Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Too Late

[As] Erik Loomis points out, the Espionage Act is an appalling artifact of an equally appalling age. In his exemplary new history of the FBI, Tim Weiner demonstrates how the Espionage Act was the reason why J. Edgar Hoover first came to power, which ought to be sin enough against democracy for any single law. Second, whistleblowers are not spies. Spies are spies. Somebody who tells a reporter that something's gone badly wrong at the Pentagon, or who tries to bring attention to crimes that may or may not be being committed in the name of everyone else in the country, is not a spy. To treat them as such, and to use an antiquated meat-ax like the Espionage Act to do it, is to take yourself and your administration down a long road that ends with Cubans hiding under desks in the Watergate office complex. I have argued that I knew when I voted for this guy the last time that I wasn't voting for FDR. However, I wasn't voting for Nixon, either. Knock this off, Mr. President. It leads nowhere but to a bad place.

  Charles Pierce
Already there, Charles.

Righteous Right Lesson #1: Ye Shall Reap What Ye Sow

[For] more than 30 years, the Republicans have been sucking around for a campaign just like this one. They knew full well that their "base" was heading into the wild places, and they did nothing to stop them. They did nothing to arrest the spread of abject wingnuttery in the various state houses, from which came the generation of young Republicans stalwarts who won in 2010. They played footsie in the South with the Council Of Conservative Citizens, and in the West with the more polite fringes of the militia movement. For mean and temporary political advantages, they allowed more and more of the fringes into power in the party until, finally, there was no "Republican establishment" any more. And now, too many respectable conservatives are wandering around, blinking, and wondering how it all happened that their party has lost its mind. You were there, kids. You just didn't care.

"The big difference is that the protesters don't believe in governance," David Brooks laments in today's New York Times. Well, where in hell does he think they learned that? From Glenn Beck? More likely, they first learned it from the sanctified Republican dimwit who said, in his first inaugural address, "Government is not a solution to the problem. Government is the problem." It's a little bit late for people like Brooks to decide they don't have the stomach for the politics of Reagan's Children, or for the presidential campaign they were bound one day to produce.

[...]

A party that dedicated itself long ago to the notion that government is the problem has finally run out of reasons why we should allow them to run the government they so insist they despise. A party that dedicated itself long ago to the politics of expedient division has finally run out of credible tactics through which they can pretend to unite us. A party that dedicated itself long ago to placating the social fears and paranoia of the people whose money they were relentlessly shipping upwards to the folks at the top of the food chain has finally run out of distraction and misdirection. (Willard Romney seems to have settled on a campaign theme of, "Yeah, I'm rich. Deal with it, proles.") All they have left now, lying there on the track with the ambulance idling lowly off to one side, is each other, and, god knows, that's all they really deserve.

  Charles Pierce

Colossal Even

Rick Santorum blew his main chance over the past couple of weeks, primarily by being a colossal dick, and have I mentioned recently what a colossal dick he is? He couldn't resist a chance to let his freak flag fly on the proper use of other people's ladyparts and on his peculiar vision of what the separation of church and state actually means. He picked a fight with John F. Kennedy on the latter issue, which may be the most singularly stupid thing I've seen a candidate do in 50 years. And last night, after spending a month channelling Pius XII, according to the exit polls, he lost decisively among Catholic voters to a Mormon bishop. This proves three [things]: one, that there is no such thing as a "Catholic vote"; two, that the Catholic laity remains completely convinced that contraception is their own damn business and that the clan of the red beanie should butt out of it; and three, that picking on the sainted Jack Kennedy (God be good to him) is generally considered far more mortal a sin than using the Pill is. Santorum could have avoided all of these unforced errors, but that would require that he not be a colossal dick.

  Charles Pierce

If This Isn't a Joke...

...there are some asses that need to be kicked all the way into next year, and in the mood I'm in tonight, I would just love to do the kicking.

It Must Be Campaign Season

And this is pretty low.

"Vote for me because I'm black. And by the way, it's Black History Month. And you're black, too."
President Barack Obama this month launched “African Americans For Obama.” [...] There is no question this is a direct appeal to race as a unifying theme with supporters — a move that would be denounced if tried by his white opponents. In the video, Obama states “I don’t think there’s a better time than Black History Month” for this effort, but some view this as the worst time for an open injection of race as a motivating factor in politics.

[...]

If African Americans are united by their racial bond with Obama, does that mean that other candidates can appeal openly to white communities? Clearly other communities organize around their common identities from Cubans to Koreans to Italians. However, organizing solely on the basis for skin color should raise some legitimate concerns and objections, in my view. Indeed, we have strongly condemned past candidates who made even veiled references to race.

[...]

I also realize that associations have long been defined on exclusionary groups from Italian-Americans to Irish-Americans to share cultural norms and practices. Moreover, I do not question the right of people to choose racially exclusive associations — as much as I abhor them. I understand that people feel that they need the shared experiences and culture in such sites. I support the right to have such sites and association regardless of my dislike for racial exclusionary practices. However, I believe this trend — particularly in politics — undermines rather than advances the cause of men like Martin Luther King and the successes highlighted during Black History month. To that end, I think that the President is being irresponsible in organizing part of his campaign along racial lines. More than anyone else, a president should be a unifying figure in our country.

  Jonathan Turley
And I've been calling Rick Santorum a whore.

What's more interesting to me than the fact that the president is openly appealing to race, is that he feels he needs to. His handlers must have been doing some polling and determined that even the black community is no longer a sure vote.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

I Guess He Didn't Like His Role

Something odd happened recently in professional wrestling — a real fight broke out. Former professional wrestler John Levi Miller, 23, has sued Clinton Woosley (who performed under the name Guido Andretti) for failing to take a fall as planned and actually kicking him in the groin — causing the loss of a testicle. Woosley was the designated “heel,” or loser in the bout. [Image shows Blue Demon, Jr. wrestles El Hijo Del Santo].

Miller said that Woosely refused to map out or choreograph the bout as is customary — allegedly dismissing Miller’s concerns. Miller said that Woosely then failed to go down as planned as the designated heel and then kicked him in the groin causing the injury. He said Woosely appeared intent on winning.

I must confess that I have never understood professional wrestling and why people love to see men pretend to be hurting each other.

  Jonathan Turley
Because we just can't get enough violence and blood. The American culture is steeped in it, and when we can't get enough of it in reality, we stage it in our entertainment. Our best-selling movies are full of it. We thrill to the news that we've killed another “terrorist.” Our blood lust knows no bounds. Imagine how rich you could get if you could run an old Roman Coliseum in this country.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Dangling the Carrot and Wielding the Stick in Egypt

All three judges in Egypt's trial of 43 NGO workers have pulled out of the case, according to a court official.

The defendants, including 16 US citizens, are charged with using illegal foreign funds to foment unrest that has roiled Egypt over the past year.

The non-governmental organisations flatly deny the charges, and US officials have hinted foreign aid to Egypt could be in jeopardy because of the case.

Mohammed Shoukry, the lead judge in the case, said on Tuesday that "the court felt uneasiness" in handling the case, according to a court official. He did not elaborate.

