Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A ghost!

Where have I been, and why have I returned?

It was a long and brutal summer and fall. I simply allowed myself to be consumed by work and all the attendant demands -- which were ridiculous.

I think I speak for many when I say, we allow work to separate us from what really matters, and the things that make life worth living.

I'm not going for profundity here, as though we don't have enough deep thinkers available to tell us what's wrong with ourselves. After a billionaire-only election season where the world's most prolific killer regime has re-anointed it's preeminent murder, it's cozy and narcotizing to let oneself be swallowed whole by a regime of economy that drains all the dreams and energy of a soul for the benefit of a few.

I may resume my efforts here, although I'm by no means deceived about the worth or importance of anything that will emerge on these pages. I may find a photo or two in my portfolio that's worth a look, and I have a friend's audio tapes that are hidden wonders of a world enraptured by packaging and marketing glitz, and oblivious to other paths that resist the status quo and the per capita consumptive habits of a land of gluttony.

Geez, is the weekend here yet?

Plodding along is effortless, so long as one invests nothing of oneself in the journey.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pentagon says whatever is convenient today

The US government isn't above a little lying from time to time, particularly when it advances the government's parochial interests. As such, the recent bus bombing of Israelis in Bulgaria gives the Pentagon an opportunity to implicate Hezbollah in Lebanon in the act:
Pentagon says Bulgaria bomb smacks of Hezbollah | Reuters: "(Reuters) - A suicide bombing that killed Israeli tourists in Bulgaria this week bore hallmarks of Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants but the U.S. Defense Department has not yet concluded who was behind it, a Pentagon spokesman said on Friday.
The attack on a bus carrying Israelis at a Bulgarian airport, "does bear the hallmarks of Hezbollah," George Little, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters."
It bears remembering that the US currently keeps on the payroll an anti-Iranian group, the MEK, which is at the same time on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations. When Iranian nuclear scientists are murdered, who would be up to that, besides the MEK (as proxy to the US and Israel)?

While the facts of the Bulgarian incident are still unknown, that doesn't prevent the US government from creating a story to advance its own interests and agenda in the region. Hezbollah, which is not known for being an international organization, is still a handy scapegoat. Even if the bombing turns out to be a false flag operation.

If and when the facts ARE known, the war that's coming will be well underway, and who then will care about such a small matter as a bus bombing? Compared with WWIII, it'll be a drop in the bucket...

Prepping the public before dissent is crushed

The Bush administration knew a thing or two about selling a war, and it seems like the fine art of manipulating public opinion has found a new venue in the run-up to the GOP nominating convention coming up next month:
Tampa Police monitoring RNC protest chatter online - Florida Wires - "THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa police are monitoring Internet chatter and videos that may encourage protesters to cause problems and break laws during the Republican National Convention.
WTSP ( reports protesters planning on coming to the convention are being egged on to "battle" authorities and "let nothing stop" them."
By the time the festivities begin n Tampa, the no-nothings sitting in front of their wide-screen hypnosis terminal will have been convinced that their fellow Americans who are simply exercising their constitutional right to protest for redress of grievances are nothing but parasitic worms to be eliminated by any means necessary.

We can  plainly see a case being made, using chimeras of the state's own devising, that malcontents and troublemakers are being dispatched to put the people in jeopardy, and make them feel less "safe." Hence, you will see any level of state power being deployed the squelch the protests, and being given cover for it's brutality on the nightly news.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Would Australia do as much for Julian Assange?

When one of their own gets caught up in some political intrigue in a foreign country, we expect a person's government to take steps to secure their release, just as the Aussies have done in the case of this woman in Libya:
Carr celebrates Aussie lawyer's release: "Australian lawyer Melinda Taylor has been reunited with her family in the Netherlands after being freed from detention in Libya.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr said on Tuesday that Ms Taylor's release after almost a month in custody in the Libyan city of Zintan was "heart-warming news".
"I'm especially thinking of the reception Melinda's going to get from a two-year old who'll be seeing her mother for the first time in three weeks," Senator Carr told AAP from New York."
At the same time, Julian Assange is the victim of political intrigue, and is being punished for the crime of embarrassing the leaders of the land of the slaves and home of the cowards: the USA.

Wikileaks does the work journalists used to do, by comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable, but we don't see Bill Keller of the New York Times in the dock -- and his newspaper was among those who published the Wikileaks revelations.

For someone like Assange to be forsaken by the Australian government only goes to show that the spin on the news we get from corporate outlets gives a very lopsided and dishonest view of the way the system operates. It's happy time all the time in media spin land.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

If US ever gets its hands on him, Assange is going down

It's kind of ludicrous to even pretend that the US government won't draw and quarter Julian Assange if it ever gets its hands on him. Ever since the right-wing Swedish government ran a setup on trumped-up sex charges, the wheels of injustice have been turning with grim inevitability against the Wikileaks founder.

So, one might wonder, what drives news agencies like AFP to broadcast such fanciful nonsense to the four winds?
AFP: Does the US have a case against Julian Assange?: "WASHINGTON — If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange ever ends up in a US courtroom, prosecutors could face an uphill struggle trying to convict him, given America's legal safeguards for publishers, analysts say."
Assange might be foolish and a typically dick-obsessed moron, but his behavior with the ladies hardly qualifies as criminal -- especially in this day and age, and particularly in the wide-open Scandinavian nations. The authorities' interest in Assange is not based on his sexual peccadilloes.

Nor is the US circumscribed in the manner in which it will dispense with the pest that has brought it great international embarrassment, and brought the government's flagrant disregard for civilized norms of behavior to a wider audience. For the crime of divulging the tawdry and dirty dealings of the government in Washington, there is no hiding, and no escape.

Bradley Manning, the other half of the saga of the demise of the whistleblowers, is but a sample of the tender mercies Assange will be shown when the US has finally put a bag over his head, wrapped him in shackles and ensconced him in Guantanamo or some other CIA black site.

There will be no process due, nor struggles on the part of prosecutors to gain a conviction -- legal "safeguards" be damned. It has already been well established -- thought it remains "classified" -- that the US government can dispense with its opponents by any means that seems convenient and less likely to draw the attention of potential critics. Assange is right to try to frustrate the plans of the US and its surrogates in this malignant crusade to eliminate its critics, and deter anyone bold enough to contemplate joining their ranks.

He may have the law on his side, but unfortunately the current atmosphere is one of extreme prejudice against truth-tellers and other government opponents, and the law is no impediment to the ability of the state to crush its critics.

Friday, June 29, 2012

SC Gov: Not only dumb, but inarticulate

The GOP's reliable stooges are lining up to take potshots at "Obamacare," after the Supreme Court's decision that the insurance mandate's penalty provision is a tax, and within the congress' legislative powers.

On the front line of the assault are luminaries of the right such as South Carolina's governor, Nikki Haley, who blathered as follows:
SC Gov: Health care ruling means huge tax increase - CBS News: "This decision concludes one thing and one thing only for me, and that is we need to have new leadership in Washington. We cannot continue to go down this path. We cannot continue to be dictated to on what kind of health care we need," the Republican governor said outside her office. "We've got a president who continues to want to put tax hikes on the American people."
If there's one thing that's even more irritating than politicians who pander to their constituents' stupidity, it's them showing how intellectually deficient they themselves are. Haley's attack on Obama is not only nonsensical, it's barely coherent -- full of malapropisms and empty catchphrases written in consultation with pollsters and their focus groups.

Whatever one thinks of "Obamacare," it is a program that only a GOP stalwart could love -- which is why it has its roots in Mitt Romney's Massachusetts and the Heritage Foundation. Haley's rhetoric, stripped of its flourish, is nothing but an attack on Obama. The program is defective because Obama is a demonic and threatening caricature of a human being.

It has always been the GOP's knock against Obama -- that's he's foreign, the other. A black man with a Muslim middle name who threatens the established order -- and whatever privileges residually accrue to white people.

