Congress is rushing to go to war.

When it comes to food stamps, the debt ceiling, or any other legislation, Congress isn't great at meeting deadlines. But apparently, they have no problem putting a rush on going to war. On Tuesday, members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee agreed on the wording of a resolution to authorize a military strike in Syria. The committee will start debating the measure on Wednesday, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may schedule a vote on it early next week.

According to the Washington Post, the resolution permits up to 90 days of action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and prohibits deploying combat troops into Syria. Both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have said that the strike in Syria would be limited, and would likely only last a few days. Yet, Congress is rushing to authorize up to three months of military action. This all seems eerily familiar.

And, at the very same time that the U.S. Senate was speeding to put together an authorization proposal, President Obama boarded a plane for the G20 summit in Russia – where President Vladimir Putin has warned the U.S. not to strike Syria without United Nations approval. President Putin argues that the case against Syrian President Assad doesn't stand up to scrutiny, yet our legislators think the evidence is strong enough to rush into another war.

President Obama may be in for some very uncomfortable conversations in the coming days, as our lawmakers will start to debate military authorization while the G20 summit is underway. With each passing day, the strike in Syria seems more likely, and more complicated. Americans across the country are calling their lawmakers to make their positions known, and people around the world are monitoring this situation closely.

Comments

Carson L's picture
Carson L 9 years 22 weeks ago
#1

Maybe this is more of a disguised military bailout. It may have worked before, but at a terrible price: someone else's.

Titanic Parrellel of such Appropriated Response

Are you kidding me?! You're mad because people take fruit off of a tree that happens to be on your property? WHAT?! You seriously believe that you can claim this tree's servitude with money?! IT'S ALIVE! It produces fruit all on her own! She obviously wants to share all of her bounty with EVERYONE! Don't you know that's how she raises a family!? She just wants children! Baby trees sprouting as far as the eye can see!! I don't know about YOU, but it sounds pretty good to ME!

Who could've sold YOU - HER right to do so. How dare you claim a living creature as slave property and justify it with dirty cash? You don't deserve this generous soul's dead leaves, not even for a TRILLION dollars! Oh Trust ME! She would be more than happy to just walk away to be shade and hooray'ed somewhere far away from here if she could! HAVE A NICE DAY, MASA! Unless, of course, your day doesn't obey your commands appropriately.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 22 weeks ago
#2

The Twain Report

All The News That Mark Twain Says He Would Report If He Was Alive Today

9-04-2013

John McCain's psychiatrist is on the Twain Report board of directors, and so of course in keeping with our national security, he gave us a copy of his most recent case notes. After redacting the portions that Wikileaks tells us would endanger America's security, we decided to make the remainder available to the public:

"... for some times now, I have been deeply concerned about Senator McCain's mental stability- or lack thereof, as evinced by a tendency to lash out at innocent people, and pulling his suit jacket over his head and rocking himself to sleep on the floor of Congress. I was considering mandating another course of heavy anti-psychotic medication, or possibly even upgrading the chip we put in his head when he first became a senator, when all of a suddent his entire outlook on life seemed to shift. He has been observed skipping and frolicking down the halls of congres, and even sang a medley of Rogers and Hammerstein showtunes that was moderately well-received by a group of Japanese tourists at a gay bar in Washington DC.

"... I cannot take full credit for Senator McCain's fortuitous recovery from the depths of mental illness... a careful investigation has revealed that in fact psychiatric care had little to do with his newfound happiness..."

"Because Senator McCain is a very powerful figure in our government, and capable of wreaking great damage if he were to really lose his marbles as it were... While some of our national policies have obviously aided Senator McCain in his recovery, it has simply not been enough... I recommend that his colleagues in Congress and the White House take his mental fragility into account and try to create a more "McCain-friendly" atmosphere in Washington DC..."

"... For Senator McCain to enjoy a full mental health recovery, we need a war in Syria. And while humanitarians may regret or even speak out against the necessity of America killing more Syrians than Assad has killed, it is clear that we need to kill as many Syrians as it takes, to ensure Senator McCain's lasting happiness.

"... One of my psychiatric colleagues in Syria has informed me that when Assad heard of our impending bombing of his country, he was observed skipping and frolicking down the halls outside of his office, and he even sang a medley of Machmoud and Ibn showtunes to one of his death squads, to their great enjoyment."

And Senator McCain's psychiatrist was seen frolicking down the halls of the Twain Report headquarters. He even got up on one of the lunchroom tables and sang a medley of Freud and Skinner showtunes. Then we put him back in the basement and locked the door.

Joe Phillips LCSW's picture
Joe Phillips LCSW 9 years 22 weeks ago
#3

May I remind people that the US used chemical weapons, Agent Orange, in Vietnam. We gassed our own troops. Israel used chemical weapons ,White Phosphorus, to burn Palestinian civilians, and when the UN condemned it by passing a resolution against Israel, THE US USED IT"S UN VETO TO BLOCK THAT. What hypocrisy.

smilodon1's picture
smilodon1 9 years 22 weeks ago
#4

Why isn't the United Nations doing anything? If the United States goes it alone in Syria, the United Nations becomes irrelevent.

bkbrec 9 years 22 weeks ago
#5

Anybody think a volunteer army is the problem to many of our societal ills?

