Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The US Military: Destroying Our Society $1 Trillion At A Time

I must give credit for this post to Jim Quinn and The Burning Platform dot com for providing the color commentary, data and charts of our disgusting military spending... which continues to increase despite the collapse of the U.S. and world economies. While many of us wonder whether this country will ever recover, the military continues to rake in billions. The charts below tell the story... and remember, these are not stimulus's, nor are they one time budget allocations. This is taxpayer money that is supplied in perpetuity, robbing our country of badly needed resources in the name of building ever more expensive and sophisticated killing machines.

Quick, can you name just ONE true enemy that we have in the world?

Please note, I am freely republishing Mr. Quinn's words in "" as I could say it no better. You can also read what I am publishing and more from his original article here.

“You can't say civilizations don't advance... in every war they kill you in a new way.”

Will Rogers


"Any doubt that the Military Industrial Complex is as strong as ever should be removed after examining Obama’s 2010 budget just put forth. It calls for 26% more in spending on Defense than President Bush spent in 2006. The Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, leaving the United States as the only remaining superpower on earth. Since 1990, the United States has depleted the U.S. Treasury of $7 trillion for spending on Defense.

With no military on earth capable of challenging us why would there be a need to spend this much on the military? Over this same time frame the U.S. spent $360 billion on science, space & technology and $52 billion on energy, a mere 6% of the spending we use for building killing machines. Military expenditures benefit humanity in no way. If these trillions had been invested by the private sector or devoted to energy and scientific research, our economy might not be a hollowed out shell dependent on China and oil exporting countries.

Nationalists argue that the Defense industry employs millions and benefits the country. These companies employ brilliant engineers and scientists who spend their days developing things that kill people more efficiently. If they had been employed developing electric cars, solar power, wind power, nuclear power, an efficient electric grid, infrastructure upgrades, or finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, would the United States be better off today?"

"You would think we must be trying to keep up with our
enemies by spending $765 billion per year on the Military. But one look at the following chart reveals that the United States is spending as much as the rest of the world combined. The two countries considered potential rivals, Russia and China, spent $192 billion combined in 2008. This is 27% of U.S. spending. From a foreign perspective, one must wonder why the U.S. is spending such vast quantities on our military. They can only conclude that it is for offensive intentions rather than defensive. The United States soil has not been attacked by a foreign power since December 7, 1941. Prior to that surprise attack, a foreign power hadn’t attacked the U.S. since the War of 1812. With this level of spending (see below), our leaders feel compelled to interfere in the business of sovereign nations."

"As the world spends $1.5 trillion per year on new methods of killing, millions die the old fashioned way.

  • 13 million people per year die from starvation in the world.
  • The FAO says that 854 million people worldwide are undernourished.
  • The World Bank has estimated that there were an estimated 982 million poor people in developing countries who live on $1 a day or less.
  • For the price of one missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years.
  • Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year--six million deaths.
  • 1 child dies every 5 seconds as a result of hunger - 700 every hour - 16 000 each day - 6 million each year - 60% of all child deaths (2002-2008 estimates)

What kind of a civilized society allocates 44% of the taxes taken from its people to war? Only 2.5% of your taxes go to science, energy, and environment. Only 2.2% of your taxes go to education and jobs. With a population of 304 million, the U.S. spends $59 billion ($194 per person) annually on education. Saudi Arabia, with a population of 28 million, spends $33 billion ($1,179 per person) on education. You produce the results that you would expect from your investments. A full 15% of our population doesn’t have a high school diploma (20% of African Americans & 43% of Latinos) and only 27% have a college degree. How do we expect to lead the world in technology and research with these figures?"

“My first wish is to see this plague of mankind, war, banished from the earth.”

George Washington

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fun with Jon Stewart and CNBC

The war between the comedy news world and the comedy financial news world is heating up. Jim Cramer has attacked back and is now in a full on bloody war of words with Jon Stewart. This one he can't possibly win.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Jon Stewart Eviscerates CNBC

In what is clearly the best reporting anyone has seen on our financial catastrophe is (no surprise) Jon Stewart. He exposed CNBC for their inept reporting and outright criminal misrepresentation of our system's financial collapse. From HuffPo:

The most talked-about journalism of this week wasn't produced in the New York Times, CNN, Newsweek or NPR. It was Jon Stewart's epic, eight-minute takedown on Wednesday night's Daily Show of CNBC's clueless, in-the-tank reporting of inflatable bubbles and blowhard CEOs as the U.S. and world economies slowly slid into a meltdown. You can quibble about Stewart's motives in undertaking the piece -- after he was spurned for an interview by CNBC's faux populist ranter Rick Santelli -- but you can't argue with the results.

