Sep 112014
 

11-911

Twelve years ago this morning, the first airliner hit the tower, as I was about to leave for work.  When I arrived, I learned about the second hit.  My duties that day were to contact top executives of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in New York on behalf of our client, a major developer of computer operating systems, to arrange site visits and one-on-one executive interviews for our client’s research team.  What timing!  I felt uncomfortable calling, but the account exec’s assistant, an airhead and a Republican, ordered me to go to work.  Many of my executive contacts were in the Twin Towers.  I got on the telephone.  Nobody was answering, and many of the lines were out of order.  I did get through and spoke to a man in one of the towers above the fire, who knew he would not survive.  He said he couldn’t dial out and gave me his home number.  He asked me to call his wife and tell her he loved her.  I did.  She was pretty hysterical.  Who could blame her. That shook me up so much that I went to the account executive’s office, and told him I was done calling New York for the day.  He asked me what idiot had told me to call into New York under these circumstances.  Because of that experience, I cannot think of 9/11 without my heart going out to the people who lost loved ones that tragic day, and I consider it imperative to do whatever we can, within reason, to prevent a reoccurrence.  One failing, in that regard, is that we often ask who and how, but all too seldom, ask why.  So as we remember the events of 9/11/2001, perhaps it may help if we consider the other 9/11, 9/11/1973.

Twenty eight years earlier, the roles were reversed.  Instead of being attacked, the US had arranged and was assisting an attack to overthrow the democratically elected government of Chile, and the installation of one of the most infamous dictators of the twentieth century, Augusto Pinochet.  An article by Peter Kornblug from August 2003 describes and explains those events.

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On September 14, 1970, a deputy to then-National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger wrote him a memo, classified SECRET/SENSITIVE, arguing against covert operations to block the duly elected Chilean socialist Salvador Allende from assuming the presidency. "What we propose is patently a violation of our own principles and policy tenets," noted Viron Vaky. "If these principles have any meaning, we normally depart from them only to meet the gravest threat to us., e.g. to our survival. Is Allende a mortal threat to the U.S.?" Vaky asked. "It is hard to argue this."

Kissinger ignored this advice. The next day he participated in a now-famous meeting where President Nixon instructed CIA Director Richard Helms to "save Chile" by secretly fomenting a coup to prevent Allende’s inauguration. When those covert operations failed, Kissinger goaded Nixon into instructing the entire national security bureaucracy "on opposing Allende" and destabilizing his government. "Election of Allende as president of Chile poses one of [the] most serious challenges ever faced in this hemisphere," says a newly declassified briefing paper Kissinger gave to Nixon two days after Allende’s inauguration. "Your decision as to what to do may be most historic and difficult foreign affairs decision you will have to make this year…. If all concerned do not understand that you want Allende opposed as strongly as we can, result will be steady draft toward modus vivendi approach."

11kissinger_pinochetHad Washington adopted a "modus vivendi approach," it is possible that Chileans, indeed citizens around the world, would not be solemnly commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the coup that brought Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power. In the United States, the meaning of this anniversary is, understandably, overshadowed by the shock and tragedy of our own 9/11. But Chile reminds us that the topics of debate on US foreign policy today–pre-emptive strikes, regime change, the arrogance of unilateral intervention, unchecked covert action and secrecy and dishonesty in government–are not new. From the thousands of formerly classified US documents released over the past several years, the picture that emerges strikes some haunting parallels with the news of the day.

Chile, it must be recalled, constitutes a classic example of a pre-emptive strike–a set of operations launched well before Salvador Allende set foot in office. Nixon ordered the CIA on September 15, 1970, to "make the economy scream" and to foment a military move to block Allende from being inaugurated six weeks later, in November; the Chilean leader had yet to formulate or authorize a single policy detrimental to US interests. "What happens over [the] next 6-10 months will have ramifications far beyond US-Ch[ilean] relations," Kissinger predicted in a dire warning to Nixon only forty-eight hours after Allende actually took office. "Will have effect on what happens in rest of LA and developing world; our future position in hemisphere; on larger world picture…even effect our own conception of what our role in the world is."

