deemed" essential



Thursday, October 11, 2012

the hunted and the hated...,



thenation | Exclusive audio obtained by The Nation of a stop-and-frisk carried out by the New York Police Department freshly reveals the discriminatory and unprofessional way in which this controversial policy is being implemented on the city’s streets. 

On June 3, 2011, three plainclothes New York City Police officers stopped a Harlem teenager named Alvin and two of the officers questioned and frisked him while the third remained in their unmarked car. Alvin secretly captured the interaction on his cell phone, and the resulting audio is one of the only known recordings of stop-and-frisk in action.

In the course of the two-minute recording, the officers give no legally valid reason for the stop, use racially charged language and threaten Alvin with violence. Early in the stop, one of the officers asks, “You want me to smack you?” When Alvin asks why he is being threatened with arrest, the other officer responds, “For being a fucking mutt.” Later in the stop, while holding Alvin’s arm behind his back, the first officer says, “Dude, I’m gonna break your fuckin’ arm, then I’m gonna punch you in the fuckin’ face.” 

“He grabbed me by my bookbag and he started pushing me down. So I’m going backwards like down the hill and he just kept pushing me, pushing me, it looked like he we was going to hit me,” Alvin recounts. “I felt like they was trying to make me resist or fight back.”

Alvin’s treatment at the hands of the officers may be disturbing but it is not uncommon. According to their own stop-and-frisk data, the NYPD stops more than 1,800 New Yorkers a day. A New York Times analysis recently determined that more than 20 percent of those stops involve the use of force. And these are only the numbers that the Department records.  Anecdotal evidence suggests both figures are much higher.
In this video, exclusive to TheNation.com, Alvin describes his experience of the stop, and working NYPD officers come forward to explain the damage stop-and-frisk has done to their profession and their relationship to the communities they serve. The emphasis on racking up stops has also hindered what many officers consider to be the real work they should be doing on the streets. The video sheds unprecedented light on a practice, cheered on by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, that has put the city’s young people of color in the department’s crosshairs.

Those who haven’t experienced the policy first-hand “have likened Stops to being stuck in an elevator, or in traffic,” says Darius Charney, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. “This is not merely an inconvenience, as the Department likes to describe it. This is men with guns surrounding you in the street late at night when you’re by yourself. You ask why and they curse you out and rough you up.”

“The tape brings to light what so many New Yorkers have experienced in the shadows at the hands of the NYPD,” says Ben Jealous, President of the NAACP. “It is time for Mayor Bloomberg to come to grips with the scale of the damage his policies have inflicted on our children and their families. No child should have to grow up fearing both the cops and the robbers.”

“This audio confirms what we’ve been hearing from communities of color, again and again,” says Donna Lieberman, executive director of the NYCLU. “They are repeatedly subjected to abusive and disrespectful treatment at the hands of the NYPD. This explains why so many young people don’t trust the police and won’t help the police,” she adds. “It’s not good for law enforcement and not good for the individuals who face this harassment.” Fist tap Dale.

why has the cia given the sinaloa cartel the dope franchise in chicago?

businessinsider | Leaked emails from the private U.S. security firm Stratfor cite a Mexican diplomat who says the U.S. government works with Mexican cartels to traffic drugs into the United States and has sided with the Sinaloa cartel in an attempt to limit the violence in Mexico.

Many people have doubted the quality of Stratfor's intelligence, but the information from MX1—a Mexican foreign service officer who doubled as a confidential source for Stratfor—seems to corroborate recent claims about U.S. involvement in the drug war in Mexico.

Most notably, the reports from MX1 line up with assertions by a Sinaloa cartel insider that cartel boss Joaquin Guzman is a U.S. informant, the Sinaloa cartel was "given carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago," and Operation Fast and Furious was part of an agreement to finance and arm the Sinaloa cartelin exchange for information used to take down rival cartels. Fist tap Dale.

american moral degeneracy

paulcraigroberts | On May 31, 2010, the Israeli right-wing government sent armed military troops to illegally board in international waters Gaza aid ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief. The Israelis murdered 8 Turkish citizens and one US citizen in cold blood. Many others were wounded by the forces of “the only democracy in the Middle East.”

Despite the murder of its citizen, Washington immediately took the side of the crazed Israeli government. The Turks had a different response. The prime minister of Turkey, Erdogan, said that the next aid ships would be protected by the Turkish navy. But Washington got hold of its puppet and paid him to shut up. Once upon a time, the Turks were a fierce people. Today they are Washington’s puppets.

