Saturday, September 12, 2009
To see racism where it is not is to diminish racism where it is, just as the charge of "Nazi" diminishes the horror and evil of the real thing.
Words and concepts are powerful things and we should use them wisely. Unfortunately, we have not; we have oft wielded these powerful words and concepts capriciously, thus watering them down to an unrecognizable state.
In the future, how will one communicate the nature of unspeakable evil when all of the powerful words have been reduced to jargon?
Friday, September 11, 2009
September 11, 2009 Not Forgotten, Not Forgiven.
As we commemorate the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, may we rededicate ourselves to ridding the world of those who would make war on free people and kill innocents in the name of a misbegotten and corrupted perception of religion. May God have mercy on all those who have been murdered in His name and may His special justice rain down upon the souls of their murderers, in His time and in His way. May we unite those murderous souls with Him as quickly as possible; that He may exercise His role as the ultimate arbiter.
And for those who still still refuse to understand the nature and the motivation of our enemy, may you continue to be protected by those who do, whether you want to be or not, for you are my fellow Americans, whether I like it or not.
Monday, September 07, 2009
"Capitalism is evil," says new Michael Moore film
VENICE (Reuters) - Capitalism is evil. That is the conclusion U.S. documentary maker Michael Moore comes to in his latest movie "Capitalism: A Love Story," which premieres at the Venice film festival Sunday.
Blending his trademark humor with tragic individual stories, archive footage and publicity stunts, the 55-year-old launches an all out attack on the capitalist system, arguing that it benefits the rich and condemns millions to poverty.
"Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil," the two-hour movie concludes.
"You have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people and that something is democracy."
Thus sayeth an overweight, charmless son of Michigan who has made millions trashing the very system that has accounted for his fortune.
Clearly, his hypocrisy exceeds even his sizable girth.
This reminds me of what led me to the Center-Right of the political spectrum in the first place; multi-millionaire rock stars, in the 60s and early 70s, who continually decried and ridiculed "businessmen" and the entire corporate "system". Something just didn't smell right.
What were they, besides "businessmen"? They created a product (music) and that product was marketed and sold by the very corporate "system" which they claimed to abhor. Where are those rock stars now? Many are still living an opulent lifestyles on the royalties from those very recordings that they made decades ago.
As for Michael Moore, he's done rather well for himself. From CNN Money:
VENICE (Fortune) -- If anyone has profited from the free-enterprise system in the past 20 years, it's Michael Moore. Since 1989, when his "Roger & Me" pioneered the docu-comedy form of nonfiction film, Moore's movies, TV shows and best-selling books have given him an eight-figure net worth.
And in all of these, he is the improbable star: a heavyset fellow with a doofus grin, alternately laughing and badgering but always at the center of his own attention. Why, there he is, at the end of his new movie, "Capitalism: A Love Story," wrapping the New York Stock Exchange building in yellow tape that reads: CRIME SCENE.
The writer-director-propagandist has earned every penny and Euro of his boodle. Moore's last three filmed diatribes -- "Bowling for Columbine," "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Sicko" --h ave amassed more than $300 million in theaters worldwide, and loads more on DVD; and "Fahrenheit" is, by a long stretch, the top-grossing documentary of all time.
At least the corporations that he has chosen to criticize are forthright about their goals; they're in it for the money. On the other hand, Moore is much like a televangelist, asking for your money to "spread the Good Word" while using that money to fund a lavish lifestyle for himself. Therein lies the difference; one is honest and one is not.
I'll take an honest capitalist over a rogue and charlatan like Moore any day, at any time.
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Obama 'green jobs' adviser quits amid controversy
"On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me," Jones said in his resignation statement. "They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide."
The fact is that Jones' own words sunk him; no lies, no distortions and nothing taken out of context. That he is claiming otherwise, now brands him as a liar in addition to being a racialist radical.
Some people are incapable of admitting fault, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. To them, it's always the misinterpretation of others rather than their own words. In their minds, they are forever misunderstood martyrs, rather than hate mongers being held to account for their own statements and beliefs.
