Monday, March 30, 2009

Sneering Arrogant Asshole -

Some Statements Defines One’s Sneering Arrogance - For Instance...

KING: Do you believe the president of the United States has made Americans less safe?

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY:  I do.  He is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack.

While in April of 2006 this was in the news...

In the April 2006 NIE on global terrorism...  The authors simply declared their judgment that invasions and occupations (in 2006 the target then was Iraq) do not make us safer but lead instead to an upsurge in terrorism.

and then there’s (their very own political) General Petraeus, who disagreed with Dick Cheney, the arrogant war-profiteering sneering asshole...

The General said that he “wouldn’t necessarily agree” with former Vice President Cheney’s assertion that President Obama’s terrorism policies were putting the country at greater risk.

See?  Sneering arrogance defined by Cheney’s own words.

But of course he can be arrogant... America allowed him he get away with the war-profiteering, with the go-to-war-on-lies policy for no other reason than profits, the purposeful and profitable destruction of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the creation of “free-speech-zones,” the destruction of the professionalism of the intelligence agencies that knew he was lying, and tried to report it before the war was moved to Iraq, away from those that had attacked us.

And even now, after all that is now publicly known by the majority of American “citizens,” he is still allowed to spew the lies, (with “respect” from all the villagers of the center-right beltway,) in the five corporation controlled MSM of America.

And you still wonder how he can be so arrogant?!?  Seriously?

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A “Below The Fold” Bonus Article... [ Why is it not in “our” MSM? ]

Published on Saturday, March 28, 2009 by the Guardian/UK
Spanish Judge Accuses Six Top Bush Officials of Torture
Legal moves may force Obama's government into starting a new inquiry into abuses at Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib  by Julian Borger and Dale Fuchs

MADRID - Criminal proceedings have begun in Spain against six senior officials in the Bush administration for the use of torture against detainees in Guantánamo Bay.  Baltasar Garzón, the counter-terrorism judge whose prosecution of General Augusto Pinochet led to his arrest in Britain in 1998, has referred the case to the chief prosecutor before deciding whether to proceed.

"The only route of escape the prosecutor might have is to ask whether there is ongoing process in the US against these people," Boyé told the Observer.  “This case will go ahead.  It will be against the law not to go ahead.”

The officials named in the case include the most senior legal minds in the Bush administration.  They are: Alberto Gonzales, a former White House counsel and attorney general; David Addington, former vice-president Dick Cheney's chief of staff; Douglas Feith, who was under-secretary of defence; William Haynes, formerly the Pentagon's general counsel; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, who were both senior justice department legal advisers.

Court documents say that, without their legal advice in a series of internal administration memos, “it would have been impossible to structure a legal framework that supported what happened [in Guantánamo]”.

Boyé predicted that Garzón would issue subpoenas in the next two weeks, summoning the six former officials to present evidence: “If I were them, I would search for a good lawyer.”

If Garzón decided to go further and issued arrest warrants against the six, it would mean they would risk detention and extradition if they travelled outside the US.  It would also present President Barack Obama with a serious dilemma.  He would have either to open proceedings against the accused or tackle an extradition request from Spain.

Obama administration officials have confirmed that they believe torture was committed by American interrogators.  The president has not ruled out a criminal inquiry, but has signalled he is reluctant to do so for political reasons.

“Obviously we’re going to be looking at past practices, and I don’t believe that anybody is above the law,” Obama said in January.  “But my orientation’s going to be to move forward.”

Philippe Sands, whose book Torture Team first made the case against the Bush lawyers and which Boyé said was instrumental in formulating the Spanish case, said yesterday: “What this does is force the Obama administration to come to terms with the fact that torture has happened and to decide, sooner rather than later, whether it is going to criminally investigate.  If it decides not to investigate, then inevitably the Garzón investigation, and no doubt many others, will be given the green light.”

Germany’s federal prosecutor was asked in November 2006 to pursue a case against Donald Rumsfeld, the former defence secretary, Gonzales and other officials for abuses committed in Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.  But the prosecutor declined on the grounds that the issue should be investigated in the US.

Legal observers say the Spanish lawsuit has a better chance of ending in charges.  The high court, on which Garzón sits, has more leeway than the German prosecutor to seek “universal jurisdiction”.

The lawsuit also points to a direct link with Spain, as six Spaniards were held at Guantánamo and are argued to have suffered directly from the Bush administration’s departure from international law.  Unlike the German lawsuit, the Spanish case is aimed at second-tier figures, advisers to Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, with the aim of being less politically explosive.

The lawsuit claimed the six former aides “participated actively and decisively in the creation, approval and execution of a judicial framework that allowed for the deprivation of fundamental rights of a large number of prisoners, the implementation of new interrogation techniques including torture, the legal cover for the treatment of those prisoners, the protection of the people who participated in illegal tortures and, above all, the establishment of impunity for all the government workers, military personnel, doctors and others who participated in the detention centre at Guantánamo”.

“All the accused are members of what they themselves called the ‘war council’,” court documents allege.  “This group met almost weekly either in Gonzales’s or Haynes’s offices.”

In a now notorious legal opinion signed in August 2002, Yoo and Bybee argued that torture occurred only when pain was inflicted “equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death”.

Another key document cited in the Spanish case is a November 2002 “action memo” written by Haynes, in which he recommends that Rumsfeld give “blanket approval” to 15 forms of aggressive interrogation, including stress positions, isolation, hooding, 20-hour interrogations and nudity.  Rumsfeld approved the document.

The 1984 UN Convention against Torture, signed and ratified by the US, requires states to investigate allegations of torture committed on their territory or by their nationals, or extradite them to stand trial elsewhere.

Last week, Britain’s attorney general, Lady Scotland, launched a criminal investigation into MI5 complicity in the torture of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident held in Guantánamo.

The Obama administration has so far avoided taking similar steps.  But the possibility of US prosecutions was brought closer by a report by the Senate armed services committee at the end of last year, which found: “The abuse of detainees in US custody cannot simply be attributed to the actions of ‘a few bad apples’ acting on their own.  The fact is that senior officials in the United States government solicited information on how to use aggressive techniques, redefined the law to create the appearance of their legality, and authorised their use against detainees.”

None of the six former officials could be reached for comment yesterday.  Meanwhile, Vijay Padmanabhan, a former state department lawyer, said the creation of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp was “one of the worst over-reactions of the Bush administration”.

© 2009 © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009

[The title is a direct link to the full article via]

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Most Relevant Articles of the Week

Relevancy Is Subjective, But These Articles Do Hit Home...
by The Old Hippie Because It Can Get A Lot Worse...  In Fact...  It Is Getting Worse.

