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Name: Carol
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Northern California
Home country: USA
Current location: Office chair
Member since: Sun May 15, 2005, 02:28 PM
Number of posts: 32,324

About Me

I joined DU following the election melt down that produced the second George the Lesser Term of Office. I am outraged by war, by out-sourcing of jobs, by Corporate control of both parties, and enheartened by my fellow citizens who are bravely part of "Occupy!"

Journal Archives

The Constant Re-Invention of "Moral Authority" to kill brown skinned people everywhere

I first noticed this way back in 1960, when Life Magazine started running photos of monks in Vietnam turning themselves into human torches, as a way to seriously protest the manner in which they were treated by officials of the South Vietnamese government.

Not the Communists, the South Vietnamese. These monks wanted the attention of the South Vietnamese government officials. Yet somehow the headlines continued to trumpet that these monks were burning up and incinerated due to "the Commies and Ho Chi Minh."

Soon after that, we were heavily investing our money, and time and service people in Vietnam. More than a decade later, we finally pulled out, leaving behind the colleagues to our government officials behind, so that these colleagues did time in Vietnamese prisons, and with our government pretending that we didn't care that we had lost to the Communists.

And lost we had. Far from succeeding in a humanitarian venture, when we left in March of 1975, over six million people in Vietnam had been killed, wounded or left homeless by our military's actions. Our own service people had lost over 50,000 people directly, and within a decade, another 7,500 due to suicide.

Not only that, but the de-stabilization of the region meant that an individual named Pol Pot gained power in Cambodia, and then could go on his seriously crazy cannibalistic orgy, that left another two to three million people dead. Oh, have I mentioned to you yet that Pol Pot was an ally of ours at the time? About the only person in print who seemed to care about that fact was one Garry Trudeau, who did some great cartoonist work on the subject. Washington DC remained curiously mute about the problem.

So I have been doing some serious head scratching in the past few days. Obama apparently, for all the books he has read on Lincoln, doesn't seem to understand much about our "good works" in terms of ensuring that the world receives the lesson that certain actions will not be acceptable to Washington DC... What actions actually are not acceptable, Mr President? Our buddy over in the Congo, one Joseph Kabila, is responsible for the deaths of over six million people.

So am a bit confused to find out that we are not hammering Mr Kabila with some type of sanctioning, for this loss of life there in the Congo. In fact, considering that the Congo partners with the American military, there most certainly seems to be a serious disconnect, as usual, between the words that come out of Pres Obama's mouth and the literal reality that exists in today world.

We have the "story" brought to us by the all so trusted stepchild of the Bush Crime Family, that is, the Carlyle Group, that is telling us, via the leaks of Israeli intel, that Assad and his people did indeed kill and maim over a thousand people.

But I look at the number 1,000 -- it is a one followed by three zeroes. Then I look at the number SIX MILLION which is the more serious number connected with Kabila and our military

and that is

[h2][font color=red] SIX MILLION [/h2][/font color=red]

and I notice that this figure is a six followed by six zeroes. That means that even should i inflate the number of dead under Assad to two thousand, then Kabila has
[h2][font color=red] with our help [/h2][/font color=red] murdered three thousand times as many people as Assad's group allegedly has.

Three thousand times as many people.

But the difference is not reflected only in these numbers. The real difference is that Congolese President Kabila is fulfilling America's game plan for that area of Africa. Whereas Assad is definitely defying the game plan for our interests.

In Syria today, the International Monetary Fund has no ability to call any shots. Ditto the World Bank. It has also been pointed out that Western Interests are determined to run an oil pipeline through Syria, much as Western Interests had needed an oil pipeline through Afghanistan, shortly before the Nine Eleven Event erupted.

So on the one hand, we will ignore Kabila and his regime of terror, and focus instead on Syria. Bad Assad, and too bad if it is not true that the attacks with chemicals happened the way we are being told.

