Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Right-wing Christianity and Foreign Policy

Christianity  is the name of a movement that follows the teachings of a man named Jesus Christ. This man became famous for several reasons, but among them was his teachings for forgiveness, and treating others with the same respect you'd want to have yourself.

The right-wing branch of Christianity as espoused by the Republican Party in the U.S. today is nowhere close to these teachings. If anything, its at the polar opposite of  universal love and peace. Instead, it consistently embraces people like Bill O'Reillly, Rush Limbaugh, and Sarah Palin to preach hateful and damaging messages. Instead of sharing a message of peace, they call for unnecessary violence in the name of god, and 'American patriotism'.

There's been a lot of noise recently about bombing Iran before that country supposedly gets the bomb. Yet it was due to the combined efforts between Standard Oil of Britain (now BP) and elements in the U.S. that conspired to get rid of a democratically elected president Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, and instead installed Shah Reza Pahlevi as king of Iran.

Shah Reza Pahlevi  was installed as a puppet dictator for the west since he agreed to give away Iran's oil for personal wealth and profit along with military arms. This further impoverished the rest of Iran for decades until its people had enough and finally revolted. The Shah left for exile in 1979.

 So, the West was instrumental in impoverishing Iran. The West knowingly created misery in Iran which eventually led to a power vacuum that ushered in extreme religious fundamentalists, and which wouldn't exist today in Iran if we never screwed their country over in the first place.

Currently, world oil usage is on a sharp rise, while oil stocks are beginning to deplete elsewhere. The current Iranian government continues to refuse to be a western puppet, and once again impoverish their nation. In the U.S. right-wing Christians at places such as Fox News are calling to bomb the women and children in Iran. The nuclear threat of course is only one part of the equation. Once again it's about oil, other natural resource extraction, and Geo-politically crippling another sovereign state in order to further destabilize their currency designed for advantageous financial gain.

In Christianity, the Bible's ten commandments include' "Thou Shall Not Steal". Yet this is exactly what militant right-wing Christians think they ought to do in regards to Iran and Iranian oil. Call it what they will.

Who's the aggressor?  Who's the bad guy here?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Why are normal Christians not speaking out?

First of all, I don't wish to identify with anyone particular group. If anything, I lean towards universal ideals that humanists hold dear: Everyone should prosper equally.

I recently stumbled across someone's attempted interview with GOP nomination candidate Rick Santorum, and it occurred to me just how very wrong he is for the position.

How is it that I see little if any organized effort by normal church organizations to distance themselves from their brethren Christians elsewhere who willingly call for war without just cause?

The war-mongering political drivel of right-wing neo-conservatives  is just that. Drivel. It doesn't make any sense. Why are  so-called god-fearing voters  casting their ballots to enable bigotry? Many of the politicians they vote in have a very callous, if not hateful view towards other nations.

 If you think I'm being overly liberal in my views, fear not. I think, we reap what we sow. And we should take responsibility for the political undermining we embark on in dealing with those we see as a supposed threat.

But, I'm  thinking of the standard unholy alliance of god, guts, and glory, with a dash  blind patriotism, and American-apple-pie thrown in. The standard formula. You're either with us, or you're against us mentality.

Am I wrong on this point, or are there concrete examples of such registered opposition among the religious, and I have just not been paying attention? But here's the problem; I think I do pay attention and I just don't see any opposing views being widely expressed.

Granted the current Obama administration is relatively the same as the Bush administration as far as saber rattling goes. Obama is better spoken, but I think it’s the only real difference. There’s some window dressing as in health care reform and it appears its meant for distraction. There was, and still is -  no hope and change delivered.  

I also understand all too well, we live under a series of corporate oligarchies that control media messaging. This goes without saying, and is obvious.

An astute,  political/socially conscious individual need only read any mainstream newspaper and at once they understand instinctively what is not being published. The editorials are often far from being luminary in their views. After all, the status-quo has been benefiting them for years, why change it?

From a humanistic point of view, we as a society are failing miserably on so many fronts.

This being said, I don’t understand as I’ve mentioned, why I don’t see a large organized opposition mounted from  Christians who profess love and peace, against those ‘Christians’ who would vote for the likes of a Sarah Palin, or a Rick Santorum who has publicly said he would use Just War Theory in a premeditated attack against Iran and against its hundreds of thousands if not millions of innocent potential victims.  

