New Civilization News: Would You Invest In Green Technology Or Guns?    
 Would You Invest In Green Technology Or Guns?39 comments
picture1 Dec 2007 @ 10:42, by Richard Carlson


I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or her who shall be complete. The earth remains jagged or broken only to him or her who remains jagged or broken.

---Walt Whitman

The trouble is that you think you have time.

---Jack Kornfield

Clambering up Cold Mountain path,
The Cold Mountain trail goes on and on:
The long gorge choked with scree and boulders,
The rushing creek, the dew-soaked grass.
The mossy rocks are slippery, though there's been no rain.
The pine sings, though there's no wind.
Who can leap the world's ties
And sit with me among the clouds?

---Han-Shan

Photo of Naomi Klein by Andrew Stern.

Let's say you just inherited a modest sum of $40,000. Instead of paying off debts, you decide to invest it---or buy something important for your home. You believe there's a climate crisis out there, and here's a chance to do something about it. Whether you want to make money off the situation or contribute in some small way, what would you do? Before you say you'd buy a solar array for your roof or check stock options in a windmill company, perhaps you should consider the gun industry. Which is the "better" investment? When the only water anywhere costs $3.25 a gallon, will some people have to fight over it? Will anyone come to get yours?

I know I'm not alone in thinking about this. Is there still time for human society and individual nations to prepare? Are people already doing it? Should I write on the Internet that I'm a peaceful man and have no guns in my house? Should I confess I have a huge stockpile in the basement? Would anyone protect my family if panic and riot break out over food and water? Would the Carlsons be treated like New Orleans or like Malibu? Is that kind of choice shaping up for our world?

One person who seems to think so is Naomi Klein. Over the last few months I'm seeing this woman's name somewhere nearly every day. Her 3rd book, The Shock Doctrine, came out in September, and is a best-seller. She's been on tour ever since. Almost immediately Amy Goodman scheduled a confrontation on her show, Democracy Now, between Naomi and Alan Greenspan, who also had a new book out. That transcript can be read here~~~

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Apparently she was on Keith Olbermann's Countdown on MSNBC Thursday night, discussing Shock Doctrine as it applies to Iraq. I didn't see the program but according to a comment at Naomi Klein's MySpace Profile, Olbermann called the invasion and occupation "a corporate takeover...with guns."

What the Shock Doctrine describes is a torture technique, taught in detail in CIA handbooks, on how to regress a "detainee" to a childhood state. This technique, she charges, can be used on an entire national population...and has been thus used historically. She gives examples of takeovers in Indonesia and Chile and rapid, radical economic changes that ensued. Where American investors and corporations have profited she calls the process Disaster Capitalism.

The book itself is a shock because one does not have to imagine that some mastermind might plan out a series of assassinations of national leaders but should something like that happen over a short span of time, could not a political party or coalition of economic planners take advantage of national trauma and grief? In the last 45 years, has it happened here, in the United States? Once a person or population is thus reduced psychologically, can it be kept there? Can world resources be dominated thus by figures in this kind of control?

On Thursday Naomi Klein published her regular column in The Nation and The UK Guardian. Her writings are picked up by other news services and also Yahoo News. The column is entitled Guns Beat Greens: The Market Has Spoken. It describes where the big investment money is flowing right now. Ms. Klein was born in Montreal in 1970, and studied at the London School of Economics.

lookout by Naomi Klein
Guns Beat Green: The Market Has Spoken
[from the December 17, 2007 issue of The Nation]

Anyone tired of lousy news from the markets should talk to Douglas Lloyd, director of Venture Business Research, a company that tracks trends in venture capitalism. "I expect investment activity in this sector to remain buoyant," he said recently. His bouncy mood was inspired by the money gushing into private security and defense companies. He added, "I also see this as a more attractive sector, as many do, than clean energy."

Got that? If you are looking for a sure bet in a new growth market, sell solar, buy surveillance; forget wind, buy weapons.

This observation--coming from an executive trusted by such clients as Goldman Sachs and Marsh & McLennan--deserves particular attention in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali at the beginning of December. There, world environment ministers are supposed to come up with the global pact that will replace Kyoto.

The Bush Administration, still roadblocking firm caps on emissions, wants to let the market solve the crisis. "We're on the threshold of dramatic technological breakthroughs," Bush assured the world last January, adding, "We'll leave it to the market to decide the mix of fuels that most effectively and efficiently meet this goal."

The idea that capitalism can save us from climate catastrophe has powerful appeal. It gives politicians an excuse to subsidize corporations rather than regulate them, and it neatly avoids a discussion about how the core market logic of endless growth landed us here in the first place.

The market, however, appears to have other ideas about how to meet the challenges of an increasingly disaster-prone world. According to Lloyd, despite all the government incentives, the really big money is turning away from clean energy technologies and banking instead on gadgets promising to seal wealthy countries and individuals into high-tech fortresses. Key growth areas in venture capitalism are private security firms selling surveillance gear and privatized emergency response. Put simply, in the world of venture capitalism, there has been a race going on between greens on the one hand and guns and garrisons on the other--and the guns are winning.

According to Venture Business Research, in 2006 North American and European companies developing green technology and those focused on "homeland security" and weaponry were neck and neck in the contest for new investment: green tech received $3.5 billion, and so did the guns and garrisons sector. But this year garrisons have suddenly leapt ahead. The greens have received $4.2 billion, while the garrisons have nearly doubled their money, collecting $6 billion in new investment funds. And 2007 isn't over yet.

This trend has nothing to do with real supply and demand, since the demand for clean energy technology could not be higher. With oil reaching $100 a barrel, it is clear that we badly need green alternatives, both as consumers and as a species. The latest report from the Nobel Prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was characterized by Time magazine as "a final warning to humanity," while a new Oxfam report makes it clear that the recent wave of natural disasters is no fluke: over the past two decades, the number of extreme weather events has quadrupled. Conversely, 2007 has seen no major terrorist events in North America or Europe, there are hints of a US troop drawdown in Iraq and, despite the relentless propaganda, there is no imminent threat from Iran.

So why is "homeland security," not green energy, the hot new sector? Perhaps because there are two distinct business models that can respond to our climate and energy crisis. We can develop policies and technologies to get us off this disastrous course. Or we can develop policies and technologies to protect us from those we have enraged through resource wars and displaced through climate change, while simultaneously shielding ourselves from the worst of both war and weather. (The ultimate expression of this second option is Hummer's new TV ads: the gas-guzzler is seen carrying its cargo to safety in various disaster zones, followed by the slogan "HOPE: Hummer Owners Prepared for Emergencies." It's a bit like the Marlboro man doing grief counseling in a cancer ward.) In short, we can choose to fix, or we can choose to fortress. Environmental activists and scientists have been yelling for the fix. The homeland security sector, on the other hand, believes the future lies in fortresses.

Though 9/11 launched this new economy, many of the original counterterrorism technologies are being retrofitted as privatized emergency response during natural disasters--Blackwater pitching itself as the new Red Cross, firefighters working for insurance giants (see my last column, "Rapture Rescue 911"). By far the biggest market is the fortressing of Europe and North America--Halliburton's contract to build detention centers for an unspecified immigration influx, Boeing's "virtual" border fence, biometric ID cards. The primary target for these technologies is not terrorists but immigrants, an increasing number of whom have been displaced by extreme weather events like the recent floods in Tabasco, Mexico, or the cyclone in Bangladesh. As climate change creates more landlessness, the market in fortresses will increase dramatically.

