Disturbing New Photos From Abu Ghraib.
As an expert witness in the defense of an Abu Ghraib guard, Philip Zimbardo had access to many images (NSFW) of abuse taken by the guards themselves. Some of these images have never been published before. For his TED presentation he put together a short video of some of the pictures. The sound effects in the video were added by Zimbardo. Many of the images are explicit and gruesome, depicting nudity, degradation, simulated sex acts and guards posing with corpses. Viewer discretion is advised.
---- Zimbardo adds sound effects to the video to add a chill bump or two - sound/music can affect emotions as well as any art medium, but at times I resent when facts are presented with such an obvious manipulation technique.
I did not see any images that were any more disturbing than the initial release of Abu Ghraib photos. (We have yet to see the Abu Ghraib videos of child rape as reported by Sy Hersh.)
But here's what I want to know: Why is it that Hollywood, television, and printed media soak the American public daily for years in violence, porn, mutilation - real victims or actors - and there is no outrage from the "left" other than to cry it's "freedom of speech or expression"?
Not only has the American public been dumbed down - it's numbed down - and too dumb to know it. America began lowering the empathy 3 decades ago, at least.
Americans like popcorn with their imagery of horror and death. Americans will pay to see Anthony Hopkins eat Ray Liotta's brain. Americans raise their children on CSI law and order autopsies and blood video games. Will cheer at the aging no talent Rambo decapitating and gutting men. Will award Oscars and nominations to bloody gladiators and bravehearts and call it artsy history. Slice, dice, explode - you win.
Americans will enrich pop whores to role model their daughters and steroid meatheads for their sons. And nothing gets more cheers than blood on the mat, the bat, or the pigskin.
Americans will watch 20 unnecessary minutes in a literal sea of blood to save Private Ryan and crown Spielberg king of cinema. Americans spend billions a year, eager to have their emotions manipulated by professionals - hate, rage, disgust, lust, greed - then beg for sequels of more, more, more.
Those voices speaking for the American left/liberal/progressive are not heartbroken over man's inhumanity to man - they're concerned with regaining power - they have many couriers, agents, activists manipulating minds as easily as the "right" manages their support base. They will use the misery and suffering of others to further that goal and once in power they hide/downplay their own atrocities - and the faithful sheep will believe things have changed.
What I find disturbing are those who pretend outrage over an unfortunate soul smeared in feces at Abu Ghraib - yet are not offended at all by year after year after year of shit smeared on the American mind under the guise of art, news, music, and education.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Disturbing New Photos From Abu Ghraib.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The spin is in the headline as the stories are more or less the same.
"20 year old Army Pfc. Mathew John Myers of San Bernardino County limped into a minimart about 9:30pm Sunday and reported he had been walking on a golf course when a gunman stole his wallet and military identification and shot him in the right thigh. Dotterrer, also 20 and a longtime friend of Myers', shot him in the leg with a .32-caliber revolver, deputies said. It was unclear Monday where Myers was shot before walking about a mile to the AM/PM."
A little right spin headline: Soldier gets shot to escape his duty.
A little left spin headline: Soldier Arranges to be Shot to Avoid Redeployment to Iraq.
---- At 20, Myers joined the war effort knowing he would deploy to Iraq, as aware as anyone else of what's gone on in Iraq for the last 5 years - he enlisted anyway. Myers obviously has no fear of being shot, he invites it. Were these 2 guys drinking? How much liquor does it take to be this dumbass? Worse yet is he did this sober.
Avoiding redeployment because of the horror of it all? Or escaping duty, as the only activity he ever saw to the end was level 60 in World of Warcraft?
I have to lean toward the right spin on this one - shirking his duty. Myers reflects too many of today's young men and women (and their parents). Dependent, self-aggrandizing (thought he'd look cool in uniform) narcissists who never live up to any commitment ever made. Someone always there to give them an excuse to remain at the emotional and mental age of a 10-year-old. (See KAB cure for disorders below.)
Myers will get his military discharge and limp around claiming to be a born again anti-war warrior (because he "saw" things "over there."). Twenty years from now Myers will tell his third wife and anyone who will listen it's an old war wound from an ambush by Al-queda in Anbar, and collect disability as his leg is too stiff to stand at that drive-through window. My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of lunacy.
Posted by Kate-A at 2:17 PM
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Ralph Nader is back, and the "consumer advocate" says he's no spoiler. In a telephone interview, Nader said he is motivated to make a third-party run because no one else is addressing the corporate dominance in Washington. He called for a "Jeffersonian revolution" that would rein in the Pentagon, provide health insurance for all Americans and generate a "living wage" for all workers.
-------Lol. Here we go again - the founding father icon emulation. Jeffersonian revolution. Does that trigger a sense of the good old days when folks were free and prosperous and had rights and everything, before Bush? Lol.
"Provide health insurance for all Americans" - yessiree make sure the government (you) pays for that - because we sure don't want the corporatocracy to dip into their profits and provide benefits to workers.
"Living wage" - just like Thomas Jefferson and buddies provided a living wage for their workers - also known as slavery. Hey, I know, we can call it a Sallary Hemmings wage.
"Rein in the Pentagon" - that's Jeffersonian? Did Jefferson rein in the war department before or after he dispatched the Navy to the Mediterranean to take care of those Muslim Pirates ... sing it! from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli ...
Progressives promote the idea Jefferson was a champion of religious tolerance in this piece on Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) - Ellison desirous of a photo-op with his hand on the Koran that Thomas Jefferson owned. Jefferson had pushed a Religious Freedom bill and possessed a Koran - therefore he must have been tolerant. First of all, Jefferson studied the Koran in order to better understand his enemy and kick their ass - the Barbary pirates.
As for championing religious freedom, the Jefferson quote from ThinkProgress "... proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him..."
Considering white folks have spent 200 years making excuses for guys like Jefferson for being slaveholders, e.g. these great men were personally against slavery and were victims of their era yada yada. I guess freeing their slaves would look radical to their neighbors? Therefore "religious freedom" could mean anything - just as they were against slavery but owned slaves.
The religious freedom of good ol' boy Jefferson could merely have meant tolerance for the differences between an Episcopalian and a Presbyterian, a Baptist and a Lutheran.
Come on Bubba, these "founding fathers" were a group of wealthy land owning white men writing dogma/doctrine beneficial only to wealthy landowning white men. They had no intention of giving equality or tolerance to slaves or Indians, Muslims or Mexicans or any non-Christian religion practiced by same.
The founding fathers were exactly what we have now - a nation owned and operated by a few white men - and they didn't care how many dead slaves, Mexicans, and native Americans died in the process. These men were not creating a grand experiment for freedom of the expendable masses - they were laying the cornerstone of a new Empire. Every politician since only has to mention this 1776 men's club and the masses cheer as if they're members.
Did you know Ben Franklin, the media mogul of his time, used his newspapers to publish propaganda, particularly the French and Indian War? (Remember the US was still England's property.)
Ben's gazette newspapers, to make sure the House of Burgesses members truly understood the implications of the French/Indian threat, printed the horrors of what awaited the English if the French and Indians were not stopped:
"Think you see the Infant torn from the unavailing Struggles of the distracted Mother, the Daughters ravished before the Eyes of their wretched Parents; and then, with Cruelty and insult, butcherd and scalped. Suppose the horrid Scene compleated, and the whole Family, Man, Wife, and Children (as they were) murdered and scalped . . . and then torn in Pieces, and in Part devoured by wild Beasts, for whom they were left a Prey by their more brutal Enemies."
Some sources say Franklin wrote the propaganda but I think descendants have edited most of that idea out of history.
Oh, while we're at it - did you know the father of our country, George Washington, who reportedly despised slavery, even though he kept his slaves and when he died bequeathed them to his wife, so as not to break up families he said, and that she could free them upon her death. Big-hearted George also never failed to issue a bounty when some of his slaves escaped. Here GW offers a description and reward for return of his property - Peros, Jack, Neptune, and Cupid. George says Neptune and Cupid ... "The two last of these Negroes were bought from an African Ship in August 1759, and talk very broken and unintelligible English."
