Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire, Chalmers Johnson and Tom Engelhardt.
After the initial paragraphs of boo-to-America and Chalmers and Tom plugging their books and/or website, we come to the Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire And Ten Steps to Take to Do So, by Mr. Johnson.
Dismantling the empire for 3 reasons and how-to in 10 steps.
Reason number 1, empire is expensive. Johnson: "According to the 2008 official Pentagon inventory of our military bases around the world, our empire consists of 865 facilities in more than 40 countries and overseas U.S. territories."
Again, as I have said before, these stats, are based on the Pentagon's real estate/real property inventory list, and does not represent 865 military bases - but list real property and "facilities." The number of "bases" is closer to 250-ish. This "865 military bases" is used as it conjures in the mind of the average reader the image of huge bases of operation swarming with armed-to-the-teeth troops menacing the world. Also never mentioned is that two-thirds of our "bases" are here at home. A "facility" on the inventory list could be a guard shack, a warehouse, an outhouse. It could be an ammo depot in Japan which has 30 or so US military personnel and 400 Japanese employees, who probably want their jobs.
Johnson's solution to US hegemony - liquidate the "massive concentration" of military outside the US; it is "unimaginably expensive." (If the "left" dream comes true we will need that massive concentration of troops inside the US.) Yes it is expensive Bubba. But not so much because the US pays to maintain a presence on foreign soil - but because of good ol' pork here at home, especially if your brother-in-law has the contract for $600 toilet seats. (Ask John Murtha about military pork - he turned against the Iraq war when his military pork was reduced, because contracts were going literally for boots and gear, not the "high tech" or R&D of Murtha's district, a.k.a. earmarks.)
Does Johnson not know that the US is paid to maintain their foreign presence? Does he think the US presence is only on our dime? Does he not know the Japanese government bears about 75 percent of the burden of the U.S. military infrastructure and presence in Japan? And Korea likewise. Go on, look it up. It's those damn toilet seats that are unimaginably expensive.
Johnson cites a guy named Turse as suggesting the US sell the base assets of Diego Garcia and Gitmo - stating we could get an easy 4.8 billion for vacating these prime spots.
Excuse me sir, are you saying we sell military base assets such as communications and intelligence equipment, weaponry, aircraft, land and sea ports, buildings, air strips? Think China might be interested, or Iran? Maybe Castro could borrow enough from Hugo to buy our military assets - he already owns the land Gitmo sits on. If Turse had suggested we raze Diego and Gitmo and vacate I would have thought better of him, but to sell the base "assets" as military move-in-ready real estate is rather stupid for obvious reasons.
Second reason to liquidate, according to Johnson: "We Are Going to Lose the War in Afghanistan and It Will Help Bankrupt Us." Yes, that may be true but not so much for the reasons Johnson claims, and in the section under this heading he uses knee-jerk citations - not to prove anything - but to heighten the indignation of certain readers. To begin, the fact that the Brits and Russians couldn't win in Afghanistan is not proof that the US will lose.
Johnson then cites other authors who claim, "Pashtun tribes, almost genetically expert at guerrilla warfare after resisting centuries of all comers and fighting among themselves when no comers were available, plagued attempts to extend the Pax Britannica into their mountain homeland." There you go folks - these tribes are fierce, fighting (killing) outsiders and one another, because genetically, almost, they're just born fighters (killers). Johnson then cites another book who's author cited Lloyd George (British PM in WWI), who supposedly gloated (and the US behaves the same today), "We insisted on reserving the right to bomb niggers." That phrase is also included in works by Chomsky and others.
I will never understand how white folks on the "left" recruit and convince nonwhites by pointing out that white folks are racist, except "left" white folks. Don't sign up on that one Bubba.
Kind of makes me wonder who the real bigots are when decades-old racial slurs and comments on genetic violence are used on the current readership. Worst of all, Johnson is much more intellectual than the piece above would seem. He is writing down - to an audience that will have gut reactions to talk of economic waste, racism, rape.
We should never have committed to these wars - but folks, according to history, which self-appointed scholars and experts constantly cherry pick and point to - we better win now that we are in them - because anything less and the price will be further social and economic degradation at home, and the non-US replacement Empire will not be particularly pleasant to knuckle-dragging dumbed down Joe Blows who dismantled their own empire because it made them feel good about themselves.
Lastly, reason #3, Johnson lists as: "We Need to End the Secret Shame of Our Empire of Bases." Rape and sexual assault by US troops. Rape of their fellow soldiers and rape of civilians. He says, the "... U.S. military has created a worldwide sexual playground for its personnel and protected them to a large extent from the consequences of their behavior." Geeze, you could say Hollywood and MSM has done that domestically ... sexual playground without consequences ...
Rape, another knee-jerk issue, with statistics and stories that can be cherry-picked and assembled to read whichever way you like. Strangely, myself and not one military female I have known in the last 30 years was raped or assaulted. I do know 3 civilian women raped and beaten by nonmilitary men. The "left" as usual tries to connect the root cause of criminal behavior to the military. It's not your fault, the uniform made you do it. Dismantle empire and crime will disappear.
Johnson: "The military itself has done next to nothing to protect its own female soldiers or to defend the rights of innocent bystanders forced to live next to our often racially biased and predatory troops. "The military’s record of prosecuting rapists is not just lousy, it’s atrocious," writes Herbert. In territories occupied by American military forces, the high command and the State Department make strenuous efforts to enact so-called "Status of Forces Agreements" (SOFAs) that will prevent host governments from gaining jurisdiction over our troops who commit crimes overseas. The SOFAs also make it easier for our military to spirit culprits out of a country before they can be apprehended by local authorities."
The high profile case Johnson cites is the 1995 rape of a 12-year-old Japanese girl by 2 marines and a sailor. The SOFA agreement does not make it easier to "spirit culprits out of the country" as the military has no desire to shelter thugs and human misfits, and the host country indicts quickly, usually within days. The 3 men above were turned over to Japanese authorities where they were sent to prison until their release in 2003; one complaining of forced slave labor in an electronics plant. All were dishonorably discharged. The victim and family were paid reparations. A more recent case of a 14-year-old girl was dismissed as the girl retracted her accusation.
Rape is not "ubiquitous around all of our bases on every continent" for the simple fact that nearly all inhabitants around the base have livelihoods and relationships with and/or depend on base personnel, including prostitution. Another fact, never mentioned, is that some folks have now discovered that an accusation, an accident, a complaint directed at US troops can be lucrative. Never mentioned are the times when military personnel come to the aid of locals during natural disasters, medical emergencies, fire fighting, or building schools, clinics, roads, and other infrastructure. (Yea, they could be doing that at home.)
Those now and then anti-US base protests in Japan and South Korea are flatulence in the wind, instigated by local political factions who have another agenda, while the US "left" plays it as the US horror show trampling on innocence abroad. Wow Bubba, Americans must be the most wicked people on the planet, allowing so much evil in their name.
Johnson's list of 10 steps to liquidate the empire are the usual for the left/progressive crowd who swear they think deeply but it's surface only:
1. Go green. Our bases pollute. I kid you not, it's number one on the list.
2. Use talent/resources elsewhere (those raping grunts could fill potholes).
3. Dismantling would end torture. Guffaw guffaw. Torture was unheard of until GWB approved waterboarding? Better yet would be to dismantle cable TV and MSM - they perpetuate domestic torture.
