about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.
One of Americaís biggest military contractors is being sued by a Nepali labourer and the families of a dozen other employees who
say they were taken against their will to work in Iraq. All but one of the Nepalese workers were subsequently kidnapped and
According to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, the Nepalese workers were recruited in 2004 in their home country by KBR and its
Jordanian contractors, Daoud & Partners, to work as kitchen staff in a luxury hotel in Amman. Once they reached the Jordanian
capital, however, their passports were taken from them and they were sent to Iraq. While travelling in an unprotected convoy, the
Nepalis were kidnapped and later executed.
ďIt doesnít appear that any of them knew they were going to Iraq,Ē said Matthew Handley, a lawyer representing the only survivor
and the families of those who were killed. ďA few were told they were going to work at an American camp ? They thought they were
going to work in America.Ē
[SOURCE:†Andrew Buncombe†|†London Independent†|†28 August 2008]
Nothing like a good ole no-bid contractor doing it's patriotic duty, because after-all .... FREEDOM ISN'T FREE.
Friday, 29 August 2008 at 1h 32m 40s
Quick stick your heads in the sand
And glorify the sainthood of a mythological past. Manipulate the data by defining away the negative statistics so you
positive 3.3% Gross Domestic Product increase that doesn't include the inflationary effects on food and oil. Bring on the talking
heads to repeat the mystic mantra that all is good, and march the lemmings into the lala land of illusion.
We are a nation that is beyond denial -- we are kidding ourselves. If we don't start dealing with reality, it will be our undoing.
-- Barry Ritholtz.
Ritholtz††|†28 August 2008]
[SOURCE:†Barry Ritholtz††|†28 August 2008]
Friday, 29 August 2008 at 1h 19m 45s
How bad has the market been?
"Out of almost 2,100 diversified retail U.S. stock mutual funds that are open to new investors, just 17 have positive returns for both
the past 12 months and year-to-date, according to investment researcher Morningstar Inc."
Burton†|†MarketWatch†|†5:22 p.m. EDT Aug. 27, 2008]
This is an example why you can't rely on Television. CNN only broadcast the bold part of the text below, which is the
transcript of what Obama said about John McSameMcCain today.
But the fact of the matter is that John McCain is offering more of the same. He said a while back that he thought that we had
made great progress economically during the years that George Bush has been in office. Now, that raised some eyebrows. Great
progress economically. Who is he talking to? And it turns out that you get a sense of who he's talking to because some of you saw
the Saddleback Forum with Rick Warren. He was asked, well, who do you consider rich? And he thought about it for a second, I
don't know. Maybe if you make $5 million. $5 million, then you're rich. Which means, I guess, if you're only making $3 million a
year then you're middle class. I guess that's what he meant.
His top economic adviser said the other day that Americans should stop complaining; theyíve become a nation of whiners. That
all these economic problems everybody is talking about is just a mental recession. And if you would just change your mind,
everything would be okay. Somebodyís been laid off, their plantís closed and gone to Mexico or China, change your mind. Itís all
good. Then, yesterday, he was asked again, what do you think about the economy? He says, Well, I think the economy is
fundamentally strong; said the economy is fundamentally strong. Now, this puzzled me. I was confused as to what he meant.
But then there was another interview Ė this is yesterday, same day Ė where somebody asked John McCain, how many houses
do you have? And he said, Iím not sure. Iíll have to check with my staff. True quote. Iím not sure. Iíll have to check with my staff.
So they asked his staff, and he said, at least four. At least four. Now, think about that. I guess if you think that being rich means
youíve got to make $5 million and if you donít know how many houses you have, then itís not surprising that you might think the
economy was fundamentally strong. But if youíre like me, and youíve got one house, or you are like the millions of people
are struggling right now to keep up with their mortgage so they donít lose their home, you might have a different
perspective. And by the way, the answer is John McCain has seven homes.
So thereís just a fundamental gap of understanding between John McCainís world and what people are going through every single
day here in America. And you donít have to be Ė you donít have to be a Nobel Prize Laureate economist. You just have to have a
little bit of a sense of what ordinary people are going through to understand that we canít afford eight more years or four more
years or one more year of the same failed economic policies that George Bush has put in place.
