10/31/2013 - National priorities
According to salon.com significant cuts to the food stamp program begin kicking-in tomorrow. Apparently the nation has plenty of money for the daily slaughter of foreigners in their own streets and in their own homes however after meeting all those obligations there simply isn't any money left over to feed hungry Americans. This time instead of just joining-in the fat cat chorus "it's their own fault", I think I'm gonna work on editing the lyrics of that song that starts out "proud to be an American".
10/30/2013 - Republican priorities
Republicans are calling for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to step down because of problems with the Obamacare-roll-out's computer system, something likely well outside her immediate control. On the other hand Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, has lied to Congress and Keith Alexander's NSA consistently operates illegally even embroiling the US in major diplomatic crises. Both of these military-affiliated fellows are still in office and going strong. Official calls for their resignations are nonexistent or remarkably low profile.
10/29/2013 - USA FREEDOM Act introduction
As expected joint bipartisan efforts of US Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, and US Representative James Sensenbrenner, a Republican from Wisconsin, earlier today introduced the USA FREEDOM Act (check it out HERE) into both houses of Congress in ultimate hopes of curbing American surveillance abuse. Enacting this bill would be a step in the right direction, however leaving even a shred of collection authority to the militarized intelligence community is inevitably dangerous. Most Americans do not know that the US Secretary of State received written notice of Osama bin Laden's intent to attack the US well in advance of 9/11. This information was provided by the intelligence communities without AUMF, PATRIOT, NDAA 2012, and all the rest. In other words there never has been a need for more bureaucracy and surveillance except to provide additional paths for US tax revenues to reach militarized ends. Greed, corruption, and power-grabs are well-served by fear.
10/29/2013 - US rank hath its privileges and perhaps its heads in dark places.
All today's buzz is about the US spy apparatus' targeting allied heads of state yet no US officials so far claim reasonable knowledge of those operations. Everyone apparently wants distance from blame. For example according to BBC US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein has said that "eavesdropping on leaders of friendly nations" is wrong. Well, who can dispute that?
Unstated but equally obvious is the fact that spying on innocent citizens is also wrong. Bestowing the mantle of leadership is not intended to bestow additional civil rights or human rights on the anointed, rather is employing the entrusted to ensure everyone else's civil rights and human rights remain intact and inviolate. If this premise is true, all recent US administrations and all three branches of government are abject failures in that regard.
Fire James Clapper and Keith Alexander, slash intelligence budgets, restore constitutional protections, due process, posse comitatus, habeas corpus, the Bill of Rights, presumption of innocence, and the castle doctrine for starters. Demilitarize America and get the military-industrial-surveillance complex under educated, humane control.
10/29/2013 - Who's on first
If POTUS and the US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman did not know about NSA's monitoring worldwide heads of state, who did? Who's running the show? Rogue department heads? Individuals who lie to Congress with impunity? Their underlings? Isn't the US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman responsible for oversight? Also in the past reportedly without informing overseers NSA continued activities FISC (US FISA court) had ruled illegal. Shouldn't those in charge of lying, law breaking agencies be replaced and their agencies re-vamped? Did Congress legislate away constitutional protections for this state of affairs? Do you really believe it can or will be improved in time? Just give 'em a little more money each time it's requested and everything will be ok.
later 10/28/2013 - Even Feinstein recognizes spy-game blowback
All US officials are claiming ignorance of the US spy-apparatus' targeting worldwide heads of state. If Edward Snowden is solely responsible for informing them he should be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Astoundingly the US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein says she did not know and here is how BBC quoted her: "Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance, I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers..The president should be required to approve any collection of this sort." Apparently Ms. Feinstein is still OK with NSA collecting her own constituents' phone calls and emails. She failed to mention average law-abiding citizens, only heads of state. Would she favor requiring a warrant from a real judge issued under reasonable suspicion with reasonable evidence in a relatively open hearing? Or does she still support: "We need to monitor some guy but we can't tell you his name, or location, or what we suspect him of, because that's all too secret for anyone else to know. But we'll let you know if we nail him for anything." Senator Feinstein, if you help restore constitutional protections, due process, habeas corpus, posse comitatus, and the Bill of Rights, you might find yourself back in a nation worth protecting. And curtail NSA activities. The US is already broke and does not need this additional unrestrained bureaucratic tax money laundering scheme in the name of national security. Any real national leader would have fired both James Clapper and Keith Alexander months ago.