4. Cut the train of camp followers who follow our military enclaves around the world, the dependents, civilian employees of DoD, and hucksters - along with their expensive medical facilities, housing requirements, swimming pools, clubs, golf courses, and so forth. These followers apparently are of no value as they have no connection to jobs, see #5.
5. Discredit the myth that the military is connected to jobs, scientific research, and defense. Is that because the military is connected to congress crooks who use mythical research and defense contracts worth real money to buy votes?
6. Stop being an arms dealer and close the School of the Americas (always a "left" favorite), a tune I have heard for 40 years.
7. Abolish ROTC in schools (another favorite "left" buzzphrase), there are other outlets for young men and women in school (gangs, drugs, havin' babies, besides kids are getting so obese they can't do the required PT).
8. Restore discipline and accountability in the military and scale back on private contractors. This may put a lid on those $600 toilet seats. :)
9. Reduce size of our standing army and deal better with our wounded troops. (Always have to add something that sounds similar to "support the troops.")
10. Stop relying on the military as a chief means of achieving foreign policy objectives. This one sounds reasonable to me - but - can we reason with those almost genetic fighting mentalities who turn on one another if there is no other, and still stone their women for diddling?
I used to agree with anything Chalmers Johnson penned. During the Korean war he served as a Navy officer in Japan, was a consultant for the CIA, and ran the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of California, Berkeley for years. Hmmm very interesting ... is that xenophobia I smell?
Yessirr, we should dismantle and downsize and reduce and discredit and abolish and stop and liquidate the empire. Just because other wannabe superpowers are not liquidating ... let us set the example ... or make it easy for them to take our spot ... let's have a going out of business sale, we have a lot of used toilet seats.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Three Good Reasons To Liquidate Our Empire, Chalmers Johnson and Tom Engelhardt.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
The news continues to harp on the Obama beer summit, a dialogue on racism (2 blacks guys who see racism everywhere will double-team a clueless white guy). A Boston cop called Gates a "banana eating jungle monkey." Now, that's ugly racist, no matter how much the cop denies it.
I am very tired of the Jackomania spin, attempting to portray Michael Jackson as something other than the drug-addicted has been he was, so I thought it only appropriate that I concentrate on something magnificently trivial.
I will not dwell on the past month's 2 or 3 dozen deaths of US soldiers in the Wars for Oil - the "left" believe the troops are getting what they deserve and the "right" consider their death the price of freedom.
I will not dwell this afternoon on the ridiculous Obamacare - which if passed, the ignorant folks, who support the plan and the bloated bureaucracy to come with it, will pay dearly. I will not think about the dividends from Cigna Insurance operations in China with its supplemental consumer health products and services.
I will not think long or much about the incessant argument of the "capitalist" system versus the "socialist" system because we have had a perverse version of both, stirred into the American psyche to the point that ethics and morality are buzz words that citizens mouth regularly but cannot practice in reality and each side blames world evil as the result of the other side's system.
Osama bin Forgotten. BushCo who? Bill Ayers, Rezko, Auchi, Jeremiah Wright, that pushy grubby bunch of ACORNistas, who cares? And who cares if Nancy Pelosi has the same face job as Joan Rivers. I will not seethe too loudly over the fact that Michael Vick fans are willing to give him another chance, after murdering and torturing helpless animals for his own pleasure. Is Commander Cowboy still straddling the border of Nicaragua and Honduras - nanner nanner nanner. I will not think of these things and people.
I will be thankful that this month there is no affluent missing white girl to glisten the eyes of Nancy Grace, no media whores photo'ed without underwear to overload google search engine. I am grateful this month there is no loser husband dumping his wife and 8 kids because he is "only 32 years old" and decided his ragmag fans were right when they bitched about his wife. (Better get a job Jon or beg Kate to take you back.)
What, no celeb giving birth to twins this week? Who is getting custody, who got busted?
I will not dissect and parse and spin political systems, or debate the plans BigDaddy government has for us; let us not consider the booze with Barry or discuss the what if of the latest popular autopsy result - instead - let us turn our attention to the fashion sense, or lack of, of our first ladies.
That's right, what I want to languish mentally on today Bubba is - fashion. That's right, fashion. It's the wife-beater shirt you wear and those skinny jeans. You remind me of Michelle Obama.
First of all let me say, Michelle could not possibly choose anything any worse than the garb of the 5 first ladies in this photo. My god, if forced to choose one of those get-ups, I would cringe ... hmmm I guess I would flip a coin for either Nancy's red dress or Rosalind's purple. Barbara may have a "beautiful mind" but her taste in formal wear is anything but. To give her the benefit of the doubt - could Babs have been en route to grannie's quilting bee when this photo was taken?
There has been hoopla regarding Michelle's sleeveless look. But, remember the phrase - flaunt it if you got it - and she does not have the waggle flapping underarms, yet. And she doesn't have a farmer's tan ... and maybe she is hot-blooded in her deltoids, triceps, biceps and brachial radialis and does not feel cold at all going sleeveless at those chillier photo-op events.
Remember the buzz: Mrs. Obama’s super-sculpted arms are the result of years of effort ... those arms have become Mrs. Obama’s most constant accessory ... her arms that pop out, rippled and gleaming ... They represent achievement and self-control, wrote Kate Holmquist in the Irish Times...
Gosh Bubba - you were paroled with super sculpted, rippled, gleaming arms but I never thought of them as testament to your years of effort. Now I see it in an entirely new light. Being you were big, bald, and buffed - I thought you just had too much time on your hands doing time. Bubba, if Michelle can go sleeveless to reveal hers, you just go on and gleam in a wife-beater shirt, or that black mesh-thingy shirt.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:04 PM
Friday, July 24, 2009
Have you read the "Clinton RU-486 files"? Judicial Watch has the full length version.
Here's a sample, a Ron Weddington 1993 letter to Clinton.
Weddington: "... you can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country. No, I'm not advocating some sort of mass extinction (sic) of these unfortunate people. Crime, drugs and disease are already doing that. The problem is that their numbers are not only replaced but increased by the birth of millions of babies to people who can't afford to have babies. There, I've said it. It's what we all know is true... "
Weddington adds a P.S. to the letter: ""I was co-counsel in Roe v. Wade, have sired zero children and one fetus, the abortion of which was recently recounted by my ex-wife in her book, A Question of Choice (Grosset/Putnam, 1992). I had a vasectomy in 1969 and have never had one moment of regret."
The Weddingtons divorced in 1974. Poster children for good spousal/parental role models? I suppose, although they are not poor, ignorant, or unhealthy, we can be thankful the Weddingtons chose not to breed.
The second page of the document is a letter to Betsy Wright, where Weddington discusses the "notion" of starting a non-profit company to market RU-486 because a "non-profit would eliminate the need for products liability insurance... Something's got to be done very quickly. 26 million foodstamp recipients is more than the country can stand."
Although the man has a point, the cycle of poverty, crime, drugs, etc., he is representative of many "liberals/progressives" who publicly defend abortion as a woman's right to her own body blah blah blah - but privately advocate abortion for, not mass extinction, just elimination of some - who coincidentally happen to be barely educated, unhealthy, and poor.
Weddington even blames part of the problem on the Reagan era of "religious orgy" with pastors encouraging reproduction. He suggests enlisting the aid of sports and entertainment stars to counteract church propaganda. Celebrities as reproductive role models? Yea, that'll work, you can use misogynist rappers and pop pedophiles, and angels and madonnas who buy babies for their nannies to tend to.