But that's not all. The Stewart piece also got the kind of eyeballs that most newsrooms would kill for in this digital age -- planted atop many, many major political, media and business Web sites -- and the kind of water-cooler chatter that journalists would crave in any age. In a time when newspapers are flat-out dying if not dealing with bankruptcy or massive job losses, while other types of news orgs aren't faring much better, the journalistic success of a comedy show rant shouldn't be viewed as a stick in the eye -- but a teachable moment. Why be a curmudgeon about kids today getting all their news from a comedy show, when it's not really that hard to join Stewart in his own idol-smashing game?


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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Bruce is gonna lay it out again

After a 6 month hiatus, I am going to REBOOT my blog.

I know there are thousands of you out there that have been missing reading my blog on a daily basis, so this will no doubt come as welcome news.

My focus will be on global geopolitical challenges of the Obama Administration with a focus on information you WON'T SEE ON TELEVISION.

In the meantime, enjoy the new "freak of nature" reported by our friend at Fox Snews.,2933,287938,00.html

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What's Really Happening in Georgia and Why Should We Care?

I haven't posted in a while... I'm preparing to reshape my blog into a series of "chapters" about my thoughts on the how the world really works, how we relate to that world view, and then provide some thoughts on how we can overcome what is clearly a world careening toward catastrophe.

Today, I have to reference a bit of B.L.O.G. history about Caspian Sea oil and the South Asia Basin... the largest field of untapped oil and gas in the world. By understanding the immense geo-strategic importance of Georgia, we can have a glimpse at what is the real motive behind the Russian attack and perhaps peer into what can be a potentially volatile future for the Caucus region.

Mikhail Gorbachev said not too long ago "By declaring the Caucasus, a region that is thousands of miles from the American continent, a sphere of its 'national interest,' the United States made a serious blunder."

I'm not so sure he's correct as there is no country that is militarily even close to our catastrophically mammoth military might. Interesting to note that I have mentioned our strategic interest in this region so many times I can't even count. Our entire foreign and military policy is based on securing the riches of the former Soviet Republics, and then securing pipeline routes to move the oil and gas to U.S. dominated regions... essentially cutting off the Russians from the spoils.

In my post of May 29, "What About Those Stans, and Why Should I Care?", I posted the following pipeline map that clearly points out what informed sources are saying about the Russian invasion. The Russians are exerting their influence in the Caucus region and is acting out of frustration that the U.S. has completely taken control of the region, and thus its natural resources and potential wealth.

Note the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline going right through Georgia. Now check out what Al-Jazeera has to say about its role in this conflict:

"The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline runs through Georgia, allowing the US access to oil and gas supplies not pumped through Russia to the north or Iran to the south.

'Underlying all this is a larger, more significant contest: a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West over the export of Caspian Sea oil and natural gas,' Michael Klare, the author of Resource Wars told the New American Media website.'

The belief in Western Circles is that the close relationship between the U.S. and Georgia is primarily based on this pipeline and other yet to be discovered energy projects between the big 4 oil companies and countries in this region.

No doubt this Russian adventure sent chills throughout all of the former Soviet Republics and while it sent a very clear signal that "Russia is mad as hell and isn't gonna take it anymore", its my belief that the very opposite of its objectives will happen. They will push the oil rich Stans and geo-politically well situated countries further into the U.S. sphere to gain protection and finances to protect them from Russian adventures. (Assuming they trust the U.S., clearly Georgia learned the hard way that we can't be trusted to provide them protection.) A more aggressive stance by the Russians will not help them one bit to exert influence... similarly how U.S. invasions of countries has produced as many enemies and problems for us as it has real strategic advantages.

I believe this will backfire so hard on the Russians that it almost feels as if Georgia provoked the attack in order to demonstrate that the Russians are nothing more than newly emboldened bullies that cannot be trusted. It smacked of Bush-like foreign policy that inevitably backfires and scares no one. I imagine that in some circles in Moscow this helped to signal an end to Russian weakness and impotence on foreign policy but also sent a powerful message to the nations of the world that the Russians are no more sophisticated at handling sensitive regional conflicts that would engender a greater level of trust from their neighbors or a signal of their maturity as a world power and power broker.

