Just another Reality-based bubble in the foam of the multiverse.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

if you're not angry you haven't been paying attention

Do not be confused.

Use Occam's Razor.

They're owned by the same people. The Republicans appeal to the right thinking Christians and Jews. The Democrats scam the progressive liberals. Sock puppets on the left and right hand, and for every tentacle in between, too.

it's not a bug, it's a feature

High unemployment in a jobless recovery is not an unplanned result of the Bu$h/ Obama/ Chicago School of economic strategery.

The sincere Faithful just don't seem to get it.

...“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Andrew Sum, an economics professor and director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston. “Not only did they throw all these people off the payrolls, they also cut back on the hours of the people who stayed on the job.”

As Professor Sum studied the data coming in from the recession, he realized that the carnage that occurred in the workplace was out of proportion to the economic hit that corporations were taking. While no one questions the severity of the downturn — the worst of the entire post-World War II period — the economic data show that workers to a great extent were shamefully exploited.

The recession officially started in December 2007. From the fourth quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2009, real aggregate output in the U.S., as measured by the gross domestic product, fell by about 2.5 percent. But employers cut their payrolls by 6 percent.

In many cases, bosses told panicked workers who were still on the job that they had to take pay cuts or cuts in hours, or both. And raises were out of the question. The staggering job losses and stagnant wages are central reasons why any real recovery has been so difficult.

“They threw out far more workers and hours than they lost output,” said Professor Sum. “Here’s what happened: At the end of the fourth quarter in 2008, you see corporate profits begin to really take off, and they grow by the time you get to the first quarter of 2010 by $572 billion. And over that same time period, wage and salary payments go down by $122 billion.”

That kind of disconnect, said Mr. Sum, had never been seen before in all the decades since World War II.

In short, the corporations are making out like bandits. Now they’re sitting on mountains of cash and they still are not interested in hiring to any significant degree, or strengthening workers’ paychecks.

Productivity tells the story. Increases in the productivity of American workers are supposed to go hand in hand with improvements in their standard of living. That’s how capitalism is supposed to work. That’s how the economic pie expands, and we’re all supposed to have a fair share of that expansion.

Corporations have now said the hell with that. Economists believe the nation may have emerged, technically, from the recession early in the summer of 2009. As Professor Sum writes in a new study for the labor market center, this period of economic recovery “has seen the most lopsided gains in corporate profits relative to real wages and salaries in our history.”

Worker productivity has increased dramatically, but the workers themselves have seen no gains from their increased production. It has all gone to corporate profits. This is unprecedented in the postwar years, and it is wrong.

Having taken everything for themselves, the corporations are so awash in cash they don’t know what to do with it all. Citing a recent article from Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Professor Sum noted that in July cash at the nation’s nonfinancial corporations stood at $1.84 trillion, a 27 percent increase over early 2007. Moody’s has pointed out that as a percent of total company assets, cash has reached a level not seen in the past half-century.

Executives are delighted with this ill-gotten bonanza. Charles D. McLane Jr. is the chief financial officer of Alcoa, which recently experienced a turnaround in profits and a 22 percent increase in revenue. As The Times reported this week, Mr. McLane assured investors that his company was in no hurry to bring back 37,000 workers who were let go since 2008. The plan is to minimize rehires wherever possible, he said, adding, “We’re not only holding head-count levels, but are also driving restructuring this quarter that will result in further reductions...”

What's the joy in being on top if you can't flog your crew?

Friday, July 30, 2010

who ya gonna believe

The Authorities at BP or your lyin' eyes?

Oh that's right- the live feed from the wellhead has been cut off.

...If you go to BP's Video Feed site (warning: it's slow and locks up some browsers) you'll notice that the Skandi feeds, which have shown the wellhead virtually full time for weeks, are now blank. There are a few feeds still working, but most show the ROV staring off into the distance, working on other components, or in sonar mode. Nothing of the old BOP or new Capping Stack. When the video feeds were up after the Well Integrity Test (see translation above) started, the Gulf Watchers began noting leaks in the new stack and the old BOP, but especially around the Cameron HC connector that is between the stacks. Last weekend and earlier this week, they began noting that the leak in the connector was getting worse, as all leaks do if not repaired. About the time of the reports of worsening leaks, the feed was suddenly cut, and continues to remain off...

But why would BP lie to you?

alternatives would be worse, it is said

And you thought you'd $elected a real President instead of a butler for the Bu$h family.

Even the editors of the New York Pravda are beginning to wonder what exactly the One is thinking.

It is just a technical matter, the Obama administration says: We just need to make a slight change in a law to make clear that we have the right to see the names of anyone’s e-mail correspondents and their Web browsing history without the messy complication of asking a judge for permission...

After all the Feds wouldn't want to be a bother.

...These national security letters are the same vehicles that the Bush administration used after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to demand that libraries turn over the names of books that people had checked out. The F.B.I. used these letters hundreds of thousands of times to demand records of phone calls and other communications, and the Pentagon used them to get records from banks and consumer credit agencies. Internal investigations of both agencies found widespread misuse of the power, and little oversight into how it was wielded.

President Obama campaigned for office on an explicit promise to rein in these abuses. “There is no reason we cannot fight terrorism while maintaining our civil liberties,” his campaign wrote in a 2008 position paper. “As president, Barack Obama would revisit the Patriot Act to ensure that there is real and robust oversight of tools like National Security Letters, sneak-and-peek searches, and the use of the material witness provision.”

Where is the “robust oversight” that voters were promised? Earlier this year, the administration successfully pushed for crucial provisions of the Patriot Act to be renewed for another year without changing a word. Voters had every right to expect the president would roll back authority that had been clearly abused, like national security letters. But instead of implementing reasonable civil liberties protections, like taking requests for e-mail surveillance before a judge, the administration is proposing changes to the law that would allow huge numbers of new electronic communications to be examined with no judicial oversight...

This fits quite well with a pattern.

We know that Barack Obama, in his heart of hearts, truly wants Real Change. We can tell this by examining the furrows of his brow as he squints meaningfully into the middle distance, by carefully measuring the sincerity-per-pixel count of his campaign posters, by reflecting on the inspirational Martin Luther King quotes he delicately intones before carpet-bombing an Afghan village. But we also know that despite his best efforts, Barack Obama can't achieve Real Change, confounded as he is by such institutional barriers as Congress and the Pentagon and Barack Obama. We know, for example, that Barack Obama wants nothing less than a sweeping overhaul of America's health care system, but has been hopelessly blocked at every turn by conservative Democrats like Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman and Barack Obama. And we know that Barack Obama did everything he could to oppose a trillion-dollar no-strings-attached bailout of a corrupt finance industry, but was helpless to stop it, boosted as it was by notorious corporate whore Barack Obama. And we know that Nobel Laureate Barack Obama is a devout lover of peace, but has been powerless to prevent the American military's rampant bloodletting throughout the Muslim world, as the nation's armed forces remain in the hands of that bloodthirsty warmonger Barack Obama.

And we know that although Barack Obama is an idealist, representing the very best and brightest of American Liberalism, he's also a hard-nosed pragmatist, willing to compromise between extremes of Left and Right, between black and white, between war and more war. That's why when the Left wanted to close Guantanamo and the Right wanted to double Guantanamo, Obama doubled Bagram instead. That's why when the Left wanted to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 350 parts per million and the Right claimed global warming was an international Masonic conspiracy, Obama bombed a village in Pakistan. And that's why when the Left wanted universal health care and the Right wanted hundreds of billions of dollars for Wall Street, a capital gains tax cut and a domestic spending freeze, Obama gave them hundreds of billions of dollars for Wall Street, a capital gains tax cut and a domestic spending freeze.

