The Evening Blues - 10-25-17


The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Silas Hogan

Hey! Good Evening!

This evening's music features Louisiana blues musician Silas Hogan. Enjoy!

Silas Hogan - I'm Gonna Quit You Pretty Baby

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.”

-- Leonardo da Vinci

News and Opinion

Hundreds Face Conspiracy Charges For Actions Of A Few During Inauguration Day Protests

When Texas photojournalist Alexei Wood goes to court in Washington, D.C., on November 15, he’ll be one of the first people to face charges stemming from protests around the inauguration of President Donald Trump. Wood and eight others are being charged for their alleged involvement in what prosecutors are describing as a riot on the morning of January 20, hours before Trump was sworn in at on the Capitol steps. All nine defendants face up to 70 years in prison. ...

By charging everyone together with conspiracy counts, the government seems intent on making an example of the J20 protesters. “They’re prosecuting us as a group,” Wood said. ...

The conflation of the protesters as a whole with the alleged violent acts of a few in the crowd is worrying to Menefee-Libby. It would be a “radical departure” from a basic understanding of the law, Menefee-Libby said, if the government prosecutes people solely for their proximity to criminality. “Individuals can only be held responsible for their own behavior,” said Menefee-Libby, describing a fundamental tenet of the U.S. justice system.

That the government’s case does not differentiate between actors and bystanders could be an indication of future clampdowns on protest.

Judge Orders 3 USS Cole Defense Lawyers to Guantanamo After They Quit

In a new test of the reach of the Guantanamo war court, a military judge has ordered three civilian lawyers who quit the USS Cole defense team to come to court at the remote U.S. Navy base in Cuba next week.

Attorneys Rick Kammen, Rosa Eliades and Mary Spears quit their jobs Oct. 11 as lawyers for the man accused of orchestrating al-Qaida's warship attack. They obtained permission to do so from the chief defense counsel, Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker, who found "good cause" for their resignations. They cited a cascading ethical conflict over a lack of confidence in the confidentiality of their privileged conversations with Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri at Guantanamo, but the details are classified.

But the case judge, Air Force Col. Vance Spath, wrote in an Oct. 16 order that, while Baker "purported to find good cause" to approve their leaving the case, Spath, as judge, has not. "Accordingly, Mr. Kammen, Ms. Eliades, and Ms. Spears remain counsel of record in this case, and are ordered to appear at the next scheduled hearing," Spath wrote.

At issue is whether Baker or Spath has the authority to excuse the three civilian lawyers from the case. The war court judge's bench book, called the "Trial Judiciary Rules of Court," says once a civilian lawyer has appeared in court, "excusal must be approved by the military judge."

But the "Manual for Military Commissions," from which the rules are drawn, says the authority who appointed the lawyer gets to excuse the lawyer for good cause.

Funding the rebels: Saudis ordered rebels to 'light up' Damascus in 2013 according to leaked files

NYT Laments ‘Forever Wars’ Its Editorials Helped Create

Corporate media have a long history of lamenting wars they themselves helped sell the American public, but it’s rare so many wars and so much hypocrisy are distilled into one editorial. On Monday, the New York Times (10/22/17) lamented the expansion of America’s “forever wars” overseas, without once noting that every war mentioned is one the editorial board has itself endorsed, while failing to oppose any of the “engagements” touched on in the editorial.

The Times began by noting the sheer scope of US military reach:

The United States has been at war continuously since the attacks of 9/11 and now has just over 240,000 active-duty and reserve troops in at least 172 countries and territories…. American forces are actively engaged not only in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Yemen that have dominated the news, but also in Niger and Somalia, both recently the scene of deadly attacks, as well as Jordan, Thailand and elsewhere. An additional 37,813 troops serve on presumably secret assignment in places listed simply as “unknown.” The Pentagon provided no further explanation.

