Saturday, February 25, 2012

US Navy Launches remote-control death satellites

Keeping an eye on technological progress is a full-time job, so it's good to know that has PhD reporters on staff to fill us in on the latest gizmology being deployed in the service of US "warfighters". Guys like Mike Wall,'s reporter, are so far from the stereotype of the craven, grant-whoring scientists of the global-warming controversy, that they take the money to advance the status quo, rather than questioning it.

As for the remote-control death satellite, that's MUOS, and it simply uses a sexier technology to increase the volume of bandwidth available to the military, which is crucial for today's drones with all their cameras, sensors, and the command-and-control systems needed to rain death on defenseless schmucks below:
US Navy Launches Next-Generation Military Satellite | Military Space & Military Satellites | Space Weapons & Military Communications Technology | "Further, the military's demand for communications capacity is on the rise, due largely to a sharp increase in the use of unmanned aircraft. The MUOS network is an attempt to boost that capacity, and to shift the burden away from the deteriorating UFO system.

When it's complete, the MUOS constellation will consist of four active satellites, plus one orbiting spare. Each MUOS satellite will carry two payloads — one similar to the UFO payload (to provide links to currently deployed user terminals), and a new digital payload that will boost communications capacity significantly.

"Utilizing commercial 3G cell phone and satellite technology, MUOS will provide mobile warfighters point-to-point and netted communications services at enhanced data rates and priority-based access to on-demand voice, video and data transfers," Lockheed Martin officials wrote in a recent statement."
It has become something of an article of faith among the more gung-ho among us that war is good for the economy. Given that the US manufacturing base has eroded substantially in the past few decades, if it wasn't for these ultra-efficient death-dealing technologies, the US wouldn't be making much of anything at all. One can easily appreciate Lockheed Martin's interest in these multi-billion dollar weapons systems, which line the pockets of their company bigwigs and shareholders, to say nothing of the economic stimulus that it brings to the non-union workforce way down south in Dixie, where they build these things. Red-blooded, libertarian Americans have to make a living, after all.

Anyway, since these drones are here to stay, and they're coming to an airspace near you eventually -- that would be in the skies above amber waves of grain, of course -- we owe it to ourselves to keep abreast of the technologies that will someday be used to kill our neighbors and keep the malcontents in line.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Clinton uses her PR megaphone to blast rivals

This time, it's China and Russia in Washington's crosshairs. These two veto-holding members of the UN Security Council are thwarting the neo-cons in their goal of regime change in Syria and Iran. Taking no heed of the double standard that allows the US to veto all resolutions criticizing Israel, the Obama administration lays it on thick:
Clinton blasts China, Russia over Syria - CBS News: "TUNIS, Tunisia - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton blasted Russia and China as "despicable" for opposing U.N. Security Council action on Syria, and more than 60 nations began planning a civilian peacekeeping mission to deploy after the Damascus regime halts a brutal crackdown on the opposition.

President Barack Obama said Washington will keep pressuring Syrian President Bashar Assad to stop the "slaughter" of civilians, saying it was imperative that the world unite in condemning the Syrian military onslaught.

"It is time to stop the killing of Syrian citizens by their own government," Mr. Obama said after a conference by a group of nations known as the Friends of Syria concluded in Tunisia."
Unfortunately for the US public, they are kept unaware of the real dynamics of the situation in Syria, where the impression given in the government-subservient corporate media is that Bashar Assad is a butcher who is slaughtering his people.

If this bears more than passing resemblance to the campaign to oust Khadafi in Libya, that would be precisely the case. Washington is using paid mercenaries to foment rebellion against the Syrian state, and then making it out to be a popular uprising.

While there may be popular dissatisfaction with the regime in Syria, what is it, exactly, that prevents Syrians from doing what the Tunisians and Egyptians did in their own countries last year? Why is it in this case that only Washington and its minions in NATO can uphold the true and just?

It's all a notorious scam, frankly. This "uprising," such as it is, is being shepherded and financed by the Sunni states like Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who fear the power of Shia Islam. Especially the Saudis, whose eastern oil-rich region is majority-shia demographically.

This is the same reality that has Arabs on the same side as Israel in the standoff against Iran. Not popular opinion, of course, but the tyrannical, dictatorial regimes that are supported and defended by the US.

If it were in our power to speak to madame secretary Hillary, we would be pleased to tell her to shut up and mind her own business -- which, of course, she and the US will never do, until the empire is completely bankrupt and ruined.

So instead, we'll have to rely on the Russians and the Chinese to keep Washington in line. Hopefully they're able to keep the pressure on these liars and hypocrites and their ceaseless attempts at agitation.

36 state AGs blast Google, not banks

The report that 36 state attorneys general have signed a letter blasting Google's privacy policy rings out across the land:
36 state AGs blast Google's privacy policy change - Computerworld: "Computerworld - Attorneys General from 36 states are concerned over the potential implications of Google's new privacy policy, especially for government users and owners of Android-powered smartphones.

In a sharply-worded letter (a target="new" href="">download PDF) to Google CEO Larry Page, the officials questioned Google's commitment to consumer privacy and said the changes would force Internet users to share their data without giving them a proper ability to opt out.

The letter is the latest, and perhaps most dramatic, expression of concern."
Too bad they didn't show similar courage when it came to the so-called "mortgage settlement" that let banks off the hook for their deplorable, dishonorable practices that cost millions of people billions of dollars with only a slap on the wrist.

Then again, the banks rule this country (most of Europe, too!), so it's only natural that they get a pass while everyone else just has to suck it up. How many times have the taxpayers bailed out the banks already, anyway? And yet the debt is coming around to bite us all in the ass, just like it's bitten the Greeks in the ass, before it's over with -- and we'll all have a taste of "austerity" while bankers reap record profits.

Whatever your gripe about Google's privacy practices, they can never equal the abuses of the system undertaken and underwritten by the banks and the oligarchical interests they represent. If you don't want to use Google's services, you can avoid them, but you cannot avoid the death-grip that bankers have over your country and your family.

The state AGs are simply grandstanding here. Too weak and compromised to take a stand when it mattered most, they compensate with trivialities like who keeps tabs on which websites you look at.