  -  “Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President”
      Well, the chickens are coming home to roost after eight years of
      Cheney and Bush, but there is no sign that President Obama is
      listening to anyone capable of fresh thinking on Afghanistan.

  -  Sending More Mercenaries to Afghanistan - Sound Familiar?
      As Obama is winds down the war in Iraq, he is building up his own
      war.  Like Bush, he will depend on private military contractors.

  -  Calls for “Complete Rethink” of Drugs in Afghanistan
      It's complicated, you can't eliminate the whole eradication program.
 Your Right

“As long as the greatest crime of the 21st century remains unprosecuted,
we all...  can only blame ourselves, and deserve our collective fates.”

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A“Below The Fold” bonus Article - Related to the 1st sententce in my last posting.

by Joe Conason, 3/16/09 via

The Right’s Twisted Blame Game

As Barack Obama’s economic advisers confront choices that vary from bad to worse in their mission to revive the financial sector and the broader economy, it is worth remembering that those choices were in essence inherited by the president, who is still new to his office.  Listening to his critics, especially on the right, it would be easy to believe that the president is personally responsible for ballooning deficits, gigantic bailouts, ridiculous bonuses, nationalized institutions and careening markets.  It would be easy to believe but it’s entirely false-and merely the latest episode in an old political con game that is all too typical of Washington.

Ever since Election Day 2008, the usual suspects have been hard at work, deflecting responsibility from the Bush administration (and the Republicans in Congress) for the catastrophic effects of conservative policy enacted during the past eight years.  Within days after Obama’s victory, as stock prices fell, radio host and ideological commissar Rush Limbaugh exclaimed that we were already in the “Obama recession.”

In fact, the economy had been shrinking for nearly a year by then, and the market was responding to bad economic news rather than the election result.

But facts are inconvenient for propaganda—especially when politicians and pundits are seeking to escape blame for policies that have failed.

Among the boldest perpetrators of this con game over the past few decades is Limbaugh, who shares with his fellow Republicans a peculiar method of timing the blame for economic woe.  When he was flacking for the first President Bush back in 1992, he wrote: “The worst economic period in the last 50 years was under Jimmy Carter, which led to the 1981-82 recession, a recession more punishing than the current one.”  But of course the president during the 1982 recession was not named Carter; that president was the sainted Ronald Reagan.

In January 1981, Reagan took the oath, and within his first three months had rammed through a budget that contained his historic “supply-side” tax cuts.  Reagan budget director David Stockman had created computer simulations supposedly showing that those tax cuts would result in 5 percent growth in gross domestic product during the following year.  Years later, when simulation failed to materialize as reality, Stockman referred cynically to that prediction as the “rosy scenario”—and admitted that it was essentially a fraud.  Contrary to the rosy scenario, 1982 was the worst year since the Great Depression, with negative growth of 2.2 percent.

According to conservative theory, the mere announcement of massive tax cuts for the rich by a Republican president ought to have stimulated euphoria in the markets and rapid growth.  And according to that same theory, as explicated by Limbaugh, the prospect of a Democratic president with a progressive agenda was what drove the markets down last autumn.

But there is a double standard at work here.  When a Democrat is elected president, he is responsible for economic contraction even if he will not be inaugurated for three months.  When a Republican is actually president, he need not be held responsible, even well after he takes office.

If that strikes you as inconsistent, then you are beginning to notice how blatant deception passes for conservative ideology.  But the deception is even worse than it appears at first glance.

The same Republicans in Congress and on the radio who lionize the late Reagan now complain bitterly about the tax increases on the wealthy in President Obama’s budget.  What they never mention is that their conservative idol, faced with the recession that they blamed on his predecessor, likewise raised taxes during an economic slump.

Terrified by the looming deficits that resulted from the supply-side tax cuts, the Reagan administration rolled back many of the cuts just a year after they had passed—instituting what then amounted to the largest tax increase in American history.  Those tax hikes took back about a third of the cuts legislated in 1981.  But that historic tax increase is never mentioned when Republican legislators invoke Reagan—and they still love to blame Carter for their hero’s recession.

So even as critics roast President Obama and his treasury secretary, honesty requires that they acknowledge that the problems faced by Obama and Timothy Geithner are not of their making.  Obama has held office only since Jan. 20—and if held to the Reagan standard, he deserves at least a year to begin correcting the Bush recession.

Joe Conason writes for The New York Observer.

     © 2009 Creators Syndicate Inc.

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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oh, I Get It Now. . .

Unemployment...  8% During The Great Depression, Higher Now.
by The Old Hippie Because I Thought Seeing Truth Would Help, Obviously Not.

Update:  “7 States See Jobless Rate Top 10 Percent”

Plus the GOP's right-wing loony pundits now want America to revolt against this new administration, because they, the radical left, obviously caused all of America's problems!  They aren't doing this black-is-white propaganda half-hearted either- They are serious - they push it 24/7 on their media to America.  Bush kept us safe, all of the problems resultant from the last eight years of GOP rule were not the rights’ fault at all.  It was all caused by Clinton and this brand new radical leftist socialist administration.

They know most of America’s citizens are in a desperate denial, and that the majority of their “dumbed-downed” still actually listens to them, and that most still believe what their con-artist sycophants in the “Christian Evangelical Industry” spew, that they know are still highly manipulable.

{-The Way Many Picture Me-}

The corporate “elite” that committed the allowed theft here inside the states, (very closely related to the war-profiteering thieves of the last eight years, whom are still receiving monies from the “war on terror,”) all still have their jobs and positions - Yet you keep allowing the government to give them billions, and more billions, and even more billions of “our” taxpayer funds - As they sneeringly laugh all the way to their banks inside their enclaves.  Meanwhile, you continue to allow them the theft, you continue to allow them to spew their propaganda in their MSM, you continue to allow the destruction to get worse, you continue to allow the allowing...  Without justification, without courage, without reason, without protest, without revolt.

When the destruction reaches you, and it will reach you, if it hasn’t already, do you really think they will let you, and yours, into their protected enclaves?

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The following is reprised, because not much has really changed as far as the ongoing denial
of the insane “allowing” of the theft by the-very-few is concerned...

It, the insanity of the “allowing,” is getting worse, much worse.

Go look at all of the MSM’s headlines, at their websites, then compare what you see there with the reality as rationally reported by reality based independent news sites.

If that simple comparison doesn’t open ones closed eyes of denial, nothing will.

