Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 18, 2007

OT 07-84

We welcome your comments, news and views ...

Posted by b on December 18, 2007 at 02:43 PM | Permalink

Comments

At times like this, Catherine Austin Fitts is Essential Reading. Here's excerpt she just wrote from Postscript to Dillon Read & Co. And The Aristocracy of Stock Profits: Financial Fraud vs. Financial Coup d’etat

If we step back and observe events as they really are, rather than as we wish them to be, what becomes clear is that we are watching the reengineering of global governance. Resources – including precious metal inventories and powerful intelligence and weaponry-- are being shifted out of the hands of individuals, communities and governments into private hands. Everything from currencies to militaries is now being controlled and managed in non-transparent ways by private corporations and banks.

The bubbling of the mortgage market has been a huge success. Billions have been moved out of the pockets of the middle class and their pension funds and the municipalities. The enabling institutions now have “losses,” hence they need to be “saved” justifying another round of funding paid for by both government taxes and an inflation tax. No one is asking where the money went and how to get it back. Rather we are anointing the people who engineered the bubble in the first place to now “clean it up.”

Where this goes, no one knows. We know the point of financial coup d’etat is one world currency and one world government – global feudalism, if you will.

Posted by: jj | Dec 18, 2007 4:00:38 PM | 1


Oklahoma still in the dark after storm
OKLAHOMA CITY - More than 88,000 homes and businesses in Oklahoma remained without power on Tuesday, more than a week after an ice storm plunged them into darkness.

Isn't Senator Joe Lieberman (R-Israel.)on the board of FEMA? instead of making press endorsing John Maccain shouldn't he be getting these people some fucking electricity? I mean, it's the middle of winter and a week later and still no power???

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 18, 2007 6:46:39 PM | 2

jj: Nothing new under the red clay sun of WA DC:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard66.html
The Morgans and the Rothchilds were doing exactly
the same thing a hundred years ago, with our taxes.

This time, not only did their credit.con blow up in
their faces, not only is there a crisis of liquidity
(EBC floated $500B today), but a crisis of insolvency.

The point of financial coup de'etat isn't one world anything.
Financial coup de'etat is when US net foreign debt exceeds GDP.

Interesting news bit today, Iran opens first interest-free bank.
Also interesting, Iran reportedly no longer accepts US$ for oil.
Also interesting, Iran net foreign debt per GDP is LOWEST IN WORLD!

Ahh so, desu neh!

Posted by: Peer Gynt | Dec 18, 2007 7:42:46 PM | 3

Peer, yes some things are new. xUS Elites now have the technology & blueprint to achieve their ancient wet dreams. W/computers hooked up to satellites a consolidation of Elite Power is possible that never was before in the history of the world. Then Am. Emperor D. Rockefeller met w/others to draw up blueprint ~1973 in response to actual democracy breaking out in America. It's a 50 yr. plan that is working. Though they're on crack if they think they'll get one world currency. The Age of Am. Hegemony is crashing down now, as they won the battle in Iraq, but lost the war. Their terrorism stood so nakedly exposed that world devolving into regional power blocs.

Posted by: jj | Dec 18, 2007 9:10:13 PM | 4

Edwards' true colors:

John Edwards and Jack Kemp were appointed to lead a CFR task force which concocted the pretext for an all-out assault on Putin. This is where the idea that Putin is "rolling back democracy" began. In their article "Russia's Wrong Direction", Edwards and Kemp state that a "strategic partnership" with Russia is no longer possible. They claim that the government has become increasingly authoritarian and that the society is growing less "open and pluralistic".

Kemp and Edwards provided the ideological foundation upon which the entire public relations campaign against Putin has been built. And it is quite an impressive campaign. A Google News search shows roughly 1,400 articles from the various news services on Putin. Virtually all of them contain exactly the same rhetoric, the same buzzwords, the same spurious claims, the same slanders. It is impossible to find even one article out of 1,400 that diverges the slightest bit from the talking points which originated at the Council on foreign Relations.

It's interesting to see to what extent the media has become a propaganda bullhorn for the national security state. Putin's personal approval ratings confirm his enormous popularity, and yet, the media continues to treat him like he's a tyrant. It is utterly incongruous.

Posted by: | Dec 18, 2007 10:50:52 PM | 5

Have not been able to post due to spamfilter, too.

Posted by: Malooga | Dec 18, 2007 10:59:00 PM | 6

@jj

Just saying, but if excessive growth is the cause of our Gaia-level pollution/production crisis, what other options do we have besides neo-feudalism?

What other options exist besides
Door A: capitalism and its associated laws of history, &
Door B: feudalism and its preference for parochial political economics

And don't tell me communism. As far as I can see, communism is merely state capitalism.

Posted by: citizen | Dec 18, 2007 11:08:31 PM | 7

mullah cimoc say aemriki not having him free press. for save ameriki nation usa people must to make new federal communication law:

1. each tv station and each the radio station must be own 100% by person live within physical area serve by tv station. this call the local ownership.

2. no single person to owning more than 1% of any one tv station stock certificate. this make the diverse ownership.

3. abolish him networks, abccbsnbcfox. then to letting local own station form own networks with power from bottom up (flow from shareholder to board of director to ceo), not him top down like now in usa.

4. this keep the free press and stop the rupert murdoch type man keep all ameriki so stupid if buy him corporation which to own so many station and newspaper and radio and keep ameriki the stupid people.

after follow mullah cimoc method benjamin frankling to be the proud.

for true info: stop1984now@yahoo.com

Posted by: mullah cimoc | Dec 18, 2007 11:09:40 PM | 8

Corporate oil giants scramble to plunder Iraq’s energy reserves

Posted by: Rick | Dec 19, 2007 12:36:52 AM | 9

Citizen, Cut Reproduction significantly.

Posted by: jj | Dec 19, 2007 1:16:11 AM | 10

jony_b_cool pointed out an opinion piece out of nigeria that concurs w/ my take last thursday on nigerian president yar'adua's announcement that he is partnering w/ his new best-est godfather, uncle sam, on AFRICOM.

Yar’Adua’s Washington Diplomatic Gaffe

And in accepting this Greek gift from the US, Yar’Adua was neither naive nor persuaded by national interest. He neither swallowed Washington’s patently false bait that the US will not use force to further its interest on the continent nor enticed by the supposed miracle the $250 million annual AFRICOM budget would wrought on the local economy.

Yar’Adua is well aware of the deleterious consequences of the Command. As has been variously pointed out by military and diplomatic pundits, AFRICOM is an integral part of the ill-informed projection of US power in the 21st century by Bush and his fellow neo-conservatives in Washington. It is all about America and her insatiable quest for oil in the Gulf of Guinea.

Of course, Yar’Adua knows these facts. So, why is he throwing Nigeria’s doors wide open to theUS neo-imperialist gambit, thereby jeopardising our sovereignty? His decision is a cold political calculation informed by self-interest. It is an act of desperation. The quid pro qui from the US for Yar’Adua’s government for endorsing the AFRICOM idea is the pledge to help him surmount the political brickbats being hauled at him from both his own political party, the PDP, and the opposition parties. The US government knows that Yar’Adua’s government lacks legitimacy. Yet, Bush deliberately refused to comment on the election heavily censured by both local and international observers. By so doing, the US president left open a tiny window of blackmail. This is pay back time and the American establishment is pulling the strings.

It is not by mere coincidence that Yar’Adua’s state visit to the US came at a time when it is rumoured that he may have lost favour with the PDP hawks, who have reportedly concluded plans, in the even of the tribunal annulling the presidential polls and calling for fresh election, to field a presidential candidate other than Yar’Adua. This is what happens when a government lacks legitimacy as Yar’Adua’s obviously does. The man at the driver’s seat looks up to external forces to sustain himself in power rather than the people that elected him.

and something else has come out in the last several days as yar'adua, his spokesman, and the foreign minister have made their ham-fisted attempts at damage control. while the various remarks to the press has been everything from deceptive to often-times contradictory to just plain silly, yar'adua has now apparently unveiled the (previously tight-lipped) african union's position on AFRICOM.

on friday, the explanation was

"I did not accept AFRICOM in my discussions with Bush. I asked for assistance and told Bush that we have our plans to establish bases for African countries. We asked for training on weapons and training to establish our bases to be managed by our people.”

“Seven countries in the Gulf of Guinea will be involved,” he stated. The president said he asked for training from the US government. The US insisted it can only render help through its AFRICOM base in Stuttgart, Germany, said Yar’Adua.

one paper refered to this as yar'adua claiming he wanted to run his own AFRICOM. either way, it sounds exactly like something the u.s. strategists have been asking for - regional proxy forces.

yesterday yar'adua's spokesperson told the media

“The issue of AFRICOM is very interesting because I don’t understand what the controversy is all about. The president was very clear and unambiguous. One thing people forget is that AFRICOM already exists and is based in Germany and United States wants to take the base to Africa and most African leaders led by Nigeria and South Africa are saying if your interest is security and peace in Africa, American soldiers don’t have to be here.

“The position of Nigeria has not changed. That was the position the president expressed to the National Council of State when they had a meeting in Abuja. So when the president said we don’t mind partnering with AFRICOM, he is expressing the views of AU leaders that look, if you want to support security in Africa and if your interest is to protect Africa, then we don’t mind that, but you can support an African Standby Force which will be put in place where the troops will be Africans.

