Wednesday, March 16, 2011

March 16 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Meltdowns, Mindless Optimism, American Exceptionalism - Sometimes Things Just Don't End Right

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Cabale News ServiceMarch 16 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Meltdowns, Mindless Optimism And American Exceptionalism - Sometimes Things Just Don't 'End Right'

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In The News:
Thanks this morning to ChrisM, my MP3Angel, for supplying the news and commentary audio files.

[After the commentary, from Razer's personal collection... Mindless Optimists And American Exceptionalists "People You Can't Trust"... Atomic Rooster, 1972. Courtesy of the respective artists.]

» The situation in Japan can only be described in one word "Worse", and "Getting Worse". Four reactors are now on fire at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. At least one has broken through it's containment vessel, and a pool storing the spent fuel rods has drained (or steamed off) leaving radioactivity to be found in the groundwater nearby the plant. There are varying degrees of elevated radiation shown in various prefectures in the region of the facility. Most media is reporting the situation as recounted by people who sound like they work for the Nuclear industry, because most of them do...

Dimitry Orlov, my favorite Russian curmudgeon speaks for the rest of us about those people:
Ultimately, the problem is with the people who designed and built these things, not with the people who have to suffer horribly and die when they explode.

You see, you have to be a certain sort of person to say
“Sure, using a precariously controlled subcritical nuclear pile to boil water to run steam turbines to generate electricity is a great idea!”
That sort of person is called a sociopath.

Having worked with quite a few of them, I know a thing or two about sociopaths. They are always around to make ridiculous things happen and take credit for them while they can, but when these ridiculous things go horribly wrong, as they inevitably do, they are nowhere to be found. They have this knack for promoting the knuckle-draggers just in time for them to take the fall for what appears to be their own mistakes... [In Full @ Club Orlov]
There are about 50 workers (who had nothing to do with the plant's design or potential for failure) at the Japanese power plant still working to contain the disaster. They are voluntary human sacrifices because they will most likely die of radiation poisoning. None of them ever had a say in the construction and design of the failed facility that will be the cause of their deaths.

» Meanwhile in Iraq there is fighting around Kirkuk as the Kurds attempt to get the city back under their control.

» Can it REALLY be a 'nation' if they call foreign troops in to quell domestic disturbances? The Saudi troops in Bahrain by request of the country's king have killed five protesters, which is bound to make thing worse, much worse and the U.S. 5th Fleet is evacuating all non-essential personnel. Syria is also experiencing small protests in Damascus demanding the release of political prisoners.

» In Libya the rebels are being forced East by al-Gadaffi's forces as the West waits to see who they deal with for the oil... The only reason the West is interested in Libya at all. The US congress is skeptical about US troop involvement and is demanding a "Declaration of War"... Something unknown in America's wars on the planet since 1941.

From the Middle East Research and Information Project, an early post-mortem on a failed revolution:
Qaddafi had distinct advantages over both Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Husni Mubarak: In contrast to the compacted population masses of Tunisia and Egypt, which enabled close coordination among the demonstrators, the Libyan population is dispersed over a vast area, dependent on access via air -- of which the colonel held a monopoly -- to hold it together. And in preceding decades Qaddafi had eliminated not only all opposition, but also the state institutions that held the potential to overpower him. Without such props, the National Council struggled to assert its authority, withholding the names of two thirds of its 30 members, either because they feared to declare themselves or because they had yet to be appointed. The body’s third declaration admitted as much: “The Council is waiting for delegations from Tripoli, central and southern areas to join it,” it read.

Armed with air power, Qaddafi alone could straddle the 620 miles of desert separating the eastern population centers from the western. Having wrestled back control of the west, he has pushed east, retaking three oil terminals, thereby securing his own petroleum supplies and reducing rebel leverage. At press time, his forces are bombing Ajdabiya, a hub of arterial roads leading to the rebels’ primary assets: south to the largest oil fields, east to Tobruk and the Egyptian border, and north to Benghazi. Increasingly, the rebels’ fledgling institutions look no stronger than the Paris Commune in the face of Prussia’s advance.

