Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cheng Siwei - US has been Financially Irresponsible

So, you still think China gives a shit about what happens to our economy?

US Nuclear weapons parts missing, Pentagon says / UK - US N-weapons parts missing, Pentagon says
The US military cannot locate hundreds of sensitive nuclear missile components, according to several government officials familiar with a Pentagon report on nuclear safeguards.

What TARP Could Have Paid For...

Dylan Ratigan is one of the few commentators that sees the sheer size of the monies involved in the proper perspective, and the unavoidable conclusion that one must draw when this understanding is reached.

Pentagon Teaches Recruits That a Protest by American Citizens is “Low-Level Terrorism”

Pentagon Rebrands Protest as “Low-Level Terrorism” | Dissident Voice
The American Civil Liberties Union reported June 10 that “Anti-terrorism training materials currently being used by the Department of Defense (DoD) teach its personnel that free expression in the form of public protests should be regarded as ‘low level terrorism’.”

According to the civil liberties’ watchdog: “Among the multiple-choice questions included in its Level 1 Antiterrorism Awareness training course, the DoD asks the following: ‘Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorist activity?’ To answer correctly, the examinee must select ‘protests’.”

Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
You don't think things have gone too far, huh?

VIDEO: FBI Had Spy In MLK's Inner Circle

So, what are our tax dollars for the FBI really going to? Here is a man who preached and practiced non-violence. What threat did he represent? A security threat? No. His threat was to power. Is this what you want?

Marshals: Innocent People Placed On 'Watch List' To Meet Quota

Marshals: Innocent People Placed On 'Watch List' To Meet Quota - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver
You could be on a secret government database or watch list for simply taking a picture on an airplane. Some federal air marshals say they're reporting your actions to meet a quota, even though some top officials deny it.

The air marshals, whose identities are being concealed, told 7NEWS that they're required to submit at least one report a month. If they don't, there's no raise, no bonus, no awards and no special assignments.

CHART OF THE DAY: 43.6 Million Americans Living In Poverty Is The Highest Number Ever Recorded

CHART OF THE DAY: 43.6 Million Americans Living In Poverty Is The Highest Number Ever Recorded
This was expected, but it still hits you in the gut. Poverty in America has hit the highest level the Census has ever recorded, according to a new report out today.

Dealer says load of crab "contaminated with oil" -- STATE TRYING TO COVER IT UP

Whistleblower: Oil 30 miles by 5 miles reported and Feds won't respond, "wanted to run tests"

Are the Feds really protecting us? BP? Themselves? It's hard to tell, isn't it?

The "National Security" Apparatus Has Been Hijacked to Serve the Needs of Big Business

poorrichard's blog: The "National Security" Apparatus Has Been Hijacked to Serve the Needs of Big Business
* Reuters noted in January:

U.S. securities regulators originally treated the New York Federal Reserve's bid to keep secret many of the details of the American International Group bailout like a request to protect matters of national security, according to emails obtained by Reuters.

* And Business Week wrote on May 23, 2006:

President George W. Bush has bestowed on his intelligence czar, John Negroponte, broad authority, in the name of national security, to excuse publicly traded companies from their usual accounting and securities-disclosure obligations

More evidence that corporations and U.S. government are too tightly allied.

New York to Ban Smoking Outdoors

New York plans to ban smoking outdoors - Telegraph
City officials said that the new legislation would outlaw smoking in parks, beaches, marinas, boardwalks and pedestrian plazas throughout the American city.

That means no smoking in Central Park or on the Coney Island boardwalk.

Blackwater Works to Become Monsanto's "Intel Arm"

Blackwater's Black Ops | The Nation
One of the most incendiary details in the documents is that Blackwater, through Total Intelligence, sought to become the "intel arm" of Monsanto, offering to provide operatives to infiltrate activist groups organizing against the multinational biotech firm.

Listen to Why MythBusters Won't Do RFID

Petraeus: Afghan War Could Take Another Decade

Petraeus: Afghan War Could Take Another Decade -- News from
It could be quite some time, as Petraeus agreed that “success over the insurgency” could be another 9-10 years away.

