Monday, January 28, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) ― President Hugo Chavez on Friday accused neighboring Colombia and the United States of plotting a military "aggression" against Venezuela.
"I accuse the government of Colombia of devising a conspiracy, acting as a pawn of the U.S. empire, of devising a military provocation against Venezuela," Chavez said.
"A military aggression is being prepared," Chavez added, saying that Washington aims to "oblige us to respond, and later a war could be set off."
He cited intelligence reports but did not offer evidence to support his claim.
Chavez warned Colombia not to attempt a "provocation," warning that it would trigger a decision by Venezuela to cut off all oil exports.
"In that scenario, write it down: the price of oil would reach $300, because there wouldn't be oil for anyone," Chavez said.
"The invaders would have to step over our dead bodies." Chavez has repeatedly accused Washington of plotting to oust or kill him, though it was the first time he has accused Colombia's U.S.-allied government in such strident terms.
---- Chavez knows better. The US can't afford war in South America - domestic opinion and lack of funds are two of many reasons. The rhetoric tells me Hugo is losing support with his base, likely because he's not delivering on promises fast enough, and thinks an external "threat" will be a uniter.
Perhaps Hugo issues such press releases to impress the Nicaraguans - to remind Nicas that he, as the Sandinistas before him, is threatened by a US funded guerrilla war staged from Columbia - his anti-Yanqui maneuver. But after a decade in power not many are buying Hugo's every 3 months accusation that the yankees are coming.
Seems the average Nicaraguan isn't overly impressed with Hugo. "The Nicaraguan government's attempt to go into the oil-importing business without either facilities or experienced executives foundered into delays, bottlenecks and glitches, eventually resulting in the seizure of the Exxon facilities. The storage tanks were returned two months later, after Exxon agreed to rent them out to the government. But even so, only about 2 million of the promised 10 million barrels of Venezuelan oil arrived in 2007. And though the government laid a cornerstone for the new refinery Venezuela promised, no more work has been done on it. ''Chávez promised a new refinery,'' Jarquin says. "But Nicaragua is the 11th country where Chávez has offered the same refinery. He's over-drafted, over-committed. He can't deliver; that's the reality.''
Chavez needs the price of oil to hit $300 a barrel. He needs the proceeds to deliver on promises at home and around the world; and feed/shelter the millions of poor immigrating to the New Venezuela from surrounding countries. Apparently Chavez is seizing food to stock his newly created State food distribution company; food seized from one of the country's largest employers.
Like it or not, Chavez needed the giants - ConocoPhillips and Exxon - at least until he had something else lined up - but as of 2007 both companies have refused to sign a deal to keep producing oil in Venezuela on the terms offered by Chavez. It hurts Venezuela more than CP and Exxon as both companies continue healthy profits.
Unlike Che, Castro, or Ortega - Lt. Colonel Hugo didn't arrive with fire from the mountain . He rode in on the same system he rants about - US styled "democratic capitalism."
And you know what? I want a dollar for every time I've read or heard a white person observe that Hugo is mestizo, therefore a brown Venezuelan must be honest and on the side of the poor. To insinuate that a nonwhite can't be as corrupt as any white folk. What an insult!
To be blunt, for too long I've watched American liberals adopt Latin revolutionaries like pets, and call it solidarity; please donate to fight the empire - all while living quite comfortably in the empire. A few will venture to briefly visit the revolution (aka drinking and screwing) to report upon returning home how intellectually uplifting it was to see the "movement" firsthand.
Too bad they can't get their own revolution on at home.
For those who say US backers fund the Chavez opposition ... can you tell me who funded Chavez campaigns, before he had access to oil funds ? ...
Some theorists claim that Fransisco Arias Cardenas (Chavez opposition in 2000 election) was backed by the left branch of the NWO, some say the USCIA, all labeled him "the pro-US" Arias, etc. Chavez had a "landslide victory" over Arias who has called Hugo a paranoid murderer and head of a gang of criminals.
Arias and Hugo go back a long way, military cadets together, co-conspirators in the 1992 coup attempt, both pardoned by president Rafael Caldera after a year in prison. Arias is currently the Venezuelan ambassador to the UN, having kissed and made-up; or money talks, b.s. walks. Arias was to Chavez what Kerry was to Bush, both knowing where the skulls and bones are buried; sure looked like a real election though huh Bubba?
Chavez is no revolutionary - he's another puppet on the world stage.
(Fire From the Mountain has an English version and worth reading.)
Posted by Kate-A at 6:50 PM
Friday, January 25, 2008
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's opposition is demanding leftist President Hugo Chavez take a drug test after he said he chews coca leaves to keep up his energy.
The anti-U.S. leader has repeatedly defended the use of coca leaves despite accusations by the United States that he is turning Venezuela into a "haven" for drugs from Colombia.
Chavez said during a January speech that Bolivian President Evo Morales, a close Chavez ally and outspoken supporter of legalizing the cultivation of coca, sends him coca paste.
------- From what I've read, America's "left" sees nothing wrong with chewing a little coca leaf every morning, and conveniently ignore whether or not Chavez smokes that paste sent to him by good buddy Morales. But hey, maybe coca helps him work longer and harder.
Also unmentioned by the American Chavez supporters is the fact that coca cultivation, rather than food staples, does little to feed the peasants, aids deforestation, erodes the soil, and poisons the rivers, killing plant and animal species.
Never mind that coca paste, or "basuco" can be used in the production of crack for Black America - the "left" loves you.
Never mind that the same "left" cannot bear the sight of tobacco - and pay no mind to the biggest US beneficiaries of the coca trade (USA,Inc/CIA) - according to the "left" coca chewing is good for South Americans because they're responsible people or ceremonial with it, unlike our own dopers who never know when to pass up a rock or line.
Last but not least, imagine if you will the "left" reaction had Bush admitted he chewed coca every morning and his friend sends him coca paste. Would it be okay?
Posted by Kate-A at 12:28 PM
Thursday, January 24, 2008
It's that time again. MLK birthday and Black history month approaching. Everyone, particularly liberals, pull out MLK phrases to show their progressiveness. So rather than rewriting the usual platitudes at this time of year I'm posting reaction to recently read articles. I know, I know, I sound crotchety sometimes, and harp on others but ..... they so deserve it.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson. A blogger/contributor at Huffington Post and elsewhere. Wiki says: Earl is a journalist and author. And respected and educated I might add, with a Piled Higher and Deeper in sociology from Pacific Western University (I was going to say Pacific is unaccredited but that might sound catty.)
In this Huffington Post, Ron Paul is Scary, But Those that Cheer Him are Even Scarier, Hutchinson says : "Then there's Paul's now infamous slavery quip that he made on Meet the Press. Paul claimed the Civil War was an unnecessary bloodbath that could and should have been avoided. All Lincoln had to do was buy the slaves. Other slave promoting countries, asserts Paul, didn't fight wars and they ended slavery peacefully. Paul's historical dumbness would have been laughable except for four things. One, he was dead wrong. Lincoln twice made offers to the slave owners to buy the slaves. They turned him down flat. The countries that freed the slaves without war, presumably France and England, unlike the U.S., did not practice slavery in their countries. And France did fight a war-- Napoleon's ill-fated invasion of Haiti to put down the slave revolt there."
My problem with part of the above statement is most of it's wrong.
In January 1861 the southern states began secession. In March 1861 at Lincoln's inaugural address he stated he had no plans to end slavery in those states where it already existed, and said he would not accept secession.
A year later in 1862 Lincoln's offer was to compensate $4 billion in market value with $1.5 billion from the government. Hardly a deal 19th century businessmen would go for; as a lawyer Lincoln could do the math. In 1862 Lincoln presented the Compensated Emancipation : United States ought to cooperate with any state which may adopt gradual abolishment of slavery, giving to such state pecuniary aid, to be used by such state, in its discretion, to compensate for the inconveniences, public and private, produced by such change of system." As the January 1861 link above shows over a dozen states had already seceded and the war begun.
Would today's wealthiest folks/corporations accept compensation of 1/3 the value to gradually change the system that creates wage slaves around the world?
