Feb 172016
 

Notwithstanding Donald Trump’s fascist economic views, the war he wishes to expand against illegal immigrants, the bombing campaign that he desires to continue against iSIS, the drug war that he wants to continue waging, and the welfare state to which he remains committed, let’s give credit where credit is due.

In the most recent Republican presidential debate, Trump had the courage to do what no other Republican candidate for president or, for that matter, the mainstream media, would dare to do: Point out that President George W. Bush lied about the reason he ordered the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

For that, Donald Trump deserves credit.

Ever since Bush’s invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Republican establishment, the mainstream media, American neocons, and many American conservatives have insisted on simply accepting Bush at his word. There is no way he would have lied the nation into war, the mindset goes. No president would ever do such a thing.

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Jul 212014
 

“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.”―Edward Abbey, American author

There’s a lot to love about America and its people: their pioneering spirit, their entrepreneurship, their ability to think outside the box, their passion for the arts, etc.  Increasingly, however, as time goes by, I find the things I don’t like about living in a nation that has long since ceased to be a sanctuary for freedom are beginning to outnumber the things I love.

Here’s what I don’t like about living in the American police state: I don’t like being treated as if my only value to the government is as a source of labor and funds. I don’t like being viewed as a consumer and bits of data. I don’t like being spied on and treated as if I have no right to privacy, especially in my own home.

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May 052014
 

The monster in America’s closet

We’ve been hearing a lot about the so-called Deep State lately. What to make of this shadowy monster? Some observers link it to the paranoid fantasy called the New World Order, a staple of political talk radio (and a hobgoblin I don’t believe in). In popular movies such as the Jason Bourne epics and Mission Impossible, the Deep State launches hyper-complex schemes that work flawlessly and never fail. That is exactly why they have such high entertainment appeal. Viewers are thrilled by the precision, by the conceit of seeming infallibility. The Deep State definitely exists; it just doesn’t work the way it is depicted in the movies. 

I like to say that I’m allergic to conspiracy theories because human beings are generally too inept to carry out schemes at the grand scale, as well as being poor secret-keepers. Insider knowledge is almost always swapped around, even in secretive organizations, often recklessly so, because doling it out confers status, tactical advantage, and sometimes money for the doler-outer. But the Deep State isn’t a secret. It operates in plain sight.

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Apr 022014
 

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.” – General Smedley Butler – War is a Racket

I peruse a number of websites everyday as I look for interesting articles to post or reference in one of my articles. I agree with many conservative leaning websites when it comes to economic issues, but when it comes to war mongering and flag waving, I go my own way. Any site that supports our empire building and excessive spending on war is not a conservative website. You can’t act in a fiscally responsible sustainable manner without dismantling our war machine and taking on the military industrial complex. You’re a faux fiscal conservative if you think we can continue to spend $800 billion per year on war with no financial implications. The entire Federal budget was $800 billion in 1983.

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Jan 152014
 

The New Fundamentalists

In a 1950s civics textbook of mine, I can remember a Martian landing on Main Street, U.S.A., to be instructed in the glories of our political system.  You know, our tripartite government, checks and balances, miraculous set of rights, and vibrant democracy.  There was, Americans then thought, much to be proud of, and so for that generation of children, many Martians were instructed in the American way of life.  These days, I suspect, not so many.

Still, I wondered just what lessons might be offered to such a Martian crash-landing in Washington as 2014 begins.  Certainly checks, balances, rights, and democracy wouldn’t top any New Year’s list.  Since my childhood, in fact, that tripartite government has grown a fourth part, a national security state that is remarkably unchecked and unbalanced.  In recent times, that labyrinthine structure of intelligence agencies morphing into war-fighting outfits, the U.S. military (with its own secret military, the special operations forces, gestating inside it), and the Department of Homeland Security, a monster conglomeration of agencies that is an actual “defense department,” as well as a vast contingent of weapons makers, contractors, and profiteers bolstered by an army of lobbyists, has never stopped growing.  It has won the undying fealty of Congress, embraced the power of the presidency, made itself into a jobs program for the American people, and been largely free to do as it pleased with almost unlimited taxpayer dollars.

