Saturday, August 9, 2014
The turmoil brought into the Middle East by the Bush and Obama regimes has meant death and displacement for millions, and untold future deaths. As I write 40,000 Iraqis are stranded on a mountain top without water awaiting death at the hands of ISIS, a creation of US meddling.
Mind you, we're not talking tickets or fines. We're talking felony charges, handcuffs, police cars, mug shots, pat downs, jail cells and criminal records.
Consider what happened to Nicole Gainey, the Florida mom who was arrested and charged with child neglect for allowing her 7-year-old son to visit a neighborhood playground located a half mile from their house.
If true, the direction of the investigation into the July 17 crash has veered dramatically from initial U.S. government allegations that eastern Ukrainian rebels, using a Russian-supplied anti-aircraft battery, were responsible for bringing down the plane, killing 298 people onboard.
The Obama administration used those claims to whip up an anti-Russian hysteria that prompted European countries to ratchet up economic sanctions against Moscow, starting what now looks like an incipient trade war.
Friday, August 8, 2014
I just took a short break from my life in "meatspace" to comment on the great news of the day: Russia announced a full 12 months embargo on the import of beef, pork, fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk and dairy products from the European Union, the United States, Australia, Canada and the Kingdom of Norway. Russia is also introducing an airspace ban against European and US airlines that fly over our airspace to Eastern Asia, namely, the Asia-Pacific region, and is considering changing the so-called Russian airspace entry and exit points for European scheduled and charter flights. Furthermore, Russia is ready to revise the rules of using the trans-Siberian routes, and will also discontinue talks with the US air authorities on the use of the trans-Siberian routes. Finally, starting this winter, we may revoke the additional rights issued by the Russian air authorities beyond the previous agreements. This is such an interesting and major development that it requires a much more subtle analysis than just the crude calculation of how much this might cost the EU or US. I will attempt no such calculation, but instead I would point out the following elements:
Let's start with Pentagon supremo, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who has waxed lyrical over the Russian Bear's "threat": "When you see the build-up of Russian troops and the sophistication of those troops, the training of those troops, the heavy military equipment that's being put along that border, of course it's a reality, it's a threat, it's a possibility - absolutely."
Thursday, August 7, 2014
When it became clear he couldn’t, or wouldn’t, sleep it out, my wife and I stopped at a nondescript exit, the kind one finds every six miles in the South, with two gas stations and three abandoned buildings (if you’re lucky, you also get a Hampton Inn and Cracker Barrel). While she tended to the baby, I entered a convenience store — one of those squat, glass and plastic rectangles that looks like a Sears & Roebuck erector set — praying it would have something other than beer, cigarettes and beef jerky.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Article: UPDATED -- Conclusive: 2 Ukrainian Government Fighter-Jets Shot Down that Malaysian Airliner. | OpEdNews
The latest report from the intelligence community was headlined on August 3rd by Robert Parry, "Flight 17 Shoot-Down Scenario Shifts," and he revealed there that, "Contrary to the Obama administration's public claims blaming eastern Ukrainian rebels and Russia for the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, some U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that the rebels and Russia were likely not at fault and that it appears Ukrainian government forces were to blame, according to a source briefed on these findings. This judgment -- at odds with what President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have expressed publicly -- is based largely on the absence of U.S. government evidence that Russia supplied the rebels with a Buk anti-aircraft missile system that would be needed to hit a civilian jetliner flying at 33,000 feet, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity."
Monday, August 4, 2014
A beleaguered-looking President Barack Obama appeared before the Washington press corps on August 1 to lash into Hamas for supposedly violating the 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire that his Secretary of State John Kerry and the United Nations had labored so tirelessly to secure. "I have unequivocally condemned Hamas and the Palestinian factions that were responsible for killing two Israeli soldiers and abducting a third minutes after a ceasefire was announced," Obama said.