The editorial stops short of actually opposing anything specific, instead insisting, “It’s time to take stock of how broadly American forces are already committed to far-flung regions and to begin thinking hard about how much of that investment is necessary.” They are vaguely concerned; here we have this massive global empire, fighting an ever-changing nebulous enemy of “terrorism,” with no end in sight. What can be done? It’s unclear—but let’s “take stock.”

Left unmentioned in the editorial: from Afghanistan (both the 2001 invasion and Obama’s 2009 surge) to Iraq (the 2003 invasion and Obama re-entering the country in August 2014 to fight ISIS) to Syria (both CIA-backed regime change and bombing ISIS) to Korea to our drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the New York Times has endorsed and often cheered every of these “forever wars.” And the “engagements” the Times didn’t expressly support (Thailand, Jordan, etc.), because they’re so routine as to not merit mention, there’s no record of them opposing. Indeed, as FAIR (3/27/17) has noted previously, the New York Times editorial board has not opposed a single US war since its equivocal and lukewarm opposition to Reagan’s invasion of Grenada 34 years ago (10/30/83).

The U.S. is struggling to stop a new civil war in Iraq

Since 2014, the U.S. has rallied an unlikely coalition of allies, and adversaries, in the Middle East to fight against one common enemy: ISIS. Now, with the terrorist group’s caliphate on the verge of collapse, the U.S. is confronting its next great challenge: How to keep members of the winning side from tearing each other apart? ...

The Iraqi army, joined by Iran-backed Shia militias, surged north in a surprise attack to capture the oil-rich region of Kirkuk in a stunning defeat for Kurdish peshmerga forces, which had held effective control of the region ever since Iraqi forces abandoned Kirkuk while retreating from ISIS in 2014. Early indications suggest things are not going Washington’s way. ...

In the face of military defeat, the Kurdistan Regional Government on Wednesday offered to “freeze” the results of their Sept. 25 referendum on independence from Iraq, which had enraged Baghdad, and enter dialogue. But as of this writing, the Iraqi government, which demanded the referendum be “annulled,” has yet to respond. With their defenses overrun, Kurdish leaders are now fuming over America’s reluctance to do more to deter Baghdad’s assault — despite the Kurds’ willingness to shed blood in the name of the U.S.-led fight against terrorism.

The unrest has already resulted in civilian deaths, according to Amnesty International. The human rights group said in a report Tuesday that in the city of Tuz Khurmatu alone, hundreds of properties were looted and set on fire in “what appears to be a targeted attack on predominantly Kurdish areas of the city.” The report cited eyewitnesses blaming Iraqi government forces and the militias. At least 11 civilians were killed in “indiscriminate attacks,” and 35,000 people have fled the city since Oct. 16, the report said.

To Safeen Dizayee, chief of staff to the prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the events came with an unsettling sense of déjà vu. He recalled America’s unwillingness to stop Saddam Hussein’s brutal assault on the Kurdish people in 1991 following the first Gulf War. Back then, the Kurds had responded to President George H.W. Bush’s call for the Iraqi people to rise up against the dictator. Thousands of Kurds were then slaughtered by Saddam’s helicopter gunships.

Iraq paramilitaries battle Kurds in push towards Turkish border oil hub

Iraqi pro-government paramilitaries launched an offensive against Kurdish troops on Tuesday near the Turkish frontier, pushing towards a strategic border crossing and oil export pipeline hub that Baghdad says must come under its control. ...

A Kurdish official said Kurdish security forces known as Peshmerga had successfully beaten back an advance by Iranian-backed pro-government paramilitaries in the region of Rabi'a, 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the Fish-Khabur border area.

Fish-Khabur is strategically vital because oil from both Kurdish and government-held parts of northern Iraq cross at a pipeline there into Turkey, the main route out of the area for international export, crucial for any Kurdish independence bid.

The fighting so far has taken place outside the Kurdish autonomous region, but Fish-Khabur is located within it, so any assault on the border crossing would mark a major escalation, bringing government troops into undisputed Kurdish territory.