We have witnessed this during the past week. The Turkish government is permitting the Islamists from outside Syria, organized by the CIA and Israel, to attack Syria from Turkish territory. On several occasions a mortar shell has, according to news reports if you believe them, fallen just inside the Turkey border. The Turkish military has used the excuse to launch artillery barrages into Syria.

People who with good cause no longer believe the US and western media or the US and western governments think that the mortar shells were fired by US or Israeli operatives, or by the “rebels” they support, in order to give Turkey the excuse to start a NATO war with Syria. A UN sanctioned NATO invasion or air strikes, as in Libya, has been blocked by the Russians and Chinese. But if Syria and Turkey get into a war, NATO must come to the aid of its NATO member, Turkey.

Once again we see that Muslims are easily dominated and slaughtered by Western countries, because Muslim countries are incapable of supporting one another. Instead of supporting one another, Muslim governments accept payoffs to support instead the Christian/Zionist forces of the Western bloc.
Washington knows this, which is one reason why Washington began its assertion of world hegemony in the Muslim Middle East.

In the West, the Ministry of Propaganda continues to talk about the “Syrian revolt.” There is no revolt. What has happened is that the US and Israel have equipped with weapons and sent into Syria Islamists who wish to overthrow the secular Syrian government. Washington knows that if the Syrian government can be destroyed, the country will dissolve into warring factions like Iraq and Libya.

America’s European and Japanese puppet states are, of course, part of Washington’s operation. There will be no complaints from them. But why is the rest of the world content for Washington to interfere in the sovereign affairs of nations to the point of invading, sending in drones and assassination teams, and murdering vast numbers of citizens in seven countries?

Does this acquiescence mean that the world has accepted Washington’s claim that it is the indispensable country with the right to rule the world?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

why IS Newsweek indulging make-believe?



gawker | For millennia, humans have wondered what happens after we die. Finally, we have a definitive answer: this week, in an exclusive cover story, Newsweek reveals that "Heaven Is Real." And it sounds suspiciously like a DMT trip as described on internet drug forums.

For nearly as long as humans have been thinking about the possibility of an afterlife, they've also been reading the "Experiences" essays on Erowid.org — accounts of trips and experimentations written by conscientious drug users. Finally, the two pastimes converge, in "Heaven Is Real: A Doctor's Experience With the Afterlife," possibly the most embarrassing cover story Newsweek has ever run, in which Dr. Eben Alexander falls into a coma and apparently, uh, goes to heaven.

Alexander's account of his experience is exactly as well-written, exactly as scientific, and exactly as interesting as most of the stories in Erowid's "Experience Vault." And that's not the only similarity! Below, take our test: Newsweek cover story or message-board post about drugs? Winners get to go to heaven.

 1) Newsweek Cover Story "Heaven Is Real" or Ayahuasca Experience "The Din of Celestial Birds"?
"Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were more advanced. Higher forms."

2) Newsweek Cover Story "Heaven Is Real" or Hawaiian Baby Woodrose Experience "Rebirth and Translucent Beings"? "A sound, huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. [... T]he joy of these creatures, as they soared along, was such that they had to make this noise — that if the joy didn't come out of them this way then they would simply not otherwise be able to contain it."

3) Newsweek Cover Story "Heaven Is Real" or DMT Experience "The People Behind the Curtain"? "As I walked deeper, I could see, standing in the middle of the room, [...] an object similar to an hour glass. It was slowly turning over. I became aware that this vessel, as it tipped over, transferring its contents from the small red end to the larger blue end, was transforming me."

4) Newsweek Cover Story "Heaven Is Real" or LSD, DXM, Dimenhydinate & Cannabis Experience "In Search of a Meaningful... Something"? "If the head is the center of vision, what I saw encompassed a field extending to behind the ears. A fury of colors came into focus throughout this field, and out of the overwhelming mass of color a being emerged. Although the origin and nature of this being were not known to me, I was in awe of it, and I knew that I was powerless in its presence. It both hated and adored me and communicated through ambient noise which held my undivided attention."

why DOES the History Channel show Ancient Aliens?



Tuesday, October 09, 2012

9 million elderly at risk of an empty pantry...,

usatoday | About twice a week, when the arthritis in her legs allows it, Judy Slover rises in her one-bedroom apartment at the Rug Mill Towers in Freehold and makes the six-block trek on foot to the food pantry here, Freehold Area Open Door.Sometimes the walk takes a half-hour, sometimes more, all depending on how much pain she feels, she says.