Of course, there is still money to be made from going green; but there is much more green--at least in the short term--to be made from selling escape and protection. As Lloyd explains, "The failure rate of security businesses is much lower than clean-tech ones and, as important, the capital investment required to build a successful security business is also much lower." In other words, solving real problems is hard, but turning a profit from those problems is easy.

Bush wants to leave our climate crisis to the ingenuity of the market. Well, the market has spoken: it will not take us off this disastrous course. In fact, the smart money is betting that we will stay on it.

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At the same time The Guardian reported yesterday the private security firm, Blackwater, is establishing a new 800-acre compound 8 miles from the US/Mexico border...where a lucrative opportunity exists guarding the fence. Blackwater currently trains 40,000 people a year at its main base in North Carolina.

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Young men scale a fence on the US border in Agua Prieta, Mexico. Opponents of Blackwater's expansion fear it wants to move in on the sensitive job of patrolling the border. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty

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Naomi Klein's Wikipedia article is here~~~

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and this is her site~~~

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39 comments

1 Dec 2007 @ 18:23 by bushman : Hmm,
well, if I had to stay in one place Id deffinetly invest in fortress, and buy solar and wind, and just grow the rest. Maybe Id let in trusted friends to help. If I was 17 again I might just become a fighter just for the thrill, but Im too old for that. Maybe Id invest in invisability, lol.  


2 Dec 2007 @ 07:27 by vaxen : The Rueger...
"Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens,) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove, that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy, to be useful, must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation, and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests." -- George Washington (1732-1799) Founding Father, *1st US President, 'Father of the Country' Source: Farewell Address, September 17, 1796, Ref: George Washington: A Collection, W.B. Allen, ed. (521)

*Actually the second but nobody cares about the truth anymore. You've been warned.

=
"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive." -- Noah Webster - (1758-1843) American patriot and scholar, author of the 1806 edition of the dictionary that bears his name, the first dictionary of American English usage. Defined the militia similarly as "the effective part of the people at large." Source: An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, Philadelphia, 1787

Got the Rueger today and it's a beaut! ;)  



2 Dec 2007 @ 17:02 by vaxen : Panopticon
(If you do not know the meaning of the word "Panopticon" simply google it thusly "define:panopticon"). Now hear this:

The Marc Tucker "Dear Hillary" Letter

http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/marc_tucker/marc_tucker_letter.html

Relevance?  



3 Dec 2007 @ 05:19 by vaxen : Serious...
Some very serious crap is about to hit the fans in 2008 and I assuredly hope that you are all prepared for it yet seriously doubt it. The Amero is on its' way and the USA criminal fraternities are about to attack Venezuela militarily. Can we prevent this from happening? Do we want to? How is it linked to Iran and the Oil Bourse? I have about 60 heavy sleeping pills that I keep on hand...just in case. I doubt I'd seriously go that route but of late I'm not so sure.

The world that "they (know who they are?)" have planned for you is not so nice. Look for the economy to crash in 2008. Iran will be nuked. But first Venezuela. Chavez is aware of the CIA operation "PLIERS" going on there and has threatened to close the pipes with a wrench. If he isn't murdered by the CIA paramilitary groups there things will get quite interesting. Guess I could give a few links but what for. Goto my latest blog entry. Here is a fun link with occlusions galore...

Don't look for an election. There won't be one. Even if there were it wouldn't matter. WWIII/some say IV looms closer every day. Full Spectrum Dominance. Number One at any and all cost. The end (Amerika controls the world) justifies the means (Murder, genocide, destruction of anything standing in our way). Democracy? Give me a break! Comes now the Amero...

http://www.chavezcode.com/  



3 Dec 2007 @ 10:06 by jazzolog : Will The Economy Collapse?
By now we know Huge Chavez lost the vote in Venezuela for a constitutional reform. Bloomberg is reporting he accepts the defeat, which probably is the best reaction given Yankee machinations and our ways with elections. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=axFBMW5T9aQA&refer=latin_america Thanks very much for that Blogger link, Vax.

Vaxen's dire prediction for the US economy is given extra weight this morning by Krugman's column. Paul Krugman is a professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton.

The New York Times
December 3, 2007
Op-Ed Columnist
Innovating Our Way to Financial Crisis
By PAUL KRUGMAN

The financial crisis that began late last summer, then took a brief vacation in September and October, is back with a vengeance.

How bad is it? Well, I’ve never seen financial insiders this spooked — not even during the Asian crisis of 1997-98, when economic dominoes seemed to be falling all around the world.

This time, market players seem truly horrified — because they’ve suddenly realized that they don’t understand the complex financial system they created.

Before I get to that, however, let’s talk about what’s happening right now.

Credit — lending between market players — is to the financial markets what motor oil is to car engines. The ability to raise cash on short notice, which is what people mean when they talk about “liquidity,” is an essential lubricant for the markets, and for the economy as a whole.

But liquidity has been drying up. Some credit markets have effectively closed up shop. Interest rates in other markets — like the London market, in which banks lend to each other — have risen even as interest rates on U.S. government debt, which is still considered safe, have plunged.

“What we are witnessing,” says Bill Gross of the bond manager Pimco, “is essentially the breakdown of our modern-day banking system, a complex of leveraged lending so hard to understand that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke required a face-to-face refresher course from hedge fund managers in mid-August.”

The freezing up of the financial markets will, if it goes on much longer, lead to a severe reduction in overall lending, causing business investment to go the way of home construction — and that will mean a recession, possibly a nasty one.

Behind the disappearance of liquidity lies a collapse of trust: market players don’t want to lend to each other, because they’re not sure they’ll be repaid.

In a direct sense, this collapse of trust has been caused by the bursting of the housing bubble. The run-up of home prices made even less sense than the dot-com bubble — I mean, there wasn’t even a glamorous new technology to justify claims that old rules no longer applied — but somehow financial markets accepted crazy home prices as the new normal. And when the bubble burst, a lot of investments that were labeled AAA turned out to be junk.

Thus, “super-senior” claims against subprime mortgages — that is, investments that have first dibs on whatever mortgage payments borrowers make, and were therefore supposed to pay off in full even if a sizable fraction of these borrowers defaulted on their debts — have lost a third of their market value since July.

But what has really undermined trust is the fact that nobody knows where the financial toxic waste is buried. Citigroup wasn’t supposed to have tens of billions of dollars in subprime exposure; it did. Florida’s Local Government Investment Pool, which acts as a bank for the state’s school districts, was supposed to be risk-free; it wasn’t (and now schools don’t have the money to pay teachers).

How did things get so opaque? The answer is “financial innovation” — two words that should, from now on, strike fear into investors’ hearts.

O.K., to be fair, some kinds of financial innovation are good. I don’t want to go back to the days when checking accounts didn’t pay interest and you couldn’t withdraw cash on weekends.

