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Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Plea to the US Military and Its Enforcers

I have been openly critical of the US military's role in world affairs for several years now, and in the responses from soldiers and their supporters I have noticed a common theme: I should be respectful, I am told, because the military is defending my "freedom." This is not an overly brusque summarization - I have not heard an elaboration on this claim. Everyone should be grateful for the sacrifices of the US military, from the Iraqis and Afghans to US citizens, because without the exact current formulation of the US military, a nebulous and shadowy enemy will step forth to threaten my personal freedom or safety. So the story goes.

Because you military men and women believe you are doing this for me, I am formally asking you to stop.

Like the mafioso who gives a gift with strings attached, or offers to provide "protection" that is in reality extortion under threat of violence, you cannot impose an obligation upon me simply because you claim to be acting on my behalf. I never asked for this; neither did the human targets currently being blown to bits and shot at. The million-plus dead Iraqis and Afghans did not threaten me.

There has been an undeniable attack on freedom, but the enemy is within the US, not in some foreign land. Where were you when the Patriot Act legalized warrantless wiretapping? Where were you when it was revealed that national security letters were being abused by the FBI in the vast majority of cases? Where is your protection of the 45,000 Americans who see their freedom cut off each year by death for lack of health insurance? When will your bullets and bombs be directed at the overseers of American prisons, now little more than shadowy rape hellholes?

You aren't doing bombing runs on health insurer Aetna, which is planning to drop 650,000 clients in 2010, in order to increase already-sufficient profits, or the Justice Department, where torture was given a sheen of legality and a pat "just following orders" rationalization; you are bombing women and children halfway across the world.

Eighty-five percent of victims of US air raids in Iraq are women and children; 39 percent are children, 46 percent women. In 2009, more than half of all child casualties in Afghanistan were caused by NATO, not by our putative enemies.

What in god's name have they done to me? What have they done to you?

Nothing. They are caught in the middle of US economic policy, already a notorious child-killer in Iraq, where sanctions killed at least half a million children. When confronted with this fact, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said this steep price was "worth it." Worth it? For what? Were those children threatening our freedom too?

Now, we are moving against Iran (and have been funding militant opposition groups there for years). Why? It is legal for Iran to pursue nuclear power, yet we are moving nearly a billion dollars worth of weapons into Israel, and giving their warmongering government permission to use them in case of "emergency" (for free and with no oversight). Presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and John McCain have both gone on record in support of bombing Iran, as has former Vice President Dick Cheney, who urged Bush to attack Iran before the end of his second term, and the Obama administration has stepped up sanctions as well as military pressure. What has Iran done to threaten my freedom?

What have the Yemenis done? US military involvement there (and in Latin America) is more about stifling opposition to US hegemony than protecting us from any valid threat.

It is not as if your philanthropy is self-evident. You are now reduced to propagandizing young children in your quest to legitimate the wasteful, overgrown military-industrial complex. The government monetarily penalizes any school that attempts to ban recruitment on campus, and popular video games and toys act as recruitment tools, with explicit links to the US military.

If you were protecting us, would we need this extensive propaganda? Wouldn't the threats be obvious to us? Would you need the approval of God (the military is heavily religious, and there have been many incidents of church-state intermixing) if you had moral certitude? Would you need the sloganeering jingoism found in such clich├ęs as "Support the Troops," and in the unceasingly pro-soldier treatment in the US media and culture, if you had confidence in yourself and your mission? Hardly.

It is time to recognize that you are on the side of the oppressors. I say this with respect, because if you honestly believe that you are sacrificing some part of yourself for others, then your intentions are not wholly sinister. But they are in error - grave, destructive, poisonous error. And blind, blundering flailing, even with the best of intentions, is still potentially deadly and still unforgivable. Excessive ignorance is itself a form of evil.

If this is freedom, I no longer want it. To the men and women of the United States armed forces, I beg of you, stop. There is nothing in your actions that protects me, and in stirring up hatred and impoverishing millions, you are in fact endangering us all.

Likewise, you captains of industry and banking who must rake in millions in bonus pay (from taxpayers) to ensure that I might someday see some trickle-down scraps are mistaken; I and the rest of the occupants of the lowest income bracket, whose wages have barely kept up with inflation in recent decades, would like to formally request a refund. The world is worse off for your predation, and though as a white male I am indirectly the beneficiary of it, I would gladly persuade others to live a more modest life, should this arrangement also see you embrace economic cooperation.