To help you remain sane, and not too deeply depressed, you should end your “session of reality” by stopping in at some of the better editorial humorists’ websites - It couldn’t hurt.

That is my main personal method of doing research for this blog - Check in with the right and the right’s insane, then study as much of the reality-based news sites as possible, then check in with the humorists.  I then sleep on it, do it again, and then post what I have learned, observed, or was stunned by, to first, share it, and second, to get it off my chest so that I can remain sane myself.  All the while, trying my best to keep a reality-based perspective in these historically insane times.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009


Ahh...  Reality...  Ain’t It A Bitch?
Because It’s Beginning To Smack Us Around.

Activists Slam World Water Forum as a Corporate-Driven Fraud
The Virtues of Public Anger and the Need for More
Wall Street’s Economic Crimes Against Humanity
Jobless Rate is 11.2% for Iraq, Afghanistan Vets
Pitchforks and Protests:  The Fury Down Below
Despair Over Financial Policy
The Other War on Workers
Take the Money and Run

Quote of the Day via Crooks and Liars

A final point on outrage:  We need to save some of it for ourselves.  While it was Wall Street that got rich by peddling new ways for Americans to live beyond their means, the decision to do so was ours.  It was we who ran up the credit card bills, we who drew down the equity in our homes and we who refused to tax ourselves for the government services we demanded.  Wall Street bankers may have been the pushers, but it was we Americans who became addicted to the easy credit.

Why, it’s not the drug dealers who cause all the problems!  It’s the people buying the drugs!

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A “Below The Fold” Bonus Article...

On the Edge of the Volcano

By Alexander Cockburn via

Since last September Barack Obama has been trying to pull off the tricky shot of backing bailout schemes at taxpayers’ expense for the Wall Street operators who have brought the economy to its knees, while simultaneously presenting himself as a populist crusader battling for economic justice and the regular folks on Main Street.  Right now, for the first time since he was elected president, he’s perilously close to plummeting from this high wire act and ending up publicly derided as Mr Facing-Both-Ways, a toxic label for a man whose moral keynote has always been that he’ll play it straight with the American people.

On the boil these past days has been the travails of American International Group (AIG), a vast insurance company which in the recent go-go years, now merely a fragrant memory, decided to ramp up its business by issuing coverage in the form of various intricate financial instruments to high rollers – Societe Generale, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch – without setting aside solid contingency funds in case all the high rollers – technically known as the counterparties -- turned out to have bet the wrong way, which of course they did.

AIG’s first rescue installment came in September 2008.  Republican Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson successfully promoted a bailout plan, supported by candidate Obama, in which a $150 billion package went to AIG, a substantial tranche of which then went straight to Paulson’s previous employer, Goldman Sachs.  The AIG bailout decision involved Paulson, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Timothy Geithner, former New York Federal Reserve president and currently Secretary of the Treasury.  When AIG recorded an ensuing $61 billon loss in the fourth quarter of 2008, Treasury pumped in another $30 billion.

The rationale for dishing out these colossal sums was that if AIG defaults on its insurance contracts, covering the losses of the “counter parties”, the whole show would go down the tubes.  One internal AIG memo prophesized what it called a “systemic failure,” with losses exceeding a trillion dollars.  Bailout duly followed, with AIG effectively becoming 80 per cent owned by the US government.

Amid the bailout negotiations an obvious hot potato was the issue of bonuses to AIG executives and big-time derivatives traders.  The bonuses were rationalized as being necessary to keep these players tied to the very company they had helped to loot.  All parties to the negotiations – Paulson, Geithner (still at the New York Fed), Obama, senior Democrats and Republicans in Congress – were well aware that public indignation at the $800 billion bailout for AIG and the big banks was at boiling point.  Millions in bonuses to bankrupt gamblers bailed out by Uncle Sam is an impossible sell.

As Obama’s stimulus bill worked its way through the Congress, Oregon senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat, joined with Republican Olympia Snowe of Maine to attach an amendment to the bill capping executive bonuses for companies taking bailout money at $100,000.  This provision sent off alarm bells across Wall Street and inside the Treasury Department and it was mysteriously killed in the conference committee in order to protect the AIG executives.  Wyden jokes, “it didn’t die by osmosis.”

So who killed the ban on AIG bonuses?  This week all the major players swore, hand on heart, they never, ever knew that $165 million in bonuses had been assigned to AIG personnel.  Out in Los Angeles President Obama told Jay Leno as much.  Treasury Secretary Geithner claims he only found out last week.  Senator Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, swore day after day that he too never knew.

The bonuses were not secret.  These so-called “retention payments” for 130 people at AIG were approved two days after the September 16 bailout, disclosed in a September 26 federal filing.  They soon became a focus of extreme interest to politicians like New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo, well aware of the smoldering public mood. On December 15 Bloomberg News quoted Representative Elijah Cummings of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as writing that “Liddy [AIG’s CEO] should testify under oath on why retention payments are going to thousands more people than first disclosed."  Cummings cited an earlier Bloomberg News report disclosing that AIG was scheduled to give as much as a year’s pay to about 10 percent of the staff at units that are being sold.  Recipients were told to keep the awards secret.

On Wednesday Dodd came clean—sort of.  Yes, he had accepted language in the recent stimulus bill which okayed bonuses consequent upon bailout money already released by the US government.  Facing a tight reelection race next year and well aware that this admission would not play well with Connecticut voters, Dodd emphasized that he’d been pressured to okay the language by the Treasury Department, suggesting that Bush-era holdovers from Hank Paulson’s team warned that unless the AIG bonus contracts were protected the entire stimulus package could be vulnerable to a constitutional challenge.  Dodd thus passed the poisoned chalice to Treasury Secretary Geithner, White House economic czar Larry Summers and… Obama.

At first the White House put up Summers to argue that America is a nation of laws, among them the law of contract, as applied to AIG employees.  Only a man who had to resign the presidency of Harvard after claiming that woman are in some ways stupider than men would be capable of such idiocy.  Obama is in the process of asking millions of Americans -- autoworkers, pensioners, veterans to accept annulment of contractual obligations to them by the US government.  Suddenly they’re asked to respect retention contracts to AIG losers, many of whom have quit the company anyway.

The sight of Summers and AIG’s Edward Liddy solemnly invoking sanctity of contracts aroused particularly bitter hilarity in Louisiana.  As Rebecca Mowbray reports in Thursday’s Times Picayune in an excellent piece headlined, “Contract sanctity at AIG, but not Allstate?”:

“Liddy ran Allstate Corp. from when it was spun off from Sears, Roebuck & Co. in 1995 until the end of 2006.  During that time, Allstate perfected the practice of getting tough with policyholders to delay and deny claims, as documented in the book by New Mexico attorney David Berardinelli, From Good Hands to Boxing Gloves: the Dark Side of Insurance.

