Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My Plan for Change

I posted this to the Obama transition team that was looking for people's visions for America. Surprisingly, I have yet to get a call from Mr. Obama about my ideas. Maybe after getting my post on his blackberry in the middle of the night and reading it several times shouting "Eureka!" at the end, he is too busy implementing it as we speak!

For too long the USA has been threatening and carrying out violence on the world through economic policies, military policies, and lifestyle choices that treat the world as a giant marketplace and seek to dominate the globe for supposed noble reasons of democracy, prosperity, and opportunity. It is time for this to stop. The United States should close its 700+ military bases worldwide, unilaterally disarm its nuclear weapons, radically cut defense spending, stop being the number one worldwide provider of arms to the world, stop the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, voluntarily clean up depleted uranium, pay, forgive, or renegotiate war reparations to Vietnam and other countries with an acknowledgement of aspects of our nation's misguided, oppressive and violent legacy. Then, ensure that no government money goes to covert war making through CIA or other programs. Our new national defense will be non-violent.

In this vein, international trade deals like NAFTA and corporate agreements with US companies must come under radical review in light of a new initiative that the US must launch with the UN, WTO and World Bank--to remake the crashing global economy into one that works for local areas so that the web of international goods shipment contributing to global warming and social unrest can be shut down. This would include land reform, farming initiatives, and ensuring local food and basic commodities. The aim is to disentangle the United States from the heights of the global economy as we see it today, with a responsibility to the rest of the world to coordinate this initiative with them for the planet's benefit. Decentralized energy like photovoltaics and wind power must be emphasized in this effort. The message is: we can no longer live on this planet like America has encouraged for the past 60 years, and must work together to change this urgently. Once again, we must face and acknowledge the aspects of the US's recent history that have encouraged this terrible and self-destructive economic behavior.

The average American must be a part of this project--no longer can we have unlimited cheap gasoline and cheap consumer goods. The new local economics will be a hard adjustment for some, but with luck, the social fabric that has torn over the past decades under our current decadence and hubris will on the whole provide people with quieter, slower, more humble, and far more satisfying lives. Making this a national priority would help those struggling with these issues feel part of something bigger and allow the propagation of wonderful alternative energy techniques and local businesses and would also allow a new entrepreneurship based on these global priorities to flourish.

This shift would bring us closer to Thomas Jefferson's ideal of America than we ever have been--a nation of fiercely independent farmers and small businessmen. We have no more time to lose, we must reverse the trajectory we have been on up to this point. I think that there will be significant resistance to this from the entrenched powerful. But, I believe that the American people would love to take part in such a daring and honest national direction. With good leadership, people would, I think, recognize the neccessity of these changes and would find meaning in the attempt, even if it should fail. These are not radical changes, though they may seem so to some. They are simply a long overdue maturing of the United States from the misspent and violent adolescence into a necessary recession, an exile based on self reflection and a spiritual reform from sins of the past.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Spot the Sith

"Hooray, ignorant compromise wins the day!".../... "Fools! Muahahahahaha!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hyper linked House of Representatives Resolution 362

House Resolution with 265 co-sponsors (last time I checked) to basically start a war with Iran hyper linked with relevant information. The bold font and the numbers are added by me for emphasis, here is the entire text of the bill:

Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the threat posed to international peace, stability in the Middle East, and the vital national security interests of the United States by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional hegemony, and for other purposes.


May 22, 2008

Mr. ACKERMAN (for himself and Mr. PENCE) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the threat posed to international peace, stability in the Middle East, and the vital national security interests of the United States by Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional hegemony, and for other purposes.