Candidly, this will inevitably serve to embolden NATO to move quickly at expanding their reach toward Russia to secure those vital energy corridors that Georgia sits right in the center of. The first and very powerful indication of this is the NATO brokered ceasefire and the presence of leaders from Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia at the rally celebrating the cease fire in Tbilisi. (Picture on the left.)

Some other random thoughts about this event:

-The complete and total absence of U.S. influence once the war started. A stark and chilling reminder of our declining influence diplomatically and another demonstration of the total incompetence of Condoleeza Rice... who is supposed to be an expert in Russian affairs. (Yeah sure.)

-The clear indication that this attack was planned well in advance given the size and scope of the operation and the amount of armor the Russians had lined up along the Georgian border.

-Given the size of the Russian operation, there is NO WAY the U.S. did not know that a Russian operation was in the planning with our fleet of spy satellites watching every single ant, bee and beetle that even moves within a thousand mile range of the Caucus... now viewed as a strategic bastion of the United States

-The rising influence of the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and French influence over world events in general. They seem to be at the center of the action when it comes to the Middle East (particularly Iran), and its stronger relationships with important geopolitical/military powers such as Israel and China.

Watch Putin put a spin on the military action in the video below... and his veiled threats at the United States. The U.S. military has been drooling at the possibility of a heightened threat with the Russians and I can't help but think that behind the scenes we have manipulated events to enable this to happen and will no doubt continue to bait the Russians into a self-destructive set of aggressive policies that we will use to create a more "dangerous world".

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Forget This Election Nonsense, Let's Join With Al Gore

The WE folks have developed a "blogger" version of the Al Gore challenge so folks like myself can get the word out. I not only want to get the word out... I want to scream it in 600 million deaf American ears... HELLO... WE'VE GOT A PROBLEM AND NO ONE BUT AL SEEMS TO BE DOING ANYTHING OF ANY REAL CONSEQUENCE!!!

By far and away, the most critically important issue of our time and even the congress can't pass a single piece of legislation providing tax relief to people installing solar panels. Its so pathetic... you know they care nothing about us or about future generations.

I want nothing more than to see the twilight of oil in the coming decade and the corner gas station to be something we remember fondly like the milkman bring glass bottles of milk and leaving it in a steel container in my garage as a child.

10 years... its not even THAT hard. The hardest part is asking lazy slobbering stupid Americans to change their slovenly, lazy habits and accept the world is no longer theirs to plunder. I'll stop... and let Al speak... he's just as brutal... but he offers a solution. WATCH IT!! I love how they have Buffalo Springfield playing in the background... it gives that 60's revolutionary spirit that we so badly need again.

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Terrific New Ad

Just got this sent to me.... is raising money to air this ad nationally (see below). I hope they raise enough because its wonderful in that it brings a new tone to political advertising with a tongue in cheek message that Americans love. Why? Everything is bad news today... I think the one who can present something realistically optimistic but also asks (nicely) for appropriate sacrifice will win. Candidly... I can't imagine a scenario where old man McCain (who has NEVER SENT AN EMAIL) could possibly win the presidency.

Yes, that's right. He's never sent an email. Oy... could you imagine this clown winning?... we'd be in deep deep trouble.

I saw a funny shirt the other day. It looked like a McCain campaign shirt... had the logo and everything. But it said, McCain, 1908. Funny stuff. Enjoy the ad and then go here and donate.

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

We Need Hunter S. Thompson Back, Badly

I just saw "Gonzo", the documentary of Hunter S. Thompson. It made me depressed.

There was a day in America where a journalist like him could write with a style all his own and was not afraid to print whatever he thought and whatever he felt. This type of "gonzo" journalism is non-existent today, as writers must take everything very seriously, or nothing seriously at all (other than keeping their jobs), and hold dear to their hearts a world view that incorporates the existing model of reality and assumptions, and write solely within the confines of a very tightly defined world view of how and why our world runs the way it does.

