Saturday, June 28, 2008
Arianna Huffington, HuffPost
Writing about conservatives backing Barack Obama (dubbed "Obamacons"), Bob Novak reported this week that Colin Powell will likely endorse Obama. Given Powell's popularity and national security cred (tarnished though they may be by his loathsome pre-war presentation at the UN), this would be a coup for Obama. But Novak documents something even more significant: the overpowering sense of revulsion with Bush and today's Republican Party felt by many conservatives. The money quote is delivered by a long-time GOP loyalist: "The Republican Party is a dead rotting carcass with a few decrepit old leaders stumbling around like zombies in a horror version of Weekend With Bernie [sic], handcuffed to a corpse." I didn't think it could be done, but that tops Republican Rep. Tom Davis' classic "If we were dog food, they would take us off the shelf."
Friday, June 27, 2008
Stalag Comics Israel
Hitler Reappears in Israel
Igal Sarna, FirstPost.co.uk
W e are five on the bed, leaning with our backs against the wall like people watching television. I'm in the middle of the bed. Hitler is at one end. He is about 20 years old, at the time he was moving from one cheap men's hostel in Vienna to another, an ambitious and unhappy young ne'er-do-well. A painter of landscapes and advertisements.
He places a box full of papers in the centre of the bed. He says to me: "I'm writing down all kinds of things for myself."
"Mein Kampf?" I ask.
He looks at me suspiciously, like someone who has just heard something that I couldn't possibly have known. The conversation is quiet but at the same time fraught in a strange way with everything that will happen. He gives me a friendly wink, as though to say: "I, Adolf, whose whole future is ahead of him, and you, the son of the Nashibirskis, who are marked out for death - ¬ we're both of us artists; I am the one who will always rise up from the past and be with you like a member of your household."
I dreamt this dream early in 2007, in Oxford, when I was starting to write the novel Tender Hand, and it is the opening of the book that is now being published in Tel Aviv.
The name Hitler is no longer igniting fires in the land of the survivors who in the past would take to the streets because of a Wagner concert. The text exists in the city alongside the one-man show Adolf, in which a young actor plays Hitler at the Tmuna fringe theatre in Tel Aviv. "How a sensitive boy who dreams of becoming an artist turns into Hitler," says the programme. For the first time in the Israeli theatre, director Yagil Eliraz depicts how Hitler's personality is shaped from early childhood to adulthood.
One Cowboy Away from Devastation
By Ed Tubbs, OpEdNews
If we invade
Will this military action stop
Ed Tubbs, OpEdNews.com
That’s just the opening act.
The Israeli Air Force orders all three squadrons of their F-16I Sufa fighter/bombers into the air with orders to bomb
Just after the first waves of U.S bombers cross into Iranian airspace, the Iranian Navy, using shore based missiles and small, fast attack craft sinks several oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz, sealing off the
The day after the invasion, Wall Street (and to a lesser extent,
If that happens, this country shuts down. Most Americans are not be able to afford gas to go to work. Truckers pull their big rigs to the side of the road and simply walk away. Food, medicine and other critical products are not be brought to stores. Gas and electricity (what is left of the short supply) are too expensive for most people to afford. Children, the sick and elderly die from lack of air-conditioned homes and hospitals in the summer. Children, the sick and elderly die in the winter for lack of heat. There are food riots across the country. A barter system takes the place of currency and credit as the economy dissolves and banks close or limit withdrawals. Civil unrest builds.
The police are unable to contain the violence and are themselves victims of the same crisis as the rest of the population. Civilian rule dissolves and Martial Law is declared under provisions approved under the Patriot Act. Regular U.S. Army and Marine troops patrol the streets. The federal government apparatus is moved to an unknown but secure location. The
It doesn’t get any worse than this.
Then the first Israeli bomber drops its nuclear payload on
Note: The author makes the heroic assumption that the Iranians have not bought nuclear devices on the underground market.Since Iran is China's main oil supplier, she may call in US debts to bankrupt the economy.
