Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 09, 2011

Open Thread, March 9

I am still busy wrapping up this project and with some other urgent duties.

zu Guttenberg PhD thesis with 130 plagiarized sources each in a different color
Source: GuttenPlag Wiki
(ginormous version, 3.4 MB)

Please use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 9, 2011 at 17:08 UTC | Permalink


I normally don't pay attention to Hollywood news, as I imagine most of you don't either, but this news out of Hollywood caught my attention and has made my blood boil:

Charlie Sheen didn't get fired for beating his wife or for trashing a hotel room. He got fired for being branded as a Jew hater after calling his boss, Chuck Lorre by his Hebrew name, Chaim Levine. I suppose he should know better than to bite the hand that feeds him, especially a hand that's got the power to use the Jew card against him.

Watch this Saturday Night Live clip and any doubts that you may have that "the Zionist powers that be" have got America by the boobs will be put to rest for good:

We are free to say all we want about how we are propping up dictators in the Middle East in order to keep oil prices down. But we can't say a word about how we are also propped dictators in the Middle East so that the Zionist state of Israel can get away with committing apartheid against the people of Palestine and taking their land and resources away from them. If any of us were to say such a thing, we'll be quickly branded as a Jew hater and risk losing our job and livelihood over it. Charlie Sheen is just one among many, many others who have been bulldozed by the Zionist propaganda machine.

We must cut off our special relationship with Israel and vote out all elected officials who are joined at the hip to the Israel Lobby. And we must do this before before Israel goes down, taking America with her.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 9 2011 18:15 utc | 1

Here's a comprehensive article about Libya's water from the BBC.

Over the country as a whole, 130,000 hectares of land will be irrigated for new farms. Some land will be given to small farmers who will grow produce for the domestic market. Large farms, run at first with foreign help, will concentrate on the crops that Libya currently has to import: wheat, oats, corn and barley.

Libya also hopes to make inroads into European and Middle-Eastern markets. An organic grape farm has been set up near Benghazi. Because the soil is so fertile, agronomists hope to grow two cereal crops a year.

Water is seen as key to the country's future prosperity
It is hard to fault the Libyans on their commitment. They estimate that when the Great Man-Made River is completed, they will have spent almost $20bn. So far, that money has bought 5,000km of pipeline that can transport 6.5 million cubic metres of water a day from over 1,000 desert wells.

As a result, Libya is now a world leader in hydrological engineering, and it wants to export its expertise to other African and Middle-Eastern countries facing the same problems with their water.

The last thing the IMF and World Bank want is Libya teaching the rest of Africa how to be self-sufficient. It flies squarely in the face of Neoliberal policy. According to that policy, these countries must import their food and export their valuable resources.

Needless to say, the IMF/World Bank and NATO are one and the same, hence we have intervention in Libya, the Gateway of Africa.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 9 2011 19:08 utc | 2

Even more problems brewing in Iraq?

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 9 2011 19:59 utc | 3

All that "fossil" water in Libya is non-renewable, much like the massive Ogallal aquifer in the midwest US, which is steadily being depeleted. rapidly

Posted by: Colin | Mar 9 2011 20:29 utc | 4

The US helping to drive the new world order--India hitching its cart to Iran?

Indian FM Menon reportedly told Ahmadinejad:

"New Delhi is for the establishment of comprehensive relations with Iran, including strategic ties ... many of the predictions you [Ahmadinejad] had about the political and economic developments in the world have come to reality today and the world order is going under basic alterations [sic], which has necessitated ever-increasing relations between Iran and India ... The relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of India are beyond the current political relations, having their roots in the cultures and the civilizations and the two nations and both countries have great potentials for improvement of bilateral, regional and international relations."

Posted by: JohnH | Mar 9 2011 22:14 utc | 5

You don't miss your water until your well runs dry

about the effect of the depletion of the Ogallala acquifer - details about the town of Happy, Texas

Posted by: mistah charley, ph.d. | Mar 9 2011 23:07 utc | 6

From mistah charley's link, I found this article.

An increase in the demand for water is presenting opportunities for those looking to invest in the alternative asset class, according to fund managers.

Charlie Thomas, manager of the Jupiter Ecology Fund and the Jupiter Green Investment Trust, says water is arguably one of the biggest long-term investment opportunities at the moment....

