Tuesday December 1 2009
Quote: "...the 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: The growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy." -- Alex Carey, Australian social scientist
Hour One - Why are conservatives trying to destroy the future of America by making education available only to rich, stupid children?
Hour Two - Topic: Afghanistan, Iraq with Scott Ritter, Former UN weapons inspector www.theveteransproject.org
Hour Three - Why don't we return to the religion of the founding fathers and save the planet in the process? with Scott Wheeler www.nationalrepublicantrust.com and Roy Speckhardt www.americanhumanist.org
@THOM: Caste is only one issue. This is about ‘control of the masses’ . . . Propaganda is more effective against a population devoid of rhetorical skills.
Tell me again; why Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize?
Obama orders 30-35,000 more troops for Afghanistan, surge to begin by Christmas
This prefaces the second hour, but anyway.
This morning I spent some time on the phone with Senator Kerry's office and speaking with someone on the Foreign Relations desk.
I was able to explain at some length and detail that I spent the month of Jan. 2002 in Northern Afghanistan with an NGO, in Northern Alliance held territory (portraits of Shah Massoud everywhere.) I mentioned that in the entire month I was there every Afghan woman I saw was dressed in a full burkha, even new mothers holding newborns. The local warlord that we were supporting had four wives.
I was able to reference Malalia Joia's article in yesterday's UK Guardian:
A troop surge can only magnify the crime against Afghanistan
If Barack Obama heralds an escalation of the war, he will betray his own message of hope and deepen my people's pain - Malalai Joya guardian.co.uk, Monday 30 November 2009 19.00 GM
All to marshall the argument that to escalate the war in the name of women's/human rights is a complete sham.
I then had the time to bring in the recognition of the elections in Honduras under the auspices of the coup regime and the ten new bases in Columbia as further evidence that the change we voted for is nowhere in sight, or at best minimalist in nature.
As always, I thanked the gentleman for his time.
So just to make an objective note here on the health insurers so that we do not feel SO bad about attempts to reform health care:
True, the health insurers will have more incoming business, but they will also have more going out because there will be not the caps there used to be nor the screening of the pre existing conditions, reduction of the donut hole.
Just running the spreadsheet.
I did also mention the fact that the level of discourse coming from the political/media class is often an echo chamber of no-nothingness.
Certain exceptions apply, of course.
Is this a form of educational eugenics? Dysgenics?
@ZeroG - Thx for posting your story. You know, Barack Obama has a Facebook page for which a thread under the Discussion Tab that is running beneath the Michael Moore letter to him to stop the escalation.
I fear our Obama has been forced into this. My underlying optimism is that the escalation will be the final surge for which as is also being stated, an exit strategy will be outlined.
@DRichards - Remind me again - who else did more to further the cause of peace in 2008 - 2009, (PRIOR to the current escalation) than Barack Obama?
Re: the escalation
Why the change of heart (on Obama's part)?
Re: "I fear our Obama has been forced into this."
I have the same thought. He has done so much "bargaining" with legislation, appointments, etc. so far. I would like to know what is REALLY involved here (i.e., the motivation.)
@Food Fascist -
I agree - along with Obama's announcement of a temporary troop level escalation in Afghanistan, I also expect he will detail a plan for withdrawal.
Why is it that things always have to get worse, before they get better?
@DRichards: Personally, I’m okay with 30,000 more troops, if XE/Blackwater gets a pink-slipped w/o lay-off benefits.
I laughed when Groucho said it, I laugh (with scorn) when Obama says it:
"Hello. I must be going!"
My guess is that the President got in the Whitehouse and had a big Holy %$^&! -OR perhaps he is the Manchurian Candidate.... for which then this is our big Holy %^&*!
We have got to use more intelligence and we have to keep fighting the Military Industrial Complex. I do not like Rom Manual.
It could be that he will get the vote from the right if he goes in with more troops as they get excited when they get to go to war. Us? we will have little choice unless of course we could dream about getting in Sanders, Kucincich or Alan Grayson in as President- but then...they may have the same Holy #$%^!
Zero G. December 1st, 2009, 9:59 am - Your comment is awaiting moderation.
still? was I immoderate? que?
Doesn't the Chinese own our military. Aren't we just their patsys? We will clear off the Middle East, and then sell them cheap Chinese junk.
"Zero G. December 1st, 2009, 9:59 am – Your comment is awaiting moderation.
still? was I immoderate? que?"
This often happens when we list more than one URL in a post.
@mstag lol ! So Groucho--
Echo my constant refrain: Obama has never been anything other than a wishy-washy, mediocre, just-right-of-the-middle-of-the-road, pro-corporatist centrist AND there is no/nada/zip/zero evidence extant anywhere that even hints that this assessment is incorrect.