“That is what the president is saying. I have read all kinds of comments including the one by AC. Many people have not even read the statement of the president before making their criticism which is unfortunate. But the position of Nigeria remains the same, which is that we will not allow AFRICOM in Nigeria,” he pointed out.

there's a lot to dissect in that blockquote, but i'll limit myself to just a few items. first,

"when the president said we don’t mind partnering with AFRICOM, he is expressing the views of AU leaders..."

has the AU previously came out w/ a public position on AFRICOM yet? i have not seen any, so that's why i think this is revelatory. and if people pick up on it, very controversial for, if true, it means that this is bigger than just yar'adua betraying one nation's sovereignty.

second,

"..the position of Nigeria remains the same, which is that we will not allow AFRICOM in Nigeria"

AFRICOM is not just soldiers, though. it's an experiment tossing together a whole cast of characters, from USAID workers to state department diplomats to private contractors and then, of course it wouldn't be a combatant command w/o combat troops & the officers that give their orders. but how exactly does one "partner" w/ AFRICOM yet "not allow AFRICOM in Nigeria?" does this mean no USAID workers believed to be affiliated w/ AFRICOM will be allowed to enter? no more joint military training exercises? it's not likely that the president's spokesperson is that ignorant, so one could conclude that this is a deliberate lie. (provided the media carried the complete quote in the appropriate context, that is.)

third,

"One thing people forget is that AFRICOM already exists and is based in Germany..."

and one thing the spokesperson omits here is that the u.s. military already has bases on the continent, not to mention an ongoing presence in nigeria. the largest base (CJTF-HOA) has been in djibouti since 2002 and now houses roughly 2000 troops.

and as a recent CJTF-HOA press item pointed out,

CJTF-HOA is positioned to serve as a model for AFRICOM, because CJTF-HOA's mission has evolved to revolve around their partner nations, and servicemembers already work hand-in-hand with State Department and U.S. AID officials on humanitarian assistance and military-to-military training programs.

actually, that entire article is interesting
Former commander visits CJTF-HOA, gives insight into future

DJIBOUTI - A former commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa returned to Camp Lemonier to visit Marines and talk to them about their mission and the direction of the Corps and the task force in the Global War on Terror Dec. 14.

Lt. Gen. Samuel Helland, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command; I Marine Expeditionary Force, commanding general, spoke with the Marines of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464 and 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion about their roles providing aerial support and security for CJTF-HOA.
...
The transition of responsibilities on the continent from CJTF-HOA and U.S. Central Command, U.S. Europe Command and U.S. Pacific Command to the new U.S. Africa Command began officially on Oct. 4, 2007. AFRICOM is scheduled to assume full responsibility Oct. 4, 2008.

"As CJTF-HOA transitions to U.S. Africa Command, it will only enhance their ability to be more engaged and more perceptive as all of Africa comes under one command and one focus," said Helland. "They can combine all of the assets and all of the energy and all of the resources that are available to focus on a unified, coordinated effort across Africa to enhance security and stability and to help the partner nations as they think they need to be helped."

one of the key catchwords being driven home by the military & the AFRICOM team is "partnering" - in terms of the AFRICOM sales pitch, think of it as a campaign to make imperialist expansionism sound more mutually beneficial & you're probably on the right track. as for the GWOT, it's a way to bring allies onboard to support u.s. ambitions at global military hegemony.

as helland (another classic military name, btw - wonder if his subs bother to tack a 'back' on the end of that) & the article explain,

"In military circles, it is referred to as 'Phase 0,' where the coalition partners of the world come together and support those nations who need support and assistance and facilitate them as they grow to provide stability and security with a continued presence," said Helland. "It's important that we do this as we continue this fight against terrorist insurgents around the world, and that combat their influence in this 'Phase 0.'"

Phase 0 is just one phase of a new joint operating concept. Phase 0 is the 'shaping' phase that deals with the prevention of conflict by building partnership capacity, influencing non-partners and potential adversaries, mitigating the underlying causes of conflict and extremism; and setting the conditions that enable rapid action when military intervention is required.

CJTF-HOA has already assimilated the new JOC into its operational models. The concept is a new way to visualize military operations as part of a larger political concept.

political, yes. very much so.

"Over the years, the mission has matured into a very stable mission," said Helland. "The constant U.S. presence and the engagement in support of coalition forces and partner nations in the Horn of Africa has increased tremendously. The emphasis on building a very strong relationship with the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and those partner nations has just grown dramatically. And the focus stays where it should be and that is on the partner nations, and that is the key word, 'partner.'" ... The conditions established by coalition forces, in coordination with partner nations, limit the opportunity for terrorist organizations to hide among and recruit from the local population, reducing the threat of violence across the continent and world.

i suppose if you buy the premise, you buy the bit. but it really gets strange when the lt. gen. then goes on to make a fallacious argument for his audience,

"There is some conjecture out there that there are training camps in places like Sudan and Somalia. Yeah, they ["terrorists"] might be there, but because the Combined Joint Task Force is physically here right now they are being held in abeyance, because they know we are going to hunt them down and kill them. You facilitate that inactivity by being here and making sure this compound is safe."

now, aside from the problems w/ the logic in that quote, imagine a foreign military planted on your soil that determines who its enemies are & acts on its own authority to exterminate them. why does anyone tolerate such a thing?

which brings me back to yar'adua's effort to sell out nigeria and the african continent. today a report pointed out that yar'adua was refering to partnering w/ AFRICOM on two separate projects

President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua has observed that the Germany-based United States African Command (AFRICOM) can help not only in the establishment of the African Stand-by Force, but also in the proposed Gulf of Guinea Force where troops would be contributed by the countries within the region.

what.. did georgie loan yar'adua his old pom-poms or something?

Posted by: b real | Dec 19, 2007 1:58:42 AM | 11

Pakistan:

The NYT on vanished people in pakistan - thousands sitting in military jails - some on CIA advice, some not. Fear for this getting out might have been a reason for Musharraf to shun the Supreme Court.

Those released, they say, are some of the nearly 500 Pakistanis presumed to have disappeared into the hands of the Pakistani intelligence agencies cooperating with Washington’s fight against terrorism since 2001.
...
In addition, human rights groups and lawyers here contend, the government has swept up at least 4,000 other Pakistanis, most of them Baluchi and Sindhi nationalists seeking ethnic or regional autonomy who have nothing to do with the United States campaign against terrorism.
...

Chinahand reviews polls in Pakistan. Musharraf's party still comes out at the top, Bhutto second. This without vote rigging that may well happen anyway by anyone.

In the London Review of Books Tariq Ali has a long look at the Daughter of the West, Bhutto that is, inclduing some juicy stories. His general conclusion

As southern Afghanistan collapses into chaos, and as corruption and massive inflation takes hold, the Taliban is gaining more and more recruits. The generals who convinced Benazir that control of Kabul via the Taliban would give them ‘strategic depth’ may have retired, but their successors know that the Afghans will not tolerate a long-term Western occupation. They hope for the return of a whitewashed Taliban. Instead of encouraging a regional solution that includes India, Iran and Russia, the US would prefer to see the Pakistan army as its permanent cop in Kabul. It won’t work. In Pakistan itself the long night continues as the cycle restarts: military leadership promising reforms degenerates into tyranny, politicians promising social support to the people degenerate into oligarchs. Given that a better functioning neighbour is unlikely to intervene, Pakistan will oscillate between these two forms of rule for the foreseeable future. The people who feel they have tried everything and failed will return to a state of semi-sleep, unless something unpredictable rouses them again. This is always possible.

Posted by: b | Dec 19, 2007 2:07:52 AM | 12

I'll publish now a bunch of the comments that got caught in this rediculous spam filter.

Don't be suprized when suddenly earlier comments come up and look out of sync. I'll try not to release doubles, but that may happen anyway.

Posted by: b | Dec 19, 2007 2:16:26 AM | 13

Mike Rivero links to this interesting
diatribe
on vote fixing in primary elections dating back to the 90's. Other "close by" links like this and especially this are also interesting. A few years ago sites couched in such "fringe right-wing conspiratorial" tones would have seemed (to me) to be an appropriate hang-out for crackpots. Now, I tend to see them as probably being pretty close to "on the mark", and, more importantly, I am very happy to see that the "crackpots" have decided to try to take material action against vote theft and election rigging. I could accept that Kucinich and Paul have only single-digit level of voter support if that were the outcome of a transparent process of vote counting rather than the result of electronic tables handed down from on high. The first link above might well justify a bit of "primary" paranoia.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 19, 2007 2:44:53 AM | 14

Maybe TypePad will permit this link "http://www.votefraud.org/chronicles_house_without_doors.htm"
which is an interesting
diatribe on vote fixing in primary elections from the 90's.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 19, 2007 2:50:07 AM | 15


Will the censorious filter may permit this link ? http://www.votefraud.org/chronicles_house_without_doors.htm

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 19, 2007 2:53:45 AM | 16

The Great Shoe.

I want to talk about bolt cutters, for a minute, and our toes. Whose toes are fair game and through what process may that be determined? In this regard, the state may be considered as a capacious and sturdy shoe. In the proper shoe, there are eyelets and neatly woven laces to be threaded through them. The tongue of the shoe, bless its heart, bridges the gap between the premier products of the cobbler’s art, the left flap and right flap — which would be stage left and stage right for you theater people. The thoughtful strictures of the lacing leaves creases on it over time and the sections of the tongue delineated thereby have been the subject of many studies. The “vulgar” have observed that there is career and money to be found in this pursuit. But you must only observe the tongue as it exists in its relation to the shoe structure and only in relation to the functional movement of the shoe as it meanders down this promenade we call life. Then it’s okay. Whither the . . . and who. . .? shut up. Thank you. As I was saying. . . . . . none of us want our toes to be cut off, do we? Therefore it’s reasonable to give the shoe some money and to make sure it has places upon which to rest. How, one may ask, can a shoe spend money. Ha, ha, well that’s a poser all right. Granted that it can’t as a shoe qua shoe, but rest assured that any money put in it will be used properly and any necks, or whatever, upon which it rests will appreciate the spending. But of course all this is extraneous to determining whose toes will be cut off. For this, we need an axiom, possibly considered as shoe polish.

