( – promoted by buhdydharma )
“There must be some way out of here,” said the joker to the thief, “There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief.
Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth, None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.”
“No reason to get excited,” the thief, he kindly spoke,
“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate, So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.”
All along the watchtower, princes kept the view
While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.
Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl,
Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.
Bob Dylan – All Along the Watchtower
Let us all be reminded that there are people dying right now for no good reason and STILL no one is doing a gaddamned thing to stop it.
We are all responsible.
We are responsible for stopping these stupid and immoral wars and changing the culture that perpetuates them.
As election hysteria threatens to consume us, it is more important than ever that we pause to face facts – that they are such unpleasant facts just makes our task that much more difficult. We in this country have nothing to celebrate, nothing to cheer, and little to look forward to. All we have is a long list of things to mourn for or be ashamed of: democracy, the U.S. Constitution, our civil liberties, our privacy, our standing in the world community, our reputation for fairness and justice, our economy, a million or so dead Iraqis and our thousands of dead service men and women – both those lost on the battlefield and those lost through neglect and mistreatment.
Soldier suicides reach record level, study shows Vets’ battle with depression reveals effects of long tours, lack of resources
By Dana Priest, WP
Lt. Elizabeth Whiteside, a psychiatric outpatient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center who was waiting for the Army to decide whether to court-martial her for endangering another soldier and turning a gun on herself last year in Iraq, attempted to kill herself Monday evening. In so doing, the 25-year-old Army reservist joined a record number of soldiers who have committed or tried to commit suicide after serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
“I’m very disappointed with the Army,” Whiteside wrote in a note before swallowing dozens of antidepressants and other pills. “Hopefully this will help other soldiers.”
When it comes to the actual state of our union there is precious little to be proud of and very little in the way of hope for the future. The sad fact is that the neocons, aided and abetted by our entire political establishment, have raped, pillaged, plundered and ruined our nation. Their laughable ‘stimulus package’ is a cheap and crude attempt to buy us off while giving yet MORE unconscionable tax breaks to the very corporate bastards behind the greatest rip-off of all time – the mugging of America. ‘We fucked you all over viciously…we’ll give ya 600 bucks to just forget about it.’
Is the Bush Stimulus Going to Help You?
By Nomi Prins, The Wip. Posted January 24, 2008.
There’s a national economy, and then there’s a “people’s economy.” Guess which one will see more “relief.”
No, this is another cynical smoke-and-mirrors raid on the Treasury. Just as we saw with Katrina, they are giving away the store and calling it a solution. It’s a solution of sorts for those to whom they’re giving the store I suppose, for the rest of us it’s just another big FUCK YOU!
Thank you sir, may I have another?
The Stimulus Swindle
By David Sirota, Creators Syndicate. Posted January 25, 2008.
Leading figures of both parties seem eager to help limit the debate over “stimulus” and make the final package a corporate goodie bag.
Following government reports showing a surge in income inequality, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson last year gushed that the economy is “as strong as I have seen it in any time.” In the summer, as the housing crisis exploded, President Bush said the economy was “thriving.” This month, as the Labor Department reported another drop in wages, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) said not to worry, her state is doing just great because “we have more people that are working longer hours, we have people that are working two jobs.” And with word that there are now 195,000 homeless veterans nationwide, Bill O’Reilly insisted on Fox News that really, “there’s not many [homeless veterans] out there.”
Message: Nothing to see here. The economy is fabulous. Move along.
The greedheads and warmongers who have been in charge of our government have raided our economy and left it in a shambles. They have sucked all the wealth into their and their friends’ bank accounts, and into the coffers of their corporate masters leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves. Nothing they can do can put our ravaged economy back together again. For most of us there is nothing left but a hollow husk of debt and privation.
Job shock: U.S. lost 17,000 in January
Employers trim payrolls, as government report shows first drop in four years; unemployment rate slips to 4.9%.
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer
February 1 2008: 1:05 PM EST
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Employers trimmed jobs from their payrolls in January, according to a government jobs report Friday that showed the first decline in employment in four years. That raised new concerns about the risk of recession for the weakening U.S. economy.
