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Did 9/11 Make Peace Passe?

The U.S. Institute for Peace wants to change its name. What's the matter with peace all of the sudden?

Peace has never been a particularly popular word in Washington, DC. This is, after all, the home of the Pentagon and the major military contractors, not to mention all the think tanks and congressional lapdogs that lie in the king-size family bed with them. But the word "peace" has acquired such a negative reputation inside the Beltway that the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), which saw Congress nearly ax all its funding over the summer, is now considering a name change.

Return of the Malaise: Up to Our Asses in Alligators

 

By John Grant

 

It’s a sad reality of our day that denial and bullshit seem the most useful talents to getting elected and to govern in America.

Bullshit is meant in the sense used by Harvard philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his popular book titled On Bullshit. He defines bullshit as language with no basis in truth or fact focused on obtaining power. A liar knows the truth and tries to sell falsehoods; bullshitters simply don’t care what the truth is.

Some of the most popular candidates for the Republican Party (think Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman) are classic bullshitters who completely disdain rational analysis. For them it’s OK to say anything, like Perry and others' denial of evolution and global warming. Reason and responsible history are for the weak.

Ali Soufan Makes Same Point as Richard Clarke Re CIA's Not Preventing 911

From New York Times:

WASHINGTON — In what amounts to a fight over who gets to write the history of the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath, the Central Intelligence Agency is demanding extensive cuts from the memoir of a former F.B.I. agent who spent years near the center of the battle against Al Qaeda.

The agent, Ali H. Soufan, argues in the book that the C.I.A. missed a chance to derail the 2001 plot by withholding from the F.B.I. information about two future 9/11 hijackers living in San Diego, according to several people who have read the manuscript. And he gives a detailed, firsthand account of the C.I.A.’s move toward brutal treatment in its interrogations, saying the harsh methods used on the agency’s first important captive, Abu Zubaydah, were unnecessary and counterproductive.

How the Budget Cutting Is Going to Go Down

If Snoopy had ever pointed out to Charlie Brown that Lucy was just going to yank the football away again at the last second, Charlie would have only heard barking.

I hope all the good people chattering away about how cutting Social Security would be political suicide, and therefore won't happen, can hear more than barking in the following.

In the best case scenario, and least likely outcome, the Super Congress will fail to produce a plan or to pass one through the actual Congress.  In that case, the backup disaster plan will kick in and deem itself passed automatically.  Those who had voted against setting up this deal will claim innocence.  The others will claim that their only other choice had been Armageddon. 

"Corporations are people", But From Where

60min had a replay of an earlier report on corporate tax havens last night.

Which now raises even more questions especially related to this now infamous remark and backed up by many of like minded ideology:

 

"Corporations are people, my friend."

Followed quickly by this:

 

"Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people."

Which people and where, are these corporate profits trickled down too?

While they renounce their corporate citizenship to dodge the corporate U.S. tax rates they stay on the trading boards of Wall Street as U.S. to be invested in.

What's Hampering Jobless Veterans

With veterans' unemployment rising, President Barack Obama is scheduled on Friday in a visit Washington's Navy Yard to announce initiatives to prepare vets for civilian jobs.

Those boomers born during WWII and in the few years directly after may or may not remember their childhood years, I do. What your parents, coming out of the military, no higher education needed to fight our wars, or moms coming out of the factories, quickly taught the jobs needed to work in by those who for many reasons couldn't serve in the military. You grew up into that working world that had quickly grown a prosperous middle class, and with usually small but regular raises and improved benefits and safety you were prospering better then your parents.

Murdoch - Blair and Blood For Oil

Did deference to Murdoch oil the wheels of invasion?

 

3 August 2011 - The Mail on Sunday suggested at the weekend that Tony Blair will face 'scathing criticism' of his role in the launch of the Iraq war when the report of the inquiry under Sir John Chilcot is published in the autumn.

