Monday, February 13, 2012

Sh*t Zionists Say, And I'll Bet You've Heard All of Them

This is indeed the irrational stuff of Zionist apologia. One of many crazy quotes here: "The Palestinians have a country -- it's called Jordan."

Kudos to Rae, Dalit, et al. Help them get to 20k views today by sharing the video.

Most of this video was produced at the recent Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) Conference at Penn State. Read: Omar Bargouti on the BDS movement here.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Extra-judicial Killing OK, But Camping in Parks Not OK?

Over the weekend police used riot gear, batons and horse charges to clear Occupy DC from their peaceful occupation of McPherson Square on K Street, where the lobbyists work who help Congress understand who they really represent.

How come there is always enough money for riot police, humvees, tear gas and the like -- but never enough for adequate housing, health care and education funding? I'm sick and tired of these priorities gobbling up my tax dollars!
Excellent collection of pics on Twitter here. Above we see the armored humvee your federal tax $$ support as part of the parks equipment budget. How many homeless people could take shelter from the weather in that vehicle?
In Oakland a week ago last Saturday police tear gassed, smoke bombed and trampled on the constitutional rights of a crowd trying to occupy a city-owned building that has sat vacant for the past several years. The occupiers' crime? They wanted to set up a community center inside Kaiser Auditorium.

Meanwhile, here's a chilling report on exactly how and how many civilians the U.S. has targeted with drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan aimed at first responders and mourners. How do you spell war crime? President Obama lied when he stated recently that these CIA ordered strikes are on a tight leash. The truth, according to the investigative report, is that "..since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children.”

In the same way that this state-sponsored violence recruits for the insurgency in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc., police brutality recruits supporters for the Occupy movement. I suppose if the 1% want war profits without end, this is not a bad strategy on their part: create the "enemies" that you must then fight.

People around the globe are rising up to take back their streets and their communities. By our non-cooperation with the 1% they shall know us.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Militarized Budgets + Toys For Boys = War Without End

Sen. John McCain introduced a bill this week to block the automatic cuts to military spending that were part of the deficit compromise by Congress. There's a similar bill in the House.  ==>Take action against the madness, or get talking points and letter to editor tips and Abby Shahn's great example here.

Who'll make up the $$ difference? Federal workers -- if McCain gets his way. Hey, wasn't he running to be the top federal worker awhile back? I suppose there are things a senator can say that a candidate for POTUS can't.

Lincoln famously said, "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time." Presidents with one foot out the door of the Oval Office sometimes experience a burst of candor, and stop trying to fool anybody: in 1960 Dwight D. Eisenhower calledl out the “military-industrial complex,” warning his fellow taxpayers about the threat it posed to both their solvency and their sovereignty.

President Obama, nearing the end of his first term, and hoping for a second, can afford no such truth telling. Instead, Obama used the bully pulpit to deliver a stump speech disguised as a State of the Union address, the theme of which was rah rah military.

The military-industrial complex could be the poster child for people's disgust with the best government corporate lobbyists can buy. Turn over the rock of $669 billion that Congress and the President just authorized for next year's military expenses, and what comes scurrying out? Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman and General Dynamics campaign contributions, that's what. CEOs of those companies command such obscene levels of wealth that they aren't even the 1%, they're the 0.01%.

The fact is that the union is in a dreadful state, with millions of citizens unemployed, foreclosed, and in debt up to their eyebrows for college degrees that only lead to part-time McJobs. Tens of thousands nationwide have taken to the streets calling for an end to corporate control of government and the politics of unbridled greed. Since September 17 on Wall Street – and as recently as last month during the New Hampshire Primary – Occupy crowds have chanted: “How do we fix the deficit? End the wars and tax the rich!”

Pandering to as many voters as possible, Obama delivered a flag waving, chest thumping paean to U.S. military might and global dominance that included a tiny call to reduce military funding in favor of debt service and generating jobs via housing starts: “In the next few weeks, I will sign an Executive Order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects. But you need to fund these projects. Take the money we're no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home.”

The fact that Secretary of Defense Panetta immediately followed the SOTU address by promising to reduce the proposed Pentagon budget over the next decade is not the point. Neither is the fact that they're cutting back on troops, not the uber expensive drones which cost a minimum of $2 million per crash. (And yes, they crash quite often.) The point is that the Obama and Panetta feel compelled to claim to be reducing military spending in order to ward off regime change.

It's a sign of the times. Ron Paul is spooking both Democrats and Republicans by calling to reduce spending on foreign military adventures, a position he took long before he was officially in campaign mode. On his website currently we find: “Acting as the world’s policeman and nation-building weakens our country, puts our troops in harm’s way, and sends precious resources to other nations in the midst of an historic economic crisis.Taxpayers are forced to spend billions of dollars each year to protect the borders of other countries...”

Don't get me wrong, I have no fondness for Ron Paul. His anti-immigrant stance would have us spending plenty on military measures to “protect” our own border. But some people are on the verge of letting themselves be fooled into thinking he's a peace candidate rather than an old-fashion fiscal conservative.

From the other end of the spectrum Rep. Chellie Pingree toots her horn for voting “no” on so-called defense spending. (Never mind that she voted “ought to pass” when the National Defense Authorization Act was still in the committee. Her website explains: "The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate with no end in site(sic)... It's time to stop funding the war ...As we struggle to get budget deficits under control, we have to come to grips with the fact that nearly one-quarter of the deficits that have been run up since 2003 are the result of war spending.”

Is this what the U.S. public understands about the connection between the endless war on terror and ongoing economic distress? The U.S. Conference of Mayors voted last June to send a resolution to Washington calling for reductions in military spending in order to fund the critical needs of big cities. A lively floor debate in advance of the vote became the focus of media coverage of the entire conference, which is an annual effort to influence federal policies impacting urban areas.

Apparently spending more than half of the discretionary budget (i.e. income tax revenues) each year on what the Pentagon wants -- while failing to fund essential services – was enough to make big city mayors take an unusual stand. It's the first time they have even debated military spending since the war in Vietnam even though the choice is ever guns or butter, so you'd think mayors would talk about it every year. Who do mayors work for?
Oakland Police at work for Mayor Jean Quan, who traveled to Wash DC to confer with the federal govt and other big city officials about OWS and affiliates. Occupy Oakland is shown being evicted October 2011, probably the event that sparked all the ensuing big strikes and port shutdowns.
The man who swept into office last time around on the promise of hope and change will deliver campaign speeches with a little bit of something for everybody: the continued glory of the mighty U.S. military, with maybe a little funding shaved off to keep construction workers from rioting in the streets. And the man who didn't get the job will keep working on behalf of the Pentagon, too. 

Meanwhile, people who have to choose between rent, food, or health care – and who may have loved ones on deployment, or just back from combat are getting harder to fool even some of the time.

 The Military-Industrial Complex at 50, based on the national conference of the same title held October, 2011 in Virginia.