What they don't acknowledge is that the law was written by the insurance, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, and so is exactly the kind of legislative stew that the GOP is normally enchanted by, and works so hard to implement in public policy. There's nothing the GOP loves better than giving their big business patrons a fat handout via the federal government -- wealth transfer from the lowly taxpayers to the obscenely wealthy.

Take TARP as the standout example of this sort of political paddy-cake.

Perhaps most galling from a longer historical perspective is the appearance of South Carolina in the current controversy. One of the most economically distressed and culturally backwards states of the union, South Carolina has always been, it seems, on the forefront of opposition to the federal government. It's not accident that Fort Sumpter, where the civil war began, is located there. Decades before, these people were agitating over tariffs and the anti-federal sentiment has not diminished.

Over time, it's clearly shown how the reddest states on the political map are, in spite of the resentments, by far the greatest beneficiaries of federal largess. They love the handouts, but can't stand anyone telling them how to run their affairs. It would lend much credibility to their professed convictions if they were to return the money that comes their way from an institution they hate so profoundly.

But don't count on it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NBC/WSJ poll: Most Americans are stupid and uninformed

The latest flapdoodle on the so-called controversy over the so-called "Obamacare" boils down to this latest dispatch from the NBC/WSJ poll:
With the U.S. Supreme Court set to decide on President Obama's health-care law on Thursday, more Americans say they would be pleased if the law is ruled unconstitutional than constitutional, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.
In the survey, 37 percent say they would be pleased if the Supreme Court finds the law unconstitutional, versus 22 percent who say they would be disappointed with that outcome.
While neither opponents nor proponents constitute an outright majority, a plurality opposes the law. This proves nothing so much as the effectiveness of the propaganda campaign against the law, and says nothing of principled opposition to its provisions.

Indeed, the public mostly doesn't know anything about anything any longer. They simply have impressions, based on media messages that they passively internalize after hearing them endlessly repeated on the paid-for corporate media.

Election time rolls around, and the same mechanism is in operation as we roll through the summer and into the post-labor-day blitz. Who applies the largest expenditures of cash to propagate a message, and does so using the best, most effective techniques, will in the end hold the levers of power.

It has nothing to do with any kind of reasoned analysis of issues, and a conscious decision based on facts. We're far, far beyond that now.

The health care law, which was originally propounded by the Heritage Foundation and enacted in Mitt Romney's term as Massachusetts governor, is now slated to be dismembered by a politicized supreme court dominated by Federalist Society neo-cons. It's all out warfare between wealthy political interests, and whoever is most subservient to the interests of corporate powers will prevail.

No one will weep if the individual mandate fails, except perhaps insurance companies who yearned for millions of new, coerced customers. Still, where there is a chance for massive profits, there's a will and a way will be found. This law, as the spawn of Obama, may have to be sacrificed, but in a Romney administration it will return, and when the corporate sponsors have the public where it wants them, their opinions will be molded into the exact opposite configuration, and they'll overwhelmingly support this obviously superior solution to the nation's healthcare woes.

Of course, the public be damned. It's a windfall for the corporations, and a more onerous burden for the mindless public.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eric Holder and the fast and furious fake-out

There's nothing more disgusting or inductive to vomiting that observing the jackasses in the congress throwing brickbats at the dipshits in the executive branch of the US government. Today's headlines thunder about the attorney general being held in contempt of congress for failing to provide embarrassing documents to his political enemies, as if anyone would happily acquiesce to being flayed alive in public:
Eric Holder found in contempt of Congress by House committee - "WASHINGTON -- The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted to find Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress for failing to provide subpoenaed documents in the flawed Fast and Furious gun-tracking case, just hours after President Obama asserted executive privilege and backed the attorney general’s refusal to release the material.
The vote for contempt and the White House insertion into the growing Southwest border “gun-walking” scandal set up a significant constitutional clash between the two branches of the federal government, one that ultimately may not be resolved until it reaches the courts.
The Republican-led committee, headed by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), voted strictly along party lines in finding Holder in contempt"
Eric Holder may hold certain venerable institutions in contempt -- like the constitution and bill of rights -- but thumbing his nose at the hyper-partisans of the majority in the congress is simply the game as it's played in DC in these times. It isn't as though the administration of Dubya was any more compliant in the same circumstances.

This all will amount to a mountain full of nothing. If subjected to mountaintop removal, at the bottom of it all they'd come up with a jewel-encrusted turd that represents their collective exertions on behalf of their constituents.

What really rankles here, however, is the un-subpoenaed documents, investigations not conducted, and mostly the utterly contemptuous disregard for the rule of law that defines Obama term as president.

While it was cast as a noble gesture, a desire to look forward and not back, the complete abdication of responsibility on the part of messers Obama and Holder to pursue the crimes of the Bush administration in a court of law makes these silly persecutions by the House GOP look all the more pathetic. Holder may have been inept, but his behavior hardly reaches the threshold of crimes against the peace, and crimes against humanity -- both of which fairly describe the activities of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the assorted neo-con  hangers on who made the Bush years the lamentable, inexcusable travesty they were.

Of course, it must've been clear to Obama's handlers that when all was said and done, the new,  improved commander-in-chief would sully himself and his office in an identical manner, hence the aversion to look back seems to be a self-serving exercise in pro-active ass-covering. With acts of war on Obama's resume in violation of international law, as well as a very robust witch hunt against whistle blowers and truth-tellers, the new boss has proven himself to be sickeningly like the old boss.

Those of us who voted for this changeling sack of shit got fooled again -- but good!

Let the Republicans posture and rail against the fuck-ups of the current regime. It's a powerful distraction from their own lack of accountability for the equally depraved indifference to the law and constitution that they claim to venerate and honor in their petty persecutions.

We'll not be free of the quackery of these fake-ass, lying prostitutes until we purge the government of their ilk, and make it impossible for them and their patrons to ever obtain and wield power again. Theirs is not contempt for an institution, but for the public at large, on whose behalf they allegedly serve.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Clinton accuses Russia of doing what Washington does for Israel

Hillary Clinton can get up in front of any audience, and with a completely straight face accuse people of wrongdoing, when the government she plays a key role in is doing things equally, if not more, reprehensible. For US diplomats, it comes with the territory:
Clinton accuses Russia of delivering attack helicopters to Syrian regime | World news | "The US has accused Russia of risking a dramatic escalation of the conflict in Syria by shipping attack helicopters to the regime in Damascus.
Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, went on to allege that Moscow is lying about weapons deliveries to Syria by falsely claiming they are not being used to suppress the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad."
Now, no one denounces Washington for supplying the weaponry that Israel uses to suppress its native Arabs, or to ethnically cleanse the West Bank and Gaza. Not a peep is heard over the bunker-busting bombs given the Zionist fanatics with which to bomb the Iranians.

Indeed, the armaments trade is one of the few areas in which the US has a sizable trade surplus, and the weapons business is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise abysmal economy. Military keynesianism is what Chalmers Johnson called the effects of this global trade in death and destruction, which is tirelessly promoted by neocons like Hillary Clinton.

It's always interesting to contrast these folks' professions of religious belief with their more belligerent actions, as they tend to be observant Christians on Sunday and on the campaign stump, while at other times making war, not love.

The relevant biblical admonition would probably be that those who live by the sword shall thereby perish, but just like the myth behind Christian Zionism, that's simply window dressing behind which to hide one's innate misanthropy.

Or, put another way, first you must learn to smile as you kill.

Hillary and her cohorts will be smiling all the way to the bank, of course, while filling the airwaves with this kind of self-serving blather about how nefarious other countries are, should their game plan run contrary to that of the US-Zionist axis of weasels.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cyber-criminals, who's your daddy?

Being the naive and trusting sort, when stories about the exploits of Chinese-government-sponsored hacking attacks on US government and corporate computer installations, and how pervasive and sophisticated they were, we were given to feelings of both awe and insecurity.