Van Jones' horizons have always been viewed through the prism of race and this setback will do nothing to clear his vision. Alas, we have not heard the last of him and his future statements will likely be no less impolitic than those of his past.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
British Official Says Oil Was 'Very Big Part' of Lockerbie Talks
LONDON — Trade and oil considerations played a big part in the decision to include the Lockerbie bomber in a prisoner transfer agreement between Britain and Libya, a senior British official said in an interview published Saturday.
Justice Secretary Jack Straw said trade, particularly a deal for oil company BP PLC, was "a very big part" of the 2007 negotiations that led to the prisoner deal. The agreement was part of a wider warming of relations between London and Tripoli.
"Libya was a rogue state," Straw was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph newspaper. "We wanted to bring it back into the fold and trade is an essential part of it — and subsequently there was the BP deal."
The fact is, Mr. Straw, Libya IS STILL A ROGUE STATE, and 243 people are STILL DEAD, so what has changed? Is Libya "back into the fold"?
Actually, no. Libya is still as rogue as it ever was, but at least Britain forged an oil deal, right, Mr. Straw?
These modern Brits are but mere shadows of their predecessors, if that. Churchill would be appalled at what has happened to his beloved Britain. He, above all, knew appeasement didn't work; a lesson his successors would do well to re-learn.
On the other hand, I DO PLEDGE to continue my admiration of Gary Sinese, who actually exemplifies "service to country":
The dude is almost too cool.
No, I could really care less about hanging this unsupported "9/11 Truther" albatross around his neck because his own words are quite sufficient to disqualify him for any government post.
His own words clearly indicate he's a racialist and a hard-core radical:
-- "Gray Capitalism"
Uprising Radio, April 2008
"Right after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat if the civil rights leaders had jumped out and said, 'OK now we want reparations for slavery, we want redistribution of all the wealth, and we want to legalize mixed marriages.' If we'd come out with a maximum program the very next day, they'd been laughed at. Instead they came out with a very minimum. 'We just want to integrate these buses.'
"But, inside that minimum demand was a very radical kernel that eventually meant that from 1964 to 1968 complete revolution was on the table for this country. And, I think that this green movement has to pursue those same steps and stages. Right now we say we want to move from suicidal gray capitalism to something eco-capitalism where at least we're not fast-tracking the destruction of the whole planet. Will that be enough? No, it won't be enough. We want to go beyond the systems ofexploitation and oppression altogether. But, that's a process and I think that's what's great about the movement that is beginning to emerge is that the crisis is so severe in terms of joblessness, violence and now ecological threats that people are willing to be both pragmatic and visionary. So the green economy will start off as a small subset and we are going to push it and push it and push it until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society."
See the video here.
Van Jones: "The environmental justice community that said, 'Hey, wait a minute, you know, you're regulating, but you're not regulating equally.' And the white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people-of color communities, because they don't have a racial justice frame."
See the video here.
Sept. 11, 2001
"We express our disgust at the present attempts by the U.S. security and surveillance establishment to turn this tragedy into a cash-cow bonanza - or to use it to mask a cynical power grab."
Read the press release here.
STORM Press Release,
Sept. 4, 2009
"...as well as the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world."
Read the press release here.
Powershift Conference, March 2009
"What about our immigrant sisters and brothers? What about people who've come here from all around the world who we're willing to have out in the field with poison being sprayed on them because we have the wrong agricultural system, and then we're willing to poison them and poison the earth to put food on our table but wedon't want to give them rights and we don't want to give them dignity and we don't want to give them respect. We need to get down on our knees and thank these Native American communities but also the Latino community, Asian community and every other community that's willing to come here and help is out because we obviously need some help. We need some wisdom from some place else because what we've come up with where don't make no sense at all. ...
"This movement is deeper than a solar panel! Deeper than a solar panel! Don't stop there! Don't stop there! We're gonna change the whole system! We're gonna change the whole thing! [...] And our Native American sisters and brothers who were pushed and bullied and mistreated and shoved into all the land we didn't want, where it was all hot and windy. Well, guess what? Renewable energy? Guess what, solar industry? Guess what wind industry? They now own and control 80 percent of the renewable energy resources. No more broken treaties. No more broken treaties. Give them the wealth! Give them the wealth! Give them the dignity. Give them the respect that they deserve. No justice on stolen land. We owe them a debt.
the video here.
