Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: America's 'War Without A Song' - Watch The Afghani Kid Play While Their Parents Attack Us

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceFebruary 28 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: America's 'War Without A Song' - Watch The Afghani Children Play While Their Parents Smoke Hash And Sing Songs Of Victory

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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, a song dedicated to those who would make war, and what they beget for themselves, and the nations they lead P.F. Sloan, Bill Miller, and Frank Black... A remake of Barry McGuire's Eve Of Destruction, written by the aforementioned P. F. Sloan in 1965. Courtesy of the respective artists.]

See Friday's commentary: Lost War Chronicles - U.S. Forces Withdraw Quietly From Kunar Province Afghanistan for more information regarding Kunar province and our war on (apparently) the people of Afghanistan.

Chances are the US government is not going to be shut down right away because a deal is being cobbled together for two week extension on the US budget. But the big fight is coming up for the rest of the continuance-of-budget through the end of September

The town of Zawiyah Libya, an oil port, has been taken by rebels as the so-called "Libyan army" mostly comprised of mercenaries, has surrounded it and besieged the town with aerial bombings. The "rebels", technically the real Libyan army troops, used the local military bases and equipment despite it having been bombed, to fire at the aircraft with Anti-Aircraft weapons. There may be a division of Libya soon. For starters, the Italian government has canceled their Non-aggression pact with the regime saying the Libyan state “no longer exists". This unfortunately will also allows for incursion by Italy into their former colony if they so wish. More @ the New York Times.

Foreign Policy magazine ran an article in 2008 apropos to the EX-nation of "Libya" and what comes after in it's eventual rebirth as multiple nations... How to Start Your Own Country in Four Easy Steps (It ain't as easy as all that...)

Endgame... Wisconsin governor Scott Walker will make his "State of the State" message tomorrow and announce whether he still intends to pursue the cuts to state employee benefits which the workers have already agreed to, and more contentiously whether he's leaving in the provision to end collective bargaining with their union. there are still a couple of hundred protesters left in the capital, but that number could rise rapidly again if the bill passes.. When the Democrats holed up in Illinois return... and it's also possible the bill will fail. A few of the of Republican legislators MAY "turn" and vote with the Democrats when that vote finally occurs.

President Obama has announced unilateral sanctions against the former Libyan nation even as a UN resolution on sanctions takes effect. Secretary of State Clinton is going to the Human Rights Commission of the UN today and will tell them the US would be willing to take the lead enforcing the UN sanctions.

For a Razer's Edge take on what the new in-place U.N./U.S. sanctions and a possible military intervention into former Libya may mean in terms of human suffering... civilian casualties, see:
The Neocon's 'Crude Urges' - The UN's Libya Sanctions Are A Declaration Of War On Libya's Civilians Who Have Already All But Removed Their 'Dictator'

The Neo-Cons have 'Urged' a Libyan 'intervention' and demanded (draft-dodging arrogant warmongering pricks that they are) 'immediate military action.'.
The appeal, which came in the form of a letter signed by 40 policy analysts, including more than a dozen former senior officials who served under President George W. Bush, was organised and released by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a two-year-old neo-conservative group that is widely seen as the successor to the more-famous – or infamous – Project for the New American Century (PNAC). [More @ al-Jazeera]
In the REALPOLITIK world, Gadaffi is done... why wait for those "Sanctions" to have the effect they had on Iraq with an estimated half million children alone dead from causes including starvation, unsanitary water, and lack of medicine, when the citizens of the country have already isolated, disenfranchised, and cornered him in the only remaining 'un-liberated' city in Libya, Tripoli?

The Western industrial nations fronted by NATO and blessed by their Security Council cronies at the UN will simply use Muammar al-Gadaffi as the excuse for military intervention and an 'oil grab'. All they REALLY want al-Gadaffi to do is hide. But he probably won't because he considers himself Libya's 'leader of destiny' (for want of a better nomenclature).
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Sanctions on a country like Libya, where the leader is already 'on the way out' is a murderous joke (if they are ever truly useful at all for reining in a 'loose cannon' in the geopolitical 'deck'), and NOT to the benefit of ANYONE but the invested(sic) financial and industrial interests in the West.

They will certainly be of no benefit to the Libyan people, and may very well PREVENT Muammar al-Gadaffi's removal from power by his own people. The ONLY people who have a right to judge him for his actions, and allow him to cobble his regime back together in the guise of a 'Jihad' against foreign intervention.

...and I AM NOT alone in that train-of-thought...

North African Oil And Gas Infrastructure Map
[The above map of North Africa's Oil & Gas Infrastructure is brought to you courtesy of the Perry - CastaƱeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas Austin. Here is A Full Size Map (1440x1080), and the Map Legend & Key Are Here]
Libya: Is Washington Pushing for Civil War to Justify a US-NATO Military Intervention?
[Read more @ Auntie Imperial's News & Blog Review]

Apparently Secretary of State Clinton hasn't received the communique yet (see the previous story) - Secretary of Defense Gates gave a speech to West Point graduates yesterday and speaking in context Iraq and Afghanistan told them "Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should "have his head examined,".

Over the weekend CNN did a one hour special by a Norwegian reporter in Kunar province Afghanistan, the province American forces are rapidly extricating themselves from with Afghani tribal leaders and the country's army will taking over security with $10 billion budget given to 120 locales "to keep them safe from the Talib", who you can watch in that CNN special as they play with their children and attack US troops. Much more in the commentary.


In OTHER News:

END:CIV - Starving eagles ‘falling out of the sky’ due to Salmon run failure in Canada. "Experts" say "Don't Worry".

GEE! I'll bet they woudn't say that if starving "experts" were falling out of the sky!

Finally... about Iraq... You remember Iraq...

...But can you remember you were LIED TO?

Kevin Ryan @ Foreign Policy Journal asks:
An 8-year war built on lies: But when did the lying begin?
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A fact repressed in our national memory is that the entire world was made aware, weeks before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, that forged documents were used by the Bush Administration to justify the invasion. On March 7, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El Baradei, told the U.N. Security Council that – “The I.A.E.A. has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents . . . are in fact not authentic.”[5] The documents were so obviously fraudulent, in fact, that one western diplomat said –“There were more than 20 anomalies in the Niger documents — it is staggering any intelligence service could have believed they were genuine for a moment.“[6] [In Full @ Foreign Policy Journal]
Now lets Remember Valerie Plame... She was the CIA analyst who contested those documents about the Niger, and "Yellowcake Uranium. For her valuable service to the Bush administration she was 'outed' as a CIA operator and her carrer with the CIA as an analyst flushed down the toilet.

