Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Tuesday, 29 July 2008 at 17h 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.
To read the RAND report yourself Click here.
|Monday, 28 July 2008 at 18h 58m 13s|
Gold is not the super currency object
... because Gold is real money.
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.
|Sunday, 27 July 2008 at 18h 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
Also you might find his 28 June cartoon very funny.
It's called Politishop.
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 10h 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?
|Friday, 18 July 2008 at 18h 22m 28s|
Electrical Fires cause unnecessary soldier deaths
James Risen is one of the New York Times journalists that you must read all the time. Today he has a story about KBR
(Halliburton) getting a contract renewal despite causing about 300 electrical fires during a 6 month time span due to shoddy
work. But don't let that stop the tax-payer money spigot.
Shoddy electrical work by private contractors on United States military bases in Iraq is widespread and dangerous, causing more
deaths and injuries from fires and shocks than the Pentagon has acknowledged, according to internal Army documents.
During just one six-month period — August 2006 through January 2007 — at least 283 electrical fires destroyed or damaged
American military facilities in Iraq, including the military’s largest dining hall in the country, documents obtained by The New
York Times show. Two soldiers died in an electrical fire at their base near Tikrit in 2006, the records note, while another was
injured while jumping from a burning guard tower in May 2007.
But in a sworn statement, apparently prepared for an investigation of Sergeant Maseth’s death by the Army’s Criminal
Investigative Division, a Pentagon contracting official described how both military and KBR officials were aware of the growing
danger from poor electrical work.
In the statement, Ingrid Harrison, an official with the Pentagon’s contracting management agency, disclosed that an electrical fire
caused by poor wiring in a nearby building two weeks before Sergeant Maseth’s death had endangered two other soldiers.... “KBR
has been at R.P.C. for over four years and was fully aware of the safety hazards, violations and concerns regarding the soldiers’
housing,” she said in the statement. She added that the contractor “chose to ignore the known unsafe conditions.”
In another internal document written after Sergeant Maseth’s death, a senior Army officer in Baghdad warned that soldiers had to
be moved immediately from several buildings because of electrical risks. In a memo asking for emergency repairs at three
buildings, the official warned of a “clear and present danger,” adding, “Exposed wiring, ungrounded distribution panels and
inappropriate lighting fixtures render these facilities uninhabitable and unsafe.”
The memo added that “over the course of several months, electrical fires and shorts have compounded these unsafe conditions.”
Several electricians who worked for KBR have said previously in interviews that they repeatedly warned KBR managers and
Pentagon and military officials about unsafe electrical work. They said that supervisors had ignored their concerns or, in some
cases, lacked the training to understand the problems.
[SOURCE: James Risen | New York Times | 18 July
Any rabid apologist pro-war Republican like to explain why we allow contractor's impugnity? Will the terrorist's want to kill us
more when the Defense Department knowingly permits the death's of our soldiers due to shoddy electrical work, and then renews
the no-bid cost-plus contract?
|Friday, 18 July 2008 at 16h 7m 34s|
Inform yourself on the real issue of offshore oil leases
The Republicans think they have an issue they can use to snow the American people. Talk endlessly about the
the ban on offshore drilling and put the Democrats in a corner as environmental non-realists who don't care about the American
here to read a study by the Department of Energy called "Overview of U.S. Legislation and Regulations Affecting
Offshore Natural Gas and Oil Activity".
The Rethuglicans would have you believe that letting the oil companies grab up more land is the answer to all our problems. As
usual, the ploy is merely an attempt to pad the portfolio's of the oil companies, not to release more oil on the market. Exploring
and setting up new drilling rigs takes 7 to 10 years to get online. The oil companies aren't even pumping oil out of the
properties that they own right now, which would have an immediate effect. According to an MSNBC story,
Nearly three-fourths of the 40 million acres of public land currently leased for oil and gas development in the continental United
States outside Alaska isn’t producing any oil or gas, federal records show, even as the Bush administration pushes to open more
environmentally sensitive public lands for oil and gas development.