UN Atomic Agency in cahoots with West's warmongers

The IAEA is unfortunately a tool of US power nowadays, where its pronouncements are used exclusively to impugn the Iranians while giving a free pass to all other nations. Wasn't, after all, part off the NPT's requirements that the nuclear powers reduce and eventually eliminate their nuclear arsenals? While the IAEA hyperventilates about Iran's activities, what about those 8,500-plus nukes in the US stockpile?

Anyway, as if we didn't already know that the IAEA is working for war, we have the following evidence. Their members anonymously grant exclusive, highly inflammatory interviews with the US warmongering press, making allegations which cannot be independently verified:
UN Atomic Agency: Iran Rapidly Expands Nuke Work - ABC News: "Senior international officials familiar with the talks painted a different picture. One said that during the last talks, which ended Tuesday, the IAEA team gave the Iranians a 15-page document outlining their concerns, and they "went through item and item and said they were false and fabricated."

"Sixty-five paragraphs, 65 'no's," said the official, when asked how the Iranian side responded to each item of concern presented by the agency. He asked for anonymity because his information was privileged."
If, six months from now, it emerges that none of this is as nefarious as is being made out here, how much attention will that receive? Will it be as it was in Iraq in 2003, when all the WMD that were so prodigiously stockpiled by Saddam's regime turn out to have been nothing but a calculated deception to further the cause of war?

When "officials" use supposedly inside information to anonymously build a case for war in the papers, you have to step back and ask yourself, what's the rush? Why is this being broadcast now? What are these guys after, bringing such tales to the newspapers?

The war mongers have their moves perfectly scripted, the PR experts have perfected the art of selling war to a lazy and irresponsible public that ultimately bears the costs.

It's a selling job Satan himself would be envious of.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

FBI on front lines of Iran warmongering

Not one to get left out of the possible PR bonanza -- not to mention the free-flowing funding sure to follow -- that an attack on Iran would bring to the national-security racket in the US, the FBI is putting on a "classified nationwide conference" to plot strategy for what seems to be an inevitable false-flag attack on the homeland:
U.S. on guard against possible Iran plots - CBS News: "(CBS News) The FBI is pulling out all the stops on Iran. A classified nationwide conference will be held Thursday to share the assessment of the intelligence community that an attack by Iranian agents, or even a surrogate group such as Hezbollah, may be more likely in the event of an Israeli air strike on suspected Iranian nuclear facilities.
The secure video teleconference, led by FBI Assistant Director Ralph Boelter, the Bureau's top counterterrorism official, will be a 90-minute meeting with each of the 56 field offices.

The special agents in-charge of those offices will be polled on what operations they are running covering suspected Iranian agents, Hezbollah investigations and confidential sources that may yield valuable intelligence. They are also being asked to make sure their local police departments are attuned to the threat and focused on suspicious activity around government buildings, Israeli consulates in major cities and prominent Jewish organizations."
It never ceases to amaze how craven and shameless our public servants in law enforcement can be, when it comes time to divide the spoils from these fear-mongering extravaganzas that form to prelude to US wars.

It's bigger than New Year's Eve, the Super Bowl and Xmas rolled into one -- the biggest product rollout you can imagine!

And with it, there's so much money to be made by favored agencies and their most favored contractors, who all struggle to snuggle up to the trough of free-flowing federal largess whenever the government plays the "terrorism" card.

Why leave it all to the salivating defense contractors and the MIC?

The only question is, how many people is the government willing to sacrifice in order to whip up a frenzy against Iran? Fifity, 500, or a medium-sized city?

The suspense is unbearable...

Korans burned, Americans killed, rage grows: What can military do? -

How can we help these people at the LA Times?
Korans burned, Americans killed, rage grows: What can military do? - "Korans burned, Americans killed, rage grows: What can military do?"
The usual American myopia seems to be fully operational. The public, starting with the opinion-shaping media, seems perplexed about why these people, who we're only trying to help, don't appreciate our efforts.

Perhaps we can help clarify things by pointing out that perhaps our perception is at odds with reality.

What if we're really not there to help the people? What if we're there to occupy their country and use it for our own purposes? What if we're killing the people, humiliating them, and making a mockery of their culture?

These things have happened countless time before. This is what empires usually do, after all.

The secret that the LA Times either doesn't know, or doesn't what its readers to know, is that the rage of the Afghan people is neither a mystery, nor is it very difficult to come to terms with what we can do about it.

We need to exit as soon as possible. Let Karzai and his klown korps flee to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia -- wherever they'll take him. He's managed to loot the Afghan treasury, so there's no question about his retirement benefits.

Leave Afghanistan to the Afghans. Once we do, we can get down to the business of managing our eventual collapse -- just as the Soviets were forced to do once they finally pulled the plug on their imperial ambitions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Obama full of 'gas' in response to rising prices

The poor Obama White House. It bends over backwards to accommodate the Israelis' insistence on war with Iran, only to find itself pressured from the other side by the GOP, as it makes political hay out of Obama's dilemma:
White House seeks to deflect blame over rising gas prices | Reuters: "Gas prices, which rose 7 cents a gallon last week, could unsettle economic confidence at a time when the U.S. recovery appears to be gathering pace, hurting President Barack Obama as voters review his track record ahead of the November 6 ballot.

Obama, a Democrat, acknowledged the risk posed by higher gas prices as he welcomed congressional approval of a payroll tax cut extension. The White House later argued that it was unfair to single out the administration over prices at the pump.

"There are no magic solutions to rising oil prices," said White House press secretary Jay Carney. "The rising gas prices clearly the effect of a variety of factors on the global price of oil," he told reporters, citing geopolitical unrest and rapid growth in India and China."
Most notable is the oblique reference to "geopolitical unrest," as if no one understands what exactly that means.

It means that the neo-con warmongers are pushing the US into a corner, from which it has only one escape: a full-blown military intervention in Iran -- either with or without the Israeli dog wagging Washinton's tail.

What a pathetic figure Obama cuts in all this: He's helpless to defuse the situation, even though proceeding will wreck his presidency.

Such are the trials and tribulations of those ambitious -- and callow enough -- to take the reins of this most untamed beast, making pretense of riding it in a high-stakes geopolitical rodeo for which he's always been woefully unprepared.

