Recent comments

  • Get ready for the next assault from Big Oil's Merchants of Doubt gang   1 day 19 hours ago

    You are welcome to use language any way that pleases you and makes sense to you. Whether I or anyone will understand what lies deeply in what you say will ultimately remain a mystery for me. If you want to use the word civil with me, I'm sure I'll figure out the context, but at least now you know a small amount of the context of my thinking. I manage to talk about being humane with one another without using the term. That's me. I like the challenge of discovering myself in that way.

    Quote drc2:

    I don't see small isolated human social units as the cure for sociopaths and psychopaths or we would have withdrawn into such successful and happy places instead of running away to the city to get away from Uncle Dickie or whomever. It does not make the city eden, for sure. But I do like the intercultural mix that is hard to find in small towns. They have a different kind of pluralism as do families, and I do believe we need "each other" to be ourselves.

    I don't see the human social "units" that were on this continent in 1492 as isolated. Now that some of us have opened up to the idea that the collection of human cultures that had evolved here while civilization was evolving across that then very flat ocean (oddly including nearly the same time span as the evolution of civil societies and the history of the "advancement" of the human species they claim as theirs), we now have recognized possibilities from the evidence that there were vast trade routes and many ways those now extinct cultures were connected. They just didn't get exterminated by their own versions of progressing civilization.

    I see civilization as a long, intricate cultural extermination process... a viral social technological invention involving power organizating that overcomes the communal and the intimate that once was possible in individuated cultural enclaves; I see an inhumane process that now has infected the species, and individually many of us do struggle to survive its infection. I don't know how we can be inoculated so it won't infect us, so that all of us, not just a few who don't want to engage violently with this meme, can rediscover that grace and love in human relationships you are talking about.

    Individually, no, it's not about the abstract. The canonized abstract battle of good and evil is not our main concern when faced with the problem of living existentially. Structurally, in the midst of the nature of all that composes modern life, abstract concepts do rule the masses and direct them towards the needs of the managers, who seek efficiencies by reading mass simplicities and mass behaviors to help them in their managed purposes. We are like rats in a maze "just Doing It" but without a map, most of the time. This thread is, in my way of seeing, about mapping the maze that directs the blind Doing.

    Industrial urbanization... any urbanization that substitutes human organizational technique for nature, must in the end be sustainable if we are to avoid the violence that we mask with words like "being civil to one another." When humans face hunger and their imminent demise, what they do next is predictable. Everyone wants to live to fight another day, as the civilized cliché goes,

  • How to practically, and morally, implement Libertarianism into THIS society   1 day 19 hours ago

    What acts between consenting adults should be illegal?

    What is the role of government in a free society?

    Why should the government have a monopoly on police, defense and the courts?

    Which kind of economy, one with free markets or one that is centrally planned, leads to the greatest abundance of goods and services?

    Why shouldn't the people decide for themselves what money is? Why should there be a government monopoly on this?

    The reason libertarians get so much grief from progressives is because we call you out for the frauds and hypocrits you are. You talk about "power to the people", tolerance, etc. What you really are for is a society completely controlled by the government. On the areas you allegedly agree with libertarians, you even screw them up. You don't support free speech. You don't want to repeal all drug laws. You are nanny-states to the nth degree. I'm generalized of course. There are some of the left that I like. Kucinich, Nader, Kirkpatrick Sale, and Robert Scheer come to mind.

    We also point out how much you have in common with your supposed adverseries on the "Right". I'm speaking of Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Fox News and the GOP.

  • How to practically, and morally, implement Libertarianism into THIS society   1 day 19 hours ago
    Quote LysanderSpooner:

    Many of the critics of libertarianism on this board offer nothing but ad hominem attacks and straw man arguments. In my countless posts, I have detailed the moral and philosophical basis for liberty as well as how a free market is superior (not perfect) to solving "social problems".

    I know you're enthralled with a system that claims to have some monopoly on morality and seems to have plausible answers for every eventuality... but gee, if ever there was an Orwellian rewrite of past discussions... then this is it. What I've learned from our discussions is that under closer examination, libertarianism would be grossly inefficient and would probably fail to meet even the most basic human needs... simply because the market and charity would be inadequate despite your assurances to the contrary.

    http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2014/04/would-libertarian-society-even...

    http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2014/01/what-would-have-been-libertari...

  • Get ready for the next assault from Big Oil's Merchants of Doubt gang   1 day 19 hours ago

    I thank you for all your ART-iculate responses to my thoughts, k allen. I'm going to sit back awhile and let it absorb, just to see if I have anything worth saying. Probably don't. I think you've found your thread of life to weave through the madness, and I am very much in agreement that the life's thread is an individual pursuit. I try to remain humble about mine, it helps keep me calmed while I look long into the abyss.

    Quote k allen:

    I had never considered that 'sophistocate' meant to dilute or corrupt!! ... somehow, it seems appropriate!

    It really can confuse - somehow, I got the impression that English was a twig on a branch of the Language tree called 'VULGAR LATIN'.

    ... ooops, I recently realized its called 'LATIN VULCAN'

    ... now, I can see how my dyslexic mind could mix it up ... I'm sure there's a difference ... don't know what it is. Have you got any recommendations for good reference materials in that field?

    Ah, no, I am not mentally well set up to help in that way. I think I may have gone into teaching if I were. I tried teaching back in the seventies and I found myself wanting for those necessary talents that some have. I'm immersive. I do like the deep end as you seem to have noted. And I go by my gut feelings while immersed, like the guy reading the currents except I'm more like in a submarine. My writing comes out of that but it's a kind of scholarly blindness because I have no photographic memory to rely on, like the Chomsky's of this world. If something pertinent comes to me its more like luck, not a matter of knowing where it's stored. You need that if you are going to help people map their way through reference material. I just can't.