Apparently Ron doesn't know the statistics on abortion - that over 60% of abortions are white women between the ages of 25-40. Not the illiterate sickly and poor ghetto females he alludes to. Ron's target of the poor and disadvantaged are the last to use abortion as birth control. Since 1972 has legal abortion and access to birth control stopped indiscriminate reproduction among the poor? I don't think so Bubba Ron. As long as casual breeding is socially acceptable under the banner of "sexual freedom", and paid for by BigDaddy government, here in the 'hood and in the trailers and in the projects and in the working class 'burbs, folks will keep having babies they can't afford. Want to stop millions of illegitimate babies? Stop paying for it. The mommas will make damn sure their baby girls aren't having babies if momma has to pay the bills.
And, wouldn't ya know it - Ron was wasting no time with the notion of getting in on the non-profit marketing of RU-486, an elimination product. A real progressive not-for-profit capitalist I guess.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:59 AM
Gates vs. Crowley. Gates supposedly kept demanding Crowley's name and badge number. Crowley was uniformed. So, aren't officers in uniform wearing a badge and name tag with that information in plain sight?
This "case" is about class, not race. Gates is an eminent scholar and a "somebody" who lives and hobnobs with folks in Martha's Vineyard. Crowley is a working stiff in uniform who coaches little league. Is there a snob in the equation?
Another question - Lucia Whalen, the 40 y/o white neighbor who called in the potential burglary in progress, is the circulation manager/fundraiser for Harvard Magazine. Did she not recognize her neighbor and colleague of sorts? Why? All black men pushing on a door jamb look the same?
Gates said something that my ears caught, in an interview with Soledad O'Brien.
GATES: I knew that I was in danger but I knew, too, that as soon as my friends could get to jail, starting with Professor Charles Ogletree, who is my friend and lawyer, that eventually I would be OK. But what it made me realize was how vulnerable all black men are, how vulnerable all people of color are and all poor people to capricious forces like a rogue policeman. And this man clearly was a rogue policeman.
Gates is saying that in all his 58 years it was this incident that made him realize how vulnerable black men are to rogue policemen. And he's a genius?
Are we to believe that a wealthy Harvard professor, friend of Obama, lawyer at his fingertips, believed himself in danger? Danger from what? The charges would not be dropped fast enough? Or that Rev. Al and/or Jesse would break a leg in their haste to get to the microphone?
I get the feeling the prof's 15 minutes are turning into an hour or two.
Posted by Kate-A at 7:31 AM
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Bothersome to see so many recent baloney charges of racism. What the hay is going on?
The latest cry wolfer is Professor "Skip" Gates. Gates is contemplating a lawsuit, demanding the cop apologize, and muses and mulls the idea of getting a PBS deal to do a documentary on racial profiling ... all in a week's pimping I guess.
Here is the arresting officer's report. Now who in their right mind is going to engage in a pissing contest with a cop and bring the cop's momma into it? I don't get it. There are sufficient instances of genuine racism around the country - why is the media focusing on phony accusations, especially one by a pompous large ego who believes his social status is leeway to act a fool with a cop? Gates swears he did not yell but the pic looks like a yell to me. When cops respond to a possible burglary in progress you, black or white, do not respond by asking if it is because you're black in America or say things like "you don't know who you're messin' with."
Gates is a "scholar" of W.E.B. DuBois, and I've always preferred Booker T. Washington. The difference?
Here, Ellis Washington highlights the differences (although usually he's too "rightwing" for my taste):
The dichotomy between Du Bois and Washington would be that of expediency versus patience; political protest verses self-help; overt activism in the streets verses the quiet assiduousness of personal and moral development in the home; seeking redress of rights in the courts of America for better jobs, schools and educational opportunities versus seeking knowledge in the libraries of America and creating our own jobs, schools, and educational opportunities; forcing Whites to accept us as equals verses showing Whites that we can first treat each other as equals. Such were (and presently are) the choices Black America must choose.
.... Enter the "Race merchants" and "Poverty Pimps," that is, Black leaders, who make a living keeping racism alive. While spouting empty rhetoric, they only feign combating racism. Such people have woven a carefully crafted web of deceit over the past several decades to maintain their influence and power over blacks. On this topic, in The End of Racism, Dinesh D'Souza writes: "The civil rights establishment has a vested interest in the continuation of spectacular episodes of racism: these provide an important justification for continuing transfer payments to minority activists."
However, this Faustian bargain, while bringing renewed influence and money to the leaders, resulted in the Black community languishing in inner city ghettos. As frustration grew in Black America and racial violence erupted in the cities, Whites fled in droves, leaving these cities without a viable tax base, or trained Blacks to fill the newly-vacant job base. Thus, large cities all across America followed the same refrain:
Black frustration--->Black riots--->White flight--->Dwindling tax base--- >Ghettoization--->Rise of the Black Underclass
In conclusion, once again the pivotal question to be asked is, Who had the best philosophy for helping Blacks attain equal treatment under the law--Booker T. Washington or W. E. B. Du Bois? History, trillions of dollars of redistributing wealth from Whites to minorities, and 40 years of civil rights and affirmative action programs, indicate that Washington's self-help philosophy was, indeed, the better path for Blacks to take.
Other ethnic groups also have histories of discrimination, segregation, and racism directed toward them by Whites (albeit less severe than what Blacks received). Yet they overcame such circumstances--not through activism and protesting--but quietly and methodically improving their lives by building their own institutional structures, achieved through work and the maintenance of family ties. It can be no different for the Black race. Blacks need to "have an ear to hear," in order to apply Booker T. Washington's principles of self-help and to partake fully in the American Dream."
Posted by Kate-A at 8:53 PM
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Walter Cronkite. Lived a long and active life. He read the evening news. He hosted programs on historical events, documentaries, and a game show using news events. He was married to the same woman, Betsy, for over 60 years. Major accomplishments by any standard. Obama has issued the mandatory "great loss" statement.
In the 1970s Archie Bunker referred to Walter as that "pinko commie." Remember All In the Family? Back when folks could laugh at bigotry instead of contacting lawyers and acronym agencies. Every family had a meathead, a cocky George Jefferson, a subservient dingy Edith, a bullish Maude.
Cronkite is credited with pushing the Watergate story to the forefront with the American public. Pushing on the public yes, because the vast majority was no more interested in Nixon's cover-up than they were in Clinton's blowjob. Although in the '70s, proving a politician was a liar was sufficient to oust him, by 1998, lying to the American public about being a liar and cheat was a political reality tv show.
Cronkite thought Dukakis could have won in '88 had he embraced his liberalism. Walter thought Jimmy Carter the smartest president, but he most admired FDR and the New Deal. By Election 2008 I don't think Walt was alert and cooperative enough to have a coherent opinion. He supported Clinton during his impeachment; sailed with Bill and Hill on Martha's Vineyard. Walt sailed his boat down to the Caribbean in the winter and back in the spring. In the summertime sailed offshore of his home in Martha's.
Cronkite, the man who could bring down a president and end an unpopular war - from a Missouri hick to the Vineyard's elite, a legend in his time - only in America - well, the old America, as Walter came to believe the US has to swallow a bitter pill for the "new order" America, where movin' on up is going to be real hard Weezy.
Cronkite has said a world government was mandatory: "The proud nations someday will see the light and, for the common good and their own survival, yield up their precious sovereignty..."