The lies WERE intentional, yet NO ONE has yet been charged with lying to the American people and wasting a TRILLION PLUS dollars of US taxpayers money and countless Iraqi lives. Leo Strauss smiles from his grave.

-30-

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Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Lost War Chronicles - U.S. Forces Withdraw Quietly From Kunar Province Afghanistan

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceFebruary 25 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Lost War Chronicles - U.S. Forces Withdraw Quietly From Kunar Province Afghanistan

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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, Vietnamistan 'Reloaded'... Alabama 3 wrapped around an al Jazeera report from Kunar province a while back when now disgraced EX-general Stanley McChrystal began the retreat... Courtesy of Alabama3 & al Jazeera (Watch Now)... Full Metal Jacket Mix by Skidmark Bob @ PoP dEFECT Radio]

One Less Nation-State: We all may have been wrong about Mumaar al-Gadaffi fleeing Tripoli in a tactically outfitted armored car because what are rumored to be large numbers of mercenaries get ready for a standoff in the city... as his military continues deserting. But it IS correct to assume "Libya" as a nation is coming apart as communities and tribal group around the region begin forming militias and local governments to take measures to protect the security of their enclaves and cities such as Benghazi and Tobruk.

Some of those groups sit on top of oil, which they will begin selling as independent entities ASAP, leading to headlines such as this: Concerns over oil supply cause spike in prices as uprising hits exports Chaos in Libya jeopardises global recovery

Meanwhile, some people wonder about the "BIG RIG" in the oil reserve world collapsing:
Saudi probably won't fall, but if it does the world will change

25 February 2011

Fawaz Gerges


(The author is director of the LSE's Middle East Centre)

There is a revolution taking place in the Middle East. The young people are emboldened and confident in a way they have never been before, and what we have seen in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya could yet take hold in other countries in the region.

But if the revolution is going to stop anywhere, it is likely to be in the desert at the gates of the House of Saud; crucially the home of the world's greatest supply of oil.
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The rest of the world should be taking a careful look at the situation. If Saudi Arabia were to fall, an unlikely scenario, there would be an earthquake across the world economy. The two major spikes in Western inflation in recent memory were caused by Opec limiting supply in 1973 in protest at the US arming Israel, and later by the revolution in Iran. Saudi Arabia is a huge economy that oils the wheels of the rest of the world. Most of us believe Saudi is too big to fall... [In Full @ Independent UK]

Space Shuttle Discovery launched yesterday on its 39th and last mission. It made it's maiden flight in 1984 during the Reagan administration. This mission was supposed to have gotten off the ground in November... but the Discovery is old, and frail. Most of the cargo onboard is material for the International Space Station but it is also carrying a 'humanoid robot' perhaps capable of doing extended spacewalks. There are two more shuttle launches scheduled using other vehicles and that will be the end of the space shuttle program as we know it (perhaps the remaining craft will be used a bit longer on more skunkworks-like and 'dark' missions carrying military or intelligence personnel and equipment).

In Madison Wisconsin, the state assembly passed the intensely contested bill eliminating the right of most state workers to collectively bargain, but the fourteen Democratic Senators of the state are still hold up over the Illinois border leaving the state senate without a quorum and out of session.

Yesterday it was reported that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker had an extensive phone conversation with a prankster he thought to be David Koch, the industrialist billionaire and financier of much of the "Tea Party" activism. Governor Walker insinuated that he had considered infiltrating 'troublemakers' into the tens of thousands of protester now streaming in from all over the U.S. in support of the Wisconsin workers during that 20 minute BS session with a well known phone prankster. That got the state capital's Chief of Police, tasked with maintaining order during the protests a little "tight in the jaw", and he said so.

Funny thing about that (but no one I KNOW is laughing)... The Koch teabagger anti-union organization IS coming to town: Koch brothers quietly open lobbying office in downtown Madison (no wonder governor Walker thought the prank call real)

Bumper Sticker of the week (from the 2,197 comments and counting):

"My 12-year-old can blow up your honor student"

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a twenty year old Saudi honors student who has been on scholarship at Texas Tech in Lubbock Texas for several years has been found to be plotting a Jihadi bombing. He was targeting dams, nuclear facilities, Guantanamo guards, and... wait for it... G.W. Bush's home in Dallas. More.

Speaking of Jihad... Today in Foreign Policy Magazine, resigned in disgrace EX-general Stanley McChrystal said: "In bitter, bloody fights in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it became clear to me and to many others that to defeat a networked enemy we had to become a network ourselves." (source)

He's SUCH A KIDDER!... We have (re)created that network... with al-Qaeda as part of our not-yet-announced War On Pakistan!.

(al-Qaeda is Translated: The Database... of CIA affiliated Muslim fighters who fought our proxy war against the Russians in Afghanistan and worked for the Pentagon and NATO elsewhere.. the former Yugoslavia, 'Madeline's War' being notable.).

Mike Whitney give us a very clear picture of the US Foreign Policy Apparatus' ONGOING INVOLVEMENT with al-Qaeda affiliated elements in Pakistan and elsewhere. Whitney also give us many (many!) details on the recent imbroglio in Lahore where a supposed "diplomatic aide" apparently shot and killed two people he said were trying to mug him...

Or perhaps not...

Breaking: US reveals that CIA agent Raymond Davis worked for private security firm Xe, formerly known as Blackwater. "...eyebrows were raised when it emerged that he shot the men 10 times, one as he fled the scene." More @ Guardian UK

An Excerpt From Whitney's Article At...
CounterPunch

The CIA's Killing Spree in Lahore

By Mike Whitney
February 24, 2011


When CIA-agent Raymond Davis gunned down two Pakistani civilians in broad daylight on a crowded street in Lahore, he probably never imagined that the entire Washington establishment would spring to his defense. But that's precisely what happened. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Mullen, John Kerry, Leon Panetta and a number of other US bigwigs have all made appeals on Davis's behalf. None of these stalwart defenders of "the rule of law" have shown a speck of interest in justice for the victims or of even allowing the investigation to go forward so they could know what really happened. Oh, no. What Clinton and the rest want, is to see their man Davis packed onto the next plane to Langley so he can play shoot-'em-up someplace else in the world.
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But why all the intrigue and arm-twisting? Why has the State Department invoked the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to make its case that Davis is entitled to diplomatic immunity?

