Town Hall Meeting

19 Aug 2017

Sassy Trump: Fire and Fury

Filed under: — Al @ 7:48 am

This takes the fear of nuclear war down one notch, which I need at the moment.

Here is the original:

12 Feb 2017

Comic Book Super Villain President

Filed under: — Al @ 1:30 pm

Check out Mark Hamill’s reading of a real Trump tweet as his Joker voice.

Here is the original:

Now hear it read as the Joker, and the bizarre statement starts to make sense.

Thanks Rachel for the links!

30 Jun 2014

Warfare Queens

Filed under: — Al @ 8:53 am

I first heard this term the other night on The Daily Show. Hilarious and true. That segment was mostly about politicians who make their career on the advice of invading any and every country who is having a problem. If people only would pay attention to the waste and fraud going on right in front of them in the “Defense” industry. Since more than half of the annual federal budget goes only to this, it is so ripe for reform it is uncanny.

21 Nov 2013

Good Ol Samantha Power

Filed under: — Al @ 4:49 pm

The 2003 version of Samantha Power excoriates the 2013 version of Samantha Power…

It’s a similar course for lots of partisan Democrats. And occasionally the reverse for partisan Republicans. It really is amazing to see Michelle Bachmann and her ilk have bipartisan agreement with President Obama and Senator Feinstein on issues like Afghanistan and NSA spying.

25 Jun 2012

Condemning the U.S.

Filed under: — Al @ 12:42 pm

I wanted to share this quote by Noam Chomsky about condemning the actions of the United States:

My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century.

This is cited in Glenn Greenwald’s latest post and I wanted to highlight it here – it takes real courage to face up to people right in front of you.

This goes to all the loyal Democrats who think that because Obama is President that atrocities and war crimes are now okay. We need to confront crimes when we see them. Spying without warrants is still bad, kill lists are bad, bombing civilians is still bad, indefinite detention without criminal charge is still a crime, prosecuting whistle blowers remains bad, invading or occupying countries that never attacked you is still really, really bad.

21 Jun 2012

People of Earth

Filed under: — Al @ 9:27 am

Inspirational video posted on youtube using Charlie Chaplin’s speech from the film The Great Dictator.

The only thing I might change about the video is to include how American’s are doing the brutality and torture and are also a victim of it. The images in the video portray the problems in the speech as only belonging to other countries or peoples. Yet it appears Americans (or English speaking folks) are the intended audience.

27 Apr 2012

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Filed under: — Al @ 9:50 am

When it comes to who wins the massive federal spending competition, it’s not even close. Most of your money goes to one thing: the very loosely named “Defense.” In 2012, under a “socialist, anti business, pacifist” (yeah, right) President, “Defense” was given $707 billion. Remember, that is for 1 year! For a little context, spending on housing was $67 billion, and education was $73 billion.

Some people like to confuse the issue of federal spending by bringing up Medicare and Social Security. Those are paid for separately, and should never be part of this conversation. That’s why in your paycheck, you have one line for “Federal Tax” and one for “Medicare” and “FICA” (aka Social Security). The pie chart shows how the “Federal Tax” is divided. And this is the tax that everyone gets so upset about, such as when people say lets raise the top federal tax rate from 35% to 38% on income above $250k (another annoying thing is people don’t realize that income up to $249k isn’t effected at all).

2013 Budget Pie Chart

And even worse, if you count other reasonable things as “Defense,” such as veterans affairs, homeland security, and veterans health and pensions, the total number becomes over $1 trillion, again for just 1 year! Isn’t this how countries fail? While people are homeless, unemployed, underemployed and sick, the elites are polishing their fancy new toys.

03 Mar 2012

U.S. Navy “Disposes” of Old Ships by Sinking Them at Bottom of Ocean

Filed under: — Al @ 3:09 pm

Wow, this is unbelievable. They call it “SinkEx” for Sink Exercise. The U.S. Navy blows up old warships with missiles and torpedoes, including an aircraft carrier, off the coast of California and Florida. Obviously this could cause lots of problems for the environment.

Check out the AP article here:

In the past 12 years, this has been done 109 times. Again, UNBELIEVABLE. While people struggle to meet their basic needs, the military shines its billion dollar toys, and blows up the old ones with million dollar missiles. The whole thing is repugnant. The Navy says its okay what they are doing because it gives them useful testing of their weapons. So…what is more important: sustaining life through a clean environment, or they possibly/maybe/could improve at blowing shit up?

Some reports I read just make my head spin in disbelief. Thanks to the reporters for exposing this story.

30 Sep 2011

2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Kills 2 More People Today

Filed under: — Al @ 5:43 pm

Another sign we live in bizarro world. President Obama carried out the goal of killing Anwar al-Awlaki along with another US citizen today in Yemen. Apparently killing your own citizens is bad when Libya does it, or when Syria does it, but not when the US does it (or Bahrain or Yemen for that matter). Remember the good old days when we would get upset that President Bush would wiretap US citizens without a warrant or detain US citizens without charges. The Peace Prize winner has just taken that to a whole new level by killing without charges. Whoa this one is tough to get my head around.