But let's say, for the sake of the argument, that these chemical attacks had happened: how do we as a nation possess the moral authority to now attack Syria? Is our nation not the same nation that utilized Agent Orange against Vietnam, in violation of the Geneva Convention? Is our nation not the nation that went on to destroy the dikes utilized by the Vietnamese peasants to keep their rural areas from flooding and loss of life? (A fact first brought to light by the publishing of the Pentagon Papers.) And in that war the atrocity known as My Lai made headlines...

Of course, that war against the people of Vietnam was decades ago, so maybe we should simply move forward and shut up about it. SO let's look at more recent history instead: an article over in TruthOut today details more recent deadly calamities inflicted on people in other nations by our military's murderous policies: (From the TruthOut article) "Recently declassified CIA documents reveal U.S. complicity in Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war, according to Foreign Policy: 'In contrast to today's wrenching debate over whether the United States should intervene to stop alleged chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government, the United States applied a cold calculus three decades ago to Hussein's widespread use of chemical weapons against his enemies and his own people. The Reagan administration decided that it was better to let the attacks continue if they might turn the tide of the war. And even if they were discovered, the CIA wagered that international outrage and condemnation would be muted.'

"In Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States used cluster bombs, depleted uranium, and white phosphorous gas. Cluster bomb cannisters contain tiny bomblets, which can spread over a vast area. Unexploded cluster bombs are frequently picked up by children and explode, resulting in serious injury or death. Depleted uranium (DU) weapons spread high levels of radiation over vast areas of land. In Iraq, there has been a sharp increase in Leukemia and birth defects, probably due to DU. White phosphorous gas melts the skin and burns to the bone. The Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in time of War (Geneva IV) classifies "willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health" as a grave breach, which constitutes a war crime.

"The use of chemical weapons, regardless of the purpose, is atrocious, no matter the feigned justification. A government’s use of such weapons against its own people is particularly reprehensible. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the purported attack by Assad’s forces “defies any code of morality” and should 'shock the conscience of the world.' He went on to say that 'there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.' "
One of the major complaints I have against my government's officials involves my disdain for hypocrisy. Combine hypocrisy with this insistent need to expand American military "adventures' yet again against a third world nation, one that does not pose any harm to our people, and I am again sick to my stomach.

This is apparently who the real Barack Obama happens to be. He did not possess the vision to bring about a true economic recovery for the middle class. Instead he brought about a recovery that has occurred mainly among Wall Street interests. He did not possess the vision to stand against Monsanto, but instead he has furthered their interests again and again. He is out there secretly campaigning for the Koch Bros Trans Pacific Plan. He is not the man I voted for in 2008. Rather than being someone who wanted to end wars, he wants to expand wars.

What frightens me the most as we head into what could be another perilous "Cuban Missile Crisis" except this one will be labelled "US Faces Down Russia over Chemical Gas Attacks" is how little, in terms of his character, that he resembles a John F Kennedy. Should the Russians indicate war is the only way out, Obama will bend to his military advisers, unlike the fearless manner in which Kennedy made up his own mind. Rather than backing down, Obama will do as the military dictates to him to do. I clearly remember how the Four and Five Star Generals urged JFK to push the doomsday machinery button first, before the Russians pushed their doomsday machinery button. The fact that both Mr Kennedy and Mr Khrushchev were able to free themselves from listening and caving to the demands of their "Puppet Handlers" is one of the reasons that I am here today. (A fact that any of the rest of you who lived in large American cities in the 1960's might be aware of as well.)

I use in closing a term that was used often during the thirteen days of that Cuban Missile Crisis: "God Help Us All."

PLEASE Mr President, Give Us A War!

I remember sitting in a corporate lunch room,circa Summer 2001. And reading the newspapers over my daily sandwich.

Back then, I was pretty sure that the internal polling of the Bush Presidency was letting Mr Bush know that he wasn't being perceived that well on Main Street. Corporation after corporation was outsourcing jobs. Unemployment was high, and spending by consumers was down.

