American Theocracy: Radical Religion Oil and Borrowed Money
Kevin Phillips examines the axis of religion, politics, and borrowed money that threatens to destroy the nation. He maintains that every world-dominating power has been brought down by a related set of causes: a lethal combination of global over-reach, militant religion, resource problems, and ballooning debt. Series: "Walter H. Capps Center Series" [1/2007] [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 12093]
I eagerly await the Doc Menlo, Skippy, Norm Jensen, and Uncle Scam Channels. Over 3000 vids here. 200 each time you reboot in random play. Plus Real News. Trying to create the early days of MTV except with Chomsky and Mumia and Amy Goodman added. We must create our own propaganda. We must provide our own alternative narratives. Plus its a free service.
Did you know that the war with Iran has been war gamed? Have you wondered what the future results would be? Well, they're not pretty. In fact, the results read like a bad science fiction scenario that you wouldn't like to live in. Except you would be living in it. This is from a site called Global Research. I put the super scary parts in highlighted yellow. Enjoy:
One thing the Pentagon routinely does (and does very well) is conduct war games. Top brass there are constantly developing strategies for conducting any number of theoretical missions based on real or perceived threats to our national security or vital interests. This was also done prior to the invasion of Iraq, but the Bush administration chose not to listen to the dire warnings about that mission given to him by Pentagon leaders, or for that matter, by his own senior intelligence officials. Nevertheless, war gaming is in full swing again right now with the bullseye just to the right of our current mess – Iran.
It’s no secret that the U.S. is currently putting the finishing touches on several contingency plans for attacking Iranian nuclear and military facilities. With our ground forces stretched to the breaking point in Iraq and Afghanistan, none of the most likely scenarios involve a ground invasion. Not that this administration wouldn’t prefer to march into the seat of Shiite Islam behind a solid, moving line of M1 Abrams tanks and proclaim the country for democracy. The fact is that even the President knows we can’t pull that off any more so he and the neo-cons will have to settle for Shock and Awe Lite.
If we invade Iran this year it will be done using hundreds of sorties by carrier based aircraft already stationed in the Persian Gulf and from land based aircraft located in Iraq and Qatar. They will strike the known nuclear facilities located in and around Tehran and the rest of the country as well as bases containing major units of the Iranian military, anti-aircraft installations and units of the Revolutionary Guard (a separate and potent Iranian para-military organization).
Will this military action stop Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons? Probably not. It will probably not even destroy all of their nuclear research facilities, the most sensitive of which are known to be underground, protected by tons of earth and reinforced concrete and steel designed to survive almost all attacks using conventional munitions. The Iranian military and Revolutionary Guard will most likely survive as well, although they will suffer significant casualties and major bases and command centers will undoubtedly be destroyed. However, since Iran has both a functioning Air Force, Navy (including submarines) and modern anti-aircraft capabilities, U.S. fighter-bombers will suffer casualties as well. This will not be a "Cake Walk" as with the U.S. led invasion of Iraq in 2003 when the Iraqi Army simply melted away and the Iraqi Air Force never even launched a single aircraft.
Not even close.
If the United States attacks Iran either this summer or this fall, the American people had better be prepared for a shock that may perhaps be even greater to the national psyche (and economy) than 9/11. First of all, there will be significant U.S. casualties in the initial invasion. American jets will be shot down and the American pilots who are not killed will be taken prisoner - including female pilots. Iranian Yakhonts 26, Sunburn 22 and Exocetmissiles will seek out and strike U.S. naval battle groups bottled up in the narrow waters of the Persian Gulf with very deadly results. American sailors will be killed and U.S. ships will be badly damaged and perhaps sunk. We may even witness the first attack on an American Aircraft carrier since World War II.
That’s just the opening act.
Israel (who had thus far stayed out of the fray by letting the U.S. military do the heavy lifting) is attacked by Hezbollah in a coordinated and large scale effort. Widespread and grisly casualties effectively paralyze the nation, a notion once thought impossible. Iran’s newest ally in the region, Syria, then unleashes a barrage of over 200 Scud B, C and D missiles at Israel, each armed with VX gas. Since all of Israel is within range of these Russian built weapons, Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and virtually all major civilian centers and several military bases are struck, often with a result of massive casualties.
The Israeli Air Force orders all three squadrons of their F-16I Sufa fighter/bombers into the air with orders to bomb Tehran and as many military and nuclear bases as they can before they are either shot down or run out of fuel. It is a one way trip for some of these pilots. Their ancient homeland lies in ruins. Many have family that is already dead or dying. They do not wait for permission from Washington, DC or U.S. regional military commanders. The Israeli aircraft are carrying the majority of their country’s nuclear arsenal under their wings.
