Posted by: quiscus | January 14, 2011

January 14, 2011

1.  “Congress Prepares to Renew Patriot Act for Another Year”

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/01/13/congress-prepares-to-renew-patriot-act-for-another-year/

2.  “Wikileaks’ Assange charged in US with ‘treason’

David Pitchford, a Florida trailer park resident, names Assange and WikiLeaks as defendants in a personal injury suit filed with the Florida Southern District Court in Miami.

 

In the complaint filed on 6th January, Pitchford alleges that Assange’s negligence has caused “hypertension”, “depression” and “living in fear of being stricken by another heart attack and/or stroke” as a result of living “in fear of being on the brink of another nucliar [sic] WAR”.
http://www.thinq.co.uk/2011/1/12/julian-assange-charged-us-treason/

3.  “Settling Prosecutions For Pennies on the Dollar Is a Type of Bailout

Even when the government has prosecuted financial crime (because public outrage became too big to ignore), the government has settled for pennies on the dollar.

Nobel prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz says about the way that the government is currently prosecuting financial crime:

The system is designed to actually encourage that kind of thing, even with the fines [referring to former Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozillo, who recently paid tens of millions of dollars in fines, a small fraction of what he actually earned, because he earned hundreds of millions.].

***

So the system is set so that even if you’re caught, the penalty is just a small number relative to what you walk home with.

The fine is just a cost of doing business. It’s like a parking fine. Sometimes you make a decision to park knowing that you might get a fine because going around the corner to the parking lot takes you too much time.”

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/01/settling-prosecutions-for-pennies-on.html

4.  ”

Obama as a Rabid Imperialist

 

Obama wasted no time in rapidly accelerating America’s imperial adventures. While dropping the term “War on Terror” from usage, the Pentagon adopted the term, “overseas contingency operations.”[4] This was to be the typical strategy of the Obama administration: change the appearance, not the substance. The name was changed, but the “War on Terror” remained, and not only that, it was rapidly accelerated to a level that would not have been possible if undertaken by the previous administration.

 

The current expansion of American imperialism globally has been rapidly accelerated since Obama became President, and seems intent on starting and expanding wars all over the world. When Obama became President, America and its Western allies were engaged in a number of wars, occupations and covert destabilizations, from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, to the Congo, and Obama took office in the midst of Israel’s brutal assault against Gaza. From the beginning of his presidency, Obama immediately justified Israel’s vicious attack against innocent Palestinians, rapidly accelerated the war and occupation of Afghanistan, expanded the war into Pakistan, started a new war in Yemen, and supported a military coup in Honduras, which removed a popular democratic government in favour of a brutal dictatorship. Obama’s administration has expanded covert special operations throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa, and is paving the way for a war against Iran.[5] In fact, the Obama administration has expanded Special Operations forces into 75 countries around the world (compared with a height of 60 during the Bush regime). Among the many countries with expanded operations are Yemen, Colombia, the Philippines, Somalia, Pakistan, among many others.[6] Further, in recent months, the Obama administration has been saber rattling with North Korea, potentially starting a war on the Korean Peninsula. With the creation of the Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM), American foreign policy on the continent has become increasingly militarized.

 

No continent is safe, it seems. America and its NATO cohorts are undertaking a seemingly insane foreign policy of dramatically accelerating overt and covert military imperialism. This policy seems to be headed for an eventual confrontation with the rising eastern powers, in particular China, but potentially India and Russia as well. China and America, specifically, are headed on an imperial collision course: in East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. The competition for access to resources is reminiscent of the ‘Great Game’ of the 19th century, of which Afghanistan was a central battlefield.

 

One would think that in the midst of a massive global economic crisis, the worst the world has ever seen, the major nations would scale back their imperial over-reach and militarism in order to reduce their debts and preserve their economies. However, there is an ‘imperial logic’ behind this situation, and one that must be placed within a wider geopolitical context.”

 

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22781

5.  “The Media in America: Selling Views, Calling it News

America’s journalists are not “newshounds.” They are nothing more than salesclerks, hocking the products their employers want to sell. The pretty faces that now function as most television news anchors are no different than the pretty models used to sell other products. The American “free” press is comprised of nothing more than a number of retail outlets which sell stories slanted to please their target audiences. As such, they exist merely to sell snake oil.

Sometime in the 1960s, I took part in a university symposium along with three other faculty members—a political scientist, a historian, and a journalism professor. The topic was Freedom of the Press—Good or Bad.

During the sixties, the Cold War was being fought mightily. The Soviet Union’s news agencies, TASS and Pravda, were continually attacked by the American “free press” as untrustworthy. A common claim was that a controlled press could never be trusted while a free press could, and my three colleagues on the panel supported that view. I did too, but only partially.

A controlled press, I argued, most certainly could not be trusted when reporting on governmental actions or policies, but I pointed out that much news is not affected by government, and I saw no reason to be suspicious of a controlled press’ reporting on such matters. But I also argued that there was good reason to distrust the so called free press no matter what was being reported.

My argument rested upon the observation that a controlled press, being funded by its controlling government, had no need to attract readers while the so called free press had to rely on readers to remain economically viable. The free press had to market its wares in the same way that any retail company must, and one way to do that was to slant the news in ways that made it attractive to the news organization’s target groups which, in a sense, biased all the stories the free press reported. And although the free press claimed to maintain objectivity by balancing the presentation, using two people of divergent political views, I pointed out that it was easy to select the two people in ways that made it seem that one side always prevails, the result being that the media divided itself into ideological groups, not even to mention that large segment of the press  openly termed sensational-tabloid.”

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22782

6.  “Those who favor what Wittes calls “the two-century-old tradition in American life of incoming presidents’ not prosecuting outgoing ones” cannot and do not ever answer this question:  if Presidents are shielded from prosecution for criminal acts they commit in office, then what possible motivation do they have to refrain from criminality?  None.  That’s exactly why high-level lawbreaking is so rampant:  because Presidents know they enjoy legal immunity — are above the law — and that even when they get caught red-handed breaking the law, an army of royal court sycophants and hangers-on in the political and media class — like Benjamin Wittes — will crawl forward to insist that they are too important and noble to be punished.  As Gen. Antonio Taguba said after completing his formal investigation into the interrogation program:  “there is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes.  The only question that remains to be answered is whether those who ordered the use of torture will be held to account.”

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/01/14/lawlessness/index.html

7.  “Finally, one of my favorite quotes: “Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation.. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God’s Law and the disenfranchisement of White men” (State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01). To which I must reply that the two things that have almost ruined the planet are imperialist white supremacist males and all those who follow them and their perversion of Christianity and democracy. Every problem that we face today can be traced directly to their departure from their humanity and their laws by using any means necessary to disenfranchise every-one else. “

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27260.htm

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