Saturday, April 16, 2016

“Why, in heaven’s name, don’t we tax religion?”: Bill Maher says it’s time all religious groups paid Uncle Sam - Salon.com

“Why, in heaven’s name, don’t we tax religion?”: Bill Maher says it’s time all religious groups paid Uncle Sam - Salon.com

Article: Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon | OpEdNews

Article: Yes, Hillary Clinton Is a Neocon | OpEdNews If there were any doubts that Hillary Clinton favors a neoconservative foreign policy, her performance at Thursday's debate should have laid them to rest. In every meaningful sense, she is a neocon and -- if she becomes President -- Americans should expect more global tensions and conflicts in pursuit of the neocons' signature goal of "regime change" in countries that get in their way.

Beyond sharing this neocon "regime change" obsession, former Secretary of State Clinton also talks like a neocon. One of their trademark skills is to use propaganda or "perception management" to demonize their targets and to romanticize their allies, what is called "gluing white hats" on their side and "gluing black hats" on the other.

So, in defending her role in the Libyan "regime change," Clinton called the slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi "genocidal" though that is a gross exaggeration of Gaddafi's efforts to beat back Islamic militants in 2011. But her approach fits with what the neocons do. They realize that almost no one will dare challenge such a characterization because to do so opens you to accusations of being a "Gaddafi apologist."

Similarly, before the Iraq War, the neocons knew that they could level pretty much any charge against Saddam Hussein no matter how false or absurd, knowing that it would go uncontested in mainstream political and media circles. No one wanted to be a "Saddam apologist."

Clinton, like the neocons, also shows selective humanitarian outrage. For instance, she laments the suffering of Israelis under crude (almost never lethal) rocket fire from Gaza but shows next to no sympathy for Palestinians being slaughtered by sophisticated (highly lethal) Israeli missiles and bombs.

USS Donald 'Duck' Cook

USS Donald 'Duck' Cook The near-hysterical American reaction to Russian fighter planes buzzing a US destroyer this week is replete with hilarious double-think.

An undated US Navy picture shows what appears to be a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 attack aircraft making a very low pass close to the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea.
© REUTERS/ US NAVY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS
'Aggressive': Pentagon Decries 'Simulated Attack' by Russian Jets in Baltic
Russian warplanes made the USS Donald Cook look more like a sitting Donald Duck bobbing helplessly on the Baltic Sea when they streaked by the vessel. The dramatic face-off followed by the appearance of US impotence is probably what underlies the angry reaction in Washington.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Release of Clinton's Wall Street Speeches Could End Her Candidacy for President

Release of Clinton's Wall Street Speeches Could End Her Candidacy for President The reason you and I will never see the transcripts of Hillary Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street fat-cats — and the reason she’s established a nonsensical condition for their release, that being an agreement by members of another party, involved in a separate primary, to do the same — is that if she were ever to release those transcripts, it could end her candidacy for president.

Please don’t take my word for it, though.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Debunking Washington Post’s absurd call for (more) intervention in Venezuela’s democracy - Salon.com

Debunking Washington Post’s absurd call for (more) intervention in Venezuela’s democracy - Salon.com According to the logic of the Washington Post, the U.S. is in desperate, desperate need of external intervention.

The newspaper’s editorial board published an op-ed this week insisting that “Venezuela is in desperate need of a political intervention.”

Why? Democratically elected Venezuelan President Nicol├ís Maduro is ostensibly “deeply unpopular,” the Washington Post insists, and the oil-rich South American nation is spiraling “toward an economic and political crash.”

How unpopular is Maduro exactly? There is no need to speculate; an August 2015 poll found that positive evaluations of the president had fallen to just over 24 percent.