1. Volunteer army makes it easier for Presidents to send people off to war for any reason by using the reasoning that "this is what they signed up for" or "they knew the possibility of war was real prior to signing up"

2. Since congress hasn't actually waged a war in some time, and they don't have to if the president just does it, they are somewhat safe from being voted out of office by veterans and antiwar constituents in their district. They can always look like to good guy or woman.

3. Too actually have the numbers needed to fill the ranks of our modern army with out a draft to to it, we need to make joining the army the best alternative for poor folks. Hence, stagnant wage growth, declining middle class, large gap between rich and poor.

4. So that these volunteers can't "connect the dots" to all this, we need to keep a lot of people stupid. Ergo, cut funding to schools and blame teachers and their unions.

I realize this idea may need some persuading, but it may be time to reinstitute a military draft.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 22 weeks ago
#6

Putin is right. It is criminal for the US to act alone before the United Nations investigations and deliberations are complete.

Also, as Thom points out, it is criminal that our legislators are capable of rushing the country into another illegal war on We the People's Credit Card, and then drag their feet when they budget social programs for their own people.

Again, there is nothing more criminal for any nation to do than to drop depleted uranium on another nation. We have no right to judge anyone else. We are the ones who need to be judged.

The United Nations must step up to the plate and do their job.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 22 weeks ago
#7
A Message from Dennis Kucinich: Please Sign The Petition

Quote Dennis Kucinich:Dear Friends,

Next week Congress will vote on whether to wage war on Syria, a Middle Eastern nation in the middle of a civil war.

Say NO to more WAR.

Whether you’re Independent, Democrat, Republican, or Green; if you care about our nation, NOW is the time to stand together to direct Congress to reject war on Syria.Sign and share the PLEDGE to Congress that this vote on war with Syria will help determine your support for, or opposition to, any candidate in future elections.

I PLEDGE to vote against any Member of Congress, regardless of partisan affiliation, who votes YES to an attack on Syria. Join me.

Al Qaeda affiliates, whom we have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than a decade, are known to be leading some of the rebel groups.

We cannot afford another war of choice. The government could shut down over budget talks in less than a month. What will Congress do? Vote for war on credit card one day and then shut down the U.S. government the next?

Some political leaders are calling for war in order to protect the President’s credibility. Why should our sons and daughters put their lives at risk to protect political vanity?

Speak to Congress in language they will understand:

Please SIGN and share the pledge to make this Syria vote a defining re-election issue, and stop this move towards involving the U.S. more deeply in a disastrous war.

Thank you.

-Dennis

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 22 weeks ago
#8

David Abbot: I gotta say...that I really do get a kick out of reading your very witty and funny Twain Reports! Just Hilarious!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 22 weeks ago
#9

Credibility? What credibility? Obama has no credibility nor does our government war mongers! But, Kucinich is very correct on this...tis true! But somehow, even if Congress is swamped with even 100% of all American's email or calls, or even massive demonstrations outside the Capitol, it won't make any difference! It is going to take a lot more than that! And that is why the government ordered millions of rounds of hollow point bullets! They have probably even got their own storage of chemical weapons to use against anyone who does seriously threaten the government. Obama is merely Assad of another color (no pun intended). In the likelihood that the masses do rise up and do way more than do a worthless petition of our crooked, criminal government we very well could see the same kinds of lethal crowd control as Assad has. But, I still don't believe Assad was stupid enough to use chemical weapons against his own people especially at the very time that UN inspectors were there. I still believe that the US/Qatar/Saudi Arabia/Israel/and Britain staged this whole thing to frame Assad to justify a US invasion of that country. It was the US (etal) that murdered all those Syrian civilians...how much different would it have been from murdering all of the innocent civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, etc?

tomcalwriter1's picture
tomcalwriter1 9 years 22 weeks ago
#11

Tom, your blog is disappointing. Have you gauged the pulse of the nation on this issue? I've seen numbers approaching 95 percent AGAINST the bombing of Syria. You need a stronger message. What Obama is doing is nothing short of the action of a dictator!

michaelmoore052's picture
michaelmoore052 9 years 22 weeks ago
#12

Lip-Licker Kerry has been kissing somebody's @$$.

historywriter's picture
historywriter 9 years 22 weeks ago
#13

Probably Israel's.

Sign Dennis Kuchinich pledge. I'm ready to vote against anyone--Democrat or Republican--who votes for war.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 9 years 22 weeks ago
#14

Our poor, poor weapons manufactureres are hurting...they need a pick-me-up. So we'll start a little war to help them out. Now, all you loyal americans out there should recommend future targets; after all, a war with Syria won't last forever.8-)

zephyrr 9 years 22 weeks ago
#15

It's a NO-WIN situation for USA to enter any Middle Eastern country in military fashion. It will only kill more innocents and young Americans, cause more hatred and terror, and ultimately, be another horror like Iraq and Afghanistan. Diplomacy and/or UN intervention is the only way. Even having United Nations presence is a danger to the peacekeepers in a mess like Syria where USA has been interfering undercover for years. Also Russia and Iran are stirring the pot to confuse and cause terror. Israel is another player in this dangerous game.
All I know is that I do not want American military intervening in Syria. We are no longer a leader in the free world, our presence is not considered by the world to be positive.