But the innovations of recent years — the alphabet soup of C.D.O.’s and S.I.V.’s, R.M.B.S. and A.B.C.P. — were sold on false pretenses. They were promoted as ways to spread risk, making investment safer. What they did instead — aside from making their creators a lot of money, which they didn’t have to repay when it all went bust — was to spread confusion, luring investors into taking on more risk than they realized.

Why was this allowed to happen? At a deep level, I believe that the problem was ideological: policy makers, committed to the view that the market is always right, simply ignored the warning signs. We know, in particular, that Alan Greenspan brushed aside warnings from Edward Gramlich, who was a member of the Federal Reserve Board, about a potential subprime crisis.

And free-market orthodoxy dies hard. Just a few weeks ago Henry Paulson, the Treasury secretary, admitted to Fortune magazine that financial innovation got ahead of regulation — but added, “I don’t think we’d want it the other way around.” Is that your final answer, Mr. Secretary?

Now, Mr. Paulson’s new proposal to help borrowers renegotiate their mortgage payments and avoid foreclosure sounds in principle like a good idea (although we have yet to hear any details). Realistically, however, it won’t make more than a small dent in the subprime problem.

The bottom line is that policy makers left the financial industry free to innovate — and what it did was to innovate itself, and the rest of us, into a big, nasty mess.

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/opinion/03krugman.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin  



3 Dec 2007 @ 18:57 by vaxen : The mess...
a very shrewdly calculated mess. Don't forget the 'Iranian' oil bourse. The devaluation of the so called 'dollar (Not a real dollar)' and the over 80 trillion dollars worth of debt the gov has racked up for the American 'taxpayer.' It's voluntary dontcha know? Voluntary servitude to the world masters/enslavers.

A very old 'con/shill game.' As Cheney has said 'deficits don't matter.' The Chinese are now feeling the sting. Their operation of garnering over three trillion of Americas 'dollars,' stashed away in some hole somewhere, which they thought would give them bargaining power is worthless.

Iran? Thinks that the Oil Bourse they've created will do them some good...it won't. Their gonna be nuked! Nuked into submission. It is about oil.

We have some very sharp cookies playing the game. America doesn't like to be number two and will do just what it takes, right or wrong, to maintain that 'full spectrum dominance' so the oil can flow smoothly to where we want it to. Controlling the flow of the oil world round. You don't need to own it or possess it to control it. Knowledge, responsibility and...CONTROL!

Chavez has some great ideas which would lead (Bolivarian revolution) to an unprecedented flourishing of all the good things societies are formed to create for their members. We can't allow that to happen!

When two or three 'rich' men own half the world isn't it time to kill them dead in their tracks? The destruction of their petty highnesses is long overdue...why?

Can life as a slave really be so goddamned attractive? Then this life is not worth living at all and suicide should become the norm. Let the rich dig their own graves.

Yes, Mr and Mrs America...YOU are the enemy. It's already too late. So dream on...

So Chavez' constitutional reforms program is sailing at half mast and ostensibly was defeated..."For now..." Stocks are up! Ha! This should lead to the false sense of security, calm before the storm, giving our marines enough time to really shove the bayonet up into the land where the 'Sun don't shine.'

Lots of good things 'for the people' in the Chavez reform budget. He'll be dead next year.  



3 Dec 2007 @ 19:13 by quinty : Chavez

I watched CNN’s coverage (or non-coverage) of the Venezuelan elections last night and became so outraged that I began to holler at the TV. The anchor, an attractive black woman whose name I believe is Whitfiled, put on her most disgusted face when speaking of Chavez and began to complain the “dictator” might cut off Venezuelan oil supplies to the United States. And what would that do to our gas prices? Forgetting that CNN itself reported Chavez only made this threat as a warning against US interference in the elections. Not that he would ever have anything to worry about, oh no.... The US would never interfere with a free and democratic Latin American election or any other. Nor would the CIA ever overthrow a left leaning Latin American leader.

Here’s an excerpt from comments Congressman Jose Serrano, from the Bronx, recently made on the floor of the House. To see all his remarks go to: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/2826

They start out a little abruptly, since there is a great deal there.... Ok, here the Congressman's remarks:

Now, the one that we attack the most, of course, is President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Well, let’s review this for a second. President Chavez has won elections in 1998, in 2000, and in 2006. In other words, he got elected in 1998. He then went out and had his coalition elect delegates to a constitutional convention. Those delegates wrote a new constitution that, and listen to this revolutionary idea, gave power to the poor and to the indigenous people. They changed the constitution to do that, and they put it before the people. The constitution was passed by the people. So I’d say that that is another referendum on Chavez. Then the new constitution said that he had to cut his 6-year term short and run right away. So he ran in 1998; then he had to run again in 2000.

Then in 2006 in between the opposition again with support from outside forces, a lot of them based right in the State of Florida, they held a referendum. He submitted himself to that referendum to be recalled as the President. He wins in 1998. He doesn’t finish his full term. He goes again in 2000. But by 2004 they were ready to kick him out, the opposition. They hold a referendum. And he wins it big. The recall, he wins it big. In 1999, as I said, he won a referendum for a new constitution. And in 2005 his coalition of parties won election for the Parliament, for the Congress.

Now, here’s the question I have: Didn’t we tell Latin American countries to use the democratic process? Isn’t that what we always said was the bottom line? Everything else could be negotiable, we said at times. But democracy was the bottom line. Even when we didn’t practice it, as I said before, we did say this is what you must do. Now I just read you three examples of people who have used the democratic system to reach their positions. So why are we attacking them continuously on the House floor? Once a month we get a resolution here attacking somebody in Latin America instead of getting close.

Now, what we don’t understand is that this whole situation with Latin America’s electing people who are left of center is because the people are tired of the poverty, tired of the pain, and they now have leaders who at least in what they have attempted to do up to now indicates that they want to balance off the wealth of those countries. Balance off.

We don’t celebrate the fact that Hugo Chavez comes from poverty, reaches the presidency, and has been elected three times himself and his government another five times totaling eight elections since 1998. We don’t celebrate the fact that in over close to 500 years, the people of Bolivia, a country mostly made up of indigenous people, what we call Indians, elected for the first time an Indian, Evo Morales. We don’t celebrate that.

I felt so good when I saw this man take the oath of the presidency dressed in the native dress of his people. I thought it was a great day. Our comments right away were, what is he going to do with the gas industry? Well, he did what we expected. He told some of the gas companies this is a very poor country. We have a lot of natural resources here. We are going to start sharing some of those profits with the people. Oh, he’s a communist. We have got to get rid of him. He’s a problem. So now in this resolution we lump him together with the President of Iran.

When you do that, you immediately make enemies of the American people and those people.

But you also make a very serious mistake, and this is perhaps the most important thing that we have to pay attention to. When you reject the electoral victories of these folks; when you don’t celebrate the fact that people from the lower class, economic class, that people of darker skin of indigenous people are being elected; when you as the American Government, the greatest and largest government in the world, don’t celebrate that and, in fact, spend a lot of time trying to bring them down; when you don’t do that, it is natural that you drive them to places where you don’t want them to be.  



3 Dec 2007 @ 19:15 by vaxen : The truth...
Thanks Quinty san. Angry is where they want you...
After the shpiel, below, is an important link. Please go there and read, read, read...