But evidence supporting Obama's claim of Hamas responsibility has been difficult to come by. Indeed, even the Israeli Army news desk was unable to provide Mondoweiss with a clear narrative or substantial evidence regarding the incident in question. Moreover, accounts published in Arabic by Hamas's military wing along with details provided by the PLO indicate that the killing of two Israeli soldiers and disappearance of another actually occurred before the ceasefire went into effect -- when Israel was assaulting Rafah.
Over the last decade, the NSA has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians. In many cases, the NSA and ISNU work cooperatively with the British and Canadian spy agencies, the GCHQ and CSEC.
Sunday, August 3, 2014
“… Kiev is unable successfully to conduct the military operation in the east of the country, as it is not in complete control of all the military formations that are engaged in the so-called ATO …
… Inside the Ukrainian army, the principles of subordination have been breached: direct executors are in no hurry to implement the orders of the command and often perceive these orders as “recommdendations”. According to the agency’s source, the military is refusing to conduct artillery strikes of cities and “does not demonstrate sufficient activity during sweeps and purges" …”
In many ways, the conclusions reached in RT’s analysis are absolutely fair. Objectively, the Ukrainian army is simply a worse clone of Division SS “Galychyna”. Samostiyna [Note: Ukrainian for “independent”] Ukraine is unable to create anything better.
Today, the punitive forces suffered yet another defeat – remnants of the 25th Aeromobile Brigade, Battalion Dnepr, as well as other rabble-like units that attached or strayed to them, were surrounded in the Shakhters-Torez-Snezhnoye area.
What I will try to do here is present a possible scenario which takes into account the basic facts established so far. Here goes:
The plan was for the Ukies to shoot down the MH17 using a totally inappropriate aircraft: the Su-25, which is a "tree hugging" close air support aircraft. Why? After all, the Ukies do have some Mig-29s and even some Su-27, but these are much fewer in number and much easier to track. A few of them have been seen in the skies over Novorussia, but only rarely. In contrast, the Su-25 has been a ever-present presence in the skies ever since the conflict began. Some say that the Su-25 cannot fly over 7'000m. That is not true. The problem is that it's cockpit is not pressurized, but the airframe itself has powerful engines which can bring the aircraft well over 10'000m. All the pilot would need is some good warm clothing and an oxygen mask. No, the big drawback of sending the Su-25 so high is that it's engines are not designed to be used at that altitude and that it will not be able to fly fast enough to catch-up with a cruising Boeing. But what if the Su-25 carried a missile?
It’s not new for federal and state governments to issue tax breaks and incentives to religious organizations. In fact, George W. Bush and his famous “faith based initiatives” program gave certain religious organizations tax breaks if they performed non-religious duties, followed employment laws, and offered a service not based on a recipient’s religious beliefs.
So, if your religious organization feeds the homeless, does not proselytize to those receiving its services and does not discriminate against employees who do not share the same religious beliefs as the organization, the government may give it a tax incentive for its services.
This judgment -- at odds with what President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have expressed publicly -- is based largely on the absence of U.S. government evidence that Russia supplied the rebels with a Buk anti-aircraft missile system that would be needed to hit a civilian jetliner flying at 33,000 feet, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Not surprisingly, Russia will not be given a chance to defend itself in court or present its case before an independent tribunal. Due process and the presumption of innocence are breezily jettisoned whenever US interests are involved. Instead, Washington will act as judge, jury and lord high executioner arbitrarily imposing penalties on the country that has provided hard evidence of what actually transpired prior to the crash, using data it compiled from radar and satellite imagery.
Article: Evidence: 2 Ukrainian Government SU-25 Fighter-Jets Did Shoot Down that Malaysian Airliner. No "Buk" | OpEdNews
"There have been two or three pieces of fuselage that have been really pockmarked with what almost looks like machine-gun fire, very very strong machine-gun fire." This remarkable statement comes not from Haisenko, but from one of the first OSCE investigators who arrived at the scene of the disaster.
