April 2007 - Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, told CNN's John Roberts that President Bush's strategy of increasing troops in Iraq is "a failed policy wrapped in illusion." (Murtha had watched a re-run of Stone's JFK and was impressed by David Ferrie's enigma speech.)
After Thanksgiving trip 2007 - Murtha says surge is working. "I think the surge is working, but that's only one element," said Murtha ... and the surge is working for a couple of different reasons. And one reason is the increase in troops." (Duh, surge = increase.)
Today Nancy Pelosi, with clenched teeth and carefully painted eyebrows, offered no comment on Murtha's comments.
(Privately, Nancy tells Murtha "you're unfuckingbelievable", and Murtha, again using a line from David Ferrie, responded "Really, what part?")
Friday, November 30, 2007
April 2007 - Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, told CNN's John Roberts that President Bush's strategy of increasing troops in Iraq is "a failed policy wrapped in illusion." (Murtha had watched a re-run of Stone's JFK and was impressed by David Ferrie's enigma speech.)
Regarding Hugo, the American "left/progressive" crowd is shamefully clueless. They cherry pick information without regard to the big picture and gush like teenage fans. Take the mantra that Hugo Chavez is a good example of a successful government which cares for its people, that Hugo's leadership is unique; an inspiration. Huh? They tap dance around reality and the high probability of where Venezuela is going.
Thanks to war's windfall oil profits Hugo has been able to direct sufficient funds to the peasantry which keep him in office. In the US it would be known as buying votes. Just as Latin American socialists before him (and better ones), Hugo alienates the middle class and the ruling class. The middle class which does the bulk of white collar/blue collar work and the ruling class investors – somewhat necessary classes in the modern world, unless a revolutionary leader intends to go in like a conquistador and break the necks of the colonial anglo-oligarchy but that's a another method entirely, and the "civilized" world would be horrified for a long time (not briefly pretend aghast as they are with genocide of color.)
I suspect the Anglo ruling class has not been too concerned as they know there's no need to overthrow Chavez – he'll do himself in. The long lines at food marts for basics such as milk, sugar, coffee, eggs, chicken, will eventually end his reign. Similar to the US technique against the Sandinista revolution in the 1980s - minus the Reagan contras. It will be shortages, lack of trade and investment in products outside of oil, bureaucratic corruption, and a populace where all gradually become equally poor as the middle class flee and the ruling class wait it out in Miami.
Hugo spends Venezuela's bounty on social programs for votes with his focus for social change on the social class least capable of sustaining change. José Peasant can now write his name when he gets a free vaccination and government subsidized frijoles, but the unemployment rate touches nearly 20% of the active population and 60% of the population still lives below poverty line" and the inflation remains at above 10%. Hardly conditions American "progressives" could tolerate much less support. And neither will the political middle and upper class Venezuelan. The middle/upper class will revolt and the ruling class, by choice or government interference, cuts off the supply of staples, and the poor are as poor as ever.
Even with free clinics and lead pencils, Hugo's agrarian reform will not lift the rural poor. Land give-away has never broken ruling class power. At worst they take land back, at best they sell it to the government, and buy it back cheaper at a later date, and everyone starts over in the same place.
Progressives may have thought it noble when Chavez confiscated the British century old Vestey family cattle ranch (there goes your BigMac), but it's a half measure, a vote-getter. The Vestey Group says the land is unsuitable for agriculture due to poor soil and heavy Andean rains. Less than a year after the ranch was officially confiscated, with government claims that Vestey couldn't prove legal ownership, Chavez reached a deal with the Vestey Group – agreeing to pay Vestey $4 million for 186,000 acres – and to prohibit illegal squatters. If lucky, the peasants may be able to scratch out survival on land not suitable for agriculture. But, as with Nicaraguans in the '80s, most will be forced back to the cities looking for a better way to survive, especially when government cronies line their pockets with funds earmarked to subsidize the farm seed, fertilizer, etc.
Half measures rule the day. Half measures – better described as "civilized behavior" by the class that rules "it all." Even if the rulers themselves murder and plunder it they convince peons to behave amicably (and stay in place in food lines). Half measures - the sheople taught to play by rules devised by the rulers and producing the same results (unless you're one of the 4-1/2 million clones living in Norway's anglo-socialist utopia.)
And remember, please bring the free nerf baseball bat, which your inspirational government has given you, to the ruling class gunfight, thank you.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:54 AM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Ricky "Abu" Sanchez
November 2007 - Retired Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez says in remarks to be aired Saturday in the Democrats' weekly radio address that Iraqi leaders are not making the tough decisions needed to bring peace to their country.
"The keys to securing the future of Iraq are aggressive regional diplomacy, political reconciliation and economic hope," Sanchez, who led US forces in Iraq between 2003-2004, says in excerpts of his remarks.
Sanchez, who has become a critic of the management of the war by President George W. Bush's administration, expresses support for a 50-billion-dollar war funding bill that calls for most combat troops to return home by the end of 2008.
June 2004 - America's military commander in Iraq ordered British troops to prepare a full-scale ground offensive against Iranian forces that had crossed the border and grabbed disputed territory, a senior officer has disclosed.
The incident began last July when Revolutionary Guards pushed about a kilometre into Iraq to the north and east of Basra in an apparent attempt to reoccupy territory which they claimed belonged to Iran.
Lt Gen Ricardo Sanchez then ordered the British to prepare to send in several thousand troops to attack the Revolutionary Guard positions.
An attack would almost certainly have provoked open conflict with Iran. But the British chose instead to resolve the matter through diplomatic channels.
-----Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-ewe. Smells like a dirty brass in here.
