Recent comments

  • Julian Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador   1 day 10 hours ago

    They have given statements to reporters, not exactly in court, but there has been no in court at all other than about procedures rather than the substance of the rather marginal "charges."

    It is pretty clear that this is NSS kicknuts and not anything about law and violations.

  • “Hogwash!" and Other Down-to-Earth Observations   1 day 10 hours ago

    Good link, Zenzoe, thanks. Something about the one I posted resonates with me in respect to themes of what kind of social community might be formed out of the raw elements widely available. Its funny how certain things have and still can have a natural role in the regular routine of life. The intensity of the feeling of attachment which comes about any time there is the potential for a strong interaction between the mind of an individual and the environment pretty much guarantees that a peaceful stable order can evolve after a removal of the forces which subordinate the masses to the current regime of conflict and negative spiral of human rights and well-being.

  • "Emperor Obama" wins the coveted "Upside-Down Pinnochio"   1 day 10 hours ago
    Quote loganonenation:

    He's not a Republican...

    Not in 2014 anyway. It's not that long ago that he (and most federal level Dems) could have easily passed for a Republican. What led us to this point? I think one factor is giving credence to the ludicrous. It's one thing to debate policy. It's another thing to argue with someone who believes up is down and down is up. Or those who somehow can't see (or refuse to acknowledge) that the very policies that they support lead to the mass migration that they oppose. Or those who won't admit that the free marketeers that they tout benefit hugely from maintaining the status quo when it comes to immigration policy.

  • "Emperor Obama" wins the coveted "Upside-Down Pinnochio"   1 day 10 hours ago
    Quote mdhess:

    But if we on the left engage in nothing but repeating our own narrative to one another without gauging reaction from the opposition or addressing issues they raise then we'll just end up in an insular bubble like so many of them.

    That isn't the only alternative, though. As you say, facts and appeals to conscience don't work--many of the folks we're talking about (both elected officials and those who support them) don't even accept basic scientific truths. Engaging in debate is, therefore, counterproductive as it gives a voice to insanity without any return on the investment of time. And I agree that all of the narrative-repeating, as you put it, is also not a good use of time. Yet both of those unproductive activities are precisely what this message board and other message boards (and various TV/radio programs) are all about.

    One last thing, a coat hanger is a concrete thing, not a mere abstraction.

  • "Emperor Obama" wins the coveted "Upside-Down Pinnochio"   1 day 10 hours ago
    Quote Garrett78:

    It's just a bleepin' 3-year deportation deferral for a very select group of immigrants (many of whom won't bother to register) to go along with increased border security until a so-called comprehensive immigration reform plan makes the executive action null and void.

    And, by the way, such a bill was passed by the Senate and has been sitting on Boehner's desk for well over a year.

  • Julian Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador   1 day 10 hours ago
    Quote drc2:

    Political? You think? This is a stinking pile of crap and the sex was consensual. ...

    ...and you know this how, has the alledged victim testified to such?

  • Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, Ecopsychology, or Deep Ecology   1 day 11 hours ago

    For anyone with an itch for betwixt & between:

    http://www.animas.org/

    Of course, you can do it on your own too: the only thing required is a wild soul.

  • Immigration Proclamation   1 day 11 hours ago
    Quote mavibobo:
    Quote mdhess:

    You are as dense as a board. He is not ignoring a law he doesn't like, he is prioritizing its enforcement. As I have explained (ad nauseam) to the other conservatives in the forum it is not a matter of changing laws or ignoring laws or acting unilaterally or any other manner you all would like to characterize it in order to bash President Obama. If you conservatives could just set aside your xenophobia and vitriolic hatred of all things Obama you might actually appreciate the rationalle behind the decision. Regardless of what the root causes are (NAFTA and CAFTA) the fact is that an enormous number of undocumented immigrants are presently in the country. Most estimates put that number at around eleven million. The President doesn't have the resources, time or magic necessary to identify and deport all those millions in any sort of timely manner. It is not just a simple matter of picking them up and putting them on a bus -- according to existing law it is a complex process. So for the sake of practicality acting humanely and in the best interests of the American people he has decided to prioritize deportations by targeting criminals, those who have not yet brought other family members here already and the newly arrived.

    If a city block was on fire and that fire was threatening a shoe store and a gasoline depot I would expect the firefighters to focus their effort on preventing the gasoline depot from catching fire and worry about the shoe store later. The President is just doing his job and all of you xenophobic, Obama hating hotheads might as well settle down before you give yourselves a stroke. Whether you appreciate the rationalle or not, it is well within his authority to prioritize the implementation of the law and most especially when doing so is both practical and in the public interest. The fact that it is the humane thing to do also is really what gets your goats!