The trial has so far only made it as far as its opening session, and would need to be restarted with a new panel of judges. 

[...]

Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, told two senate panels on Tuesday that the US and Egypt, which has long been considered a close ally of Washington, were "in very intensive discussions about finding a solution".

"We've had a lot of very tough conversations," she said. "We're moving toward a resolution. It's important that they know that we are continuing to push them," Clinton said.

[...]

"The reason for the judges’ action is not particularly clear and the timing, coming after the statement by Hillary Clinton, may or may not have influenced their actions," he said.   alJazeera
Yeah. Maybe it DIDN'T. Ha.
PJ Crowley, the former US state department spokesperson, told Al Jazeera […] "On the other hand, you need the fundamental pillar of democracy that is an independent judiciary, and these judges for whatever reasons are indicating that they are uncomfortable with the position they were put in."
For whatever reasons.

We've Been Put on Notice

Israeli officials say they won't warn the U.S. if they decide to launch a pre-emptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, according to one U.S. intelligence official familiar with the discussions. The pronouncement, delivered in a series of private, top-level conversations, sets a tense tone ahead of meetings in the coming days at the White House and Capitol Hill.

Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide a strike is necessary, they would keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood that the U.S. would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel's potential attack.

  Time
Ha. No one in the whole world outside the US would believe the Americans weren't responsible for failing to stop the attack. And very few would believe the reason Israel won't give us a head's up is so we won't be held responsible. The reason is probably twofold: 1) so we WON'T be able to stop the attack, and 2) so we know who's in charge.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

HaHa

If you've been following the Romney Clueless Remarks Circuit - or Circus - this is a very funny line.

Romney went on to say that while he wasn't an ardent fan of the economy, he had several friends who owned major sectors of it.

  Dependable Renegade

The Best Justice Money Can Buy: New Lockerbie Evidence

John Ashton, who has been investigating the case for nearly 20 years, including time spent as part of [accused bomber] Megrahi’s defence team, said: "The Lockerbie disaster was Europe’s worst terrorist attack. More Americans died in that attack than in any other terrorist event before 9/11. It's also Britain’s worst miscarriage of justice, the wrong man was convicted and the real killers are still out there."

[...]

'Lockerbie: Case Closed', an hour-long documentary to be aired on Al Jazeera on Monday, examines the evidence uncovered by the SCCRC as well as revealing fresh scientific evidence which is unknown to the commission but which comprehensively undermines a crucial part of the case against the man known as the Lockerbie bomber. Among the evidence examined by the SCCRC was the testimony of Tony Gauci, a shop owner from Malta, and the most important prosecution witness in the case.

[...]

Gauci reportedly picked up a $2 million US government reward for his role in the case. 

  alJazeera
American justice at work yet again
A new account of the bombing and [Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi]'s conviction, Megrahi: You Are My Jury, published in Edinburgh on Monday, alleges that the Crown Office, the police and Ministry of Defence scientists failed to disclose numerous pieces of evidence that damaged their case against the Libyan. Speaking at the book's launch with John Moseley, a fellow campaigner, Swire, chairman of UK Families Flight 103, said there were "mountains of evidence that doesn't seem to be right and that needs to be examined".

[...]

Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was among 270 people killed in the bombing, said the withheld evidence raised profound doubts about the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan man released from jail on compassionate grounds in August 2009.

Documents given to Megrahi's defence lawyers a month before he dropped his appeal show that government scientists had found significant differences between a bomb timer fragment allegedly found after the attack and the type supplied to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's former regime, Swire said.

[...]


Opposition leaders quickly intensified the pressure by demanding that Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice secretary who released Megrahi, make an "urgent" statement to the Scottish parliament after the book alleged he had privately urged Megrahi to drop his appeal.
[...]

Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader, said "these grave allegations" suggested the justice secretary wanted Megrahi released to avoid a potentially embarrassing appeal.

  UK Guardian
Apparently, the prosecution suppressed a good deal of evidence in the case. What a surprise.

Monday, February 27, 2012

At Least Someone Is Having Fun With the Santorum-Romney Battle for the Nascar Vote


TWolf at Dependable Rengade


Dear Rick Santorum, and All Your Righteous Followers

[If] you really work hard to do it -- [you can] find [Bible] verses here and there supporting a more conservative political point of view on certain specific issues, [but] there is simply no way to read the Bible I read and not come to the conclusion that it is overwhelmingly supportive of helping the poor, showing mercy to the weak, refraining from judging, treating others as you would treat yourself, calling on the wealthy to give their money to the poor, and all kinds of other liberal, lefty, progressive values. You would have to ignore a great deal of Genesis and Exodus, with their talk of being our brother's keeper and bringing justice to the poor, oppressed slaves in Egypt; you would have to skip over a great many of the verses of Psalms with its poetry about justice and mercy for the poor and the widow; you would have to avoid the books of the Prophets almost entirely since so much of what they are angry about is the Israelite society's mistreatment of poor people and immigrants in their midst. Then there is the New Testament, where between St. Paul, the relatives of Jesus, and the big guy himself, there are so many verses on these subjects that it is virtually impossible to ignore them.

In fact, as I noted in my piece about Todd Akin, Jesus talks about mercy to those in trouble in 24 verses of the Gospels, tells people not to judge in 34 verses, tells people to love and forgive even their enemies in 53 verses, tells people to love their neighbors as themselves and treat others as they would want to be treated in 19 verses, and specifically tells people to help the poor and/or spurn riches and the wealthy in 128 verses.

That is a lot of verses, 258 by my count, where Rick Santorum's savior and George W. Bush's favorite philosopher sounds like a tried and true, solid to the core, far-out, lefty liberal. And all those where Jesus sounds like a conservative? I couldn't find a single one. He never once condemns abortion, even though it was very common in ancient times. He never speaks against homosexuality, even though the ancient Greeks before him and the Romans living in those times openly practiced and celebrated it. He called on the Romans and the Jewish establishment to treat the poor better, not condemn an adulteress to death, and to take the moneychangers out of the temple, but he never once asked the Romans to lower their taxes or lessen their regulations on over-burdened businesses. He never celebrated the greatness of the invisible hand of the market, and never discussed the virtues of selfishness, as conservatives today are so fond of doing.

The anti-immigrant conservative has to ignore Leviticus, which says: "Don't mistreat any foreigners who live in your land. Instead treat them as well as you treat citizens and love them as much as you love yourself." The pro-death penalty conservative has to ignore Jesus who told the Pharisees that he who is without sin should cast the first stone. The anti-labor conservatives have to not worry about Jesus' brother James (the undisputed first leader of the early Christian church according to most historians) saying "Now an answer for the rich. Start crying, weep for the miseries coming to you ... Laborers plowed your field and you cheated them: listen to the wages you kept back, they are calling out: realize the cries of the workers have reached the ears of the Lord."

[...]

[If] you want to believe in a God who doesn't care about the poor, loves the wealthy more than anyone else, and wants you to be selfish, feel free. But when you claim to fervently believe in the holy words of the Judeo-Christian Bible, and your political philosophy is violently opposed to most of what is actually in that Bible, I have to call you out on that. […] Rick Santorum's political views are in direct, fundamental opposition to the Bible he claims to follow.