Washington eventually owned 300+ slaves, but I guess he loathed losing a slave more than slavery itself.
Most historians adamantly deny Washington had slave children but it didn't stop George's stepson, Jackie Custis, who had a child with his mother Martha's mulatto half-sister ... incest with Auntie, incest with grandpa's daughter, but you know... it was a different time and era.
But back to Nader. Go home Ralph, you're just another name dropping metrosexual botoxed old man shouting about revolution. The people need a Sandino, a Malcolm, a Gandhi - not another empty party suit stuffed with a white chairman of the board.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:54 PM
Monday, February 25, 2008
In regard to political duplicity, until now I've tried to give Cynthia McKinney the benefit of the doubt. Her recent article Framing Muslims and Locking Up Their Money raises questions, for in this article she begs for funds, and reinforces the games played by political pop stars Valerie Plame, Joe Wilson, and Sibel Edmonds. (Past posts have outlined KAB reasons for disbelieving Plame, Wilson, Sibel as nothing more than staged go-nowhere events, or born by accident but wet-nursed by the media.)
McKinney asks for donors to donate until it hurts to the Holy Land Foundation, an Islamic charity founded in 1989 in Texas, accused of terrorist activities. The foundation was shut down and several defendants went on trial which resulted in a hung jury. Five will be retried this August.
Well, I for one Bubba don't have all the facts of this case - but I do know nothing good has come out of Texas or Florida in a long time. I'm forced to research a little and find on that loathsome site World Nut Daily, that a juror in the case was bullying other jurors who wanted to convict. Maybe true, maybe not.
The indictments were the result of a 14 year investigation - hence Holy Land's problem began in 1993, on Clinton's watch, when the organization was a toddling 3-year-old.
Bubba, I wouldn't show surprise if you told me Holy Land Foundation was a CIA front to finance and foment turmoil in the Middle East and now the boys are just closing down the operation with the added bonus of making the government appear vigilant to some, while transferring assets to personal bank accounts and lining pockets from the multimillion dollar trial costs. Game over.
It is shabby and shoddy that McKinney repeated this : "Why is it that Dennis Kucinich gets a visit from representatives of Nancy Pelosi and AIPAC and they tell him that they will guarantee his reelection if he drops his impeachment effort."
Kucinich has denied this ever happened - it was an internet rumor.
McKinney names as villains the usual suspects, AIPAC, Perle, Feith, Wolfowicz, Zakheim, etc. Yessiree Bubba, many folks think the rich Jews have our politicians by their big hairy huevos.
Now granted, Jews do control way too much of certain American industries - in comparison to their numbers in the US (aprx 2 million). That boob tube you're raising your kids on has more Jewish influence than it should, and yes Jewish powers do own some politicians - but hellfire, someone has to buy them, and if not the Jews, then it's the Chinese or Arabs.
And psssttt, don't tell anyone you heard this from me - but for every Jew with an American politician in his pocket, there's an Arab with one in his too. For every "spy" giving secrets to Jews, there's another spy giving secrets to Arabs. For every wannabe or has been or currently is politician defending the Jews - there's another pol defending the Arabs. Jews aren't the only players with money in America.
And Bubba, it's not just Arabs and Jews your countrymen have sold to - there's Russia, Europe, Asia, and Latin America - I kid you not, I've seen it myself working abroad. And you know what I was told when I asked someone, who had something they shouldn't have had, how the "information" was obtained? The man (not a Jew) said, with a thin smile and thick accent, "We have friends in America."
Yes sir, Bubba, Jews aren't the only ones who can squeeze American huevos.
---Update 2/26/08. Oh my, I forgot to be politically correct and refer to politically influential Jews as Zionists, the Zionist power configuration (ZPC). You know, the bad guy Zionists who influence and coerce the "neocons" to go to war for them, etc.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:56 PM
ADHD, ADD, SAD, OCD, anxiety disorders, postpartum depression, situational depression, learning disorders, eating disorders - and dozens of similar afflictions first appeared in American suburbs in the mid 1980s - in epidemic proportions. Luckily Big Pharma had, coincidentally, developed psychotropic drugs to ease the suffering. Almost unheard of in the Black community for decades - the disorders are now rapidly afflicting Black America.
Foundations and self-help groups appeared overnight in the 1980s and new careers and industries created in efforts to reach out to sufferers.
Uncle Loser can't rest at night but sleeps all day, sister can't function except in the mall, dummy kid can't learn anything but Xbox, mama got the blues, daddy got low libido and addicted to sex, Bobby's tourette yells out sonabitch cocksucker, grandpa a drunk, grandma an abuser, Suzie won't eat or can't stop eating or cuts herself, and Billy is the school bully.
According to experts and those afflicted - you're suffering from a self-awareness escape condition, a sustenance deprivation, a chemical imbalance, a disempowerment disorder, or any trauma long past which you can suckle excuses from for a lifetime. It's not your fault - you have a disease, a disorder. You are a victim of the heartbreak of an acronym. If you describe it - they will make a pill to it. Help is as close as your nearest pharmacy and a physician looking for his perks from big pharmaceutical.
KAB prefers a more homeopathic/naturopathic treatment for those who won't stop screwing with their own head, or the head of a family member.
This may hurt a little bit - but you don't really need a big dose of attention (which your parents never gave you and as an adult you haven't earned or deserved), nor do you need that 150-300 mg dose of Fukitol for your sorry self-absorbed life.
Rx: Spend six months with just a few of the many billions who know what suffering really is.
Posted by Kate-A at 5:48 PM
While reading this piece, The Mushrooming Clouds That Hang Over McCain, from Alex Cockburn over at Counterpunch, it seems McCain's "temper" is about the only item the democrats can come up with to skewer McCain. But after Bill's diddlings and not having sex with that woman, which liberals pooh-fooed as nothing - they can hardly now point with moral authority to rumors of McCain getting a piece of outside tail.
Clinton liberals will claim, if they haven't already, that it was natural for a man to lie about having extramarital sex - and that McCain was diddling and shaping policy. Such is the logic of desperate supporters.
COCKBURN: The problem here for McCain is that he's a dunderhead in statecraft, devoid of self control, capricious in moral standards and an imbecile in his lack of political judgment.
Mushrooming clouds - not original at all. The politics of fear? The terrorists are coming to get you or the republicans are coming to get you. The problem here is dunderhead, undisciplined, capricious imbecile describes all politicians (and most of their supporters).
Dunderhead politicians reflect their even more dunderheaded constituency - but the public swallows the idea that such men and women are extremely intelligent (they grad-ge-ated college), they are experienced (sucking on the treasury teat), and want what's best for us (hanging on to their congressional job) - the game aided by paid pundits, image consultants, and other propagandists.
Pay no mind to the fact politicians are all pillaging perverts behind the curtain - every 4 years they will put on that $400 blue shirt, roll up the cuffs, get out of their limo, and prance around claiming to be just average - most will remind you they grew up in a modest suburban shack or 1 bedroom apartment, worked their way through college, and their parents were simple folk who realized the American dream (big time) - and now - the latest twist in twisted - we have a boy from the hood without a daddy, a son of a single mom, with the audacity to hope (that he's the next prez).
I suspect neither Hillary or Obama or any EmptySuit will seriously attack McCain on his political career - that sword cuts both ways - so let them talk of personality (personality disorder, a prerequisite for politicians).
Like the old LBG/Goldwater nuke commercial above - the "opposition" (wink wink) will raise the fear factor of McCain's reported "hot temper" - McCain with eyes ablaze, veins popping, mouth distorted and one ugly finger on the red button. It got LBJ elected, who went on to murder 56,000 American troops and millions of Vietnamese - but he didn't push that republican nuker red button (democrat red button Truman did).