Posted by Kate-A at 5:58 PM
More Boos At Republican YouTube Debate As McCain Re-Writes History.
"McCain accused Paul of what he called the same sort of appeasement that allowed Hitler to take power and WWII to happen, and told him he’d just returned from Iraq and said he had a message for Ron from “the troops” — and the audience let him have it. Paul put it right back in his face by reminding him that he has received more donations from active duty military personnel than any other Republican candidate. Oh, did anyone notice Chuck Norris in the audience? This stuff just writes itself…"
-------Hmmm, I watched this debate and during above segment the audience gave the cheers to McCain for "the message from the troops." The message by the way was "let us win."
Paul's comeback regarding more donations from active duty personnel was so-so ... remember folks, progressives like to point out the military ranks are now flooded with gang members, racists, and criminals waivers. Wake up goofballs; you can't have it both ways – insinuating the troops want/support Ron Paul after having blogged the last 3 years on how the army lowered its standards to enlist thugs. Here, let me make the connection - recruits, thugs, racists, criminals donate to Paul (and want to come home). Or! maybe it was the racists, criminal, thug recruits who told McCain "let us win" ?
Last I heard Chuck Norris backed neither McCain or Paul, but Huckabee. Not sure why Norris was mentioned.
A thumbs up for Paul on his stand on immigration/border control. McCain gets a thumb down for inserting Hitler in the fray (only democrats and/or progressives are allowed to equate Republicans with Hitler).
Posted by Kate-A at 9:43 AM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Bill Clinton Flatly Asserts He Opposed War at Start.
During a campaign swing for his wife, former President Bill Clinton said flatly yesterday that he opposed the war in Iraq “from the beginning” — a statement that is more absolute than his comments before the invasion in March 2003.
Before the invasion, Mr. Clinton did not precisely declare that he opposed the war. A week before military action began, however, he did say that he preferred to give weapons inspections more time and that an invasion was not necessary to topple Saddam Hussein.
"At the same time, he also spoke supportively about the 2002 Senate resolution that authorized military action against Iraq. Advisers to Mr. Clinton said yesterday that he did oppose the war, but that it would have been inappropriate at the time for him, a former president, to oppose — in a direct, full-throated manner — the sitting president’s military decision."
-----Hahahaha, "full-throated" in the same paragraph with Clinton.
"Mr. Clinton has said several times since the war began that he would not have attacked Iraq in the manner that President Bush had done. As early as June 2004, he said, “I would not have done it until after Hans Blix finished the job,” referring to the weapons inspections there before the war."
-----Bill would have "done it" after Hans finished the job. Same war – slightly later start date.
"Mrs. Clinton voted in favor of a Senate resolution authorizing military action against Iraq in 2002. She has said she was misled by Mr. Bush."
-----Well, "girl", you have no business in politics if you're so easily misled by a moron.
Nearly a decade ago, when Bill's Jerry Springer style sexcapades became daily news, I was ready to vote republican in the 2000 election (boy Bush squelched that urge).
It was not that Clinton had a moral lapse, we're all human – it's that he's a certified lifetime lying puss-hound, and for appearances sake, he subsequently sought counseling – for "sexual addiction." Another psychobabble term to excuse egocentric fothermuckers.
Poor Bill, an habitual lifetime addict on a quest for magic mouths and vaginas, a diagnosable inability to form an emotional bond with his partners, an intensely uncontrollable urge searching for breast milk, obsessive compulsive diddler, potential sex offender, cyberporner and phone sexer, smoking wet cigars, wracked by shame and guilt – oh, lordy, Bubba, feel his pain?
(Please please don't give us another episode of Clintons in the White's House.)
Posted by Kate-A at 10:36 AM
Monday, November 26, 2007
BAGHDAD - Iraq's government, seeking protection against foreign threats and internal coups, will offer the U.S. a long-term troop presence in Iraq in return for U.S. security guarantees as part of a strategic partnership, two Iraqi officials said Monday.
In a televised address Monday, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said his government will ask the U.N. to renew the mandate for the multinational force for one final time, with its authorization to end in 2008. He insisted that the U.N. remove all restrictions on Iraqi sovereignty.
U.S. troops and other foreign forces operate in Iraq under a U.N. Security Council mandate, which has been renewed annually since 2003. Iraqi officials have said they want that next renewal — which must be approved by the U.N. Security Council by the end of this year — to be the last.
The two senior Iraqi officials said Iraqi authorities had discussed the broad outlines of the proposal with U.S. military and diplomatic representatives. The Americans appeared generally favorable subject to negotiations on the details, which include preferential treatment for American investments, according to the Iraqi officials involved in the discussions.
Preferential treatment for U.S. investors could provide a huge windfall if Iraq can achieve enough stability to exploit its vast oil resources. Such a deal would also enable the United States to maintain leverage against Iranian expansion at a time of growing fears about Tehran's nuclear aspirations.
"We believe, and Iraqis' national leaders believe, that a long-term relationship with the United States is in our mutual interest," Lute said.
The Iraqi officials said that under the proposed formula, Iraq would get full responsibility for internal security and U.S. troops would relocate to bases outside the cities. Iraqi officials foresee a long-term presence of about 50,000 U.S. troops, down from the current figure of more than 160,000.
On Sunday, Iraq's Shiite vice president hinted at such a formula, saying the government will link discussions on the next extension of the U.N. mandate to an agreement under which Iraq will gain full sovereignty and "full control over all of its resources and issues."
He said the government would announce within days a "declaration of intent" that would not involve military bases but would raise "issues on organizing the presence of the multinational forces and ending their presence on Iraqi soil."