[...]

I will go so far as to say that the modern conservative faith is the direct opposite of what the Judeo-Christian Bible teaches: modern conservatives argue that everyone should take what they want and devil take the hindmost, that we are all on our own, and that if you are rich it means that a Darwinian selection process allowed you to succeed, and that you owe nothing to anyone else. Modern conservatives are far more faithful to Ayn Rand, who openly rejected Christianity because of its values of helping the poor and caring for others. Give her credit for one thing: at least she was honest.

  Mike Lux

Jesus H. Christ

They failed to get past the scandal when they tried to push the vaccine on girls, so now they're trying to push HPV vaccinations on boys. 

Never give up.  If this falls through, it will be peddled in third world countries.  If it isn't already.

Something tells me this will be okay with the religious fanatics who fought the vaccine for girls (I'm looking at you, Michele Bachmann), because their objection was to girls having sex.  They won't have that objection to boys, and in fact, they will think it's a good thing to protect boys from wanton, diseased sluts.

 ...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Please Make a Donation to Send Rick Santorum to Afghanistan

Wearing an American Flag on his head.
In a 1960 speech, [John F] Kennedy had assured Southern Baptist leaders that as the nation’s first Catholic president, he would not take orders from the Pope.

“But because I am a Catholic and no Catholic has ever been elected President, the real issues in this campaign have been obscured — perhaps deliberately, in some quarters less responsible than this,” Kennedy said. “So it is apparently necessary for me to state once again — not what kind of church I believe in for that should be important only to me, but what kind of America I believe in.”

“I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute — where no Catholic prelate would tell the President (should he be a Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote — where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference — and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him,” he explained.

[...]

On Sunday, ABC host George Stephanopoulos asked Santorum, who is also Catholic, about his claim last year that Kennedy’s words made him inclined to vomit.

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute,” Santorum remarked. “The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”

“Kennedy for the first time, articulated a vision that said, ‘No, faith is not allowed in the public square. I will keep it separate,’” the candidate claimed. “Go out and read the speech. ‘I will have nothing to do with faith. I won’t consult with people of faith.’ It was an absolutist doctrine that was foreign at the time of 1960.”

“But make you want to throw up?” Stephanopoulos pressed.

“Absolutely!” Santorum exclaimed.

  Raw Story
No, Rick, what's making you sick is that Satanic tapeworm in your gut.
“To say people of faith have no role in the public square, you bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live in that says only people of non-faith can come in the public square and make their case.”

“That makes me throw up and it should make every American,” he insisted.
What kind of idiot thinks what Jack Kennedy said was that only people of non-faith can come in the public square and make their case?

You know what “should” make every American “throw up”?

In a Monday op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum called for the corporate tax rate to be halved from 35 percent to 17.5 percent to “[r]estore America’s competitiveness.”

[...]

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported that corporations in the U.S. paid only an average of 12.1 percent in taxes on the profits they earned inside the U.S in fiscal 2011, according to statistics from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

It’s the lowest percentage corporations have paid on those profits since at least 1972, and it’s less than half of the 25.6 percent they paid on average between 1987 and 2008.

Corporations saw their profits, however, reach an all-time high at the end of 2010.

  Raw Story
Little Ricky's morals may be even lower than Newt Gingrich. Well, okay, they're down there at the bottom of the political slime pit together. His ranting about faith is geared to his religious, but ignorant, base.  His own faith is in the corporations for whom he's currently whoring.
Rick Santorum says there’s no reason to apologize for burning holy books as long as it’s just an innocent mistake.

The Republican presidential candidate on Sunday blasted President Barack Obama for expressing regret after U.S. troops burned a number of Qurans in Afghanistan. CBS News reported last week that at least seven people had been killed in protests resulting from the incident.

“I don’t think the president should apologize for something that was clearly inadvertent,” Santorum told NBC’s David Gregory. “I think you highlight it when you apologize for it. You make it sound like something you should apologize for. There was no act that needed an apology.”

  Raw Story
Inadvertent. They didn't recognize the books when they threw them in the incinerator. Sure.
“I think the response needs to be apologized for by [Afghan President Hamid] Karzai and the Afghan people [for] attacking and killing our men and women in uniform and overreacting to this inadvertent mistake. That is the real crime here, not what our soldiers did.”
Oh, yes. The real crime is that the Afghanis won't lie down and take it. What snakes! They fight back!

Overreacting to 10 years of occupation, daily death and dismemberment, lack of basic necessities, imprisonment with degradation, humiliation, and torture without recourse, and all we did was accidentally burn a book. What hotheads.

Regarding the Push to Iran

February 23 […] A highly classified U.S. intelligence assessment circulated to policymakers early last year largely affirms that view, originally made in 2007. Both reports, known as national intelligence estimates, conclude that Tehran halted efforts to develop and build a nuclear warhead in 2003.

[...]

For now, U.S. military and intelligence officials say they don't believe Iran's leadership has made the decision to build a bomb.

"I think they are keeping themselves in a position to make that decision," James R. Clapper Jr., director of National Intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Feb. 16. "But there are certain things they have not yet done and have not done for some time."

  LA Times
February 27 […] The anti-interventionist resistance inside the government has ways of pushing back against the War Party, and we saw that last week in the Los Angeles Times, with the revelation of the long-lost post-2007 National Intelligence Estimate, a previous version of which determined Iran has not decided to pursue a nuclear weapons program.

[...]

By leaking the supposedly “highly classified” NIE to the media, the analysts and officials in the bowels of Langley are pushing back against the drive to drag us into another major conflict in the Middle East.

[...]

The second to last thing President Obama wants is another war, especially one with the kind of economic consequences a military conflict with Iran is likely to have. The very last thing he wants, however, is to preside over a dramatically failing economy as the election season rolls around, while the Republicans rail at his “appeasement” of Tehran and oil prices continue to skyrocket. Never mind that those price hikes can be traced directly back to our provocations directed at Iran: the average American is likely to blame hostile foreigners rather than our own government officials for the uptick. When the political price for not attacking gets higher than the potential price of going to war, the President will cave – as he has most of the time on substantive issues.

The NIE leak gives him less room to maneuver between the contending factions within his administration, and delivers a big blow to the War Party.

  Justin Raimondo
But I think the War Party is strong enough to take it and keep going.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

More on the Whore

Following up on my post about Rick Santorum trying to garner the ignorant vote by claiming educated people are just snobs, and Obama wants to - gasp - send people to college, here's a clip from his 2006 campaign site:


See what I mean? He's "targeting the working-class" in his current campaign alright. Gaming the working-class, might be more accurate.

Religion in Politics

Rick Santorum has lamented in recent public appearances that Americans are losing their religion by going to college. Asked to defend his charge that President Obama is a “snob” for wanting all Americans to engage in higher education, Santorum repeated the claim Sunday on ABC’s This Week, declaring that “62 percent of kids who enter college with some sort of faith commitment leave without it.” He’s invoked the same figure before.

A slight problem: multiple studies have found that the opposite is true — including the one that Santorum has reportedly been referring to.