    I think you are aware enough to get through.

    I applaud your efforts to create a website, I suppose because I've been doing the same with this odd technology. I started my first website back in the mid nineties. As you know, it takes a little effort to figure out the programming enough so you you can make it your own.

    Those programmers who are involved in these web site creation offerings to people like us have come a long way from basic HTML and the like in developing helpful foundational software tricks to work with; though sometimes I get frustrated with their pidgened-down advances, like what's happened to Thom's site itself since I started posting here back in early February 2004 (coming up on 11 years in a few days!). I remember starting off trying to represent my thoughts with a combination of show and tell software tricks. We are now pretty much pidgened-down to tell, and very limited in our notational palate at that. Frustrating...

    It's heartening to see someone take the effort to expressively try to work the quote function at least. I love the way you tend to highlight a key part of one of my rants with a further indented quote. Very creative and imaginative. That's how artists undermine the technical managers of civilization bent on efficiency.

    I don't much like sharing my web sites on this board these days; but from what you've been saying, I feel like sharing this story with you. It comes from a site I dedicate to my wanderings here in the clear cuts of the Willapa watershed. Elk at Fallen Ancient.

  • Get ready for the next assault from Big Oil's Merchants of Doubt gang   1 day 20 hours ago

    I am at odds with these abstract concepts of good and evil, and most of what I deal with is grey rather than black or white in the "are we good or bad" issues of human nature, etc. "Liberals" in the broadest sense are caught up in the rational responsibility meme of human beings where good will leads to correct choosing. This is how our "liberal conservatives" make deciding for Jesus and living according to His Words how to be good. And fuck you if you choose wrong or falter and fail.

    My human image is more like Homer Simpson than Mr. Burns. Wanting to do better than well, and getting so far out on the limb that he finally panics and gives up his heroic plans for the forgiveness and love of his family of imperfect beings. They need each other too much to cut that branch they are sitting on even if they thought they were saving the world out there. Sometimes they can't even think to do it, and just do it.

    I forgive up front because I need forgiveness in the bank. I don't earn love. Do any of us deserve it? Does that matter?

    Love in the Age of Reason is somewhat ironic, and I love how sex fucks up rational interest in the powerful. Human beings are strange creatures and being one among us is discovery learning, not living out the playbook.

    I don't see small isolated human social units as the cure for sociopaths and psychopaths or we would have withdrawn into such successful and happy places instead of running away to the city to get away from Uncle Dickie or whomever. It does not make the city eden, for sure. But I do like the intercultural mix that is hard to find in small towns. They have a different kind of pluralism as do families, and I do believe we need "each other" to be ourselves.

    How the built environment fits our humanity with soul and more than utility is about thinking about loving being here living in shared time and space. Not so much the abstract as filling in the experiential and focused on this big gaping need for connection symbolized by sex. Sensuality and our mother's milk, parental joy and pride in your child's achievements and what you would do for a grandchild make "thinking" a fairly loose term for all this feeling and even the fears.

    Living with a perfect person would be hell. How would that perfect person ever understand how a real human being deals with "good and evil" and not having any flaws does not make one compassionate. The good that I would I do not and that I would not do, I do, and woe is me. St. Paul said that. Dilemma is the description of being alive, but grace is the grease of love that makes us able to forgive and live even if forgetting is more about resolving than keeping score.

    Can I use the word "civil" to mean getting along with one another and leave "civilization" to the abstraction of this essential principle of interdependence? I have seen civil families and the other kind. Believing that we are essentially linked to one another and to the earth does not have to have hard borders where our alliance ends and we own this turf to the exclusion of others. We have near and distant neighbors, those we know in person and those with whom we abstract our sense of global interdependence. The more people I have met and gotten to know personally from the other side of the globe, the less abstract this is.

    Americans have a hard time with interdependence and mutuality, and when I look at the "culture" with the myths and narcissism of nationalism, I find this cancerous "ontological individualism" with development arrested at Self if it gets past childhood. We lack a sense of social reality and have been fed a load about "personal responsibility" and "self-sufficiency." Greed and gluttony are treated as the privileges of success without any shame for those who are shut out of the party.

    Where is the healthy part? Where is the isolated place where corruption has been avoided or the big, cosmopolitan "global future" being worked out? Could we be OK if we had let the South go? What if the National Security State had not happened and we just had a Kumbaya Party UN and all the kinks and twists of colonialism would go away? What happened to us in industrialism and can we transcend this anthropological blip in time? Did we just lose that home town goodness when we went sophisticated and intercultural in the city?

    Art and literature does not suggest that there is any real purity and lack of psychos or sociopaths in backwaters, small towns, Norman Rockwellworld or the typical family. I appreciate the abstraction and institutionalism, and "vocation" is one of the places I puncture the superficial idea of work as either "job" or "career." Being real oneself is a good place to start being real about the world and others, but we discover who we are with others more than by ourself in isolation. Individuality is relational and individualism is not.

    In my experience, pluralism is about one's own identitifying with the humanity of others. One's soul will also reflect the earth and nature in "identity," and while the deep intimacy of love with spouse and children, etc., is a rich core, the more I know of others who are "other" to my experience the healthier I feel. Everytime I have gone beyond lines of division I have found grace and love, and in the midst of controversies I have experienced reconciliation. This is good, but it is not a battle of good v. evil. It is more about life and death and how we handle the gift of life with gratitude and grace. Love makes good and evil take second place as we work out our lives transcending fear and trembling with "leaps of existential faith." Just Do It.

    Anyway, industrial urbanization is not the last word on the nature of cities, and Jane Jacobs is not news. She just continues to shed light.