Repub Attack Dogs
Steve Benen: In 2000, Al Gore, Republicans said, was an "exaggerator." This was not only effective, thanks to a quick embrace by the media, it was also part of a narrative -- when Gore takes credit for some of the successes of the '90s, don't believe him because he exaggerates. In 2004, John Kerry, they said was a "flip-flopper." This, too, was relatively effective, and was once again parroted by the media. The narrative here was equally clear -- in the first post-9/11 election, in a time of war, we don't want someone who's inconsistent. Four years later, the effort to define Barack Obama is proving to be more difficult for Republican attack dogs. The GOP keeps experimenting with new memes, but not only are they not sticking, some even contradict each other.
The regime currently in power has subverted our public institutions and Constitutional rights making them virtually unrecognizable. Mr McCain and his colleagues have coated their atrocities with the Madison Avenue platitudes and the military/industrial scare tactics that have kept American voters in the dark for the past 60 years. Aided by the MSM their lies old and new have a shelf-life sufficient to Swiftboat any progressive strategy.
In my opinion we can overcome them by answering every lie and smear with examples of Republican criminal wrong doing. The first goal is to win the election, but we won't get our country back until the treasonous evil doers are on Death Row.
1948 The Naked City
There are eight million stories in the naked city and this is one of them.
In 1988 the New York City Israeli Consulate organized and financed the kidnapping of my son Daniel, a USA/Israel dual citizen.
I asked the Consulate, the FBI and the State Department to return him to my custody. After they refused to help, I filed a writ of habeas corpus to the Supreme Court of Israel. The Court recognized his kidnapped status, but kicked the issue of his return to the District Court.
This initiated a series of 35 court cases during which public employees did forgery to falsify the public record, to defraud me and to detain my son and me in
Consequently, I charged 100 government bureaucrats, judges, Rabbis, and social workers with Crimes Against Humanity.
Over the years, I wondered why the governments allowed the kidnappers to get away with it. Over 21,000 American infants had been abducted to
There were other irons in the fire.
Since 1996 Israeli scientists stole US nuclear secrets. The information went through the FBI and the State Department for distribution through
The mass media, Congress, Justice Department and law enforcement agencies have ignored the abduction of infants and the theft of nuclear secrets for years. Heinous acts such as these do not continue for long without the co-operation of governments, generations of corrupt officials.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Patrick Sawyer, EirstPost.co.uk
For years the graffiti emblazoned along a west London Tube track issued an angry challenge to the deadening conformity of urban life: 'Same thing day after day - Tube - Work - Diner [sic] - Work - Tube - Armchair - TV - Sleep - Tube - Work - How much more can you take - One in ten go mad - one in five crack up'.
Its authors were a group of anarchic anti-artists named King Mob, whose stunts and visual manifestos flowered briefly during the late Sixties and early Seventies, in opposition to both the Establishment and the commercialised counter-culture of the Beatles and
King Mob's physical manifestations on the walls of Notting Hill have long faded with its gentrification. However, their leaflets and posters, recently acquired by Tate
They had cracked the Japanese Imperial War Code and had determined the next target was
Out-numbered and out-gunned, the Americans seized the day as they had more flexibility than their Fascist-blinded opponents.
World War Two was a battle between republican character and fascist spinelessness.
A Hungry Mob is an Angry Mob
John Maxwell, blackagendareport.com
Sea level rise and global warming are both anthropogenic - caused by human activity - and famine has historically been more the result of political decisions than of crop failure. Today, American food producers and traders have besieged the Commodities Futures Trading Commission which regulates US commodity markets. According to capitalist theory, commodity markets and all other free market institutions are essential components of the equitable management of world trade, balancing supply and demand and performing a function so disinterested that it can almost be considered a public service.
The father of capitalist theory, Adam Smith, thought otherwise. While he extolled the essential fairness of the "invisible hand" he decried the inherent greed and self interest to which most businessmen were prone. According to Adam Smith:
"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." (The Wealth of Nations: Vol. 1, Book 1, Chap 10)
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
"The first truth is that the liberty of democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is Fascism -- ownership of Government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.
The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way to sustain an acceptable standard of living."
Pepe Escobar, The Real News Network
Cluster bombs are literally hell from above. Anyone who has seen the effects of cluster carpet bombing on innocent civilians - in
Monday, June 2, 2008
What Goes Around Comes Around
The sky is dark with chickens coming home to roost. America is in a terrible fix. But you wouldn’t know it from the politicians.