One official said the Iraqis expect objections from Iraq's neighbors. Iran and Syria will object because they oppose a U.S. presence in the region.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia will not like the idea of any reduction in their roles as Washington's most important Arab partners.
-----Hmmmm, I await with clichéd and bated breath for the "opposition's" next move on the grand chess board.
Posted by Kate-A at 4:44 PM
Military training program for teens expands in US.
"Proponents of the junior reserve programs say they provide stability and a sense of purpose for troubled youth and help to instill values such as leadership and responsibility. But opponents say the programs divert critical resources from crumbling public schools and lead to a militarization of US society. "To call these young people child soldiers might be technically inaccurate, but it does reveal the truth of it," said Oscar Castro, a spokesman for the National Youth and Militarism Program, an advocacy group."
-----Bumped into the above story 3 times already this morning. Tsk tsk tsk, militarizing our youth.
But ... look at it this way, for instance - with regard to public schools teaching sexual education to giggling wisecracking children – the proper technique of donning a condom, how to avoid STDs, access to contraception, etc. - proponents have assured us diverting critical resources to sex ed in our crumbling public schools does not increase sexual activity in youngsters – therefore, donning a uniform, handling a weapon, and responding with 'yes sir, yes mam' should not contribute to an increased militarization of society.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:49 AM
Friday, November 23, 2007
'Gagged' FBI Whistleblower, Risking Jail, Says American Media Have Refused Her Offer to Disclose Classified Information, Including Criminal Allegations, Information Concerning 'Security of Americans'
The BRAD BLOG spoke recently with the legendary 1970's-era whistleblower [Ellsberg] in the wake of our recent exclusive, detailing Edmonds's announcement that she was prepared to risk prosecution to expose the entirety of the still-classified information that the Bush Administration has "gagged" her from revealing for the past five years under claims of the arcane "State Secrets Privilege."
"I have been receiving calls from the mainstream media all day," Edmonds recounted the day after we ran the story announcing that she was prepared to violate her gag-order to disclose all of the national security-related criminal allegations she has been kept from disclosing for the past five years.
"The media called from Japan and France and Belgium and Germany and Canada and from all over the world," she told The BRAD BLOG.
"But not from here?" we asked incredulously.
"I am confident that there is conversation inside the Government as to 'How do we deal with Sibel?'" contends Ellsberg. "The first line of defense is to ensure that she doesn't get into the media. I think any outlet that thought of using her materials would go to to the government and they would be told 'don't touch this, it's communications intelligence."
-----Good grief people! The woman worked a full 9 months with the FBI – how much classified information could she possibly have obtained during her training period? Lady, if ya had something to say – you would say it to Japan, France, Belgium, Germany, Canada and other places "all over the world."
And, um lemme see – "they" can murder Kennedys, MLK, assassinate and/or overthrow foreign leaders, experiment with mind control on American citizens, use Monica to set up Clinton, can steal elections, wellstoned Paul Wellstone, pulled off 9-11 attacks, can set up and engage in large scale preemptive wars, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc., and yet – as God is my witness – for 5 years "they" have scratched their heads and asked "how do we deal with Sibel?"
Can the sheople get any dumber? (Rhetorical question.)
(And learn some grammar rules BradBlog; possessive Edmonds is Edmonds' not Edmonds's.)
Posted by Kate-A at 4:20 PM
On the browse and searching for information I came upon this 2005 article, from WSWS (World Socialist Web Site), on military base restructuring in the US.
WSWS analyzes the restructuring of military bases on US soil as "preparations of the US ruling elite ... for military intervention within the United States itself, against future domestic social and political unrest." Red state versus blue state thing, and states that the "decision to redeploy American military forces in such a way as to give a heavy preponderance to the South and Southwest has the most ominous implications." The Civil War sort of thing.
For all the wordiness of this WS article the author completely misses the truly obvious ominous, which has nothing to do with the US restructuring of bases on soil in the south and southwest, as that is nothing more than good business sense as the cost of living and labor are cheaper, particularly in the south.
What WS overlooked is the "realignment" of military jobs. In the past decade the DOD has phased out many MOS (military occupational specialties, see WaPo below) , and continues to do so, with more and more jobs previously performed by a self-sustained military now going to civilians.
Everything from laundry, cooks, food inspectors, to security guards at the base gates are now likely to be civilians, and more MOS phase outs coming. A "leaner military" yet with more boots available for the "all war all the time" future - with civilian support personnel.
Best part of it is, for the ruling class – more civilians more dependent on jobs from the government/military - paychecks signed by y-o-u. Will these working folks bite the hand that feeds them? The more dependent you are on Big Daddy government – the more you'll have to support and love Big Daddy. Think of it as selling your muscle and blood to the Big DaddyCo and you owe your soul to the company store.
(The WaPo did raise concern about civilian/military job realignment in 2002 so ya can't say you weren't warned. "... support functions such as accounting, legal counsel, maintenance and communications.")
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong. Another day older and deeper in debt ...
Posted by Kate-A at 12:17 PM
One child dies every five minutes because of the war, and many more are left with severe injuries. Of the estimated 4mn Iraqis who have been displaced in Iraq or left the country, 1.5mn are children. They don't have access to basic health care, education, shelter or water and sanitation. "Sick or injured children, are left to die in the hundreds because they don't have access to basic medicines or other resources. [They have] lost hands, feet and limb [and] are left without prostheses. "This is the assessment of 100 British and Iraqi doctors.
(At 1 child every 5 minutes equals 288 per day x 4-1/2 years of war equals 472,320 children. BushCo has almost caught up to SlickWillieCo in Iraq in number of child murders.)