Truth is he was a better choice than McCain and/or Clinton and that is all we have to console ourselves.
I'm not so sure about Hillary anymore. If I could push a redo...I might.
If we all remember back to the campaign . . . Obama held the Afghan theater to be a righteous war and Iraq was house of cards built on a sham.
I've thought about Hillary, too, except that she comes out of the corporate DLC which her husband used to such damage to our media and other corporate consolidation. When I think about it, there isn't much Hillary promised which Obama isn't doing, is there?
@DDay: If there was a re-do, I’d have already jumped into the wayback-machine and bitch-slap Edwards just before he did the nasty-naked with the bad videographer and drag him into the race for really-reals.
So what is the REAL reason the US is in Afghanistan? (Does it have anything to do with the kurdistan pipeline)?
THAT (the Kurdistan pipeline) probably says it all...sadly.
@Quark: My read on Clinton remains Democrats Love Corporations . . . She remains a Goldwater Gal. No real difference than Obama except a little more hair trigger cuz there is something to prove.
Yes, she always seemed to be quite a hawk (to me.)
Hillary most likely wouldn't have been any better in regards to these wars we are in, but, my guess is she wouldn't want to emulate Reagan or be hung up on bi-partisan clap trap. She might even have bitch-slapped the banks and Wall St. i doubt Rahm would have had such sway either. We know Bill wouldn't. Oh well...what is done is done.
@DRichards for “So what is the REAL reason the US is in Afghanistan?”:
You mean other than hubris?
Corporate interests. This is largely a media/corporate/military complex thingy. Lotsa wealthy folk have stock and sit on boards. Look at the holdings of Pappy Bush, Darth Chee-Nee and Slick Willy.
You are right about the hair trigger. It is one problem with electing a woman President. We force them to prove they have a pair. Sorry ladies...it's our, (Men's) fault.
Yes, She of the "Right-wing Conspiracy" (who was right all along about that) surely wouldn't have wasted so much time trying to (naively) play nice with the Repugs.
It is Hillary's State Dept., which is behind the U.S. recognition of the election in Honduras under the auspices of the coup govt. Lanny Davis (a Clinton advisor) was an open supporter of the coup regime.
Re: "You are right about the hair trigger. It is one problem with electing a woman President. We force them to prove they have a pair. Sorry ladies…it’s our, (Men’s) fault."
She's no different than the Neocon chicken hawks who feel they have to prove the same thing!
I am a Jew. My ketubah (marriage contract) out-lines my right to divorce and the rules I must apply to the proceedings. This is a RELIGIOUS FREEDOM issue.
Farg the Rapturarians and their broken understanding of my people’s traditions.
Quark! First ReagansTool. Now Repugs. You are getting to be quite the little wordsmith. I like it!
My immoderate post with the pesky URLs removed - both articles at Consortium News -
Zero G. December 1st, 2009, 9:59 am - Your comment is awaiting moderation.
Food Fascist – On Obama being forced into this, see Ray McGovern’s piece:
Obama’s Profile in Courage Moment
By Ray McGovern
November 24, 2009
and see Robert Parry’s:
How the War Hawks Caged Obama
By Robert Parry
November 30, 2009
mstaggerlee – Remind me again – who else did more to further the cause of peace in 2008 – 2009, (PRIOR to the current escalation) than Barack Obama?
Umm, Wavy Gravy? (lol)
Yes, but it is ALSO a legal contract.
(In the Netherlands, people get married at government offices. THEN, if they want a religious ceremony, they have the ceremony performed again, in a church.)
So many (ignorant) Americans have gotten their CHURCH in my STATE!
Thanks, tho similar sentiments probably adorned caves millenia ago...very little is new...
s.b. " adorned cave walls"
@Quark Your right again, (concerning neocon chicken hawks) and I'll take a women any day over them. BTW Thom will be in Minneapolis on Sat. Jan 23rd. for the Blue State Bash at the Convention Center. I'll buy you a drink. I'll be easy to find....I'll be the fat bald stud-muffin following Stephanie Miller around like a lost puppy.:-)
Afghanistan seems to be a place where no matter where you turn, you are dealing with the devil. Why continue fighting? What people want there, presumably, is hope for a better future. The question is how best to help the people there to achieve it, if they want it.
I also want to mention that the killer of four police officers in Lakewood, WA was shot dead, apparently on sight, by an officer responding to a stolen car call. A memorial service will televised live in memory of the slain officers. Last week I was walking home from work when I was stopped by a police officer who thought the wet-weather gear I was wearing was a stolen fireman's outfit; I have to admit it must be strange to see a "Mexican" wearing a fireman's outfit, even when it has a company logo on it that iclearly denotes that it is not a fireman's outfit. I have a list as long as my arm with such incidents, some more dehumanizing than others. I can't forget these things, and sometimes I wonder when I'm going to encounter an officer who "mistakes" me for an armed criminal--just like the relatives of slain people who are still waiting for "justice," but will never receive it, because their deaths were declared "justified."