At Open Door, she picks up bread and pasta, apples and oranges, onions and potatoes, maybe some frozen chicken and hamburger; thanks the volunteers; then journeys home. Some days, she can't make the trip at all, says Slover, 60, who also copes with diabetes and depression.

"I've been homeless," she said. "I have no support team. They call me the bag lady, but I gotta do what I gotta do, you know? Nobody's been there for me but Open Door."

Slover is among about 9 million people 50 and older living at risk of going hungry every day, a 79% increase in a decade, according to the AARP.

As they desperately fall behind even more in the wake of job losses and obliterated retirement investments and savings, advocates say it will take more aggressive and creative approaches to help the nation's eldest citizens get food on the table.

Carlos Rodriguez, executive director of the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, says there are multiple reasons for the rise in seniors' food insecurity: unexpected expenses and investment losses can bring those on fixed incomes to the brink of financial disaster, he said.

"So many households have to make choices between paying for utilities, paying for housing or putting food on the table," Rodriguez said. "Seniors have perhaps the added expense — 'Do I take care of my prescription drug or health needs?'"

As a result of the escalating problems, senior health and social services agencies have turned their sights to supplying food; likewise, anti-hunger organizations have turned their sights to seniors. But obstacles to those efforts range from budget cuts to seniors' own reluctance to accept help, organizers say.

The Meals on Wheels Association of America delivered 241 million meals nationwide in 2010 with the support of federal funds, but proposed budget cuts to the Older Americans Act could bring that figure down to about 219 million for senior nutrition programs — a reduction of 22 million meals from 2010, said Meals on Wheels spokeswoman Mary McNamara. That's before a proposed 8.2% across-the-board cut via sequestration that organizers estimate could result in the loss of an extra 17 million meals served nationwide.

And last year, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — also known as the food stamp program — in the United States spent $7.4 billion more than it did the year before. A House vote on a farm bill that would cut $16 billion from the program is awaiting a vote after the November elections, legislators say.

the largest economy in the world is imploding right before our eyes....,

economicollapseblog | A devastating economic depression is rapidly spreading across the largest economy in the world.  Unemployment is skyrocketing, money is being pulled out of the banks at an astounding rate, bad debts are everywhere and economic activity is slowing down month after month.  So who am I talking about?  Not the United States - the economy that I am talking about has a GDP that is more than two trillion dollars larger.  It is not China either - the economy that I am talking about is more than twice the size of China.  You have probably guessed it by now - the largest economy in the world is the EU economy.  Things in Europe continue to get even worse.  Greece and Spain are already experiencing full-blown economic depressions that continue to deepen, and Italy and France are headed down the exact same path that Greece and Spain have gone.  Headlines about violent protests and economic despair dominate European newspapers day after day after day.  European leaders hold summit meeting after summit meeting, but all of the "solutions" that get announced never seem to fix anything.  In fact, the largest economy on the planet continues to implode right in front of our eyes, and the economic shockwave from this implosion is going to be felt to the four corners of the earth.

Monday, October 08, 2012

who destroyed the economy: the case against the baby boomers

theatlantic | My father taught me how to throw a baseball and divide big numbers in my head and build a life where I'd be home in time to eat dinner with my kid most nights. He and my mother put me through college and urged me to follow my dreams. He never complained when I entered a field even less respected than his. He lives across the country and still calls just to check in and say he loves me.

His name is Tom. He is 63, tall and lean, a contracts lawyer in a small Oregon town. A few wisps of hair still reach across his scalp. The moustache I have never seen him without has faded from deep brown to silver. The puns he tormented my younger brother and me with throughout our childhood have evolved, improbably, into the funniest jokes my 6-year-old son has ever heard. I love my dad fiercely, even though he's beaten me in every argument we've ever had except two, and even though he is, statistically and generationally speaking, a parasite.

 This is the charge I've leveled against him on a summer day in our Pacific Northwest vision of paradise. I have asked my favorite attorney to represent a very troublesome client, the entire baby-boom generation, in what should be a slam-dunk trial--for me. On behalf of future generations, I am accusing him and all the other parasites his age of breaking the sacred bargain that every American generation will pass a better country on to its children than the one it inherited.

We are sitting on a beach in late afternoon on a sun-drizzled lake in the Cascade Mountains, two college-educated, upper-middle-class white men settling in for a week of generational warfare. My son, Max, splashes in the waves with his grandmother; sunbathers lounge in inner tubes around us; snow-capped peaks loom above the tree line. The breeze smells of Coppertone and wet dog. My father thinks back on the country that awaited him when he finished law school. "There seemed to be a lot of potential," he says, setting up the first of many evasions, "but there weren't a lot of jobs."

