Friday, December 30, 2011

#1 state sponsor of terror goes for the gold

Here's the story of how some self-described "civil rights organization" in Israel is combating civil rights -- particularly free speech -- in the guise of fighting the "terrorists."

The Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center has petitioned Twitter to remove an account belonging to Hezbollah's media channel, al-Manar, arguing that the US has declared Hezbollah a terrorist organization. Here's CNN's characterization:
Twitter lawsuit threatened over alleged Hezbollah aid - "The Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center describes itself as a civil rights organization dedicated to "combating the terrorist organizations and the regimes that support them through lawsuits litigated in courtrooms around the world." It supported a similar campaign earlier this year directed at social media giant Facebook.
Among other things, the center succeeded in getting Facebook to pull down a page created by Palestinian activists calling for a "Third Intifada" against Israel."
They say the winner writes the history books, and in the current era the owners write the mainstream narrative that ceaselessly broadcast on TV, the internet and the press. Currently, Israeli and US policy is hopelessly entangled, so that one's interest is made to be indistinguishable from the other's. Of course, no one else's opinion is given any credence whatsoever.

One could argue that this is simply propaganda on the part of the government and it's corporate paymasters. And that would be more or less correct -- there isn't much subtlety about it. So long as Israel and the US say Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, instead of the legitimate representative of the aspirations of a majority of the people of Lebanon, it will be considered a terrorist organization and no dissent will be permitted.

What's so bad is that these social media sites like Twitter and Facebook get a lot of credit for being instrumental in movements to bring about political change in some countries in the Mideast and north Africa. While there may be some validity to that in as far as it goes, when it comes to the US and its satellites in the banker oligarchy orbit, such possibilities are proactively forbidden.

We will have dictated by the powers that be powerful disincentives for any dissent or discussion about the political orthodoxies that so pollute the discourse in much of the enlightened western world. It's almost as though the Enlightenment has been rescinded by decree.

In its place, we are allotted our daily dosage of mindless diversion, and the endless repetition of the one true narrative about how the world works.

There will be no talking during the feature presentation.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ron Paul is not what he seems

Like most other conscious and engaged US persons, we have been victims of politicians two-timing us between the campaign and when they assume office. Barack Obama is a prime example of a changeling, one who sold his supporters a bill of goods, while delivering for the fat cats who ponied up moneys for his campaign. It seems to be in the genetic makeup of all politicians in the US, and Ron Paul -- in spite of his supporters' ardor -- is but another shyster. Watch how his campaign deals with protesters from the Occupy movement:
5 Occupy protesters arrested at Paul's Iowa HQ – "DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Five Occupy protesters were arrested Thursday outside the Iowa campaign headquarters of presidential contender Ron Paul as the group continued its protest against Republican candidates and President Obama." The action came a day after seven protesters were arrested outside Republican Mitt Romney's Des Moines headquarters, and Occupy spokeswoman Danielle Ryun said more protests, and probably arrests, will come."They're all going to get equal play on this," Ryun said. "We are very disillusioned with every candidate."
Granted, it's a bit severe to lump Paul in with Obama. After all, who else could be so craven and cynical? But the guy saw his opportunity and went for it, playing on the hopes and dreams of the many to advance his own personal fortunes, while serving the plutocrats on Wall Street who bankrolled his marketing campaign.

So how does it figure that Paul is similarly afflicted? Just watch him. It has nothing to do with what he says, and everything to do with how he handles himself when not talking about his preferred issues.

Ending the wars is great, and something that up til now has been forbidden in the political discourse. Ditto for the PATRIOT act and other eviscerations of the bill of rights as promoted by politicians of both major parties. Finally, he's against the Federal Reserve Bank, and the bailouts of bankers generally. These are all issue of critical importance at a time when the country is sliding to fascism and neo-feudalism.

It's just that Paul has no power to end the abuses and reverse the disintegration of the republic at the hands of the oligarchy. This isn't -- at least it isn't yet -- a dictatorship where a single person rules by decree. There's a vast machinery that's been erected by the powers that be to insulate and protect the levers of institutional power from interlopers intent on rolling back their hard-fought gains in terms of wealth and control.

Paul is a Trojan horse, just like Obama, who promises the things his followers wish to hear, in order to seduce and neuter their imagined political effectiveness.

There is no one principled or genuine in US public life. One becomes a member of the governing class by playing a role, and folksy, avuncular Ron Paul is no different. He'll go only so far, and no farther, and leave his starry eyed followers slack jawed and stupified.