The one bright spot of the economy (if I remember correctly) was the housing market. Like other bubbles before it, this was a new factor inside a "new economy." Any banking or mortgage "professional" would tell you that housing prices were going on up through the roof and would only go higher. The advice I heard all around me was: Do whatever you can to get yourself a house - as pretty soon houses would not be affordable. (In California, they already were not affordable.)

But if you got yourself that house, not to worry. The prices could only go higher - they could never ever implode.

But on Main Street, consumer dissatisfaction was high. Those who were trying to trade up, housing wise, found it took all their discretionary spending to do that. Meanwhile there was still the cost of feeding the kids, putting away for the college fund, spending on insurance, etc. People seemed morose, except for the few I knew who were totally into the housing market - buying properties cheap and flipping them. And their frantic behavior reminded me all too much of the computer nerds I knew who had bought into the dot com bubble just some months earlier.

Thinking about the world each day at lunch, I mused that about the only way out of this awful American economic tragedy was some type of grand catastrophe. Only then could George Dubya retrieve his previous honeymoon high popularity numbers.

I had no idea what exactly the needed catastrophe would be, but of course, as so many have said, all that changed the morning of Sept Eleventh, 2001. That morning, the grand catastrophe took a lot of pressure off the President, at least in terms of polling numbers.

I mean, let's face it -- Outsourcing of jobs: who could think or worry about outsourcing of jobs when airplanes were careening through buildings, and landmarks were toppling and thousands of people were dying. Consumer shopping was down - well, yeah, but what did that matter when so much of the Pentagon itself had gone Kablouie!

Within a week of that cataclysm, the President had bright, new and shiny polling numbers, and many Americans were again in love with the fearless leader.

Now it is 2013. President Obama, our One Percent approved replacement for the George Dubya Presidency, has had his drop in polling numbers. In addition to the fact that most of us know the recession has not ended, and will not end, at least not for the "middle class" (and some eight to twelve millions of us know this from the security and comfort of the RV park where our new substitute for our foreclosed home is parked,) comes the added knowledge that we are now told that jobs will never come back. Over the last few months, unemployment numbers managed to drop due to the fact that many of the unemployed are no longer even looking for work. And for other Americans, student loans and attending college on a student loan happens to be the new "job."

It was safe to say some three weeks back that the honeymoon glow of Obama's first term is clearly over.

His one shining star - the ACA - has been re-worded so that certain key provisions were put on hold. That way his buddies in industry won't cause even more of a PR headache for the "reform" measure. Among these key provisions are the penalty provision of the ACA, giving employers more time—until 2015—to comply. Supposedly this additional year offers employers more time to understand the requirements of the act. The Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury also stated, "We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively. We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so."

But above and beyond the stumbles of the ACA on its way to implementation are the revelations of one Ed Snowden. His leaks of NSA intricacies related to the spying by the NSA on all Americans was the Strike Three! for this Presidency. (Economy being the first one; the ACA delays being the second.)

Yes, while Americans were tolerant of Strike One and Two, the notion that a person's emails were being collected, that our conversations were stored so that at any point in the future, they could be reconstituted - all that was a matter the American public found appalling.

It occurred to various segments of society that this was a flagrant and dangerous precedent, especially given that Spring 2013 had shown the IRS willing to target various political groups not in sync with the Obama Presidency. Various liberal protest groups could foresee very harsh future, when some Big Corporation needed to pin down exactly who it is that is against GM foods, or fracking, could simply call on the NSA to have such information revealed to them. All that made headline news for most of June and July 2013. And the uproar had not really died down at all in August.

But now all that uproar can be lessened. All it takes is one more foray into the exciting world of international war on yet another third world nation. A bombardier jacket is no doubt being tailored for this President, as the "Mission Syria Accomplished" banner is being inked. It will be a short and painless war, like all the other wars we enter. (From my vantage point of history, all wars are short and painless, at least during the week and /or month before we enter them.)

What is not to like about this war? It will be brutally short and it is justifiable.