Just after the first waves of U.S. bombers cross into Iranian airspace, the Iranian Navy, using shore based missiles and small, fast attack craft sinks several oil tankers in the Straits of Hormuz, sealing off the Persian Gulf and all its oil from the rest of the world. They then mine the area, making it difficult and even deadly for American minesweepers to clear the straits. Whatever is left of the Iranian Navy and Air Force harasses our Navy as it attempts minesweeping operations. More U.S casualties.
The day after the invasion Wall Street (and to a lesser extent, Tokyo, London and Frankfurt) acts as it always does in an international crisis – irrational speculative and spot buying reaches fever pitch and sends the cost of oil skyrocketing. In the immediate aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iran, the price of oil goes to $200.00 - $300.00 dollars a barrel on the open market. If the war is not resolved in a few weeks, that price could rise even higher. This will send the price of gasoline at the pump in this country to $8.00-$10.00 per gallon immediately and subsequently to even higher unthinkable levels.
If that happens, this country shuts down. Most Americans are not be able to afford gas to go to work. Truckers pull their big rigs to the side of the road and simply walk away. Food, medicine and other critical products are not be brought to stores. Gas and electricity (what is left of the short supply) are too expensive for most people to afford. Children, the sick and elderly die from lack of air-conditioned homes and hospitals in the summer. Children, the sick and elderly die in the winter for lack of heat. There are food riots across the country. A barter system takes the place of currency and credit as the economy dissolves and banks close or limit withdrawals. Civil unrest builds.
The police are unable to contain the violence and are themselves victims of the same crisis as the rest of the population. Civilian rule dissolves and Martial Law is declared under provisions approved under the Patriot Act. Regular U.S. Army and Marine troops patrol the streets. The federal government apparatus is moved to an unknown but secure location. The United States descends into chaos and becomes a third world country. Its time as the lone superpower is over.
It doesn’t get any worse than this.
Then the first Israeli bomber drops its nuclear payload on Tehran.
Here are some questions that aren't asked or answered in this scenario. I'll ask them just for fun. I am an aspiring science fiction writer afterall. What if Iran and Syria already have a dozen or so tactical nukes acquired through the black market or the Soviets or Khan. What would be the incentive not to use them? Better to die on your feet as they say. Israel wouldn't use nuclear weapons first and would wait for Syria to devastate them (graph 7)? That's because they've shown so much caution and humanity in the past? Right. Would the United States Oil Barons (disguised as the office of the Presidency) even allow Israel to retaliate and possibly irradiate the oil fields? I suppose it would be karmic payback for the United States to attack Israel after all the fine work that AIPAC has done. What is the scope of the Iranian UAV program? How many do they have and what are their payloads? What's worse, as I can imagine one hitting the block where I live, they would be in the right. They would be defending themselves against horrible imperialistic American monsters. I couldn't even legitimately hate them. They have a right to defend themselves as we all do. Finally, this looks like the manufactured shock doctrine that Naomi Klein warned us about in graph 12. It's a perfect prologue for a fascist dictatorship. You would just need leaders evil enough to initiate the story.
I'm kind of glad that the Supreme Court ruled against handgun bans. Criminals would have access to guns because they're criminals. I really think those bans are aimed at otherwise law abiding citizens. One problem with the fascist scenario is that we're armed to the teeth. Not that your handgun would do well against, say, a military helicopter, but against Ravenwood Blackwater types. Well...better to die on your feet. Related: Still think the solution to gun violence is the mass proliferation of bullet resistant shields and body armor.
Here's how I feel about the bipartisan FISA compromise. Its just that I'm beginning to think that if you have dual loyalties (you want to thank the republicans for this great proxy war against Iraq right?) or you're a corporate dem like Jason Altmire that you like being a bottom just a bit too much. From Paul Conrad:
"O" man WTF? File this post under might piss Obamaholics off. But you addicts need to know that your boy is seriously starting to piss me off as well. I mean honest to god, why do I feel like I am being subjected to the Chinese water torture technique every time I listen to the "O" man lately? His FISA vote. Drip. His theocratic tilt. Drip. His going Sista Souljah on Father's Day. Drip. His [non]-universal health care plan.Drip. Paying off the Ice Queen's debt. Drip. And now this latest little gem. "O" man tell me you are not agreeing with Thomas, Scalia, and the other supremes in the minority on this death penalty decision? Look folks, I know that the "O" man has his own mind, and we aren't going to agree on everything. Lord knows I don't necessarily want him to go along with the liberal orthodoxy. But lately it just seems like he is messing with the shit that I really care about. Things like civil liberties, and keeping the church and our state separated.
Michael Hudson is a former Wall Street economist specializing in the balance of payments and real estate at the Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase & Co.), Arthur Anderson, and later at the Hudson Institute (no relation). In 1990 he helped established the world’s first sovereign debt fund for Scudder Stevens & Clark. Dr. Hudson was Dennis Kucinich’s Chief Economic Advisor in the recent Democratic primary presidential campaign, and has advised the U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Latvian governments, as well as the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). A Distinguished Research Professor at University of Missouri, Kansas City (UMKC), he is the author of many books, including Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (new ed., Pluto Press, 2002)
17/06/08 "ICH" -- - A conference to plan the prosecution of President Bush and other high administration officials for war crimes will be held September 13-14 at the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover .
"This is not intended to be a mere discussion of violations of law that have occurred," said convener Lawrence Velvel, dean and cofounder of the school. "It is, rather, intended to be a planning conference at which plans will be laid and necessary organizational structures set up, to pursue the guilty as long as necessary and, if need be, to the ends of the Earth."
"We must try to hold Bush administration leaders accountable in courts of justice," Velvel said. "And we must insist on appropriate punishments, including, if guilt is found, the hangings visited upon top German and Japanese war-criminals in the 1940s."
Word is, conference may well be seeded with professional saboteurs.
Apologize to the World Mr. Wallace and Return that Emmy
Apologize to the World Mr. Wallace and Return that Emmy http://representativepress.blogspot.c... President Ahmadinejad Calls for Democracy, Free and Fair Elections and a Durable Peace.
Mike Wallace Interviewed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on 60 Minutes. At the request of the Iranian President Ahmadinejad, the FULL UNEDITED version was shown on C-SPAN. "The cable public affairs net will air the 60 Minutes edited version, followed by the full 90-minute interview, to give viewers a window on what is left on the cutting room floor." - John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/11/2006 We can see what they cut out, a call for democracy. This is another example of Mainstream Media's continuing suppression of basic facts concerning Israel and the Palestinians and other dramatic details related to the Middle East. It is a scandal for news editors to suppress the fact that democracy is being denied to people and that U.S. policy makers are behind the injustices. It is a scandal that the mainstream media suppresses the fact that the President of Iran is calling for democracy.
The text in red was edited out of the 60 Minutes broadcast:
MR. WALLACE: You are very good at filibustering. You still have not answered the question. You still have not answered the question. Israel must be wiped off the map. Why?
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Well, don't be hasty, sir. I'm going to get to that.
MR. WALLACE: I'm not hasty.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: I think that the Israeli government is a fabricated government and I have talked about the solution. The solution is democracy. We have said allow Palestinian people to participate in a free and fair referendum to express their views. What we are saying only serves the cause of durable peace. We want durable peace in that part of the world. A durable peace will only come about with once the views of the people are met.
So we said that allow the people of Palestine to participate in a referendum to choose their desired government, and of course, for the war to come an end as well. Why are they refusing to allow this to go ahead? Even the Palestinian administration and government which has been elected by the people is being attacked on a daily basis, and its high-ranking officials are assassinated and arrested. Yesterday, the speaker of the Palestinian parliament was arrested, elected by the people, mind you. So how long can this go on?
We believe that this problem has to be dealt with fundamentally. I believe that the American government is blindly supporting this government of occupation. It should lift its support, allow the people to participate in free and fair elections. Whatever happens let it be. We will accept and go along. The result will be as you said earlier, sir.
MR. WALLACE: Look, I mean no disrespect. Let's make a deal. I will listen to your complete answers if you'll stay for all of my questions. My concern is that we might run out of time.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Well, you're free to ask me any questions you please, and I am hoping that I'm free to be able to say whatever is on my mind. You are free to put any question you want to me, and of course, please give me the right to respond fully to your questions to say what is on my mind.
Do you perhaps want me to say what you want me to say? Am I to understand --
MR. WALLACE: No.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: So if that is the case, then I ask you to please be patient.
MR. WALLACE: I said I'll be very patient.
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Maybe these are words that you don't like to hear, Mr. Wallace.
MR. WALLACE: Why? What words do I not like to hear? [the words highlighted in red and edited out of the interview]
PRESIDENT AHMADINEJAD: Because I think that you're getting angry.
MR. WALLACE: No, I couldn't be happier for the privilege of sitting down with the president of Iran.
By Robert Parry, Media Consortium. Posted June 21, 2008.
The Democratic leadership cleared the way for the president and his collaborators to evade punishment for defying the law.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims that a key positive feature of the new wiretap "compromise" is that the bill reaffirms that the President must follow the law, even though the same bill virtually assures that no one will be held accountable for George W. Bush's violation of the earlier spying law. Share this article
In other words, in the guise of rejecting Bush's theories of an all-powerful presidency that is above the law, the Democratic leadership cleared the way for the President and his collaborators to evade punishment for defying the law.
So, why should anyone assume that the new legislative edict demanding that the President obey the law will get any more respect than the old one, which established the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 as the "exclusive" means for authorizing electronic spying?
It wasn't that Bush and his team didn't understand the old law's language; they simply believed they could violate the law without consequence, under the radical theory that at a time of war -- even one as vaguely defined as the "war on terror" -- the President's powers trump all laws as well as the constitutional rights of citizens.
Essentially, Bush was betting that even if his warrantless wiretap program was disclosed -- as it was in December 2005 -- that he could trust his Republican congressional allies to protect him and could count on most Democrats not to have the guts to challenge him.
