I will be gone for a bit on vacation.
May you and yours have merry days and smooth sailing. :)
Monday, December 17, 2007
I will be gone for a bit on vacation.
Take note - "democracy needs the voices of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert."
Until now I was completely unaware comics and their writers held "democracy at stake."
But don't worry - democracy depends on an informed public - and as you know - most Americans are glued to their televisions.
Fortunately - political comics today are much more relevant than Saturday Night Live or Laugh-In ever were.
Nothing wrong with jocularity - my generation laughed through Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan/Bush; didn't change anything for the greater good but ...
... stay tuned for the comedy of democracy and laugh all the way to the ballot for the next group of Suits on the Potomac.
Oops! Sorry, but we are out of time... (give a signature look, tilt the head cockily, toss a pen or papers in the air, wag eyebrows ... chuckle).
Posted by Kate-A at 3:07 PM
"The United States still holds the dubious distinction of having the highest teen pregnancy rate among the most developed nations," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement.
"Congress should put the right foot forward and immediately stop funding for dangerous abstinence-only programs that deny young people information about how to prevent pregnancy, protect their health and make responsible decisions."
Births to unmarried girls and women reached their highest levels in 2006 since the government began tracking such statistics in 1940, Ventura said.
Unmarried girls and women accounted for 38.5 percent of all U.S. births last year, up from 36.9 percent in 2005. Among blacks, they accounted for 70.7 percent of births. Among Hispanics, it was 49.9 percent and among whites 26.6 percent.
----- When I was younger unwed mothers were considered the product of dysfunctional lower class families, or had low self-esteem, or lacked moral character, or all of the above. The unwed pregnancy rates for Black America was 23 percent in 1960; today at 70.7 percent, do you still have to ask why we're worse off socially and economically?
Abstinence-only is not going to work, but neither has sex-ed with birth control pills and colorful condoms from the free clinic, or schools.
Personally - I lean conservative on the issue. I believe children need mom and dad, preferably married to one another. I believe if young girls (and boys) were better educated and respected in home and in society we would see fewer dysfunctional marriages, less illegitimacy, fewer abandoned and abused children, less domestic violence, less crime, less social misery.
According to Rickie Solinger's book, WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade, ... "In 1950, only 1.7 percent of white babies were born to unmarried women, compared with 16.8 percent of black babies, or 10 times the figure. But by 1989 ... the respective rates for the races had risen to 16.1 percent and 66 percent. While two-thirds of black births now occur outside of wedlock, the accompanying fact is that the proportion of black births has declined from 10 to 4 times that for whites. Indeed, the white rate is now where the black figure was 40 years ago."
I supported Planned Parenthood Federation of America for years but now consider them a failed organization - in business for 90 years, PPFA is not exactly a poster child for success - not if "planned parenthood, sexual health, and sexual education" are the goals as there are more STDs, more unplanned pregnancies, less responsibility for reproductive decisions, and folks are dumber than ever about it all.
When I think of planned pregnancies I imagine a pregnancy planned by 2 adults, married to one another, who have the means and maturity to start a family - not by high schoolers or single shacked-up folks (euphemistically known as cohabiting) who think they're ready to commit a lifetime to a child but not to one another legally - no matter how successfully it's been done by Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
Unwed pregnancy, deny it or not, most often perpetuates poverty and dysfunction. If mamma is/was married and a doctor or lawyer, more likely her children will marry, and enter medicine or law. If unwed mamma is clerking for minimum wage, it's likely her children will clerk and choose single parenting. Look around, most children follow in parent footsteps.
We can pretend all these unwed parents, with sufficient government funding and social support, will somehow produce a generation of educated, productive, happy adults - but we know the majority will never have the boots to pull themselves up by the straps. Behavior, like it or not, is generational.
Juggle the stats and find social gurus and doctorates who will spout it's about freedom - it still won't give single mamma a high paying job or give the kids a loving daddy. And like it or not, we females are the ones who must take responsibility to reverse the situation (simply because a hard dick has no conscience).
But - excluding a few rich celebrities - how many of the ruling class participate in the social trend of unwed parenthood? How many of the powerful, the political; how many old monied and new monied sons and daughters are unmarried, unemployed, uneducated and having babies? Not 70.7 percent, not 49.9, not 26.6. How many urban socialites or corporate executives are flocking to join the unwed parenting club? How many young sons and daughters of the social-shaping media moguls choose unwed parenting? Not 70.7 percent, not 49.9, not 26.6. How many appear on Jerry Springer to test the DNA of a dozen men, including their neighbors, best friend's husband, their cousin and still not know who's the daddy?
A little shame is not always a bad thing. It might be the voice of the conscience - reminding us to think long and hard about the consequences of our conduct.
Is it intentional that government policy and morality as defined by the media have led the commoners to willingly lower their commitment to hearth and home - have the lower classes been manipulated to romanticize behavior once thought shameful and disgraceful - and call it freedom - even if it's class slavery.
I gotta ask, if unwed parenting, often accompanied by serial sexual partners, is so romantic and trendy, so acceptable and doable - why hasn't the ruling class participated more?
Shame, shame on the Bush twins for not getting pregnant and abandoning education to work at the nursing home and do a class to become a CNA so they can make a dollar more and have their weave and acrylic nails done and go clubbing every weekend looking for the next love of their life. And maybe buy the kids a red velvet outfit at Christmas.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:01 AM
Sunday, December 16, 2007
The exspurts speak.
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the risk of a U.S. recession is increasing.
THE chairman of the investment bank Morgan Stanley's Asian arm, Stephen Roach, had declared the US economy is headed towards recession and the rest of the world should be worried about the consequences.
The risk of a U.S. recession is rising, and the Federal Reserve should do something about it, according to economists in the latest WSJ.com survey.
The U.S. economy runs an "elevated risk" of falling into recession, but a period of sluggish growth is the most likely scenario amid the fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis and other factors, the head of the Congressional Budget Office warned on Wednesday.
------ Merriam on-line defines recession:
1. A period of reduced economic activity.
2. The act of ceding back to a former possessor.
Yessiree Bubba, the sheople are gonna have to reduce their spending activity and cede/transfer a lot of wealth back to former possessors (ruling class).
Say what Bubba? You think you've been in a recession most all your life?
Posted by Kate-A at 8:50 AM
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Unfettered 'citizen journalism' too risky.
DAVID HAZINSKI: You're beginning to get a lot more news ... from you.
It ranges from the CNN YouTube debates to political blogs to cellphone video of that sniper who opened fire at an Omaha Mall. These are all examples of so called "citizen journalism," the hot new extension of the news business where the audience becomes the reporter.
Supporters of "citizen journalism" argue it provides independent, accurate, reliable information that the traditional media don't provide. While it has its place, the reality is it really isn't journalism at all, and it opens up information flow to the strong probability of fraud and abuse. The news industry should find some way to monitor and regulate this new trend.
----- Just what we need right? The "news industry" i.e. government and mainstream media organizations monitoring and regulating "citizen journalism."
HAZINSKI : The premise of citizen journalism is that regular people can now collect information and pictures with video cameras and cellphones, and distribute words and images over the Internet.
----- Lol, "regular people" as opposed to the professional clones that belong to the traditional news elite.
HAZINSKI : Advocates argue that the acts of collecting and distributing makes these people "journalists." This is like saying someone who carries a scalpel is a "citizen surgeon" or someone who can read a law book is a "citizen lawyer." Tools are merely that. Education, skill and standards are really what make people into trusted professionals. Information without journalistic standards is called gossip.
----- If education and standards are what makes professionals why do we have so many quacks and shysters preying on the public.
HAZINSKI : But unlike those other professions, journalism — at least in the United States — has never adopted uniform self-regulating standards. There are commonly accepted ethical principles — to source confirmation of controversial information or the balanced reporting of both sides of a story, for example, but adhering to the principles is voluntary. There is no licensing, testing, mandatory education or boards of review. Most other professions do a poor job of self-regulation, but at least they have mechanisms to regulate themselves. Journalists do not.
----- Lol again - lemme see other professions do a poor job self-regulating but at least they have a how-to doctrine in place.
HAZINSKI : So without any real standards, anyone has a right to declare himself or herself a journalist. Major media outlets also encourage it. Citizen journalism allows them to involve audiences, and it is a free source of information and video. But it is also ripe for abuse.