I would suggest that anyone who questions the shoe and shoefulness outside the sensible boundaries placed for the protection of the shoe is objectively eligible for the bolt cutters. But that’s a little harsh. They can simply be ignored or ridiculed from the clean rooms the shoe prefers to inhabit. What we need is something fairly random imposed in an egalitarian fashion. A good measure might be where the toes live. Those who have chosen to live on top of things needed for the regular care and feeding of the shoe are the best candidates. Their presence causes the shoe to pinch the rest of us. So their removal — trimming, if you will — actually makes the shoe more functional. With the right perspective, their existence can be viewed as a heterogeneous assault on a safe homogeneity, i.e. the condition of shoefulness. By great good luck, the clean rooms the shoe prefers are inhabited by people who have studied the perspective and mastered it. They understand when a solution with the heterogeneous look and feel can reinforce the homogeneous condition we need to keep our toes. We can confidently leave it up to them. The curious readers may wonder if they are food for the bolt cutters, even if they don’t live on top of things needed for the shoe. I can’t answer that directly, but I can suggest that if they’ve done nothing wrong, they have nothing to worry about.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 19, 2007 3:07:18 AM | 17

jj: America has the lion's share of the world's GDP, far, far and away.
It's not necessary for the Neo-Zionists to have a global Leninist OWG,
only necessary to crash the US economy, and pick up the pieces, 1c:$1.

George Bush claims today a $1T gap in SSTF, and growing? Oh, really?

That's because the Bush Administration is taking our SSTF and Medicare
funds to make their gigantic IDIQNB war deficit appear smaller. In other
words, they've already written our payroll-paid-in SSTF monies off on
their public-monies-to-private-vaults war-for-oil profiteering racket.

The Fed today proposes that lenders must evaluate whether borrowers
can pay back the loan, even at the highest possible reset of their ARM,
of course, without knowing how high that interest rate might go, that
makes it impossible for lenders to evaluate(!), so in essence, Fed has
just made extending resettable home purchase loans illegal !!!!

They're setting up a depression for the bottom feeders and vultures.

Even with the magic $1T of our SSTF money on the table to bailout the
lenders, (Fed + EBC = $1T) lenders won't lend to each other, because
the values of their portfolios of loans are below the price of those
loans, and because of fractional accounting, the juniored loans gap
off those original, now deep-discounted loans, is giga-ginormous.

Someone said today the crisis is no longer just the credit.con, and
it's no longer just the resulting crisis of liquidity, the reason
you're seeing $1T floating from Fed and EBC for interbank loans
(using our deficit account!!) is because of an unreported crisis of
insolvency!

The banks are technically bankrupt, because they don't have the cash
to cover portfolio losses, because of fractional reserves accounting!

Makes you want to ask, "Where is Dan Quayle, now that we need him!?"

Why, there he is now!

http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071121/BUSINESS/71121001/1003/business

Let's see ... their IPO raised $50M, but their claimed assets are $428M?!
That would be the ratio if they were a bank, doing fractional accounting.
Except, they're not a bank, they're a vulture fund, looking for cripples.

I find it amusing that HEK is the common Christian expression for HELL,
especially since it seems more and more likely we'll all be going there!
What will come out the other side of this black hole will be Titanic 2.
Like the first Titanic, but bad acting, lousy plot, unfathomable ending.
And of course, thousands of personality wonks criticizing the deck chairs.

Posted by: Peer Gynt | Dec 19, 2007 3:28:28 AM | 18

http://i3.tinypic.com/8ak6qu1.jpg

TypePad is wiping out political commentary ... hmmm.

Convert txt to jpg and upload to tinypic

Posted by: Peer Gynt | Dec 19, 2007 3:39:19 AM | 19

Test:

The Great Shoe.

I want to talk about bolt cutters, for a minute, and our toes. Whose toes are fair game and through what process may that be determined? In this regard, the state may be considered as a capacious and sturdy shoe. In the proper shoe, there are eyelets and neatly woven laces to be threaded through them. The tongue of the shoe, bless its heart, bridges the gap between the premier products of the cobbler’s art, the left flap and right flap — which would be stage left and stage right for you theater people. The thoughtful strictures of the lacing leaves creases on it over time and the sections of the tongue delineated thereby have been the subject of many studies. The “vulgar” have observed that there is career and money to be found in this pursuit. But you must only observe the tongue as it exists in its relation to the shoe structure and only in relation to the functional movement of the shoe as it meanders down this promenade we call life. Then it’s okay. Whither the . . . and who. . .? shut up. Thank you. As I was saying. . . . . . none of us want our toes to be cut off, do we? Therefore it’s reasonable to give the shoe some money and to make sure it has places upon which to rest. How, one may ask, can a shoe spend money. Ha, ha, well that’s a poser all right. Granted that it can’t as a shoe qua shoe, but rest assured that any money put in it will be used properly and any necks, or whatever, upon which it rests will appreciate the spending. But of course all this is extraneous to determining whose toes will be cut off. For this, we need an axiom, possibly considered as shoe polish.

I would suggest that anyone who questions the shoe and shoefulness outside the sensible boundaries placed for the protection of the shoe is objectively eligible for the bolt cutters. But that’s a little harsh. They can simply be ignored or ridiculed from the clean rooms the shoe prefers to inhabit. What we need is something fairly random imposed in an egalitarian fashion. A good measure might be where the toes live. Those who have chosen to live on top of things needed for the regular care and feeding of the shoe are the best candidates. Their presence causes the shoe to pinch the rest of us. So their removal — trimming, if you will — actually makes the shoe more functional. With the right perspective, their existence can be viewed as a heterogeneous assault on a safe homogeneity, i.e. the condition of shoefulness. By great good luck, the clean rooms the shoe prefers are inhabited by people who have studied the perspective and mastered it. They understand when a solution with the heterogeneous look and feel can reinforce the homogeneous condition we need to keep our toes. We can confidently leave it up to them. The curious readers may wonder if they are food for the bolt cutters, even if they don’t live on top of things needed for the shoe. I can’t answer that directly, but I can suggest that if they’ve done nothing wrong, they have nothing to worry about.

We're sorry, your comment has not been published because TypePad's antispam filter has flagged it as potential comment spam.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 19, 2007 4:04:36 AM | 20

My exp. w/self-proclaimed spam filter. Twice now, most recently my prev. post, I've gotten msg. saying my post was blocked by by it. Yet it did post. Weird.

Posted by: jj | Dec 19, 2007 4:15:35 AM | 21

I just saw one of those You Tube thingies - with a Fox segment of Dickhead O'Reilly Vs Ron Paul.

Although Ron Paul was 'OK' - it's just not quite good enough. Isn't there someone in America who can wipe the floor with these gasbags? I was expecting a George Galloway :(

Posted by: DM | Dec 19, 2007 6:09:24 AM | 22

Exit poll results are in for erection day (yes, they do say that... and yes, they do get the joke) in South Korea. Just like the rest of the friggin' world, they appear to have elected a conservative who wants to buddy up even closer to the USA (Why not? That's where he fled before they extradited him back), wants to be more antagonistic with North Korea, and has some major ongoing corporate scandals currently under investigation from his time on the board at Hyundai.

Here's to you, Lee Myung-bak. The weasels shall inherit whatever's left of the Earth.

Only bright side I see is that they didn't seem to elect candidate #8 who wanted to pay citizens several hundred dollars if they didn't marry foreigners and wanted to annex Mongolia. I wish I were making that up.

I need a drink.

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 19, 2007 6:32:36 AM | 23

Unfortunately, there are probably enough stories like this one on the
Caci torture trial
and various violations of the constitutional rights of Americans by U.S. intelligence agencies to provide daily reading well beyond the end of the Bush administration.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 19, 2007 6:39:06 AM | 24

Justin Raimondo's latest post is excellent: the polemicism is, as always, present, but the
associated links make it even more informative than usual. I particularly liked the "plane spotter" site which establishes a prima facie case
for collusion between the CIA and the Hunt Oil crowd. No surprise there, but
the "hand in the cookie jar" aspect is amusing.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 19, 2007 9:42:04 AM | 25

I found this article from Bloomberg on the origins of the subprime mess interesting.

Subprime Securities Market Began as `Group of 5' Over Chinese, By Mark Pittman, Dec. 17, 07.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aA6YC1xKUoek>link

Posted by: Tangerine | Dec 19, 2007 10:33:39 AM | 26

trying again - I found this article from Bloomberg on the origins of the subprime mess interesting.

Subprime Securities Market Began as `Group of 5' Over Chinese,

By Mark Pittman, Dec. 17, 07.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aA6YC1xKUoek>link

Posted by: Tangerine | Dec 19, 2007 10:35:44 AM | 27

CNN, December 18, 2007,

Bill Clinton: George H.W. Bush will help President Hillary

"Bill Clinton said former president George H.W. Bush will help fix damage done to America's reputation by his son, George W. Bush.

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina – Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, on an around-the-world mission to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president — Bush's son, George W. Bush."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/12/18/bill-clinton-george-hw-bush-will-help-president-hillary/>link

Posted by: Tangerine | Dec 19, 2007 10:44:35 AM | 28

i haven't come across a lot of discussion from europe over AFRICOM and the new scramble for africa, though there were some mentions of it in the recent eu-africa trade "talks" which, according to most reports, consisted more of strong-arm tactics by the eu to exact one-sided concessions out of their former colonies.

there is a commentary today in the eu observer from a senior fellow @ the european council on foreign relations that broaches the topic in a manner -- one that entirely sidesteps the main interests in securing holds on africa -- that appeals to the idea of forming a western tag-team approach to the scramble

Where is Europe in America's latest African adventure?