The Civil War, as all wars, was about wealth. All wars need a noble cloak. A righteous cover. Abolition, states' rights, sovereignty, and both sides accused the other of endangering national security. Once southern wealth was transferred to the north it was national segregation, Jim Crow, lynchings - the abolitionist North was little better than the south. It was a money grab that took the lives of 600,000 Americans. Slave revolts would have ended slavery; and there were many although you'd never know it by reading standard American history. If the north had refused to honor fugitive slave laws hordes would have headed north. As Charles Dickens put it : "The love of money is the root of this as of many other evils....The quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel". Leaders today call such ideas revisionist history. (Also look at the north/south argument over wealth from the newly opened western territories stolen from native Americans. Another north/south "quarrel".) And what taxes would Lincoln levy on Joe Blow to cover Compensated Emancipation?
Hutchinson states : "... France and England, unlike the U.S., did not practice slavery in their countries."
Apparently Earl has not read of Jonathan Strong, or that "Thousands of black slaves were brought to Britain by slave ships. In the 18th Century it was the height of fashion for rich ladies to have a black child servant." The Church of England cited Biblical passages to justify slavery in England, as did Christians in the colonies. The Brits and Europeans in general preferred slave trading to slave owning; google the Zong Massacre, but they did practice slavery in their countries.
In 1792 the Constituent Assembly abolished slavery in France but not in the colonies. On the surface Britain and France appear progressively ahead, abolishing slavery before their American brothers and cousins. Did the French and English abolish slavery at home from goodness or necessity? I believe necessity. England and France were much smaller land masses and their nation's wealth came from their colonies in the Caribbean, Americas, West Indies, Louisiana French territory, from breeding and/or importing slaves to develop the plantation economies. They could afford to be genteel on the home front.
Hutchinson is also a defender of Hillary; believing there's a "media vendetta against her." Obama Needs a History Lesson about Hillary and King. Hutchinson says : "The Obama camp did it again. They manufactured yet another issue out of a non issue when they pounded Hillary Clinton for supposedly defiling Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by minimizing his role in the civil rights struggle. ... The Civil Rights Bill [LBJ], not King's marches and demonstrations, broke the back of legal segregation in America and became the watchword for progressive, visionary social legislation for decades to come."
As a senator Lyndon Johnson killed a 1956 civil rights bill in congress and diluted the 1957 Civil Rights bill. Johnson's anti-integration stance changed for political reasons. Regarding the 1964 Civil Rights act: "In conversations with Johnson, King made clear his willingness to seek out dramatic confrontations in the Deep South and to risk his safety if necessary to get government action. He knew it would take presidential leadership, he said, and he shrewdly held out the potential of supporting Johnson in the 1964 campaign."
Johnson "woke up" smelling the votes, and the violence brewing if Civil Rights were not coming forthwith. Voting stats on the bill Yes/No format:
Democratic Party: 153-91 (63%-37%) - Republican Party: 186-35 (80%-20%).
Democratic Party: 46-22 (68%-32%) - Republican Party: 27-6 (82%-18%).
The bill was written to end discrimination in hiring and housing and segregation in schools and public facilities, and gave birth a few months later to the Voting Rights Act - apparently a majority of pols caught an early whiff of more votes come puppet election time.
After King focused on the Vietnam war LBJ referred to him as "that nigger preacher." King was assassinated within months of turning his attention to Vietnam. Personally, I believe King and others, and the '60s being an era of change, "broke the back" of segregation; dogs and water hoses televised into homes shamed decent white Americans with their own racial ignorance and brutality. Before his death King wanted to unite all the poor; an even bigger threat to TPTB - potential class war.
As for Earl's opinions, I suppose someone has to apply gloss on that miserable Hillary Wannabe a History Maker along with the vulgar, crude, Texas bigot LBJ. Someone has to powder Hillary's bruises after those Obamic media poundings for political sideshow meow meow.
I was wondering Bubba ... do you get a warm fuzzy when you hear the story of Honest Abe's comment to Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862 : "So you're the little woman who wrote the book that started this Great War!" That's as sweet as George Washington's cherry tree. Hopefully, I won't live long enough to read history's textbook fluff regarding the Bush and Clinton legacies.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:49 AM
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The "left" continues into its 3rd year of ranting and railing against the Iraq War (note, rare to no rant of Afghanistan war). I say 3rd year because from 2001 to 2005 nearly 99.9 percent of pols and pundits and talking heads tiptoed around; still in 9/11 shock and pain and grief, if you believe the excusers as to why no one spoke sooner.
The rants mainly regard the Iraq body count, the world hates us, impeach Bush and/or Cheney, illegal spying on Joe Nobody, stolen/rigged voting, and a bevy - yes I say, a bevy - of mistreated white women, i.e. Valerie Plame, Sibel Edmonds, Janis Karpinski, etc. And recently, with the "economic meltdowns" the cry has been the empire is collapsing and you just don't know it yet, run chickenlittle run and get your helmet.
Need I mention that the "left" from one corner of the mouth will say US troops are comprised of gang members and thugs, troops who rape and kill at random and wantonly without conscience - but then, from the other side of the mouth they cry, weep, mournfully rage about government treatment of the same troops.
(Some even lay blame for Laurean's gruesome murder of Lauterbach on the Marine Corp not doing enough. Makes as much sense as Dub Dimshit down at the local diner claiming "it's cause we let all those Mexicans in.")
And the "left" still wonders why their voice is not heard. Why, why, oh why are people not waking up from their slumber, looking through the smoke and mirrors and putting an end to this war. Why oh why.
Here's likely why: Only 0.5 percent of 300+ million Americans are personally invested in the Iraq War; the 150,000 +/- troops serving there. Add the family members and friends and still you have maybe, perhaps at most 1.5 percent of the US population. Then if you subtract the directly invested families who are as disgusted with the left as they are the right - you might end where you started - back at 0.5 percent.
The "left" knows this, the "right" knows this, the moderates and centrists know it, democrat and republican pols know it. They do the math. Making a non-issue an issue is what they do to pretend you the people have a say in running the nation. The war is a non-issue because the powers that be will call it over when they are ready - not when a fraction of the public says to call game over.
Those 99.5 percent of Americans not directly effected by the Iraq war are not against the war per se, in fact many jobs are now related to the Iraq war, the war on terror, homeland security, etc. Not Joe Lowpay jobs, but more in the IT (info-tech) and security equipment industries. Jon Pinstripe down the street procured a multi-million dollar contract from another big government contractor to design and manufacture bomb-proof guard shacks. Jon and his 12 employees are so thrilled they held a banquet at the country club last weekend. Jon and friends benefit from the old "trickle down" theory.
Paid professional talking heads who lean "left" hammer and batter the public with the idea that the war is costing Joe his freebies, his rights, his respect in the world, and ... oh yes, our troops and those innocent Iraqi who are killed. Note those disgusted most with war relate the cost first and foremost to Joe Havenothing citizen. Troops, Iraqi, and "our image abroad" come in 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place.
But! Aha! Maybe today's public, not making any significant move to "end the war now" is not so easily fooled. Maybe Joe knows, even if the war ended tomorrow, he's never going to get respect and his free stuff.
Joe knows that the free healthcare everyone seems to want to use war funds for will eventually cost him dearly; in that area on his paystub called withholding.
He knows when the war "ends" millions of middle eastern brothers and sisters will be imported as American profiteers make attempts to please world opinion; the care and tender of such generosity has always been on Joe's dime.
Joe knows he can get an occasional free lunch, however, it's always a peanut butter sandwich when his mouth waters for prime rib. And even when he gets a little government re-bait money - it goes for past due bills, not prime rib.
Joe knows when the war "ends" the pump price will not go down much; food and utility costs will always rise, and his wages will forever and never keep up. And that's the Joe who works - there are millions of other Joes in front of the television who see no reason to toil at deadend jobs - not when there's a shitload of free comin' any day now.
The "left" never seems to tire of a chorus of crickets. Republicans and the right gotta love it.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:17 PM
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Great Fixer Upper 4 Sale, Cheap!