  • Paris massacre   1 day 20 hours ago
    Quote Zenzoe:Hedges wants us to understand that the problem is not with religion: "... it is even more dangerous to refuse to examine and understand its origins. It did not arise from the Quran or Islam." Somehow, for some reason, in this particular manifestation of violent, murderous thought-control by religion, we have to sit here and wax thoughtful about it being more a matter of economic and social injustice than in centuries-long brainwashing by religion. ….[…]….Of course it arose from Islam and the Quran! Stop making excuses for bad behavior already.
    If if were totally about religion, why weren’t there riots, killings, and demonstrations in richer Muslim countries? Were there any riots/killings/violent demonstrations in Quatar or the UAE? Fatwas publicly issued from the Saudi royal family? These are Muslim nations. Could it be that in these cases, these Muslims are primarily very well off, rich even, with all the Western trappings, many living with everything they could ever hope for, living as well as any citizen in the non-believing West? Why were the demonstrations more fervent in poorer Muslim nations, and the most violent demonstrations in poor nations like Niger and Pakistan?

    The insult of Islam is a factor sure, but it hits harder on the dispossessed. Like Hedges said, for millions of poor Muslims, it’s all they have that gives them any semblance of dignity and meaning. And just like “Richey Rich” picking on the poor, nerdy wallflower, in a small percentage of cases, there can be some ugly blowback, the amount of which is commensurate with the amount of pent-up anger and frustration felt by that nerdy wallflower. (The movie Carrie comes to mind..)

    BTW I believe the same about most riots/violence triggered by an event. The riots in Ferguson? Were these riots about the killing of Micheal Brown? Of course. But likely these riots were also an outlet for the pent-up frustrations of poor disenfranchised African Americans, too, and Brown’s killing only supplied a spark for the conflagration.

    How do you think it would be accepted if a conservative religious U.S. publication ridiculed adulterous behaviour by publishing a series lewd cartoons about Martin Luther King’s adulterous activities? They’re only mocking and shaming adulterous activities, right? It would be about an activity they find objectionable, not a group of people, the publication could claim. Do you believe the African American community would just sit, watch, and grit their teeth in silence? Would progressives? I doubt it. I don’t think we’d see any riots in poor black communities about it, nor cartoonist killings, but that’s probably because in the U.S., at least there is a safety net that allows the poor the minimal dignities, unlike some Muslim poor. Here they do have something to lose. But we’d see plenty of anger there, and I would not blame them. And if that cartoonist - and if everyone knew who he was - walked down the streets of Ferguson, late at night, I wouldn't feel too bad if something happened to him. It's wouldn't be prudent to publish cartoons disparaging MLK Jr., and then walk down the streets of Ferguson, Missouri at night. My sentiments would be "Tough bleepin' bleep!"

  • Will SCOTUS Overturn This?   1 day 20 hours ago

    Dyno never said there was a fine. For shareholders, fines like the 25 billion are appreciated because it proves they cheat customers and engage in the fraud that makes the big money. The clerical error has no upside, just shows up as carelessness. Jamie Dimon got big bonuses for committing the fraud that caused fines to be levied. The 1.5 billion loss, though smaller, will not be getting anyone a bonus. Had it been embezzling with the sum invested in an insider trading scam, the embezzler would get a promotion or golden parachute.

  • War Revisionism, Fascism, and the CIA by John Denson   1 day 20 hours ago
    Quote Dr. Econ:
    Quote LysanderSpooner:

    ....You can try as hard as you want, but I think you are incorrect in trying to associate libertarianism with today's Right.

    Quote Dr. Econ: Ron Paul is a two time Republican candidate for president.
    Quote LysanderSpooner:...Ron Paul got 10% of the GOP Primary vote. His philosophy was a complete repudiation of the mainstream conservative and mainstream Republican movements.

    Then why did he twice run for the Republican nomination? He obviously and litterally assoicated the Republican party with Libertarianism.

    He obviously disagrees with you.

    The similiarites, histories and commonalities between Republicans and Libertarians are simply too numerous to mention again.

    It was for practical reasons, as he said. If he ran 3rd party, he would be ignored. The GOP primary gave him a platform. Party affiliation does not equal political philosophy. The late Larry MadDonald was in the John Birch Society and he was a Democrat. White supremacists like Abe Lincoln were in the GOP and Klansman were in the Democrat Party. Parties are empty vessels.

    Libertarians are anti-war, want to repeal drug, gun and prositution laws, ALL of them. We support the end to all taxation or at least eliminate all taxes that transfer wealth. We are against the war on terror. We are 100% for free speech and the Separation of Church and State. We would abolish public schools or at least highly decentralize the education "system". Please show me any Republican, with the exception of Ron Paul, who is anywhere close to this.

    You really should stop making claims you can't back up.

  • Paris massacre   1 day 20 hours ago
    Quote Zenzoe:Hedges writes, “…It is dangerous to ignore this rage," which makes a false assumption: Who's ignoring the "rage?" Certainly, Charlie Hebdo did not ignore the rage; they had been threatened before. However, its editors decided to own their freedom with the same kind of courage of any journalist facing threats and dangers posed by entities and officials who don't want their secrets exposed, dangers posed by Mafia thugs, by the CIA, by fundamentalist groups in war zones, by the military, and on and on; we're talking innumerable threats and dangers surrounding the profession of journalism. Of all people, Chris Hedges ought to know that one does not cave to such dangers; one does one's job, regardless.
    But that doesn’t mean it still isn’t dangerous, so Hedges is correct. I am not critical of brave journalists…although I do make a distinction between those intrepid journalists “facing threats and dangers posed by entities and officials who don't want their secrets exposed, dangers posed by Mafia thugs, by the CIA, by fundamentalist groups in war zones, by the military, and on and on,” as you say - as opposed to those sitting comfortably in their modern offices, among all the trappings of Western luxury, drawing cartoons, making commentary on issues exposed by others. I don’t mean to insult the Hebdo cartoonists with that comment, but I do see a distinction there.

