Posted by: quiscus | November 15, 2009

November 15, 2009

1.  9/11:

“Failure on the part of the general public to understand that it is an absolute scientific fact that all three buildings were controlled demolitions, makes it impossible to frame charges, let alone have a fair trial.

“Who did it?” is not a reasonable question, until it is first determined “What was done?”


If there was the slightest interest in “justice” or “truth,” every physics department in every college in the world would be competing for dust samples and steel samples to test for incendiaries of all sorts.”


2.  “Why we will lose in Afghanistan


What we are hardly ever told about the country is that it has been for 300 years the scene of a bitter civil war


What we are hardly ever told about Afghanistan is that it has been for 300 years the scene of a bitter civil war, between two tribal groups of Pashtuns (formerly known as Pathans). On one side are the Durranis – most of the settled population, farmers, traders, the professional middle class. On the other are the Ghilzai, traditionally nomadic, fiercely fundamentalist in religion, whose tribal homelands stretch across into Pakistan as far as Kashmir.


Ever since Afghanistan emerged as an independent nation in 1709, when the Ghilzai kicked out the Persians, its history has been written in the ancient hatred between these two groups. During most of that time, the country has been ruled by Durrani, who in 1775 moved its capital from the Ghilzai stronghold of Kandahar up to Kabul in the north. Nothing has more fired Ghilzai enmity than the many occasions when the Durrani have attempted to impose their rule from Kabul with the aid of “foreigners”, either Tajiks from the north or outsiders such as the British, who invaded Afghanistan three times between 1838 and 1919 in a bid to secure the North-west Frontier of their Indian empire against the rebellious Ghilzai.”


3. Not real surprising, since he approved it from the start:

“]Secretary Gates signs order barring release of torture photos
In a release condemning the president’s signature of the law allowing Gates to block the photos, Jaffer continued: “Secretary Gates should be guided by the importance of transparency to the democratic process, the extraordinary importance of these photos to the ongoing debate about the treatment of prisoners and the likelihood that the suppression of these photos would ultimately be far more damaging to national security than their disclosure. The last administration’s decision to endorse torture undermined the United States’ moral authority and compromised its security. A failure to fully confront the abuses of the last administration will only compound these harms.”


4.  New York Mets Urged to Cut Ties with Israeli Group


A coalition of 11 U.S., Israeli and Palestinian groups are calling on the New York Mets baseball team to cancel a fundraiser by the “violent and racist” Israeli Hebron Fund which is scheduled to be held at the Mets’ stadium, Citi Field, on Nov. 21.
The Hebron Fund participates in “the raising of capital for the improvement of daily life for the residents of Hebron, Israel”, a city in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, according to its Website, but the Fund has been accused of encouraging violence towards Palestinians and participating in illegal settlement expansion.


The coalition urges the Mets to reconsider their decision to rent space at the Casesar’s Club, an event space in Citi Field, on the basis that, “The New York Mets will be facilitating activities that directly violate international law and the [Barack] Obama administration’s call for a freeze in settlement construction, and that actively promote racial discrimination, and the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes in Hebron.”

“As a Jew, I was ashamed at the scenes of Jews opening fire at innocent Arabs in Hebron. There is no other definition than the term ‘pogrom’ [a riot organized against a specific group] to describe what I have seen,” said Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert after the violence erupted.

“The Hebron Fund should not be eligible for tax-exempt status in the U.S. because it is not organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes, but rather promotes the anti-charitable values of violence, racism, and opposition to human rights. The settlement activity that the Hebron Fund supports is racially exclusive, discriminatory, contrary to United States policy and contrary to international law,” read the letter from the coalition calling for the Mets to cancel the event at Citi Field.”


5.  What a surprise – the war comes home.  Terrible idea:


“Volunteer veterans help California city use counterinsurgency strategy to stem gang violence

Since February, combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been advising Salinas police on counterinsurgency strategy, bringing lessons from the battlefield to the meanest streets in an American city.


“This is our surge,” said Donohue, who solicited the assistance from the elite Naval Postgraduate School, 20 miles and a world away in Monterey. “When the public heard about this, they thought we were going to send the Navy SEALs into Salinas.”


In fact, the cavalry arrived in civvies, carrying laptops rather than M-16s and software instead of mortars. In this case, the most valuable military asset turned out to be an idea: Change the dynamic in the community and victory can follow.


“It’s a little laboratory,” said retired Col. Hy Rothstein, the former Army career officer in Special Forces who heads the team of 15 faculty members and students, mostly naval officers taking time between deployments to pick up a master’s degree. Their effort in Salinas counts as extracurricular and is necessarily voluntary, given the constitutional bar on the military operating within U.S. borders.”


6.  Bioweapon in  the Ukraine:


“Ukraine Flu Outbreak: Virus Is a Mixture of H1N1 and Parainfluenza, Causes Cardiopulmonary Failure

And once the virus enters the lungs – hemorrhaging begins immediately in the acinus. A continuous hemorrhage … It takes several hours. In the blood fibrin is formed, and from it – giolinovaya membrane, resembling a plastic bag. It envelops the acinus, and the person breathes in oxygen, but it is not transferred to the tissues. And people just gasp. There is a cardio-pulmonary insufficiency and cardiogenic shock. People die of cardiogenic shock. And there is no pneumonia. Pneumonia – an inflammation, which is treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics cannot help at any stage. There should be absolutely different treatment.”