His bet proved to be a smart one. After the New York Times revealed the warrantless wiretaps two and a half years ago, Congress took no steps to hold Bush accountable. Before the 2006 elections, Pelosi declared that Bush's impeachment was "off the table."
Then, on the eve of the August 2007 recess, the Democratic-controlled Congress was stampeded into passing the "Protect America Act," which effectively legalized what Bush had already done and expanded his spying powers even more.
After that law was passed, U.S. news reports mostly parroted the White House claim that it "modernized" FISA and "narrowly" targeted overseas terror suspects who might call or e-mail their contacts in the United States.
However, it soon became clear that the law applied not just to terror suspects abroad who might communicate with Americans, but to anyone who is "reasonably believed to be outside the United States" and who might possess "foreign intelligence information," defined as anything that could be useful to U.S. foreign policy.
That meant that almost any American engaged in international commerce or dealing with foreign issues -- say, a businessman in touch with a foreign subsidiary or a U.S. reporter sending an overseas story back to his newspaper -- was vulnerable to warrantless intercepts approved on the say-so of two Bush subordinates, the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.
Beyond the breathtaking scope of this new authority, the Bush administration also snuck in a clause that granted forward-looking immunity from lawsuits to communications service providers that assisted the spying.
That removed one of the few safeguards against Bush's warrantless wiretaps: the concern among service providers that they might be sued by customers for handing over constitutionally protected information without a warrant.
In short, the "Protect America Act" made warrantless surveillance legally cost free for a collaborating service provider, tilting the scales even further in favor of the government's spying powers.
Robert Parry is getting madder about these criminals. Good.
The document points out that Ginnie Mae should be the government entity that backstops bad loans. Of course, since Ginnie has an explicit mandate from the Feds, that ultimately means taxpayers will be on the hook for hundreds of billions worth of bad loans. [Perhaps, you might care to give up your stimuli package for the good of... you know, our masters.]
Read through some of the recommended taking points and marvel at how our democratic process truly works. I'm pissed.
How overwhelming all this has become, Like his buddy Joe Biden's bankruptcy bill, more strapping on of debt,more economic slavery via the Dems.
'I don't know what scares me more, the madness that smashes people down, or their/our ability to endure it.
How much more can we/they take?
Of course, it isn't merely just these, but a unfathomable amount of economic oppressive and unreasonable things. They really have done what they set out to do. Grover Norquist's bathtub must be full of cadavers by now. And he and his elite ilk must sleep like babies at night. I know our "lawmaker's" do.... they make laws for them, and only them, and fuck you.
I have been a critic of Mr. Markos but when he's right he's right. Fight back against the FISA bill. It would also be nice if Obama, our presumptive nominee, would stand tall on this one. I do think that this statement by Markos would be scarier if he had added at the end: "We do not forgive. We do not forget." (You might want different people other than Rahm or Chuck running your recruitment drives for 2008, unless you want people who win telling you that they oppose the war but can't seem to ever end the funding for it...just a hint.)
When we started this "netroots" thing, we worked to get "more and better Democrats" elected. At first, we focused on the "more" part. This year, we're focusing a bit more on the "better" part. And in 2010, we'll have enough Democrats in the House to exclusively focus on the "better" part.
That means primary challenges. And as we decide who to take on, let it be known that this FISA vote will loom large.
Voting to give telecommunication companies retroactive immunity may not guarantee a primary challenge, but it will loom quite large.
We kicked Joe Lieberman out of the caucus. We got rid of Al Wynn this year. Those were test runs, so to speak. We've got a lot more of that ready to unleash in 2010.
Hoyer has a done deal, according to CQ.com (sub. req.):
A final deal has been reached on a rewrite of electronic surveillance rules and will be announced Thursday, two congressional aides said.
The aides said the House is likely to take up the legislation Friday....
As of Wednesday, sources said the new bill would allow a federal district court to decide whether to provide retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies being sued for their role in the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program....One source said the federal district court deciding on retroactive immunity would review whether there was "substantial evidence" the companies had received assurances from the government that the administration’s program was legal.
That means, of course, de facto amnesty for the telcos. The federal district court would not be deciding on the legality of the program, they would be limited to determining if the White House showed the telcos a piece of paper saying that the warrantless program was legal enough--which we already know. They're going to try to justify it with that "substantial evidence" business, as if defining that piece of paper as "substantial" somehow makes the fact that they are directing the court to make its decision, regardless of the law, not a travesty.