The ... US decision to create a new military command for the continent – a US Africa Command, or "AFRICOM" ... represents a serious challenge to Europe.

...

...the initiative represents a three-fold challenge to Europe.

First, it represents a challenge to Europe's desire – whether through NATO or the European Union – to support the development of the African Union's security capabilities.

...

Second, AFRICOM's likely approach risks challenging "best practice" for security assistance, championed by the EU.

...

Third, and most disconcertingly, is providing AFRICOM with the kind of "walking-around cash" that US commanders have been allocated in Iraq, (called Commander's Emergency Response Fund (CERPS)) and which have been mooted for AFRICOM carry risks.

...

In sum, AFRICOM may represent a serious challenge to Europe's security interests in Africa, at a time when other non-traditional donors, such as China and Venezuela, are increasing their presence on the continent and undermining the kind of "best practice" that more traditional donors, like the UN, EU and bilateral agencies, have developed.

...

..instead of developing a stand-alone US command, perhaps the US and NATO's European countries could collaborate in establishing a NATO command – Joint Force Command Africa. There is room for a more muscular approach to African capacity-building that nonetheless has a far stronger governance/political core to it than the current US approach. An ideal case, then, where Europe and the US can learn from – and support – each other.

individual european nations (e.g., germany & france) have been recently making business trips to african nations trying to line up & fortify their own relationships/deals, new & existing, but, as a block, the eu would seem to have more leverage in competing w/ the u.s. in a scramble for material resources & markets.

---

informed commentary on AFRICOM from nigeria's daily trust

The Trouble With Africom

As is usual with such initiatives, AFRICOM has come dressed as a force for peace and security in the region. Scratch the surface, however, and what you see is a force to help Americans secure oil in the West African sub-region on which they have increasingly become dependent.

Posted by: b real | Dec 19, 2007 12:06:27 PM | 29

I'm guessing there aren't enough shredders to get the job done.

link

Posted by: beq | Dec 19, 2007 12:09:15 PM | 30

pinch me, this is way too bizarre

All Iraqi Groups Blame U.S. Invasion for Discord, Study Shows

That is good news, according to a military analysis of the results. At the very least, analysts optimistically concluded, the findings indicate that Iraqis hold some "shared beliefs"

more good news ?

Few mentioned Saddam Hussein as a cause of their problems, which the report described as an important finding implying that "the current strife in Iraq seems to have totally eclipsed any agonies or grievances many Iraqis would have incurred from the past regime...."

Overall, the report said that "these findings may be expected to conclude that national reconciliation is neither anticipated nor possible. In reality, this survey provides very strong evidence that the opposite is true." A sense of "optimistic possibility permeated all focus groups . . . and far more commonalities than differences are found among these seemingly diverse groups of Iraqis."

i swear you can't make this shit up.

Posted by: annie | Dec 19, 2007 12:14:22 PM | 31

Tangerine@26,
excellent history of the subprime disaster. It's very clear who the characters are in this:

Institutional Investors: cows for the slaughter, ready to buy whatever offered at high interest rates and blank assurances.

Investment Rating Services: false prophets, willing to certify bad investments because they could say their information was the best currently available, despite fact that they were certifying the future of those investments and could easily investigate the near-certain future defaults.

Investment Bankers: Hungry carnivores in need of the next meal, willing to recommend anything vaguely plausible to their marks customers. Their job, as they see it, was to make the investments plausible, not good. Proof of this is that their brothers the traders, started shorting teh investments form the first day they sold.

Nice history. And it does not engage in my analogies, but it does substantiate them. Read, read!

Posted by: citizen | Dec 19, 2007 12:31:40 PM | 32

Amusing evidence on the manipulation of elections:
The Des Moines Register asserts that it excluded Dennis Kucinich from the recent debates because he rented no office space in the state. Sounds plausible, if a little bit strange, but apparently they allowed Alan Keyes into the Republican debate despite the fact that he was polling low and rented no office space either.

Clear part of a proof that Kucinich is excluded for reasons not to be explained.

Posted by: citizen | Dec 19, 2007 1:28:11 PM | 33

beq, its either my old selectric still burning or its cheney doing a reichstag

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 19, 2007 1:38:28 PM | 34

One more way to rob an election

Excerpt:

Paul Twomey, a lawyer for the New Hampshire Democratic party, said that phone records obtained in the civil suit showed that Tobin made 22 calls to the White House political office in the 24 hours before and after the jamming.
Twomey said Tobin refused to testify about the calls, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination.

And how to define "slap on the wrist"

As for his three months in a Pennsylvania prison, he wrote: "After 10 full years inside the GOP, 90 days among honest criminals wasn't really any great ordeal."

Posted by: citizen | Dec 19, 2007 1:42:10 PM | 35

beq

it's either my selectric still burning or cheney doing a reichstag

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 19, 2007 1:47:11 PM | 36

@27, Once promoted from ex-prez to wizard, the kinder, gentler machine gun hand will then carry a magic wand. All the US needs is a new brand spokesman and the rest of the world will buy in like good, dumb Americans. No problem that better marketing can't handle. Good luck with that. (Comment directed at Bill, not poster who knows better.)

@8, Yes. Whoever owns the delivery mechanism determines its content. Concentration of the mechanism's ownership limits the range of content to the vision and purposes of the owners. Alternative content has few if any outlets and cannot build its own mechanism in major, established media.

I work at a small radio station in a small city and review 2 - 3 thousand CD submissions per year for play on our station. Reviewers in our other 3 depts listen to as much or more than that. Many submissions aren't very interesting and some make me embarrassed for the submitters, but I give them all credit for trying; however, much music is also very good and deserving of a wider audience. They and the small record companies who record them scour the US airwaves for stations whose playlists are not determined by market niche formulas. There aren't many. Limiting station ownership to one per person or group would force stations to seek content instead of having content pre-programmed centrally, making it easier for artists to have their music heard. The same applies to non-music content.

Such an arrangement would lower the monetary value of each, individual media outlet and require additional personnel costs to maintain it, a good thing since the money spent to run the outlet would remain in the local economy. Note that one of the first things that happens to a media outlet acquired by a large company like Clear Channel is that most of the staff is fired. Those salaries are lost to the local economy while that local loss is turned to profit and siphoned off to absentee owners called shareholders. Therefore, in addition to other benefits, returning control of the airwaves to communities would improve local economies.

Content providers could still get big through syndication, but they'd be doing it on their own. For example, a Rush Limbaugh might still garner a large audience, but he or his reps would have to go door to door among the individual media owners to get that audience. And he could be fired locally at any time. The need for content at so many individually owned outlets would open up opportunities not conceived of now, some of which would occur locally. Talented local musicians (or other content providers) could more easily create a local buzz and then expand their appeal to a wider regional audience and later, possibly, a national one. Sounds almost like a free market.

'Tis but a vision of sugarplums during the holiday season. When have Money Mullahs, in any era, ever yielded to the common good? Forces they themselves have put in motion will create events that bring down their house, rotted at the foundation while they decorate and enjoy the view from the upper floors. Maybe then, while they are a bit disoriented, they will leave a few of their media assets lying around unguarded for the rest of us to pick up and use.

Posted by: lg | Dec 19, 2007 1:53:57 PM | 37

My thoughts inre Cheney r'giap. He is busy busy busy.

[it looks like the bit I linked to is absent now unless you login to read it - :P ]

Posted by: beq | Dec 19, 2007 1:56:08 PM | 38

it is in the deeply criminal pathology of dick cheney to burn everything that comes before him - including paper, people & countries

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 19, 2007 1:59:56 PM | 39

@ citizen re #35

If there were any true justice, or Law in a real democracy, or republic, Tobin would have been tried, convicted and hung until dead.

And I'm against the death penalty.

Subverting an election is a high crime in my eyes. Further, the Democrats who didn't didn't bother to pursue serious felonies regarding this should be harshly convicted too.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 19, 2007 8:56:51 PM | 40

the whole bunch of 'em need to be hung upside down in the streets like mussolini & his mistress in milan

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 19, 2007 9:01:24 PM | 41

Is Israel beyond the point of no return yet?

Mearsheimer & Walt breached of the dikes of Israeli propaganda. Then Americans started getting royally pissed off w/Israel trying to drag us into a suicidal war against Iran. Now, look what the WaPo just printed - unthinkable just a year ago:

...

The rights of the Palestinian refugees have been ignored for six decades by a world that has wished them away. But the Middle East will never know peace or stability until they are granted justice. In 1948-49, around the conflict that Israelis refer to as their War of Independence and that Palestinians call the Catastrophe, some 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed to make way for the creation of the Jewish state. In 1967, during the Six-Day War, 400,000 Palestinians were expelled by the Israeli military, according to Amnesty International.

A series of subsequent peace processes has ignored the refugees, offered no compensation for their suffering and lost property, or refused to recognize their right to return to their homes in their homeland. It's not just the Israelis who have brutalized them; Palestinian refugees have been massacred in Jordan and Lebanon. ...

... Scapegoats in an Unwelcoming Land by Nir Rosen

If someone doesn't wake up quickly in Israel, displace the radical right there & negotiate post haste a settlement along the '67 boundaries, Israel will lose it's moment when that was possible & be toast. Demand too much & you end up w/nothing. It may already be too late, in part 'cuz Israel's existence is possible only as long as America is solvent & powerful enough to protect it. In any event, can you imagine that still being the case in 50 or 100 years? If I were a young Israeli, I'd get to work, or get out while before I became an international pariah.

Posted by: jj | Dec 19, 2007 10:57:02 PM | 42

My post just got spam filtered out & it only had one link.