An Associated Press computer analysis of Bureau of Land Management records found that 80 percent of federal lands leased for
oil and gas production in Wyoming are producing no oil or gas. Neither are 83 percent of the leased acres in Montana, 77
percent in Utah, 71 percent in Colorado, 36 percent in New Mexico and 99 percent in Nevada.
A recent Wilderness Society study found that the Bureau of Land Management has approved more than 25,000 drilling permits for
public lands over the past decade, but the industry had drilled only about 19,000 new wells during that period.
“Even without additional leasing, if the current inventory of non-producing leases were placed into production, the scale of
drilling on public lands would increase dramatically, as would the degradation of lands where drilling is wholly inappropriate,” the
“The aggressive leasing of public land pushed by the Bush administration is a land grab, pure and simple, giving industry more
and more control over public land while costing taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Peter Morton, a resource economist with the
Morton said the leases, which companies can lock up for 10 years with annual rents of only $2 to $3 an acre, are an economic
boon to some companies because they count as assets that can make debt refinancing easier while also attracting potential
[SOURCE: MSNBC | MSNBC | July 2008]
In other words, the oil companies aren't drilling on about 70% of the land they could be pumping oil out of the ground, but they
want to grab more land so they can pad their capital assets. They could care less about the consumers.
A state-by-state interactive of non-producing acreage is available at
Click here to read the House resource committee report by Illinois representative Nick J. Rahill called
"The Truth About America’s Energy: Big Oil Stockpiles Supplies and Pockets Profits ".
From the above Congressional report:
... of the 47.5 million acres of
on-shore federal lands that are currently being leased by oil and gas
companies, only about 13 million acres are actually "in production", or
producing oil and gas . Similar trends are evident offshore as well
, where only 10.5 million of the 44 million leased acres are currently
producing oil or gas.
That's only 27.3 percent of the land-based and 23.86 percent of the off-shore leases the oil and gas companies can
produce from land they already have a right to drill. Which means they can come online within a month, not 7 to 10 years
are not the offshore oil leases about which the Rethuglicans are speaking.
This whole public relations push is just a blatantly crass attempt by the Republican party to give the oil companies what they
want and bullshit the ignorant
public that they are doing consumers a favor. Notice how the corporate media is helping spin this issue.
Maria Cantwell (D-Wash) is blocking 3 nominations to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission because she correctly sees
the spike in gas prices as being fueled by speculators and oil companies holding supply by not pumping more oil from 70% of
the rigs they already own.
The Republican mantra :
Republicans counter that there are abundant resources offshore and polls show that a majority of Americans support more
drilling on the outer continental shelf.
"All we are getting from the majority is silence," said New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici, the ranking Republican on the Senate
Natural Resources Committee. "The American people are calling for solutions, and they are getting excuses."
Blumenthal | McClatchy Newspapers | 18 July 2008]
You see, polls skewed towards Americans who answer their land-based phones and are home in the late afternoon-evening
hours say that the Republican propaganda is working. Ignorant people want to get screwed over. How dare those up-start
Democrats stand up for what's right and actually consider the facts before making public policy decisions that don't
address the fundamental issues we face as a nation. After all, Pete Domenici hasn't been a tool of the oil-gas industry all these
years for nothing. He reads the crafted arguments provided by the oil-gas industries hired public relations firms all the
This is yet more proof why the corporate media model is the hand-maiden of large aggregate monopolistic practices. You have
to work to be informed these days. If you just read the local newspaper and watch the evening news, you are being fed
manipulative information all the time.
|Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 8h 8m 2s|
McCain campaign agents keep resigning
In May, national finance co-chair Tom Loeffler stepped down after the press revealed that he had been lobbying on behalf of
foreign interests, including collecting nearly $15 million from Saudi Arabia since 2002. Today, Vanity Fair reports that another
finance co-chair, former New Jersey congressman Jim Courter, is also resigning:
McCain finance co-chair and former New Jersey congressman Jim Courter, chief executive of telecom corporation IDT, is resigning
from the campaign after the FCC slapped IDT with a $1.3 million fine last week for failing to disclose information about its
contracts in Haiti. IDT is being investigated by several federal agencies after a former employee filed a lawsuit alleging that the
company engaged in corrupt practices in order to obtain favorable contracts in the country....