A study published 2007 in the journal Social Forces — which PBS reports that Santorum’s claim is based on, although his spokesman didn’t respond to TPM’s request for confirmation — finds that Americans who don’t go to college experience a steeper decline in their religiosity than those who do.

  TPM
So I can still say, education doesn't help.

It's Sunday

For the first time, law enforcement officials are taking aim at not just child abusing priests but those who enabled the crimes by covering up. And what a cesspool they’ve uncovered.  Monsignor William Lynn, on trial in Philadelphia on charges of conspiracy and child endangerment has filed a novel motion seeking to dismiss all charges. Lynn alleges that Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, a long-time pillar in the American Catholic Church, destroyed a memorandum written by Lynn’s superior detailing the abuse and the priests who perpetrated it.

[...]

The trial judge has imposed a gag order on the attorneys and litigants, but the public record is beginning to read like a Mario Puzo novel. [...] If true, the Church’s thin defense of deniability by ignorance of the problem is probably shattered.  Charges of civil conspiracy and destruction of evidence are likely in the offing, too.

[...]

Bevilacqua is now free from any jeopardy having died quietly in his sleep on January 31, 2012. After Bevilacqua’s death, a locksmith was called in to open a safe and inside were copies of both the list of predator priests and the memo that it had been destroyed.

In a statement after Bevilacqua’s death, Pope Benedict XVI praised Bevilacqua’s ”longstanding commitment to social justice and pastoral care of immigrants and his expert contribution of the revision of the church’s law in the years following the Second Vatican Council.”

  Turley Blog
Pastoral, as in lambs to slaughter?

American Style Democracy at Work

[Dallas billionaire Harold ] Simmons […] owns a controversial nuclear waste company called Waste Control Systems. Earlier this month, the Texas Observer’s Forrest Wilder reported that Simmons’ company won an unusual deal with the Texas state government. Specifically, the company was allowed to insure a massive waste dump using stock from another company owned by Simmons. Experts worry that the deal is inherently risky, and might leave Texas taxpayers on the hook in case the Simmons-owned corporation providing the stock dissolves. The contract also allows Waste Control Systems to then walk away from the dump after 30 years, forcing the state and federal government to take responsibility for tons of nuclear waste.

[...]

Simmons is in the news this week after obtaining the distinction of becoming the biggest super PAC donor in the country. USA Today reports that Simmons has funneled $12 million to the Karl Rove group called Crossroads, and has backed super PACs supporting Newt Gingrich and Gov. Rick Perry with millions more.

[...]

As Wilder notes, the waste contract is among many sweetheart deals won by Simmons. The arrangement appears to be a textbook example of crony capitalism. Big business using its connections to government to win special deals that are not in the public interest. In a post-Citizens United world in which campaign contribution limits are essentially eliminated, the sky is the limit for crony capitalism in the future.

  Republic Report

Shhhhhh, It's a Secret

[British PM] David Cameron last week hosted an international conference on Somalia, pledging more aid, financial help and measures to tackle terrorism. The summit followed a surprise visit by the foreign secretary, William Hague, to Mogadishu, the Somali capital, where he talked about "the beginnings of an opportunity'' to rebuild the country.

The Observer can reveal that, away from the public focus of last week's summit, talks are going on between British officials and Somali counterparts over exploiting oil reserves that have been explored in the arid north-eastern region of the country.

  UK Guardian
And you never would have guessed.

Can't wait to get our troops on the ground in Somalia. That'll be some fun. Oh, wait. That's why we've stepped up production of drones. Good thinking.

The Stupid Never Ends

Pakistani security forces have begun demolishing the compound where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in a covert US raid in May, police and witnesses said. The operation began after dark on Saturday in the northwestern garrison town of Abbottabad.

"Two bulldozers are engaged, the demolition work is in progress. It is being done by security forces, including troops," a police official at the scene told the AFP news agency.

A senior administration official said the third floor of the three-storey building, which includes bin Laden's room, had been pulled down and work was under way to remove the structure.

  alJazeera
As though it were the building's fault that bin Laden managed to escape the wrath of the West.
The compound attracted hundreds of visitors daily soon after bin Laden's death and officials feared his final hiding place could become a shrine or a tourist spot unless the military destroyed it.
Yes, that would be intolerable. The same reason was given for allegedly dumping bin Laden's body at sea. If people don't have a shrine to visit, they'll forget and move on. I know it's worked with Christianity. There are no Christians outside of Bethlehem.
That the compound was less than two kilometres from the Pakistan Military Academy had made it even less likely that the armed forces would want to keep the villa intact as a reminder of their humiliation.
That's more like it. The same with the idea of a grave for bin Laden. It's not the would-be followers the destruction is aimed at, it's the would-be vanquishers who can't move on as long as there is a physical reminder of their opponent.  It's their attempt to further humiliate and destroy the people who humiliated them.  It worked so well for Herod and Caiaphas.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Santorum's "Base": The Illiterate and Superstitious

Speaking to a tea party group in Michigan on Saturday, former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) accused President Obama of being a “snob” because he wants “everybody in America to go to college.”

The statement is a curious one considering that Santorum — who holds a B.A., M.B.A. and J.D. — holds more advanced degrees than Obama, who has a B.A. and a J.D.

  WaPo
Not curious at all. He's smart enough to know that now that we have pretty much tossed education under the bus in this country there is a huge base of uneducated, virtually illiterate voters to be had. People who are superstitious (read religious) and suspicious of “smart” people.
"President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob.”

As the crowd applauded, Santorum continued.

“There are good decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them,” he said. “Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.”
Indeed. No longer do we want our children to get an education and do better than us. And what a scary thought that an education might create more Obamas.

Rick Santorum is counting on a anti-intellectual, slow-witted electorate, and the GOP would love nothing more than to have a whole country full of ignorant citizens to manipulate.  Rick Santorum is one more shameless whore, my apologies to honest whores. There's just no denying it.
The statement from Santorum comes as the candidate is targeting working-class voters in his bid to blunt former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s (R) momentum in Tuesday’s key primary states of Arizona and Michigan.
Targeting and insulting working-class voters. And they're apparently too stupid to realize it, because they vote for him.

And see this update.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Now We've Upset the Dutch

[Dutch news anchor Erik] Mouthaan did a quick negation of each of [US presidential hopefu Rick] Santorum’s claims about involuntary euthanasia in The Netherlands], stating that some of his statements are not only false, but insulting. People in The Netherlands, he says, are amazed that someone who is being taken seriously as a candidate for the highest office in the land is allowed to lie so blithely and openly.

  Raw Stor
Oh, please. It goes with the territory. We have no quarrel with liars in this country.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

And the Blowback....

Two US military officers at the Afghan Ministry of Interior have been fatally shot in the Afghan capital of Kabul.

Saturday's shootings of the US colonel and major, serving with International Security Assistance Force as advisers in Afghanistan (ISAF),  brings the death toll of US forces during fives days of mass protests to four. Two other US soldiers were shot in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday.

[...]

At least four protesters have been killed and 34 wounded as Afghans held protests for the fifth straight day against the burning of the Quran at a US-led base in the country, hospital officials have told Al Jazeera.

  alJazeera

Nice


...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Brass Balls or Brain Damage?