― Christopher Hitchens
"Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush? They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us; they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis. And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them."- Hunter S. Thompson
"Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that."--George Carlin
"I look at it this way... For centuries now, man has done everything he can to destroy, defile, and interfere with nature: clear-cutting forests, strip-mining mountains, poisoning the atmosphere, over-fishing the oceans, polluting the rivers and lakes, destroying wetlands and aquifers... so when nature strikes back, and smacks him on the head and kicks him in the nuts, I enjoy that. I have absolutely no sympathy for human beings whatsoever. None. And no matter what kind of problem humans are facing, whether it's natural or man-made, I always hope it gets worse."--George Carlin
"Recent history has repeatedly proven that nothing said by Washington and its officials should be accepted at face value. No other government in the world has been implicated in so many egregious lies as the United States."
-- Bill Van Auken
"Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that numbers of people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running and robbing the country. That's our problem.": -Howard Zinn
"If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." -Anatole France
"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."- Frederick Douglas
"Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent, in fact, I am religious."- Albert Einstein
"Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. And I'm not sure about the universe." -Albert Einstein
“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -James Baldwin
“Accumulation of wealth at one pole is at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole,”- Marx
“I heard too many lies spewed out by Ronald Reagan and the State Department to justify these killings. And by the time I was in Gaza, looking at the twisted limbs of dead women and children and listening to Israeli and U.S. officials describe an Israeli airstrike as a “surgical” hit on Islamic militants, it was over. I knew the dark heart of America.
I knew who we were, what we did, what we actually stood for and the terrifying and willful innocence that permits most Americans to think of themselves as good and virtuous when they are, in reality, members of an efficient race of killers and ruthless profiteers.”-Chris Hedges. American Journalist and Pulitzer Prize Winner.
"Tis better to remain silent and be thought the fool than to speak and remove all doubt".-Johnson, Lincoln, Twain????
"He who can lead you to believe an absurdity can lead you to commit an atrocity." -Voltaire
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."- Anatole France
“The animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren; they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.” ― Henry Beston
"The illusion of freedom [in America] will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater." --Frank Zappa
"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it." -- John Adams
“An accumulation of wealth at one pole of society indicates an accumulation of misery and overwork at the other”. --Karl Marx
"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan
"I have as much authority as the pope, I just don't have as many people that believe it." -George Carlin
"The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." --Huang Po
"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."- John Steinbeck
"I'm for truth, no matter who tells it. I'm for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I'm a human being, first and foremost, and as such I'm for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole."- Malcolm X
"There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people."- Howard Zinn
"Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time. ”
― George Carlin
"Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention." -- Molly Ivins
"Prayer seems to me a cry of weakness, and an attempt to avoid, by trickery, the rules of the game as laid down. I do not choose to admit weakness. I accept the challenge of responsibility. Life, as it is, does not frighten me, since I have made my peace with the universe as I find it, and bow to its laws... It seems to me that organized creeds are collections of words around a wish. I feel no need for such. I know that nothing is destructible; things merely change forms. When the consciousness we know as life ceases, I know that I shall still be part and parcel of the world. I was a part before the sun rolled into shape and burst forth in the glory of change. I was, when the earth was hurled out from its fiery rim. I shall return with the earth to Father Sun, and still exist in substance when the sun has lost its fire, and disintegrated into infinity to perhaps become a part of the whirling rubble of space. Why fear? The stuff of my being is matter, ever changing, ever moving, but never lost; so what need of denominations and creeds to deny myself the comfort of all my fellow men?" - Zora Neale Hurston
"Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life.It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your Honor. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant,self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse."-Mark Twain
"Although it is true that only about 20 percent of American workers are in unions, that 20 percent sets the standards across the board in salaries, benefits and working conditions. If you are making a decent salary in a non-union company, you owe that to the unions. One thing that corporations do not do is give out money out of the goodness of their hearts."-Molly Ivins
"The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance." - Carl Sagan