Posted by: jj | Dec 19, 2007 10:58:52 PM | 43

"when the president said we don’t mind partnering with AFRICOM, he is expressing the views of AU leaders..."

sounds like GWB had more going for him last week than was presumed.

at this point, I have to say I ca'nt make a whole lot of sense out of whats going on. Can only hope for more gaffes and hence more damage control and hence more revealings.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 19, 2007 11:20:31 PM | 44

jony_b_cool - yes, it's tough to get a good read on what went down that day, especially since the u.s. has deliberately shut down any discussion of AFRICOM in that visit -- going so far as to censor even the very word as it sprang from the giddy mouth of yar'adua, as i pointed out on thursday -- and so we are left w/ a lot of speculating on our own & close parsing of words coming from only one side. (and good grief, attempting to follow the nigerian media can be very frustrating!)

in cases like this, sometimes my imagination gets carried away & at the moment i am vigorously working to exorcise certain visuals based on a loose interpolation of two particular dots out of my noggin:

dot (a) -- a decontextualized stmt from yar adua : "This is a moment that I'll never forget in my life."

dot (b) -- "Bush did not say a word about AFRICOM, and diplomatic sources said even at the closed door meetings, it was the US Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice and her assistant in charge of Africa, Jendayi Frazer, who discussed AFRICOM with Yar’Adua in some greater details." [How Yar’Adua goofed on AFRICOM in US]

Posted by: b real | Dec 20, 2007 12:39:22 AM | 45

Finally, someone I could get behind and support... that is if I were to vote my conscience. Love to see her team w/Kucinich with money bags Oprah Winfrey backing them.

Cynthia McKinney Announces Bid For The Presidency

Cynthia McKinney, a former six-term Congresswoman and an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, today officially launched her campaign as a Green Party candidate for President.

In a video news release, McKinney says "the Republicans have deceived us; the Democrats have failed us. It is time for a new beginning: A time for hope to rise from the ashes of despair."

McKinney, a former Democrat from Georgia, was one of only three members of Congress to vote "yes" on a House Resolution in 2005 calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. One of her last acts in office was introducing Articles of Impeachment naming George Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice.

According to McKinney: "It is time to break the vicious cycle where the poor go to war and veterans come home wounded and ignored."

McKinney supports universal, single-payer health care; fair trade; and has been an unrelenting advocate for Hurricane Katrina survivors. No stranger to controversy and unafraid of speaking truth to power, McKinney has demanded that the Bush Administration tell the American people what the Administration knew about the events leading up to 9/11 and when they knew it.

She's got courage, integrity, tenacity, vision and style. Definitely one of the most honorable and honest politicos we have.
I'd vote for her, and proud to do so -- IF I decide not to boycott the charade.

Unfortunately, the Pentagon and PTB won't 'allow' someone like McKinney who challenges their power and the MIC status quo to actually win the popular vote. Even IF she were to win by some fluke, I'm sure the establishment Republocrats, militarists, globalists and globalist financiers would shut her out and isolate her politically. Especially the State Dept., Congress and Pentagon would resist cooperating with her if she tried to change (or even influence) long-established strategic, economic, foreign and domestic policy. She would have to have very powerful, established, well-connected and experienced politicos on her staff and in key positions of Congress and Federal agencies in order to wield any real authority and avoid being forced to wage constant legal and bureaucratic battles by those wanting to stonewall her.

The real 'test' of our democracy would be if someone like McKinney, whose anti-war, pro-peace-and-social-justice 'leftist' stance is regarded with distrust and suspicion by much of the public and those in government, were to be accorded the authority, dignity, respect, and honour of the President's office, cooperating completely and with the military fully complying with her lawful orders and directives as C-in-C. That would signal return to civilian control of the military and a legitimate public-directed self-Government of, by and for We the People.

But as it is, the popular, distributed self-interest of Defense Industries in several hundred Congressional districts constituting a huge defacto Corporate welfare boondoggle will be a huge disincentive to reducing the US's dependency on war as an essential part of America's economy -- because an institutionalized failure of courage and imagination doesn't realize the large range of alternatives to war that are far more lucrative and beneficial to everyone -- not just the elites. As well as the elite's self-interest in protecting their power and remaining immune from their serial crimes.


One can dream and blow sweet smelling smoke rings into the ether...signifying nothing.

Posted by: | Dec 20, 2007 2:05:33 AM | 46

Finally, someone I could get behind and support... that is if I were to vote my conscience. Love to see her team w/Kucinich with money bags Oprah Winfrey backing them.

Cynthia McKinney Announces Bid For The Presidency

Cynthia McKinney, a former six-term Congresswoman and an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, today officially launched her campaign as a Green Party candidate for President.

In a video news release, McKinney says "the Republicans have deceived us; the Democrats have failed us. It is time for a new beginning: A time for hope to rise from the ashes of despair."

McKinney, a former Democrat from Georgia, was one of only three members of Congress to vote "yes" on a House Resolution in 2005 calling for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. One of her last acts in office was introducing Articles of Impeachment naming George Bush, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice.

According to McKinney: "It is time to break the vicious cycle where the poor go to war and veterans come home wounded and ignored."

McKinney supports universal, single-payer health care; fair trade; and has been an unrelenting advocate for Hurricane Katrina survivors. No stranger to controversy and unafraid of speaking truth to power, McKinney has demanded that the Bush Administration tell the American people what the Administration knew about the events leading up to 9/11 and when they knew it.

She's got courage, integrity, tenacity, vision and style. Definitely one of the most honorable and honest politicos we have.
I'd vote for her, and proud to do so -- IF I decide not to boycott the charade.

Unfortunately, the Pentagon and PTB won't 'allow' someone like McKinney who challenges their power and the MIC status quo to actually win the popular vote. Even IF she were to win by some fluke, I'm sure the establishment Republocrats, militarists, globalists and globalist financiers would shut her out and isolate her politically. Especially the State Dept., Congress and Pentagon would resist cooperating with her if she tried to change (or even influence) long-established strategic, economic, foreign and domestic policy. She would have to have very powerful, established, well-connected and experienced politicos on her staff and in key positions of Congress and Federal agencies in order to wield any real authority and avoid being forced to wage constant legal and bureaucratic battles by those wanting to stonewall her.

The real 'test' of our democracy would be if someone like McKinney, whose anti-war, pro-peace-and-social-justice 'leftist' stance is regarded with distrust and suspicion by much of the public and those in government, were to be accorded the authority, dignity, respect, and honour of the President's office, cooperating completely and with the military fully complying with her lawful orders and directives as C-in-C. That would signal return to civilian control of the military and a legitimate public-directed self-Government of, by and for We the People.

But as it is, the popular, distributed self-interest of Defense Industries in several hundred Congressional districts constituting a huge defacto Corporate welfare boondoggle will be a huge disincentive to reducing the US's dependency on war as an essential part of America's economy -- because an institutionalized failure of courage and imagination doesn't realize the large range of alternatives to war that are far more lucrative and beneficial to everyone -- not just the elites. As well as the elite's self-interest in protecting their power and remaining immune from their serial crimes.


One can dream and blow sweet smelling smoke rings into the ether...signifying nothing.

Posted by: | Dec 20, 2007 2:08:03 AM | 47

Walt & Mearsheimer indeed broke a dyke.

WaPo writes on Israeli aparthheid: For Israel's Arab Citizens, Isolation and Exclusion

This process of separation within Israel's original boundaries mirrors in many ways the broader one taking place between Israelis and Palestinians in the occupied territories.

With most of Israel's land controlled by a government agency, Israeli Arabs have long had more trouble acquiring property than Jews, who outnumber them five to one in a population of about 6.5 million people.
...
Arabs and Jews study in separate schools in Israel -- the Arab system receives fewer resources -- and learn Israeli history in different ways.
...

Remarkable ...

Posted by: b | Dec 20, 2007 2:11:24 AM | 48

b-, do you know that a "dyke" is a gay woman of the butch persuasion? Just sayin' :)

Calling b- & economically literate barflies - Is this front page story from the Guardian Significant or just irrelevant ass covering? A way to get bailed out by Bear Stearns Insurance Co. rather than Brit. Govt.? Barclays sues Bear Stearns over sub-prime losses

Barclays' exposure to America's sub-prime mortgage fiasco took a dramatic turn last night as the bank sued the Wall Street firm Bear Stearns for fraud and deception over the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in an ill-fated hedge fund.

In a lawsuit filed in New York, Barclays accused Bear Stearns of systematically hiding losses in a fund which swallowed $400m (£200m) of the British bank's money. The fund had to be bailed out in June after reaching the brink of collapse following a disastrous series of investments in mortgage-backed securities.

Barclays described the fund's demise as "one of the most high profile and shocking hedge fund failures in the last decade". The suit alleges that up to the last days before the bail-out, Bear Stearns executives engaged in a cover-up to hide the slump in its value.

In addition to Bear Stearns, the suit targets the Wall Street firm's senior managing director for asset management, Matthew Tannin. A third defendant, fund manager, Ralph Cioffi, is already under investigation by US federal prosecutors for withdrawing his own money from the hedge fund while assuring investors not to worry.

"The defendants entered intentionally into a relationship in which Barclays placed trust and confidence in them," the suit says. It describes Bear Stearns' conduct as "wilful, malicious, reckless and without regard to Barclays' rights and interests".

Barclays has been under pressure over its exposure to the credit crunch, which has frequently depressed its shares. The bank announced last month that it had written off $1.7bn in loans and mortgages.

...

In financial results due today, Bear Stearns will reveal the extent of the damage to its balance sheet arising from the credit crunch. Its chairman, Jimmy Cayne, and fellow executives are likely to forgo their annual bonuses as a result of the havoc.