It takes brass nuts, such as those possessed by his secretary of state, madame Clinton, to tame this beast. She'd be striding up the steps of the Iranian presidential palace even now, in a triumphant display of her consummate...

Wait, what kind of sick fantasy is this?

It's a neo-con fantasy, of course. The Iranians must be dealt with, and without a nuclear deterrent there's nothing that stands in the way of a second round of shock and awe, this time in Tehran. The mullahs' refusal to heed the voice of reason, and capitulate to the US and Israeli demands to disarm and turn its financial system and resource wealth over to Western management, that has sealed their doom.

Just don't tell anyone that this will not be a painless undertaking, starting now. But at least they'll pretend that it's caused by some other, unrelated (though unspecified) factors beyond anyone's control. Especially Barack Obama's.

We can only sit back and watch in amusement -- or horror, if you prefer -- as the GOP presidential pretenders egg Obama on, while at the same time lambasting him for doing what they'd be doing, too -- double-time, if it were up to them -- to curry favor with the corporate interests who stand to gain from the upcoming cataclysm in the Middle East.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The truth that must never be spoken about Iran

In a particularly long article about the seeming inevitability of war between the US and Iran, the Guardian rehearses all the standard talking points. We have Iran's belligerence, unwillingness to capitulate to US demands, the political pressure on Obama from the Israeli lobby... the standard boilerplate that sets the stage for eventual attack:
US officials believe Iran sanctions will fail, making military action likely | World news | The Guardian: "Officials in key parts of the Obama administration are increasingly convinced that sanctions will not deter Tehran from pursuing its nuclear programme, and believe that the US will be left with no option but to launch an attack on Iran or watch Israel do so.

The president has made clear in public, and in private to Israel, that he is determined to give sufficient time for recent measures, such as the financial blockade and the looming European oil embargo, to bite deeper into Iran's already battered economy before retreating from its principal strategy to pressure Tehran.

But there is a strong current of opinion within the administration – including in the Pentagon and the state department – that believes sanctions are doomed to fail, and that their principal use now is in delaying Israeli military action, as well as reassuring Europe that an attack will only come after other means have been tested."
What is never mentioned -- and can never be mentioned -- is the actual motivation for hostilities between the West and Iran, the one that's always been there since the Iranians got uppity and asserted themselves in the early 1950s:

They've got oil, and we think we should own it.

The Israelis, of course, have slightly different motivations for wanting to attack, mostly territorial ambitions coupled with the psychological need to dominate and bully its neighbors. Iran is seen as the last remaining threat to regional hegemony by the Zionists.

The US, however, while mollycoddling the vicious Likud regime of Netanyahu, has other, more fundamentally threatening issues in its sights: the exorbitant privilege of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency.

After deposing Gaddafi in Libya, there's only one remaining oil-producing powerhouse in the world that doesn't bow before the international banking syndicate's dominion, and acknowledge the world financial order based on the petrodollar. While many nations are ready to dump their US treasuries and buy and sell oil using alternate currencies, few are willing to take the US on directly -- with good reason.

The US plays for keeps, as it has demonstrated countless times over the last 60 years. Iran is already responding to the economic sanctions imposed by Washington by selling its oil to India and China while bypassing the dollar. This, and this alone, is the one red line that no one can ever cross without feeling the full wrath of the ruling oligarchy.

As Saddam before them found, when he decreed that Iraq's oil would be denominated in Euros rather than dollars, Iran will likely soon feel the effects of shock and awe from a dollar regime that's both threatened and increasingly desperate to maintain its withering choke hold over the world economy -- pumping out more and more worthless paper to pay for its multiplying debts.

As this analysis is far from novel, it makes one highly suspicious of the motives of corporate news outlets like the Guardian, which seem so well-connected and well-informed, but also seem to tread lightly where they apparently are told not to go.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Daily Crap: NY Times accuses Apple of 'access journalism'

The poor New York Times is not getting respect from every fashion-conscious geek's favorite brand, Apple.

Apple released a new version of its Mac OS, and they didn't give the Times an advance copy. They added insult to injury by granting Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal an exclusive interview with the company's president. A journalistic coup, and the NYT was nowhere to be found:

DailyTech - Report: Apple Blacklists The New York Times After iEconomy Report: "Apple is currently preparing for the release of its latest operating system, OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. With such a release comes previews of the OS, which are typically granted to only certain media outlets. The Times used to be on that list, but it appears Apple refused to grant it that access to Mountain Lion.

According to The Washington Post, the Times ended up having to cite Apple's press releases as well as other publications for its OS X 10.8 review. To top it off, its report hit the internet late, which was described as an embarrassment for the Times.

"They are playing access journalism," said an anonymous source at The New York Times. "I've heard it from people inside Apple. They said, look, you guys are going to get less access based on the iEconomy series.""

The Times, for its part, was actually trying to play 'newspaper' in covering Apple's atrocious record on sweatshop labor at its Chinese suppliers. Back in the day, this would be considered the bread and butter of the journalism profession.

Along the way, however, the New York Times got itself sucked into a bit of "access journalism" of its own.

We remember well the job Judy Miller did in the run-up to the Iraq war. She essentially served as Scooter Libby's personal conduit into the news columns of the paper of record.

That won the Times lots of scoops, and while the mood in the country was festive and blowhards of all stripes were patting themselves on the back for the USA's big achievement, the NYT was riding high, too. They could do no wrong.

That is, until it all started to blow up in their faces. Those smoking guns that were supposed to turn into mushroom clouds? Never existed. It was all a lie, one that the Times scooped up like a fat, smelly dog turd and ran with.

Then there was the warrantless wiretapping story, which the Times sat on for a year -- through the 2004 elections, incidentally, which may have materially affected the outcome -- before finally allowing it to be published. What kind of leverage does a partisan political operation have over the "newspaper of record"

Could the cluster of grapes BushCo dangled over the Times have been exclusive access to newsmakers? Isn't that the same thing, incidentally, the WaPo was accused of selling, when it offered sit-down sessions with their top-flight reporters -- for a hefty fee, of course?

The news business is a smelly, completely compromised and craven institution that acts just like the other corporate fat cats in doing its part to prop up the status quo.

What Apple does is unconscionable, but we expect mega corporations to be all about rapacity and insatiable greed, while at one time there was at least the popular image of the crusading newspaper editor afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted.