On path to de-dollarization: World tired of funding US military adventurism – Max Keiser

US lawmakers seek vote to abandon Saudi-led war in Yemen

A bipartisan quartet of House lawmakers is wrangling with the chamber’s leadership for a floor vote to withdraw U.S. military support for Saudi involvement in Yemen’s civil war.

California Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna, who is pressing for the vote, said Tuesday that he is in negotiations with Democratic and Republican leadership about whether the resolution is privileged under the War Powers Act and would therefore get an automatic, fast-tracked floor vote.

Such a vote, Khanna said, is likely to unite progressive Democrats and non-interventionist Republicans — though the outcome is unclear. “You may get many Democrats and Freedom Caucus members,” Khanna said, referring to the conservative wing of the House GOP caucus.

The push comes amid a wave of efforts in Congress for the legislative branch to reassert its war powers since President Donald Trump was elected — even as the White House has rejected calls for an updated Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF. Those calls have grown louder since the recent deaths of four American troops in Niger.

US Officials: Niger Is ‘Hub’ for US Operations in Western Africa

US officials describing the military operation in Niger, which only became public knowledge earlier this month after four US special forces were killed in an ambush, have not only revealed that nearly 1,000 US troops are on the ground in Niger, a massive force for the tiny country, but that this is the “hub” for US military operations in Western Africa. Details on what exactly that means are scant, since the Niger military operation was basically a secret. ...

Though historically where US troops are deployed and how many are supposed to be a matter of public record, there are tens of thousands of US troops listed as deployed overseas but in unspecified areas, doing unspecified things.

‘Pandora box for Europe’: Catalan independence from Spain may collapse EU – Manuel Valls

Catalan secessionists mull snap election as Madrid hangs tough

Secessionist leaders in Catalonia may call a snap election in an attempt to break the deadlock with Madrid over independence, a senior local politician said on Tuesday, but Spanish authorities made clear that would not be enough.

Spain says it will impose direct rule on Catalonia from Friday to prevent an illegal push for independence, invoking unprecedented powers to dismiss the regional government. Madrid said an election would not change those plans.

The Catalan parliament meets on Thursday to agree on a response to Madrid, and many analysts believe the economically powerful region could formally declare independence. ...

Catalonia said on Monday it was confident that its officials, including the police, would defy attempts by Madrid to enforce direct rule.

Newly Obtained Pentagon Docs Raise Fresh Concerns About Warrantless Domestic Spying

Human Rights Watch is calling for a congressional inquiry into an executive order aimed at the warrantless monitoring of U.S. citizens and permanent residents after obtaining new documents that raise serious and troubling concerns about the extent of such surveillance.

The human rights group used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain training materials used by the Defense Department to implement Executive Order 12333's guidance, in which agencies are directed to monitor potential "homegrown violent extremists."

A Defense Department spokesperson told HRW that such extremists "may be self-radicalized via the internet, social media, etc., and then plan or execute terrorist acts in furtherance of the ideology or goals of a foreign terrorist group," but offered no further information about criteria government agencies would use to determine potential dangerous individuals.

On its website on Wednesday, HRW raised concerns "about the methods and criteria the government may be using to define and identify 'homegrown violent extremists,' and particularly about the risk that people who are exercising their legitimate free-expression rights will be targeted for monitoring in a discriminatory or arbitrary manner."

"These documents point to just how thoroughly the public has been kept in the dark about warrantless surveillance under Executive Order 12333," said Sarah St. Vincent, a surveillance and national security researcher. "Their explanations of the order suggest that the government may be carrying out monitoring that poses serious problems for human rights, and Congress should seek more information about what the intelligence agencies are doing in this respect."

George HW Bush apologizes after actor accuses him of sexual assault

George HW Bush has reportedly apologized after an actor accused him of sexual assault.

Heather Lind, 34, alleged that the former US president “sexually assaulted” her when they posed for a photograph several years ago, according to a since deleted Instagram post.

“He touched me from behind from his wheelchair with his wife Barbara Bush by his side. He told me a dirty joke,” she posted, according to the Mail Online.