If Davis is innocent, then he has nothing to worry about, right?

Why not let the trial go forward and stop reinforcing the widely-held belief that Davis is a vital cog in the US's clandestine operations in Pakistan?

The truth is that Davis had been photographing sensitive installations and madrassas for some time, the kind of intelligence gathering that spies do when scouting-out prospective targets. Also, he'd been in close contact with members of terrorist organizations, which suggests a link between the CIA and terrorist incidents in Pakistan. Here's an excerpt from Wednesday's The Express Tribune:

"His cell phone has revealed contacts with two ancillaries of al Qaeda in Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban of Pakistan (TTP) and sectarian Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has led to the public conclusion that he was behind terrorism committed against Pakistan's security personnel and its people ....This will strike people as America in cahoots with the Taliban and al Qaeda against the state of Pakistan targeting, as one official opined, Pakistan's nuclear installations." ("Raymond Davis: The plot thickens, The Express Tribune)

"Al Qaeda"? The CIA is working with "ancillaries of al Qaeda in Pakistan"? No wonder the US media has been keeping a wrap on this story for so long.

Naturally, most Pakistanis now believe that the US is colluding with terrorists to spread instability, weaken the state, and increase its power in the region. But isn't that America's M.O. everywhere?

Also, many people noticed that US drone attacks suddenly stopped as soon as Davis was arrested. Was that a coincidence? Not likely. Davis was probably getting coordinates from his new buddies in the tribal hinterland and then passing them along to the Pentagon. The drone bombings are extremely unpopular in Pakistan. More then 1400 people have been killed since August 2008, and most of them have been civilians.

And, there's more. This is from (Pakistan's) The Nation... [A MUST READ @ CounterPunch]

The Senate Democrats will include spending cuts of their own in their own version of the Continuing Resolution Budget to run the US government until the end of September, but the cuts will probably not match the requirements of the House Republican majority. So far it's looking like the U.S.government will "Shut Down". The Christian Science Monitor on what that means and more from the Washington Post where we read.
The House plan, which was approved on a party-line vote at 4:40 a.m. after five days of debate, eliminates dozens of programs and offices while slashing agency budgets by as much as 40 percent. Federal funding for AmeriCorps and PBS would cease. Hundreds of millions would be cut from border security, and tens of millions would be withheld from funding for the District of Columbia.

A massive US-Mexico law enforcement sweep targeting drug gangs, mostly the "Zetas", has resulted in 150 arrests from Miami to San Diego. There are claims that the Mexican task force has caught the person who recently shot a U.S. DEA agent, taking some pressure off the strained-by-drug-wars relations between the two countries.

For a very real recent and graphic look at the Mexican end of the drug war by someone who lives in the middle of what he describes as "Zeta" territory see this piece in The eXiled... "Mankind's Only Alternative". (WARNING GRAPHICALLY VIOLENT IMAGERY!)


In OTHER News:

When only automatic weapons will "contain" those legally protesting American (or Iraqi or...) demonstrators:
"The army's existing crowd-control rounds are single shots fired from handheld grenade launchers with a range of about 50 metres - the XM1044 would double this range. It would be supplied in belts for the Mk19 grenade launcher, a truck-mounted weapon that can fire almost six rounds per second."

Army wants rapid-fire rubber bullets for crowd control

By David Hambling

New Scientist
17 February 2011


THE US army is planning to field "rubber bullets" for machine guns. Military officials claim the ammunition will allow them to more effectively quell violent protests without loss of life, but human rights campaigners are alarmed by the new weapon.

The final design for the XM1044 round has not been selected, according to an order placed on the Federal Business Opportunities website last month, but the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate has been working on a ring aerofoil projectile for some years. The round is a hollow plastic cylinder 40 millimetres across, looking something like a short toilet-paper roll. In flight its shape generates lift, giving it a longer range.
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Firing rapidly at long range is likely to be dangerously inaccurate, says Angela Wright of Amnesty International. "Such a weapon system would allow for a burst of non-accurate fire at a crowd, with high risk of hitting bystanders, ricochets and of hitting vulnerable areas of the body," she says.

Despite being hollow and plastic, if a round were to strike someone in the head, it could severely injure or kill them, she adds. [More @ NewScientist]

-30-

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

February 24 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: On The Sidelines - Maybe I'm Just Slowing Down But The News Seems Outside My Reactive Reach

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceFebruary 24 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: On The Sidelines - Maybe I'm Just Slowing Down But It Seems That Most News Today Is Outside My "Reactive Reach"

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

In Libya, one of the army's generals in the Eastern part of the country has defected to the rebellion and tasked his troops and tanks to move on Tripoli.

It might also be noted that this:

"President Obama orders his national security team to consider "all options" against Libya in response to the violent crackdown against protesters"

...is really about the vested US national security interest in the Libyan refinery and oil infrastructure... NOT the harming of Libyan, or any other protesters. If the US government were interested in the welfare of the people in that area of the world (and elsewhere), they WOULD REMOVE THEIR SOLDIERS FROM IRAQ & AFGHANISTAN IMMEDIATELY!

Proof of that hypothesis:
U.S. oil soars as high as $100 on Libya unrest

(Reuters) - U.S. crude jumped to a 28-month high of $100 a barrel on Wednesday, as investors weighed the risk of Middle East unrest spreading from Libya to bigger exporters including Saudi Arabia.
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The unrest has traders wondering when OPEC and its kingpin producer Saudi Arabia could boost oil output and stem the price surge. Saudi officials have said the kingdom, which holds the bulk of OPEC's spare production capacity, would act to make up for any major disruption.

"It is imperative the Saudis release some extra barrels into the market now to calm the situation, rather than simply trying to talk the price down," said Edward Meir, an analyst at MF Global in New York.