It will be a short war, and that phrase reminds me of the way the populace of the East Coast viewed the Civil War in the early weeks after the attack on Fort Sumpter. It will certainly not end up with 600,000 dead, as that war did - we have drones to do our dirty work now.

And Vietnam was another "walk in the park" type of war, despite the fact we should have examined the lesson plan the French had previewed for us before our entrance into that war "theater."

And even if it should prove to be long and painful, well, at least we have the satisfaction of knowing we were taking the moral .high ground. How dare any political leader use Sarin gas on his own people! And of course, as a nation that has never done anything like this, except for when we exposed the entire length and width and breadth of the states of Nevada and Utah to the pestilence of falling radioactivity from our above-ground nuke tests, well our nation certainly should be the judge and executioner against the Syrian leader and the people of Syria, for that use of Sarin Gas. I mean, one example only - just that of nuke contamination across Nevada and Utah - resulting in entire towns of people, moms and dads, and old men and aunts and uncles - yes, entire towns of people dying of cancers, what of it?

Should that disqualify us from sending in the death machinery of an American war to topple the regime in Syria? Okay in all honesty, well maybe one other example: of course, the Agent Orange that our own service people breathed in while accomplishing the splendid freedom-creating actions that were our mission in Vietnam, and of course, the depleted uranium that cost the lives of so many of our troops during the decade following our involvement in Iraq War I.

But we as a nation are very very good at taking the moral high ground. Surely the above examples should not stop us - because think of how handsome our young men look in their parade dress uniforms before they go overseas. And think also of how the young women look so poised and confident in their dress uniforms as they too embark on this short and moral war.

Thinking of how great our young service people look as they embark on a foreign war, I almost get weepy with pride. Let's not harangue the President - let's encourage him! This nation doesn't make steel, or manufacture cars, or produce the tools my husband used to bandy our ten year old car back together today. All that production is happening in Korea, and in Mexico, and in China. (And it is possible the military uniforms are produced in Bangladesh, or Ecuador, but no longer in New England or the Southern states.)

We Americans are good at this war business. Give us a war, PLEASE Mr President, and we who brought the world the horrors of Abu Gharib, despite the Geneva Convention, and despite the lesson of the Nuremberg trials, we need to have a moral high ground, if only to make up for that Abu Gharib, and also because many of us lost the ground our homes stood on. Let us fight once again for The Red The White The Blue.

And I bet you your damn polling numbers will go up as well.

And if worse comes to worse, there is no JFK to handle a missile crisis.

Nor is there a Khruschev as his counter part.

Just one set of neo-cons in the military involving the "elected" neo cons to sign on to a full on disaster...

Why are the American leaders attempting to start World War 3? Are they TRYING to get America and our Navy destroyed? Russia has just sent their most advanced anti-ship missiles to Syria in a clear warning that any attack against Syria will not go unanswered.

The New York Times quotes unnamed US officials as saying the missiles could be used to counter any potential future foreign military intervention in Syria.

The P-800 Oniks Russian П-800 Оникс; English Onyx, also known in export markets as Yakhont, English ruby or sapphire, is a Russian/Soviet supersonic anti-ship cruise missile developed by NPO Mashinostroyeniya as a ramjet version of P-80 Zubr. Its GRAU designation is 3M55. Development reportedly started in 1983, and by 2001 allowed the launch of the missile from land, sea, air and submarine. The missile has the NATO reporting codename SS-N-26. It is reportedly a replacement for the P-270 Moskit, but possibly also for the P-700 Granit. The P-800 was reportedly used as the basis for the joint Russian-Indian supersonic missile the BrahMos.

Please, Mr President - no stinkin' Trans Pacific Plan!

As a small business person who helps run a small and sometimes struggling publishing firm, can I say this?

First of all, some 18 to 33% of our current monthly business is from the "free markets" of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China.

One of the biggest reassurances our small business needs is to know that the United States Postal Service continues to operate as it has in the past.