    Yes he is ignoring the law he does not like by not deporting all of them as the law states he is saying that he can change the law ignore the law and do what ever he pleases. It does not have to be in a timely manner he just has to start putting them on a bus president Eisenhower did it in the 1950's with a few buses, a few planes and a couple of boats 1000 agents tracked down and deported over a million people. If you want to look up the Eisenhower plan it was called operation wetback. All they have to do is start deporting people and their families and things will eventually be better.
    Or better yet he can do as that hero of the Lib/Progressive set, FDR, did in the Great Depression, allow his administration to offer "self deportation". Yep, the same thing that ol Mit was panned for: "In 1932 President Roosevelt and the State Department essentially shut down immigration during the Great Depression as immigration went from 236,000 in 1929 to 23,000 in 1933. This was accompanied by voluntary repatriation to Europe and Mexico, and coerced repatriation and deportation of between 500,000 and 2 million Mexican Americans, mostly citizens, in the Mexican Repatriation. Total immigration in the decade of 1931 to 1940 was 528,000 averaging less than 53,000 a year."

    "As unemployment swept the U.S., hostility to immigrant workers grew, and the government began a program of repatriating immigrants to Mexico. Immigrants were offered free train rides to Mexico, and some went voluntarily, but many were either tricked or coerced into repatriation, and some U.S. citizens were deported simply on suspicion of being Mexican. All in all, hundreds of thousands of Mexican immigrants, especially farmworkers, were sent out of the country during the 1930s--many of them the same workers who had been eagerly recruited a decade before."

    Does anyone know if the part of immigration law requiring those sponsoring family members to be capable of furnishing 125% of the current poverty level, in income support, still in effect?

  • Obama Assures The Latinization of America   1 day 11 hours ago

    Reagan signed the Simpson Mazzoli bill in 1986 which gave amnesty to 3M+ illegal immigrants. That was supposed to be the final answer. All it seemed to do was give the message that amnesty will be given periodically if you make enough of a stink and enough illegals cross the border. It was a brilliant strategy to change the nomenclature from illegal immigrants to undocumented-the Repubs would be proud.

    I arrived in SoCal in 1969. I came from a small town in CT and it was an eye opener to see the diversity here. It was also an eye opener when I saw 50 white junior high boys square off against 50 Mexican boys-fortunately the principal intervened. The hispanics all spoke English and I made friends with some.

    Forward to the 1980's and the flood of illegal immigrants and suddenly the schools are burdened with bilingual education. I don't think anybody will say the CA school system was improved by diverting funds(after the decimation from Prop 13) to bilingual programs. It would appear the later immigrants weren't so keen on assimilating. It is now to the point where half of the customer service jobs in this area are looking for bilingual Spanish speakers. My foreign immigrant forefathers assimilated, learned the language and didn't ask for special education-and they entered the country properly.

    My neighbor and friend of 20 years was born in Mexico and came to the US in the 70's. He joined the Marines to get citizenship, learned the language, got a civil service job and has enjoyed a nice middle class life. He agrees with most of what I say.

    My point was to show the consequences for the rest of the country who haven't felt the full effect of an influx of illegal immigrants like SoCal has. I stand behind my observations and each can judge for themselves whether it is a positive or negative effect.

    I also tried to note how Obama used the 'practical' message and show the things the practical argument isn't being used for to benefit citizens.

    Bottom line, I don't have a problem with legal immigation. We do need to realize that we aren't the land of bounty that we used to be and American citizens are hurting. At this time, we can't be the landing spot for the world's poor until we get our house in order. There is no more territory to expand like there was in the 1800's-no new frontiers to populate. These are not engineers and doctors sneaking across the border-they are the low income people who won't pay much in income taxes and only provide an outlet for employer exploitation which hurts all workers. For those of us old enough, amnesty is just deja vu all over again.

  • Obama Assures The Latinization of America   1 day 11 hours ago

    I wonder what would happen if the bigots made a slight revision and started using the phrase "illegal humans." Would the corporate media be quite as gung ho about using that phrase as they are about using "illegal immigrant?"

    Of course, I don't think the bigots would start using that phrase, as it would defeat the purpose of dehumanization.

  • MH17   1 day 11 hours ago

    More...

    http://sputniknews.com/politics/20141114/1014740362.html

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a phone conversation told US Secretary of State John Kerry that Moscow is concerned by delays in the investigation into the crash of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine.