Johnson and Nixon had foul tempers and when angry every other word they used was 4 letters. Both continued to kill in Asia, Africa, and Latin America - but they didn't push that red button.
Then came Jimmy Carter, well ... Jimmy really doesn't count as a president. Carter was a 4 year coffee break for a public abused by LBJ, tricky Dickie, Vietnam war, the '70s oil crisis. Carter was like a bookmark, a page holder during the 444 day Iranian hostage crisis and a face to swear at when waiting in mile-long gas queues in gas guzzling American made cars.
The Jimmah presidency was elevator music; putting the caller on hold while the 2 factions of the white global ruling class regrouped and considered options - will they share a little more with the brown folks or kill more of them off. James Earl, great grandson of a confederate soldier, subsidized peanut farmer who lusted in his heart but never acted on it - but then he never acted on much of anything, other than creating more bureaucracy for the taxpayer to support (Dept of Energy and Dept of Education - note, these departments have not made us smarter or more energy efficient).
Carter, stuck between OPEC and a hard place. The ruling class handed Jimmy a world of crisis - Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the fleeing Shah of Iran, the hostage crisis, the oil crisis. Carter solution - he installed leaky solar panels in the WH and a wood burning stove and told the rest of us to turn down thermostats. And he prayed and waited - anxious I'm sure to head back to Georgia and write books and become a global peace ambassador - a much easier job as it only requires photo-ops and no earth-shaking decision making. His reward for playing the 4 year putz standing around the white house office cooler; a safety valve for the ruling class as he stayed on his knees praying for us while the PTB redesigned our future.
After the Carter intermission, a united ruling class gave Americans the Dunderhead napping Reagan while Nancy consulted astrology charts and argued with Ron's handlers and Poppy Bush ran the country (Reagan's brain). Then Capricious Just Cause Panama Bush was given a third term - to wrest the drug routes and laundrobanks from Noriega. Then came Willy devoid of self-control Clinton, collecting vaginal swabs in the oval office when he wasn't bombing aspirin factories or Yugoslavia or ignoring Rwanda.
All I can say Bubba - is a nation of "progressives" who have tolerated the company of the murdering, wet-brain and vulgar idiot BushCo, no longer has any legitimacy with complaints of Republican statecraft and temper. Why don't you all camp out somewhere, pour red dye on a T-shirt, make red handprints and tell yourselves you make a difference.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:58 AM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I have never liked Star Jones - former attorney, chatterer on The View. A thief according to some, gastric bypass star, and all around bigmouth. And of course no one with a clear head listens to Bill O'Reilly, pointless commentator, brief teacher, and serial bigmouth.
STAR: I'm sick to death of people like FOX News host, Bill O'Reilly, and his ilk thinking that he can use a racial slur against a black woman who could be the next First Lady of the United States, give a half-assed apology and not be taken to task and called on his crap.
O'REILLY: "And I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down."
STAR: What annoys me more than anything is that I get the feeling that one of the reasons Bill O'Reilly made this statement, thinking he could get away with it in the first place, and then followed it up with a lame apology in a half-hearted attempt to smooth any ruffled feathers, is because he doesn't think that black women will come out and go after him when he goes after us. Well, he's dead wrong. Be clear Bill O'Reilly: there will be no lynch party for that black woman. And this black woman assures you that if you come for her, you come for all of us.
I doubt O'Reilly's comment would have received any attention had not Black America's best friends, such as Huffingtonpost Jones, progressive pundit Olbermann, etc., received their memos to yap about it.
In yet another pointless media blip Star Jones presents herself as spokesperson for "all of us" and confronts the O'Reilly lynch mob.
Who the hell watches O'Reilly but other gasbags and folks in confinement? Bill O' craved a publicity fix, and got it. Media smegma like O'Reilly are for right freeper/left loonie entertainment - nothing else.
You know what annoys me? Jones comes not using the language of her impressive educational credentials or her experience as a district attorney - she comes to call O'Reilly "on his crap" with her hands on her hip, bobbing and weaving her head, reinforcing the stereotype of the angry, ignorant, loud Black woman - the total opposite of Michelle Obama. Jones comes off like a ghetto momma standing in the street screeching about somebody dissin' her, or messin' with her man, or gittin' in her face 'bout sumpin' and the ho' gonna git theys ass kicked.
Bubba, ever consider that our "progressive" friends are as ignorant as O'Reilly - and just as intentional?
Posted by Kate-A at 9:36 AM
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Our favorite progressive socialist, disguised as a democrat from Ohio, Dennis Kucinich, scurries home to plead for funds to hang onto his congressional job, after urging supporters to now support Obama - who according to Dennis - they have one thing in common - "change."
That's right folks - this time around we're gonna vote for "change." We're gonna elect a democrat or a republican to the White House - and if you can't see the "change" in that, then there's a mote in your eye. Maybe it's a Ron Paul Republican mote, or maybe a Nader (the consumer isn't safer or greener) mote.
You know what the change is Bubba? Marketing - packaging. Remember other Black Americans have made presidential bids - Shirley Chisholm, Jesse Jackson, Rev. Sharpton, Alan Keyes, Carol Mosley Braun, Lenora Fulani - not a one taken seriously and a few taken as jokes.
Along comes Obama, half-white boy whose Black half isn't even American born or descended - and suddenly a "Black man" as president of the free world is acceptable to white America. It's marketing/packaging. The Chicago political machine dried Obama behind the ears as Barak practiced his regional dialects in front of the mirror.
Obama is so good, that just recently I caught a few minutes of his speech and for an ever so brief moment I thought by god there is hope - but quickly came to my senses when his cadence went up and down like our Baptist preacher who mesmerizes the flock even though everyone knows he's skimming the collection plate and boinkin' the deacon's wife.
And admit it, the majority of Black Americans voting for Obama are the same folks who cheered at OJ's acquittal simply because they felt a brother got one over on "the man." They will vote for Obama because he's packaged as JFK and MLK and physically resembles Malcolm X (although careful not to copy MX belief system).
And the package thrills many white voters who consider themselves progressive; who will see the first Black president as proof of how progressive the nation has become - that they are free, free at last.
What a package, what a marketing ploy by the Democrat machine.
I hinted months ago, and again last month, about an Auchi/Obama connection, do I have to hit you over the head Bubba? The Times has now "discovered state documents in Illinois recording that Fintrade Services, a Panamanian company, lent money to Mr Obama’s fundraiser in May 2005. Fintrade’s directors include Ibtisam Auchi, the name of Mr Auchi’s wife. Mr Auchi’s spokespeople declined to respond to a question about whether he was linked to this business."
Yessiree - the powers that be just might let us kiss the other cheek on the corporate ass for 4 years - and we will call it "change" and we will say it is "hope."
Posted by Kate-A at 4:49 PM
Friday, February 22, 2008
ManTech International Corp. is an information technology company that does most of its work for the military, intelligence and homeland security agencies.
The vast majority of ManTech's revenue — 95 percent — comes from contracts with the Defense and Homeland Security departments and U.S. intelligence agencies, the company says. ManTech has continued to rack up such contracts. In February, it announced that it had won a five-year, $80 million contract to help manage replacement parts and computer systems on Army tanks, and a seven-year, $89 million anti-terrorism contract with the Defense Department. A month earlier, it was awarded a $49 million Navy contract to research and test sonar systems. The company said it was awarded more than $200 million in classified contracts last year. And it won a $725 million subcontract in September to support the Army's command and intelligence centers around the globe. In a conference call with analysts in February, chief executive George J. Pedersen said the company was "well positioned to continue our double-digit growth into 2007."
ManTech Board of Directors: George J. Pedersen, Robert A. Coleman, Richard L. Armitage, Mary K. Bush, Barry G. Campbell, Walter R. Fatzinger, Jr., Admiral David E. Jeremiah, USN Ret., Richard J. Kerr, Lt. Gen. Kenneth A. Minihan, USAF Ret., Stephen W. Porter, Esq.
