Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 04, 2011

Open Thread - July 4

I've got nothing.

Whatever ...

Posted by b on July 4, 2011 at 15:06 UTC | Permalink


What do you think has been promised to Turkey and the AKP, for their sudden change of direction we see in Syria, Libya and their stance towards Gaza? Do you think it is untold riches (crank up the FED printing press), or was it rendering Greece as a basket case. Something has happened anybody care to shed any light on this?

Posted by: hans | Jul 4 2011 15:34 utc | 1

This comment from Common Dreams pretty much sums up why I've come to detest Independence Day:

Every year 4th of July parades feature more military hardware and more people who look like Walmart greeters handing out flags.

All I can think of as I watch these parades is John Prine singing "YOUR FLAG DECAL WON"T GET YOU IN TO HEAVEN ANY MORE..."

Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 4 2011 16:52 utc | 2

Greece faces severe restrictions on its sovereignty and must privatize state assets on a scale similar to the sell off of East German firms in the 1990s after communism fell, Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said.

In an interview published after euro zone finance ministers in the Eurogroup approved a further 12 billion euro ($17.43 billion) installment of Greece's bailout, Juncker said he was optimistic that measures agreed with Athens would help to resolve the country's problems.

"The sovereignty of Greece will be massively limited," he told Germany's Focus magazine in the interview released on Sunday, adding that teams of experts from around the euro zone would heading to Greece.

"For the forthcoming wave of privatizations they will need, for example, a solution based on a model of Germany's 'Treuhand agency'," Juncker added, referring to the privatization agency that sold off 14,000 East German firms between 1990 and 1994.

The Greek parliament voted on Thursday to set up a privatization agency under austerity plans agreed with the European Union and IMF which have provoked violent protests on the streets of Athens. (My emphasis)

Hhhmmm--a Greek official was on some NPR program this weekend, saying that no Greek islands would be sold off, among other more cheery statements....

Looks like small nations are going to be treated as the more rapcious US new wave of ultra-conservative Republican governors are treating local governments in this country. They're passing laws making localities, counties, cities which are in financial straits subject to impostion of the governor's control via an appointed "controller" who can remove office holders, abrogate contracts, ignore unions and their contracts, sell off assets, raise taxes, cut services. All without any voter input.

It's happening in Benton Harbor, Michigan, as I type.

The MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) here does not seem to find this at all unusual or even worthy of much comment. Or reporting.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 4 2011 17:09 utc | 3

Found the Reuters' article via lambert at

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 4 2011 17:12 utc | 4

Open pit mining and mountain top removal mining are so 20th Century...Now we're gonna start tearing up the ocean floor!

TOKYO (Reuters) - Vast deposits of rare earth minerals, crucial in making high-tech electronics products, have been found on the floor of the Pacific Ocean and can be readily extracted, Japanese scientists said on Monday.

"The deposits have a heavy concentration of rare earths. Just one square kilometer (0.4 square mile) of deposits will be able to provide one-fifth of the current global annual consumption," said Yasuhiro Kato, an associate professor of earth science at the University of Tokyo.


The deposits are in international waters in an area stretching east and west of Hawaii, as well as east of Tahiti in French Polynesia, he said.


The level of uranium and thorium -- radioactive ingredients that are usually contained in such deposits that can pose environmental hazards -- was found to be one-fifth of those in deposits on land, Kato said.

Time to crank up the frog boiler a few more degrees, eh?

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Jul 4 2011 20:11 utc | 5

Libya, West ending up with nobody.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 4 2011 20:45 utc | 6

slavoj zizek, julian assange and amy goodman
(starts aprox. 24:00)

Posted by: nano | Jul 4 2011 21:30 utc | 7


Found this article to be the best summary of current Turkish-Israeli ties.

Seems to have been a mix of events. Erdogan was more free after the election, Israel arranged a secret meeting in Geneva to resolve some issues, and the US promised Turkey a role in the Israel/Palestine peace process if it repairs relations.

I think the cause of this may also be Turkey-Iran relations. The Turks interested in Neo-Ottomanism at present view Iran as a rival power. With Syria in turmoil maybe the Turks see a way to break Iranian influence while also shaping a role for themselves as mediators between all factions and nations. Likely Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is behind all this. He is known as the "Turkish Henry Kissinger" and has been the brains behind Turkish foreign policy for a while now, a very smart guy.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jul 4 2011 21:32 utc | 8

There's no doubt that the very powerful on Wall Street hooked up with the very powerful in Big Government, regardless of party affiliation, to deliberately tank our economy. They did this in order to enrich themselves to the detriment of everyone else. As for why Gretchen Morgenson and her co-author Josh Rosner of the new bestseller "Reckless Endangerment" (see link below) are blaming Fannie, Freddie, and Democrats for tanking our economy without mentioning one single word about Wall Street's role in this, all I can figure is that they are high-paid liars for the powers-that-be on Wall Street.