    MOSCOW, November 14 (Sputnik) – Moscow is concerned by delays in the investigation into the crash of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine this summer, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told US Secretary of State John Kerry by phone Friday.

    "The head of the Russian foreign ministry expressed his serious concern about delays in the investigation of the Malaysian Boeing crash in breach of UN Security Council resolution 2166 and ICAO rules," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

    http://sputniknews.com/europe/20141113/1014685921.html

    12:49 13.11.2014(updated 15:58 13.11.2014)

    Topic:

    MH17 Crash Investigation (27)

    27110

    Member countries of the joint investigation team onto the downing of MH17 agreed to extend the investigation for another nine months, according to Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan.

    MOSCOW, November 13 (Sputnik) – The investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine is to be extended until August 2015, Australian Justice Minister Michael Keenan said Thursday.

    "Member countries of the joint investigation team (JIT) into the downing of MH17 in July have agreed to extend the investigation for another nine months," a statement published on the Australian Justice Minister's website says.

    The JIT includes the Netherlands, Ukraine, Australia, Belgium and Malaysia, as well as other international partners, Keenan said in the statement.

    The minister said that during a meeting with the Ukrainian authorities, Australia reiterated its commitment to continue work on the investigation site, engaging 35 Australian Federal Police (AFP) personnel.

    The justice minister stressed that the expert team was ready to return to the crash site as soon as JIT members considered the area safe enough, calling on the international community to remain focused on the investigation.

  • Julian Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador   1 day 12 hours ago

    Political? You think? This is a stinking pile of crap and the sex was consensual. It was not with underage women. Again, the triviality of the "crime" makes it clear that this is part of the campaign against Assange and Snowden, and it is unrelenting in the National Security States of the "special relationship."

    Sweden has also been part of a lot of Cold War stuff dealing with Russia. It is not all "socialism" and "boredom." Like most countries, it is a complicated place and its role in this persecution has to do with its own Cold Warriors.

  • Obama Assures The Latinization of America   1 day 12 hours ago

    Border security would stop all illegal immigrants-not just Mexicans. Why is that a bad thing? At the very least you should be concerned about the terrorism aspect.

  • Julian Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador   1 day 12 hours ago

    "LONDON — A Swedish court on Thursday upheld a four-year-old order for the detention of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, over accusations of sexual assault that inspired a lengthy legal battle before he took refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London."

  • Obama Assures The Latinization of America   1 day 12 hours ago

    I am showing what is in store for those not living in border states and have seen these things already. You can judge whether it is for the better or worse.

  • “Hogwash!" and Other Down-to-Earth Observations   1 day 12 hours ago

    "Number of socks found in the stomach of a Great Dane in Oregon in February: 43.5" —Harper's Index.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/09/04/us-usa-oregon-dog-idUSKBN0GZ2L920140904

    :D

  • Another Govt Program Corrupted-VA Disability   1 day 12 hours ago

    When I click on the Times links, they connect right to the article w/o subscription.

  • "HOUSE FILES CHALLENGE OVER THE CHANGES TO THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT"   1 day 12 hours ago

    Thanks, Micah. I think the continued consolidation of more power to the "Executive" should be of concern to all of us. I am a Democrat but despite that I regularly critisize Obama but I was also critical of Bush and some aspects of the Patriot Act.

  • Comments for Thom   1 day 12 hours ago

    The Koch figure I heard was 3 billion a year, if it's a 33 year expected production run, 99 is close enough to a 100. Rachel has called poitifact out so much I don't even bother with them. We're not talking opinions, but facts supporting issues they claim are lies, and lies exposed that they excuse for no reason and give it a mostly true or whatever weasel rating they have.

    Some atheists proselytize, most don't. Socrates was an atheist because he was a monotheist and that meant less gods than the standards. Atheos is godless, so against polytheism, monotheism is godless or atheist. Against monotheism godless is no god. Xenophanes was a kind of pantheist, where nature is god, or god is nature, and a pantheist's temple is the forest or the mountains or the seas.

  • Sex, Ecology, Spirituality, Ecopsychology, or Deep Ecology   1 day 12 hours ago

    Plotkin gives an important talk about the rite of passage process.

    To mature, to develop a culture where people will reach stages of maturity beyond the late adolescence that most in industrial civilization never go beyond, one needs to experience and understand those three stages of the rite of passage he describes.

    As he notes, we have very few elders who can introduce this process to the younger generations and guide them through.