As in the distorted threat assessment on Iraq, this was sheer speculation–unsupported, indeed contradicted, by US intelligence. In August 1970 CIA, State and Defense Department analysts had determined that "the US has no vital national interests within Chile," and that the world "military balance of power would not be significantly altered" if Allende came to power… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Nation>

For many years, the United States has treated the rest of the world, particularly third world nations, as the private reserve of an American economic empire, repeatedly using force, usually covertly, any time a nation had the audacity to suggest that their resources should benefit their own people, not US corporations.  Neither party is blameless, but the majority and most heinous of such actions occurred  during Republican administrations.  In the twentieth century, the United States overthrew more democratically elected governments and installed more dictators than any other nation ever has.  No nation can stand toe-to-toe against the US on the battlefield, so guerilla tactics are the only option available to nations who would oppose us.

We should also remember that there would be no such thing as Al Qaeda, had not Republicans under Reagan financed it’s formation to perform terrorist attacks against the USSR.

I do not hate this country.  I love the USA enough to insist that we actually practice the principles we claim to profess.  These are the lessons we need to learn to prevent future terrorists attacks against the US. If we practice oppression, we guarantee resistance.  If we practice partnership, we will get cooperation.  We need to stop trying to control other countries by force,  To forestall terrorism, we must stop participating in and supporting terrorism ourselves.  We will be seen as hypocrites if we oppose ethnic cleansing by ISIL, but support ethnic cleansing by Zionists.

For the last lesson, let’s return to the story with which I began.  Shortly after the account executive agreed that I was done for the day, the company shut down for the rest of the day too.  Several of us gathered around the TV in the lunch room.  Knowing that I am politically involved, coworkers asked me what I thought was going to happen.  I told them that I thought Bush would use the attack as an excuse to do two things: to invade Iraq and to curtail civil liberates guaranteed under our Constitution.  The last lesson is this.  If we adopt the tactics of evil to oppose evil, we become no different than the evil we oppose.

Even if we do all that, we must still be vigilant.  Sadly there are forces in pseudo-Islam that pursue hatred against America, just as there are forces in pseudo-Christianity that pursue hatred against Muslims, both for their own respective right-wing political agendas.  Both are equally dangerous.

With a few alterations, this is a reworking of my 2011 editorial.

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Jun 022014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I’m still 3/4 bleary-eyed after last night, but I have too much work to do to take the day off.  Tomorrow I’m trying out a neighborhood barber to see if ugly can be fixed.  It’s about 1/4 mile away, so it may interfere with articles for Tuesday.  Day 42.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:35 (average 4:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: It is pretty good odds that a mass extinction is going on right now as you read this. This ticking time bomb proves that we are like insects, which live just a few days and will never experience changes in a season much less years. You and I will never know from experience the history of this planet. Much of that history is as abstract to us as the dimensions of the universe. Our planet is a complex, dynamic system that we probably will never fully comprehend. The Earth system, like the human body, comprises diverse components that interact in complex ways. The Earth’s atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere is a single connected system.

Extinction is a dire word for an extreme event. There has been five mass extinctions in our planets history due to either asteroid impacts, climate change caused by volcanism and the shifting of tectonic plates. The sixth mass extinction is being fueled by you and me. Mass extinctions are relatively short periods of history during which a significant quantity of species die off beyond the standard background extinction (normal process of a species dying out and is usually a natural occurrence).

If this happens, which Republicans seem bound to guarantee, I hope that intelligent life evolves. Earth needs some, for a change!

From Alternet: NRA’s Chris Cox: Why would we listen to doctors when it comes to the effects of firearms?

The NRA’s chief lobbyist penned some twaddle in the Daily Caller [propaganda delinked] just a few days before the Santa Barbara killings. He was disputing the validity of the pro-gun control group Doctors for America, who have had the nerve to endorse a ban on certain types of semi-automatic firearms and buyback of others. What do they know about firearms, he asked?

Right, what the hell would doctors who treat people with gunshot wounds know about guns and their effects?