“While that book dealt mainly with a strategy for tamping down car insurance claim payouts to increase profitability, many believe those same practices could be seen at work en masse after Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, where thousands of policyholders filed suit against the Illinois company…

“Evidence emerged after Hurricane Katrina that Allstate shifted the burden of paying for wind damage covered by its homeowners policies onto taxpayers by overcharging the federal flood program.”

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina Liddy’s Allstate made haste to dump contractually obligated policies the firm had issued to thousands of Louisiana homeowners.

Tossed on the third rail by Dodd, scorched by Republican jeers for hypocrisy and double dealing, the White House rushed into damage control.  Invective against the executives of AIG poured from Obama’s lips, although not so fierce as the suggestion by the Republican senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, that the AIG top brass “follow the Japanese example and resign or go commit suicide.”  After reading their constituent email, taking phone calls and watching the talk shows, on Thursday after about 30 minutes of debate 243 Democrats and 85 Republicans joined in voting "Aye" to a House bill that would impose a 90 percent tax on bonuses given to employees with family incomes above $250,000 at AIG and other companies that have received at least $5 billion in government bailout money.  It would apply to any such bonuses issued since December 31.  It was opposed by six Democrats and 87 Republicans.  The senate is considering a slightly more restrained version.

House leader Nancy Pelosi was no doubt close to bursting from schadenfreude as she mousetrapped the House Republicans on that one.  It’s a measure of just how terrified they are of the popular mood that no less than 85 Republicans voted for an individually targeted, retrospective tax levy on individuals which is probably the largest marginal rate ever imposed and certainly unconstitutional.

Rough though the week has been, there is a silver lining for the White House.  It stems from the very word that has landed Obama and his team in such trouble - “bonus”.  A bonus is something people can relate to.  You hope to get it at Christmas.  It’s a reward for working hard.  You don’t give bonuses to thieves and deadbeats.  Yet at the same time as the uproar over $165 milion in bonuses is in full spate, Obama has approved bailout of AIG to the tune of about $200 billion, much of it passed on to the infamous “counterparties” like Goldman Sachs and foreign banks.

Among those who have pointed this out is former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, who contributed an acrid column to the Slate website.  It’s his first surfacing since he was politically destroyed in a sex scandal, certainly contrived by major Wall Street players, worried that when the roof fell in – as it did – he would be telling his attorney general to issue indictments.  The fact that Spitzer feels secure in entering public life again, lashing the Wall Street gangsters, shows how vulnerable Obama and his administration are to charges that they have no serious plan beyond bailing out the big Wall Street banks, and no intention of asserting control of the assets they substantively own, by formally taking them over.  Obama is dancing on the edge of a volcano.

Alexander Cockburn can be reached at

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Best Article Of The Week?

Some Articles Just State Facts, Some Give Perspective...

Does America Face the Risk of a Fascist Backlash?

by Rick Freeman via

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A “Below The Fold” Bonus Article...

A Government of Men, Not Laws

by David Sirota via

United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard likes to say that Washington policymakers “treat the people who take a shower after work much differently than they treat the people who shower before they go to work.”  In the 21st century Gilded Age, the blue-collar shower-after-work crowd is given the tough, while the white-collar shower-before-work gang gets the love, and never before this week was that doctrine made so clear.

Following news that government-owned American International Group (AIG) devoted $165 million of its $170 billion taxpayer bailout to employee bonuses, the White House insisted nothing could be done to halt the robbery.  On ABC’s Sunday chat show “This Week,” Obama adviser Larry Summers couched his passive-aggressive defense of AIG’s thieves in the saccharine argot of jurisprudence.  “We are a country of law—there are contracts (and) the government cannot just abrogate contracts,” he said.

The rhetoric echoed John Adams’ two-century-old fairy tale about an impartial “government of laws, and not of men.”  Only now, the reassuring platitudes can’t hide the uncomfortable truth.

[The title is a direct link to the full original article.]

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Observing The Obvious...

Activists’ Yelled, “Wake Up!” - But Obviously Not Loud Enough.
by This Old Hippie Because It’s Already Too Late - For Way Too Much Now.

“We Accomplished Everything We Set Out To Do.”  --Dick Cheney

That seems like a lie - Right?  It’s not.

The above linked article is must-read for those that doubt the criminality of the Bush Cheney administration.  Create a war, (Iraq, not those that attacked us,) use it to channel the entire treasury into the hands of the-very-few, strip the nation of it’s laws, to protect their-very-few from all the rest of us citizens, and to also lengthen and enhance the theft itself.  So far, they got away with it all - the money, and the changed laws to protect themselves from us.

It never had anything to do with democracy, or freedom, or revenge, or a “war on terror” at all - - All of “it” was just cover for the theft, and the purposeful construction of the protections of the theft.  I have harped on this theft from the beginning of this blog, as have many others, to no avail, as you allowed it all, even when it became obvious it was nothing but a theft.  A crime - One you have yet to allow yourselves to accept, much less investigate, prosecute. . .  and punish.

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Nothing else at this time - The above linked article - is not trivial.
Like many of today’s articles, the Comments.. are as enlightening as the article itself.

Put... to add salt to the wound...  We now have the-very-few, (e.g. the 73 ‘executives’ at AIG,) continuing the theft here at home, openly, right under your noses, knowing that your “allowing” continues to seem to have no bounds, no breaking point where they’d have to finally face a revolt.

Multiple billions of dollars of “your” taxpayer funds paid to them, without any accounting of where most of those funds went - Here is a little perspective for you...  The $160 million for AIG's bonuses is a tiny fraction of the billions they have already been given, much of which is already “lost” because of the lack of any accountability...  And they are asking for more!

Those $160 million they'll ‘give up’ to help keep you calm, simply to continue the theft, which is being continued as I type these words - They are still being allowed - by you - to carry out the continuation of the theft, even from within this new “opposing party” administration - And still you do not revolt.

Revolting, isn’t it?  (stupid pun fully intended.)

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Umm. . .

Maybe Gandhi Was On To Something...

“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.”

By the reactions of the GOP’s right-wing pundits, we’re at the “fight you” stage now?
Or at least they, the sycophantic propaganda-spewing pundits of the right, are.

 Source = John King's State of the Union program on CNN.