Is "controlling an insurgency" the same as "war?"

Recordings capture NYPD captain threatening to fire less productive cops, discussing summons quotas

Recordings capture NYPD captain threatening to fire less productive cops, discussing summons quotas
Capt. Alex Perez, in a new set of recordings, threatened to fire less productive cops and talked openly to other supervisors about summons quotas.

Again, another example of where right-wing arguments that "government should be run like a business" are complete and utter idiocy.

Pennsylvania Pays Foreign Spies To Create Database of American Citizens

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hired ITRR, the Instititute of Terrorism Research and Response, a Jerusalem based company owned by the Mossad and tied directly to the Israeli Ministry of Defense to track “dissidents” and “activists.” In the process, they managed to find the most dangerous terrorist organization of all, the governor’s own non-profit organization, one supporting school funding initiatives.

This boggles the mind.  Our own tax money, being paid to a foreign power, to create a database of ourselves.  It's hard to fathom.

Los Angeles City Controller "disappointed" Only 55 Jobs Created With $800 billion Stimulus

Employment generation disappointing: LA City Controller - International Business Times

The Los Angeles City Controller said on Thursday the city's use of its share of the $800 billion federal stimulus fund has been disappointing.

The city received $111 million in stimulus under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) approved by the Congress more than year ago.

"I'm disappointed that we've only created or retained 55 jobs after receiving $111 million," says Wendy Greuel, the city's controller, while releasing an audit report.

Umm. The reason you only "created" 55 jobs with millions of dollars is GOVERNMENTS DON'T CREATE JOBS! They get in the way of those people that DO create jobs. They waste their money (case in point), and they create regulations that are unnecessary and illogical. Where do you think that money went? It went to their buddies. It went to political cronies. People, stop buying the rhetoric that government stimulus creates anything. Please, just stop. When will you have enough evidence. Just because Krugman says its so, doesn't mean it is.

Obama's BP Gulf Spill Committee Intimidating Other Scientists, Says They're Doing "Illegal" Sampling

Did you get that? There are millions of people living on the Gulf Coast. If they choose to hire scientists to check the safety of the water around their property, they are committing a crime. Why? Because the U.S. Government has a MONOPOLY on testing the whole Gulf...and they don't like having their work checked, apparently. Come on! Does it get more obvious than this that the net result of government intervention is a negative?! The corporate-government unholy alliance has gone too far. It's quite obvious, isn't it?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Israel Places Order For 20 F-35s; U.S. Picks Up The Tab

poorrichard's blog: Israel Places Order For 20 F-35s; U.S. Picks Up The Tab
Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak approved an order for 20 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in a deal valued at around $2.75 billion, according to Haaretz. The Israeli Air Force expects to take delivery of the first aircraft in 2015. The article quotes Barak saying the F-35 costs $96 million a copy. The entire deal will be funded by American military aid.

Gee, I can't figure out why those Muslims hate us!  Hmmm...

Man Cited for Growing Too Many Vegetables

County cites farmer for too many vegetables  |
Steve Miller of Clarkston said he plans to fight the county and has gotten his 2-acre property rezoned so that he can have his garden. But he still faces nearly $5,000 in fines, Miller told Channel 2.

Miller has been growing a variety of vegetables for 15 years, and his neighbors support him. He sells what he grows at local markets and gives some away, he said.

Government is important business. We do important things.

Government Intervention: Left and Right

This is a great commentary. It very clearly points out how both side's arguments for intervention, directly counter their own arguments for intervention when the subject changes. He does a beautiful job of showing the silliness and hypocrisy of Republican and Democrat arguments.

Justice Breyer Suggests That Burning a Quran Could be Like Shouting 'Fire' in a Crowded Theatre--Thus Not Protected by 1st Amendment

Justice Breyer Suggests That Burning a Quran Could be Like Shouting 'Fire' in a Crowded Theatre--Thus Not Protected by 1st Amendment |
Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer said on Tuesday that globalization may change the way the First Amendment applies in the United States, and he suggested that Pastor Terry Jones’ proposed Quran-burning may or may not be protected under the First Amendment.