Then, of course, the attribution of Stuxnet and Flame, along with the revelation about this "crypto breakthrough" and the world-class brains behind their creation, came into public view:
Crypto breakthrough shows Flame was designed by world-class scientists | Ars Technica: "Flame is the first known example of an MD5 collision attack being used maliciously in a real-world environment. It wielded the esoteric technique to digitally sign malicious code with a fraudulent certificate that appeared to originate with Microsoft. By deploying fake servers on networks that hosted machines already infected by Flame—and using the certificates to sign Flame modules—the malware was able to hijack the Windows Update mechanism Microsoft uses to distribute patches to hundreds of millions of customers."
What are we to make of this?

First, whatever technical prowess and government sponsorship the Chinese or other foreign powers might have at their disposal, it's clear from this that they're simply tyros in the world of cyber warfare. The real pros are in Tel Aviv and Washington, DC., where it so happens that most of the slimy doings of the world are centered.

No surprise there, right?

Well, consider for a moment: these so-called "zero day" exploits are known to the US and Israeli government-sponsored criminal organizations (they might consider themselves freedom fighters, or something, but that's a discussion for another time) before they are known by anyone else. Long before, in fact. And as we saw in the case of the phone companies in collusion with the government in the US, they were not only allowed, but coerced, to perform surveillance on US persons in contravention of the US Bill of Rights, and were granted retroactive immunity for so doing. We can be sure the spying continues.

Indeed, we can be sure that the government is not only involved in such matters as this, but others far more sinister and threatening to our freedoms and privacy. We're hardly able to fathom the extent to which the powers behind the all-powerful "war presidents" we're had since 9/11 have got our numbers -- and in effect have a lever over which they can shut down dissent and any person or state or institution that stands in its way.

It would not be hard to imagine that these exploits are not "discovered," but created to be exploited by the government and its stooges to enact the oligarchy's agenda. That would be quite within the realm of possibility for people without any moral boundaries, whose only purpose is to accumulate power and wealth.

The cyber war is but another front in the twilight struggle of evil against the rest of humanity.

And this time, we're on the losing side.

World's leaders in peace and freedom are is preeminent scumbags

If you needed proof that the US and Israel are both seriously challenged in the scruples department, you would need look no further than the latest findings from the computer lab that identified the "Flame" virus recently:
Researchers find direct link between Flame, Stuxnet malware - Computerworld: "Computerworld - Security researchers today said that they have found a direct link between the notorious Stuxnet worm and the more-recently-discovered Flame espionage malware, indicating that the two teams cooperated and collaborated.
The news ties Flame to the U.S. and Israeli governments, which reportedly designed and launched Stuxnet in an attempt to sabotage Iran's nuclear program.
"We're very confident that the Flame team shared some of their source code with the Stuxnet group," Roel Schouwenberg, a senior researcher with Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab, said in an online presentation early Monday about the company's findings. "It's conclusive proof that the two worked together, at least once.""
To posture as moral beacons for the rest of humanity, and be found out as impostors who flagrantly flout the very international norms they purport to uphold, is the very essence of hypocrisy. We have no clearer example of  the defective character of these actors upon the world stage than the lawless and aggressive behavior they unleash upon others -- all the while broadcasting platitudes about their love of law and justice and peace and love and understanding between people.

What an outrageous pile of elephant turds, from two pachyderms known to be destructive rogues rampaging through the world in pursuit of their very narrow imperial interests. At the same time, these two renegades waste no effort in issuing pronouncements and ultimatums on what constitute "civilized norms" of behavior -- while reserving the right to ignore these self-same edicts when it's convenient or profitable.

The US military, ever on the lookout for new frontiers to dominate, has long had its eye on "cyberspace" as a new "battle space," and their ever-solicitous Israeli allies are world leaders in the arts of electronic treachery. Together, they unite in common cause to deny other countries the benefits of technology that they themselves use to manipulate and subjugate.

Business and national security have morphed into one single, more nefarious entity that enslaves others so that the few may acquire the planets wealth.

The promise of computers and then the Internet has been so completely betrayed by these maniacal actors, that there is no place that's safe from their depredations, it seems. Where once the boundaries of human knowledge seemed to come unraveled, we're watching it become the playground of a new breed of bullies intent of sabotaging everything they can't control outright.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jamfest 2012!

I'm late as heck this year, and there's no excuse for it. Especially since the photos from last year's even have been by far the most popular post on this blog. Go figure!

So here they are. I have to say that this was my first go at shooting cheering with my D800 camera. I had no idea how it would do, given that everyone says it's not a "sports" or "action" camera. I found that the 4 frames per second speed was perfectly adequate. Could I have used the 8 fps of my D700? Sure, but on the other hand, the D800 handles this kind of lighting with ease, and the auto-focus was truly on point here.

Let's let the photos speak now...

Love the symmetry of the legs extended...

Friday, June 1, 2012

US-Israel are the rouge nations -- is anyone surprised?

The white knights on their high horses are always lecturing the rest of the world on the rules of etiquette and proper behavior. Never ones to let their objections to others go un-voiced, we are treated to a continuous cavalcade of condemnation from the awesome twosome of international rectitude.

Kidding aside, and knowing the track record of these two lawless bullies in their respective spheres of influence, is it any surprise that it's the chicken littles of diplomacy are in fact the actors whose lawless behavior is what most emphatically needs to be condemned?

It comes out today in the New York Times what nobody with half a brain ever doubted, and yet the brazenness of it deserves special recognition:
Stuxnet Reportedly Sourced to Israel and the U.S. -- "News emerged today that speculation about Stuxnet having been created by either the United States or Israel to attack Iran's nuclear capabilities might have been true. The worm, which reportedly hit at least five Iranian uranium enriching plants during a 10-month period last year, might have come from either or both of the countries.
In a book excerpt published today on The New York Times Web site, Times reporter David Sanger quoted several government officials in the Bush and Obama administrations on a not-for-attribution basis."
If one were to take the pronouncements of how certain nations pose a grave a threat to our peaceful and happy world, and aim them straight at Washington and Tel Aviv, one would be right on target in dispatching condemnation for unacceptable behavior. Instead, our erstwhile heroes routinely spew defamatory propaganda through their corporate megaphone media outlets, imputing their own reprehensible behavior to those they're condemning.

In short, this is the basest and more disgusting kind of hypocrisy imaginable. The US and Israel are constantly proclaiming how threatened they are by the diabolical plots of others, while they themselves are far and away practitioners of the most coldly calculating and morally defunct activities known to a world awash in perfidy.

There is no line they will not cross -- not a physical boundary like a border, nor the moral sort of inhibitions that most people aren't sociopathic enough to ignore -- to achieve their purely self-serving agendas of personal enrichment and territorial expansion. They commit acts of war against non-combatant nations, which they in turn brand as aggressors, not to be trusted.

We can see in the plainest terms here, how cyber-warfare is but another front in their constantly expanding theater of operations in a war against humanity, on behalf of the plutocracy that calls the shots in their banker-cartel-ized world order.

There is but one solution for this state of affairs, but it's not in anyone's power to effect the change that is required. For that to come about, we can only wait until the evil empire's own hubris brings it down, as the awful system that they've created to extract wealth and privilege collapses through their own insatiable lust and greed.

