May 21, 2009 at 10:39 pm (American-Israeli Empire, Oil, War)

I highly recommend this article entitled “Pipeline-Istan: Everything You Need to Know About Oil, Gas, Russia, China, Iran, Afghanistan and Obama.”  Nothing in it is particularly shocking or new to anyone who was skeptic of the war on terror and its purposes, but the common threads of several chapters of Eurasia over the last few years have been woven together well.  A nice supplemental editorial is here.

The subject must have been in the collective unconscious recently because another great article was floating around with the funny title of: “Kremlin says battle over energy resources may lead to wars.”  It should have been called “Kremlin says two plus two equals four” or, more accurately, “Kremlin says that two plus two has equaled four several times in the recent past and predicts it will equal four in the future.”

Speaking of wars and oil, isn’t it funny how half of the American population thought that Pepsi Obama would stop the war in Iraq, stop torturing, stop spying on Americans, and stop indefinite detention — in short, start following the Constitution?  That is funny, since if he was interested in following the Constitution, he’d be a Libertarian or a Constitutionalist and not a Pepsi Democrat.  When, oh when, will the voters reject the two-party system, which is really a one-party system?  Old Coke McCain thinks Pepsi Obama is doing a pretty good job.  Is this really Obama doing this and this or is it Bush?  I’m getting deja-vu.

Well, enough of that subject.  Politics is similar to Professional Wrestling in its authenticity.  Too bad its effects aren’t similarly ephemeral.  Instead, we get the terrorist-hunting boy and girl scouts.  Progress!

In other news (and if this is news to you, well… good luck, pal) Medicare is projected by the government’s overly-rosy expectations to run out by 2017.  I don’t particularly feel great about all the Medicare money that’s been taken from my paycheck over the years but I’m certain there is some kind of pill that will numb that gnawing sense of anger (hopefully my insurance will cover it once 2017 rolls around).

Today’s article of doom: The worst is yet to come.


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Audacity of Numbers

May 7, 2009 at 6:02 pm (National Debt)

Let’s say you are the puppet, er, leader of the world’s most powerful nation.  And let’s say that nation will pull in, if everything goes well, close to $2 trillion over the next year.  And let’s say, for whatever reason, you decide to spend $3.4 trillion over that same time period.  Then, on top of that, just because you’re a nice guy, you decide to spend another $63 billion over the next few years on people that aren’t even part of your nation.

Then, for the sake of argument, you somehow absurdly claim with a straight face that you are making the hard choices and saving $17 billion in the midst of this.  Do the supposed independent newspapers, who are now in need of a government bailout (which, by the way, is supported by politicians who are concerned about the loss of “independent reporting”) call you on your ridiculous hypocrisy and mock you endlessly like truly independent media should?

No.  Instead, they give you a platform to say:

“We can no longer afford to spend as if deficits don’t matter and waste is not our problem.  We can no longer afford to leave the hard choices for the next budget, the next administration — or the next generation.” Obama 5/7/09

I guess all that talk about audacity wasn’t mere imagery.  The truly independent oversight, commentary, and investigation nowadays comes from blogs, not the mainstream media.  Of course, media moguls like Rupert Murdoch don’t like that much, and are hinting that the days of uncontrolled, unfiltered, free internet are numbered.  And they might be right.

Today’s article of doom: thanks a lot, Congress, for supporting the fascist Bush-era Patriot Act.  It helped imprison this 16 year old boy with no due process whose IP number was likely spoofed.  Way to make the country safer.

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AIPAC Gets Another Pass

May 1, 2009 at 9:29 pm (American-Israeli Empire)

The spy case against two members of AIPAC has been dropped, to no one’s surprise.  The reason why is summed up nicely here:

“The defence intended to call the former US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and other officials to establish that the government regularly uses Aipac to discreetly send information to Israel.”

That wouldn’t be very flattering to our government, because of course the next question would be why we channel sensitive information to a foreign government through a group that claims to be working in America’s best interest (and doing it as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization).

“The case has been further complicated by a scandal revealed last month by a political publication, Congressional Quarterly, around a member of Congress, Jane Harman, who was secretly taped telling an Israeli agent that she would pressure the justice department to reduce spying charges against the two former Aipac officials.

In return, the Israeli agent offered to get a wealthy donor who helps funds election campaigns for Nancy Pelosi, the then-minority leader in the House of Representatives, to pressure Pelosi to appoint Harman to a senior position on the congressional intelligence committee.”

Shocker.  A U.S. Congresswoman who pushes Israel’s agenda in return for Israeli-sponsored political favors?  Best not dwell on that.  It might be embarrassing for both the U.S. and Israel.

At least the mainstream UK paper, written in a country that is also usually nauseatingly intolerant of criticism of Israeli policy, got the conclusion right:

“AIPAC has long wielded considerable influence over US policy in the Middle East though a mix of appeals to American sympathy for Israel and a hard-ball approach against members of congress who question the unyielding policies of Israeli governments.”

In other words, if you criticize the policies of the nation of Israel in any possible way, you are an anti-semite (even if you are Jewish), as discovered by Seymour Reich, Edgar Bronfman Sr., John Mearsheimer, Stephen Walt, Ernest Hollings, Howard Dean, Philip Zelikow, Richard Cohen, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Chas Freeman, Tony Judt, Adrienne Rich, Samantha Power, Tony Kushner, Tom, Dick, Harry, and pretty much anyone who has ever suggested anyone in Israel might be something other than holy, righteous, correct, moral, and God-like at all times.

In other news, the U.S. economy shrank by 6.1% in the first quarter, after shrinking 6.3% in the previous quarter.  But don’t worry, our glorious leader sees “green shoots.”  That kind of ridiculous optimism (like Bush’s “rough patch”) would be so much more effective if the politician in question had pom-poms and a short skirt.  Without the visual aids, it just rings hollow.  I wonder if the forecast is still for 0.5% growth for 2009 — that would be quite a trick to pull off.

What else has been going on?  Swine Flu, increased fighting in Iraq and Pakistan, Chrysler declares bankruptcy (taking $8 billion more in bailout money because they can’t even go bankrupt without a bailout) and some more blah blah blah and deja vu.  Oh, and GM gets $2 billion more in bailout money, ostensibly to help them with the bankruptcy paperwork in advance.

One advantage to living in a declining economy is the degree to which it’s easy to become reaccustomed to the local library.  Next time you’re there, I recommend Dmitry Orlov’s Reinventing Collapse.  Having lived through the implosion of the Soviet Union, he paints a very convincing picture of live here in the U.S. in a few years.

Today’s article of doom: more riots in Europe.

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