Notice how the news editors cut the quote right before Obama mentions that he has only one house, and also how they left out
the linking of Obama owning one house with "millions of Americans" -- and also how McCain owns 7 houses. Was this
selection on purpose? Apparently, the news editors at CNN are so pressed for time they can't extend another 15-20 seconds of
time to someone who is running for President of the United States.
CNN = Censored National News.
If you rely on Television, your brain is stuffed full of sound-bites and partial facts. You need to read from multiple sources of
information all the time, or else you will have a limited perspective, and opinions based upon limited perspectives are incapable
of understanding anything but a comfortable self-serving paradigm.
It is the McCain campaign that is out of touch with reality and filled with elites who have run the country into the ground over the
last 8 years.
Do you want more of the same?
Friday, 22 August 2008 at 0h 59m 49s
Scott Ritter speaks
This is a 9 minute speech Scott Ritter gave in Missouri. In 9 minutes, Mr. Ritter sums up the crisis of Democracy we have reached,
and also provides how we can overcome this crisis. It is an uplifting, patriotic speech.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you Scott Ritter ....
Tuesday, 19 August 2008 at 23h 4m 33s
Jack Cafferty is da man
Jack Cafferty is a real conservative who is also a seasoned news journalist that works at CNN. He speaks with conviction and a
slew of quick facts like machine gun bullets. And he detests John McCain.
Click here for the CNN
It occurs to me that John McCain is as intellectually shallow as our current president. When asked what his Christian faith means
to him, his answer was a one-liner. "It means I'm saved and forgiven." Great scholars have wrestled with the meaning of faith for
centuries. McCain then retold a story we've all heard a hundred times about a guard in Vietnam drawing a cross in the sand.
Asked about his greatest moral failure, he cited his first marriage, which ended in divorce. While saying it was his greatest moral
failing, he offered nothing in the way of explanation. Why not?
Throughout the evening, McCain chose to recite portions of his stump speech as answers to the questions he was being asked.
Why? He has lived 71 years. Surely he has some thoughts on what it all means that go beyond canned answers culled from the
same speech he delivers every day.
He was asked "if evil exists." His response was to repeat for the umpteenth time that Osama bin Laden is a bad man and he will
pursue him to "the gates of hell." That was it.
He was asked to define rich. After trying to dodge the question -- his wife is worth a reported $100 million -- he finally said he
thought an income of $5 million was rich.
One after another, McCain's answers were shallow, simplistic, and trite. He showed the same intellectual curiosity that George
Bush has -- virtually none.
Where are John McCain's writings exploring the vexing moral issues of our time? Where are his position papers setting forth his
careful consideration of foreign policy, the welfare state, education, America's moral responsibility in the world, etc., etc., etc.?
John McCain graduated 894th in a class of 899 at the Naval Academy at Annapolis. His father and grandfather were four star
admirals in the Navy. Some have suggested that might have played a role in McCain being admitted. His academic record was
awful. And it shows over and over again whenever McCain is called upon to think on his feet.
He no longer allows reporters unfettered access to him aboard the "Straight Talk Express" for a reason. He simply makes too
many mistakes. Unless he's reciting talking points or reading from notes or a TelePrompTer, John McCain is lost. He can drop bon
mots at a bowling alley or diner -- short glib responses that get a chuckle, but beyond that McCain gets in over his head very
I am sick and tired of the president of the United States embarrassing me. The world we live in is too complex to entrust it to
someone else whose idea of intellectual curiosity and grasp of foreign policy issues is to tell us he can look into Vladimir Putin's
eyes and see into his soul.
George Bush's record as a student, military man, businessman and leader of the free world is one of constant failure. And the part
that troubles me most is he seems content with himself.
He will leave office with the country $10 trillion in debt, fighting two wars, our international reputation in shambles, our
government cloaked in secrecy and suspicion that his entire presidency has been a litany of broken laws and promises, our
citizens' faith in our own country ripped to shreds. Yet Bush goes bumbling along, grinning and spewing moronic one-liners, as
though nobody understands what a colossal failure he has been.
I fear to the depth of my being that John McCain is just like him
I can hear the plethora of lobbyists running McCain's pathetic campaign calling CNN and whining about how unfair Cafferty is to
not be worshipping the Straight-talk express maverick.
If you want to read Cafferty's blog archive, Click here.
