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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Someone asked the difference between the Republican and Democratic party. This was my response.

historically democrats have been the party of the working class and republicans the party of the investor and corporate class. nowadays though, working class americans are brain washed into thinking that the republican party is their party because they speak out about things that don't affect those working masses but which those masses hate, like gays and abortion. doesn't affect them personally at all but it's red meat to feed them to make them vote against their own best financial interest. and even when they were in power, 6 years with both houses of congress and the presidency and the right wing supreme court, they did nothing about those social issues that the duped working masses who voted for them, voted for them for.
democrats were the party fo the working masses and most still are, but there are what are called "blue dogs" who vote for everything corporate against their own party. i wish they'd just switch parties and go to where they belong and give the working masses back their party. the democratic party is the party that brought us social security, medicare, medicaid, food stamps, a 40 hour work week, a minimum wage, unemployment benefits, job safety requirements because so many laborers were being unnecessarily harmed on the job. harmed or losing their jobs. they brought us workman's compensation in case a worker is injured on the job, the job pays for his or her recovery. republicans HATE all of those programs and are trying to disassemble them one at a time or each one a little at a time. republicans think that if we deserve any of those programs, a private entity should be making a profit off of our tax dollars before we get them. they call it "private" but they are paid with tax dollars. the only difference being that they make a profit and keep it, public services do make a profit (held in treasury bonds usually) and are reinvest it into serving the public.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Conversation With a Friend

Conversation started when he thought that Obama was going to let tax cuts expire on everyone. That's what the article he sent me said. But I took him into the realm of the media and it's manipulation of reality.

I have came to the point where I don’t care what they do with this problem as I sick and tired of each side blaming the other about what going to happen. If the country goes down the tube so be it and if it start to come back so be it. I'm to the point where I don’t care anymore one way or the other, but i will still let them know what I think.

John

John, read that article again. it's talking about if congress does nothing, taxes will rise on everyone. but obama is fighting to keep tax cuts for everyone making under $200,000 and $250,000 (single or family) and increasing taxes by 2 or 3% on those making over that amount. just letting the bush tax cuts expire on that group, back up to what it was during the clinton era. i don't think you're in that group! i know i'm not! and if i were, i'd only be paying that extra couple of percentage points on that amount OVER $200,000.. i'd still get the tax cuts that everyone else is getting up to that amount.

so never give up honey. just know the facts so you know what you're fighting for. sincere people have to stand up for what they believe in. and you got heart. knowing what is actually going on rather than what we are being told is going on is the trick. they(the powers that be that profit off of manipulating us.) own the media. i don't believe anything they say unless it can be cross-referenced with a lot of independent sources.

did you notice that the story about israel bombing palestine that you posted yesterday has been silenced? nobody claimed responsibility for the rockets launched into an empty field in israel. i can't prove it and i am not sure yet, my opinion, knowing what monsters they are in israel, is that they did it themselves so that they wouldn't be stopped from stealing more land and building more settlements all because of some bothersome peace deal. they don't want peace EVAHHH. but that's how our media is manipulating us. they can tell us anything and we just uncritically believe it.

remember when osama bin ladin was criminal number one for 9/11 by the fbi? if you go to their site, it doesn't he's wanted for 9/11 at all. he isn't. and when asked what he was wanted for, cheney said that he had no evidence that bin ladin had anything to do with 9/11. but that's not what he was selling before the wars. you know that as well as i do.

When the FBI was asked why 9/11 isn't listed under Bin Laden's crimes, the FBI responded by saying "There's simply no evidence linking Bin Laden to 9/11".

"9/11 is not mentioned on Osama bin Laden's Most Wanted page. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connected Bin Laden to 9/11." -- FBI agent Rex Tomb, June 6, 2006."

cheney saying that he and the bush administration never made the case that osama bin ladin was responsible for 9/11.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_1_huLZJx4&feature=related

why am i telling you this? because i know you still believe it and i know this whole hysteria against muslims (who have been in this country since the 1500's due to slavery) is all a media-manufactured lie to control the population. republicans need fear to get people to vote for them. they're experts at wielding that sword too. it's all a media-manufactured lie. i knew this stuff before the iraq war started because i looked at every UN release, every independent piece of news out there. i knew they were lying. and yet, when i told any right winger, they'd call me a traitor and an america hater. i say the person who allows themselves to be lied to at the tune of thousands of our dead and millions of muslim dead is the traitor. not caring enough to even investigate what liberals were telling them. not caring if it were true or not. they were trained to hate muslims and they went along with it all. so why are we in iraq and afghanistan again? (i'm pretty sure i told you about the pipeline the oil industry wants to run through afghanistan) the government even showed a video of a guy who looked like osama bin ladin admitting to planning the attacks and being so delighted when the planes caused more damage than he thought they would. the video was shown to be a fake. a look alike. it was all over the main stream media. a corporate owned conglomeration that tells you what to think, and feel and after they've done that, they tell you what to do.. duct tape those windows! duck and cover! red alert! kiss your ass goodbye! they're coming after you! talk about never letting a tragedy go to waste. bush and cheney are war criminals.

bin laden on the fbi's most wanted list. no mention of 9/11.
http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/topten/fugitives/laden.htm

people who don't know things should learn what a person who does know things sounds like so they can listen to them. like this global warming. it is a certainty. my husband is an oceanographer (a branch of climatology), most of the people we associate with are scientist. they are not bought by any wind mill or solar company to write up bogus science. they just find something that needs to be explained and then use physics to explain it. if 2 or 3 other phd. level scientists agree that the scientific method used is sound, it passes for a reality-based theory. there is a scientific consensus. over 98% of scientists agree that global warming is a reality. over 90% believe it is exacerbated by human actions.

never give up john. just know who to trust. the last people you want to trust are in the corporate media unless you can back up what they say with independent media. i can give you many sources of independent media if you are interested in cutting through the lies. i hate to hear you saying you give up. don't do it. just know what you are fighting for!
shelley

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Jon Stewart is BRILLIANT!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Conservative Libertarian
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

BECK IS A SERPENT

You know, there has been, "us and them" throughout history. The “have's and have not's”, the “educated and the uneducated”, the “working and the not working”, the “employed and the self-employed”, the “stupid and the smart”, but Beck has created his own little "us and them".. You see Beck's "us" is anyone who follows him. They are the "real Americans with honor and integrity". (even though Beck has neither, he's milking the "useful idiots" for all they're worth).

He's a megalomaniac who told people a miracle was going to happen today (yesterday now) and that God would be speaking through him. Since the bible says that if a man could speak "his" words it would be in tongues, I fully expected Beck to fall to the ground and roll around speaking in tongues. So you have the "us", the good Christians who Beck says needs to fear "them", that would be everyone who doesn't listen to or follow Beck, i.e. the un-American Americans. The heathens and peace loving Christians who you must guard against because they want to take away your way of life. They want to wipe Christianity out of history (a huge lie but suckers will believe it and watch him in order to find how to protect themselves from "them". Just like suckers will believe that Iran said they want to wipe Israel off of the face of the earth. A big lie. Look it up.).