I'm mildly impressed that he's even bothering to mount a defense. The facts as I see them are clear and damning: Baby boomers took the economic equivalent of a king salmon from their parents and, before they passed it on, gobbled up everything but the bones.


Ultimately, members of my father's generation--generally defined as those born between 1946 and 1964--are reaping more than they sowed. They graduated smack into one of the strongest economic expansions in American history. They needed less education to snag a decent-salaried job than their children do, and a college education cost them a small fraction of what it did for their children or will for their grandkids. One income was sufficient to get a family ahead economically. Marginal federal income-tax rates have fallen steadily, with rare exception, since boomers entered the labor force; government retirement benefits have proliferated. At nearly every point in their lives, these Americans chose to slough the costs of those tax cuts and spending hikes onto future generations.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose twelvefold from the time the first boomers began working until last year, when they began to cash out their retirement. (The growth trend over the 12 years since I entered the workforce suggests that the Dow will double exactly once before I retire.) They will leave the workforce far wealthier than their parents did, with even more government promises awaiting them. Boomers will be the first generation of retirees to fully enjoy the Medicare prescription-drug benefit; because Social Security payouts rise faster than price inflation, they will draw more-generous retirement benefits than their parents did, in real terms--at their children's expense. The Urban Institute estimated last year that a couple retiring in 2011, having both earned average wages, will accrue about $200,000 more in Medicare and Social Security benefits over their lifetimes than they paid in taxes to support those programs.

Those retirees and near-retirees bequeath a shambles to their offspring. Young people are unemployed at historically high levels. Global competition is stronger than ever, but American institutions have not adapted to prepare new workers for its challenges. Boomers have run up incomes for the very wealthiest Americans, shrunk the middle class, and, via careless borrowing and reckless financial engineering, driven the economy into the worst recession in 80 years. The Pew Research Center reports that middle-class families today are 5 percent less wealthy than their parents were at the same point in their lives, after adjusting for inflation, even though families today are far more likely to include two wage earners. Another Pew report shows that those ages 55 to 64 are 10 percent wealthier today, even after the Great Recession, than Americans of that age bracket were in 1984. Those younger than 35 are 68 percent less wealthy than the same bracket was in 1984.

stop using the unemployment rate!



esoltas | The standard unemployment rate is a deeply flawed measurement of macroeconomic conditions. It is so flawed that a decline in the unemployment rate as we measure it is not necessarily good news, nor is an increase in the unemployment rate surely bad news. Movements in the unemployment rate are -- or perhaps have become -- ambiguous signals of economic improvement or worsening.

What's wrong with the unemployment rate? The problem comes down to definitions. We know that the unemployment rate is the fraction of unemployed workers in the labor force. To be counted as "unemployed" by the surveyors of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you must "have actively looked for work in the past 4 weeks," and to be in the labor force, you must either match that definition of unemployment or have a job.

Normally these definitions work well. A stay-at-home mother or father who is not looking for work, for a simple instance, should not be counted as "unemployed" in a way which is relevant for public policy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' definitions of unemployment and labor force participation, however, become deeply problematic when economic conditions are so poor that they mischaracterize unemployed workers as having left the labor force, or people who should have joined the labor force as non-participants.

This is breaking the unemployment rate today. As I've pointed out in prior posts on this blog, the labor force stopped growing in 2008. That is largely the result of unemployed workers giving up and dropping out of the labor force, as well as would-be entrants to the labor force not doing so. Only a small fraction of this can be explained by changes in population or workforce, such as the retirement of the Baby Boom generation. These individuals who are not being counted as members of the labor force are, in every sense which is meaningful for public policy, unemployed. They number roughly 5.6 million as of July 2012.

This is why the numbers are so misleading, and why I think we cannot keep talking about falling unemployment as good news. We're saying, in effect, this: Good news, America! Another million workers gave up hope this morning! Don't you feel better about the labor market now!

since the end of world war II, the economy has not been faced with such a large employment slack

seekingalpha | the USA economy is screwed up because 8% of the pre-recession workforce has been vaporized (the red line on the above graph is currently at 92% of the pre-recession peak).

If one is on social security, in some other social safety net, employed, or the 0.001% - the new normal may not be that bad. You may pity the jobless, but you may be missing the reality that 8% loss of jobs caused the economy to lose 8% of its prime driver - Joe "the consumer" Sixpack. With over 2/3rds of the economy consumer driven, the solution is obvious - create 24 million jobs.