OTHER THOUGHTS ON SYRIA:Other thoughts also include that Syria is a whirlpool of world wide desire by rich power obsessed individuals to control everything to enrich themselves at all cost. The second thought on Syria is that no one has made it clear exactly how President Obama, et al, know that poison gas was used. I have few doubts of its' use but I am remembering Bush, et al and their yellow powder/mushroom cloud/weapons of mass destruction scams. Because, after all, Obama, et al, are members of that power seeking cabal.Syria just happens to be a convenient victim for the world power seekers.

SteveS's picture
SteveS 9 years 22 weeks ago
#16

People need to write and call their representatives and tell them to vote against this rash, dangerous move to war. Striking Syria could easliy cause the entire Middle East to erupt in violence, and then we'd be in a decades-long war without an exit strategy because we had no clear objectives going in.

Moreover, I hope everyone realizes that we have no dog in this fight, which is a civil war between the harsh regime of a dictator and al-Qaida rebel fighters. We should not be favoring either side. And as for the chemical weapons aspect of the conflict, the United Nations is far better prepared than we are to settle it the only way possible: through diplomacy and/or a truly international force through the auspices of the United Nations. We cannot be the world's police force.

jmcquade's picture
jmcquade 9 years 22 weeks ago
#17

We have a conflicting situation.

On one hand someone needs to punish those that willingly kill or maim non military citizens including children but on the other hand congress has taken money out of social programs that help our own citizens yet they don't mind spending money for war.

leila's picture
leila 9 years 22 weeks ago
#18

I am so proud of New Mexico's Senator Tom Udall! We need more senators to demand credible evidence and justification. And if Kerry will not rule out" no boots on the ground" in Syria, we need more of our leaders to stand up and vote no! Thanks, Senator Udall for taking the lead on opposing war.

SHFabian's picture
SHFabian 9 years 22 weeks ago
#19

If the reports of Assad gassing people are true, there is simply no time to arrange a series of diplomatic debates at the UN to hash out what to do about it. If human atrocities are occuring, of course we have a moral duty to intervene, even if there's "nothing in it for us." And yes, it is insanely hypocritical of Americans taking a break from slaughtering humans to protect some humans from slaughter, and I don't have a response to that. Upon hearing about these reports, the first thing that came to mind was US reluctance to get involved after learning about Nazi atrocities.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 9 years 22 weeks ago
#20

The majority of citizens in Britain said no to Syrian military action and guess what, Parliament listened. That's how democracy is supposed to work. On the other hand here in the United States the majority is also saying no, but predictably a majority of our members of congress will selfishly bow down to their benefactors, big oil, and the bomb builders, and vote yes to more war for profit.

This military action has little to do with human compassion. It has much more to do with taxpayer funded violence as a vehicle to enrich the true "deciders"....those who can't get enough of getting more when it comes to money and power.

This would not be happening if we the people had non-profit control over the energy segment of the economy. In fact if that were the case, instead of a military industrial complex, there would be a green energy industrial complex......and it would be fighting a just war, a war for global survival.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 22 weeks ago
#21

Flopot ~ Thank you! You are quite a source of sobering information. Between you and Palindromedary I feel like I'm at a banquet of news. That video you've linked to should be scene by everyone. Thank you both!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 22 weeks ago
#22

stecoop01: I could recommend some targets but I'm afraid I'd have men with guns breaking my door down.

Kdog 9 years 22 weeks ago
#23

Wow, Obama alligning with al-Qaeda. Kerry and McCain trying to outcreep the other. Boehner afraid to talk with Russian diplomats? Brave guy, that Boehner, probably too busy down at his club smoking cigars. Is Congress listening to America? Sadly, no.

And, yeah, I'm especially proud of Tom Udall.Wish he was my senator.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 22 weeks ago
#24

Picture yourself living in Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia or Mao Tse Tung China, just to name a few, and someone says to you "call or email your representatives and urge them to do this or that". What chances do you think you will have in influencing them to your cause? Nada! Zilch! Nine! Nix! La! not a chance...a waste of time...and likely to get you sent to some gulag somewhere (if they don't shoot you on the spot). Oh, but you say: "But those countries weren't democracies and we are!" Yeah, right! Keep on believing that nonsense...we really don't have a democracy in the US...not a real one...the game is fixed. Only the "believers" still cling to that nonsense.

I think we are so close to that right now. I certainly don't think it is going to matter a whit that you sign petitions or call or email your representatives. All they will do (rather, all their computers will do ) is to send you an automated email response or recorded message thanking you for being a patriotic American and then use obfuscating language to make you think you've done something important.