Whereas Iran is a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), has foresworn the acquisition of nuclear weapons by ratification of the NPT, and is legally bound to declare and place all its nuclear activity under constant monitoring by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA);

Whereas for nearly 20 years, in clear contravention of its explicit obligations under the NPT, Iran operated a covert nuclear program until it was revealed by an Iranian opposition group in 2002;

Whereas the IAEA has confirmed such illicit covert nuclear activities as the importation of uranium hexafluoride, construction of a uranium enrichment facility, experimentation with plutonium, importation of centrifuge technology, construction of centrifuges, and importation of designs to convert highly enriched uranium gas into metal and shape it into the core of a nuclear weapon;

Whereas Iran continues to expand the number of centrifuges at its enrichment facility, as made evident by its announced intention to begin installation of 6,000 advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium, in defiance of binding United Nations Security Council resolutions demanding Iran suspend enrichment activities;

1. Whereas the November 2007 National Intelligence Estimate reported that Iran was secretly working on the design and manufacture of a nuclear warhead until at least 2003, but that Iran could have enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon as soon as late 2009;

2. Whereas an Iranian nuclear weapons capability would pose a grave threat to international peace and security by fundamentally altering and destabilizing the strategic balance in the Middle East, and severely undermining the global nonproliferation regime;

3. Whereas Iran's overt sponsorship of several terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, and its close ties to Syria raise the possibility that Iran would share its nuclear materials and technology with others;

Whereas Iran continues to develop ballistic missile technology and is pursuing the capability to field intercontinental ballistic missiles, a delivery system suited almost exclusively to nuclear weapons payloads;

4. Whereas Iranian leaders have repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel, a major non-North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally, and a member of the United Nations;

Whereas the United States, Russia, China, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany have offered, and continue to offer, to negotiate a significant package of economic, diplomatic, and security incentives if Iran complies with the United Nations Security Council's resolutions demanding that Iran suspend uranium enrichment;*NPT

Whereas Iran has consistently refused such offers;

Whereas as a result of Iran's failure to comply with the mandates of the United Nations Security Council, taken under Chapter VII of the United Nations' Charter, the international community has imposed limited sanctions over the past 2 years that have begun to have an impact on the Iranian economy;

Whereas Iran's rapid development of its nuclear capabilities is outpacing the slow ratcheting up of economic and diplomatic sanctions;

Whereas Iran has used its banking system, including the Central Bank of Iran, to support its proliferation efforts and its assistance to terrorist groups, leading the Department of Treasury to designate 4 large Iranian banks proliferators and supporters of terrorism;

5. Whereas Iran's support for Hezbollah has enabled that group to wage war against the Government and people of Lebanon, leading to its political domination of that country;

Whereas Iran's support for Hamas has enabled it to illegally seize control of Gaza from the Palestinian Authority, and to continuously bombard Israeli civilians with rockets and mortars;

6. Whereas Iran continues to provide training, weapons, and financial assistance to Shi'a militants inside of Iraq and antigovernment warlords in Afghanistan;

Whereas those Shi'a militant groups and Afghan warlords use Iranian training, weapons, and financing to attack American and allied forces trying to support the legitimate Governments of Iraq and Afghanistan;

Whereas Iran is further destabilizing the Middle East by underwriting a massive rearmament campaign by Syria;

7. Whereas through these efforts, Iran seeks to establish regional hegemony, threatens longstanding friends and allies of the United States in the Middle East, and endangers vital American national security interests; and

8. Whereas nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization of the use of force against Iran: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--

(1) declares that preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, through all appropriate economic, political, and diplomatic means, is vital to the national security interests of the United States and must be dealt with urgently;

(2) urges the President, in the strongest of terms, to immediately use his existing authority to impose sanctions on--

(A) the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian bank engaged in proliferation activities or the support of terrorist groups;

(B) international banks which continue to conduct financial transactions with proscribed Iranian banks;

(C) energy companies that have invested $20,000,000 or more in the Iranian petroleum or natural gas sector in any given year since the enactment of the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996; and

(D) all companies which continue to do business with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps;

(3) demands that the President initiate an international effort to immediately and dramatically increase the economic, political, and diplomatic pressure on Iran to verifiably suspend its nuclear enrichment activities by, inter alia, prohibiting the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products; imposing stringent inspection requirements on all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains, and cargo entering or departing Iran; and prohibiting the international movement of all Iranian officials not involved in negotiating the suspension of Iran's nuclear program; and

(4) urges the President to lead a sustained, serious, and forceful effort at regional diplomacy to support the legitimate governments in the region against Iranian efforts to destabilize them, to reassure our friends and allies that the United States supports them in their resistance to Iranian efforts at hegemony, and to make clear to the Government of Iran that the United States will protect America's vital national security interests in the Middle East.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sure the "War on Terror's" Fake but it's not like it's The End of the World...