Wednesday, 30 July 2008 at 0h 46m 40s
RAND study: war on terror ineffective
The RAND Corporation (a think tank that studies government and military policies) released a study in which it
"U.S. efforts to undermine al Qaeda have been, largely, unsuccessful and recommends a new strategy against the group. "
The Rand group studied nearly 650 terrorist organizations that have functioned over the last 40 years. In a little over 40% of the
cases, the terrorist groups transitioned to political entities. Another 40% of the terrorist organizations were eliminated by
or intelligence services either apprehending or killing key leaders.
Military force was effective in eliminating the terrorist groups In only 7% of the cases.
[SOURCE:†Jay McDonough†|†San Franciso
Examiner.com†|†29 July 2008]
So policing and intelligence is more than 5 times effective (40 divided by 7 equals 5.71) than military invasion and occupation?
Ah, but military contractors steal a thousand times more money, don't you know.
The RAND Corporation is a non-profit
organization the does objective analysis of government policy decisions and options. To goto the RAND Corporation's own page
The name RAND is derived from "Research and Devlopment. From the Wikipedia article on RAND:RAND was set up in 1946 by the
United States Army Air Forces as Project RAND, under contract to the Douglas Aircraft Company, and in May 1946 they released
the Preliminary Design of an Experimental World-Circling Spaceship. In May 1948, Project RAND was separated from Douglas and
became an independent non-profit organization. Initial capital for the split came from the Ford Foundation.
The RAND Corporation is seen as militarist by many organizations that consider themselves peaceful or progressive. The fact
that RAND is basically saying the military solution is not going to work is significant.
Gold is no longer a luxury,
today it's a necessity.
Safety first then profit.
~ ~ ~ a recent advertisement by a gold brokerage firm.
Gold is not real money. Money is whatever currency the social order decides is the medium of payment for good's and services.
The production system produces, people are given currency based upon their jobs or their position of profit extraction from the
It does get more complicated when large institutions accumulate the social currency and when land and property (factories and
buildings) are value accessed in terms of this social currency; and when nations of millions use different means of social
currency -- but the basic function of the social currency is as a medium through which human commerce is organized and
produced. One nation's social currency is measured against other nation's social currencies based upon the world demand and
organization of resources. The weight of currencies against social distribution is nothing that can be standardized by using a
global currency or standard, even if and even when that global currency was metallic pieces of gold.
The purchase of gold is a function of the wealth of a society or nation, so when nation's had to buy gold in order to give value to
their social currencies, it was the owners and producers of gold who served is the gate-keepers. Today it is oil and those who
control the means of production who have resources that can be valued (and that involve revenues) in social currency. This was
the reality when the medium exchange was gold.
When you go to another country, the social currency in your nation is measured against the means of distribution in another
country other than your own. If that nation is depended upon external resources, it's own social currency must purchase from
exports; whereas, a nation that is self-suffient or has balanced economic relations with other countries has more intrinsic social
value for it's currency. So when American's go to Guatemala, they can live like royalty; but when they arive in Tokyo or Paris, they
discover their money is half it's value. Two dollars in a poor country gets a hotel room for the night, but won't even by a candy
bar in London.
Buying gold is not necessarily any better of an investment than a stock or a bond, or a deposit in a bank, because increase in
value is related to human population. Over a period of 50 years, there can be 10 or 20 year periods of depreciation, but
everything will be valued in larger units of currency denomination so long as human population increases. However, if the
currency inflates by 5%, the distribution of currency can accrue to small numbers of people by 30%, which means that some group
has 6 times more value (30 divided by 5).
Let me eulogize further. Say we have a very simple (albeit semi-realistic) society of 100 people, with $200 of total currency in
which the top 10 persons have $10 dollars each and the bottom 90 have the remaining 100 divided by 90 -- $1.11 each.
If the currency
inflates by 5%, we now have 200 + 10 = 210 dollars. If the $10 of the top 10 increase by 30%, then the top 10 make $13 each
now. Subtracting $130 (10 times 13) from $210, the remaining $90 gets divided by the 90 people ... who now make only $1
each per year,
which is 11 cents less than before.
An if the population increases during this time period each person who is not in the top 10 of this simple society will earn less
than the one dollar.
Say the population increases by 5%, and assume the increase is equally distributed-- which means 5% of the 10 (.5) and 5% of
the 90 (4.5). So 10.5 persons now make $13 each, which is $136.5. Subtracting from $210, we have $73.5 left. This $73.5 is
divided by the 94.5 people (90+4.5), which is only 77 cents (much less than a dollar).