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 10 2011 1:52 utc | 7

If they take Libya, they sacrifice Egypt, which would be a grave error on their part. We always talk of the CIA playing their hand in every geopolitical event, but what about Iran, China and Russia. Wouldn't it be in their interests to draw the U.S. into a squabble in Libya and further spread thin the Empire, whilst supporting an independent government via a revolution in Egypt? I think such measures would be ingenious, and in this grand game of chess, a wise move to make. Any thoughts along those lines? It's not as though the aforementioned three countries don't have vested interests in all of this.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 10 2011 12:19 utc | 8

Finally read the Diana Johnstone article, linked by brian in previous thread.

Her book on Yugosalvia, Fool’s Crusade (only text by her I ever read) is marvelous, a model of its kind.

She writes:

The differences are, of course, enormous.  But let’s look at some of the disturbing similarities.

She mentions, in order, a demonized leader, the we must do something chorus, the specter of crimes against humanity, the refugees.

All these bullet points are USuk (EU, not so much, in the past) media prop to impress, fool, and get the public on board. We have heard this over and over again. No political gain, no project, no strategy, no future plans, are outlined, just the green-clawed dictator, the starving, raped, refugees, the bad man who must be ousted, killed. Bringing international politics down to the level of a stressed household, spiking neighborhood rage!

The differences actually make a mockery of this script.

Notably, there was no plan to break up the country (Yugoslavia), no plan to take it over (Iraq), no long standing attempt at dislodging a dictator (sanctions, oil for food, Iraq), no desire to get rid of Q or re-shape Lybia.

Lybia was just hunky-dory as it was: the oil flowed smoothly, Q was pliable and even generous to the West (e.g. Lockerbie), Lybia was a good place for tenders, jobs, Q and his family/close group paid on time, and often ‘unlimited budgets’ were offered or accepted. Lybian sovereign funds were invested in all the proper places, spread out - The City, etc. Glowing reports from the WB, the IMF, etc.

Q + his circle were seen as people who keep their word, provided one understood the N. African code of ‘honor’ and politeness relations, which meant that Sarko had to put up with Q’s mega tent in Paris, as if Q was droppin’ in on some other desert chief, and the Swiss F ministers wore vaporous, delicate hair covering gear on camera, posing beside him with the respectable distance between.

Gulf news, 2008:

Marginalised both politically and economically, the Libyan people are growing increasingly restive as the country continues to be plagued with endemic corruption, political repression, economic stagnation, dilapidated infrastructure, semi-collapsed public administration, and a stifling culture of bureaucracy. (...)

And it is getting worse. The Libyan society appears to be starting to fracture with regional, ethnic and tribal tensions. Only two weeks ago, Libya experienced more political violence. (...)

Gaddafi asked Libyans in a recently televised "debate" with his ministers, to prepare themselves to educate their own children at home, and go abroad for health services, as both the health and education ministries will be abolished at the beginning of 2009. (...)

The country risks becoming another Somalia on the shores of the Mediterranean when Gaddafi finally leaves the scene.

Outside the MSM there was plenty of news.

> Imagine that! No health ministry and home schooling - Tea Party Time! (Ok, it is just one article...and the ministries were not abolished.) Yugoslavia and Iraq had decent ‘single payer’ plus ‘private’ health care.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 10 2011 12:41 utc | 9

Cynthia, at 1.

Charlie Sheen is a 9/11 ‘conspiracist’. He basically claims the Bush admin. was behind the attacks. He has been very vocal and public about it, and is much admired by ‘9/11 truthers’, as a famous person who could get others ‘on board.’

Anti-semitism covers a multitude of sins.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 10 2011 12:56 utc | 10

john pilger - assange

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 10 2011 16:08 utc | 11

Americans prefer cutting "defense" spending over Medicare by almost 2:1. But where is the politician who will articulate the will of the American people? Silenced by the merchants of death.

Posted by: JohnH | Mar 10 2011 16:32 utc | 12

I don't believe that poll. In fact, polls are bullshit.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Mar 10 2011 16:51 utc | 13

Noirette @10,

I think it's rather far-fetched to conclude that Bush was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, but I do think that it's within the rim of possibilities that he turned a blind eye to these attacks. And because Obama is no different from Bush in terms of being in bed with the neolib/neocon power structure, Obama would've also turned a blind eye to these attacks.

Given that the Zionist state of Israel had the most to gain by the US invading and occupying Iraq, second only to the military-industrial complex and the Wall Street casino, I wouldn't put it past the Zionists, who are at the top of the neolib/neocon power structure, to have held a gun to Bush's head, demanding that he look the other way as the Islamic terrorists planned and launched these attacks on US soil. And if Obama was in power at that time, they would have done the same thing to him as well.