Posted by: jj | Dec 20, 2007 2:57:28 AM | 49

BUSTED! Clinton links to funds in Cayman Islands

Coke, Pepsi, cheeseburger cheezburgh..

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 20, 2007 3:12:50 AM | 50

b-, do you know that a "dyke" is a gay woman of the butch persuasion? Just sayin' :)

Opps sorry, meant dike of course. Well, even the Wiki entry doesn't now for sure:

A dike (or dyke) is an artificial earthen wall, ...

---

On the Bear Stearns etc. shitpile issue: It will keep lawyers payed for the next 20 years ...

"Insurance" in that field means nothing because all "insurers" are simply broke.

Posted by: b | Dec 20, 2007 3:27:51 AM | 51

My Eid Celebration

Posted by: annie | Dec 20, 2007 4:02:02 AM | 52

Something is happening. The noise meter is pegged. I am not saying that all these events are related, but if they are...

NIE
CIA tapes
Kucinich brother
Eisenhower building fire
Paul is dead

Some people are playing real hard ball right now.

So in the last two weeks:

the NIE report said the neocons were lying about Iran

a kid goes on a shooting spree at a mall right as Bush was leaving a few miles
away and 2 hours after Homeland Security officials were there

the CIA gets caught destroying the very "al Qaeda' tapes used to base most of the 9/11 commission story on; and now it comes out what was revealed by the prisoners was very explosive

Rudy Guiliani gets outed as being business partners with Qatari officials who sheltered
and funded al Qaeda and funded 9/11

A guy straps bombs to himself and takes hostages inside a Clinton campaign office

Mike Huckabee, a decade after he pardons the guy who raped Clinton's cousin(and went on to rape and kill two women) surges to the #1 spot

Ron Paul and Glen Beck talk about how the "nwo and NAU is in the works"

Huckabee jokingly says his messages played back will say "Paul is dead, paul is dead"

Ron Paul mania reaches a fever pitch

Chemical explosion yesterday at Fox News headquarters


Dick Cheney's Eisenhower office catches fire

And now...

EXACTLY to the date that Dennis Kuncinich's brother was arrested for bank robbery...
(dec 19th 1978) is found dead.


...and we're not even into the crazy year that will be 2008.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 20, 2007 6:33:42 AM | 53

For b real and other AFRICOM interested:

A Congressional Research Report about Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa (pdf)

Regional Perspectives

U.S. reaction to the proposed creation of a new command for Africa has been largely positive, although concerns have been raised.82 In Africa, on the other hand, perceptions of the new command are more mixed. There is considerable apprehension over U.S. motivations for creating AFRICOM, and some Africans worry that the move represents a neo-colonial effort to dominate the region militarily.
U.S. military efforts on the continent have been seen as episodic, leading some to question a more sustained focus from DOD now. Reports of U.S. air strikes in Somalia in early 2007 and U.S. support for Ethiopia’s military intervention there have added to those concerns. Many have viewed U.S. counter-terrorism efforts in Africa with skepticism, and there appears to be a widespread belief that the new command’s primary goals will be to hunt terrorists and to secure U.S. access to African oil.83 U.S. foreign policy analysts have focused increased attention on China’s role in Africa in recent years, and such attention has led some to question whether an Africa Command might be part of a new contest for influence on the continent.
...

Posted by: b | Dec 20, 2007 6:57:50 AM | 54

Dearest friends,

As you prepare for whatever type of holiday celebration you embrace, please, for me, take a few minutes and watch this brief video of what it is like to be a Palestinian in the year 2007 who is trying to get to work in Bethlehem, the town where Christ--whose birthday we ostensibly celebrate in this materialistic miasma called "Christmas"--was born.

Please watch it, and feel with these people, even for a moment, as a way of giving. Giving empathy, and giving care. And if you are moved to share it with others, that will, in turn, expand the circle of concern.

Thank you.

Video: Bethlehem checkpoint, 4 am

Posted by: Bea | Dec 20, 2007 10:49:38 AM | 55

thanks b. that's the latest update (#3 now, i believe) of the rpt that was originally issued on may 16 of this year. it's unfortunate there is no easy way to track changes in a pdf file to follow where the revisions & enhancements occur. (if there is a diff tool for pdf's, please let me know.)

i'm working my way through last week's rpt from the center for strategic & int'l studies (csis), which also focuses on AFRICOM
Integrating 21st Century Development and Security Assistance

Synopsis:
In early 2007, CSIS launched an expert task force to examine the growing involvement of the Department of Defense as a direct provider of “non-traditional” security assistance, concentrated in counterterrorism, capacity building, stabilization and reconstruction, and humanitarian relief. The task force set out to shed light on what drives this trend, including the new global threat environment; assess what was happening at the same time in the diplomatic and developmental realms; evaluate DOD performance in conducting its expanded missions; and consider the impact of the Pentagon’s enlarged role on broader U.S. national security, foreign policy and development interests. From the outset, the task force sought to generate concrete, practical recommendations to Congress and the White House on reforms and legislation that will create a better and more sustainable balance between military and civilian tools.

the "task force" roster included dov zakheim, who has long been a proponent of a military transformation of this type.

Posted by: b real | Dec 20, 2007 11:08:31 AM | 56

The poster of the historical document from the Truman administration embedded here gives it an interesting, though undoubtedly contested, gloss.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 20, 2007 11:13:59 AM | 57

another commentary from nigeria (scroll down)

daily trust: AFRICOM: President Yar’Adua’s unenviable burden

...
So in defiance of the resolution of the National Council of States, the overwhelming majority of the African and Nigerian peoples, President Umaru Yar’Adua went to Washington and collapsed on his knees to propitiate the monster of American militarism in Africa, shamelessly and without the mandate of the Nigerian people!

The Americans are past masters of manipulation and this they have shown again with the way that Malam Umaru Yar’Adua was twisted round the small finger of Washington. A few weeks ago, John Negroponte had been sent on a whistle-stop tour of Africa, to sell the idea of colonialism by other means to the African people. It must have been an embarrassing spectacle for the high representative of Washington, to see the "obviously poor and helpless" Africans rejecting emphatically the sugar-coated offer to participate in the re-colonisation of Africa as well as getting African soldiers to be prepared to die in Washington’s wars in our continent, the way the Ethiopian Army is presently doing in Somalia. Even a well-known asset of the United States, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, who initially offered to host the HQ of AFRICOM, was given the pause by the weight of African rejection of the AFRICOM idea.

Faced with the hostility of our people (and that was what emboldened the National Council of States), the United States took a different approach. America had been scandalised by the level of fraud which Obasanjo, PDP and INEC perpetrated in the April 2007 elections, and it joined the world to describe the emergence of President Umar Yar’Adua as flawed. While recognizing him as the de-facto president, the Americans also continued to treat him as a president who faces a legitimacy challenge. On the other hand, Umar Ya’Adua and his handlers needed the imprimatur of the only imperialist super power, the USA, to shore up his image in the international scene. It seemed that the USA decided to withhold that imprimatur, calculating rightly, that it would be offered along the line, as a quid pro quo! The opportunity came with the stiff African resistance to the AFRICOM idea. When Nigeria also expressed the rejection of an imperialist military outpost on our continent, the Americans went for the legitimacy challenge which Malam Umaru Yar’Adua faces. We will invite you to Washington only on the grounds that you will accept to collaborate with us on this doggone business of AFRICOM! It was an offer too tempting to reject and off to Washington did our man go; and as they say, the rest is history.

The capitulation of Malam Umaru Yar’Adua in Washington, underlines the danger which a questionable mandate posits to the national weal. It is a veritable platform of blackmail and who does that better than the imperialists, as Malam Umaru Yar’Adua found out? By accepting to collaborate with AFRICOM, Presaident Yar’Adua has chosen to betray the best interest of the Nigerian and the African peoples. He neither canvassed our opinions nor spoke for us that day in Washington. He showed the true colours of impunity long associated with the PDP, the Garrison Leadership of the Party under Colonel Amadu Ali and the disgraced despot, General Olusegun Obasanjo. If our National Assembly is alive to its resaponsibility, it must insist that Malam Umaru Yar’Adua makes FULL DISCLOSURE of what he actually agreed to when he was summoned to Washington.

Posted by: b real | Dec 20, 2007 11:21:53 AM | 58

With regard to Uncle $cam @ 53, I too am wondering if something "behind the scenes" is changing, or if it's just that I tend to see "conspiracy" behind
every bush (or Bush, if you prefer). This (not extremely recent) analysis from the ever conspiracy-conscious Larouche site credits the W's elders for much of the recent heresy in Washington and CFR dogma. The final lines


Any fundamental shift in Bush Administration policy towards Iran, even at this late date, hinges on the removal of Vice President Cheney from office, now. As the neocon uproar shows, the war party is smarting from a pair of significant setbacks; but they are not about to give up on their confrontation agenda—unless and until their man at the White House is removed from the scene.

If the Family Bush is serious about using the next year to salvage some legacy for G.W., they would do well to exert their newfound leverage, to see to it that the Vice President makes for the exit—the sooner the better.


It might be that Congressman Wexler's recent (and highly welcome) campaign to bring up a Cheney impeachment resolution in the House is the result of having received (or perceived) a green-light for that act of lèse majesté from "unimpeachable authorities"

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 20, 2007 12:05:23 PM | 59

Want to check where your friends "lurk" on networking sites?

Spookeo would be a better name.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Dec 20, 2007 12:19:45 PM | 60

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Comments: Want to check where your friends "lurk" on networking sites?

Spookeo would be a better name.


Posted by: Cloned Poster | Dec 20, 2007 12:23:32 PM | 61

The Average Bonus being Paid by Goldman Sachs to its employees this Christmas - $600,000. (Just heard on Thom Hartmann.) Sounds like they had a great year, no...