In his 1999 Norman Cousins Global Governance Award ceremony at the United Nations Walt said :
"It seems to many of us that if we are to avoid the eventual catastrophic world conflict we must strengthen the United Nations as a first step toward a world government patterned after our own government with a legislature, executive and judiciary, and police to enforce its international laws and keep the peace. To do that, of course, we Americans will have to yield up some of our sovereignty. That would be a bitter pill. It would take a lot of courage, a lot of faith in the new order. But the American colonies did it once and brought forth one of the most nearly perfect unions the world has ever seen."
There it is Bubba, from the mouth of the "most trusted man in America." It is gonna take a lot of world po-leece to enforce the laws and keep the peace, and push that bitter pill.
Probably Cronkite's most famous comments were in his February 1968 Vietnam broadcast : He said, "To say that we are closer to victory today is to believe, in the face of the evidence, the optimists who have been wrong in the past. … But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could."
The US proceeded to leave VN, but not as victors, not honorably, and not defending any particular ideology - neither honoring nor defending the tens of thousands of troops who died or were maimed, while guys like pro-Vietnam-war-turned-anti-war Cronkite fattened their portfolios, put on suits and went to Wall Street or became politicians or professors, authors, and/or executive directors or board members of foundations - world government cheerleaders to be brought forth when time to swallow another bitter pill on the road to a near perfect world union.
In January 2006, Cronkite said his statement on Vietnam was his proudest moment. It's been said it was the first time an anchorman declared a war over. When asked then if he would give the same advice on Iraq, Cronkite didn’t hesitate to say "Yes."
Yes, let's do it again folks. Let us have a media celeb-head declare the war over. How about Oprah? She can tell middle America - and like Walter, she was for the invasion before she was against it.
Personally, I think we need to kick ass and take names, of folks like Cronkite, pill pushers who hallucinate that global totalitarianism is the prescription for peace.
Posted by Kate-A at 7:54 AM
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Venezuela. Prosecutors charge head of anti-Chavez TV channel (Globovision). Venezuelan prosecutors filed charges against the head of an opposition-aligned TV news channel on Friday, accusing him of usury and conspiracy to commit a crime after authorities seized 24 new vehicles on his property. (The man owns 2 car dealerships.)
Nicaragua. (June 23, 2009) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today criticized the shutdown of a Nicaraguan radio station just as it was about to initiate broadcasting and claimed excessive force was used in the confiscation of its equipment, an action seen as retaliation for its owner's "criticism of the government."
Ecuador. Reporters Without Borders urges the government and National Council for Radio and Television (Conartel) to withdraw the latest administrative proceedings against the privately-owned national TV station Teleamazonas, which could force it off the air. The offensive comes amid a war of nerves between the station and President Rafael Correa, who has said he wants to "put an end" to news media he regards as "corrupt" and "mediocre." The latest administrative proceedings against Teleamazonas got the green light from Conartel chairman Antonio Garcia on 9 June. The station has already been punished once, but this time it could be silenced for good. The proceedings are in response to a recent Teleamazonas report about the environmental consequences of a project by the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA in the southwestern Gulf of Guayaquil. The issue was already raised by the daily El Universo, which is also in the president's sights.
Does this mean PDVSA (Chavez) is fudging on environmental consequences? But ... but ... Bubba, I thought the "left" was deeply concerned about the environmental impact of oil/gas projects. And concerned about "freedom" and justice and other warm common fuzzies. You know Bubba, Chavez has ran so many gringo oil firms out or under that he's had to look for new and improved partners for his oil. China, Iran, Belarus, India, and an assortment of other nations.
Word is that Peru, is making a "left" turn, again. They tried in the '60s and 70's with socialism, attempting a wealth redistribution and independence from gringo nations - nothing changed, other than the bosses. I hear now you can just put a "made in China" stamp on Peru too. Listening to the "left" in the US you would think Peru's president Garcia is a rightwinger but don't believe everything you hear from the US "left." Still, el presidente Garcia is not "left" enough to suit Hugo Chavez, yet.
Look at this story from the WSJ. "Textile exporters in Peru are upset with the government of Venezuela, saying the Venezuelan currency board is dragging its feet on authorizing payments worth $500 million. In the letter to Chavez, Sanchez Aizcorbe said that some 400 small-scale producers in Gamarra are on the edge of bankruptcy due to a six-month delay in receiving payments from Venezuela for their products. The mayor said that the purchasers of the products have deposited the payments for their goods in local currency in the state-owned Banco de Venezuela, alongside the needed documentation, but that the government still hasn't authorized the payments in U.S. dollars. "It is money that has been paid to the Banco de Venezuela and it could stay there for a year or so while companies here go bankrupt," Sanchez Aizcorbe told RPP Radio on Friday. Venezuela enforces a strict system of currency controls that the pegs the bolivar to the dollar at rate of VEB2.15. Companies that want to buy dollars at that rate must receive approval of the government's currency commission. This year, as oil revenue has dried up, the government is curbing the sale of dollars at that rate, forcing some companies to turn to the parallel market, where they have to pay three times the official peg."
Oil revenue drying up? All that "free" stuff of socialism costs a lot, huh Hugo.
Democracy Now, one of the links in the chains of the socialists-are-here-to-help you folly, reported recently of government genocide in Peru, indigenous people versus "the man." The Peru/Garcia government was opening large tracts of land to foreign investment, etc., going to France, Spain, and US oil companies, which of course could greatly benefit the standard of living for the villagers, but only if that foreign investment is negotiated by the "left." What Democracy Now doesn't tell you is that these indigenous people are also infiltrated and ran by Sendero Luminosa - the decades-old Maoist freedom fighters turned jungle thugs. Old "leftists" don't die out, they adjust their M.O. DemNow also won't tell you dozens of cops were killed in this confrontation by means other than native clubs, or they will downplay it, or believe it a false figure - as the only good cop is a "left" cop.
Like Venezuela, Peru can "cleanse" the "capitalist police forces of the past" and replace them with a national "humanist" police force. Bubba, you're gonna love 21st century "socialism" - beans and rice in every pot and armed humanist guards on every corner. Although I'm not sure what will become of white folks since they really have no "identity" politics - other than presumably everything wrong in the world is their fault.
Nor will DemNow inform you that the Peruvian indigenous umbrella groups AIDESEP, CONAPA, INDEPA, etc. will eventually issue press releases that they and the government are dialoguing, environmentalists will claim that all rainforest development is "green," and babbling, mostly white "activists" around the globe will gloat and chalk up a win for the "left." The upper echelon of local villagers will be happy with new T shirts, pencils, free vaccinations, and maybe a jeep or two, but most of the indigenous will live as they always have in the jungle, or worse, work in mines and oil fields while their "leaders" sup and negotiate wages in the big house with the Sino-Latino state-owned corporations, who will make indigenous lives worse than the US ever did. But Bubba, all you will hear about is the good deeds of 21st socialism, for the common man ... the free tee shirt and vaccinations, the cement block house instead of mud brick, with dish tv.
Although Obama has the czars of apparatus in place, he best be hurrying - otherwise we might witness a Latino exodus from the US and Canada - headed for Utopia, SA. I must be one of those folks you gotta browbeat or force into the socialist empire, for the common good of course. Kum ba yah mmmlord, someone's laughing lord, kum ba yah.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:18 AM
Monday, July 13, 2009
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A private suburban swim club accused of racism after it canceled the memberships of dozens of minority children says it will seek a meeting with the kids' camps to work out an agreement for them to return.
Amy Goldman, a member of The Valley Club, said those able to attend a hastily called meeting Sunday afternoon voted unanimously in support of reinstating the memberships of the Creative Steps day camp and two other camps as long as safety issues, times and terms can be agreed upon.