Keep the pressure on. If you are a reporter your job is to question authority and power and not be afraid of the consequences. The truth will prevail. If you are a citizen depending on the media for the truth your job is to question the media when something does not seem right to you.

Remember, the mainstream media is controlled by many sources, greed, the government, and self survival. Always ask; who has something to gain from any particular story or event. Most mainstream news agencies employ writers, editors, reporters, newscasters etc, who report on world events or do ed-ops without having any personal experience in their areas of expertise, most only speak english and have never even visited foreign countries which they claim to be experts on.

We worked as consultants with and were friends of one such political analyst ,who will remain un-named. He was the highest authority on Latin American politics for one of the largest newspapers in the U.S. He did not speak spanish, had only visited a few countries in Latin America a few times in a 12 year period, had never been to some countries, could not name the Presidents of most and did not know who was vice president of any.

He received most of his information from the wire services which was pure political propaganda and simply wrote his articles based on this false information. The american people are basically intelligent and honest but they are brainwashed into following their ellected officials by incompetent and/or corrupt news agents.

My final advice to everyone is: QUESTION EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE ABOUT EVERYTHING. Use the alternative media to get second opinions on MSM stories. If you do this and still make a mistake you can at least know you tried.

Just when you think you know what is going on, remember, you are probably wrong, keep looking for the truth. You will probably end up more confused than ever but at least you are not buying into the MSM lies. It is better to be confused by multiple sources than brainwashed by the MSM.

{http://corruptioncrusaders.blogspot.com/search?q=assumes+the+Venezuela+take+over}  



3 Dec 2007 @ 19:33 by vaxen : And...
from Venezuela Analysis we get...

The most sophisticated media developed by technology, employed to kill human beings and to subjugate or exterminate peoples; the massive sowing of conditioned reflexes of the mind; consumerism and all available resources; these are being used today against the Venezuelans, with the intent of ripping the ideas of Bolivar and Marti to shreds.

The empire has created conditions conducive to violence and internecine conflicts. On Chavez's recent visit last November 21, I seriously discussed with him the risks of assassination as he is constantly out in the open in convertible vehicles. I said this because of my experience as a combatant trained in the use of an automatic weapon and a telescopic sight. Likewise, after the triumph, I became the target of assassination plots directly or indirectly ordered by almost every United States administration since 1959.

The irresponsible government of the empire does not stop for a minute to think that the assassination of Venezuela's leader or a civil war in that country would blow up the globalized world economy, due to its huge reserves of hydrocarbons. Such circumstances are without precedent in the history of mankind.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/2940

The beautiful 'theme song' from the Titanic (The movie w/Leonardo De Caprio) seems to be ceaselessly running through my head as I read all this 'stuff!'

Bolivarian Revolution in America? Oh wait! What do we mean by America? Which one? Dare I contemplate an eventual union between the North and the South? I guess I'd be willing to die for that.  



3 Dec 2007 @ 21:21 by quinty : Well, Vax,
I won't insult your intelligence (though simply by discussing this with you I'm sure you will mine) by reminding you that a "union between the North and the South" has a fat chance. For American nativists are tripping over themselves trying to choose the Republican candidate for president who will make life most miserable for the gays, Muslims, and "illegals."

Whenever the right here begins to talk of preserving and protecting our "culture" I wonder what they can possibly mean? For the guardians of American mass culture are located in only a few corporate offices, and these are most maleable. They will offer the viewing/listening audience whatever they want if there is a profit in it. What's to fear, that image will always be reassuring. The time of a piano player in a New Orleans whore house defining a whole new culture trend is long gone.

This whole Chavez thing has made me most irritable. We (the US) could have been his friend, could have aided him, steered him toward greater democratic institutions. But no. And what if he becomes more authoritarian? Who's to blame? What pressures were brought on this man who only wanted to help the poor? Who, yes, played by the rules? But once again - it's a long Latin American tradition, you know - bucked American corporations and self interest.  



4 Dec 2007 @ 11:01 by jazzolog : Flying The Hoover Flag
When I was a teen, I'd ask Dad for money from time to time. The malt shop beckoned...or maybe for sock hop refreshments. If the answer was no, he'd pull his pockets inside out---revealing the emptiness within---flap them back and forth, and say, "I'm flying the Hoover flag." The saying referred back to the Depression, when my father was a kid, and I guess dumped the blame on President Hoover. Let's see, does "flying the Bush flag" have the same ring to it?

Since posting the Krugman column yesterday, it seems everywhere I turned I saw more forecasts of hard times. One such warning came as an email reply from Bob Sheak, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Sociology at Ohio University. Bob's a tremendous resource as a friend because few people I know read as thoroughly and widely as he does. Here's his comment in response to Krugman~~~

"Disturbing article. The new book by Robert Kuttner delves into the reasons for why the financial institutions are undermining the economy. Kuttner blames much of it on the political influence of the neocons and their wholesale policies of deregulation. His analysis is complex and detailed and not easy for me to grasp.I intend to spend time outlining his book. I have the impression, though, that he and Krugman are in agreement, though Kuttner is more of a social democrat than Krugman. The title of Kuttner's book is The Squandering of America: How the Failure of Our Politics Undermines our Prosperity.
"I think it would be interesting to think about how this book, Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine, Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater, and Naomi Wolf's The End of America reveal different aspects of the movement toward the radical right or even fascism and its seeming desire to dominate and/or destroy. This seems what unbridled capitalism unleashes. Marjorie Cohn's small book, Cowboy Republic, reminds us of how lawless the Bush administration has been. While all of this is happening, the conditions for nuclear proliferation ripen, the earth's ecology continues to go to hell, and everything we value is at grave risk. I am glad that there are splendid analysts who are helping us to understand what's happening. Their work helps, at least, to protect us against the lies of the corporate-dominated government and to give us some idea of what the solutions might entail. At the same time, I am not optimistic about the Democrats. The political system, the media, our education system, and how little informed most citizens appear to be, don't inspire a lot of hope. One thing leads to another.
Bob"

Yesterday's Athens Messenger carried the Associated Press story about the US debt increasing $1.4 billion a day---or a million dollars a minute. If we were called upon to pay it off, you and I would have to come up with $30,000 for every man, woman, child, and infant in your household. Here's the NY Times version~~~

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Nation-in-Debt.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=all

While you're at The Times, you might check out Paul Krugman's blog in there, and his entry from yesterday titled The Big Scam. Fifteen comments so far.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/03/the-big-scam/

Then there was Bryan Zepp's essay on Sunday, which beat Krugman to the punch. Go Zepp! even if we're on a march to the gallows.

http://www.zeppscommentaries.com/Politics/ballast.htm  



4 Dec 2007 @ 21:01 by quinty : Regarding the Hoover flag
Am I imagining it or has there already been an unusual number of books on this administration? Mostly critical? All parts of the jigsaw this administration is and will be when the big books on the Bush years come out. I hope whoever writes them will come up to the challenge. A Mailer or Hunter Thompson would be required. Maybe even a whole Tolstoy!

But why should we feel any confidence in Washington? Bush has given a giddy face to his administration. I don’t think I’m merely imagining it but there is an overall sense of unease throughout the country today. And it’s not merely related to economic matters.