Remember the stolen 1953 Iranian elections? The one that would’ve seen a democratically elected president who did not want to be a puppet to Standard oil of Britain? We did that. The West did it.  Britain and the U.S.

People who have humanistic intentions are beginning to organize, but it sure would be nice to see commonplace in mainstream news that ‘other’ official church groups who are already organized, begin opposing today’s media messaging, and the seemingly entrenched mindsets bent on war and destruction, etc.

In Canada, Harper is the same. He’s ready to go to war and spend untold billions of non-existent dollars at the drop of a hat. Yet he comes from a right-wing ‘Christian’ tradition. Harper is in a good position ( if you want to put it that way) with the tar sands of Alberta.  Canada does not have to be blackmailed by U.S. trade if it does not wish to join in unnecessary wars with the U.S.

So, I’ll reiterate my original question.

 How is it that I see little if any organized effort by other church organizations to distance themselves from the war-mongering political drivel of right-wing neo-conservative fascists who are enabled by their religious voters?

Am I wrong on this point, or are there concrete examples of such registered, mainstream opposition and I have just not been paying attention?

I think I've been paying attention, and it sure doesn't appear to be commonplace knowledge...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

'Peak Intelligence', 'Just War Theory', and Canada's Election Fraud

Why oh why does the GOP, and our own Conservative Party of Canada act like they're already past their climax of  Peak Intelligence?

The Grand Old Party, or the Republicans Party they're otherwise known as,  wish to go to war with Iran invoking 'Just War Theory."  But, it seems like Canada's Conservative prime minister Harper would do so at the drop of a hat too.

While it's coming to light the Conservative Party of Canada is potentially guilty of  an illegal voting fraud in the last election which might have grave consequences if an actual investigation was held. But don't hold your breath...  don't hold your breath that is, about having an actual investigation...

Monday, February 27, 2012

We Like War and We Want War with Iran

Back in the mid-80's I worked for two Iranian brothers in Montreal who told me a harrowing story of how they came to be in Canada.

As Iranian army conscripts they were making a typical truck trip to fetch water and other supplies for a forward operating post they were stationed at. As they were returning sometime later, they discovered their post had been overrun by Iraqi forces.

The Iraqis were gone but had left extreme atrocities at the post. All their former friends and comrades were dead, or worse. The Iranian brothers decided right then and there they'd had enough of a life filled with this kind of bullshit and human misery and left Iran and escaped to the west before they could be stationed at another forward post.

However, I'll never forget what the Iranian brothers told me. They blamed Britain, the U.S., and Israel for creating situations that pitted the Persian countries to wage battle against each other. They cited the stolen democratic election in Iran of 1953 that ushered in a puppet dictator for oil hungry Britain and the west that began the modern problems for their country and neighboring hostilities. Instead of democracy, the brothers said they got perpetual war.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Shale Gas Not Very Feasible

I revisited an Allan Gregg clip with guest Jeff Rubin. It's from 2009 though I never commented on it at the time


Rubin was touring his book "Oil and the End of Globalization".  If you haven't heard about it or read it....Wait. It's not all bad news. Rubin is actually optimistic the end of cheap oil does not mean the end of society. Not by a long shot. Though things will change.

 Here's a quick synopsis: Much higher oil prices along with possible carbon taxes may force the end of  shipping many manufactured goods around the world. It's cheap to do it at the moment because of current low fuel prices.

So what does this mean? Not to worry though. This simply could mean we'll actually start getting serious as a society to do what we know we need to do; such as revisiting quality mass transit; localized manufacturing again which of course means jobs and skills, and an emphasis on sustainable energy and sustainable everything else.

Think of a 1950's lifestyle combining a smaller carbon footprint, but with a futuristic edge, and (maybe less cars, unless we can get all electric cars to run on and store solar energy, etc.)

Also, as an economist he explains a direct correlation between high oil prices and how it effectively creates slow growth in the marketplace. In order to have a sustainable market without dips (recessions), we need to get away from using oil as a mode of transportation. 