The Creative Steps camp had arranged for 65 mostly black and Hispanic children to swim each Monday afternoon at the gated Huntingdon Valley club, which is on a leafy hillside in a village straddling two overwhelmingly white townships. But after the group arrived June 29, camp director Alethea Wright said, several children reported hearing racial comments and some swim club members pulled their children out of the pool.
The camp's $1,950 was refunded a few days later.
The president of the swim club's board of directors, John Duesler, has said the decision was made out of safety considerations, not racial concerns.
--------- I don't believe that Duesler, club president and Obama fundraiser, is a bigot or racist - he's your typical white liberal who sincerely believes blacks are equal to whites, but his exposure has been predominantly to educated blacks, those in the same income bracket as himself. Like most white people in leafy hillside villages, he doesn't hang around with folks from the 'hood.
While Duesler has put foot in his mouth trying to explain the club's reason for cancelling the kids, with the din and roar of 65 kids freed from an inner city basement still ringing in his ears - it was nothing more than culture shock. Duesler and his fellow ghetto-shocked villagers are pathetically struggling to be politically correct. I've seen it happen to liberal white folks before ... when thrown into certain integrated settings, many of the racial stereotypes they refused to believe, are suddenly right there slapping them in the face. It's one thing for white leafy villagers to see inner city kids actin' a fool on TV or in a movie - quite another when up close and personal.
And after watching the camp director, Alethea Wright, in this interview , and having a similar situation here at our local Y -- I would bet my bippy that the simple facts are 65 kids descended upon the leafy valley village pool screaming, swearing, grabassing and speaking in Ebonics.
The kids have not been properly coached on what to say either: The young man in the video says "I heard this lady ... she said what is all these black kids doing here, I'm scared they might do something to my child." The young girl on the video says "... she said she don't want any black kids there swimming ____ " ... I cannot understand the last part of her sentence.
First of all, if you've ever been a member of a private club you know exactly what days and what hours are set aside for nonmembers, especially those from outside the neighborhood who might be an unruly crowd. Anyone who pays several hundred dollars a year to swim is kept aware of the agenda, such as "renting" the pool to nonmembers. Not only does "renting" out the club to the "disadvantaged and underprivileged" bring in funds, it also makes the more affluent members feel good about themselves and their charitableness.
Secondly, if for some reason the club member overlooked the newsletter informing him of nonmember hours and days, 99.9% of affluent country clubby politically correct white folks would not verbalize ignorant comments in public, for the simple fact they are much too polite and too afraid - of both the immediate potential asskicking and/or the legal repercussion of a racist accusation, but mostly the legal one.
Ms. Wright knows this, which is why those 2 kids interviewed said what they did - i.e. the woman "scared" over physical safety, and the other not wanting the "black kids there swimming", segregation, discrimination, illegal. Alethea, looking around the chip on her shoulder, sees white villagers as dumb and easily intimidated, many in the 'hood do, because highfalutin white liberals will practically kiss your ass in public to avoid being called racist.
I can just hear Ms. Wright and friends sitting around chewing on this situation when their check and swimming cancellation arrived. Who do those honky mofo's think they are not wantin' us in they pool, sue, call the NAACP - an organization that now has to hunt harder and longer for victims to justify their existence.
Of course there's racism and bigotry out there - so what? You're going to beat every white person over the head until you're respected when you don't even respect yourself? Crying racism has become an industry - led by lawyers and preachers who need racism to survive.
At our local Y we have a "free day" for those not able to pay for membership, and certain days/hours rented to day camp groups. On "free day" or rented days busloads from around the county show up, always black children. And every time it is a serious accident waiting to happen. Pool lights are broken, kids are bullied, theft, trash left behind, safety rules constantly ignored ... the lifeguards blowing their whistles nonstop. Sane people (black and white) pick up their towels and leave.
The problem is not whether the kids are black or poor - but you have to admit they always seem to be black and poor, the problem is not racism - the problem is the kids have no social etiquette, no sense of personal space, no respect. And as adults, most will be like the adults around them now - crying racism when their behavior doesn't serve them well. Eventually the race card is not going to work, even on the liberals, and then what is your heathen badass gonna do?
Posted by Kate-A at 5:59 PM
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Rick Wolff - Crisis in Versus of Capitalism.
Wolff also has a DVD, Capitalism Hits the Fan for $19.95. Which I find worth a chuckle as the average cost of producing a DVD of this quality runs about 50 cents. Quite the profit margin hitting the fan. Distributed by Media Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) with experts such as Chomsky on the board of advisors and a host of other staff, directors, worker bees and interns. Another nonprofit organization, among thousands, founder and ED Sut Jhally, produces and distributes videos reminding us how screwed up the US really is, to inspire us to think critically, but you already know I'm exceptionally good at being critical. I have got to start me a nonprofit one of these days.
From Wolff article: "Crises in capitalism (depressions, recessions, cyclical downturns, etc.) are neither new nor unusual. Because capitalism works that way, its supporters came to label the more severe or protracted down periods crises because they feared that capitalism's victims would turn against it and seek basic social change.
A crisis of capitalism is different. It is not a recurring event. A crisis of capitalism happens when cultural, political, and economic conditions combine to persuade many people that capitalism as a system has outlived its historical usefulness. Seeing it as a barrier to social progress and believing that human communities can organize their economic systems in better, post-capitalist ways, these people begin to move politically."
According to Wolff there are 2 lessons : (1) crises in capitalism will recur until a crisis of capitalism provokes a transition out of capitalism that includes ending exploitation inside enterprises, and (2) the alternative to exploitation requires workers themselves democratically and collectively to appropriate and distribute the surpluses they produce.
I have a couple of problems with these 2 lessons.
Lesson (1) exploitation is a character fault, hence there will always be those willing to exploit for personal gain, for example the recent Burr Oaks workers who did not hesitate to desecrate hundreds of corpses for money, creating immeasurable grief for others. It was not "capitalism" or poverty that created these folks. They are botched human beings and no 'ism' will cure or grow a conscience in folks who have not developed one by at least their 13th birthday. The best we can hope to do is limit the damage they perpetrate and/or stay out of their path. Other exploiter examples: Most of congress, most of Hollywood, most corporations, and probably most of your neighbors.
Lesson number (2) : the alternative to exploitation requires workers themselves democratically and collectively to appropriate and distribute the surpluses they produce.
Okay, workers will appropriate and distribute (take and dole out) the surpluses they produce.
Most economies do this already. It's called the Government (collectively), appropriating what we work for (produce), determining how much is taxable (surplus) and distributing it in the form of subsides, social programs, department of bureaucrats, and pork, pork, pork.
But I get it. The new and improved system will be called collectively "us" and us be the new boss.
Question : If the alternative to exploitation requires workers to determine democratically and collectively the use of the surplus they produce - what do "us" do when the biggest "surplus" we produce is too many workers? Is this where "us" get a 15-hour work week and retirement at 40?
Posted by Kate-A at 5:53 PM
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Ex-president Manuel Zelaya, known as "Mel" in Honduras and as "Commander Cowboy" by cohort Chavez. Supporters of Mel are the US "left," Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, Evo Morales, the UN General Assembly, Secretary Clinton, and the Castro brothers, etc.
Zelaya, a wealthy landowner/businessman and rancher from Olancho is a latino Dubya. Like Dubya, Mel's daddy, Manuel Sr., was also politically, shall we say involved, and supportive of the military's la Talanquera" massacre in the 1970s.