The Bush administration has helped release a rightwing religious fervor which is downright neurotic. And they themselves have boasted they “invent” reality. (Which is, after all, a common corruption of power. The belief that power can define reality.) We may wake up in the morning to a new war in Iran, and Bush has constantly exploited fear here at home. To the point millions of Americans believe the Islamo Fascist hordes are on the way. Confusion has become national policy. The threat of terror has been twisted for political ends. And no one really knows what to believe since our government is both incompetent and corrupt. For the past four or five years it has been the same story: every week, every few days, a new scandal.

Like you, I’m sure, I simply hope we will be able to come out of this in one piece in the next national election.

Very interesting pieces and good comments by your professor friend.

On Klein and “Disaster Capitalism.” Hasn’t she read her Marx? Perhaps I’m only revealing my ignorance but the predatory nature of Capitalism is well known. Wherever there is a vacuum which can be profitably exploited Capitalism will be there. And it does so with brutal power. No one should be surprised Paul Bremer wanted to turn Iraq over to private investors. That he saw Iraq as fertile ground for private economic development. For the overall economic system he and other corporate capitalists wish existed in the United States. EVEN IF IRAQ WASN’T HIS COUNTRY. But, like many an imperialistic predecessor, in Bremer’s eyes, I’m sure, his acts were justified as the expression of a superior culture and world philosophy. What’s more, he had the power.  



4 Dec 2007 @ 21:37 by vaxen : Next election?
Election? You are, of course, joking. And you obviously haven't gotten out of the forest yet. As for the rest of Amerika I can't say how they are feeling but if the past is any indication of the future there will be more of the same.

Read the Revelation everyday for forty years and see how you 'feel.' The 'Islamo-Fascists' aren't "coming" they are already here...waiting. Take a look at the big picture and get your head out of your proverbial Marx (A British plant now buried 'back home!') Ever hear of the Crown? Oh, all that meddling!

Who put Adolph and Stalin in power? You probably think that Putin is the new Stalin, too? Hate to disabuse you of that quaint notion but La Putin learned his 'Democracy' from the "West!" Now he is quipping that the "West" should do the same. But history knows about Democracy even if you don't.

You should invest in Iraq, too, just like everybody else is. Lots of sand there...lots of 'empty space.' Like your head. Check out the new, improved, Hillary...but remember Kosovo! And while eveyone is jacking off on how bad the Bushite NAZIs are...just look the other way, as per usual.

It's easy to write a book, sell it, bad mouth capitalism but...what is capital about capitalism anyway? Ever read the 'Constitution FOR the UNITED STATES of America?' It's old hat. Even Lysander Spooner got that right. I mean...did you sign it? Hardly!

As for creating reality? Hey, we all do it and that precludes 'Agreements' both known and hidden. Live for today. When the tanks come rolling down your street, as they surely will, make hay! Or throw your molotov cocktails their way. But learn how to 'open the hatches' first. Piece of cake.

All the endless banty about politicks is meant to do just one thing...confuse you. And when your wondering around, in a fog, here and there reading all the bios of all the candied dates then you're an easy target for the banks at Christmas. Eat your goose in peace for 'Gods' sake. You've already been had Mr Jinks.

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/69421/  



5 Dec 2007 @ 00:03 by Quinty @72.195.137.102 : Lot's of empty space?

Like my head?

Thank you Vax. As for the rest of your screed, I'll allow it to pass into the ether. Which, I dare say, you probably believe has more substance.

I've had it Jazzo. Please remove me from your list.  



5 Dec 2007 @ 00:03 by vaxen : Refreshing...
"The Lord is my Light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of
my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

"For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of this
tabernacle shall he hide me: he shall set me up upon a rock." Psalm 27:5

Who is your Lord and master this very moment? Your Lord is your predominant,
mental attitude; it is your conviction or belief about yourself, people, and things; this
Lord can be a tyrant. For example, if your mood is now one of resentment, that is your
Lord or tyrant that governs all of your actions and all phases of your life.

If you want to invest some money, buy a new home, or some property, while in this attitude, you will do the wrong thing and say the wrong thing, because your predominant mood is negative.

The law is: "As within, so without." You are fearing your good, and you would react
negatively. Fear is a lack of faith or trust in God, which is a denial of His Omnipotence.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation." The Lord" referred to is the Lord God, or
the law of God or good. To put the law of good into operation, -thereby banishing fear
once and for all, -enthrone in your mind the thoughts of power, courage, and confidence.
These thoughts will generate a corresponding mood or feeling, which will banish the
arch enemy of your success and health.

Fear, this self-made enemy of yours, must be completely destroyed before the Lord
God can shine through you. Your fear is the cloud that hides the sunshine of God. Men
have made personal devils out of fear of the past, the present, and the future.

===
RMA

"In its purest sense, revolution brings change that is permanent,
fundamental, and rapid. The basic premise of the revolution in military
affairs (RMA) is simple: throughout history, warfare usually developed in an
evolutionary fashion, but occasionally ideas and inventions combined to propel
dramatic and decisive change. This not only affected the application of
military force, but often altered the geopolitical balance in favor of those
who mastered the new form of warfare. The stakes of military revolution are
thus immense.

"Full of promise, it seems to offer Americans an answer to many
enduring strategic dilemmas, whether intolerance of casualties, impatience, or
the shrinking military manpower base. In a time of shrinking defense budgets,
emerging technology may allow the United States to maintain or even enhance
its global military power.4 The Gulf War was widely seen as a foretaste of
RMA warfare, offering quick victory with limited casualties. As a result,
most attention has been on the opportunities provided by RMA rather than its
risks, costs, and unintended side effects.

"It is ironic that just as Marxism reached final bankruptcy as a
framework for political and economic organization, one of its basic notions
gained new life. Karl Marx, after all, postulated that revolutions can be
deliberate rather than inadvertent; historical change can be created,
engineered, and harnessed by those who understand it. Without direct
attribution to Marx, this idea led many analysts to assume the current RMA can
be the first deliberate one as senior military leaders and strategic thinkers
consciously shape the future.

"Whether Marxist or not, revolutionaries must always ask a series of key
questions. First: Do the proper preconditions exist for revolutionary change
or can they be created? In contemporary military affairs, the answer to this
is "yes." Emerging technology; economic, political, and social trends; and,
most importantly, new ideas create the right environment for revolution. Then
revolutionaries must ask: How can I begin, sustain, and control the
revolution? In current military affairs, this question is still under debate.
Finally, the most difficult and often most critical questions are: Do we
truly want a revolution? and, Will the long-term benefits outweigh the costs
and risks? Advocates of a revolution in military affairs have not begun to
grapple with these issues.

"The change wrought by some revolutions is deep; others do not reach such
extremes. This also applies to RMAs. The United States now faces a crucial
choice. We can choose to drive the current RMA further and faster than any of
its predecessors. In combined-arms warfare, this may be necessary. But
conflict short of war--whether terrorism, narcotrafficking, peace enforcement,
or insurgency--is different. Even if the RMA does prove applicable to these
problems, there are good reasons for deliberately limiting it. As the United
States faces this dilemma, strategic considerations rather than our
fascination with technology and enthusiasm for change must be paramount ."