And we know that as disappointed as we might be in Barack Obama - in his little failings, in his petty slights, in his odd betrayals, in his unseemly habit of dancing naked through the streets of Oslo smeared with the blood and entrails of Afghan children - we also know that the alternative would be far worse. Why, with a Republican president, we might be at war with Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and possibly Iran, or facing some hideously draconian corporatist scheme to compel poor people to buy private insurance they can't afford, with a government that not only excuses the torture regimes of the past but dramatically expands them while giving itself license to murder anyone it likes anywhere on the planet. With Barack Obama, on the other hand, we have all that plus a man who can sparkle wittily on late night television. Now, I think that has to be worth at least a couple thousand dead Muslims, don't you?

But the Boss's family likes him, and $ervice is what it's all about.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Normalcy Creeps

via Raw Story what you already knew

From the point of view of civil libertarians, the Obama administration has been an exercise in frustration, with every hopeful sign followed by failures to live up to its own promises.

The ACLU has just issued a report (pdf), titled "Establishing a New Normal: National Security, Civil Liberties, and Human Rights Under the Obama Administration," which focuses on this pattern of inconsistency.

"The administration has displayed a decidedly mixed record," explains ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romaro, "resulting, on a range of issues, in the very real danger that the Obama administration will institutionalize some of the most troublesome policies of the previous administration -- in essence, creating a troubling 'new normal.'"...

I'd like to know what else anyone expected from a full professor of law from the University of Chicago?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

don't let the kids know

Yes indeedy

WASHINGTON – Dismayed by the massive war-documents leak, intelligence experts are raising alarms that post-Sept. 11 changes promoting information sharing have made it too easy to lose control of the nation's secrets.

Some intelligence veterans say it's time to rethink how widely classified material is shared at lower levels or, at the very least, to step up monitoring of the people who are given access....

Yes indeedy the might find out things left best unsaid

...Among the ninety-one thousand or so documents from the Afghan war released by WikiLeaks Sunday is an incident report dated November 22, 2009, submitted by a unit called Task Force Pegasus. It describes how a convoy was stopped on a road in southern Afghanistan at an illegal checkpoint manned by what appeared to be a hundred insurgents, “middle-age males with approx 75 x AK-47’s and 15 x PKM’s.” What could be scarier than that?

Maybe what the soldiers found out next: these weren’t “insurgents” at all, at least not in the die-hard jihadi sense that the American public might understand the term. The gunmen were quite willing to let the convoy through, if the soldiers just forked over a two- or three-thousand-dollar bribe per truck; and they were in the pay of a local warlord, Matiullah Khan, who was himself in the pay, ultimately, of the American public. According to a Times report this June (six months after the incident with Task Force Pegasus), Matiullah earns millions of dollars from NATO, supposedly to keep that road clear for convoys and help with American special-forces missions. Matiullah is also suspected of (and has denied) earning money “facilitating the movement of drugs along the highway...”

Obviously, these are issues of the utmost National Security.

Obviously, publishing things in The New York Pravda or The Washington Pravda or The Guardian Pravda or Der Spiegel Pravda is the surest way to ensure such harrowing tales are kept secret, because when such organs assert how corrupt these wars are, but how we're winning hearts and minds and livers and kidneys anyway, no one believes them.

And speaking of stories no one believes:

The U.S. Defense Department is unable to properly account for over 95 percent of $9.1 billion in Iraqi oil money tapped by the U.S. for rebuilding the war ravaged nation, according to an audit released Tuesday...

Don't let's be silly. The $8.7 billion went to the Sunni warlords who let us squat in the oilfields and let the oil companies milk 5% of their profit.

But if they told you that, they'd have to kill you.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pay No Attention to the Dead Pelican Behind the Curtain

Or the oil still on the beach either

...The immense patches of surface oil that covered thousands of square miles of the gulf after the April 20 oil rig explosion are largely gone, though there continue to be sightings of tar balls and emulsified oil here and there.

Reporters flying over the area Sunday spotted only a few patches of sheen and an occasional streak of thicker oi...

Because, you idiots, a hurricane just blew through there.

In the immortal words of Dr. Geisel

...here and there
there and here
funny things
are everywhere...

And speaking of funny things, I just got a letter from oyster with a question that bears a public answer. Oyster, hope you don't mind this.

The letter:

...A person I respect... has bought into at least some of the claims made in this rense.com article, specifically the ones regarding the radioactive implications of the oil spill.

I'm less concerned with the thesis of oil being "renewable" than I am with the health and environmental effects of massive amounts of radiation being emitted into the Gulf. Is methane a "marker" for an oil reserve containing high amounts of uranium and thorium? Obviously, the amount of methane from this Macondo gusher was extraordinarily high. So, if record amounts of radioactive materials entered the Gulf in addition to the oil and methane and Corexit...

Can you give me any sense what we might be facing?

My response:

...I'm no expert in geochemistry, but I'd be really doubtful that you are facing very much of a problem from radiation associated with the methane even if it was associated with these elements in nature. Uranium and thorium are both non-volatile, and even as charged salts they tend to oxidize to states that aren't freely soluble. They not only would tend to stay at the bottom of the ocean, they'd tend to sediment further even if dispersed.

I suspect most of that methane is of biological origin and not radiochemical decay. In fact, I get in trouble saying this, but I suspect most of the petrochemicals at the bottom of the Gulf are a lot "newer" than your standard fossil fuels. There's methane there in high concentration alright- because the archaebacteria are busy kicking it out as they anaerobically ferment everything that's fallen to the ocean bottom over the last few million years.

I think there are more than enough chemical carcinogens to worry about in the petroleum itself. I think the methane itself is quite a danger to the environment with as much of it has been released. And, I think that rense is a classic disinformation source.

Methane itself is not a health hazard to anything except global warming. The petroleum damned sure is a hazard to every living thing it encounters- especially with chemical dispersants added.

If enough people start panicking and writing enough silliness, the conservative mainstream- and BP and the people in the government they own- get to discredit them and excuse their lack of action about the real problems...

Because, you know, according to Pravda,

...Gulf Oil Spill Is Vanishing Fast...

Only a moonbat tinfoil hatter would think otherwise.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

masters of the obvious

Pakistan Aids Insurgency in Afghanistan, Reports Assert

It is said, doubtless.

Now, if they only would put together who gives the ISI their marching orders.

The Alledged Buck Alledgedly Stops Alledgedly There

Barney Frank sez it's not his fault if Barry O. doesn't put Elzabeth Warren in charge of the alledged Consumer Protection Agency.

That's because Little Timmeh Goldman $achs Very Serious People know best and should decide who gets appointed where without troubling the President, who has enough to think about.

Interesting week coming up. Also, BP blows off actually, you know, shelling out the money it promised. Don''t listen to what they say, watch what they do, and follow the money.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

a walk in the park

Not ready for prime time, obviously:

In Fallujah, a city just 50 miles from Baghdad, life has never been the same since April 2004, when U.S. Marines declared the entire area a free-fire zone and proceeded to do what Marines do best. Packing the most destructive weaponry in the world, American soldiers laid siege to the city, deploying depleted uranium munitions, white phosphorus and tons of conventional ballistics.