To the government officials who oversee and instate these policies in order to keep me safe from nonexistent threats, I must ask what happens to an overzealous, perhaps rabid guard dog that insists upon attacking anyone who comes near. It is not encouraged merely because it believes it is protective; it is reformed or put out to pasture.

We need not your paternalism, nor your false sacrifices. The only Americans who should be grateful to you are warmongering politicians, CEOs and the few other recipients of your ill-gotten wealth, extracted in blood from the global poor. As Iraq veteran Brett McFann said, "When people thank me for my military service I ask if they are the CEO of a huge corporation.

"The answer is always, so far anyway, No.

"I then say, 'Well then don't thank me because I didn't do a thing for average Americans.'

"I did whatever I did to benefit big business like especially the defense and oil companies and companies that rape the world for cheap resources, cheap labor and markets."

Ian G. Anderson is the author of "God and Whose Army? The Human Place in Finite Systems".


t r u t h o u t | A Plea to the US Military and Its Enforcers

Republicans Lie Boxer Knocks Them Out of T

Republicans keep saying that the democrats financial regulation bill will "institutionalize tax payer bail outs". Of course it's a lie, like every other issue they've brought up since last year, from Health Care to Student Loans, all they do it lie. But just to make things PERFECTLY CLEAR, our lovely Barbara Boxer has proposed an amendment that even the stupidest repubilcan can't twist into falsehood.

"Still, Mrs. Boxer said, Why not clear things up? “I said to Chairman Dodd, I have an idea that we should put together a very simple bill, an amendment to the bill that basically says what we know is true, that all financial companies put into receivership under this title shall be liquidated. No company is going to be kept afloat. All funds expended will be repaid to the taxpayers by the financial sector through assessments or the sale of the assets of the company.”

In a provision titled, “Liquidation required,” Mrs. Boxer’s amendment states: “All financial companies put into receivership under this title shall be liquidated. No taxpayer funds shall be used to prevent the liquidation of any financial company under this title. All funds expended in the liquidation of a financial company under this title shall be recovered from the disposition of assets of such financial company, or shall be the responsibility of the financial sector, through assessments.”

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Notice their brand new home in the back ground. I love the mullet too. Not to mention the bulging belly of the bride. I live in MS and this is no joke. These people really exist!

Take Action

For the first time that I can remember in my life we have a president that wants to make sure that BOTH the Palestinians and the Israelis have secure states of their own to live in. In the past we've seen president after president turn their heads away while Israel committed crimes against humanity on the palestinians. stealing their land, crushing their homes and killing anyone who stood (literally, as in the case of Rachel Corrie, an American student who was crushed by an Israeli bull dozer while she was trying to protect a Palestinian home from destruction.) in their way. The palestinians have a right to their land but nobody is standing up for them. They fight back with dumb bombs and get their neighborhoods blasted with white phosphorous and millions of tons of bombs dropped on the heads of innocents. They are truly Sampson trying to hold off goliath.
Israel, right now, is building more Zionist settlements in east Jerusalem. the part of jerusalem that the palestinians have a claim to based on their (al aquasa?) mosque where they believe Mohammed returned to earth from heaven. It is slated to be the capital of their state if they EVER get one.
But Israel is destroying Palestinian homes and putting in new settlements for 1600 more families in this holiest of holy places for Muslims. This is just one case, they do it year after year. Crushing more homes and building more Jewish settlements. Their plan is to settle ALL of Palestine and crush the life out of the Palestinians and wipe the word "Palestine" off of the map, LITERALLY. If they get their way, (because the bible tells us this) when they are done there will be no Palestine. Everything between eastern Egypt to Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the northern tip of Lebanon will be Israel and to hell with all of those who live on those lands right now. i mean, Jews wrote a book 3 thousand years ago saying that that land is theirs and who's to argue with what the Jews wrote about themselves? I mean, I wrote that this town belongs to me 5 years ago and I won't stop till everyone is out of it so that I have it all. get my drift?
anyway, we have a chance for real peace by telling Israel to stop stealing Palestinian land and by creating two states. they've shown that they cannot live together in any kind of harmony so two states is what they both say they want and it is what they should get. Now, a minority jewish zionist group in America is raising it's voice to call Obama anti jewish. Imagine that. Telling Jews that they have to stop stealing palestinian land and building on it is being anti Jew. But there is an alternative. J street. A peaceful jewish organization that is working toward peace in the middle east. Lasting peace through solid borders that cannot be violated by either side once they are set. They will be borders recognized by the whole world. Israel won't be able to continue it's theft of Palestinian land because the borders will be fixed. The theft has to stop. The Israel of today is DEFINITELY not the Israel of the bible.
So today I hope you join this peace loving Jewish group and help us bring real and lasting peace to the middle east. Give them money, signatures, make phone calls, write letters, whatever you can do to stop the carnage and theft.
What would be our excuse for war if the Israel/Palestine issue were solved. Our government would have to admit that our wars are for oil. Please sign on for peace and justice.