Beck is an anti-Christ. He breeds fear and hatred of "them" on every show I've watched him do. He's an evil man because he knows what he's doing. He knows he has the power to manipulate millions of people to be his little army if he ever wants one. After that last Beck-nut who had a shoot out with the cops on his way to kill people at the Tides Foundation, an organization that Beck has demonized over and over again on his show, Beck started saying, "do it non-violently". I’ll be looking at his ratings since he started with this nonviolent meme because he is still setting the fires, but now he says, "rise up and kill them till nary a heathen is left standing" before he says, "but don't get violent".

He's a very good snake oil salesman. He's a serpent. Who better to make that sale? His fans don't notice the schizophrenia because they have short memories. They don't recall Beck embracing Imam Rauf in 2006 as the voice of moderation (2006 segment from ABC's "Good Morning America) . Now Beck says, (audio http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201008180027) "after you've killed 3,000 people you're going to now build your mosque?", and that it's "a blow America up mosque". He was sitting right at the table with Imam Rauf telling him what a great guy he was and how wonderful it was that he was trying to bring Muslims and Christians together. What a fake. Like all these right-wing talking heads. All fucking fakes. Whatever gets their party in power. They're cynical and the suckers fall for their lines every damned time.
Shelley

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Here are ten common sense principles to frame the New Economy that we the people must now bring forth:

  1. The proper purpose of an economy is to secure just, sustainable, and joyful livelihoods for all. This may come as something of a shock to Wall Street financiers who profit from financial bubbles, securities fraud, low wages, unemployment, foreign sweatshops, tax evasion, public subsidies, and monopoly pricing.
  2. GDP is a measure of the economic cost of producing a given level of human well-being and happiness. In the economy, as in any well-run business, the goal should be to minimize cost, not maximize it.
  3. A rational reallocation of real resources can reduce the human burden on the Earth’s biosphere and simultaneously improve the health and happiness of all. The Wall Street economy wastes enormous resources on things that actually reduce the quality of our lives—war, automobile dependence, suburban sprawl, energy-inefficient buildings, financial speculation, advertising, incarceration for minor, victimless crimes. The most important step toward bringing ourselves into balance with the biosphere is to eliminate the things that are bad for our health and happiness.
  4. Markets allocate efficiently only within a framework of appropriate rules to maintain competition, cost internalization, balanced trade, domestic investment, and equality. These are essential conditions for efficient market function. Without rules, a market economy quickly morphs into a system of corporate monopolies engaged in suppressing wages, exporting jobs, collecting public subsidies, poisoning air, land, and water, expropriating resources, corrupting democracy, and a host of other activities that represent an egregiously inefficient and unjust distribution of resources.
  5. A proper money system roots the power to create and allocate money in people and communities in order to facilitate the creation of livelihoods and ecologically balanced community wealth. Money properly serves life, not the reverse. Wall Street uses money to consolidate its power to expropriate the real wealth of the rest of the society. Main Street uses money to connect underutilized resources with unmet needs. Public policy properly favors Main Street.


More

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This article is a lesson in reality. please pass this on to anyone who thinks they known what they're voting for when they vote republican. Republicans have never worked for the average person. They have always worked for the aristocracy and they lie to get average JOE'S to vote for them.
They can't sell the following platform, which has been their platform since feudalism was all the rage, so they use abortion, guns, god, gays, and hate/fear of brown people to get elected and once elected they work against the very people who elect them. Here is what republicans really are.:

http://www.conceptualguerilla.com/?q=node/55

"Cheap-labor conservative" is a moniker they will never shake, and never live down. Because it's exactly what they are. You see, cheap-labor conservatives are defenders of corporate America – whose fortunes depend on labor. The larger the labor supply, the cheaper it is. The more desperately you need a job, the cheaper you'll work, and the more power those "corporate lords" have over you. If you are a wealthy elite – or a "wannabe" like most dittoheads – your wealth, power and privilege is enhanced by a labor pool, forced to work cheap.

Don't believe me. Well, let's apply this principle, and see how many right-wing positions become instantly understandable.

  • Cheap-labor conservatives don't like social spending or our "safety net". Why. Because when you're unemployed and desperate, corporations can pay you whatever they feel like – which is inevitably next to nothing. You see, they want you "over a barrel" and in a position to "work cheap or starve".
  • Cheap-labor conservatives don't like the minimum wage, or other improvements in wages and working conditions. Why. These reforms undo all of their efforts to keep you "over a barrel".
  • Cheap-labor conservatives like "free trade", NAFTA, GATT, etc. Why. Because there is a huge supply of desperately poor people in the third world, who are "over a barrel", and will work cheap.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives oppose a woman's right to choose. Why. Unwanted children are an economic burden that put poor women "over a barrel", forcing them to work cheap.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives don't like unions. Why. Because when labor "sticks together", wages go up. That's why workers unionize. Seems workers don't like being "over a barrel".
  • Cheap-labor conservatives constantly bray about "morality", "virtue", "respect for authority", "hard work" and other "values". Why. So they can blame your being "over a barrel" on your own "immorality", lack of "values" and "poor choices".
  • Cheap-labor conservatives encourage racism, misogyny, homophobia and other forms of bigotry. Why? Bigotry among wage earners distracts them, and keeps them from recognizing their common interests as wage earners.

The Cheap-Labor Conservative "Dirty Secret" : They Don't Really Like Prosperity


Maybe you don't believe that cheap-labor conservatives like unemployment, poverty and "cheap labor". Consider these facts.

Unemployment was 23 percent when FDR took office in 1933. It dropped to 2.5 percent by time the next Republican was in the White House in 1953. It climbed back to 6.5 percent by the end of the Eisenhower administration. It dropped to 3.5 percent by the time LBJ left office. It climbed over 5 percent shortly after Nixon took office, and stayed there for 27 years, until Clinton brought it down to 4.5 percent early in his second term.

That same period – especially from the late forties into the early seventies – was the "golden age" of the United States. We sent men to the moon. We built our Interstate Highway system. We ended segregation in the South and established Medicare. In those days, a single wage earner could support an entire family on his wages. I grew up then, and I will tell you that life was good – at least for the many Americans insulated from the tragedy in Vietnam, as I was.

These facts provide a nice background to evaluate cheap-labor conservative claims like "liberals are destroying America." In fact, cheap-labor conservatives have howled with outrage and indignation against New Deal liberalism from its inception in the 1930's all the way to the present. You can go to "Free Republic" or Hannity's forum right now, and find a cheap-labor conservative comparing New Deal Liberalism to "Stalinism".