  • Paris massacre   1 day 20 hours ago
    Quote Zenzoe:The question is, given the risks of engaging freely, where secularism* grants the freedom to do so, what should be the response to "blowback from nutcases" or extremist, anti-democratic, anti-secular, or even "the dispossessed," as Chris Hedges refers to them?
    The right answer would be nothing, of course. “Turning the other cheek”……But that’s not to say extremists on the other side, i.e. Marine La Pen’s group couldn’t be triggered into a revenge response, if the right switches are tripped in someone who is unbalanced or otherwise predispositioned to such a response.

    Quote Zenzoe:The bottom-line inference I get from much of what has been said here, as well as from the thoughtful, eloquent observations posted by Hedges in his Truthdig article, is that we should cave. We should cower in abject self-loathing and guilt, forever to bite our tongues in fear of incurring yet another rageful response from those religionists whom we have "brutally controlled, belittled and mocked" from within the safety of our entitlements.
    Maybe that’s what Hedges is saying, but that’s not what I’m saying. No, not at all. Hebdo onward! However – understand that there are risks, and for me, and for their particular brand of satire, I’ll say “Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo!”

  • How to practically, and morally, implement Libertarianism into THIS society   1 day 20 hours ago

    Many of the critics of libertarianism on this board offer nothing but ad hominem attacks and straw man arguments. In my countless posts, I have detailed the moral and philosophical basis for liberty as well as how a free market is superior (not perfect) to solving "social problems".

    Your ideology, whether you call it Leftist, Progressivism and liberalism, is rooted in violence. You have a view on how human beings to interact and you have no problem with using the State, the apparatus of compulsion and coercion, to put your plans into effect. You are not content with persuading your fellow man to take care of one another, so you support a Welfare State. You claim to be against "gun violence" but you would use violence the take people's guns away. Even as something as trivial as the minimum wage laws you promote are backed up by violence. If the MW is $7.25 an hour and someone agrees to work for someone else your $7,00 an hour, you would put at least the employer in prison. Every law you scream for the counter the "bad guys" is backed up with force.

    You claim to be against monopolies but you've offered no evidence that monopolies take hold in a free market. They are in fact, the result of government laws. The "evil" robber barons of the late 19th and early 20th century increased output and lowered prices before any so-called "anti-trust" legislation was passed.

    On top of that, you support monopoly government. Government has a monopoly on the legal use of force in a given geographical area. Defense, law enforcement and the courts are monpolized but you seem to have no objection to it.

    A common theme of progressives is we need a strong government to counter corporate power. Let me ask you what I've asked you before: Name one corporation that can force you to do business with it, absent the government backing it up.

  • American Sniper film (2014)   1 day 20 hours ago
    Quote organican:
    Quote ulTRAX:

    FO = firearm owner... one of BooBoo's old banned user names. He might have some older ones I'm not aware of. His last incarnation was as audioman.

    Remember "College Conservative"

    That was a 'good' one.
    I forgot about CC... but when FO appeared in Jan '13 I had my suspicions he was CC who was banned in mid '12.

    http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2013/01/what-was-legal-status-right-be...

  • Curveball Releases Satellite Photos of 40,000 Russian Troops Amassed on Ukrainian Border.   1 day 21 hours ago
    (GLOBALRESEARCH) NATO Commander Lied Claiming “Russian Invasion of Ukraine”
    By Stephen Lendman
    Global Research, January 23, 2015
    Region: Russia and FSU
    Theme: Media Disinformation, US NATO War Agenda
    In-depth Report: UKRAINE REPORT

    How many previous times did Big Lies proliferate about hoards of Russians coming? Claimed by US officials. Other Western ones. Former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Current NATO head Jens Stoltenberg.

    The latest on January 22 from NATO commander US General Philip Breedlove. Earlier he suggested the same thing. More on what he said below.

    Last August, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki claimed a nonexistent “Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway in Donetsk and Luhansk.”

    “(W)e’re also concerned by the Russian Government’s unwillingness to tell the truth even as its soldiers are found 30 miles inside Ukraine,” she said.

    “Russia is sending its young men into Ukraine but…are not telling them where they’re going or telling their parents what they’re doing.”

    Asked why she said “likely” instead of saying a Russian invasion is underway, Psaki said she “decided to say likely.”

    “But why,” she was asked? “(L)ikely implies…some uncertainty because there is a possibility that it’s not.”

    Psaki ducked the question. Merely cited “a range of (unsubstantiated) reports.”

    “Well, is it an invasion,” she was asked? “(A)re we seeing, like, brigades or divisions crossing the borders into Ukraine?”

    “I don’t have any other details to read out for you at this point in time,” she said.

    No Russian invasion occurred. Nor was one planned. Psaki lied suggesting otherwise.

    On Thursday, she was asked about illegitimate oligarch Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko claiming 9,000 Russian troops, tanks and heavy equipment in Ukraine.

    On the one hand, she claimed no “confirmation of the figures.” On the other, she lied accusing self-defense forces of “increase(d) violence.”

    “(I)ncluding renewed attacks…on the Donetsk airport (and) seizures of more territory.”

    “We’ve also seen reports that two tactical battalions – Russian tactical (ones) – Russia has moved two tactical battalions into Ukraine.”

    Admitting no “independent (corroborating) confirmation” exists.

    At the same time “confirming…Russia(n) tanks, armored vehicles, trucks, artillery pieces, and other military equipment…deploy(ed) (to) sites near the Russia-Ukraine border…”

    “(S)taging points before transporting military equipment to pro-Russian separatists,” she claimed.

    On the one hand, saying “(t)hat is something we’re seeing.” On the other, admitting no confirmation.