Well - That just about ‘says it all’ about the past eight years, and what Obama’s administration is trying to correct...  Even as the-very-few’s paid collaborative sycophants, the GOP’s “pundits,” that are still allowed to spew their hate-filled propaganda of. . .  “It’s all the liberals’ fault!”

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A “Below The Fold” bonus article...
That exposes the ‘effects’ of the above chart’s facts.

U! S! A! We’re Number .... 15?
by Dalton Conley, The Nation

In the ticker tape of economic bad news, there is perhaps one dire statistic that has not gotten as much attention as it deserves: the American Human Development Index (HDI), released for the first time last year.  The American HDI is especially troubling because it puts all this economic gloom and doom in stark human terms.  And the results are somewhat surprising: in good times as well as bad, in terms of aggregate health, education, purchasing power, security and general well-being, we have been in decline.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009


Ahh...  Reality...  Ain’t It A Bitch?
Because It’s Beginning To Smack Us Around, And, So Far, You Aren’t Hitting Back.


Just one example of your “allowing” the-very-few their theft without protest, without revolt. . .  AIG executives, after being proven to have been a major cause to the economic problems we all now face, after destroying AIG to the point that to save their “too-big-to-fail” corporation...  $170 billion of “our” taxpayer funds “had to be given” to the company to “save it” from failure, as it deserved to...  But you “allowed” it anyway, didn’t you?  So, what’s to happen to the AIG executives that did the theft in the first place?  They’re going to be “allowed,” by you, to receive $165 million in “bonuses!”  And you are just going to “allow” it - again - Without revolt?!?  You truly deserve what is coming...  Oh, by the way, to all of you “revolting allowers” out there, as this is your fault, not theirs...  “Fuck you very much.”

“As long as the greatest crime of the 21st century remains unprosecuted,
we all... can only blame ourselves, and deserve our collective fates.”

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A “Below The Fold” Bonus Article via  [Link to original.]

Published on Friday, March 13, 2009 by
There's Nothing Unique About Jim Cramer
by Glenn Greenwald

Jon Stewart is being widely celebrated today and Jim Cramer/CNBC widely mocked -- both rightfully so -- for Stewart's devastatingly adversarial interview of Cramer (who, just by the way, is a Marty Peretz creation).  If you haven't yet seen the interview, you can and should watch it here; if you watch only one segment, watch the middle one and the beginning of the third.

Stewart focuses on the role Cramer and CNBC played in mindlessly disseminating and uncritically amplifying the false claims from the CEOs and banks which spawned the financial crisis with their blatantly untoward and often illegal practices.  Here's the crux of Stewart's critique of Cramer/CNBC:

STEWART:  This thing was 10 years in the making . . . . The idea that you could have on the guys from Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch and guys that had leveraged 35-1 and then blame mortgage holders, that's insane. . . .

CRAMER:  I always wish that people would come in and swear themselves in before they come on the show.  I had a lot of CEOs lie to me on the show.  It's very painful. I don't have subpoena power. . . .

STEWART:  You knew what the banks were doing and were touting it for months and months.  The entire network was.

CRAMER:  But Dick Fuld, who ran Lehman Brothers, called me in - he called me in when the stock was at 40 -- because I was saying: "look, I thought the stock was wrong, thought it was in the wrong place" - he brings me in and lies to me, lies to me, lies to me.

STEWART [feigning shock]:  The CEO of a company lied to you?

CRAMER:  Shocking.

STEWART:  But isn't that financial reporting?  What do you think is the role of CNBC? . . . .

CRAMER: I didn't think that Bear Stearns would evaporate overnight.  I knew the people who ran it.  I thought they were honest.  That was my mistake.  I really did.  I thought they were honest.  Did I get taken in because I knew them before?  Maybe, to some degree. . . .

It's difficult to have a reporter say:  "I just came from an interview with Hank Paulson and he lied his darn-fool head off."  It's difficult.  I think it challenges the boundaries.

STEWART:  But what is the responsibility of the people who cover Wall Street? . . . .  I'm under the assumption, and maybe this is purely ridiculous, but I'm under the assumption that you don't just take their word at face value.  That you actually then go around and try to figure it out (applause).

That's the heart of the (completely justifiable) attack on Cramer and CNBC by Stewart.  They would continuously put scheming CEOs on their shows, conduct completely uncritical "interviews" and allow them to spout wholesale falsehoods.  And now that they're being called upon to explain why they did this, their excuse is:  Well, we were lied to.  What could we have done?  And the obvious answer, which Stewart repeatedly expressed, is that people who claim to be "reporters" are obligated not only to provide a forum for powerful people to make claims, but also to then investigate those claims and then to inform the public if the claims are true.  That's about as basic as it gets.

Today, everyone -- including media stars everywhere -- is going to take Stewart's side and all join in the easy mockery of Cramer and CNBC, as though what Stewart is saying is so self-evidently true and what Cramer/CNBC did is so self-evidently wrong.  But there's absolutely nothing about Cramer that is unique when it comes to our press corps.  The behavior that Jon Stewart so expertly dissected last night is exactly what our press corps in general does -- and, when compelled to do so, they say so and are proud of it.

At least give credit to Cramer for facing his critics and addressing (and even acknowledging the validity of) the criticisms.  By stark contrast, most of our major media stars simply ignore all criticisms of their corrupt behavior and literally suppress it (even if the criticisms appear as major, lengthy front-page exposés in The New York Times).

Perhaps the most egregious instance of this media cowardice is that there are very few occasions when media stars were willing to address criticisms of their behavior in the run-up to the war.  With very few exceptions, they have systematically ignored the criticisms that have been voiced from many sources about the CNBC-like role they played in the dissemination of pre-Iraq-War and other key Bush falsehoods.  But on those very few occasions when they were forced to address these issues, their responses demonstrate that they said and did exactly what we're all going to spend today mocking and deriding Cramer and CNBC for having done -- and they continue, to this day, to do that.

One of the very few television programs ever to address the media's complicit dissemination of Bush's pre-war falsehoods was Bill Moyers' superb 2007 PBS documentary, Buying the War.  While most of the media propagandists whom Moyers wanted to interview cowardly refused to answer questions, Tim Russert, to his credit, did appear.  Here are the excuses which Russert offered for the general role the media played in spreading Bush administration lies and the specific role Russert played in uncritically amplifying Dick Cheney's assertions about Saddam's nuclear program.  I challenge anyone to identify any differences between what Cramer/CNBC did and the justifying excuses Russert offered:

BILL MOYERS:  Quoting anonymous administration officials, the Times reported that Saddam Hussein had launched a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb using specially designed aluminum tubes.