Oil's surge fed worries about the impact of energy prices on the U.S. economy, dragging equities markets lower. In 2008, crude's advance to a record $147 a barrel cut demand and contributed to the deepest global economic downturn since World War Two... [In Full @ Reuters]
Which brings us to this juncture in the decline of the US empire: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed down for a second straight session on Wednesday as Libya's violence sent oil prices briefly to $100 a barrel and tech shares sank, adding credence to calls for a market correction." In Full

As the "Bottom Feeders" move in on the housing market, buying cheap distressed homes (foreclosures and 'short sales' accounted for 37% of the transactions and points towards more price declines) easily available throughout America, driving overall prices down and leaving the American 'stakeholder' with a little less 'stake' on their economic 'plate' even as the Libyans push for their own stake in their government's affairs.

There is a rumor that a deal has been cut in the Wisconsin capital labor stand-off. The unions have agreed to all pay cuts and benefit pay-in increases in return for the retention of collective bargaining. We'll see...

By the bye, it has been noted that the head of the Wisconsin state police union (who's members will not be affected by the contested bill in the legislature that's caused mass ongoing demonstrations) has said that he thinks his members would have no problem using force, but on the other hand, most of the union members voted for "the other guy" for Governor.

More to the point...
Police chief Noble Wray of Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday asked Republican Gov. Scott Walker to explain "very unsettling and troubling" comments made in what he thought was a private phone call.

Pranked by a gonzo journalist pretending to be conservative billionaire David Koch, Walker said on the 20-minute call that his administration considered planting "troublemakers" in the crowd of demonstrators opposing his budget, which curtails the collective bargaining rights of public employees.
"I spent a good deal of time overnight thinking about Governor Walker's response, during his news conference yesterday, to the suggestion that his administration 'thought about' planting troublemakers among those who are peacefully protesting his bill," Wray said in a statement." I would like to hear more of an explanation from Governor Walker as to what exactly was being considered, and to what degree it was discussed by his cabinet members."
"I find it very unsettling and troubling that anyone would consider creating safety risks for our citizens and law enforcement officers. Our department works hard dialoging with those who are exercising their First Amendment right, those from both sides of the issue, to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure they can demonstrate safely,"
Walker hinted in the call that he ultimately decided against planting "troublemakers" in the crowd. He joked to the Buffalo Beast's Ian Murphy, who he thought was Koch, that he may use a baseball bat in his office to go after the protesters.

Wray said he was "concerned" what Walker's remarks could signify, adding that it's his "responsibility" to "find out more about what was being considered by state leaders." [snigger]
[More at the WSJ... The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison]
This pertinent question appeared in the Mainstream (capital "M") Washington Post:
How long can (Wisconsin governor) Scott Walker hold out?

Ezra Klein


Mother Jones's Andy Kroll has been doing some great reporting from Wisconsin, and he runs through four of the possible endgames here. They are:

1) The bill passes.

2) The collective-bargaining ban gets dropped.

3) A weird procedural effort to repackage the bill as "non-financial," which would mean the Senate Democrats don't need to be present.

4) The collective-bargaining ban gets pushed to the 2011-13 budget fight, which will happen in the spring.

The problem with trying to game out Gov. Scott Walker's negotiating style is that the guy doesn't seem like much of a negotiator.

Another politician would've taken the concrete concessions on pensions and health-care benefits, threatened to revisit the collective-bargaining ban in the spring if any of the unions failed to make the promised concessions and thrown himself a parade. But not Walker.

Instead, he's rejected every compromise that's been offered -- and his allies are starting to notice.

The State Journal (see the State Journal article above about Madison's police chif's newfound 'concern'... Maybe They're 'concerned' now too.), a paper that endorsed Walker, has advised him to take a deal. David Brooks has criticized him for an "unbalanced" approach to cuts. Andrew Sullivan, whose initial position was sympathy for Walker, has turned. And it's easy to imagine the prank-Koch call getting a lot of attention in Wisconsin and looking like one more piece of evidence that the governor is approaching this as an ideologue rather than just an executive. The first nonpartisan poll suggests Walker's position isn't as popular as he -- and many others -- initially thought.

A few days ago, the question was: How long can the Democrats hold out?

Increasingly, it's how long Walker can hold out... [In Full]

Meanwhile in Indiana which had a right-to-work bill pending in the legislature and the state's Democratic legislators bunking with their Wisconsin cohorts in Illinois, the governor saw what happened in Wisconsin and requested that his Republican forces in the legislature to drop it, which they did, but not before this little piece of political drama on the part of the FORMER Deputy Assistant State Attorney General happened:
Courtesy of Mother Jones timely expose' of the sociopathy that is inherent in the thought processes and behavior of the bureaucrats who run the American Police State that allows people who think "You're damned right I advocate deadly force." against "...demonstrators [who] were "political enemies" and "thugs" who were "physically threatening legally elected officials." ... to actually have the power to do so.
The first I saw of it went like this:

To: "undisclosed-recipients:"
Sent: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 11:32 AM

Subject: CLASSWAR U.S.A.: Deputy Attorney-General of Indiana: "Use Live Ammunition" Against Wisconsin Protesters

By that time, this was already in progress

Then this happened.

About one working day, and he was out of there (most likely for simply not keeping his mouth shut about the fact of the matter).

A British court has ordered Julian Assange extradited to Sweden on a charge of "Rape", which in this case means he voluntarily did not wear a condom while having consensual sex (a charge only existent in Sweden)with a political groupie who is connected to the CIA via academic channels and the Cuban Ladies In White, a group having ties with the Cuban-American CIA terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. Mr. Carriles arranged for the destruction of a Cuban airliner with a full complement of passengers and crew onboard in mid-flight a number of years ago. The decision has been appealed in the British court.

Whether WikiLeaks founder Assange will be extradited from Sweden to the US remains to be seen. There are no warrants for his arrest, but that didn't stop the US from imprisoning Bradley Manning for 6+ months and counting with no charges, on "National Insecurity" grounds.

Attorney General Holder has told the Republicans in the House that the DOJ will no longer go to court in defense of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. The Justice Department is entitled to do so whenever there is a finding via presidential powers that a law is unconstitutional... whether the law remains on the books or not. DOMA defines marriage as an act that can only occur between a man and woman. The DOJ will continue enforcing it, but will not defend it in court.