However because of the legislation that forces the USPS to "pre-pay" its pension plan, the service is often bleeding red ink. Any business would be bleeding red ink - if required to pre-pay for an item 75 years in advance!

Although Saturday delivery is nice, what really concerns me is the idea that soon many Americans will be required to visit their local post office in order to have mail delivered, and to pick their mail up.

This would be a huge inconvenience and huge expense. This would cost us about 1100 dollars a year. Since we make under $ 30,000 you can see what an impact this would have. It would also deprive the business of one of the two people that spend eight hours a day 'working the business." Each trip into town takes a minimum of two hours.

Other than the issue f the mail and Post Office, our fulfillment of our "export mission" to the international scene doesn't require anything else. No TPP is needed. We are good, on the ground, with everything as it is.

Just help keep the USPS up and running.

Also, the whole discussion of the TPP has been in secrecy. What I do have figured out, especially on account of my friends on FB (If you need to know who they are, your buddy Mr Clapper probably can tell you quite quickly!) -- it is widely believed that Monsanto had quite an impact on how this legislation will be written.

Perhaps you could discuss Monsanto with your wife. I am sure she has some sinister facts and figures, as any good organic gardener would have, of how often the GM crops in the USA are contaminated with fusarium and vomitoxins. Sometimes a crop is now so badly contaminated that a farmer must take a lower price; other times the farmer cannot sell the crop at all.

Of course, a farmer can remedy this situation by adding nutrients back into the soil - but the whole point of paying Monsanto the big bucks is so that each crop is a one till operation. If repeated tilling is needed to be done, people here will finally opt out of this Agri-Franken Business' business model. And at that time, our farmers might secure organic seed less expensively if there are international sources of conventional and organic seed. Should the TPP wipe out that resource, the entire human race might be facing famine.

Anyway, I also want to remind you of a pledge you made to my household at the time we were advocating for your election and sending your campaign money. You promised transparency. But people are saying that this entire TPP legislation is, like the ACA before it, being hidden from view while being created, and the American people will not really understand what it is all about until it is being implemented. I remind you here and now of that pledge of transparency. I feel that to break that pledge is a very serious matter.

I would also like to point you to the decent website with link to a TPP article, from our Union brothers and sisters:


Another serious failing of this Administration. Asset forfeiture policies:

I lay this squarely at the feet of Eric Holder, and President Obama, who appointed Eric Holder.

Most of us are aware that a Gallup poll taken recently showed us that over 50% of all Americans want marijuana legalized. (Actually, this poll was concluded back in mid October, 2011)

Another poll done in April of 2013 showed the American people that even among Christian youth, half of them wanted it made legal. And even among those Christian youth who opposed legalizing marijuana in general, a major majority were for it, (60 to 40 split), if there was a medical reason for its use.

The war on this drug should be over, Sirs. It should no longer be even an item for debate.

However, the vast sector of society that relies on continual spying proclaims that this drug war is necessary. How else can Diane Feinstein, who currently heads the Senate Committee on Intelligence justify what should be a massive Peace Dividend, but instead is hundreds of billions spent on "Intel." Yet without another "necessary military program," how could she have confidence that tens of millions of dollars will continue to flood to her bank account, via her husband's gift for procuring military/Surveillance contracts?

As long as such massive Surveillance efforts continue, many of which will allow her husband Richard Blum to sign up for contracts regarding Surveillance processes, buildings, and the rest of it, she is secure in the knowledge that the Feinstein-Blum financial empire is expanding.

But there is more to it than mere contracts. As part and parcel of the War on Some Drugs, the disturbing and sinister asset forfeiture aspect of this assault on citizens continues. Because of this war, there are numerous "DUI checkpoints" installed on our highways. Because of this war, there are "immigration checkpoints"" and some of those checkpoints exist a full one hundred miles from any border.

The personal stories of citizens who have suffered from forfeiture are harrowing. This week's "The New Yorker" magazine presents us with several different individuals and families whose lives were ruthlessly turned upside down after their vehicle was stopped by police.