What THEY will get is your real name and address and telephone number...which they always *require. Now just what they will do with that information right now is not yet known. But what they could do with it is anyone' guess. One thing for certain, they want to hound you later with requests for political donations. Once they get your real name and email or address or your phone number they'll hound you forever.

The Nazis used IBM punched tabulating cards to facilitate rounding up the Jews for their extermination...now our Neo-Nazi/Fascists have super-spy-computers that collect many Terabytes of data on us every second.

Of course, just typing our ideas and beliefs on these blogs do the same thing..pretty much...and it wouldn't take much for the government to use their legal crowbars to get the blog site to reveal our names and email addresses. And, as many hackers already know, you don't even have to do that to get that information...albeit...illegally...but what is legality anyway? Especially when the legal eagles are all corrupt.

But, hey, if you sign those petitions (by all means go ahead) it just means that you still believe that the system will, somehow, work. And it keeps you out of the streets waiting for that automated email response. It also means that it buys the criminals more time to more deeply screw us all to the point of no return. We will all be so powerless that we will never be able to fight back.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 22 weeks ago
#25

Right, DAnneMarc: It is a sad day in American history when Vlad The Impaler Putin feels constrained to offer advice on morality and right action to America's "democrat" president. I wonder why this does not embarrass Obama...

Thank you Palindromedary for the compliment, but geez, McCain just handed me this one. I mean, the only time Boehner smiles (and salivates) is when Pavlov or anyone else says the word "fascism," and the only thing that perks McCain up is the thought of bombing someone- anyone, anywhere, for any reason or no reason. They should set McCain down in front of a video game and tell him he's in control of a drone and can bomb anyone he likes. He'll never know the difference.

And to think that when Obama got his first term as president, I was worried that the Twain Report would have to shut down because there wouldn't be anything to make fun of, with government working the way it is supposed to work...

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 22 weeks ago
#26

Yes of course the powers that be want the names, addresses, emails, and phone numbers of everyone who dislikes the idea of living in a deranged oligarchy, so if things go their way they can round up the dissenters and treat them the way that Stalin, Hitler, or Mao would have treated them.

But in their ongoing effort to find out just how much they can get away with, the oligarchs are given pause by just how many people are willing to go on record as favoring a sane government.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 22 weeks ago
#27
Quote Palindromedary:What THEY will get is your real name and address and telephone number...which they always *require. Now just what they will do with that information right now is not yet known. But what they could do with it is anyone' guess.

Palindromedary ~ You make a very sound point. However, I don't sign a petition without taking all that into account. I sign the petition because it is an excellent way of excusing myself from the judgement when the illegal criminals that be, just like the ones in Nazi Germany, are brought to justice that I have a written statement with my name on it that I did all I can to oppose public policy. Don't you think the Nazi's would have loved to have such documentation at their disposal when the Nazi government was hauled into the war crimes court to disavow any participation on their behalf?

If it makes a difference that would be great! However, if not, like you said it will be stored in a permanent database that will remember exactly where you stand. Do you really think such blatant crimes against humanity will be ignored forever? Take a lesson from Nazi Germany and the fact that for every crime against humanity there is a day of reckoning on the world scene. Take the opportunity, as did Pontious Pilate, to wash your hands of these crimes against humanity by publicly stating your opposition and condemnation. Anything less is compliance!

U.S. Citizen's picture
U.S. Citizen 9 years 22 weeks ago
#28

It's all about Iran and oil. Weaken its allies and it will be easier to conquer. Along with Asian oil and gas, we'll control Middle East Oil. And, destroy our planet even quicker.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 22 weeks ago
#29

So, Obama is going to the G-20 at the Constantine Palace in St. Petersburg! I wonder how Putin and Obama will get along. Maybe Putin will arrest and detain Obama for being a war criminal...after all...he has taken over the same war criminal activities of Bush and is about to commit another in Syria.

I wonder if Prince Bandana in Saudi Arabia will follow through with his threats against Putin by sending Al Qaida terrorists to the Sochi Olympic games to rile things up a bit. That was part of the threat/bribe combination Prince Bandana made to Putin asking him to drop Russian support of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 22 weeks ago
#30

Here is another petition from CREDO that you can sign to forbid the government from bombing Syria:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/dont_bomb_syria/

Don't be a coward. Sign the petition!

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 22 weeks ago
#31

Palindromedary ~ That's right! Obama is headed to Russia for the G-20. That's another cute little side story. I hope Putin lays the law down with him and sends him homes howling with his tail between his butt. What else could possibly happen? It would even be better if Putin arrested Obama and detained him. I guess a lot of that will rest on the content of the "revelations" provided to Putin from Snowden. If Snowden knows about the same plot Flopot just enlightened us to in that youtube video, and provided Putin with evidence, that summit might be eventful indeed. Time will tell!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 22 weeks ago
#32

David Abbot & DAnneMarc: Got it! :-) Of course not all things turn out for the best. Nazi Germany got their just rewards only because there were more powerful enemies, like the US, that brought them to justice. I don't know if there are any more powerful countries than the US right now, although China is in the works for the next leading world power. And the US has already been a very large recipient of what once belonged to China thanks to Japan and Operation Golden Lily....ie: many tonnes of gold that was confiscated from China by the Japanese...which we got when we won the war against Japan..discovered many of the tunnels hiding the gold in the Philippines. Marcos got some of the rest...but who has it now?