Since the end of World War II, the economy has not been faced with such a large employment slack.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sees this as the economic headwind which is causing terrible growth, and the stated reason for QE3. This author doubts that quantitative easing on top of a zero interest rate policy can have any effect on employment. It seems like a "hail Mary" play stemming from a lack of fiscal policy stimulus from Congress - and even a Hail Mary pass with no receivers downfield, if you will.

Any solution to stimulate employment is in fiscal policy and regulation - and possibly a revisit to policy utilized post WWII to create jobs for the returning soldiers.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

watch, read, google - "after next-gen technology" - and other fascinating breadcrumbs....,




VeteransToday | Mombasa (WNT) The Adamus Group announces an 18 month project in partnership with governments of Africa, the USAID and the International Wildlife Foundation to operate two Skyships on their first “peaceful” mission.

The advanced LTA (lighter than air) defense platforms have been used in counter-terrorism and drug interdiction efforts in the past. This is the first application of “blimps,” each supplied with the most powerful sensor arrays ever to have been used for a non-military mission. The platforms, capable of continent wide missions are equipped with advanced sensor packages, synthetic aperture radar, low light high definition streaming video and “next generation” FLIR (infared) optics. 

Communication is through direct microwave and satellite up-link.

Several television networks have shown an interest in participation as the platform capabilities, previously “military only” technology have, not only the ability to aid in the understanding of wildlife, climate and agricultural development and coastal marine environments but have wide geological and even archaeological capabilities as well.

Project manager James Hanke of Adamus told reporters in Mombasa:
“We thank the US government and Department to of Homeland Security for making available these advanced capabilities.  It is our hope, in what we deep a “ploughshares” effort, to provide a bank of data that will inspire a generation of scientists of every discipline.
This project, we predict, will have an immediate impact on securing both wildlife resources and, at the same time, supply a wealth of previously unavailable data to ensure responsible and productive land management and resource development.
In many cases, we begin with a ‘blank slate,’ we have little idea what we will find but, for certain, our ‘after next generation’ imagery and sensor capability will open, not only new vistas for investment but tourism as well.”
The advanced airships are to begin operation in first quarter 2013.  A number of universities have indicated a desire to acquire data and a ”mission based’ tasking committee of scholars and scientists will be overseeing operations in concert with wildlife management and security officials.

voting for death


lindinh | America, you have become a nation of enablers and apologists for tyranny and mass murder. You condemn the Nazi and gulag guards of times past even as you celebrate your own mercenaries and torturers, even as you explain away, if not outright cheer, the unspeakable crimes committed by your sons and daughters. You don’t care who you kill, as long as your soldiers are paid, and your munitions, bomb and tank factories are humming.

Safely ensconced in academic luna parks, your leading intellectuals lean slightly right or left, but never enough to rock this blazing gunboat, lest they sour the cocktail parties or, god forbid, have their tenure revoked. Mouths stuffed with antipasti, they’re expert at sidestepping Israel’s prolific crimes, 9/11, Bin Laden’s faux death or the parasitic Federal Reserve, and as another joke election nears, they’re all gung ho about candidates who back illegal wars and banking frauds, since each is supposedly the lesser of two evils.

For the past five presidential elections, winning candidates have won 52.9%, 50.7%, 47.9%, 49.2% and 43% of the popular votes respectively, so there hasn’t been an overwhelming mandate for any of them, but with the runner ups from the other major party often close behind, and in 2000, actually ahead in the popular vote count, the two-party system has gotten a stranglehold on our public life and pocketbooks. As for our senators, only two are not Democrat or Republican. An American election, then, is basically a rigged referendum for this thoroughly corrupt and murderous system, and simply by voting, you will give it the green light to go on killing and looting. Every four years, we’re railroaded into sanctioning endless war and bottomless corruption. If disappointed, we’re then steered by our brainwashing and dumbing down media to a near clone of our current rapist.

The Good Old Party spooks the upper and middle classes by threatening, If you don’t vote for us, the Dems will take your hard-earned cash and give it to the freeloaders, crackheads and other miscellaneous losers, while the Democrats, in turn, scare the lower rungs by snarling, If you don’t vote for us, the Republicans will let your retired, diapered ass rot under a bridge, on a piece of cardboard, but lordy, lordy, lordy, it is already happening, but let us not sweat the details.

Friday, October 05, 2012

not one word about poverty...,

aera-l | Lots of talk about the middle class. Tax cuts for the middle class. Saving the middle class. Doing more for the middle class.

Not one word about poverty.