Are you kidding me?

Bush Was NOT a Conservative

Bush is the biggest spender since LBJ | McClatchy
George W. Bush, despite all his recent bravado about being an apostle of small government and budget-slashing, is the biggest spending president since Lyndon B. Johnson. In fact, he's arguably an even bigger spender than LBJ.

FDA About to Approve Franken-Salmon

Genetically Modified Salmon Under FDA Review - ABC News
If a company called Aqua Bounty Technologies has its way, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will approve its application for genetically engineered salmon eggs that will grow into full-size salmon in half the time it takes regular salmon.

That FDA...always looking out for your health, right?  No, seriously, you think that.  Do you really think they know what the long-term effects of something like this is?  No one does.

The Pope's own astronomer (really) says that Intelligent Design is hogwash (really) and that he'd be happy to baptise extraterrestrials (really)

Pope astronomer Guy Consolmagno: 'Aliens with souls living among the stars' | Mail Online
Intelligent aliens may be living among the stars and are likely to have souls, a senior Vatican scientist said yesterday.

Federal Aid to Help Small Businesses Goes to GE, AT&T, HP...

Federal Contracts Set Aside for Small Businesses Going to Large Firms |
Over the last year, almost two-thirds of the dollars reported as going to small business contracts actually went to larger corporations, including AT&T, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Hewlett-Packard, Office Depot, Xerox, and Dell among other household names.

Most government programs aimed at helping "the little guy," do just the opposite.  It's time to admit this.  The only organizations that have the giant resources to keep tabs on the labyrinth of laws and regulations are huge corporations.  Is this helping the little guy?  No.  It's just gaming the system for the rich and well-connected.  Little guys benefit from simplicity.  They don't have the resources to deal with complexity and bureaucracy.  Wanna help the little guy?  Get rid of regulation, stimulus, and subsidies.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Russians Urged to Drink and Smoke More

Russians urged to drink and smoke more | Orange UK
Russia's finance minister has urged his countrymen and women to support the country - by drinking and smoking more.

Alexei Kudrin called for increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol in a bid to boost the state's revenues, reports Metro.

It really irks me when I hear people on the right say, "just run government like a corporation."  This reveals true ignorance of what government is, and what risk that would entail.
Notice what Russia is doing here.  It is encouraging unhealthy things so that it can survive.  This is what things do when they are created, they fight to survive.  This includes governmental entities.
Now, you say, "Well, this is Russia. The U.S. would never do anything like this." Well, don't be so sure.  If reading this blog hasn't convinced you of the immoral and unhealthy alliances between the U.S. government and Monsanto, Bernie Madoff, Goldman Sachs, and Northrup Grummun, then consider this...why are interest rates so low?
The reason they are so low, is that they don't want you to save your money.  "But, I thought saving money is a good, healthy behavior," you say.  It is...for you, not for the government.  The government is encouraging you to take more risk than you probably should.  It encourages the risky behavior of stock market investment.  They've rigged the system so that its the only place where there is a chance of getting a return on your money.
Now I ask you, which is riskier, cigarettes and booze, or potentially going broke so that you can't pay medical bills?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Attention Liberals: Your Federal Income Tax Goes to War...Not Roads, Not Schools, Not Food Stamps...WAR

House Subcommittee Report: U.S. Taxpayer is Second-Largest Funder of Taliban

Six Facts No War Supporter Knows | War Is A Crime .org
"... the second largest and probably the largest source of revenue for the Taliban has been U.S. taxpayers. We are giving the Taliban our money instead of investing it in useful things at home or abroad....[according to] a report from the Majority Staff of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives."

Well, according to George Bush, you're either with us, or you're with the terrorists. He wants to attack anyone supporting terrorism. Well, Georgie, I'd start killing Texans. They're close to you, and they LOVE "supportin' the troops"...which apparently means the Taliban's troops.
(Oh by the way, opium is number one...something that was almost extinguished when the Taliban were in charge.)