Thompson stuck his middle finger up at American civilization and said, screw you... I'm gonna find this American Dream and when I do, I'm going to kick all of your asses with it. What struck me was this lack of fear that he possessed in writing what he saw, or making it all up all along the way for his own amusement. In a powerful way, this was a metaphor for the inanity of American life as well as the American dream itself, and exposes the incomprehensible ignorance of Americans about their own system of beliefs, government and the world around them. He stuck America's nose in it and laughed all along the way.

Today, there is a blight of this kind of writing, reporting and courageousness of conviction. Who would ever be courageous enough in 2003 to get up on the Tim Russert show and say the whole gang in the White House is a bunch of lyers and thieves. He did. No one else dared. And as you watch the interview below... just think about how the prevailing view at that time is so completely different now. Think about how RIGHT HE WAS... and ignorant the rest of our society was to let the criminals take over under the phony, cynical banner of Patriotism. The criminals that run our country were exposed... oh, but only on the misdemeanors. The real crimes have yet to come out. How silly and naive America was to believe that they were ever telling the truth about anything. Isn't there anyone out there that realizes that its ALL a lie? Not just SOME THINGS?

Oh yes, Al Queda brought the buildings down, that's what they say. That's true.. they only lied about the things we can handle.. such as the secret prisons and the torture and the spying on American citizens and the lies about the intelligence and blah blah blah. But oh yes, Al Queda DEFINITELY brought those buildings down. They sure did cause that's what they told us.

When... when, will anyone realize that its all a lie? None of it is true. And when will the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson come back and help to expose this lie ONCE AGAIN to a public that has no conception of its own history and how it continues a repetitive cycle of no purpose wars (other than the obvious... money and American financial hegemony... that would be GREED).

So today, I mourn for us all as we debate the same inane stupidity of wars fought by a race of beasts known as the human race. We haven't evolved an inch since we came out of the cave. Our greedy and feckless politicians seeking only to satisfy their own egos and wallets and worst of all it is so bad, that we are now living in a society in which a private citizen (Al Gore) must get up and challenge us to save our own lives from global warming while not one elected official has done a single thing to save our society from its own destruction.

Hunter, we wish you had stayed around to help us out now. We desperately need you.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Berlin Also Hopes For Sanity in America

A picture says a thousand words. Perhaps, in this case, 200,000 words. If I asked you a year and a half ago if you thought that an American politician who may become president could summon 200,000 screaming Berliners to the Tiergarten for an historic speech... you probably would have thought I was crazy.

Now, try to imagine in your minds eye John McCain standing up there with all those thousands of screaming fans excited about what he has to say and what he stands for. C'mon, just try for a second.

Can't do it... why? Because it would never happen. Having gone to Berlin 2 years ago, I was powerfully struck by how this city, more than any other, represents the cornerstone of modern history. I need not go through all of the events in the past century that has made this so, but Berlin is a city that represented the dividing line of global tension and yet, has once again transformed itself into a world class city that respects art, history, and its place in the world in the most sober and reflective manner... more than any other place I have ever seen.

From the Holocaust Memorial to the Jewish Museum, to the rebuilding of the Reichstag... the city is reborn as a jewel of contemporary thought, art, architecture, progressive thinking and civic pride. The city has taken great pains to permanently enshrine its history, both good and bad, and provide a global symbol for what could be. For this very reason, it is every American politician's dream to give speeches in Berlin for it is in itself, the most powerful symbol of the best and worst of humanity.

This forms the backdrop of the Barak speech. Having watched it, I saw the same gentleman who has captivated millions here, and did so again over there. Yet, some if not most of our MSM, never to waste an opportunity to criticize even at the most inappropriate time, has found fault in his short 25 minute speech. Does the New York Times realize that there is a time and a place for everything when they say in their headline: "Obama, Vague on Issues, Pleases Crowd in Germany"? Or David Brooks in his Op Ed piece:

"But he has grown accustomed to putting on this sort of saccharine show for the rock concert masses, and in Berlin his act jumped the shark. His words drift far from reality, and not only when talking about the Senate Banking Committee. His Berlin Victory Column treacle would have made Niebuhr sick to his stomach.

Obama has benefited from a week of good images. But substantively, optimism without reality isn’t eloquence. It’s just Disney."

Does David Brooks think that a presidential candidate on tour in Germany is obligated to give a hard nose policy speech to 200,000 hopeful Germans that the United States has not transformed into the Nazi Germany of their past? Because from their vantage point, we have become dangerously close. What is this small mindedness? What did they expect to hear from him?