Now, we're all afflicted and fuck'd.

Analysis: Reuters risks confusing its simpleton readers

The following excerpt from a Reuters analysis of the political situation in Iran risks putting the news service's readers in a state of terminal befuddlement, as they attempt to sort out the irreconcilable contradictions between the analysis and the propagandistic hogwash that passes for its coverage of developments in the Persian Gulf.
Analysis: Ahmadinejad seen big loser in Iran election | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Loyalists of Iran's supreme leader, who is implacably hostile to the West and its drive to curb Tehran's nuclear work, look set to triumph in Iran's parliamentary poll at the expense of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a contest among hardliners.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei turned against the man he backed in a disputed presidential vote in 2009 after Ahmadinejad challenged his authority over top government posts.

Ahmadinejad, first elected in 2005, had shown signs of seeking real power for the presidency, which in the Islamic Republic has always played second fiddle to the supreme leader in all state matters such as nuclear and foreign policy."
How can one blindly follow the Zionist propaganda that posits that Ahmadinejad is an unstable, suicidal fanatic bent on "wiping Israel off the map," with this portrait of a politician struggling to hold his place after having fallen out of favor with the ruling cleric who wields real power in Iran?

The know-nothing goobers with drool running down their chins have been whipped into a bellicose frenzy and are spoiling for a fight based on the premise that the Iranian president is a threat to our way of life -- and a monster "worse than Hitler, " as the common refrain goes. And now they're being told that the guy is on the ropes, and probably washed up as a political force after next month's elections.

The ruling cleric, on the other hand, is actually more hardline than Ahmadinejad, but the media hasn't been as diligent in whipping up the fury against him, as he appears to be less of a lightning rod for criticism, and more the calculating and cautious opponent.

While we in the West disdain the Iranian leaders as creepy old guys in black robes who are just out of touch with the way things work, it seems more likely that Khamenei knows exactly what time it is in Iran's standoff with the US and its minions. He is doubtless not the flamboyant hothead that forms the public image of the US' enemies.

When the West finally makes it move, one can be quite assured that Khamenei has carefully thought out his moves well in advance for maximum effect. The West is easily seduced by its own propaganda, and it would come as a rude surprise if someone suddenly comes along and knocks the yahoos upside the head.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Underwear Bomber a weak-minded pawn of US

There once was a guy who was so inept, he couldn't even light his own underwear on fire. This is today's headline news: They gave him multiple life terms in prison:
Underwear Bomber Abdulmutallab Sentenced to Life in Prison - ABC News: "Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to bring down Northwest flight 253 over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 with an underwear bomb, said he was was "proud to kill in the name of God" before he was sentenced to multiple life sentences today in a Detroit courtroom.

"Today is a day of victory and God is great," said Abdulmutallab, 25. He also said that al Qaeda would one day be victorious, and that acts like his will continue until "the righteous servants of Allah inherit the world."

"The defendant has never expressed doubt or remorse about his mission," said Judge Nancy Edmunds in imposing four life sentences plus 50 years. "To the contrary, he sees that mission as divinely inspired and a continuing mission.""
He's an example of what you get when you mix fanaticism with stupidity: a guy who was conned into taking an airline flight with what he thought was a bomb in his drawers. When the "bomb" failed to ignite, he was immediately made out to the the poster boy for violent jihad -- a bad negro who tried to kill innocent white US people with a bomb.

He's so convinced that he was the real deal, he even made his ludicrous pronouncement in the court. It still hasn't dawned on this guy that it was a setup from the git-go, and he's just taking a fall for the military-industrial-security complex.

One simply doesn't get on an airliner bound for the US without the proper papers -- except for this guy. He didn't even have a visa, but made it all the way to Detroit. Don't even try that unless you want to languish in your own third-world dictatorship's CIA-sponsored torture chamber.

Abdulmutallab, another misguided youth who wants to strike out at the killers and oppressors of his co-religionists, doesn't realize that he's just a patsy, and grist for the propaganda mill. There's a million guys willing to walk into that meat grinder, but nothing any of them do will have the least effect, because the US government is afraid of terrorists -- it's terrified of being found out by its own citizens.

Eventually, they'll figure out that dumb would-be jihadis are being duped into these futile attacks for the sole purpose of keeping the anxiety level of the US public at a constant level of unease. Fear and uncertainty about the future are two very effective tools for suppressing any expression of dissatisfaction with the current regime.

The oligarchs haven't yet managed to steal everything that isn't nailed down -- but they're working on it!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Americans are trained monkeys

I love the comments at Zero Hedge more than the posts. Eventually one will come along and bash you over the noggin:
A Better "Halftime In America" Commercial | ZeroHedge: "Americans are trained monkeys. Trained to argue over useless shit like a Clint Eastwood commercial. To attach significance to a commercial when it is simply a commercial. Clint Eastwood did a fine job. The above ad was also a fine job. One was a commercial with a little bit of inspiration brought to you by Chysler; the other a commercial with a different message.

Big fucking deal. One sells cars, the other sells a message.

And, yet... like monkeys chasing a banana - America responds. You are trained. Instead of directing your efforts to the real problems... you monkeys are arguing over a commercial. Ring the bell, Pavlov!"
Dunno who this guy is, or his story, but he sure as hell has got our number...

By the way, check out the thread. It's in response to a video made by Omid Malekan, creator of "the bears" videos... which is on some level a response/reaction to the Clint Eastwood ad during the Stupidbowl.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Syria in U.N. crosshairs as West gins up war

The so-called horror in Syria is one of the West's creation, with foreign mercenaries brought in to battle the government in an effort to effect regime change in the beleaguered nation. The Saudis and Turkey are two of the predominant agents in this provocative drama, in which the Sunni muslim nations battle against what is, in their view, the Shia threat. This is part of the notion that motivates the Saudis to back action against Iran, as well.

The manipulation of the Western audience, however, is handled with aplomb by people who are skilled and experienced in this sort of thing. Remember the poor, distraught girl at the DC press event in the run-up to the Iraq invasion, with her sorry tale of Iraqi soldiers throwing the babies out of the incubators -- a horrifying image that did much to sway opinion in favor of the attack. It was only much later revealed that this young miss was the Kuwaiti ambassador's daughter, and the story she told was completely false. Still, the deed was done, and the West got its war.