Call Barack Obama and urge him to make a public statement reiterating his opposition to telco amnesty. His opposition could kill this deal: Phone (202) 224-2854, Fax (202) 228-4260
Call Steny Hoyer and tell him this is a bad deal: Phone (202) 225-4131, Fax (202) 225-4300
Call Nancy Pelosi and urge her to pull the bill from the House schedule: Phone (202) 225-4965, Fax (202) 225-8259
The provision granting telecom amnesty, Title VIII, has the exact Orwellian title it should have: "Protection of Persons Assisting the Government." Section 802(a) provides:
[A] civil action may not lie or be maintained in a Federal or State court against any person for providing assistance to an element of the intelligence community, and shall be properly dismissed, if the Attorney General certifies to the district court of the United States in which such action is pending that . . . (4) the assistance alleged to have been provided . . . was --
(A) in connection with intelligence activity involving communications that was (i) authorized by the President during the period beginning on September 11, 2001, and ending on January 17, 2007 and (ii) designed to prevent or detect a terrorist attack, or activities in preparation of a terrorist attack, against the United States" and
(B) the subject of a written request or directive . . . indicating that the activity was (i) authorized by the President; and (ii) determined to be lawful.
So all the Attorney General has to do is recite those magic words -- the President requested this eavesdropping and did it in order to save us from the Terrorists -- and the minute he utters those words, the courts are required to dismiss the lawsuits against the telecoms, no matter how illegal their behavior was.
That's the "compromise" Steny Hoyer negotiated and which he is now -- according to very credible reports -- pressuring every member of the Democratic caucus to support. It's full-scale, unconditional amnesty with no inquiry into whether anyone broke the law.
The manual, Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces (1994, 2004), may be critically described as “what we learned about running death squads and propping up corrupt government in Latin America and how to apply it to other places”. Its contents are both history defining for Latin America and, given the continued role of US Special Forces in the suppression of insurgencies and guerilla movements world wide, history making.
The document, which has been verified, is official US Special Forces doctrine. It directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates warrantless searches, detainment without charge and the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates bribery, employing terrorists, false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it directly advocates the extensive use of “psychological operations” (propaganda) to make these and other “population & resource control” measures more palatable.
The document has been particularly informed by the long United States involvement in the El Salvador…
I have no way of judging whether the document is legitimate, but it certainly reads like it is.
Recall that in 2005 the Defense Department decided on what it called “The Salvador Option” for Iraq, with James Steele, a veteran of counterinsurgency in El Salvador during the eighties, training Iraq’s Special Police Commandos.
House Judiciary Committee Democrats on Monday renewed their demand that former White House political adviser Karl Rove testify publicly on the politicization of the Justice Department but suggested they may accept a compromise in which Rove would be interviewed in private without taking an oath to tell the truth.
Yeah, keep thinking they are spineless, and incompetent... You know, if it makes you feel better.
An organization that promotes sexual abstinence for teens received a federal grant of over a million dollars, twice what it had requested, despite the skepticism Department of Justice staffers had about the group and the fact that it refused to participate in a congressionally mandated study.
A million here, 500,000 there, pretty soon, your talkin...oh, scratch that, the well of tax payers funded shite is everlasting when it's not your money funding it!
Spineless and ineffective to the bitter end? Hardly,
Let's calculate just how much "progress" has been made due to the Dems' gaining control of Congress.
On the plus side, we saw Kucinich give a speech on the House floor, where he quite rightly pointed out that the US was trying to steal Iraq's oil. There was virtually no comment about this in the MSM (the sparse coverage tended to ridicule DK), & no reaction by Congress. During his hour-long speech, there was precisely zero applause -- even from members of his own party.
Also, Kucinich introduced articles of impeachment against Cheney about 4 weeks ago. To date, there have been precisely 2 other congresspersons who have lent support to this initiative.
So much for the positive news!!
On the minus side, we see that the Dems capitulated 100% to Bush on war spending, abandoning their song-and-dance of "non-binding" timetables (with gaping loopholes embedded in them). However, this is not to say that they didn't work hard. They did indeed work hard. The problem is that what they worked for was not to defeat Bush's Iraq agenda, but rather to conceal the ways in which they were actually guaranteeing that Bush would prevail.
Pelosi created a procedure of splitting the war funding bill into two portions, so that there would be 2 votes instead of one. This would allow more than half of House Democrats (including Pelosi herself) to vote against the military spending part, while supporting the domestic part (a gradual raise in the minimum wage, and assorted pork). But she created this procedure knowing full well that all 200 Republicans would join with about 80 House Dems to guarantee passage of the military spending part.
This in turn allowed the Dems & MSM to portray the Dems' efforts as "antiwar" & as attempted opposition to Bush -- conveniently omitting mention of the fact that the Dems themselves designed the whole voting procedure. All but 7 House Dems voted in favor of Pelosi's procedure on the supplemental -- guaranteeing the final outcome.
This is a nice illustration of why the Dem Party is actually even more dishonest & treacherous than the Republicans. Next time you hear the fools' argument about the "lesser evil," just remember that while almost NO Democrats have come forward to support the impeachment of Cheney, virtually ALL of them supported the deviousness of Pelosi's betrayal.
This was written May 26 2007.