Friday, September 10, 2010

MUST-SEE VIDEO: The Milgram Experiment Redux

This is it, folks. This is why concentrating too much power at the top is so dangerous. Atrocities are carried out and tolerated because we shift responsibility to authority. It's human nature. Push freedom and power down to the individual, and there are less of these things. Please watch this fascinating video.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fareed Zakaria: It's Clear We Overreacted to 9/11

Zakaria: Why America Overreacted to 9/11 - Newsweek
Nine years after 9/11, can anyone doubt that Al Qaeda is simply not that deadly a threat?

No shit. More 20/20 hindsight from well-respected Washington intellect. There WERE people (ahem...Ron Paul) who suggested this beforehand, you know. Shouldn't we be giving the ideas of those people a tad more consideration? Having genius insight 7 years later doesn't do us any good. Let's consider an ideology that helps us avoid these mistakes BEFOREHAND. BEFORE we spend the money. BEFORE we get our boys and girls killed. BEFORE we risk our country's integrity and goodwill.

How Voters Think: Bush vs. Obama

Suggested Science Textbook Disclaimers for Evolution

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rethink Afghanistan (movie)

Stiglitz: Iraq War ‘Partly To Blame’ For Financial Crisis

Analysts: Iraq war ‘partly to blame’ for financial crisis | Raw Story
In an article in Sunday's Washington Post, former Clinton-era economic adviser Joseph Stiglitz and Harvard University public policy lecturer Linda J. Bilmes say that the Iraq war forced the US to take on more debt than it had to, and caused in part the rising oil prices that resulted in large amounts of money flowing out of the US economy.

No shit. Thanks for the 20/20 hindsight...7 years too late. OK, so let's look at who called this BEFORE it happened. These dumbshit economists that seem to get so much attention only seem to be smart in retrospect. Let's ask ourselves which economists got it right BEFORE it happened. Invariably, you'll find that economists following the Austrian school, NOT the Keynesians, had it right. They had it right on the banks, they had it right on the mortgage industry, they had it right on the war, they had it right on military spending, they had it right on the efficacy of the Fed. How much more evidence to you need Let's stop listening to Stiglitz and Krugman! Don't you see it's time for a change of philosophy?

Do You Know What the USS Liberty Is? It Was Sunk By A MidEast Country. Guess Which One?

Are they really our ally?

Student Loans Outweigh Credit Card Debt for First Time in U.S. History

America's Crumbling Roads and Bridges

America's Crumbling Roads and Bridges - CBS Evening News - CBS News
CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports the American Society of Civil Engineers issues a report card every 4 years on the state of America's infrastructure. The last one in 2009 was not good at all. The overall grade was a "D."

Yet we're bailing out certain banks, and building infrastructure in other countries.

Student Loan Scheme

Student Loans Scheme.

Infographic by College

UN Atomic Agency Curtails Probe of Israel’s Nuclear Capability

UN Atomic Agency Curtails Probe of Israel’s Nuclear Capability - BusinessWeek
United Nations investigators, ordered to write a report about Israel’s atomic capabilities, said they couldn’t compile enough information to assess the extent of the country’s nuclear program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency released documents today showing a split between member countries who want more light shed on Israel’s nuclear work and others that say the Vienna-based organization doesn’t have the right to pry.

"...doesn't have the right to pry"??!!!  WTF?!  Can American's not see the double standard here?  Are you kidding me?!

Some People Lie And Get Away With It

The true cost of the bank bailout, $12.8 trillion

The true cost of the bank bailout | Need to Know | PBS
According to a team at Bloomberg News, at one point last year the U.S. had lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 trillion to rescue the economy. The Bloomberg reporters have been following that money. Alison Stewart spoke with one, Bob Ivry, to talk about the true cost to the taxpayer of the Wall Street bailout.

Let's do the math...$12.8 trillion divided by 100 million households in the U.S., that's $128,000 per household.  Let's ask the average American what they would prefer, saving SOME banks, or $128k.  Hmmm....I can't imagine what they'd choose.