    RT International reported its Washington correspondent Gayane Chichakyan’s inability to get Psaki to give “straight response(s)” to her questions.

    Ignoring Kiev high crimes against peace. Irresponsibly blaming them on Russia. Chichakyan saying “the US always has something to say about Russia, but never about what the Ukrainian government is doing.”

    Throughout months of US planned, directed and instigated conflict in Ukraine, Washington consistently blames Russia for its own high crimes.

    “(A)voiding questions,” said Chichakyan. Refusing to acknowledge Kiev using heavy artillery in Donbas. Including against residential neighborhoods.

    Calling naked Kiev aggression its “absolute right to defend itself.” When pressed to answer Chickakyan’s questions, Psaki responded saying “I think I’ll leave it at what I said.”

    Including the Big Lie about Russia “illegally interven(ing) in Ukraine.” Despite no evidence whatever suggesting it. Plenty proving otherwise.

    Previous articles explained how Vladimir Putin, Sergey Lavrov and other Russian officials continue going all out for peaceful conflict resolution.

    Impossible with Washington arming, funding and directing its puppet Kiev government to wage war on Donbas without mercy.

    Including against defenseless civilians. Murdering them in cold blood.

    Kiev state-sponsored murder in Donetsk the latest example. Attacking a Leninsky district bus stop.

    With multiple minivan-launched mortar strikes. Killing around a dozen civilians. Mostly women. Injuring many others.

    Brazen state terrorism. Kiev wrongfully blaming the incident on Donbas freedom fighters.

    Psaki suggesting it by claiming “an increase in separatist violence…”

    Ukraine is a hotbed of fascist extremism. Illegitimate US-installed putschists run things.

    Democracy is pure fantasy. Human and civil rights nonexistent.

    Premeditated aggression without mercy continues against Donbas freedom fighters refusing to accept fascist rule.

    Last Friday, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke claimed otherwise. Repeating one Big Lie after another.

    Saying Ukraine “has come an enormous distance (over the past year) to meet its people’s aspirations.”

    Its “current government remains committed to advancing important reforms, despite ongoing violence in eastern Ukraine.”

    Ugnoring US-sponsored and directed aggression on Donbass. Claimed illegitimate farcical presidential and parliamentary elections were “free and fair.”

    Said Kiev’s regime controlled judiciary is independent. Suggested anti-corruption efforts are working.

    Ukraine arguably is Europe’s most corrupt country. Worse than ever now under fascist rule.

    “(W)e congratulate the people of Ukraine on how far they have come in such a short time,” said Rathke.

    “And we continue to stand with them as they press forward on critical reforms.”

    Conditions in Ukraine are polar opposite Rathke’s description. State terror is official policy. Fascist regimes operate this way.

    Don’t expect Washington to explain. Or other Western governments. Or supportive MSM scoundrels. Regurgitating official Big Lies like gospel.

    The New York Times describing Kiev’s mortar attack on a civilian Donetsk bus as an “early morning explosion show(ing) the bus…with its tires flattened, its sides punched in, filled with shards of concrete and stone and all of its windows either shattered or pocked with holes.”

    Citing “conflicting reports” about what happened. Despite clear evidence of Kiev culpability.

    Sergey Lavrov correctly accused its “party of war” of committing “a crime against humanity, a rude provocation aimed at undermining the efforts on a peace settlement.”

    The Times quoted Poroshenko turning truth on its head. Saying “(i)f the enemy does not want to abide by the cease-fire, if the enemy doesn’t want to stop the suffering of innocent people in Ukrainian villages and towns, we will give it to them in the teeth.”

    General Breedlove earlier lied about Russian intervention in Ukraine. On January 22, Pentagon controlled Stars and Stripes headlined “Threat of new Russian incursion as violence flares in Ukraine.”

    Citing Breedlove saying Russian forces are building up their presence on Ukraine’s border.

    “What we do see is that the Russian-backed forces have renewed capability now to bring pressure on the Ukrainian forces, and have in several places moved the line of contact to the west. And this is concerning,” said Breedlove.

    He claimed a repeat of two previous nonexistent Russian incursions, adding:

    “We are beginning to see the signatures of air defense systems and electronic warfare systems that have accompanied past Russian troop movements into Ukraine, but we are unable at this moment to confirm any specific number of additional Russian troops inside eastern Ukraine.”

    US Army European commander Lt. General Ben Hodges lied claiming “irrefutable” evidence showing Donbas self-defense forces getting “direct support from Russia.”

    No evidence whatever proves it. None exists. Including irresponsible NATO/Poroshenko claims about Russia invading Ukraine.

    What satellite images would clearly show if true. None exist.

    Igor Kolomoisky is an Israeli/Ukrainian billionaire-appointed Dnipropetrovsk Oblast governor.

    Nicknamed Benya. Living in Switzerland. Infamous for using paramilitaries to enforce hostile takeovers of companies he covets.

    Forbes magazine earlier said he sent “hired rowdies armed with baseball bats, iron bars, gas and rubber bullet pistols and chainsaws” to forcibly take over a Kremenchuk steel plant in 2006.

    He uses “a mix of phony court orders (often involving corrupt judges and/or registrars) and strong-arm tactics” to replace board directors of companies he invests in.

    Criticized by a judge in a London court case for seeking “to take control of a company at gunpoint in Ukraine.”

    Putin once called him “a unique crook.” Russia wants him put on Interpol’s wanted list.

    On July 2, 2014, a Russian district court authorized his arrest in absentia. For “organizing the killing of civilians.”

    On January 22, Fort Russ headlined “Kolomoisky is preparing a massive private army for a coup in Kiev.”

    “(B)ehind the scenes of Ukrainian theater, namely in Dnepropetrovsk, a powerful military formation is in the final stages of preparation.”