Did we even offer to give it back to their rightful owners? China? In fact the US used much of that gold to fund the cold war with Russia...gave some of it back to Japan (the original thieves)...so Nixon could win re-election. I do hope the Chinese aren't too sore over than one. But, I guess, in a way, one could say that the US has given all their jobs to China!

But wait! There's more! The US has largely used China to fund their illegal wars. It all has to do with economics that I don't entirely understand. So, I won't even try. Maybe the Chinese are getting a little pi$$ed and once they take over the world they might throw the US a scrap from time to time as long as we beg. Maybe not! Maybe they'll "do unto others as others have done unto them" ..like conquer us and turn our females into "Comfort Women" and then break open our vaults and steal all the gold right back...maybe whack of some heads with a sword just for sh!ts and g!ggles. Frightening thought!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 22 weeks ago
#33

I noticed that the Move to Amend website is secure:
https://movetoamend.org/petition
https://movetoamend.org/submit-petitions

And that means that your form data is encrypted before it is sent. Still, that leaves the question...how secure is the servers at Move to Amend? Can anyone hack into their servers and steal the information? https is a good sign though and might help to indicate that Move to Amend does try to protect data.

But, you know, I've seen some petition web sites that like to brag about who signed up and they display people's names of those who signed.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 22 weeks ago
#34

I met an American who was in China around the time of the Boxer Rebellion. He worked as a captain of a boat for some smugglers. One time, among the loot they transported, they found a few suitcases full of American dollars. The Chinese guys on the boat didn't know anything about the American economy and they basically thought it was play money, The American said, "Well, I tell you what: you give me those suitcases, and you guys can split up the rest of the loot between you." They thought he was crazy, but they said ok, and he came home with a few million dollars in cash, which would equate to quite a bit more than a few million dollars in today's money.

A Chinese friend of mine told me that China is very unlikely to take over the world because of the infighting amongst the ruling class, and also because of huge problems that no Chinese officials have been willing to stick out their necks to try to solve: the horrific pollution that has started costing the government a fortune in health care costs, and the fact that the peasants are getting tired of the ruling class treating them worse than Chang Kai Shrek treated them. I don't know, but we'll see...

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 22 weeks ago
#35

David Abbot: Whew! I must be getting tired...When I initially read your first sentence, I thought you said that you were in China during the Boxer Rebellion. That was in 1900 which would make you about, at least 113 years old and probably 20 or so years more than that. Good thing I reread your sentence. You had met someone that was in China during the Boxer Rebellion...so he must have been much older than you. Anyway, that was quite an interesting story about that suitcase full of US dollars! That reminds me of an interesting movie I once saw...don't remember the name of it now.

By the way, I was in China a couple of times ...once in about 1981 and again in 1982 in Hong Kong and Kowloon and the New Territories and took a hydrofoil over to Macau then took a bus up to Dr. Sun Yat Sen's historic home then on to some little city..don't remember the name now. That was relatively pollution free...that I could tell. In that part of China, north of Macau, there was hardly a motor vehicle besides the bus I was in...mostly everyone rode bicycles...and they looked like very well built (heavy) bicycles...not the 3 or 10 or 15 speeds with skinny tires.

I was on vacation during those times and had bought a round-the-world unlimited-stop each year I was living and working in Saudi Arabia.(all my routes had to be in the same direction around the world..ie: I couldn't back track...and I had about a month each time to do it..thank Allah for Ramadan..no, I'm not Muslim). Aramco paid us for two one-way 1st class tickets to and from Saudi Arabia back to the states for repatriation each year. Most people used that money to buy round the world trip specials and still had some money left over....they cost something like $2000 (which we had to pay in Saudi Riyals).

Many years later...about 2005...I went to Shanghai for a couple of weeks, and while it was nice to see yet another strange place, I was on a working trip. But, I had some time off during the evenings and the week end to scout around over at The Bund and the Pearl Tower. I did a lot of walking from the Bund to the Nanpu bridge to the Pearl Tower and then to the YuYuan Garden. At that time the Pearl tower was the tallest structure on that side of the river...now it is swamped by lots of much taller buildings.

I had to commute from the hotel, in a newer section, to a University every day in a taxi and I had never seen, or smelled, so much pollution...it was terrible! There was less air pollution over near The Bund and the River. Most of the air pollution was during the commute hours. I saw all kinds of yucky things rapidly floating down the river, however.

I experienced the same kind of horrible air pollution, mostly during rush hour, in Guadalajara, Mexico when I had to spend time down there for work for weeks at a time.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 22 weeks ago
#36

You know it is not just the Government that I worry about when signing petitions. You have to use your real name..address...phone number...email address..or do you? And when you use real information on the internet...even if you think your information is just going to go to the servers you intend them to go to, that leaves you wide open to compromise your security. Even if those petition sites use https the hackers can and do hack into those web sites that store your personal data.