This is why using oil to access natural gas as in shale gas fracking (once all external costs are accounted for including the cost of maintaining roadway infrastructures for trucking, carbon emission allocations for venting  ((off-gassing) which there is none at the moment), replacing and trucking contaminated well water, site clean-up, natural habitat destruction, increased air pollution and ground water toxicities and accompanying medical costs for local citizens, etc)  then we begin an honest cost analysis of natural gas extraction and understand this is a non-feasible way of doing business.

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's all them terrorists that live over there...

Of course the rest of us know what will happen to oil prices on the open market if Israel and the U.S. decide to go to war with Iran; gas prices will rise sharply... besides of course  the thousands (thousands! or likely hundreds-of-thousands!) of women and children that will die or be maimed for life...

But, the following is why Republicans and the rest of the right-wing conservatives everywhere  want to go to war with Iran:
"Besides them getting nukes, it's all them terrorists that live over there in Iran that's making gas prices go up too. That's why we have to send our troops in there an' whup their asses...'cause I just bought me a new Chevy truck an' I want to afford to drive it..."


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Don Forgeron: President & CEO, Insurance Bureau of Canada says Payouts from Increasing Climate Change is Real and Costly

I've spoken to a few individuals who don't believe in the science of climate change. That' to be expected. They tend to think it's a grand conspiracy theory designed to get carbon emission taxes out of us. I don't believe in carbon emission trading either since it is simply a charade something is being done when in effect the overall amount of pollution increases. And they're probably right that it is another tax or money grab from citizen's pockets. It's an easily transparent smokescreen.

But when a major player such as the insurance industry in the economy is saying they have proof of severe and increasing damages caused by storm events, then the rest of the media and private individuals should start paying attention.

If nothing else, if this information is still to be mistrusted by some, then forget about whether humanity's carbon footprint is responsible for these weather events...but consider the increasing amount of needless toxicities in our shared environment overall. Look at the cancer rates for a start...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why the Republican Party continues to be Irrelevant to Sane people in 2012

I'm all for allowing everyone to have their fair shot at politics, but here's another prime example of why  the ultra conservative Republican party continues to be irrelevant in 2012.

To be considered as a potential Presidential nominee by serious people, you ought to be seen as  being a serious contender yourself. But then again, the Republican party can't be very serious if they continue to promote silly-speaking adults. So, here we go again. Before you have a chance to say, "Whew! I sure am glad Sarah Palin didn't get a chance to get any closer to the power of the Oval office in the last U.S. election", well look out, here comes another prime knuckledragger!

  Rick Santorum sounds exactly like he wants to follow up where the history-challenged Sarah Palin left off;  and that's to drag the country and most likely the rest of the world back to the sanctimoniously prescribed laws of the 15th century.

...and as if the our already long beleaguered environment needs someone like Santorum...watch the video, you'll understand...Santorum  is obviously using his extreme right-wing Christian heritage in employing doublethnk in his belief  'man has dominion over the Earth and its resources, though man should still be a good steward'...

Huh? Sure Rick. We're all sure what that means. As usual, this is neo-Christian-fascist-code for extracting  profit driven resources from the Earth until the environment is pushed past its brink. But, Oh! Don't worry! The Lord above will swoop down in the 'End Days' and save the righteous when the air is no longer breathable and water is no longer drinkable.

All I can say is...God help the environment.

BTW, 15th century bloodletting anyone?

Former shale gas worker from New Brunswick speaking out on how toxic the business is


You can also read the article here: 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Afghanistan - Journalism

A Canadian soldier in Afghanistan radios for assistance while others attend a fallen comrade. (Reuters photo)

Reporters Without Borders has a highly critical report on the dangerous occupation of being a journalist in Afghanistan. Recently, there has been an increase of violence against the Press in Afghanistan. President Karzai is doing very little to help combat it, and in addition, RWB reports international military forces are also guilty of obstructing the work of independant journalists. In other words, the public's ability to gauge the success rate of the international effort, is extremely compromised.

