Of course such a course of action does nothing to address the immense U.S. war crimes in the area. What do you think compensation ought to be for the inhabitants of Fallujah? Can there ever be anything like sufficient remuneration for the profound injuries described in the report at the link? Probably not, but that is no reason not to try.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
This should be a real eye opener for some. For those suffering from terminal stupidity and/or profound denial, perhaps not. The only way one can act rationally with respect to U.S. Military operations in the Mid-East is to shut them down. If one wants to support the troops, and not collude with the ongoing obscene scam that is operation control/skim heroin and oil profits from, respectively, Afghanistan and Iraq, then one must throw one's weight behind efforts to bring the troops home now. Nothing less will suffice, and any other mode of engagment with this appalling situation is, at best, a dodge, and, at worst, as already stated, collusion.
Friday, July 23, 2010
The purveyors of the stuff of war porn are also the purchasers of kiddie porn. Both hideous groups, which, according to the report, are apparently inextricable, would seem to be informed by a similar disregard for human life. Don't forget to support the troops.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
You are a cartoon. Well, your government thinks you are, or at least they believe you are susceptible to the, ahem, allure of a comic strip. The only thing the following simulacrum of Saturday morning bilge is lacking are paint by numbers Snidely Whiplash characters. A question or two does come to mind as I wipe the bile from my lips, how much money did narrator Kyle Risdall of NPR get paid to do the voice over for this slick bit of mendacity, and how soon, if ever, will some substantial number of my fellow citizens of the U.S. act to opt out of our not so kinder, gentler, corporatist horror show of a Federal Government? Perhaps when TIAWKI (the internet as we know it) goes the way of the dodo bird? Perhaps never.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
After a year and a half in office, President Obama's approval ratings now resemble that of his predecessor after his first year in office. Transposing the sequence of events from Bush's first term, one ought to expect that more war will be manufactured. In the meantime, the Republican and Democratic Legislature is even less well loved than The Executive, so there is no reason for Congress critters and Senators to feel confident
Frankly, this represents an excellent opportunity for those of us who choose to take stock of the situation. The sum total of the meaning of these abysmal ratings is that our Executive and Legislative branches are corrupt where they are not incompetent. They can not do better as presently composed. They have proven this irrefutably too many times to think otherwise, and, so, they desperately need to be replaced en masse and the legislative body needs to subsequently be reformed. After all, if you don't like the composition of the team, or the way said team plays, boycott the contests, and begin forming your own team. If necessary, form your own league. The solution is relatively simple, even if the implementation is anything but.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
With the new rush to "austerity" in places like the U.K. and Germany, the U.S. monetary authorities can no longer rely on the rest of The West to ride herd with more Quantitative Easing. So, the powers that be are bound to set events in motion that will allow them to do that which they are so desperate to do. As the economy, and its bellwether, the stock market, which under girds every pension in the land, are knocked for even more of a loop than before, the way will not so gradually or gently be paved for the cowardly and corrupt Federal Legislature to enact QEII.
Our legislature wouldn't go for it today, but when the public starts screaming for largesse as they witness their pensions disintegrate, and as war in the Middle East is inevitably intensified, all will be made to feel it is their patriotic duty to get behind a money printing exercise that will make the last one seem tepid by comparison. And just in case appeals to patriotism do not have the desired effect, rest assured that, by hook or by crook, what is left of our devalued assets will be coerced into such flagging instruments as municipal and Treasury bonds, all while the price of basic necessities go though the roof.
In the meantime, as pointed out here, President Obama is doing his best imitation of a bland, if not benign, despot, as he bars access to The Gulf of Mexico disaster, assists BP in covering it up, and helps the wayward oil major and a lapdog press to manufacture and disseminate copious amounts of disinformation and propaganda about the prospects for capping the gusher. Enjoy the rest of your summer.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
What exactly is Civil disobedience? As Wikipedia succinctly puts it, "Civil disobedience is the active refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government." Generally, acts of Civil disobedience, as the name implies, disavow violence, but do advocate assertive behavior that amounts to individual, and more often, groups, "holding their ground". Sit down protests, marches, vigils, and boycotts, such as occurred in the sixties in the U.S., and that still more than occasionally occur in other parts of the world, generally don't, at least by design, set out to engage in destructive mayhem, at least not by the dissenting side.
The classic picture of Civil disobedience, the one the majority are most likely to associate with from television, if not through personal experience, is one where "the state" literally holds its ground on one side of an erected physical barrier, while encamped on the other side of the barrier-which may be defended by nothing more (or less) than a battalion of well armed local police, are some number of citizens acting defiantly, hoping, presumably as a result of the righteousness of their cause, and due to their unflagging tenacity, to overcome official recalcitrance.
And this is precisely where it gets very challenging for the would be radical change agent interested in engaging in a bit (or a lot) of Civil disobedience in the present day United States. Many, if not most of our government's most objectionable activities are occurring, as it were, off book, far away from the public's none too keen eye. From the military expeditions in the Middle East, to various government bailout schemes of private financial institutions, to the manipulation of capital and commodity markets, to the handling of the ongoing catastrophe in The Gulf of Mexico, there are no shortage of activities the government is engaged in where there are no concomitant public decrees, laws, or public ceremonies with which the eager and righteous dissenter may disrupt or defy. How does one boycott, disobey, or otherwise resist in such an atmosphere of secrecy and deception? After all, a large part of the utility of Civil disobedience is that everyone, "innocent" onlookers and bystanders especially, can get a sense of the nature of the cause, and hopefully, be persuaded to support it. So, what can one do in such a disadvantageous situation?