Operation Vigilant Resolve went on for a full month. Though U.S. forces allowed an estimated 70,000 women, children and elderly leave the city, to this day the campaign to recapture Fallujah is beset with allegations of war crimes.

In the wake of America's "shock and awe" bombing campaign to take Baghdad, radiation detectors as far away as the United Kingdom noticed a fourfold spike in radioactivity in the atmosphere. At the time, the Department of Defense bragged that the substance, a nuclear byproduct with a fraction of the radioactivity as standard uranium, is commonly ingested by Americans, in food, drinking water and the air, allegedly with no ill effects. Officials went on to say its use would cause "no impact on the health of people and the environment."

Today, according to a study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [PDF link], rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality and sexual mutations in Fallujah are higher than those reported in the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear detonations...

One major difference, of course, is that American soldiers are breathing this stuff too.

But then again, it wouldn't be the first time the Company used GIs as guinea pigs right along with civilian populations.

they know

Bob Herbert joins the chorus of those disgusted by the Shirley Sherrod case, but barely misses the main point why both the Oborg NeoLibs the Faux News paleocons were so eager to throw her under the bus.

It ain't just about race, baby.

Here's what she said that really drew the lightning:

... The point that Ms. Sherrod was making as she talked in her speech about the white farmer who had come to her for help was that we are all being sold a tragic bill of goods by the powerful forces that insist on pitting blacks, whites and other ethnic groups against one another.

Ms. Sherrod came to the realization, as she witnessed the plight of poverty-stricken white farmers in the South more than two decades ago, that the essential issue in this country “is really about those who have versus those who don’t.”

She explained how the wealthier classes have benefited from whites and blacks constantly being at each other’s throats, and how rampant racism has insidiously kept so many struggling whites from recognizing those many things they and their families have in common with economically struggling blacks, Hispanics and so on.

“It’s sad that we don’t have a roomful of whites and blacks here tonight,” she said, “because we have to overcome the divisions that we have.”

There is no way we’ll overcome those divisions if people who should know better keep bowing before and kowtowing to the toxic agenda of those on the right whose overriding goal is to foment hostility and hate.

Mr. Herbert I'd like to submit that her recognition of the real class war in our society, between the robber privateers and everyone else, is what really led Murdoch's machine to grind her up, and the Chicago School NeoLibs in our government to spit her out.

Race was just an excuse.

crisis in confidence

can't imagine why

So it turns out, government and BP assurances to the contrary, the additional plumes emerging from the Gulf seabed are from the same oil reservoir as the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

This means that despite the cap- or more likely, because of it- there are lateral plumes emerging from the same well.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Through a chemical fingerprinting process, University of South Florida researchers have definitively linked clouds of underwater oil in the northern Gulf of Mexico to BP's runaway Deepwater Horizon well — the first direct scientific link between the subsurface oil clouds commonly known as "plumes" and the BP oil spill, USF officials said Friday.

Until now, scientists had circumstantial evidence, but lacked that definitive scientific link.

The announcement came on the same day that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that its researchers have confirmed the existence of the subsea plumes at depths of 3,300 to 4,300 feet below the surface of the Gulf. NOAA said its detection equipment also implicated the BP well in the plumes' creation.

Together, the two studies confirm what in the early days of the spill was denied by BP and viewed skeptically by NOAA's chief — that much of the crude that gushed from the Deepwater Horizon well stayed beneath the surface of the water...

On the other hand, now there's a cap on it, in the minds of BP and as many government officials as they can buy, it's all a done deal.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Who's Really in Control?

Greenwald talks about how the Washington Pravda begins to see the desert of the real.

Perhaps it has something to do with the One and his Company faction realizing the other factions in the Company don't really like them- no matter how much money they send their way.

...In sum, if you combine this second Post installment with the first one from yesterday, the picture that emerges is that we have a Secret Government of 854,000 people so vast and secret that nobody knows what it does or what it is. Roughly 30% of that Secret Government -- engaged in the whole litany of functions from spying to killing -- is composed of private corporations: "The Post estimates that out of 854,000 people with top-secret clearances, 265,000 are contractors." That there is a virtually complete government/corporate merger when it comes to the National Security and Surveillance State is indisputable: "Private firms have become so thoroughly entwined with the government's most sensitive activities that without them important military and intelligence missions would have to cease or would be jeopardized."

As little oversight as National Security State officials have, corporate officials engaged in these activities have even less. Relying upon profit-driven industry for the defense and intelligence community's "core mission" is to ensure that we have Endless War and an always-expanding Surveillance State. After all, the very people providing us with the "intelligence" that we use to make decisions are the ones who are duty-bound to keep this War Machine alive and expanding because, as the Post put it, they are "obligated to shareholders rather than the public interest." Our military, our CIA, our spying agencies (such as NSA) are every bit corporate as they are governmental: in some cases more so. So complete is the merger that it's the same people who switch seamlessly back and forth between governmental agencies and their private "partners," which means we have not only a vast Secret Government, but one that operates with virtually no democratic accountability and is driven not by National Security concerns but by its own always-expanding private profits...

And you thought being a citizen entitled you to some inalienable Rights, when in reality, it's how many Company shares you hold that determines your degree of Privilege.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Puppet Show

Sibel writes about the "same-o same-o" plot(s).

All the Right People Hate Her

That's enough reason for me to like Elizabeth Warren, too.

Why, Little Timmeh's attitude alone makes me think she's my kind of girl.

I hope she finds a way to nail him and his zombie bank$ter friends. Hard.

Don't forget Ms. Warren. Double tap, to be sure.

More or Less the Bipartisan Consensus

You can disguise the taste of cat food.

Tom Tomorrow

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Deep Water Drilling and Nuclear Energy

As long as they're run by humans and totally unregulated, they're bad ideas.

...Americans are not particularly good at learning even the most painful lessons. Denial is our default mode...

Especially when a lot of money can be made.

looking for a cheap fix

With the Navy calling to take the cap off, and methane bubbles leaking

...the seabed about three kilometers away from the well, a few hundred meters from the well, at the base of the original blowout preventer on the well, and coming out of a gasket in the flange on the capping stack that was installed last week...

But although Admiral Allen wants to stop it, the Feds officially don't believe it's a problem- and BP wants to simply jam more mud down the hole.


Monday, July 19, 2010

it's not over 'till it's over

While Pravda was touting the BP positions all weekend that the well was sealed and over, the real data was not so certain- although you'd have a hard time finding any 'Merikan source for that:

Pressure readings from a new containment cap that stopped the flow of oil from BP's broken wellhead indicate there could be a leak down in the well, the U.S. government's point man on the disaster says.

Developments were "generally good news" but close monitoring must continue, retired coast guard admiral Thad Allen said on a conference call.

Engineers continue to look for evidence of leaks as pressure readings from the cap are examined, Allen said.

He said scientists believe the pressure levels could indicate that the reservoir — the source of the oil — is depleting after a three-month spill or that there's a leak somewhere down in the well.

"We don't know because we don't know the exact condition of the well bore," Allen said...

The pressure in the oil column never rose. So the deep well is compromised, and seeping. Which could be a problem, particularly if there is a major side blowout into the seabed. So, yesterday apparently Allen told BP to prepare to open the cap again.