  • Cheap-labor conservatives opposed virtually all of the New Deal, including every improvement in wages and working conditions.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives have a long and sorry history of opposing virtually every advancement in this country's development going right back to the American revolution.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives have hated Social Security and Medicare since their inception.
  • Many cheap-labor conservatives are hostile to public education. They think it should be privatized. But why are we surprised. Cheap-labor conservatives opposed universal public education in its early days. School vouchers are just a backdoor method to "resegregate" the public schools.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives hate the progressive income tax like the devil hates holy water.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives like budget deficits and a huge national debt for two reasons. A bankrupt government has a harder time doing any "social spending" – which cheap-labor conservatives oppose, and . . .
  • Wealthy cheap-labor conservatives like say, George W. Bush, buy the bonds and then earn tax free interest on the money they lend the government.[Check out Dubya's financial disclosures. The son of a bitch is a big holder of the T-bills that finance the deficit he is helping to expand.] The deficit created by cheap-labor conservatives while they posture as being "fiscally conservative" – may count as the biggest con job in American history.
  • "Free Trade", globalization, NAFTA and especially GATT are intended to create a world-wide "corporate playground" where national governments serve the interests of corporations – which means "cheap labor".

The ugly truth is that cheap-labor conservatives just don't like working people. They don't like "bottom up" prosperity, and the reason for it is very simple. lords have a harder time kicking them around. Once you understand this about the cheap-labor conservatives, the real motivation for their policies makes perfect sense. Remember, cheap-labor conservatives believe in social hierarchy and privilege, so the only prosperity they want is limited to them. They want to see absolutely nothing that benefits the guy – or more often the woman – who works for an hourly wage.

So there you have it, in one easy-to-remember phrase. See how easy it is to understand these cheap-labor conservatives. The more ignorant and destitute people there are – desperate for any job they can get – the cheaper the cheap-labor conservatives can get them to work.

Try it. Every time you respond to a cheap-labor conservative in letters to the editor, or an online discussion forum, look for the "cheap labor" angle. Trust me, you'll find it. I can even show you the "cheap labor" angle in things like the "war on drugs", and the absurd conservative opposition to alternative energy.

Next, make that moniker – cheap-labor conservatives – your "standard reference" to the other side. One of the last revisions I made to this article was to find every reference to "conservatives", "Republicans", "right-wingers", and "righties", and replace it with "cheap-labor conservatives". In fact, if you're a cheap-labor conservative reading this, you should be getting sick of that phrase right about now. Exxxxcellent.

If enough people will "get with the program", it won't be long before you can't look at an editorial page, listen to the radio, turn on the TV, or log onto your favorite message board without seeing the phrase "cheap labor conservatives" – and have plenty of examples to reinforce the message. By election day of 2004, every politically sentient American should understand exactly what a "cheap labor conservative" is, and what he stands for.

Now if you stop right here, you will have enough ammunition to hold your own with a cheap-labor conservative, in any public debate. You have your catch phrase, and you have some of the facts and history to give that phrase meaning.

But if you really want to rip the heart out of cheap-labor conservative ideology, you may want to invest just a little bit more effort. It still isn't all that complicated, though it is a bit more detailed than what we have covered so far.

To explore that detail, just click one of the links below.

Less Government and Cheap Labor.

The Public Sector and Private Fortunes.

Personal Responsibility and Wages.

For more detailed theoretical understanding, check out The Mythology of Wealth, or just browse through some of the articles in the sidebar.

Now go find some cheap labor conservatives, and pin that scarlet moniker on them.

LESS GOVERNMENT AND CHEAP LABOR


“Less Government” is the central defining right-wing slogan. And yes, it’s all about “cheap labor”.

Included within the slogan “less government” is the whole conservative set of assumptions about the nature of the “free market” and government’s role in that market.. In fact, the whole “public sector/private sector” distinction is an invention of the cheap-labor conservatives. They say that the “private sector” exists outside and independently of the “public sector”. The public sector, according to cheap-labor ideology, can only “interfere” with the “private sector”, and that such “interference” is “inefficient” and “unprincipled”

Using this ideology, the cheap-labor ideologue paints himself as a defender of “freedom” against “big government tyranny”. In fact, the whole idea that the “private sector” is independent of the public sector is totally bogus. In fact, “the market” is created by public laws, public institutions and public infrastructure.

But the cheap-labor conservative isn’t really interested in “freedom”. What the he wants is the “privatized tyranny” of industrial serfdom, the main characteristic of which is – you guessed it – “cheap labor”.

For proof, you need only look at exactly what constitutes “big government tyranny” and what doesn’t. It turns out that cheap-labor conservatives are BIG supporters of the most oppressive and heavy handed actions the government takes.

  • Cheap-labor conservatives are consistent supporters of the generous use of capital punishment. They say that “government can’t do anything right” – except apparently, kill people. Indeed, they exhibit classic conservative unconcern for the very possibility that the government might make a mistake and execute the wrong man.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives complain about the “Warren Court” “handcuffing the police” and giving “rights to criminals”. It never occurs to them, that our criminal justice system is set up to protect innocent citizens from abuses or just plain mistakes by government officials – you know, the one’s who can’t do anything right.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support the “get tough” and “lock ‘em up” approach to virtually every social problem in the spectrum. In fact, it’s the only approach they support. As for the 2,000,000 people we have in jail today – a higher percentage of our population than any other nation on earth – they say our justice system is “too lenient”.
  • Cheap-labor conservative – you know, the ones who believe in “freedom” – say our crime problem is because – get this – we’re too “permissive”. How exactly do you set up a “free” society that isn’t “permissive”?
  • Cheap-labor conservatives want all the military force we can stand to pay for and never saw a weapons system they didn’t like.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support every right-wing authoritarian hoodlum in the third world.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support foreign assassinations, covert intervention in foreign countries, and every other “black bag” operation the CIA can dream up, even against constitutional governments, elected by the people of those countries.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support “domestic surveillance” against “subversives” – where “subversive” means “everybody but them”.
  • Cheap-labor believers in “freedom” think it’s the government’s business if you smoke a joint or sleep with somebody of your own gender.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support our new concentration camp down at Guantanamo Bay. They also support these “secret tribunals” with “secret evidence” and virtually no judicial review of the trials and sentences. Then they say that liberals are “Stalinists”.
  • And let’s not forget this perennial item on the agenda. Cheap-labor conservatives want to “protect our national symbol” from “desecration”. They also support legislation to make the Pledge of Allegiance required by law. Of course, it is they who desecrate the flag every time they wave it to support their cheap-labor agenda. [Ouch! That was one of those “hits” you can hear up in the “nosebleed” seats.]

Sounds to me like the cheap-labor conservatives have a peculiar definition of “freedom”. I mean, just what do these guys consider to be “tyranny”.

That’s easy. Take a look.

  • “Social spending” otherwise known as “redistribution”. While they don’t mind tax dollars being used for killing people, using their taxes to feed people is “stealing”.
  • Minimum wage laws.
  • Every piece of legislation ever proposed to improve working conditions, including the eight hour day, OSHA regulations, and even Child Labor laws.
  • Labor unions, who “extort” employers by collectively bargaining.
  • Environmental regulations and the EPA.
  • Federal support and federal standards for public education.
  • Civil rights legislation. There are still cheap-labor conservatives today, who were staunch defenders of “Jim Crow” – including conspicuously Buckley’s “National Review”. Apparently, federal laws ending segregation were “tyranny”, but segregation itself was not.
  • Public broadcasting – which is virtually the only source for classical music, opera, traditional theatre, traditional American music, oh yes, and Buckley’s “Firing Line”. This from the people constantly braying about the decay of “the culture”. The average cost of Public Television for each American is a whopping one dollar a year. “Its tyranny I tell you. Enough’s enough!”