Any idiot knows that he was there to give more of the same type of beautifully spoken rhetorical speeches that has made him famous throughout the world because of one simple and elegant idea... he represents the best of our hopes and dreams, and the rest of the world's. Could the New York Times have simply acknowledged that the purpose of this speech was opium for the masses and nothing more.

This was not the time, nor the place for specific policy speeches and hard nose thinking. The distinct purpose of this speech was to let the Germans have a close up glimpse of the next President of the United States and hold a glimmer of hope that we are not the monsters that they have seen over the past 7 years. He succeeded. David Brooks... you're wrong and you're small minded. Just because you are growing tired of this rhetoric, does not mean that the Germans or anyone else is... particularly when the man is not yet president, and therefore appropriate to be short on specifics and long on values.

I'll let you make up your own mind... the speech:

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Hillarious: Colbert's "Make John McCain Exciting Challenge"

The full name is of the episode is "Make John McCain More Exciting Green Screen Challenge." No doubt inspired from the now infamous "Kermit the Frog green backdrop with no makeup on I look nearly dead speech" the same night that Obama won the nomination in front of tens of thousands of screaming fans. An evening for the history books. Ahhh, the good ole days.

Anyway, Colbert has put the challenge out and the videos coming in are way too hilarious. Enjoy:

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ACLU Files Suit, and Publisheds NY Times AD

The ACLU collected 65,000 names in a few short days and place many of them in a full page ad in the NY Times. Unfortunately, they only made it to M, and my name doesn't show up :(. But the ad is great, so I thought I'd share.

First, and intro from the ACLU email blast I got this morning:

The ACLU filed a landmark lawsuit last week to stop the government from conducting surveillance under a new wiretapping law that gives the Bush administration virtually unchecked power to intercept Americans' international e-mails and telephone calls.

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008, passed by Congress and signed
by President Bush, not only legalizes the secret warrantless surveillance program the president approved in late 2001, it gives the government new spying powers, including the power to conduct dragnet surveillance of Americans' international communications. And, by granting telecoms immunity, it has greatly harmed the chances of ever learning the extent of the administration’s lawless actions.

Our lawsuit was filed on behalf of an impressive array of professionals -- journalists, human rights organizations and lawyers-- whose ability to perform their work will be greatly compromised by this new law.

Our clients include The Nation magazine and two of its contributing journalists, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and more.

Because of the nature of their calls and e-mails, our clients believe that their communications are likely to be monitored under the new law. Even the looming possibility of this surveillance disrupts their ability to talk with sources, locate witnesses, conduct scholarship, and engage in advocacy.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Thursday, and asks the judge to stay the implementation of the new powers, until its constitutionality is determined. It was filed on behalf of Naomi Klein, (whose recent book "Shock Doctrine" is a must read if you want to know anything about how the corporate elite governs us.) Klein stated "if the U.S. government is given unchecked surveillance power to monitor reporters' confidential sources, my ability to do this work will be seriously compromised." (Blog Wired)

The Ad: (click on it to find YOUR name)

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Wouldn't It Be Great To See Rove In Jail

Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films have launched a campaign to pressure Congress to hold Rove in contempt for not honoring the Subpoena by the House Judiciary Committee. He invoked Executive Privilege and now it will be interesting to see if they have the cojones to vote to hold him in contempt and throw him in jail.

By the way, the cellar of the Capital Building has a jail cell and they actually could lock him up there. Wouldn't that be a sight... oh we can only dream. The Democrats have proven their merit... they are weak, cowardly and greedy and won't do anything, further weakening their authority. Its a pity that Congressional Democrats have proven time and again that they are truly PATHETIC and EMBARRASSING to their constituents.

A dizzying array of new organizations are being formed to hold them accountable to the people that elected them.... check out AccountabilityNowPac and Strange Befellows to see this burgeoning movement which will be placing alternative Democrats and Republicans up for election this year and it could get real interesting to make these Democrats pay dearly for pushing forward the Bush agenda. I am rooting that they every single one of the Democrats who voted for FISA be fired by the electorate.

On a lighter note, watch Brave New Films 3 minute feature on Dear Carl Rove, American Patriot and give money or make phone calls. I'm doubtful Congress will act. But I've been wrong (I think) just once before :-).

