Friday, November 30, 2012

Sophistry & Deception

The UN General Assembly's upgrade of Palestine to observer state status was immediately condemned by the USA. Echoing earlier argument by Israeli UN Ambassador Ron Prosor, the American UN Ambassador Susan Rice highlighted the need for direct negotiations by the parties involved.

Surely this is correct.

However, looking at the status of Israel and that of Palestine, bilateral dialog was avoided in part due to imbalanced status. Israel is a full member state of the United Nations, while Palestine was an observer entity. Palestine has been easily marginalized. Indeed (link), even Israel's former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert came out in favor of Palestine's bid as grounds to move talks forward. This result, to upgrade Palestine, is a better option than to downgrade or suspend Israel from UN membership.

Do these parties truly want peace? On both sides, 65 years of hostilities have damaged many moderate peace-loving families. Let's hope this is positive change. Hope in support of peace.

138 nations voted Yes
(Among the 27 EU nations were 14 Yes votes, 1 No vote, 12 abstentions. Overall, supporters outnumbered opponents by a 15 to 1 margin)

9 nations voted No
Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama, USA

41 nations abstained
Albania, Andorra, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Dem. Rep. of Congo, Estonia, Fiji, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Togo, Tonga, UK, Vanuatu

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Do You Matter?

Today at the United Nations, the General Assembly will vote on recognizing Palestine as a UN Observer state, upgrading their status from UN Observer "entity"

Seems a storm in a teacup. In either case, there's been no progress with the peace process for far too many years.

Both cases are non-member status.

In the BBC's online report, they mention how key countries are expected to vote. Is your nation mentioned?  Japan?  Korea?  Sweden?  Do you live in a key nation?  What decides which nations are important?  Do you matter?  If not, why not?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Debt-or Alive

The General Petraeus scandal's Lebanese-American socialite has begun fighting back over media portraying her as less than wholesome. Jill Gilberte Khawam Kelley's lawyer has released materials claiming businessman Adam Victor made "false and defamatory" statements "intended to portray Ms. Kelley in a false light." Kelley is also reported to have filed a complaint with the State of Florida over her former attorney Barry Cohen violating attorney-client privilege by talking to the media.

But according to her local Tampa Bay Times, in the decade since arriving in Tampa, Ms. Kelley and/or her husband have been subjects of lawsuits nine times, often for non-payment of debts. (link)  Seems too frequent. And her 37-year old twin sister, who lives together with her, is embroiled in a $3.2 million bankruptcy, perjury allegations, and a nasty custody battle. Both sisters have reportedly failed to pay for separate past legal services from Arnold Levine, another Tampa lawyer.

So perhaps they are not the most desirable of clients, though each sister claims close friendship with former CIA Director David Petraeus & Army General John Allen (and both generals provided glowing character references for Natalie Khawam)... The Kelleys have reportedly hired star Washington layer Abbe Lowell and  famed publicist Judy Smith to assist them. Was payment in advance required?

Why should we care? Most people work hard to settle their debts. Scams & bankruptcies undermine confidence. Now we see key people in the military & government intelligence as none too smart...The Madoff swindle & the bailout of big corporations after 2008 showed key US systems as not simply imperfect, but corrupt. Signs of immanent major breakdown...?

Native Sexy

Victoria's Secret (a lingerie firm) recently celebrated Native American Heritage Month by highlighting a controversial outfit in their annual fashion show. A nearly-naked female wore a feather headdress / war bonnet, which seemed to mock Native American symbolism of men earning feathers for strength & bravery.  The sexy skimpy theme was highly criticized, drawing the attention of Sasha Houston Brown:

"These contemporary instances of cultural appropriation and stereotypes are really byproducts of ongoing colonialism, systemic racism, and the deliberately false narratives perpetuated about Native peoples by white society. Cultural commodification and dehumanized stereotypes extended far beyond any single corporation, retail franchise, or celebrity. Despite what dominant society and mainstream media say, Native culture is a vibrant and living culture. We are not a relic of the past, a theme or a trend; we are not a style or costume; we are not mascots, noble savages or romantic fictional entities. We are human beings and, despite all odds, we have survived"

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Dirty Oil Must Pay

There's been an unreasonably low financial settlement between the US Federal Government and BP over the huge BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The disaster, where operations by BP and its subcontractors Transocean and Halliburton went ballistic, killed eleven people directly, leaving oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico for more than three months (and leakage may be ongoing), and was a huge black mark on the industry overall.