The above scenario is essentially what happened from 1980 to 2008 in America. The small percentage of very wealthy people
(which is 0.5%) got incredibly more rich -- sharing their gains with the upper 15% -- but the remaining 84.5% lost 33 cents on
their original $1.11 per person value.
Of course there were a few shooting stars, but a 5% growth doesn't necessarily benefit all of the society the same way, because it
depends upon the distribution.
It is the same with Gold as a medium of exchange. The only thing that gives gold any value is demand and the relatively limited
amount of supply. Silver is a little more plentiful, the value of Uranium even less so, but each has an intrinsic value related to it's
weight within the human social economic system. If Uranium was as plentiful as Crystal, or as useless as Feldspar, it's worth
would be zero. Even shale has a value, when you need a lot of it (as for landscaping and architecture) and you have to hire some
business to provide you with the resource of shale.
Monday, 28 July 2008 at 1h 28m 9s
If you haven't heard or experienced Mark Fiore's animations, you are missing out.
Click here for the latest by Mark Fiore, called
Mark Fiore is hellah funny. Mark lives in San Francisco,
California and specializes in Flash animated cartoons. He was the cartoonist for the San Jose Mercury News for a while until 2001
when he decided to publish his hilarious political animations online.
Sunday, 27 July 2008 at 17h 35m 56s
The corporate media wipes McCain's buttocks
Click here to read an excellent analysis of the
defunct inability of the media to inform the public while it massages John McCain's ineptitude.
Here's a money quote:
All throughout the spring, as the media were obsessively focusing on every controversy, real or imagined, involving Obama or
Clinton while giving McCain a pass, journalists kept promising that they'd scrutinize McCain just as soon as the Democratic
primaries were over. Insisting that they couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time, reporters argued that the free ride McCain
was getting was simply a result of the media's inability to cover both the Democratic candidates and John McCain. But they'd get
around to the Republican nominee eventually.
That was their excuse for devoting far more attention to Obama and Wright than to McCain and Rev. John Hagee. That was their
excuse for obsessively demanding Hillary Clinton release her taxes, but not saying a word about John McCain's -- even after
Clinton released hers and McCain still had not done so. They'd get around to McCain someday, they kept telling us.
Well, they still aren't scrutinizing John McCain. And now, perversely, that lack of scrutiny is in effect being used to argue that the
media are treating McCain poorly by not paying more attention to him.
In fact, some media are going further than merely failing to scrutinize McCain. CBS this week actively covered up a McCain
blunder by deceptively editing an interview that Evening News anchor Katie Couric conducted with McCain. When Couric asked
McCain for his response to a statement by Barack Obama that, in Couric's words, "there might have been improved security even
without the surge," McCain responded by falsely claiming that the surge "began the Anbar awakening." In fact, the Anbar
awakening began before the surge. But rather than air McCain's factually incorrect response, and tell viewers that McCain was
wrong, CBS replaced his answer to Couric's question with three separate statements made by McCain spliced together, one of
which was an answer to a different question -- with no indication that they had spliced the interview. (CBS also omitted another
false claim McCain made during the interview: his description of the Iraq war as "the first major conflict since 9/11," something
that would come as a surprise to the families of the 554 Americans who have lost their lives as a part of Operation Enduring
Freedom in Afghanistan.)
In explaining the deceptive editing of the McCain interview, CBS News senior vice president Paul Friedman claimed the editing
"did not in any way distort what Senator McCain was saying." CBS had earlier claimed it made the edit in order to "give viewers a
fair expression of the candidates' major differences."
That's nonsense. CBS showed viewers Katie Couric asking John McCain a question, edited out McCain's actual answer, which
contained a falsehood, and replaced it with three separate statements spliced together, including an entirely different answer to a
different question, without giving any indication of what they had done. That isn't a "fair expression" of anything. It is a gross
distortion of reality, and the suppression of a false claim by John McCain on a topic that the media keep telling us is his area of
That is nothing short of fraudulent "reporting" by CBS, and it should be a major scandal.
Foster†|†MediaMatters†|†26 July 2008]
But it's not a major scandal. CBS completely misrepresents the interview with a man running for the Presidency and this isn't a
Can it be any more obvious that the corporate media is an agent of corporatist propaganda?