The River

Friday, August 29, 2008

I heart the net

You gotta love a site with posts carrying titles such as "irrigation porn."

Check out deputy dog, a website "dedicated to showcasing incredible examples of the world’s most fascinating architecture, green living, inspirational design, phenomenal natural oddities….the list goes on."

And don't miss 9 amazingly unique bridges you may not have seen.

Here's a preview: Henderson Waves, "singapore’s highest pedestrian bridge and can be found at the southern ridges, a beautiful 9km stretch of gardens and parks."

Thanks to my buddy Rick for the tip.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Grant Morrison Talks Comics, Magic, Life and Death
by A. David Lewis -- Publishers Weekly, 8/11/2008

Some fans have taken to calling comic book writer Grant Morrison, “the God of All Comics.” And while that title is not to be taken too seriously, his work certainly is. The renowned and prolific author of such titles as DC Comics’ flagship JLA, Marvel Comics’ New X-Men, his own creations, including We3 and The Filth, and now Virgin Comics’ online series MBX (based on the Hindu myths of the Mahabharata) has long pondered the mysteries of life and come to a number of his own conclusions. In this interview Morrison talks about how his writing, particularly his quirky and spiritual Invisibles espionage series, directly affects his own life, which is, in turn, connected to all other lives across time.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Google News Juxtaposition

Two stories highlighted on Google News today

U.N. says has evidence air strikes killed 90 Afghans
Tue Aug 26, 2008 9:38am EDT

KABUL (Reuters) - The United Nations said on Tuesday it had found convincing evidence that 90 Afghan civilians, most of them children, were killed in air strikes by U.S.-led coalition forces in western Afghanistan last week.


That one was at the bottom, under "More Top Stories."

At the top was the first and according to editors most important story, which carried the head:

"Angry Democrats Distracted DNC Attendees in Denver"

But you would be mistaken if you thought Democrats were angry about two destructive, murderous occupations of oil- and Israel-strategic countries, and the fact that their party is all for them (although there are protesters there who aren't, but they are in free speech cages and will not be "top stories"). No, 90 Afghan civilians, most of them children, butchered just don't matter, apparently, to either the media or angry Hillary Clinton supporters.

Angry Democrats Distracted DNC Attendees in Denver

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 26, 2008

As frustrated Democrats converged on Denver yesterday, some began chanting "caucus fraud," while others shouted the word "sweetie," a reference to the time Obama called a female reporter by the same name. One Clinton supporter who spoke to ABC News said Obama couldn't be trusted. Another said, "He's shifty and untrustworthy." It was assuredly not the kind of message Obama and his diligently image-conscious team were counting on at the Democratic National Convention.

These voters are a tad extreme, but they represent a serious concern to the Obama camp -- an animus toward Obama among voters he needs to win over.

A new Gallup poll indicates that less than half of Clinton's supporters say they definitely will vote for Obama -- 47 percent say they're solidly behind him, 23 percent say they back him but may change their minds, and 30 percent say they will not vote or they will vote for someone else, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Oligarchic who?

LET'S RUN through this again. Vladimir Putin is not a nice man. The KGB, with whom the young Vlad earned his reputation as a people person, was not Russia's answer to the Rotary Club. As a direct consequence, Russian traditions of democracy remain wafer thin, a cracked veneer that fails utterly to conceal thuggery, rigged votes, oligarchic mafias, corruption, and the corpses of journalists. Are we clear?

Russia's current identity is composed, meanwhile, of a volatile mixture of intense nationalism and paranoia. Its rulers, whatever their labels, take it as read that their country exists under permanent threat of encirclement by its enemies.

-- Ian Bell on "the new cold war", Sunday Herald, August 25, 2008


Let's run through this again.

George H.W. Bush Sr. is not a nice man. The CIA, with whom the young Bush earned his reputation as a people person, was not exactly the Rotary Club. He and his cronies have created a political dynasty, and as a direct consequence, U.S. traditions of democracy remain wafer thin, a cracked veneer that fails utterly to conceal thuggery, rigged votes, oligarchic mafias, corruption, and the corpses of journalists. Are we clear?

The United State's current identity is composed, meanwhile, of a volatile mixture of intense nationalism and paranoia. Its rulers, whatever their labels, take it as read that their country exists under permanent threat of terrorist attacks by its enemies.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The 3 a.m. phone call

I've been wondering what happend to Obama. The campaigner and his campaign don't seem as sharp and forceful as they once did.

Maybe Obama already got a 3 a.m. phone call:

Erghhhhh..uhmmm hello?

Listen kid, I got a little advice.

Here's how it's gonna play.

You had your moment on the world stage, and that was nice, for you and the people who came out. Rarely does anyone speak to human aspiration anymore. Unless it's about defeating "evil," but Democrats don't care about evil, because they are evil.

But that's not what I want to talk to you about. That's watercooler chit chat. What ya need to know is that this ain't your time. This is a time of upheaval and war, always. In one form or another. It will be some evil other's fault and we will fight that, because it must be defeated, etcettera, etcettera. The tin foil hats are on to us, but who cares? The way they imagine it and the way we do it are very different. I mean, shit, we're holding all the cards, right? Ain't nobody bluffing us.

No sir.

But you, my friend, I know you understand how things are. But ya think you can tinker here and there and we'll just smooth sail into something better. Smoother management of a less stupid war on terror, or some such. A new world order with 20 percent less destruction and collateral damage. That's yer change, right?