No mention that nearly 25% of the children in the world's richest nation live in poverty. Not one word. The overriding influence of poverty on educational achievement has been noted in, e.g. (alphabetical order by author):

1. "Our Impoverished View of Educational Reform" [Berliner (2005)], at;http://bit.ly/ff8BV

 2. "Poverty and Potential: Out-of-School Factors and School Success" [Berliner (2009)], http://bit.ly/fqiCUA

3. "Whither Opportunity? Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children's Life Chances"   [Duncan & Murnane (2011a)] at;http://bit.ly/nCkmKv

4. "Economic inequality: The real cause of the urban school problem," [Duncan & Murnane (2011b)] at;http://bit.ly/rv3rMO

5. "To Improve Schools, Fight Poverty, Education Expert Says" [Gosier (2011)], online at; http://bit.ly/qyrBSL; - the expert is Stephen Krashen;http://bit.ly/Ui9xm

6. "Re: Economic Inequality: The Real Cause of Urban School Problems #2" [Hake (2011a)] at;http://bit.ly/ozuZEn

7. "Is the 'Teacher Effect' the Dominant Factor in Students' Academic Gain?" [Hake (2011b)], online at;http://bit.ly/g6UWUZ

8. "Is the 'Teacher Effect' the Dominant Factor in Students' Academic Gain? #3" [Hake (2011c)], online at;http://bit.ly/jy61UB

9. "Class Matters. Why Won't We Admit It?" [Ladd & Fiske (2011)] at;http://nyti.ms/vx3nub

10. "Education and Poverty: Visualizations of World, US, and State-level Educational Data" [Marder (2011)] at;http://bit.ly/nYC6eF

11. "Failure of U.S. Public Secondary Schools in Mathematics" [Marder (2012)] at;http://bit.ly/KPitWM

12. "The hard bigotry of low expectations and low priorities" [Ravani (2011b)] at;http://bit.ly/sUZ17T

13. "Unaddressed Link Between Poverty & Education" [Schaffer (2011)] at;http://bit.ly/tbckql

Thursday, October 04, 2012

paid pundits and ignant peasants pretend there was some kind of contest...,



I squinted and failed to see the air gap...,



real unemployment reaches 20% in colorado...,

thecoloradoobserver | The slowest economic recovery since World War II is going especially slow for sections of Colorado, according to a letter from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) obtained by The Colorado Observer.
 
In seven counties in Colorado unemployed individuals are close to or exceeding 20% of the population, a letter from the Chief Economist of CDLE to the U.S. Department of Agriculture says.

The letter, obtained through the Colorado Open Records Act, was sent August 29 as required by federal law. According to the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, the Colorado Labor Department is required to certify counties where the “Not Employed Rate” surpasses 19.5%.

The “Not Employed Rate” is defined as “the percentage of individuals over the age of 18 who reside within the community and who are ready, willing and able to be employed but are unable to find employment as determined by the State Department of Labor.”

Ranking highest was Costilla County at 23.56 percent. The list runs from larger counties like Pueblo (20.09%), Montrose (20.62%) and Fremont (19.66%) to smaller populations like Huerfano (21.78%), Archuleta (19.97%) and Dolores (19.85%).

Whereas the unemployment rate doesn’t include people who are out of work, but have given up looking for a job, the “Not Employed Rate” gives a fuller picture of the dire economic situation many Coloradans are currently facing.

Colorado has faced one of the slowest economic recoveries in the nation coming out of the recession.
Last month, Colorado’s official unemployment rate — 8.2% — surpassed the national unemployment rate for first time in nearly 7 years. While unemployment fell from 8.3% the previous month, Colorado’s unemployment rate rose for four consecutive months prior to that.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

is all of japan radioactive?


fukushima-diary | Iodine 131 was measured from sewage sludge in Kumamoto city. Kumamoto city is about 1070 km from Fukushima plant.
7/24/2012   33 Bq/Kg, 31 Bq/Kg
7/25/2012   120 Bq/Kg
7/25/2012   150 Bq/Kg ,11 Bq/Kg

humanzee religion in action...,



Tuesday, October 02, 2012

strike point senkaku....,

newscientist | It all comes down to black gold. Anti-Japan protests erupted in at least 100 Chinese cities on Tuesday, as anger over a struggle for control of oil and gas in the East China Sea turned violent, and increased the tension between the countries.

The focal point is a dispute over a remote island chain known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, lying east of China and south-west of Japan (see map).

The US handed them to Japan after the second world war, but China says that it has a prior claim. Japan recently purchased several of the islands back from a private Japanese owner, and their nationalisation has ratcheted up anger in China.