Meanwhile, global Black genocide continues as phony progressive Anglos are extremely distracted with using Iraqi children as cannon fodder in the 2008 election.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:21 AM
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Or, is it another silly sound byte to frighten the skittish sheople?
"Tom Wallin of the publishing company, Energy Intelligence, says the long-term oil contracts Iran sells for euros and yen are actually pegged to the dollar. That's because all oil sold on short-term spot markets is still priced in dollars, and those markets influence how Iran and other countries set long-term prices.
WALLIN: They could insist that they get paid in euros or in yen or some other currency, but they're always going to be in a dollar starting point. It's more symbolic, I think than, you know, having much real commercial or financial impact. Wallin says Iran's leaders want to show local audiences they're standing up to the U.S. Still, given the greenback's falling value, Martin Baily at the Brookings Institution expects oil exporters, like Russia or Mexico, to start using other currencies." (Remember though, stink tanks have their own agendas.)
Clownish Chavez "... predicted that the US empire will collapse just like its currency has. "God willing, with the fall of the dollar, the deviant US imperialism will fall as soon as possible too," Chavez said after a two-hour closed meeting with his Iranian counterpart on Monday, according to Iran's IRNA news agency."
(Remember folks, IRNA and aljazeera are as trustworthy, fair and balanced, trusted names in news, like our own NYT, Wapo, CNN, Fox, etc.)
Surely Chavez and Ahmadinejad are not stupid – or maybe they are, and are reading a talk-tough-to-empire script, as the remainder of OPEC nations are not abandoning the dollar. Surely this Cha and Ahmad act know the global economy will collapse if the US$ collapses. "The US empire is coming down," Chavez told Venezuelan TV, saying the euro was a better option and that Latin American nations were also considering a common currency."
Latin American leftists over the years have always considered uniting, a Latin Union, a common currency – similar to the euro, but, largely due to US and European meddling and plundering, Latin American nations never seem to unite long enough to bring it about. Global investment in Latin America, whether from Asia or Europe, is still tied to the US dollar. Notice the spanking China has taken recently with contaminated toys – American buyers reminding the Chinese Politburo that the US consumer, for the moment, is still Beijing's lifeline to development. I might fear for the health of the US dollar when millions of Hispanics working in the US begin remitting that $45 billion a year home in euro and yen or yaun instead of greenbacks.
The standard of living is being lowered for Americans with a real squeeze on the middle - but hellfire that began in earnest under Ronnie Reagan.
Dominoes. If the dollar collapses at this point, less oil demand, oil price drop, investments dwindle, consumers purchase less, India and China and Hugo and Ahmadinejad and Russia and the EU lose as much or more than the US - as the global economy is still pegged to the US dollar. But possible change is in the air. Iran's largest trade partner is the EU. And, the EU recently replaced the US as China's largest trade partner.
Some folks might ask if the European Union (pretty much all Anglo, all 27 countries of 'em) is out to become the next and sole super power, lowering the living standards of any global middle class left standing, and introducing that globodollar to the peonage.
At any rate, here's hoping Hugo, that after the Empire of the US comes down it will not be replaced with an EU, Latin, Asian, or Chinese Empire – but with one big happy world family where all leaders of humanity are created without greed, none needing an enemy to justify coveting their neighbors' goods, humble men and women wise beyond measure. Superleaders come to save the little people. (Hasn't this been done before?)
Posted by Kate-A at 3:03 PM
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Attacks against British and Iraqi forces have plunged by 90 percent in southern Iraq since London withdrew its troops from the main city of Basra, the commander of British forces there said Thursday.
Britain's 5,000 troops moved out of a former Saddam Hussein palace at Basra's heart in early September, setting up a garrison at an airport on the city's edge. Since that pullback, there's been a "remarkable and dramatic drop in attacks," Binns said.
Basra militants targeting women. Forty-two women were killed between July and September this year, although the number dropped slightly in October, he said.
In one case, he added, a woman was killed in her home along with her six-year-old son, who was rumoured to have been conceived in an adulterous relationship. A female lawyer in Basra contacted by the BBC by phone from London, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said attacks on women in the city were occurring "every two or three days". She told the BBC about a university student who had been shot in the legs for not wearing an Islamic headscarf, or hijab.
The violence has escalated since British soldiers moved out of the city to a nearby air base last month. The city's police chief said this month that Islamic extremists were attacking women.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:26 PM
John Murtha: Today marks the two year anniversary of my public call for the redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq.
This week the House of Representatives passed legislation that provides the President, our troops, and our nation with a responsible plan for bringing our troops home.
It requires the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq to begin within 30 days, with a target for completion of December 15, 2008. It ensures that our troops are fully trained and equipped before they are sent to Iraq. It extends the Army Field Manual to all personnel, making torture not only unacceptable but also unlawful. And it transitions our forces from a combat roll to specifically supporting and training Iraqi Security Forces and counter-terrorism operations.
Unfortunately Senate Republicans today chose to stand by the President instead of the American people's call for a new direction.
-----Re-de-ployed to where John?
Kuwait, Saudi, Turkey, Bahrain, Libya, Israel, Kazakastan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Sudan, Egypt, Somalia, all of the above? You did say 2 years ago troops should be re-deployed in the region to "create a quick reaction force in the region, to create an over-the-horizon presence of Marines," while we pursue diplomacy of course, somewhere over the horizon.
The people's call for a "new direction" - is that the name of a campaign bus tour or some sort of 12 step program? "Over-the-horizon", did you mean rainbow?