General William Caldwell, in charge of training Afghan troops, apparently created a military psyops operation to persuade visiting US Senators that the War on Afghanistan is a worthy waste of US resources and American soldier's lives, and further, "...when an officer tried to stop the operation, he was railroaded by military investigators." It is ABSOLUTELY ILLEGAL for the US to officially propagandize it own citizens . That story was released by Rolling Stone magazine.

From the Washington Post:
Lt. Col. Michael Holmes told reporter Michael Hastings that he was ordered by Gen. William Caldwell, a three-star general in charge of training Afghan troops, to perform psychological operations on visiting VIPs. When he refused, he was officially reprimanded.

The article says his unit was repeatedly pressured over a four-month period to assess how best to get Caldwell's message across to a host of visitors, including Sens. John McCain, Joe Lieberman, Jack Reed, Al Franken and Carl Levin; Rep. Steve Israel of the House Appropriations Committee; Adm. Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; the Czech ambassador to Afghanistan; the German interior minister; and a host of influential think tank analysts.

Caldwell sent a statement to Rolling Stone that "categorically denies the assertion that the command used an Information Operations Cell to influence Distinguished Visitors."

Hastings wrote the June 2010 article, "Runaway General," that led to the dismissal of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, [More]

The last voyage for the Discovery Space Shuttle happens today. After it's flight to the International Space Station, Discovery will be trucked to the Smithsonian Institution and put on display.


In OTHER News:

The Christian Science Monitor asks a somewhat disturbing question...
"If a government shutdown (due to failure to pass the Continuing Resolution budget bill) occurs, what actually happens?"

By Gail Russell Chaddock, Staff writer
February 23, 2011


House and Senate leaders are more than $60 billion apart on how much to spend or borrow to pay for government after March 4, when the funding for the current fiscal year runs out. If no one blinks, Washington could be headed toward a shutdown – the 16th since Jimmy Carter was president.

Most shutdowns lasted fewer than three days. One of the most famous, the standoff between President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich over balancing the federal budget – lasted 21 days, from Dec. 16, 1995, to Jan. 6, 1996. That shutdown furloughed some 800,000 federal workers; delayed processing of visas, passports, and other government applications; suspended cleanup at 600 toxic waste sites; and closed national museums and monuments as well as 368 national park sites – a loss to some 9 million visitors and the airline and tourist industries that service them.

It was, as Republicans had predicted, a “train wreck,” but it hit them hardest. Americans blamed the Republican House more than Mr. Clinton for provoking the shutdown, by a margin greater than 2 to 1... [In Full]

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Muammar al-Gaddafi Part 2 - Old Heroes Don't 'Take The Money & Run'

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Cabale News ServiceFebruary 23 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Muammar al-Gaddafi Part 2 - Old Heroes Don't 'Take The Money & Run'

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Look at it this way... He's not making a run for it with the money. Mumaar al-Gadaffi has said he will fight to the bitter ends as the battle of Tripoli begins. Benghazi, the other large city in the country has been in the hands of rebelling Libyan troops for a few days now, and the tribal groups which control about a third of Libya'a territory, have asked al-Gadaffi to step down in light of the Fatwa against him, and have threatened to cut off the West's supply of oil unless the violence stops.

There is NO DOUBT they could do so even if the al-Gadaffi government doesn't commit to sabotaging their installations as reported and there is already turmoil on the world's stock exchanges due to nervousness over that possibility. A HUGE amount of oil is refined in Libya. Meanwhile, the UN security council has voted a resolution deploring the fighting. More, including 'information' about an all woman, allegedly virgin, suicide squad, in the commentary.

For information about how the West has interacted with Libya and the al-Gadaffi regime over the years see: A Regime We Can Trust (How did the West get Qaddafi so wrong?) @ Foreign Policy Magazine.

The Suez Canal Authority has announced the passage of two Iranian warships into the Mediterranean Sea bound for Syria and joint naval exercises. The Israelis, who had earlier declared any such maneuver to be a 'provocative action' have remained silent so far although Israel IS jittery...
"The aging British-built ships, en route to Syria, hardly constitute a military threat but no Iranian vessel has used the canal since the Islamic Republic was established, while Israel has sent missile boats and one of its Dolphin-class submarines southward into the Red Sea over the last two years."
Their response?
"Israel announced Tuesday it successfully tested its Arrow anti-ballistic weapon..." More @ UPI

The king of Bahrain has released a couple of hundred political prisoners as a gesture towards the ongoing democracy protests in the country. There are believed to be about that number remaining in custody. Expect a Monarcho-Parliamentary system of government in the next six months to a year. See "A Revolution Paused in Bahrain" @ Middle East Report Online, for more.

The Senate Democrats will introduce a bill, perhaps as early as Monday but certainly next week, with their version of a continuing budget resolution to fund the U.S. government and agencies through September of this year. Hopefully it will not be as draconian in it's cuts as the house version. However the House has notified the Senate that it will not pass any budget that funds at current levels. Expect a showdown..

The "Siege of Madison", the state capital of Wisconsin, continues over a bill due to be voted on by a Republican majority legislature that would increase state union employee pay-ins to benefit programs and eliminate collective bargaining. The democrats in Wisconsin's legislature, who fled to Illinois to avoid being captured by the state police and forced to present a quorum which would allow voting on the bill to proceed have been joined by Democrats from Indiana who are in a similar situation with a Republican governor and legislative majority pushing a "Right To Work Bill".

There are eight other states where labor-adverse legislation is pending. Expect more legislative and social mayhem until the next election.

Even as the standoff in Madison Wisconsin continues, worker support rallies begin occurring nationwide... All one has to do is peruse the Google News search for "Stand in Support of Wisconsin".

It's also notable that the state's police union members, which along with firefighters would not be affected by the 5X increases in pay-ins to retirement and health insurance are NOT SO SURE about the governor's bill, and many supported his opponent in the last election. Despite that, the police union's president says state police agencies would have no qualms using force against the labor protesters assembled by the tens-of-thousands. The governor has also threatened to use National Guard troops if necessary to clear the demonstrators out but has not indicated when he might do so, even as the state's Democratic legislators continue to hole up out of state and out of the Wisconsin State Police's reach.

