Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Drone War Crimes

The moral bankruptcy drones on.

How can using the most advanced satellite, electronic, aerospatial and teleguidance technology to stand safely on one continent and murder individuals on another be anything other than a crime?

It can't. Why?

Because the capacity to utilize all that technology is not something that this generation of Americans, or any one generation of humans, can OWN. None of us, as a group, has the right to divert that technology to killing people, especially not civilians without due legal process.

The technology involved has taken millenia of countless, selfless individual contributions to the collective advancement of our species to reach the point it has reached now. As much as we like to flatter ourselves with our own pride, we didn't develop it and we don't have the right to use it to kill whoever we happen to kill for whatever reason we happen to conjure.

Would the inventor of polio vaccine be a criminal if he turned it into a poison for biological warfare and then used it?

Was dropping the atom bombs on Japanese cities criminal?

The answer is, "Yes." We are entrusted with this power by our ancestors and our progeny--some of us would say, by God. We don't have the right to pervert them to our own power-mad uses.

To turn advanced technology and all human knowledge and learned skill into star wars -- for whatever imaginary cause -- is perverse. It is criminal.

Close the Pentagon

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Abolish Nuclear Weapons

Sunday, March 28, 1:00-4:30 p.m.
UPPER WEST SIDE. Riverside Church Assembly Hall, 120th Street and Claremont Ave.
The African continent and islands within its African Union have signed the Belinda Treaty designating their countries as a Nuclear Weapon Free Zone. Other nations in South America, Asia, the South Pacific, the Caribbean and Antarctic have also signed similar treaties. They were all commended by the United Nations for contributing to a world free from nuclear weapons, the ultimate goal for the world's survival as President Obama stated in Prague last April. However, an impediment to that goal is the Island of Diego Garcia within the African Union, the site of one of the most valuable and secretive U.S. military bases overseas. The U.S. signed the Belinda Treaty's protocols in 1996 but after a heated debate did not ratify them. Learn more at our Forum, a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jar. as the United Nations begins its review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in May 2010. Free and open to the public. Co-sponsors include The Mission and Social Justice Ministry of the Riverside Church and the Black Radical Congress, New York Chapter. Endorsers include Women's International League for Peace & Freedom; Grandmothers Against the War; NYC Metro Raging Grannies, Peace Action Manhattan, Peace Action NYS.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pipe Collection on hall bookshelf

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thank you, Dennis Kucinich

I hope he votes KNOW, I mean, "No."

The insurance companies, banks, and big government corporate contractors are all holding the voters hostage through the bought-off Congressional leaders like Harry Reid (who accepted more campaign contributions from health insurance companies than any other member of Congress in 2007-2008), Pelosi, Clyburn & Waxman (who, along with Earl Pomeroy D-ND, are the largest Democratic recipients of AHIP campaign contributions in the House in 2007-2008).

The political theatrics orchestrated through the corporate media are award-winning achievements for the biggest media corporate sponsors (who now also sponsor PBS and fund CSPAN).

The award: forcing principled elected representatives to vote in favor of bill that doesn't serve the public interest -- but serves the corporate interests -- while the public looks on helplessly as they're told "there aren't enough votes" in Congress to do what the voters want.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Marjah, The City That Never Was

Gareth Porter through the Asia Times Online brings us the insight we can't get from corporate American media.
the picture of Marjah presented by military officials and reported by major news media is one of the clearest and most dramatic pieces of misinformation of the entire war

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, March 5, 2010

Rahm Behind the WaPo Curtain

There's a brilliant commentary by Cenk Uyger on how and why the corporate media love Rahm Emanuel.

Obama needs to dump Rahmbo and bring in Howard Dean (or Michael Moore) to replace him.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Impoverishment of Americans

This is from some blog,, I found today:

The next presidential administration will be a continuation of the Bush-Cheney nightmare - in substance, if not in style.

The only thing left to be decided (besides the exact choreography of the final electronic vote fraud) is which lie about "change", which brand of poison to pour down the throats of the American populace.