If there's any part of his program that Ron Paul is serious about, it's about ending government regulation, and cutting taxes for the wealthy even more savagely than the GOP has managed to do thus far. There's the key to his support from the investor class, that has always tolerated the pandering to the religious right if it meant they paid less tax. If you get right down to it, this has been the sole objective to all GOP supporters who aren't so-called social conservatives.

In any case, it has been ordained that Ron Paul will not win the nomination to run against Barack Obama. At this point, Mitt Romney is the person to beat for that privilege, while the Ron Paul supporters will either pick up their marbles and go home, or get on board to defeat Obama, which is the only thing that motivates and sustains the GOP during these, the latter days, of the US decline into a genuine third-world banana republic.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The problem with Ron Paul

As the all-important Iowa caucuses approach, the race to the finish line grows more heated by the minute, with each of the GOP hopefuls jockeying for position.

The preceding statement was a bit sarcastic, actually. Iowa is a backwards, unrepresentative state that tends to elevate the compulsive liars who push cynical, patronizing nonsense at the yahoo nation in the hopes of getting the fundamentalist, right-wing voters to give them the nod. It is almost too painful to bear.

What is interesting this year is Ron Paul. Paul, in spite of being out of step with the inside-the-beltway consensus on global empire and the rule of the corporate oligarchy, shows genuine potential to come out on top of the heap -- a development that's causing extreme discomfort amongst the spear carriers of the status quo. Observe the characterization of Rep. Paul from the Asphyxiated Press:

The Associated Press: Romney, Perry slap at Paul on Iran: "A conservative, Paul commands strong allegiance from his supporters but appears to have little potential to expand his appeal and emerge as a serious challenger for the nomination. Yet he could complicate other candidates' pathway to the nomination."

It seems simply unfathomable to those whose careers have been laid at the service of the corporate state and the grand poobahs of finance that someone so far out of the mainstream can actually be communicating a simple idea to the masses: that the US is on a catastrophic and unsustainable course that will certainly end in the complete disintegration of this society and our way of life.

Currently, the likes of Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are exercised at Paul's refusal to condemn the Iranians for their nuclear research and development program -- assuring their audience among the consensus elites that the mullahs are single-mindedly pursuing a weapon which they will promptly fire at Israel. No one but a damned fool -- or a Bilderberg liar -- would assert such a thing, given the Israeli nuclear arsenal numbering in the hundreds of weapons. Still, though, they persist in being purveyors of utter manufactured reality in the service of perpetual war in the service of filling the yawning coffers of the resource barons.

We can listen to Gingrich, Romney, Perry and company boogey until we puke, as they spin a narrative about a world that only exists in the whorish, paid-for media in the US, or we can tune these tedious bastards out once and for all, and turn our back on their blandishments. They promise only more of the same, more war, more impoverishment of the working people of this country, as the oligarchs build a new world order that reduces all working people to peons and wage slaves, while they rake away the profits that should accrue to those whose labor makes the wealth of nations.

Let's cut these clowns off once and for all, including the present occupant of the White House -- the supreme fraudster himself. It's long past time for people to ignore the bastards, and go a different way. We have the power in 2012 to start shaking things up. Let's take it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Occupy activists to tarnish the false shine on shitty politics

Of all the words squandered in the press over the Iowa caucuses, some of the most cynical, corrupt and self-serving come from the political establishment that constantly manipulates the political discourse in the US. When Occupy activists plan to come to the state and protest its first-in-the-nation caucuses for the GOP presidential nomination, there's the usual bellyaching about disruptive and irresponsible hippies polluting the pristine American electoral process:

Occupy activists descend on Iowa for ‘anti-caucus’ to target Republican candidates before vote - The Washington Post: "Hundreds of Occupy activists from at least 10 states were expected to participate in a “People’s Caucus” near the Capitol to plot activities between now and the Jan. 3 caucuses. The activists are promising to interrupt candidates at events and camp out at their Iowa campaign offices. They say they want to change the political dialogue, but critics fear their tactics could tarnish Iowa’s reputation for civil political discourse ahead of the contest. Activists say mass arrests are possible."

The Washington Post, the hometown paper of this establishment monopoly that weighs so heavily on the national conversation, is only too willing to oblige the hucksters and con-men who descend on the backwaters of this big, dumb polity, in order to bamboozle and play the rubes for suckers, according to their focus-grouped, Koch-brothers-backed ideology industrial complex script. This is how wholesale politics works in the US, where the media onslaught plays the yo-yo constituency like livestock at the county fair, rolling out the racism, resentments and pork-barrel promises in order to pander to the worst instincts of our woefully unprepared voters.