"Last May, a Saudi Arabian conglomerate bought a Massachusetts plastics maker. In November, a French company established a new factory in Adrian, Mich., adding 189 automotive jobs to an area accustomed to layoffs. In December, a British company bought a New Jersey maker of cough syrup.
For much of the world, the United States is now on sale at discount prices. With credit tight, unemployment growing and worries mounting about a potential recession, American business and government leaders are courting foreign money to keep the economy growing."
"We are making the transition to a different world, with new centres of power. But at the same time, it is likely to continue to be a market-based global economy with open trade and investment. It's not to be feared but it will take time for those accustomed to calling the shots to adjust."
---- Meet the new bosses - maybe they really are new bosses.
Perhaps off topic, but someone asked me this past week why I oppose a one world government. Their thinking is that such a setup would bring world peace and prosperity, similar to what they read on Xmas cards. I disagree. I mean, as if the United Nations has done squat for world peace over the last 60 years, and a world governance would be of similar design to the UN, if not the UN.
To my thinking a one world governing body would basically mean individual nations send guys like Bush, Blair, Chirac, Merkel, Vincent Fox, Chavez, Idi Amin, King Fahd, etc. yeeeehaw, to the world council who then in turn elect the "one world prez" who's job would be to pass or veto the choices presented by the representatives.
Perhaps, to keep it simple, one world government could be continental - one rep prez from Africa - Antarctica - Asia - Europe - North America - South America - Oceania. Which might mean the North American elected rep is from Alberta or Hildago. Imagine the vote fraud if you want. In the future the "left" could be claiming the N.A. presidential election was rigged in favor of Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa and John Kerry really won - the recount proves it!
If ya think D.C. is out of touch with constituents now - just wait until government goes global. And yet, would we even need 535 congress critters? And, what are ya goin' do when an elected US prez-rep says there's nothing he can do about that global law raising your taxes or lowering your consumption of goods - the president of the world council, i.e. Prince Bandhar, has deemed otherwise and signed the global legislation into law, because continent A, B, or C needs more.
On the other hand, can you envision all the sheople from each continent agreeing to live as one (excluding John Lennon)? For one world government to succeed there will be a lot of killing to make the village, which is kinda sorta what's gone on for centuries.
But serially folks, One World is the warm-fuzzy euphemism for the global rich folks' United Empire. Are we there yet?
Posted by Kate-A at 11:00 AM
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Penny Coleman writes Pentagon, Big Pharma: Drug Troops to Numb Them to Horrors of War, an article on veterans suicide and Propranol, and that she finds herself "... extremely anxious in the face of some of these new suggestions, specifically what is being called the Psychological Kevlar Act of 2007 and use of the drug propranalol to treat the symptoms of posttraumatic stress injuries. Though both, at least in theory, sound entirely reasonable, even desirable, in the wrong hands, under the wrong leadership, they could make the sci-fi fantasies of Blade Runner seem prescient."
COLEMAN: That report was followed in August by the Army Suicide Event Report (ASER), which reported that 2006 saw the highest rate of military suicides in 26 years. And last month, CBS News reported that, based on its own extensive research, over 6,250 American veterans took their own lives in 2005 alone -- that works out to a little more than 17 suicides every day.
---- There's a huge difference between "military suicides" and "veterans" suicide. I believe there were 99 military suicides among active duty last year, according to the ASER report. Veterans, former military, are the rates as reported by the CBS study; Ms. Coleman's 6,250 number.
I find the "epidemic" suicide rate among veterans by CBS questionable. Not just for the simple fact that data can be manipulated and "adjusted" to reach any foregone conclusion the researcher may hold but also because suicide is complex; veteran status does not necessarily prove the suicide was a result of military service or atrocities seen or committed. There are also too many cultural variables not included in the study. (Five states did not participate : Georgia, Kentucky, Nebraska (only had 2004 data), Nevada and North Carolina.)
CBS assures me the statistician they selected, Dr. Stephen Rathbun, was not paid and has no connections to DoD or any federal agency. Other than that I've no idea which way Rathbun leans, his previous employment, whether or not he or any department he's connected to have or ever will receive Federal, foundational, or institutional funds; funds are the guiding principle$ in making a "scholarly" person lean left or right, especially underpaid professors with a lifetime shitload of student loans to repay.
But, the main gist of Coleman's Drug Troops to Numb Them article is on Propranolol and H.R.3256 Psychological Kevlar Act of 2007.
COLEMAN: Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., is the bill's sponsor, and I have no reason to question his genuine commitment to mental health issues, both within and outside of the military. Still, I find myself chilled at the prospects. The DoD is flirting with the idea of medicating soldiers to desensitize them to combat trauma -- will an army of unfeeling monsters result? .... I have thought a lot about the implications of "psychological Kevlar" -- what kind of "preventive and early-intervention measures, practices or procedures" might be developed that would "reduce the likelihood that personnel in combat will develop post-traumatic stress disorder." .... I cannot convince myself that what is really being promoted isn't a form of moral lobotomy.
---- Give me an effin' break. First of all, Propranolol is not going to lobotomize anyone or create unfeeling monsters. It does no more than any of a hundred other anxiolytic drugs (Xanax, Ativan, Valium). Or, for vets and non-vets alike there's always crack, cocaine, meth, (also supplied by government), alcohol and that perfectly harmless drug - marijuana - although I've yet to meet a consistent pot smoker who wasn't dumbed down and unmotivated.
COLEMAN: What they have come up with has already been dubbed "the mourning after pill." Propranolol, if taken immediately following a traumatic event, can subdue a victim's stress response and so soften his or her perception of the memory. That does not mean the memory has been erased, but proponents claim that the drug can render it emotionally toothless.
---- The American public has been taking Propranolol since the 1950s, and although much of the public is selfish, ignorant and unfeeling I'm not holding the government and drugs completely responsible - after all, we do have free will.
Do writers such as Coleman have any current in-depth contact with the military other than a few former vets who turned anti-war after seeking a higher disability rating whether they deserve it or not, or they're paid? She speaks as if she has spent her life among military veterans and their families. (She married a Vietnam vet who committed suicide decades ago so perhaps that's where her expertise comes from.) I guess I'm still amazed how easy it has become in the last few decades for anyone to write a book on anything and become an expert on everything. (Coleman's latest I believe is Village Elders, a book on the elder gay community in Greenwich Village.)
Having 4 children in the revolving Middle East door I can find plenty to bitch about as far as the Pentagoon and Big Pharma are concerned - but I'll be damned if I dance and sing hyperbole using the "reports" and "studies" which mainstream media produces. It is exactly this type of padding, stretching, and embellishment from the flunkies of the "left" corporate asscheek that turns me off.
Also, weighing in on creating the Army's cult of killing using Coleman's article is monkey-see monkey-do Chris Floyd Dead Souls: The Pentagon Plan to Create Remorseless "Warfighters", along with linking to himself on his past prose. Therefore, I will relink to this and oh, this.
And a friendly reminder folks, just because someone says what you want to hear - doesn't mean it's the truth.
Posted by Kate-A at 6:22 PM
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Former right wingnut libertarian Paul Craig Roberts, supposedly an anti-war, anti-BushCo progressive himself now, continues to thrill the "left" with another dire warning We're All Prisoners Now. (Previous post on Roberts from KAB.)
Progressives excuse Roberts past decades of rightwingishness with the popularly cute notion that he was a good Reagan-styled conservative until the BushCo neocon regime took over - and then he awoke from his stupor and began to pay attention. Sure he did, he admits as much.
Does it not bother the progressive left that Paul Crapster received regular funding from the John M. Olin foundation (and other rightwing tanks) for years? Olin is/was a rightwing think tank funded by a chemical and munitions fortune. (Note, Roberts stupor ended approximately the same time the funds did.)