See: The Uprising that Began in Wisconsin Is Going Nationwide -- Follow the Latest Developments Here @ Alternet. Also see this article at the Atlantic.

The support is NOT just in the U.S. either. For instance, in Egypt, mentioned yesterday because SOMEONE had pizza delivered from a local Madison pizzeria from an Egyptian phone number, there is a show of support from one of the country's Mubarak regime harassed umbrella labor groups
'We Stand With You as You Stood With Us': Statement to Workers of Wisconsin
by Kamal Abbas of Egypt's Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services


About Kamal Abbas and the Centre for Trade Unions and Workers Services: Kamal Abbas is General Coordinator of the CTUWS, an umbrella advocacy organization for independent unions in Egypt. The CTUWS, which was awarded the 1999 French Republic's Human Rights Prize, suffered repeated harassment and attack by the Mubarak regime, and played a leading role in its overthrow. Abbas, who witnessed friends killed by the regime during the 1989 Helwan steel strike and was himself arrested and threatened numerous times, has received extensive international recognition for his union and civil society leadership.

KAMAL ABBAS: I am speaking to you from a place very close to Tahrir Square in Cairo, "Liberation Square", which was the heart of the Revolution in Egypt. This is the place were many of our youth paid with their lives and blood in the struggle for our just rights.

From this place, I want you to know that we stand with you as you stood with us.

I want you to know that no power can challenge the will of the people when they believe in their rights. When they raise their voices loud and clear and struggle against exploitation.

No one believed that our revolution could succeed against the strongest dictatorship in the region. But in 18 days the revolution achieved the victory of the people. When the working class of Egypt joined the revolution on 9 and 10 February, the dictatorship was doomed and the victory of the people became inevitable.... [Read It All Here]

Rahm Emanuel, former congressman and White House chief of staff, has garnered 55% of the vote against five other candidates in the Chicago mayoral elections, a landslide.


In OTHER News:

In the "No Food For You, Fascist" department:
TSA GropePointSeattle-Area Restaurant Refuses To Serve TSA Agents

By Chris Morran
February 22, 2011


Fed up with what he views as crappy treatment from the TSA, the owner of a restaurant near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has decided to put all TSA agents on his No-Eat List.

"We have posted signs on our doors basically saying that they aren't allowed to come into our business," one employee tells travel journalist Christopher Elliott. "We have the right to refuse service to anyone."

She says that whenever a TSA agent attempts to dine at the restaurant, "we turn our backs and completely ignore them, and tell them to leave... Their kind aren't welcomed in our establishment."

The restaurant claims that 90% of its patrons are in agreement with their stance and that the local police have actually helped escort TSA workers of the premises... [Source]
And since we're on the topic of abuse of authority by various police state apparatchik:
New York Judge Orders City to Release Reports on Shots Fired by Police at Civilians Since 1997

Separately, the civil liberties group has requested statistical information about the disciplining of officers involved in civilian shootings. Mr. Dunn said the police had said they would respond by the end of this month.

By AL BAKER
February 22, 2011


A Manhattan judge has moved to shine more light on New York Police Department shootings, ruling that departmental reports generated whenever an officer fired at a civilian in the last 13 years be turned over to the New York Civil Liberties Union.

The decision, by Justice Emily Jane Goodman of State Supreme Court, means that a trove of internal police documents could soon be thrust into public view. The decision, dated Feb. 14, gives police officials 60 days to turn over two sets of the documents for each shooting dating back to 1997 — a period covering roughly 850 shootings. The city has not decided whether to appeal.

One of the documents Justice Goodman ordered to be released is an investigatory report done within 24 hours of each shooting. The other report, completed within 90 days, is more extensive.

The ruling, affecting about 1,700 reports and thousands of pages, could provide the public new details about such recent police scandals as the 2006 shooting death of Sean Bell in Queens and the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo in the Bronx.

“There are going to be a lot of big cases in these reports,” said Christopher T. Dunn, the associate legal director of the civil liberties group, who said he would make the reports public. “There will also be a lot of cases nobody ever heard of.”

Asked about the decision at a news conference on Tuesday, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said...
[More @ The NY Times]

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Muammar al-Gaddafi - Imagine If George Washington Was King For 40 Years & Later Went Crazy

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Cabale News ServiceFebruary 22 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Muammar al-Gaddafi - Imagine If George Washington Was King For 40 Years And Later In Life Went A Bit Crazy

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

Christchurch New Zealand has experienced a 6.3 magnitude aftershock to the 7.1 Richter scale earthquake that occurred last September 4th, and all the variables that make the difference between a "killer quake" or not fell to the "killer' side. Nearby, shallow and sharp, during the busiest part of the day downtown where many buildings are of brick construction. There have been at least 70 deaths. More.

Libya comes apart and the chances of the nation's leader Muammar al-Gaddafi staying in power are pretty slim. The U.S. is getting their citizens out of the country and the Italians have sent evacuation ships. Over the weekend the Libyan Imams, the country's religious leaders, stated there will be NO killing of protesting non-combatants, women, children, or the elderly as required by any rational interpretation of the Koran. But the attacks on civilians did not stop.... leading to a Fatwa against the Libyan regime... Jihad. The tribes that comprise most of the Libyan population are on the move from the their desert homes towards the cities and military units in Benghazi have turned on the regime and liberated the city, now being bombarded by the Libyan air force. Two Libyan officers refused their orders and took their plane to Malta and probable political asylum. Expect civil war. More in the commentary.

What follows is relayed from an English speaking Libyan with relatives in country.
Thanks 'Fulani' irc://irc.anonops.in/oplibya


Freeware IRC client
February 20 2011 1430pmdt

1) This Morning, Cousin In Benghazi Calls Us From Protest, Halfway Through Comes Under Fire From Helicopter

2) Benghazi Liberated At About 6pm Local Time When Libyan Spec Ops Side With People And Take Out Base

3) All Other Cities Are Now Clear Of Mercenaries

4) Sheikh Gives A Religious Order That It Is Incumbent On Every Muslim To Join In, That This Is Jihad.