The piece: “We Love Our Moms and Trust Our Doctors, But We Don’t Want Gun Control,” was basically a paranoid screed directed at two of the more vocal groups trying to fight the epidemic of gun violence in this country: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, and, what Cox calls “the dubiously named Doctors for America.” Yeah, wow, that does sound dubious. People with medical training. These two groups, writes Cox, are just rebranding gimmicks for what he calls the “civilian disarmament advocates.”

Nobody gets to disarm civilians, Cox rants, while trying to sound like a reasonable man. Not moms, not doctors, nobody. Only more heavily armed civilians can do that.

We love you Mom, Cox assures. Hope you don’t get shot. If you do, the solution will be obvious. Not a doctor. More guns.

This is just one of eight outrageous Republican statements from last week alone. Click through for the other seven Republican idiots.

From Crooks and Liars: The RNC’s Reince Priebus wasn’t the only one on Fox News Sunday throwing every ounce of poop against the wall to attack former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton over their fake Benghazi "scandal." Faux "news" regular Liz Cheney took right up where Priebus left off with the name calling, and surprise, surprise, she now has a problem with politicians and officials lying to the American people over matters of national security.

Someone needs to tell her to take that up with her daddy Dick. Chris Wallace sure as hell wasn’t going to do it.

 

The Lizard of Lies sure takes after her daddy, doesn’t she?

Cartoon:

0602Cartoon

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Oct 122013
 

The Bible teaches that sowing the wind is not free.  There is a cost.  Republicans have tried to destroy Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid since their inception, because they hate the notion of anything other than death as the safety net for who cannot pay.  They have failed because the American people support these valuable programs so much that Republicans have to pretend to be supporting them at the same time they are trying to destroy them.  Faced with another addition to America’s safety net, Republicans sowed the wind.  With lie after lie, they whipped up such fear of ObamaCare abound their rabid base they they felt sire they could stop it, while pretending to negotiate.  But they failed.  So they tried to prevent it’s implementation, right up to shutting down the government.  Now they have failed, again, but the fear they generated has taken on a life of its own.  Now they are beginning to reap the whirlwind.

12GOPsupport

As the government shutdown enters its eleventh day and the nation races towards a possible default, a growing number of Republican lawmakers, leaders, and voters are publicly blaming Congressional Republicans for the budget impasse. Though they fault President Obama for failing to negotiate with Congress, as the public mood sours, some within the GOP are hurriedly distancing themselves from the mess in Washington.

“It’s time for someone to act like a grown-up in this process,” former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu (R) told the Associated Press. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) agreed, remarking on Monday that “This is not how we should operate. It shouldn’t be about people fighting and yelling.’ “The bottom line is we need that money in our economy to save rural hospitals and jobs in the rural areas,” Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) told the Arizona Daily Star on Thursday, criticizing the GOP’e effort to defund the Affordable Care Act.

The criticism comes as an Associated Press-GfK poll released Wednesday showed that “three-quarters of Republicans nationally said their party in Congress deserves a moderate degree or most of the blame for the shutdown” and a NBC/Wall Street Journal survey reported that just 24 percent of Americans now have a favorable view of Republicans — the lowest figure in the poll’s history. Seventy percent of Americans say Republicans are putting politics ahead of the national interest and have an increasingly dim view of Tea Party backed Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Mike Lee (R-UT), who orchestrated the current impasse.

In yet another sign of trouble for the GOP, business interests are also showing signs of discontent, signaling a possible rift with Republicans ahead of the 2014 mid-term elections

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Rachel Maddow and Ezra Klein discuss how the Republican Party is crashing and burning in the eyes of the American People.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This looks great to me. ObamaCare is more popular, and if Obama and the Democrats stand firm, we will enjoy the sweet, musty fragrance of Republican cave moss.

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Sep 302013
 

If the Republican leadership follows their current path, the US government will shut down on Monday night at Midnight EDT.  Like spoiled brats, it they can’t have their way, despite heavy opposition from the American people, they will resort to terrorism and harm the people we pay them to represent.  They are saying that Obama and the Democrats are at fault, but that’s a lie.  Neither Democrats nor Obama are at fault for the poison pill they put in their continuing resolution (CR).