Olin Foundation grants $1, 270,000 to Roberts:
1-1-2002 - 50,000
1-1-2001 - 75,000
1-1-2000 - 75,000
1-1-1999 - 100,000
1-1-1998 - 100,000
1-1-1997 - 100,000
1-1-1996 - 100,000
1-1-1995 - 100,000
1-1-1994 - 100,000
1-1-1993 - 100,000
1-1-1992 - 50,000
1-1-1992 - 100,000
1-1-1991 - 50,000
1-1-1990 - 25,000
1-1-1989 - 25,000
1-1-1986 - 50,000
1-1-1985 - 50,000
Just kinda makes me wonder which think tank payroll Roberts is on now; a brief search found nothing. What a drop - from WSJ to Aljazeera and little known "alternative" weekly news. Also, currently a syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate (along with Oliver North, Michelle Malkin, Joseph Farah, and Pat Buchanan).
Yessirree, we're all prisoners now - prisoners forced to accept "former" rightwing mouthpieces as the new apostles of truth and justice who will save America.
No word yet on who will save us from the new apostles.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:20 AM
The Glass-Steagall act was a 1933 United States national law separating investment banking and commercial banking firms. Also prohibited banks from owning corporate stock. It was designed to confront the problem that banks in the Great Depression collapsed because they held a lot of stock.
May 1999 : The Senate approved legislation tonight that would overhaul the nation's financial system, removing barriers largely created during the Depression that have limited the ability of banks, insurance companies and securities firms to expand into one another's businesses.
By a 54-to-44 vote along party lines, the Senate adopted a measure sought by the three industries and written by Senator Phil Gramm, Republican of Texas and chairman of the banking committee. It would repeal the core provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and later laws that industry executives say have made it increasingly difficult to compete with foreign conglomerates unhindered by similar laws.
Administration officials say the President would veto the Senate version because it would dilute requirements that banks make loans to minorities, farmers and others who have had little access to credit. The legislation also contains provisions that have been criticized by Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin because they reduce his department's oversight of banks.
October-November 1999 : After 12 attempts in 25 years, Congress finally repeals Glass-Steagall, rewarding financial companies for more than 20 years and $300 million worth of lobbying efforts. Supporters hail the change as the long-overdue demise of a Depression-era relic.
On Oct. 21, with the House-Senate conference committee deadlocked after marathon negotiations, the main sticking point is partisan bickering over the bill's effect on the Community Reinvestment Act, which sets rules for lending to poor communities. Sandy Weill calls President Clinton in the evening to try to break the deadlock after Senator Phil Gramm, chairman of the Banking Committee, warned Citigroup lobbyist Roger Levy that Weill has to get White House moving on the bill or he would shut down the House-Senate conference. Serious negotiations resume, and a deal is announced at 2:45 a.m. on Oct. 22. Whether Weill made any difference in precipitating a deal is unclear.
On Oct. 22, Weill and John Reed issue a statement congratulating Congress and President Clinton, including 19 administration officials and lawmakers by name. The House and Senate approve a final version of the bill on Nov. 4, and Clinton signs it into law later that month.
Just days after the administration (including the Treasury Department) agrees to support the repeal, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, the former co-chairman of a major Wall Street investment bank, Goldman Sachs, raises eyebrows by accepting a top job at Citigroup as Weill's chief lieutenant. The previous year, Weill had called Secretary Rubin to give him advance notice of the upcoming merger announcement. When Weill told Rubin he had some important news, the secretary reportedly quipped, "You're buying the government?"
Some folks believe repeal of Glass-Seagall had nothing to do with the subprime, housing, credit mess. "The romanticizing of regulation is a noteworthy development, a warning that leasing and collaring the securities industry will be popular. Lobbyists take heed."
Which ever way you lean on federal regulations, where ever you lay the "housing meltdown" blame - rest assured - congress will "investigate" and bail out the big boys on Joe Blow's tab with enough crumbs to Joe to prevent mass revolt.
It's the 21st century Gilded Age : "While the rich wore diamonds, many wore rags. In 1890, 11 million of the nation's 12 million families earned less than $1200 per year; of this group, the average annual income was $380, well below the poverty line. Rural Americans and new immigrants crowded into urban areas. Tenements spread across city landscapes, teeming with crime and filth. Americans had sewing machines, phonographs, skyscrapers, and even electric lights, yet most people labored in the shadow of poverty."
Gilding for the rich, gelding for the rest.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:16 AM
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Evolution accounts for a lot of our strange ideas about finances.
Would you rather earn $50,000 a year while other people make $25,000, or would you rather earn $100,000 a year while other people get $250,000? Assume for the moment that prices of goods and services will stay the same.
Surprisingly -- stunningly, in fact -- research shows that the majority of people select the first option; they would rather make twice as much as others even if that meant earning half as much as they could otherwise have. How irrational is that?
Here's a related thought experiment. Would you rather be A or B?
A is waiting in line at a movie theater. When he gets to the ticket window, he is told that as he is the 100,000th customer of the theater, he has just won $100.
B is waiting in line at a different theater. The man in front of him wins $1,000 for being the 1-millionth customer of the theater. Mr. B wins $150.
Amazingly, most people said that they would prefer to be A. In other words, they would rather forgo $50 in order to alleviate the feeling of regret that comes with not winning the thousand bucks. Essentially, they were willing to pay $50 for regret therapy.
Regret falls under a psychological effect known as loss aversion. Research shows that before we risk an investment, we need to feel assured that the potential gain is twice what the possible loss might be because a loss feels twice as bad as a gain feels good. That's weird and irrational, but it's the way it is.
Consider one more experimental example to prove the point: the ultimatum game. You are given $100 to split between yourself and your game partner. Whatever division of the money you propose, if your partner accepts it, you each get to keep your share. If, however, your partner rejects it, neither of you gets any money.
How much should you offer? Why not suggest a $90-$10 split? If your game partner is a rational, self-interested money-maximizer -- the very embodiment of Homo economicus -- he isn't going to turn down a free 10 bucks, is he? He is. Research shows that proposals that offer much less than a $70-$30 split are usually rejected.
Why? Because they aren't fair. Says who? Says the moral emotion of "reciprocal altruism," which evolved over the Paleolithic eons to demand fairness on the part of our potential exchange partners.
When it comes to money, as in most other aspects of life, reason and rationality are trumped by emotions and feelings.
---- I must have evolved differently as my choices would not go with the hardwired monkeys or homo economicus.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:43 PM
Monday, January 14, 2008
Twenty-five U.S. Military Officers Challenge Official Account of 9/11.
Think long and hard and do some research before you cream your jeans over the above statement. OpEd News is one of those many "left leaning, tough, progressive" sites that sprang up suddenly fully funded from nowhere, or were hobbies and became "instant sensations" after the 2000 elections and 9/11.
Gawd - you would almost think the government was ready for the public's reaction. But, let's look at a few on the list of 25 official brassed up challengers.
Col. Ronald Ray - Author of Gays: In or Out? The U. S. Military & Homosexuals--A Sourcebook, (NY: A Maxwell Macmillan Company, 1993), listing reasons to maintain the ban on gays in the military. Ray also testified before congress with such wizened remarks as "At the very least homosexuals would have to be specially identified to ensure their blood not be used, as a protection to other soldiers." He didn't wanna "feminize" the military.
Col. Anthony Shaffer and Capt. Scott Philpott. Both of Able Danger fame and fear op which was originally hyped in 2005, by Curt Weldon.
Capt. Eric May. The captain has been covered at KAB before. In the pic of Capn' May it appears he wears the MI crest, Army Commendation Medal (my sons have a bunch of those); the middle ribbon looks like it could be a Selective Service Distinguished Service Medal which would be non-military and handed out by the governor, and the last a Good Conduct Medal - you get that for every 3 consecutive years on active duty without getting in trouble. Let's just say not much on his chest. (Also, retired means Eric retired his commission, not that he had 20 or 30 years in the military.)
Maj. General Albert Stubblebine. This guy takes most of the fruit in the cake. Known as General Spoonbender. Albert led the Pentagon's paranormal experiments for a while in the '80s. The General believes in UFOs, channeling, etc. Now, I personally have an unidentified object incident witnessed in the Rocky Mountains that I would never admit to, but Stubblebine also believes he can view the surface of Mars, inside your closet, and inside your mind with remote viewing or RV for short. Not a government camera - no sirree - he sees with his mind. No way will I follow a man who can sense with his mind what's in my dresser drawers.
