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.

Notable Quotes

"A hundred years from now, it will not matter the sort of house I lived in, what my bank account was, or the car I drove....but the world may be different because I was important in the life of the animals and the creatures on this earth." -Unknown

“I am not even an atheist so much as an antitheist; I not only maintain that all religions are versions of the same untruth, but I hold that the influence of churches and the effect of religious belief, is positively harmful. Reviewing the false claims of religion I do not wish, as some sentimental materialists affect to wish, that they were true. I do not envy believers their faith. I am relieved to think that the whole story is a sinister fairy tale; life would be miserable if what the faithful affirmed was actually true.... There may be people who wish to live their lives under cradle-to-grave divine supervision, a permanent surveillance and monitoring. But I cannot imagine anything more horrible or grotesque.”
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

"
The unwilling, led by the unqualified, doing the unnecessary for the indifferent and the ungrateful." -Anonymous Grafitti

"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
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"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

"The victim of mind-manipulation does not know that he is a victim. To him, the walls of his prison are invisible, and he believes himself to be free."--Aldous Huxley

“An accumulation of wealth at one pole of society indicates an accumulation of misery and overwork at the other”. --Karl Marx

"Americans are the most entertained and least informed people in the world."- Neil Postman


"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

"Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms - of the Old World, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival. "- Frederick Douglass

"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