Constitutional law expert Glenn Greenwald has great analysis on this here.

16 May 2011

Bring the Troops Home Now Please!

Filed under: — Al @ 11:20 am

On May 1st, 2011, we learned that an operation in Pakistan killed Osama bin Laden. After 10 years of war and the death of Osama bin Laden, it’s time to bring the troops home from Afghanistan. With al-Qaeda driven from the country and Bin Laden now dead, the [SLIVER OF] rationale for war has evaporated. It’s time to stop now. The swift withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan must begin immediately. If you haven’t already, sign the petition and we’ll deliver it to the White House this week.

In case you feel alone as I do sometimes, here is an ABC News/Washington Post poll result on Afghanistan. Notice this is 2 months before the recent Bin Laden news…

“Do you think the United States should or should not withdraw a substantial number of U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan this summer?” 3/10-13/2011
Should not

“Do you think the United States will or will not withdraw a substantial number of U.S. combat forces from Afghanistan this
summer?” 3/10-13/2011
Will not

04 Mar 2011

Deification of Leaders Only in Totalitarian States?

Filed under: — Al @ 3:28 pm

I thought you might like this discussion of Reagan after all the propaganda we get about him on a regular basis, including from Democrats….

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Chomsky, I want to ask you about former President Ronald Reagan. A very big deal is made of him now on the hundredth anniversary of his birth. Last year President Obama signed legislation establishing a commission to mark the centennial.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: President Reagan helped, as much as any president, to restore a sense of optimism in our country, a spirit that transcended politics, that transcended even the most heated arguments of the day.

AMY GOODMAN: Noam Chomsky, your response?

NOAM CHOMSKY: This deification of Reagan is extremely interesting and a very—it’s scandalous, but it tells a lot about the country. I mean, when Reagan left office, he was the most unpopular living president, apart from Nixon, even below Carter. If you look at his years in office, he was not particularly popular. He was more or less average. He severely harmed the American economy. When he came into office, the United States was the world’s leading creditor. By the time he left, it was the world’s leading debtor. He was fiscally totally irresponsible—wild spending, no fiscal responsibility. Government actually grew during the Reagan years.

He was also a passionate opponent of the free market. I mean, the way he’s being presented is astonishing. He was the most protectionist president in post-war American history. He essentially virtually doubled protective barriers to try to preserve incompetent U.S. management, which was being driven out by superior Japanese production.

During his years, we had the first major fiscal crises. During the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, the New Deal regulations were still in effect, and that prevented financial crises. The financialization of the economy began to take off in the ’70s, but with the deregulation, of course you start getting crises. Reagan left office with the biggest financial crisis since the Depression: the home savings and loan.

I won’t even talk about his international behavior. I mean, it was just abominable. I mean, if we gained our optimism by killing hundreds of thousands of people in Central America and destroying any hope for democracy and freedom and supporting South Africa while it killed about a million-and-a-half people in neighboring countries, and on and on, if that’s the way we get back our optimism, we’re in bad trouble.

Well, what happened after Reagan left office is that there was the beginnings of an effort to carry out a kind of—this Reagan legacy, you know, to try to create from this really quite miserable creature some kind of deity. And amazingly, it succeeded. I mean, Kim Il-sung would have been impressed. The events that took place when Reagan died, you know, the Reagan legacy, this Obama business, you don’t get that in free societies. It would be ridiculed. What you get it is in totalitarian states. And I’m waiting to see what comes next. This morning, North Korea announced that on the birthday of the current god, a halo appeared over his birthplace. That will probably happen tomorrow over Reagan’s birthplace. But when we go in—I mean, this is connected with what we were talking about before. If you want to control a population, keep them passive, keep beating them over the head and let them look somewhere else, one way to do it is to give them a god to worship.

Another thought on American democracy I heard from Richard Wolff: if there isn’t democracy in your workplace, and Americans spend most of their time there, how much democracy is in America?

31 Jan 2011

Spoof of U.S. Statements on Peoples Movement in Egypt

Filed under: — Administrator @ 2:31 pm

It’s funny because it’s true.

-Thanks G for the link!

27 Jan 2011

The Weimar Republic

Filed under: — Al @ 1:41 pm

It is the name given to the parliamentary republic of Germany from the years 1918-1933. Noam Chomsky gave some interviews in 2010 to The Progressive Magazine and Chris Hedges about the risk of U.S. fascism and mentioned “the Weimar Republic was the peak of Western civilization and was regarded as a model of democracy.” He went on to explain how quickly it failed and turned into Nazi Germany, drawing parallels to current situations in the U.S. One such parallel is Germans got sick of government wrangling and their service to the powerful. A fringe movement like the Nazi’s, who had 2% of the vote in 1928, took power by 1933. And one reason they got more support is because Germans figured they couldn’t be much worse than the leaders they had so far.

I personally don’t know much about the Weimar Republic, but it sounds like an important part of world history and the history of democracy, so the more people know about it the better. Chomsky’s explanation and this youtube video seem like a decent place to start.