It's getting hot out there.

Full-page ads in national newspapers spreading falsehoods about the President's balanced efforts.

The equivalent of the Tea Party Movement - on Israel and the Middle East - spreading rumor emails that falsely call the President anti-Israel, and worse.

Some members of Congress turning Israel into a political football in the hopes of sinking the President's Middle East peace efforts.

Congress is already a key political battleground on Israel and the Middle East. Far too often, the pro-Israel, pro-peace perspective gets drowned out by a well-organized, well-funded, vocal minority. Not this time.

A letter circulating right now for signatories on Capitol Hill, led by Reps. Ron Kind (WI-3), Bill Delahunt (MA-10), David Price (NC-4), and Vic Snyder (AR-2), supports the President in his efforts to achieve a two-state solution because it is in the vital national security interests of both the United States and Israel.

Click here to email your member of Congress, asking them to sign on to this letter.

This Congressional letter, circulating now for signatures, gives members of Congress an opportunity to endorse what General David Petraeus, Commander of United States Central Command, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have said about the importance of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to both American and Israeli national security interests.

The letter reads, in part:

"Distinguished leaders with decades of military service in both the United States and Israel have concluded that the continued lack of resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict threatens the security interests of both countries..."

"As legislators tasked with safeguarding America's security - and as friends of Israel committed to our ally's survival and prosperity - we share the views of these decorated military leaders and urge you to continue your strong efforts to bring U.S. leadership to bear in moving the parties toward a negotiated two-state solution. A just and sustainable end to this conflict will not only secure Israel's future as a democratic, Jewish homeland - it will also enhance our ability to confront the threats posed by Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other actors in the Middle East, and advance critical U.S. security interests in the region more broadly."

If the last month of sustained political attacks from the status quo on President Obama over his balanced approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is any indication, we have the fight of our lives on our hands.

Achieving a two-state solution is going to require that this movement encourage our members of Congress to stand up strong to an unsustainable and dangerous status quo.

Click here to write your member of Congress right now.

Thanks - and we'll be in touch very soon.

- Isaac

Isaac Luria
Director of Communications and New Media
J Street
April 29, 2010

P.S. Click here to read the full text of the letter.

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J Street is the political home of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

how do republicans fight? dirty. They can't get voters to register republican any other way.
story

This is just extremely cool.


Jim Pankey

How Much Oil Do We Really Have in America?

I did a little research when all of that "drill baby drill" noise was going on to find out just how much oil we have on land and off shore in America. I found that all in all we have about 21.2 billion barrels total.
We use 7.14 billion barrels of oil per year.
That would mean that if all those platforms out there could suck out every drop of oil under our surface, it would give us enough oil to last about 3 years. Is it really worth it? It doesn't go to us. It's not like they drill on our land and we get cheap gas for it. It goes onto the world market and is speculated on until it's the same price (or more, as you may know the price of oil is building a bubble again) that the rest of the world pays for it. We drill for the profits of the oil industry, not to give us lower prices at the pump. It's time to move to renewables. We are becoming the last at everything. I want to see us become the leaders in future-tech in the world. I'm embarrassed by the backwardness we show of ourselves by refusing to move from carbon to clean. The oil companies manipulate the masses into believing everything is just fine. Yeah, fine for them as they rake in record profits.
Let's get a move on. Let's take the lead. Be the leader again in SOMETHING besides weapons manufacturing.
Shelley

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

This is just SHITTY!

I know this is serious "shit" but watching the most "august deliberative body in the world", saying "shit" a dozen times in a few minutes was just more than i could bear! I couldn't stop laughing! I hope it has the same effect on you.