Posted by: jj | Dec 20, 2007 2:41:29 PM | 62

Happy Christmas, your under arrest, here's some chemicals, now move over while I bull doz your home!


Police, protesters clash in New Orleans

AP - Police used chemical spray and stun guns Thursday as dozens of protesters tried to force their way into a packed City Council chamber during a debate on the planned demolition of some 4,500 public housing units.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 20, 2007 5:25:39 PM | 63

Impeachment - Rahm says it will tear this nation apart

Aww, that's okay Emanuel, you can use your duel citizenship passport to escape if things get to hot for ya... Dick.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 20, 2007 6:16:58 PM | 64

In addition to US police agent's casual use of excessive and lethal force, they are now sanctioned (at least in New Jersey) to maim you if they suspect you've been drinking.

Police may inflict permanent physical damage while forcibly taking blood from a motorist accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), according to a decision by the appellate division of the New Jersey Superior Court. The court on Tuesday found that police officers from Washington and Hamilton Townships did nothing wrong when they held down Russell Johnston in such a way that his wrist suffered permanent nerve damage as a nurse from Robert Wood Johnson Hospital took his blood.

Good to have that decision on the books in case members of the local PD want to pursue future careers at detainment camps. There's no foreseeable potential for abuse here, we're just giving medically untrained brownshirts unlimited license. Hey, if you have nothing to hide then you should have nothing to worry about... except for possibly death or permanent disability while they establish that you have nothing to hide.

Posted by: Monolycus | Dec 20, 2007 11:09:06 PM | 65

december 19: Freedom! Lakota Sioux Indians Declare Sovereign Nation Status

Washington D.C. – Lakota Sioux Indian representatives declared sovereign nation status today in Washington D.C. following Monday’s withdrawal from all previously signed treaties with the United States Government. The withdrawal, hand delivered to Daniel Turner, Deputy Director of Public Liaison at the State Department, immediately and irrevocably ends all agreements between the Lakota Sioux Nation of Indians and the United States Government outlined in the 1851 and 1868 Treaties at Fort Laramie Wyoming.

“This is an historic day for our Lakota people,” declared Russell Means, Itacan of Lakota. “United States colonial rule is at its end!”

“Today is a historic day and our forefathers speak through us. Our Forefathers made the treaties in good faith with the sacred Canupa and with the knowledge of the Great Spirit,” shared Garry Rowland from Wounded Knee. “They never honored the treaties, that’s the reason we are here today.”

The four member Lakota delegation traveled to Washington D.C. culminating years of internal discussion among treaty representatives of the various Lakota communities. Delegation members included well known activist and actor Russell Means, Women of All Red Nations (WARN) founder Phyllis Young, Oglala Lakota Strong Heart Society leader Duane Martin Sr., and Garry Rowland, Leader Chief Big Foot Riders. Means, Rowland, Martin Sr. were all members of the 1973 Wounded Knee takeover.

“In order to stop the continuous taking of our resources – people, land, water and children- we have no choice but to claim our own destiny,” said Phyllis Young, a former Indigenous representative to the United Nations and representative from Standing Rock.

afp: Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.

"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.

A delegation of Lakota leaders delivered a message to the State Department on Monday, announcing they were unilaterally withdrawing from treaties they signed with the federal government of the United States, some of them more than 150 years old.

They also visited the Bolivian, Chilean, South African and Venezuelan embassies, and will continue on their diplomatic mission and take it overseas in the coming weeks and months, they told the news conference.

Lakota country includes parts of the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free -- provided residents renounce their US citizenship, Means said.


argus leader: Lakota group pushes for new nation
Members of the new nation would not pay any taxes, and leaders would be informally chosen by community elders, Means said. Non-Indians could continue to live in the new nation's territory, which would consist of the western parts of North and South Dakota and Nebraska and eastern parts of Wyoming and Montana. The new government would issue its own passports and drivers licenses, Means said.

"Our withdrawal (from the treaties) is fully thought out," Means said, referring to peace treaties the Lakota people signed with the government in 1851 and 1868. "We were mandated by our elders in 1974 to do two things. First, to establish relationships with the international community... and the second mandate, of course, was to reestablish our independence."

Bolivian Ambassador Gustavo Guzman, who attended the press conference out of solidarity, said he takes the Lakotas' declaration of independence seriously.

"We are here because the demands of indigenous people of America are our demands," Guzman said. "We have sent all the documents they presented to the embassy to our ministry of foreign affairs in Bolivia and they'll analyze everything."

tatanka yotanka (aka sitting bull), in remarks delivered to a journalist visiting during the years he was being held as a prisoner of war at fort randall, dakota territory, 1881-1883:

This land belongs to us, for the Great Spirit gave it to us when he put us here. We were free to come and go, and to live our own way. But white men, who belong to another land, have come upon us, and are forcing us to live according to their ideas. That is an injustice; we have never dreamed of making white men live as we live.

White men like to dig in the ground for their food. My people prefer to hunt the buffalo as their father did. White men like to stay in one place. My people want to move their teepees here and there to the different hunting grounds. The life of white men is slavery. They are prisoners in towns or farms. The life my people want is a life of freedom.
...
The white men had many things that we wanted, but we could see that they did not have the one thing we liked best, -- freedom.

Posted by: b real | Dec 20, 2007 11:46:06 PM | 66

video version of Lakota Freedom Media Release

A quick clip put together to pass on the message from www.lakotafreedom.com, with background music from Floyd Red Crow Westerman.

and r.i.p. to floyd red crow westerman
youtube: Red Crow says goodbye

Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman bids farewell to this world and sends a special greeting to his Irish friends. American Indian Movement "Minister of Culture" passes into the spirit world.

video: Song "Goin' back" by Floyd Red Crow Westerman off the "Custer Died for your Sins" CD

video of memorial service here

Posted by: b real | Dec 21, 2007 12:16:34 AM | 67

Well, if the U.S. and EU can 'create' and recognize Kosovo as a sovereign nation, Russia and Serbia can do so with the Lakota Sioux Indian sovereign state.

Stuff for interesting international treaties ...

Posted by: b | Dec 21, 2007 1:52:02 AM | 69

Mike Rivero's site has some interesting links today. The first is to some newly released court documents in the torture-tapes cover-up, while the second seems to out an interesting connection between "pro-Paul" white supremacists and the Israeli Megaphone
operation. Needless to say, this is the internet, so I have no knowledge whatsoever of the authenticity of the various documents involved. It does seem, however, that as the (irrelevant?) election season approaches more ugly little beasties are crawling out from under their rocks and trying to roil the campaign waters. I repeat my view that the efforts of the Paul campaign's auxiliary outriders to try to guarantee the accuracy of the primary vote count seems worthy of support even from those who wish to have no truck with the candidacy itself.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 21, 2007 2:14:15 AM | 70

Krugman channels Billmon (and Calculated Risk) today:

When announcing Japan’s surrender in 1945, Emperor Hirohito famously explained his decision as follows: “The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage.”

There was a definite Hirohito feel to the explanation Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve chairman, gave this week for the Fed’s locking-the-barn-door-after-the-horse-is-gone decision to modestly strengthen regulation of the mortgage industry: “Market discipline has in some cases broken down, and the incentives to follow prudent lending procedures have, at times, eroded.”

That’s quite an understatement. In fact, the explosion of “innovative” home lending that took place in the middle years of this decade was an unmitigated disaster.

Link

Posted by: biklett | Dec 21, 2007 3:05:57 AM | 71


Mike Huckabee's son tortures a stray dog at Boy Scout Camp

Lest ye become monsters...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 21, 2007 3:06:25 AM | 72

This link regarding the NSA and your e-mail comes from an anonymous source. There are several other links at John Young's Cryptome site purporting to detail NSA affiliated internet sites and servers, with a plethora of details. We needn't hold our breaths waiting for the NSA to confirm (or deny) the allegations.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 21, 2007 3:16:41 AM | 73

An interesting report on Iraq from">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/20/AR2007122002553_pf.html">from Najaf by WaPo.

The tenor:
People are disaffected by the government. Prices inflation is high, the economy in shatters, nothing gets done. They blame the marjaiya, Sistani, Hakim and the other top clerics, who advised them to vote for this government.

Now fringe groups are growing up. But the real winner is -tata- nationalist al-Sadr

The most powerful militia in Iraq today is Sadr's Mahdi Army. The 34-year-old cleric's decision to leave the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki bolstered Sadr's standing, as has his family's history of resisting Hussein's oppression of Shiites.

"The marjaiya has its voice and its presence, and it has influence," said Jassim al-Musawi, a student at one of the seminaries run by Sadr. "But the Iraqi streets want a person who demands for their rights."

"No one," he added, using an honorific for the cleric, "demands more for the Iraqi people than Sayyid Moqtada Sadr."

Posted by: b | Dec 21, 2007 3:26:10 AM | 74

Nancy Pelosi: "Nobody is more disappointed with the fact that we couldn't change (Iraq) than I am"

The first Democratic-led Congress in a dozen years limped out of Washington last night with a lengthy list of accomplishments, from the first increase in fuel-efficiency standards in a generation to the first minimum-wage hike in a decade. But Democrats' failure to address the central issues that swept them to power left even the most partisan of them dissatisfied and Congress mired at a historic low in public esteem.

Handed control of Congress last year after making promises to end the war in Iraq, restore fiscal discipline in Washington and check President Bush's powers, Democrats instead closed the first session of the 110th Congress yesterday with House votes that sent Bush $70 billion in war funding, with no strings attached, and a $50 billion alternative-minimum-tax measure that shattered their pledge not to add to the federal budget deficit.

"I'm not going to let a lot of hard work go unnoticed, but I'm not going to hand out party hats, either," said House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.).