I'm just unclear on the details, the specifics of "redeployment." And, could you explain to my simple mind how a smaller presence, only for supporting and training the ISF will make US troops less of a target? Also tell me exactly what is included in "counter-terrorism operations." Is that where the troops are hunting down and smoking out al-queda in Iraq?
You know John, training ISF and a counter-terrorism role sounds pretty much to me like what US troops have been doing and are doing now. And ya think it can be done more safely with fewer boots on the ground in Iraq?
One last question John, if BushCo "ends the war" or re-deploys the troops before election 2008 – do ya think a republican will take the White House?
Posted by Kate-A at 3:58 PM
Can anything slow the dollar's fall? When the euro was launched, the US dollar-euro ($:e) exchange rate stood at $1.16/e1. At that price, the dollar was undervalued by roughly 10% relative to its purchasing power parity (PPP). Initially, the dollar’s price rose, but since 2002, it has, for the most part, fallen steadily. Every day seems to bring a new low against the euro.
Forex - US dollar falls vs euro after robust EU growth figures. HONG KONG (Thomson Financial) - The US dollar continued to weaken against the euro in afternoon Asian trade Thursday on expectations of stable euro zone interest rates following robust third-quarter economic growth.
Dollar falls but market cautious on risk. NEW YORK, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The dollar fell modestly against most currencies on Tuesday, resuming a long-term decline after a brief respite on Monday as investors anticipated further signs of housing weakness and sluggish consumer spending that could hurt U.S. growth.
When dollar falls, European exporters count their bruises. The euro's rise and dollar's slide are squeezing European exporters' profits or multiplying their losses, prompting layoffs and plant closings. Companies are not only curbing production of goods headed to U.S. buyers but also rethinking the way they do business.
Weak Dollar, Weak Airbus Profits. From costly production snafus to cross-border political tensions, Louis Gallois has had his hands full since being named chief executive of Airbus' parent European Aerospace Defence & Space in July. But now another problem—the relentless fall of the dollar—threatens to eclipse even those troubles. "The main threat we have before us is the U.S. dollar," Gallois told BusinessWeek in an interview on Nov. 16. The dollar's relative weakness against the euro is sapping EADS' financial health, he said, because nearly all its manufacturing is in the euro zone, while 60% of sales are outside of that area, he said. "When the euro rises 10 cents [against the dollar], we lose 1 billion euros" in operating profit. At the same time, Gallois is redoubling efforts to expand EADS operations outside Europe, especially in the rich U.S. defense sector. The company has already teamed up with Northrop Grumman (NOC) to bid on a multibillion-dollar U.S. Air Force refueling tanker contract that could be decided early next year. If EADS wins, the tankers are likely to be built and outfitted in U.S. factories—which means costs would be in dollars rather than euros (BusinessWeek.com, 4/9/07).
In Venezuela, Dollars Still Reign. Chávez sneers at the 18-year-old Scotch whisky and brand new Hummers favored by his cronies', the so called "Bolivarian Bourgeosie", while at the same time he springs for four billion dollars of Russian jet fighters, combat helicopters and Kalashnikov assault rifles. Meanwhile, at "Mercal", the popular supermarket network where scarce basic goods are supposed to be subsidized by oil revenues, a Cuba-like rationing card system is at work. Venezuela has the highest inflation rate in the Americas (20%) and is set to redenominate its currency in January 2008. Given those circumstances, the dollar has become the most sought-after commodity in Venezuela. Last night I walked down to my neighborhood supermarket for a bottle of relatively inexpensive Chilean red wine. As I approached, I ran into an upset and disappointed neighbor of mine. She usually knows when basic goods are about to arrive, so I asked her if she had found milk at the supermarket. "It's all gone now, again,” she said with a grimace, "but I still have some dollars to sell. Interested?" Most of Venezuela’s high-ranking corrupt officials would have declined her bid. They always ask for their payoffs in Euros.
-------Oh my, what does it all mean? The Yves St. Laurent little black cocktail dress may cost more. Airbus will bring manufacturing jobs to USA if the US gives them a contract. And no matter where you go in Latin America the greenback still rules.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:44 AM
Friday, November 16, 2007
I've been thinking of family, friends, neighbors from my youth who served in WWII and Korea. At gatherings these veterans never told the horrors of war, not around women and children, but as a teen I developed the art of eavesdropping on the group of males who would sometimes sit together on the sidelines to share their war experiences with one another.
The stories were sometimes funny, sometimes just general interest, but often horrendous. Stories still vivid to me, some so dreadful I seldom repeat them. These men were not clueless – I heard the same phrases then as today: Rich man's war is the poor man's fight; the rich get richer; white man's war ...
One of my uncles survived the Bataan Death march and a Japanese prison camp, another survived a German POW camp with a head wound and lived a good life to the age of 78 with a metal plate in his head courtesy of Nazi doctors. One returned from a Korean POW camp without legs but equipped a small hand controlled car from which he made and sold snowcones 7 days a week 365 days a year, and supported his family well. All were wounded physically and mentally. Some lost limbs, some came home in coffins that could not be opened. All had to overcome PTSD, or shell-shock.
They all went on to become successful, some affluent, productive family men and contributing members of the community. Comparing this era of veterans to the vets of Vietnam and Iraq, who seem to have a much harder time adjusting after war and military life – what factors are different?
One factor I can think of is the WWII era vet returned to a proud and grateful nation, genuine gratitude; not the politically correct "support the troops" lip service paid today. The society of the 1940s and 1950s did not look upon the returning vets as oafish, marauding, plundering, genocidal killers murdering for the rich man's racket in an illegal war. WWII/Korea era vets were not ashamed of service to ruling class hegemony (or empire, the reason all wars are fought).