    “It consists of foreign military battalions, and has a strong skeleton from NATO specialists.”

    “Dnepropetrovsk needed time to prepare, and a good smoke screen.”

    “We observe the highest activity at all the areas of military-political field of Ukraine, all except for Dnepropetrovsk.”

    “It is hot in Donbass, Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa. Even Western Ukraine is heating up. Only Dnepropetrovsk is quiet.”

    “(A)s soon as Dnepropetrovsk ripens it will capture the power in Verkhovnaya Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) along with the right to institute a martial law.”

    Fort Russ reports a “new phase of Ukrainian crisis” unfolding…(A) destruction of Ukraine” emanating from Dnepropetrovsk.

    “Everything is almost ready there.” Are Washington’s dirty hands involved?

    Does it want Kolomoisky replacing Pororshenko? For sure it’s displeased with Donbas freedom fighters consistently routing Kiev’s military.

    A guerrilla force defeating its army. Do US officials think Kolomoisky’s reputation for ruthlessness can change things?

    Forthcoming articles will discuss future events as they unfold. The battle for Ukraine’s soul very much continues.

    A Final Comment

    On Wednesday, US Army European commander Lt. General Ben Hodges confirmed plans to deploy US combat troops to Ukraine.

    For a “training operation,” he said. To strengthen the “rule of law,” he claimed. Code language for aiding Kiev in its aggression on Donbas.

    Hodges called what’s planned a “first step in further training.” Likely mission creep involving US military forces in Kiev’s dirty war.

    It remains to be seen whether Washington intends so-called advisors operating along Donbas’ front line.

    Directly or indirectly participating in combat. A major provocation if happens. Perhaps triggering an undetermined Russian response.

    Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

  • Is Thom Hartmann a paid propagandist for Putin/Russia/RT?   1 day 21 hours ago
    Quote lifesize:i, too, have to question the marriage of thom hartmann's show and RT. the site reminds me of old soviet lines of argument, focused on the weaknesses and contradictions of the west and especially the u.s., trying thus to seize the moral high ground while denying THEIR government's outrages, intimidations, and politically-motivated jailings.

    Tu quoque is invalid argument.

  • U.S. exceptionalism and the M.E.'s only democracy...   1 day 21 hours ago

    The important things to remember are 1. Israel is the M.E.'s only democracy and 2. the U.S.'s Congressional millionaires need the money.

    Israel uber alles.

  • 50 Shades of A__hole   1 day 22 hours ago

    Ryan ought to be tested for steroids or amphetamines. During the '12 election his speaking pace was so fast it was hard to understand. Between his jittery head shakes and erratic hand gestures I thought he was ripe for a cardio blowout.

    Jon Fugelsang commented on the saviour of the GOP, Jeb Bush when someone asked if Clinton could beat him. He said "George Clinton could beat him".

    My question for Jeb, "Why did you purge 175,000 black and hispanic voters from the voting roles in 2000? And why didn't you notify them so they could re-register? Had you let the voters have their say and grant W the loss he deserved, you could've been president in 2008, doesn't that piss you off?"

    "9/11 wouldn't have happened, no wars would've been fought, the entire national debt would've been paid off on your watch in 2010. Does that piss you off? Does it piss your mom off? She sounded pissed off when she said enough Bushes have been president. Does she even talk to you and W? or does she talk through your dad? "

    "Did you know Cheney was a psychotic sadist? How about your Dad? Did he know?"

    These would be good questions for "Between two ferns". A final one "Has Neil come out of hiding since it's been over half a decade since his brother pissed off the majority of the country?"

  • Football Inflation   1 day 22 hours ago

    Each team playing with its own set of balls is what sets up the league for cheating. Each team needs to play with the same set of balls. There was 1 ball that was not deflated. They had left that as the kicking ball. You want a hard ball for that. Basketball and Soccer both use inflated balls and both teams play with the same ball. I cannot thing of a sport where the teams play with different balls. Cheating in professional sports. Next there will be gambling in Las Vegas.

  • Americas Gun Fetish   1 day 22 hours ago

    Jason, they feel safer but they are still paranoid. Paranoia is a mental problem. More guns equals more deaths. I also have a right to walk down the street without every other person having a gun without any mental tests to see if they are stable or not. You obviously carry a gun otherwise you would not have argued this long. You just will not admit to your paranoia. You are in denial. As far as safety:

    http://smartgunlaws.org/category/gun-studies-statistics/gun-violence-sta...

    You will be able to find websites that are contradictory. The NRA had loaded the web with tons of bullshit that brainwashes people. Americans are easily brainwashed by false reporting and the likes of Fox News. Which I am also sure that you watch.

    Just recently a woman that had a gun in her purse was killed by her 2 year old child. Bet she is glad that she had a gun.

  • Will SCOTUS Overturn This?   1 day 22 hours ago

    you clearly did not read the linked article. JPM was trying to weasel out of the costs of gross incompetence opn their part. There is no mention of any fine. that said, JPM has paid over $25 billion in fines and settlements in the past 2 years- far in excess of the 1.2 billion cited inthe linked article-- Your post is as worthless as most of mine are !!

  • 50 Shades of A__hole   2 days 7 min ago

    Anyone who would volunteer to lead the GOP as it currently stands is, by defintion, a clown of all clowns and he/she will get treated that way by the electorate, for the next generation or so. The GOP has devolved into a biggoted, ignorant, party of morons, bent on giving the top 1% everything they can whether it's asked for or not. Paul Ryan is the perfect intellectual figure for this movement. A complete true-believer without a clue, eternally confident that shoveling money to the rich result in trickle-down prosperity for all.

    While the GOP has done quite well entrenching itself in Congress, especially the House -- that same effort has basically cut the GOP out of the Presidential race for years to come.

    None of those you list have a prayer in Hell to win. Ironic statement when you consider that that's where we'd be if any of them did win.