No doubt that we have a bunch of very sick sociopaths running the US-Israel Empire. And I have little doubt that the Arab and Muslim people of the Middle East are acutely aware of this. which explains why they are doing everything in their power to topple their dictatorial regimes, which are nothing more than puppets of the US-Israel Empire.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 10 2011 17:13 utc | 14

oops -- a comma, not a period, should be between "this" and "which" in my last sentence.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 10 2011 17:17 utc | 15

Sheen stated that, not me. Bush himself, as an individual, the Pres. of the US, was certainly informed about something or other that was to transpire, he may have been to some degree complicit and collaborative, but for now, how, when, what role he played, etc. is not known.

My own guess - at the lowest level, what can be shown - he was kept aside, but gave agreement, or turned a blind eye, perhaps without really knowing what was coming off. (Or more, but that can’t be argued on the facts.)

It’s interesting that you say that Obama would have been in the same position. I have often wondered if 9/11 would have gone down if a Democrat was president (e.g. Gore, Kerry) and I have never been able form a reasoned opinion.

On 9/11 Gore was in Austria, the trip had been planned a short time before. Bill Clinton left unexpectedly just before for Australia, the Aussies were hugely surprised and charmed and wondered... (Hillary stayed home). Kerry was right on the spot, and his time table is very muddy and suspect.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 10 2011 18:42 utc | 16

the guardians attack on assange

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 10 2011 19:19 utc | 17

try again

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 10 2011 19:22 utc | 18

Derek Thompson of The Atlantic reports that no job is safe from the Robot Revolution:

So much for those so-called "knowledge jobs" that would prevent us from being sucked into the great global wage race to the bottom whereby the goal is to reduce us all to sweatshop workers. Now it appears that the only workers who won't be slaving away in our corporate-run sweatshops will be the D.C. politicians and the media propagandists who are being employed by the uber-rich to rig the game of making money in their favor. If this doesn't spark an across-the-board workers' revolt, from sea to shining sea, I don't know what will...short of widespread starvation, I suppose.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 10 2011 22:24 utc | 19

U.S.A. State Sponsored Terror (rock music video) Released

Anti U.S. Police State Musician/activist, Scott Huminski, releases his 5th rock video with his band Scott X and the Constitution Commandos.

Television interview at:

Posted by: scott huminski | Mar 11 2011 1:27 utc | 20

@Cynthia #1: I thought it was creepy to see Sheen using Charles Levine's 'Hebrew name' in such a nasty way, as if to say, 'he is a Jew, you know: sneer sneer.' To conflate Judaism and Israel so easily is an error, it seems to me, and perhaps a dangerous one.

Posted by: D.L. Finn | Mar 11 2011 4:45 utc | 21

@ D.L. Finn (#21): Sheen(né Carlos Estevez) used Charles Levine's "Hebrew name" because Lorre/Levine used his own "Hebrew name" in one of his famous vanity cards at the end of a recent show. He had previously used the same format to make a remark which Sheen had taken as an attack on himself. Sheen's sin in this case was to assume that everybody pays as much attention to production details as he does, but the invective was aimed entirely at the person of Lorre/Levine. Much ado about millions of other people's dollars, little that affects any of us.

@Noirette (#16): The actual incident in which the "Hebrew name" brouhaha arose was from Alex Jones' conspiratorial "The Alex Jones Show" program. Before the remarks about Lorre/Levine were made, Sheen lamented briefly about how he had used that show some two years earlier to make a direct appeal to President Obama to re-open 9-11 investigations and then made some extremely unkind remarks about Mr. Obama's character in regards to how he had failed to respond to this earlier appeal.

Interesting stuff, and Sheen's subsequent media tarring is no surprise in this light. There are the Obama Democrats who want to discredit a perceived attack upon their man, the Zionists who want to discredit a perceived attack on their man, and every lackey in the entertainment industry who want to kiss the posteriors of ANYONE they think might reward their obsequiousness with the promise of future work.

The only thing that comes as a surprise about it in this context are the disproportionately large numbers of people who are disregarding the shunning the media is demanding of them and making something of a hero out of Sheen anyway. Much like the spreading brushfire protests throughout the middle east in the face of propaganda designed to subdue that sort of thing, I'm sure this worries the guys who operate the Mighty Wurlitzer and mechanics are being despatched even as we speak to fix the thing.

@ Anyone who wants to talk about something other than Charlie Sheen or the middle east: There's this. This seems like one of those over-the top things one might read about the dastards in the history books and faerie tales trying to pull off. Maybe the Northeast USA is due for a Robin Hood to spring up, since there seem to be no shortages of evil Prince Johns.