Pedersen founded ManTech in 1968, and obviously has done quite well at soliciting and procuring government contracts for 40 years. ManTech is globally huge, huge, huge.
Lt. Gen. Minihan, retired, is former director of NSA and DIA. Admiral David E. Jeremiah, USN a board advisor at JINSA. (I mention that for all the Mel Gibsonite Jews Behind Everything believers.)
Mary K. Bush, although donated to Bush-Cheney, is also a board member on Willy J.'s foundation the Clinton Global Initiative (and on many other military industrial complex boards), since founding her own Bush International in 1991. (Who says affirmative action/priority in business lending doesn't work? I remember the '80s/90s when every white person I knew wanted a Black figurehead of their own. I'm almost giddy Bubba - it really is a new world economic order.) Mary K., to the best of my knowledge, is not the mulatto child of George Herbert Walker Bush.
ManTech's "management team" is still listing the late Eugene C. Renzi. Yep, daddy of newly indicted, 35 counts of extortion, conspiracy, money laundering, etc. - Arizona Representative Ricky Renzi.
I wonder how the "progressives" will spin it ... after all Rick was a co-chairman of McCain's campaign in Arizona (the fans roar, leap to their feet ... it's a score for Obama/Clinton).
Some will say it has to do with Albert Gonzales' list of prosecutors to fire, 8 or 9 were canned (if you remember that distraction last year), that prosecutors were after Renzi when they were dismissed. All that to protect one little incompetent bottomfeeder? I don't think so Bubba.
Eugene Renzi, (drum roll) just died of cancer February 9, 2008 (that's a theory waiting for a conspiracy). Eugene also had extensive experience in Panama, Central and South America. (I bet he did.) But the man is barely cold in his grave and his buddies are throwing son Ricky to the wolves.
Poor Ricky, out of work and with a wife and 12 kids to feed. What's the world coming to when a good Catholic Italian from New Jersey can't run a racket without getting caught. When he doesn't have enough muscle or brain to make it all go away.
Ahhhhh Bubba, occasionally getting to watch polcats and business leaders eat one of their young is the only political fun I have anymore. God, I just wish they'd eat a lot higher up on their food chain.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:25 PM
Thursday, February 21, 2008
20 Feb 2008 // The Federal Emergency Management Agency misspent millions of dollars it received from selling used travel trailers, government investigators have found.
Instead of buying more trailers — as allowed under the law — FEMA used more than $13 million toward fully loaded sport-utility vehicles, travel expenses and purchase card accounts, according to a draft report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general obtained by The Associated Press. The report is to be released Friday.
During its three-month review last summer, the inspector general found that FEMA used some of the proceeds from trailer sales for tree-removal services, agency decals and banners and global positioning systems. FEMA spokesman James McIntyre said the agency discovered these problems on its own and has taken steps to fix them.
After Hurricane Katrina, FEMA purchased 200,000 travel trailers and mobile homes. When displaced hurricane victims leave these housing units, FEMA may sell the units to the general public. The law states that FEMA must use proceeds from these sales to buy more trailers or return the money to the U.S. Treasury.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:22 PM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The number 1 recipient of Federal government contracts for FY2008 is Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC with $781,772,318 (1Q with 3Q more to go).
So what is Lawrence Livermore National Security?
Lawrence Livermore ... offers a team of five world-class organizations whose primary objective is to deliver the National Nuclear Security Administration mission for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Our team includes Bechtel National, University of California, BWX Technologies, Washington Group International, and Battelle. Our cutting-edge science is enhanced through the expertise of the University of California and its ten campuses and our team's affiliation with The Texas A&M University System.
---- Maybe it's just me ... but after Code Pink and others finish their pointless protest to shut down the Marine recruiting office in Berkeley... shouldn't they at least pretend to protest UC-Berkeley gang banging with Lawrence, Bechtel, and other war profiteers?
Posted by Kate-A at 6:14 PM
Many self-described progressives use the term and seem to believe a socialist economy will end wars and save the planet. Generally, such folks faithfully believe such an economic system would work, if we would but elect pols such as Cindy, Ralph, Dennis, etc.
What would a socialist economy look like? Cuba? North Korea? The old USSR? Not according to the hardcore socialist. For instance, Eric Ruder believes a socialist economy looks like this.
RUDER : Socialism harnesses the immense productive capacity that capitalism has brought into existence and gives the power to decide on what and how much to produce to the people who actually do the producing--the workers whose labor is essential to running every factory, office and school.
In a socialist society, increasing efficiency and the elimination of waste will translate directly into benefits for workers--by increasing the standard of living and adding to leisure time.
For a socialist society to succeed, abundance, rather than scarcity, must be the norm. The immense technological advances in production over the last couple centuries have made such a world feasible--a world based on Karl Marx’s famous principle of "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need."
In a socialist society, the power to decide what or even whether to invest would be taken from this small, parasitic class (capitalists) that lives off the labor of the vast majority.
The people who do the work in the world’s workplaces could--through a process of voting and surveys about consumption desires--decide whether they were interested in working fewer hours or having more consumption choices, or whether they’d like more ability to travel or larger places to live.
One workplace or community might choose one mix of work and leisure, and another might chose differently. After all, equal access to resources doesn’t mean conformity.
As Mandel put it, “The hallmark of a classless society itself would not be the similarity of the individuals who comprise it, but the greatest differentiation of the greatest number of individuals within it. The goal of socialism is not so much the socialization of the person as the personalization of society--that is, the fullest possible development of the unique personality of each individual.”
----- Okay, sounds good, always did, particularly decades ago when I believed all humans were decent, hardworking, honest, and capable of living as one.
Worker owned and operated has been around a long time, i.e. Saturn auto (didn't do well, I think GM holds it now), family owned and operated businesses (mom and pop era), franchises, self-employment.
I'd like to see miners owning the mines that fill their lungs with dust; I'd like to see assembly line workers own the factories, although these days they may be Asian, Indian, or Latin American workers since so much manufacturing has left the US. Would a socialist economy force these factories back to the US? How? I would like to see we the people owning and controlling utilities and energy, and banks.
As the US has become a "service economy" how would the nursing home workers own the nursing home? Would the workers own the hospital or would the State own those? How would franchisers give their burger flippers and tater fryers an equal share in the profits of producing billions of BigCrap burgers?
If one "workplace or community" making Auto X was owned and operated by slackards and the workplace down the street making Auto Y had workaholics, hence more profitable - who helps Auto X'ers when they go under, leaving workers who cannot pay the rent or put food on the table? The State? From the taxes of Auto Y'ers who might resent paying for the folly of the X'ers?
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Sounds reasonable on the surface. But, consider Auto X'ers and Y'ers again. X'ers have the "ability" to concentrate harder, work longer hours, make better business decisions. The Y crowd for a variety of reasons - chose more leisure time, invested in a new line of Edsels, voted in management on personality not skill, etc. which led to bankruptcy - who decides the "each according to his need" when the "need" is caused by slackards or indifference?
What if I have the "ability" to work circles around you - will my needs be less, more, or equal to yours? If there's an "abundance" do we all share equally even if only a portion of workers are the producers? Will the more productive workers have no expectation of "extras" for hard work? If there are "extras" will some workers feel superior/inferior to those who received extras - especially if they didn't "need" those extras.
Who puts up the capital to start the "factory, office and school" in a socialist economy? The workers? Where do the workers get the capital? The State? Where does the State get the capital? From nationalized banks?
When "the power to decide what or even whether to invest ...is ... taken from this small, parasitic class (capitalists)" ... this power is given to the workers.
Will worker power/decisions be swayed by union bosses? By government? By company management? By elected company representatives? Will socialism rid society of sadistic bosses, corrupt government, greedy management, bribed representatives?