    The most important stage in the process for anyone interested in human creativity is the bottom of the U shaped ritual process he describes -- the "betwixt and between" as he puts it. Formally the word for that is liminality. But the words are not important. It is the experience of facing the unknown and the awareness of not knowing, not having an answer, no views, no opinion... Silence. That experience, that moment. And staying there, relaxing, not fleeing in terror back to the known. This is a state of mind anyone can experience at any time once the process of arriving at that awareness has been experienced directly and fully. It can even happen in a conversation where one is holding one's views loosely.

    It's an experience at the very foundation of mysticism. I think of it as speaking to my indigenous soul in the place beyond what I know.

    So Soulcraft is a good word for Bill Plotkin's talk. Going to the betwixt and between is a soul craft, like crafting of art. It involves skill as well as vision.

  • Immigration Proclamation   1 day 12 hours ago
    Quote mavibobo:Yes he is ignoring the law he does not like by not deporting all of them as the law states he is saying that he can change the law ignore the law and do what ever he pleases. It does not have to be in a timely manner he just has to start putting them on a bus president Eisenhower did it in the 1950's with a few buses, a few planes and a couple of boats 1000 agents tracked down and deported over a million people. If you want to look up the Eisenhower plan it was called operation wetback. All they have to do is start deporting people and their families and things will eventually be better.

    Did Congress appropriate sufficient funds for the measures you want? Yes or no?

    If not, what's the shortfall?

    So should Obama take funds from money Congress appropriated for other uses? Or would that also be illegal? What's Congress's responsibility here?

  • Immigration Proclamation   1 day 12 hours ago
    Quote Always here with his right wing talking points, mavibobo wrote: Yea screw the law and the constitution do anything you want.

    I tend to be a immigration hardliner so I have mixed feelings about what Obama did. That being said, please show me chapter and verse what law/laws Obama is actually violating. Thanks.

    And while you're at it... GOPers are claiming they represent the will of the People (of course they do! ROTF) But is Obama correct when he says Boehner actually prevented a vote in the House on immigration "reform" that he knew would have passed but with mostly Dem votes?

  • Can Capitalism Thrive Without Free Goodies From Government?   1 day 12 hours ago

    Ultrax,

    Like I said, seperating an economy from both the protection and the support of a government would be lunacy. It would just give license for businesses to attempt controlling people. It would also take away many things beneficial to businesses as well. There are people out there who would say that businesses can only hurt people with the permission of those people. Balogna! When the only real alternative to working under unsafe and dehumanizing conditions is starvation, then that is what people will do. To eat! Ultrax, I know that what I just said is off topic, but you mentioned Massey Energy and I had to release some steam about it.

  • Obamacare Architect: Lack of Transparency Was Key Because ‘Stupidity Of The American Voter’ Would Have Killed Obamacare   1 day 12 hours ago

    Reply to #21: That the Democratic Party is a near-complete sellout is hardly news, Kilo. Quite the contrary, it's common knowledge among us liberals that we can't count on the Democrats for squat. And your crude, hollow analogy does not impress me.

  • Africans Absent From African Coverage In 2014   1 day 12 hours ago

    From The Militant (2001), reprinting an article from January–February 1965 issue of the Young Socialist.

    I guess little did they know, that the copper glut would soon be remedied by LBJ's 1965 the escalation of the Vietnam War. A lot of copper was to be used up in the Vietnam conflict.

    Dag Hammarskjold's brother Bo Hammarskjold was on the board of Liberian Iron Ore, Ltd.

    And on the connection between Maurice Tempelsman (the biggest buyer of rough diamonds from the then global diamond monopolist De Beers, and former director at De Beers, as well as the unofficial envoy to Zaire, a job now taken by Russ Feingold, co-sponsor of ZDERA and destroyer of the diamond rich Zimbabwean economy through economic sanctions he co-sponsored) and Adlai Ewing Stevenson II.

    And on David Rockefeller's role. (Is there any doubt left that the Rockefellers took down their own buildings on 9/11?)

    Patrice Lumumba and revolution in the Congo
    The Militant (logo)
    Vol.65/No.28
    uly 23, 2001

    Pamphlet describes anticolonial struggle, U.S. and Belgian imperialists' assault on revolution under UN cover

    The major foreign economic holdings in the Congo are in the vast mineral enterprises of the province of Katanga, which in 1960 realized about 60 percent of the total Congo revenues.

    Monopoly alert! - RC

    Most of Katanga's mineral reserves are owned and mined by a giant U.S.-British-Belgian controlled corporation, the Union Miniere du Haut Katanga (UMHK). In 1960, with annual sales of $200 million, UMHK produced 60 percent of the uranium in the West, 73 percent of the cobalt, and 10 percent of the copper, and had in the Congo 24 affiliates including hydroelectric plants, chemical factories and railways.