----- Ahhh, the old tactic of beat me, hurt me, make me write bad checks .. er ... I mean make me fake the news and go to jail.
HAZINSKI : Having just anyone produce widely distributed stories without control can have the reverse effect from what advocates intend. It's just a matter of time before something like a faked Rodney King beating video appears on the air somewhere.
----- Yassuh, and you know Black folks then be rioting and killin' just anyone and burning our owns neighborhood. Holyshit Bubba, a beating hoax could set off a slave uprising.
HAZINSKI : Journalism organizations should head that off. Citizen reports can be a valuable addition to news and information flow with some protections:
• Major news organizations must create standards to substantiate citizen-contributed information and video, and ensure its accuracy and authenticity.
---- Butthead, we need standards and substantiation in mainstream media now.
• They should clarify and reinforce their own standards and work through trade organizations to enforce national standards so they have real meaning.
---- Oh, yes, organizations to enforce and clarify what has real meaning.
• Journalism schools such as mine at the University of Georgia should create mini-courses to certify citizen journalists in proper ethics and procedures, much as volunteer teachers, paramedics and sheriff's auxiliaries are trained and certified.
---- Yessirree, pay fees for those courses and certificates because mini-courses and certification stopped the unethical and unqualified folks from becoming teachers, paramedics, sheriff auxiliaries - and it will stop unethical citizen journalists.
HAZINSKI : ... we have already seen the line between news and entertainment blur enough to destroy significant credibility. Continuing to do nothing as information flow changes will further erode it. Journalism organizations who choose to do nothing may soon find the line between professional and citizen journalism gone as well as the trust of their audiences.
---- News became infotainment long before the Internet, and a trusting audience today is a gullible and unquestioning audience.
I've witnessed more people question the MSM news since the Internet - almost always after an embarrassing incident when they cited what later proved to be hoax information or false stories - we've learned how easy it is to fake videos and photoshop. Fool me once, won't get fooled again. (Although Republicans seem more genetically inclined to take every email hoax to heart and forward far and wide, for years.)
I think serious Netizens have learned to use a critical eye in regard to information on the net, which may be the best thing to come from the worldwide web. And may yet prove to be the common man's best hope - sharing different viewpoints on the same State regulated and programmed MSM "news".
Posted by Kate-A at 9:37 PM
Paul Krugman says we shouldn't expect the financial crisis to go away anytime soon.
After the Money’s Gone, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times:
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced plans to lend $40 billion to banks. By my count, it’s the fourth high-profile attempt to rescue the financial system... Maybe this one will do the trick, but I wouldn’t count on it.
In past financial crises — the stock market crash of 1987, the aftermath of Russia’s default in 1998 — the Fed has been able to wave its magic wand and make market turmoil disappear. But this time the magic isn’t working.
Why not? Because the problem with the markets isn’t just a lack of liquidity — there’s also a fundamental problem of solvency.
Let me explain... Suppose that there’s a nasty rumor about the First Bank of Pottersville: people say that the bank made a huge loan ... on a failed business venture... If everyone, believing that the bank is about to go bust, demands their money out at the same time, the bank would have to raise cash by selling off assets at fire-sale prices — and it may indeed go bust...
----- Silly man knows the government can, if it chooses, put a freeze on Pottersville bank withdrawals to stop a panic run on the bank.
In the past decade or so Krugman seems to have become more fear-monger than economist. His flip from Reaganista to liberalista is complete. Take this article from 2000, Fights for the Global Economy Against Continuing Doubt, his first column for the NYT; Krugman writes reasonably enough for me until the last paragraph:
" For that, surely, is the lesson of the trashing of the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle last November. Not that the protesters were right: it is a sad irony that the cause that has finally awakened the long-dormant American left is that of -- yes! -- denying opportunity to third-world workers. But though the facts may be on the side of the free traders, though global trade really ought to have mass public support, one can hardly deny that the opponents are winning the propaganda war. For the moment, as long as it seems to deliver the goods and services, globalization is tolerated; but it is not loved. The big economic question for the next century, in other words, is really political: can the Second Global Economy build a constituency that reaches beyond the sort of people who congregate at Davos? If not, it will eventually go the way of the first."
Denying opportunity to third-world workers (global trade). Ya mean slave labor, cheap labor, forced labor, child labor? You mean Nicaraguan shirt factories and Haitian shoe factories and the Mexican maquilápolis and Chinese peasants making plastic yellow ribbons for my SUV, opportunity for workers who can't afford the shirts and shoes they produce 10 hours a day 6 days a week?
Krugman states global trade really oughta have mass public support, in other words support worldwide wage slavery so you may buy cheap shoes from Wal-Mart and so the disparity in world wealth can continue. Why does Krugman find irony in the American "left" not supporting globalization for what it is - expendable human labor for profits?
Krugman: "How will it all end? Markets won’t start functioning normally until investors are reasonably sure that they know where the bodies — I mean, the bad debts — are buried. And that probably won’t happen until house prices have finished falling and financial institutions have come clean about all their losses. All of this will probably take years. Meanwhile, anyone who expects the Fed or anyone else to come up with a plan that makes this financial crisis just go away will be sorely disappointed."
----- After the money is gone? How does it all end? Will his comments create nail biting among the affluent? The wealthy? The working lower middle class poor? Luckily for Krugman, as he predicts the fallout will take years, most of his readers will not remember his commentary from today.
Economic crisis are planned, manipulated. Did the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts and Kennedys become paupers in 1929? Did the lords and ladies of Europe? Did the oligarchies anywhere? No. Joe Blow and his family lost their savings. Guess where the money went when it disappeared. Guess who bought the homes and land abandoned by the little people who couldn't find work. There's a saying that when Joe Blow is encouraged and enticed to put his pennies in the stockmarket it's time to sell.
Why expect the Feds to make it go away - perhaps the economy is going as planned. But, take note. Help is on the way ... European investors have more purchasing power in the U.S. market and they have arrived.
"Adding to the appeal is the fact that the U.S. housing market has been hit hard by the credit crisis, which has made properties even more attractive for Europeans stunned by sky-high house prices in their home countries. In a mid-2007 survey, the National Association of Realtors found that Florida led the nation in foreign home buying, accounting for 26 percent of all international purchasers. California was next at 16 percent, followed by Texas at 10 percent. Some 34 percent of the foreign home buyers in Florida were from Latin America. An additional 21 percent were from Britain. About 9 percent came from Canada and 8 percent from Germany. The rest were from Asia, Eastern Europe and other areas."
Carpetbaggers? It's not just the warm-climate states. They have arrived here in Podunk, Heartland. Great investment opportunity if a person has a little money. I know a couple of folks out of state buying quite a bit of property here with no intention of every living in the area. It's just too cheap to pass up.
Krugman says in the past the Fed has been able to wave its magic wand and make turmoil disappear. But Bubba, there is no magic wand and never has been. And if you can't hang on in the turmoil - consider yourself collateral damage from globalization.
(The new word for unfettered capitalism is globalization, or as Krugman would say it - opportunity for third-world workers).
Posted by Kate-A at 6:29 PM
LIMA - Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori invoked his right to remain silent today at his murder trial, frustrating prosecutors hoping to show he relied on his right-hand man to oversee massacres of suspected leftist insurgents.
Fujimori, 69, declined to answer questions about how much power his intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, had during his 10-year rule that ended in 2000, at the twilight of a bloody civil war in which 70,000 people died or disappeared.
------ Fujimori was president of Peru from 1990 to 2000, then fled to Japan when facing allegations of corruption, bribery, misuse of government funds, and death squads. After 5 years in Japan Fuji returned to Chile and in September 2007 was extradited back to Peru. Someone must have whispered in his ear he had a future in Peru; his daughter is a member of parliament there and he remains popular with authoritarian types in Peru.
Supposedly Alberto was born in Miraflores, Lima, however, opponents claim his birth certificate was altered and he was born in Japan; a fact that would have prohibited his running for president in Peru. His parents also reportedly entered Peru in 1934 and claimed 2 children; Alberto is the second born of four siblings. But if a person has climbed into the right pockets their past history is no obstacle to ambition.
I discovered years ago that in Latin America hundreds of thousands of Europeans and Japanese landed in South and Central America during the 1930s to the end of WWII. Communists, fascists, Jews, Gentiles, and Nazis; a cultural cornucopia of people with money and means to start anew. Approximately 65 percent of the surnames in an Argentine phone book are Italian.