Yet, when compared to governments around the world, a 24 percent approval rating is much better than it may seem.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Inside Erik Prince’s Treacherous Drive to Build a Private Air Force

Inside Erik Prince’s Treacherous Drive to Build a Private Air Force

Article: A Corporate State is Threatened | OpEdNews

Article: A Corporate State is Threatened | OpEdNews Once again we hear the media pounding the same refrain that they have been pedaling for decades; vote for the politician we endorse because we know best. The truth is that 50 years ago that may have been true, when newspapers as television stations had independent news that operated independently from the hierarchy. Today we have media that has a stake in the game. These corporations are actively backing a certain candidate with corporate funding and they expect us all to take their word that they are operating in the public interest! The sad truth is that there are people accept their message as gospel, even though these networks are courting political favor to increase profits.

It is no big secret that MSNBC and CNN have donated to the Clinton campaign, yet they never mention it. I believe that the FCC should force news organizations that support one candidate to declare it public ally. In a perfect world, the people that are charged with reporting news should have no skin in the game. Unfortunate corporations are riding roughshod over our representative republic. I don't call the US a democracy because it isn't. Democracy is an illusion to keep the masses pacified. We see the true power of the corporate state when they refuse to report on the Sanders campaign and neglect to report on his amazing surge in the primaries despite of everything they have done to keep him quiet.

Article: 'Damn emails?' Actually, they're damning emails. | OpEdNews

Article: 'Damn emails?' Actually, they're damning emails. | OpEdNews While I was proud of Bernie Sanders when he refused to stoop to attacking Hillary Clinton on what I initially believed to be merely another manufactured right wing scandal, I now believe Sanders will have to address Clinton's 'damn emails,' as they do, in fact, damn her.

As a former postal employee, I became quite familiar with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)--which governs the employees of the federal government--and the United States Code (USC)--which specifies crimes and their penalties. Let's just say there's a valid reason the term 'going postal' has descended into the vernacular, and leave it at that. Upon visiting my old friends CFR and USC, I discovered a number of things about Clinton's 'damn emails' that the mainstream media and the 'legal experts' it has interviewed have been conveniently ignoring in their rush to the coronation. Those things, and the opinions of people who have held high-level security clearances, lead me to believe that an indictment is justified.

First, then, let's review the facts that have been verified as such.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Brutal, ugly & illegal: 9 things you need to know about the Israeli occupation of Palestine - Salon.com

Brutal, ugly & illegal: 9 things you need to know about the Israeli occupation of Palestine - Salon.com As this story goes to press, the American Anthropological Association is voting on an academic boycott resolution in solidarity with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. If it passes the resolution, it will become the largest academic association in the world to do so, joining dozens of professional academic organizations, unions, and student unions in the United States and Europe. The AAA boycott resolution has now also just received an endorsement from twenty-two Israeli anthropologists, whose letter reads in part:

“We agree that we have reached a crisis point, where under certain international conditions, another mass expulsion of Palestinians could occur—or worse… We believe it is possible to take a positive stand against this reality. The Palestinian call for BDS is at its core an anti-colonial, non-violent form of international protest against an enormously violent occupation.”

Monday, April 11, 2016

Article: "Yats" Is No Longer the Guy | OpEdNews

Article: "Yats" Is No Longer the Guy | OpEdNews In reporting on the resignation of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the major U.S. newspapers either ignored or distorted Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland's infamous intercepted phone call before the 2014 coup in which she declared "Yats is the guy!"

Though Nuland's phone call introduced many Americans to the previously obscure Yatsenyuk, its timing -- a few weeks before the ouster of elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych -- was never helpful to Washington's desired narrative of the Ukrainian people rising up on their own to oust a corrupt leader.

Instead, the conversation between Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt sounded like two proconsuls picking which Ukrainian politicians would lead the new government. Nuland also disparaged the less aggressive approach of the European Union with the pithy put-down: "f*ck the E.U.!"

More importantly, the intercepted call, released onto YouTube in early February 2014, represented powerful evidence that these senior U.S. officials were plotting -- or at least collaborating in -- a coup d'etat against Ukraine's democratically elected president. So, the U.S. government and the mainstream U.S. media have since consigned this revealing discussion to the Great Memory Hole.

On Monday, in reporting on Yatsenyuk's Sunday speech in which he announced that he is stepping down, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal didn't mention the Nuland-Pyatt conversation at all.