It also appears many of these 25 characters received their "truth movement" blessing through Alex Jones, and Jones as you probably know is a good ol' boy planet doom salesman out of Texas.
And some of these 25 characters supported the US racket for 30-40 years before they saw the light brought on by retirement or demotion. While I believe humans can have a sudden moment of discovery - it's just too convenient there's so many "qualified" folks these days having multiple epiphanies.
Caution - the powers that be have the power to create "movements" for your entertainment and containment. I would say more but ... so many fruitcakes ... so little time.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:17 PM
The Pretzel - cold case file from January 2003.
Alleged Perp - Twisted, salty, minus 1 bite.
A reminder, if you have any information concerning this case, please contact your local FBI office or the nearest United States Embassy or Consulate.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:38 AM
Sunday, January 13, 2008
by Cindy Sheehan
Yea, I know, I'm picking on Cindy again. Can't help myself - she's either totally clueless or in league with the status quo, or both.
SHEEHAN: "Today on the 6th anniversary of the opening of a black stain on the soul of America, Guantanamo Bay prison. I was going to write about the necessity of the base being closed and the prisoners charged, tried, or released, but another stain has been nagging at me today.
The hidden stain of female members of the military being abused by fellow soldiers, Marines, or sailors is one that is regularly ignored or glossed over by a corporate media that rejects all bad news stories from war zones and reports Pentagon propaganda like it is fact: until today, that is.
Pregnant, 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Maria Frances Lauterbach, who has been missing since she was reported missing by her mother on December 19th has been determined to have been murdered by the father of her child (another Marine) who she had reported for rape. The corporate media is all over this tragic story because they should report it and because Maria is a very pretty, white woman."
Then there are the often reported (in alternative news) claims that female troops die of dehydration in their sleep because in 120 degree weather they stop drinking water after 3:00 pm to avoid having to take a trip to the latrine at night: trips that too often ended in being sexually assaulted. According to former National Guard General, Janis Karpinski, the cause of these deaths were covered up with the knowledge and encouragement of General Ricardo Sanchez: who was NOT punished for his part in the stain of Abu Ghraib, but Ms. Karpinski was. Hmmm….
-------- Hmmm indeed. First of all, deduct 3 points from Cindy for the hackneyed dribble about a "black stain" on the soul of America - does that mean the soul of America is white? But give 2 points for acknowledging the Lauterbach atrocity being reported because she's a "pretty, white woman." (The Lauterbach family, however, may take those 2 points away as the "pretty white woman" phrase has become repetitious slop and shouldn't be used in the same paragraph with their tragedy.)
Secondly, the military females I have known (including a younger sister who served 15 years in an Army MASH unit and a daughter-in-law on active duty) do not report sexual harassment or assault being anymore prevalent in uniform than in civilian life, nor does my own personal experience. A beautiful elderly aunt of mine says we women are sexually harassed from ages 8 to 80 because males think about sex from ages 8 to 80.
Karpinski is surely the last person I would trust for information on latrine trips; her leftish conscience only recently appeared, after her ass was in an abu ghraib sling (along with Sanchez).
Thirdly, the stats on all female troops who have died in Iraq do not support the dehydration claims made in "alternative news" stories. Iraq Coalition Casualty Count appears legitimate and of the 100 female casualties 2 are listed as non-hostile/illness without full explanation. Ten others are listed as non-hostile and not specifying if accident or illness or suicide; if you click on the troop's name all but a couple have further explanation, one struck by a vehicle, others were serving in Bahrain or Kuwait, another killed in an MVA. I'd have to stretch hard to find even 2 non-hostile deaths that could potentially be due to dehydration, or could be cholera or anything else. But since Cindy, Truthout, Alternet, etc. have resources they could verify the exact cause of those two - were they dehydration or natural or accident.
And excuse me, but the females I know, self included, would have rigged something to squat over if they feared latrines that much and then raised hell to a superior. Ya really think women soldiers are not trained about the risks of dehydration? Ya really think none of the males in a woman's unit would look to her well-being? I'm not saying assaults do not happen - but death by dehydration for fear of peeing in the night is a big lie.
This death by dehydration propaganda appears to come from some of my favorite phony truth sites Truthout, Alternet, and others, and taken from an interview given to Marjorie Cohn, a law professor, in which Janis Karpinski claims a "medical doctor had briefed her and other military colleagues about female soldiers in Iraq dying of dehydration because they refuse to drink water in the afternoon due to fear of using the latrines at night as they might be sexually assaulted or raped."
Dehydration does not occur in one afternoon and if the ladies are drinking water until 3 p.m. they wouldn't die in their sleep from dehydration. Karpinski's testimony is based on one unnamed medical doctor who has not come forward to corroborate her story and Karpinski claims amnesia - she can't remember the doctor's name.
Here's the real "stains" on America's soul: The "progressive/left" are lying propagandists performing for their 2 digit IQ base, just like the "conservative/right" - and no one knows anything about stain removal.
Posted by Kate-A at 5:24 PM
Saturday, January 12, 2008
"The next president may have to deal with a nuclear attack," averred ABC's Charles Gibson at Saturday night's Democratic presidential debate. "The day after a nuclear weapon goes off in an American city, what would we wish we had done to prevent it and what will we actually do on the day after?"
------ What a child-like question. My 14 y/o granddaughter asks similar - " ... nana, what would you do if ..." which can be answered in generalities and what I think I would do or hope to do but the "what if" is so unlikely to take place that it would be wasted breath if not for the enjoyment of our fantastical conversations.
But the article above is regarding Sibel Edmonds. Sibel is the former FBI contract translator who after 6 months on the job (Sep '01 to Mar '02) was disillusioned at the management failures, case backlogs, turf battles and bureaucratic gold-bricking - and filed a civil suit promptly in 2002 when she was fired.
In the beginning, Sibel's complaints were simply about backlogs and office battles. After losing her job - her accusations have metastasized into a cancer of treasonous neocons, spies, spooks, nukes, US connections to al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, drug dealing and money laundering - you know, all the things the ruling class henchmen do for profit.
Sibel instantly became a progressive/liberal hero. A sort of Daniel Ellsberg whistleblower, and we know all too well that the Pentagon Papers sent hundreds of liars and politicians to prison and made the world a better place (just kidding).
Initially, "Edmonds had told the FBI that another translator, who has not been publicly identified, belonged to an organization that was a target of FBI surveillance and had not reported contacts with a foreign government official who was under surveillance."
Sounds like a cat fight got her fired as the other translator in the situation was female.
If her wheel squeaks long enough maybe big daddy government will settle - meanwhile she's been an extremely useful distraction. Sibel came forward just in time. If you recall, George Tenet and the CIA were taking heat over 9/11 when Edmonds stepped forward to tell us it was the FBI! An FBI corrupted, infiltrated, negligent, incompetent, and guilty, guilty, guilty. Around the same time Sibel's finger pointed to FBI treason, Wilson and CIA Plame became "victims." Can ya believe it? Folks trying to pin the blame on the CIA when it was the FBI all along? (One would almost think the CIA planted Sibel at the FBI.)
Fortunately for them, these very attractive "victims" profit from victimhood while changing the political landscape only by adding height to the level of bullshit - shoveled to confuse, obfuscate, distract.
Edmonds claims an "entire wing of the national security bureaucracy, associated with the neoconservatives, has long profited" .... and names Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas J. Feith, and Richard Perle (the usual suspects). And does so with such impunity and large cojones.
Which just begs the question - why is Mizz Sibel still upright and breathing if she has the goods on the Jew-neocons Wolfowitz, Feith, and Perle? You know, those guys stand accused by many as the architects of the Iraq War, PNAC, the staging of 9/11, etc. etc. Despicable men whom only a mother could love.