Alberto was elected in 1990, just after Poppy Bush's magnificent loud rock music defeat and capture of Manny "CIA payroll" Noriega in Panama, or a.k.a. Operation Just Cause. (Just cause Noriega was skimming far too much of the drug and gun running profits for himself.) Poppy Bush quickly installed a new Panamanian government - complete with the kind of bankers and government heads the cartels needed. Business as usual.
In 2000 Vlad (Fuji's hitman) fled to Panama. Why not, he had allegedly done a lot of banking in Panama and/or Swiss banks, around $50 million. Not bad for a guy who's government salary was $18,000 annually. " Initially nobody wanted Montesinos: Argentina, Brazil, Panama, and a number of other countries refused Montesinos’s request for political asylum. But Washington officials (Clinton's watch) made a few phone calls. Virtually overnight, the government of Panama changed its mind and allowed the butcher Montesinos to enter Panama on a tourist visa."
According to Peruvian journalist Gustavo Gorriti, Montesinos was a CIA asset who in 1991 "took over command of nearly all of the joint Peru-U.S. anti-drug operations and developed an anti-drug unit within the National Intelligence Service (SIN). Now, with the fox guarding the hen house, cooperation in anti-drug efforts took a downward turn, and the SIN anti-drug unit committed human rights and other abuses, but did not catch drug traffickers." (No other country has succeeded in winning the Nixon instigated global "war on drugs" either.)
But alas, Vlad the tourist didn't have the friends he thought he had in Panama and returned within a few weeks to Peru, where he found he also had few friends - and his boss, President Fujimori, high-tailed it to Japan and faxed his resignation back to Peru - Montesinos might talk, talk, talk, and Fujimori's popularity had plummeted.
A year ago, Montesinos was "... sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly selling arms to Colombia's FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia). This sentence, which follows 12 other sentences since Montesinos was detained in Venezuela in June of 2001, is the longest and is the one that he must serve out, since in Peru sentences are not cumulative. Apparently, Montesinos procured the arms from Jordan, and sold them to the FARC, "committing crimes of violation of a foreign state's sovereignty, political conspiracy, and illegal supplying of arms to subversive groups." He was also convicted of embezzlement, corruption, conspiracy. Montesinos may or may not someday be found comfortably drinking beer on a Miami beach, with the millions not found.
Recently ... "members of a Peruvian congressional investigating committee have been in Panama to solicit this country's official help in tracking down some $430 million in ill-gotten profits that former President Alberto Fujimori and his erstwhile security chief Vladimiro Montesinos allegedly deposited in Panamanian banks. The legislators met with judges, Banking Superintendent Delia Cárdenas, officials from the Public Ministry and members of Panama's Legislative Assembly.
The mission was to freeze funds that the visiting delegation claimed belongs to the Peruvian government. Congressmen Pedro Morales and Manuel Darment Egoaguirre and Congresswoman Julia Hernández alleged that the money is public property because it was skimmed from the proceeds of privatizations that took place during the Fujimori administration. Morales claimed that sources told them that the money was deposited in Panama by two companies, Treves Intora and W21."
"Sources" told them, likely after some serious interrogation methods.
Often, in the modern political arena, when political puppets are caught heavy-handed in the till, a coup, a scandal or invasion bring them down; sometimes the "rebels" or the opposition are allowed to oust them. Juan and Eva Peron, Marcos, Shah of Iran, Noriega, Bhutto, Musharraf - if they behave, steal little - they may rule for a lifetime or for generations (Duvaliers, Somozas, Pinochet, Trujillos, etc.) and at the least leave office very, very wealthy - but more recently familial and/or lifetime rule has become too obvious and a new face and "elections" are the general rule in so-called "democracies." But even so, uncooperative kings and queen of hearts can die by accident and be replaced with more agreeable heirs.
Montesinos and Fujimori between them have reportedly stolen nearly 500 million, that's 1/2 billion dollars, during their decade of power in Peru. Studying Peru's GDP, purchasing parity, poverty rate, labor force, revenues and expenditures - much of that half a billion had to come from sources outside Peruvian government coffers. I.e. stolen from sources much more powerful than either of these two political dirtbags. And who knows better who is plundering the profits of the global bosses than the international bankers.
Montesinos and Fujimori, like Noriega before them, were not brought down because human rights organizations suddenly point to death squads and/or opposition pols accuse them of corruption. Their crime is stealing profits from a global power elite.
The capo and his crew can kill and steal from we the people - but don't steal from the international dons. Montesinos and Fujimori (and Saddam) are recent whack jobs. (Another example is Pinochet, dead finally at 91, his multi-millions are frozen assets; the money will return to the powers that be.) The smart political capos restrain themselves; write books and create foundations for more wealth - and keep their hands out of the cookie jar.
Global bosses care not what ideology or political monster rule a country - as long as their profits are not tampered or hampered; in fact, for them, there's much, much more profit in human suffering than succoring.
Politics and wealth are the cover for an organized system of global crime.
Capos can be recognized as they wear a tux or designer gown, rub elbows with their royal bosses, and often buy respectable reputations will ill-gotten wealth. They dazzle you and convince you they're good people - all walking above the law while babbling about the rule of law, and posturing with morality while practicing debauchery.
Marinated in American myth, as most folks are, it may be difficult to look upon our own social and political figureheads as nothing more than expendable, tin-pot liars with claws who made good - and who are obligated not to the American people - but a small international and very old criminal hierarchy.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:38 AM
Friday, December 14, 2007
Former CIA agent: ‘highly likely’ Bush saw torture tapes.
Larry Johnson, a former CIA agent and State Department counterterrorism official, told The Bill Press Show this morning that it was “highly likely” President Bush had viewed the videotapes of the 2002 interrogations that were later destroyed:
Bill Press: You said that you believe President Bush actually saw one of these videos?
Larry Johnson: I think it’s highly likely.
------Lol. Four years as a CIA employee can take some folks really far.
It took Johnson to a Plame harrangue defense because he was "raised to stop bullies", to analyzing the military flight of loose or lost nukes, to torturing the torture of waterboarding distraction - but before all that, in 2002 Larry was employed as a Fox News contributor, appearing several times after September 11, to address the question of military action against terrorism.
He defended the FBI's proposal to interview 5,000 students in the U.S. suspected of having information relevant to the September 11 investigations :
"I think they should talk to everyone that they feel they have a need to talk to. I mean, look, this is war. This is not a legal proceeding. This isn't the O.J. Simpson trial. The folks that attacked us -- they murdered Americans. And we've got to recognize that in wartime, we should do things differently."
(psssst, it's called profiling)
Johnson more recently has graced the stage of that jocular favorite of progressives, mainstream media talking head Keith Olbermann, to discuss yuppie terrorists and how big a crater a bomb in a Mercedes would make.
Damn! this former Bush republican and Orrin Hatch bud has seen the light at the left end of the tunnel!
And now Johnson casually claims, "it's highly likely" Bush watched the interrogation tapes (torture tapes). You can see where that grabs most readers - relating their remarks in the comment section to sex or that this is Bush's Waterloo. Yep Bubba - after years and years some folks still think each and every planted story in and by MSM is gonna bring Bush down.
(Yo, how's business in Panama?)
Posted by Kate-A at 2:25 PM
This day in history - December 14, 1961
In a public exchange of letters with South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, President John F. Kennedy formally announces that the United States will increase aid to South Vietnam, which would include the expansion of the U.S. troop commitment. Kennedy, concerned with the recent advances made by the communist insurgency movement in South Vietnam wrote, "We shall promptly increase our assistance to your defense effort."
Kennedy's chief military adviser, Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, and Special Assistant for National Security Affairs Walt W. Rostow had just returned from a fact-finding trip to Saigon and urged the president to increase U.S. economic and military advisory support to Diem. The military support was to include intensive training of local self-defense troops by American military advisers. Additionally, Taylor and Rostow advocated a significant increase in airplanes, helicopters, and support personnel. In a secret appendix to their report, Taylor and Rostow recommended the deployment of 8,000 American combat troops, which could be used to support the South Vietnamese forces in combat operations against the insurgents.
Diem was murdered during a coup by his own generals in November 1963. Shortly thereafter, Kennedy was assassinated. At the time of his death, there were more than 16,000 U.S. advisers in South Vietnam. Kennedy's successor, Lyndon B. Johnson, rapidly escalated the war, which resulted in the commitment of U.S. ground forces and eventually more than 500,000 American troops in Vietnam.