One must remember, reports from 'official', embedded journalists are highly edited by the military, and/or Defense Department. They are created to be Government-friendly. As we can presume, they can offer little to the public in way of a firsthand testimony as to how they perceive who's actually 'winning', or how  the overall international forces strategy really is working out. I say this for good reason, since on one hand, Pakistan continues to accept money and arms from the U.S., but then turns around and protects it's Taliban controlled Tribal Region. A no-win situation. Good for arms sales though...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Three More Canadian Soldiers Dead in Afghanistan; Two Injured

It was just another day in Afghanistan, and another group of our guys traveling in an armored carrier became the newest victims of yet another IED (Improvised Explosive Device).

When I was a grunt (infantryman) in the Canadian Armed forces, we were trained  how to look for buried land mines if you found yourself in a situation without other resources such as metal detectors at your disposal. We were instructed to crawl on our bellies with our bayonets held in our outstretched hands, and slice gently through the ground ahead of us, using a very shallow angle of entry.

We did this slowly, methodically, and very carefully! Once we felt our blades come up against an object in the ground, we immediately gave a signal to our rearward man who moved in with a metal detector (the metal detector was available here for training purposes) to determine whether it was a buried device, or just a rock.

But, this is no way to make time going through a minefield! This method is excruciatingly slow, and dangerous. But it's what we were trained to do, if once again you found yourself with no other choice than to use this method.

But, I can assure you when I state the following: Modern day warfare, especially the type of guerrilla insurgency as fought by the Afghanistan Taliban has drastically reduced the odds of even an extremely well trained soldier surviving the real dangers of hidden IED's; (and this is coming from an ex-soldier that was a crack shot, trained in an array of battle strategies, physically able, and with an eye for details).

I feel the West's, brave, young men and women today, soldiers who wish to serve under the decisions their nation's politicians have made, have been put into an impossible situation. You can be the best soldier in the history of the Army, but if the armored vehicle you are traveling happens to go over a recently buried mine, and all it takes is a pre-paid disposable cell phone to set it off, then it's obvious you're not much better off than a sitting duck!

BTW, Its reported this particular last group of Canadian soldiers were ironically returning from defusing another IED.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Property Tax Hikes...Again

The New Brunswick Flag

The golden lion is a British Coat of Arms holdover, while the ship signifies NB's shipbuilding and seafaring heritage.

As anyone who feels a sense of fondness and concern for where they live, this is why I am very concerned for what is happening here in New Brunswick.

New Brunswick is similiar to the state of Maine in character in that we have traditionally had a lower income per/capita than in other parts of Canada or the U.S. I am aware that California has already raised its states taxes, but this is not California! The average income in New Brunswick is an already low $37,500. As a direct result of this, housing prices have remained relatively cheap here in comparison. This has been traditionally true of the Maritime provinces as a whole, and has given rise to a typical Maritime expression, as well as elsewhere I'm sure, of 'living close to the bone'.

And, similar to Maine, we have been losing our population over the years, as families shrink in size due to: the higher cost of living; the overall pay scale compared with other places which take people away; and we don't as yet have enough immigrants of any particular nationality living here to attract others from their homelands to create their cultural centers as they already have done in larger cosmopolitan areas to make up for the difference. Top it all off, our New Brunswick age demographic is ever increasing, as the younger people keep leaving for greener pastures.

And of course New Brunswick also suffers from a contemporary moral issue that many other jurisdictions are forced to put up with: while most politicians, and some CEO's of public utilities are overly compensated, (10 times the average income plus a bonus of nearly 3 times again) the rest of the everyday, middle class citizenry are more or less told to eat cake.

In some towns such as Quispamsis (Quis/ pam/ sis) which is not far from where I am, they've seen a property tax jump of 17.3%!
You can only imagine what the older folks are thinking while they look at their decimated investment portfolios they'd been previously relying on to retire with!

The following is a Letter to the Editor I sent today to The Saint John newspaper; 'The Telegraph Journal', after this year's property tax increases were sent out. There is a 250 word limit to these letters.

Here it is:

'Warning! There is a wide spread system failure in the making in New Brunswick! Property tax assessments have just been released, and very similar to last year's assessment hikes, this year's assessments have increased by an average of 7.4%!Does the average citizen's wage go up this much on an annual basis? The simple answer is: Of course not!

Then why does the current Graham administration in Fredericton not see the pure folly of this ill conceived policy of squeezing additional funds out of an already beleaguered citizenry in this era of economic uncertainty?