No one can beat them at their own game, because others aren't nearly as evil and calculating as they.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's a lovely, dystopian world

As the congress debates whether the US government should be allowed to propagandize its own citizens, this piece from the VOA has the stench of psyops already. The violence in Syria, as deplorable as it is, is in large part fomented by the US and its allies, but when it comes to self-serving palaver, Washington pulls out all the stops to vilify its enemies:

Is Syria’s Bashar al-Assad Guilty of War Crimes?: "The images from Houla in Syria had a sickening familiarity:  bodies wrapped in white shrouds, lined up in a large pit in the center of town while grieving relatives cried and wailed.  In all, a reported 108 people, all victims of last week’s Houla massacre, were being buried, 49 of them children.
The United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights’ representative has said only about 20 of the victims were killed by artillery or mortar fire.  The rest had been shot in what appear to have been  summary executions.  Syria has denied its forces had anything to do with the massacre and says the killings were the work of “terrorists.”
The ditch reminded the world of others it has seen - in Nazi Germany, in the former Yugoslavia, in Cambodia, in Vietnam, in Libya and Iraq. In many cases, the atrocities committed there were ruled war crimes. But is what happened in Houla a war crime?  If it is, how can Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and others be held accountable?
On might just as well inquire as to whether the events during the unpleasantness in Iraq following the US invasion -- particularly in places like Fallujah with its scorched-earth, white-phosphorous christening -- would be considered a war crime as well. And if they were, are the authors of those atrocities and the wrecking of the entire nation guilty of war crimes, too?
Of course, we'll never hear such a verdict in a court of law in this perverted and debased epoch. Iraq was as plainly as one can ever be an example of a "war of aggression," and that's supposedly the supreme international crime. Iraq never threatened the US, but the Bush administration and its neo-con boosters, spared no effort to bring the invasion and ensuing bloodbath to fruition.

If Assad is a war criminal, and if the Liberian Taylor is a war criminal, then were's Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Rice, Wolfowitz and the rest of that hideous clique?

Well, perhaps it's because that the US is minting more depraved characters in its march of infamy, with the Nobel Laureate president himself now bringing especial distinction upon himself in the morbid circus with the revelation in the New York Times of his personal murder roster. Now, the President of the US is judge, jury and executioner in a most glorious, hi-tech horror, the likes of which the world has never seen!

Whatever the crimes of someone like an Assad, there are different degrees of infamy, and the current crop of defendants in the ICC are but tyros put up against the great mass-murderers of history -- among whom the recent presidents of the US will be enshrined in the pantheon of august turds.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Today's notion of heroism is debased by warmongers

That there's a manufactured controversy over this is the least surprising thing we've learned in the past 15 minutes. It seems a cable-TV personality has quite logically and legitimately asked a question that we should all be asking -- are we anointing today's war casualties as heroes in order to gin up enthusiasm for war and more war?
MSNBC host Chris Hayes says he has trouble calling fallen soldiers 'heroes,’ sparks controversy  - NY Daily News: "An MSNBC host is dodging attacks after arguing he was “uncomfortable” calling fallen soldiers “heroes.”
Chris Hayes made the remark on Sunday, the eve of Memorial Day, on his show, “Up With Chris Hayes.”
“I feel uncomfortable about the word hero because it seems to me that it is so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war,” Hayes said.
He added that “there are individual circumstances in which there is genuine, tremendous heroism, you know, hail of gunfire, rescuing fellow soldiers,” but that “it seems to me that we marshal this word in a way that is problematic.”"
The story from the Daily News goes on to parrot the objections of veterans' groups, and then the lapdog "conservative" media establishment, to deflect any notion that the opinion-makers who set the tone and agenda for popular sentiment are doing so for manipulative and cynical reasons.

Face it: there are certain "truths" in the US that cannot be uttered. First among them, it seems, is that no one can question support for the troops or their sacrifices in any way. To demonstrate even the least doubt in the worthiness of their mission is to denigrate their service and expose oneself to charges of lack of patriotism.

Of course, this is noxious bullshit. The Pentagon and the Masters of War that keep us perpetually entangled in foreign "contingency operations" are conflating the troops' service with the validity of the conflicts into which they're thrust. If one doubts the cause is worthy, one is in effect decreeing that the troops died in vain -- invalidating their sacrifice.

We are, in effect, prohibited from questioning -- much less opposing -- the wars into which the US pours its treasure and its young fighting forces -- to do so is to dishonor the troops, and their sacrifice is beyond the scope of legitimate discussion.

It reminds one of the post-911 interdiction against asking why the US was attacked. To ask why "they" did this to "us" was to legitimize the attackers' motives in some way -- and so one must never bring the subject up. Indeed, there was simply one answer that was appropriate, which everyone learned by heart: they hate us for our freedoms. However lacking in seriousness that glib answer from GW Bush might be, that was the level of discourse that was to be tolerated, period.

So now, we're faced with a similar short-circuiting of thought or discussion about the US' current wars, and the meat-grinder system the government employs to keep feeding human Americans into the machine. The cause is just because the fighting men and women are heroes. We must not debase their sacrifice by questioning the legitimacy or purpose of the enterprise of war-making that the US now operates ceaselessly and without regard for opinions to the contrary.

The knee-jerk reaction to anyone even reflecting on this sordid system of chaos and destruction, and of the enormous waste of life and treasure that it entails. We. Must. Not. Question.

This Memorial Day, it no longer seems relevant to reflect on the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for their country, since to do so is to in effect bless current contingency operations that have neither the legitimacy of a declaration of war, nor the active engagement of the general population both through compulsory service (a draft) as well as the sacrifice impelled when taxation is extracted to finance hostilities.

In the US, we do neither any longer, so war simply seems like a far-away distraction, something to be tolerated from a distance or acknowledged when some Hollywood representation of our service members' tribulations are brought to the big screen. The troops, by their distance both physically and psychologically from the general public, are but an abstraction upon which the equally abstract notions of honor and valor and national salvation are played out on the 6 o'clock news.

Taps sounds, the 21-gun salute is given and the news presenter cuts to commercial, where against the backdrop of and over-sized US flag, the folks back home are enticed with the latest Detroit extravagance -- a gas-guzzling SUV which is the true symbol of the nation's sacrifice: which is no sacrifice at all.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The west's opinion makers are championing aggression

Here's from the FT, which seems to lay the onus for the failure of "nuclear" talks with Iran on the Iranians, when the real issue that needs to be addressed is casually ignored:
Iran’s intentions remain a mystery - "If Israel is to be deterred from attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities, there needs to be a peaceful diplomatic solution to the crisis over Tehran’s atomic programme. But after two rounds of intense negotiations between Iran and world powers, there is still no certainty that such a bargain is possible.
Two days of fraught talks with senior Iranian officials in Baghdad last week left western envoys none the wiser as to whether Iran really wants a deal that can allay fears that it is building a nuclear bomb or whether the Middle East is heading for a big conflict. To describe the outcome of the Baghdad meeting as a setback would be a little strong. This is a complex negotiation in which several bargaining rounds remain. Still, the optimism that reined in western capitals after an earlier meeting in Istanbul has gone. It has been replaced by a nervous realism that securing a deal with Iran will be hard indeed."
The impression the FT's editors give is that Iran has crossed some invisible line with its nuclear enrichment program which is intolerable to the right-thinking, peace-loving members of the US hegemonic world order.

What should be under discussion is not the potential for Iran to breakout of its treaty obligations under the NPT -- which has never been conclusively proven, though it's frequently suggested in groundless leaks -- but rather how the US has ignored its treaty obligations, as well as the elephant in the room: Israel.

Under the NPT, the assistance that Israel recieved from the US in building its own nuclear arsenal are both matters that should be roundly criticized and condemned by international institutions. But the US owns those institutions, or commands "allied nations" as its puppets, so all we get is this constant game of confrontation played out in the media between the rulers and their belligerent adversary.

There's an even dirtier game going on here, though, and that's the incipient threat of aggressive war against Iran by Israel -- particularly by way of its more powerful proxy, the USA.

Under the Nuremberg doctrine, waging a war of aggression is the supreme international crime. Still, when the US has done this on a number of occasions -- particularly Afghanistan and Iraq, though the list is ever-expanding -- there has been no unified international condemnation or trials of the culprits for war crimes and crimes against the peace.

Now these same aggressors are positioning themselves for a new round of aggression against a nation that has not attacked them, nor violated their national sovereignty. Quite the opposite, in fact: the US and Israel, through the MEK terrorist organization, have both waged a low-level, asymmetric war against Iran -- which, were the shoe on the other foot, would doubtless be answered in the the harshest terms.