There was a net loss of 17,000 jobs in the month, according to the Labor Department reading. That was partly balanced by a sharp revision higher for the December reading to a gain of 82,000 jobs from the original reading of only an 18,000 increase.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had looked for a gain of 70,000 jobs for January.
And while our economy lies bleeding and our most pressing needs are ignored, the hideous madness goes unabated…barely even questioned
Pioneering Blackwater Protesters Given Secret Trial and Criminal Conviction
By Jeremy Scahill, AlterNet. Posted January 29, 2008.
Protesters who re-enacted one of Blackwater’s worst civilian massacres in Iraq got jail time, while the real killers remain free.
Our government has no shame. None whatsoever. They are proudly stupid and openly criminal.
The ‘War on Terror’: a New Era of Geopolitical Stupidity
By Simon Jenkins, Comment Is Free. Posted January 31, 2008.
The language loved by Bush has translated into a global disaster bringing death and misery to millions.
And the revelations unfold on a daily basis that show them for the rats that they are.
Key 9/11 Commission Staffer Held Secret Meetings With Rove, Scaled Back Criticisms of White House
Posted by Trish , Pensito Review at 5:41 AM on January 31, 2008.
I smell a rodent. ABC News is quoting WashingtonDeCoded’s Max Holland about a soon to be released book that exposes the former executive director of the 9/11 Commission as a Bush White House insider. “[Zelikow] had laid the groundwork for much of what went wrong at the White House in the weeks and months before September 11. Would he want people to know that?”
That we have not arrested and charged Bush and Cheney by now is a national disgrace. They have robbed and pillaged and dragged our nation through the mud. They have associated us with ‘aggressive war’, also known as the biggest war crime there is, and TORTURE, the most shameful abomination imaginable.
They have shown their contempt for the American people, Democracy, the Constitution and the commonly and historically held values of our nation. They have rubbed their hubris in our faces and they have branded us with the shame and disgrace of torture. They shockingly left our own people to die and suffer in the wake of Katrina. They have waged a merciless war on the American people – and they are still at it.
Bush Admin on FEMA’s Toxic Trailers: Screw the Poor!
Posted by Christy Hardin Smith, Firedoglake at 6:46 AM on January 31, 2008.
The Bush Administration, FEMA and Governor Hailey Barbour — just said screw the poor, let’s build more casinos and luxury accommodations.
And for all the billions and trillions they pour down the black hole of war, and for all their blathering about ‘homeland defense’ they have done absolutely NOTHING to make any of us safer – quite the contrary. We’ve never been so vulnerable.
Hat tip to Granny Doc for the following:
Report: Military not ready for US attack
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer 11 minutes ago
WASHINGTON – The U.S. military isn’t ready for a catastrophic attack on the country, and National Guard forces don’t have the equipment or training they need for the job, according to a report.
Even fewer Army National Guard units are combat-ready today than were nearly a year ago when the Commission on the National Guard and Reserves determined that 88 percent of the units were not prepared for the fight, the panel says in a new report released Thursday.
The independent commission is charged by Congress to recommend changes in law and policy concerning the Guard and Reserves.
The commission’s 400-page report concludes that the nation “does not have sufficient trained, ready forces available” to respond to a chemical, biological or nuclear weapons incident, “an appalling gap that places the nation and its citizens at greater risk.”
And to continue to hold out hope that the democrats are going to save us is naïve at best, and quite possibly insane.
One thing I know for sure about this country is that nothing ever improved but for the hard work and heroic sacrifice of ACTIVISTS – and for the Democratic establishment to openly diss activists like both HRC and Pelosi have done recently should tell us everything we need to know about the Democratic Party – that it is very nearly as rotten as the Republican Party.
They represent the Status Quo. They will change little.
Give Them Death: Three Leading Democratic Candidates Support Capital Punishment
By Liliana Segura, AlterNet. Posted January 25, 2008.
Opposing the death penalty used to distinguish Democrats from Republicans. Now, across party lines, death is just another day at the office.