And why does the Graham government bother to put on a public charade of attempting to repatriate New Brunswickers who have already left, in order to buoy our sagging population? Why bother? What could you possibly say to them that would make any financial sense? C'mon back, maybe you'll find a decent paying job, and maybe you won't. Our wages are traditionally lower than in other parts of the country, and to top it off, we just raised the cost of living...again. But hey, c'mon back, we miss you? You can just imagine what these people will be thinking. Thanks, but no thanks.

The reasons for poor public policies are usually attributable to the lack of moral character of their administrators. Is our current premier just another politician looking to pay for status quo government expenses any way he can? And, is the visionary stuff of much greater, benevolent statesmen simply beyond his abilities?

A footnote here...Graham was not re-elected as the  premier of New Brunswick, but this was due mainly to his nonsensical approach of attempting to shove the people of New Brunswick around in other ways...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

David Sanger - Who Actually Runs The Show in the U.S.?

I do like how David Sanger's new book sounds; "The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power"

In a few words: Obama has inherited a disaster in the making.

The world's currently in a mess because too many impressionable minds gave Bush more credit than he was due, and so allowed the Bush & Cheney regime to operate far too long with impunity.

Under their rule, just as with other dictators in many parts of the developing world, the military has become a multiple-interest business. The American Military Industrial Complex has become more than bloated, it has become a contagious disease infecting the minds of otherwise intelligent people, including members of Congress who are happy to report they have landed needless, but outrageously expensive, military contracts for their constituents back home.

Along the path of this particular job growth however, the goal to increased militarization only fosters new, and unpredictable paranoia to the American culture as a whole, including a new McCarthyism in which voicing an alternate opinion has been perverted by the Republican-right's media influence as being unpatriotic.

The reverse is actually true, since it is freedom of speech which is being attacked, and is unpatriotic to the original American Constitution.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

What is the Actual MPG of these Cars in this Advertisement?

This is one of the common car ads they run in our local newspaper, and I was again struck as I've always been, by the patent misinformation our federal government department 'Transport Canada' allows car manufacturers to get away with.

Of course, the problem doesn't just lay with 'Transport Canada', nor is it just GM at fault here as most other car makers play the same game including in the U.S. marketplace.

I'm sorry, but does anyone really buy this? Look at the gas mileage these cars achieve! 46 mpg for the Vibe, and 52 mpg for the G5! Are these cars hybrids? I ask this because,these vehicles are approaching the real world driving mileage of the Toyota Prius hybrid for example!

(I've spoken with a couple of Prius owners about their mileage - roughly 50 -55mpg depending on driving conditions). I also checked a Consumer Reports Best Cars Buying Guide on the Vibe's fuel mileage. In essence the Pontiac Vibe is of course a Toyota Matrix - same engine, same transmission, same everything  except different body configuration. Consumer Reports lists the Matrix at getting no better than 29 mpg! They also state  the cars they rate are test driven by their staff so they can have an honest opinion of what they're rating.

Okay, so  let's give GM and Transport Canada the benefit of doubt for a moment in which they may get better mileage for these cars in their testing if they follow these important methodology criteria:

If there's absolutely no wind;
if the tires are perfectly inflated, balanced, and brand-spanking new , and of a much more expensive design then they sell their cars with;
if the asphalt on the road is of the type that allows the least amount of resistance to roll on;
if temperatures, relative humidity, and atmospheric pressure is just right;
and if the road surface is actually not perfectly horizontal, but preferably on a slight, but optically invisible downhill grade in the direction the test cars will be going in...
and lastly...if real-world driving is also included in the rating of the vehicle, not just testing cars on  a sterile, and s stationary  laboratory' dynamometer.

I happen to own a 2007 Honda Fit. I'm confident to report it gets a real world driving mileage of 34 mpg at the most. It has a tiny 1.5 liter sized engine. Compare this with the engine sizes and mpg with the cars in the ad.

My only question is this: When will the car manufacturers and our federal governments be forced to own up to the actual mpg of the products they manufacture, and/or rate?

At the Canadian Federal government level there should be a private member's bill introduced to set in place open and honest auto industry reforms.

The public mood is more than ready for some actual progress in the fuel capability in modern cars. I've remarked in an earlier post, how I happen to own a 1966 Volvo with a 1.8 liter engine that achieves 26mpg.  Better mileage than many new, vehicles today!