And there on Meet the Press that same morning was Vice President Cheney:

DICK CHENEY (MEET THE PRESS NBC 9/8/02): ... Tubes.  There's a story in the NEW YORK TIMES this morning, this is-- and I want to attribute this to the TIMES.  I don't want to talk about obviously specific intelligence sources, but--

JONATHAN LANDAY, MC CLATCHYS:  Now, ordinarily information like the aluminum tubes wouldn't appear.  It was top secret intelligence, and the Vice President and the National Security Advisor would not be allowed to talk about this on the Sunday talk shows.  But, it appeared that morning in the NEW YORK TIMES and, therefore, they were able to talk about it.

DICK CHENEY (MEET THE PRESS NBC 9/8/02):  It's now public that, in fact, he has been seeking to acquire and we have been able to intercept to prevent him from acquiring through this particular channel the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge and the centrifuge is required to take low-grade uranium and enhance it into highly-enriched uranium which is what you have to have in order to build a bomb.

BILL MOYERS:  Did you see that performance?


BILL MOYERS:  What did you think?

BOB SIMON:  I thought it was remarkable.


BOB SIMON:  Remarkable.  You leak a story, and then you quote the story.  I mean, that's a remarkable thing to do. . . .

TIM RUSSERT (MEET THE PRESS), TO CHENEY:  What specifically has [Saddam] obtained that you believe will enhance his nuclear development program?

BILL MOYERS:  Was it just a coincidence in your mind that Cheney came on your show and others went on the other Sunday shows, the very morning that that story appeared?

TIM RUSSERT:  I don't know.  The NEW YORK TIMES is a better judge of that than I am.

BILL MOYERS:  No one tipped you that it was going to happen?

TIM RUSSERT:  No, no.  I mean-

BILL MOYERS:  The Cheney office didn't leak to you that there's gonna be a big story?

TIM RUSSERT:  No.  No.  I mean, I don't have the-- This is, you know-- on MEET THE PRESS, people come on and there are no ground rules.  We can ask any question we want.  I did not know about the aluminum tubes story until I read it in the NEW YORK TIMES.

BILL MOYERS:  Critics point to September Eight, 2002 and to your show in particular, as the classic case of how the press and the government became inseparable.  Someone in the Administration plants a dramatic story in the NEW YORK TIMES.  And then the Vice President comes on your show and points to the NEW YORK TIMES.  It's a circular, self-confirming leak.

TIM RUSSERT:  I don't know how Judith Miller and Michael Gordon reported that story, who their sources were.  It was a front-page story of the NEW YORK TIMES.  When Secretary Rice and Vice President Cheney and others came up that Sunday morning on all the Sunday shows, they did exactly that.

My concern was, is that there were concerns expressed by other government officials.  And to this day, I wish my phone had rung, or I had access to them.

BILL MOYERS:  Bob Simon didn't wait for the phone to ring.

BILL MOYERS:  You said a moment ago when we started talking to people who knew about aluminum tubes.  What people-who were you talking to?

BOB SIMON:  We were talking to people - to scientists - to scientists and to researchers, and to people who had been investigating Iraq from the start.

BILL MOYERS:  Would these people have been available to any reporter who called or were they exclusive sources for 60 MINUTES?

BOB SIMON:  No, I think that many of them would have been available to any reporter who called.

BILL MOYERS:  And you just picked up the phone?

BOB SIMON:  Just picked up the phone.

BILL MOYERS:  Talked to them?

BOB SIMON:  Talked to them and then went down with the cameras. . . .

WALTER PINCUS:  More and more, in the media, become, I think, common carriers of Administration statements, and critics of the Administration.  And we've sort of given up being independent on our own.

Compare Russert's self-defense to how and why he uncritically amplified Government lies ("I wish my phone had rung") to Cramer's pretense of victimization over the fact that CEOs lied to him and so there was nothing he could do but assume they were telling the truth ("I don't have subpoena power").  Stewart's primary criticism of Cramer applies with exactly equal force to the excuse offered by Tim "Wish My Phone Had Rung" Russert, who -- to this day -- is held up as the supposed Beacon of Tough Adversarial Journalism in America:

I'm under the assumption that you don't just take their word at face value.  That you actually then go around and try to figure it out.

The point that can't be emphasized enough is that this isn't a matter of past history.  Unlike Cramer -- who at least admitted fault last night and said he was "chastized" -- most establishment journalists won't acknowledge that there was anything wrong with the behavior of the press corps during the Bush years.  The most they'll acknowledge is that it was confined to a couple of bad apples -- The Judy Miller Defense.  But the Cramer-like journalistic behavior during that period that was so widespread and did so much damage is behavior that our press corps, to this day, believes is proper and justified.

The only other occasion when media stars were forced to address these criticisms was when Bush's own Press Secretary, Scott McClellan, wrote a book accusing the American media of being "too deferential" to the administration.  In response, Russert's replacement, David Gregory, twice insisted that the criticisms directed at the press for the role they played in the run-up to the war are baseless and misguided -- most recently in an interview with Stephen Colbert (after defending the media's pre-war behavior, Gregory was promoted by NBC to his Meet the Press position).  When defending the media's behavior, Gregory echoed exactly the defining mentality of Jim Cramer:  pointing out when officials are lying is "not our role," said Gregory.

During that same time period, two of the three network news anchors (with Katie Couric dissenting) defended the media's pre-war behavior as well.  In fact, this is what ABC's Charlie Gibson said -- echoing the Cramer view of journalism -- after Couric argued that the media failed to do its job in scrutinizing pre-war Bush claims:

It was just a drumbeat of support from the administration.  And it is not our job to debate them; it's our job to ask the questions.

Identically, The Washington Post's David Ignatius actually praised the media's failure to object to pre-war Bush lies as a reflection of what Ignatius said is the media's supreme "professionalism":

In a sense, the media were victims of their own professionalism.  Because there was little criticism of the war from prominent Democrats and foreign policy analysts, journalistic rules meant we shouldn't create a debate on our own.  And because major news organizations knew the war was coming, we spent a lot of energy in the last three months before the war preparing to cover it.

It's fine to praise Jon Stewart for the great interview he conducted and to mock and scoff at Jim Carmer and CNBC.  That's absolutely warranted.  But just as was true for Judy Miller (and her still-celebrated cohort, Michael Gordon), Jim Cramer isn't an aberration.  What he did and the excuses he offered are ones that are embraced as gospel to this day by most of our establishment press corps, and to know that this is true, just look at what they do and say about their roles.  But at least Cramer wants to appear to be contrite for the complicit role he played in disseminating incredibly destructive and false claims from the politically powerful.  That stands in stark contrast to David Gregory, Charlie Gibson, Brian Williams, David Ignatius and most of their friends, who continue to be defiantly and pompously proud of the exact same role they play.