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I've Got Them Tennessee Blues

A friend and colleague wrote this short short story last night about a famous man from Tennessee. My friend is a Republican (yes, I have a Republican friend... don't ask) and we attempt to torture each other with propaganda from both Reds and Blues to prove each other wrong. Of course, he can never truly win this battle as I believe the Democrats are as corrupt as the Republicans, they just act like they're not.

The Republicans --- they just flip us the bird and flatten another country to seize their black gold and secretly spy on us like Nixon on steroids and Crystal Meth. I digress.

My friend/colleague wrote a wonderful story about a man from Tennessee and eloquently imagines the ghosts that haunt this man. Its probably a very accurate portrayal. So, I thought I'd share. Enjoy.

Tennessee Blues

The warm night air embraces the soft Tennessee breeze as it caresses
the white silk drapes of an unlit bathroom window.
The summer moon glows, illuminating the bathroom to reveal a man in
his late 50s, unrecognizable from the stately speeches, camera flashes
and brilliant smile. He lowers his head and the weight of the world
weighs down upon his shoulders. He thinks again of the day when his
future was before him... before the Florida waves washed away his
chances for political immortality.

The magazines, newspaper articles and editorials tout his name now in
even bigger bolder letters. He can still hear the cheers from the
recent sold out lecture halls and stadiums, shouting, chanting his
name... yet the man who has known so much popularity and public
affection stares somberly in the mirror... secretly... deeply longing
for something else, something more, a relentless, unceasing incessant
desire for another name to be chanted... Mr. President

The man sighs heavily as he closes the bathroom door and walks back to
his bed...
"There is always the environment" he mutters to himself as he closes
his eyes and attempts once again to fall asleep.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Toward a Deeper Understanding Of Our Reality

In an effort to pull myself away from the distractions of day to day politics, I want to refocus my attention of theory and ideas about the challenges we face as a society and provide a range of points of view about the problems we are actually facing.

One of the theories that I espouse is that the agenda of public discourse is fed TO US... that we as bloggers, we as citizens and even we as consumers do not have control over the agenda of what is discussed nor the underlying assumptions of what is true that drives public discourse. For example, you would have to believe that there actually is a "war on terror" to have a discussion about how to "win" this war.

Yet, I firmly believe that the "war on terror" is a movie played out in the cinema of newstainment and used as a propaganda tool to make people afraid and seek help from the government to allay their fears. It works perfectly into the agenda of the bomb, plane and submarine manufacturers. No war, no bombs. War, need bombs. Real Simple Math.

I came across a paper on a site managed by a non-profit online publishing entity called "Axis of Logic". In their mission statement, they say:

Presuppositions and World View

We readily confess our own set of presuppositions: Our world view consists of ideals for world peace; democracy (i.e. self-governance by the people); self-determination of all nations (people); respect for national sovereignty; noninterference in the domestic affairs of any nation by foreign governments; fair and just economic systems; responsibility for the preservation and protection of nature and compassion for ourselves and our fellow human beings.

The Enemy

We identify "Corporate Global Empire" as our common foe and the enemy of the people. We believe that all current, viable political parties in the U.S. are in service to the empire and do not represent the people. We are not to be identified as "Democrats", "Republicans", "Capitalists", "Communists" or "Socialists", "Progressives" or with any label that can be reduced to a religion, organization or any other "ism". We offer no such target for attack by the enemies of the truth.

For those of you who have read what I have to say, you can immediately see areas of agreement here... so I have great interest in what they do and the papers they publish. One paper I came across that I wish to share is from Jason Miller. Jason is associate editor of Cyrano's Journal Online... a Marxist leaning website that talks much about the antiquated "class struggle". While I found Cyrano not to be my style, I nevertheless found Jason's paper posted on Axis of Logic to be compelling, brutally truthful and perhaps a bit harsh... but sincerely passionate and mostly right... if not a bit simplistic.

The paper is entitled "The Toddler King's Insufferable Reign Is Doomed". The thesis is that we are essentially psychologically managed by TELEVISION and have become a selfish, childish and self-righteous bunch that will see its own demise... or as he states "But there are some pretty long odds against enough of us shedding our grotesquely malformed psyches and evolving beyond our state of infantilization before the American Way of Life collapses under the weight of its own excrement or is eradicated by its hordes of victims."