    The Cold War and nuclear arms race had been very profitable for Congolese enterprises. Besides mineral industries, many other factories had been built by foreign capitalists. Belgium invested over $3 billion in the Congo, and the U.S. about half a billion--much of it coming from the Rockefeller family who purchased everything from pineapple plantations to car companies.

    At first sight, it would appear that the U.S. and Belgium had common interest in preserving the Congolese market, and in the last analysis this is true. But in the initial period of independence, U.S. investors attempted to take advantage of the fact that Belgium would lose her political reins on the Congo. Just prior to 1960, U.S. capitalists greatly increased their Congo holdings, and they continued to do so through last year. David Rockefeller, for example, bought the bauxite industry, Bauxicongo, in 1959; and the Rockefellers have increased their share of UMHK as well as other large enterprises.

    Other American corporations have put their fingers in the Congo grab-bag, including American Metal Climax (Arthur Dean, U.S. delegate to the Geneva conference on disarmament was a vice-president)

    AMAX' former President and Chairman was the US ambassador to Vietnam, Ellsworth Bunker - the Saigon embassy was referred to as 'Bunker's bunker'. Ellsworth Bunker was also the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the War Production Board from 1941 to 1945. - RC

    and the Tempelsman and Son (Adlai Stevenson was president). From 1961 to 1963, U. S. investments doubled to $1.2 billion--nearly the amount presently invested by the U.S. in Brazil.

    But the United States interests in the Congo are not uniform. In the crucial copper industry, there has been a world overproduction of copper, amounting to about 10 percent of the world produce, the same amount as is produced in Katanga. Thus giant copper industries in this country, like Kennecott and Anaconda, which get most of their copper from Chile, would just as soon see the Katanga copper industry destroyed, as fall into the hands of a competitor like Rockefeller.

    Swedish capitalists also have large holdings in competitive copper enterprises. Bo Hammarskjold, elder brother of the late UN Secretary General, was on the board of directors of the Swedish controlled Liberian Iron Ore, Ltd., a corporation which found American allies in the desire to diminish Katangese competition.

    With such an investment pattern, it is easy to see why the imperialist nations were interested in ensuring their control of Congolese mineral wealth; but it is also easy to see why the tactics of maintaining this control might differ between nations, and within the nations, themselves.

    Read more...

    And an abstract from the book An Extraordinary Rendition, including on the CIA's role in handing over Patrice Lumumba to the Belgians/Mobutu.

    An Extraordinary Rendition
    DOI: 10.1080/02684527.2010.489277
    Stephen R. Weissman
    pages 198-222

    * Published online: 05 Jul 2010
    Article Views: 617

    Article usage statistics combine cumulative total PDF downloads and full-text HTML views from publication date (but no earlier than 25 Jun 2011, launch date of this website) to 20 Nov 2014. Article views are only counted from this site. Although these data are updated every 24 hours, there may be a 48-hour delay before the most recent numbers are available.

    Abstract

    Controversy over alleged CIA responsibility for the 1961 assassination of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba continues to swirl despite a negative finding by the US Senate Church Committee in 1975. A new analysis of declassified and other Church Committee, CIA and State Department documents, memoirs of US and Belgian covert operators, and author interviews with former executive branch and Church Committee officials shows that the CIA Congo Station Chief was an influential participant in the Congo Government's decision to ‘render’ Lumumba to his bitter enemies. Moreover evidence strongly suggests the Station Chief withheld his advance knowledge of Lumumba's fatal transfer from Washington policymakers, who might have blocked it. Flaws in the Church Committee's verdict are traced to CIA delays in providing key cables, staff overreliance on lawyers' methodology, and political pressure to water down original draft conclusions. What happened in Lumumba's case provides insight into the contemporary problem of establishing accountability in US anti-terrorist programs. Current rendition policies are also characterized by ambiguous performance standards for covert operators on the ground and difficulty in pinpointing US responsibility within the intimate relationship between the CIA and foreign government clients. The Church Committee's experience clarifies the conditions for meaningful outside regulation of anti-terrorism operations today.

    Didn't JFK want to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds"?

    BACKLINK

    1 On E. Howard Hunt's confession, and Jacqueline Kennedy's belief that LBJ was involved.

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The other way we're subsidizing Walmart...

Most of us know how taxpayers subsidize Walmart's low wages with billions of dollars in Medicaid, food stamps, and other financial assistance for workers. But, did you know that we're also subsidizing the retail giant by paying the cost of their environmental destruction.