This Leads To 5) Largest Tribe In Libya Joins The Fray ( 1 million Men)

6) Taureg Join The Fray (About 560k In Libya)

7) People From Subrata And Zawayra Arrive In Tripoli To Bolster The Efforts At About 10pm

8) People In Tripoli Come Out, Armed With Melee Weapons Of Every Sort - Swords, Axes, Sticks

9) Then There Was A Pitched Battle, 4 People Shot Dead By The Mercenaries

10) Protesters Come Under Fire On Omar Mukhtar Road From The Red Fort In The Green Square

11) Yesterday, Tobruk Was Cleared As Well As Baydha, The Egypt Border Was Opened And Egyptians Began To Send Supplies - Thank You To The Egyptian People God Bless










You're quite welcome...

12) About 2330 Libya Time, Reports Of Gunfire In Gadafi Compound, And Snipers And Police Withdraw From Green Square.

13) Reports That Gadafi Has Fled The Country To Venezuela , And That His Sons Had A Fight, Moatassem shot Saif , However, Saif Is Currently On Tv, So Either It Is A Recording Or This Isnt True

14) Crowds Everywhere Are Pissed Off At Saif (Gaddafi's son, currently speaking to the Libyan nation on Libya-TV), In Misuratha They're All Holding Their Shoes Up In Front Of The Big Screen (Symbolic For Fuck Off)

--30--

Yemen's government is not doing well either as the regime there refuses to give ground to protester demands with an Arab League summit looming.

The House passed a $1.3 trillion dollar continuing budget resolution that will operate the US government through the end of September. That number is $62.1 billion dollars less than necessary, even after draconian cuts to WIC (Women Infanta and Children) food subsidy program, Planned Parenthood funding and much more. The Senate must vote on it by March 4th. More.

The union led siege in Madison Wisconsin continues over an artificially created budget deficit (by the Republican governor giving tax breaks and other benefits to corporate and other business interests causing a massive immediate shortfall in projected revenues) which was then followed by a bill with major cuts of state employee benefits and the attempt to eliminate collective bargaining. There are tens of thousands of people in the capital demanding a redacting of those provisions and the governor has threatened the use of national guard troops even as the leader of the police union, whose benefits will NOT be affected, says that the state police would be more than willing to use force to break up the protests. More.

In case you think this is just a provincial 'tempest in a teapot', Someone in Egypt Ordered a Pizza for the Protesters in Wisconsin. Inshallah A'Salaam.

Details are still sketchy but it seems four Americans on a yacht off the coast of Oman were hijacked by "Pirates" and when U.S. naval units tried to negotiate with the hijackers, apparently as a ruse for a rescue raid, all four people were killed along with an unknown number of the captors.


In OTHER News:
American who sparked diplomatic crisis over Lahore shooting was CIA spy

Raymond Davis employed by CIA 'beyond shadow of doubt'
Former soldier charged with murder over deaths of two men
Davis accused of shooting one man twice in the back as he fled

Declan Walsh in Lahore and Ewen MacAskill in Washington

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 20 February 2011


The American who shot dead two men in Lahore, triggering a diplomatic crisis between Pakistan and the US, is a CIA agent who was on assignment at the time.

Raymond Davis has been the subject of widespread speculation since he opened fire with a semi-automatic Glock pistol on the two men who had pulled up in front of his car at a red light on 25 January.

Pakistani authorities charged him with murder, but the Obama administration has insisted he is an "administrative and technical official" attached to its Lahore consulate and has diplomatic immunity.

Based on interviews in the US and Pakistan, the Guardian can confirm that the 36-year-old former special forces soldier is employed by the CIA. "It's beyond a shadow of a doubt," said a senior Pakistani intelligence official. The revelation may complicate American efforts to free Davis, who insists he was acting in self-defence against a pair of suspected robbers, who were both carrying guns.

Pakistani prosecutors accuse the spy of excessive force, saying he fired 10 shots and got out of his car to shoot one man twice in the back as he fled. The man's body was found 30 feet from his motorbike.

"It went way beyond what we define as self-defence. It was not commensurate with the threat," a senior police official involved in the case told the Guardian.



A third man was crushed by an American vehicle as it rushed to Davis's aid. Pakistani officials believe its occupants were CIA because they came from the house where Davis lived and were armed.

The US refused Pakistani demands to interrogate the two men and on Sunday a senior Pakistani intelligence official said they had left the country. "They have flown the coop, they are already in America," he said.

ABC News reported that the men had the same diplomatic visas as Davis. It is not unusual for US intelligence officers, like their counterparts round the world, to carry diplomatic passports.
[In Full @ Guardian UK]

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Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Rage & Loathing - Wisconsin's Governor Gets A Little "Egyptian Action" On His Doorstep

"All The News You Never Knew You Needed To Know ...Until Now."

Cabale News ServiceFebruary 18 2011 Travus T. Hipp Morning News & Commentary: Rage & Loathing Over 'Union-Busting' - The Governor Of Wisconsin Gets A Little 'Egyptian Action' On His Doorstep

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[After the commentary a little history of a violent and bloody time in America when Internationalist unions with a BIG "U" scared the bejezzus out of the industrialist robber barons and the states, their police apparatus and thugs had no qualms whatsoever about killing union organizers, or for that matter just about any worker who stood up for their rights. Joe Hill, by Phil Ochs, from a Swedish television show in July 1968, about a month before the whole world watched as all hell broke loose at the Democratic convention in Chicago. Phil was on that 'line' too. R.I.P. friend.]

[Click the image to visit the Industrial Workers Of The World website... Join Us!]


Some "Egyptian Action" comes to America: The new Republican governor of Wisconsin, the big cheeze of the "Cheese State" so to speak, pushed a bill through the state legislature that would not only adversely affect the pay-ins of state employees (except for police and firemen) to their health and retirement programs (a 5X increase!) but also put serious limitations on their right to collectively bargain through the unions. At voting time, the Republican legislators found that all 15 Democratic legislators had walked out and fled the state to avoid capture by the Wisconsin state police, leaving the legislature without a quorum and unable to vote on the bill. Further, 10s of thousands of state employees and other workers, unemployed, and just average state citizens enraged at the governor's actions have invaded the state capital and have taken the steps of the capitol building and swarmed the halls of the building.