From the following article, we understand the vast sums that end up getting distributed among various police departments:

Here's a list of the largest asset recipient states in 2011:

California cops received $79 million
New York cops received $48 million
Florida cops received $38 million
Texas cops received $31 million
Georgia cops received $30 million
Illinois cops received $16.9 million
Michigan cops received $12.8 million
North Carolina cops received $10 million
Ohio cops received $9.9 million

Having done some research on this facet of "American life" back in the nineties, I discovered that one of the things that happens is that various individuals inside the police/governmental officials back channels are allowed to distribute the monies. For instance, for a while, I heard the same individual's name pop up as being behind the monetary distribution for the San Francisco area in California. It should go without saying that such an individual would have plenty of political clout.

There is also the fact that those police who feel that perhaps they can play dirty (Since they' re watching us, but who is watching them?) do end up being caught, their misdeeds with the assets of the asset forfeiture program much too close at hand. Some decent stories about that aspect of the policy are here:


But far worse than the Feinstein-Blum types making big bucks from Surveillance, and worse than dirty cops skimming the proceeds, is the fact that families go through long torturous nightmares of existence once caught int he dark web of asset forfeiture. Should any American family who are simply out for a ride on a sunny day suddenly find themselves being told to give up their assets, which includes the car they're in, and any cash they happen to have on them? Or else they risk the custody of their young children? Should any hard working individual have to pay exorbitant amounts of money to try and keep access to their car?

Bear in mind that these types of things simply do not happen to the One Percent. For instance, when friends of President Ron Reagan had their luxury boat seized because one crew man was dealing drugs, it was quickly returned to them. (Now there is an instance of when a President got something done - no sniveling about how he simply can't use his office to make good for someone.) But for the rest of us, we have to simply hope we get a decent cop the day we are pulled over. because otherwise it is a Kafka-esque struggle to return to normalcy, especially given that lawyers usually don't want these cases and often end up making more money than the assets that are taken.

The excellent people at BoingBoing offer up discussion as well:


Committing Acts of Journalism

Decent piece by author Tricia Todd over at Huffington Post regarding the new "press shield law."

Full article can be read here:


From this article:

(Co-authored by Eric Matthies -- Co-Producer/Director of the documentary film, Killing The
Messenger: The Deadly Cost of News)

The question of who is and who isn't a journalist should no longer be in question. Modern
methods enable modern reporting. To quote journalism professor Jeff Jarvis:

"There are no journalists, only the service of journalism."

The importance of the definition is in direct relation to who is protected under the "Free
Flow of Information Act of 2013." This bill is essentially a Federal Shield Law designed to
protect journalists from having to disclose their confidential sources. A version of this
law was shot down in 2009 but is back waiting for a vote by the 113th Congress after public
outcry over the secret subpoena of Associated Press phone records and the calling out of
James Rosen as a "co-conspirator" in a leak case. Additionally, the Justice Dept. is
putting an undue amount of pressure on NYT reporter James Risen to testify in an Espionage
Act case against a CIA employee.

The bill is not about extending special privileges to journalists but rather:

"To maintain the free flow of information to the public by providing conditions for the
federally compelled disclosure of information by certain persons connected with the news

Sounds good on paper until you allow politicians to (again, just like in 2010) express
frustration with bloggers and other non-traditional reporting. With the bill on the table
prior to August recess, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced an amendment to narrow the category of people protected by the shield bill.

Definition of journalism by Josh Wolf, who was an independent journalist who was jailed 226 days in 2006-7 for refusing to cooperate with a federal investigation which sought his sources says,

"The moment we start to define who is and who isn't a journalist in a legal sense as the
U.S. Government saying, "You're a journalist, you're not a journalist"...I mean that's the
strongest move against the first amendment you can imagine because Congress should make no
law infringing on the power of the press or the role of the press.

"Well, if you decide, "You're the press and you're not the press" -- that sure sounds like
infringing to me."
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