Thad Allen, the U.S. official in charge of the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, ordered BP Plc to prepare for reopening the company’s Macondo well after a “seep” was detected.

Allen said a “seep” was found “a distance” from the well and anomalies had been observed at the well head, in a letter sent today to BP Chief Managing Director Bob Dudley that was posted on a government website about the spill.

“I direct you to provide me a written procedure for opening the choke valve as quickly as possible without damaging the well should hydrocarbon seepage near the well head be confirmed,” Allen wrote.

Three days of tests on the capped well showed no signs that would prompt BP to reopen the well, Doug Suttles, chief operating officer for exploration and production for BP, said earlier today in a conference call from Houston...

We'll see about that.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Thank You for Nothing"

Nothing like watching a corrupt asshole of a Senator try to country-boy his way out of an interview.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Damn good job Mr. Ratigan for pointing out the seamless Clinton-Bu$h-Obama pandering to the vampires, and a tip o'teh tinfoil to Digby for the link.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Stopped Watch is Right Twice a Day

The New York Pravda wants you to see the growing disaffection with Washington as a purely conservative-driven trend.

The truth is it's nothing like that. People want help from the government. They just don't want to see it going only to the banks. They don't care if you tax BP to pay for its sins, or Goldman-Sachs either. Krugman's right: you'll never get a Republican Congress to do anything but what Bu$hCo-Cheneyburton did.

Unfortunately, despite all the song and dance of Hope© and Change™, it's all just very well-paid kabuki.

People want jobs. There certainly are enough things that need doing. On the other hand, that would be doing something about the situation, wouldn't it?

Michael Krieger at ZeroHedge:

I have been calling Barrack Obama’s Presidency a failure for at least six months now and it seems that I now have considerable company in this assessment as it becomes obvious to most. It is not a failure because of the Republicans. It is not a failure because of events beyond his control. It is a failure because this was a man that filled a depressed and downtrodden nation with the audacity of hope...

I think that what this experience has taught us is that the President of the United States answers to others behind the scene. There are many theories on who these others are but I will keep it very simple. There is clearly a power elite that consists of a union between big corporate and financial oligarchs and career bureaucrats in Washington D.C. These are the folks that pull the strings of all administrations. All you have to do is look at the trends that have been in place since George W Bush and continue under Obama to see what these players want. Bigger government and thus more Federal power, more wealth for the oligarchs (thank you Federal Reserve) and an erosion of the middle class, and reduction of civil liberties in the name of the 1984-like never-ending “war on terror.” I believe in a war on terror of my own. A war against the terror that Washington D.C. is constantly trying to inject into your head so that you sheepishly give away all you rights and power to them. That’s my war on terror.

...As such, if people think things are in freefall now for this administration just wait and see how the next several months pan out. This then brings me to the following quote:

The bottom line here is that Americans don’t believe in President Obama’s leadership,” says Rob Shapiro, another former Clinton official and a supporter of Mr Obama. “He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and, short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can’t think of how he could do that.”

I found this quote in an FT article earlier in the week and it sent chills all over my body. This is how the strategists in Washington D.C. think. They are sick, twisted people. This guy doesn’t even realize how sick and twisted what he said is which is why he said it. Imagine what they say off the record! You can take this quote in many different ways but none of them are good. I am not going to say anything beyond the fact that I would be VERY suspicious if some sort of event occurred before the elections. Google the term “false flag.” Also remember Rahm Emmanuel’s famous quote of “you don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste; it’s an opportunity to do important things that you would otherwise avoid.” Think about this deeply. This doesn’t mean do what the public wants, or follow the constitution. It means that that those pulling the strings of power have the opportunity to do what THEY want, what fits THEIR ideology. Hitler is the most famous modern example of a leader that used a crisis to form his fascist state. Again, I am not talking about Obama in isolation. I am referring to the power structure that has been firmly in place since the 9/11 attacks. Many call it a silent coup. I agree with this assessment.

...I challenge everyone to think about how they would react should another terrorist attack or something along those lines occur. I was there for 9/11 and I saw the buildings go down in person. I know what it was like to be manipulated by my own government and media in the wake of such an emotional trauma. I also see that what we have done since, with things such as the Patriot Act and two wars that are still ongoing, and I have reflected on how they have changed America for the worse and provided a fertile ground for the elite to take away more of our rights and our wealth. So my rallying cry is that we must be strong and fearless in the face of fearful events. In the wake of anything that may occur in the years ahead we must not react on emotion and NEVER give away our inalienable rights in the name of protection from big brother...

Big Brother doesn't ask for your rights. He simply renders them moot. The power structure of which you speak existed a long time before 9/11 was a gleam in Dick Cheney's eye, and it will remain a long time after the next Bu$h dynasty member pretends to rule from the Oval Office.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do Not Be Confused

Digby notices the narrative change since, oh, say 2008.

I attribute it to very wealthy families (like, among others, the Bu$hies) learning mind control techniques from American intelligence agencies during the Cold War and applying them in their quest to dominate the American people.

Oh. Yeah, and to get a lot richer, too.

Just sayin', ya know.

Real Black Helicopters Dropping Money

On themselves, of course. Read it all:

A few years back, there was a fear in some parts about black UN helicopters that were supposedly taking part in the planning of an invasion of the United States. While there was no foundation for this fear, there is basis for concern about the attack of another international organization, the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Last week, the IMF told the United States that it needs to start getting its budget deficit down. It put cutting Social Security at the top of the steps that the country should take to achieve deficit reduction. This one is more than a bit outrageous for two reasons.

First, the IMF deserves a substantial share of the blame for the economic crisis that gave us big deficits in the first place. The IMF is supposed to oversee the operations of the international financial system. According to standard economic theory, capital is supposed to flow from rich countries like the United States to poor countries to finance their development. In other words, the United States should be having a trade surplus, which would correspond to the money that we are investing in poor countries to finance their development.

However, the IMF messed up its management of financial crises so badly in the last 15 years that poor countries decided that they had to accumulate huge amounts of currency reserves in order to avoid ever being forced to deal with the IMF. This meant that capital was flowing in huge amounts in the wrong direction. One result of this reverse flow was that the United States ran a huge trade deficit instead of a trade surplus.

The trade deficit in the United States was a big part of the story of the housing bubble. The trade deficit cost millions of workers their jobs. This was one of the main reasons that economy was so weak coming out of the 2001 recession. This weakness led the Fed to keep interest rates at 50-year lows, until the growth of the housing bubble eventually began to generate jobs in the fall of 2003.

The IMF both bears much of the blame for the imbalances in the world economy and then for failing to clearly sound the alarms about the dangers of the bubble. While the IMF has no problem warning about retired workers getting too much in Social Security benefits, it apparently could not find its voice when the issue was the junk securities from Goldman Sachs or Citigroup that helped to fuel the housing bubble.

The collapse of this bubble has not only sank the world economy, it also destroyed most of the savings of the near retirees for whom the IMF wants to cut Social Security. The vast majority of middle-income retirees have most of their wealth in their home equity. This home equity largely disappeared when the bubble burst. Maybe the IMF doesn't have access to house price series and data on wealth, because if they did, it's hard to believe that they would advocate further harm to some of the main victims of their policy failure.

The other reason that the IMF's call for cutting Social Security benefits is infuriating is the incredible hypocrisy involved. The average Social Security benefit is just under $1,200 a month. No one can collect benefits until they reach the age of 62. By contrast, many IMF economists first qualify for benefits in their early 50s. They can begin drawing pensions at age 51 or 52 of more than $100,000 a year.