I don't even bank on-line because I don't trust it. I've been to the Pastebin.com website and seen thousands of bank account numbers, account names, and balances...and if you wanted to know the passwords you had to pay.

Yes, I know that just about any business that retains data on you, including sites like Amazon or even your hospital or medical records can be, and have, been hacked. Just filling out those on-line forms require the use of javascript and that can be dangerous. Although one's internet browsing enjoyment would be greatly compromised if you never allowed javascript unless you have some control over it you are just wide open to not only being hacked but you would be allowing unseen junk to fill up your hard drive...much of it could be malware.

How do you even really know that that petition site is legitimate and not a Phished site pretending to be a legitimate petition site? You would just act on your emotions and dutifully type in your data and then...compromised! Gotcha! And before you know it...you find out that someone hacked into various e-commerce web sites using your name and managed to figure out your username and password that you thought was safe to use the same one over the many web sites you log into... using the same usernames and passwords. And Voila! All your bank accounts drained into some foreigner's bank.

This actually happened by the way...and the guy who got taken should have known better because he was a computer guru who wrote articles on computers. Little bits of data here...little bits of data there and they know all about you including very sensitive data...bank accounts...credit cards...names...addresses...telephone numbers...passwords. And the only reason he even knew he was hacked was because the hacker (just a kid) wasn't after his money but just thought it was fun and bragged about it..even freely talking to the guy about his exploit. Which is how he knew how he got hacked.

Using the same username and password at every place you need one..allows someone to gather up little bits of data to paint a broad picture on you. You may think you didn't tell everything at one site but you forgot you said other things at all the other places...and you used the same username and simple password at all of them.

So simple, then, to log in to say... Amazon and get the credit card numbers. And once you start getting id validators like credit card numbers, names, addresses, etc...you can move on to other things more compromising.

When you see that form, at those petition sites, staring back at you..do you also see an https rather than just an http in the url box? If not, that is a big warning that you shouldn't even type your data in those form fields.

Know what!? I went to both of those petition web sites and the form was there to fill out but it sure wasn't using secure http..ie: https which means that the data you enter into those forms will not be encrypted before your data is sent.

update: I did a Wireshark capture while sending dummy form information to the Kucinich web site and I initially saw https, in the Wireshark capture, that I thought was a result of the first page I sent but the https I saw was actually from the second page that popped up thanking me for signing the petition and asking for 10 emails of friends. That second page was https. So, it looks like that first page that you type your personal data into is not secure while the second page is.

Here it is:
email: Adolf@aol.com
first name: Adolf
last name: Hitler

This is what gets sent to the internet:
email=Adolf%40aol.com&firstname=Adolf&lastname=Hitler&addr1=&addr2=&zip=&custom-306=Would+prefer+not+to+answer&best-contact-time=&submit-btn=Sign+The+Petition&redirect_url=

Using Wireshark, if form data is sent...you can see whether it used http or https to send data...if http... then you can actually see your username, password, etc. that you typed into the form being sent over the internet in the open... so anyone, who is monitoring it, can see it. If you send an unencrypted email, you can read the email that is sent out on the internet using Wireshark. With Wireshark you can read whatever goes out and whatever comes in to your computer to/from the internet.

I also noticed that after filling out the forms at the Kucinich web site that when the URL said http...after I sent it...the next page pops up thanking you for signing the petition and asks you to fill in 10 more emails of "friends" (yeah, right, thanks a lot "friend"! ..now the "friends" will be pestered for donations)! But, at least, this time it says https in the URL box..this second page does indicate secure. It didn't protect your first page data but it protects the second page data. Not consoling!

I really detest these damn petition sites for even asking for other people's emails. That's really sick! I don't know of anyone (friends) who would welcome being put on a list without their first agreeing to it...but these petitioners don't care...they just want email addresses so that they can pester people for donations. And I wouldn't doubt that they sell this information as well!

And finally, if these "data-miner" petition web sites don't have it all together and don't use methods for preventing hacking methods like SQL Injection then they are wide open for some hacker to use SQL Injection to break into their database and gain access to all that personal information.

Certain unexpected sequence of characters entered into the form... can elicit responses by the software on the server that will allow a hacker to break into the databases. This is widely known and frequently used. When I see someone not using HTTPS...and especially if I can get a "thank you for your signature" when I entered garbage..then I wonder if they are also vulnerable to an SQL Injection attack. Which I'm not going to try. At times I entered really garbage email and first and last names other than what I listed above...and got through to the second "thank you" page.

Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 22 weeks ago
#37

The Bigger Picture (pun intended :P)

Remember that Obama is a pawn of the international bankster cartel. Recent evidence has come to light explaining how this cartel deliberately tore down financial barriers (i.e. laws!) around the world to allow the banks to control and enslave other nations. Those nations who refuse to join the private bankster cartel are invaded or threatened with economic sanctions. It really does seem to be that simple. But don't listen to me, here's Greg Palast to make you sit up and cry...

Here's the context...

http://www.maxkeiser.com/2013/09/making-the-world-safe-for-banksters-syr...