Well, yer misreadin the wind. We gotta have people down and defeated. Hope is no way to operate in the 21st century. Not if we can help it. And we can.

See if something were to arouse people's hopes and dreams, expand their horizons, even a little bit, it's a danger for us. People might start looking at alternatives to our way of doing things. That ain't good. That's cuttin in on our territory.

So here's what yer gonna do. Yer gonna get offa our territory for a week. Have a nice vacation in Hawaii. Maybe do some windsurfin.

While yer gone, there will be an event, an international crisis involvin Russia. September 11 and terror were for the 2004 election. And besides, the whole thing's lost its luster. It's just a quagmire now. No more big explosions or dictator hangings or air craft landings. So we're takin steps to make it go away. I gotta admit, you helped us realize real quick how that campaign ain't workin no more.

Eehneeeway. It's gonna be Russia, a country with real nuclear weapons. Yes sir. While you're on vacation, McCain will make his debut as the tough commander in chief, the one people will want in the oval office to stand up to the Russian bear. A war hero.

Then when you get back, we're gonna trivialize the crap out of this election. I mean, even more. You'll whine about our attacks, you'll mount your own attacks, but they'll just be attacks on our attacks, or replies to our attacks. We'll control the dialogue. Such as it is. Yeah, people will be tired of the whining, and they'll be tired of you telling them how bad things are, so that you can get elected to fix it. Malaise, that's your brand. You don't fix it (cause it won't be fixed), you identify it, and it identifies you. Doesn't matter that you're talking about the last 8 years of Republican leadership, it's still your brand, not ours.

Our formula is a winner.

So yer gonna take a fall, my friend. Get John Kerry to respond to the Corsi book. And give him your ear. Guy's an artist.

Talk to ya soon. Hello to your family.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Nice analogy

She (Condoleeza Rice) praised soon-to-be-former president Musharraf as having “pull[ed] Pakistan away from the brink of extremism.” He also “helped to smooth the path to civilian democratic rule in Pakistan.” Sort of like praising O.J. Simpson for helping to look for the real killer.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

South Ossetia victim of war crimes

I have to go back to the U.S. media coverage of Georgia. It is indicative of a system that can alter public consciousness at will, and will do so to whitewash the crimes of the state. (Sept. 11, anyone?)

To cover their ass, organs such as the Washington Post will publish the occassional truthtelling piece on its editorial pages. But to let something so passe as truth inform their reporting (what little there is), that would be counter to state interest. One must stay in lock step to the (corporate) party line, even if it means reliquishing your humanity.

Here's Mikhail Gorbachev laying down the truth in the Washington Post on August 12:

What happened on the night of Aug. 7 is beyond comprehension. The Georgian military attacked the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali with multiple rocket launchers designed to devastate large areas. Russia had to respond. To accuse it of aggression against "small, defenseless Georgia" is not just hypocritical but shows a lack of humanity.

And here's an excerpt of a good piece by Justin Raimondo at

Mikheil Saakashvili: War Criminal

A politician's hubris causes untold human suffering

by Justin Raimondo


Amid all the geopolitical analyses and ideological posturing on the occasion of the Three-Day War between Russia and Georgia, we are losing sight of the very real human costs of this conflict: thousands of civilians killed and grievously wounded, a city, Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, in ruins, and the hopes and dreams of the inhabitants of this largely overlooked backwater dashed on the rocks of a politician's hubris.

That politician is Mikheil Saakashvili, the all too glib president of Georgia, whose slickness is so apparent that it seems to leave an oily residue on every word he utters. The decidedly apolitical, non-ideological Web site Reliefweb put it this way:

"The place that has suffered most is South Ossetia which is home to both ethnic Ossetians and Georgians, the latter accounting for about a third of the population. The destruction there has been appalling and it looks as though many hundreds of civilians have died, in the first place as a result of the initial Georgian assault of August 7-8. Gosha Tselekhayev, an Ossetian interpreter in Tskhinvali with whom I spoke by telephone on August 10 said, 'I am standing in the city center, but there's no city left.'

"Ossetians fleeing the conflict zone talk of Georgian atrocities and the indiscriminate killing of civilians."

They may be talking of Georgian atrocities, but we in the West have not heard them – nor will we, given the bias of our media, which is in thrall to the Georgia lobby and its U.S. government sponsors. The "mainstream" has already settled on a narrative to explain events in the Caucasus, and nothing short of a South Ossetian holocaust will wake them from their hypnotic state. The Russians, in their view, have got to be the bad guys, i.e., the aggressors. Anything that doesn't fit into that storyline is cut from the script. Yet, as Reliefweb reports:

"On August 7, after days of shooting incidents in the South Ossetian conflict zone, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili made a speech in which he said that he had given the Georgian villagers orders not to fire, that he wanted to offer South Ossetia 'unlimited autonomy' within the Georgian state, with Russia to be a guarantor of the arrangement.

"Both sides said they were discussing a meeting the next day to discuss how to defuse the clashes.

"That evening, however, Saakashvili went for the military option. The Georgian military launched a massive artillery attack on Tskhinvali, followed the next day by a ground assault involving tanks.

"This was a city with no pure military targets, full of civilians who had been given no warning and were expecting peace talks at any moment."

As if to underscore the utter indifference of Western media to the suffering of anyone politically incorrect enough to be pro-Russian, CNN broadcast footage of war-torn Tskhinvali even as its news announcer solemnly "reported" that the Russians were wreaking devastation on a city in Georgia proper, a classic case of the Orwellian media manipulation techniques that pass for journalism in the West. An unintended irony: the footage was a few feet from the spot where Russian peacekeepers had been slaughtered, the first victims of the Georgian assault. Or was it intended?