  • Get ready for the next assault from Big Oil's Merchants of Doubt gang   2 days 35 min ago

    (#64 - .ren)


    "But anthropologists have learned that indigenous people are not as simple as "sophisticated" and self proclaimed "advanced" civilized folk assume they are, and many anthropologists after Margaret Mead's "breakthroughs" began to take a much more humble approach in their efforts to learn. The result is they did in fact discover amazing non violence at community cultural levels."

    The word 'sophistocate' is defined in the American Heritage pocket dictionary as:

    1) To cause to become less naive and more worldly,

    2) To refine

    On the other hand, Oxford offers these perspectives:

    1) To mix (commodities) with some foreign or inferior substance; to render impure in this way; to adulterate ... to deal with in some aritificial way ... to render artificial, to deprive of simplicity in respect of manners or ideas.

    2) To corrupt or spoil by admixture of some baser principle or quality; to render less genuine or honest.

    3) To corrupt, pervert, mislead (a person, understanding, etc.)

    4) To falsify by misstatement or by unauthorized alteration.

    ...doubtless, you know this already. In light of the pidginization of language/culture, These words take on whole different meanings.

    I had never considered that 'sophistocate' meant to dilute or corrupt!! ... somehow, it seems appropriate!

    It really can confuse - somehow, I got the impression that English was a twig on a branch of the Language tree called 'VULGAR LATIN'.

    ... ooops, I recently realized its called 'LATIN VULCAN'

    ... now, I can see how my dyslexic mind could mix it up ... I'm sure there's a difference ... don't know what it is. Have you got any recommendations for good reference materials in that field?

  • Get ready for the next assault from Big Oil's Merchants of Doubt gang   2 days 37 min ago

    (#60 - .ren)


    "I chose the word "assault" to describe what the marketers (merchants) of doubt are up to with regard to keeping the general public from understanding what exactly their role is in all of this."

    "The very idea of blending free market choice with the idea of public participatory democracy is part of that stripping down of meaning which in my mind is also related to our role in society, not just the economics of society. If you strip society down to economics you also strip it down to minimal communication of meaning."

    "How in the world do we see each other as interdependent, cooperating, fully human beings when we are stripped of most of our fully human features so we can work and shop?"

    ((( ... !!! )))

    "From a lifetime of observation I find it clear enough to formulate that complications of communication vary on a spectrum from the more you intimately understand someone -- which requires less effort to describe what you mean -- to the less you intimately understand someone -- which requires far more effort to get across meaning. When I know someone well I can simply skip a lot of explanatory jibberish; don't you find that to be true?"

    I do find that to be true. In fact, I am socially awkward, emotionally remote and obtuse - don't do well with intimacy.

    Isolated as I am, I do communicate fairly well as long as I keep moving ... I express myself more honestly/effectively through music, art, writing ... that's why I want to build my sites ... and enjoy sharing on the forum ... it allows me to interact and contribute without having to stress out, embarrass or offend ... hope so anyway. It seems like a developmental asset to me.


    "One test to find out how far I can go to discuss something that interests me is to ask someone, which movie would you prefer to watch?"

    Chances are, I wouldn't watch either one. I'm pretty wrapped up navigating my own bewilderness ... I really respect Jet Li (!!a master of movement arts!!) ... Jackie Chan plays the clown, adept at the art of avoidance (also, a very sweet voice) - both are wonderful teachers ... I think Sylvester Stallone has a heart of gold - but hey, what do I know, I've only seen his works on screen - he's probably human, just like so many of us.

  • Get ready for the next assault from Big Oil's Merchants of Doubt gang   2 days 38 min ago

    (#57,#58 - .ren)


    "I have the same artistic take on many other words, like, for instance, 'love' because so many 'civil' people in my life have used it to manipulate me into going along with their assault on what I truly do love."

    "Language is mapping that's so very cultural in context. It's really not easy for me to trust that someone has consciously taken a word out of its historical context and is able to use it in a way that works with my way of seeing, so I do my deconstructions just to see what happens. If people get pissed, I back off. I have nothing to prove or promote. That's usually all the communication I need: I poke, I get a response. Generally if I go any further they start bringing out the fists and the guns -- metaphorically speaking mostly. It's merely a matter of seeing for me, not managing others. People tend to see through the screens of their cultural maps, whatever that culture may be. I like to get a read on that."

    "Loving is not in the word, the word is only a map to something, an internal state of mind that can only be pointed to. Yours, mine, who can say for sure if the internal states match up in any way? It takes relationship, context. Small indigenous cultures can do it better with much more complexity in day to day communication -- and what really is this notion of communication for, after all?"

    "We large diffused cultures are more like pidgin languages, stripped of complexity and deeper shared meanings."

    ((( ... oh, yes ...!!)))

    Much as we are stripped of our deeper intimacies with the natural environment around us. I am unable to live without being deeply and disturbedly conscious of how alienated we have become from this planet in this relentlessly pidginizing cultural process of "civilizing" ourselves."

    Here, we touch my Achilles Heel. I appreciate you calling my attention to the chronic abuse of the word - and the truth - of love.

    As an individual, in the context of personal interactive relations, I am so broken - so crushed - I am like dust on the wind. I have blown through peoples' lives like a dust storm covering everything, penetrating everywhere, here and gone in a minute, leaving only a mess to clean and memories of hard times. How can anyone - especially me - call that love?

    I don't. If anything, I'd call it a healing process, and hope the healing is shared. I only hope people who know me understand and forgive.

    I do refer to this sense of a sunrise inside as 'love' ... not sure what else it could be ... I am happy and grateful to interact ... it puts a song in my heart and a smile on my face ... that's what I mean when I say, 'I don't even know you, and I love you'!