Code Pink activist tries to rudely shock some sense into Dr. Rice

With the war in Georgia fading from the headlines, it may seem to some that a minor European conflict has flared up and gone away. However, it appears as though the gravity of the situation is far heavier than I and perhaps others thought while it was going on. Since learning a few things about the history of the conflict, it appears that the United States through the Georgia conflict and our interference in the region has resurrected the cold war at a potential intensity that could lead to the use of nuclear weapons.

Back in 2002, the US dispatched troops, arms, and supplies to Georgia as part of the "War on Terror" supposedly to help Georgia fight terrorism in an area called the Pankisi Hills. Sounds perfectly coherent with the aims of the mythic "war on terror," except that there's evidence that the US is not in the region solely to fight Islamic terrorism, but moreover to protect an oil pipeline. From the Observer back in 2002:

Kakha Katcitadze, a senior government adviser, told The Observer that the gorge would not create 'vital dangers for Georgia'. America has other goals. 'There are some problems in Pankisi, but I think it is mostly a social issue. I am not so worried about it. Anti-terrorism is not the only reason for the relationship between the United States and Georgia. Georgia is also the shortest route between the [oil reserves] of the Caspian Sea and Turkey.'

When you consider that Condoleeza Rice's job at Chevron was Central Asian projects, and that the war in Afghanistan was threatened before 9/11 as part of a pipeline deal, to me the conflict in Georgia takes on a different light. It is also the case that Georgia started the war against Russia as something resembling an anti-terrorist operation in South Ossetia to "restore constitutional order."At around the same time, the US outrageously agreed to begin installing a "missile shield" project in Poland and the Czech Republic where 70% of Czechs are against the project that itself uses ballistic missiles to "protect against terrorist missiles from rogue states." In a serious response to just the preliminary plans for this ABM shield-- about year earlier, Russia stopped its compliance with a key treaty to keep its troops and military hardware out of Europe. This demonstrated Russia's total opposition to the US plan that unbelievably went ahead anyway.

Vice President Dick Cheney apparently sent his zombie double to Georgia to meet with Mikheil "Guilty Kid" Saakashvili

Most recently, as a response to the NATO buildup around Georgia, Vladimir Putin has vowed a response though "calm" to the provocation of US/NATO ships in the Black Sea. There are also tiny reports of direct US involvement in coordinating the Georgian military in its assault on South Ossetia, but even if false, moreover, the US arms and trains Georgia's military. Indeed, Dick Cheney visited the region after the war to "bolster western-friendly" countries against Russia. Retired Air Force Colonel Sam Gardiner, who once taught at the US war college describes his opinion of the apparently dire situation in Georgia on Democracy Now:

COL. SAM GARDINER: Let me just say that if you were to rate how serious the strategic situations have been in the past few years, this [the Georgia conflict in August 2008] would be above Iraq, this would be above Afghanistan, and this would be above Iran.

But most worrying is his explanation of the likelihood of nuclear weapons being used in a conflict between US backed forces and Russia:

On little notice to Americans, the Russians learned at the end of the first Gulf War that they couldn’t—they didn’t think they could deal with the United States, given the value and the quality of American precision conventional weapons. The Russians put into their doctrine a statement, and have broadcast it very loudly, that if the United States were to use precision conventional weapons against Russian troops, the Russians would be forced to respond with tactical nuclear weapons. They continue to state this. They practice this in their exercise. They’ve even had exercises that very closely paralleled what went on in Ossetia, where there was an independence movement, they intervene conventionally to put down the independence movement, the United States and NATO responds with conventional air strikes, they then respond with tactical nuclear weapons.