Will it be the classic neoliberal establishment deception of Obama-Biden?
Or the more overt insult and slap in the face, and the most cynical appeal to the lowest of lowest common denominators: the insane and deeply corrupt John McCain, and the deeply corrupt insane, willfully stupid (George W. Bush-like), vitriol-spewing psychopath Sarah Palin (whose chief qualification appears to be her direct criminal ties to Alaskan energy interests)?

The "Big Lie" comes with both.

Romney Tells Letterman: Palin "Has a Rifle, You Know" - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

On the subject of healthcare:
Romney saying "the problem is not the insurance companies." He said it was important to change the incentives to make health care more like a consumer market in order to control costs.

This guy wants to be President! Oh well. At least then we'll have a President who SOUNDS as stupidly as he ACTS.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Generous Mr. Chan

Mr. Chan starts making the usual excuses for Tweedledum and Tweedledee in the opening sentence of his article on Dodd's New Proposal.

In an effort to secure Republican support for an overhaul of financial regulations...

We really don't want regulation, we want bipartisanship! That's what counts. Everybody (with money or power) wins: no sixty votes, no filibuster, no bipartisanship, and no regulation!

But these confidence men like Dodd and Richard Shelby can play political theater right through campaign season and up to the elections!

*** "An effort to secure bipartisan support" ***

What a noble aspiration! Let's go on some talk shows, Rich, and trumpet responsible, hand-in-hand, bipartisan governance right here in the good ol' USA. And if nothing at all gets done, then we can keep playing this game ad nauseum.

We can make wonderful speeches on the stump! We can square off with "the other side of the aisle" on Meet the Press, we can wheedle and harrumph in statements to the press. And as long as the show goes on we can collect those fat campaign contributions from our corporate sponsors, luxuriate in the limelight of celebrity, and wallow in the perks from our captive lobbyists.

Long live bipartisanship!
"Sen. Dick Durbin once said the banks 'owned' the Senate," says [Rob] Johnson, [a prominent UN economist]. "The next few weeks will determine whether or not that statement is true."

Thanks for giving us the true skinny, Sewell Chan, complements of the NY Times.

2 Faced Dems

The Democratic Senators and Representatives who tried to craft legislation on a new, independent bank-regulatory body, have caved in to the Republicans and bank lobbyists who don't want the body to be independent.

The "we need sixty votes" meme has come to the rescue of the enemies of reform posing as Democratic friends of change.

How could they expect to get large Wall Street campaign contributions if they set up an agency to regulate those interests--even threatening them with criminal penalties for acting dishonestly and victimizing the US economy?
It's hard to believe that even the messaging-challenged Democrats could fail to frame to their advantage a bill that would prevent banks from abusing the public and engaging in the same practices that brought on the financial catastrophe taxpayers have paid so high a price for. Instead, the attitude seems to be, why even try?

That's assuming, of course, that a powerful consumer protection agency is something Democrats -- including those in the White House -- think is important enough to fight for.

"Here lies the crux of the problem," write Simon Johnson and Peter Boone. "The Obama administration lacks an inner core of smart, well-informed advisers who are deeply skeptical of big banks and eager to do whatever it takes to break a cycle that points to financial and fiscal doom."

William K. Black is is associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He was a senior regulator during the savings and loan scandal. He was the lead staffer on the successful reregulation of the S&L industry and directed the investigations that led to convictions in many of the worst S&L frauds. He says,
"The proposal to amend the Senate bill to place consumer protection in Treasury, rather than an independent regulatory agency with institutional incentives to protect borrowers, is a sick joke.
Black claims that the only reason he was able to work with others to successfully reregulate the S&L industry is because their group was independent.

So much is clear: The White House is not willing to fight for justice and rally the people in their own best interest, again.
The White House proposed legislation to create a freestanding Consumer Financial Protection Agency last June, and the House passed a regulatory overhaul creating such an agency in December.

Now, the Senate, to "save" the legislation and get "sixty votes" to "break a Republican filibuster" is rewriting the legislation to subordinate the financial services regulatory authority to the Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve, two of the three parties who would have the greatest interest in thwarting any such financial consumer protection regulation.
The politics of despair take root, again.