Commander Cowboy's ouster is said to be over the issue of tweaking or drafting a new constitution. That is what most "leftist" presidents do once in office (see Hugo). The US "left," and others, justify Mel's action as necessary because the Honduran constitution was written in 1982 - when Ronnie Reagan was US president. On the surface, that's ill-logic, but the intent is to say any constitution written when a republican was US president must be bad because the Hondurans were writing only to please their US oppressors.
Not really, but for "left" sheeple it somehow "connects the dots" - what the "left" really means is those poor foreign brown folks can only run their country correctly when they want what the "left" wants.
In the US or Latin America, or anywhere - the best way to get elected is to convince the voters you "cares about the poor." Some day maybe enough folks at the same time will realize it's not a question of left or right - but of which self-serving bonehead will rule us next, and hopefully not rule us for 50 years as in the left's best friend, Senor Castro.
Nicaragua in the 1980s, one among many, used the US constitution as a guideline when writing their constitution for a pluralistic representative democracy. So, while the US "left" has ranted for years about BushCo's abuse of their beloved Constitution - the same constitutional guidelines are not good enough for others? Go figure.
Zelaya's ploy to rewrite the constitution is illegal and represents high treason according to the Honduran constitution. I'm certain the "left" in America would weep and gnash teeth had Reagan or BushCo attempted a rewrite of the US constitution.
And what good would a leftist/progressive be if they couldn't also throw out there that someone in the current Honduran situation was trained at the notorious School of the Americas? General Romeo Vasquez is now in charge of the armed forces!!
Excuse me stupid, but Vasquez was sacked by Zelaya on June 25, 2009, for refusing to allow the armed forces to help in conducting a referendum on a constitutional change. Apparently Zelaya was content with Vasquez services until such time. Vasquez says he refused to help with the vote which was aimed at removing the constitutional term limit of one term per President because the Supreme Court had ruled the vote illegal. The same day Vasquez was fired he was reinstated by the SC but Zelaya ignored the ruling. And by the way, Zelaya is not a "leftist" no matter how hard the "left" tries to embrace him - hug him all you want but Commander Cowboy is not and never will be a member of the "left."
The SOA - the School of Assassins. If you ask me Yale and Harvard and a few others can produce questionable political/military characters. In my life in Central America I too meme'ed the message that the SOA grads were US puppets used for torture, terror, death ... in the fight against communism.
But having personally known a few grads the above rhetoric is no more true than stating the US troops are raping murdering grunts. There are good guys and bad guys. There are SOA grads working to improve the situation in their country. Lumping a group of people under one label is typical of folks who are too lazy and/or too ignorant to do their own research and thinking. Easier to believe the rhetoric written by those who have no honest interest in human rights or democracy, but in power. Those who control the message, hold the power. Some of the Russian and Cuban military training methods I saw in Central America in the '80s were no different than the US. Believe it or not, death and destruction are not the sole property of the US rightwing.
Never mind that the Honduran "coup" is more or less a done deal. Roberto Micheletti, acting president, was legal in line of succession and is supported by the Honduran high court, the military, the Congress, the people. The Honduran AG has said Commander Cowboy faces arrest and 20 years in prison for abuse of authority if he returns anytime soon.
On a brighter note, Mel and friends (Morales, Ortega, Chavez, Correa) are in earnest discussions on how to save Honduras from the deathgrip of US oppression. (I must say Correa is a handsome man and sharp dresser in this foto.)
Posted by Kate-A at 11:22 AM
Friday, July 10, 2009
'It will be the perfect date movie' … Michael Moore. Photograph: Stephen Chernin/AP
Michael Moore's new documentary comes billed as a tale of forbidden passion, charting a wild romance that flourished for decades before coming to a crashing, calamitous end in the autumn of 2007. It's title? Capitalism: A Love Story.
The film reportedly sets itself up as a spoof of the grand Hollywood romance, using the genre's hallmarks to examine the causes of the global economic recession. "It will be the perfect date movie," Moore said in a statement. "It's got it all – lust, passion, romance and 14,000 jobs being eliminated every day. It's a forbidden love, one that dare not speak its name. Heck, let's just say it: it's capitalism."
Backed by Overture Films, Capitalism: A Love Story is set for a US release on 2 October, a year and a day after the Senate approved its controversial $700bn (£432bn) bank bailout. The date also marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Moore's debut film, Roger and Me, which lambasted the actions of General Motors in the director's home town of Flint, Michigan.
According to Moore, the new film is about "the disastrous impact that corporate dominance and out-of-control profit motives have on the lives of Americans and citizens of the world. But this time the culprit is much bigger than General Motors, and the crime scene far wider than Flint, Michigan."
Thus far, it seems safe to assume that Moore has personally dodged the worst effects of the global recession. He is the creator of three of the six most successful documentaries in box-office history – Bowling for Columbine, Sicko and Fahrenheit 9/11.
---- I do not plan to view this one. After Columbine, Sicko, and F911 there's not much point in watching another docupropagandary made from the capitalist fatcat Michael Moore.
A documentary is supposed to be based on documented facts, done with objectivity. How Moore's films are considered documentary is anyone's guess. The "factual" segments are more distorted than the evening news and Moore displays no objectivity. The capitalist hound dogs of Lionsgate studio (Sicko and 9/11) and United Artists (Columbine) have sniffed out another audience to cater. As my grandparents did not recognize the disinformation documented in the news reels for their generation - today folks do not see the propaganda in their digital feed from their PR marketed artists, as if it's truth simply because, seemingly, the information is not coming from the Government or Big Business - but from the real truthseekers like Moore. Ever wonder if "they" have just found a new way to get you to swallow?
A Love Story, is from Overture Films, supposedly an outlet for independent directors, producers, etc., although partnered with Paramount for the release of A Love Story.
The biggest crime being perpetrated upon the public is the notion that capitalism came to "a crashing, calamitous end in the autumn of 2007" and the idea that "corporate dominance and out-of-control profit motives" has somehow been a recent phenomenon in world history. It is not.
Previously "out-of-control profit motives" were known as kingdoms, who now from necessity have placed many of their knights in pinstripe instead of armor, although we know a lot of armor is still used. Like it or not, these profit motives have contributed to the world population of 1 billion in 1790 to grow to 6+ billion in 2009, that is roughly 220 years, or 5-6 generations. Adding the survival of 5+ billion more of us in 5-6 generations is indicative that the human race has done something right. And it has not been done by living in communes with an egalitarian redistribution of the "wealth."
We have "out of control" corporate dominance, not because of greedy white folks and evil-doer corporations, but because you, yes you, buy into every trendy idea that is slopped in the trough and you are more than willing to die in debt and be buried in misery just to prove you look superior, smell better, eat better, have more things and have more fun, and live better than anyone else on the block.
You, my clueless people, have begged for domination - to feed your greed of living higher on the hog than any generation in US history. And like a hog, you have wallowed in as much trendy advertised mud as you can beg, borrow, steal, and buy on credit, all the while pretending you care about damage to the environment, about black children dying in Africa, about the US oppression of folks around the world. The same folks mining your diamond, sewing your shirt, weaving your cheap rugs, then move them out of your way for drilling to fuel your home, car, and place of employment or to feed the cattle that satisfies your BigMac attacks.