Odd, the theft and selling of nuclear secrets has been going on for decades with plenty of books written and whistles blowing regarding Pakistan, A.Q. Khan, and other similar spooky scenarios such as in Sibel's story. If you have kept up on the field of nuclear trafficking transactions Sibel's "news" is mostly old news with the latest neocon names thrown in - and yet, the American "left/progressive" calls the "revelations" an extraordinary bombshell. Fire in the hole!
Posted by Kate-A at 10:15 AM
Friday, January 11, 2008
"Back in 2004, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer said that there were approximately 600 million users of Microsoft products -- as with most business estimates, it's likely to be on the positive side. With such a large market share, the 600 million users is likely to be the maximum number of users who own a computer. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently about 6.6 billion people in the world, which works out to be about 9% of the world's population that might own a computer. A more accurate count is almost guaranteed to be less than that."
"In launching comScore World Metrix, the company announced that 694 million people, age 15+, used the Internet worldwide from all locations in March 2006 ..."
---- The global population is now at 6.6 billion. Over 3 billion live on less than $1 a day. These billions have little to no opportunity to access the Internet or fret over politics. Understandably, they will follow the creed of warlords or missionaries or anyone offering sustenance.
If we deduct the number of folks who own a computer with Internet access and use the net for gaming, porning, selling snake oil, myspace and facebook socializing - the number of folks surfing seriously for political enlightenment is very, very small indeed.
Deduct the social and political websites that are manipulated and/or managed by the powers that be and the truth shrinks even more.
Thus, the number of folks with access to technology and information along with a desire to change the world to benefit all, is a tiny, tiny, tiny number. With over 3 billion surviving on less than $1 a day, and billions more in the so-called "civilized" West existing hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck, Big Mac to Big Mac - very few Netizens are online for political enlightenment and of those who are serious - most are following the ideas and candidates presented by TPTB.
Which means the number of political world change-minded folks who can consistently act rational and have no personal agenda - is infinitesimal - close to but greater than zero.
For thousands of years the masses have been given an equally infinitesimal number of heroic "change agents" - Moses, Jesus, Gandhi, MLK, etc. - hope offerings. The beneficial "change" brought about by these agents is limited - and in some instances is negative - intentionally counteracted by the powers that be. Jesus saves but subsequent church leaders use His name to justify the inquisition, witch-hunting, slavery. Civil Rights/MLK open doors and behind doors #2, 3, 4, and 5 there is crack, welfare, white flight, blight, bling, etc. Compared to world population size the number of lives changed for the better is infinitesimal.
Basically, hope and agents of change are commodities sold to the masses by the masters.
Compared to 6.6 billion, the ruling class is very small - that's why they're in charge. A small group has cohesion. A small group has unity. They may in-fight on which nation or race to plunder next but they will always rid themselves of members who disagree with the consensus of the group, who put the status quo at risk - in the end the ruling class stick together for the good of the "family." The global ruling class runs itself as cosa nostra; a family thing. (They're not out to save the world.) They keep their eye on their prize - money/power.
Meanwhile, the infinitesimal number of the masses fortunate enough to have information access, some intelligence, and desirous of a different world divides itself into subgroups on hundreds of various issues and then compete for funds to finance their agenda - funds from corporations, foundations, or governments. "Grassrooters" dependent on the very entities they want to "change." They keep their eye on their prize - a little money/name recognition.
Grassroots - nice term isn't it. According to Wiki the term implies activity that comes from "we the people." A term said to have been coined by the Progressive Party in 1912 in which the Progressive Party came from grass roots - grown "from the soil of people's hard necessities."
Faking a grassroots movement is known as astroturfing. Astroturfing is similar in practice to the grassroots movement, except that the lobbyists behind it hide their agenda by pretending to be individuals voicing their opinions.
There's been a lot of astroturf laid.
Is there a road that leads to change? Sure. But the masses wouldn't like it. It's a long road. It's a hard road. It's a road that leaves billions along the wayside with a promise to the future. It's a road that sweeps bullshit aside and those who are shoveling it - bullshit spotters are necessary.
It's a road that backs away from the status quo ruling class government rather than demanding more crumbs from it - like JFK said - ask not what your country can do for you ... cause your country has been doing it to you for a long time.
It's a road where agents of change clobber you over the head with truth and waste no time pussyfooting. But, again, only an infinitesimal number of folks could/would work for real change because the Pavlovian masses prefer astroturf advocacy - artificial, but it looks real if you squint, and don't look too close.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:04 AM
Monday, January 07, 2008
Mainstream media throws the public another old bone - George McGovern.
(CBS) "The former Democratic nominee for president who ran against a president later driven from office under threat of impeachment, today said that impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney is "the rightful course for an American patriot."
American patriot, McGovern, voted in favor of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and then became a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War. Sound familiar? as in all the democrats who voted in favor of the 2002 Iraq War Resolution? And, like McGovern before them, today's democrats became vocal and critical opponents of the war. And, yes, as WWII bomber pilot McGovern before them, today's pols now claim they were "fooled" into thinking the resolution was merely a "gesture" and they were not actually supporting war.
Hooyah - no fool like an 86-year-old fool.
McGovern, another old grifter has signed up to support the other cheek on the corporate ass - Hillary Clinton. "I think that if we can elect her president, she'll be a greater president even than her brilliant husband," McGovern told the crowd ..."
Someone should slap him senseless for that - wait, nevermind, apparently he's already senseless.
McGovern has long been associated with feeding the poor. In 1961 he was appointed the first director of Food for Peace, a.k.a. P.L. 480 - another government commodity program to save the world's poor, initiated by Eisenhower in 1954. Billions spent and the world still starves - recipients must agree to open or expand "free markets." Food for peace? or food for chattel?
Where some prefer bombing the "useless feeders" - others would rather subsidize corporations, such as Cargill and Archer-Daniels-Midland, and starve them. Or wreck the local farmer. "Why would America send lentils?" Mr. Iffa asks. "We grow lentils in Ethiopia." During the past four years, Ethiopia has produced an average of about 35,000 metric tons of lentils, and has even exported about 1,200 metric tons. He scratches his head under the bill of a blue baseball cap bearing the words "Good Luck." "If we have a good harvest, I think American lentils will only hurt our price," he says.
Food aid works like this: Government (you) buys food, from raisins to beans, and gives to third world countries, usually on credit, sometimes donations. The Government (you) buys surplus commodities from US farmers - keeps food prices at home up, fills corporate coffers which benefits stockholders and Wall Street, and hold political control over third world countries. Sometimes the government (you) buys commodities and gives to humanitarian groups and allow them to sell it and use the money to dig wells and give vaccinations in the third world, even if there are hundreds of other groups giving out shovels and shots (remember, administrating humanitarian aid costs a lot - good bean counters don't come cheap).
McGovern knows as well as I do that Bush/Cheney will not be impeached, and such b.s. talk is only a diversion for that part of the public who want to believe there are decent political "icons" who will take a few minutes from their opulent lives to swat at BushCo, or the opposition - because they are "patriots."
Posted by Kate-A at 10:34 AM
Friday, January 04, 2008
Obama wins Iowa. Huckabee wins Iowa. The powers that be certainly put on a good show huh? A Bible thumping guitar playin' white man from Hope, Arkansas and a smooth wet-behind-the-ears Black man. The fat lady hasn't sang yet, but Hollywood couldn't have written this episode of the Race For the White House any better.
(Has anyone investigated Chicago Obama's connections to Tony Rezko and Nadhmi Auchi? Sometimes ya gotta wonder which foreign power brokers pay who to help bring about the new world the billionaires are paid to bring about. But - I guess the campaign laws are too severe for anyone to do anything illegal, right?)
Now, I know I was gone and missed a couple of weeks but when did Rudy sink? Thank goodness he did - the creepster could play a pedophile on Law & Order, costarring with also-a-loser Fred Thompson. Stabler and Olivia would collar Rudy as the perp in a New York minute.
How and why Mitt is still in the race begs amazement. I've yet to hear Romney sound intelligent, even though he may be. His off the cuff answers are almost as stumbled and stuttered as GW. And a Mormon? Please, do Romney backers not have a clue as to what Joe Average Christian voter thinks of the Mormon religion?