A spokesman for the former president, who is 93, told the Mail Online: “President Bush would never – under any circumstance – intentionally cause anyone distress, and he most sincerely apologizes if his attempt at humour offended Ms Lind.”

In the Instagram post, Lind, who has starred in AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies, said the president touched her a second time and “Barbara rolled her eyes as if to say ‘not again’.”

“His security guard told me I shouldn’t have stood next to him for the photo,” added Lind.

After Day of Feuding, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker Join Trump to Upend a Major Consumer Protection

With national attention focused Tuesday morning on a mushrooming feud between President Trump and Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., followed by a feud in the afternoon between Trump and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., the Senate gift-wrapped the biggest present Congress has so far bestowed upon Wall Street in the Trump era.

With a razor-thin margin, the Senate passed a resolution to nullify a signature regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which banned forced arbitration provisions. Such clauses, tucked into the fine print of contracts that nobody reads, deny consumers the ability to contest claims through a class-action lawsuit, and can allow banks and other financial institutions to rip off their customers with virtual impunity.

Both Sens. Corker and Flake, along with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joined in the effort to give Trump a major win, even if it will hurt many of his own voters. Consumer advocates had hoped that moderate Republicans Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine would block the GOP effort. They did not.

Consumer agency says US Senate vote is 'giant setback – Wall St won'

Consumer champions said Wall Street has secured a victory after the Senate voted to roll back rules that would have allowed badly-treated customers to band together to take legal action against banks and other financial services companies.

The move signalled a retrenchment from consumer-friendly policies introduced during Barack Obama’s presidency and relied on a final vote by Donald Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence, to break the deadlock of a 50-50 tie.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – a government agency – had wanted the rule change to be introduced. It would have allowed consumers to join together to sue their bank or credit card company to resolve financial disputes rather than sign up to the closed-door arbitration agreements included in the small print when they opened accounts.

Richard Cordray, director of the CFPB, said: “Tonight’s vote is a giant setback for every consumer in this country. Wall Street won and ordinary people lost. This vote means the courtroom doors will remain closed for groups of people seeking justice and relief when they are wronged by a company.”

Ending Net Neutrality Can Help Puerto Rico Recover, Verizon-Funded Nonprofit Proposes

Puerto Rico's already suffering economy took a massive hit when Hurricane Maria struck last month. Now, as business owners struggle to get back on their feet, the island’s chamber of commerce has an unseemly proposal for revitalizing the economy: Embrace the Trump administration’s plans for repealing current net neutrality rules.

Federal Communication Commission Chair Ajit Pai has found broad support from telecom industry groups and their surrogates in his effort to repeal the open internet standards established by the Obama administration. But a column from the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce, a group funded by Verizon, appears to be the first to attempt to harness the crisis in Puerto Rico in support of repealing net neutrality safeguards.

“My organization’s interests — especially those of small businesses and entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico who now need to be afforded every advantage and opportunity to grow more than ever before — and our members’ mutual experience have made it clear that the best thing for America’s fragile economy will be for the FCC to continue its plan to repeal the unnecessary regulations,” Justin Vélez-Hagan, executive director and founder of the chamber, wrote Monday in an opinion piece published by The Hill.

Vélez-Hagan wrote that the public should back the effort by Pai and others to place the Republican majority in Congress in charge of remaking net neutrality rules. Doing so, Vélez-Hagan wrote, would provide the “incentive for businesses to invest in Puerto Rico (and others impacted by natural disasters) instead of relying solely on relief packages.”

RIP Fats Domino.

Fats Domino, rock'n'roll pioneer, dies aged 89

Fats Domino, the New Orleans rhythm and blues singer whose hits include Blueberry Hill and Ain’t That a Shame, has died aged 89 of natural causes.

Domino, born in 1928 and one of nine siblings, left school at 14 to take on work in a bedspring factory – but went on to sell over 110m records in a career that took off in the mid-1950s, having learned piano on an upright a cousin left in his New Orleans family home.