Make a donation - it's the only conscience you have. Then whine because the government and the CEOs aren't looking out for your well-being, your credit rating; rant because they are not saving the world and you want them to save it because you care so much - as evidenced by your preening self-aggrandizement and phony empathy. Then you follow new and better millionaire fatcats who tell you "out of control capitalism" is the problem, not you and your greed, and if you just give the new fatcats the power they will give you a kinder and gentler "ism," and they claim it will cost you nothing and will reward you with plenty, and you believe them because you are a coward who just wants to shop and wallow in every new promise being sold.
Pssssssst, I gotta Rolex and bridge ...
Posted by Kate-A at 12:38 PM
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Pope Benedict called on Tuesday for a "world political authority" to manage the global economy and for more government regulation of national economies to pull the world out of the current crisis and avoid a repeat.
Parts of the encyclical, titled "Charity in Truth," seemed bound to upset free marketers because of its underlying rejection of unbridled capitalism and unregulated market forces, which he said had led to "thoroughly destructive" abuse of the system and "grave deviations and failures."
The pope said every economic decision had a moral consequence and called for "forms of redistribution" of wealth overseen by governments to help those most affected by crises.
Benedict said "there is an urgent need of a true world political authority" whose task would be "to manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result."
Such an authority would have to be "regulated by law" and "would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights."
"Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums," he said.
The pope's call for a supranational body to tackle global economic woes disturbed some Catholic capitalists.
The encyclical was addressed to all Catholics and "all people of good will" and was released on the eve of the start of the G8 summit in Italy and three days before the pope is due to discuss the global downturn with U.S. President Barack Obama.
Profit was useful only if it served as a means to a brighter future for all humanity. He said the current economic crisis was "clear proof" of "pernicious effects of sin" in the economy.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had rebuked the pope earlier this year at the height of the row over a Holocaust-denying bishop, welcomed the encyclical as important encouragement for world leaders ahead of a G8 meeting in Italy.
"Pope Benedict has encouraged the state leaders to create rules so that this sort of worldwide economic crisis isn't repeated," Merkel told reporters. "I also saw this as an order to work toward a social market economy in the world."
---------- Hmmmm. The Vatican’s portfolio of stocks, bonds, and real estate comes to roughly $1 billion, and this doesn't include the art and artifacts which are listed at 1 euro because they are priceless. I wonder how much of that portfolio profit was made on the pernicious effects of sin in the economy (minus the alter boy payoffs).
The social market economy originated in Germany and was the model used in Europe during the cold war, and is not to be confused with socialist market economy which is the Chinese economic model implemented in 1978. Basically both are supposedly "mixed" economies, combining private enterprise and "collective bargaining" which is done on a national level not between one corporation and one union, but national employers' organizations and national trade unions.
The Pope's formal declaration of his opinion sounds like the same old new financial world order scheme to me, i.e. warm-fuzzy economics not based on profit but on humanitarian justice, run by a management body, or that "world political authority," a management team who will make the final decision on where, when, and how 6+ billion people will live, work, and die. And national boss organizations and trade unions will make it all seem legit and "structured." There will be lots of "structure."
Sort of a Hitler and Benito, Hoffa and Bill Gates, Frankie Roosevelt and Joe Stalin, Marx and Mao, Jesus and Allah and Yahweh ... all rolled into one global authority ensuring security for all, and the whole caboodle will be "regulated by law" where the mega-rich powerful folk will never again be above the law, and appropriately there will be fewer super rich once the redistribution begins.
Apparently, we have all forgotten and forgiven Pope Benedict the Ghoul for his mandatory Hitler Youth membership, or not a member depending on which lie you swallow, although I'm not certain the Islamic world has put aside comments the Pope made in 2006 at University of Regensburg. The Popester cited "an obscure medieval text that characterizes some of the teachings of Islam’s founder as “evil and inhuman." Personally, I feel the pro-pope spin men did an excellent job backpedaling on this one.
Don't you love it Bubba when folks intentionally say what they mean and then pretend it was not what they meant but the message got to the audience they wanted it to and then everyone is satisfied they heard what they wanted to hear? And now we're going to put all these geniuses and experts in charge of the world.
The Pope said every economic decision had a moral consequence and called for "forms of redistribution" of wealth overseen by governments to help those most affected by crises. Forms, eh. What forms would those be? Imagine the fraud, abuse, and corruption of your local/state welfare and social service system, or HUD, or FDA, etc. going global. World wide welfare, structured and managed by meatheads far away with names you cannot pronounce and faces you do not recognize - but they love and respect you because you are an asset in the family of man. And if you do not like the structure - who do you petition for redress of grievance? Why, your national labor union and/or head of state who also love and respect you because you are you, a little brother in a world of big brother hoods.
Just as our local, state, and national politicians love us - so too will the supranational shepherds of the flocked and fleeced. Monetary peace on earth, a goodwill store economy toward men, the idea is downright Biblical.
They will build monuments to the government heads, at least to those governments who freely agree to this b.s. (peacekeeper armies will handle those nations who hesitate to join).
Geeeezus Bubba, we can't even keep our local politics clean - what makes anyone think a world authority board of directors will be more ethical and moral? Sounds to me as if the German and Italian are still dreaming of being boss of empire. Didn't the US kick their wicked ass over that once already?
Posted by Kate-A at 5:21 PM
Saturday, July 04, 2009
While surfing a few progressive sites early this morning I saw the "freedom isn't free" cliche and next to the phrase an emoticon vomiting, with the usual remarks about the US being the most fascist regime to ever exist, murdering, torturing, blah blah blah. Yea, I know ... I used to feel the same way and still have issues with the creep of government / corporate control of too many aspects of our lives.
However, rather than spew as the emoticon I saw this morning - I began to really think, I mean really think in the last few years, maybe even had an epiphany a couple of years ago, examining my own life experiences and developing my own opinion - I mean truly my own opinion - not parroting the mantras from the crowd that sounds most like the noise in my own head.
It's a smaller circle jerk when a person begins to really, really think for themselves.
Oh sure, I always thought I had my own opinions but I realized recently that I only mimicked the "left" side of the aisle because my exposure had been predominantly to the American "left." (Oddly, my mom was a Baptist democrat and daddy an agnostic republican but my running circles were socialist, communist.) Being honest with myself, I mean really honest, on inspection, retrospection - I am not a "leftist," not in the sense that is necessary today to be a member of that club.
Now I understand those people over the years who described me as a "traditionalist" or old-fashioned. Merriam gives the definition of traditionalist as "someone opposed to modernism, liberalism, or radicalism."
I'm not sure if such folks were labeling my political beliefs or my core values and social attitude, or all of the above. The folks who labeled me "radical" over the years were Bible bangers - based on the fact that I have no use for organized religion and no desire to find Jesus. The folks who labeled me "liberal" were those who disagree with me on such things as 4 year universities should be free for those who qualify, perhaps funded by profits from any future domestic oil fields. No one has ever accused me of "modernism."
I was disillusioned years ago listening to the endless discussions from the "left" aka "progressives" as they dissect the meaning of what it means to be left/progressive, what it means to be bourgeois or proletariat. The left/progressive debate the meaning of themselves and their creed a lot, and always conclude the world will be a better place once they unite and overcome the nonbelievers - rich people and their sheep people - who impede human progress.
The "left" seems to discuss "meaning" and the latest adventure of their "leaders" who regularly stage events that give the appearance of action and include the word "freedom." And should said leader be arrested or taken into custody for a day - it provides ample reason for blogging exclamation points!! (Code Pink, McKinney, Sheehan, and gobs of colored folk sponsoring a cause célèbre because the "left" has more writer-warriors than gnats on a dog butt.)