Here's Palast's article...

http://www.gregpalast.com/larry-summers-and-the-secret-end-game-memo/

Here is the video of Palast confronting a top bankster-friend, the Director General of the WTO. It is a frightening example of double-think - the man admits that deregulation let derivatives spread like "mad cow disease" but if you attempt to block derivatives from entering your country we will penalize you! He equates financial fraud with freedom and democracy. Insane and Criminal.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKqJmEPuBgc&feature=player_embedded

It is like a "Wannsee Memo" of the financial "crisis" which now seems like a deliberate plot to enslave our countries to debt.

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 9 years 22 weeks ago
#38

It is my opinion that President Obama has reached his apex, and is a going along with the establishment. What a disappointment.

Carson L's picture
Carson L 9 years 22 weeks ago
#39

Smilodon! Why the hell did that never occur to me?! That's brilliant! We're humans too! USA needs some Checks and Balances on the USA as a whole and its affects to the Earth!!

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 22 weeks ago
#40

During war, people can get away with murder! ;-O
Even in the Wannsee Conference the participants used a kind of code word lingo and never actually, specifically said anything about outright murdering the Jews...although that is what it was all about..the logistics. It had already been determined well before the conference that the "final solution", itself a euphemism, would entail mass murdering 11 million European Jews. The one time they came close was to say that the work camps would, of course, inevitably result in some people dying of being overworked. They used the term "old age ghetto" where they sent anyone over 65...oh, and anyone else who were deemed unable to work. What they were really referring to were gas chambers. But they didn't want to outright incriminate themselves in a meeting where they recorded their discussions. So they used euphemisms..nice sounding words...code words. They use euphemisms today..ie: code words that sound nice but really mean something entirely different.

You may be on to something there, Flopot! Did you know that the Nazis actually made the Jews to pay for their relocation to the ghettos...the first step in their journey on those trains to the work camps and gas chambers? And then, if the poor Jews couldn't afford it...the Nazis heavily taxed the rich Jews to pay for the transportation. And besides that, the Nazis ended up robbing them all before and after their death....even their hair, skin, and gold teeth fillings, not to mention any property or other tangible assets they had. They even got something like $9 million from rich Jews outside of Germany to help pay for the transportation for the poor Jews. Master deceivers, those Nazis! How else do you manage to kill roughly 6 million Jews...half of the originally planned 11 million all over Europe. The Nazis even had musically talented Jews play chamber music for the arriving Jews just off the box cars so they wouldn't panic and run.

The US (but it is not just the US) has some master deceivers of their own...like that guy from the WTO that Greg Palast interviewed. The ones that created the financial schemes and scams like derivatives. If they can't trick you into participating in so-called investments that are rigged to rob you of every penny, they'll find ways of sending you to virtual gas chambers. They may or may not put a gun to your head and pull the trigger or push you into an actual gas chamber but they can elicit the end result just the same through skillfully causing your early demise through creating poverty related illnesses...unaffordable healthcare*...manipulation of the currency so that your savings are no longer worth anything...sending your jobs overseas. Or, life's savings investment or pension plans we were all cajoled into participating in disappears** because some massive conspiracy by Wannsee-Conference-like economic behind-the-scenes manipulators plotted how they were going to massively rip everyone off. Maybe, if we the people ever win this economic war we can have Nuremberg-like trials in...say Chicago, where much of the current Neo-economic school of thought has ruined much of the world who fell for it. Obama went to that school...why did we ever fall for his bullsh!t in the first place?

Now that the upper classes have cheap laborers in China they no longer need the wage slaves in the US. It is clear that the "old age ghettos" in the US may not be in any one or few locations like they were in Nazi Germany. They don't have to be because now they know who we are, where we are, they can track us, they can monitor everything we say by using the internet and a network of public surveillance cameras and spy satellites. And it is even possible to spy on us by listening to every word we say in our kitchens and bedrooms. The technology is such that they can easily build listening devices into the manufacturing of any device we put into our homes like refrigerators, microwaves, phones, dish washers. They have pin-hole cameras that they can plant in your homes to watch what you do...and they can watch you through your laptop or home computer video devices. If you don't know how to activate/deactivate them then at least keep tape over the lens when not in use. Yes, it sounds crazy...it sounds paranoid...but: "CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher" http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote/

They've come a long way from the IBM tabulating cards used in Nazi Germany. They don't need centralized ghettos. The whole of the US is becoming a large ghetto monitored by technology. We are even helping in that endeavor by using our cell phones, tablets, lap tops, home computers, and even in the cars we buy that can be tracked by satellite...even remotely caused to crash into trees at high speed. And the "unseen hand" of crapitalism is slowly "gassing" us all. Less fuss..less mess..and they don't even have to dig mass graves...yet!

*Obama care is not going to be affordable healthcare. It will be a government strong-arming the people to pay whatever the insurance bandits demand. It is just another euphemism to elicit the final solution against masses of people in the lower classes. Their plan is to make social security, medicare, or any other social program unnecessary by manipulating the system where masses of vulnerable people will die early.