Blackwater created shell companies

AP News : The Orange County Register
The security company Blackwater Worldwide formed a network of 30 shell companies and subsidiaries to try to get millions of dollars in government business after the company faced strong criticism for reckless conduct in Iraq, The New York Times reported.

How nice of them to change the name, so that the government could avoid the embarrassment of continuing to give money to Blackwater after the atrocities they inflicted.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Obama's Chief of Staff: "F*ck the UAW"

More taunts to the Democratic base - Joan Walsh -
Another day, another disappointment for progressive Democrats. We learn from former auto-industry car czar Steve Rattner that Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said "Fuck the UAW" during tough takeover talks...

Having the government own GM is having an interesting effect on their perception.  Liberals supported the various bailouts because they wanted to "save jobs."  This is an asinine idea on many levels.  First, corporations aren't U.S. citizens. They "live" in many countries, and the jobs they create are all over.  They have no national allegiances.  There are numerous blog posts below showing where bailed-out corporations have been "creating jobs" over the past couple years, and it's NOT in the U.S.  Also, as you can see from Rahm's quote above, being an owner changes your goals.  GM isn't trying to create jobs, it's trying to survive.  You know what would have "created jobs?"  Letting GM die, then allowing new businesses, with better products, buy-up those factories on the cheap.  Then we'd be making wind turbines or electric cars or something consumers actually want, and can be run profitably.

Another revised Afghan policy: the US will tolerate "some" corruption. Just like U.S. Taxpayers do with Congress

U.S. to temper stance on Afghan corruption
U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan are developing a strategy that would tolerate some corruption in the country but target the most corrosive abuses by more tightly regulating U.S. contracting procedures, according to senior defense officials.

You can't make this stuff up.  The Onion could have made this story.  What the hell, people?!  Spreading corruption around the world, is that how far our standards have lowered?  You still think these wars are about spreading freedom and democracy?

Friday, September 3, 2010

U.S. Taxpayers to Bailout Afghanistan Banking System

Karzai urges Afghans not to panic as bank withdrawals accelerate
As depositors thronged branches of Afghanistan's biggest bank, President Hamid Karzai told Afghans on Thursday not to panic shortly after his brother, a major shareholder in the beleaguered Kabul Bank, called for intervention by the United States to head off a financial meltdown.

Are you kidding me? How can you people not get mad at this?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cash-Poor Governments Ditching Public Hospitals

Cash-Poor Governments Ditching Public Hospitals -
Faced with mounting debt and looming costs from the new federal health-care law, many local governments are leaving the hospital business, shedding public facilities that can be the caregiver of last resort.

Whenever I tell someone I'm a libertarian, they inevitably say, "But, government does good things like hospitals and roads..."  But, look at this story closely.  Look at how ridiculous this is.  We're spending trillions on futile wars and bailing out gamblers on Wall Street, but we're shutting down hospitals! Liberals need to wake up.  The power and money they're so readily willing to give is not being used for the purposes they think it is.  The proportion of the overall money going to liberal causes is but a speck of the total.  You're getting duped.

Americans Believed Involved in Pakistan Air Crash, Hijacking

Suspicions were raised inside Pakistan’s military and intelligence organizations when American military contractors employed by Blackwater/Xe showed up on the scene immediately after the crash, seizing the black box and “other materials.” There is no confirmation that parachutes or electronic equipment had been removed when Blackwater/Xe security relinquished control of the crash scene to Pakistani investigators.

Assessing America's 'imperial adventure' in Iraq

BBC News - Assessing America's 'imperial adventure' in Iraq
"This," a leading American supporter of President George W Bush wrote in a British newspaper back in February 2003, just before the invasion of Iraq, "is our imperial moment".

He went on to argue that the British had no right to criticise America for doing what they themselves had done so enthusiastically a century before.

Gore Vidal on Fear and Control

CNN Video: CIA Making Secret Payments To Members Of Afghanistan Government

Revolutionary Politics::Revolutionary Politics : CIA Making Secret Payments To Members Of Afghanistan Government
CIA Making Secret Payments To Members Of Afghanistan Government

We complain about corruption in government, while we exacerbate it.