And this godforsaken war that never should have been started in the first place goes on and on – and is for the most part ignored. People are dying gruesome horrifying deaths every day in this world at the hands of American forces FOR NO GOOD REASON and NO ONE in our government will lift a finger to stop it. They just keep voting billions and billions of OUR dollars to keep it going.
How can it be the highest crime for you or I to take one life but ‘patriotic’ for our government to take hundreds of thousands or millions of lives? It’s all murder. And war is murder at a scale that shames us all – in that we’ve not risen above it at least. It is entirely unnecessary for us to act like savages. We are capable of so much better. We must demand it.
We must face the truth about war and greed and thereby bring them both to heel. We need to eliminate war as a feature of civilization in our time, and we must curb the greediest among us and prevent them from feasting off the rest of us. We are all in this together, and we need to approach it just that way for a fucking change.
We need to teach our children not to fight in unjust wars. We must teach them to protest violence and war, to resist tyranny and to see through simple-minded bullshit.
We need to tell the truth about things – things we’ve never told the truth about before.
We need to teach everyone what a scam it is to talk about ‘service to our country’ when what is really meant is murdering and dying to enrich some evil bastards who are already too damned rich for their own good – or ours. I come from a military family and have a high regard and deep affection for our service men and women but we have to face the fact that it is all a giant scam. Most of our fallen have died for no good reason. There is no honor in ‘serving your country’ in an immoral cause. I won’t argue this point any further other than to refer you to General Smedley Darlington Butler as I have come to see our country as he did, a ravenous bully out for plunder.
We need to focus, and not let any of our recent history be swept under the rug – as they are so desperately trying to do. We must not become distracted from what is going on in this world. We have a solemn obligation to stop the war, the torture, the thievery and the lying…and if we don’t it’s our ass.
Just don’t think that a Democratic President is going to change anything substantially – that change will have to come from elsewhere. That change will have to come from you and me.
Our politicians do not serve us anymore. We need to just get over that. It’s an illusion and a distraction. All of the candidates are professional politicians who will lie at the drop of a hat and who will turn their backs on their supporters the instant they take office – just as they always do. They will shine us on and bathe us in platitudes, but they serve another. It ain’t you and it ain’t me. Lucy’s gonna yank that fuckin’ football.
I’m not a true believer (of course – I view them all as establishment tools) but I’m hoping Obama takes it just so we can say we have a black President. That in and of itself may not be much, not nearly what we need or deserve – but it’s something. I consider it my consolation prize. Either way, not much of any real substance will change. It’ll be the same old hustle-the-people bit (look at this shiny bauble while I steal all your shit) with a friendlier face. They may bump the minimum rage by fifteen cents, but the Military Industrial Congressional Media Complex will still be in charge. They will still fiddle and diddle and fuck us all over while Rome burns. There will still be war, and there will still be death – and the world will still be doomed because we won’t stop acting like assholes long enough to solve our MUTUAL problems.
US Spends $88 on the Military for Every Buck Fighting Climate Change
Posted by Joshua Holland, AlterNet at 12:31 PM on January 31, 2008.
It’s a reflection of our priorities.
A few days ago, a Spanish reader made his way through a story about these primary-related gender wars we’re fighting, and had a suggestion. “I think you all must go to the shrink,” he wrote, “in a kind of collective, nationwide, psychoanalysis.”
Some support for that view surfaced this week, as the Institute for Policy Studies released a new report by Miriam Pemberton titled “Military vs. Climate Security.” Pemberton found that for each dollar the U.S. government spends on fighting global warming, it throws $88 at the military. It’s a stunning — and telling –ratio, but it’s not the whole story; according to the report, “even the modest $7 billion in the federal climate change budget is badly targeted toward what ought to be low priorities, while major climate priorities get short shrift.”
Again, let us all be reminded that there are people dying right now for no good reason and STILL no one is doing a gaddamned thing to stop it.
At Least 68 Dead in Baghdad Market Bombs
BAGHDAD – Two female suicide bombers blew themselves up Friday in separate attacks on Baghdad pet bazaars, killing at least 68 people and wounding dozens, police said. The attacks were the deadliest in the Iraqi capital since 30,000 more American troops flooded into the center of the country last spring.