78 Millions Cluster Bombs Remain in Laos
During the Vietnam war, the US illegally bombed Laos as part of a secret war to disrupt Vietcong supply routes. 30 years later, 78 million unexploded cluster bombs remain scattered across the country, placing thousands at risk of death or injury every day. 111 countries gathered in Dublin this week to adopt a treaty banning cluster bombs. 5 countries- the US, Russia, Israel, India and Pakistan- were notable in their absence.
The Justice Department has released a 370-page report on the government’s use of torture. It gives credence to many reports made by sources outside the Main Stream Media. The FBI has expressed outrage at the torture techniques employed particularly because they have proven ineffective.
Why have the Agencies waited a decade to report this? For the first time there is a possibility many of their employees will face prosecution for crimes against humanity and murder.
Previously, they had operated without fear of punishment. President Bush has issued many directives to define torture to his lights and to absolve potential perpetrators from guilt. After the Supreme Court failed to back up the various bans that make torture illegal, it ceased to protect ordinary citizens from this abuse.
Many media workers also knew the massive and widespread nature of the crimes, but chose to sanitize them or to cover them completely. The media supports the claim that torture is effective. They maintain those who resist torture as a national policy are anti-American maybe even traitors.
This spin on torture has infected many
Memo for the Right Wing
Many Floridians didn't have their votes counted at all in 2000. What sparks your sudden concern for their voting rights? The
The free press is but a memory along with our Constitutional human rights.
The MSM might dwell on these issues rather than Obama's pastor and his Great Grand Uncle's war record.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
For anyone who believes that speculation by energy traders explains at least a portion of the run-up in oil prices, the announcement that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating oil market "manipulation" is welcome news. Maybe, at long last, we'll get some clarity on this mystery. Speculation likely does not explain the entirety of $130-a-barrel oil, but it's reasonable to assume that some sort of shenanigans are going on behind the scenes.
But for How the World Works, the most interesting tidbit in the Wall Street Journal's coverage was the news that the CFTC had "reached an agreement" with Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the operator of ICE Futures electronic exchange.
As I've harped upon in this space on numerous occasions, trading on ICE is not, as the Journal delicately puts it, "subject to the same CFTC reporting requirements as Nymex [New York Mercantile Exchange] trading." Which means energy traders can do what they want under cover of darkness, and regulators are none the wiser. But "ICE will now provide daily information on large trader positions in its oil-futures markets, divulge more details on market participants and notify the CFTC when traders exceed position limits."
To which, all I can say is finally! It's not like nobody knew this was a problem. For background information, interested readers are referred to two lengthy government reports, "The Role of Market Speculation in Rising Oil and Gas Prices: A Need to Put the Cop Back on the Beat," and "Excessive Speculation in the Natural Gas Market," published in 2006 and 2007, respectively. To allow some commodity trading exchanges to operate without oversight while others must report what's going on is an open invitation to traders: "Manipulate me, pretty please."
Of course, this didn't happen by accident. I wrote about this yesterday, and I wrote about it the day before yesterday, and I'm seriously considering writing about it every single day until the next election for the presidency of the
― Andrew Leonard
McCain Invents ‘Facts’ as he Goes Along
Arianna Huffington, HuffPost
This week brought yet more proof that John McCain's grasp of his signature issue -- the war in
A million homeowners could face negative equity says City
More than a quarter of a million British householders have slipped into negative equity, City analysts say. The investment bank Citigroup says house prices have fallen seven per cent since the autumn, and could drop to 15 per cent by the end of 2009. The collapse has led to large numbers of people owing more than their properties are worth - possibly as many as 1 million people by the end of next year. (Observer)
Jessica Yellin Pulls the Plug on Herself
Chez Pazienda, HuffPost
Well, that didn't take long. Today on the network's website, there's a noticeably terse statement from CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin attempting to, ahem, "clarify" her admission, made a couple of nights ago on Anderson Cooper 360°, that during the run-up to the Iraq war, she was pressured into altering or killing stories that were critical of the White House. Yellin spoke her mind and pulled back the curtain to reveal the reality of what went on within
Obama and Osama on FOX Assassination Menu
Jeffrey Feldman, HuffPost
Grinning While Joking About Killing A Candidate
The incident happen in an exchange with the FOX News anchor. When asked her opinion of the recent scandal surrounding some comments made by Sen. Hillary Clinton, which Trotta described by saying that, "some are reading [it] as a suggestion that somebody knock off Osama." Hemmer quickly corrected Trotta, having noticed that she had said "Osama" when she meant "Obama." At this point, Trotta said, "Obama. Well...both if we could!" Trotta then laughed gleefully.