    Am I hoping to possess - or to be possessed by - anyone?

    No, that's not love in my book.

    Am I dropping everything to come and help a friend through hard times? Sure, when I can be more help than hindrance - and hope to know the difference. Beyond that, I am well-challenged to cope with my own hard times, and not willing to burden others with my pain.

  • Get ready for the next assault from Big Oil's Merchants of Doubt gang   2 days 38 min ago

    (#54,#57 - .ren)

    The irony of telling someone to be civil never fails to draw my smiles."


    "Once one sees that a word like 'civil' is the derivation of ten thousand years or so of violent ego-centric experimentation, whereby the human species is turning the entire world from whence it came into a kind of enemy, an enemy transformed by human 'economics' as Jensen notices, and one sees that a "city" is the epitome of that long experiment where the denizens have finally satisfied themselves that they control and dominate nature with their technologies, technologies that include their very way of organizing themselves for these violent, nature dominating purposes, then what those who call themselves "civilized" tend to see as civil, and what they then quite "logically" place in their unconsciously accepted as normal "reality" hierarchies quite "reasonably" in their way of thinking contrasts with those who are then unconsciously placed at a lower level on the human-invented hierarchical scale in which their minds are encased with every thought they make."

    "That's the fundamentals of creating racism, as I see it. Or species-ism, or whatever may be employed to confirm for everyone the notion they are secure in their superiority, which of course is a natural derivation of thinking while encased in hierarchies. A scale that we can see from reading the history of this process that now has 'civilized' at the top, some invention called "savages" (or any of many other names, like 'immigrants') at the bottom."

    "We read this long historical derivation of reality in so many of our mythological constructions that affirm the "truth" of what we believe. In, especially, European history, where all the other lower species, human and non human, simply have no history."

    "... And especially today in our relentless Hollywood style story-telling mythologies transmitted tirelessly through our vaunted communication technologies that have McDonaldized the world into a similar franchised formula with our "advanced civilized" culture as the prototype. With that in mind, I find it difficult to hear the word 'civil' without taking note of from whence it comes."

    I get that. We are who we are, in process ... I'm hardly the one to define civil behavior for anyone.

    That said, I have a tendency to evaporate when things get too hot. I simply cannot afford to allow myself to become upset - it does sicken me. Intense volatility lights my fuse, at which point, communication is paralyzed and sickening rage consumes the day.

    I can't live that way. I don't expect others to appease my tastes. I'm not exactly cut out to play the 'straight man'.

    I'd rather just honor your choice, and go on my way. Beyond that, I emphasize that words have power, and the golden rule prevails.

  • Get ready for the next assault from Big Oil's Merchants of Doubt gang   2 days 39 min ago

    (#52,54 - .ren)

    "Loved the imagery of the giant hairy spider. Have you seen any of Kate Clarke's work?"

    It was a dream ... here's another spider dream: ... a huge dark swarthy mass on the road where I was raised ... a tiny white spider crawls out from under the roiling hairball and delicately steps away to freedom.

    I have visualized that progression many times as I crawl from under the burden of my life.

    I think I have seen Kate Clarke's work. Its surreal - too real to be unreal.

    Those sad, trapped souls ... they suffer ... can she release them ... is she trapped there too?

    "I personally enjoy the haunting. It's why I've chosen to live in this environment that's been so completely disturbed for the sake of human beings. All those sensitive vulnerabilities of the animals wedded with the human in her works are here."

    I don't enjoy it .ren, I suffer from it. I'm extremely impressionable - and psychoactive. That kind of imagery opens a deep well of grief in my awareness ... the vortex is intense - gut-wrenching - I find the obstacle course of life to be challenging enough - I avoid conflict, seek to do no harm, and reach out to alleviate suffering where I can. I tend to steer away from those murky depths when possible - lucky to keep my nose to the water line, here in the shallow end!

    (#54 - .ren)

    "My immediate perception of Karen's work is that it's shamanistic. Like a shaman guiding someone on a vision quest, she disturbs while at the same time she artfully and metaphorically draws together or human potential to be one with all of life. This is an experience that can take place in the betwixt and between, where our sense of the order of life, the categories we employ, no longer make clear and simple sense, and this is so important to invoke our deep, mythic imagination that dissipates in the rapacious and violent illusions of civilization."

    I don't have an astute intellectual analysis ... Ms. Clarke's work is disturbing - deeply so, for me.

    I see shredded souls _trapped_ in dissolving boundaries - frozen in time. Is this our fate when we forsake traditional laws, cross forbidden lines, challenge long-standing taboos?

    It reminds me of an exhibit I saw years ago in a small Belltown gallery - only, the subjects were fully humanoid - homeless, street kids ... again, uncannily real. I had the feeling then, as now:

    "... someone is trapped in there ..."

    ...this leads me to reflect on the question of people who feel trapped in a body of someone 'other than' ... and the sadness I feel when I see how disassociated people are from the core ... and how caught up in delusional solutions ((I should talk!!))

    ... I believe its one thing to be in love with a dear friend - or to be sexually attracted, one way or another ... to me, it is misguided for a man to think he can slice a hole in his underside and call it a vagina - that this in any way will allow him to be the woman he feels within ... or, for a woman to have a penis surgically attached - that somehow, this will allow her to fully embrace her own masculine principle.

    Will these folks ever be _free_ from cultural stigmatization - including/especially dependency on medical/pharmaceutical industries?


    Again, I ask,

    "... can she set them free ...?"

    ...isn't there already too much suffering in our world?

Currently Chatting

The Post-Citizens United Era.

This month marks five years since the United States Supreme Court made their infamous ruling in the case of Citizens United v. FEC. That ruling turned a century of legal precedent on its head with the declaration that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend money in elections. And, that ruling opened the floodgates to massive spending levels in our political process.