Here are, in my view, despite all the cover ups and under cover of darkness maneuvers by the powers that be, a few areas where the righteous dissenter might direct his or her energies.
The Two (Headed Hydra) Political Party.
1.) Denounce and boycott all elections that feature nothing but contests between Democrats and Republicans, as these two corrupt political entities are, most assuredly, (a very big) part of the problem.
Obviously voting isn't mandatory, at least not yet, and, so, refusing to vote, doesn't, at least technically, qualify as an act of Civil disobedience. However, I would argue that, where our vitiated political system is concerned, one must turn the entire process on its head such that voting-at least as elections presently function- is cast as an act of benign neglect, if not outright injury, to the state. The heaps of scorn that seem reserved for those who do not enter the voting booth for principled reasons, as opposed to, for example, those who don't vote out of apathy, should now be cast on to that portion of the electorate who mindlessly participate in the nation's hideous election year boondoggles. After all, they are nothing more than elaborate political charades designed to fool the lazy, obtuse, and/or brainwashed into thinking that they actually live in a functioning Democracy.
2.) As such we should support any and all political movements and endeavors that feature, not necessarily in order of importance, (because, frankly, I don't know which ones are the most important) the following:
A.) The removal of all troops from Iran and Afghanistan.
The so called War On Terror, where we have been gulled, prodded, and generally hounded into acting as if we must we engage in perpetual war for the purposes of insuring a permanent peace is, by definition, both a sham and a scam. I've already spilled enough ink in prior posts about what purpose the WOT is actually serving so I'll cease and desist for now. Hint: It has nothing to do with containing Islam, radical or otherwise.
B.) Something analogous to a Marshall (national energy and transportation system) Plan.
Had we not spent obscene amounts of boodle on our present military expeditions in the Middle East, we could, by some estimates, have already vastly changed the nature of our energy needs. Why, for example, isn't the entire Southwest not already heated and cooled mostly by solar power?
C.) The boycotting and ultimate dismantling of "too big to fail" financial intermediaries, and other rent seeking parasites that add absolutely no value to anyone but themselves. And that's the least of their crimes.
This is also not technically an act of Civil disobedience, but, be that as it may, pull your assets, if you are fortunate enough to have assets, out of these financial abattoirs. Stop doing business with them of any kind. This should be very easy to achieve since most of them, like Goldman Sachs, which is just a profoundly corrupt hedge fund, don't function remotely like traditional lending institutions anyway.
D.) The paring down (by no less than one half to two thirds) of the present amount of time taken up by national elections.
We mustn't try to remove money from politics. We should instead take politics to a place where money ceases to have much use.
3.) Without risking the alienation of friends, family, and loved ones, do your level best to impart the news that the system is irreparably broken. (Add that this condition is, by no means, all bad. In fact, stress that, in time, with a large dose of good luck, we will likely feel fortunate that it is past tense.) Either way, it's done for, so there isn't much point in doing anything but preparing for a very different kind of world than the one we, of late, knew.
The most effective way to "spread the news" (to the not so clued in) that the system is finished is to demonstrate that you have a modicum of insight and foresight. Start by making succinct analysis for family and friends regarding, for example, the meaning and effects of policy actions by officialdom. You may find that if, in the main, you accurately predict what transpires, you will garner some added respect and credibility. Generally all one has to do is make a few modestly successful predictions about all manner of man made phenomenon, and a few folks, a few, mind you, may want to know more about what informs your thinking. There is always the distinct possibility that some number of folks will simply revile you for your views, even more so because they seem to comport with (an unpleasant) reality. That's always a risk, but one that is probably worth taking.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Independence Day is upon us, and, so, in the spirit of this nation's most patriotic holiday, I'm choosing to take time to discuss what strides We The People might consider taking in order to establish independence from a government which has become profoundly detrimental to the interests of all but an elite few.
In the nineteen sixties, the late Timothy Leary coined a mantra in support of the use of LSD which was, "Turn on, tune in, and drop out." While I don't happen to be an advocate for dropping acid, I am in favor of dropping out of "the system". Equally, I enthusiastically support, for, mostly practical reasons, vigorous efforts to render government, at least as we know the present corrupt power nexus, impotent, since I harbor few doubts that any and all attempts to coexist peacefully outside of the long arm of elected and appointed officialdom will not be permitted.
Like The Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation, one's choices will almost certainly be limited to either assimilation or annihilation. However, unlike the unfortunates who came within the deadly orbit of The Borg, resistance, in our realm, need not be futile. It will, however, likely come with a price, one that will be, if history is any guide, quite high. But then freedom, real freedom, which I do not define as the unbridled ability to do whatever one pleases when one pleases, is rarely, if ever, won without struggle, because, as Frederick Douglass observed, "Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will." Well, where wantonly unjust power is concerned, and presently we are saturated to the point of bursting with that brand of power, we ought to expect that no concessions will be made without measures that might best be described as extralegal.
That's right, I am suggesting that, going forward, we will almost certainly have no other choice but to engage in acts of civil disobedience. Perhaps we will have to commit to even more than that. Perhaps we will have to raze to the ground most or all that we presently have in place in order to build something truly in keeping with the idea of a Democratic Republic. That remains to be seen, but this much I (think I) know, the very idea of reform, let alone the reality of actuating it within the present system, is a fantasy, and a rather ridiculous one at that.
Our elections are a sham. Our Democracy is a fraud, and our very way of life, broadly defined, is an untenable monstrosity. And in order for any of this to change, We The People must begin to believe, to know, that our salvation, or damnation, if it comes to that, lies with our own efforts. We must begin with that premise, and build upon it.