This means that we have IMF economists, who failed disastrously at their jobs, who can draw six-figure pensions at age 52, telling ordinary workers that they have to take a cut in their $14,000 a year Social Security benefits that they can't start getting until age 62. Now that is real black helicopter material.

Tea Partiers and John Birchers are always afraid of some great international conspiracy putting boots down on 'Merikan soil, when they've already pawned the soil to the international bank$ters.

Trade these shiny glass beads and big screen TVs for Manhattan Island and the Marcellus Shale under the Appalachians. What a deal!

Oh, and ignore all those little contributions while you shape your policy, too. They're simply designed to keep things friendly.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Cylon Snob Cloud Entity

You miserable little piece of meat, you.

The collective brain is what matters to social prosperity.

Resistance is futile, we are told.

Monday, July 12, 2010

More Bang for the Buck

I'm sure nothing could go wrong with this:

Called Taranis, the wedge-shaped, 8-tonne stealth jet will be able to fly regular drone missions in regions of conflict – but it will also be able to seek and destroy enemy aircraft in dogfights. However, the high degree of autonomy promised by the makers has some observers concerned that the aircraft may decide on its own what constitutes a target.

Taranis is the UK government's response to the dominance of US technology in the uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) market, where aircraft such as the General Atomics Predator reign supreme. Taranis is the outcome of a 2006 Ministry of Defence decision to develop and fly an uncrewed plane that goes one better than the US systems by using jet engines rather than propellers. The result is a fast, highly manoeuvrable fighter jet.

Today, the Ministry of Defence and the UK-based military technology company BAE Systems unveiled the fruits of that development in a high-security roll-out of their Uncrewed Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV). But after reading pre-launch information one expert has raised concerns about the technology...


"Taranis looks set to put the UK ahead of the game in UCAVs," says Noel Sharkey, a robotics engineer specialising in the autonomous military systems at the University of Sheffield in the UK.

"But warning bells ring for me when they talk about Taranis being 'a fully autonomous intelligent system' together with applications in 'deep missions' and having a 'deep target attack' capability."

Sharkey says that "deep mission" is military speak for "beyond the reach of a remote pilot". "We need to know if this means the robot planes will chose their own targets and destroy them – because they certainly will not have the intelligence to discriminate between civilians and combatants..."

Maybe old Fidel isn't so crazy after all. After all, I'm sure this is going to go to the highest bidders, many of whom would gladly arm it with real thermonuclear heat.

old times there are not forgotten


...The truth is that since economic "conservatives" have taken over running our economy, there hasn't been any real innovation at all. And that stands to reason, since this environment is one in which the ordinary people who do things for themselves and do the real work - and are therefore the most likely to be inspired to real innovation - are simply not in a position to put their ideas into practice, to bring them forward. The very rich do not like real innovation because it destabilizes their order, it makes change possible - change that could weaken their position, or make the behavior of the masses less predictable. They like us to be predictable...

She got that right. Technological innovation is terrifying to these folks. They have a familial almost genetic memory of the bad things that happened to them after the slaves started leaving the Nile and Tigris river valleys and discovered iron.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

when all you want to do is hammer,

the whole world is your nail.

For your consideration: the Big Issues on the voters minds in the 2010 mid terms. Now, the main$tream would really like for it to be gay marriage and the Obamacare plan. Strangely enough, despite the twin angst of the 'Merikan Taliban and marriage-minded gay, despite the best efforts of the Tea Party to make a big deal against Obamacare and the Faithful to make a big deal for it, voters are pissed.

Not about the budget.

About the bank$ter bailout.

The Reptilians who thought they'd make a big deal about the One's so-called socialism are finding instead people are more pissed about the socialization of financial risk and the privatization of financial gain. But they can only see the discontent through the kaliedoscope of their own dogma:

...Nearly two years after Congress approved the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Bush administration’s $700 billion program to rescue the banking system at a moment when it appeared close to collapse, lawmakers from both parties who backed it remain haunted by the vote.

Republicans for months predicted that a backlash against the Democrats’ big health care law would be the defining issue in this year’s Congressional campaigns. But the bipartisan TARP vote has become a more resonant issue in a year when anti-incumbent, anti-Washington sentiment is running strong.

Democrats who voted for the bailout — which was championed by their own leaders along with President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain of Arizona, then the Republican presidential nominee — are now facing attacks from Republican challengers on the campaign trail. Republicans who voted for it are being accused of promoting big government and fiscal irresponsibility by Tea Party candidates and other conservatives.

Emotions can run high over the subject. Lawmakers report being buttonholed over bailouts by confrontational constituents, and Senator Robert F. Bennett, Republican of Utah, was jeered at a party convention by people chanting “TARP, TARP, TARP.”

“It became a litmus test of fidelity to free enterprise principles,” said Representative Bob Inglis, a South Carolina Republican who was crushed in a primary last month partly because of his vote in favor of the plan...

It's noteworthy The New York Pravda can only report this through the main$tream narrative. Even when it's the Bu$h platform being attacked, it's only Republicans who can assail it. Progressive Democrats who might be trying to win in primaries against main$tream DINOcratic Faithful are marginalized to the point of being completely ignored. Alan Grayson's positions on this are nowhere to be seen.

Nobody wants to talk about what the main$tream policy supported by both parties has done [tip o'teh tinfoil to Cryptogon]:

... In essence, these private banks and corporations now own the revenue stream of the Federal government and its taxpayers. Neat con, and the marks will never understand how “saving our financial system” led to their servitude to the very interests they bailed out.

The circle is now complete: in “saving our financial system,” the public borrowed trillions and transferred the money to private Power Elites, who then buy the public debt with the money swindled out of the taxpayer. Then the taxpayers transfer more wealth every year to the Power Elites/Plutocracy in the form of interest on the Treasury debt. The Power Elites will own the debt that was taken on to bail them out of bad private bets: this is the culmination of privatized gains, socialized risk.

In effect, it’s a Third World/colonial scam on a gigantic scale: plunder the public treasury, then buy the debt which was borrowed and transferred to your pockets. You are buying the country with money you borrowed from its taxpayers. No despot could do better...

'Merika has been returned to the Colony status. Those who own us couldn't be happier.

And of course, for your consideration, there's the issue of the Endless War, which we are told today in The New York Pravda has a new front opening, and there is officially nothing we can do about it.

The descriptions of the place boggle the mind. Here are some not presented in the order this piece of Company propaganda originally intended:

the ancestral home of Bin Laden, it is said

...Two thousand years ago, the area east of Sana held one of the earth's most prosperous kingdoms, a lush agricultural region of spices and fruits, fed by irrigation canals from a vast man-made dam. The Romans called Yemen "Arabia Felix," or Happy Arabia. Today, the eastern region is an arid wasteland. Most people scrape by on less than $2 a day, even though they live atop Yemen's oil and gas fields. There are few ways to make a living other than smuggling, goat-herding and kidnapping. The region is also, chronically, a war zone. Tribal feuds have always been part of life here, but in recent years they have grown so common and so deadly that as much as a quarter of the population cannot go to school or work for fear of being killed. The feuds often devolve into battles with bands of raiders mowing down their rivals with machine-gun fire or launching mortars into a neighboring village. No one knows how many people die in these wars, but Khaled Fattah, a sociologist who has studied Yemen's tribes for years, told me that hundreds of victims a year is a conservative estimate...

it is the Arab world's poorest country, with a fast-growing and deeply conservative Muslim population of 23 million. It is running out of oil and may soon be the first country in the world to run out of water. The central government is weak and corrupt...