How would overpaid celebrities, sports figures, and "self-made" millionaires be dealt with in this socialist economy? Is their need to live in Beverly Hills greater than yours? Would Paris lose her fortune once the Hilton hotels are owned and operated by the employees? Would socialism lower Bill Gates net worth if the factories making the software, order fillers, packers, shippers and deliverers, were equal owners/operators of Microsoft? Would prison inmates own the companies which use their labor? Can I still wear silk even if my abilities can only produce burlap?
Would worker X be expected to help fund the "needs" of worker Y when he doesn't believe Y needs it? For example would anti-medication X'er share the expense of Y'er who believes his kids "need" to be on Ritalin and/or antidepressants? Would drug-free X fund crack head Y's need for rehab? If Y gambles or drinks up his share of the abundance in a socialist economy - does X pay for Y's rent, groceries, utilities? How does a socialist economy support hoards of needy people who, by choice or circumstance, have no abilities; will Joe Dim be forced to clean toilets and how are his needs determined?
Kinda sort of seems we have a little of this socialist economy already.
What does a socialist economy do with those who simply do not want to work for their daily bread? Are they in the same "small, parasitic class" with the capitalists?
And for those who would resist a classless society - who would enforce compliance? Socialist cops and soldiers? Would soldiers own the Pentagon or will there be socialist defense contractors - oh wait, I forgot, there will be no war, no lust, no greed, no sociopaths, no need for cops or troops.
According to Mandel this "classless society" means "not so much the socialization of the person as the personalization of society." I've listened to many an intellectual drone for hours using such abstract language of ideas - and they actually think they said something. Such are the phrases that sound good but have no real meaning.
Or worse - classless society means we will all labor real hard according to ability .... to be in the same social class - which is not likely to happen with 6 billion, 300 million, or even my town of 16,000. It works on a small scale - if you're Amish, or tribally remote - but even then there's a pecking order, most often with women and children pecking lower.
The theory reminds me of H.G. Wells Time Machine where happy, simple Eloites seem to live in a classless society without conflict, but unfortunately are food for the cannibalistic underground Morlocks; both groups less than human and living off one another.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:02 PM
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Rawstory "One company has received an $800,000 contract from the Department of Homeland Security to develop a new "non-lethal" method of human incapacitation for use by law enforcement. By 2010, Intelligent Optical Systems hopes to be selling a sort of high-powered flashlight, the "LED Incapacitator," which would act by not only effectively blinding its target, but overloading his or her brain, with rapidly flashing lights at varying colors and frequencies. In addition to disorientation, headache and nausea are also likely."
---- Old news Alex, Faux News reported last August. IOS has contracts with DOE, the Pentagon, NIH, NASA, but worth a piddling amount compared to other upstarts. IOS , founded in 1998, has quite the array of names creating products for the unruly masses :
Srivatsa Venkatasubbarao, Ph.D. -- Senior Engineer
Kaleo Hui -- Technician
Glenn Bastiaans, Ph.D. -- Senior Scientist
Jerald Cole, Ph.D. -- Scientist
Weijie Huang, Ph.D. - Associate Scientist
Igor Ternovskiy, Ph.D. -- Principal Scientist
Indu Saxena, Ph.D. -- Senior Scientist
Vladimir Rubtsov, Ph.D. -- Senior Scientist
Eugene Durets -- Senior Technician
Jeff Iida -- Senior Optoelectronic Scientist
Steve Cordero, Ph.D. -- Scientist
Aaron Low -- Technician
Alex Smith -- Technician
Looks like a brain drain from India, Russia, China .... (typically younger, foreign born engineers and scientists will work for less salary compared to American born; we need more H1B visas please).
And an equally impressive list of corporate officers (all white guys) :
John Farina, Chief Executive Officer
Robert Lieberman, Ph.D., President and CTO
Aaron Cohen, Chief Financial Officer
Lothar Kempen, Ph.D., Vice President of R&D
Jay Olins, JD, Vice President, Legal and Administration
Their diverse backgrounds and know-how are developing products in the fields of Aerospace (might be a new grease for jet fighter engines), Automotive, Biotechnology (DNA sensors, gene chips), Civil, Communications, Environmental (detect biowarfare agents in water), Homeland Security (flashlights that make you puke), Industrial Control, and Medical/Health (infectious agent screening and gum disease).
Busy, busy, busy, one of IOS spin-off companies manufactures and markets optic components for the telecommunications and defense industries, and another spin-off is pursuing hydrogen sensor markets in the automotive, fuel cell, and aerospace sectors. IOS also is developing "things" to detect nerve gas, explosives, etc. to keep you safe.
IOS had received "hydrogen sensing" contracts and funds for years and in 2001 claimed to have developed the "world's first" hydrogen sensor. IOS had to retract that claim after DCH Technology pointed out to IOS scientists that DCHT and NREL (Department of Energy) had "demonstrated a fully functional fiber optic hydrogen sensor in 1997" and held US patents on fiber optic hydrogen sensors. Oops, Uncle Sam's corporate welfare program redundancy. (And you wonder why we're still not energy efficient?)
After 10 years of developing, spinning-off, and pursuing - IOS has finally produced a product - a prototype of a really big flashlight, which, if it can be whittled down to the weight necessary for a cop's belt - the po'leese can render you temporarily (you hope) blind and puking.
Many years ago I worked in an optics lab, before the general public had even heard of optics, creating prototypes - it was great fun. Gates, pass cards, keys, locked offices, secrecy, surrounded by paranoids worried about industrial espionage (all of whom would, had they developed anything useful, have sold it to the highest international bidder, had Lasik surgery and disappeared to a sandy beach with a blonde bimbo) - they were Robert Duvalls in lab coats and thick glasses - who loved nothing more than the smell of a government contract in the morning, even if 99.9% of such projects were thrown into file 13, year after year, and the other 0.1% didn't work as designed.
But wait - a quick check at NewsMeat shows IOS corporate officers donate to Democrats, and Democrats, once they win, will give us change, give us hope ... bring the troops home and end all this government welfare that funds corporate white guys who hire lower wage foreign guys to invent "non-lethal" weapons for use on the rest of us guys ... right Bubba?
Posted by Kate-A at 7:12 AM
Saturday, February 16, 2008
LONDON — At least 275 children in southern Iraq have been infected with a disfiguring skin disease, an outbreak some health officials are blaming on the war's devastating effect on the public health system.
According to the United Nations — citing reports from Iraq's southern province of Qadissiyah — 275 children have been struck with leishmaniasis, which is spread by sand flies. Most have a form that causes skin sores, but others have a type that strikes internal organs and can be fatal.
"This is a killer disease and we are trying to stop its spread," said Dr. Omer Mekki, an epidemiologist at the World Health Organization's Iraq office.
Two types of leishmaniasis have been found in southern Iraq, according to Mekki: 212 cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis, also known as Baghdad boil disease, and 63 cases of visceral leishmaniasis, or kala azar, Hindi for black fever.
----- In 1991 it was thought leishmaniasis was high in Saddam's troops.
"Leishmaniasis is endemic in 88 countries on 4 continents. More than 90% of cutaneous leishmaniasis cases occur in Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Peru. More than 90% of visceral leishmaniasis cases occur in Bangladesh, Brazil, India and Sudan."
It's another disease of poverty and most outbreaks are in India and Brazil. It's been on the rise in Central and South America, due to road building, mining, and oil exploration and the shanty towns that spring up next to the same activity. Leishmaniasis has also been found in Texas. Six years ago the German drug company Zentaris developed Impavido and tested in India with a 95 percent success rate there.
KAB headline: Simpleton Disease Strikes Americans of All Ages.
It's this type of story and the way it's presented that irritates me. Hundreds if not thousands on the "left" post the story, gnash a few teeth about how awful - it's capitalist neocon bushers genocide, waaa waaa waaa.