The tragicomic aspects of this media-induced cognitive dissonance came to the fore on Fox News the other day, when the announcer was interviewing a 12-year-old American girl who happened to be sitting in a café in Tskhinvali when Georgian bombs started raining down on her head. The announcer's eyebrows shot up when the girl thanked the Russian soldiers. After the girl and her aunt finished their recounting of Georgian atrocities, the announcer capped off his report by intoning: "There are gray areas in war."

UPDATE: I was going to say something about media adherence to a narrative in this post. Clicked on the latest piece by Justin and, well check it out: The Narrative Versus the News: Journalism in the age of perpetual war

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Georgia" first hit of the new fall season

Frank Paynter asks: "Is it scatter-brained to think that the nation states are mere stage dressing for a broader and more fundamental power struggle amongst an oligarchic elite that thinks they own the planet? "

Nope. We're just pawns in the game.

Power corrupts, but it also buys great propaganda. Our job is to watch, bicker, and bitch. I'm a bigger patriot than you! You're the traitor! Your party sucks! It's the immigrants fault! etc.

Consider the scuffle in Georgia -- "It’s not about Georgia. It’s not about Ossetia. It’s not about Russia. It’s about natural gas from Kazakhstan and the oligarchs who will profit from its extraction and distribution," Frank rightly points out. But for the public, it is solely about "Russian aggression!" "thuggery!" "disproportionate response" (Lebanon must love that one). It's a cheap, thoroughly dishonest morality play, more programming fodder for the media and politicians. I flicked the channels yesterday and saw John McCain waxing eloquent about the old Christian churches and the beautiful countryside of Georgia. We were supposed to be shaking our head about that evil Russia invading those good, upstanding, Georgians.

Or, as Joe Bageant says:

...having been in the media business one way or another for almost 40 years, and having watched it increasingly take on a life of its own, I know that nothing of significance in the news is what it appears to be. This is not the result of some media conspiracy, mind you, but rather that the people working in the media have internalized the process so thoroughly they do not even know they are conditioned creatures in a larger corporate/state machine. Put simply, Katie Couric and the dumbshits grinding out your local paper actually believe they are in the news business. In today's system, everybody is a patsy for the new corporate global order of things -- the well-coiffed talking head, the brain dead audience, even the terrorists themselves. All play out their parts in our holographic image and information process.

All Americans, regardless of caste, live in a culture woven of self-referential illusions. Like a holographic simulation, each part refers exclusively back to the whole, and the whole refers exclusively back to the parts. All else is excluded by this simulated reality.

"Ballad of the Kingsmen" by Todd Snider w/ the South Austin Jug Band

Going to see Todd at the Sloss Furnaces Stokin' the Fire BBQ and Music Festival on Friday.

Here's the skinny on Todd's upcoming album, "Peace Queer."

Peace Queer, The Bio
By Cokie Roberts
I was told to meet Todd Snider at the 3 Crow Bar at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. This was impossible, as Todd Snider was not at the 3 Crow Bar at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. But he showed up at 1:45, sweating and claiming to be followed. As Todd is not normally a paranoid person (ed. note: this is not true, he is quite paranoid), I wondered aloud whether his pursuers were angry that he is releasing Peace Queer, album filled with politically charged, potentially divisive material. He said, “No, that’s not it at all. Actually, I was a little too close to that Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan thing. For some of us, that’ll never be over. Never.”
None of which brings us to the matter at hand. I’m hired to do a job here. Swear to God, he’s calling this thing Peace Queer. So I ask, why Peace Queer?
“What, too commercial?” he said. “I don’t care. My intention is to outsell Thriller. And not just the Michael Jackson one. Ultimately, I believe this record will sell 6.8 billion copies. That’s not one in every home. That’s one in every hand. Well, roughly every other hand, ‘cause most people have two hands. And on the day that happens, I guarantee America and parts of Canada world peace.”
A pipe dream? Hardly, for fans of rock ‘n’ roll, folk, country and Americana music have long been held in Snider’s sway. His last album, 2006’s The Devil You Know, landed him on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno and Late Night With David Letterman, and it appeared on numerous year-end Top 10 lists. Sitting across from him at the 3 Crow, his personal charisma is in evidence. And how. The humble, youthful man from Beaverton, Oregon is a real swashbuckler. And Peace Queer is just the beginning of his typically unique vision. It is the first in a trilogy. Even as we celebrate the release of Peace Queer, Snider is already working on the follow-up, with Rolling Stones producer Don Was. After that, there will be a rock album called Shit Sandwich.
“I’m gonna make it in real time,” he said, his piercing blue-grey (sometimes they seem green, too) eyes shining towards a success-filled musical future.
For now, though, we’re here to discuss Peace Queer. And Peace Queer is, assuredly, the bomb. The album’s cover, which depicts Snider being held at gunpoint by a shirtless hippie, nods to the violence that is at the heart of all peaceful endeavors.
“Clearly, anyone who looks at the photograph can tell that I had been abducted by an international league of peace queers and forced to write protest music. You know, for their cause,” he said. “But, write this down ‘cause it’s true and it’s important: I grew sympathetic to their cause. In fact, the more often we paused for the cause the more sympathetic I grew. Maybe I was Patty Hearst shifted, but I don’t care. I’m in. I believe in our mottos and can’t wait to hear our slogan.”
Indeed, the mottos are telling.
“Our first motto is ‘Thou Shalt Not Kill,’” Snider explained. “Our second motto was, ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal,’ but then we realized we’d kind of lifted the first motto. So we dropped the second motto and just went with the one.”
Peace Queer starts with revelry, and the album includes a Civil War sea shanty, a plaintive cover of 1960’s classic “Fortunate Son,” a spoken-word number, a rocked-fueled meditation on contemporary culture (“Stuck On The Corner”), and a Fred Sanford-ish funeral dirge. The emotional centerpiece of the album is the wistful “Ponce Of The Flaming Peace Queer.”
“We’re very proud of that one,” Snider said. “It ties up the story.”
Yes, story.
“It begins like the Iraq War began: by declaring victory and then plowing forward into the long night,” Snider said. “We started our drive with an end-zone dance. Peace Queer is a six-song cycle, starting with a song called ‘Mission Accomplished.’ In six sentences, the record goes like this: Here’s the kid being told everything’s going to be great. Here’s the reality of that. Here’s that kid when he comes home a sad and banged-up and angry ‘winner.’ Here’s the breakdown of why I think that’s happening. Here’s the guy in our culture that I think is causing that to happen, and it’s not a president. And then here’s what I think is going to happen to that guy. And then we roll credits.”
Upon Peace Queer’s Aug. 19 release, listeners will hear Snider assisted by Patty Griffin, Kevn Kinney, Don Heron, Doug Lancio, Will Kimbrough and other luminaries. It’s a record of brevity, humor and hope.
“Things happen in this album besides you being told that war is wrong, with a beat,” Snider said. “I don’t know that war is wrong. I just know that I’m a peace queer, and I’m totally into it when people aren’t fighting, in my home, at the bar where I hang out or in a field a million miles away. It’s a drag to hear that people are punching each other or hurting each other.
“As an International Peace Queer, I believe that world peace is the responsibility of the individual,” he continued. “I’m not saying I’m necessarily a role model. But I will say that everybody has to do their part. And you can look at me for an example, if you must. I haven’t killed anybody in 12 years.”