See the pattern? Cheap-labor conservatives support every coercive and oppressive function of government, but call it “tyranny” if government does something for you – using their money, for Chrissake. Even here, cheap-labor conservatives are complete hypocrites. Consider the following expenditures:

  • 150 billion dollars a year for corporate subsidies.
  • 300 billion dollars a year for interest payments on the national debt – payments that are a direct transfer to wealthy bond holders, and buy us absolutely nothing.
  • Who knows how many billions will be paid to American companies to rebuild Iraq – which didn’t need rebuilding 7 years ago.
  • That’s all in addition to the Defense budget – large chunks of which go to corporate defense contractors.

Is the pattern becoming clearer? These cheap-labor Republicans have no problem at all opening the public purse for corporate interests. It’s “social spending” on people who actually need assistance that they just “can’t tolerate”.

And now you know why. Destitute people work cheaper, while a harsh police state keeps them suitably terrorized.

For a short primer on the importance of a strong public sector, see:

The Public Sector and Private Fortunes.“


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

More Proof That Faux News Lies. As if you needed it.

Proof that faux talking heads are liars and are working intentionally to put fear into their viewers heads in an election year.
last year laura ingraham, a faux sweet heart:
"INGRAHAM: I can’t find many people who really have a problem with it. [Mayor] Bloomberg is for it. Rabbis are saying they don’t have a problem wi...th it. [...] I like what you’re trying to do and Ms. Khan we appreciate it and come on my radio show some time.
KHAN: Yeah, we need the support of people like you seriously.
INGRAHAM: Alright, you take care."
laura ingraham now:
"Well, I say the terrorists have won with how this has
gone down. 600 feet from where thousands of our fellow Americans were
incinerated in the name of political Islam, and we’re supposed to be cheering this?!"
video of her on both occasions:
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/08/16/laura-ingraham-mosque/
you are being manipulated for a reason. red meat election year sensationalism. i'll post again tomorrow if this disappears so you all can get a good look at it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The floods battered New England, then Nashville, then Arkansas, then Oklahoma — and were followed by a deluge in Pakistan that has upended the lives of 20 million people.

The summer’s heat waves baked the eastern United States, parts of Africa and eastern Asia, and above all Russia, which lost millions of acres of wheat and thousands of lives in a drought worse than any other in the historical record.

Seemingly disconnected, these far-flung disasters are reviving the question of whether global warming is causing more weather extremes.

The collective answer of the scientific community can be boiled down to a single word: probably.

“The climate is changing,” said Jay Lawrimore, chief of climate analysis at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. “Extreme events are occurring with greater frequency, and in many cases with greater intensity.”

He described excessive heat, in particular, as “consistent with our understanding of how the climate responds to increasing greenhouse gases.”

story

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dauphin Island, Alabama - BP says it is no longer using toxic dispersants to break up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Gulf Coast residents claim otherwise, and say they have the sicknesses to prove it.

On Aug. 5, Donny Mastler, a commercial fisherman who also works on boats, was at the Dauphin Island Marina.

"I was with my friend Albert, and we were both slammed with exposure," Mastler, told IPS, referring to toxic chemicals he inhaled that he believes are associated with BP's Corexit dispersants. "We both saw the clumps of white bubbles on the surface that we know come from the dispersed oil."

Both of their eyes were watering and their throats were burning, so Albert went to sit in his air-conditioned truck, while Mastler headed home.

"I started to vomit brown, and my pee was brown also," Mastler said. "I kept that up all day. Then I had a night of sweating and non-stop diarrhea unlike anything I've ever experienced."

BP has been using two oil dispersants, Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527, both of which are banned in Britain. More than 1.9 million gallons of dispersant has been used to date on the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Pathways of exposure are inhalation, ingestion, skin, and eye contact. Health impacts include headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pains, dizziness, chest pains and tightness, irritation of eyes, nose, throat and lungs, difficulty breathing, respiratory system damage, skin irrigation and sensitisation, hypertension, central nervous system depression, neurotoxic effects, genetic damage and mutations, cardiac arrhythmia, and cardiovascular damage, among several others.

Not along ago, at the same marina, WKRG News 5 took a water sample to test for dispersants. The sample literally exploded when it was mixed with an organic solvent separating the oil from the water.

Bob Naman, the chemist who analysed the sample, told the station, "We think that it most likely happened due to the presence of either methanol or methane gas or the presence of the dispersant Corexit."

As for Mastler's physical reaction to his exposure, Hugh Kaufman, an EPA whistleblower and analyst, has reported this of the effects of the toxic dispersants:

"We have dolphins that are hemorrhaging. People who work near it are hemorrhaging internally. And that's what dispersants are supposed to do…And, for example, in the Exxon Valdez case, people who worked with dispersants, most of them are dead now. The average death age is around 50. It's very dangerous, and it's an… economic protector of BP, not an environmental protector of the public."


Full Story

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Kos

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Democracy Corps, and Campaign for Amerca's Future released a new poll this morning on the economy with a press call featuring pollster Stan Greenberg, Campaign For America's Future's Robert Borosage and MoveOn.org's Nita Chaudhary.

The most salient result from the polling, said Greenberg is that it reflected that the electorate is "remarkably sophisticated about the economic crisis and its causes" and hold the firm belief that the only way to address the deficit long term is with investment in the economy. The survey of 1,000 people who voted in 2008 was conducted at the end of July. Here are the key findings:

  • 68 percent said they would oppose making major spending cuts in Social Security and Medicare to reduce the deficit, while 28 percent said they would favor cutting those programs. That included 61 percent of Republicans and 56 percent of independents.
  • Strong majorities support progressive solutions for addressing the federal deficit: 63 percent back lifting the Social Security cap on incomes higher than $107,000 a year; 64 percent would favor eliminating tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs; 62 percent would support a tax on excessive Wall Street bank profits.
  • Strong majorities also oppose common conservative proposals for addressing the budget deficit: 65 percent oppose raising the Social Security retirement age to 70; 65 percent oppose replacing Medicare with a private sector voucher; 62 percent oppose a 3 percent federal sales tax; 60 percent oppose raising the Medicare age from 65 to 67.
  • More people support a message that embraces the need for both investments in our future and reduce the deficit over time (52 percent) than a message that only stresses cuts in spending (42 percent). Also, almost equal percentages of respondents were favorable toward “a plan to invest in new industries and rebuild the country over the next five years” (60 percent) and “a plan to dramatically reduce the deficit over five years” (61 percent).
  • 62 percent of respondents support more federal to states once they understand that the aid comes in the context of states laying off teachers, first responders and other essential workers due to the recession. That includes 55 percent of independents and 48 percent of Republicans.
  • 60 percent of those surveyed responded positively to an economic message that said that “we have a budget deficit, but ... we also have a massive public investment deficit” that requires us to “rebuild the infrastructure that is vital to our economy” and to the economic growth that will “generate revenues to help pay down the budget deficit.” This message tests better than any other progressive message on investment as well as more conservative messages focused on spending cuts.