You decide.

In 1997, Newt Gingrich was reprimanded and penalized ($300,000) by the House Ethics Committee for unethical behavior as a US representative.

And on Wednesday this week....
Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign has received a second warning from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for widespread financial irregularities, saying the campaign must disclose why nearly $1 million was paid to the candidate, staff and a small group of fundraising consultants for questionable reimbursements.

But hours after the FEC letter on its 2011 finances became public, the campaign filed a report for a newer time period, January, that indicated that the problems have become far worse.

  Washington Times
...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Clueless in Detroit

Apparently Mitt Romney just gave a speech in a huge but nearly empty Detroit Lion's stadium in which he claimed that his wife loves American made cars, and in fact drives "a couple of" Cadillacs.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Bad News: Education Won't Help

But if you know a smart conservative, you already knew that.

Just like the brains of men and women are not physically or chemically the same, studies seem to show that Conservatives and Liberals are not created equal.
Yale researcher Dan Kahan and his colleagues set out to study the relationship between political views, scientific knowledge or reasoning abilities, and opinions on contested scientific issues like global warming. In their study, more than 1,500 randomly selected Americans were asked about their political worldviews and their opinions about how dangerous global warming and nuclear power are. But that’s not all: They were also asked standard questions to determine their degree of scientific literacy [...] as well as their numeracy or capacity for mathematical reasoning.

[...]

[H]ere was the result. If you were already part of a cultural group predisposed to distrust climate science—e.g., a political conservative or “hierarchical-individualist”—then more science knowledge and more skill in mathematical reasoning tended to make you even more dismissive. Precisely the opposite happened with the other group—“egalitarian-communitarians” or liberals—who tended to worry more as they knew more science and math. The result was that, overall, more scientific literacy and mathematical ability led to greater political polarization.

[...]

What accounts for [this] effect?

For one thing, well-informed or well-educated conservatives probably consume more conservative news and opinion, such as by watching Fox News. Thus, they are more likely to know what they’re supposed to think about the issues—what people like them think—and to be familiar with the arguments or reasons for holding these views. If challenged, they can then recall and reiterate these arguments. They’ve made them a part of their identities, a part of their brains, and in doing so, they’ve drawn a strong emotional connection between certain “facts” or claims, and their deeply held political values. And they’re ready to argue.

[...]

In fact, there is even research suggesting that the most rigid and inflexible breed of conservatives—so-called authoritarians—do not really become their ideological selves until they actually learn something about politics first. A kind of “authoritarian activation” needs to occur, and it happens through the development of political “expertise.”

[...]

Nuclear power is a classic test case for liberal biases—kind of the flip side of the global warming issue–for the following reason. It’s well known that liberals tend to start out distrustful of nuclear energy: There’s a long history of this on the left. But this impulse puts them at odds with the views of the scientific community on the matter (scientists tend to think nuclear power risks are overblown, especially in light of the dangers of other energy sources, like coal).

[Contrary to the effect in conservatives, as] members of the “egalitarian communitarian” group in the study—people with more liberal values – knew more science and math, they did not become more worried, overall, about the risks of nuclear power. Rather, they moved in the opposite direction from where these initial impulses would have taken them. They become less worried—and, I might add, closer to the opinion of the scientific community on the matter.

[...]

Before you start off your next argument with a fact, then, first think about what the facts say about that strategy. If you’re a liberal who is emotionally wedded to the idea that rationality wins the day—well, then, it’s high time to listen to reason.

  Salon
And this is a lesson anyone who has ever had to live with an alcoholic knows very well. Which makes me wonder...how is an alcoholic brain similar to a conservative one? I'm not being glib or even trying to denigrate conservative views. (I have some of those myself- don't anybody panic.)  I think that might provide some interesting information. Of course, I've known some liberals whose brains shut off when they've made a decision to support or oppose something, too. Maybe they weren't included in the study.

And here's the next part for the education study – since it's not a matter of education, is a conservative vs liberal brain a matter of nature or nurture?

Frankly, precisely because of those adamant and radical liberal minds that are anything but open, I suspect that we are not really dealing with conservative vs liberal brains here, but something else.  And that something else still supports the conclusion:  education doesn't help.

Here's another article that discusses the scientific differences in political brains, for you to consider,which I think gets closer to what we're looking at.
As the new research suggests, conservatism is largely a defensive ideology -- and therefore, much more appealing to people who go through life sensitive and highly attuned to aversive or threatening aspects of their environments. By contrast, liberalism can be thought of as an exploratory ideology -- much more appealing to people who go through life trying things out and seeking the new.

  Chris Mooney
Read it.  The studies are very interesting.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

He May Not Be a Farmer

But he produces a lot of bull.
ThinkProgress noted last year that multi-millionaire movie star Tom Cruise manipulated a tax break meant to help struggling farmers in order to pay just $400 of property taxes on his $18 million Colorado estate. Cruise was able to pay so little because he allowed some sheep to graze on the estate, thus qualifying the land as agricultural and making it eligible for a big tax break.

According to the Miami Herald, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has done much the same thing, letting cows graze on a plot of land that he owns, which dramatically lowered his tax bill .

[...]

As Citizens for Tax Justice pointed out, there’s an easy fix for this problem, as states could just “replace current agricultural land valuation systems with an agricultural circuit breaker that makes property tax relief available only to real family farms.” “This would not only ensure that Senators and movie stars do not abuse the system, it would also better target those farmers most in need of property tax relief — the farmers for whom the tax loopholes were presumably written in the first place,” CTJ noted.

  Think Progress
Well, yes, but the guys making the laws would all lose the ability to get the tax break on their own land. So it may be easy, but how likely is it? On that day, I'd guess, Satan will be skating to work.

I Prefer Bracelets of Gullibility, If It's All the Same to You

In most parts of the world, the people are inheritors of millennia-old cultures and they understand that the false flag* is how governments operate regardless of what their state media tell them. But most Americans, who wear self-righteous gullibility around their necks like a millstone and crave simple Manichean dramas, are easy marks for the false flag. Americans' proud ignorance of geography and history compounds the problem by making self-contradictory narratives sound plausible.

[...]

The implausibility of that argument [that Iran supports alQaeda] in a Middle East riven by religious schisms - Iran is a theocratic Shiite nation-state, while al-Qaeda is a stateless group seeking a universal Sunni caliphate - matches the unlikelihood of a secular Arab gangster state like Saddam Hussein's Iraq collaborating with al-Qaeda. But Americans - not all, but enough - fell for that one, too.

[...]

But contradictory or not, the propaganda continues and the pressure for war ratchets up. Even the former chief of Mossad. Meir Dagan, is despairing that Israel, supported by the United States, may rush into what he calls "the stupidest idea I've ever heard."

  Retired Republican House and Senate staffer Mike Lofgren for Truth Out
And I bet he's heard some pretty stupid ones.

*False flag (aka Black Flag) operations are covert operations designed to deceive in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is flying the flag of a country other than one's own. (source)

Aw Shucks

Albert Einstein is not such a dummy after all. As we previously discussed, scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in making a subatomic particle go faster than the speed of light for the first time. The scientists used neutrinos, which were observed smashing past the cosmic speed barrier of 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second). It now turns out that it was just a loose wire that delayed the reading by a few nanoseconds — that was enough to disprove the faster than the speed of light finding.