The US has itself climbed on the unbelievable nuclear aggression bandwagon. In 2002 as part of the "War on Terror" the US withdrew from the Nuclear Non-proliferation treaty we said in order to develop this insane missile defense system planned to be deployed in Europe. Also to develop new nuclear weapons. Finally, on August 20th of this year, after the US signed the deal to put the missile defense shield in Poland, Russia's foreign ministry said that Russia's response to this if it goes forward will "go beyond diplomacy."

And in the middle of this is Condoleeza Rice saying at the missile shield deal in Poland that "Freedom can be denied for a while, but it cannot be denied forever." Sounds right from the "War on Terror" playbook, "they hate us 'cause we're free." She was apparently baffled at Vladimir Putin's announcement of ceasing the arms control treaty over fears of the ABM shield saying he reaction was "bizarre." From the prior encounter in 2007 between "Russian expert" Rice and Moscow in Der Spiegel:

"Rice, speaking before Putin's speech, dismissed Russian concerns that the missile shield could pose a threat to Russia, calling the idea 'ludicrous.' She also accused the Russians of being stuck in a Cold War mentality -- even as she herself mistakenly referred to Russia as 'Soviet.'"

It appears that the phantasmagorical zeitgeist of the cold war is still looming over the Earth. And with diplomacy like this, with policy like this, I think it could possibly still mean nuclear war.

Monday, September 1, 2008

WTC 7: WTF^7

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has issued a report that looked at the collapse of the third skyscraper that imploded and fell just below the speed of gravity on 9/11. This skyscraper called the Salomon Brothers Building at the address of Seven World Trade Center fell straight down into its footprint seven hours after the twin towers fell.

The NIST report--almost four years in the making--decided that there were no explosives in the building to explain its collapse. The report is mostly based on "unprecedentedly complex" computer models and makes a number of shocking admissions about the investigation. According to NIST, not only was there no physical evidence examined for the report, the thesis of the report is that this is the first time in history that such a steel-framed skyscraper has collapsed due to a fire that burned sporadically and at temperatures hundreds of degrees below the integrity test strength of the steel. It also admits this in light of mentioning the story of a similar building--One Meridian Plaza in Philadelphia--that was left standing after burning in an inferno for 18 hours.

The One Meridian Plaza Fire of 1991

There were "design differences" between the two buildings that account for this, we're told. The reason they can hold this seemingly improbable explanation is that they "discovered a new principle" that would account for the collapse--thermal expansion. That is, minute but fatal thermal expansion of massive steel girders due to fires of office furnishings at a relatively low temperature and in key places that lead to the total symmetrical failure of the building's structure in a rapid, cascade manner.

But most galling is that the only evidence they provide that the building was not imploded with a compound known as thermite--one of the most fitting theories--is assumptive and in some places simply an uncited and unscientific consensus opinion. NIST writes that they collectively agreed that the thermite theory would not be investigated because "[The chemical building blocks of thermite] compounds also would have been present in the construction materials making up the WTC buildings," so it would be useless to test for any evidence of thermite. They ignore the molten metal pools found under the towers and Professor Stephen Jones' paper which finds evidence that strongly suggests thermite was used to collapse the twin towers--including forensic evidence in the form of tiny iron "spherules" found in the towers' dust. Also, NIST states that thermite was discounted as impossible because it would take 100 lbs. of thermite to melt a foot of steel and this was so improbable that thermite as a theory of the building's demolition was not investigated. This seems to assume certain knowledge of how to use thermite in building demolitions, and really should be cited, though such a citation does not appear in the report for public comment, indeed thermite is not even mentioned in the report.

For those who discount this as "conspiracy theories," I ask: does this report come up with a convincing enough case needed in a "world's first" structural failure? Does it adequately and scientifically examine evidence that strongly suggests thermite was used in the towers? Is it indeed a new and very subtle principle of thermal expansion at office fire temperatures 200 degrees Fahrenheit or more below the test rating for the steel's integrity that caused the building to suddenly implode straight down seven hours after the fires started--many of these office fires having burned out already? Does a totally virtual simulation on a computer with no physical evidence examined constitute an adequate investigation? Moreover, is there anything about 9/11 that doesn't raise ten questions for every one "answered" in favor of the official story?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Preempting Another Chicago, 1968, Mr. Obama?