A WWII/Korean vet was proud to say he/she served because he received instant respect; more likely today's Vietnam/Middle East vet is proud to say he served because he receives sympathy. Respect can boost self-esteem for sacrifices made; sympathy can be borderline contemptuous pity for having serviced the empire.
Nor were WWII/Korean era vets given the luxury of claiming mental disability due to war; they were not allowed to blame personality disorders, alcohol/drug addiction on "war." There were no life-long government checks for shell shock. There were no social expectations of being psychologically screwed-up, anti-social, suicidal, homicidal, dysfunctional. Personal and economic failure was personal and economic failure for a WWII vet – a man's success or failure was not connected to government funding. Half of society today fosters the idea that a returning veteran is guaranteed a happy, successful life for wearing a uniform and failure to achieve such a life is through no fault of the vet, but the fault of an "unpopular illegal war" and the corrupt administration he fought under – as if war and corruption are new phenomena in the American political theater.
WWII vets were not coddled by a culture eager to blame socio-political problems on war and the puppet PresCo who initiated the war – WWII era vets were buoyed by family, neighbors, and community. They were expected to suck it up and keep on keeping on – and most did. Many took advantage of that era's GI bill to become educated, to own homes, to birth a civil rights movement and political awareness and activism. (An advantage succeeding generations willingly and easily exchanged for dope, dumbness, and never-ending pointless entertainment.)
The ruling class today has a propaganda machine which makes WWII era propaganda very, very quaint. The ruling class today could, if they wanted, have the sheople as supportive of the Middle East grab as any previous war. Why hasn't this happened? Who benefits? Don't kid yourself that the Internet has made a difference – the net is just another propaganda tool to be used against you. Don't tell yourself the public is smarter – it's not, the majority is dumber than ever and will believe anything.
The question today is – why does America's ruling class enter wars they have no intention of "winning" and then use the conflict to further divide the country and heighten the hostility in a culture which already lacks social cohesion?
WWII was the last war where the ruling class shared part of their obscene profit with the sheople. So many lives around the world were/are sacrificed to further Anglo powers, to expand America's black and white middle class, and to prop up the "American way of life" (manipulated global market capital). Now, with the manufactured excuse of "unpopular" and "illegal" wars the ruling class has no obligation to share the bounty with those who secured the plunder for them. The sheople have been maneuvered to void the tacit social contract between ruler and ruled, warlords and vassal, middle class and ruling class.
The time to end today's Middle East wars was before they began. Now that the US is there, the public should demand an honest and honorable end. Not the coming "game over" troop draw down, leaving sufficient troops and mercs for security purposes, while the favorite faction heroes from both sides tell their teams the war has ended, yet you continue to pay for protection of the embassy and oil fields, billed as "reconstruction" or "compensation."
When did the ruling class decide it more profitable to lose wars? Personally, I think it happened sometime between the last two world wars, when the US ruling class was joined and/or replaced by a global ruling class that has little use for sovereign States and even less use for national unity. Intentionally dumbed and divided. Slowly and surely divided by race, class, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, age, and personal mores and values.
A society so dumbed it believes losing is winning. A society so dumb it believes the rest of the world is honest and only the USA lies. A society so dumb it will praise foreign leaders for acts they would condemn if done by American leaders. A society so dumb it puts faith in the idea that foreign powers have no dream of empire. A society so dumb it believes elections are rigged yet still gets out to rock the vote. A culture so dumb it can repeat mangled media info about everything and have knowledge of nothing. Where are "they" herding dumb people?
They herd us around in circles, toward that one world villa, sound-proofed from the noise of howling peons; "they" watch the masses argue eternally over scraps and debate meaningless staged talking points. Their game is never over, and they know dumb people never win.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:50 PM
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
US war costs report 'incorrect'.
Republican lawmakers have demanded that Democrats retract a report which says the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are costing double what was thought.
Senator Sam Brownback and Congressman Jim Saxton said the study had "many factual errors" and should not stand.
It said "hidden costs" had pushed the total to about $1.5 trillion - nearly twice the requested $804bn (£402bn).
Higher oil prices, the cost of care for wounded veterans and the economic cost of pulling reservists from their jobs were taken into account in reaching the new total, the report said.
Some analysts questioned some of the figures, saying they were speculative.
Mr Brownback and Mr Saxton said that "at least 24 multibillion dollar mistakes" had been amended on the web version of the report by Wednesday.
The Democratic authors of the War at Any Price? report calculate that between 2002 and 2008 the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan will have cost the average US family of four about $20,900.
It cites costs such as interest payments on money borrowed from abroad to pay for the wars, lost investment in US businesses, and the cost of oil market disruptions.
Its authors estimate that both wars could cost a total of $3.5 trillion over the next decade.
------ What? You mean to tell me that democrats/progressives spin and twist and speculate like BushCo does?
Posted by Kate-A at 5:52 PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Lawmaker Calls Black Activist "Buckwheat"
A white state lawmaker in a runoff election called a black civil-rights veteran who had helped her campaign "Buckwheat," angering the NAACP, which urged voters to kick her out of office.
Rep. Carla Blanchard Dartez, a Democrat, acknowledged that she ended a Thursday night conversation with Hazel Boykin by saying, "Talk to you later, Buckwheat." Dartez had been thanking Boykin for driving voters to the polls.
Buckwheat, a black child character in the "Little Rascals" comedies of the 1930s and '40s, is viewed as a racial stereotype.
Boykin, 75, helped desegregate restaurants and the parish school system in the 1960s. Her son, Jerome, is president of the Terrebonne Parish chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
"I've never had no one talk to me that way, and I considered it a racial slur," Hazel Boykin said. "I know the meaning of it; it's just like the N-word."
