Monday, December 16, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Reflections on the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, 50 Years Later

Excerpt below. Full article here:

Unfortunately, we now live in a country where to say that Oswald is innocent is tantamount to committing a “thoughtcrime”. Americans increasingly practice what Orwell terms “crimestop,” the faculty of stopping short at the threshold of any dangerous thought. But given the facts of the matter, believing the Oswald-did-it-alone official truth is like saying 2 + 2 = 5.
We who are alive today may not live to see the truth on the Kennedy assassination finally win out. But it will, sooner or later. For truth is the daughter of time, not of authority. It has taken more than 500 years for the truth to be realized that Richard III did not kill his nephews. One hopes that it doesn’t take that long with the JFK assassination.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

One man has come up with a solution: the Finlander Pentii Linkola. Excerpt here.


By Pentti Linkola
Translated by Harri Heinonen and Michael Moynihan
Introduction by Michael Moynihan.
Is Pentti Linkola posing the most dangerous thoughts mankind has ever considered? Or is he this planet's only remaining voice of sanity? Living an ascetic existence as a fisherman in a remote rural region of his frigid homeland, the Finnish philosopher has pondered mankind's position vis-?-vis the earth it inhabits and dares to utter the unspeakable. In order for the planet to continue living, man - or homo destructivus, as Linkola names him - must be violently thinned to a mere fraction of his current global population. Linkola's metaphor for the predicament is as follows:
What to do, when a ship carrying a hundred passengers suddenly capsizes and only one lifeboat, with room for only ten people, has been launched? When the lifeboat is full, those who hate life will try to load it with more people and sink the lot. Those who love and respect life will take the ship's axe and sever the extra hands that cling to the sides of the boat.
As time creaks onward, Linkola's predictions and indictments grow more dire. He has come to realise that extreme situations demand extreme solutions:
"We still have a chance to be cruel. But if we are not cruel today, all is lost." The sworn enemy of Christians and Humanists both, Linkola knows that the fate of the earth will never be rescued by those who exalt "tenderness, love and dandelion garlands." Neither the developed nor under-developed populations of the planet deserve to survive at the expense of the biosphere as a whole. Linkola has urged that millions will starve to death or be promptly slaughtered in genocidal civil wars. Mandatory abortions should be carried out for any female who has more than two offspring. The only countries capable of initiating such draconian measures are those of the West, yet ironically they are the ones most hamstrung by debilitating notions of liberal humanism. As Linkola explains, "The United States symbolises the worst ideologies in the world: growth and freedom." The realistic solution will be found in the implementation of an eco-fascist regime where brutal battalions of "green police," having freed their consciences from the "syrup ethics," are capable of doing whatever is necessary.

Full article here.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Why the American Empire Was Destined to Collapse | Alternet

Why the American Empire Was Destined to Collapse | Alternet

Morris Berman is an amazing social historian. He is interviewed about his last book in the article above.

I read the book... it's a must read, but be forewarned: you may start to contemplate emigration from the USA upon finishing it.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

UBC Reads Sustainability - Morris Berman

This man is a perceptive, sensitive intellectual who has analyzed the state of the USA.
I highly recommend his book, Why America Failed, and everything else he has written.

The JFK War: Welcome coverage from CBS and the Santa Barbara Independent

The JFK War: Welcome coverage from CBS and the Santa Barbara Independent

Thanks, Professor Jim Fetzer of UMD, for laying out a lucid, compelling case regarding who was really responsible for the JFK assassination.

Such an event is basically never the result of a lone gunman. It was far too well-planned, and JFK was hit by too many shots to make a pre-WWII piece-of-junk Italian rifle even remotely plausible as the weapon.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

No, Folks, It's Not Going To Work - Denninger on health care

Excerpts below. See original article.