On Iraq, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said yesterday: "Nobody is more disappointed with the fact that we couldn't change that than I am." But Pelosi was not about to accept Republican assertions that her first year as speaker has been unsuccessful, saying: "Almost everything we've done has been historic."


No comment.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 21, 2007 3:27:35 AM | 75

Since Catherine Austin Fitts posted a link to this, I'll pass it along. The Sun Rises in the East/Why Blackwater Exists

Posted by: jj | Dec 21, 2007 4:28:28 AM | 76

b #74,

Some other interesting stuff from that link is that there is a growing cadre of younger clerics looking for ayatollah certification through popular street creds as opposed to the normal channels of certification. Interesting that Sadr is recently making news for extending his cease fire and returning to religious study. Could this news be connected to a growing revolutionary movement, under the radar, of younger clerics looking to upset and replace Sistani and the other Najaf ayatollahs? And could Sadr be either mentoring such a movement or trying to keep up with them - should they succeed? mmmm.

Posted by: anna missed | Dec 21, 2007 5:21:41 AM | 77

No wonder this sexist pyg hates affirmative action, having to look at himself in the mirror every morning:

Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke at Chapman University, revealing that he doesn’t even really “like” being a Supreme Court justice:


“There’s not much that entices about the job,” Thomas said, answering questions from the public that provided a rare glimpse of the man behind the office. “There’s no money in it, no privacy, no big houses, and from an ego standpoint, it does nothing for me.”


Thomas, 59, said the position is satisfying because he feels he’s serving the public, and he’s honored by it, “but I wouldn’t say I like it.”
link

Posted by: jj | Dec 21, 2007 5:23:47 AM | 78

@anna missed - 76 - Could this news be connected to a growing revolutionary movement, under the radar, of younger clerics looking to upset and replace Sistani and the other Najaf ayatollahs?

Maybe the U.S. has its in finger in this too? And the WaPo piece is the accompanying propaganda?

Badger quoting some Arab piece:

"In spite of these anxieties, American intelligence officers in Iraq are continuing their efforts to contact tribal and other local Shiite leaders to encourage them to form awakening councils in exchange for promises of support in the form of weapons and money and political protection from the current government for their activities". (The "political protection from the government" idea is left unelaborated here, but the Nahrainnet reporter returns to this issue at the end of the piece in the form of questions and a hypothesis).

The reports are said to include also a second theme, in addition to this point about creation of an armed force capable of confronting Iranian influence. The second point is that Washington is intent on igniting a Shiite-Shiite war at the earliest possible opportunity, and the Nahrainnet reporter puts it this way:
...

Posted by: b | Dec 21, 2007 6:40:29 AM | 79

jj *78,

After reading these arrogant words of Judge Thomas, this guy is now in the same class with Scalia- definitely a jerk.

Yes very ironic, "affirmative action" on the Supreme Court.

“Well, Nino, if it wasn’t for affirmative action, I wouldn’t be here” – Sandra Day O’Connor. (oyez.org/justices/antonin_scalia/)

Posted by: Rick | Dec 21, 2007 7:27:48 AM | 80


someday, a historian may refer to the "Yar'Adua goes to Washington" double-reversal saga as one of the most dramatic signs of yet another "wind of change" that slowly & quietly blew across Africa in the wake of the post-colonial period.

and like previous winds-of-change, the West was unbearably slow, almost snail-like, in its ability, willingness and motivation to come to terms with it. Hence creating major openings for other countries, notably China.

and by far the largest reason is the incredible leap in the levels of awareness as well as clarity of aspiration on the African continent. Another reason is that the more substantive countries in Africa (South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Cameroons, Angola) are no longer resource outposts living in the shadow of a previous colonial master. And they have all achieved stature in their neighborhoods as the post-colonial European influences lose substance & practicality, hence creating the vacuum. And another reason is the sheer diversity of African countries and its not often observed but African leaders have to be a lot more restrained today in their exercise of power in order to succeed. Hence external influences like the USA/EU/China are more likely to be perceived as the external flavor similar to domestic interests that bear accommodation, rather than as critical make-or-break geo-political factors. And yet another factor is the reality that these African countries, rambling-wrecks that many are, actually do exercise democratic principles in meaningful & pluralistic ways. If not quite Jefferson enough, but still vigorous enough to deny public & indefinite acceptance of brutal & craven strong-man dictators.

AFRICOM so far looks like a failure. And the USA/EU needs to begin drafting a new policy for Africa. Better later than never. An important consideration is that the Africans dearly want to be friendly with the USA, EU and it seems they also feel quite comfortable with China too. And India. Thats just the way it is & the West needs to come to terms for its own good. The AFRICOM fiasco has done enough damage.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Dec 21, 2007 9:34:05 AM | 81

b#79,

Well yes, I had a similar suspicion that the WaPo piece seemed like front loaded propaganda in advance of the awakening program spreading into Shiite interests. In the sense that new (and in the case of Sadr old) enemies are being fabricated to fill the void. Since there is no external threat equivalent to the external AQinM threat used to flip the Sunni tribes, that exists in Shiaville. They would of course, like to paint Iran in the same colors as AQinM, and Sadr, and the many other Shiite militias - as being the singular threat to mainstreet Shiaville - and only if they could be convinced to turn on them like the Sunni tribes against AQinM then all would be hunky-dory. Except among many other reasons why this plan is not equivalent, and essentially flawed, is that they are trying to fight the Shiite militias by creating yet another variety of (you guessed it) Shiite militias. This is where Badger makes the insightful remark, as it pertains to the entire awakening program, as being, an attempt to create an indigenous pro U.S. ground up militia force modeled on the Contra program in Nicaragua.

And I wonder if this time around they will be able to sell weapons to Iran again, in order to fund the anti-Iranian Iraqi Contras. (yeah, right). Isn't it amazing how many new incarnations they manage to unveil from , what is essentially the same old one trick pony?

Posted by: anna missed | Dec 21, 2007 3:30:27 PM | 82

The superfund, i.e. the citigroup bailout finally laid to death: WSJ: Banks to Abandon Super-SIV Plan

The banks orchestrating a bailout of troubled investment vehicles that were hit by the subprime mortgage crisis are throwing in the towel after struggling to raise money for the planned fund, according to people familiar with the matter.

Posted by: b | Dec 21, 2007 3:31:51 PM | 83

Nietzsche's attack ad on Kant video
:-))

Posted by: b | Dec 21, 2007 3:48:36 PM | 84

newyorker rudi test

Posted by: annie | Dec 21, 2007 9:55:50 PM | 85

Happy Holidays yall.... and Namaste'.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 22, 2007 2:34:29 PM | 86

surprise surpriseh

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 22, 2007 8:19:16 PM | 87

surprise surpriseh

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 22, 2007 8:20:31 PM | 88

surprise surprise

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Dec 22, 2007 8:21:33 PM | 89

Ho[over]! Ho[over]!Ho[over]!

According to a document that was one of many declassified [PDF] by The State Department yesterday, “Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had a plan to suspend the rules against illegal detention and arrest up to 12,000 Americans he suspected of being disloyal....The plan called for the FBI to apprehend all potentially dangerous individuals whose names were on a list Hoover had been compiling for years. ‘The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven percent are citizens of the United States,’ Hoover wrote in the now-declassified document. ‘In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the writ of habeas corpus.’”

Don't miss the embedded links here folks...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Dec 22, 2007 10:31:37 PM | 90

chomsky: The Somalia syndrome

By November, the United Nations noted that Somalia had "higher malnutrition rates, more current bloodshed and fewer aid workers than Darfur," Gettleman reported. Indeed, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the top UN official for Somalia, described its plight as "the worst on the continent".

The United Nations, however, lacks the capacity to reach the people who are hungry, exposed, sick and dying in Somalia, according to Eric Laroche, head of UN humanitarian operations there.

"If this were happening in Darfur, there would be a big fuss," Laroche said. "But Somalia has been a forgotten emergency for years."

One distinction, hard to miss, is that the tragedy of Darfur can be blamed on someone else, in fact an official enemy — the government of Sudan and its Arab militias — while responsibility for the current disaster in Somalia, like others there that preceded it, lies substantially in our own hands.
...
The renewed torture of Somalia falls within the context of US efforts to gain firm control over the Horn of Africa, where the United States is launching a new Africa command and extending naval operations in crucial shipping lanes, part of the broader campaign to ensure its domination of the world's primary energy resources in the Gulf region and in Africa as well.

Just after World War II, when State Department planners were assigning each part of the world its "function" within the overall system of US domination, Africa was considered unimportant. George Kennan, head of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, advised that Africa should be handed over to Europe to "exploit" for its reconstruction. No longer. The resources of Africa are too valuable to be left to others, particularly with China extending its commercial reach.

If poor Somalia collapses in starvation and misery, that is merely a sideshow of grand geopolitical designs, and of little moment.

two appropriate political cartoons re the limited int'l media focus on somalia, by the somali amir amin
nov. 19
dec. 12 (the kid is saying something to the effect of 'i don't need your coverage; it is these atrocities that you need to be telling the world')

Posted by: b real | Dec 22, 2007 11:41:17 PM | 91

that name should read amin amir

Posted by: b real | Dec 22, 2007 11:45:11 PM | 92

Who runs US foreign policy?
Despite U.S. Opposition, United Nations Budget Is Approved

The General Assembly approved a two-year budget of $4.17 billion on Saturday, with the United States casting the only vote against the measure because it included financing for a conference the United States felt would be prejudicial to Israel.
...
The United States said it was forced to oppose the measure because of the insistence of the Group of 77, a powerful assemblage of 130 developing nations, that the budget provide money for a proposed conference that would be a follow-up to the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.

Posted by: b | Dec 23, 2007 2:28:12 AM | 93

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