On Monday, Jerome Boykin held a news conference asking voters to cast ballots against Dartez, who faces Republican Joe Harrison in Saturday's runoff.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:10 AM
Monday, November 12, 2007
Royal insult echoes persecution of Christ, says Venezuelan leader.
Hugo Chávez is not shutting up. Venezuela's president stepped up his verbal counter-attack against the Spanish king yesterday by comparing his wounded pride to the suffering of Jesus Christ and Latin America's colonial oppression.
Three days after Juan Carlos urged Chávez to "shut up" at a summit it was the latter doing all the talking while the king retreated into silence. The "explosion" of royal disdain betrayed an enduring colonial superiority complex, the president said upon his return to Caracas. It echoed not only 500 years of imperial power and abuse, but also the persecution of Christ.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:21 PM
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Lawmaker: Recruiting criminals unwise.
Congress has passed legislation to increase the size of the Army and Marine Corps, but the military may have trouble filling those newly created ranks, said Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif.
To fill their ranks, the services have begun accepting recruits with criminal records, she said.
“I’m all for rehab and giving people a second chance, but that’s not why we’re doing this. This is about the fact that we need people with pulses that are willing to come into the military,” Tauscher said.
“We’re going to be spending money every day trying to get you to be all that you can be, but you’re not going to be that.” Lowering admission standards to the services may not be “a wise investment for the American people,” Tauscher said.
------- Spin spin. I find Tauscher's comments regarding criminal recruits true hypocrisy – afterall, none are more criminal than US members of congress.
Army waivers for "criminals" include offenses ranging in seriousness from misdemeanors such as vandalism to felonies such as burglary and aggravated assault (such as the Jena 6?).
Such offenses are usually referred to by politicians as youthful indiscretions when it is themselves or their own felonious trust fund babies.
All US wars have been fought with "criminal" boys/men until recent years when the military could afford to be selective. Ask any veteran from US wars between 1915-1975 and they will tell you a pulse was all ya needed to be accepted by the military.
Since Vietnam, progressive pols vote for wars then have a change of heart. Progressives such as Tauscher, who in 2002 had "wanted the Iraq war resolution delayed until after the November elections, dropped those efforts ... saying, "Unfortunately, this has moved way beyond our ability to put the brakes on it."
Five years later, with much blood and treasury spent, Tauscher, as so many progressive pols, has finally located the brakes (next to a bulging portfolio on the seat of their limo).
To date, the Army has reached its 2007 recruitment goals, which supports what I've been seeing and hearing. Troops are re-upping and troops are volunteering for multiple tours for the combat pay. It is what progressives call the "poverty draft," you know those folks so materially poor and without social resources - they have no choice but to enlist in the military – but in other speeches they will describe them as the best and the brightest (although apparently not bright enough to find economic solutions other than the military).
It's all propaganda for the future when funding for veteran programs are cut, when the short-attention span sheople will be unsympathetic to that homeless vet on the corner - he may be a recruited criminal, sent to rape and murder in an illegal war, all because he couldn't figure out another way to pay for college and/or job skills.
Tauscher does make one statement that rings true - "We’re going to be spending money every day trying to get you to be all that you can be, but you’re not going to be that." While that doesn't describe the troops, it certainly describes the taxpayers funding a government that is never going to be what they need it to be.
(FYI – ArmyTimes is a Gannett-owned company that publishes Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times. They are not affiliated with the U.S. military.)
Posted by Kate-A at 12:07 PM
Thursday, November 08, 2007
The Brazilian government says huge new oil reserves discovered off its coast could turn the country into one of the biggest oil producers in the world.
The state-controlled company says the results show high productivity for gas and light oil - the best quality oil - which is more valuable and cheaper to refine.
Petrobras says the find has the potential to move Brazil into a position where it is one of the top ten oil reserves in the world.
The news, which led to a sharp rise in company shares, was also given an enthusiastic welcome by the government.
The senior minister in charge of the cabinet, Dilma Rousseff, said if the deposits turned out to be as significant as first thought, it would place Brazil in the same league as Venezuela and countries in the Arab world.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:29 PM
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Regarding H.R. 1955 being a "thought crime" bill.
From my favorite fakers-on-the-left (DK): Democrats from CA want "thought crimes" and transgressive behavior to be declared terrorism. On 10/23/04 HR 1955 passed in the house by a 2/3rds majority. I thought this was a joke. Apparently not... "
Commenter on Huffingtonpost "... Considering how much the government has done to destroy the Constitution they could even define Ron Paul supporters as promoting an extremist belief system. Literally, the government according to this definition can define whatever they want as an extremist belief system. Essentially they have defined violent radicalization as thought crime."
From TalkLeft: "This is a thought-crimes bill, aimed at preventing domestic terrorism by judging the thoughts, including those expressed on the Internet, of American citizens."
------- I understood H.R. 1955 to say adopting, promoting, or threatening the use or planned use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote a violent religious, political, or social ideology could get ya in a heap of trouble Bubba. But hellfire, violence, planned violence, or threat of violence always brought trouble if you're caught using, planning, threatening, or adopting violence.
Would the folks above please rush me the version they read as I didn't get the same bullshit with my version of the bill.
The bill will establish a 'Commission' of 10 lucky paid individuals who will :
1. Examine and report upon the facts and causes of violent radicalization, homegrown terrorism, and ideologically based violence in the United States.
2. The Commission may, to such extent and in such amounts as are provided in appropriation Acts, enter into contracts to enable the Commission to discharge its duties under this section (money money money).