Let's see how this latest PR campaign is being waged, this time with our source, "Omar," talking about saving the little babies:
Horror escalates in Syria as U.N. tries again to reach resolution - ""Today is the seventh day in a row we're under shelling -- nonstop bombardment," an activist named Omar said Saturday. He said government forces have surrounded the area with thousands of soldiers and dozens of tanks: "Not the normal tanks. Big tanks. Russian tanks."
"We just want from Assad to give us permission to move the injured baby -- they are just the babies," said an activist named Omar, referring to President Bashar al-Assad. "They have to leave the area to have a good treatment. ... He don't even let us save and treat our (injured) babies.""
It's always about the babies, and the children. In the US, the police state will justify any outrage against civil rights by using "the children" as its only concern. The US public, since they're constantly jerked by the heartstrings by every conniving shiester and con-artist out there, falls for it every time.

If if necessary, they'll also bring out the kittens and puppies, because people think with other parts of their body besides reason and intellect.

A nation of dupes and suckers is being led into yet another "humanitarian intervention" in which bankers will benefit, and the common folk will die, their country destroyed by humanitarian bombs.

Friday, February 10, 2012

If you don't believe there's foreign money in US campaigns...

This headline came to our attention, where the Asphyxiated Press once again rides to the defense of the status quo, and the upstanding moral values that make the US so exceptional. We are to be assured that no foreign money pollutes the political landscape -- because the AP says so:
Foreign donations at risk in super PAC landscape: "Money pouring into the presidential election from super political action committees and nonprofit campaign groups appears so far to be strictly American in origin, donated by U.S. companies, unions and millionaires. But it's easier than ever to conceal the source of money and the identities of contributors, making conditions ripe for illegal donations from foreigners, overseas companies or governments attempting to help a favored candidate for the White House."
What then, is AIPAC? Politicians give obeisance to this myopic promoter of Israeli geostrategic aims. The US Congress bends over before Benjamin Netanyahu in a way not even the US president is esteemed.

If this is not foreign money and foreign influence at work in the US political system, then what is it?

Foreign contributions to US political campaigns have been prohibited since 1966, but that didn't stop a practice that serves the interests of the global oligarchy with its labyrinthine network of multinational corporations.

The way the Federal Reserve funnels money to bail out European banks, and foreigners have, in turn, financial interests in the US financial system, how can anyone honestly posit that there's no commingling of fundage between these entities -- which, after all, know no national borders and have no national allegiances?

The average person in the US is simply looking for reassurance that the masters of the universe are taking care of things, that life will continue more or less as it always has, and that his/her standard of living will remain at its obscenely wasteful and fiscally irresponsible present level.

The soothing narrative provided by the AP and its sister propaganda outlets lets the believers in this fictional world have it both ways: they can continue to be ruled over and exploited by their masters, while benefiting in turn from the predatory spoils of the current regime.

They only fail to grasp that they, themselves, are the ultimate prey upon which the monster they themselves have nurtured will one day feast.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fear of Iran is a well-watered weed

In this latest dispatch, the US Propaganda Agency -- through its branch the Associated Press -- asks and answers the question that's on the minds of everybody's mind inside the Washington beltway establishment: How can we ratchet up the tensions with Iran to justify our upcoming military aggression?

Actually, they play it a little cooler than that. The question that is formulated in the lede of the story is excerpted below:
Dwindling Time, Rising Tension Make Iran Top Fear - ABC News: "The prospect of conflict with Iran has eclipsed Afghanistan as the key national security issue with head-spinning speed. After years of bad blood and an international impasse over Iran's disputed nuclear program, why does the threat of war seem so suddenly upon us?"
This could only fly in a country that's been rightly described as the most propagandized nation in the world. The US is awash in self-justification for what is, at heart, a purely optional war of choice against a non-threatening, non-belligerent irritant to the status quo.

Actually, the Iranians have done one thing that's extremely threatening to the US world order, but it has nothing to do with its nuclear program which, by any measure, is of no consequence when compared to those of the US and Israel. The Iranians have no bombs, but the way one hurts the world order is not militarily, but by threatening the place of the petrodollar in international finance.

That, in short, is Iran's true transgression.

Oddly enough, the move away from the dollar and into gold and other currencies is largely incentivized by Washington itself, and the economic sanctions it has imposed on dealings with Iran's banks. The Chinese and Indians, being locked out of dollar transactions for the purchase of oil, are instead turning to barter, or their own currencies. Think, law of unintended consequences, but Israeli pressure on the totally servile and craven US congress is such that the politicians fall over one another in their desire to show their humiliating subservience to the Likudnik Zionists.

The AP, in its story, goes on to explain that time is "running short to Iran to back down without a fight." This, of course, is preposterous, since it is Iran that is in the crosshairs of its bigger and more powerful adversaries, who most of all covet its strategic resources. Iran cannot back down soon enough or completely enough to forestall what has, at this point, become fait accompli in the gathering clouds of war.

Netenyahu in Israel has already played the Nazi card, and the compliant and totally captured IAEA has made a menace out of a molehill regarding Iran's nuclear activities -- none of which have amounted to a breach of the NPT, of which Iran is a signatory (but Israel, the region's only nuclear power, has not).

Still, Israel cannot stand the thought of competition, even if it's only a notional thing among career warmongers bent on regional domination.

Washington, for its part, has decided that its purposes will be best served by engaging in a hostile takeover of the main obstacle to its hegemony over desperately coveted resource wealth, and the strategic power it bestows on the dominant power.

We are in for a hell of a dust-up in 2012, and Barack Obama will be lucky to escape with his Nobel Peace Prize covering his ass as he heads for the exits in November.

The rest of us, however, are likely to be paying for this bout of geostrategic folly for the foreseeable future.

It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

US politicians show delusions of grandeur

It's really fascinating to see US politicians ordering foreign governments around. You would think they have no concept of sovereignty, the way they huff and puff in front of the TV cameras, insisting that erstwhile US puppet dictators hew to the party line:
The Associated Press: Egypt's ruling generals play risky game with US: "Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, demanded that Egypt return all assets and funds seized in the raids of the NGOs, allow them to reopen their offices and end the investigations and prosecutions.
"The Egyptian government's actions cannot be taken lightly and warrant punitive actions against certain Egyptian officials, and consideration of a cutoff of U.S. assistance to Egypt," she said."
Since when does Washington make demands to other governments?