GOPTerrorDirectors generally are distinguished individuals who set the tone for the organization, providing guidance, vision and leadership. Fortunately, federal employees don’t follow the leadership example set by their board,  this ”Congress of chronic chaos,” as Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) described the legislative body late Saturday night.

If they did, they’d be fired for dereliction of duty.

Shortly after midnight Sunday, the majority House Republicans voted for legislation that could lead to a shutdown of large portions of the government. Under the guise of compromise, they approved a temporary funding bill, but included a poison pill –a one-year delay in  implementation of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature achievement. The “compromise” was not defunding it, as they had previously voted to do.

“Republicans in the Congress failed the American people,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), “all because of their obsession” with the health care law and in “their blind pursuit of ideology.”… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Kudos to the two Republicans with the good sense to follow the people’s will. They are Christopher Gibson (R-NY) and Richard Hannah (R-NY). Conversely, two DINO traitors betrayed their constituents and goose-stepped behind the Republicans, demonstrating that there is such a thing as a waste of skin. They are James Matheson (SCUM-UT) and Mike McIntyre (TURD-NC). If either of these is yours, let them hear your ire.

When the Senate reconvenes in the morning, they will reject the House offer to delay ObamaCare for a year.  Then  it will be up to the House Republican Leadership.  If they drop the Hastert Rule (nothing comes to the floor unless the majority of Republicans agree), the majority of Representatives (all the Democrats, joined by a few Republicans) will pass it.  If not, government will shut down, because the Republican Party refuses to allow a majority vote in the House.  This must be made clear to the American people, because Republicans are working overtime to project their own responsibility for this onto others.

In my opinion, Republicans will shut down the government.  However, if the American people realize Republicans are to blame, the Republicans will cave-in.  Hopefully that will happen in a matter of days, as the people know Republicans have done this before.

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Aug 192013
 

There’s a plot afoot.  It’s really not even a plot.  It’s a full blown CONSPIRACY.  That Democrat Party is up to all manner of evil!  They want to take away your freedom!  They actually have the the bold-faced audacity to take away your right to pay or die, using the RepubliCare Death Benefit.  They want to institute single payer!  Oh the horror! ;-)

FoxPropHere’s another segment from Fox’s "business block" or as they like to call it, "The Cost of Freedom" where every Saturday, they continue to prove that they hate the working class, as our friends over at Media Matters discussed this weekend, they don’t know anything about the economy or what’s kept Americans out of poverty, and as they did in this segment from Cavuto’s show, they’d also like to dupe their viewers into believing that a single-payer health care system would be very bad for them.

Following Harry Reid’s statement this week that "Obamacare" or The Affordable Care Act, would eventually lead to the United States moving to a single-payer system and that it was a step in the right direction, the yappers over at Fox are yelling, conspiracy theory! Hah! We knew it all along that this was just a stealth plan to impose single-payer health care on the country! The horror!…

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

Here’s the video:

Update: click through to C&L for the video.  It seems that their new embed coding had a bug.

It’s no wonder that the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda is reacting so badly to the mere mention of single payer health care. Look how much they hate the OTHER single payer plan: Medicare. BTW, that single payer plan has room for private insurance. It’s called Medicare Advantage. Their claim that single payer provides no real choice is a lie.  This is really just a means to fear monger over ObamaCare.

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Aug 112013
 

As I write for tomorrow, day 58, it’s 82° at my desk.  Instead of getting a thunderstorm, the sun just hit the breezeway, so my continued comfort depends on whether it stays out long enough to superheat the air trapped there.  Yesterday a church group visited the building, including the Republican Mayor of a Portland suburb.  He is a nice guy, and unlike most Republicans, he will listen.  In discussing the applicability of the Old Testament to today.  I think I frustrated him, as he told me it would be wrong for me to stone my noisy next door neighbor to death for mixing meat and dairy.  He also said that, even if I move to his town, he will not allow me to own a Canadian, although the OT authorizes it. On the down side, I fell into the donut hole yesterday.  Major ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:57 (average 5:06).  To do it, click here.