Because of the impact on tourism and the food supply, the largest accidental oil spill in history is too often labeled "Deepwater Horizon oil spill" or "Macondo blowout" rather than "BP Gulf disaster" or another more descriptive label for the area's poisoning.

Part of the penalty for this preventable ecological disaster should be creating a subsidy fund for renewable energy projects. A major wind energy facility in the northeast USA, Cape Wind off Cape Cod,  is expected to generate substantial energy without the danger of spills and ecological mutation. The dirty oil & nuclear producers should not simply pay all the costs for their accidents, but also be forced to subsidize the basis for undercutting their industry. They've skewed costs by cutting corners - now let us all support cleaner energy.

Stop the "Smartphone"

The most recent incarnation of mobile phones (cellular phones) are now called "smartphones" -- because they upgrade their predecessors.

But that terminology is not sustainable.

First - the phones are not so smart. They may seem so now, but in the next two years this crop will be functionally challenged and seem inadequate.

Next - these contraptions are no longer simply phones. They are computer, camera, GPS, audio recorder, music player, etc. The phone function & characteristics are not so central to product definition now.

We need a new name for them gizmo. A good name can be used for decades.

I suggest "commby"

Commby is "communications" paired with "By" because it's near (proximity). And it's a communication combination machine, with multiple functions.

Commby - a short sweet name for great technology.

Manufacturers are busy creating their own machines and devising proprietary names. This name should be open source. 

Where's my commby?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Crime Redefined, Ignored

The American people have been burgled. The face of organized crime in America is the fixer - the financial industry fixer, banking industry executive, Treasury appointee, the Fed insider.

They continue to skim. But in their big play of 2008-09, these scamsters robbed America of  trillions in real wealth. 

They've yet to answer for their crimes. Stooges & paid accomplices in government shield the monster scam, insisting "the bailout was necessary." The huge money transfers to private interests can't be legitimized as fair, or deserved -- so that's ignored.

The fleeced citizenry are uncomfortable, but passively carry on.

But bank robbery can be prosecuted years afterward... Ill-gotten gains can be partially recovered, and thieves punished. 

Pres. Bush to Egypt?

On American Thanksgiving Day, former US President George W. Bush indicated a potential willingness to return to public service -- as President of Egypt.

Responding to an Imaginary reporter who mentioned he (Bush) "was in denial about his sinking legacy" the former President, apparently misheard, and mentioned "Egypt's Old Man River!" He claimed "Jes' like those fay-rows" he himself was ready to lead the region. Admitting he was "always doubtful" of former President Mubarak, he referred to the Bible story of a burning bush, before excusing himself to "take a crap."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Haiku

Moist Thanksgiving walk
Vigorous yet comfortable
Embracing silence

Yankee holiday
Just another workday here
Celebrating love

Too much computer !
Red stinging eyes can't focus
I stretch for the keys

Short sweet dropped .com
Looks available, but wait...
This spelling's reversde

Leaving the turkey
I'm online sparring for drops
With Reberry-san

    -- Thanksgiving 2012, Haiku by 元気 Genki

Wicked Walmart

Workers at Walmart are pledged to strike on Black Friday (23rd November), the crazy US shopping day after Thanksgiving.

Many Walmart staff are the working poor - at salaries insufficient to pay for housing & food, they've no health or pension benefits when the employer keeps worktime below 28 hours per week.