Anyone who believes the Dems are anything other than the more dishonest half of the imperial slaughterhouse is naive to the point of being dangerous.
The Dems are neither spineless or ineffective.
The first implies that they are caving in to something that they otherwise find detestable. The invasion and occupation of Iraq has been a bi-partisan affair for more than a decade, in fact if you examine the deeper history of this the assault on the Iraqi people has been fully sponsored by both right-wing American political parties going back to the early-mid 1900's.
The Dems are not spineless they are simply being slightly more manipulative in their style of observing the rules of Empire than their more obvious brethren the Repubs.
The second part-"ineffective"- is also not the case. They are very effective. They do an invaluable service to the Corporate machinery of the Empire.
The Democratic Party plays an indispensable role in society's political machinery. This doesn't mean it has any power, in terms of controlling the state or setting policy. It means that without the existence of the Dem Party, the US could no longer maintain the pretense that it's a "democracy." If the Dem Party disintegrated, the US would be revealed for what it really is -- a one-party state ruled by a narrow alliance of business interests.
In terms of defending the general population against the depredations of this business consortium, the Dem Party gave up the ghost in the mid-1960's. Their threadbare act as the "Party of the People" serves not to defend the well-being of the population, but merely to persuade ordinary citizens that within the official political system's framework, there's at least some faint hope for eventual progressive change. Their focus is not so much being on our side, as convincing us that they're on our side -- without the slightest serious examination of what that might entail.
The party's true function is thus largely theatrical. It doesn't exist to fight for change, but only to pose as a force which one fine distant day might possibly bestir itself to fight for change. Thus the whole magic of the Dem Party -- the essential service it renders to the US power structure -- lies not in what it does, but in its mere existence: by simply existing, and doing nothing, it pretends to be something it's not; and this is enough to relieve despair & to let the system portray itself as a "democracy."
As long as the Dem Party exists, most Americans will believe we have a "democracy" and a "choice" in how we are ruled. They will not despair, and will not revolt, as long as they have this hope for "change within the system." From the system's point of view, this mechanism serves as the ultimate safety valve -- it insures against a despairing populace, thus eliminates the threat of rebellion; yet guarantees that no serious change to the system will be mounted, because the Dems weren't designed to play that role in the first place.
So,like the never ending Sisyphus story, you are growing old, hoping beyond hope that Obomba or someone will save us all. 18 months from now, just as 18 months ago, you will see yet again, that there is no difference, (only in degrees) between Coke or Pepsi.
That's the left wing of the CIA debating the right wing of the CIA." —Timothy Leary, discussing CNN's "Crossfire," ca. 1992
Turner: "Do we have plans to invade the Middle East?" Higgins: "Are you crazy" T: Am I? ........ H: Look Turner.... T: Do we have plans? H: ..... The plan was all right. The plan would have worked. T: What is it with you people? You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth? H: No. It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In 10 or 15 years -- food, plutonium. And maybe even sooner. Now what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then? T: Ask them. H: Not now -- then. Ask them when they're running out. Ask them when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask them when their engines stop. Ask them when people who've never known hunger start going hungry. Do you want to know something? They won't want us to ask them. They'll just want us to get it for them.
Welcome, welcome, my friends to the show that never ends...
Saudi Arabia appears ready to cave in to demands from Western governments for the kingdom to make special efforts to increase its production of oil. Analysts forecast that the world's largest producer will shortly raise its output by half a million barrels a day. The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, confirmed this impression at the weekend after emerging from talks with the Saudi monarch, King Abdullah.
But there are also indications that the Saudis will make their own counter-demands when oil producers and consumers meet at an emergency energy summit next weekend. One such requirement might be for Western governments to play their part in adapting to the higher prices by relaxing their domestic taxes on fuel. This represents a considerable shift from Saudi Arabia. Up until now, the country's rulers have blamed the soaring oil price on speculation in Western financial markets – a phenomenon driven, they say, by a false perception of a shortage of global capacity. There is little doubt that speculation is playing some part in pushing up the price of oil to an unprecedented $140 a barrel. Yet the fact that inventories have been at normal levels suggests this is not the driving force behind price rises.
Growing demand is the far more likely culprit. It is often asserted that Saudis still have vast oil reserves. But there is no independently verified proof of this. We have no choice but to rely on what they choose to tell us. If the kingdom really thinks the present price is the result of a speculative bubble driven by misinformation about its reserves, it ought to open up its oilfields to independent inspection to dispel the doubts. Of course it will not do this. But, for now at least, it looks ready to increase production.
An increase in Saudi oil pumping might well have the desired effect of bringing down the price somewhat. But what if it does not fall low enough to ease the pain of the world economy? How long before our political leaders return to Saudi and its Opec allies to plead for more? And what will be the political price extracted for this? What we are seeing in this desperate horse-trading is the endgame of the oil age. Even if we have not yet reached the inevitable moment of "peak oil", when production begins its inexorable decline, it is abundantly clear that the age of cheap fuel is over. The economic leaps forward by China and India represent a step-change in energy demand. The rate of discovery of new oilfields has failed to keep pace with the speed at which nations are joining the global economy. That means the price of oil will remain considerably above the level to which we have historically been accustomed.