And then of course, there is the hard left - basically those left leaners who are willing and eager for revolution by any means necessary - and they will let you know as soon as they get a peoples army who will war to end all wars.
Heaven forbid your butt is sitting in the sand in Iraq this 4th of July. According to the "left" you're part of the impediment, a member of the murdering marauding capitalist system that squashes humanity - and either you have willingly knowingly agreed to work for the oppressors or you were dumb enough to be tricked into joining. Helluva category to choose from.
But I do notice a smidgen of hope - in particular when certain "leftist blogs" posting the typical "progressive" spiel on a topic - the writer will get a drubbing from more than one in the comment section, commenters who are on their way to becoming former "leftists" because they question the validity and honesty of the piece. Light bulb moments. Such comments are usually deleted if on the author's site - freedom of speech a la "left"?
Yea, I guess "freedom isn't free" is a trite phrase, but there is truth in it. Individually, freedom is not free. If you want some measure of personal independence and self-respect, which I associate with freedom, you have to keep your nose clean, work hard, and play by the rules (to some degree) in order to find a modicum of success and happiness.
If freedom were free you wouldn't have to do anything - no personal or social restraints to inhibit, no rules to stifle your impulses, no mundane work to waste your attention - you just wait for BigDaddy Government to deliver your share of free freedom (probably with a tiny Made in China sticker on the bottom).
Hey! You know what Bubba ... no personal or social restraint, guided by impulse, no work, government largesse - I think "freedom" has arrived for most Americans - but don't worry, it's not going to be on your tab - your grandchildren will pay dearly for it.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:37 AM
Thursday, July 02, 2009
Not long ago when drug addled pop stars died the headlines for a day read "Jim Bonehead Dies From Drug Overdose, Fans Mourn." More often than not they made more money dead than alive, becoming cult and poster icons. Enough already. Michael Jackson died decades ago as a boy when his family, friends, promoters, and marketers used him at the cost of his mind and body. When did it become okay to idolize a crotch grabbing, self-mutilating drug addict turned white who pays others to breed living toys for him? At least now he is out of his misery.
Let's see. How many "revolutions" do we have going this past week... Honduras, Peru, Iran. Both the "left" and "right" are supporting the Iranian protestors. The "right" supports the Honduran protestors but the "left" says the Hondurans in the streets are US backed and the ousting of Zelaya is a coup. In Peru, the "left" support the indigenous protestors taking a stand against big oil - I'm not sure the "right" has noticed this one because the "left" says the MSM is ignoring it - but I think MSM is too busy rubbing our faces in the repugnant lives of folks like Jackson or Anna Nicole.
Speaking of singers, Joan Baez performs We Shall Overcome using some Farsi lyrics. You remember Joan - singing for social causes back in the 1960s. While previously not engaging in party politics, recently Joan said "At this time, however, changing that posture feels like the responsible thing to do. If anyone can navigate the contaminated waters of Washington, lift up the poor, and appeal to the rich to share their wealth, it is Sen. Barack Obama."
Lady, at your age you should have better instincts.
Okay, back to Iran, Peru, Honduras. Peru's president, Garcia, according to "leftists" is "our man." Not true, Garcia has sold Peru to China. The clash between indigenous Peruvians and the government is called "genocide" when the little people die, but when police or soldiers die it's righteous justice. Rather than genocide, a word overused these days, why not call it murder by both sides.
El presidente Garcia's poll numbers have been plummeting. Cabinet members are resigning. The PM has said he will quit in the coming weeks. The indigenous are gaining a lot of internal support and sympathy - it's always the PR, who's your public relations firm. Peru has announced it is suspending plans to open large tracts of land to foreign investment, etc. which were going to France, Spain, and US oil companies.
But, it seems it's business as usual with the privately owned Perenco Oil (France) receiving permission to drill in Amazon territories. Wait a minute Bubba, wasn't there something a while back with a French company involved in corruption and the Food-For-Oil program in Iraq? Oh yes, Nadhmi Auchi, former Ba'athist Iraqi who was convicted of fraud in the Elf Aquitaine (7th biggest oil company worldwide) scandal. In 1993 Elf held the exclusive contract to Iraqi and Saddam oil fields. And until 2001 the Oil-For-Food money transited through the French BNP Paribas bank, of which Auchi was the largest private shareholder. And Auchi was old friends and with Syrian Tony Rezko, bagman and political fixer to Obama. Does Auchi still have all that prime Chicago real estate to develop? Barry O. claimed he didn't recall if he ever met Auchi but did admit to knowing Tony the Bagman. You cannot mention much about Nadhmi Auchi - he'll send a pack of lawyers to threaten lawsuits and demand retractions - lies, lies, lies, everyone lies about poor little Nad the billionaire.
You know, I can see Michelle and Barry and the girls some day hobnobbing with the Paris elite, especially after Barack does all the damage he can here in the US.
But not to fret dear "leftists", all the Peruvian resource wealth isn't going to greedy rich white people - China is getting more than their share of Latin America. Five years ago the "left's best friend" Hugo Chavez signed petro deals with China, with Hugo grinning that "Chairman Mao and Simón Bolívar would have been great friends."
Observant folks might wonder why China is playing big stakes in the US "backyard" and US politicians are not saying a word against it. Hugo courts China and Russia, in order to break dependency on the United States - he believes being dependent on China will be a better deal. Don't we American peons envy the lifestyle of the average peon in Russia and China?
But what about the evildoers from the USA? Where's their share of Peru? Well friends, China wants to be instrumental in helping Peru too, to outgrow its dependence on the United States. Yessiree. The free Chinese and Western "left" are going to triumph and get the greedy US big oily white people out of Latin America.
The "left" uses Hunt Oil of Texas as the poster child for ugly exploiters, via the Camisea natural gas project in Peru. AmazonWatch, one of those we're-here-to-save-you groups that say things like "The Camisea Project is owned by two consortia of small companies with poor environmental records led by Hunt Oil - a Dallas-based company with close ties to the Bush administration."
You will probably never hear anything such as "led by so-and-so company with close ties to the Obama administration." Not that Auchi and Rezko have close ties to Barry...
The Camisea project is "led" by Hunt oil, a consortia composed of : Pluspetrol (36% Argentina); Hunt Oil (36%); SK Corporation (18% South Korea); Tecpetrol (10% Argentina). The gas pipeline consortia named TGP is operated by Techint (23% Argentina) and includes: Pluspetrol and Hunt Oil (22% each); SK Corporation and Sonatrach (11%) Sonatrach Algiers; Belgium's Tractebel (8%); Grana y Montero (2% Peruvian). Belgium's Tractebel was due to carry out gas distribution in Lima potentially financed by a Belgian export credit agency. I suppose all these folks could be white but I'm not betting on it. (It's okay to be a big brown, yellow, red, or black-owned corporation because everyone knows only white owned corporations are greedy and evil.)
From what I have read on the Peruvian indigenous villagers "uprising" and techniques being used - I believe I now know where the Sendero Luminoso disappeared to. Luminoso Maoists - China has been in Latin America longer than you think.
Maybe the silly American "left" will finally shut up when environmentally friendly, socialist-minded nonwhite folk run the world. But I have a sneaking suspicion they will still be singing we shall overcome ... something ... I'm sure they'll find something/someone ... greedy and evil, because it's going to take an eternity to stamp out wealth and poverty so the world can live as one ... guided by a board of international directors.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:30 PM