More on this in the commentary.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, which has been hearing over 400 amendments to the continuing budget resolution (partially because the president said he would veto any 'earmarks' and partially because of House Speaker Boerner's incompetence)that must be passed by March 3rd finds itself on the cusp of a vote on de-funding the president's health care reforms and whether the EPA can enforce clean air regulations.

The square in Bahrain's capital has been cleared of protesters after melees with the police left four dead over the last few days... yet the protesters are returning today.

Egyptian authorities (most likely the army since martial law is in effect and the government dissolved) have arrested three top government ministers including the Interior minister, who is responsible for the country's police state apparatus.

The "Problems" continue in Yemen as well where protesters burned the capital's city hall and that's just the beginning in today's planned "Day of Rage" demonstration.

It's not just North Africa experiencing internal turmoil anymore. Someone who was upset about the 81 year old Senegalese president's intention to run for office again immolated himself in front of the presidential palace making it the eighth such incident recently in West Africa.

In OTHER News:

The Times They Are A Changin' For Iran's Regime and it's Basij thugs:
Iran's Revolutionary Guard pledges to hold fire

Iran Revolutionary Guard Senior officers demand assurance they will NOT be required to fire on protesters


"...the letter, which is signed by senior officers commanding Guards units in Tehran, Qom, Isfahan and Tabriz urges Major Gen Jafari to "use your authority over the Basij to order them to leave their truncheons at home next time."

It goes on to state unequivocally, "We promise our people that we will not shoot nor beat our brothers who are seeking to express legitimate protest against the policies and conduct of their leader."

The Iranian government has called on its supporters to take to the streets today to demonstrate their "hatred" for the opposition Green Movement, which has made a dramatic return following the recent unrest in Tunisia and Egypt. One demonstrator was killed and scores more injured when pro-democracy activists protested against Mr Ahmadinejad's government, chanting "death to the dictator".

Western diplomats, who have also seen the letter and confirm its authenticity, say it has now been passed to Mr Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country's Supreme Ruler, although no official response has been forthcoming." [More @ Telegraph.uk]

Follow-up report
Second American Involved in Pakistan Shooting Slips Back to U.S.

A Pakistani court has demanded the arrest of a second U.S. official in connection with a deadly shootout in Lahore, Pakistan, last month, but that official, as well another American official involved in the incident, have already slipped out of the country and are back on American soil, a senior U.S. official told ABC News.

The American sought for arrest, who the State Department only identified as a member of the U.S. embassy's staff in Islamabad, Pakistan, was behind the wheel when he struck and killed a bystander while racing to the aid of U.S. "technical advisor" Raymond Davis, who is currently detained in Lahore. Davis is accused of gunning down two Pakistani men in the street on Jan. 27 in what the State Department said was self-defense during a "botched robbery."

The driver of the vehicle held the same diplomatic visa as Davis, U.S. officials told ABC News. Since his arrest, the U.S. argued that Davis should be afforded diplomatic immunity as a member of the embassy's "technical and administrative staff" [ABCNews for more]
Also see: Obama Advisor Delivered Presidential Threat To Pakistan Over Detained American (National Security Advisor Tom Donilon Told Pakistanis To Release Ray Davis By Friday Or Else...)

Please pardon me, but I've re-posted three items from the January 7th commentary that are more than apropos to today's commentary topic...

Watch out Wisconsin Labor organizers! You are not only being surveilled... You are being 'made' as terrorists for protesting your government's abuses of power:
Police Accidentally Release Counter-Protest Manual

January 06 2011

After filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Richmond Police Department for police training documents, Mo Karn received much more than expected in return: homeland security and crowd control guides that show how the police target protests. The documents have already been published online. And buried in the training guides are insights into three trends in law enforcement that have been occurring not just in Virginia, but nationally: the demonization of protest, the militarization of police, and turning local cops into “terrorism” officials... [More, including a link to the manual]

Meanwhile, more than ten percent of America lives below poverty level... according to new Census data and formulas taking medical expenses, as well as transportation costs and work expenses into account:
The Census Bureau has released new estimates that show the US poverty rate is far higher than previously thought, with 1 in 6 Americans living below the poverty line, reports the AP. Unlike the official poverty rate, the new numbers take into account medical bills as well as transportation costs and work expenses. The number of seniors living in poverty almost doubles under the new formula, according to the AP.[Read On]
Did you note "The number of seniors living in poverty almost doubles..."?

Last but not least... a question...

So, if this IS a 'Democracy', what WILL your government do when the people disagree with it?
A Profound and Jarring Disconnect

Dave Lindorff

January 04, 2011


Democracy: de-moc-ra-cy, government by the people; the common people of a community, as distinguished from any privileged class

According to the latest poll conducted by CBS "60 Minutes" and the magazine Vanity Fair, 61 percent of Americans want to raise taxes on the wealthy as the primary way to cut the budget. The same poll finds that the second most popular first choice for cutting the nation's budget deficit, at 20 percent, is cutting the military budget.

That is, 81 percent of us--four out of five--would cut the deficit by taxing the rich and/or slashing military spending.

Only four percent of those polled favored cutting Medicare, the government-run program that provides health care for the elderly and disabled, and only three percent favored cutting Social Security.

President Obama meanwhile, appointed a so-called National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (quickly dubbed the "Catfood Commission" by critics) to come up with proposals to cut the budget deficit.

He named as co-chairs former Republican Senator from Wyoming Alan Simpson, a troglodyte sworn enemy of Social Security who publicly declared it to be "a milk cow with 310 million tits," and Erskine Bowles, a retired investment banker and former chief of staff to President Clinton who says he wants to cut spending, not raise taxes, which, when it comes to Social Security, means lower benefits for retirees.

The writing on the wall appears to be that the White House, and Democrats and Republicans in Congress, are looking to raise the retirement age, currently 66, to 68 or 69, to reduce or at least limit the inflation adjustment in Social Security benefits, and perhaps also to increase the payroll tax on current workers.

What they want to do is balance the budget by screwing with our retirement. What they do not want to do is raise taxes on the rich and on investment income, two steps which, if taken, could fully fund Social Security indefinitely into the future.... [Read it all]
Revolution: rev-uh-loo-shun, an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.

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