On the same day, the Observer reported that the terms of an oil deal struck between BP and the Baghdad government will provide the company and its Chinese partner with a 'stranglehold' over the Iraqi economy. Even in the midst of his current multifarious travails, Rupert Murdoch may have managed a smile at that one.

 

The Deal of Death Excludes the Wars from Possible Cuts

Not all spending could be cut.  Wars are exempt: http://twitpic.com/5zg9ou

The (T)'s Continue the "Screw You" to Soldiers/Vets and Families of

Now over a decade with two wars of choice and added to the previous decades of ignored issues and not fully funding the Veterans Administration, thus saving monies instead of increased costs to catchup with the needs, as to the results of our wars. Easier to lay blame on the agency rather then the country, the 99% who don't serve it, who collectively don't look in the mirror at their total lack of Sacrifice as they wave those flags!

Last night, 30 July 2011, the Congressional House (T)'s did exactly what many thought they would and now the Congressional Senate (T)'s, going into their oft used filibuster, follow the Houses lead, and their Supporters Cheer, a day after this:

 

DeJa-Vu: Long Past the Wars

A Country that is willing to 'Sacrifice', Not the U.S.!

As we've seen since Korea and especially from our long War of Choice, Vietnam and since! To easy to ignore the Veterans of and the few really concerned citizens, PTS, Agent Orange/Defoliant poisoning, Suicides, Gulf War Syndrome and so much more of the not so distant past and the now rising concerns of the present. Way to easy to lay blame on the Agency especially by congressional representatives, calling that conservatism, and the people, then to fund on the front end, knowing the long term results of our invasions and occupations will have costs similar to the ever growing defense costs, thus saving money long term than to Demand the Same Sacrifice demanded of the soldier, sailor and marine and their families, now over a decade of No Sacrifice and certainly No Demand For!

 

How would you spend the federal budget?

budgetTime to take out the good ol' fashioned paper and pen and create your budget. As George Lakoff once wrote, a budget is a value document. So enter numbers based on your values. When you're done, scroll down to compare your budget with the one governing United States federal spending.

Directions: Enter a percentage of the budget that you would spend on each of these six broad categories.  (If you're feeling industrious, fill in each little line item.)  Make sure the total equals 100%.

FRIENDLY FOREIGN RELATIONS____%

Economic development aid to select foreign countries, medical aid to poor nations, and development aid to poor nations, the Peace Corps, and disaster relief abroad: ____%
State Department: ____%
United Nations, peacekeeping, weapons nonproliferation: ____%

HOSTILE FOREIGN RELATIONS____%

Military and Homeland Security Department and military "aid" to other nations: ____%
Current wars: ____%
Veterans' benefits: ____%

SUSTAINABLE POLICIES____%

Job training, mass transit, and a jobs program to build renewable energy infrastructure and mass transit: ____%
Management of public lands: ____%
Pollution control and Renewable energy research: ____%
Subsidies to small farmers: ____%

EDUCATION AND RESEARCH____%

Elementary and secondary education, and higher education, and special education for students with disabilities: ____%
Medical research: ____%
Scientific research: ____%
Nasa: ____%

BASIC GOVERNANCE____%

Law enforcement and federal prisons: ____%
Housing for the poor and elderly: ____%
Paying off national debt: ____%

BIG AGRICULTURE AND BIG TRANSPORTATION____%

Airports and railroads and highways: ____%
Subsidies to big agriculture: ____%______

______

Now compare what you did with what the White House projects for 2015.

"Shared Sacrifice"??

"Shared Sacrifice"? WAR TAX NOW!!

 

Hearing: Examining the Lifetime Costs of Supporting the Newest Generation of Veterans

 

Committee on Veterans’ Affairs United States Senate 112th Congress, First Session Hearing Schedule Wednesday, July 27, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Veterans and the Veterans Administration have been short changed for decades now, costing much more in fighting to catch up then if funded properly at the beginning and into, and throughout, our wars of choice, instead it's easier for the people, their reps and some veterans to lay blame on the agency. Magnetic ribbons, wordy patriotic meme's, flag waving and historic costumes, lapel flag pins and purple heart bandages is Not Sacrificing after Demanding the Soldiers and their Families do!!