Here's what that looks like:


Click the image to enlarge.

Note two of the hot political debates at the moment: letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire polls at 54 percent, while raising the retirement age to 70 nets 33 percent.

As Bob Borosage said on the call, "Republicans are getting this exactly wrong" politically and in terms of policy when they argue the way out of economic ruin is to slash spending, turn Medicare into a voucher program (Paul Ryan's big "roadmap" idea) and cut Social Security benefits or raise the retirement age. These are highly unpopular. And the average American voter is a lot smarter than the average Republican in Congress, because they understand that the only way to grow out of this economic crisis is with aggressive investment in jobs and infrastructure, and that that is necessary to reduce deficits.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Why We Are Really In Afghanistan

According to wikileaks documents on the Afghan war, we are killing a lot more civilians than we are letting on about. I keep hearing about deaths in Kandahar. Kandahar is right in the path of the Trans Afghan Pakistan pipeline. It would be interesting to see where these all of these civilians are being killed. Below is a map of the path of the Trans Afghan pipeline is going to go through Afghanistan.
A little wiki-blob about the pipeline (Why we are really in Afghanistan. It has nothing to do with Al Qaeda or BinLadin. That's all a lie.) This article starts long before 2002 but i just clipped the most recent developments to post here. If you would like to see the history of thie pipeline go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trans-Afghanistan_Pipeline
"The new deal on the pipeline was signed on 27 December 2002 by the leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2005, the Asian Development Bank submitted the final version of a feasibility study designed by British company Penspen. ‘Since the US-led offensive that ousted the Taliban from power,’ reported Forbes in 2005, "the project has been revived and drawn strong US support" as it would allow the Central Asian republics to export energy to Western markets "without relying on Russian routes". Then-US Ambassador to Turkmenistan Ann Jacobsen noted that: "We are seriously looking at the project, and it is quite possible that American companies will join it." Due to increasing instability, the project has essentially stalled; construction of the Turkmen part was supposed to start in 2006, but the overall feasibility is questionable since the southern part of the Afghan section runs through territory which continues to be under de facto Taliban control."
(where most of the killing is going on.)



Monday, August 2, 2010

World Wide Military Presence

We aren't making up stories about nuclear weapons because Iran has them. we're making those stories up because we have no control over Iran. It is one of the only countries in the world we do not have a presence in and the only country in the world with the second largest reserves of oil in the world. Our corporations want control over that oil and they will make up any lie to get it. We fight for corporate profits. Our corporations own our government and our government does what they want. If they want diamonds in Africa, we subdue the people by putting in a blood thirsty tyrant and arming his thugs to keep popular resistance quashed. We do what our corporations demand we do, nothing more. The days of noble wars (oxymoron in the first place.) are over forever.






Why is America shaking it's paper tiger at Iran? You see that little white patch between Iraq and Afghanistan? No military presence in that white spot. That is Iran.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Republicans are lying about the stimulus and unemployment. Things are getting better.

(if these pictures are too small to see, go to the links i've provided for them.)

Republicans keep saying that the stimulus didn't work and that obama promised that if we passed the stimulus the unemployment rate shouldn't go over 8%.. They also keep saying that the stimulus has had no effect. So let's look at the unemployment rate from 2008 until now.
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf



Obama signed the stimulus bill on Feb. 17th 2009. Note the climbing line in the chart showing the unemployment rate going ever and ever higher month after terrible month from Jun. 08 until Sep. 09. In Sept. 09, the stimulus money began to be meted out among the various states and from that moment on, the unemployment rate started falling and never reached that height again. The right wing media kept screeching that OBAMA PROMISED THAT THE RATE WOULDN'T GO OVER 8% IF HE GOT HIS STIMULUS, but you can see that it was heading straight up unless something were done. In the media they keep saying it's hard to convince voters that unemployment would have been worse without the stimulus. Just show them this and get a chalk board like beck does to spell it out for the slow kids in the class.
Today the unemployment rate is 9.5% and as you can see that's the lowest it's been since about june of 09. Blaming Obama for the high unemployment rate is like blaming Obama for the deficit we find ourselves in. Bush's last fiscal year was between october 08 and sept. 09. that's when the greatest amount of money that's been spent since Obama became president, was spent. After next year, the cbo expects to see the size of the deficit start to shrink. It it projected go from nearly $2 trillion in Bush's last fiscal year to about $535 billion in 2014. No matter how you spell that it says, reduced deficit and republicans are crapping their pants about it. They are throwing every road block they can in this president's way to stop him from succeeding after their 8 disgraceful years of looting our revenue without paying it back. Hypocrites.
Here on pages 26 and 27 you can see how Bush started with a surplus and how it started turning into a deficit after 1 year of drunken spending and tax cuts for the rich and continued until Obama took office.
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy10/pdf/hist.pdf


These charts give you the projections until 2014. and as you can see, if the deficit keeps getting smaller at the same rate it is in these charts, there would be another surplus withing another couple of years. Just our luck the retards who cheer for the drunken sailor republicans will win the 2016 election and throw us back into deficit spending again. They're so stupid, they never learn. Only the rich benefit from republican rule, and they know it. Too bad the teabagging retards don't.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Allies relied on 'poor' intelligence on Iraq, says Blix

By Andy McSmith


Sunday, July 18, 2010


I know right-wingers don't beleive that the stimulus has done anything to create jobs. But the numbers speak for themselves. Bush's policies left us with fewer jobs when he left office than when he took office. Obama's policies are pulling us back from the brink of the dark ages.
Here is a chart to show where we were when Obama took office, and where we are now. Even the most ardent retard can see the gains in jobs since 2008.

Friday, June 18, 2010

We Need To Start the Transition to Clean Energy NOW!

OUR CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE
I (Tom Baldwin) have assembled an assortment of links to sites in the past week to be used to convince the population that we MUST transition to a Clean Energy Future. And the time to do that is NOW!
The first video clip is from Rachel Maddow last night (and she has others) to show that our problem is basically our dependence upon OIL! This must begin to change now and yes, it will cause pain. Even George Bush admitted we had an "addiction"!
The second video clip is from the Jon Stewart Daily Show and he shows how this problem has continued to exist with 8 Presidential administrations and at least 40 years!
President Obama and hopefully the Senate are about to address this problem. Stay involved and support those candidates for office who are willing to make a POSITIVE contribution to his efforts.
Tom

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I looked into the mirror and realized it is we who are the MONSTERS

PHR Library
June 7, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Evidence Indicates that the Bush Administration Conducted
Experiments and Research on Detainees to Design Torture Techniques and
Create Legal Cover


Illegal Activity Would Violate Nuremberg Code and Could Open Door to Prosecution









Media Contacts:

Benjamin Greenberg
bgreenberg [at] phrusa [dot] org
Tel: 617-301-4237
Cell: 617-510-3417

Valerie Holford
Cell: 301-926-1298



Download the report, learn more and take action(Cambridge, MA) In the most comprehensive investigation to date of

health professionals' involvement in the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation
program (EIP), Physicians For Human Rights has uncovered evidence that
indicates the Bush administration apparently conducted illegal and
unethical human experimentation and research on detainees in CIA
custody. The apparent experimentation and research appear to have been
performed to provide legal cover for torture, as well as to help
justify and shape future procedures and policies governing the use of
the "enhanced" interrogation techniques. The PHR report, Experiments in
Torture: Human Subject Research and Evidence of Experimentation in the
'Enhanced' Interrogation Program, is the first to provide evidence that
CIA medical personnel engaged in the crime of illegal experimentation
after 9/11, in addition to the previously disclosed crime of torture.