THE REVOLUTION IN MILITARY AFFAIRS AND
CONFLICT SHORT OF WAR
Steven Metz
and
James Kievit  



5 Dec 2007 @ 04:48 by vaxen : Oops...
A little 'Shock Doctrine?'

Don't take it out on jazzo! Please. I was just being fastidious (Read fascetious.) Testing the ground...

Didn't mean to infer that your head, in particular, is empty at all! Now please settle down to brass tacks and let's get serious about this matter called 'elections!'

Really, I didn't mean to offend you (You thin skinned bugger!), but that is just my silly way of poking fun. I love your stuff and respect your thought more than you know.

I apologize for hurting you (If in fact that is what I did.). So come on...if you want me to remove the dastardly deed I will or jazzo may since you are giving him an ultimatum...of sorts.

We all know where sorts lead...take Kosovo for instance. NATO is preparing for violence, again, in Kosovo! Like what the Clintonistas did wasn't enough? More bloodshed and violence. Oh yummy! Just in time for Christmas too!

Please distribute freely - printer-friendly pdf version of this report, click here:
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/moonshine3.pdf (contains 38 footnoted sources and references)
Contributions are tax-deductible and always appreciated!

An original Black Box Voting investigative report:
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/70968.html (discussion area)
By Bev Harris

===
"The Market Speaks" ;)

HUMINT-CENTRIC OPERATIONS:

Developing Actionable Intelligence in the Urban Counterinsurgency Environment

http://www.trackpads.com/magazine/publish/article_1866.shtml

Intelligence Analysis

http://www.pluribusinternational.com/intelligenceAnalysis.html

http://www.pluribusinternational.com/images/intelanal.jpg  



5 Dec 2007 @ 15:47 by a-d : Some Would Pay More for Green PCs,
http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-fi-green3dec03,1,2622877.story?track=rss&ctrack=2&cset=true  


5 Dec 2007 @ 21:39 by vaxen : Here ya go...
Gotta 'bracket' such links, A-d ;)...

{http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-fi-green3dec03,1,2622877.story?track=rss&ctrack=2&cset=true}

And then ya gotta tell the clicker upon such links that "Ya gotta be registered to read the friggin article," which I am, but... Sheesh! Mein Goittle in Himell! The noive of some people! Shvitzers!

Now please don't unsub from jazzos' list cause I used a Yiddish word! Got a gas oven? ;)  



6 Dec 2007 @ 07:14 by vaxen : And furthermore...
How could Truman have nominated known Soviet spy Harry Dexter White to be U.S. director of the International Monetary Fund in 1946? How could Truman still be denying Alger Hiss was a Soviet agent in 1956?

Democrats want endless, pontifical investigations into how 9/11 happened, but they can't comprehend why McCarthy wanted an investigation into how an immense network of Soviet spies managed to run rampant through the Democratic administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman.  



6 Dec 2007 @ 10:58 by jazzolog : Vax Clears The Room Again
How and when do you know you've got a personality problem? It may be such a profoundly rewarding mode of perception that, even if most people can't bear talking with you anymore, you'll just keep pouring it on anyway. I've come to enjoy this man's company, but I can't always convince people behind-the-scenes to bear with the insults. Paul Quintanilla is one of my dearest old friends...realtime, not just online. It is an honor to know him and to have known his family. That he has graced these pages with his views has been a highlight lately (since so many personalities have left this site) of this version of jazzoLOG. I am sorry my urgent priority of good hospitality could not prevent his getting thoroughly fed up and leaving.  


6 Dec 2007 @ 19:00 by vaxen : Well...
at least there isn't the possibility of having pie thrown in ones' face. At least not literally. Maybe liturgically? Harumpf, haraw! If he'd leave over such a silly assumption, mainly on his part, then who needs him on the firing line? Best go home to momma. And here is something that may be of ever so slight a benefit when faced with the feral in the caucus:

1) I am totally independent of the good or bad opinions of others.

2) I am beneith no one.

3) I am fearless in the face of any and all challenges.

Comes from the everloving Deepak Chopra. He suggests that you put it on your mirror and actually say it out loud whenever you confront, there in reflection, your worst enemy.

Now we have Kucinices' wife to look forward to? She came from the UFO he saw, actually he was abducted, and the English accent comes to us courtesy of 'Alternative 3.' Ron Paul anyone?

Obstetrics in the White House. The White House, at this point in time, needs a good gynecological exam! As do most 'Senators on the hill,' of either persuasion.

Plan 9 from outer space
November 3, 2007, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia's leading newspaper)
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/plan-9-from-outer-space/2007/11/02/1193619145400.html

PS: Personality, the word, comes from the Latin 'persona.' It means facade, or mask, and is an office of state! You've all got seriously real personality problems. It is easy, thus, to run away and hide neith big mommy governments' skirts and prattle on about the good seanators gorgeous wife. While the Nation destroys itself from within. The cult of 'personality' has endured the ages.

I, on the other hand, am a flesh and blood homo sapiens man living on the land. Great distinction. Thus? No personality becasue I do not hold the office of person nor do I work for the all powerful, they think, State! ;) Luv ya jazzo....

"Fat momma, fat momma, I'm here to save the day! Fat momma, fat momma, I'll steal your food away!" - Fat Momma

How 'bout that Chavez! Actually before the vote count was over, something like three days before it was over, the heads of the 'military' came to Chavez and told him to admit that his roform platform had been defeated. Never say I told you so...our 'Special Operations kiddies can work wonders with any election.


Oh, BTW, at that point it was 40% in favor of and 50% nyet. The rest of the country? The military threatened 'violence' if Mr Chavez didn't step down. Viva Hidalgo!  



6 Dec 2007 @ 20:58 by bushman : Chavez,
vote was a test to show the world that the average people don't want dictators. How can the children be our future if some old koot is running the show? Its not like kids arnt already poisoned by thier own parents blindness to the truth. Indoctrinated that looking good is better than working good, and what will the ignorant nieghbors will think about us. The Chaves vote was all about makeing a point, nothing more nothing less. As people get older thier skin gets thinner, as well thier EIQ goes up because they think they know and hate it being pointed out that they are wrong about something they believe in so emotonaly. Its like scientists who cant proove there was a bigbang, yet they act as if its a fact, and then some young whippersnaper finds more proof that there was something different that happened with a higher amount of proof to back it up, yet the set in thier ways scientists just tell him to shut up. This is why the world is so screewed up. Let the kids do thier thing and let them learn the hard way till they get it right. If people let thier emotions dictate thier decisions then we fail our future.  


7 Dec 2007 @ 09:52 by jazzolog : Reply To Vaxen On Hospitality
Dear Friend,

Through the ages, perhaps back to the cave, there are ways to treat those who come into your tent. I should think the vast compendium of knowledge you advertise your brain to be---and that you hold over your readers in everything you write---would also contain a history of such behaviors, in both the original Aramaic and Old Church Slavonic. jazzoLOG is my tent. It is I who decides who is on my "firing line" and who goes "home to momma." I try to do this by example and negotiation, rather than the grand old NCN tradition of blocking people. When you insult one of my guests, never mind also a personal friend, so badly she or he leaves this Log and maybe this site, you insult me too. You become alone on your firing line. In fact it's not a line at all. It's just a point.