"There is potential oil and gas," says Pui-Kwan Tse of the US Geological Survey. It's not clear how much is there, or whether it would be economical to drill for it.

However, the East China Sea is rich in oil and gas reserves, many of which have only been discovered in recent decades. China and Japan are both eager to stake a claim: China's energy demand is growing rapidly, and Japan's reserves are limited.

a genial fellow with whom almost anyone would like to have a beer...,

kunstler | Flying at higher platitudes in the thin upper air of his own mind last week, Republican candidate Mitt Romney remarked apropos of airplane travel: "[T]he windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem. So it's very dangerous."


It turned out that Mitt meant the remark as a gag. But it sheds some light on the hazard of trying to be funny by saying the opposite of what you mean, and also on the essential character of Mr. Romney who, to put it as plainly and directly as possible, is the sort of person commonly described as "an asshole." Hence, the thought that must be flashing through many people's minds these days when Romney's off-kilter, square-jawed, grinning visage floats over the nearest flat-screen: Who would vote for that asshole...? Being given to more baroque taxonomy, myself, I would be satisfied in calling Mr. Romney an empty vessel in a vacant room in an abandoned property in a forsaken land, and leave it at that.  


It happens that his opponent, Mr. Obama, is a genial fellow with whom almost anyone might like to have a beer. Despite his winning smile, though, the president has managed to cripple due process of law, make war on the nation's own citizens, let Wall Street criminals run amok, and sell out the electoral process to a corrupt corporate oligarchy. I wouldn't vote for him again if he water-boarded me in a Jacuzzi full of Schorschbräu's Schorschbock 57 beer ($275 a bottle). But he's welcome to come over to my house and watch the baseball playoffs if he brings his own six-pack and a bag of Cheetos.


And so it goes on the backstretch of the emptiest election contest in memory.  The nation simply can't contend with the existential problems it faces and doesn't want to hear about them. As far as I can tell, nobody is paying attention to the campaigns, not even the reporters, certainly not the bloggers, who have their eyes on the riots and other kinetic unravelings related to the money crisis in Europe. Here, where anything goes and nothing matters, everybody just goes through the motions of electoral politics. It all has the odor of a ritual that nobody remembers the original purpose of - namely, to govern, i.e. to manage society's collective affairs. These days, nobody believes that our affairs are manageable, and their perception is probably correct, especially when it comes to paying for it all, since accounting fraud is now the basis of all financial operations.

But I don't mean to just deplore the situation. It is what it is, and we are at a certain juncture of history because of the choices we have made, and we'll have to see how the consequences roll out. Here's how I see some of them.

lesser evilists convince themselves that evil looks like something good...,



warisacrime | A writer at the Atlantic named Conor Friedersdorf recently noted the level of evil many have been brought to support:
"Tell certain liberals and progressives that you can't bring yourself to vote for a candidate who opposes gay rights, or who doesn't believe in Darwinian evolution, and they'll nod along. Say that you'd never vote for a politician caught using the 'n'-word, even if you agreed with him on more policy issues than his opponent, and the vast majority of left-leaning Americans would understand. But these same people cannot conceive of how anyone can discern Mitt Romney's flaws, which I've chronicled in the course of the campaign, and still not vote for Obama. Don't they see that Obama's transgressions are worse than any I've mentioned? I don't see how anyone who confronts Obama's record with clear eyes can enthusiastically support him. I do understand how they might concluded that he is the lesser of two evils, and back him reluctantly, but I'd have thought more people on the left would regard a sustained assault on civil liberties and the ongoing, needless killing of innocent kids as deal-breakers."
Not long ago, I attended a speech by Obama, along with thousands of his adoring cheerleaders formerly known as citizens. I asked him to stop killing people in Afghanistan, and the Secret Service asked me to leave.  But, just now, I got a phone call from the local Obama office.  They had my name because I'd picked up a ticket to attend the speech.  The young woman wanted to know if I would come help phone other people.  I asked if she was familiar with the president's kill list and his policy of killing men, women, and children with drones.  She said she knew nothing about that but "respected my opinion."  She hung up.  Objecting to presidential murder is now an opinion, and willingness to be aware of its existence is an appendage to the opinion.  If you don't object to presidential murder by Democrat, then you simply arrange not to know about it.  Thus, in your opinion, it doesn't exist.