Enter the Occupy movement. They may lack a clear agenda but their challenge to the entire stage-managed spectacle is way overdue. Just as the national media is making a full-court press to marginalize and downplay the strength of Ron Paul, they're doing double duty to discredit and malign the protesters using the predictable slurs -- that the comity and civility of the process will be breached if interlopers descend on scene and question the unassailable verities of the GOP establishment -- conservatism with an ugly face and an even worse disposition.

The Occupy movement also has to fend off charges of being partial to Obama and the democrats -- who aren't running caucuses or primaries, since Obama is unopposed in his party. Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, since these people in Occupy are probably the suckers who fell hook, line and sinker for the fraud in the White House in 2008, and are not in the mood for smooth-talking hucksters to sell 'em a line again in 2012.

It's not that Obama and his clique are immune to criticism, just that they aren't in the fray -- yet. Give it time. The whole rotten two-party sham of a system is about to get a long-overdue wake-up call next year. There's going to be hell to pay for the continuing decline in the standard of living in the US, and playing footsie with statistics is not going to help covering up the vicious cycle of rich feasting on the misery of working class people.

Time's here for the suckers to come to their senses -- if only because they've been knocked over the head with brickbats. The old sham and scam is already played out.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Poor USA, betrayed by a bad boy...

The government finally paraded Bradley Manning, suspected of being the source of the Wikileaks publication of thousands of documents that were embarrassing to our sleazy and conniving politicians. After holding Manning in conditions that barely qualify as humane -- and that's for animals at the pound -- he was finally paraded in public for the first time since his arrest last year. The media circus presented the hearing thusly:

Hearing concludes for suspected WikiLeaks leaker Manning | Reuters: "(Reuters) - The Army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking classified files to the WikiLeaks website gave U.S. enemies "unfettered access" to government secrets, a military prosecutor said on Thursday, but a defense lawyer said the soldier had done no harm.

The comments came as lawyers for the two sides made their closing arguments at a hearing to determine whether Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, 24, should be court-martialed on charges including aiding the enemy and wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet."

What seems most disturbing about this entire charade upon justice is the minuscule harm done to US national security by the release of these purportedly secret files, none of which carried a secret or top secret classification. In a regime such as the current US government, where secrecy is a rampaging malignancy eating its way ravenously through the body politic, the game of classification has run amok, and Manning's alleged crime is nothing but a secrecy-obsessed cabal's attempt to squelch any violation of its mania against accountability.

What chit-chat goes on between busybody diplomats who are abusing their status to manipulate and undermine other sovereign governments is not really a matter of national security, but more mundanely an exercise of ass-covering and plausible deniability. The cynical machinations being carried out by the minions of the US government, on behalf of its corporate masters, should really be more exposed, rather than less, but the persecution of Bradley Manning shows the state's determination to silence its critics and squelch any dissent that comes by way of dirty secrets being aired in public.

Does anyone who's familiar with the now-frequent news stories of how easily Chinese government-backed hackers can gain access the US corporate and military secrets -- to say nothing of the ability of "friends" like Israel -- think that this diplomatic yammering is really unknown to the various governments of the planet with competent intelligence services? The Russians and Chinese are fully aware of what the US government is doing in its many spheres of influence -- to put it benignly.

The real obsession of the government is not to keep this out of the hands of other governments, but to keep their dirty laundry out of the press, where it can be used to call for a halt to the excesses of nascent totalitarianism in all the formerly "democratic" governments in the US orbit. Keeping a restive population diverted from the real objectives and agendas of the ruling oligarchy is the primary role of silencing the whistle blower -- something that is being carried out with ever-increasing ardor by the Obama administration, in its role as guardian of the status quo against the agitation of the 99 percenters.

Bradley Manning, whether responsible for the leaks or not, must be made an example for anyone contemplating an answer to the pangs of conscience, who dares blow the state's cover on its many crimes and transgressions against people and common decency. To the US government, Manning and Assange are the greatest threats to national security, as the state attempts to close the barn doors of secrecy before the sheep escape...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Editorializing in the lead paragraph

ABC news' national editors would like to get on to the staff of the editorial department, so they've started to jazz up their leads with loaded language with misleading implications, just to help the government-approved storyline along:
Manning Hearing Bogs Down Over Dispute - ABC News: "Pfc. Bradley Manning, the young soldier accused of aiding the enemy by slipping a trove of national security secrets to WikiLeaks, sat quietly at the opening session of his pretrial hearing Friday as government and defense lawyers tangled over whether the presiding officer could be impartial."
What trove of national security secrets would those happen to be? What appeared in Wikileaks was just a bunch of diplomatic chit-chat -- embarrassing perhaps, but hardly rising to the level of national security secrets.