The car and its technology which is extremely simple to work on is 43 years old! Hopefully, small upstart companies such as the Zenn Electric Motor car company and others will provide some much needed competition.

In the U.S. write your member of congress to end false advertising in the auto industry as well as how the fed tests cars.

* A quick follow up since making this post ; Yesterday, I spoke with a local GM Vibe owner here in the village, and he scoffed at the idea his car could get 46 mpg. Instead he agrees his Vibe achieves at best 28 - 30 mpg.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Detroit Can Make Much Better Cars

So, the Big Three are looking for a bailout...

No that's not a picture of me below, but the guy in the picture is standing beside a P1800 very similiar to ours. This is the famous (in Volvo circles) Irv Gordon who owns the same make and year of Volvo Gwen and I have - a 1966 Volvo P1800.

To make a long story short, I have no decent pics of ours and at the moment its not here to take a picture of it - the car is at another place having its engine and transmission installed.

But when I used to drive it a few years ago (house construction took over from this other long term car restoration project) I remember being constantly amazed at the fuel mileage the Volvo offered given its age, and forty or so year-old technology!

The last forty years has seen a large advancement in computer technology, etc; so what happened to cars and there engines!!!???

What happened to the technology GM and Saturn developed when they first released the EV-1 to the public 10 or so years ago? Of course, this is a rhetorical question. Most of us all know exactly what happened. There's no political willpower to change the path of greed our system fosters...

2.48 Million Miles On A Volvo

Record-Breaking Volvo Driver Irv Gordon Clocks Four Million Kilometers in His Trusty P1800.
Irv Gordon, Volvo's "Two-and-a-half Million Mile Man," just became the "Four Million Kilometer Man," breaking records in the same shiny red 1966 Volvo P1800 he has been driving for more than 40 years.
Some stats:
  • 710 oil changes. Irv recommends changing your oil every 3,500 miles (5,632 km).
  • 100,000 plus miles (160,934 km) per year since retiring in 1996.
  • 0 false starts. Zero. Zip. Not even on the coldest of mornings.
  • 0 replaced engines. The Volvo P1800 still has its original engine, though it was rebuilt at around 675,000 miles (1,086,307 km).
  • One new starter.
  • $4,150. The cost of Irv's Volvo P1800 back in 1966. "The best $4,150 I've ever spent."
  • 99 tune-ups (every 25,000 miles, or 40,233 km).
  • 8,285 tanks of gas (The Volvo gets 25 miles, or 40.23 km, per gallon
Found the above stats and pic at: http://j-walkblog.com

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Warning!: System Failure due to Human Error in Canadian Government

After winning a recent Canadian national election which saw the re-election of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister of Canada and gave him back what he didn't necessarily want ... another minority government (which is why he called an early election in the first place when he saw the opposition was very weak -so okay, some might say this is acceptable political strategy, but it still doesn't allow Harper to look like he's taking the high road here...)

But he's also forced to make nice with the other parties involved, or forever fear the threat hanging over the head of every minority government - of being defeated by a non-confidence vote....then for as yet an unexplained, and unfathomable suicidal tactic decides on a very combative course in a time when Canada should be pulling together to ward off a major economic downshift, by lobbing a political hot potato into the political arena during the release of the new budget which promises to cut off public funding ($/vote) for political parties.

Canadian/Newfoundland CBC man of letters,  political punster, and wry wit Rex Murphy said it all, when he asked the question on national TV, "Is what Stephen Harper did, the height of arrogance, or the depth of ignorance?" (Actually, I ad-libbed here a bit...Rex said something very similar, but with the same general meaning...)

Are these surges in stock prices true?

Hello... been away on a little hiatus...painting and making a living...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Richard Dawkins at TED

This talk by Dawkins is humorous at times, and asks us to think about an interesting angle; how we should regard the skewed and biased perspective of the religious right in aiding to hi-jack America with its voting numbers, and thereby creating danger in the world.

He suggests that there are many intelligent, caring individuals in America who as of yet do not know how to collectively come together as an organization, but if they did, they could raise a loud enough voice of opposition to what they  see is happening.