Short Takes:

From TPM: These days it seems no gaffe will stay hidden for long.

The recording of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) campaign manager that surfaced Thursday — you know, the “holding my nose” one — is just one among a collection of taped gaffes that have taken off in recent years.

From George Allen’s “macaca” incident to Mitt Romney’s infamous 47 percent comment, here’s a recap of some taped gaffes that the politicians themselves probably never thought would go public…

Click through for four wonderful videos of Republicans caught with a foot as deeply embedded in their mouths, as their heads are embedded up their asses.

From MSNBC: Move the Olympics to Vancouver!

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Beam those Olympics elsewhere, Mr. Sulu! Everyone, please sign the petition, I did.

From Newstimes: The still-raw emotions created by the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and its aftermath, boiled over here Friday, as gun rights supporters poured into the local Starbucks, to the dismay of many.

The Church Hill Road store, normally open until 9:30 p.m. closed at 4:30 p.m. A sign posted on the front of the store said it did so "out of respect for Newtown and everything our community has been through.

For these hate-filled armed Republicans to pull an "open carry" event in Newtown demonstrates a total lack of respect for the suffering that town has undergone. Kudos to the local Starbucks there for kicking the bastards out!

Cartoon:

11.Cartoon

Wow! Was putting them on camera a mistake or what. For a mind blowing experience, check out the 1924 election map.

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Aug 052013
 

The Republican leadership goose-stepped into the House chamber, shortly before attending to what Republicans do best: vacation.  They expected easy passage on a measure in support of one of their two goals: the transfer of wealth from the poor and middle classes to billionaires.  Much to their chagrin, hardly anyone showed up.

RyanBendOverAmid the morass of Washington’s endless budget fights there was a moment of sweet revelation last week: House Republicans choked outright when they failed to muster support for the draconian dreams of Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin legislator and fabled budget hawk who last year ran for vice president on a program of unforgiving fiscal austerity that his colleagues suddenly found too politically risky.

A $44 billion measure based on the tooth-and-claw Ryan blueprint approved by the same House just three months ago had to be yanked from the floor when not enough Republicans showed up to vote yes. An embarrassed leadership was forced to concede that the size of the proposal’s cuts to transportation, housing and urban development had become intolerable even to the fiscal zealots among the rank and file, who no longer had the stomach to walk the austerity talk.

The embarrassment was deserved. The leadership offered hollow excuses about a tight legislative calendar, but the truth was more accurately explained by Harold Rogers, the Republican appropriations chairman and no slouch as a budget hawk. The frustrated lawmaker underlined the moment by noting: “The House has made its choice: sequestration — and its unrealistic and ill-conceived discretionary cuts — must be brought to an end.”

The retreat hardly settled the larger budget wars, which remain noxious. The Republicans have not abandoned their threats to bring government to a halt, to stage-manage another federal debt crisis, and, of course, to fiscally strangle the law of the land known as Obamacare… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

I disagree with the author’s contention that Harold Rogers (R-NC) explained this correctly. In my opinion, the key factor was timing. Even the "fiscal zealots among the rank and file" feared going home for summer recess and having to explain their support of 1% greed to local residents, even conservative ones, whose lives and livelihoods will be impaired by the damage the cuts would do to transportation, housing and urban development. So instead of voting, they used the Republican method, also known as the cowards’ way out.  They snuck out of town.

Ryan does not care who he hurts, as he goose-steps behind Ayn Rand. He even held a budget hearing on poverty with no input from poor people, as Melissa Harris Perry explains in her open letter to him.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

When it comes to opinions, Paul Ryan, and the Republican Party, measure their value by one metric alone: the net worth of the person who has the opinion. This is true, because Republicans equate financial worth with personal worth.

So don’t think for a minute that caving-in means a change of heart. Republicans are expert at using fear to motivate their sheeple, and they spread that fear using lies. However, they are also motivated by fear.  What they fear is the truth.

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