As his name suggests, he was frank about his 200lb frame. In his first recorded song, The Fat Man (1949), he sang that despite (or perhaps because of) his size, “all the girls, they love me, ’cause I know my way around” – it became a million-seller. With his distinctive gelled and flattened hairstyle, he would sometimes play the piano standing up, slamming his body against it to push it across the stage in time with the music.

He became one of the first black performers to feature on pop music television shows, appearing alongside the likes of Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers. But as rock’n’roll gave way to the guitar pop of the Beatles and others in the 1960s, American tastes changed, and his popularity started to dwindle. He didn’t chase fashion, however. “I refused to change,” he once said. “I had to stick to my own style that I’ve always used or it just wouldn’t be me.”

Fats Domino: a rock'n'roll life in pictures

the horse race

Report: Clinton campaign and DNC helped fund Trump-Russia Steele dossier

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund political research into Donald Trump that ultimately produced a dossier of allegations about his ties to Russia, a person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press on Tuesday night.

The revelation is likely to fuel complaints by Trump that the dossier, which the president has derided as “phony stuff”, is a politically motivated collection of salacious claims. Yet the FBI has worked to corroborate the document, and in a sign of its ongoing relevance to investigators, special counsel Robert Mueller’s team – which is investigating potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign – weeks ago questioned the former British spy, Christopher Steele, who helped compile the claims in the dossier.

The dossier, which circulated in Washington last year and was turned over to the FBI for its review, contends that Russia was engaged in a longstanding effort to aid Trump and had amassed compromising information about him. Trump has repeatedly dismissed the document as false and in recent days has questioned on Twitter whether Democrats or the FBI had helped fund it.

The person familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss confidential client matters, said the arrangement was brokered by Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Clinton campaign and the DNC, and his law firm of Perkins Coie.

The deal began in the spring of 2016, when the firm was approached by Fusion GPS, the political research firm behind the dossier, and lasted until right before election day, according to the person. When Fusion approached Elias, it had already been doing research work on Trump for a client during the GOP primary. The identity of the original client has not been revealed.

What Did Hillary Clinton Know?

The revelation that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped pay for the notorious “Steele Dossier” of hearsay claims about Donald Trump’s relations with Russia is not surprising but is noteworthy given how long the mystery about the funding was allowed to linger. Another mild surprise is that the Clinton campaign would have had a direct hand in the financing rather than maintaining an arm’s length relationship to the dossier by having some “friend of the campaign” make the payments and giving Clinton more deniability.

Instead, the campaign appears to have relied on its lawyer, Marc E. Elias of Perkins Coie, and a confidentiality agreement to provide some insulation between Clinton and the dossier’s startling claims which presumably helped inform Clinton’s charge in the final presidential debate that Trump was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “puppet.” Indeed, how much Clinton personally knew about the dossier and its financing remains an intriguing question for investigators.

Ultimately, the facts about who commissioned the dossier were forced out by a congressional Republican subpoena seeking the bank records of Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that hired former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele to compile the opposition research, known as “oppo,” against Trump. As part of the legal wrangling over that subpoena, the Clinton/DNC law firm, Perkins Coie, wrote a letter releasing Fusion GPS from its confidentiality agreement. After that letter, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday night that the Clinton campaign and the DNC had helped fund the Steele effort with attorney Elias retaining Fusion GPS in April 2016 and with Fusion GPS then hiring Steele.

An irony about Hillary Clinton’s role in funding allegations about Trump’s connection to the Russians, including claims that he cavorted with prostitutes in a five-star Moscow hotel while Russian intelligence operatives secretly filmed him, is that the Clinton camp bristled when Bill Clinton was the subject of Republican “oppo” that surfaced salacious charges against him. The Clintons dismissed such accusations as “cash for trash.”

For Russiagaters, Do Black Lives Matter?

the evening greens

Senate Environment Committee Approves Toxic EPA Nominee in Party-Line Vote

Powerless Democrats watched in anger as their Republican colleagues in the Senate voted along party lines to advance Michael Dourson’s nomination to become an assistant administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency today.