This evidence indicating apparent research and experimentation on
detainees opens the door to potential additional legal liability for
the CIA and Bush-era officials. There is no publicly available evidence
that the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel determined
that the alleged experimentation and research performed on detainees
was lawful, as it did with the "enhanced" techniques themselves.


"The CIA appears to have broken all accepted legal and ethical
standards put in place since the Second World War to protect prisoners
from being the subjects of experimentation," said Frank Donaghue, PHR's
Chief Executive Officer. "Not only are these alleged acts gross
violations of human rights law, they are a grave affront to America's
core values."


Physicians for Human Rights demands that President Obama direct the
Attorney General to investigate these allegations, and if a crime is
found to have been committed, prosecute those responsible.
Additionally, Congress must immediately amend the War Crimes Act (WCA)
to remove changes made to the WCA in 2006 by the Bush Administration
that allow a more permissive definition of the crime of illegal
experimentation on detainees in US custody. The more lenient 2006
language of the WCA was made retroactive to all acts committed by US
personnel since 1997.


"In their attempt to justify the war crime of torture, the CIA
appears to have committed another alleged war crime – illegal
experimentation on prisoners," said Nathaniel A. Raymond, Director of
PHR's Campaign Against Torture and lead report author. "Justice
Department lawyers appear to never have assessed the lawfulness of the
alleged research on detainees in CIA custody, despite how essential it
appears to have been to their legal cover for torture."


PHR's report, Experiments in Torture, is relevant to present-day
national security interrogations, as well as Bush-era detainee
treatment policies. As recently as February, 2010, President Obama's
then director of national intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair, disclosed
that the US had established an elite interrogation unit that will
conduct "scientific research" to improve the questioning of suspected
terrorists. Admiral Blair declined to provide important details about
this effort.


"If health professionals participated in unethical human subject
research and experimentation they should be held to account," stated
Scott A. Allen, MD, a medical advisor to Physicians for Human Rights
and lead medical author of the report. "Any health professional who
violates their ethical codes by employing their professional expertise
to calibrate and study the infliction of harm disgraces the health
profession and makes a mockery of the practice of medicine."


Several prominent individuals and organizations in addition to PHR
will file a complaint this week with the US Department of Health and
Human Services' Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) and call
for an OHRP investigation of the CIA's Office of Medical Services.


The PHR report indicates that there is evidence that health
professionals engaged in research on detainees that violates the Geneva
Conventions, The Common Rule, the Nuremberg Code and other
international and domestic prohibitions against illegal human subject
research and experimentation. Declassified government documents
indicate that:


  • Research and medical experimentation on detainees was used to
    measure the effects of large- volume waterboarding and adjust the
    procedure according to the results. After medical monitoring and
    advice, the CIA experimentally added saline, in an attempt to prevent
    putting detainees in a coma or killing them through over-ingestion of
    large amounts of plain water. The report observes: "'Waterboarding 2.0'
    was the product of the CIA's developing and field-testing an
    intentionally harmful practice, using systematic medical monitoring and
    the application of subsequent generalizable knowledge."
  • Health professionals monitored sleep deprivation on more
    than a dozen detainees in 48-, 96- and 180-hour increments. This
    research was apparently used to monitor and assess the effects of
    varying levels of sleep deprivation to support legal definitions of
    torture and to plan future sleep deprivation techniques.
  • Health professionals appear to have analyzed data, based on
    their observations of 25 detainees who were subjected to individual and
    combined applications of "enhanced" interrogation techniques, to
    determine whether one type of application over another would increase
    the subject's "susceptibility to severe pain." The alleged research
    appears to have been undertaken only to assess the legality of the
    "enhanced" interrogation tactics and to guide future application of the
    techniques.

Experiments in Torture: Human Subject Research and Experimentation
in the 'Enhanced' Interrogation Program is the most in-depth expert
review to date of the legal and medical ethics issues concerning health
professionals' involvement in researching, designing and supervising
the CIA's "enhanced" interrogation program. The Experiments in
Torture report is the result of six months of investigation and the
review of thousands of pages of government documents. It has been
peer-reviewed by outside experts in the medical, biomedical and
research ethics fields, legal experts, health professionals and experts
in the treatment of torture survivors.


The lead author for this report was Nathaniel Raymond, Director of
the Campaign Against Torture, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and the
lead medical author was Scott Allen, MD, Co-Director of the Center for
Prisoner Health and Human Rights at Brown University and Medical
Advisor to PHR. They were joined in its writing by Vincent Iacopino,
MD, PhD, PHR Senior Medical Advisor; Allen Keller, MD, Associate
Professor of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, Director, Bellevue/NYU
Program for Survivors of Torture; Stephen Soldz, PhD, President-elect
of Psychologists for Social Responsibility and Director of the Center
for Research, Evaluation and Program Development at the Boston Graduate
School of Psychoanalysis; Steven Reisner, PhD, PHR Advisor on Ethics
and Psychology; and John Bradshaw, JD, PHR Chief Policy Officer and
Director of PHR's Washington Office.


The report was extensively peer reviewed by leading experts in
related medical, legal, ethical and governmental fields addressed in
the document.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Birds fly above and sit on a shoal surrounded by oil booms on Breton Sound Island on the southern most tip of the Chandeleur Islands in the Gulf of Mexico south of Louisiana where oil leaking from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead continues to spread on April 29, 2010.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Spain Has a World Court. Hope we see indictments for Bush and Cheney one of these days.

Prosecutors attached to the Audiencia Nacional in Madrid are reportedly requesting that Judge Ismael Moreno issue an order for the arrest of thirteen CIA agents involved in an extraordinary rendition operation from 2004, the newspaper El PaĆ­s reports this afternoon, citing sources within the court.

Brilliant!

Republican Tyranny

Unlawful phone bugging? Go ahead!
Illegal searches and seizures? What the heck? It ain't me! (this time)
Sneak and Peek? Why not!
Taking the right to hear evidence against you and to have a speedy trial? Who makes these things up anyway? Who needs it?
Torture if one is accused of being a terrorists, even if one is not and is proven to not be. Go ahead! Kill all of them and let god sort them out.
This is tyranny and these right-wing fools will let them take our liberty one giant leap at a time until we have NO FREEDOMS at all. If the government that they want to babysit us but which they hate so much they'd like to drown it in a bathtub, asked these idiots to put two way monitors in every room in their house so they can make sure that no terrorists are plotting against us, or no mexicans are living with us, they'd say.. "How big would you like those screens massa?!" Fools and their liberties soon go separate ways.
These right wing idiots call Obama a tyrant when it is they who are the tyrants.