Now that certainly set off disinformation alarm bells. It may be running out of oil, but certainly won't be the first country to run out of water . Nations have been doing that ever since the dawn of recorded history. But, yes, corruption and willful ignorance usually are a part of that package, too.

Somehow, reading this screed in The New York Pravda makes it easy to focus on the local corruption and fundamentalist idiocy and forget that all of that came to be as a few multinationals were cornering the Yemeni market on all that oil. Which is now, being a fossil fuel, running out. Along with the water.

Of course, breaking the back of the global energy cartels and their drive to urbanization in a landscape that can't support cities would end a lot of the stimulus for the corruption. And the Jihad, too.

sometimes paranoids have real enemies

It's all in your head, we are told except when it's bleeding out the other end.

Friday, July 09, 2010

no, you're not imagining the smell

NEW ORLEANS — The Environmental Protection Agency says the air in some places along the Louisiana coast poses a health risk to vulnerable people.

The EPA says recent air sampling shows a moderate health risk in Venice and Grand Isle, two Louisiana towns about 50 miles from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site.

The agency says anyone unusually sensitive to low-quality air should avoid "prolonged or heavy exertion."

EPA's warning comes as concerns grow that the Gulf oil spill may be fouling not just the water and shores but also the air.

The agency says the levels of chemicals found in air samples have not been linked directly to the BP spill. But odor-causing pollutants associated with oil have been detected.

Those are just the carcinogens you're smelling. Methane is totally odorless, and 40% of the material leaking from the rip in the crust.

Meanwhile, the One is sending in Colonel Blimp's Navy to help.

...BP said in a letter to the federal government's spill recovery coordinator Friday that it would commence work on a new containment cap because there was a good weather window even though it means more oil will flow into the Gulf temporarily.

The letter came in response to Ret. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen's demands that BP outline its plans. BP projected it could finish the new-cap operation in five days if it doesn't encounter any unexpected hurdles. Its contingency plan puts the finish time as nine days from commencement of the work. If all goes well, the new system could stop the flow of oil into the Gulf, which has despoiled the fragile coast, rendering some fishing area off limits and soaking untold numbers of sealife in toxic crude.

However, removal of the cap in place now before another collection vessel is brought into full operation would mean significantly more oil would gush into the Gulf as work on the new containment system progresses...

Details, details. This will surely work better than the last cap, which even after the oil it captured increased the flow rate about three-fold. They're optimistic and full of Hope®.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

mislead, disinform, and confuse the way

Bobby Jindal's got a point. Several of them actually.

On July 6, Governor Bobby Jindal blasted the federal government for again denying a defense plan proposed by local and state officials that would block oil from further damaging Louisiana’s fragile marshlands. Over the past weekend, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a plan to place rocks in the water that would stop oil from hitting the coast near Grand Isle – which leaves the area nearly unprotected from further oil impact.

After a flyover of Lake Pontchartrain and a meeting today with local officials, Governor Jindal said it was unacceptable for the federal government to continue to deny state and local defense plans without proposing any of their own solutions. The Governor said officials from Jefferson Parish and Grand Isle would be resubmitting the rock plan for approval.

Governor Jindal said, “On Saturday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rejected the rock plan to protect the Barataria Bay at Grand Isle after weeks of meetings and phone calls and even our talking to the President about it a month ago when we were told we would get a call about the plan within hours.

“No one can convince us that rocks in the water are more dangerous than oil. That is absolutely ridiculous. The only people who believe that are the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. who can’t see the oil, smell the oil or touch the oil.

“No is not an answer. No is not a plan. No is not acceptable. Time and time again we have battled with them to get out plans approved. We are resubmitting this rock plan and we are asking BP to put funds in escrow in the event the rocks need to be removed. We have said all along that we are willing to make the rocks temporary or otherwise modify the plan to address any concerns – for example, we modified the barges by reducing the plan from five passes to two passes – but we continue to run into red tape at the federal level.

“We need the federal government to get in this war to win it. They continue to reject our plans while they put forward no plan of their own. This is not acceptable. They need to either lead, follow or get out of the way.”

Governor Jindal added, “Every time one of our requested defense measures was not provided, we came up with an alternative – just to have these alternatives get shot down. What we are left with then is often a void of any action to protect our coast at all. The choice we have in this battle is not between our plan to protect this area and some other perfect plan, which is non-existent. The choice we have is fundamentally between fighting this oil out at sea or in the passes or having it come in and attack our marsh. Those are our only choices. Let there be no doubt that we will fight for every plan and alternative to having this oil kill our marshes, our fisheries and the very livelihood of our people.

“The reality is that sand berms and gap closures with rocks/barges will help protect our coast 24 hours a day in rain or shine. We need the federal government to recognize the vulnerability that continues to exist and to work with us rather than obstruct us from protecting our citizens. Instead, the federal government continues to lack the common sense and urgency that this disaster demands; and every time they reject one of our ideas they chose the path of inaction and more of our marshland is attacked by oil.

Governor Jindal said, “This weekend oil began passing through the Rigolets into Lake Pontchartrain. We have been asking for 20 miles of boom for weeks now where we have piles driven to create multiple layers of defense to protect this Lake. We still don’t have this needed boom and we are now again asking the Coast Guard, BP and federal officials to deploy shallow water skimmers to this area. It is absolutely critical to the City of New Orleans and our entire state that we clean Lake Pontchartrain and protect it from oil impact. We just recently cleaned up the lake after decades of work to restore the water there to healthy levels.

“With the oiling in Lake Pontchartrain, it is now confirmed that our total shoreline impact from oil is now over 337 miles.”

Why is it that the disaster at the Gulf seems like a huge social/ ecological experiment to see just how much people- and the world they live in- will put up with?

Overt corporate and government lies and environmental degradation and destruction are the new norm, and the least deviation away from that is ballyhooed as

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

"...The U.S. Government doesn’t spend $10,000,000,000 a month, while every state in this country is going bankrupt, in order to capture 50 to 100

"...extremists in the mountains of Afghanistan. They’re spending billions of our tax dollars to benefit the oil and weapon industries. Think about that next time Obama tells us, while eating his two hundred dollar steak dinner, that we’re going to have to tighten our belts, slash public services, raise taxes, and that we’re in for some painful times from the economic fallout. Think about that $10 billion dollars a month and what we could do with it..."
-Jacqueline Marcus

While I can't entirely agree with her she is right on about that.

But blowing up the leak at the bottom of the Gulf is a decidedly bad idea: that the Navy wants to do it should be a tell alright.

And basically Ms. Marcus strikes me as the kind of progressive that thinks Hillary could solve it all. Ms. Marcus, a Clinton driving would do exactly what Obama's done, because she or he would be owned by the same people. Does the name Larry Summers mean anything to you?

what you don't know can't hurt them


A group of independent scientists, frustrated and dumbfounded by the continued lack of the most basic data about the 77-day-old BP oil disaster, has put together a crash project intended to definitively measure how much oil has spilled and where and how it is spreading throughout the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

An all-star team of top oceanographers, chemists, engineers and other scientists could be ready to head out to the well site on two fully-equipped research vessels on about a week's notice. But they need to get the go-ahead -- and about $8.4 million -- from BP or the federal government or both. And that does not appear imminent.