7.  Depleted uranium:


“Hegel remarks upon the appearance of “concrete evil” in history, the intermittent eruption of human malevolence on a colossal scale capable of destroying entire societies. Perpetrators of world-historical crimes are propelled solely by passion—by self-regard, greed and hatred—and pay no heed, Hegel noted, to “order and moderation, justice and morality.” [1] The imperialist assault on Iraq—which began with the First Gulf War, reached a peak with “shock and awe” attacks launched by U.S./U.K military forces in 2003, and continues today, nearly twenty years later—offers a horrendous example of unrestrained evil spread across a titanic canvas.

Abdul-Haq Al-Ani’s and Joanne Baker’s indispensable book spotlights the appalling criminal enterprise now working itself out in Iraq: Deliberate contamination of the Iraqi nation, its peoples, and natural environment with radiation from previously unheard of weapons of mass destruction—deadly implements of war fashioned from a practically inexhaustible global garbage dump of depleted uranium (DU).”


8.  Twenty Years From Now, You Will Lie To Your Children


For any given question put before this president, it seems that his position can safely be estimated to fall square in the middle of the road, right there alongside Jim Hightower’s proverbial yellow stripes and dead armadillos. In reality, though, that’s actually an unfortunately generous estimate. Obama’s politics, if you actually look at them – rather than at most people’s false impression of them – turn out to be remarkably similar to George Bush’s on everything from the fiscal stimulus to big corporate healthcare initiatives to escalating war policies to eroded civil liberties to unequal treatment for gays.

And yet this milquestoastiest of presidents generates the most outrageous volumes of the most egregious vitriol in our public discourse, as if he were wrecking the country through disastrous wars based on lies, unprecedented constitutional shredding, or massive fiscal hemorrhaging. Oh, wait – that was the last guy. Never mind. Somehow those travesties didn’t precipitate much noise from the cave-dwelling set – unless you count deafness-inducing cheers of approval, or enough slurpy mass salivation to befuddle and alarm Dr. Pavlov.

It was bad enough that we lived for as long as we did at a greedy and unsustainable level, stealing from other peoples, from our environment, from brown and female workers, and even from our own children. But now it’s getting much, much worse.

In twenty years those children are all too likely to be living poor, on a hostile planet, working long hours to pay down the sins of their fathers.

And they might well be enraged, too, as they should be.

A decade or two from now, if they confront their right-wing elders – gazing in anger and astonishment at the bottomless capacity of their parents’ selfishness – you can safely bet that their questions will be met with dissembling deception.

Twenty years from now, regressives will lie to their children.

We know this because those regressives are already lying today, covering their execrable crimes the only way possible.

With deceit.


9.  “How the Servant Became a PredatorFinance’s Five Fatal Flaws


10.  “The Truth About The Anthrax Attacks


11.  “How I Stopped Hating Thanksgiving and Learned to Be Afraid


Over the past few years a growing number of white people have joined the longstanding indigenous people’s critique of the holocaust denial that is at the heart of the Thanksgiving holiday. In two recent essays, I have examined the disturbing nature of a holiday rooted in a celebration of the European conquest of the Americas, which means the celebration of the Europeans’ genocidal campaign against Indigenous people that is central to the creation of the United States.

In recent years I have refused to participate in Thanksgiving Day meals, even with friends and family who share this critical analysis and reject the national mythology around manifest destiny. In bowing out of those gatherings, I would often tell folks that I hated Thanksgiving. I realize now that “hate” is the wrong word to describe my emotional reaction to the holiday. I am afraid of Thanksgiving. More accurately, I am afraid of what Thanksgiving tells us about both the dominant culture and much of the alleged counterculture.

Although it’s well known to anyone who wants to know, let me summarize the argument against Thanksgiving: European invaders exterminated nearly the entire indigenous population to create the United States. Without that holocaust, the United States as we know it would not exist. The United States celebrates a Thanksgiving Day holiday dominated not by atonement for that horrendous crime against humanity but by a falsified account of the “encounter” between Europeans and American Indians. When confronted with this, most people in the United States (outside of indigenous communities) ignore the history or attack those who make the argument. This is intellectually dishonest, politically irresponsible, and morally bankrupt.

In left/radical circles, even though that basic critique is widely accepted, a relatively small number of people argue that we should renounce the holiday and refuse to celebrate it in any fashion. Most leftists who celebrate Thanksgiving claim that they can individually redefine the holiday in a politically progressive fashion in private, which is an illusory dodge: We don’t define holidays individually or privately — the idea of a holiday is rooted in its collective, shared meaning. When the dominant culture defines a holiday in a certain fashion, one can’t pretend to redefine it in private. To pretend we can do that also is intellectually dishonest, politically irresponsible, and morally bankrupt.”




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