The rebels did little to help matters. Drunk on euphoria, they fatally abandoned their peaceful protests and resorted instead to arms, na├»vely believing they could outsmart Qaddafi at his own game. Protesters dumped the placards declaring “No Blood” and took up cries vowing to “avenge the martyrs’ blood,” as well as weapons they pillaged from the colonel’s abandoned armories. Unarmed schoolchildren who had braved sniper fire and students who had chased Qaddafi’s brigades out of their barracks with bulldozers during the fevered days after February 17 now volunteered for the front, fed on tales of the heroics of a 15-year old who downed a helicopter the first time he fired a gun.

It was a lost cause from the start. Worse equipped and trained than their opposition, the rebel volunteers were simply outmatched. Qaddafi commanded a 50,000-man corps plus irregulars drawn from powerful and loyal tribes from central Libya, foremost his own, the Qaddafa. In addition to air power, the colonel had hundreds of tanks, radar whose range reached the thirty-second parallel and speedboats provided by Italy in years past to catch African trans-migrants, but which could equally serve to deter an amphibious landing. The professional forces that had defected were at best one tenth the size of the loyalist units, and reluctant to intervene, on the grounds that such action might trigger a civil war. [Libya in the Balance, at MERIP]

The California legislature has failed to reach a compromise with governor Jerry Brown over the state budget. The pink slips will be handed out to thousands of California teachers today (But NOT the state's prison guards or incredibly bloated law enforcement agencies...)

In OTHER current and upcoming news:

Global Bradley Manning Action Days in Support of Accused WikiLeaks Whistleblower

 This Sunday, March 20, 2011... For one day, whether you are in a position to make it to Quantico MCB or not to show your support for prisoner-of-conscience Bradley Manning, and rage at the treatment of an as-yet untried victim of the US military Just-Us system.

We are ALL Bradley Manning!


This coming Sunday, the day after mass protests and demonstrations around the US marking still another anniversary of the yet unfinished war on Iraq and it's people, there will be a 'gathering' at Quantico Marine Brig in Virginia in support of Bradley Manning, who stands accused of leaking NON-CLASSIFIED military documents available to all intel analysts and officers in the Iraq theatre of operations. He has been imprisoned at Quantico brig under media reported inhumane conditions.

Senator Kerry has shown concern and Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who has been stonewalled in his request for a meeting with Mr. Manning, has compared the incarceration conditions of the prisoner as equivalent to Abu Ghraib.

Let's start today with Amnesty International's stance on Bradley... Bradley Manning should be considered a prisoner of conscience.

More at the Bradley Manning Support Network
On March 19-20, 2011, activist organizations and individuals will take to the streets to protest the U.S. government’s treatment of accused WikiLeaks whistleblower Army Private First Class Bradley Manning. Manning, 23, has been held in isolation for nearly 300 days, charged with releasing classified documents, including a video that shows American troops shooting and killing 11 people, including two Reuters employees, in 2007.

Organizers are calling on supporters around the world to take public action to protest Manning’s inhumane treatment at the Quantico brig, which P.J. Crowley, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s former assistant for public affairs, declaimed last week as “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.”
For the more technically savvy, or those who despise "Stupid" and the people who would be so ... Visit Us: irc://irc.anonops.in/opmanning, or fire up your IRC client and /join #opmanning at the above named server (alt server .ru)

Also, see David Swanson's extensive critique of President Barack Obama, who has said that Mr. Manning's treatment was "Acceptable":
Three rough ways of looking at a president might be as follows.

First, in the unimaginable circumstance in which a president encountered a homeless person on the street, would he invite him to live in the White House, or help him find a home, be nice and give him $1, ignore him, shout at him to get a job, kick him in the guts, or help him into a van and take him off to be tortured?

I don't care about that way of looking at presidents.

Second, do the policies the president pursues lead to massive numbers of people becoming homeless or worse?

Third, do the policies the president pursues empower all future presidents to make unfathomable numbers of people suffer horribly?

My contention is that Obama has not yet done as much damage as Bush in the second view but has, in a certain sense, done worse in the third view... [Is Obama Even Worse Than Bush?]

This is Razer Raygun saying 'Happy Motoring America...' Enjoy it while you can.
(...and try not to let your government kill too many 'dusky natives' in the process OK?)


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