The test is designed to provide responders to future deep-sea oil catastrophes with valuable information. But, to be blunt, it would also fill an enormous gap in the response to this one.

Federal estimates of the flow have over time gone from laughably low to laughably imprecise to just plain unpersuasive. And it took more than a month for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to take the marine science community's concerns seriously enough to embark on substantive missions to explore the potentially vast amounts of oil that are lurking beneath the surface with possibly long-term and devastating effects...

"...Laughably low to laughably imprecise to just plain unpersuasive." Possibly because they feel you couldn't handle the truth. Perhaps a better description would be that they couldn't handle you if you knew the truth.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

living up to expectations

why is this no surprise to me? because i never believed them.

The Washington Pravda

In the 77 days since oil from the ruptured Deepwater Horizon began to gush into the Gulf of Mexico, BP has skimmed or burned about 60 percent of the amount it promised regulators it could remove in a single day...

why is this no surprise to Washington? because

1) BP hasn't told them officially yet

2) BP hasn't paid them to be surprised.

over 1 billion served

Yes, over 1 billion migratory birds pass through the Gulf coast every fall.

With oil now washing up from Galveston, Texas to the west coast of Florida, and no one with any idea how to stop it if the relief wells don't work, this is turning into quite the mass extinction level event.

The real kicker is 40% of the leak every day is methane. You don't even see it. But sooner or later the ice caps will- as they melt.

Which is just fine for BP, they interfere with the drilling, and no Arctic Wildlife Reserves if there's no arctic or wildlife, right?

Why is a foreign corporation is directing a branch of America's military?

Webster and Greenwald separately ask a really good question.

The Coast Guard is not only facilitating the cover up of how bad things are at the Gulf, they're countermanding the rulings of the Environmental Protection Agency.

It couldn't have anything to do with this, could it?

When war is good business, business brings the war home to you.

Still, many people have not felt the impact of this inevitable result of the way things are being run here in the Corporate State of Amerika, but that's about to change.

When the Appalachians are being leveled by Halliburton from northern Alabama through the highlands of Vermont, maybe the complacent will notice.

Then again, maybe not.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Felonius My Old Friend

We are all criminal Terra'ists now. Georgianne Nienaber:

The United States Coast Guard considers me a felon now, because I "willfully" want to obtain more photos like these to show you the utter devastation occurring in Barataria Bay, Louisiana as a result of the BP oil catastrophe. If the Coast Guard has its way, all media, not just independent writers and photographers like myself and Jerry Moran, will be fined $40,000 and receive Class D felony convictions for providing the truth about oiled birds and dolphins, in addition to broken, filthy, unmanned boom material that is trapping oil in the marshlands and estuaries. We don't have $40,000 to spare, and have had to scrape the bottoms of our checkbooks as is to hire boats to take us to the devastation the Coast Guard, under the direction of BP, does not want you to see...

It is now a felony to take more photos of birds like this, wading through oil that broken booms have trapped in rookeries

Read it all, fellow criminals aiding and abetting.

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Tom Tomorrow

...and Glen Greenwald for your 4th of July fireworks.

Patriotic Choice

Ian Welsh:

Michael Steele’s comments on Afghanistan remind me of my favorite definition of a gaffe: “saying the truth in the worst way possible.”

To whit, Steele said that Afghanistan is a war of Obama’s choosing, and that everyone who’s occupied Afghanistan has come to grief over it. Now one can quibble a bit over the details of who came to grief and who didn’t, but basically he’s right. Afghanistan went badly for the Russians and the British, most recently. There’s a reason Afghanistan is called the “graveyard of Empires” and if the US isn’t careful it’ll be the graveyard of the US empire.

Likewise, yes, this is a war of choice for Obama. He could have done his review, said “hey, there are almost no al-Q’aeda fighters in Afghanistan anymore, so we won, let’s go home.” He could have said “fighting in Afghanistan is seriously destabilizing Pakistan, which is far more important than Afghanistan, so let’s go home.” He could have said “yes, if we leave, some al-Q’aeda camps might spring up but we can always bomb them and anyway there are plenty of failed states where al-Q’aeda can set up camps and we can’t occupy all of them.”

The point is that continuing in Afghanistan was a choice. Obama could have chosen otherwise. Not being in Afghanistan will not create an existential threat to the US.

So yeah, Steele was right. Of course, being the RNC chairman, Steele isn’t allowed to say things that make sense and contradict Republican warmongering.

Now here’s a truth that Steele didn’t tell. Obama has to stay in Afghanistan because war spending is one of the only reliable forms of stimulus he has. The economy is in bad shape, and it needs that stimulus. Since he can’t get a new large stimulus through Congress that means he MUST keep the Afghan war going if he doesn’t want an economic disaster, which would then lead to an electoral disaster.

This is the sad truth of America: the only acceptable form of Keynesian spending is military Keynesianism. Instead of hiring tens of thousands of teachers, building a high speed rail network across the country, refitting every building to be energy efficient and doing a massive solar and wind build-out to reduce dependence on oil, well, the US would rather turn Afghans and Pakistanis into a fine red mist.

That fine red mist is what’s keeping the American economy from going under entirely. And so, even if it’s the wrong thing to do, even if it’s the graveyard of America’s Empire, the war will continue.

It's a choice the One has made to follow the path of least resistance. You can easily convince the Reptilians to go into hock to their eyeballs for more military hardware. You can not get them to agree to donate a shed scale for health, education, or non-military science.

It's a choice the One makes to be the Great Compromiser. It's the wrong choice, though.

Masters of the Lubricants

Somewhere, somebody running The New York Pravda is getting a little peeved at the oil faction of the Company.

When the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform set off the worst oil spill at sea in American history, it was flying the flag of the Marshall Islands. Registering there allowed the rig’s owner to significantly reduce its American taxes.

The owner, Transocean, moved its corporate headquarters from Houston to the Cayman Islands in 1999 and then to Switzerland in 2008, maneuvers that also helped it avoid taxes.

At the same time, BP was reaping sizable tax benefits from leasing the rig. According to a letter sent in June to the Senate Finance Committee, the company used a tax break for the oil industry to write off 70 percent of the rent for Deepwater Horizon — a deduction of more than $225,000 a day since the lease began.

With federal officials now considering a new tax on petroleum production to pay for the cleanup, the industry is fighting the measure, warning that it will lead to job losses and higher gasoline prices, as well as an increased dependence on foreign oil.

But an examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process.

According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry.

And for many small and midsize oil companies, the tax on capital investments is so low that it is more than eliminated by various credits. These companies’ returns on those investments are often higher after taxes than before...

The prospect of an 80% chance of what is happening now at Destin and Pensacola happening in Miami by the end of the summer must have someone worried about property values.

Saturday, July 03, 2010


Like your carcinogens served hot and sunny?

Jeff Wells:

It's extraordinary, the lengths to which people will go to normalize the intolerable.

The Great Compromiser

...is greatly compromised.

...While President Bill Clinton’s political advisers favored more spending and tax cuts coming out of the recession of the early 1990s and his economic team pushed to start reducing deficits, in President Obama’s circle the opposite is true. Political advisers are channeling the widespread public anger at deficits while the economic team argues that the government should further spur the economy to avert another recession...