Statement, Sept. 2, 2009
"These comments, made before I joined the administration, were clearly nappropriate and I apologize for the offensive words I chose to use during that speech."
Read the statement here.
Are we to believe that President Obama had no idea of this man's clearly radical statements and beliefs? That is simply not credible; Van Jones' entire life has been that of a bitter radical who approaches every subject in terms of race and ethnicity. The fact that this man could even get a security clearance gives me pause.
Many on the Right have argued that the environmental movement is, at it's roots, the Socialist movement with a more palatable name; "Green" is the new "Red", so to speak. In reviewing Jones' statements, above, I see nothing but substantiation for that theory - he practically admits it.
The fact that he was selected as President Obama's "Green Jobs Czar" seems more by design than by mistake.
Is Van Jones an avowed Communist? Well, I would asume that "Communist" doesn't appear on his Voter Registration Card, but his statements are subject to interpretation by the reader.
Now, of course, he's "sorry" and pleads that "These comments, made before I joined the administration, were clearly inappropriate and I apologize for the offensive words I chose to use during that speech." Let's be clear about his apology, though; it wasn't for any of the statements listed above, his apology was for calling Republicans "assholes" in March, 2009.
So, who's next on the list for Obama appointments, Angela Davis?
Additionally, The British National Health Service has been a subject of conversation as America debates the future of our own health care system.
Here is a story that seems to fuse both of these subjects into a truly bizzare tale that one must read to believe:
Transsexual killer wins battle to serve life sentence in a women's jail
A transsexual killer who was born a man has won a legal battle to be transferred to a women’s prison.
The prisoner, who was also convicted of attempted rape, will be movedto a women’s jail within weeks after a High Court ruled that the refusal by Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, to transfer her violated her basic human rights and increased her long-term risk to society.
The prisoner is in her 20s and serving a life sentence for manslaughter and attempted rape.
She has had her womanhood recognised by law and her birth certificate has beena amended accordingly, the High Court in London was told. She has had hair on her face and legs permanently removed by laser and has developed breasts after hormone treatment, but is forbidden from wearing skirts or blouses, or more than “subtle” make up, at the men’s prison where she is held on a wing for vulnerable prisoners.
Describing her as “a woman trapped inside a man’s body”, her barrister, Phillipa Kaufman, said the final step to her achieving full womanhood is gender reassignment surgery - but she had been told she cannot have it while in a men’s prison.
As an American, this is really none of my business, but were I a British citizen, I would be outraged.
This individual is a killer, as well as an attempted rapist serving a life sentence for his/her crimes. That said, the British National Health Service (aka the British people) is footing the bill for gender reassignment surgery, as well as all of the ancillary costs that are involved (hormone therapy, counseling, hair removal, etc.)?
The fact that she's "a woman trapped inside a man's body", in the words of her barrister, is not, and should not, be the responsibility of the state. The only thing that the state should be involved with is the fact that he/she is a prisoner, justifiably trapped in a prison, for life. Whether this killer is comfortable with his/her gender while in prison should not be a concern of the British people who are already suffering from, and paying for, the monstrous bureaucracy called the National Health Service.
It's interesting (to say the least) that this comes on the heels of this story, also from the U.K.:
Sentenced to death on the NHS
Patients with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under an NHS scheme to help end their lives, leading doctors have warned.
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.
Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.
But this approach can also mask the signs that their condition is improving, the experts warn.
As a result the scheme is causing a “national crisis” in patient care, the letter states. It has been signed palliative care experts including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, and four others.
“Forecasting death is an inexact science,”they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death “without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.
“As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients."
The warning comes just a week after a report by the Patients Association estimated that up to one million patients had received poor or cruel care on the NHS.
So, on one hand, a transsexual killer is afforded costly gender reassignment surgery and connected services in order to make him/her more comfortable with his/her gender while he/she spends the rest of his/her life in prison.
On the other hand, people who may (or may not) be terminally ill, are possibly being prematurely terminated, presumably in the interest of cost savings for palliative care.
Again, what the hell are they thinking over there?
As we, here in the United States debate the merits of government-run health care, we would do well to look to our big brother and ask "how's that government health care thing working out for you?"
The answer is obvious.