That is all just a quibble, of course. President O'Bambi has already declared Bradley Manning guilty -- and he, on his word alone, is able to declare someone a terrorist, have them held incommunicado and without charge, or even summarily executed. The very definition of "tyrant," in fact.

The charges and trial of Bradley Manning, under military "justice", is yet another mockery of the constitution and the rule of law. Thanks to ABC News, we can see how efficiently the government's agenda is carried out by its minions.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A "formal" end to our informal war

File this under the category of "what do you expect them to say?". After nearly a decade of struggle both to sell the war to a skeptical public and then to conclude hostilities "with honor," the politicians have finally hit a brick wall in the pursuit of the Iraq conflict, and now the US is "withdrawing" its military with customary expressions of self-approval:
"REPORTING FROM BAGHDAD --  The U.S. military mission in Iraq formally ended Thursday in a small ceremony at Baghdad airport as the last U.S. troops prepared to leave the country after nearly nine years of war, billions of dollars spent and nearly 4,500 lives lost.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and other top civilian and military officials flew in to Baghdad to mark the formal end of the U.S. military effort, one of most divisive wars in American history.
Instead of addressing the deep questions about the war, Panetta paid tribute to U.S. troops, arguing that the combat losses and the enormous expenditure of resources since 2003 had not been wasted.
What began as a con job ends as swindles and dirty dealing always does -- with carefully scripted, delusional expressions of vindication, both over means and ends.

That this war was never declared by congress is never mentioned. An "authorization to use military force" to remove Saddam's supposed weapons of mass destruction was merely a ruse to get the US into the war. The additional lack of UN sanction, carefully neglected in the communal accolades, ensures that history will regard the enterprise as an unlawful war of aggression, and a crime against humanity and against the peace.

The authors of this atrocity well deserve the fate of Hitler and his henchmen, but will escape being called to account for their crimes in an international order that is based on lies and hypocrisy. It's more the pity, we're so used to it by now as to make little in the way of protest.

The protesters, how gathered in such great numbers in the run-up to war, have long ago disbursed, never to again bother to try to make the will of the people a part of the dialog in our supposedly democratic republic.

This was the war that began with "shock and awe," and ended with barely a whimper, and a tired and bored public long ago dismissed the gore and destruction from its consciousness in favor of xmas banalities and other doobious amusements.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rampaging Dick is afraid of Iran

Mr. Drizzle Dick himself, the eminent fraud and purveyor of false incitements to war, now concedes that he's having a small bout of paranoia over Iran's "nukes".

Cheney: Obama has not acted to stop Iran nukes - CBS News: "(CBS News) NEW YORK - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said today he feared Iran was expanding its influence in the Persian Gulf region at the same time that the United States is withdrawing forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and said he has not seen the Obama administration do anything to stop Tehran from building a nuclear weapon.
He also expressed concern that negotiations to retain some U.S. troops in Iraq as security for Americans working there were abandoned."

Somebody ought to tell the tiresome old son of a bitch that there's only one problem with his problem: the Iranians don't have any nukes. They may have the nookie, but they haven't got the nookies... For that, we'd suggest that Uncle Dick check with his soul mate Benyamin Netanyahu, every warmonger's best friend.

Obama may be stupid, but he's not dumb. He knows that Uncle Dick and his crew walked the US into a ultimately self-defeating fight in Iraq, where we're now heading out with our heads held high -- just to be sure we don't bump our heads on the way out... The Iranians came out stronger when Dick and the gang disposed of their #1 mortal enemy, Saddam. Now the Saudis are in a tizzy over the rest of the Shiite Muslims, who happen to exist in great numbers in their oil heartlands -- and that threatens their autocratic monarchy.

Obama has to deal with a very bad hand, just as he has on a variety of subjects, including the economic collapse. Wherever there's the stench of failure and disintegration, you won't find Dick Cheney far from the wreckage.

Now drumming for new war in places like Syria and Iran, Dick has nothing to lose but his sponsors in the corporate oligarchy still have an opportunity for additional rapine and plunder -- both at home and abroad.

So the sound you hear is the pounding of Iranian infrastructure by the US and Israel, as they gear up for a war they so assiduously courted, but won't be able to control once it starts. Let this terminally disgusting old turd have his say.

There'll come a day when even the mention of his name will provoke anything from mild illness to a heart attack in the general population.