Well, since always actually. Up until recently, those things were usually handled in private, and the paymasters got their way -- no question.

Now, however, there's a different calculus in play. The US never demands the Israelis follow orders. If anything, the Likudniks set the tone, and Washington politicians fall over themselves to show their obsequiousness.

With war brewing in Syria and Iran, the US is embroiled in too many controversies at the moment to play its enforcer role in every little dispute that arises. The Egyptians, under their own pressures with a restive population, will use the opportunity to enlarge its capacity to act unilaterally. This is only to be expected when the world order not only tolerates the suppression of dissent, but nearly requires it.

Note the harsh repression of the Occupy movement in the US.

It's fascinating in its own way how quickly the power of the US empire has declined, and will continue to decline in years to come. The days of some two-bit politician demanding that foreign powers bow down before them are quickly receding into history.

Pretty soon, we'll all see chumps like Ros-Lehtinen for the yapping little lapdogs they are.

GOP hypocrisy on full display in Forbes vs HHS

For all their pissing and moaning about bloated federal budgets and the perennial effort to gut social programs like Social Security and Medicare, when it comes to two-faced displays of political crocodile tears, it's hard to beat the latest from Rep. J. Randy Forbes of Virginia.

He takes exception to a HHS decision to exclude one of his corporate benefactors from the bidding for a fat federal contract servicing Medicare public-information operations. The mere thought of his fat-cat sugar daddy taking the hit in the midst of the current austerity hysteria is equal to a waste of money, in Forbes' twisted mental state:
HHS shift could cost Chesterfield 1,000 jobs | Richmond Times-Dispatch: "Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-4th, on Monday sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for answers.

Calling it an "arbitrary decision," Forbes wrote that "not allowing General Dynamics to again compete for this contract could result in devastating job losses in Virginia."

Forbes also claimed in his letter that the change would not only lose jobs and limit competition for the contract, but also cost tax dollars.

"The American people have a right to know why their hard-earned money is being wasted by this administration," he wrote."
When will these clowns 'fess up and remind us that they're working tirelessly to dismantle Medicare, turning it into a "voucher" system where seniors are given a lump sum for healthcare, and remanded to their own devices when it comes to paying for their medical needs.

Perhaps the call center here can be re-purposed for explaining how the ending of Medicare as we know it still qualifies as Medicare.

As for the 1,000 jobs on the line if the call center closes, how many of these jobs are held by GOP voters, who consistently vote against their own interests, and for those of the 1 percent who have economic and political power in the US? Since 1980, they've been reliably voting for trickle-down economics, and the fiction that a rising tide would lift their boats, and not swamp them instead.

Now that the only jobs to be had are low-paying, service-economy creations, people are starting to reap what they've sown, and yet in their ignorance cannot fathom the perfidy that animates shills like Forbes to attack the same monster that he so assiduously has cultivated throughout his public life.

Ain't that a hell of a note?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Jared Loughner to be drugged back to sanity

Jared Loughner slipped the surly bonds of reason and became a complete, blithering lunatic before gunning down a crowd of people at a congresswoman's town meeting.

Now, after a rigorous application of mind-altering chemicals, the government is noting signs that Loughner is returning to Earth after and extended absence:
Jared Loughner making 'progess' toward standing trial, judge says - "Excerpts of the mental health reports read by the judge painted a picture of a much-improved defendant, who was deemed incompetent to stand trial in May.

Loughner has undergone two four-month commitments for treatment, during which his attorneys have waged a legal battle to spare him from being medicated against his will with drugs they say could harm or kill him.

Loughner could face the death penalty if convicted. "
It's one of the long-standing mysteries of our advanced, compassionate society: the legal establishment takes a raving lunatic, sedates and subjects him to lengthy, intense "treatments," and in the end they render him sufficient docile that he can be compassionately executed.

He cannot be exonerated in any case, even if his mental state was such that he was not able to control his actions. He either must remain in confinement as the state works to make him "competent" for execution, or he is found "competent" and put to death.

The nicety of making the man "competent" seems overwrought, if there is no alternative but death while in state confinement. The Supreme Court at some point has found it unconstitutional -- at least at one time -- to execute and insane person, one who's not able to aid in his own defense. That's a standard that, no doubt, will soon be revised, but in the interim we're put through the lunacy and torment of watching the system apply its entire resources in the service of killing an insane individual.

This squeamishness will be put to rest, along with previous imperatives like the mandate of due process of law before the government executes alleged terrorists. The Obama regime has already established the bipartisan precedent that the president, on his word alone, has unlimited power to decree that citizens must die.

Is it such a stretch that the executive, at some point, will claim the power to eliminate other inconvenient beings from our midst?

What better case to establish this precedent than that of a deranged killer?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Taliban kills innocents, while NATO victims are collateral damage

People who stick their head into the corporate media echo chamber hear nothing but pro-regime propaganda. The VOA, in particular, dishes it out in industrial-strength portions:
US Afghan Commander Calls on Taliban to Save Lives « VOA Breaking News: "The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan is responding to new data on civilian casualties — calling on the Taliban to stop the killing of innocent men, women and children.
General John Allen said Saturday the death toll from insurgent attacks “is much too high and deserves Mullah Omar's direct attention and action.” He also said he expected the Afghan Taliban to “act immediately” if it had any real interest in stopping the killings.
The commander of the International Security Assistance Force issued his statement Saturday, hours after a United Nations report said more than 3,000 civilians died in Afghanistan's conflict last year. The report called the 2011 death toll the worst in the decade-long war.
The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said insurgents were responsible for 77 percent of the Afghan civilian deaths. The number of deaths caused by NATO-led and Afghan government forces dropped by 4 percent."
The UN is but a tool of the US, so any report that they produce is immediately suspect. There's no credibility there, since the UN is on US soil, and on the US payroll. The bureaucrats there know that if they cross the US government, their cushy jobs could evaporate, and they'd be back in the backwaters where they came from.