Friday, September 04, 2009
German Company Invents Pocket Toilet for Women
Urinating into yoghurt cups while careening down the motorway will be a thing of the past for women thanks to a new German invention for ladies -- the disposable mobile toilet which turns urine into an odorless gel.
Urinating into yoghurt cups "while careening down the motorway"? Those Germans sure know how to have fun! This seems to be a pretty common practice in Germany, considering the way they specify "yoghurt cups".
A number of questions come to mind, but perhaps they're better left unasked. At least they have solved that pesky problem of yoghurt cup urination and that, in itself, is a "relief".
Thursday, September 03, 2009
The insane clown of the Middle East, you know, the one that even the other insane Middle East clowns don't take seriously; Moammar Khadafy (spelling optional) is really annoyed with....Switzerland and wants the UN to abolish it.
Libya's Col. Moammar Khadafy has a beef with Switzerland and plans to ask the United Nations to abolish the tiny Alpine home of milk chocolate, cuckoo clocks and yodeling.
According to Swiss minister Christa Markwalder, Khadafy will demand that Switzerland be wiped off the map when he comes to New York Sept. 23. He apparently wants the country to be dismembered and the land parceled out among neighbouring France, Germany and Italy.
The Libya-Swiss kerfuffle began a year ago, when Khadafy's youngest son, Hannibal Khadafy, and his pregnant wife were arrested in a Geneva luxury hotel for beating two servants with a belt and a coat-hanger.
Hannibal Khadafy had previously been busted in both France and Italy for beating a woman and fighting a cop, and once for driving drunk down Paris' Champs Elysee at 90 mph - the wrong way.
The absolute nerve of those Swiss; not allowing this charming scion of Libyan aristocracy to beat his servant! Clearly, there is some diversity training in order.
Before we laugh too heartily, Hitler was once a comedic figure, back in the late 30s, so let's temper our laughter with the realization that Britain DID release the Lockerbie Bomber to him (quid pro quo still in question). At some level,with they actually negotiated with this lunatic.
Beneath his farcical and bizarre behavior, beats the heart of a terrorist, and in our mirth, we should not forget that fact.
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
NLPC has uncovered a plan by the White House New Media operation to hire a technology vendor to conduct a massive, secret effort to harvest personal information on millions of Americans from social networking websites.
The information to be captured includes comments, tag lines, emails, audio, and video. The targeted sites include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr and others – any space where the White House “maintains a presence.”
In the course of investigating procurement by the White House New Media office, NLPC discovered a 51-page solicitation of bids that was filed on Friday, August 21, 2009. Filed as Solicitation # WHO-S-09-0003, it is posted at FedBizzOps.com. Click here to download a 51-page pdf of the solicitation.
While the solicitation specifies a 12-month contract, it allows for seven one-year extensions. It specifies no dollar cap. Other troubling issues include:
- Extremely broad secrecy terms preventing the vendor from disclosing to the public or the media what information is being captured and archived (page 7, “Restriction Against Disclosure”)
- Wholesale capturing of comments by non-White House staff on publicly accessible sites
- Capturing of content of any type (text, graphics, audio, or video)
- Capturing of comments by both Obama critics and supporters, with no restriction as to how the White House would use the information.
Need I note that if the Bush Administration had tried this that heads would be exploding? On one level, it's scary and on another, it's creepy voyeurism.
I'd like to think this has to do with national security, but with an administration ready to publicly skewer the CIA, I think that's unlikely.
We Should Train Our Politicians Like We Train Our Dogs
I think Frank's onto something here!
Did Hitler Want War?
The piece (which I will NOT excerpt) tries to make the point that Hitler never really wanted war and he wanted to end hostilities in 1940 - he seems to insinuate that the Allies drew Hitler into the war. Additionally, he makes only a passing reference to the Holocaust; never really mentioning one of the most horrific acts of genocide in history. His conclusion is that Hitler wasn't interested in conquering Europe and if we had just taken him at his word, and read the tea leaves a little better, we could have avoided the whole ugly mess.
In Pat's view, Hitler was simply misunderstood.
I can't say I'm surprised; for some time now, he's glommed onto, and found common purpose with European fascists and not-so-thinly-veiled Neo Nazis, so it seems that he's now becoming their European counterpart.