Kennedy's Security Affairs assistant, Walt Rostow, was born in City of New York in a Russian immigrant family. During World War II he served in the OSS under William Donovan. Rostow became Assistant Chief of the German-Austrian Economic Division in the United States State Department in Washington D.C. immediately after the war.
From 1946 to 1947, he returned to Oxford to teach as the Harmsworth Professor of American History. Rostow became the Assistant to the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Europe, in 1947 and was involved in the development of the Marshall Plan. In 1958, he became a speech writer for President Dwight Eisenhower.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Rostow Deputy Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs reporting to McGeorge Bundy. Late in 1961 he was appointed as counselor of the Department of State and Chairman of the Policy Planning Council, Department of State. Rostow wrote President Johnson's first state of the union speech and was appointed by Johnson in May 1964 United States Member of the Inter-American Committee on the Alliance for Progress (CIAP).
In early 1966, he was named special Assistant for National Security Affairs (the post now known as National Security Advisor) where he was a main figure in developing the government's policy in the Vietnam War, and where he remained until February 1969. His pro-war and pro-free-enterprise views made him highly unpopular in the social sciences sector of the American academia that was staunchly left wing at the time. However, he was able to get an academic position at Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas in Austin ... He continued to teach history and economics until his death in 2003 at the age of 86.
He received the Order of the British Empire (1945), the Legion of Merit (1945), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1969). --- I thought the sun quit setting on the British Empire.
-----Personally, I think Walt Rostow wanted wider war in Asia and JFK was just dragging his right leg shorter than the left shoe inserts. Was the 1965 "unfortunate coincidence" of US bombing north Vietnam at the same time USSR Premier Kosygin was in Hanoi an attempt to escalate war beyond Vietnam? I also believe Rostow felt the 1967 murder of Che Guevara was a victory, and sorely disappointed when Castro didn't retaliate by kidnapping US diplomats or bombing US embassies (not that the CIA didn't consider doing those things to blame Fidel). Oh, and Walt was on JFK's National Security Council during the Bay of Pigs or Cuban Missile Crisis.
(Although Walt was the son of supposedly Russian Socialist Jews, and he and his brothers named after American socialists, he behaved like a good ol' boy capitalist.)
In 2003 Victor Rostow(nephew of Walt), a Pentagon policy official served as a liaison to the Iraqi team, said its task would be to help General Garner ''turn over functioning ministries to the new Iraqi interim authority after a period of time.'' ---Well that's worked out well has it not?
The Rostow family has grown large now with sons, daughters, grandchildren, uncles, nephews, in-laws, nieces , etc. All hanging around with the World Bank, Bilderberg, CFR, CIA, etc.
Very likely 99% of Americans have never heard of a Rostow (or ilk), yet for 2 going on 3 generations they have had a major influence on steering US policy in war, economics, banking, law, art, medicine, education, and social issues. One of many families/agents serving America since the Great War, The War to End All Wars - they've done a great job, eh?
And ! wouldn't ya know it - with all that influence - 99.9 percent of Americans wouldn't know what a Rostow is; the unsung heroes of global empire.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:28 AM
Thursday, December 13, 2007
From Michael Hayden's speech to the Council on Foreign Relations. There's also audio of the speech if you want to hear the old man's voice. Basically just propaganda salesman and lifer Hayden assuring his ruling class masters through CFR that "yessah we be doin' what you wants" - spending, stealing, wasting, lying, murdering ...
HAYDEN: "... So no matter what the external threat is, we at CIA feel just as strongly as any American that our DNA as a nation must not, cannot be altered.
But unlike most Americans, it's also our responsibility to confront that external threat unceasingly, every minute of every hour. And that, too, is an obligation that we at CIA feel very acutely.
So let me make very clear how my agency views the fight at hand. I think it speaks to what a lot of Americans believe, as well. But here's how we see it.
Our nation is in a state of armed conflict with al Qaeda and its affiliates. It's a conflict that is global in scope, and a precondition for winning that conflict is to take the fight to the enemy wherever he may be. From my vantage point, measured by the required intensity of effort or the profound nature of the threat, it's very hard to see this thing as anything less than war. I've seen public references to, quote, "the so-called war on terrorism" or, quote, "the Bush's administration's war on terrorism," but for us it's simply war. It's a word we use commonly without ambiguity in the halls of the Pentagon and at Langley.
We who study and target this enemy see a danger more real than anything our citizens at home have confronted since our Civil War."
----- Simply all war all the time. DNA - civil war hmmmm ... danger more real than citizens confronted since the Civil War. Now what could he mean. Let's see, the Civil War was fought because the fledgling nation was based on two capitalist economies with slight difference - slave labor and wage slaves. Two interdependent economies - i.e. southern slavery produced the cotton for use in northern textile factories who used women and child labor - more huddled immigrants please, there is land to steal and cities to build. And two governments - the Union and the Confederates. Whatever Hayden meant with his analogy of danger it's certainly related to power and money.
"Terrorism" - the new commie for the 21st century. The Johnny Arab Reb against the yankees, the new war-on-something. The war against terror (TWAT). We must confront TWAT every minute of every hour. It's a huge TWAT, global in scope. We must take TWAT to the enemy wherever he may be. From Hayden's vantage point and measurements this can only be seen as TWAT war, without ambiguity. Those patriots who have studied the TWAT see the real danger. It's the biggest most dangerous TWAT citizens have confronted since 1861. If the US does not whip this TWAT the very DNA (genetics?) of "our nation" will be altered.
I've no idea what a nation's DNA looks like although I'm sure it's bred to power and money. But I do recognize a a ruling class TWAT when I see one.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:52 AM
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Republicans and Democrats are Obsolete.
"The American political landscape has changed and I believe the change is permanent. The two main political parties should be disbanded, they are irrelevant. Most Americans that don’t make their living in politics see no great difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. The issues that separate them no longer apply."
-------- Whig party member Abe Lincoln, later Republican, denounced the British funding to elect Polk as president and Lincoln's party asked "patriots" to decide "whether British gold shall buy what British valor could not conquer."
You see, republicans have used the word "patriot" since birth. Modern pols would similarly say China bought the Clintons or the House of Saud bought Bush; a nugget of truth if you're panning gold.
Way back in 1844 or so the Brits desired a Jacksonian Democrat, a James Polk presidency who would annex Texas and initiate war on Mexico; 1846 US congress declared war on Mexico; thanks to the Democrats who favored war on Mexico and the expansion westward by removing Native Americans in the way. (New England opium trading Tory families in particular were still pissed with losing the Revolutionary war and feverish with westward expansion.) Anti-war Lincoln would speak passionately to condemn the fraud of the Mexican War and soon give his new republican party their own war profits.
The 1800s were as corporate and corrupt and warmongering as the 1900s which were as corporate and corrupt and warmongering as the 2000s.
Disbanding "political parties" would change nothing – you will still have the old whig and tory, republican or democrat, or any "new" party the powers that be devise in the future. Have ya ever heard the term "planned obsolescence"? It need not apply only to corporate products – but what's a politician/political party if not a corporate product.
There has never been any major difference between parties – neither have ever worked for the masses. They word their slogans for empire a little differently but deposit their profits in the same banks – their creators and backers are the same old world aristocracy.
Why folks today seem to think we're witnessing a political "landscaped ... changed" is either intentional deceit or honest ignorance.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:21 AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Touching on issues ranging from Yucca Mountain to the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq, presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich spoke to a crowd of several hundred people in Reno Saturday.
Despite a steady snowfall outside, a standing-room-only crowd packed into two meeting rooms at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center to hear what the Ohio Congressman and Democrat had to say about issues he's most closely associated with: the environment and opposition to the war and the Bush administration in general. Those expecting Kucinich to deliver harsh words about the president weren't disappointed, as the half-hour campaign speech soon turned to talk of impeachment.
"On the way over here, I was reading a 50-page document that relates to Articles of Impeachment for the President of the United States," Kucinich said to a standing ovation. "And I want you to know that I'm actually preparing this document for submission to the House."
-----And it only took 7 years to prepare Articles of Impeachment. Ooooo that's harsh.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:49 PM
Waterboarding useful but torture: former U.S. agent.