“We’ve done the wrong thing,” said Sen. Thomas Carper, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works, after his colleagues voted to pass Dourson’s nomination to the full Senate. “I have never been this troubled on this committee, or any committee, in 17 years.”

Dourson — a massively conflicted scientist known within industry for his ability to come up with standards companies liked, create science to justify them, and then “sell” the package to the EPA — is one step closer to assuming his role overseeing chemical safety in the United States. His actual tenure at the EPA seems to have already begun, since he was quietly appointed as an adviser to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt despite not having approval — a move that may have violated the law. ...

If approved by the full Senate, Dourson will oversee the implementation of the updated law, the Toxic Substances Control Act, though he has been paid by manufacturers and other interested parties to work on 20 of the chemicals that may come before him as part of its implementation. When asked during his confirmation hearing whether he would recuse himself from making decisions about these chemicals earlier this month, Dourson refused.

Climate Threat Erased, Big Oil Bonanza Embraced in Leaked Draft of Interior Dept. 5-Year Plan

A leaked draft of the Interior Department's five-year strategic plan includes no mention of climate change while reaffirming the Trump administration's commitment to pursuing "American energy dominance" by exploiting "vast amounts" of energy reserves on public lands, according to an exclusive report published Wednesday by The Nation.

"Alarmingly, the policy blueprint—a 50-page document—does not once mention climate change or climate science," The Nation reports, compared with the 2014-2018 plan, developed under President Donald Trump's predecessor, which mentioned climate change more than 40 times and vowed the department would be "a national leader" in "increasing climate change preparedness and resilience."

The Obama-era strategic plan declared, "The DOI is committed to adaptively manage resources to mitigate the impacts of climate change, consider climate change on a landscape-level to improve resiliency, and work across agency lines to develop and provide data, information and decision support tools," even outlining six "mission areas" on which the department would focus.

Alternatively, the Trump administration's Interior Department—which is under the direction of Secretary Ryan Zinke, who's dedicated his energy to carving up national monuments, and a former fossil fuel industry lobbyist who's been called a "walking conflict of interest"—has set its sights on escalating natural gas and oil production on American soil.

Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

‘The Bureau Is Once Again Profiling Black Activists Because of Their Beliefs and Their Race’

Intercepted Podcast: Mike Pence Is the Koch Brothers’ Manchurian Candidate

NSA Concealed Records on JFK Assassination for Decades

NSA Worker’s Software Piracy May Have Exposed Him To Russian Spies

In Bizarre Murder Hearing, Prosecutor Argues That Flies in Las Vegas Don’t Like Dead Bodies

A Little Night Music

Silas Hogan - Ain't It A Shame

Silas Hogan - Dark clouds rollin'

Silas Hogan - Airport Blues

Silas Hogan - Hoodooman Blues

Silas Hogan - Just Give Me a Chance

Silas Hogan - Lonesome La La

Silas Hogan - I'm in Love With You Baby

Silas Hogan - So Long Blues

Silas Hogan - I'm Goin' in the Valley

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enhydra lutris's picture

an international agreement which prohibits the use of collective punishment? Wouldn't mere incarceration and trial of the many for the offences of a few violate that, even if the victims are eventually cleared of the bogus conspiracy charges?

I recall this shit from the sixties, same game accuse everybody of conspiracy in order to convert misdemeanors into felonies. Anybody involved in that type of prosecution should be tried federally for conspiracy to deprive the victims of their civil rights.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

yeah, i remember the conspiracy charge feeding frenzy of the 60's and 70's. i thought that we were done with that crap, too. apparently, it's too tempting for prosecutors.

there needs to be another smackdown of overzealous, ambitious prosecutors.

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lotlizard's picture

@joe shikspack  
charging us commoners with “conspiracy” — it’s only CT when it goes the other way. When one of their collaborative efforts is the object of suspicion.

Even though the elite-run Deep State maintains umpteen agencies whose official purview is undercover skullduggery, with a huge slush fund black budget to fund same.