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scifi: Fiction as strange as truth

I've been on a science fiction kick lately. I'm particularly interested in the social commentary type of scifi produced in the sixties and seventies. It's prophetic stuff. The authors I've been reading saw -- and foresaw -- what was happening and what would likely happen. Last night, while reading "The Sheep Look Up" by British author John Brunner, I ran across this:

We need something to break us out of this – this isolationism we’ve drifted into. I don’t mean that in the standard sense; I mean more isolationism in time, as it were. We’re divorced from reality, in the same way the Romans went on thinking of themselves as invulnerable and unchallengeable long after it ceased to be true. The most awful warnings are staring us in the face – the stagnant Mediterranean above all, dead like the Great Lakes – yet we’re so proud of being the richest, the most powerful, the whatever, that we won’t face facts. We won’t admit that we’re short of water, we’re short of timber, we’re short of –“

"Food," Thorne said positively.

Russia-Georgia situation further exposes bubble-headed media

Two points from the below article by Paul Craig Roberts bear repeating:

The entire world, except for Americans, knows that the outbreak of armed conflict between Russian and Georgian forces in South Ossetia was entirely due to the US and its Georgia puppet, Saakashvili. Americans, alone in the world, are unaware that the hostilities were initiated by Saakashvili, because Bush, Cheney and the Israeli-occupied American media have again lied to them.


The US is not a superpower. It is a bankrupt farce run by imbeciles who were installed by stolen elections arranged by Karl Rove and Diebold. It is a laughing stock, that ignorantly affronts and attempts to bully an enormous country equipped with tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.

Will American Insouciance Destroy the World?

By Paul Craig Roberts

13/08/08 "ICH" --- - The neoconned Bush Regime and the Israeli-occupied American media are heading the innocent world toward nuclear war.

Back in the Reagan years, the National Endowment for Democracy was created as a cold war tool. Today the NED is a neocon-controlled agent for US world hegemony. Its main function is to pour US money and election-rigging into former constituent parts of the Soviet Union in order to ring Russia with American puppet states.

The neoconservative Bush Regime used the NED to intervene in Ukrainian and Georgian internal affairs in keeping with the neoconservative plan to establish US-friendly and Russia-hostile political regimes in these two former constituent parts of Russia and the Soviet Union.

The NED was also used to dismember the former Yugoslavia with its interventions in Slovakia, Serbia, and Montenegro.

According to Wikipedia, Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, told the Washington Post in 1991 that much of what the NED does “today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

The Bush Regime, having established a puppet, Mikhail Saakashvili, as president of Georgia, tried to bring Georgia into NATO.

[For readers too young to know, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was a military alliance between the US and Western European countries to resist any Soviet move into Western Europe. There has been no reason for NATO since the Soviet Union’s internal political collapse almost two decades ago. The neocons turned NATO into another tool, like the NED, for US world hegemony. Subsequent US administrations violated the understandings that President Reagan had reached with Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, and have incorporated former parts of the Soviet empire into NATO. The neocon goal of ringing Russia with a hostile military alliance has been proclaimed many times.]

Western European members of NATO balked at the admission of Georgia, as they understood it as a provocative affront to Russia, on whom Western Europe is dependent for natural gas. Western Europeans are also disturbed at the Bush Regime’s intentions to install ballistic missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic as the consequence will be Russian nuclear cruise missiles targeted on European capitals. Europeans don’t see the advantage of helping the US block Russian nuclear retaliation against the US at the expense of their own existence. Ballistic missile defenses are not useful against cruise missiles.