While "left" bloggers want to believe this "outbreak" is due to the current war's effect on the public health care system, more likely it's no worse than before - none give any stats on the disease during Saddam.
Yes, those big-hearted folks feel the pain of 275 Iraqi children effected by BushCo - having conveniently done nothing and now forgotten the 500,000 dead children from the "devastating effect" on Iraqi healthcare under the Billy Clinton regime. Don't forget your bumper sticker at the door - No One Died When Clinton Lied.
(And please send billions more to WHO, UN, pharmaceutical companies, missionaries, etc. to bravely continue the war on flies and mosquitoes.)
Posted by Kate-A at 2:54 PM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Joseph Wilson: Sen. Barack Obama's promise of transformation and an end of partisan politics has its seductive appeal. The Bush-Cheney era, after all, has been punctuated by smear campaigns, character assassinations and ideological fervor.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is one of the few who fully understood the stakes in that battle. Time and again, she reached out to my wife -- outed CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson -- and me to remind us that as painful as the attacks were, we simply could not allow ourselves to be driven from the public square by bullying. To do so would validate the radical right's thesis that the way to win debates is to demonize opponents, taking full advantage of the natural desire to avoid confrontation, even if it means yielding on substantive issues. Hillary knew this from experience, having spent the better part of the past 20 years fighting the Republican attack machine. She is a fighter.
But will Mr. Obama fight? His brief time on the national scene gives little comfort. Consider a February 2006 exchange of letters with Mr. McCain on the subject of ethics reform. The wrathful Mr. McCain accused Mr. Obama of being "disingenuous," to which Mr. Obama meekly replied, "The fact that you have now questioned my sincerity and my desire to put aside politics for the public interest is regrettable but does not in any way diminish my deep respect for you." Then McCain said, "Obama wouldn't know the difference between an RPG and a bong."
Mr. McCain was insultingly dismissive but successful in intimidating his inexperienced colleague. Thus, in his one face-to-face encounter with Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama failed to stand his ground.
How will Mr. Obama respond to charges made by the Kenyan government that his campaigning activities in Kenya in support of his distant cousin running for president there made him "a stooge" and constituted interference in the politics of an important and besieged ally in the war on terror?
Senator Obama claims superior judgment on the war in Iraq based on one speech given as a state legislator representing the most liberal district in Illinois at an anti-war rally in Chicago, and in so doing impugns the integrity of those who were part of the debate on the national scene. In mischaracterizing the debate on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force as a declaration of war, he implicitly blames Democrats for George Bush's war of choice. Obama's negative attack line does not conform to the facts.
It is not credible that Senator Obama would not have succumbed to Secretary Powell's arguments had he been in Washington at the time. Why not? Obama himself suggested so in 2004. "I'm not privy to Senate intelligence reports,' Obama said. 'What would I have done? I don't know." He also told the Chicago Tribune in 2004: "There's not much of a difference between my position and George Bush's position at this stage." According to press reports, Powell is now an informal adviser to Mr. Obama.
Obama's overtures to Republicans, or "Obamacans" as the Senator calls them, is a substitute for true national unity based on a substantive program. His marginal appeals have marginally helped him in caucuses in Republican states that Democrats won't win in the general election. But his vapid rhetoric will not withstand the winds of November. His efforts will be correctly seen by the Republican leadership as a sign of weakness to be exploited.
Barack Obama claims to represent the future, but it should be increasingly evident that he is not the man for this moment, especially with Mr. McCain's arrival.
---- Ummm. According to Wilson's assessment of Obama, he is a man easily intimidated, fails to stand his ground, uses a negative attack line by blaming Democrats for Bush's war. That Obama is an informal footsy associate of Colin Powell (and we know Powell stood before the UN and lied). Wilson says Obama's vapid rhetoric will not withstand the winds of November, that he will be seen, correctly, as weak. Even that Obama's connections to the Kenyan government makes him a "stooge."
I'm sure Obama knows the difference between an RPG and a bong (you usually don't put a bong on your shoulder) - just as Bill knows the difference between his penis and a cigar. Just as I know the difference between a genuine outing and the phony Wilson/Plame saga of distraction.
Joe claims to have withstood the winds of character assassination and is himself above such tactics, and as Hillary reached out to him he prevailed against the bullies - so he diplomatically warns us Obama is a negative, vapid, weak, meek, and intimidated stooge, and Hillary is the one who will fight for us.
Wilson doesn't bother to explain how Hillary will fight for us but assures us she is "battle-tested." I guess I'm to believe she battled that vast rightwing for us and won - for us, she stood up against .... against .... against ... well whatever it was she battled for us; and rewarded the nation with 8 years of BushCo policy.
Even the hardcore democrats I talk with here in Heartland, USA will not vote for Hillary or Obama when the winds of November blow. Your next president will be McCain.
Oh, by the way Joe, how's the Jarch Capital Sudan oil business? Will Hillary in the WH carry more force to make the Sudanese behave via UN peacekeepers? You know Jarch's oil grab is creating a lot of misery over there Joe.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:59 AM
Monday, February 11, 2008
Summary: A Washington Post article stated that Chelsea Clinton "is continuing to campaign for her mother despite the campaign's outrage over a remark made by an MSNBC host, David Shuster, that she is being 'pimped out' by the campaign on her mother's behalf"; the article did not explain how the two facts are inconsistent.
----- If two political hoes' like Bill and Hillary can't pimp then who can? Were the Bush twins pimped? Were Mitt's 5 sons in a Winnebago pimped? Are campaign donations used to pay family members? Sure.
Ron Paul, R-Texas paid daughter Lori Pyeatt $163,890. Ron Paul's total rises to $175,509 with additional payments to three other family members. Figures from CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington).
Rep. Dennis Kucinich's cousin, Kimberly Kucinich, was paid more than $35,000 for campaign consulting and fundraising over two elections. In March 2007 Dennis was ordered by the FEC to repay $137,000 for improper use of public money during his ill-fated 2004 presidential run.
Your campaign donations at work. The polite word for political pimpin' is nepotism.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:54 AM
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq – Sgt. Evan Vela was found guilty Feb. 10 on one specification of unpremeditated murder during a general courts martial at Camp Liberty Courthouse.
Vela, a Soldier in 1st Battalion, 501st Airborne, was on trial for the murder of an Iraqi man as part of operations May 11 in Jurf as Sakhr.
Vela was found guilty under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline -- wrongfully placing an AK-47 on the remains of a deceased person.
He was also found guilty under UCMJ Article 107 for making a false official statement.
The Army Ranger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing an unarmed Iraqi detainee and planting a machine gun near his body to mislead investigators.
----- Vela is guilty of what US cops are known to do, shooting the unarmed, planting evidence. Supposedly this Iraqi man was shot out of fear he might alert "insurgents" in the area - cops have less reason.
Years ago we would say to one another when leaving some place - "Be careful, don't be no accident." That was when "throw downs" were becoming too obvious and cops began mistaking candybars, wallets, hairbrushes as weapons.
Posted by Kate-A at 7:06 AM
Friday, February 08, 2008
HOUSTON - A defendant in the racially-charged Jena 6 case in Louisiana has been arrested for assault after an altercation at the suburban Dallas high school he is now attending, potentially complicating his legal defense in Jena and dispiriting some of his supporters.
Bryant Purvis, 19, was arrested Wednesday in Carrollton, Texas, and charged with misdemeanor assault after an incident with another student at Hebron High School, Carrollton police said. Purvis was released in lieu of $1,000 bond on Thursday and suspended for three days from the school, where he enrolled as a senior after moving to the area to live with a relative.
"It's sort of a pop culture touchstone of 2007 for a lot of black people," Marcano said, adding that he hoped that Purvis' latest arrest would not detract from the larger issues of equal justice raised by the Jena case.
"These kids are still juveniles, so I'm not surprised that they will get into scuffles and things of that nature," Marcano said. "These kids are not supposed to be angels. They are supposed to have equal access to fair treatment from the criminal justice system, and they will continue to be teenagers while we continue to fight for that."