* * * * *

I was on The Hugh Hewitt Show last night discussing the Charles Freeman controversy.  That show can be heard here, and the transcript is here.

Glenn Greenwald was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator in New York.  He is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book "How Would a Patriot Act?," a critique of the Bush administration's use of executive power, released in May 2006.  His second book, "A Tragic Legacy", examines the Bush legacy.

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Your Reality. . .

Some Have The Ability To See The Actual Reality - Here Are But A Few...
by The Old Hippie Because It Can Get A Lot Worse...  In Fact...  It Is Getting Worse.

  -  “Turn Left, Take Ten Steps, Discover A Better World”
      ...if you ask any member of these cults any theological question,
      he/she would look very confused and say...  Well, my pastor says...

  -  “Obama Admin Moves To Protect Military Officials”
      The Obama administration is trying to protect top Bush administra-
      tion military officials from lawsuits brought by prisoners who say
      they were tortured while being held at Guantanamo Bay

  -  “America Unprepared For Climate Change...”
      agencies ... delivering the latest science ... are not up to the task,
 Your Right

“As long as the greatest crime of the 21st century remains unprosecuted,
we all...  can only blame ourselves, and deserve our collective fates.”

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A“Below The Fold” bonus Article -

by George Monbiot - Published on Friday, March 13, 2009 by The Guardian/UK

Climate Change?  Try, Climate Breakdown

What’s clear from Copenhagen is that policymakers have fallen behind the scientists: global warming is already catastrophic

The more we know, the grimmer it gets.

Presentations by climate scientists at this week’s conference in Copenhagen show that we might have underplayed the impacts of global warming in three important respects:

  • Partly because the estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) took no account of meltwater from Greenland’s glaciers, the rise in sea levels this century could be twice or three times as great as it forecast, with grave implications for coastal cities, farmland and freshwater reserves.
  • Two degrees of warming in the Arctic (which is heating up much more quickly than the rest of the planet) could trigger a massive bacterial response in the soils there.  As the permafrost melts, bacteria are able to start breaking down organic material that was previously locked up in ice, producing billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane.  This could catalyse one of the world’s most powerful positive feedback loops: warming causing more warming.
  • Four degrees of warming could almost eliminate the Amazon rainforests, with appalling implications for biodiversity and regional weather patterns, and with the result that a massive new pulse of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.  Trees are basically sticks of wet carbon.  As they rot or burn, the carbon oxidises.  This is another way in which climate feedbacks appear to have been underestimated in the last IPCC report.
Apart from the sheer animal panic I felt on reading these reports, two things jumped out at me.  The first is that governments are relying on IPCC assessments that are years out of date even before they are published, as a result of the IPCC’s extremely careful and laborious review and consensus process.  This lends its reports great scientific weight, but it also means that the politicians using them as a guide to the cuts in greenhouse gases required are always well behind the curve.  There is surely a strong case for the IPCC to publish interim reports every year, consisting of a summary of the latest science and its implications for global policy.

The second is that we have to stop calling it climate change.  Using “climate change” to describe events like this, with their devastating implications for global food security, water supplies and human settlements, is like describing a foreign invasion as an unexpected visit, or bombs as unwanted deliveries.  It's a ridiculously neutral term for the biggest potential catastrophe humankind has ever encountered.

I think we should call it “climate breakdown.” Does anyone out there have a better idea?

© 2009 Guardian News and Media Limited

George Monbiot is the author of the best selling books The Age of Consent: a manifesto for a new world order and Captive State: the corporate takeover of Britain.  He writes a weekly column for the Guardian newspaper.  Visit his website at

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Quote Of The Week...

“Seems Like Old Times”
by Jonathan Schwarz via This Modern World

“Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have stated repeatedly that Iran has a nuclear weapons program.  Is that based on the assessment of the U.S. intelligence agencies, or are they, like the Bush administration, just saying whatever the fuck they want?  As Charles Davis explains, the answer is apparently the latter.”

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Another, just as important quote. . .

This time by Amy Goodman.

“President Barack Obama promises health-care reform, but he has taken single-payer health care off the table.  Single-payer is the system that removes private insurance companies from the picture; the government pays all the bills, but health-care delivery remains private.  People still get their choice of what doctor to go to and what hospital to use.  Single-payer reduces the administrative costs and removes the profit that insurance companies add to health-care delivery.  Single-payer solutions, however, get almost no space in the debate.

A study just released by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a media watchdog group, found that in the week before Obama’s health-care summit, of the hundreds of stories that appeared in major newspapers and on the networks, “only five included the views of advocates of single-payer—none of which appeared on television.”  Most opinion columns that mentioned single-payer were written by opponents.

Congress is considering H.R. 676, “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All,” sponsored by John Conyers, D-Mich., with 64 co-sponsors.  Yet even when Rep. Conyers directly asked Obama at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting if he could attend the White House health-care summit, he was not immediately invited.  Nor was any other advocate for single-payer health care.

Conyers had asked to bring Dr. Marcia Angell, the first woman editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious medical journal in the country, and Dr. Quentin Young.  Young is perhaps the most well-known single-payer advocate in America.  He was Martin Luther King Jr.’s doctor when King lived in Chicago.  “My 15-minute house calls would stretch into three hours,” he told me.

But he came to know Barack Obama even better.  Though his medical partner was Obama’s doctor, Young was his neighbor, friend and ally for decades.  “Obama supported single-payer, gave speeches for it,” he said.

This past weekend, hundreds turned out to honor the 85-year-old Young, including the Illinois governor and three members of Congress, but the White House’s response to Conyers’ request that Young be included in the summit?  A resounding no.  Perhaps because Obama personally knows how persuasive and committed Young is.

After much outcry, Conyers was invited. Activist groups like Physicians for a National Health Program ( expressed outrage that no other single-payer advocate was to be among the 120 people at the summit.  Finally, the White House relented and invited Dr. Oliver Fein, president of PNHP.  Two people out of 120.