Every country is tired of war except for the US. War, including nuclear war, is the neoconservative strategy for world hegemony.

The entire world, except for Americans, knows that the outbreak of armed conflict between Russian and Georgian forces in South Ossetia was entirely due to the US and its Georgia puppet, Saakashvili. Americans, alone in the world, are unaware that the hostilities were initiated by Saakashvili, because Bush, Cheney and the Israeli-occupied American media have again lied to them.

Everyone else in the world knows that the unstable and corrupt Saakashvili, who proclaims democracy and runs a police state, would not have taken on Russia by attacking South Ossetia unless given the go-ahead by Washington.

The purpose of the Georgian attack on the Russian population of South Ossetia is twofold:

To convince Europeans that their action in delaying Georgia’s NATO membership is the cause of “the Russian aggression” and that to save Georgia from conquest Georgia must be given NATO membership.
To ethnically cleanse South Ossetia of its Russian population. Two thousand Russian civilians were targeted and killed by the US-equipped and trained Georgian Army, and tens of thousands fled into Russia. Having achieved this goal, Saakashvili and his puppet-masters in Washington quickly called for a cease fire and a halt to “the Russian invasion.” The hope is that the Russian population will be afraid to return or can be prevented from returning, thus removing the secessionist threat.

No doubt the Bush Regime can con the insouciant American population, just as it did with Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, Iranian nukes, and 9/11 itself, but the rest of the world is not buying it, least of all Moscow, the Asia Times, and not even America’s bought-and-paid-for European allies.

Writing in the Asia Times, Ambassador M. K. Bhadrakumar, a former career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service, notes the disinformation that is being peddled by the Bush Regime and the US media and reports that “at the outbreak of violence, Russia had tried to have the United Nations Security Council issue a statement calling on Georgia and South Ossetia to immediately lay down weapons. However, Washington was disinterested.”

Amb. Bhadrakumar notes that the American and Georgian resort to violence and propaganda has brought an end to the Russian government’s belief that diplomacy and good will can bring about a settlement of the South Ossetia issue. If Russia wished, Russia could terminate Georgia’s existence as a separate country at will, and there is nothing the US could do about it.

It is certain that the Georgian invasion of South Ossetia was a Bush Regime orchestrated event. The American media and the neocon think tanks were ready with their propaganda blitzes. Neocons had ready a Wall Street Journal editorial page article for Saakashvili that declares “the war in Georgia is a war for the West.”

Faced with the collapse of his army when Russia sent in troops to protect South Ossetians from the Georgian troops, Saakashvili declared: “This is not about Georgia any more. It is about America, its values.”

The neocon Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., quickly called a conference hosted by warmonger Ariel Cohen, “Urgent! Event: Russian-Georgian War: A Challenge for the U.S. and the World.”

The Washington Post lifted its skirts and spread wide its legs to neocon Robert Kagen’s war drums, “Putin Makes His Move.”

Only a fool like Kagen could think that if Putin intended to invade Georgia he would do so from Beijing, or that after sending the American-trained Georgian army in flight, he would not continue and conquer all of Georgia in order to put an end to American machinations on Russia’s most sensitive border, machinations that are likely to eventually end in nuclear war.

That despicable whore, the New York Times, spread her legs for Billy Kristol’s rant, “Will Russia Get Away With It?” Kristol thunders against “dictatorial and aggressive and fanatical regimes” that “seem happy to work together to weaken the influence of the United States and its democratic allies.” Kristol presents a new axis of evil--Russia, China, North Korea and Iran--and warns against “delay and irresolution” that “simply invite future threats and graver dangers.”

In other words, “attack Russia now.”

Dick Cheney, the insane American Vice President telephoned Saakashvili to express US solidarity with Georgia in the conflict with Russia and declared: “Russian aggression must not go unanswered.” Cheney’s telephone call is like Great Britain’s “guarantee” to Poland against Nazi Germany. Only a complete idiot would tell Saakashvili anything other than “to cease immediately.”

What must be the effect on US Intelligence services and the US military of Cheney’s propagandistic and irresponsible statement of US support for Georgia’s war crimes? Does anyone really believe that the CIA or any US intelligence service told the vice president that Russia opened the conflict with an invasion? Russian troops arrived in South Ossetia after thousands of Ossetians had been killed by the Georgian attack and after tens of thousands of Ossetians had fled into Russia to escape the Georgian attack. According to news reports, Russian forces have captured Americans who were with the Georgian troops directing their attack on civilians.

The US military certainly has no resources for a war against Russia on top of lost wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a planned war with Iran.

With its Georgian venture, the Bush Regime is guilty of a new round of war crimes. What will be the consequence?

Many will reply that having got away with 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and with its preparations for attacking Iran, the Bush Regime will get away with its Georgian venture as well.

Possibly, however, this time the Bush Regime has overreached.

Certainly Russia now recognizes that the US is determined to exert hegemony over Russia and is Russia’s worst enemy.

China realizes the US threat to its own energy supply and, thereby, economy.

Even America’s European allies, chafing under their role of supplying troops for America’s Empire, must now realize that being an American ally is dangerous and has no benefits. If Georgia becomes a NATO member and renews its attack on South Ossetia, it must drag Europe into a war with Russia, a main supplier of energy to Europe.

Moreover, if Russian troops are sent across European frontiers, there is nothing to stop them.