It would be just delightful if there was a truly impartial international organization that could be trusted to see things in a balanced way. The Taliban are not sweethearts, but they, after all, are Afghans, and the US military is an unwelcome guest in that miserable land.

If the UN was worth the paper its charter was written on, the US wouldn't be in Afghanistan to begin with, and George "Dubya" Bush would be on trial for crimes against humanity. That neither of these is the case demonstrates the effectiveness and value of the UN and the entire "international community" which it purports to represent.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Are UN weapons inspectors trustworthy?

The drumbeat for war with Iran continues its continual drone, with Reuters' latest dispatch regarding Iran's reluctance to allow UN weapons inspectors into some of its facilities.

While on the one hand, this suggests they have something to hide, it also bears repeating that the Clinton administration used UN inspectors to target cruise missiles at Iraq back in the day. Put simply, whose side are they on?

Here's the intro:
Iran stonewalls U.N. nuclear watchdog on site-diplomats | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Iran's apparent reluctance to let U.N. inspectors visit a military site near Tehran underlines the uphill task they face in getting the Islamic state to address suspicions it may be seeking to develop nuclear weapons, Western diplomats say.
They say the U.N. nuclear watchdog sought access to the Parchin complex during three days of talks in the Iranian capital, so far without any sign that Iran would agree to it."
The Iranians are not naive. They know that they are a target, and once they began selling oil in other currencies besides the US dollar, they were virtually assured of being Washington's next target. The nuclear allegations are, of course, completely irrelevant and false.

Once the Israelis submit their nuclear facilities to UN inspections, then the Iranians can be fairly expected to do the same. Otherwise, the UN is so compromised already that no one should take it or its inspection regime seriously. This is a con game and it's being run by the US against Iran.

What the world needs now, more than anything, is for Russian and China to stand with the Iranians against the West's aggression. But China is already too conflicted, in its dependence on the US market for its goods, while Moscow is tough but not tough enough.

So the Iranians will eventually have to yield, although its in their best interests to be less than fully compliant. Every opportunity the UN/US is given to infiltrate the Iranian facilities is one you can be sure will be taken!

Komen reversal shows it worthy of contempt

This bunch of bitches and whores don't deserve a penny of your money. Just how craven and cynical they are is clear from their reversal of the earlier decision to defund Planned Parenthood cancer screenings:
Komen reverses move to cut Planned Parenthood funding | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Susan G. Komen for the Cure said on Friday it was retreating from a decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, which provides abortion and birth control services, and apologized for a move that thrust the world's largest breast cancer charity into a deeply politicized controversy.

Komen had said earlier this week it would cease to fund grants for breast cancer screening to Planned Parenthood under new eligibility rules that preclude grants to groups under investigation by U.S. authorities.

The move sparked a massive outcry among supporters of both groups, who believe Komen came under pressure from anti-abortion activists. Komen also faced dissent within its ranks from local chapter leaders.

"We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women`s lives," Komen said in a statement on Friday."
If you want to reward this caliber of people running a public charity, be our guest. But if there's one thing worse than a political opportunist charity, it's one that follows an odious decision with complete capitulation -- without acknowledging that the organization is still run by right-wing nuts.

The Koman organization doesn't deserve contributions from anyone who's serious about the health of women, or anyone for that matter. It's just a slush fund for compassion hustlers to pay themselves 6-figure salaries.

This is what happens when people elevate style and marketing over substance.

Anonymous eavesdrops on the eavesdroppers

There's a kind of rough justice in this latest report on the antics of the hacking cooperative known as Anonymous:
Anonymous Listens in on FBI, Scotland Yard Hacking Call - ABC News: "The hacking collective Anonymous managed to listen in on a conference call between the FBI and Scotland Yard as the law enforcement officers were discussing anti-hacking operations, the FBI admitted today.

Calling it "OpInfiltration," Anonymous members were allegedly able to steal a personal email which included instructions for dialing into the Jan. 17 private call. Today the group published a recording of the call -- which discussed the timing of planned arrests and identities of suspected hackers -- as well as the email addresses of the officials on it."
If anyone needed evidence of how ham-handed and inept the government agents charged with snooping on our society are, this would be it. These government agents have enormous powers, of course, and their efforts are being augmented by ever more sophisticated technologies.

But at the heart of it all is the people, and the people are cruel, insidious doofuses.

They are douchebags and imbeciles, who can't even manage to have a secure conference call between their brother snoops in Scotland Yard.

If there really was a terrorist threat -- a serious threat, that is, and not a bunch of pissed-off Arabs with no tactical training or smarts -- then it's quite obvious that these clowns would be totally unprepared to deal with it. With every advantage at their disposal, when it comes right down to it the people charged with "keeping us safe" can't even keep their phone conversations private.

We've watched to many crime dramas on TV. In the real world, it ain't CSI so much as Keystone Cops.

But these Keystone Cops, unfortunately, are equipped with all kinds of surplus military hardware and automatic weapons, so when they get the drop on grandma, she's a dead duck.

Iran's leader warns that the US is not invulnerable

Taking up the tone of most of the corporate media's coverage of the US' aggression against Iran, a simple statement by Iran's supreme leader is presented as a threat to the US:
Iran's leader: War would be detrimental to U.S. - "Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- The supreme leader of Iran issued a blunt warning Friday that war would be detrimental to the United States.
"You see every now and then in this way they say that all options are on the table. That means even the option of war," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said during Friday prayers in Tehran. "This is how they make these threats against us.
"Well, these kinds of threats are detrimental to the U.S.," he said. "The war itself will be 10 times as detrimental to the U.S.""
As usual, the West is presented as rational and peace-loving, while the ayatollah comes across as a flaming lunatic. One would never guess that it's the US and its vassal state, Israel, that is the aggressor and source of provocations to which Iran is responding.

From the deadly explosions at Iranian military sites to the murder of its nuclear scientists, all the way to the aircraft carrier battle groups dispatched to the Persian Gulf and an economic boycott (which under international law is an act of war), the Iranians are clearly on the receiving end of hostilities directed at it by the US and its minions.

That the Iranians have the temerity to stand up to this and declare their willingness to inflict reciprocal pain against their attackers isn't lunacy or provocative. Most people would say it's coldly rational and realistic.