Locked out of the debate, silenced by the media, single-payer advocates are taking action.  Russell Mokhiber, who writes and edits the Corporate Crime Reporter, has decided that the time has come to directly confront the problem of our broken health-care system.  He’s going to the national meeting of the American Health Insurance Plans and is joining others in burning their health-insurance bills outside in protest.  Mokhiber told me, “The insurance companies have no place in the health care of American people.  How are we going to beat these people?  We have to start the direct confrontation.”  Launching a new organization, Single Payer Action (, Mokhiber and others promise to take the issue to the insurance industry executives, the lobbyists and the members of Congress directly, in Washington, D.C., and their home district offices.

Critical mass is building behind a single-payer system.  From Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz, who told me, “I’ve reluctantly come to the view that it’s the only alternative,” to health-care providers themselves, who witness and endure the system’s failure firsthand.  Geri Jenkins of the newly formed, 150,000-nurses-strong United American Nurses-National Nurses Organizing Committee ( said: “It is the only health-care-reform proposal that can work. ... We are currently pushing to have a genuine, honest policy debate, because we'll win ... the health insurers will collapse under the weight of their own irrelevance.”

Dr. Young has now been invited to a Senate meeting along with the “usual suspects”: health-insurance providers, Big Pharma and health-care-reform advocates.  I asked Young what he thought of the refrain coming from the White House, as well as from the leading senator on the issue, Max Baucus, that “single-payer is off the table.”  “It's repulsive,” sighed Young.  “We are very angry.”  But not discouraged.  I asked him what he thought about Burn Your Health Insurance Bill Day.  “Things are heating up.”  he chuckled.  “When things are happening that you have nothing to do with, you know it’s a movement.”

Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.  Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 700 stations in North America.  She was awarded the 2008 Right Livelihood Award, dubbed the “Alternative Nobel” prize, and received the award in the Swedish Parliament in December.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oh, I Get It Now. . .

Unemployment...  8% During The Great Depression, Higher Now.
by The Old Hippie Because I Thought Seeing Truth Would Help, Obviously Not.

Within the reality of the economic destruction from the “allowed” open criminal theft, not to mention the “allowed” unconscionable war-profiteering, too many Americans still believe their jobs are safe...  Actually believe their lives won’t be destroyed by capitalism’s criminal-greed-hogs’ “allowed” theft of the entire national treasury.  Many other Americans could care less... the worse, the better...  Because it just means they are closer to being “Raptured.”

While in the face of this insanity, this continued allowing, and enhancing, of the theft by “our” elected representatives, and the-very-few...  “Americans” just keep allowing it, without real protest, without rational revolt...  My only conclusion is that many of my nation’s citizens are living a pathological denial.  A very dangerous denial of even their denial.

{-The Way Many Picture Me-}

Denial of the openness of the criminality of the theft by “the-very-few.”  Denial of the purposeful destruction of the Constitution over the past eight years by the criminal corporatists and their war-profiteering sycophants.  Denial of the reality of the level of danger from the manipulation of the purposefully dumb-downed “fundamentalists Evangelicals” for opportunistic political profit by the manipulators, the-very-few, their sycophants, and minions.

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The following is reprised, because not much has really changed as far as the ongoing denial
of the insane “allowing” of the theft by the-very-few is concerned...

It, the insanity of the “allowing,” is getting worse, much worse.

Go look at all of the MSM’s headlines, at their websites, then compare what you see there with the reality as rationally reported by reality based independent news sites.

If that simple comparison doesn’t open ones closed eyes of denial, nothing will.

To help you remain sane, and not too deeply depressed, you should end your “session of reality” by stopping in at some of the better editorial humorists’ websites - It couldn’t hurt.

That is my main personal method of doing research for this blog - Check in with the right and the right’s insane, then study as much of the reality-based news sites as possible, then check in with the humorists.  I then sleep on it, do it again, and then post what I have learned, observed, or was stunned by, to first, share it, and second, to get it off my chest so that I can remain sane myself.  All the while, trying my best to keep a reality-based perspective in these historically insane times.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Best. . .

Single Best “Political” Video Out Right Now.
by Matt Harding, Melissa Nixon, and The World.

Note: Don’t click [HD] !  As it’s already set to YouTube’s highest quality possible. (fmt=22)

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For those who would like to embed this at their sites, here is the correct code...

<object width="560" height="342"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="560" height="342"></embed></object>

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

More Reality Links...

Some Have The Ability To See The Actual Reality - Here Are But A Few...
by The Old Hippie Because So Many Are Still, Insanely, “Allowing”...

  -  Why Single Payer Healthcare Is Being Purposefully Ignored.
      While President Obama said every idea must be considered, the idea of creat-
      ing a single-payer national health insurance program appears to have already
      been rejected.  Marginalized advocates ask why single payer is ignored?

  -  Health Care Is Not A Right. . .  It’s A “Privilege” - ?!?
      Sen. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) called any move towards health reform by the
      Obama administration a move towards “socialism” and “class warfare.”  He
      then [insanely] described health care as a privilege, not a right.

Rage IS Good

“The world has turned against American hegemony before: against the Vietnam war, against the World Trade Organization and against the invasion of Iraq.  On all three occasions, the world was right and Washington was wrong.

On this occasion, the global economy is being devastated by the Wall Street crash.  Hundreds of millions are are hurtling into extreme poverty, export industries are collapsing, currencies being destabilized.

As the conservative French president Nicolas Sarkozy says, “Laissez-faire, ces’t fini.”  (Laissez-faire is finished.)

As nations blame Wall Street and move to protect their people, the protests need not be anti-American nor anti-Obama. Sarkozy cannot be accused of being anti-US. Neither are Iceland nor Ukraine. The global opposition might just may be what we need, an organized populist counterforce to the business and banking lobbies entrenched in Washington.”

“As long as the greatest crime of the 21st century remains unprosecuted,
we all...  can only blame ourselves, and deserve our collective fates.”

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A“Below The Fold” bonus Article -

Why Did So Few Americans Give a Damn?

“The American use of torture has been public knowledge or surmise since very early in President Bush’s war on terror.  Not many Americans seemed to take note or to protest at the time.  There were individuals who protested; the American Civil Liberties Union was on the job, as were Amnesty International and other American nongovernmental organizations and citizens’ groups.  They were mostly ignored.  Questions were asked in Congress, but little ensued.

This was the amazing thing, really.  Very few people among the American public seemed to care—except Fox television executives, who recognize a commercial opportunity when it hits them between the eyes.”

[ Above title is the direct link to the full article. ]

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Videos. . .

I Watch These Occasionally...  To Remain Sane.

[TIP: Start the video, then turn off the "Ads," and do click on the "HQ" option.]

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[Note...  She created this song -before- the Supreme Court selected Bush as president 2000.]

Lots of very interesting videos here...

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