What does America offer Europe, aside from the millions of dollars it pays to buy off Europe’s political leaders to insure that they betray their own peoples? Nothing whatsoever.

The only military threat that Europe faces comes from being dragged into America’s wars for American hegemony.

The US is financially bankrupt, with budget and trade deficits that exceed the combined deficits of the rest of the world together. The dollar has wilted. The American consumer market is dying from the offshoring of American jobs and, thereby, incomes, and from the wealth effect of the real estate and derivatives collapses. The US has nothing to offer Europe. Indeed, American economic decline is killing European exports by driving up the value of the euro.

America long ago lost the moral high ground. Hypocrisy has become America’s best known hallmark. Bush, the invader of Afghanistan and Iraq on the basis of lies and deception, thunders at Russia for coming to the defense of its peacekeepers and Russian citizens in South Ossetia. Bush, the vampire who ripped Kosovo out of Serbia’s heart and handed it to the Muslims, has taken an adamant stand against other separatist movements, especially the South Ossetians who wish to be part of the Russian Federation.

The neoconned Bush Regime is furious that the Russian bear was not intimidated by the US supported aggression of the American puppet state, Georgia. Instead of accepting the act of American hegemony that the neocon script called for, Russia sent the Americanized Georgian army fleeing in fear.

Having failed with weapons, the Bush Regime now unleashes the rhetoric. The White House is warning Russia that failure to acquiesce to US hegemony could have a “significant, long-term impact on relations between Washington and Moscow.”

Do the morons who comprise the Bush Regime really not understand that short of a surprise nuclear attack on Russia there is nothing whatsoever the US can do to Moscow?

The Bush Regime owns no Russian currency that it can dump. The Russians own US dollars.

The Bush Regime owns no Russian bonds that it can dump. The Russians own US bonds.

The US can cut Russia off from no energy supplies. Russia can cut America’s European allies off from energy.

President Reagan negotiated the end of the cold war with Soviet President Gorbachev.,
The neoconservatives, whom Reagan fired and drove from his administration, were furious. The neocons had hoped to win the cold war, thereby establishing American hegemony.

The Republican Establishment reestablished its hegemony under Bush 1st that it had lost to Ronald Reagan. With this feat, intelligence was driven from the Republican Party.

The neocons engineered their comeback with the First Gulf War and their propaganda, pure lies, that Iraqi troops bayoneted Kuwait babies in hospitals.

The neocons made a further comeback with President Clinton, whom they convinced to bomb Serbia in order to permit separatist movements to become independent states dependent on America.

With Bush 2nd, the neocons took over. Their agenda, American world hegemony, includes Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.

So far the schemes of these ignorant and dangerous ideologues have come a cropper. Iraq, formerly in the hands of secular Sunnis who were a check on Iran, is, after the American invasion and occupation, in the hands of religious Shi’ites allied with Iran.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban are resurgent, and a large NATO/US army there is unable to control the situation.

One consequence of the neocons’ Afghan war has been the loss of power of the American puppet president of Pakistan, a Muslim country armed with nuclear weapons. The puppet president now faces impeachment, and the Pakistani military has informed the Americans to stop conducting military operations in Pakistani territory.

The American puppets in Egypt and Jordan might be next to fall.

In Iraq, the Shi’ites, having completed their ethnic cleansing of Sunnis from neighborhoods, have declared a cease fire in order to contradict the US propaganda that American withdrawal would lead to a blood bath. Negotiations on withdrawal dates are now underway between the Americans and the Iraqi government, which is no longer behaving like a puppet.

Last year Hugo Chavez ridiculed Bush before the UN. Russia’s Putin ridiculed Bush as Comrade Wolf.

On August 12, 2008, Pravda ridiculed Bush, “Bush: Why don’t you shut up.”

Americans may think they are a superpower before whose presence the world trembles. But not the Russians.

Those Americans stupid enough to think that America’s “superpower” insures its citizens from danger need to read the total contempt shown for President Bush in Pravada:

“President Bush,

Why don’t you shut up? In your statement on Monday regarding the legitimate actions of the Russian Federation in Georgia, you failed to mention the war crimes perpetrated by Georgian military forces, which American advisors support, against Russian and Ossetian civilians

“President Bush,

Why don’t you shut up? Your faithful ally, Mikhail Saakashvili, was announcing a ceasefire deal while his troops, with your advisors, were massing on Ossetia’s border, which they crossed under cover of night and destroyed Tskhinvali, targeting civilian structures just like your forces did in Iraq.

“President Bush,

Why don’t you shut up? Your American transport aircraft gave a ride home to thousands of Georgian soldiers from Iraq directly into the combat zone.

“President Bush,

Why don’t you shut up? How do you account for the fact that among the Georgian soldiers fleeing the fighting yesterday you could clearly hear officers using American English giving orders to “Get back inside” and how do you account for the fact that there are reports of American soldiers among the Georgian casualties?

“President Bush,

Why don’t you shut up? Do you really think anyone gives any importance whatsoever to your words after 8 years of your criminal and murderous regime and policies? Do you really believe you have any moral ground whatsoever and do you really imagine there is a single human being anywhere on this planet who does not stick up his middle finger every time you appear on a TV screen?

Do you really believe you have the right to give any opinion or advice after Abu Ghraib? After Guantanamo? After the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens? After the torture by CIA operatives?

Do you really believe you have any right to make a statement on any point of international law after your trumped-up charges against Iraq and the subsequent criminal invasion?