President Obama has now changed his tune, trying to defend the lie he sold young adults (most of whom voted for him twice), now saying that his line about "if you like your health insurance (or doctor!) you can keep it" by claiming that what you were buying was a substandard ("defective") policy and that he knows better than you.
Really?  Does that apply to who your doctor is as well?  Or to which hospital you can use without getting a $500,000 bill (which you don't have, of course.)
Chances are the individual plan you purchased outside Obamacare would allow you to go to these facilities. For example, fourth-ranked Cleveland Clinic accepts dozens of insurance plans if you buy one on your own. But go through Obamacare and you have just one choice: Medical Mutual of Ohio.
Isn't that special?
It's even better -- in many counties, including mine, there is exactly one company offering Brosurance, otherwise known as Obamacare, and Obamacare prohibits shopping across county lines.  In other words it's now a "take it or leave it and get taxed" situation.

No, folks, this is not just, it is not right, and it won't work.  The political calculus is that if the government can get you to believe you're the "winner" of such discrimination you'll vote for and support it.  But you're never in fact the winner -- you're the loser, and their cronies in industry are the only winners.
You are literally being robbled blind and not only are consenting to it in your own delusional state you're demanding it continue and accelerate!
Consider the medical situation again.  Your "win" is pyrrhic, because while you pay "just 20%" of the bill the bill itself was inflated by 500% and thus you paid the entire bill anyway and then on top of it you spent thousands on what is on any dispassionate analysis worthless "insurance."
Why worthless?  Because but for the scam that you voted for and supported the price would be 1/5th or even 1/10th of what it is today, your cost out-of-pocket would be the same or less than it is today, and you'd still have all the money you paid for the so-called "insurance" to spend on something else!
Wake up folks and burn this crap to the ground in all areas of our economy.  Do it peacefully and politically, but do it and do it today, because if you don't you, and your children, will be the ones who are destroyed.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Computers suck - a prescient computer scientist named Joseph Weizenbaum critiques their so-called "intelligence" in 1985

  An amazing computer scientist named Joseph Weizenbaum turned against computers as a general force for good in the 1970's. He led an amazing life - he was a refugee from Nazi Germany as a child, and ended up at MIT. He did in 2008, unfortunately. An excerpt of an amazingly prescient interview from 1985:

Q: Do you think that the computer is creating a technical elite, reinforcing old power structures, or remaking American society?
A: I think the computer has from the beginning been a fundamentally conservative force. It has made possible the saving of institutions pretty much as they were, which otherwise might have had to be changed. For example, banking. Superficially, it looks as if banking has been revolutionized by the computer. But only very superficially. Consider that, say 20, 25 years ago, the banks were faced with the fact that the population was growing at a very rapid rate, many more checks would be written than before, and so on. Their response was to bring in the computer. By the way, I helped design the first computer banking system in the United States, for the Bank of America 25 years ago.
Now if it had not been for the computer, if the computer had not been invented, what would the banks have had to do? They might have had to decentralize, or they might have had to regionalize in some way. In other words, it might have been necessary to introduce a social invention, as opposed to the technical invention.
What the coming of the computer did, "just in time," was to make it unnecessary to create social inventions, to change the system in any way. So in that sense, the computer has acted as fundamentally a conservative force, a force which kept power or even solidified power where is already existed.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Website is Fixable, Obamacare Isn’t

This great article by Peter Schiff explains why "Obamacare" is a real failure, and will adversely affect both US healthcare, and government finances. In fact, it may be the straw that breaks the camel's back, and sends the US economy into recession.

This boondoggle is another reason I am neither a Democrat, nor a Republican. Both parties are in league with horrid special interests, with nothing but their profit maximization as a goal.

The problem with late-stage, pre-collapse democracy, is that the public good is completely ignored. Special interests spend a lot of time and energy gaming the system, and lobbying the government. The public, who have a lot to gain as a whole by opposing the acts of looting by special interests, are feeble in their opposition, because no single voter or family stands to lose that much from a single special interest's coercive goals. When you add up all the special favors doled out to corporations and special interests, however, it starts to really add up. In fact, such special interests and public corruption doomed the Roman Empire. Thus, we begin the slide into the dustbin of history.

Excerpt of Peter Schiff's article below. Click article to read entire essay.