------ Dispiriting indeed.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:34 PM
Ran across this man and his theory a few months ago and again more recently. Didn't believe the theory months ago and haven't been converted to a believer now. Crosby in BFN interview.
According to Edwin Crosby's long crusade, since 1974, there's a system of secret codes "hidden" on discharge papers of over 20 million U.S. veteran soldiers. SPN (separation program numbers), are codes which corporate and bureaucratic interests have been using to deny employment and veteran benefits. Codes which facilitate a huge theft of over $70 Billion, in a scam which has lasted decades.
Link to what codes mean. "Branded with numbers" according to Crosby. Another link with alpha codes defined.
Being a genealogy buff I pulled out my binder of familial military records and checked all DD-214s, from WWII to the current Iraq War. This "hidden" code is listed under Reason and Authority for Separation on discharge papers. Thankfully, none of my family in the last 70 years has been "secretly" labeled a bedwetter, psychoneurotic, with GMP (unsanitary habits), or an FKD (absent w/o leave, desertion).
Every vet knows the military can be a red tape nightmare, particularly the US Army, that branch seems to have more than its share of incompetents. But to his credit, Crosby got a life after Vietnam, a war he volunteered for, harping on the standard crap of bureaucracy, which in 30 years has morphed into a career for Ed, complete with DVD and interviews.
(For horrendous military injustice study the historical treatment of Black America by the Armed Services.)
Crosby states he was denied by the State of NY (scroll down) "the right to take a Civil Service Test because the State Employee punched my SSN into a computer and pulled up my military records ( they are not supposed to have them ) then said there is your code, sorry, NO TEST."
Was it a post office job? Vietnam vets were given priority for postal jobs after the war (and gave new meaning to going postal).
Crosby states in the same breath : "Once the international community sees the proof of this branding of human beings with numbers in America, only one thought will be forthcoming, this is what happened in Nazi Germany, now its going on in America. Who is responsible for this Holocaust 2, look no further than the Justice System, controlled by a secret society, the BAR ASSOCIATION and its members, LAWYERS."
I would have to make a grand leap for that one - being denied a civil service exam as equal to genocide. I bet I could guess the SPN on Edwin Crosby's DD214.
BFN and Crosby mentioned the suicide rates which I've blogged already.
BFN also links to ABC News Nightline, the Bob Woodruff exposé. The same trusty ABC who made Dan Rather the "scapegoat" in the discredited story of Bush's National Guard service; the same ABC who knew the Boy Bush NG story was true but didn't have the balls to back it.
On the surface it would appear the Army discharges soldiers as having a "personality disorder." Hundreds of troops allegedly intentionally discharged with PD so as to not be paid benefits - i.e. not getting that "crazy" check. And that troops discharged on personality disorders who received enlistment money/bonus failed to fulfill their contract, hence owe money to the military. You contracted to perform an x-amount of service for an x-amount of dollars. PD discharges (among others) generally have to repay breach of contract, whether you write a check to the treasury or whether the IRS sends your tax refunds to the government until it's paid.
DoD clarified in 1999 that recoupment of bonus monies did not apply to veterans who were medically discharged with a physical disability. But if you're simply malingering and want a quick and easy out .... then likely you're coded as such and BigDaddy wants his money back. You could fight the label of "personality disorder" and try for another type of discharge, contact your congressman - it works.
Remember too, the US government does not want hoards of angry veterans breaching the perimeters of Capitol Hill.
On the ABC video, Jeffrey Peskoff, handsomely fresh-face former military pay technician and veteran, speaks of quitting his job in disgust at such tactics. A google search of Peskoff shows him commenting on forums since 2005 and stating he "has been diagnosed with numerous mental issues including PTSD after returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom," he's also a backer of Ron Paul, whom many soldiers think will end war and grant all vets all kinds of goodies.
Some folks hype news about the thugs, gangsters, racists, bigots, and psychos the military has been recruiting and enlisting - then bitch when a soldier is labeled as having a personality disorder. Remember Steven Dale Green was discharged due to a "personality disorder." He's the soldier who raped and burned the 14-year-old Iraqi girl and murdered her family. Guess the Army got one right.
In the last 6 years anywhere from 6000 to 22,000 vets, depending on the source, have been discharged on personality disorders. How many are potential Steven Greens and how many are truly being railroaded? How many think a few years in uniform entitles them to a lifetime income and how many deserving men/women are screwed over in red tape? How many video gamers enlist and then want out because a bunk in the sand isn't fun? How many experienced guys with a decade or more in uniform decide they want out and then suddenly understand nothing about how the military works? How many want out by any means necessary and think it won't come back to bite them in the ass because they've always gotten away bite-free?
There's a lot of fraud in government - but there's also a lot of fraud in Americans wanting money for nothing.
House Committee on Veteran Affairs ran a blurb last summer regarding misdiagnosis of veterans - personality disorder versus PTSD because personality disorders generally are not eligible for disability benefits. PD gets you mustered out quick which is attractive to troops wanting out quick, especially if under the impression they'll still get a monthly disability check for life. Since the Vietnam era too many soldiers receive a lifetime of "disability" checks for PTSD they never get over, for minor injuries that never heal - which bleeds funds from those soldiers who truly need and deserve it.
How many of today's vets were wanting out before their contract was up and how many were forced out on PD discharges - it's not like the military is forcing decent men and women out when they have quotas to meet.
There are sad stories out there and the ones I've known of have been remedied - but is there intentional abuse on the part of DoD in some organized structure of scrimping benefits to fund the war or line pockets? Crosby claims $70 billion stolen over the last few decades. Does the government steal? Yessiree, right under your noses and out of paychecks. Maybe Ron Paul can look for those stolen billions since Paul explicitly supports more funding for veterans, and we have 6 active duty/vets here in my immediate family who would like a chunk of that $70 billion.
Crosby claims 100,000 phony veteran claims are collecting $2000 a month adding up to $70 billion stolen by the DoD. The real live veteran doesn't get the benefit, John Doe does, and the real veteran receives "claim denied ... claim denied" until he dies.
I had to listen several times to BFN's interview to understand what Crosby is claiming. Lover of conspiracy that I am this is too unbelievable. To begin with the IRS would wonder why John Doe claims lodging, meals, and mileage for his work-related travel expenses when the record also shows John is receiving $2000 total disability a month for a war injury (believe me the records are integrated), or why he's deducting home improvements yet $2000 a month in his name goes to the Disabled Veterans Home where he's been confined for 10 years.
Or the IRS might wonder why there are 100,000 John Doe's. Or perhaps the DoD is bypassing every American bureaucracy and depositing 100,000 checks per month from John Doe directly into a account - without one bank auditor raising an eyebrow. Obviously the government couldn't be using legitimate veteran names as that sort of massive identity theft would show up in too many places too quickly and too easily, particularly because Crosby claims there's a geographic connection to it. Imagine all the southern Bubbas having their veteran benefits denied for years.
I know our crooked government is good at laundering money but .... there's not enough detergent or machines for this one. According to Crosby the medical records to support his claims have, of course, been destroyed.
Meanwhile, corruption continues on between our corporate government which legislates for the powers that be and every politician who keeps his mouth shut and pocket open. Easy enough, as the sheople continue to look to misfits who make careers out of half-baked theories, and swallow the mainstream truth follies, sometimes referred to as an exposé.
Obviously the SPN now for all Americans is FKD, one way or the other.
Posted by Kate-A at 5:37 PM
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
By Beth Arnold
I'm talking about a 21st Century American Revolution that we are witnessing with our own eyes. It is the electricity that is burning through our air and the fresh words and ideas that are spilling into our ears. It is freedom itself we're beginning to smell again and a chance for a new beginning we've truly never had. Americans have been starving, and a healing future is tempting us to the table for an essential feast.