“President Bush,

Why don’t you shut up? Suppose Russia for instance declares that Georgia has weapons of mass destruction? And that Russia knows where these WMD are, namely in Tblisi and Poti and north, south, east and west of there? And that it must be true because there is “magnificent foreign intelligence” such as satellite photos of milk powder factories and baby cereals producing chemical weapons and which are currently being “driven around the country in vehicles”? Suppose Russia declares for instance that “Saakashvili stiffed the world” and it is “time for regime change”?

Nice and simple, isn’t it, President Bush?

“So, why don’t you shut up? Oh and by the way, send some more of your military advisors to Georgia, they are doing a sterling job. And they look all funny down the night sight, all green.”

The US is not a superpower. It is a bankrupt farce run by imbeciles who were installed by stolen elections arranged by Karl Rove and Diebold. It is a laughing stock, that ignorantly affronts and attempts to bully an enormous country equipped with tens of thousands of nuclear weapons.

A population that tolerates the insane Bush Regime and its criminal neocon operatives has no claims to life on earth.

Bush's legacy: No one feels safe

Putin Walks into a Trap

By Mike Whitney


So why are Brzezinski and his backers in the foreign policy establishment demonizing Putin and threatening Russia with "ostracism, isolation and economic penalties?" What is Putin's crime?

Putin's problems can be traced back to a speech he made in Munich nearly two years ago when he declared unequivocally that he rejected the basic tenets of the Bush Doctrine and US global hegemony. His speech amounted to a Russian Declaration of Independence. That's when western elites, particularly at the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Enterprise Institute put Putin on their "enemies list" along with Ahmadinejad, Chavez, Castro, Morales, Mugabe and anyone else who refuses to take orders from the Washington Mafia.

Here's what Putin said in Munich:

"The unipolar world refers to a world in which there is one master, one sovereign---- one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. At the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.… What is even more important is that the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilization.”

“Unilateral and frequently illegitimate actions have not resolved any problems. Moreover, they have caused new human tragedies and created new centers of tension. Judge for yourselves---wars as well as local and regional conflicts have not diminished. More are dying than before. Significantly more, significantly more!

Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper-use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts.

We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this?

In international relations we increasingly see the desire to resolve a given question according to so-called issues of political expediency, based on the current political climate. And of course this is extremely dangerous. It results in the fact that no one feels safe. I want to emphasize this – no one feels safe! Because no one can feel that international law is like a stone wall that will protect them. Of course such a policy stimulates an arms race.

I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security.”

Every word Putin spoke was true which is why it was not reprinted in the western media.

“Unilateral and illegitimate military actions”, the “uncontained hyper-use of force”, the “disdain for the basic principles of international law”, and most importantly; “No one feels safe!”

Putin's claims are all indisputable, that is why he has entered the neocons crosshairs. He poses a direct challenge to---what Brzezinski calls---the "international system", which is shorthand for the corporate/banking cartel that is controlled by the western oligarchy of racketeers.

South Ossetia was a trap and Putin took the bait. Unfortunately for Bush, the wily Russian prime minister is considerably brighter than anyone in the current administration. Bush's plan will undoubtedly backfire and disrupt the geopolitical balance of power. The world might get that breather from the US after all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Federal Court OKs Treason, Crimes Against Humanity

Management will take complaints on Tuesday, November 4, but no sooner or later.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Why is the race tightening?

Because Obama is failing to clearly define a position on the left and is instead courting the muddled middle. The better course is to remain steadfastedly "left," "new," and proudly "liberal." The Republicans have shown that the winning strategy is to pull the center to you. Only then do you make progress (and they certainly have). Only then does "change" have any meaning. Only then will the undecideds and the independents understand and endorse you.

And McCain is gaining because the media is helping him.

See: Why McCain May Well Win
by Robert Parry

And the comment over there:

I think this article points out the obvious but fails to show the aspect of Obama’s campaign which makes his platform shaky. There is no doubt that the media is looking for juicy sound bytes. Why would they want a victory for Obama by clear margins when they can make it a close race by highlighting those aspects of his position reversal which will alienate his core supporters?

But the problem lies within Obama. He has indeed reversed his position on many issues which gave him the upper hand against Hillary who was made to look like a representative of the DC power structure. With her out of the way, Obama can now go back to the same power structure and embrace it whole-heartedly so that the one’s who fear the power of the left can also come under his banner.

Obama is making a calculated gamble which might just backfire. He is assuming that his status as “NOT A REPUBLICAN” is too strong to alienate his core constituency of liberal voters of the democratic party. I think the damage caused to the country by Bush and the GOP in the last 8 years plus the guilt of making a mistake for the 2nd time 4 years back makes people forgive his change in stance on core issues. However, we had similar issues back in 2004 and Kerry looked like a winner until the last few days of attacks from the GOP and manipulation of the electorate system stole the elections away from Kerry.

Its quite possible it will happen again and no one else but Obama will be blamed for it. All these BO apologists fail to recognize the fact that Obama is not a “change” candidate but rather a establishment candidate who does what his financiers want him to do.

After 9/11, McCain Linked Anthrax to Iraq

John McCain on Late Show with David Letterman, October 18, 2001

What a sad little warmonger the Republicans have chosen to continue their new fascist century. There he was after 9/11 talking so casually about killing people, working to lay the groundwork of lies that would be used to set up the invasion of Iraq. McCain: "if I could, just very quickly, the second phase, the second phase is Iraq. uh, there is some indication, and I don't have the conclusions, but some indication that this anthrax may -- and I emphasize 'may' -- have come from Iraq."