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Bollox Ref's picture

Funny how the NYT calls the war spending 'investment'.

Pure, unadulterated waste would be a better description. 'Investment' with negative returns.

And Americans wonder why they can't have a First World health care system.

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from a reasonably stable genius.

joe shikspack's picture

@Bollox Ref

yeah, that's worse than investing in a new car, which loses 30% of its value the moment you drive it off the dealer's lot.

orwell figured that militarism was an intentional waste of resources by the government of the 1% in order to prevent the possibility of the resources being used to improve the lot (and particularly the education) of the lower classes, who might catch on that the 1%'s function was utterly unnecessary.

i think orwell was right.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@joe shikspack
out, though you wouldn't know it from the Wiki on it:

"The Garrison State" was a 1941 article in the American Journal of Sociology by political scientist and sociologist Harold Lasswell. It was a "developmental construct" that outlined the possibility of a political-military elite composed of "specialists in violence" in a modern state.

He did have a different twist in that building shit to blow up, lose at sea and destroy as obsolete would keep something that the overlords could call an "economy" up and running.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

@enhydra lutris  
only with more blood, death, cruelty, and horror.

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divineorder's picture

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture


i'm all for a party of the working class. i just hope that the useless sell-outs that run most (though not all) unions are kept far away from leadership roles in the party.

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divineorder's picture

Billions deferred main in parks without $70 entry fee being proposed. Public comment period only 30 days.

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture


republicans love user fees for citizens but can't abide any sort of fee or tax on businesses or commerce (and any cut to the war budget is of course not even mentionable).

not that democrats are much better - those billions in deferred maintenance didn't just happen in the months that trumpenstein has been in office.

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mimi's picture

Finance Has Become in Shaping the Global Economy (transcripts here)

"Global inequality, household indebtedness, insufficient investment and stagnant economic recovery are the consequences of the dominance of large financial and corporate bodies in shaping globalization, explains Richard Kozul-Wright, UNCTAD's chief economist":


We have 3 diagrams that speak to what we think are the problems with the hyperglobalized world – the problems of growing inequality, the problems of indebtedness, the problems of insufficient investment and the problems of increasing insecurity. We think those are 4 common features that one finds across developed and developing countries in the world that has become hyperglobalized. And to some extent these three charts, and again in the case for the United States, are an attempt to capture those kinds of dynamics.....
So we have to...getting back to the underlying systemic causes of why people have become disillusioned with the current state of affairs, it’s not about trade. People are not disillusioned with trade. They know trade brings benefits as well costs. They are not disillusioned with technology. They know that technology has been transformative even as it has brought challenges to them. What they are disillusioned about is the way in which political representation has been corrupted by economic power. That is what really disillusions ....this is what people are finding increasingly difficult to deal with. And they do not trust the people that claim to be representing them. And that is true at the international level of course as well as the national level. So the report, I think the real meat of the report is to get down to the systemic forces that are channeling economic power into political power and in the process reinforcing the economic power that is increasingly behind this polarized and fragmented and increasingly distant system that people are experiencing.

From UNCTAD ... some clarity.

Greetings to the EB.

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joe shikspack's picture


here's a bit from my file of jefferson quotes (jefferson is referring to france as the country in the first paragraph):

"I asked myself what could be the reason that so many should be permitted to beg who are willing to work, in a country where there is a very considerable proportion of uncultivated lands? These lands are kept idle mostly for the sake of game ...

I am conscious that an equal division of property is impracticable. But the consequences of this enormous inequality producing so much misery to the bulk of mankind, legislators cannot invent too many devices for subdividing property, only taking care to let their subdivisions go hand in hand with the natural affections of the human mind ...

Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on. If, for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be furnished to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not, the fundamental right to labour the earth returns to the unemployed."

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divineorder's picture


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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

divineorder's picture


0 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture


it's good to see a pressure campaign work on a democrat. next stop will have to be the republicans, since they control which bills get considered and voted on.

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divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack

0 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.