Since Obamacare made its debut, discussions have focused on Ted Cruz' efforts to defund the law and the shockingly bad functionality of the Website itself. Fortunately for Obama, polling indicates that Senator Cruz has lost, at least for now, the battle for hearts and minds. The President has not been nearly so lucky on the technological front. If current trends continue, the rollout may go down as the worst major product launch in history. But given the government's enormous resources, it's safe to say that the site itself will ultimately be fixed. But when it is finally up and running, the plan's many deeper, and more intractable, flaws will come into focus. That's when the fun will really begin.
Put simply the program is built on a mountain of false assumptions and is covered by a terrain of unanticipated incentives. Any cleared-eyed observer should conclude that it is perfectly designed to raise the costs of care and wreck the federal budget. However, like just about every other complicated problem that bedevils the nation, the public has become far too caught up in the politics and has ignored the horrific details.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Our Invisible Revolution

by Chris Hedges

Excerpt below. Click for full article.

By the time ruling elites are openly defied, there has already been a nearly total loss of faith in the ideas—in our case free market capitalism and globalization—that sustain the structures of the ruling elites. And once enough people get it, a process that can take years, “the slow, quiet, and peaceful social evolution becomes quick, militant, and violent,” as Berkman wrote. “Evolution becomes revolution.”
This is where we are headed. I do not say this because I am a supporter of revolution. I am not. I prefer the piecemeal and incremental reforms of a functioning democracy. I prefer a system in which our social institutions permit the citizenry to nonviolently dismiss those in authority. I prefer a system in which institutions are independent and not captive to corporate power. But we do not live in such a system. Revolt is the only option left. Ruling elites, once the ideas that justify their existence are dead, resort to force. It is their final clutch at power. If a nonviolent popular movement is able to ideologically disarm the bureaucrats, civil servants and police—to get them, in essence, to defect—nonviolent revolution is possible. But if the state can organize effective and prolonged violence against dissent, it spawns reactive revolutionary violence, or what the state calls terrorism. Violent revolutions usually give rise to revolutionaries as ruthless as their adversaries. “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster,” Friedrich Nietzsche wrote. “And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

The End of Hypocrisy: American Foreign Policy in the Age of Leaks

Must read, if you have a subscription. Even the introduction, though, is revealing as to why US officials are really so angry about Wikileaks, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden:

The End of Hypocrisy

American Foreign Policy in the Age of Leaks
Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore
HENRY FARRELL is Associate Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @henryfarrell [1]. MARTHA FINNEMORE is University Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at George Washington University.The U.S. government seems outraged that people are leaking classified materials about its less attractive behavior. It certainly acts that way: three years ago, after Chelsea Manning, an army private then known as Bradley Manning, turned over hundreds of thousands of classified cables to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, U.S. authorities imprisoned the soldier under conditions that the UN special rapporteur on torture deemed cruel and inhumane. The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, appearing on Meet the Press shortly thereafter, called WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, “a high-tech terrorist.”
More recently, following the disclosures about U.S. spying programs by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency analyst, U.S. officials spent a great deal of diplomatic capital trying to convince other countries to deny Snowden refuge. And U.S. President Barack Obama canceled a long-anticipated summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin when he refused to comply.
Despite such efforts, however, the U.S. establishment has often struggled to explain exactly why these leakers pose such an enormous threat. Indeed, nothing in the Manning and Snowden leaks should have shocked those who were paying attention. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who dissented from the WikiLeaks panic, suggested as much when he told reporters in 2010 that the leaked information had had only a “fairly modest” impact and had not compromised intelligence sources or methods. Snowden has most certainly compromised sources and methods, but he has revealed nothing that was really unexpected. Before his disclosures, most experts already assumed that the United States conducted cyberattacks against China, bugged European institutions, and monitored global Internet communications. Even his most explosive revelation -- that the United States and the United Kingdom have compromised key communications software and encryption systems designed to protect online privacy and security -- merely confirmed what knowledgeable observers have long suspected.
The deeper threat that leakers such as Manning and Snowden pose is more subtle than a direct assault on U.S. national security: they undermine Washington’s ability to act hypocritically and get away with it. Their danger lies not in the new information that they reveal but in the documented confirmation they provide of what the United States is actually doing and why. When these deeds turn out to clash wit...