This is the Civilizing War to make us one and whole again. It is a revolution of hope and faith that Senator Obama has inspired by his belief in himself and in us. It is a fire that is sweeping through our land and leaping across oceans to light up the peoples of other nations to give them hope and confidence in us again.
It is the first real chance in several generations -- since JFK's presidency and the revolutions of the 60's and 70's -- for Americans to sense the power behind such social and cultural movements and to feel the magnetic pull to participate. My God, this is good! It is injecting energy that will continue to push us forward light years ahead of where we have been in the Dark Ages of George Bush.
I first felt this gigantic shift on the night of the Iowa caucuses. Watching Obama and his supporters gave me goose bumps, while the Clintons seemed passé and stale.
Democrats must learn to connect to their base again, and this is a lesson John Edwards has been teaching us. Al Gore has taught us that doing the right thing brings lasting results. The younger generations have taught us the power of the new media. These are all important revolutionary tools.
The good news is this: It is as if the ghost of Paul Revere climbed onto his horse in order to shout this news to the American conscious and unconscious, "Obama is coming! Obama is coming! Get ready for change, because it and he are already here."
------- Lady, I want some of whatever it is you're smokin'.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:21 PM
Today, ALTERNET: A "plastic soup" of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean is growing at an alarming rate and now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States, scientists have said. The vast expanse of debris -- in effect the world's largest rubbish dump -- is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting "soup" stretches from about 500 nautical miles off the Californian coast, across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Japan. Mr. Moore, a former sailor, came across the sea of waste by chance in 1997, while taking a short cut home from a Los Angeles to Hawaii yacht race. He had steered his craft into the "North Pacific gyre" -- a vortex where the ocean circulates slowly because of little wind and extreme high pressure systems. Usually sailors avoid it.
He was astonished to find himself surrounded by rubbish, day after day, thousands of miles from land. "Every time I came on deck, there was trash floating by," he said in an interview. "How could we have fouled such a huge area? How could this go on for a week?"
------- Wait a minute, "surrounded by" and "floating by" are not the same thing. Of course "civilized" man is trashing the planet - but let's be concrete in our imagery.
From 2005 PBS: Gyres are areas where oceanographic convergences and eddies cause debris fragments to accumulate naturally. What the researchers discovered was both shocking and outrageous, a floating mass of plastic junk stretching across an area of ocean the size of Texas. Rivers of soda and water bottles, spray can tops, candy wrappers, cigarette lighters, shopping bags, polypropylene fishing nets, buoys and unidentifiable, miscellaneous fragments collected in a huge rotating mass of plastic pollution.
------- That is shocking growth - from the size of Texas to twice the size of the continental US in just a couple of years or so. Unfortunately, I've not found any aerial images of this huge floating plastic blob that should soon take over the planet.
During the Contra war in Nicaragua, from necessity, we recycled everything. Cigarette packages could be turned in for centavos; if you bought Windsor brand and turned the package inside out you might find the Alas brand or vice versa (Alas the cheapest and the name very appropriate). When buying cooking oil, Pine-Sol, detergent, body lotion or powder, and sometimes liquor - you took your own bottle for a refill. You paid a refundable deposit on anything made of glass. You brought things home in your own bolsa.
Although the Pacific floating garbage mass has not been verified, and I'm not buying it's as horrendous as it's claimed to be at this point, man should make better use of his garbage, and make less of it.
One of the first impressions of the States for anyone who experiences austerity is how wasteful Americans live, and the biggest obstacle I've noticed to Americans recycling and re-using anything, and weaning off unnecessary plastic, is it might give the impression they're "poor." God how middle American hates the idea of looking "poor." And changing a lifestyle might cost a few minutes a day from their busy lives - it's time consuming trying to look "rich" when all you have to work with is plastic.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:47 AM
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
I was listening to someone tonight going over details of Bush's dictatorial powers; how Bush has signed over 700 Executive Orders and other acts of unconstitutional aggression against our civil liberties. That fascism slowly creeps upon us (well, for white folks maybe it's been creeping).
I'm not convinced that something can be aggressive and creep at the same time but apparently to some individuals the Bush dictatorship can creep aggressively. And remember folks, I loathe BushCo as much as anyone else.
They also cited the case of Dr. Rafil Dhafir, a New Yorker convicted of 59 counts of various crimes - money laundering, wire fraud, Medicare fraud, violating Iraq sanctions as investigation of Dhafir began in 1999 and his Help the Needy charity was supposedly sending funds and materials to Iraqi throughout the 1990s to help the needy there. Humanitarian or criminal, if you're going to violate the laws of your adopted country you should prepare for consequences. And surely he had access to afford the type of lawyering that even an O.J. can secure.
The doctor was denied bail - an item some white folks seem to think is new - because he was considered a flight risk. I was ready to believe this upstanding American-Iraqi citizen was wrongly convicted but after researching I need more facts before crying. Apparently the jury found sufficient evidence to convict unanimously. And maybe it's a petty thing for me but when someone such as the doctor demands the faithful cleanup after fundraisers rather than hire a cleaning crew yet he drives around in a Lexus and travels abroad 3 times a year ... well I wonder about his commitment to frugality.
But back to the signing orders.
I knew BushCo had signed a couple of questionable orders regarding executive power and homeland security, and I have plenty of complaints regarding the Patriot Act and other gobs of legalese that strengthen the power of the good ol' pervert boys in DC who pass laws without reading them, but I decided to check out these horrendous executive orders of aggression. Had they grown that monumental? I only found 272 - so will those to the left of me let me know where the other 500 are? Scarey? You be the judge.
Bush Signs Executive Order to Protect Striped Bass and Red Drum Fish Populations.
President Bush Signs Indian Education Executive Order.
Bush Signs Executive Order Protecting American Taxpayers from Government Spending on Wasteful Earmarks.
Bush signs executive order to help Americans with disabilities.
President Bush Signs New Executive Order On HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities).
Bush Signs Executive Order Limiting Eminent Domain Powers of Federal Government (the federal government can only seize private property for a public use such as a hospital or road).
Bush Signs Executive Order Aiming To Boost Transparency of Health Services Prices, Quality.
Bush yesterday signed an executive order requiring the CIA to follow international conventions banning torture when it questions detainees in its secret interrogation program for top captured terrorists.
Bush Signs Executive Order Establishing National Aeronautics Research and Development Policy.
Executive Order: Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.
Link to all Orders signed by Bush, including the Only White Folks Thought He Was Funny Executive Order Establishing the Bob Hope American Patriot Award.
Of course, BushCo is just setting the new world stage for the next group of political puppets who will bait and switch and bend you over your empty pork barrel while you whine as expected, demanding rights, protections, freebies courtesy of more Daddy Guvmint - the new world order needs mental dependents, not self-secure adults.
And, while demanding abstract freedoms, nanny laws, and bumper sticker causes at home you demand the US leave the world alone - but don't look down - that way of life you enjoy has a pile of dead bodies holding you up, even as you blame those bodies on the evil corporations that supply and gratify your impulses day in and day out. Got bourgeois?
Let us all join hands now and say a Sally Field mother's prayer: President Hillary will stop the war because she's a mother and if women ruled the world there would be no goddamn war, long live Hillary Bill the queen of mothers ....
... and in that gospel vein let us believe that if Obama wins the presidency all Americans, particularly Blacks, will be empowered - we will overcome federal handouts and institutionalized racism and live white collar to white collar with our middle class suburban brethren, having a bar-b-que with 40 ounce malt liquor while little Tyrone and Tiffany play. Viva Obama. He will be our Chavez, our Evo - Obama, our man of color who understands what it means to be biracial at family reunions, finding your roots in Africa, attending an elite Hawaiin school, the aggravation of not getting better hair from those white genes.
So Bubba ... call me if a revolution starts. I'll be out back turning the compost and doing a little self-governing.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:48 AM