  Jonathan Turley
Back to the drawing board. We're stuck here.

Poverty in America

Years of economic setbacks have taken their toll on the nation’s youngest residents, with another 1.6 million children living in high-poverty neighborhoods, according to one study that shows nearly 8 million children residing in poor areas in 2010.

In 2000, 6.3 million children lived in high poverty in the United States, a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found.

The growth – a 25 percent increase – reverses the trend just a decade ago that saw fewer children living in communities with high poverty rates, according to the nonprofit group.

  Raw Story
Yes, but we have more drones, and if we lose kids to poverty, we'll be able to kill kids in other countries to balance the scale.

File for Future Reference

[It] is the military and intelligence establishment that has quietly sought to counter politicians’ bold language about Iran’s nuclear program, which the Iranians contend is solely for peaceful purposes. At a hearing last week, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, pressed James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence.

“Do you have doubt about the Iranians’ intention when it comes to making a nuclear weapon?” Mr. Graham asked.

“I do,” Mr. Clapper replied.

“You doubt whether or not they’re trying to create a nuclear bomb?” Mr. Graham persisted.

“I think they are keeping themselves in a position to make that decision,” Mr. Clapper replied. “But there are certain things they have not yet done and have not done for some time,” he added, apparently a reference to specific steps to prepare a nuclear device.

  
That's the director of national intelligence.

They Hate Us for Our Freedoms

About 400 people a day are being driven to the cities by security worries, according to the report Fleeing War, Finding Misery, on refugees who stay within Afghanistan's borders but struggle to survive in slum-like camps, with little access to water, food, decent shelter, healthcare or education.

In this year's bitter winter at least 28 children died from cold in camps in Kabul alone; nationwide more than 40 are estimated to have frozen to death, the report says.

Conflict is spreading even to once relatively peaceful parts of Afghanistan and last year more than 3,000 civilians died across the country, according to UN figures.

"We left because of war, and the bombardment from American planes," said Wakhil Khoja Muhammad, who three years ago abandoned his home in southern Sangin, one of the most fought-over districts in the country, for the Chahrai Qambar camp in Kabul.

The settlement houses about a thousand families, who Muhammad said share four hand-pumps for water.

The government often stops aid groups from making long-term improvements to conditions in most camps on the grounds that it encourages migrants to settle permanently away from their homes

  UK Guardian

Jake Tapper Picks Up the Banner from Helen Thomas

Hurray for Jake Tapper.
(Note: White House press secretary Jay Carney began today’s briefing by praising journalists who have died covering the unrest in Syria: Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik as well as Anthony Shadid.)

TAPPER: The White House keeps praising these journalists who are — who’ve been killed –

CARNEY: I don’t know about “keep” — I think -

TAPPER: You’ve done it, Vice President Biden did it in a statement. How does that square with the fact that this administration has been so aggressively trying to stop aggressive journalism in the United States by using the Espionage Act to take whistleblowers to court?


You’re — currently I think that you’ve invoked it the sixth time, and before the Obama administration, it had only been used three times in history. You’re — this is the sixth time you’re suing a CIA officer for allegedly providing information in 2009 about CIA torture. Certainly that’s something that’s in the public interest of the United States. The administration is taking this person to court. There just seems to be disconnect here. You want aggressive journalism abroad; you just don’t want it in the United States.

CARNEY: Well, I would hesitate to speak to any particular case, for obvious reasons, and I would refer you to the Department of Justice for more on that.

I think we absolutely honor and praise the bravery of reporters who are placing themselves in extremely dangerous situations in order to bring a story of oppression and brutality to the world. I think that is commendable, and it’s certainly worth noting by us.

[...]

TAPPER: So the truth should come out abroad; it shouldn’t come out here?

CARNEY: Well, that’s not at all what I’m saying, Jake, and you know it’s not. Again, I can’t — specific –

TAPPER: That’s what the Justice Department’s doing.

CARNEY: Well, you’re making a judgment about a broad array of cases, and I can’t address those specifically.

  ABC News

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh, For the Love of Pete

Hundreds of protesters have clashed with police and security forces in Afghanistan in a second day of angry demonstrations over reports that copies of the Quran were burnt at an airbase used by NATO and coalition troops.

[...]

"People are marching towards Kabul. Police are trying to stop them. We have sent more reinforcements to the area," the spokesman said.

  alJazeera
I can't believe they're still resorting to Koran burning. What could possibly be the reason?  Really.  Wouldn't it be wiser to lace them with some biological like anthrax and pass them out like blankets to the American Indians?
The US embassy said on Wednesday it was locked down and had suspended all travel in Afghanistan.

[...]

Leon Panetta, the US defence secretary, issued an apology for the "inappropriate treatment" of Islam's holy book at the base and backed General John Allen's call for "swift and decisive action to investigate this matter".

"These actions do not represent the views of the United States military. We honour and respect the religious practices of the Afghan people, without exception," he said.
Isn't that obvious? I mean, we're constantly saying Islam is the reason we're at war.
Carsten Jacobson, a spokesman for the NATO-led international force in Afghanistan, said an investigation had been launched into the issue and preliminary information showed that Quran copies had not been burned.

"Fortunately for all of us, local workers recognised the type of material and intervened. Actually the disposal process was stopped in time but it led to protests over the day. As far as we know, and the investigations are ongoing, they were not burned. But we have to wait for the results."
Which does not explain how the story got out (some Afghan workers found charred remains in the rubbish) or why Leon Panetta would apologize.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Trojan Horse Returns Home

And what's he got to smile about?
Eurozone finance ministers have finally approved the terms of a second rescue package for Greece worth €130bn (£108bn), which should avert the risk of a Greek default next month.

  UK Guardian
”Rescue.” That's funny. Actually, a bunch of German bankers slipped in during the night and they pretty much now own Greece.
Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, called a press conference at around 4.20am GMT in Brussels to announce the deal.

[...]

Under the agreement, Greece's private creditors have agreed to take deeper losses on their Greek debts […] to 53.5% of the nominal value of their bonds, up from their previous maximum of 50%.

[...]

[T]he package is dependent on Greece implementing further austerity measures, whose unpopularity is underlined by the painful negotations between Papademos's coalition government in the days leading up to the crisis, and the regular protests on the streets of Athens.

[...]

EC commissioner Olli Rehn told the press conference in Brussels the deal included "strengthened monitoring" of Greece's compliance.

[...]

The KKE communist party called on people across Europe to join Greeks in their battle against "monopolies and profits".
Yeah, good luck with that.
Greece will become an economic – and to a large extent a political – colony of Germany and its allies. Berlin will have a say in everything from the choice of prime minister to the types of medicines dispensed by pharmacies.

[...]

[The] minimum wage is to be reduced by 22 per cent to €522 a month as part of the latest austerity round.

[...]

There will be widespread privatizations; cuts in social security, pensions and state health provision; and wholesale deregulation.