I also wouldn't be surprised if Mitt were caught performing Marie Osmond in drag. The guy is too clean-cut; I can smell his expensive shaving soap through the television. Mitt is to Republicans what Johnny Edwards is to Democrats - Breckish boyish, a coxcomb.
While everyone has ranted Hillary is headed for the White House I wrestle with the idea. I won't believe it until I see Hillary giving an inaugural speech. Same with Obama.
Huckabee, is favored by the Christian right; a Baptist preacher from the most ignorant state in the union - folks in Missouri and Tennessee often say "thank God for Arkansas." (Sometimes it's thank God for Kentucky.) If it's a mini-Armageddon the ruling class want - Huckabee may be the man.
Although a power anxious postmenopausal female or a Black avid poker playing hope hawker would also work well to take a fall for the ruling class. I cringe to hear Obama described as a stud (mostly by white women) - he's too stringy - now Denzel is a stud. Did you see Den's butt in the Steve Biko film? Isn't it comforting to know some vote not their fears - but for sex appeal?
Yech, reminds me of folks in 2000 who thought George W. was sexy. Yech yech yech.
Must be hard for the ruling class to find a godly family man yet with just the right amount of sexual attraction. John Kennedy, Willie Clinton, Boy Bush - none appeal to me but there's no explaining taste. Ugly Nixon served to take folks political naivete. Granddaddy Reagan shipped off our economic base with a pat on the head and rosy chuckle and said Americans were lazy union workers wanting so much money that corporations couldn't survive, and welfare queens were driving Cadillacs and America into the poorhouse.
Is it true Huck had a $30,000 gastric bypass to lose that 100+ pounds? Is he bulimic? Will he install a vomitorium in the White House?
In the last 3 decades only 2 Iowa caucus winners have went on to become presidents - George W. and Jimmah Carter. Not a good omen.
I'm a little surprised John McCain hasn't done better. Maybe it's his grimace, that look of battling demons - or maybe it's acid reflux.
I mentioned back in September to "Expect the next prez to be another Republican. Why? I dunno - maybe subconsciously sheople prefer wickedness in their face (Rep) rather than behind their back (Dem)."
Front, back, front, back, which way do ya want it this time.
The corn-fed folks of Iowa have spoken. They want a not too handsome father figure with one hand on a Bible to battle the jihadists while jonesing for fried chicken and big farm aid bills. Or a smooth Black man, but not too Black, and somewhat privileged himself and sympathetic to the upper class, yet familiar with the criminal mind from rubbing Chicago's political machine.
But wait - stay tuned for the next episode when folks at the diner in New Hampshire pick a pol who will bring change, bring integrity to the White House, and unite us ..... wait a minute, is this a re-run?
Posted by Kate-A at 11:48 AM
Thursday, January 03, 2008
Europeans have a more mature politics than Americans do.
I read that sentence somewhere recently and it stayed with me. It stays because over the years the same rhetoric has been expressed over and over by American gasbags.
This "maturity" is described as an Anglo-Euro soberness, a somber prudence and vigilance regarding war because of past wars, particularly WWII, and always the writer says Europeans have a "greater sense of history." Europeans have matured politically.
Now, granted, this notion of European wisdom must make sense to white folks otherwise so many would not keep repeating it.
The authors of such comments do not list the countries they're referring to but presumably it's France, England, Spain, Germany, Italy - former empires, now broken geographically and monetarily.
Or perhaps they think of Scandinavia - those blond countries whose total population would fill one neighborhood in Chicago or New York City. These Europhiles are also impressed with the European outlook on sex, drugs, and crime. I believe they think of free needles and turnstile rehabs, pot smoker cafes, nonchalant nudity, and gentler prisons - all to make life more pleasant and humane - but obviously not keeping up with Interpol or European crime statistics. And by gosh, US crack houses, methadone clinics, club fed prisons, and sex everywhere would rival that of any European country!
Bosnia and Croatia are southern Europe and Russia is eastern Europe and not quite so mature as to have abandoned war completely in the last 50 years. And I guess the lovers of Euro-maturity forget the French Indochina War of 1946-1954, in that little jungle called Vietnam or the French "pacification" campaigns in Algiers. And the half-dozen French colonies in West Africa which fell apart in the 1950s and '60s in wars for independence. And I suppose Spain's generalissimo Franco rule circa 1936-1975 was mature politics.
Would the 2003 scandal of Finland's Jaatteenmaki, and subsequent resignation, so Finland could join the "coalition of the killing" be listed under mature politics?
I guess ya have to be white folks to think Europeans learned their lesson after War World II. To pay no mind to Maggie Thatcher, John Major, Tony Blair, and now James Gordon Brown. Forget that Thatcher threatened to use nukes during the little Falklands war, that Blair and Brown have kissed BushCo since day one. Forget all those Europeans who support and fight in Afghanistan. Forget European apartheid - murder by oppression is more mature than declaring war. I guess all that Euro-NATO and UN killing activity is a sign of maturity - oh wait, I forgot, it's "peacekeeping." I suppose when a European UN or NATO troop kills a Somalian or Haitian it's mature politics.
Yessiree Bubba, those Europeans are so politically mature and ahead of the US (excluding Prince Charlie's tampon and Bill's blowjob).
Posted by Kate-A at 10:00 AM
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Shortly after KAB began, 3 years ago this month, I was asked to write for liberal/progressive publications and/or sites. The requests came for 3 reasons - KAB was bashing Bush, bashing Bush, bashing Bush.
(The first KAB post joked about propaganda for hire.)
As I'm not seeking fame and I don't need their money - I'm not interested in writing in support of the "left" or "right". I knew when I added democrats/progressives to the shitlist, those folks would hurry off pronto, and they did ... some pissed, some perplexed judging by subsequent emails.
And yes, I still try to believe in the overused chant that the Internet is gonna spread the truth far and wide (even tho I'm pretty sure it's false hope).
There's another worn out phrase - "things you won't hear from the mainstream media", although the "things" more or less are coming through the backdoor from MSM, such as Out There TV, distributed by America One Television Network, which is owned by USFR Media Group who's founder and CEO is Texas good ol' oil boy Greg Brown, yada yada, you know "alternative programming" to give you the news you've been missing.
Better yet - those "alternative" voices create foundations or "institutes" and make a very good income selling their theories and/or chicken-little. Fear or feel-good philosophy works well, but fear usually sells better - David Icke reptilians, Alex Jones' planet of prisoners, white power, Budweiser survivalist sites, jihad sites, find answers and get help from ancient gods and UFOs, the Mayan 2012 calendar folks, the answer is within let Dr. Knowall teach you how to listen to the inner you for only $$$$ a year, all the Nostradamus you need to know, and folks waiting for Bill Haley Bee Bopp and his comet or Jesus second coming for the nth time. The ohmmmmmatologists or ohmygodologists. (See Out There TV "affiliates.")
There are a few high profile voices out there who scold both sides of the aisle, and then eventually choose one side or the other (the lesser of 2 evils blah blah). For some on the "left" the height of protest is to call for support of the Green Party, Nader, Ron Paul, Kucinich, the Libertarians, etc., cajoling you with "vote your conscience not your fear" and similar catchy flatulence as they are merely farting around with the idea of political change. And then the "lefts" such as Nader, Kucinich etc. call for support of the lesser of 2 evils, blah blah blah.
And there are those famous left-leaning pillars of academic wisdom - historians, philosophers - but you never really know who they support or vote for, or if they even bother to vote - they're sort of above it all and hand down their analyses, like giant parent birds dropping crumbs in the wide-open gullets of their baby birds. These intellectual activists do nothing to counteract the established corrupted system of government - however, they keep you busy swallowing between elections. Their supporters say these wise ones need not provide remedy - just analytic enlightenment. God where's the hemlock when we need it.
Then there are truth peddlers like Mike Ruppert, recovering from his wilderness in Caracas and Canada, thanks to your outpouring of donations. Or the equally hilarious Daily Kos - described by the right/republicans as the blog of the "angry left."