Heart-warming Story..








This is an Incredible story!

In 1986, Peter Davies was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern
University ....

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air.

The elephant seemed distressed, so Peter approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee, inspected the elephants foot, and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Peter worked the wood out with his knife,
after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.


The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments. Peter stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled.

Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.


Peter never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.


Twenty years later, Peter was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teenage son.
As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to near where Peter and his son Cameron were standing.


The large bull elephant stared at Peter, lifted its front foot off the ground, then put it down.


The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.


Remembering the encounter in 1986, Peter could not help wondering if this was the same elephant.


Peter summoned up his courage, carefully climbed over the railing, and made his way into the enclosure.


He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.


The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Peter legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.



Probably wasn't the same elephant.


This is for everyone who sends me those heart-warming bullshit stories .

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Our Foreign Policy

AlterNet



Look out, Obama seems to be planning
for a lot more war



by Jack A Smith, Asia Times
Posted

on May 8, 2010

http://www.alternet .org/story/ 146787/



There's more war in America's future - a great deal more, judging
by the Barack Obama administration' s reports, pronouncements and
actions in recent months.



These documents and deeds include the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR),
the Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), the Ballistic Missile Defense Report,
the nuclear security summit in New York and the May 3-28 United Nations
nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference, as well as the
continuing wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, and the 2011
Pentagon war budget request.



The United States government presides as a military colossus of
unrivalled dimension, but the QDR, which was published in February,
suggests Washington views America as being constantly under the threat
of attack from a multitude of fearsome forces bent on its destruction.
As such, trillions more dollars must be invested in present and future
wars - ostensibly to make safe the besieged homeland.



The NPR says the long-range US goal is a "nuclear-free" world, but
despite token reductions in its arsenal of such weapons, the Pentagon is
strengthening its nuclear force and bolstering it with a devastating
"conventional deterrent" intended to strike any target in the world
within one hour. In addition this document, published in April, retains
"hair-trigger" nuclear launch readiness, refuses to declare its nuclear
force is for deterrence only (suggesting offensive use) and for the
first time authorizes a nuclear attack, if necessary, on a non-nuclear
state (Iran).



Meanwhile, Obama is vigorously expanding the George W Bush
administration' s wars, and enhancing and deploying America's
unparalleled military power.



The Obama administration' s one positive achievement in terms of
militarism and war was the April 9 signing in Prague of the new
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia that reduces deployed
strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550 warheads each. It was a step forward,
but all agree it was extremely modest, and it does not even faintly
diminish the danger of nuclear war.



The QDR is a 128-page Defense Department report mandated by congress to
be compiled every four years to put forward a 20-year projection of US
military planning. A 20-member civilian panel, selected by the Pentagon
and congress, analyzes the document and suggests changes in order to
provide an "independent" perspective. Eleven of the members, including
the panel’s co-chairmen - former defense secretary William Perry and
former national security adviser Stephen Hadley - are employed by the
defense industry.



Although the Pentagon is working on preparations for a possible World
War III and beyond, the new report is largely focused on the relatively
near future and only generalizes about the longer term. Of the QDR's
many priorities three stand out.



# The first priority is to "prevail in today's wars" in Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and wherever else Washington's post-9/11 military
intrusions penetrate in coming years. Introducing the report February 1,
Bush-Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued this significant
statement: "Success in wars to come will depend on success in these wars
in progress." The "wars to come" were not identified. Further, the QDR
states that military victory in Iraq and Afghanistan is "only the first
step toward achieving our strategic objectives".



# Second, while in the past the US concentrated on the ability to fight
two big wars simultaneously, the QDR suggests that's not enough. Now,
the Obama administration posits the "need for a robust force capable of
protecting US interests against a multiplicity of threats, including two
capable nation-state aggressors."



Now it's two-plus wars - the plus being the obligation to "conduct
large-scale counter-insurgency, stability and counter-terrorism
operations in a wide range of environments" , mainly in small, poor
countries like Afghanistan. Other "plus" targets include "non-state
actors" such as al-Qaeda, "failed states" such as Somali, and
medium-size but well-defended states that do not bend the knee to Uncle
Sam, such as Iran or the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and some
day perhaps Venezuela.



# Third, it's fairly obvious from the QDR, though not acknowledged, that
the Obama government believes China and Russia are the two possible
"nation-state aggressors" against which Washington must prepare to
"defend" itself. Neither Beijing nor Moscow has taken any action to
justify the Pentagon's assumption that they will ever be suicidal enough
to attack the far more powerful United States.



After all, the US, with 4.54% of the world's population, invests more on
war and war preparations than the rest of the world combined. Obama's
2010 Pentagon budget is US$680 billion, but the real total is double
that when all Washington's national security expenditures in other
departmental budgets are also included, such as the cost of nuclear
weapons, the 16 intelligence agencies, Homeland Security and interest on
war debts, among other programs.



Annual war-related expenditures are well over $1 trillion. In calling
for a discretionary freeze on government programs in January's state of
the union address, Obama specifically exempted Pentagon/national
security expenditures from the freeze. Obama is a big war spender. His
$708 billion Pentagon allotment for fiscal 2011 (not counting a pending
$33 billion Congress will approve for the Afghan "surge") exceeds Bush's
highest budget of $651 billion for fiscal 2009.



At present, US military power permeates the entire world. As the QDR
notes: "The United States is a global power with global
responsibilities. Including operations in Afghanistan and Iraq,
approximately 400,000 US military personnel are forward-stationed or
rotationally deployed around the world."



The Pentagon presides over 1,000 overseas military bases (including
those in the war zones), great fleets in every ocean, a globe-spanning
air force, military satellites in space and nuclear missiles on hair trigger
alert pre-targeted on "enemy" or potential "enemy" cities and military
facilities. A reading of the QDR shows none of this will change except
for upgrading, enlarging (the Pentagon just added six new bases in
Colombia) and adding new systems such as Prompt Global Strike, an
important new offensive weapon system, which we shall discuss below.



The phrase "full spectrum military dominance" - an expression concocted
by the neo-conservatives in the 1990s that was adopted by the Bush
administration to define its aggressive military strategy - was cleverly
not included in the 2010 QDR, but retaining and augmenting dominance
remains the Pentagon's prime preoccupation.



The QDR is peppered with expressions such as "America’s interests and
role in the world require armed forces with unmatched capabilities" and
calls for "the continued dominance of America’s Armed Forces in
large-scale force-on-force warfare". Gates went further in his February 1
press conference: "The United States needs a broad portfolio of
military capabilities, with maximum versatility across the widest
possible spectrum of conflicts." Obama bragged recently that he
commanded "the finest military in the history of the world".