  Counterpunch
...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Happy Mardi Gras

From 25th Street in Galeston...


And from my place on Broadway...


So Maybe if Pat Stirs Up the Righteous...

Today, televangelist and long time right-wing icon Pat Robertson addressed the banking crisis on his television show, The 700 Club. Referencing how Iceland dealt with its own economic crisis — it jailed many of the bankers who broke laws and deceived the nation’s people — Robertson praised the European nation and said that we need to deal with the crimes of the financial sector here in the United States the same way.

  Republic Report
Let's see which GOP Righteous-Right-Whore will start promising it first.

Where High Finance & Politics Meet

You know there's scandal.
August 2011:   Charges have been officially dismissed against Dominique Strauss-Kahn now that a New York appeals court has denied a request for a special prosecutor in the sex assault case, news agencies reported.

The appeals court agreed with another court's ruling that there was no legal basis for a special prosecutor.

Attorneys for the woman accusing the former leader of the International Monetary Fund had requested one because they felt Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R Vance was biased.

Prosecutors on Tuesday argued the case should be dismissed because they did not have faith in the credibility of the hotel worker who accused Strauss-Kahn of sexually assaulting her in his luxury suite in May.

[...]

Prosecutors conceded that DNA evidence showed sexual contact but not necessarily a forced encounter. They also found medical findings inconclusive.

  alJazeera
You remember Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the IMF who had sights on the presidency of France. Of course, in a battle between the head of the IMF and a lowly hotel maid, there was really no question.

[...]

But wait. There's more.
In a separate case in October 2011, French prosecutors refused to pursue an allegation by a young French writer of attempted rape by Strauss-Kahn.

The Paris prosecutor's office dropped the investigation into writer Tristane Banon's, claim that Strauss-Kahn tried to rape her during a 2003 interview for a book the then-23-year-old was writing, saying they could not send him to trial because it happened too long ago.

  alJazeera
But wait...there's more!
February 2012:  A prosecutor on Tuesday said Strauss-Kahn was being questioned in the northern French city of Lille as a suspect over alleged cross-border prostitution ring in France and neighbouring Belgium that has implicated police and other officials.

Police have questioned prostitutes who said they had sex with Strauss-Kahn during 2010 and 2011 at a luxury hotel in Paris, a restaurant in the French capital and also in Washington DC.

[...]

"He could easily not have known, because as you can imagine, at these kinds of parties you're not always dressed, and I challenge you to distinguish a naked prostitute from any other naked woman," Henri Leclerc told French radio Europe 1 in December.

  alJazeera
Oh, lord.


Have Rove and Cheney Become Impotent in the GOP?

[Karl] Rove, who is a terrific tactician but a lousy strategist, launched the GOP on a course of short-term gains at the expense of long-term viability when he engineered the nomination of George W. Bush, an empty vessel into which Dick Cheney and the neo-con brain trust poured their ideas.

[...]

Rove and the GOP itself is now reaping what he sewed -- a party openly hostile to blacks and immigrants [...] and the middle class and poor -- that has become whiter, older and crankier, a reality reflected in a field of presidential wannabes who are short on ability and long on out-of-the-mainstream ideas.

Somewhere up there Harry Truman is laughing his ass off.

  Kiko's House

Now THAT's a Serious Mardi Gras Float



Click to enlarge

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Monday, February 20, 2012

It Wouldn't Be Prudent

Iranian warships crossed the Suez Canal and docked in Syria's port of Tartous on Sunday, Iranian state media reported.

The Mehr news agency said on Sunday that Tehran's show of support has caused "extreme worry for Zionist forces".

[...]

The United States and Britain have urged Israel against any military action against Iran and its nuclear programme, after Iranian warships passed through the Suez Canal to dock at the Syrian port of Tartous, ratchetting up tensions in the region.

Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US joints chiefs of staff committee, and William Hague, the British foreign minister, both said that an Israeli attack on Iran would destablise the entire region, and urged Israel to give international sanctions against Tehran more time to work. 

  alJazeera
”Destabilize” the region? Are you kidding me? It's stable now? No. What they mean is, it will throw a wrench into our game.
[Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US joints chiefs of staff committee] expressed concern that an Israeli attack could spark reprisals against US targets in the Gulf or Afghanistan, where American forces are based. "That's the question with which we all wrestle. And the reason that we think that it's not prudent at this point to decide to attack Iran,'' Dempsey said.
Yeah, that's closer.

Wag the Dog

A few years ago I saw an article on the web claiming that Serbian Socialist Evil Monster Slobodan Milosevic might not be the man painted by the US government and the western media that serves it, and that the atrocities attributed to him were lies. (He massacred his own people! As was said of Saddam Hussein after him.)  I didn't know what to make of it and so passed it off. After all, we had civilian reports and pictorial proof of dire circumstances that justified helping to “take him out” didn't we? He was fairly tried wasn't he? The fact that he died in his cell at the Hague wasn't in any way suspicious was it?  No one else was making any claims to defend the monster.  You have to be careful about defending every monster the US goes up against, even when you know that the US routinely paints its opponents as monsters when it suits us to do so, because, after all, some of them are truly monsters, and you don't want to be seen as a US hater on principle.
19th February 2012  ...  Both the Commander of the OSCE's Kosovo Verification Mission in 1999 (just before Yugoslavia was attacked) Roland Keith and the former Canadian Ambassador in Belgrade James Bissett have condemned the war and defended the Yugoslav Government. Bissett said that the 1999 attack was a "put up job" and quotes the most revealing admission by the former British Defense Minister, Lord Gilbert, who told the British House of Commons in July 2000 that the terms that NATO sought to force upon Milosevic at Rambouillet were deliberately designed to provoke war. Commander Keith described the KLA as a terrorist organisation which had a grip on most villages in Kosovo. He had direct experience of the lies told by villagers about ethnic cleansing and he said he never saw the Yugoslav Federal Army mistreat anyone in Kosovo.

Now we have a respected German Television programme "Time Travel" broadcast in January 2012 providing clear proof of the fraud practised by the German Government to justify to their public an attack on Yugoslavia in 1999. It is the equivalent of the "dodgy dossier" of that other great "builder of Europe" Tony Blair, and shows the lies told by the then German Foreign Office Minister Rudolf Scharping to the press. The proof came from a German policeman who actually took the photographs used by Scharping but who knew there had in fact been no "massacre" of  "civilians" but a battle between armed Kosovo terrorists and Serb forces.

[...]

Rudolf Scharping: "These photos clearly show the massacre perpetrated on 29 January in the vicinity of Rugovo, confirming that the plan for the expulsion of the "Kosovars" was put into action."

Narrator: "However, according to Hensch who took the photos, they represented evidence of a fire fight - not a massacre. On 29 January 1999, Hensch was asked to come to Rugovo. [...] Three months after the event, Rudolf Scharping unveiled the photos as evidence that a massacre had been carried out on civilians. […] The pictures from Rugovo purported to show what the German public desperately needed - a proof that NATO air strikes against Serbia were necessary."

[...]

Narrator: “These are the photos that Rudolf Scharping didn't show. He didn't show the Albanians' weapons, their UCK badges and membership cards and their ammunition. He didn't show the clear evidence of fighting."