If Iran's nuclear program were such a real threat and problem, there would be more evidence that trace amounts of radiation detected here and there -- according to anonymous reports leaked to a propaganda-mongering, co-opted media establishment. The constant efforts to hype up a virtual nothing suggests that the hype is the point, and not any real threat.

Let's condemn the criminal regimes that foment war and strife between people, and do what is necessary to cut off the head of this Hydra of aggression that plagues our already troubled planet. We can't afford those who make war for profit to make this a miserable place for ever more millions of people.

U.S., Sunni Arab clients game situation in Syria

Now is the time for all US clients to come to the aid of their master: the US and its Zionist puppet masters are busily engaged in the process of creating a "humanitarian crisis" to which the UN and NATO can intervene on behalf of the west's preferred "freedom fighters" in the "Syrian" resistance.

This drama has been building in intensity for several months now, with the entertainment-minded western media circus presenting a formula scenario of white hats vs black hats -- the detested Syrian regime of Assad beset by freedom-loving partisans which secretly are on the payroll of the Turks and Saudis -- both of which are engaged in an indirect confrontation with the Shiite "threat" they perceive from Iran.

While the following dispatch from the AP sounds suspiciously like ass-covering from Damascus, it is at the same time a Hollywood script-writer's dream:
The Associated Press: Syria denies responsibility for attack killing 90: "DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Syrian government on Sunday denied responsibility for a string of villages that left more than 90 people dead, blaming the killings on "hundreds of heavily armed gunmen" who also attacked soldiers in the area.
Friday's assault on the central area of Houla was one of the bloodiest single events in Syria's 15-month-old uprising, and gruesome images of dozens of children killed in the attacks prompted a wave of international outrage.
The U.N. said 32 children under the age of 10 were among the dead and issued a statement appearing to hold the Syrian regime responsible."
Behind the scenes, of course, is Washington, doing battle with the enemies of its friend and ally Netanyahu and the Likudniks -- the latter whose territorial ambitions and dreams of regional hegemony rely on the neutralization of any and all perceived threats. Washington bends to the will of its best friend in the region, while winning the plaudits of the freedom and democracy-loving regimes of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain -- a couple of swell friends of the West who love selling their oil for $$$ and protection from those same Shiite hordes that are on the rampage.

Follow the money, we're always advised by those who know. If you trace support for the Syrian "opposition" to the fountainhead, you'll find that abundant sewage flows directly from the international bankers' syndicate, whose hold on nations and resources is always strengthened by its proximity to the world's policeman, the USA.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Squandering money to kill poor people is US mandate

The Facebook co-founder who renounced US citizenship to avoid taxes on his windfall from the IPO has become a target of opportunistic politicians. How dare this beneficiary of the USA's wonderful opportunity society turn his back on us now?
U.S. senators take aim at Saverin over citizenship move | Webware - CNET: "Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin has angered two senators with his alleged decision to renounce his U.S. citizenship to save cash on taxes.
Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Casey (D-PA) announced today that they'll be holding a special news conference at 8 a.m. PT to unveil a plan designed to stop people from renouncing their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying taxes. In addition, the plan will describe a new law that would bar "individuals like Saverin from reentering the country.""
A perfect opportunity to reflect on a number of things, really.

The US has elevated the cult of cash to a national religion. No amount, no matter how obscenely large, is sufficient when there's more to be finagled and extorted from the ignorant and easily led.

This guy took his Facebook millions and hightailed it back to Brazil, where it will be an even more princely sum.

This, in turn, really chaps the asses of politicians like Schumer and Casey, who are used to having their hands on the federal purse, in order to enrich the already flush with cash benefactors of their political campaigns. They'll gladly take this Brazilian's money and flush it down the militiary-industrial-security sewer, where it'll be used to kill and maim and destroy on an industrial scale that not even the Nazis could contemplate.

While we can't emphasize with Saverin and his filthy lucre, we can at least celebrate the fact that the ravenous government drones will have the loot unceremoniously snatched from the greedy little fingers -- at least this time.

Like all maggots, though, they'll buzz around and find a new body to infest and feast upon. This death and destruction business is the best!

Cracker alert: better get your asses busy

This late-breaking news has just come across the wire. You crackers have been slackers, and now the darkies are hot on your heels in the procration derby:
Census: Minority births top whites - Tim Mak - "For the first time, racial minorities now represent more than half of the children born in the U.S., according to new census figures
African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities made up 50.4 percent of U.S. births in the year ending July 2011, accounting for 2.02 million births, up from 37 percent in 1990, according to The Associated Press."
The big fear is about to be realized, as pure, white-bread Republicans are reaping the reward for subsidizing a couple of generations of mongrel procreation. Now, the parasite class is starting to outnumber the host, with horrifying results for the Aryan Nation.

Fat, stupid and obese, you would think the White race would be copulating like rabbits, and holding off the hoard. Alas, their indolence is rendering them impotent even to face this existential threat!

C'mon, boys, get those peckers up! Roll your concubine in flour until you find the wet spot, and then pork her.

We've got to stand up for God and country, since when Bark Obama got in the White House the blacks and taking over. And the Mexicans.

This deep philosophical analysis of the threat facing America is brought to you from the xenophobic morons of the GOP, who are always looking for an opportunity to miss an opportunity to fight the real enemy.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Why won't the Greeks do what's best for us?

Those stupid, greasy Greeks. We give them all the opportunities they could ever wish for to become ever more indebted to the international banking cartel, and they balk in their stupid election. In fact, when the error of their ways is pointed out to them from the worthies in the international media cartel, they still don't seem to get it.
New Greek Elections Loom - "ATHENS — With Greece hurtling toward new elections and a possible exit from the euro zone, President Karolos Papoulias prepared to make a last-ditch appeal on Monday for the country's sharply divided political parties to form a unity government even as his hopes for success all but evaporated over the weekend."
When will these Greeks learn that democracy is just a tool for them to effectively hand control of their economy to outside financial interests? In the interest of compounding interest, the choice is clear: add debt to debt until the mongol horde sacks the Parthenon and makes off with every tangible asset, and then they'll hang the Greek citizens out to dry.

It's a cynical game these banker cartels play. They simply apply increasing pressure on countries to submit to this austerity formula for wealth extraction, using the political puppets they control to work the levers of the system. This makes the wholesale destruction of civil society look like an economic necessity.

The only necessity is to remove the power of the banking cartel over nations and peoples. This rapacious pack of thieves will never relent short of full-scale revolution, and are removed from the scene by force. It's an ugly prospect, because social explosions never fail to leave wreckage in their wake.

Still, there is no negotiating with maniacs, so this will go all the way. If not this time, then soon.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

U.S. pounds Russia for handling protesters as it does

Okay, the official stenographers' cartel doesn't put the US condemnation of Russia in quite so colorful prose, but the US state department announces it is "troubled" by the treatment of anti-government agitators at the hands of the Russian authorities:
U.S. Troubled by Reports of Russian Handling of Protests - Bloomberg: "The U.S. is “troubled” by reports of violence in Moscow in the wake of elections that returned Vladimir Putin to the presidency, a State Department official said today.
“We are troubled by reports of violence in Moscow during the protests on May 6th and by the arrests that have been carried out over the last three days,” spokesman Mark Toner said today. “We are disturbed by images of police mistreatment of peaceful protesters, both during the protests and after detentions.”"
Of course, this is Washington talking, the worldwide leader in hypocrisy and double-standards. You are free to consider the source and question the US' motives.

Since Russia is an world power in the energy markets, as well as strategically close to the Pipelinistan countries the Pepe Escobar describes in his columns at Asia Times Online, there is a bit of the old-school, cold-war rivalry still stirring of the embers of enmity.

The US would like nothing better than to see its gangster minions prosper in the former Soviet states, at the expense of the homegrown mafioso. The looting of the Yeltsin years is no doubt fondly remembered in the West's corridors of power, where the wealth of Russia could be carted off with impunity by the bankers' cartel.

Beyond that tired old rivalry, however, there's something even more galling about the DC hustle being run here: The national security state was in full-throttle police-state mode when the decision came down to silence the annoying Occupy movement across the country.