Posted by: Monolycus | Mar 11 2011 5:36 utc | 22

That's a depressing link, Monolycus. Michigan looks to be the vanguard of that fascist, corporate takeover, we've been dreading. No more pulling punches for the plutocrats. The governor just declares that a town, any town, is having a financial emergency; then he fires the mayor and other elected officials, and brings in a corporation to manage the municipality. What times we live in!

Posted by: Copeland | Mar 11 2011 8:20 utc | 23

An 8.9 earthquake just hit Japan! Watching live vid on Al Jazeera and it is fucking scary!!!! Having a hard time wrapping my head around this.

Al Jazeera Live

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Mar 11 2011 8:42 utc | 24

@ Dr. Wellington Yueh,
yeah, very heavy & massive tsunami in Sendai. Over here we luckily didn't feel much of it. Friends in Kyoto report some damage, I've no news yet of ppl in Tokyo (probably without power) - public transport there is stopped.

Posted by: Philippe | Mar 11 2011 9:40 utc | 25

In case anyone is still interested in the Victor Bout case, here is a link to an article in Kommersant from two days ago, and here is a link to an English translation (which was cleaned up from Bing, and for which I accept responsibilities
for probable errors).

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Mar 12 2011 11:53 utc | 26

Financial Times: Djibouti suspends US election mission

Djibouti has told the United States that an independent election observer mission is “illegal” and suspended its partnership with the US-funded mission.

The news came amid reports that the north-east African coastal state had arrested two opposition leaders on Friday.


The increasing visibility of the Djibouti’s anti-democratic leanings is awkward for the US, which relies on the country for its only military base on the continent and last year doubled aid to the country, funding DI’s Djibouti operation. Many of its 3,000 troops are dedicated to fighting piracy and terrorism in neighbouring Somalia.

President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who took over from his uncle in 1999, last year scrapped a two-term constitutional limit to allow him to stand for re-election on April 8.

His regime has several times arrested opposition leaders, and moved swiftly to quell dissent following popular protests in the city-state that sought to draw on uprisings taking hold across north Africa.


Subsequent efforts to organise protests have failed. Critics attribute this to heavy-handed tactics by the state, whose president once headed the secret services.


The secret war against al-Qaeda is carried out from Djibouti by the potent combination of CIA paramilitary operatives and special operations troops — a CIA/Defence Department counterterrorism warfare formation initiated by President George W Bush and, under great secrecy, expanded by President Obama.

Only this month it emerged that President Obama had authorised the deployment of special operations troops into 75 countries, an increase of 15 territories since the Bush Administration. Operations have been stepped up in particular in Somalia and Yemen, the ancestral home of Osama bin Laden. The use of drones has also been increased significantly since President Obama took office.


From Camp Lemonier, the CIA is acting in a warfighting role, not in its more traditional intelligence-gathering and analysis function. Although the CIA controls Predator strikes in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan, in Djibouti CIA paramilitary operatives and special operations troops are fighting against al-Qaeda so closely that some senior American defence figures are concerned at the apparent lack of political control over their activities.

Posted by: b real | Mar 14 2011 3:59 utc | 27

The Chernobyl disaster - the severe days

This video was released last year. A Russian film maker followed the crews in and filmed insanely close to the reactors. He was exposed to lethal doses and died a few months later, but the footage he got was amazing (and horrifying).

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 16 2011 6:42 utc | 28

The Horror of Solitary

Dickens condemned it over 160 years ago:

"I hold this slow and daily tampering with the mysteries of the brain, to be immeasurably worse than any torture of the body: and because its ghastly signs and tokens are not so palpable to the eye and sense of touch as scars upon the flesh; because its wounds are not upon the surface, and it extorts few cries that human ears can hear; therefore I the more denounce it, as a secret punishment which slumbering humanity is not roused up to stay. I hesitated once, debating with myself, whether, if I had the power of saying 'Yes' or 'No,' I would allow it to be tried in certain cases, where the terms of imprisonment were short; but now, I solemnly declare, that with no rewards or honours could I walk a happy man beneath the open sky by day, or lie me down upon my bed at night, with the consciousness that one human creature, for any length of time, no matter what, lay suffering this unknown punishment in his silent cell, and I the cause, or I consenting to it in the least degree."

But this very moment, over 25,000 prisoners in the U.S. are being subjected to it. Its horrific effects are well known.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 16 2011 12:04 utc | 29

Raymond Davies is free

Posted by: ThePaper | Mar 16 2011 13:00 utc | 30

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