You hurt me, I'll hurt you.

We don't expect the news media to tell the truth any more. In the recent dust-up with the New York Times' public editor, that poor punching bag of a lackey asked somewhat sheepishly, what do you expect, for the media to be "vigilantes of truth"?

Such notions, like the Geneva Conventions under GW Bush, are simple naive and quaint. Times have changed, and the old rules no longer apply.

Might makes right, and not only do the winners get to write history, but nowadays they also get to write the news media's dispatches from the front lines.

When the war finally commences for real, the people fighting won't even know what they're fighting for. All they'll have to cling to is a slick story manufactured on Madison Avenue that could just as easily be selling soap -- or the next president of the United States.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Swedish prosecutor lies to obtain Assange extradition

The lawyer for the Swedish public prosecutor argued in a London court that the UK should hand over Julian Assange so he can be questioned over allegations of improper or negligent use of a condom during consentual sexual relations:
Swedish prosecutor demands Assange extradition - CBS News: "(AP) LONDON - Sweden's public prosecutor was right to demand the return of Julian Assange, a lawyer told Britain's Supreme Court Thursday, saying that failing to hand over the WikiLeaks chief would break with precedent and wreck European extradition rules.
Clare Montgomery, the lawyer for Sweden's prosecution service, struck back at Assange's legal team's argument that only impartial authorities such as a judge can properly issue European arrest warrants.

"The English notion of an arrest warrant issued by a court is very much an exception," she said, warning later that if the U.K. Supreme Court insisted only honoring judge-issued warrants "it would make it impossible for possibly eight, possibly more European partners" to extradite suspected criminals."
What she doesn't say is what is at issue here: Sweden's government is trying to get its hands on Assange so he can be handed over to the US for prosecution for the actions of Wikileaks.

Assange was responsible for making public a treasure-trove of embarrassing state and defense department documents, which implicated the US of various unsavory activities worldwide. The revelations, after much fanfare, were admitted to be less damaging to national security or US collaborators than alleged by government lackeys and corporate media sluts, but the Obama administration is peerless in its prosecution of whistleblowers -- and so it is with Assange.

The US government's activities would be no less reprehensible if it was honest about its doings and its intentions towards Assange, but at least it could do us all the favor of abandoning the pretense of liberty and justice for all, and all the other uniquely "American" virtues we are constantly bombarded with in the media.

Assange's sexual practices may not be admirable, but his courage in taking on the world's most corrupt and malevolent regime certainly is. The Swedish prosecutor's willingness to sacrifice principle for the sake of currying favor with Washington, on the other hand, will be to its everlasting shame, but in the here and now, it's money that does the talking -- and governments captured by the oligarchy are more than willing to oblige the malefactors and do their dirty work.

So Assange will go down, in order to be made a spectacle of, and object lesson in the consequences of speaking truth to power. He will be condemned even before being brought to trial, and shunted away to some hell-hole to be tortured and barbarized by the world's most civilized criminal syndicate.

With no defenders in the halls of power, his fate is assured.

And so is ours, unless we make Julian Assange the object lesson to the oligarchs about our rejection of their usurpations and gradual but determined destruction of representative government through an informed citizenry. In short, many of us are required to take a stand to break this infernal machine that's grinding humanity into the dust.

The stakes are immense, even if the system seems to only be obsessed with two men at present. Those two might as well be 100 million, for as they fare, so do we all.

Israel calls the Iranian kettle black

In a lively bit of Zionist propaganda, Reuters has an item on its service where a senior Israeli official says Iran has enough nuclear material to make four atom bombs:
Israel says Iran has material for four A-bombs | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Israel estimated on Thursday that Iran could make four atomic bombs by further enriching uranium it has already stockpiled, and could produce its first within a year of deciding to build one.

But in his rare public remarks, Major-General Aviv Kochavi, chief of military intelligence, held out the possibility stronger international sanctions might dissuade Tehran from pursuing a policy he had no doubt was aimed at developing nuclear weapons, despite Iranian denials."
Nobody bothers to ask how many H-bombs the Israelis have, as well as A-bombs and neutron bombs and other types of nuclear weaponry.

Plus, the mean to deliver them to targets of their choosing, by land, sea or air. Probably space, too.

This is all yet another manifestation of the complete prostitution of the news media to the needs of their overlords in government and industry. The spreading of hypocritical, hysterical claim about boogeymen, while neglecting to mention the even more egregious threats posed by one's own side, is job one of today's corporate media establishment.

We're gearing up for the next big confrontation, a global war of the forces of good against the axis of evil.

Only this time, the good guys are really the villains in a perversion of language that would make George Orwell blush.

Watch as the peace-loving defenders of freedom attack adversaries who possess resources that will, once possessed, be used to enslave others.

It's US, Europe and Israel against the world: a history of repression, exploitation and destruction.

As the BeeGees asked, how can a loser ever win?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What do the Talibans think?

More butt-scratching analysis from the AP, this time parroting NATO's latest propaganda dispatch from the front lines of Afghanistan:
Report Shows Taliban POWs Convinced of Victory - ABC News: "The Taliban believe they will return to power after the U.S.-led coalition ends its combat role in Afghanistan in 2014, NATO officials said Wednesday, based on a classified report on the interrogation of thousands of insurgent prisoners.

The captured Taliban fighters also believed they were receiving support from Pakistan and that they were doing well on the battlefield, the officials said.

But the officials cautioned that the report, compiled shortly after the capture of Taliban fighters, was a summary of those interrogations and not based on an intelligence analysis."
This is a direct appeal to the hubris of the average, red-blooded US male. How can we let these barbarians lick us? Will our sacrifice be in vain?

It's the usual balderdash. NATO is in Afghanistan in the service of corporations who seek to monopolize the flow of natural gas out of the Caspian basin. It has nothing to do with terrorism, but instead who will control Afghanistan: Afghans, or corporations?

It's said that honesty is the best policy, but not when it comes the US foreign policy. When it comes to oligarchical control of resources, the public is propagandized and manipulated into supporting wars fought over other than the stated reasons.

Things are not as they seem. These alleged Taliban prisoners routinely have the correct answers beaten out of them for feeding the voracious maw of the news cycle.

The only correct answer, it seems, is war and more war.