Link to article.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Fascism comes from the center: not the left or the right. Both Democrats and Republicans are responsible. See this video.

 I have to say that the closing of public parks and memorials by the Obama administration is vile nonsense. More park employees are required to keep the public out than would be required to allow access.

Both political parties have become enamored of authoritarianism and the abuse of power.

This young man's defiance should be inspirational whatever your party affiliation is:

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Folly of Empire

The final days of empire give ample employment and power to the feckless, the insane and the idiotic. These politicians and court propagandists, hired to be the public faces on the sinking ship, mask the real work of the crew, which is systematically robbing the passengers as the vessel goes down. The mandarins of power stand in the wheelhouse barking ridiculous orders and seeing how fast they can gun the engines. They fight like children over the ship’s wheel as the vessel heads full speed into a giant ice field. They wander the decks giving pompous speeches. They shout that the SS America is the greatest ship ever built. They insist that it has the most advanced technology and embodies the highest virtues. And then, with abrupt and unexpected fury, down we will go into the frigid waters.

Read the rest of Chris Hedges' essay.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Returning to the 'Real'

Nice essay from James Howard Kunstler:

The virtual is not an adequate substitute for the authentic 

A paradox of life in these times is the inverse relationship between technological wizardry and the satisfactions of being a live organism in a real place (i.e., on the planet Earth).  It probably boils down to a proposition that the American public is not ready to entertain: that the virtual is not an adequate substitute for the authentic. Eventually it will be a hard lesson to learn.

Poor Substitutes

Ours has been an age of producing ersatz substitutes for just about everything. We call the housing subdivisions slapped up by the production builders “communities” when they are just cartoon simulacrums of a community. The houses within them are called “homes” in order to confer emotional allegiance that they have not earned by being things worthy of our affection in places worth caring about.
The manufactured products we call “food” are visibly poisoning the public in epidemics of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. And the manner in which this “food” is dispensed to solitary “consumers” — from drive-in-windows, microwave ovens, and convenience store racks — has drained all nurturing social ceremony from the act of eating as surely as it has drained out all the nutrition.
Having scores of “friends” on Facebook is not about personal association but is rather a marketing racket for a company set up to be an advertising enterprise.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sick reasoning of a treasonous mind

So Obama is exempting himself from a Federal law that forbids arming terrorists, while he is agitating again, after the latest mass shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard, to implement gun restrictions on US citizens. 

Amazing. How does one psychologically explain this? We are arming terrorists who are killing Christians and Moslems in Syria, on the order of thousands, yet the President has the gall to use another tragedy caused by psychotropic medication as an excuse to infringe on our Constitutional rights.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Why Congress Must Impeach Obama to Save the Republic

If President Obama initiates military action against Syria without Congressional approval, he must be impeached.

Although this statement sounds extreme, the plight of our republic is also extreme. Impeachment is a necessary step to prevent the complete abrogation of our democratic form of government, which is already under severe assault by special interests, and parts of the government itself.

One of the main principles of our form of government is the separation of powers. The intention of the Founders was to try to prevent, or at least to forestall, what they saw as the otherwise inevitable decay of republican forms of government into dictatorship or tyranny. We are almost at the point of no return in the USA, where we maintain the rituals and formalities of a democracy, but practically, most critical decisions are made by the executive branch without any regard to the will of the people or the norms of international law.

Obama, according to Secretary of State John Kerry, has the right to go to war against Syria without Congressional authorization, but he has chosen to be considerate enough to seek Congressional approval. Although this is very sweet of the President, it is an astounding insult to the core principles of our republic.

Regardless of the outcome of the Congressional vote on Syria, Obama's imperial claims alone require swift censure and action by Congress. The Constitution clearly gives war-making power to Congress alone, in Article I, Section 8. By claiming the right to start a war without consulting Congress, the President has  indicated that he does not respect the Constitution that he has sworn to uphold, and is therefore unfit to be president.