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Aug 232013
 

And Ten Steps to Take to Do So

However ambitious President Barack Obama’s domestic plans, one unacknowledged issue has the potential to destroy any reform efforts he might launch. Think of it as the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room: our longstanding reliance on imperialism and militarism in our relations with other countries and the vast, potentially ruinous global empire of bases that goes with it. The failure to begin to deal with our bloated military establishment and the profligate use of it in missions for which it is hopelessly inappropriate will, sooner rather than later, condemn the United States to a devastating trio of consequences: imperial overstretch, perpetual war, and insolvency, leading to a likely collapse similar to that of the former Soviet Union.

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Jul 082013
 

The concept of the failed state is meaningless. It was invented as a rationale to impose US interests on less powerful nations

A boy walks past a bullet-scarred building in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. ‘Rejected by scholars, the idea of the failed state has found a home within the noisy space of shallow political punditry that forms much of the national conversation.’ Photograph: Yahya Arhab/EPA

In the same week that the investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill spoke of the need for the US to “take a humility pill”, we’ve been subjected to precisely the opposite – yet another instalment of Foreign Policy magazine’s annual Failed States Index, complete with accompanying “postcards from hell” purporting to show what it’s like “living on the edge in the world’s worst places”.

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May 132013
 

Americans are somewhat aware that our current crop of wars not only never seem to end but they actually are expanding into other countries.  It’s as if the US Military is a global militarized dictatorship that resembles a giant octopus that is enveloping and devouring everything in its deadly path.  The war in Afghanistan has expanded into Pakistan, courtesy of Obama.  Obama launched the war in Libya, engineered the takeover of Egypt by dangerous Sunni Salafist Wahhabist psychopaths and he’s arming Sunni rebels in Syria as part of his regime change schemes to topple Assad, a man who has done absolutely nothing to America or threatened us in any way.  We’ve got the  ”bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” Republicans and Democrats who are lusting to bomb, nuke, invade and occupy a nation of 75 million folks.  America’s foreign policy insanity is on steroids and  continues to multiply exponentially.
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May 012013
 

Federal Taxes Reward 8-Figure Pentagon Fraud Spree

With the Pentagon having secured its annual 47 percent of the April 15 federal tax haul ($1,335 billion out of a total of $2,890 billion) it’s a good time to consider the mountains of money being wasted on useless weapons or just plain stolen.

Without a public uproar, U.S. could spend more than $600 billion on nuclear weapons over the next 10 years, according to Alicia Godsberg of Peace Action and others.[1]

President Obama has famously mouthed support for “a world without nuclear weapons,” and “a world where these weapons will never again threaten our children,”[2] but his nuclear weapons budget says bombs, bombs and more bombs.

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Feb 222013
 

At a time when soldiers kill themselves in record numbers – 18 veterans per day – the armed forces spend a fortune on a drug known to increase the chance of suicide.

Before his military doctors were through with him, Spc. Andrew Trotto, a 24-year-old Army gunner, would be on as many as 20 psychiatric medications. It started in 2008 while he was in Iraq, fighting in Sadr City, at first with difficulty falling asleep, a common problem among soldiers in a combat zone, particularly those, like Trotto, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. “For sleep, the first drug they like to go to in Iraq is Seroquel,” says Trotto, of the atypical antipsychotic originally developed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. “They hand that shit out like Skittles. You get a bottle for 10 days, and if you run out, they give you more.” His body adapted to the pill over time, and he was soon taking a dose meant for actual psychotics. “They had no clue what the hell they were doing,” Trotto says of the doctors at the battalion aid station who prescribed the pills. “They just throw you on a drug, and if it doesn't work, they throw you on something else. 'Try this. Try this. Try this.'”

Though he continued to function in day-to-day combat – nighttime missions clearing houses – his brain was polluted with pharmaceuticals. In addition to Seroquel, he was taking Zoloft for anxiety and Vicodin to relieve pain from ruptured disks he sustained falling nine feet off a tank – and he was still being thrown into combat. “Let me remind you,” he says, “I was a gunner, completely whacked out of my mind.There were quite a few of us on Seroquel and antidepressants.”

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