Homeland Security, in league with its corporate masters, put forth a coordinated, nationwide action to break up the encampments and reorient the movement from the streets to occupying the jails of the US' incomparable prison-industrial complex. Heads were busted and the protesters dispersed outside of the view of TV cameras -- with our celebrated "free press" taking the coward's way out and filling the airwaves with the usual celebrity patter instead of anything resembling the news.

Do as we say, not as we do, appears to be the operative principle of the police forces of freedom, democracy and progress, while the neutralize threats to power, like dissent.

Friday, May 4, 2012

FBI: Fighting for their right to wiretap you!

They're already doing it on the sneak tip: the feds are building a billion-dollar nerve center for big brother's umbrella of electronic surveillance of citizens under the rubric of "keeping us safe." It's already known that the government intercepts and plans to warehouse every shred of personal communications by and about people in the US and beyond -- so what's behind the FBI's request for a perpetual unlocked back door to every social media platform or communications device/service? Here's the story:
FBI Wants Backdoors to Facebook, Twitter Immediately: "According to CNET, the FBI general council's office has drafted a proposed law that requires social networking websites and providers of email, instant messaging and VoIP to alter their services with additional code to make them "wiretap friendly." However the requirement to add the FBI's code will only apply if a threshold of a certain number of users is exceeded."
If they're already sucking it harder than Hoover, what's up here?

Probably the still barely functioning division between the government's unlimited "national security" exemption from any limits on spying on people still prevents them from doing so on simple law enforcement grounds. The FBI, having proved its competence and professionalism over the decade since 9-11, wants to expand its license to abuse and violate citizens beyond even the paltry restrictions that still exist.

Search warrants and the various prohibitions against self-incrimination and cruel and unusual punishment are going down! These are simply niceties of a more quaint era, and now that the gloves are truly off, dissidents and critics of the government or its patrons in the corporate world are to be rounded up and silenced by any means necessary.

Just a few remaining prohibitions need to be negated in the name of the all-powerful one, the government that watches over us all, and protects us from all threats, foreign and domestic -- by oath!

Who would object to such a benign and beneficent government as we have today?

Panetta tells troops to behave as they destroy and kill

The mendacity of the US political leadership has descended to lows that before now would have been unthinkabgle. The norms of "civilized" behavior have been so debased by the throbbing corruption of the American empire that we have the example of the US secretary of aggressive war importuning the troops to mind their manners as they go about their malignant mission:
Panetta warns Afghanistan-bound U.S. soldiers on behavior | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged a group of Afghanistan-bound soldiers on Friday to be on their best behavior when they reach the war zone, warning that thoughtless photos and actions can endanger their mission and their lives.
"These days it takes only seconds, seconds, for a picture, a photo, to suddenly become an international headline," Panetta told solders at Fort Benning, Georgia."
You couldn't make this up, of course, because before this time in history actions spoke at least to some degree louder than words. Now, however, with the mass-media megaphone that our "leaders" command, they simply bleat out the appropriate message for the folks at home, and no one pays any mind to a reality that is deficient in both morality and humanity.

Lest it slip anyone's mind, the US is engaged in a variety of wars of choice against far-off Muslim nations who either posses strategically important resources (oil, gas) or are situated in strategically important regions (the energy heartland of the planet). In the wars, the US uses its superior armaments to battle indigenous forces possessing only small arms and no sophisticated command-and-control capabilities. In short, they're vastly outgunned, and yet manage to fight the most sophisticated military force in history to a standstill.

To a fighting force hopped up on drugs and propaganda, this cannot but be supremely frustrating. US and allied troops, under the illusion that they fight for truth, justice and the American way, find themselves up against a determined adversary that they've derided as towel heads and sand niggers, and there seems to be no way out for our modern-day crusaders.

Hence, they are prone to behave badly. One would expect as much from a cohort indoctrinated redneck mercenaries from the Bible Belt who think it's god's will to kick some fuckin' ass and get revenge for 9-11. No one needs to teach them how to hate and how to kill -- and all they learn at Ft. Benning is how to do it more efficiently.

Now, under the cheerful demeanor of our Nobel prize-winning commander-in-chief, we are learning the troops how to smile as they kill, in John Lennon's famous formulation. We must murder with a glad heart and a warm smile, lest we give the folks back home the wrong idea about our beloved and misunderstood troops. They bleed for our money, they die for corporate profit, but they must never forget that in every ugly situation, a little PR and perception management goes a long way to smoothing out the bad vibes one creates while making collateral damage of the people who stand in the way of our imperial project.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The state of the "terrorist threat" in the USA

Heaven help us, if this is all the government can come up with the justify all the $$$ the US spends combating the terrorist threat. In the economic basket-case heart of the country, where jobs and prosperity are becoming as rare as ice in the Arctic, an assemblage of sad-sack types are the best the FBI can come up with as the vanguard of the revolution:
BBC News - Five arrested over 'plot to blow up Ohio bridge': "Five men, including three self-described anarchists, are being questioned over an alleged plot to blow up an Ohio bridge.
The FBI says the accused were part of a plan to attack a four-lane bridge 15 miles (24km) from central Cleveland.
The public was not in danger because the explosives did not work and were being controlled by an undercover agent, the agency added.
None of the suspects are associated with foreign terror groups.
The overnight arrests were the result of an undercover sting operation as part of an investigation launched in October 2011, an FBI affidavit said."
Here we go again, to quote on of the luminaries of recent US political life. The FBI's well-paid informants (probably one of the last truly great growth industries in the country) are scouring the landscape for inept and easily led rejects in need of a conspiracy in which to fall in with, wittingly unwitting fall guys who can be induced with a minimum of effort to join in some hair-brained scheme to destroy some unlikely landmark on the premise that they're making some bold statement -- which merely humiliating themselves and landing a long term in a high-security federal prison.

If they'd enlisted in the armed services, we'd recognize and reward them with bed and board, before dumping them out of the streets again with a cracked brain and even less regard for human life. But as it is, we have these chimpanzees dancing to the tune of their federal paymasters, but in a completely inadvertent way, as they fulfill a public-relations mandate from HQ to make fools of themselves for the greater glory of the national security state.

Bravo, you morons!

The messengers of slime

It's in the news: lots of lurid details about the nefarious plans of the diabolical terrorist mastermind, Osama bin Laden, on the anniversary of his elimination by US death squad.

Our faithful media lackeys are willing disseminators of the hideous melodrama that our "intelligence" agencies so lavishly propound, in the service of their goal of self-aggrandizement and perpetuation.

For all the years spent in his "compound," the sickly and impotent (progenitor of earth-shattering cataclysms, not progeny, of course) bin Laden cannot have hoped to have had the type of influence on events that his adversaries were concocting wholly out of their imaginations for the considered goal of terrifying a listless and disinterested population, quivering before the prospect of another iSomething.

Hence, these resurgent reports of the demonic nature and demented plots of the master of the underworld, trumped up by the scriveners of perpetual menace (though it comes from them, more than through them):
Documents show bin Laden targeted Obama, Petraeus: "Documents found in Osama bin Laden's compound detail a number of terrorist plots, including planned assassinations of President Obama and U.S. military commander David Petraeus.
NBC News reported that the Navy SEALS who carried out last year's mission against bin Laden recovered "five computers, 10 hard drives and more than 100 storage devices -- DVDs, discs and thumb drives -- that included between 10,000 and 15,000 documents and between 15,000 to 25,000 videos, including a large number of duplicate files.""
Every such report has a multiplier effect, in reinforcing the preposterous proposition that al Qaeda is a worldwide terrorist front that wages war on the freedom- and peace-loving majesty of the USA and its worldwide cabal of minions, clamoring for another big payday on the heels of these purported evildoers.

Indeed, the terrorist threat is the biggest game in a world of gamers, the ultimate honeypot for craven politicians and ravenous entrepreneurs whose addiction to the morphine drip of obscene profits that come by the wipeout off innocent non-combatants surpasses every legitimate trade ever devised by the merchants of death and destruction.