He goes onto suggest that we should have a coming-out party  - to present yourself to the world, your family and friends that you no longer wish to have any allegiance to any sort of religious nonsense because in essence the continual misrepresentation of our physical world into a mystical one is only aiding in dumbing us down, and ultimately allowing horrible crimes to be committed in its name, as in: one religion against another religion and so on...

Watch the video. He says it much better.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Coincidences, Searching & Surfing, JFK, CIA Rogue Nation, & Harry Truman

You ever notice how coincidences always seem to happen in small groups of three or four. The other day I happened to come across a used, paperback copy of 'The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy - The Conspiracy and the Coverup'. The life of Robert Kennedy was a topic I was admittedly unfamiliar with, so I thought what the hell and bought it as much out of curiosity as well as having an interest in history.

And...I hadn't intended to conduct  internet searches in relation to this book since really, the fundamental economics of making a living like most people has kept me busy over the years, and so, who's really got time for looking at all these conspiracy theories after all?

In my normal course of surfing I'll drop by at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) site.
There I found to both my surprise and disappointment I had just missed a televised episode on Bobby Kennedy's assassination. This was in one of CBC's ongoing documentary program series named 'The Passionate Eye'.

But then today while listening to NPR online, John McCain in his continuing election campaign travels was using the Harry Truman Library in Missouri as a backdrop for his shared vision of how former president Harry Truman was an unselfish individual, and how America needs individuals like him again to save the day.

So in searching for more info on Truman I stumbled across another book 'JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he Died and Why it Matters' alongside 2 informative comments in a book review  for it.

I thought the comments were worth noting, so here they are below:

There is a new book out that is perhaps the most current event in American politics. For it deals with a question that is at the very heart of the Bush scandals, that were so much worse that Watergate, but which our political system found no means to extricate itself. A critical question makes the Kennedy Assassination perhaps more relevant to today than ever:to what extent is the nominal leader, the President, really in control of the permanent military, political, and communications bureaucracies that shape his options?"

Insightful comment right? The other comment is below.

In 1961, when Kennedy became president, key components of this permanent bureaucracy were thirteen years old. As a parent with a teenager there were moments of tension when one can wonder who or what called the shots. This was uniquely the case in 1960, as for eight years-- the truly formative ones in the development of the post-war US society-- the CIA had been given extreme latitude. Kennedy's relations with the permanent political and military bureaucracy can serve as basis of comparison for how matters of war and peace are decided today, and under what structural limitations. NOTHING SHOWS THIS CONFLICT BETWEEN NOMINAL POLITICAL CONTROL VS STRUCTURAL MILITARY AND CIA RECALCITRANCE MORE CLEARLY THAN THE NEW BOOK 'JFK AND THE UNSPEAKABLE: WHY HE DIED AND WHY IT MATTERED' By author James W. Douglass.

 Both Daniel Ellsberg and Marcus Raskin have stated that this book fundementally changed their thinking about the assassination. As a former Chomsky main liner, I think that is absolutely essential for a balanced view. It is not a naive liberal book. It recognizes that JFK essentially ran as a Cold Warrior in 1960. But there is a whole different side of the story that Chomsky and Cockburn leave out. How ironic that here these two publishable leftists have so much in common with the NYT which they so openly disagree with on everything else. It makes one wonder-- at times-- about the implications of the old Encounter Magazine! “Douglass presents, brilliantly, an unfamiliar yet thoroughly convincing account of a series of creditable decisions of John F. Kennedy—at odds with his initial Cold War stance—that earned him the secret distrust and hatred of hard-liners among the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the CIA. Did this suspicion and rage lead directly to his murder by agents of these institutions, as Douglass concludes? Many readers who are not yet convinced of this ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ by Douglass’s prosecutorial indictment will find themselves, perhaps—like myself—for the first time, compelled to call for an authoritative criminal investigation. Recent events give all the more urgency to learning what such an inquiry can teach us about how, by whom, and in whose interests this country is run.” --Daniel Ellsberg, author, Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers “Douglass writes with moral force, clarity, and the careful attention to detail that will make JFK and the Unspeakable a source book for many years to come, for it provides us with the stubborn facts needed to rebuild a constitutional democracy within the United States.”--Marcus Raskin, co-founder, Institute for Policy Studies