And as this lunatic’s war rages, in the mean time we have all been screwed and how. It hasn’t come fully home to roost just yet, but baby it’s coming.
Recession To Be Painful And Drawn Out: Report
Reuters | February 8, 2008 01:56 PM
The U.S. economy has entered a recession that will be more painful and drawn out than the usual downturn, the director of the Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey said on Friday.
Inflation pressures will linger despite the retrenchment in consumer spending, complicating the task of policy-makers, the University’s Richard Curtin said in a report, citing data from industry group The Conference Board.
“This is no ordinary recession,” he said. “The aftereffects will last much longer than the typical downturn.”
He said the Conference Board’s expectations index is a strong predictor of economic contractions, and that it is currently flashing red.
Mass civil resistance is the only sane response to the present circumstances.
Join CodePink’s anti-war tax protest . If Congress won’t defund this bogus and immoral war, we’ll just have to do it ourselves.
From March 13-16th, U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan will testify to what is really happening day in and day out, on the ground in these occupations.
On March 19th, there will be a mass demonstration against the war and for IMPEACHMENT, also in Washington DC. I will be there to march for peace and justice with my friend possum and his family, my son Daniel and as many kossacks and dharmaniacs or others as will join us (along with a hundred-thousand or so of our closest friends). I hope you all can make it.
We need to act up people. We need to stop these maniacs before they start another stupid war.
Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg: Bush Likely to Attack Iran, Impeachment a Must
By Sari Gelzer, TruthOut.org. Posted February 7, 2008.
The American public and media have not picked up on the urgency surrounding a pending war with Iran.
Daniel Ellsberg, perhaps the country’s most famous whistleblower, fears that before the Bush administration leaves office, it will try to attack Iran.
I try very hard to get people to see the truth, but a lot of otherwise intelligent people just don’t want to hear it. It’s easier and more comforting to just give in to the distractions: consumerism, entertainment, sports, celebrity gossip, politics and such. The bitter truth is that we are in big trouble in this country.
But the make believe circus is so much more…comforting.
Will Clinton and Obama Continue Bush’s High-Priced Militarism?
By Robert Scheer, Truthdig. Posted February 6, 2008.
Will your favorite Dem challenge the bloated military budget Bush proposed for 2009?
Curb your enthusiasm. Even if your favored candidate did well on Super Tuesday, ask yourself if he or she will seriously challenge the bloated military budget that President Bush has proposed for 2009. If not, military spending will rise to a level exceeding any other year since the end of World War II, and there will be precious little left over to improve education and medical research, fight poverty, protect the environment or do anything else a decent person might care about.
You cannot spend well over $700 billion on “national security,” running what the White House predicts will be more than $400 billion in annual deficits for the next two years, and yet find the money to improve the quality of life on the home front.
When I first started blogging about the fascist take over of America over two years ago, a lot of people objected to my use of that term. Some still do – but not many. People are slowly coming to realize that a storm as dark as anything the Nazis conjured up is gathering over America. We are in huge trouble and it’s high time we woke the fuck up and faced it.
FBI Deputizes Private Contractors With Extraordinary Powers, Including ‘Shoot to Kill’
By Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive. Posted February 8, 2008.
The FBI has a new set of eyes and ears, and they’re being told to protect their infrastructure at any cost. They can even kill without repercussion.
Today, more than 23,000 representatives of private industry are working quietly with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. The members of this rapidly growing group, called InfraGard, receive secret warnings of terrorist threats before the public does — and, at least on one occasion, before elected officials. In return, they provide information to the government, which alarms the ACLU. But there may be more to it than that. One business executive, who showed me his InfraGard card, told me they have permission to “shoot to kill” in the event of martial law. InfraGard is “a child of the FBI,” says Michael Hershman, the chairman of the advisory board of the InfraGard National Members Alliance and CEO of the Fairfax Group, an international consulting firm.
I was talking with my son last night about the school shootings that we see on a regular basis anymore and I mentioned that they should be telling us something. My son replied, “If there’s one thing we’re really good at, it’s ignoring warning signs.”
How sad…and how true.