Obviously, this is opinion... but its the facts that he presents that I find compelling and wish to share. Again, they are tainted...and distinctly anti-Israel (which makes me somewhat uncomfortable), but the purpose of my summer postings is to examine a range of points of view and present them in an objective manner and then discuss them on their own merits. I will plagiarize his facts and allow them to speak for themselves:

If you don’t know the stats, you’ve been somnambulating, but here are a few:

1. We are 5% of the population and siphon off 30% of the world’s goodies, while 35,000 people starve to death each day.

2. We, the land of the free, exercise a higher degree of social control than even those “tyrants” in China and Russia. We have the world’s largest prison population, many of whom are non-violent drug offenders. And then there’s our clever way of imposing our agenda in Latin America via the “War on Drugs…..”

3. We lost about 500,000 people in WWII while Russia lost over 20 million yet we arrogantly boast that WE “defeated fascism.” And that’s not to mention the fact that many of our beloved capitalists, including members of the Bush dynasty, supported Hitler until they faced potential criminal prosecution.

4. We have staged coups and incursions the world over (our interventions are far too numerous to document in this dispatch, but visit this site to familiarize yourself with the reach of our malevolent imperialist tentacles.

5. Ironically, we justify our trillion dollar a year military budget by waging wars against nations with phantom weapons of mass destruction–while we are the only nation to have deployed such weapons. Ask Japan about the devastating impact.

6. We pour billions of dollars into the support of those miserable Zionist squatters in Palestine because a very small percentage of our population (which has very deep pockets, a strangle-hold on mass media, and a juggernaut lobbying organization) has many of us brain-washed into believing “poor little Israel” is fighting for its very existence—when the reality is that it has a more formidable military than all of its alleged threats combined and has ruthlessly brutalized the Palestinians like the terrorist state that it is.

7. We slaughtered over two million Vietnamese in an attempt to keep the world safe for capitalism and are poised to consider putting one of the perpetrators in the White House.

8. We have murdered untold millions of Iraqis since the Gulf War via invasion, brutal economic sanctions, fomenting civil war and chaos, illegal occupation, and destruction of infrastructure. And neither of the performers in the theater of the absurd we call a “presidential election” has promised to bring an immediate end to this moral and legal abomination. If we enforced the Nuremberg Laws that WE crafted, all responsible would be hanged, including whoever replaces Bush and perpetuates this genocide.

And that is just a brief and very incomplete summary of the evil that we openly or tacitly support simply by being Americans, even if our role is very banal or pedestrian. As cogs in a murderous machine built on stolen land and primarily with the blood, sweat and tears of slaves and poor immigrants, we all bear a degree of responsibility for the atrocities we commit. Even those who choose to remain and fight the system from within are still buttressing the American Way to some extent.

I left in his commentary on the "facts" to provide color and help you gain more insight into his world view. I don't disagree with a single point he makes... I suppose I don't see evil in everything that's there... I see it as a reality that must change, but not something that can be judged by a higher power that we must pay for in "karma".

That said... his article had a profound effect on me in that I agree with much of what he believes, its the tone and manner that I find a bit dramatic and... perhaps... not helpful. If I go around calling people names, I'll simply turn them away. I prefer to show reality through fact, comment on it from my perspective, and then use my sense of ethics and morality to find solutions rather than screaming that we are infants. We simply ARE the result of a coming together of many forces and perhaps need to wake up to these forces to bring about positive change.

But I appreciate Jason's perspective... because I firmly believe that extremes move the middle... and ultimately its the middle that everyone seeks as we search for balance in our lives and our perspectives on reality. To read Jason's full paper, go

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Because Freedom Can't Wait For The Next President

Thanks to the ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation, we the people of these United States have one last opportunity to stop the government from spying on us without redress. This is a short post today to provide you with information about the suits and links to follow their progress.

The ACLU suit is summarized on and go here for a conversation with Glenn Greenwalk and Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU's National Security Project.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has filed a class action lawsuit against AT&T (Hepting v. AT&T) which may now be voided thanks to Congress, and describe their strategy post FISA signing here. Because I'm feeling patriotic today, I thought I would end this entry by providing the logo of the National Security Agency who has a SERIOUSLY PISSED OFF EAGLE on it. Oh, and that "key" that it's clutching in its talons (its prey of course)... that's the key to your front door and phone and Internet and financial information. Now, say after me... I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the National Security State.... with liberty and justice for all. I forget, am I supposed to say "amen" at the end?

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