INTERESTING COMMENT BY FORMER PRESIDENT TRUMAN PUBLISHED DECEMBER 22 1963. Also interesting that we rarely hear of this comment. The first I heard of it was as quoted here in James W. Douglass' incredible book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. -------------- On December 22, 1963, one month to the day after JFK's assassination, Former President Truman published a very carefully worded article in the Washington Post warning the American people about the danger of the CIA taking over the government. He wrote: "I think it has become necessary to take another look at the purpose and operations of our Central Intelligence Agency--CIA...for some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at time a policy-making arm of the Government. This has led to trouble and may have compounded our difficulties in several explosive areas. We have grown up as a nation, respected for our free institutions and for our ability to maintain a free and open society. There is something about the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historical position and I feel that we need to correct it" (note 678, Chapter 6)
Truman's warning, with its ominous post-assassination timing, was greeted by total silence (note 679) Had it been noticed and heeded the , the controversial ex-president might have been accused more justly this time of trying to abolish the CIA, since he did indeed want to abolish its covert activities. President Harry Truman had himself established the CIA in 1947, but not he thought, to do what he saw it doing in the fall of 1963. He restated his radical critique of the CIA in a letter written six months later (note 680, Chapter 6). The managing editor of Look magazine had sent Truman the latest Look featuring a piece on the CIA. Truman wrote back: "Thank you for the copy of Look with the article on the Central Intelligence Agency. It is, I regret to say, not true to the facts in many respects. The CIA was set up by me for the sole purpose of getting all the available information to the president. It was not intended to operate as an international agency engaged in strange activities" (note 681, Chapter 6) (pp.332-333, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters) ------------ "It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the Government. " Well Douglass book is full of examples of this generalization by Truman.

Here's the site where I found it:

Photo of Harry Truman

Friday, October 3, 2008

Viewpoint: Economist Dean Baker on the Bailout Panic

Economist Dean Baker shares his thoughts on the bailout panic during a public panel held at the Institute for Policy Studies on September 30, 2008. Dr. Baker is the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, and a columnist for The Washington Post and Atlantic Monthly. ( by Steven Greenstreet)

I consider this a must-see, as Baker's perspective is morally aligned with the people, and not with the state, or the elites who stand to prosper on the backs of the people. - John A.

Senator Byron Dorgan Provided Market Warning Against Bank , Insurance, and Investment Merging when Congress passed the Financial Modernization Act

Thursday, October 2, 2008


To understand what is going on in the so-called civilized world today; think of hordes of lemmings unthinkingly following each other off a cliff. Or consider mob mentality; blatantly conditioned consumerism; groupthink; or unfortunately even doublethink from many media pundits who up until very recently were so enthusiastic about asset and commodity growth during the artificially-based rise in home values right up to the last hours before the crash.

Is individual education combined with a large moral compass the key? The kind of education we have today is very much based on Taylorism.

As a result, and as a society we have devised an artificially-based educational system at both the bottom, and at elite levels. Among many, it's seen as politically incorrect to attack the sacred cow of business practices. Business practices are seen to create jobs, jobs, jobs after all.

For example, the average MBA student goes into the world armed with knowledge that has the potential to do either good or bad. Often however as already overwhelmingly proven by what's happening in the US, it's manipulated for selfish and damaging uses.

The allowable legality of amassing obscene amounts of wealth for a single individual is very much part of the problem. This causes great pain in society overall, whether its in our western hemisphere, or in third world nations. Someone has to work hard for that money. It simply doesn't come out of thin air. In actuality, many citizens end up toiling their lives away as factory workers to pay this one individual's overwhelmingly large share of the pie.

And this is the problem - the unwillingness to address this very basic, and even psychotic behavior, and the continuing stance of business pundits to refuse to cap CEO salaries, or bonuses/share allotments, or acknowledge anything is wrong at all....

The Corporation

If you don't already know about this film, here's a short trailer for it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Max Keiser, the Worthless Dollar is Backed by Bananas. Also, Insane People Run the Show

Found this video at http://qslspolitics.blogspot.com/.

Keiser's performance could be seen as satiric comedy, if it wasn't for the reality the situation in the US is shamefully all too real.