Why should anyone care about what the dusty old Constitution says? After all, Presidents and other government officials have been flouting it, and Supreme Court judges reinterpreting it, to suit the desires of those in power for two centuries now.

The reason that we should care, and that Congress must impeach the President, is that by letting the basic principle of the separation of powers erode, Congress has ensured its own degradation into nothing more than a hollow body without power or principle. The branch of government that is supposed to be the main repository of the will of the people has allowed itself to become a powerless group of well-paid lackeys who do the bidding of lobbyists, and are afraid to stand up for the rights and interests of their constituents.

The rule of law is also at stake. The Constitution is the most basic law of the land. That is one of the definitions of a constitution. If the President is allowed to flaunt the Constitution without consequence, then we will lose our republican form of government, and descend into the state of nature. The average citizen will see that there is now an elite group in government that is allowed to break the law at will, and respect for the law in general will be eroded. After all, why not break the law if your “rulers” are doing it? At the same time, individuals and groups in government will be emboldened to transgress more boundaries and laws, knowing that they will not be held accountable. We are seeing this process of increasing lawlessness in government in the NSA scandal, where Director of National Intelligence James Clapper knowingly lied to Congress about the extent of NSA spying, but was not held accountable. If you or I lied to Congress or a court of justice, we would be held in contempt and jailed. Such dual standards, if not squashed now, will lead to increasing resentment among the citizenry, and eventually, rebellion of some kind, and then all bets are off.

Finally, international relations and international law are at stake. The United States is at a cross-roads: it has severely damaged the principles of international law many times already by attacking nations that were not remotely a threat to it. Iraq comes immediately to mind, along with Iran and Guatemala in the 1950’s, Vietnam in the 1960’s, Chile in the 1970’s, etc. Syria has gone out of its way to avoid antagonizing the USA. It has even refrained from responding militarily to outright acts of aggression against it by one of our putative allies, Israel.

Even if one assumes that the government's claims regarding the use of chemical weapons are accurate, which is a highly questionable proposition (why did the US demand that the UN inspectors leave before completing their job, anyway?), Syria has not threatened to attack the USA or any of its allies. In fact, it is the USA and its allies that are supporting Islamist "rebels" attacking Syria. Furthermore, it is easily demonstrated that the use of chemical weapons is not a "red line" that causes us to become militarily involved automatically: Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against Iran in the 1980's with our covert help, and we did nothing. We also arguably use chemical weapons ourselves in the form of phosphorous incendiary shells and depleted uranium, both of which are chemicals and weapons that cause incredible pain and long-term damage. We used Agent Orange in Vietnam, poisoning both the native Vietnamese and our own soldiers.

By attacking Syria, we will make it clear to the rest of the world that international law will be no protection from our tendency to engage in preemptive war. The principle that no nation may attack another that is not threatening it will be shown to be a rule that applies only to the weak, and is therefore no principle at all.  The Nuremberg trials of the Nazi war criminals over 65 years ago supposedly established that aggressive war is the supreme international crime. By violating this principle, we will establish that this principle was really just a temporary convenience, and that our leaders are war criminals. Despite the shocking apathy of most Americans regarding the moral standing of their nation in the world, no nation that causes such chaos in international relations will be economically prosperous for long. Economic prosperity, global trade, and peaceful coexistence depend upon trust, reciprocity, and good-faith diplomacy: the Golden Rule, if you will. We are on the verge of making ourselves pariahs on the global stage, and encouraging the creation of even more alliances formed with the goal of protection from our military aggression.

Let's hope that Congress has the wisdom and strength to oppose Obama's request for the authorization of military force against Syria. Although it is highly unlikely that they will have the courage to do so, they should censure Obama for claiming that he has the right to initiate hostilities against a non-hostile nation without Congressional approval.

They absolutely must impeach him if he goes ahead and starts a war without Congressional approval: a war which will inevitably lend support to Al Qaeda, one of the factions fighting against Assad in Syria.  And isn't lending support to the sworn enemies of our nation the definition of treason?