 

Michael Collins: Obama Budget Betrayal Q and A

This president will never do a single thing to oppose the the agenda of the ruling financial elite unless, of course, members of the ruling elite tell him to oppose something meaningless just for the sake of appearances.

Tepublicans to Military Veterans: Shove It!!

WAR TAX NOW, and call it that
Some of this I posted last night, under a different subject heading, I'm adding more to that with a change in the VVA press release link.

Add in vitter trying to block the VA budget in the Senate {below} and the tepubs are continuing their decades long obstruction of Veterans Issues while laying blame constantly on the VA and their supporters love that, including veterans among them!!

Since the 110th congress and with Gen. Shinseki in they've been trying to play catchup with What Wasn't Done Nor Mentioned in the 108th and 9th while they rubber stamped two more wars of choice and with Still No Demand from the Country as to their own Sacrifice now over a decade, added to the previous decades!!

I'm sure though they still have a supply of those 'purple heart bandages' they so enjoyed, pointed directly at us in-country Navy personal, while sending those troops into these two conflicts!!

Michael Collins: The New Know-Nothings - Murdoch(s), Brooks + Cameron


The Murdoch's and their former chief executive of News International testified before a House of Commons committee yesterday. Their hours of explanations can be summarized in a phrase: we knew nothing. (Image)

Rupert Murdoch was too busy flying around the world milking his cash cow media properties to be at all involved.

Number two son James was the executive in direct command and he heard nothing.

Rebekah Brooks, editor of the News of the World at the time of the Milly Dowler hacking, completed the trifecta of ignorance. Since she knew nothing, her very frequent contact with the Murdoch father-son team had to be, as the Fugs said, "a whole lot of nothing."

Senator Coburn to Vietnam Veterans: Shove It!!

Add in vitter trying to block the VA budget in the Senate {below} and the tepubs are continuing their decades long obstruction of Veterans Issues while laying blame constantly on the VA and their supporters love that, including veterans among them!!

Since the 110th congress and with Gen. Shinseki in they've been trying to play catchup with What Wasn't Done Nor Mentioned in the 108th and 9th while they rubber stamped two more wars of choice and with Still No Demand from the Country as to their own Sacrifice now over a decade, added to the previous decades!!

I'm sure though they still have a supply of those 'purple heart bandages' they so enjoyed, pointed directly at us in-country Navy personal, while sending those troops into these two conflicts!!

 

Balance the Budget on the Backs of Billionaires

By David Swanson, RootsAction.org

The wealthiest nation on earth is not actually obliged to starve our senior citizens.  We don't need a military 670% more expensive than the next largest one on earth.  We don't need to fund health insurance corporations instead of healthcare.  And we don't need tax breaks for billionaires.  In fact, we don't need billionaires.  That's the message RootsAction is taking to Congress.

Demand that the Chamber of Commerce Return News Corp's Dirty Money!

By John Bonifaz, FreeSpeechForPeople

It’s becoming clearer every day that News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire that includes Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, is out of control.   

As the scandal explodes, we now know that News Corp will stop at nothing—certainly not the law--  to smear people¹, corrupt law enforcement², and abuse victims of crimes and their families.³ Don’t think this can’t happen here in the USA.

News Corp. is the kind of “corporate person” that the Supreme Court turned our political system over to in Citizens United. In fact, according to Politico, “News Corp...  contributed $1 million [last] summer to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the business lobby that has been running an aggressive campaign in support of the Republican effort to retake Congress.”4
   
    We’re calling on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to return that money.  Join us here.

'Jobless veterans, US national disgrace'

I Demand a War Tax and call it that, it's been over a decade and counting of No Sacrifice by the Country as we demanded Sacrifice of our Soldiers and their Families, with multiple tours in two occupation theaters!

Those of us who were born during or in the years shortly after World War II grew into what our grand parents and parents with the help of our Government investments were building, joining in as we joined the workforce professions to build for our children, from the needed education professions to the skilled trades once professions.