The angry left has led Kos to romp at conventions with wild-mannered mad men such as Henry Reid, Wesley Clark, Howard Dean, Dick Durbin, Obama - these "Kossacks," as they call themselves, seek to debunk the angry left label - preferring instead to be known as moderates or progressives; DK is touted as the movers and shakers of progressive politics, although Kossacks couldn't get the cable guy Ned Lamont elected over Joe Lieberman.
And there's some place called Democratic Underground, the name sounds "leftish" but it too is politics as usual - although it may be what you need to feel special, a rebel with a cause. DU, just another mainstream site yet billed as underground - a word which suggests subversion, the resistance and Molotov cocktails - but not at all, DU is totally above ground and lobs only email or donations at politicians.
They all really think for themselves, they say so often.
How many ways can I say it - America does not have a "left" or a people's party. Has not had even the semblence of a "left" since the first half of the last century when the Socialist Party fielded their own candidates for show and backed democrats in elections. Today what calls itself "left" or progressive, has far less unity or support than the "leftists" of the last century. (Bernie Sanders is a democrat in the millionaire club, no matter how often the establishment "left" calls Bernie a socialist).
I have asked why many times. Why, if there are so many progressives in politics, why do they have so little effect on bettering life for Joe Blow. Following are a few thoughts.
First, and most important, is the "left" in America comes from a wealthy Caucasian viewpoint, and money will always walk hand in hand with the status quo. Geezus, the white "left" is still yammering about a Kerry landslide as if Joe Blow cares. Please take the scraps and leave quietly; your leaders will win for you next time. How many Blacks give a damn about Kerry, as if a Kerry White House would be any different than what we have now. No wonder women and Blacks were given voting rights; the ballot doesn't change the status quo; the idea that it does is an illusion.
Minority voices reflect Anglo causes and crusades. Black progressives reflect white progressive thought because Blacks depend on liberal whites to include them on the roster. Today, we have no unifying Black leader or Black movement to address the problems of Black America - there are simply a few Black folks in white "movements." (Republicans have adopted and groomed their own Black actors for the "conservative" stage.)
(Note: World leaders practice some form of left/right "democracy." Even the Saudi government holds elections for municipal councils. But it has been a generational task for Anglo dominance to force the global village into various forms of representative "democracy" and the "free market" mentality, to compete and kill for those empty Coca Cola bottles which fall from the sky; convince the survivors life will go better with Coke; that both left and right Anglos want one world harmony, for a global culture of unbridled Coca Cola sales, euphemistically speaking. Send an agreeable chief to represent your plundered village please.)
American Latinos are not as "liberal/left" as Democrats/progressives want to believe. One obvious reason is pigmentation. Simple fact - the majority of Latinos (particularly whiter-skinned) feel superior to Black America and identify themselves with religious, straight, conservative white America. They seek liberal support for uncontrolled immigration and social programs of benefit - but that's about all. Recall, you witnessed huge Latino marches regarding the immigration issue, much less involvement in anti-war protests. There is not a loud Latino cry against BushCo. Conservative machismo is alive and well in America's Latino community.
America's "left" still believe they have the support of American Jews. Just because socialist-leaning Jews fled Europe to become very wealthy and powerful in America, does not mean Jews still support liberals or Democrats. Simply because 2 New York Jews were murdered in Mississippi in 1964 with Black civil rights worker James Chaney, doesn't mean the Jewish population supports Black America. American Jews have gained their acceptance. When was the last show of unity between Blacks and Jews? - Not since at least 1984 when Jesse Jackson referred to New York as "Hymie Town" - which is only a glimmer of what is said in private. (Of course there is anti-racist Tim Jacob Wise, a Jew who often writes eloquent excuses in-defense-of Black-folks; and correctly refers to himself a "privileged son". He hasn't dismantled institutionalized racism yet ... but activism takes a lifetime of book deals and the lecture circuit; you might say Tim's a likable defender of social offenders; an apologist, explaining why Blacks fail - because of entrenched white privilege, etc. Gee, thanks Tim.)
We're not likely to see Jesse and Sharpton supping with the iconic Jew, Elie Weisel, an industrious little racist who has convinced many he's "one of the world's leading moral voices" against racism, while he actively supports Palestinian genocide.
Furthermore, American Gays are not as liberal as the "left"makes them out to be, which is why 9 out of 10, loitering in public toilets or paging boys, are republican politicians. The number of Gays in America is debated constantly - is it 10+ percent of the population or 2 percent or 5? Regardless, fact is, wealthier gays, like wealthier Jews, have one goal - social acceptance - after that they will support status quo government (big business over little people).
(Note: Gay liberation has helped innumerable heterosexual males realize their fantasy of watching 2 girls on one another as the practice seems quite acceptably trendy these days.)
Do-gooders (funded), feminists, environmentalists, animal rights activists, the "poor," the bent, the straight, the concerned "leftist" millionaires and billionaires, the special left interests, and their aging philosophers - make noise and retreat as soon as they receive federal funds, federal grants, book royalties, or government check or contracts - cyclical noise, just before the next round of appropriations, earmarks, handouts, fundraisers, trade deals, book deals.
The "left" or progressive has stereotyped themselves. They assume if you are gay or Jewish or Black or a nature lover or Latino or anti-war or feminist then you're probably a member of their team. A mistake some have made regarding KAB.
They assume I bow before a document they continuously venerate as their holy grail - the U.S. Constitution - as if Joe Blow can do no better than that old slave owning, warmongering, genocidal elitist document that wealthy white men protected their property with 200 some years ago.
The American "left" serves to give the appearance of "dissent" without real progress for we the people, which is, of course, the preferred centuries old controlled capital. Those who consider themselves modern "dissidents" (predominantly white folks) are dabblers; discussing a global working class united to create socialism - which, by definition, is already here.
Socialism, where the collective, or government, determines production and distributes the goods.
Through history it's pretty much been the same "collective" doing the determining and distributing. Joe Average is still a serf grubbing for small potatoes to eat in front of his HDTV.
Joe Average fooled again, and again and again.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:56 PM
1. Morons believe Benazir Bhutto died for democracy or her people. She died because the global ruling class no longer had a use for her, and she didn't have enough sense to see it.
2. Believe that there's a political "left" in America.
3. Believe anyone really cares if Kerry won 2004 by a landslide.
4. Believe Ron Paul is an advocate for the common man.
5. Believing millions of illegal immigrants cause no harm to American society and resources. Oh, excuse me, there are no illegal humans - it's undocumented workers - even if millions in the barrios are not working.
6. Believing life-long establishment types are now one of us and come to help (Wilson/Plame, Ricardo Sanchez, Gore, Sy Hersh, Ron Paul, Kucinich, Nader, Jimmy Carter, Paul Craig Roberts, Jack Murtha, Dan Rather, ex-CIA agents, retired generals, etc. etc. etc.)
7. Believing Joe Blow don't want no stinkin' empire because the rest of the world wants to share resources, that the world is or wants to be socialist and spread the wealth around to all 6+ billion; the whole world wants to live as one, except the US.
8. Believing the price of a politician's haircut ever had meaning.
9. Believing polls are valid indicators of anything other than public gullibility.
10. Believing tobacco is bad but marijuana is good. Believing we must have a tobacco free world but arsenic in water, gasses in the air, and feces in food are unavoidable.
11. Morons believe they know what the whole world wants and needs but don't know their own neighbors (often don't know their own family).
12. People who don't own a pot to piss in or window to throw it from but believe the housing bubble and credit crunch has hit them hardest because bloggers tell them such nonsense.
13. The alleged public outcry of "waterboarding" is unacceptable torture performed by monsters - yet Andrea Yates, Susan Smith, Lisa Diaz, Lashaun Harris, etc. drown their children and public pathos call it the blues.
14. Believe that Jews run the world when it's blue-blooded white folks with Jewish accountants (Anglo bloodline is still the deciding factor when it comes to global power).
15. Fat, unhealthy, dumb as dirt Americans believe they used to be healthy, wealthy and wise, pre-BushCo.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:55 AM