HH: "There can be no talk of a massacre here, and however inconvenient this might sound, these were military battles."

  Free Nations
You already know about the “evidence” of chemical weapons labs in Iraq and the aluminum tubes. You saw the staged video of Jessica Lynch's “rescue” from the hands of the evil Iraqis. This is how things are done. This is how they've been done for all of your lifetime and all of your parents' lifetimes and all of your grandparents' lifetimes – at least.

If you have never watched the movie “Wag the Dog” rent it. At the very least you will be well entertained. And it has Anne Heche in it.

 ...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Pathos and the Evil of It All

Afghan relatives of those who died [in the NATO strike last week...] said that those killed were young boys who had taken their sheep and goats to graze outside the village. They were cold and gathered under a rock and lighted a small fire to warm themselves. That was the place where they were struck by bombs. Photographs of the dead shown by Mr. Safi at a news conference this week included some of badly bloodied young boys and a couple of young men who might have been older. The father of one of the boys who was killed said that his son was 12 and that two nephews who were killed were younger.

[...]

Brig. Gen. Lewis Boone, the NATO spokesman here, said ... [the boys] “appeared to be carrying weapons and heading for nearby mountains. They were moving in open terrain in a tactical fashion and clearly keeping a distance from each other.”

  NYT
This New York Times story provides a clear lesson -- not only for "young Afghans," but for all of us in this increasingly drone-covered world:

Do not, under any circumstances, "move in a tactical fashion."

  Chris Floyd
If that is not terrorism, I don't know what is. NATO terrorism. US supported terrorism. Who is terrorizing whom? Who is in danger from another country? Oh, yes. We are. They'll kill us all if we don't kill them first. Am I right?
Commodore Wigston said NATO had sent the camera footage to a forensics lab.

“We have had conflicting statements on the ages,” he said. “Our view is that initial assessment suggests they that they are closer to 15 to 16 with one older.”

  NYT
And that would make it okay.
General Boone and Commodore Wigston said that NATO was committed to helping improve the lives of the people in Gayawa, the youths’ village, which has no school or clinic or even a road.

“I spoke to the elders and I saw for myself the conditions the people live in,” Commodore Wigston said. “That is why we made our offer to make life better. A road to the outside world would be a very important part of that.”
Yeah. Or just maybe the possibility of not being bombed when they are tending their sheep might be a good start on a better life.
[In] announcing the results of its investigation into the deaths, NATO officers described it as a “very sad event” and expressed their “sincere condolences.”
As always. And there'll no doubt be a sum of cash sent to the families. What more do you want?

I would be hard pressed to argue with any of our screaming banshees these days that "they want to kill us all." They probably do at at this point. If they don't, they are saints. The horror we rain on these people on a daily basis simply cannot be understated.

Wait Until December

When the 2012 threat of the "end of the world" coincides with the re-election of President Superman.

[A] process of mass brainwashing is taking place through the major media.  Iran, which even the U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has acknowledged is not pursuing a nuclear weapon, is portrayed as hell-bent on getting one. And why? So they can nuke Israel and become the first nation on Earth to commit mass suicide, since Israel has enough nuclear weapons to kill every Iranian several times over. It all makes sense, if you assume that mass suicide is Iran’s deepest national aspiration.

However, most experts believe that Iran is seeking not nuclear weapons, but the capacity to produce them. This is a capacity shared by Brazil, Argentina, Japan, and other countries with civilian nuclear reactors – who could produce nuclear weapons within a matter of months. Iran, like these other countries – and unlike Israel – is in compliance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and will remain so even if it develops such a capacity.

[...]

Last week the New York Times reported on an interesting telephone conversation in January between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  According to the report, Obama tried to convince Netanyahu, with some success, that the time was not right for military action against Iran.

[...]

To drive the message home, last week two unnamed Obama Administration officials told the press that Israel was funding and training Iranian terrorists to kill nuclear scientists, including five murdered since 2007. This “leak” was another way of showing the Israelis that Obama is serious, and perhaps also that he doesn’t want assassinations at this time, which could increase the chances of escalation and war.

The bad news is that the Obama Administration, with help from the major media, is still preparing the groundwork for a possible war with Iran in the future.

  CEPR

Israel is going to push the issue, however. And they are going to push it hard precisely because they have Obama in as delicate a spot as they're likely to get him.

Seatbelts fastened?

The public relations campaign is working. A new Gallup poll finds that 61% of Americans see Iran as "as a critical threat to US vital interests," with an additional 29% believing that it is "an important threat". It is not clear why anyone would believe this; even if Iran did obtain a nuclear weapon, which is still a way off, they would not have the capacity to deliver it as far as the US.

[...]

If I believed what Hillary Clinton and the Democratic leadership are telling me [about Iran and the Middle East], I would have to consider voting Republican. If it's really true that all these people just want to kill us for no reason; that it has nothing to do with our foreign policy or wars; that we can effectively reduce terrorism by bombing and occupying Muslim countries; and that terrorism is the country's most urgent security threat – then why not vote for the party that looks tougher?

  UK Guardian
Good question. But then again, the Democratic party is looking pretty “tough” when it comes to warring on the Middle East. I don't think you're necessarily forced to vote Republican to “keep you safe" from those evil Muslims.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Now We Know for Certain Who Coached Her









Friday, February 17, 2012

Another Terror Plot Foiled by the FBI

By the FBI who set up the dumb bastard in the first place.
A man who thought he had explosives for an attack has been arrested near the US Capitol as part of anti-terrorism investigation, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI said in a statement on Friday that the arrest was "in connection with a terrorism investigation". It said: "Explosives the suspect allegedly sought to use in connection with the plot had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public."

[...]

Fox News reported that the suspect was of Moroccan descent and had expressed interest in an attack on the Capitol to undercover FBI agents.

The agents posing as al-Qaeda members had provided him with fake explosives that they claim he intended to set off at the Capitol.

  alJazeera
This is how they roll. Set 'em up and knock 'em down. We'll never know how many attempts there might actually be if the FBI weren't out there enticing and entrapping.

...but hey, do what you want...you will anyway.

Do You Still Think Your Votes Actually Decide Anything?

In the town of Belfast, the seat of Maine’s coastside Waldo county, the caucus resulted in a Ron Paul victory, but when the caucus chairman called the state party to report the results, he was told they already had the vote totals – which showed Romney had won. The caucus chair was puzzled, since he was the designated reporter, and no one else. He was told "Oh, I’ll be sure those numbers are changed." The numbers, however, have not changed. Indeed, all but one of the precincts in Waldo county have the same official tally: zero. According to the participants, Paul swept those precincts: the party establishment’s solution to this "problem" was to simply disappear those voters.

The town of Waterville, in Kennebec county, where over 15,000 registered voters reside, also saw its voters disappeared. Of course we all know it’s sheer coincidence Paul carried that precinct, 21-5, according to the Kennebec GOP.

[...]

Paul’s second place showing in Minnesota set the stage for an upset the GOP establishment could ill afford at that point, and so they took measures to make sure it didn’t happen. 

  Justin Raimondo
OK, how about now?