Former CIA interrogator John Kiriakou told U.S. news media that suspected al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Zubaida agreed to cooperate after being subjected to the simulated drowning technique for less than a minute by CIA officials in 2002.
"It was like flipping a switch," he told the Washington Post.
He said the session yielded valuable information and probably helped prevent attacks, but he now believes waterboarding is torture and "Americans are better than that."
------- Hmmmm. Zubaida broke in 35 seconds. Waterboarding was successful because interrogators obtained valuable information, prevented attacks ... now how many Americans are going to condemn BushCo for waterboarding this alqaeda lieutenant for a few seconds?
You are eating fruity pebbles folks.
What I really want to know is who is John Kiriakou, other than another "former" who now works as a consultant in the "private sector" - and when was the CIA's oath of secrecy heaved out the window because so many "former agents" recently have stepped up at the appropriate time to blab freely. To confirm/deny previous "leaks" given to the mainstream media by the CIA.
Kiriakou essentially neutralizes the issue. Waterboarding becomes a dud; the technique only lasts a few seconds and contrary to other exspurts, Kiriakou claims it worked, but we shouldn't do it. It's a draw! Waterboarding is torture – waterboarding prevents attacks/saves lives. Both sides win a point. On to the next heated and contentious news byte to debate.
What's next ... Plame ... nah, that's old. The surge? Oh, that's old too. Stolen elections or inside job? Dammit, that's not going anywhere either. Hmmm ... CIA tapes destroyed? Possibly good for a month. How about something on plans to bomb Iran, that's always a good one. How about the Pentagon loses billions, or Iraq loses your billions? Has Chavez said anything funny at the UN lately?
(Whatever you do – do not seriously focus your attention on term limits, Social Security con games, dumbing down public education, pork barreling, or verifiable elections, nor anything else the masses might have the slightest chance of changing – you know, those snowball in hell domestic issues – the pols will bring those items up just before election and forget them the day after. Nor should you devise serious strategy for hitting "them" in their wallet, because your fellow discontented Americans - who "are better than that" - but who just really seriously cannot, you know, give up anything at this point in time, maybe later; do lunch and discuss it next week, or the New Year as this is such a hectic holiday time).
Please focus your short attention on issues and items that change nothing. And enjoy life – after all, if it's true, the planet is melting, we're running out of oil, and everything Anglo imperialistic is about to collapse - but the wealthy philanthropists, along with Al Gore, will figure it all out for you in the nick of time.
Posted by Kate-A at 2:54 PM
Monday, December 10, 2007
Washington, D.C. - The Supreme Court has ruled that judges do have the option to impose shorter prison terms for crack cocaine crimes.
----Whether or not judges use the option is another matter. After 20 years of crack/cocaine law discrepancy and the racism and bigotry here in the Heartland I'm sure the local judges will not impose shorter prison sentences on Blacks ... well not without a large wad of cash slipped under the robe. And even if they choose to, a 15 year sentence rather than 22 years is not my idea of a big whoopie tee doo.
Mandatory sentencing, thanks to federal sentencing guidelines passed in the Anti-Drug Act of 1986, sponsored by Texas Democrat James Wright, with complicit get tough on crime congressional democrats, and again upping the "enhanced penalties" in the Anti-Drug Act of 1988 by a democratically controlled congress. And thanks to Bill Clinton continuing the era of stay tough on crime and hyping the fear of "super predators" which Anglo-America saw in Black faces, not white youth.
Oddly enough, and imagine my shock, when I realized that crack cocaine came into existence just a year or so before the law to punish it. Why, the ink was still wet on Jim Wright's drug bill when crack cocaine hit the ghettos.
Two generations of young Black males have been successfully hung up, into uneducated, unemployable felons (or obscene rap stars). But, remember folks – these men had choices.
On the other hand, even if caught with larger amounts of drugs - white meth heads, cocaine snorting presidents, prescription Rush junkies, preppy potheads, and celebrity addicts are still safe – they have no choice, they have some sort of "disease" which requires intervention/rehab rather than mass incarceration.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:13 PM
Justices Uphold Welfare Home Searches
The ACLU had challenged a San Diego County policy, saying its warrantless inspections violated privacy rights. The Supreme Court refuses to hear it.
The 4th Amendment to the Constitution forbids the police to search a residence without a warrant. But the home inspections in San Diego County are different, judges said, because they do not seek evidence of a crime. Instead, they are intended to determine whether welfare recipients qualify for benefits.
The San Diego district attorney adopted a policy in 1997 under which applicants for welfare benefits must agree to a “walk through” of their residence while they are present. The inspectors check on whether the applicant has an eligible dependent child and has the amount of assets claimed. They also check on whether a supposedly “absent” parent lives at the residence. If residents refuse to permit a home visit, they can lose their benefits.
“This case is nothing less than an attack on the poor,” said Judge Harry Pregerson, writing for the dissenters. “This is especially atrocious in light of the fact that we do not require similar intrusions into the homes and lives of others who receive government entitlements. The government does not search through the closets and medicine cabinets of farmers receiving subsidies.”
------- A couple of comments. In the 1960s "warrantless" home inspections were common practice for welfare recipients. Typically inspectors were looking for a live-in man, neglect, abuse. But 1960s was still the era of shame attached to being on the dole; an era when folks tried hard to avoid welfare if possible and get off welfare as soon as possible; the era when welfare was not a career choice. Welfare rights advocates lobbied to end "walk throughs" under the banner of the poor have rights too – but walk throughs eventually ended, in part, because of a rising number of assaults on caseworkers, particularly in metro areas.
Home visits are still done today for certain types of welfare, i.e. foster care system. And today caseworkers will falsely file reporting home visits when they did not visit, at times out of fear, often out of laziness and lack of caring. When the children are lost, abused, or murdered the system assigns blame to those 2 familiar, never to be arrested perps known as Lack of Resources & Fell Through The Cracks.
(If you can list any benefits to the poor directly related to ACLU activity let me know. Please do not try to give ACLU credit for ending segregation through Brown vs. Board of Education; credit goes to parent Oliver Brown and other parents, and the Topeka NAACP chapter who filed the class action law suit, and many, many others who put their lives on the line.)
As for handouts to farmers receiving subsidies – please remind Judge Harry the ACLU receives a good deal of funding from wealthyfare recipients. Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie foundations, left gatekeeper George Soros' Open Society Institute, Arca Foundation (founded by heir of RJ Reynolds tobacco farmers), Dodge Foundation (Rockefeller niece), MacArthur Foundation (largest privately held insurance company), etc., etc.
I will support ACLU when they stop "defending rights of the poor" and challenge the rights of the rich.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:16 AM
Friday, December 07, 2007
The superrich have long had various places—clubs, jets, resorts and communities—where they could temporarily retreat from the rest of the world. But now the members-only phenomenon is exploding into a whole way of life, encompassing everything from private-banking coalitions to invitation-only health clinics. With security concerns growing and Internet gossip capable of trashing global reputations in an instant, those with money are increasingly locking their entire lives behind closed doors. Rather than attend media-heavy events, they arrange concerts, fashion shows and art exhibitions in their own homes. They shop afterhours and have their neighbors (and potential friends) vetted for class and cash. In essence, it's a return to the way the wealthy lived before the hippie ethic of the 1960s made it cool to mingle with other classes. "The very rich don't want to be in restaurants where they might be sitting next to a tourist," says William Cash, editor of Spear's Wealth Management Survey, a European magazine for multimillionaires.
The rich definitely do not want to live among the masses. More gated communities are on the rise, including Dubai's man-made World islands and Moscow's new $3 billion Rublyovo-Arkhangelskoye development. At London's new ultra-exclusive address, 1 Hyde Park, more than 700 applicants have registered to pay as much as $41.2 million for one of just 80 apartments—even though the complex is not set to open until 2010. "They dine privately, shop privately, view art privately; everything is private, private, private," says Ahlya Fateh, managing editor of Britain's upper-class lifestyle magazine Tatler. "These people literally never leave the confines of [exclusive London postcode] SW3 unless they're in a helicopter or blacked-out Humvee entourage."
Posted by Kate-A at 5:00 PM
Barry Bonds pleads not guilty to steroid perjury charges.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Barry Bonds, Major League Baseball's all-time home-run king, pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges that he lied to a federal grand jury in 2003 when he denied past use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Dressed in a dark suit for his first court appearance since his indictment, the controversial 43-year-old slugger told a judge in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco he was innocent of four counts of perjury and one of obstruction.