10/28/2013 - Even more spy games
With ubiquitous spying the US is like a mentally disturbed patient unable to recognize the illness obvious to others. "The BBC's Europe correspondent Chris Morris says that with every new allegation, demands are growing in Europe - and in Germany in particular - for explanations and for guarantees of a change in culture". Ha ha. Good luck with that "change in culture" requiring de-militarization of the US and firing the likes of James Clapper and Keith Alexander whose focus is hardly anti-terrorism. Like British MEP Claude Moraes told BBC: "it's about mass surveillance. It's about scale and proportionality." If you don't think so, looky here: "a Japanese news agency says the NSA asked the Japanese government in 2011 to help it monitor fibre-optic cables carrying personal data through Japan, to the Asia-Pacific region...intended to allow the US to spy on China - but Japan refused, citing legal restrictions and a shortage of personnel." Bravo Nippon! Bravo Nihon ko-ku! Bravo Japan!
NOTE: The story linked above has been at several different URLs today so there is no guarantee that what is currently linked is the story desired. Let me know if it doesn't seem to 'fit' when you see it.
10/27/2013 - More spy games
Today's BBC reported on German displeasure with NSA, POTUS, and the US in general by saying: "The spy row has led to the worst diplomatic crisis betweeen the two countries in living memory" and further that France and Germany both want the US to sign "no-spy deals" by the end of this year. Well I say "get in line". American citizens want no-spy deals too nevertheless the administration continues to employ James Clapper and Keith Alexander and to ignore constitutional protections under the guise that so-called anti-terrorism legislation preempts that old rag. I say "fire 'em all and get back to basics".
10/25/2013 - Spy games
This morning's buzz seems to be about disenchantment with America's worldwide spying being a hot topic around the EU summit. Comments like "seeds of mistrust are sown" and "trust now has to be built anew" and speculation about "preserving our relations with the United States" all are kicked about in Brussels in the past few hours according to BBC reports. Of course the US is not likely to admit wrongdoing and is more apt to entirely blame Edward Snowden for letting the cat out of the bag—sort of an official "don't tell, don't ask" policy encouraging secrecy and deceit. DC snake oil salesmen are more far experienced in damage control than truth avowing but maybe international attention can curtail some of this foolishness. Up to now no one has cared that many US citizens have similar feelings of betrayal and mistrust, and especially with less-than-candid "leaders" in charge.
10/24/2013 - Fast food subsidies
America has never been a purely capitalistic society and has always benefited some select group with legislatively orchestrated advantages like tariffs and import taxes or laws setting ownership standards et cetera. That's probably a good thing because a purely capitalistic society ruled soley by the iron law of wages is not likely to have a recognizable middle class. Contemporarily along those same lines it has come to light that high-profile food chains typically do not pay employees a living wage and according to Paul Ausick of 24/ 7 Wall Street fully 52% of "front-line fast-food workers" are drawing government benefits from food stamps or medicaid or similar low income assistance at a cost of about $7 billion to taxpayers—what a country, morphing free enterprise for over 200 years, now subsidizing the biggest burgers!
10/23/2013 - Rules of engagement
A teenager carrying a fake AK-47 was shot dead by California police after being futilely "ordered" to drop it. Failure to obey "authority" nowadays can get one killed because all it takes is lame suspicion and one's lack of cooperation. Police followed accepted "rules of engagement" flawlessly according to all reports, so they are not likely to be held accountable. The only remaining question is why 7 rounds were fired at a teenager carrying a fake weapon. Ensure kill? Poor marksmen? No witnesses? Who knows? In any case rules of engagement are CYA rules minimizing bad press in heartless procedure-driven organizations like the military. I'd like to see rules of engagement abolished in civilian law enforcement organizations and each incident treated with respect as unique.
10/18/2013 - Mental illness awareness
For conspiracy theorists: "The American Psychological Association is sponsoring Mental Illness Awareness Month in October" so likely it is no coincidence that the US government chose to "shutdown" for the first 17 days. Certainly the ploy got everyone thinking about mental illness in general and DC's in particular while inherently emphasizing a need for something akin to the Affordable Care Act.
10/17/2013 - Back in the saddle again
Now that government is back in full swing we can all rest easy. Disability check recipients need not worry about delays and national park visitors can enjoy unspoiled landscapes. Fortunately during the shutdown the collection of all US phone records and personal data continued in real-time without interruption—probably the reason we were not decimated by evil terrorists. You can thank Congress for providing that special funding and also for monies necessary to continue slaughtering Middle East residents round-the-clock—two primary essential functions. Such foresight! What a country! No wonder America is known as the leader of the free world.
10/14/2013 - Some superpower
Here is what globalresearch.org said today: "just posted in China's official press agency, Xinhua, is an op-ed by writer Liu Chang in which he decries the 'US fiscal failure which warrants a de-Americanized world' and flatly states that the world should consider a new reserve currency".