If your government is willing to lie to you, then is there any question they're willing to kill you as well? They killed Osama, who

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bradley Manning and "aiding the enemy"

According to news reports, a military "judge" refused to dismiss the most serious charge against Pfc. Bradley Manning, that of "aiding the enemy" by releasing confidential government documents to Wikileaks.
Most serious charge in WikiLeaks case is retained - CBS News: "FORT MEADE, Md. — A military judge refused on Thursday to dismiss the most serious charge against an Army private accused in the biggest leak of government secrets in U.S. history.
Col. Denise Lind rejected a defense motion to dismiss the charge of "aiding the enemy" during a pretrial hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Manning also faces 21 other counts."
Manning, if he's indeed the source of the Wikileaks documents, deserves the Medal of Freedom instead of this treatment. It's nothing but the Obama administration's relentless campaign to silence whistle-blowers and silence dissent.

Indeed, Obama's values are so inimical to the American values he purports to uphold that he pronounced Manning guilty without even the benefit of a fair trial. But like the cruel and unusual circumstances of his confinement thus far, there's no chance that Manning will receive anything close to that "due process" the constitution mandates -- as it has joined the rest of the pantheon of freedom as a quaint and outdated relic of another time.

As for the particulars of the "aiding the enemy" charge, it shouldn't be left to politicians to define the enemy, much less what constitutes giving them aid, since the US is not engaged in a war as traditionally defined, nor is the enemy one that history or common sense would recognize.

The crime of the Wikileaks' source is to have embarrassed the political leadership and the powers behind the throne in the US. The diplomatic chit-chat at the center of these supposedly explosive exposes is not anything that a rival such as the Chinese or the Russians -- to say nothing of "friends" such as the Israelis -- would not have possessed already. These communications were thinly guarded and kept out of the public eye primarily to insulate the US public from the true nature of its leaders and the policies that the government pursues.

The professionals in the media do their part to obfuscate and conceal the true nature of US actions across the globe. The truth about wars of aggression and flouting of international law is kept off the front pages and the evening news in favor of bland palliatives and infotainment distractions.

It's only when the unvarnished truth is provided, in the miscreants' own words, that all hell breaks loose. In this case, the enemy who the disclosures of this material has aided is the American public -- which in our purported system of government holds the ultimate say-so over the actions of the government which allegedly represents the interests of the people.

That this is not the case, and that the system has completely and utterly broken down, is the true scandal of the treatment and coming trial of Manning -- one brave man whose conscience would not allow him to remain silent in the face of overwhelming evidence of malfeasance by US officials.

That he is portrayed in the press as an accessory to the evildoers and enemy of the state should tell us all we need to know about the nature of the government that has asserted its supremacy over the will of the people and relegated citizens to the role of useful idiots in a larger game of global political intrigue.

War crimes tribunals, or show trials?

Why are the US media so enthralled with the prosecution and conviction of low-level scum for war crimes, playing it up like it's the biggest breakthrough in international relations since Julius Caesar?
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor found guilty of war crimes in Sierra Leone - CBS News: "(AP) LEIDSCHENDAM, Netherlands - In a historic ruling, an international court convicted former Liberian President Charles Taylor on Thursday of aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity for supporting notoriously brutal rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone in return for blood diamonds.
Taylor is the first head of state convicted by an international court since the post-World War II Nuremberg military tribunal."
Now that Dick Cheney has a new heart, hopefully our diligent and incorruptible international institutions will get on the ball and initiate war-crimes proceedings against the US politicians who waged wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq -- as Nuremberg-worthy litany of crimes if ever there was one.

But, of course, the current world power will never be held to the same standard to which it -- through its proxies -- holds others. Thus, you will not see Barack Obama and his cronies in France and the UK in the dock for their pernicious machinations in Libya, nor will the Israelis ever pay for their crimes in Palestine.

At least, not in our lifetimes.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Experts: Photos of U.S. soldiers handling corpses very bad for war

Talk about missing the point entirely, what do these supposed experts know about anything?
Experts: Photos of U.S. soldiers handling corpses very bad for war - "(CNN) -- On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times published photos of U.S. soldiers posing with what the paper said were bodies of insurgents in Afghanistan.
The images are just the latest in a string of scandals that some say could damage U.S. efforts in the war, which is in its 11th year."
It isn't the scandals involving the abuse of corpses that is very bad. Perhaps from a PR perspective it's a missed opportunity for the red, white and blue to get its message out.

From a human, humane perspective, the entire enterprise the US finds itself engaged in in the energy heartlands of the planet -- the naked opportunism of imperial conquest -- is despicable and deplorable and degenerate. The US is killing dark-skinned people by the hundreds of thousands in the name of corporate profits, it this rates nary a raised eyebrow from the self-appointed experts in the "intelligence" community and the paid-for corporate media.

US troops abuse the corpses of their adversaries in these wars of choice because they're amoral degenerates who make war as a way to cope with the financial demands of the USA lifestyle. Soldiers of fortune doesn't quite fit for these mercenaries of necessity, but the fact of their financial distress doesn't dignify their sordid mission.

With this kind of press coverage, of course, we'll never put right the sickness that is on display -- both in the far-off battlefields of the "war on terror" and the streets of the US -- where these empathy-depleted and broken-minded veterans will eventually bring their terror back to the callous streets of the homeland.

It will be then that we will face the stark reality of the horrors that we've created and unleashed on the world. Otherwise, we'll continue to borrow and spend in a vicious circle of conspicuous self-destruction.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Why does Iran play to the West's pretenses?

The US and Israel have created a pretext for war with Iran based on the premise that the Persians are enriching uranium to weapon-grade purity, while international inspectors and the US' own intelligence agencies agree that no diversion for weapons is taking place.

Still, the daily diet of bullshit from the propaganda organs of the US contains morsels of tantalizing misinformation such as the following:
The Associated Press: Iran says nuclear dispute can be solved 'quickly': "TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran is ready to resolve all of its nuclear disputes "quickly and easily" in a second round of talks with world powers planned for next month in Baghdad, the country's foreign minister said Monday.
Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted by the semiofficial ISNA news agency as saying that Iran might be more flexible if it could be guaranteed an external supply of enriched uranium — an apparent endorsement of a U.S. compromise proposal.
Iran's homegrown enrichment program is one of its main points of contention with the West."
One must wonder how much this concession really means -- and indeed, whether what's presented here holds any resemblance to what the Iranians intend -- much less what the US and Israel will accept.

There is, to put it plainly, no illicit activity to be curtailed in the first place, so that the accusations against the Iranian regime will continue without letup, until the intended conflict is eventually precipitated.

There is no reason whatever to assume that anything short of regime change, as in Iran, will prove satisfactory to the hegemonic powers whose sole diplomatic tactic is warfare.

Friday, April 13, 2012

What do you do to excess?

I haven't gone anywhere; I just haven't been here...

Now, however, I'm going to make an attempt to return to my accustomed rants via Blogger, in an effort to unclog the mental recesses.

One disappears and reappears for reasons in conflict with one another. I blogged to create presence; I became absent to create another fascination from which to escape.

Which brings us to today's starting point, this dispatch from the website where one of their correspondents reveals his four reasons for absenting himself from Facebook. He begins his verbal sojourn thus:
The Top Four Reasons To Quit Facebook - Technorati Social Media: "“Has Facebook lost its edge?"
Over the past several months that thought pervaded my mind and I found myself seriously pondering that question.
For nearly eight years I counted myself among the 845 million of Facebook’s active users. During that time I wrote extensively on various aspects of the social network— everything from comical observations of its users to the seemingly endless wave of privacy issues that ultimately inspired my graduate research. When called for, I defended Zuckerberg, who many consider a close personal friend of Satan."
I fail to understand the hullabaloo about Facebook. It has always seemed to be what this author only belatedly discovered: It's a colossal waste of time, and much ado about not much.