According to the federal indictment, Bonds lied when he told a grand jury probe in 2003 that he never knowingly used performance-enhancing drugs.
------- And in older grand jury news .... From D.C. Bill Clinton, POTUS and long-time pusshound and sax king, pleaded he was not guilty of lying to a grand jury when he said he did not have sexual relations with that woman, and denied he took monica-enhancing his performance under the desk.
Dressed in a dark blue suit after his last blowjob, the controversial aging pusshound told the public he was innocent of perjury on account of everyone does it and oral sex is not really sex.
According to the federal government and Bill's opposition, Clinton lied when he told a grand jury his penis never knowingly slipped into Monica's mouth, nor did he knowingly probe Monica with a cigar.
The investigation into "what the meaning of "is" is" led nowhere but did keep the sheople titillated and the media voyeurizing while TPTB set up the fuckinstupidpublic for the next job of the new century (9/11).
Posted by Kate-A at 12:00 PM
Another shooting, and out come the beggars for donations to support gun control as if guns are the problem. Having raised 5 children around and with weapons, teaching a healthy respect for guns – my plea is not to control guns – but for "Parent Control Now."
You see, here at KAB, we believe that the angry and soulless who choose mass murder (among other crimes) to be "famous now" are the product of their upbringing. KAB believes society must attack the problem at the roots – mom and dad.
KAB supports immediate and retroactive registration and licensing to become a parent. If caught breeding without a license, a community parental board will police the unlicensed home to prevent mom and dad from abusing, ignoring, Ritalin doping, name calling, bruising, crushing, and killing the spirit of a child. The board will register and supervise folks; to weed out and/or prevent potential parenting from those unable to love and who essentially breed and create monsters without a conscience.
Folks will quickly adapt to the idea – after all, it's required to register and obtain a license for many things - to drive, own a gun, a car, marry, hunt deer and ducks, sell liquor, cut hair, street peddle, so on and so on.
Licensing to breed will be at no cost to applicant and will be equal opportunity – independent of class, creed, or color - as the wealthy WASP produce psychopaths as easily as anyone else (to wit: GW). License requirements will include, but are not limited, to such things as :
1. Potential parents at time of licensing must show proof of financial ability as the State will not fund the enterprise.
2. Potential parents will show proof of mental stability – i.e. not on benzodiazepines, fluoxitines, etc., not suffering from active depression or boredom, have not been in rehab or anger management within the previous 5 years.
3. Potential parents must sign an agreement not to raise child on fast food, colas, and television.
4. Potential parents will agree to never leave their child in the care of others whom they do not know, barely know, or drifters, molesters, or their cousin's friend's neighbor who has another new significant other shacking up with him/her.
5. Potential parents will spend one month alone in a padded room with the loud volume of constant crying, whining, begging, arguing, fighting, screaming, back-talking, the sound of precious personal items breaking, stomping, muttering under breath, all in the voices of children from ages 0-18. Sounds will be accompanied with having to clean life-like dolls with actual snotty noses, crapped and wet pants, vomit, dirt, gum in hair, sores, scabs, and kitty litter on baby teeth.
6. Potential parents will practice feeding a 3 y/o greenbeans and peas and spinach while 3 y/o is demanding pizza and ice cream.
7. Potential parents will clean walls and floors every 30 minutes (ink, markers, crayons, food, dirt, footprints, handprints, and the odd never identified stuck-on bugery things).
8. Potential parents will sleep in 2-3 hour stretches.
9. Potential parents will practice sex less often but much quicker.
10. Potential parents will spend 1 hour a day listening to a beautiful teenage girl rolling her eyes, or screaming and/or crying that everyone is wearing, doing, buying, going, or has "this" and assuring her one zit is not acne.
11. Potential parents will spend 1 hour a day lecturing a handsome teenage boy, taller and bigger than themselves, about the dangers of driving, sex, bad grades, sports won't get you everything, finishing projects, breaking curfew, and assuring him one zit is not acne.
Please donate to KAB to push legislation for Parent Control Now.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:34 AM
Thursday, December 06, 2007
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- After nearly four years of economic growth fed by record oil prices, inflation is beginning to eat away at Venezuela's economy despite efforts by President Hugo Chavez's government to put a cap on swiftly rising prices.
Inflation surged to 4.4 percent last month alone, sending annual accumulated inflation to 18.6 percent -- raising concerns the problem could be growing out of control. And rising prices come as shortages of basic goods from milk to toilet paper also become a growing aggravation for Venezuelans.
"Food has gone up the most. The prices of these products, if you can find them, are in the clouds," quipped Jose Guevara, a 54-year-old shopkeeper, as he left a supermarket in downtown Caracas.
Over the last year, food and beverage prices have skyrocketed by 33 percent. Analysts expect this oil-rich South American country to close the year with an inflation rate of 20 percent or more despite government-imposed price controls on 400 consumer products.
In February, the government announced an anti-inflationary plan, that featured the lifting of price controls from several staples, while reducing the value-added tax from 15 to 9 percent.
The government is also lopping off three zeros from the nation's currency, the bolivar. On Wednesday it unveiled anti-counterfeiting features of the revamped currency, dubbed the "Strong Bolivar," which will start circulating in the New Year.
But efforts to slow inflation have been undermined by near-record public spending by Chavez's oil-rich government, which has put billions of dollars (euros) into social programs for the poor, said Jose Guerra, an economist who closely monitored government spending at the Central Bank before leaving the institution in 2005.
"The spending policy has been too intense and there's no way to bring down prices with such high spending," Guerra said.
Guerra said that price controls have been accompanied by foreign currency controls, which have also boosted inflation by forcing many businesses to buy U.S. dollars on the black market for as much as 6,500 bolivars -- or more than three times the official rate fixed at 2,150 to the dollar.
"The worst part is there's no hope that things will improve because everything is going to continue to rise because dollars on the black market are rising," Javier Barreiro, a 26-year-old shopkeeper.
-------Very similar path in the Nicaraguan economy of the 1980s. We almost needed a shopping cart to carry home the cordobas after a dollar exchange. It was illegal to buy dollars on the black market but everyone, including the government, did. We dubbed the local toilet paper Grade Z because I swear it still had wood chips. In all those years I saw 1 egg and no bacon. Once, tired of the same meal over and over, I hung my head and cried like a baby over a plate of government provided beans. But the coffee was great. The limes and Flor de Cana rum were cheap and plentiful so everyone could stay buzzed on an empty stomach. Inflation reached an unbelievable 33,000 percent before the economy collapsed.
Hugo needs to figure out how best to invest those windfalls of war for oil profits, quickly.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:16 PM
"The erosion of our rights" in connection with "warrantless wiretapping" has been a common phrase the past couple of years.
Warrantless wiretapping stories often lead with :
"... why it seriously imperils the separation of powers, and continues the executive's sapping of power from congress and the courts."
Feingold Calls Warrantless Wiretaps an Impeachable Offense.
National Security Agency has spied on hundreds of people inside the US.
Or some such words. Still the the "warrantless wiretapping" issue fails to strike fear in my heart. Friends to the left accuse me of not understanding the situation; hinting I'm clueless and not grasping the gravity of what it all means, or worse yet - that I'm a closet republican!
This article, and similar multiple others, is why I have no worry. NEW YORK (CNN) -- "Ten members of an international smuggling ring have been arrested and charged with paying more than $500,000 in bribes to smuggle millions of dollars in fake designer goods from China to the United States, according to the U.S. Justice Department. The counterfeit goods included designer jeans, Nike shoes, Burberry and Chanel handbags, and Polo and Baby Phat clothing ..."
You see Bubba, I believe Big Daddy government is not concerned with tapping you or me or most others inside US borders. BD is not worried about "terrorist" masterminds, not concerned with listening to bin Ladenlikes discussing plots on the phone in regard to perpetrating evil deeds on innocent upstanding American citizens.
Big Daddy government is run by the corporate world - laws (or lack of) are to benefit the corporate world, and although Big Daddy will assure you all government things are done to protect this land, are done for your safety, your well-being, your American way of life - don't believe it, Bubba.
All things are done by and for Corporate Profit, Inc.
Government, Inc. has always and easily rid itself of anyone who might pose a genuine threat to the system.