That is the central fact that governments ought to be addressing. It is ridiculous for the Saudis to attempt to tell Western governments how they ought to tax fuel sales, just as it is ridiculous for Western governments to tell Saudi Arabia and other oil producers how much they ought to pump out of the ground. The debate ought to be about how best to break our economic dependence on oil.
Governments should recognise the pain being endured by drivers and businesses at the petrol pumps. But their response should not be to tell their electorates that hectoring the Saudis will bring down the price of fuel, or to mess around with short-term gestures such as suspending taxation. Instead, it should be to announce that funds from higher fuel taxes will be channelled into alternative, clean power generation and energy conservation schemes. The fact that so many of our political leaders are pinning their hopes on the oil producers riding to the rescue merely confirms how tenuously they grasp the new reality.
While waiting to see how the contest between a demand-killing recession and shrinking oil stockpiles plays out, it might be worthwhile to spend a little time reviewing the world’s electricity situation. If there is any form of energy that would be sorely missed by people who had once had it, electricity would be it.
Private cars we could do without, but not our lights and appliances. Most of us here in America have been blessed to have an unlimited amount of electricity for all of our adult lives. There are very few left who can remember a time when it was not universally available.
Although it has received scant coverage in the U.S. media, in many parts of the world, the electric grids are shutting down for long periods each day. In a few places the electricity is now off most of the time. Some of this is due to droughts which have reduced the hydroelectric generating capacity in many parts of the world. Some is due to the price of oil which has simply become too expensive to use in thermoelectric generating stations and in a few places the electricity is out or has been greatly reduced because of civil strife. Iraq, Nigeria, Gaza and Pakistan are the most prominent instances of the latter. Even the climate has contributed to the problem as a wave of unusually cold weather has enveloped the Middle East, Central Asia and Siberia, forcing many to use electric heat as their only means of survival.
Of course, I don't completely subscribe to the peek oil theory, nor do I disbelieve, seemingly, the jury is still out for me, but nonetheless, much can be gleaned from the never ending stream of data-palooza.
Is it just me? Or is Keith Olbermann turning into Bill O’Reilly?
The bombastic commentary. The narcissism. And, of course, the misogyny.
I’d thought that once Obama clinched the Democratic nomination, it would be safe to start watching Countdown again. Without Keith’s daily anti-Hillary target practice, I might even be able to watch it without cringing.
Despite four decades of feverishly anti-establishment rocking by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, fans are showing up at concerts and booing the rock veterans for performing anti-war tunes. They've even been marching out en masse in protest against songs like "Ohio" and "Military Madness." "The forthcoming documentary 'CSNY: Deja Vu' charts that friction, portraying fans who saluted the group's efforts and those who felt betrayed by them, while introducing viewers to Iraqi War vets who are now protesting the war as musicians, politicians and social workers. Directed by Young and due in theaters July 25, the film blends concert and behind-the-scenes footage with short news features created by CNN correspondent Mike Cerre."
Q: One of the film's most powerful scenes shows Atlanta fans angrily filing out of the venue, not before telling you to go to hell, and that's putting it kindly. When you look back on the tour, are there faces and middle fingers in particular that stick out?
Neil Young: "I remember some faces. There's one guy I remember for sure, and he's not in the movie. This was a harrowing experience at times, and it's not an experience that I would like to repeat. I think it was a one-off. I think if I did this kind of thing for the rest of my life, I'd become like CNN, and I don't really respect that very much. It's like the same thing on a loop. I don't see the need for that. I like to be a full-length program, not a repeating segment."
Q: Besides Atlanta, the reaction in Orange County, California, was particularly bad, and even spurred fights. Did the negative reactions cause you to second-guess yourself at all?
Young: "There was never any sense of giving up or anything. We went from July 4 to September 10 on the tour, and I remember feeling glad that we weren't playing on September 11. There were moments throughout it where you just shook your head and said, 'God, what are we doing?' But the songs were there, the feeling was there, the audience was there, and we were doing it."
I remember the commercials in the 80's for CSNY doing a concert for Vietnam Vets, and all these guys in their uniforms grooving. I'm gonna bet that the walk outs aren't vets and have never seen any military action.
It's been a long time comin' It's goin' to be a Long Time Gone. And it appears to be a long, Appears to be a long, Appears to be a long Time, yes, a long, long, long ,long time before the dawn.
Turn, turn any corner. Hear, you must hear what the people say. You know there's something that's goin' on around here, The surely, surely, surely won't stand the light of day. And it appears to be a long, Appears to be a long, Appears to be a long Time, yes, a long, long, long ,long time before the dawn.
Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness, You got to speak your mind, If you dare. But don't no don't now try to get yourself elected If you do you had better cut your hair. `Cause it appears to be a long, Appears to be a long, Appears to be a long, Time, such a long long long long time before the dawn.
It's been a long time comin' It's goin' to be a long time gone. But you know, The darkest hour is always Always just before the dawn. And it appears to be a long, appears to be a long, Appears to be a long Time before the dawn.
Nearly three years ago as people were drowning in NOLA, the so-called leader of this nation dashed eagerly from one side of the country to another -fund-raising for his party- without a moment's care for his fellow Americans in their time of crisis. In fact, whenever a national crisis has occurred, Bush has been conspicuously absent. During the fourth or fifth day of the Katrina massacre and the missing leadership of this nation, I wrote the following:
We have no leadership, no captain at the helm as it were. We are, in effect, being led from disaster to disaster by a headless horseman run amok with stuffed pockets and an empty conscience.
We are here, again. This time in Iowa, where tens of thousands of Americans are without a home, many dead, many injured and once again, during this national crisis Bush is busy playing voodoo politics (This time in Europe).
A first cousin of President Bush is emerging as a peripheral player in the increasingly bizarre Bayou Management hedge fund scandal.
Sources say John P. Ellis, a former journalist turned investment banker, represented several companies in investment presentations to IM Partners, a side venture set up by Samuel Israel and Daniel Marino. Israel and Marino were the management team that ran Bayou and who federal prosecutors allege defrauded investors out of $300 million.
People familiar with the Bayou saga say Ellis, a personal friend of Israel for the past several years, helped arranged at least five investment deals for IM Partners while working as a managing director for GH Venture Partners, a New York City-based investment bank. In all, IM Partners, a Connecticut-based investment partnership, invested at least $25 million in deals handled by GH Venture.
There's no indication that Ellis or GH Ventures were direct or indirect investors in either Bayou or IM Partners. And, other than their common principals, there's no direct evidence that any relationship existed between IM Partners and Bayou, although both operated out of the same Stamford, Conn., office.
A former columnist for the Boston Globe, Ellis may be best known for his work as an electoral consultant for Fox News during the 2000 presidential election. It was Ellis' analysis of the Florida vote total that led Fox to declare Bush the victor before any of the other networks.
Ellis is the son of Nancy Bush. He is the nephew of former President Bush and a cousin of President George W. Bush.
Citizen: please be advised, the time is now 8:30 PM, please make your way to the front gates of the 'Nizuc/Serenity GATED community', for your bracelet check, retinal scan and procedural pat down, escort out by 8:50. Have a happy night. See you in the morning, again, at the Master gate at 4:30 AM. Remember to smile. And Jesus loves you.
Senate Hearings Interrupted;Senate hearings interrupted to stop testimony about interrogation methods.
[ Democrats complicit!]
On two consecutive days, hearings conducted by the Senate Judiciary Committee were suspended when Republicans invoked the rarely used "two hour rule" that states no hearing can run more than two hours.
ANP cameras were covering both hearings as part of ongoing stories and were able to capture the latest moves in the political chess match both parties are currently waging on Capitol Hill.
The discription above in the blockquote is only half right, because it can be misleading as hell...
This is no fucking chess match, this is a game between the opponent and complicit fake opposition TAKING A DIVE!
A knockout feigned by prearrangement between prizefighters: The challenger took a dive.
An exaggerated fall, especially by a hockey player, intended to draw a penalty against an opponent.
In a word, kabuki...
Only thing better than owning your own team is owning the team who step up against em as well.
The 9/11 Commission Report One Year Later - Part 1/25
On July 22, 2005, then Congressional Rep. Cynthia McKinney held an all-day Congressional Briefing entitled "The 9/11 Commission Report One Year Later - A Citizens Response: Did the Commission Get it Right?"
They did not. Since this Briefing was broadcast on C-SPAN, you can see that much was omitted, key evidence was derived via torture (waterboarding and other methods), and the Commission members were compromised in many ways.
This Briefing is the only serious criticism of the 9/11 Commission's Final Report to be entered into the Congressional Record, and is valuable to review to see what has been put on record from a historical point of view.
In Part 1, McKinney introduces the intent of the Briefing, and sets the tone for the day.
This 25-part YouTube series is not the entire Briefing...
Cynthia McKinney: a true patriot. If there was any Justice at all this woman would be our next president.
"America was never innocent. We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets. You can't ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set of circumstances. You can't lose what you lacked at conception.
"Mass-market nostalgia gets you hopped up for a past that never existed. Hagiography sanctifies shuck-and-jive politicians and reinvents their expedient gestures as moments of great moral weight. Our continuing narrative line is blurred past truth and hindsight. Only a reckless verisimilitude can set that line straight."
--James Ellroy, American Tabloid
Ensure a Free and Fair Election (Ban Paperless Voting Machines