Chomsky’s Weimar Republic Explanation with the Progressive Magazine

Chomsky’s Weimar Republic Explanation with Chris Hedges and Truthdig

14 Jan 2011

A People’s History of American Empire

Filed under: — Al @ 4:05 pm

Howard Zinn was a great person. I only wish he was interviewed on TV just a few times a year so this informed, knowledgeable, experienced voice of reason could have reached more people. And for those partisans out there, Democrat or Republican, think about Zinn’s assertion that “the American Empire has always been a bipartisan project.” Check out this video, it’s enlightening.

19 Dec 2010

Some Things You Might Have Missed

Filed under: — Al @ 8:45 pm

#1 Peter Orszag, Obama’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget, will join Citibank in a senior position. Where do you think Tim Geithner and the rest of the “economics” team is headed after they leave their current positions? Note that Orszag isn’t starting at the bottom even though his career has yet to involve any commercial experience, according to his wikipedia page. He’s going straight from government to a senior position at a major, bailed out bank.

#2 Richard Holbrooke died and his obituaries by major news media was fawning. Prominent people were lining up to praise him. I personally watched Andrea Mitchell and Rachel Maddow gush. One thing I learned while reading some articles about him is Holbrooke was very careful to make friends with major media people throughout his career. I don’t think it’s okay to speak ill of the dead, but I would just like to put some perspective here because it may not be getting through. Holbrooke was very interested in using war as a means to an end. He was very much behind the Clinton-Bosnia bombings, the Clinton-Iraq Sanctions that killed something like 500,000 children, he was prominently in favor of the W. Bush-Iraq invasion. The list is quite long, he also may have helped aid the genocide in East Timor. When Obama appointed him, it was a clear sign his foreign policy was going to be bad for innocent civilians everywhere. It’s one thing to be sad about someone’s death and say so on TV, it’s a whole other to speak about his record as though he did the opposite of the reality. And I think it’s important to say so.

08 Dec 2010

So Why Is Wikileaks Good Again?…A Reminder

Filed under: — Al @ 3:20 pm

The powers that be have cut their funding, removed them from DNS (you can only access their site via an IP address now), publicly called for one of their founder’s murder, yet they haven’t even been charged with a crime. And if they did charge them with a crime, then now being a journalist is a crime and the NY Times, etc. would need to be charged since they published the documents too. And since most news is misinforming the public by saying that wikileaks dumped 250K cables on the internet, its worth noting that only 960 of the 251,297 diplomatic cables have been released, all 960 redacted to hide innocent names. Only 250,337 cables to go!

30 Nov 2010

NY Times Admits Running Story By Govt Before Publishing

Filed under: — Al @ 11:56 am

This is outright proof the US news media is mainly interested in protecting power and the powerful. It is somewhat shocking to see Executive Editor Bill Keller openly admit to running their wikileaks stories past the US government to see if THEY think something is too damaging before publishing them. Truly startling, see the interview below. I really like Carne Ross’ immediate reaction to Keller’s confession. Glenn Greenwald has a great article about the coverage of yesterday’s wikileaks story.

11 Oct 2010

Banksy Intro to “The Simpsons”

Filed under: — Al @ 9:02 pm

Banksy is a graffiti artist from the UK. Check out some of his work here. I don’t know how long Fox will let this intro last on youtube, so check it out while you can. I’m amazed this was allowed to air in the first place. Props to “The Simpsons” for still doing edgy stuff after 22 seasons.

04 Aug 2010

Pentagon Denies Embed Request to Reporter Behind McChrystal Story

Filed under: — Al @ 2:47 pm

From DemocracyNow!

The Pentagon has rejected an embed request from the reporter whose recent article in Rolling Stone magazine led to the firing of General Stanley McChrystal. The reporter, Michael Hastings, quoted McChrystal and his aides making disparaging remarks about top administration officials. The Pentagon says it’s denied Hastings’ request to embed with US troops in Afghanistan because it can’t trust him to abide by military reporting rules.

Retaliation can come in many ways, and here is a very public and blatant one. If you haven’t read that article, make sure to. It’s still very relevant with that general gone because it lays out how that war is going and probably will go for a long time. You can read it here. It’s very interesting how “Rolling Stone” is doing the best journalism, while rags like “Newsweek” are going bankrupt and being bought by rich-Conrgressional-husbands for $1.

US military retialiates against Michael Hastings

16 Jun 2010

Obama Continuing Bush’s Worst Foreign Policies

Filed under: — Al @ 7:01 pm

Many of you probably know these things already, but now “The Daily Show” has summed up some of the worst policies Obama and his Secretary of State Clinton have retained. This includes kidnapping and keeping people in jail without charging them with a crime indefinitely. Some of this has been posted on before, most recently here and also days after Obama won the Presidency here. Anyone who has read Howard Zinn’s great book “A Peoples History of the US” will know that throughout American history, Democrats and Republicans have almost always had bipartisan agreement on foreign policy. For recent examples of bipartisan foreign policy, check out the chapter “Carter-Reagan-Bush: The Bipartisan Consensus.” But the examples go all the way back to America’s beginning, including both Roosevelts, Woodrow Wilson, Kennedy, etc. It seems scary foreigners can unite Washington, just like in Orwell’s “1984.”

Democracy Now!
July 19, 2024

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