The anti-war movement poses no threat, they're being worked better than a standup comic works a room in Vegas.
American "dissidents" are not a threat, all ten-thousand or so of them cheering for thugs of color in former colonies, apparently unaware that giving welfare to the poor will work no better than giving welfare to the rich; producing the same entitlement mentality and a new ruling elite as ruthless as the previous.
Middle-of-the-road Joe Blow is not a threat – just give him another video game or sports channel.
Hardass conservative Joe Blows are not a threat – they excuse decay and social horrors as Biblical prophecy or the fault of liberals, and/or profit on the bottom line.
Bleeding heart progressives are not a threat – they have a disease and prescription for all social ills or fault the conservatives, and/or profit on the bottom line.
And you my friends are not a threat – as long as you continue to shop and frequent the gas pump and depend on pols who spend their lifetime in D.C. safeguarding the corporate world under the pretense of working for we the people. As long as you continue participating in the charade that you have power – you will never have power.
But back to topic - the number one reason the corporagovernment mob wants warrantless wiretapping without legal interference is to search for those folks who interfere with established corporate profit - such as the thugs, smugglers, and corrupt officials above. Government need never mention the information gained with wiretapping to sting them.
Big Daddy government, godfather of global Corporate Family, Inc.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:15 AM
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Gay Ambassador Resigns Over State Department’s Discrimination Against Gay And Lesbian Employees.
Appointed by President Bush in 2001 to be Ambassador to Romania, Michael Guest was the first publicly gay man to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as a U.S. Ambassador. Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell explicitly noted the presence of and positively recognized Guest’s same-sex partner, Alex Nevarez, during the swearing-in ceremony. The Human Rights Campaign called Powell’s acknowledgement of Nevarez a “small gesture that spoke volumes.”
But serving as an openly-gay ambassador under the Bush administration proved not to be as pleasant as his swearing-in. Guest retired recently, and at his retirement ceremony, “he did what few people do — displayed uncommon courage and threw a rhetorical hand-grenade into his own party.” The New York Times reports, “Guest took Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (who was not present) to task for failing to treat the partners of gay and lesbian foreign service officers the same as the spouses of heterosexual officers.” Guest said that was the reason for his departure:
“Most departing ambassadors use these events to talk about their successes . . . But I want to talk about my signal failure, the failure that in fact is causing me to leave the career that I love,” said Mr. Guest, 50, whose most recent assignment was dean of the leadership and management school at the Foreign Service Institute, the government’s school for diplomats.
------- "Uncommon courage?" Groan.
Now why do I have a hard time believing the b.s. above. Can it be because it took Michael Guest, a 25+ year career diplomat, so long to recognize his "signal failure"? Or that it took 6 years under his own BushCo party snubbing to signal failure? Seems more likely Mr. Guest has federal retirement lined up and now issuing a personal political statement (before joining the board of some corporation or founding his own company). Another social warrior waging a token battle after securing the pension and benefits.
Snubbing gay ambassador partners includes : "... gay partners are not entitled to State Department-provided security training, free medical care at overseas posts, guaranteed evacuation in case of a medical emergency, transportation to overseas posts, or special living allowances when foreign service officers are assigned to places like Iraq, where diplomatic families are not permitted."
Lemme get this straight (no pun intended) – taxpayers are to cough up living allowances to support partners of officers assigned to places like Iraq? And free medical care for partners? Hey buddy – it's a job offer – if you don't like the benefits and environment – don't accept the position. After all, there are plenty of minimum wage jobs which snub benefits and are eager to employ courageous folks.
Although Guest is the first gay to be confirmed by the senate he was not the first openly gay ambassador. That honor goes to Clinton's recess appointment of James Hormel (meat heir) to Luxembourg.
Hopefully, Alex and Mike enjoyed their European adventure; living in the Bucharest ambassador's residence, dancing at embassy balls, enjoying the city's high life reputation - even if sometimes on their own dime. I have yet to find if Alex Nevarez-Guest has a career or if he's a stay-at-home partner.
For hardcore conspiracists Michael Guest is/was a member of the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations), supposedly the promotional arm of America's ruling elite in the New World Order.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:08 PM
"National Intelligence Estimates express coordinated judgments of the U.S. intelligence community's 16 agencies. It was a similar NIE saying Iraq had weapons of mass destruction that helped paved the way for the U.S.-led invasion in 2003."
----See how the liars lie? Similar NIE said Iraq had WMD and knew Iraq did not. Remember, 99.9 percent of the time the ruling class uses b.s. to "pave the way." That's why their way is the high way - they can pile b.s. really, really high.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:33 AM
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran on Tuesday touted a new U.S. intelligence report as vindication that its nuclear program is peaceful. But it was unclear if the finding would lead to any immediate warming in U.S.-Iranian relations, including on key issues like Iraq.
Iranian officials insisted Washington should take a less hawkish stance and drop attempts to impose new sanctions in light of the report's conclusion that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in late 2003 and has shown no signs of resuming.
President Bush ruled out any change in policy. He said sanctions were still needed to force Iran to stop uranium enrichment, which he warned could be used for building atomic warheads someday. France and Britain also said pressure must be maintained on Tehran.
Even Russia, which urges continued negotiations rather than more sanctions, said Iran must open its nuclear program fully to international scrutiny and keep it under control of the U.N. atomic watchdog agency.
------KAB interprets: As I've said for a couple of years the Iranian/BushCo tug-of-nuclear energy is not genuine – it's all sideshow. Iran is already a nuclear power.
The show began around the time of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Around, about, soon after the assassination, Israel went nuclear. Around, about, a few short years after that Pakistan, India, and Iran were negotiating with the West, with Russia, with China because they too wanted to be nuclear.
Zulfikar Bhutto, (daddy of Benizar "the defender of democracy") established Pakistan's nuclear weapons program in 1972. When India flexed its nuclear muscle, testing a nuke device in 1974, Pakistan stepped up their program and had nuclear ability by 1987. The West, the USSR, North Korea, China, and oh my god - even Brazil, Turkey, Japan, and Canada - all contributed technology, materials, and know-how to Pakistan and India, directly or indirectly but mostly directly (for money, for alliances, and to piss off rivals). Iran was not left out – no sirree. Money talks dirty, and then goes to the laundry.
The Shah of Iran said in 1975 "... his country had "no intention of acquiring nuclear weapons but if small states began building them, then Iran might have to reconsider its policy." Smaller states being specifically Israel of course, and every country with a spy or two knew Israel had nuclear capability long before the secret leaked out to Joe Blows. Besides, arms dealers (after the liquor but before the women or whatever preference) cannot help but boast around the hired help of who they sold what to and for how much, whether authorized or black market - it's all greenbacks after the wash.
As with any other nation with funds to spend, Iran was wheeling and dealing with France, the Netherlands, China, USSR, US, etc. in the 1970s for nuclear know-how, all for "peaceful purposes." After Iran's brief 1979 revolutionary upheaval Iran continued its quest for nuclear power (again, for peaceful purposes - but would you want to live in the neighborhood with a nuclear armed "small state" and not have some of your own?), and pretty much continued dealing with the same countries, except the US ... well ... unless you count the time Reagan/Poppy Bush and their fall guy Oily North were making deals with Iran from the White House basement.
Of course the US knew Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction; the US had been up Saddam's butt with a colonoscope for 2 decades and knew everything Saddam had or did not have. The powers that be know who has what because they sell it to one another. There are no secrets at top levels - only information withheld to scare the peasants.
But at any rate – the real story – Iran is a nuclear power, as is Israel, Pakistan, and India (I won't mention nukes in Turkey). The PTB know Iran has nuclear capability. And of course, you too will know it officially when the PTB want you to know it - possibly when Iran performs an underground test and a satellite photo of the cratering, before it could be backfilled, is "leaked" by an anonymous former Pentagon or CIA "hero" who thinks the voting public needs to know – gosh it all depends on which cheek of the corporate ass is running the show (the war profiting republicans or the war profiting democrats, or possibly the underdog independent who really gives you what you wish for, good and hard:).
But that could be months or years from now – so remember, you heard it here first.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:02 PM
Monday, December 03, 2007
US Marine Corps Rules:
1. Be courteous to everyone, friendly to no one.
2. Decide to be aggressive enough, quickly enough.
3. Have a plan.
4. Have a back-up plan, because the first one probably won't work.
5. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
6. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun whose caliber does not start with a "4."
7. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammo is cheap. Life is expensive.
8. Move away from your attacker. Distance is your friend. (Lateral and diagonal preferred.)
9. Use cover or concealment as much as possible.
10. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
11. Always cheat; always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or tactics. They will only remember who lived.
13. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating your intention to shoot.
Navy SEAL's Rules:
1. Look very cool in sunglasses.
2. Kill every living thing within view.
3. Adjust speedo.
4. Check hair in mirror.
US Army Rangers Rules:
1. Walk in 50 miles wearing 75 pound rucksack while starving.
2. Locate individuals requiring killing.
3. Request permission via radio from "Higher" to perform killing.
4. Curse bitterly when mission is aborted.
5. Walk out 50 miles wearing a 75 pound rucksack while starving.
US Army Rules:
1. Curse bitterly when receiving operational order.
2. Make sure there is extra ammo and extra coffee.
3. Curse bitterly.
4. Curse bitterly.
5. Do not listen to 2nd LT's. It can get you killed.
6. Curse bitterly.
US Air Force Rules:
1. Have a cocktail.
2. Adjust temperature on air-conditioner.
3. See what's on HBO.
4. Ask "what is a gunfight?"
5. Request more funding from Congress with a "killer" Power Point presentation.
6. Wine & dine 'key' Congressmen, invite DOD & defense industry executives.
7. Receive funding, set up new command and assemble assets.
8. Declare the assets "strategic" and never deploy them operationally.
9. Hurry to make 13:45 tee-time.
10. Make sure the base is as far as possible from the conflict but close enough to have tax exemption.
US Navy Rules:
1. Go to Sea.
2. Drink Coffee.
3. Provide the air superiority the Air Force would provide if they could get basing.
4. Deploy Marines.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:56 PM
Saturday, December 01, 2007
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - The arrests of three men who allegedly tried to sell contraband uranium for $1 million show how a shadowy black market for nuclear components has survived despite tightened security at nuclear facilities worldwide, experts said Thursday.
Slovak police said the material, believed to have originated in the former Soviet Union, was highly dangerous and could have been used in a radiological "dirty bomb" or other terrorist weapon.
In 2006 alone, the U.N. nuclear watchdog registered 252 reported cases — a 385 percent increase since 2002.
Hoskins cautioned that the spike probably was due at least in part to better reporting and improved law enforcement efforts. Of the 252 cases, about 85 involved thefts or losses, and not all the material was suitable for use in a weapon, he told The Associated Press.
He said the uranium had been stashed in lead containers, and that investigators determined it contained 98.6 percent uranium-235. Uranium is considered weapons-grade if it contains at least 85 percent uranium-235.
But nuclear experts who were shown police photographs of radioactivity readings contended the material was probably not as dangerous as authorities believe.
They said the police confused a scientific reading of the material as dealing with its "concentration" of uranium-235, when in fact it was just a "confidence" level of the machine to give an accurate reading. They suggested it may even have been natural uranium — a common and non-lethal element.
"Uranium is not very radiotoxic," said David Albright, a former U.N. weapons inspector who is now president of the Institute for Science and International Security in Washington.
"The net effect of dispersing half a kilo (about a pound) of uranium — who cares? Each person would get so little it would have no effect," Albright said.
Alexander Glaser, a researcher at Princeton University's Program in Science and Global Security, said any discussion of dirty bombs in this case was "off topic."
"Even naturally occurring uranium would be more effective than this in making a dirty bomb," he said.
Vitaly Fedchenko, a researcher with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said people should not get the idea that the world is awash in easily obtainable bomb components.
"The danger is definitely there. But there's no reason to panic," he said. "Most of the 'buyers' out there are law enforcement agents. And not all of the materials out there are weapons grade."
In 2006, Georgian agents working with CIA officials set up a sting that led to the arrest of a Russian citizen who tried to sell a small amount of weapons-grade uranium that he had in a plastic bag in his jacket pocket.
In 1997, seven men who officials said planned to smuggle 11 pounds of enriched uranium to Pakistan or China were arrested in Novosibirsk, Russia. That uranium reportedly had been stolen from a plant in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.
-----In his pocket?!
Posted by Kate-A at 7:57 PM
BAGHDAD — An Iraqi journalist who'd claimed Monday that gunmen had killed 11 family members in Baghdad recanted Friday, saying there'd been no massacre and that the only person who'd been killed was a brother-in-law who died between Kut in the south and Baghdad.
Dhia al Kawazz, who publishes a Web site from Amman, Jordan, said his initial claim — which was widely reported, including by McClatchy — was based on false information. Family members said he'd lied to get his family refugee status in Jordan.
Kawazz's story has been challenged all week, first by the police, then the government and then by his own mother. The Iraqi police issued a warrant for Kawazz's arrest through Interpol for claiming that police had threatened his family's lives, according to Abdel Karim Khalaf, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.
Haider Sadiq, another brother-in-law of Kawazz's, said family members had learned of their apparent deaths through the news ticker on an Iraqi television station.
"We were astonished by this, and neighbors started coming to ask us about what they saw on television," he said. "At that moment I decide to prove the truth, that we are alive."
Posted by Kate-A at 7:24 PM
Sugary Candy Looks Too Much Like Street Drugs, Cops Say. Philadelphia narcotics officers are upset that a candy made by Hershey looks like crack cocaine. Critics say Ice Breakers Pacs look too much like tiny heat-sealed bags of illegal powdered drugs, like crack or heroin.
Seems familiar ....... oh yea .... food or bomb.
Posted by Kate-A at 3:23 PM
We know the US/CIA operates in foreign nations, i.e. Venezuela, with plotting, funding, and training opposition groups, etc., to subvert, undermine, destabilize social and political stability.
So, who can say without a doubt that foreign nations have not and/or do not operate in the US? And perhaps even do it better.
(Please exclude the old standard "communist plot" and AIPAC/Israel from your answers.)
Posted by Kate-A at 12:04 PM
Eva Golinger uncovers CIA plot to destabilize Chavez government.
GOLINGER : "On a scarier note, an internal CIA memorandum has been obtained by Venezuelan counterintelligence from the US Embassy in Caracas that reveals a very sinister - almost fantastical, were it not true - plan to destabilize Venezuela during the coming days. The plan, titled "OPERATION PLIERS" was authored by CIA Officer Michael Middleton Steere and was addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington. Steere is stationed at the US Embassy in Caracas under the guise of a Regional Affairs Officer. The internal memorandum, dated November 20, 2007, references the "Advances of the Final Stage of Operation Pliers", and confirms that the operation is coordinated by the team of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) in Venezuela."
-----Shall I shoot the messenger now or later? According to Aleksander Boyd , Golinger is "The most vocal spin doctor of coupster Hugo Chavez in the USA is a person who keeps misrepresenting and lying about her profession, credentials, tax-status and connections to the Venezuelan regime; nothing but prevarications and distortions should be expected from Eva Golinger."
(Boyd is considered by progressive messenger shooters to be a right wingnut blogger/commentator but his statement above is well sourced with links.)
I find nothing on Steere on the State Department's page for Venezuela, nor even a "Regional Affairs" office. Googled references for Steere are referencing Golinger's pliers, and/or her books for sale, The Chavez Code, 2006, and her latest Bush Versus Chavez, 2007.
Granted, CIA operating in Caracas is true; they operate from every embassy as do all intel agencies. But that hardly convinces me Golinger or "Pliers" are legit.
What initially raised my questioning Golinger and Pliers was at the end of her article : "The original document in English will be available in the public sphere soon for viewing and authenticating purposes. And it also contains more information than has been revealed here."
For the full text in Spanish, see: Operación Tenaza: Informe confidencial de la CIA devela plan de saboteo al referéndum del 2 de diciembre."
The "original document in English" is delayed. Hmmm, now let me see, the lady writes for a predominantly English-speaking anglo progressive crowd but withholds the English version of the document and gives them the Spanish one. I have this eerie feeling the English version will never be "authenticated." Or at least not without bias.
It makes absolutely no sense to release an unathenticated Spanish version to the American public first, unless she was still creatively writing the English one.
And honestly, it's not that I enjoy shooting messengers – it's just so many of them are conspicuous targets whose livelihoods depend, completely or partially, on "uncovering" and/or promoting an agenda with little to no proof and no objectivity - and as such - it's open season.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:23 AM