Some of my friends at this moment are in Pakistan apologizing to its government and its people for the endless murderous drone war fought there by our country.  They're meeting with victims' families.  They're speaking publicly in opposition to the crimes of our government.  And my neighbors, living in some other universe, believe most fundamentally, not that one candidate will save us, not that the two parties are fundamentally opposed, not that a citizen's job is to vote, not that war is all right if it's meant well -- although they clearly believe all of those things -- but, most fundamentally, they believe that unpleasant facts should simply be avoided.  So, in a spirit of afflicting the comfortable to comfort the afflicted, here are a few from recent days:

Monday, October 01, 2012

more impressed with this boy than I am with myself....,



As it turns out, my son has been making little sarcastic picture/word that he calls "memes" for about a year. He set up an instagram account a month or so ago, and has been cranking these out on the daily. He has 300+ subscribers on his instagram feed. 

Since he's doing these like it was his job, and he produces more hits than misses, I showed him how to put these memes up on a more permanent basis on a blog. His blog is lesmemes.blogspot.com

Check him out.

how lies become the government's truth...,

LewRockwell | In my last column, “A Culture of Delusion,” I wrote that “Americans live in a matrix of lies. Lies dominate every policy discussion, every political decision.” This column will use two top news stories, Iranian nukes and Julian Assange, to illustrate how lies become “truth.”

The western Presstitute media uses every lie to demonize the Iranian government. On September 28 in a fit of unmitigated ignorance, the UK rag, Mail Online, called the president of Iran a “dictator.” The Iranian presidency is an office filled by popular election, and the authority of the office is subordinate to the ayatollahs. Assange is demonized alternatively as a rapist and a spy.

The western media and the US Congress comprise the two largest whore houses in human history. One of their favorite lies is that the Iranian president, Ahmadinejad, wants to kill all the Jews. Watch this 6 minute, 42 second video of Ahmadinejad’s meeting with Jewish religious leaders. Don’t be put off by the title. Washington Blog is making a joke.

Last week the news was dominated by the non-existent but virtually real Iranian nuclear weapons program. The Israeli prime minister, Netanyahu, blatantly intervened in the US presidential election, demanding that Obama specify the “red line” for attacking Iran.

Netanyahu believes his maximum leverage over Obama, the president of the “world’s only superpower,” is just prior to the election. Israel cannot attack Iran on its own without the risk of Israel’s destruction. But Netanyahu reasons that if he attacks Iran the week before the US election, Obama will have to join in or lose the Jewish vote for not supporting Israel in states such as Florida, which has a large Jewish population and many electoral votes. If the election is close, Netanyahu, a person consumed by arrogance and hubris, might exercise his threat and attack Iran, despite the opposition of former chiefs of Israeli intelligence and military, the opposition party, and a majority of the Israeli people.

In other words, the outcome of the “superpower’s” presidential election might depend upon whether the sitting president of the “superpower” is sufficiently obedient to the crazed Israeli prime minister.

That the outcome of the US presidential election could depend upon the agenda of the prime minister of a tiny country that exists only because of US financial, military, and diplomatic support, especially the UN veto, should disturb those Americans who think that they are the “indispensable people.” How indispensable are you when you have to do what the Israeli prime minister wants?

The US media makes certain that this question never enters american minds. Americans have been told that if Iran doesn’t have nukes, it has a nuke weapons program. This is what the politicians of both parties, the media, and the Israel Lobby tell them. Americans are told this despite the facts that the CIA and the National Intelligence Estimate stick to the conclusion that Iran abandoned its flirtation with a nuclear weapon in 2003 and the International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors on the ground in Iran report no evidence of a nuclear weapons program and no evidence of any diversion of enriched uranium to a weapons program.

Moreover, what could Iran do with a nuclear weapon, other than use it against an aggressor? Any offensive use would result in Iran’s destruction.

Why do Americans believe Iran has nukes or is making nukes when the CIA says they are not? The answer is that Netanyahu says so, and the elected members of the US government in the House, Senate, and White House are afraid to contradict the Israeli prime minister, as are the American print and TV media. Some “superpower” we are! The “indispensable people” have to grovel in the dirt before Netanyahu. Americans are not even aware of their shame.

Iran, unlike Israel, signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Signatories to the treaty have the right to nuclear energy. Nuclear energy requires a low level of enrichment, 5% or less. The minute Iran announced a nuclear energy program, the Israeli government and its prostitutes in Washington lied that Iran was building a bomb. For exercising its legal rights under the treaty, Iran has been painted as a rouge criminal state and demonized.

A nuclear weapon requires 95% enrichment. To get to 5% from scratch and then to 95% is a long drawn out process. I think I first started hearing Israeli government claims of an Iranian nuke back in he 1990s of last century.