Richard  



7 Dec 2007 @ 22:15 by vaxen : Yes...
the point.

"Behind the disappearance of liquidity lies a collapse of trust: market players don’t want to lend to each other, because they’re not sure they’ll be repaid."

Charging interest (exorbitant), to be paid in real goods, on "money" created out of 'thin' air. The US Treasury, for example, is not the original US Treasury. Who owns it now and when did the Federal Reserve take ownership? Been a long, long, time...

US Treasury is 'World Bank.' Who owns World Bank? Who creates all the wars? Who 'puts' presidents on the power seat (To be controlled by them, of course.)?

And you think that your vote means something? Insults? Calling this Nation a Democracy is an insult. Voting for the poppets is an insult! That there are people who pay taxes, and think they owe them, is an insult!

Being empty headed, in some circles, is to be wise...a very 'zen' kind of wise.

Thinking that dialogue, or its' attempt, can be 'controlled' or even should be is...

Reasonable, I suppose. Finding insult, though, where the intent was other than - is? See ya jazzo...  



7 Dec 2007 @ 23:27 by jazzolog : Empty
My wisest teacher advised me the worst epitaph one ever could have would read~~~

His Intent Was Other  



8 Dec 2007 @ 06:49 by vaxen : Yah...
I suppose that would apply for one - who - is desirous of or who requires an epitaph in order to be remembered. One who even wishes to be remembered is suspect (Of strong delusions requiring gentle 'treatment.') in my book. Emptiness begins the journey and ends the game. I think the worst epitaph one could ever have is to have an epitaph.

Finding insult where the intent was other bespeaks a certain casuistry of conscience. A brief pain where further, or deeper, examination could bring something of wit to light for furtherance of soul and betterment of being.

Oh, have you heard that the Oakridge National Laboratory is under intense cyber attack?

http://www.ornl.gov/

Plan 9:
http://www.uri-geller.com/nine.htm

http://www.uri-geller.com/pics/nine1.gif

*In ethics, casuistry is a term which is concerned with the unfair practice of allowing moral laxity among certain individuals while holding others to more stringent biblical or ecclesiastical norms. ...
www.apologetics.org/glossary.html

*note: To be fair 'casuistry' has other daffynitions, according to context, and could be fitted herein as well. Care to indulge?

"Well, Vax, I won't insult your intelligence (though simply by discussing this with you I'm sure you will mine) by reminding you that a "union between the North and the South" has a fat chance." ~ quinty

Polemical?

"A split hair's difference,
and heaven and earth are set apart!" - Sang ts'an

EFF you my Phrackplastered sangonoid. ;)

The VAR
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/plan-9-from-outer-space/2007/11/02/1193619145400.html  



16 Jan 2008 @ 10:45 by jazzolog : Bush In The Palaces Of Arabia
Maureen Dowd connects this morning with our Arms Salesman In Chief~~~

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y143/TavernWenchBlog/BushKiss.jpg

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The New York Times
January 16, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist
Faith, Freedom and Bling in the Middle East
By MAUREEN DOWD
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

As a Saudi soldier with a gold sword high-stepped in front of him, President Bush walked slowly beside King Abdullah through the shivery gray mist enveloping the kingdom, following the red carpet leading from Air Force One to the airport terminal.

When the two stepped onto the escalator, the president tenderly reached for the king’s hand, in case the older man needed help. He certainly does need help, but not the kind he is prepared to accept.

It took Mr. Bush almost his entire presidency to embrace diplomacy, but now that he’s in the thick of it, or perhaps the thin of it — given his speed-dating approach to statesmanship — he is kissing and holding hands with kings, princes, emirs, sheiks and presidents all over the Arab world and is trying to persuade them that he is not in a monogamous relationship with the Jews.

His message boiled down to: Iran bad, Israel good, Iraq doing better.

Blessed is the peacemaker who comes bearing a $30 billion package of military aid for Israel and a $20 billion package of Humvees and guided bombs for the Arabs.

Like the slick Hollywood guy in “Annie Hall” who has a notion that he wants to turn into a concept and then develop into an idea, W. has resumed his mantra of having a vision that turns into freedom that could develop into global democracy.

W.’s peace train quickly gave way to the warpath, however, with Mr. Bush devoting a good chunk of time to the unfinished war in Iraq and the possibility of a war with Iran.

In meetings with leaders, he privately pooh-poohed the National Intelligence Estimate asserting that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003. On Fox News, he openly broke with intelligence analysts, telling Greta Van Susteren about Iran: “I believe they want a weapon, and I believe that they’re trying to gain the know-how as to how to make a weapon under the guise of a civilian nuclear program.”

Less than a week after the president arrived in the Middle East, three violent eruptions — an Israeli raid killing at least 18 Palestinians, 13 of whom were militants; an American Embassy car bombing in Beirut; and a luxury hotel suicide-bombing in Kabul — underscored how Sisyphean a task he has set for himself.

“This is one of the results of the Bush visit,” said Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader, as he went to a Gaza hospital to see the body of his son, a militant killed in the battle. “He encouraged the Israelis to kill our people.”

Arab TV offered an uncomfortable juxtaposition: Al Arabiya running the wretched saga of Gaza children suffering from a lack of food and medicine during the Israeli blockade, blending into the wretched excess scenes of W. being festooned with rapper-level bling from royal hosts flush with gazillions from gouging us on oil.

W.’s 11th-hour bid to save his legacy from being a shattered Iraq — even as the Iraqi defense minister admitted that American troops would be needed to help with internal security until at least 2012 and border defense until at least 2018 — recalled MTV’s “Cribs.”

At a dinner last night in the king’s tentlike retreat, where the 8-foot flat-screen TV in the middle of the room flashed Arab news, the president and his advisers Elliott Abrams and Josh Bolten went native, lounging in floor-length, fur-lined robes, as if they were Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif.

In Abu Dhabi, Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan gave the president — dubbed “the Wolf of the Desert” by a Kuwaiti poet — a gigantic necklace made of gold, diamonds, rubies and emeralds, so gaudy and cumbersome that even the Secret Service agent carrying it seemed nonplussed. Here in Saudi Arabia, the king draped W. with an emerald-and-ruby necklace that could have come from Ali Baba’s cave.

Time’s Massimo Calabresi described the Kuwaiti emir’s residence where W. dined Friday as “crass class”: “Loud paintings of harems and the ruling Sabah clan hang near Louis XVI enameled clocks and candlesticks in the long hallways.”

In Abu Dhabi, the president made a less-than-rousing speech about democracy while staying in the less-than-democratic Emirates Palace hotel’s basketball-court-size Ruler’s Suite — an honor reserved for royalty and W. and denied to Elton John, who is coming later this month to play the Palace.

The president’s grandiose room included a ballroom, in case Mr. Bush wanted to practice the tribal sword dancing he has been rather sheepishly doing with some of his hosts, something between Zorba and Zorro. The $3 billion, seven-star, 84,114-square-foot pink marble hotel — said to be the most expensive ever built — would make Trump blush. It glistens with 64,000 square feet of 22-carat gold leaf, 1,000 chandeliers, 20,000 roses changed every day, 200 fountains, a dome higher than St. Peter’s, an archway larger than the Arc de Triomphe, a beach with white sand shipped in from Algeria and a private heliport. The rooms, scattered with rose petals, range from $1,598 to $12,251.