And notice how Gretchen Morgenson and other journalists who are bought and paid for by the powers-that-be on Wall Street always demonize Democrats and their pet programs -- anything from Social Security to Fannie and Freddie -- as corrupt and wasteful products of Big Government, but they never demonize Republicans and their pet programs -- anything from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the Federal Reserve and the Department of Defense (DOD) -- as corrupt and wasteful products of Big Government. In fact, if they could cook up some lies to fool us into believing that the Federal Reserve and our national security apparatus are waste-free and corrupt-free products of so-called small government, they would. Gretchen Morgenson and others like her would do this because they are Republican partisan hacks who are paid a lot money to fill our heads with lies about how going into debt to pay for our imperial wars and bail out our too-big-to-fail banks will eventually trickle down to us, making us all rich!

As I've said before, long gone are the days when the battle lines were being drawn between Republicans on the Right and Democrats on the Left. The battle lines are now being drawn between rentiers on Wall Street and workers on Main Street. But the rentiers are paying Gretchen Morgenson and other like-minded Republican partisan hacks a lot of money to keep us in the dark about this.

Posted by: Cynthia | Jul 4 2011 22:08 utc | 9

Cynthia, I remember Gretchen Morgenson appearing on (public TV) programs fairly early after the Big Wall Street Mess exploded all over us, and she was very critical of Wall Streeters and banksters for playing fast and loose with the Credit Default Swap toys.

Then, a few months later I thought I must have imagined it, or she'd had a brain transplant. She very much changed her tune -- I wonder who got to her. She must have feared for her job if she continued in her original vein.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 4 2011 23:37 utc | 10

Obama is taking yet another page out of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld play book: the upsurge in violence in Iraq is the fault of Iran.

Guys, we heard this one several times before. It was accurate then, it most likely is not accurate now. Sheesh.

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 4 2011 23:39 utc | 11

hans--my impression is that Turkey toned down its rhetoric significantly this past March-April. Someone linked it to the visit of Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal on March 17, who could have come bringing lots of carrots. Turkey gets a lot of Saudi investment money and is keen for more investments and exports.

Anyway, around that time, there was a significant change in Turkey's attitude. My guess is that there was a deal done--Turkey (and perhaps the ruling clique) would get a better cut of future deals (including Libya) in return for becoming more of a team player, including going soft on Israel.

Posted by: JohnH | Jul 5 2011 0:11 utc | 12

Oops @111 -- reports of Iran behind violence in Iraq were NOT accurate back in the Bush days...

Posted by: jawbone | Jul 5 2011 2:24 utc | 13

Horn of Africa hit by worst drought in 60 years

Posted by: Rick | Jul 5 2011 3:12 utc | 14

Cynthia @ 9: Yep, the 1%ers have spent plenty of money to convince everyone that water isn't wet. Working quite nicely too.

Dr. W Yueh @ 5: I guess the only up side would be another source besides Afghanistan. Maybe we could just screw up the oceans more
instead of killing goat herders for their lands?

Posted by: ben | Jul 5 2011 3:28 utc | 15


Yes the nullification of municipalities is the latest trick out of the republican bag. Town governments dissolved, corporate overseers appointed, assets liquidated. And Obama is dead silent; and the deadness of that silence is worse than any of the meaningless sounds he makes.

Posted by: Copeland | Jul 5 2011 3:53 utc | 16

yes, JohnH, a lot of carrots:

Saudi Arabia plans to invest $600 billion in Turkey
Friday, 29 April 2011

Posted by: somebody | Jul 5 2011 5:56 utc | 17

Thanks nano @7

I bet the NSACIAFBIDIA has these guys bugged up the ass...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 5 2011 6:28 utc | 18

Re: amy goodman, interviewing julian assange, and Elvis slavoj zizek about the importance of free communication and information I'm reminded of something
African Shaman Malidoma Patrice Some says, in that, "true communication can only happen between equals"... where there is no hierarchy, no top down, 'need to know' bullshit, military compartmentalization. No black/white straight -jacket of Aristotelian ideology. Save Newton's sleep.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 5 2011 7:08 utc | 19

The Declaration of Independence in American by H. L. Mencken

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 5 2011 11:28 utc | 20

About Salem Shahzad, the Asia Times newspaper that was recently killed.

Pakistan spy agency ordered journalist's murder - US officials

Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 5 2011 12:18 utc | 21

The question is, is it all too late?

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Jul 5 2011 13:34 utc | 22

French ship trying to bust Gaza blockade:

Posted by: JohnH | Jul 5 2011 16:07 utc | 23

@jawbone. I said Greece would be asset stripped. This will be a ‘privatization’ jamboree.

The really scary part is the sale of assets or large chunks of shares that should be a common good (belong to the State or under some other arrangement), both in the services they deliver (e.g. water), and the revenues they can collect (lottery, telephone, etc.)

I hope everyone realizes that all the huffing and puffing about Greeks not paying taxes was just a smokescreen.