**The next step is to have massive bank failures ostensibly caused by some fictitious ploy...like maybe...foreign hackers causing massive numbers of wire transfers of bank funds ...wire transfers...to their overseas accounts..probably try to blame it on the Iranians or Chinese. The FDIC will claim that they have been overwhelmed and can't possibly cover their insurance guarantees...so the people, the savers, are out of their money while the bankster scamsters, who did the real wire transfers to the own accounts, count all their booty now sitting in their offshore accounts.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 9 years 22 weeks ago
#41

Coincidently, my recommendations would have been those men with guns breaking down your door.

Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 22 weeks ago
#42

@Palindromedary

Exactly. The murderous cynicism of the Nazis is to be found in the sneering cynicism of the banksters as they enslave us using debt. Greg Palast's research seems like a slam dunk to me if that memo stands up to scrutiny. The plan was to tear down banking regulation all over the world and the prime conduit for transmiting the bankster fraud is the private central bank. Another reason for going to war against Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran.

As an aside, it seems that the decision to tear down a country using violence is triggered when certain global interests align - the bankster cartel; the neocon middle-east agenda; shoring up the petro-dollar etc...

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 22 weeks ago
#43

SHFabian ~ Please take a moment to pull your head out of your ____ and look around you. Our War on Drugs this year has caused more unnecessary deaths in Mexico alone, than it is alleged that Assad has with chemical weapons. Almost a million have fallen to the American military in Iraq that we know of for a reason that we haven't yet heard of. Millions more including innocent children will fall because of the use of depleted uranium--perhaps the most horrendous war crime in the history of humanity--by the hands of the United States of America.Yet you seem to want to imply that the world can't wait for debates in the UN.

Bottom line--there is always time to wait for the deliberations of the United Nations; and, the consensus of the world community. The crime that may always be prevented was the reason that they were created in the first place. Be patient, my friend.

Flopot's picture
Flopot 9 years 22 weeks ago
#44

The War on Drugs is really the Drugs Business and all the cartels are involved, including the banksters and the intelligence community. For example, Wells Farge was done for laundering billions worth of drugs money and received a tiny fine (what a business model) and all the other TBTF banks are probably involved.

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-wachovia-laundered-billions-in-mexica...

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs

Just like the War on Terror is really the Security Business :P

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 21 weeks ago
#45

Very excellent article...thanks Flopot...very revealing!

Quote TheGuardian article: How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs:"For the time period of 1 May 2004 through 31 May 2007, Wachovia processed at least $$373.6bn in CDCs (casas de cambio--houses of change or money*), $4.7bn in bulk cash" – a total of more than $378.3bn, a sum that dwarfs the budgets debated by US state and UK local authorities to provide services to citizens.
----
"The regulatory authorities do not have to spend any more time on it, and they don't have to push it as far as a criminal trial. They just issue criminal proceedings, and settle. The law enforcement people do what they are supposed to do, but what's the point? All those people dealing with all that money from drug-trafficking and murder, and no one goes to jail?"
---
....a lot of the law enforcement people were disappointed to see a settlement" between the administration and Wachovia. "But I know there were external circumstances that worked to Wachovia's benefit, not least that the US banking system was on the edge of collapse."
---
"If you look at the career ladders of law enforcement, there's no incentive to go after the big money.
....they want to get the traffickers and seize their assets. But this is like treating a sick plant by cutting off a few branches – it just grows new ones. Going after the big money is cutting down the plant – it's a harder door to knock on, it's a longer haul, and it won't get you the short-term riches."
---
"The connection between organised crime and financial institutions started in the late 1970s, early 1980s," he says, "when the mafia became globalised."
---
Wachovia does not appear to be the end of the line. In August 2010, it emerged in quarterly disclosures by HSBC that the US justice department was seeking to fine it for anti-money laundering compliance problems reported to include dealings with Mexico.
---
... if you don't see the correlation between the money laundering by banks and the 30,000 people killed in Mexico, you're missing the point."
---
"New York and London," says Woods, "have become the world's two biggest laundries of criminal and drug money, and offshore tax havens. Not the Cayman Islands, not the Isle of Man or Jersey. The big laundering is right through the City of London and Wall Street.
---
"After the Wachovia case, no one in the regulatory community has sat down with me and asked, 'What happened?' or 'What can we do to avoid this happening to other banks?' They are not interested. They are the same people who attack the whistleblowers and this is a position the [British] Financial Services Authority at least has adopted on legal advice: it has been advised that the confidentiality of banking and bankers takes primacy over the public information disclosure act. That is how the priorities work: secrecy first, public interest second.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-drug-gangs
--------------------
*my addition

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 21 weeks ago
#46

Yeah, Palindromedary, it wasn't me in China during the Boxer Rebellion. The guy was very old, but he apparently learned some sort of internal martial art in China, which kept him energetic and so flexible that at age 90 he could stand in a doorway and raise one leg up and lay it flat up and down against the doorframe.

You've had some real adventures. I have a number of friends from that part of the world, but I have only been to Canada and Mexico.

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 9 years 21 weeks ago
#47

HSBC was slapped on the wrist for laundering lots of drug money.

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