Puddle jumping through Arabia, the president saw his share of falcons in little leather hoods — presumably not a Gitmo reference — and Arabian stallions, including one retired stud from Texas — presumably not a W. reference. But there was a distinct dearth of wives and dissidents.

It does not bode well for the president’s ability to push the Israelis and Palestinians that he has done so little to push Musharraf on catching Osama, despite our $10 billion endowment, or the Saudis on women’s rights and human rights, even with the $20 billion arms package.

At a press conference last night, the Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, was asked what the president and king had discussed about human rights.

“About what?” the prince repeated flatly.

“Human rights,” Condi prompted.

“Human rights?” the stately prince pondered, before shimmying out of the question.

Though W. has made the issue of the progress of women in the Middle East a central part of “the freedom agenda” — he had a roundtable over the weekend with Kuwaiti women on democracy and development — he doesn’t seem bothered that 17 years after his father protected the Saudis when Saddam invaded Kuwait, Saudi women still can’t drive or publicly display hair or skin and still get beheaded and lashed because of archaic laws. Neither does the female secretary of state of the United States.

“It’s not allowed for ladies to use the gym,” the Marriott desk clerk told me, an American woman in an American franchise traveling with an American president.

W. was strangely upbeat throughout the trip — “Dates put you in a good mood, right?” he joked to reporters yesterday, specifying that he meant the fruit — even though back home the Republican candidates were running from him and clinging to Reagan.

The Saudi big shots I talked to were intrigued that W. is now more in the sway of Condi than Bombs Away Cheney. They admire his intention about making peace, even though they’re skeptical that he has the time or competence to do it; and they’re sure that the Israelis need more of a shove than a nudge.

They are also dubious about his attempts to demonize and isolate Iran.

“We don’t need America to dictate our enemies to us, especially when it’s our neighbor,” said an insider at the Saudi royal court. The Saudis invited the Iranian president, I’m-a-Dinner-Jacket, to their hajj pilgrimage last month.

Saudis and Palestinians grumbled that they find it hard to listen to the president’s high-flown paeans to democracy when he only acknowledges his brand of democracy. When Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood won elections, W. sought to undermine them. The results of the elections were certainly troubling, but is democratization supposed to be about outcomes?

They also think W.’s plan cancels itself out. The Israelis don’t have to stop settlements if rockets are coming in from Gaza, and Abbas, the Palestinian president, can’t stop rockets from going out of an area he does not control.

The president who described himself at Galilee as “a pilgrim” makes peace sound as easy as three faiths sharing, when history has shown that the hardest thing on earth is three faiths sharing.

Asked by ABC’s Terry Moran what he was thinking when he stood on the site where Jesus performed miracles at the Sea of Galilee, W. replied: “I reflected on the story in the New Testament about the calm and the rough seas, because it was on those very seas that the Lord was in the boat with the disciples, and they were worried about the waves and the wind, and the sea calmed. That’s what I reflected on: the calm you can find in putting your faith in a higher power.”

Clearly, the man believes in miracles.

Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/16/opinion/16dowd.html?_r=1&th=&oref=slogin&emc=th&pagewanted=all

Here Bush visits the Sea of Galilee with 2 Franciscan friars.

http://a123.g.akamai.net/f/123/12465/1d/media.canada.com/idl/otct/20080112/146843-48179.jpg?

The site is near where Jesus spoke of the Peacemakers as blessed.  



13 Sep 2009 @ 11:17 by jazzolog : "Account blocked for abuse."
This spammer has been driving at least a few on this site nuts for a long time, but the apparent advertisement got me curious. English and sophisticated computing don't seem to be the major talent here, but I formulated a link out of what was written and went there. I don't see that Sears calls its cosmetics line Circle of Beauty www.sears.com/shc/s/v_10153_12605_Beauty?adCell=BH , so spammer's page obviously is fake. Click an item on the list "Ryba" or maybe Elf has constructed and you get the message in the Subject Line above. I don't know why anyone would go to all this trouble just to make trouble. But maybe NCN is the site to do it.  


6 Oct 2009 @ 14:31 by mortimer : wild west
The 13th Amendment abolishes 'involuntary' slavery, but not 'voluntary' slavery. A U.S. citizen is a voluntary slave, with no rights to acquire property or income and must "return" a portion of his 'wages' every April 15

U.S.C. (United States Code) Chap.1, Secs. 1, 2 & 3.
". . . a military flag is a flag that resembles the regular flag of the United States, except that it has a yellow fringe border on 3 sides."

SUMMARY

STAY OUT OF COURT, if at all possible! You are either a sovereign or a slave. Act the part you choose.

We are operating under Public Policy, not Public Law. There are no laws to uphold! And no Constitutional courts to hear them in!

We are operating under stare decisis. The latest court case is the new law, if they want to use it to their advantage. They will ignore it, if it is to your advantage!

We are operating under necessity. The needs of the government and public opinion take priority over your rights.

Any argument you present in court, that would embarrasses the government, or expose their fraud, will be dismissed as frivolous and without merit. You have failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Which means they will refuse to give you relief, even if you are right! So, you lose, because relief will not be granted!

Federal areas were created to cover the same areas that the states occupy. Claiming to be in one of these federal areas brings you under the jurisdiction of the federal government as U.S. citizens.

All courts today are military courts, set up under martial law, under national emergency. Just look at the flag of the occupying force. We are sovereign American Indians on the reservation, claiming that our treaties are not being honored. And again, we are being told, SHUT UP!

When it gets right down to the bottom line, the law of the old west still prevails.

http://usa-the-republic.com/revenue/true_history/Contents.html  



6 Oct 2009 @ 16:36 by jmarc : If i remember correctly
The income tax and automatic whitholding came about during WWii as a means to help the war effort. Pilot program at Macy Department store, and then nationwide.

My business law prof in college repeated to us the wise words of now Justice Souter of the Supremes, who had taught him in college, that the first rule in lawyering is to stay out of court, and if you do have to go to court, don't go up against widows or orphans.
The US court system is just a meat grinder for all of the more equal piggies.

The best way to fight them is to stay away from them and don't contribute to their system.  



6 Oct 2009 @ 17:40 by mortimer : automatic whitholding
Came about partly cause they were bankrupt (war does that), but remember, they tried this once before in 1894, and it was found unconstitutional

Starting in the 1930's, when you were born, you were issued a birth certificate from the state, and this certificate was recorded in the state records. After your birth certificate is recorded, it is sent to the Department of Commerce. Why there? Because the government is creating an artificial person and is just recording the birth of their property, that they will control and use for generating tax revenue. This is done to create an employee of the United States corporation to help pay off the national debt, since it is not legal to use private property to pay public debts. These birth certificates (property) were created so they could be put up for collateral for the bankruptcy of the United States government in 1933, in order for you to help pay off the debt through revenue collection.

The IRS is collecting tax legally because people have been tricked into giving up their inalienable rights for a privilege. Everybody has a dual citizenship, they are born American citizen, then the government creates a legal fiction called the unites States citizen which has no sovereignty.

{http://america.docuwat.ch/videos/single-docs/-savagery-and-the-american-indian/?channel_id=0&skip=0|Savagery And The American Indian}  



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