Replacing the dollar as the world's reserve currency would curtail the effectiveness of America's official counterfeiting and consequently tank the nation in short order. Many have expected this action for years recognizing that contemporary America consistently has failed the international community as well as its own citizens by allowing greed and corruption to mutate a paragon of riches into the greatest debtor nation in the history of the universe. And this site repeatedly asks: "How can a nation devoid of humanitarian goals, dismissive of human rights, and primarily exporting war, be considered leader of the free world?". Nowadays other nations understandably want to mitigate ultimate suffering inherent in close association. Perhaps it's time to pay the piper.
10/14/2013 - Shutdown priorities
DC's bickering and so-called "shutdown" reveal unequivocal evidence of US militarization and misplaced priorities. Critical humanitarian services and funding are curtailed in favor of war, NSA's surveillance apparatus, and service academy football games. Navy and Air Force met on the gridiron last week as scheduled. Keith Alexander continues to direct quasi-legal sans-oversight citizen-surveillance activities from his starship bridge. And the enormously well-funded disinterested slaughter of alledgedly troublesome foreigners continues, purportedly in support of "vital national security interests". There is however a lone known bright spot: DoJ's request to San Francisco-based U.S. District Court Judge, Jeffrey S. White, to stay the case of "First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles vs. NSA" was denied—possibly because NSA's surveillance apparatus remains intact with adequate funding.
10/10/2013 - Vices & admirals
Yesterday BBC reported that a US Navy vice admiral, second-in-command at the US Strategic Command and overseeing nuclear forces, has been demoted to rear admiral and relieved of his command for allegedly "using counterfeit gambling chips in 'a significant monetary amount' at an Iowa casino". Apparently despite rank appellation vice admirals cannot openly display vices ostensibly reserved as privileges for rear admirals and lesser ranks. He isn't being sacked so the casual observer will surmise that rear admirals are allowed to use counterfeit to their hearts' content. In any case that particular penchant is more suitable to contemporary Federal Reserve work.
10/08/2013 - DC extortion games
Gee whiz. POTUS says the Republicans are using 'extortion' over the debt ceiling. Wonder where they could have learned that? Here's a quote from the essay Preservation: "In addition many observers realize that US central government has perfected the use of economic privilege as an instrument of extortion for orchestrating targeted behaviors worldwide. Selective denial of available funds based on behavioral criteria most assuredly is government by extortion and unquestionably is America's most fashionable modus operandi both inside her borders and globally where military operations are excluded."
10/07/2013 - Military values = militarization
If you deny that militarization of America is her unequivocal downfall, consider that just in the past four days—weekend included—US "authorities" have expediently shot dead an unarmed mother of two suffering post-partum syndrome, kidnapped a Libyan national in defiance of international law, and ensured continuing worldwide belligerence through special DoD funding during the US government "shutdown".
Congress can't agree reasonable health care for its own citizens but can agree to fully fund the military-industrial-surveillance community for uninterrupted slaughter of disagreeable planetary residents. And congressional votes arguably have made international kidnapping "legal" if done by American military agents for America, otherwise it's a capital crime. Some citizens notice that official murder with impunity has been a continuing problem since 1988 US Code modifications required DoD and DoJ to cooperate in annually briefing all levels of civilian law enforcement "regarding information, training, technical support, equipment, and facilities available to civilian law enforcement personnel from DoD". Short years later see Idaho 1993 and Texas 1994, last Thursday see DC.
10/05/2013 - DC's post-partum fatality
Thursday's fatal shooting of a lawlessly-driving depressed and reportedly delusional but nevertheless unarmed woman unfortunately demonstrates the dominance of military values held in contemporary US society. Despite the likely fact that she otherwise could have been brought to heel, an expedient military solution was used, which sadly nowadays is acceptable to both the general public and the highly-trained enforcers. Also it seems perfectly normal in today's American society to fully fund the nation's contemporary raison d'etre, worldwide belligerence and slaughter, while otherwise "shutting down" government in order to bring public attention to flaws in the nation's only, however ill-advised, attempt to provide affordable American health care.
10/03/2013 - ACA and government shutdown
Years ago a medical doctor suggested the best malpractice insurance in the world to be none at all since doctors without malpractice insurance were seldom if ever sued. He also suggested the best way to contain medical costs would be to cancel individual health insurance. He saw health-care-for-profit as characterized by unreasonably escalating fees not likely collectable without insurance so medical markets would be forced to adjust.
In any case mandating a nation into health-care-for-profit games does not appear to be wise—although lack of legislative wisdom is an inherent American trait. Congress never studies only guesses how new laws ultimately affect constituents. Like NAFTA, AUMF, PATRIOT, and NDAA 2012 the American system no longer serves its citizenry. Nonetheless shutting down government in order to advertise partisan opposition to a single bad law is just another bad idea. Perhaps we need laws prohibiting public displays of dysfunction.