I have never gone to the Blue State Ball (Ed Schultz never excited me that much, tho if Thom or Mike Malloy were there --- you know, someone with whom to exchange ideas --- I might have been tempted. (I could kick myself for not going to one of the first ones when Russ Feingold was a guest!)
If we don't get a blizzard or temps. below -30 degrees F, I actually MAY attend (if I can meet and talk with you.)
@Quark: I have long advocated banning the State’s licensing of religious ceremonies and granting benefits for having had participated in one.
The State should declare all prior marries “Civil Unions” and if folk want tax benies they should declare and license their Civil Unions AND if they feel they owe a duty to a deity, do the church thingy but accrue ZERO State benefits unless they are in a duly registered Civil Union.
OR to more specifically address the issue, I do not want the state to record and maintain records on my Bris.
Meanbwhile, in a city “famous” for its supposed continuous rainfall for most of the year, working outside all day in these conditions can make life rather miserable. Last Thanksgiving (yes, some people have to work Thanksgiving), it rained eight hours straight, took a break for a half-hour, and then rained some more. Needless to say, it was quite miserable. Having slavered in these conditions, you are not really in the mood to put up with people who treat you like a criminal or a terrorist—like those blue-shirted bozos with the rent-a-cop badges and Department of Homeland Security patches. These guys with their red IDs (denoting people with limited capacity for work), generally justify themselves by confiscating their daily quota of bobbie-pins and toe nail clippers; a training film I saw showed a table upon which was laid out a bucket full of explosive material from a bag that had been tagged “inspected” by these folks. It’s particularly frustrating to have these guys try to intimidate you by putting their hands on your food during one of their “surprise” 4 AM inspections. I’m trying to be obscure here, for “security” reasons.
Speaking of trouble, where I work there is a new rule: No cursing, touching or “nick-names.” Sometimes it is difficult to comply with at least two of these items when you hear something odious to one’s sensibilities. On the Saturday of the Senate procedural vote on the health care bill (that merely allowed debate on the bill to begin), I discussed the health care issue with a person who I would say gets most of his “facts” from Fox News and such. I explained to him that yes, it was possible for there to be a net budget surplus (according to the CBO) in the Senate health care bill, because it would be paid for by tax increases and other means, and not just money coming out of thin air; apparently he had been told that the cost of reform was all deficit spending.
I also had to explain why we needed a public option, because we couldn’t trust insurance companies to be honest—just like how the drug companies are raising prices seven times the rate of the CPI after promising to reduce prices by $80 billion. He was concerned that reform would have an adverse effect on his family, which I thought odd, since he didn’t have any insurance. He was of course concerned that people might go to jail if they didn’t buy insurance, but I thought a $750 fee for not getting insurance was a small price to pay, particularly if you needed emergency care, and it would probably end-up being paid for by the hospital’s “charity” fund. He was also concerned about taxing “Cadillac” plans; I told him he shouldn’t worry about that; the plan our company was offering (which I talked about a couple weeks ago) would not qualify.
But then he told me that he had heard that the government could force you off your private insurance plan and into the government plan. My first reaction normally would be something to the effect “Where did you get that bullshit from?” But then I remembered the new decree against cursing, so I cried out “Where did you get that horseshit from?” This caused some people to crane their hands toward the supervisors’ cubicle, but I think I was well enough excused for expressing myself in this fashion.
According to a newspaper story the Sunday following the first vote, at least one Democratic senator is stating his belief that the Senate bill should not be furthered watered down just to appease the four senators, when the majority of the country wants real reform, including a public option. These four senators need to put aside re-election concerns and show a little “profile in courage,” and do what they know in their heart of hearts is the right thing. They may find that there is a “silent majority” that wants reform, as opposed to the fanatical right-wing fringe element shouting annoyingly in their ears.
Bill Press and others are also slated to attend. I'll probably be towing around a candidate or two, introducing them to various operatives and other near-do-wells in attendance. meeting and talking with you would be the highlight for me. Screw the weather! Be there.
What make you think that those records aren't already kept by Homeland Security?
On Christmas, Merry Christmas, Christ was born in the spring. Christmas Tree is a pagan symbol, more adherence to mythology
NO ONE stops Corporate entities from forcing religion on anyone . . . This dude is smoking the rope.
Why are conservatives trying to destroy the future of America by making education available only to rich, stupid children?
Newspeak. If you lack the ability to language a concept, it can not exist.