The Justice Department has issued a report on torture, citing testimony by scores of FBI officials outraged over our treatment of prisoners.
Are we Americans truly savages or merely tone-deaf in matters of morality, and therefore more guilty of terminal indifference than venality? It's a question demanding an answer in response to the publication of the detailed 370-page report on
Because the report was widely cited in the media and easily accessed as a pdf file on the Internet, it is fair to assume that those of our citizens who remain ignorant of the extent of their government's commitment to torture as an official policy have made a choice not to be informed. A less appealing conclusion would be that they are aware of the heinous acts fully authorized by our president but conclude that such barbarism is not inconsistent with that American way of life that we celebrate.
But that troubling assessment of moral indifference is contradicted by the scores of law enforcement officers, mostly from the FBI, who were so appalled by what they observed as routine official practice in the treatment of prisoners by the
That this systematic torture was carried out not by a few conveniently described "bad apples" but rather represented official policy condoned at the highest level of government was captured in one of those rare media reports that remind us why the Founding Fathers signed off on the First Amendment.
"These were not random acts," The New York Times editorialized. "It is clear from the inspector general's report that this was organized behavior by both civilian and military interrogators following the specific orders of top officials. The report shows what happens when an American president, his secretary of defense, his Justice Department and other top officials corrupt American law to rationalize and authorize the abuse, humiliation and torture of prisoners."
One of those top officials, who stands revealed in the inspector general's report as approving the torture policy, is Condoleezza Rice, who in her capacity as White House national security adviser turned away the concerns of then-Attorney General John D. Ashcroft as to the severe interrogation measures being employed. Rice, as ABC-TV reported in April, chaired the top-level meetings in 2002 in the White House Situation Room that signed off on the CIA treatment of prisoners -- "whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called water boarding. ..." According to the report, the former academic provost of
As further proof that women are not necessarily more squeamish than men in condoning such practices, the report offers examples of sexual and religious denigration of the mostly Muslim prisoners by female interrogators carrying out an official policy of "invasion of space by a female." In one recorded instance observed by startled FBI agents, a female interrogator was seen with a prisoner "bending his thumbs back and grabbing his genitals ... to cause him pain." One of the agents testified that this was not "a case of a rogue interrogator acting on her own." He said he witnessed a "pep rally" meeting conducted by a top Defense Department official "in which the interrogators were encouraged to get as close to the torture statute line as possible."
That was evidently the norm, according to FBI agents who witnessed the interrogations. As The New York Times reported, "One bureau memorandum spoke of 'torture techniques' used by military interrogators. Agents described seeing things like inmates handcuffed in a fetal position for up to 24 hours, left to defecate on themselves, intimidated by dogs, made to wear women's underwear and subjected to strobe lights and extreme heat and cold."
In the end, what seems to have most outraged the hundreds of FBI agents interviewed for the report is that the interrogation tactics were counterproductive. Evidently the FBI's long history in such matters had led to a protocol that stressed gaining the confidence of witnesses rather than terrorizing them into madness. But an insane prisoner is the one most likely to tell this president of the
The Bush regime has had little success in
The Muqtaba al Sadr faction is the only one that provides a modicum of social services and thus commands the respect of the people. They know the only reason the Americans stayed so long was to seize oil resources.
A few people accuse me of being left wing. I support peaceful negotiations, as a step to prevent war. I oppose torture, racism and murder.
I see little difference on these issues between Republicans and Democrats beyond the usual rhetoric. Both parties back torture, war and murder. Members of both parties have done little to promote our traditional values and have crippled our economy.
A few years ago the FBI gave Mr Bush 432,000 pages of evidence which would put most of our so-called leaders into prison. Mr Bush has blackmailed most of the leadership to follow his dictates. Since his nomination, Mr McCain also has this evidence.