There is widespread public anger at unemployment and the bank$ter-corporate rule over the government.

What widespread public anger at deficits outside of the Republican party?

There should be no compromise for Hooverism over the New Deal economics.

Unfortunately the Great Compromiser got tenure at the University of Chicago before he got his start in politics. Uncle Miltie Friedman doubtless gets a lot of respect from the One even though his policies have wasted economies all over the globe. But doubtless being under this kind of mind control is requisite for the highest Executive position in the Company.

"...almost all of those people are now dead"

Where were you in 1989?

The Great Compromiser compromises us all.

Friday, July 02, 2010

New Newspeak

The New Politics abandons the old Orwellian Newspeak for a bipartisan language of warm fuzzy obfuscation the better to assimilate you with, my dears.

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Army has dropped the Vietnam-era name "psychological operations" for its branch in charge of trying to change minds behind enemy lines, acknowledging the term can sound ominous.

The Defense Department picked a more neutral moniker: "Military Information Support Operations," or MISO.

U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Ken McGraw said Thursday the new name, adopted last month, more accurately reflects the unit's job of producing leaflets, radio broadcasts and loudspeaker messages to influence enemy soldiers and civilians.

"One of the catalysts for the transition is foreign and domestic sensitivities to the term 'psychological operations' that often lead to a misunderstanding of the mission," McGraw said...

For example, gradual labor market recovery is a net loss this week of only 125,000 jobs nationwide.

And, sorry Kos. The war in Afghanistan, like Iraq, is a waste of lives, and should never have been fought.

Only a fool fights a land war in Asia.

...The DNC's behavior is bolstering the poisonous, manipulative premise that to oppose an American war is an "affront" to the Troops and their families and the by-product of a cowardly desire to "walk away from the fight" with the Terrorists. When the DNC, a front page Daily Kos writer and Bill Kristol all join together to smear someone with common language for opposing a war, it's clear that something toxic is taking place. By all means, the ludicrous hypocrisy and illogic of Steele's attempt to place all blame on the Democrats for this war should be screamed from the mountaintops -- Obama inherited and (with the overwhelming support of the GOP) escalated the war, but he did not start it -- but equating war opposition with disrespect to the Troops or cowardice is destructive and stupid no matter who is doing it...

These days, it's a multiverse of willful stupidity we live in. Just ask Krugman. Or some of these fine people.

...With a host of furious fancies
Whereof I am commander,
With a burning spear and a horse of air,
To the wilderness I wander.
By a knight of ghostes and shadowes
I summon'd am to tourney
Ten leagues beyond the wild world's end.
Methinks it is no journey

Thursday, July 01, 2010

misunderestimation of threat

Greenwald quotes a very odd statement the assimilated Company head has made concerning his right to assassinate citizens without due process- hell, without any process.

"If someone like Anwar al-Awlaki is responsible" for part of a plot "to kill more than 300 people over the city of Detroit," [director of the National Counterterrorism Center Michael] Leiter said, "I think it would be wholly irresponsible for citizens like me, Leon Panetta, Defense Secretary (Robert) Gates, and ultimately the president, not to at least think about and potentially direct all the elements of national power to try to defend the American people" . . .

But you know, it's okay to strip tens of thousands of Detroit citizens of their jobs, and 10% of the homeowners of Detroit of their homes, and their retirement. That's just the Free Market breaks, isn't it Leon?

Mr. Panetta, believe me, the people of Detroit are their own best defense from terrorists.

Especially, you know, the home grown ones in power suits waering wingtips and riding in black limousines.

Company History

Stephen Kinzer in that Team Xinhua propaganda organ but lifted from, of course, those green pinko commies at TomDispatch:

...Its roots lie in the early years of the 20th century when a wealthy bon vivant named William Knox D'Arcy decided, with encouragement from the British government, to begin looking for oil in Iran. He struck a concession agreement with the dissolute Iranian monarchy, using the proven expedient of bribing the three Iranians negotiating with him.

Under this contract, which he designed, D'Arcy was to own whatever oil he found in Iran and pay the government just 16% of any profits he made - never allowing any Iranian to review his accounting. After his first strike in 1908, he became sole owner of the entire ocean of oil that lies beneath Iran's soil. No one else was allowed to drill for, refine, extract or sell "Iranian" oil.

"Fortune brought us a prize from fairyland beyond our wildest dreams," Winston Churchill, who became First Lord of the Admiralty in 1911, wrote later. "Mastery itself was the prize of the venture."

Soon afterward, the British government bought the D'Arcy concession, which it named the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. It then built the world's biggest refinery at the port of Abadan on the Persian Gulf. From the 1920s into the 1940s, Britain's standard of living was supported by oil from Iran. British cars, trucks and buses ran on cheap Iranian oil. Factories throughout Britain were fueled by oil from Iran. The Royal Navy, which projected British power all over the world, powered its ships with Iranian oil.

After World War II, the winds of nationalism and anti-colonialism blew through the developing world.

In Iran, nationalism meant one thing: we’ve got to take back our oil. Driven by this passion, parliament voted on April 28, 1951, to choose its most passionate champion of oil nationalization, Mohammad Mossadegh, as prime minister. Days later, it unanimously approved his bill nationalizing the oil company. Mossadegh promised that, henceforth, oil profits would be used to develop Iran, not enrich Britain.

This oil company was the most lucrative British enterprise anywhere on the planet. To the British, nationalization seemed, at first, like some kind of immense joke, a step so absurdly contrary to the unwritten rules of the world that it could hardly be real. Early in this confrontation, the directors of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and their partners in Britain's government settled on their strategy: no mediation, no compromise, no acceptance of nationalization in any form.

The British took a series of steps meant to push Mossadegh off his nationalist path. They withdrew their technicians from Abadan, blockaded the port, cut off exports of vital goods to Iran, froze the country’s hard-currency accounts in British banks, and tried to win anti-Iran resolutions from the United Nations and the World Court. This campaign only intensified Iranian determination. Finally, the British turned to Washington and asked for a favor: please overthrow this madman for us so we can have our oil company back.

American president Dwight D Eisenhower, encouraged by his secretary of state John Foster Dulles, a lifelong defender of transnational corporate power, agreed to send the Central Intelligence Agency in to depose Mossadegh. The operation took less than a month in the summer of 1953. It was the first time the Central Intelligence Agency had ever overthrown a government.

At first, this seemed like a remarkably successful covert operation. The West had deposed a leader it didn't like, and replaced him with someone who would perform as bidden - Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.

From the perspective of history, though, it is clear that Operation Ajax, as the operation was code-named, had devastating effects. It not only brought down Mossadegh's government, but ended democracy in Iran. It returned the Shah to his Peacock Throne. His increasing repression set off the explosion of the late 1970s, which brought to power Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the bitterly anti-Western regime that has been in control ever since.

The oil company rebranded itself as British Petroleum, BP Amoco, and then, in 2000, BP. During its decades in Iran, it had operated as it pleased, with little regard for the interests of local people. This corporate tradition has evidently remained strong.

Many Americans are outraged by the relentless images of oil gushing into Gulf waters from the Deepwater Horizon well, and by the corporate recklessness that allowed this spill to happen. Those who know Iranian history have been less surprised.

Is there any government in the middle east the Dulles brothers' Company didn't stick their bloody hands into? I think not.