Why would the Democratic Party allow US Military Intelligence and the Colorado National Guard to deploy in Denver during the Democratic National Convention? What warrants the use during the convention (and what warrants the existence) of a certain "Colorado Information Analysis Center" which is "just one facet of a diffuse national intelligence network that has grown up quietly since Sept. 11, 2001?" Why did a precursor to this "Information Analysis Center" collect data on peaceful protestors and report one of them as a terrorist? And why doesn't the Colorado National Guard explain why it's renting 500+ hotel rooms and operating a restricted military base at a nearby college campus? Why are members of "US Northern Command" that was created in 2002 for "homeland defense" operations be working with the Secret Service on "convention security?" Obviously, since all the democracy has been removed from Democratic National Conventions since the Democrats stopped actually convening nationally to choose a candidate, a direct analogy to what happened to the DNC in Chicago in 1968 is elusive.

So, is all this just a lot of homeland security and defense cheese that needs to be blown before god forbid it goes to some hospital or school? This sounds traditionally like something that would embarrass Democrats. It is unquestioningly a domestic military operation planned that has to do with security and spying at the DNC. Democrats didn't seem to be be embarrassed by illegal spying on Americans after immunity was given to companies that did so, so why should they at their own convention? After all these questions only one remains: Is this the same event that culminates the "movement" that Barack Obama envisioned?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Case Closed, Thank Heavens!

Interesting that the Anthrax attacks that came one and two months after 9/11 bore Islamic terrorist markings and were seemingly mailed from within the US military establishment. Elements in the government that were trying to hype up the threat of Islamic terrorism found a perfect opportunity with these attacks--at a crucial time. Thank heavens it was proven that it was just a "lone nut" who committed suicide before he could be tried and was completely disconnected from any overt plan to terrorize America to accomplish larger governmental objectives. Though the case against the "lone nut" Army scientist is compelling it is entirely circumstantial. Whatever you believe, it appears as though the Anthrax originated from within the inhuman and apparently well funded US bio-weapons establishment and seemed to further the quick passage of the Patriot Act.

The "closed case" goes like this:
A certain Dr. Ivins was so convinced that "Bin Laden terrorists for sure have anthrax and sarin gas" and was so worried since they "just decreed death to all Jews and all Americans" as he wrote to a coworker that he stole weapons-grade Anthrax in his custody from his workplace at the Fort Detrick, MD Army Weapons lab, later lied about ever having it, and while working late in the nights leading up to the attacks "weaponized" it through a state of the art nano-tech process that his coworkers said he couldn't accomplish, put it in letters in a makeshift manner underwater in a lake, and mailed them to two New York City papers, NBC's Tom Brokaw and probably the two most powerful lawmakers that were obstructing the USA Patriot act. All this solo work in order to validate to himself that he was indeed worthy of a date that sorority girl refused him all those years ago by being the hero that helped the country understand the threat of bin Laden--though the case tying him to 9/11 was never made public--and encourage the adoption of the Patriot Act.

As the bbc news observes: "Most people will reach verdicts guided by their general views on America's federal institutions - if you are inclined to trust government agencies, then you will accept their view on Ivins' sole responsibility for these terrible crimes. If you are not, you will probably be sceptical."

I fall into the latter category. This scenario may be possible, but if you were serving on a jury deciding on this case, would you have to look too hard find reasonable doubt in it? But, no, we're told: case closed! Due to his suicide, there will be no trial. Stop trying to make sense of it and file it with your questions about 9/11 in the "just trust us" file. After all, 9/11 saw no vested governmental interest in exploiting puzzling terrorist attacks with improperly established culpability to accomplish previously held agendas. Thank heavens in both cases it was ultimately just a lone nut we're after.