After all, how much data can we assimilate on the doings of liked and friended people we hardly know -- to say nothing of know well? Such wallowing in minutiae is the epitome of a soul-sucking, personality-depleting vortex. One's life becomes subsumed by the culture of communal connection, with individuality the first casualty.

One should not quit Facebook. The imperative is that one should never join in the first place! It is the embodiment of everything that's broken and defective about the contemporary cultural life in the USA, a cheap imitation of genuine social interaction and intimate connection.

As bad as the telephone, which morphed into the omnipresent cellphone, is, the Facebook, social media phenomenon -- and actually, sad to say, the entire Internet -- has taken the pathology of fake interaction to a whole new level.

We cannot exist as autonomous beings without being entwined in these gigantic cybernetic "communities" of like-mined automatons, that draw their reason for being from the cheap imitation of real life that emits from our smartphone and tablet screens.

It's a bewildering and rather depressing world out there, in 21st Century America, where we've lost our privacy and our rights to individuality outside the hive, and are compelled to join these networks that exist for no other reason than to commodify the intimate relations between people.

Oh, well. It could be worse. You could decide to become a photographer...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

International Criminal Court has zero legitimacy

The International Criminal Court rendered its first verdict yesterday, convicting some black african warlord of using child soldiers. While it certainly shocks the conscience of first-world people who live their lives between the cubicle farms of their employment and the McMansions they call home, we live in a world of gross disparities, where norms of behavior deviate wildly.

For the cushioned set reading on the web or viewing on widescreen TV, there must be a sense that the machinery of civilization and order is functioning normally. All these far-off villains are getting the come-uppence, so we can go about our lives without morally breaking a sweat:
Is International Criminal Court verdict a wake-up call for war criminals? - World - CBC News: "The treaty that created the International Criminal Court came into force almost ten years ago, on July 1, 2002. The treaty, the Rome Statute, provided for the creation, for the first time, of a permanent international criminal court to prosecute the most serious cases of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
On March 14, the ICC brought down its first verdict, which fuelled discussions about what took so long, and even whether the court is worth the expense."
On the other hand, where are the war criminals from first-world countries, the ones who've waged aggressive wars of choice against resource-rich but militarily weak adversaries, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents?

We fail to see the likes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in the dock, or the partner in crimes against humanity, Tony Blair. Are the crimes of Thomas Lubanga so much more heinous than those of his peers in the world of infamy? Hardly, as one needs to go back to the likes of Hitler and Stalin to find evildoers of equal stature.

Of course, the US is not a signatory to the treaty that established the ICC, and for good reason. It isn't because the US' standard of justice is so superior to the rest of the world's, either, but an implicit admission that the US doesn't feel bound to the same standards of behavior in international relations to which it routinely holds others.

So, while we comfort ourselves with the vision of Thomas Lubanga biding his time in some prison, we can simply ignore the war criminals in our own midst, and whose assent we've passively given by our collective inaction.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

American exceptionalism at its peak

When we read about the massacre of innocent Afghan civilians in their beds by a US soldier, it provides a bone-chilling reminder of just how exceptional the USA is:
American soldier accused of killings had traumatic injury: "KABUL: The American soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians had a traumatic brain injury and had problems at home after his last deployment, it was claimed as survivors gave graphic accounts of the massacre.
The staff sergeant was said to have had the mental health screening necessary to become a sniper.
A teenager who survived the rampage told how the soldier, from the 2nd Infantry Division, murdered several members of his family and even ''insulted'' his victims as he shot them. The 15-year-old said the soldier was running after women and tearing at their dresses as he roamed his uncle's house."
Exceptional in violence, exceptional in cruelty. Exceptional beyond measure in the ability to prevaricate and misdirect attention to other, more salutary subjects.

The US government will do its best to spin events in a least damning narrative, until the entire fiasco is finally driven off the front pages and TV news reports by other, more entertaining fare.

While this incident makes the US mission more untenable than it already was, that isn't particularly a concern for the military and political establishment, while negative public feelings can have a most negative effect on taxpayer budgetary beneficence and discretionary military adventurism.

They can't put dead Afghans back together again, but this murderous thug in US fatigues won't be able to derail the US' most excellent imperial exploits.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Poll: Most Americans love war

In spite of the absence of evidence that Iran is attempting to acquire nuclear weapons, and the declaration by the secretary of defense a few weeks ago that US intelligence agencies have determined that Iran is not attempting to acquire a nuclear weapon, most Americans are ready to go to war simply because they're being egged on by the media:
Poll: Most support U.S. military action to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons - Political Hotsheet - CBS News: "(CBS News) Amid continued speculation that Israel may be considering an attack on Iran, a majority of Americans say they would favor using U.S. military action against Iran to prevent the country from acquiring nuclear weapons, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll."
This poll will become additional fodder in the case being built for war. Iran's nuclear program -- which under international inspection has been declared to be in compliance with its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty -- has rhetorically morphed into Iran's nuclear weapons program in the steady diet of news reports our recumbent citizens consume.

It's no wonder they're ready to give their assent for war. Now, let's move on the the important questions, like how accurate was the Sarah Palin biopic "Game Change"?

It's interesting how, at the same time the US citizenry is being whipped into a patriotic and belligerent frenzy, they admit their most pressing personal concern is the rapidly rising price of gasoline, which is key to the US suburban and exurban lifestyle, with it's nominal 50-mile daily commutes in a 16-seat SUV.

While the Muslim Socialist Obama pleads against "loose talk of war" for its negatory effect on fuel prices, he's between a rock and Bibi Netanyahu's boot on his balls in this upcoming kinetic military operation against Iran -- no able politically to say no, yet not willing to sink his presidency by saying yes.

He is the classic indecisive clown caught in a situation over which he is not man enough to prevail -- and thus he waffles and shuffles, hemming and hawing and equivocating -- the same political strategy that has carried him to his current lofty position, and from which the true magnitude of his incompetence is in plain view for the world to deride.

He is, in a nutshell, the very essence of the US conundrum: a weak, vacillating leader bereft of leadership skills, and who struts and saunters about the world stage like the dilettante he is, privileged without any redeeming characteristics, and trying to play off his lack of substance with vacuous pronouncements backed up by irrationality and bellicosity in the name of higher profits for bankers.

Syria, Israeli-Palestinian conflict dominate UN agenda | CTV News

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reacts as a reporter asks several questions during a news conference at the State Department in Washington Friday, March 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
The epitome of hypocrisy, Hillary the Bloated Toad

The principle cause of US loss of prestige in the world is embodied in the person of Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state under that master of prestidigitation, Barack "Slick" Obama. These two clowns of renown, who wage discretionary war with a complete absence of remorse or hesitation, have plunged a once-esteemed polity into the gutter of international relations. They are warmongers par excellence, neocons beyond reproach, who make war like rabbits make love -- promiscuously. Here's Hillary at work, ginning up conflict with Syria, begging for a more perfect coalition of the unwilling to resist:
Syria, Israeli-Palestinian conflict dominate UN agenda | CTV News: "On the sidelines of the council debate, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are scheduled to hold bilateral talks.
Russia, which is Syria's most powerful ally, and China have vetoed two U.S. and European-backed Security Council resolutions which would have condemned President Bashar Assad's bloody crackdown, saying they were unbalanced and demanded that only the government stop attacks, not the opposition. Moscow accused Western powers of fueling the conflict by backing the rebels."
Ms. Hillary doesn't seem to be dissuaded by the Russians' hesitation, as she continues to beat the drum for more war. The Libyan adventure simply whetted her whistle for bloodshed and destruction, and now she wants to widen the circle of confusion to encompass more of the middle east.

Next stop, Iran. But first, the US must whittle the opposition to the grand imperial project down to size. Putting the Russians into their place as subservient and obedient vassals is a prodigious undertaking, but no one can accuse the US of setting its sights low when it comes to pillage and rapine.

Hillary and her bosses must have it all. They seek everything!