Anybody with even vague ideas about public administration - e.g. groups of Greek citizens; some EU body; external advisors - could fix that right quick, though it would have swelled the unemployment rolls 1, meant a little outlay in computers. Sidebar: I’d have hired some hackers, say Julian Assange, well maybe not as he is allegedly a lousy boss. Consultant, then. ;)

Greece has less than 7 million ppl (?) This ain’t rocket science, and everyone knows it. It might have taken some menace, but so what.

The advantage of dealing with the tax system is that you can do it a-politically, and without attacking the fibre or structure of society. Then later you fiddle about with it. Slovakia has flat tax - a real flat tax - and they and investors seem pretty happy with it. And, the last time I looked, a balanced budget.

That nothing along these lines was apparently ever discussed for Greece is a neon red flag.

1. Greece has lots of ‘local’ tax offices where you go to deal your case. These should be closed. Possibly some of the employees could be recycled into working on the land registry, which basically doesn’t exist, or at least not in a modern, workable form. (Ottomans did not encourage private property and then things never followed on as the State inherited so much, which is part of the reason it became swelled..) Or, one can give up ‘property’ or ‘fortune’ taxes based on land/structure ownership. That’s a bit quirky, not Euro compatible, but then...

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 5 2011 16:26 utc | 24

what we need..

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 5 2011 17:08 utc | 25

this here should be made a big issue:
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has written to ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo urging him to use his “position to extend [the] ongoing investigation of Libya to include possible complicity of NATO and African Union members in the serious violations of human rights currently being perpetrated in the country.”

In the petition dated 4 July 2011 and signed by SERAP’s lawyer, Femi Falana, the group urged Ocampo, “pursuant to Article 54 of the Rome Stature of the International Criminal Court, to extend [the] investigation to cover possible complicity by NATO and AU members in the continuing human rights abuses in Libya, in particular, regarding the failure to rescue a disabled boat filled with migrants fleeing Libya; and the possibility that some African governments may be aiding and abetting the Gaddafi government to commit international crimes.”

Posted by: somebody | Jul 5 2011 19:50 utc | 26

US to Iraq: Get the hint already, Iraq MUST be kept under US 'protection'!

Sources: 10,000 US troops on offer for Iraq

Posted by: ThePaper | Jul 5 2011 20:37 utc | 27

Casey Anthony......that will give the masses something to be jubilant about.....MSM at it's glory....

Posted by: georgeg | Jul 5 2011 22:02 utc | 28

Some will call me a torturer, an interview with former covert operative and black site interrogator Glenn Carle.

Posted by: Pyrrho | Jul 6 2011 22:42 utc | 29

nice retort of our rhetoric by Ghaddafi's son Saif Al-Islam, referring to the "rebels":

They are traitors. They work with Europeans, with Americans and others to bomb their own people

(thanks to Noirette for the link to the interview)

Posted by: claudio | Jul 8 2011 16:27 utc | 31

It's a real pleasure to see that the days of "dubious documents" are not over. The associated comments are worth reading, in particular the one noting that WINEP is mixed up in this. Obviously, I am hoping that Valerie P. or Joe W. will add a comment, but while waiting FB Ali or our redoutable b might be able to throw some light on what seems to be a classical secret service product.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 9 2011 16:03 utc | 32

@HKOL - saw that - seems fake with some true facts. "Useful" in the anti-Pakistan media campaign (originally from Israel and India) that is running all the time.

Posted by: b | Jul 9 2011 18:02 utc | 33

From John Young's Cryptome site, this reassuring evidence that our body cavities will be searched competently, another example of the kind of "consumer product" produced by the security state.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Jul 12 2011 16:40 utc | 34

@ Claudio,
I am going to Perugia on Saturday to finally see UmbriaJazz. If you are anywhere near there I would really like to stop by a say hi. I live in Friuli and will take the secondary roads from Venice through Ravenna.

lemme know if you are interested.


Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 12 2011 18:49 utc | 35

@dan of steele #35,

Sadly I will be nowhere near Perugia any time soon, but if you are going to be on the East Coast USA anytime be sure to let me know. It would be great to get together!

Posted by: Maxcrat | Jul 13 2011 1:57 utc | 36

So.... Ahmed Wali Karzai has been assassinated. Taliban apparently, claims credit.

Posted by: anna missed | Jul 13 2011 8:19 utc | 37

It's good to be a football star

Further evidence of a corrupt broke system, where $$$ equals justice. From top to bottom, and inside out...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Jul 13 2011 14:12 utc | 38

@dan of steele #35

I just asked b to send you my email address, so that we can talk about it privately

I've been at the earliest editions of Umbria Jazz, 1973-74, if I remember well, it was so long ago, and I was so much younger ... great music, great scenery

Posted by: claudio | Jul 13 2011 16:12 utc | 39

since this is an open thread, here is a nice photoshop of the US president(s) that seems eerily real.

and Claudio, 1974 is when I first arrived in Italy at the ripe ole age of 20. sounds like we might have experienced a few things together in this wonderful country of yours.

Posted by: dan of steele | Jul 13 2011 16:32 utc | 40

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