Evidently, the Pentagon is planning to engage in numerous future wars
interrupted by brief periods of peace while preparing for the next war.
Given that the only entity expressing an interest in attacking the
United States is al-Qaeda - a non-government paramilitary organization
of extreme religious fanatics with about a thousand reliable active
members around the world - it is obvious that America's unprecedented
military might is actually intended for another purpose.



In our view that "other purpose" is geopolitical - to strengthen even
further the Pentagon's military machine to assure that the United States
retains its position as the dominant

global hegemon at a time of acute indebtedness, the severe erosion of
its manufacturing base, near gridlock in domestic politics, and the
swift rise to global prominence of several other nations and blocs.



The QDR touches on this with admirable delicacy: "The distribution of
global political, economic and military power is shifting and becoming
more diffuse. The rise of China, the world’s most populous country, and
India, the world’s largest democracy, will continue to reshape the
international system. While the United States will remain the most
powerful actor, it must increasingly cooperate with key allies and
partners to build and sustain peace and security. Whether and how rising
powers fully integrate into the global system will be among this
century’s defining questions, and are thus central to America’s
interests."



At the moment, the QDR indicates Washington is worried about foreign
"anti-access" strategies that limit its "power projection capabilities"
in various parts of the world. What this means is that certain countries
such as China and Russia are developing sophisticated new weapons that
match those of the US, thus "impeding" the deployment of American forces
to wherever the Pentagon desires. For instance:


China is developing and fielding large numbers of advanced
medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles, new attack submarines
equipped with advanced weapons, increasingly capable long-range air
defense systems, electronic warfare and computer network attack
capabilities, advanced fighter aircraft and counter-space systems. China
has shared only limited information about the pace, scope and ultimate
aims of its military modernization programs, raising a number of
legitimate questions regarding its long-term intentions.



To counter this trend in China and elsewhere, the Pentagon is planning,
at a huge and unannounced cost, the following enhancements: "Expand
future long-range strike capabilities; Exploit advantages in subsurface
operations; Increase the resiliency of US forward posture and base
infrastructure; Assure access to space and the use of space assets;
Enhance the robustness of key ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and
Reconnaissance) capabilities; Defeat enemy sensors and engagement
systems; and Enhance the presence and responsiveness of US forces
abroad."



In addition, the US not only targets China with nuclear missiles and
bombs, it is surrounding the country (and Russia as well, of course)
with anti-ballistic missiles. The purpose is plain: In case the US finds
it "necessary" to launch ballistic missiles toward China, the ABMs will
be able to destroy its limited retaliatory capacity.



According to an article in the February 22 issue of China Daily, the
country's English-language newspaper: "Washington appears determined to
surround China with US-built anti-missile systems, military scholars
have observed ... Air force colonel Dai Xu, a renowned military
strategist, wrote in an article released this month that 'China is in a
crescent-shaped ring of encirclement. The ring begins in Japan,
stretches through nations in the South China Sea to India, and ends in
Afghanistan' ."



Compared to the Bush administration' s 2006 QDR, there has been a
conscious effort to tone down the anti-China rhetoric in the current
document. But it is entirely clear that China is number one in the QDR's
references to "potentially hostile nation states".



According to the February 18 Defense News, a publication that serves the
military-industrial complex, "Analysts say the QDR attempts to address
the threat posed by China without further enraging Beijing. 'If you look
at the list of further enhancements to US forces and capabilities ...
those are primarily capabilities needed for defeating China, not Iran,
North Korea or Hezbollah,' said Roger Cliff, a China military specialist
at Rand. 'So even though not a lot of time is spent naming China ...
analysis of the China threat is nonetheless driving a lot of the
modernization programs described in the QDR'."



Incidentally, according to the Center for Arms Control and
Non-Proliferation, this year's Chinese defense budget, for a country
four times larger than the United States, is $78 billion, compared to
the $664 billion for the Pentagon (without all the national security
extras harbored in other department budgets). China possesses 100-200
nuclear warheads compared to America's 9,326 (when both deployed and
stored weapons are included). China is contemplating the construction of
an aircraft carrier; the US Navy floats 11 of them. China has no
military bases abroad.



In our view, China appears to be constructing weapons for defense, not
offense against the US - and its foreign policy is based on refusing to
be pushed around by Washington while doing everything possible to avoid a
serious confrontation.



Russia as well is treated better in the new QDR than in 2006, but it is
included with China in most cases. Despite Moscow's huge nuclear
deterrent and abundant oil and gas supplies, it's only "potential enemy"
number two in terms of the big powers. Washington feels more threatened
by Beijing. This is largely because of China's size, rapid development,
fairly successful state-guided capitalist economy directed by the
Communist Party, and the fact that it is on the road to becoming the
world's economic leader, surpassing the US in 20 to 40 years.



It seems fairly obvious, but hardly mentioned publicly, that this is an
extremely dangerous situation. China does not seek to dominate the
world, nor will it allow itself to be dominated. Beijing supports the
concept of a multipolar world order, with a number of countries and
blocs playing roles. At issue, perhaps, is who will be first among
equals.



Washington prefers the situation that has existed these 20 years after
the implosion of the Soviet Union and much of the socialist world left
the United States as the remaining military superpower and boss of the
expanded capitalist bloc. During this time Washington has functioned as
the unipolar world hegemon and doesn't want to relinquish the title.



This is all changing now as other countries rise, led by China, and the
US appears to be in gradual decline. How the transition to
multi-polarity is handled over the next couple of decades may determine
whether or not a disastrous war will be avoided.

World Oil Consumption by Country represented as foot height per barrel per day (divided by 10 to keep it from shooting off the screen) according to CI


So, for example, the 20,000,000 or so barrels per day consumed by the USA according to the CIA Factbook are represented as a 2,000,000 foot high red prism.
(...the data is from 2007)

Friday, May 7, 2010

t r u t h o u t | Was the Gulf Oil Spill an Act of War? You Betcha

The Los Angeles Times subsequently reported that members of Congress have called on Halliburton "to provide all documents relating to 'the possibility or risk of an explosion or blowout at the Deepwater Horizon rig and the status, adequacy, quality, monitoring and inspection of the cementing work' by May 7." A YouTube video (which is actually mostly audio) more bluntly asserts that "Halliburton Caused Oil Spill," and noted the fact - confirmed by Halliburton's own press release - that its employees had worked on the final cementing "approximately 20 hours prior to the incident." Interestingly, one commenter on the YouTube video noted how "that would conveniently explain the North Korean story; [Halliburton] may have leaked this story to the press to divert attention away from alleged negligence." Wouldn't that just be the ultimate? Halliburton spawns the calamity, but pins it on North Korea and then the nation goes to war whereby Halliburton "cleans up" through billions in war-servicing contracts. It's almost too perfect and might be funny if it didn't seem so plausible. (The only thing funnier is picturing Dick Cheney in the role of Exxon Valdez fall guy Joseph Hazelwood.)
t r u t h o u t | Was the Gulf Oil Spill an Act of War? You Betcha