3. The Chair of the Commission may appoint and fix the compensation of a staff director and such other personnel as may be necessary to enable the Commission to carry out its functions.
4. The Commission can hire a staff.
5. The Commission and staff have travel expenses paid.
6. Their annuity is covered.
So calm down Bubba, of course your group, the Carpal Tunnel Zealots of Keyboarding Patriots in Wristbraces, will still have the right to piss, moan, whine, and scare folks by stretching the truth from here to the Potomac - but if you plan on robbing a Brink's truck to buy weapons for the patriots and attempt to overthrow the government – well, ya might not wanna discuss that too openly anywhere anyway.
Posted by Kate-A at 3:45 PM
Duane "Dog" Chapman: I don't care if she's a Mexican, a whore or whatever. It's not because she's black, it's because we use the word nigger sometimes here. I'm not gonna take a chance ever in life of losing everything I've worked for for 30 years because some fucking nigger heard us say nigger and turned us in to the Enquirer magazine. Our career is over! I'm not taking that chance at all! Never in life! Never! Never! If Lyssa [Dog's daughter] was dating a nigger, we would all say 'fuck you!' And you know that. If Lyssa brought a black guy home ya da da... it's not that they're black, it's none of that. It's that we use the word nigger. We don't mean you fucking scum nigger without a soul. We don't mean that shit. But America would think we mean that. And we're not taking a chance on losing everything we got over a racial slur because our son goes with a girl like that. I can't do that Tucker. You can't expect Gary, Bonnie, Cecily, all them young kids to [garbled] because 'I'm in love for 7 months' - fuck that! So, I'll help you get another job but you can not work here unless you break up with her and she's out of your life. I can't handle that shit. I got 'em in the parking lot trying to record us. I got that girl saying she's gonna wear a recorder...
Obviously Dog has earned the loyalty he deserves from his son Tucker Chapman. As I said a year ago of Dog & Wife "A thug married to a skank who chase other thugs and skanks for money."
Chapman also claimed that the statements were taken out of context and that he was "disappointed in his son's choice of a friend, not due to her race, but her character."
Of course Chapman's own character is oakey dokey – he just used inappropriate language (n-word 6 times in the first 45 seconds of this released tape). A&E, the Dog's network, says "We hope that Mr. Chapman continues the healing process that he has begun."
Aside from the healing process being nothing more than psychobabbleshit, Mister Dog doesn't need healing – he needs a big dose of real reality, back in that trailer in the Rockie Mountains, minus his dog Beth who will divorce him when the money runs out, and where he can watch hours of taped Dog the Bounty Hunter episodes with other sociopathic white men drinking hard liquor and using the n-word at least 6 times every 45 seconds. But, there's the slim chance Dog will sneak in the back door and back to TV once he's all "healed up" from these self-inflicted wounds. They can give him neuticles.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:19 PM
Naomi Wolf, "progressive advocate," maudlin writer , and liberal inspiration, especially to homely white women.
Former anorexic Wolf began her author/feminist career with The Beauty Myth published in 1991. The Myth slammed the beauty industry, image consultants, slick fashion magazines, etc. Wolf of course immediately posed for fashion magazines and soon became image consultant to Clinton and Gore in 1996 on how to attract "soccer moms" and consultant to Gore in 2000 with the idea that "Gore is a beta male who needs to take on the alpha male in the Oval Office". A feminist making giant steps for womankind - preaching beta ape needs to beat chest at alpha ape to get the female voter apes.
Being one of the females not tricked by alpha and beta I fling monkey poo at the chaotic crowds running to and fro as they shout for more prepackaged "progressives" to give them ... what - honestly I don't know - truth? reason? hope? change? a hero?
Decades ago just after the feminist movement began I was forced by college courses to read much crap of "inspiring" modern feminists. At most I closed the majority of such books with vague images of fruit, flowers, and vaginas. It was the era of all things written, painted, sculpted, and designed by feminists as labia inspired.
Like those writers/artists, Wolf is full of shit too. Yet, here she is a political consultant/exspurt, one of many stars in the progressive mosh pit. And ya wonder why progressivism doesn't make any real change?
This is the political Wolf's warning that the fascists are coming, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot. She states she doesn't sleep well at night because in times like this journalists such as herself are swept up and imprisoned or disappeared and because Valerie Plame wrote of the bolts on her deck being loosened. My first thought was Naomi's anorexia lead to malnutrition which lead to brain damage as Wolf is not a journalist and Plame's accusation of loose deck screws is hardly enough to keep a sane person awake at night.
Until advent of the Internet I was convinced change for the better could come, that people could make a difference, and that while Americans could be clueless they were not all stupid. I now change my stand on that point. The Internet has convinced me most Americans are that stupid, are completely clueless or not concerned at all, and the only change will be the packaged progressive star of the week, month, year.
I'm approaching the level where I now almost want to see America crash (I will do fine thank you as will gals like Wolf) just so I can watch the brainless commoners who have spent at least the last 7 years fluttering from author to author, from group to group, from petition to petition, from one hyped sound byte to the next, wondering why their sky is falling when they read all the politically correct bloggers, cheered on the gatekeeping progressive leaders, and believed there's no place like home, so hard that surely if they closed their eyes and tapped the clitoris three times ... they'll get their America back.
To swallow and follow, whether old doctrine or new propaganda, is a weakness still dominating the human mind. That's a quote from a 19th century feminist, can't recall who, but she said more than any modern vulva flapping.
(And, by the way, overusing words of female genitalia now qualifies me as a feminist writer. Oh, and down with whitey's beauty industry and slick fashion mags; qualified black feminist writer.)
Posted by Kate-A at 10:44 AM