Posted by: quiscus | June 4, 2010

June 6, 2010

1.  Beaten, like an animal:

Captured and detained by Israel, an American tells his story

After two days in an Israeli jail, 64-year-old Paul Larudee speaks out”

2.  “Paul McCartney meets Barack Obama: Why did McCartney not take a Stand on a Matter of Gross Injustice and Human Suffering

Last night, former Beatle Paul McCartney, or to give him his stupid official title, Sir Paul McCartney, was presented with the Gershwin Prize by US president Barack Obama at a concert held in the White House during which a host of other artists performed songs written by McCartney (and the late John Lennon, although the latter wasn’t acknowledged).

McCartney should be ashamed of himself for accepting this Library of Congress prize for popular songwriting in the way that he did. For a start, he is taking sole credit for songs that he wrote as part of an artistic team: Lennon/McCartney. Even if McCartney wrote more of this or that song as a member of the iconic sixties’ group, it doesn’t alter the fact that the music was created as part of an artistic process involving teamwork. Simply put, McCartney would not be who he is without the artistic collaboration of John Lennon and the late George Harrison and Ringo Starr. The prize handed to him should have borne the names of the others.

More importantly, McCartney should be ashamed of himself for attending an event that affords any dignity and legitimacy to this White House, Obama and all those other war criminals in his administration. At an earlier press conference, McCartney described Obama as a “great guy”. This fawning over the US commander in chief is all the more glaring in the week (31 May) that witnessed the massacre of civilians by Israeli forces on an aid convoy trying to make its way to help 1.5 million Palestinians who are living in the urban concentration known as Gaza.

McCartney may pretend that music, like sport, is somehow outside politics. But what good is an artist if he or she does not reflect the world around them? Furthermore, accepting accolades and baubles from political leaders and heads of states is a highly political act. In that simple act of deference, McCartney is affording respect and dignifying people and their system of government that is otherwise reprehensible by common legal and moral standards. As an artist and public figure admired and known by millions of people around the world, there is an obligation on McCartney to take a stand on a matter of gross injustice and human suffering.

The irony is that his co-writer and the much more politically conscious John Lennon, who in his later solo career wrote classic anti-war songs such as Give Peace a Chance and Working Class Hero and who refused to accept an honorary title from the British Empire, was omitted from acknowledgements in the Gershwin Prize.”

3.  Amazing:

“Desperate Financial Situation, Biggest Debt Bubble in World History: Fifty Statistics About The U.S. Economy

#29) For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.”

4.  “For a More Ethical Civilization

The contradiction between modern problems, new scientific knowledge and the inadequacy of our prevalent source of morality or of ethics, led me to ask what kind of values would be required to face the new challenges. What would our civilization look like if we were to adopt them?

In such a such a civilization,

• All human beings would be equal in dignity and in human rights.

• Life on this planet would not be devalued and seen as only a preparation for a better life after death, somewhere beyond the clouds.

• The virtues of tolerance and of human liberty would be proclaimed and applied, subject only to the requirements of public order.

• Human solidarity and sharing would be better accepted as a protection against poverty and deprivation.

• The manipulation and domination of others through lies, propaganda, and exploitation schemes of all kinds would be less prevalent.”

5.  How’s it feel to live in a failed state?

“The Psychopathic Criminal Enterprise Called America

The Government uses the Law to Harm People and Shield the Establishment

Most Americans know that politicians make promises they never fulfill; few know that politicians make promises they lack the means to fulfill, as President Obama’s political posturing on the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico makes perfectly clear.

Obama has made the following statements:

He told his “independent commission” investigating the Gulf oil spill to “thoroughly examine the disaster and its causes to ensure that the nation never faces such a catastrophe again.” Aside from the fact that presidential commissions have a history of providing dubious reports and ineffective recommendations, does anyone really believe that a way can be found to prevent industrial accidents from happening ever again? Even if the commissions findings and recommendations succeed in reducing the likelihood of such accidents, doesn’t this disaster prove that it only takes one? And unlikely events happen every day.

Politicians who engage in this duplicitous posturing know that they can’t fulfill their promises. They know they are lying; yet they do it pathologically. Aesop writes, “A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.” Perhaps that’s why politicians never do.

The law is a great crime, far greater than the activities it outlaws, and there’s no way you can protect yourself from it. The establishment protects itself. The law does not protect people. It is merely an instrument of retribution.

Jim Kouri, citing FBI studies, writes that “some of the character traits exhibited by serial killers or criminals may be observed in many within the political arena.;” they share the traits of psychopaths who are not sensitive to altruistic appeals, such as sympathy for their victims or remorse or guilt over their crimes. They possess the personality traits of lying, narcissism, selfishness, and vanity. These are the people to whom we have entrusted our fate. Is it any wonder that America is failing at home and world-wide?

Some may say that this is an extreme, audacious claim. I, too, was surprised when I read Kouri’s piece. But anecdotal evidence to support it is easily cited. John McCain said “bomb, bomb, bomb” during the last presidential campaign in response to a question about Iran. No one in government has expressed the slightest qualms about the killing of tens of thousands of people in both Iraq and Afghanistan who had absolutely nothing to do with what happened on nine/eleven or the deliberate targeting of women and children by unmanned drones in Pakistan. What if anything distinguishes serial killers from these governmental officials? Only that they don’t do the killing themselves but have others do it for them. But that’s exactly what most of the godfathers of the cosa nostra did.

So, there are questions that need to be posed: Has the government of the United States of America become a criminal enterprise? Is the nation ruled by psychopaths? Well, how can the impoverishment of the people, the promotion of the military-industrial complex and endless wars and their genocidal killing, the degradation of the environment, the neglect of the collapsing infrastructure, and the support of corrupt and authoritarian governments (often called democracies) abroad be explained? Worse, why are corporations allowed to profiteer during wars while the people are called upon to sacrifice? Why hasn’t the government ever tried to prohibit such profiteering? It’s not that it can’t be done.

In the vernacular, harming people is considered a crime. It is just as much a crime when done by governments, legal systems, or corporations. The government uses the law to harm people or shield the establishment from the consequences of harming people all the time. Watch as no one from the Massey Energy Co. is ever prosecuted for the disaster at the Upper Big Branch coal mine. When corporations are accused of wrongdoing, they often reply that what they did was legal, but legal is not a synonym for right. When criminals gain control, they legalize criminality.

Unless the government of the United States changes its behavior, this nation is doomed. No one in government seems to realize that dissimulation breeds distrust, distrust breeds suspicion, and suspicion eventually arouses censure. Isn’t that failure of recognition by the establishment a sign of criminal psychopathology?”


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