Courter has been the chief executive of IDT since 2001. His resignation follows that of McCain finance co-chair Tom Loeffler in
May over lobbying ties, and that of Rick Renzi, another McCain finance co-chair, who was indicted in February for money
laundering and other charges.
[SOURCE: | Thinkprogress.org | 14 July 2008]
[SOURCE: Christopher Bateman | Vanity Fair | 14 July
That makes a total of three co-chairs since February of this year, having to resign because they are breaking federal laws against
Can it be any more obvious that McCain represents more corruption and less oversight than was conceivable even during the
days of Dubya Bush? If you want more corruption and less oversight, McCain is your prez-dent.
|Tuesday, 15 July 2008 at 8h 18m 24s|
Lawyers for Canadian Omar Khadr have released a video that shows 2 minutes at the end of an interrogation. Mr.
crying, proclaiming his innocence, saying "You don't care about me". Although the tape does not show any torture, the way in
which Mr. Khadr responds is heart-rending. He is an innocent man caught at the wrong place at the wrong time, being accussed of
things he did not do, and was also tortured by US officials while in captivity before this interrogation took place.
Click here for a post of the video by the BBC.
Click here for a direct link to the 2
for a link to a 3 minute 24 second video provided by the French newspaper LeMonde.
The video was being filmed secretly through an air duct
|Monday, 14 July 2008 at 9h 49m 55s|
Another closeted Gay Republican
This is too insane. Remember Troy King, the Alabama Attorney General that mentioned possible voter fraud in Alabama ...
Troy King just got caught in bed with another man, by his wife.
And he was vocally anti-gay too. He's also the Alabama chair of the John McCain campaign.
Quick Troy, dig up a voter fraud scandal while there's still time to distract the public.
[SOURCE: Crooks and Liars | | 11 July 2008]
|Monday, 14 July 2008 at 9h 42m 38s|
Cash for access
In order to circumvent the law, GW Bush is using cash donations to his presidential library as a means test for access -- kind of
like what disgraced ex-Congress critter Texan Tom DeLay did with a non-profit Children's fund that got siphoned into various
Republican war chests.
A lobbyist with close ties to the White House is offering access to key figures in George W Bush’s administration in return for six-
figure donations to the private library being set up to commemorate Bush’s presidency.
Stephen Payne, who claims to have raised more than $1m for the president’s Republican party in recent years, said he would
arrange meetings with Dick Cheney, the vice-president, Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, and other senior officials in
return for a payment of $250,000 (£126,000) towards the library in Texas.
Payne, who has accompanied Bush and Cheney on several foreign trips, also said he would try to secure a meeting with the
Unlike campaign donations, there is no requirement to disclose the donors to the libraries, no limit on the amount that can be
pledged and no restrictions on foreigners contributing.
During an undercover investigation by The Sunday Times, Payne was asked to arrange meetings in Washington for an exiled
former central Asian president. He outlined the cost of facilitating such access.
“The exact budget I will come up with, but it will be somewhere between $600,000 and $750,000, with about a third of it going
directly to the Bush library,” said Payne, who sits on the US homeland security advisory council.
He said initially that the “family” of the Asian politician should make the donation. He later added that if all the money was paid
to him he would make the payment to the Bush library. Publicly, it would appear to have been made in the politician’s name
“unless he wants to be anonymous for some reason”.
Payne said the balance of the $750,000 would go to his own lobbying company, Worldwide Strategic Partners (WSP).
Asked by an undercover reporter who the politician would be able to meet for that price, Payne said: “Cheney’s possible,
definitely the national security adviser [Stephen Hadley], definitely either Dr Rice or . . . I think a meeting with Dr Rice or the
deputy secretary [John Negroponte] is possible . . .
[SOURCE: Daniel Foggo | London Times | 13 July 13
Okay then stupid people, do you now see how this game is played? What did you think "lobbyists" do? They are merely the
consiglieri go-betweens, the monetary bag persons for the corruption.
GOTO THE NEXT 10 COLUMNS