The Paradox of Progress

  Months ago, I attended David Swanson’s book signing in Baltimore to purchase his remarkable work, War is a Lie, and to hear Swanson, Debra Sweet, and Andy Worthington speak. During the question-and-answer period, a woman stood and introduced herself. Speaking beautifully, softly, and passionately, she gestured, pointing to lighting in the room, laptops, and cell phones. She said something like this: “It’s cold outside, but the room temperature is warm.  So many here have computers, cell phones, technology….” She paused and, then, continued, “Are people willing to sacrifice for peace?”

Rep. Kurt Schrader Introduces New Constitutional Amendment to Allow Clean Elections

This wouldn't create clean elections. It's not public financing. It includes no ban on private financing. But it would permit such bans by Congress and by states. It bans non-citizens and foreign associations from funding U.S. elections. I wish it included mention of U.S. associations, or more to the point: corporations. But it's a good contribution.

Source: http://www.kurtschrader.com/amendment

Congressman Kurt Schrader has proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would give individual states and Congress the authority to limit the influence of special interests in our elections.

Here's the full text:

Article

"Stand Down," 60min. Revisits

 

 

Homeless veterans: Trying to find help and hope

 

July 10, 2011 - This story was first published Oct. 17, 2010. It was updated on June 21, 2011.

One weekend a year, nearly a thousand military veterans assemble in a camp in San Diego. What brings them is what they have in common: they're all homeless. The vets gather for something called "Stand Down," started in 1988 by a soldier turned psychologist named Jon Nachison.

Then, it was an emergency response to homelessness among Vietnam vets but, all these years later, Nachison is welcoming the generation from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Why Are Veterans Issues Off The Table?

Frankly that's very easy to answer, the country refuses to demand it's own sacrifice the greater majority cheer on but don't serve in or have direct connection to, especially the political party claiming their strength on "National Security" and it's the total opposite of what's being argued as to this debt ceiling and the growing deficit itself, remember these two present conflicts were kept off the books and fought on borrowed financing until put back on the books and our spending by the present administration. All those costs include the no bid contracts of the growing private armies as well as the numerous other private contractors serving a bottom line and not the country.

America is a Sick Country

By Dave Lindorff

In ways little and huge, it is clear that we live in a nation, a culture and a society that is terminally ill.

The latest outrage -- the likely execution of a Mexican convicted in Texas of the brutal slaying of a 16-year-old girl in blatant violation of a universally adopted international treaty that requires that as a foreigner he be able to notify his home country’s consulate of his case -- is evidence of this sickness, which appears to have both physical and mental aspects.

As a journalist I have traveled widely in the world, often in police states like China or Laos, and I have always trusted in the fact that if I ran afoul of those police, at least I could count on the fact that the authorities would be legally bound to notify my embassy, so that I could get international attention and, hopefully, legal assistance.

July 4th - Celebrations Cannot Hide Damaged Democracy

By Linn Washington, Jr.

Given the stark desperation stalking so many communities around an America oozing from miseries embedded in the stagnant economy, it’s almost an inane exercise to contemplate the state-of-democracy in this nation on July 4th -– Independence Day.

All of the flag waving, fireworks and fun of this national holiday can’t mask the disturbing fact that democracy in America is under unprecedented onslaught from forces intent on engaging in economic exploitation comparable to the colonial crown domination that compelled Americans to rebel against England over two hundred years ago.

Examples of this onslaught abound with one of the most pronounced being federal and state level elected officials – overwhelming Republican – bludgeoning and eliminating benefits that have aided the middle class and the poor, in the name of budget balancing austerity, while simultaneously battling to protect the profits and assets of the wealthy.

Boeing Overcharging?, Hawks Yawn!

A 'Patriotic' U.S. company ripping off the Army and the American Tax Payers, and military procurement officers allowing it to happen, knowing many will go to work for these defense contractors after their service, especially with two long occupations still ongoing, say it ain't so!

 

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