And endorsing state terrorism as an answer to terrorism, and as the method by which America will dictate to the rest of the world: "Nothing succeeds like success. We succeed here...then I think, you power politics is very interesting. People are very friendly when they know that you're the most powerful kid on the block."

Like the insane colonel in "Apocalypse Now", McCain just loves the smell of terrorism in the morning...smells like victory.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

McCain Web ad put Obama's face on a dollar bill over a month ago

The Republican party has become completely consumed by hatred and lies.

via Bag News Notes

Marching Off Into Tyranny

By Paul Craig Roberts


According to the discredited 9/11 Commission Report, a few Muslims hatched a multi-year plot that went undetected by the vast security agencies of the United States and its allies, and within one hour on one morning at four different locations defeated airport security, NORAD, the US Air Force, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, the Pentagon’s defenses and crashed three hijacked airliners into the World Trade Center towers and the heart of the US military. Muslims were able to achieve this fantastic feat operating out of caves in Afghanistan.

We now know for a fact that the “terrorist anthrax attack” had nothing whatsoever to do with Muslim terrorists. Even the US Government now blames white American citizens, employees of the federal government, for the anthrax letters that, at the time, were blamed on the “Osama bin Laden al Qaeda plot against America.”

We now know for a fact that this was intentional disinformation planted by the Bush Regime on a gullible and incompetent ABC News reporter, who is a disgrace to journalism. No one denies this.

We also know for a fact that ABC News will not say who planted on ABC the lies that committed the United States to the dishonor of an illegal invasion, war crimes, and executive branch attack on the US Constitution. How can anyone anywhere in the world rely on ABC News when it serves as a disinformation agency for a criminal regime?

One logical conclusion is that the anthrax attack was part of the same false flag operation that pulled off 9/11. The anthrax letters made the “terrorist attack” seem wider and more general. This increased the sense of peril and Americans’ fear and anger, thereby opening wider the door for the Bush Regime’s attack on Iraq and US civil liberty.

Now that the dead Ivins can be conveniently blamed for the anthrax mailings, the Bush Regime can declare the case closed, thus protecting the false flag operation from further risk of exposure.


Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury in the Reagan Administration. He is a former Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal, a 16-year columnist for Business Week, and a columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service and Creator’s Syndicate in Los Angeles. He has held numerous university professorships, including the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by the President of France and the US Treasury’s Silver Medal for “outstanding contributions to the formulation of US economic policy.”

UPDATE: Winter Patriot has an excellent post tying together two inside jobs: the anthrax case and 9/11.

Obama/Hilton 08

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Paris Hilton explains Obama's energy policy for the mouth breathers.

This is perfect. An example of America reaching its limit for wingnut stupidity.

This deserves exposure far and wide.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Obama Doesn't Sweat. He should.

by Greg Palast

In swing-state Colorado, the Republican Secretary of State conducted the biggest purge of voters in history, dumping a fifth of all registrations. Guess their color.

In swing-state Florida, the state is refusing to accept about 85,000 new registrations from voter drives – overwhelming Black voters.

In swing state New Mexico, HALF of the Democrats of Mora, a dirt poor and overwhelmingly Hispanic county, found their registrations disappeared this year, courtesy of a Republican voting contractor.

In swing states Ohio and Nevada, new federal law is knocking out tens of thousands of voters who lost their homes to foreclosure.

My investigations partner spoke directly to Barack Obama about it. (When your partner is Robert F. Kennedy Jr., candidates take your phone call.) The cool, cool Senator Obama told Kennedy he was “concerned” about the integrity of the vote in the Southwest in particular.

He’s concerned. I’m sweating.

It’s time SOMEBODY raised the alarm about these missing voters; not to save Obama’s candidacy – journalists should stay the heck away from partisan endorsements - but raise the alarm to save our sick democracy.

And that somebody is YOU. Joining with US, the Palast investigative team. Here’s how: link

Weekly Commentary -- The John McCain Clown Show

Empire Notes
By Rahul Mahajan

Welcome to the desert of the political. In the vast Saharan stretch devoid of inspiration, interest, or, indeed, any signs of life but the gag reflex that has been this summer’s presidential campaign there has been only one bright spot: the comedic stylings of the John McCain clown show.

It’s hard to know where to begin. Just keeping up with McCain’s sophisticated, multifaceted push for the brain-dead voter has become a full-time job.

You could look to last week, which juxtaposed Barack Obama’s stirring if empty “Ich bin ein World Citizener” speech to 200,000 in Berlin’s Tiergarten, where he beautifully sugarcoated a call for Europeans to send more troops to kill and die in Afghanistan and got them to love him for it with John McCain’s failed photo-op in the utterly dramatic venue of a grocery store, where he was upstaged by a guy dropping pickle jars all over the floor and where the “random shopper” he talked to was actually supplied by the local Republican Party. Deviousness in the service of incompetence: that is the face of the new Republican Party.

Or perhaps we should consider the jaw-dropping stupidity and dishonesty of McCain’s last two campaign ads. In the first, he actually says Barack Obama is the reason for high gas prices. Perhaps it was Obama who also caused the decline of the witty, light-hearted romantic comedy.

If you thought he couldn’t top that, Jake Tapper of ABC’s description of his second ad says it all: “New McCain Ad Bashes Obama for Not Visiting Troops Using Footage of Obama Visiting Troops