American Dream for one family, nightmare for millions.

Walton family wealth = the wealth of 42% of all American families. Major owners of Walmart are the Walton family, whose wealth ($89.5 billion in 2010) equals that of the bottom 48.8 million American families.

The Walmart workers are not freeloaders, just regular folk slaving at unglamorous hard work. The 1% teach us to despise those lazing in entitlement programs. But in fact only their own rich kids do squat -- living large and lording it over America.

Entrepreneurs = only THREE PERCENT of the Very Rich
"According to both Marketwatch and economist Edward Wolff, over 90 percent of the assets owned by millionaires are held in a combination of low-risk investments (bonds and cash), personal business accounts, the stock market, and real estate. Only 3.6 percent of taxpayers in the top .1% were classified as entrepreneur..." (link)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Attacks on India

Yesterday the Government of India executed the sole surviving militant from the 2008 Mumbai attacks, where over 150 people were massacred.

Justice eludes the dead, crushing joys of loved ones lost.

Capital punishment is a feeble, extreme & primitive reaction to atrocity.

The most infamous unanswered attack on India in the recent past was the corporate greed attack on Bhopal, where Union Carbide's criminally hazardous pesticide plant spewed poison gas over hundreds of thousands of people, killing thousands outright, with tens of thousands victims permanently harmed.

Justice eludes the dead, crushing joys of loved ones lost.

Union Carbide (now Dow Chemical) disavowed responsibility. These reckless parasites sucked the profits, passing costs & pain to the community. Chairman Warren Anderson jumped bail and fled India for the USA, where he's been protected from retribution. He's the infamous robber capitalist, and now over 90 years old. His prostituted talents fattened shareholder wallets, but soon he'll join Lucifer & many thousand piteous ghosts in sadness...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Capt Jean, RIP

I did not know Capt. Jean Frottier of Welfleet, who perished two miles offshore when his vessel Twin Lights capsized & sank last week. A part of Cape Cod was lost. Sympathy to family & friends.

Collective Retribution: Gaza

Killing civilians ?

We're led to believe Even their babies are guilty.

One day, after lengthy investigations, "a few mistakes" may be confessed.

Collective retribution and indiscriminate bombing are wrong.
Extrajudicial assassination will rebound badly.
Whether generating terror, or genocide: stop this punishment.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

General Disorder

Top-tier US military commanders are under siege on the personal front:

Army General William "Kip" Ward
 ---- demoted one star for travel expense improprieties while Commander, United States Africa Command

Navy Admiral James G. Stavridis
 ---- passed over for potential appointment as chief of naval operations while being investigated by Pentagon Inspector General for use of military aircraft on questionable unofficial travel; ultimately cleared of misconduct

Army General David H. Petraeus
 ---- retired general abruptly left his civilian job as Director of the CIA over an extramarital affair; now under attack for questionable links to a Tampa-based socialite & security risk

Army General John R. Allen
 ---- nomination officially delayed as Supreme Allied Commander Europe (to replace Adm. Stavridis, above) due to investigations over interaction with a Tampa-based security risk

Perhaps all this (and much more) is coincidence?

These people risked & dedicated their lives for their nation. Now they are pecked to submission by the people they served and by administrative accountants for relatively minor missteps. As with the Bush-Cheney Republican Party's orchestrated ridicule of Senator John Kerry's honorable military service (Silver Star, Bronze Star, 3 Purple Hearts), the impact on other active duty & retired service personnel is substantial and offensive.

Destroying reputations & careers, weakening the command structure, demoralizing those in government service, plays into the hands of America's enemies. Who benefits?

We can be dragged to war by both our friends & our enemies.

Surely the interests of the American people don't either much overlap with those of friend Israel. Binyamin Netanyahu elicits standing ovations when waddling before the U.S. Congress (link) - but he's a fat foreign devil with an agenda different from our own.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Schmuck Award?

Here's a widely reprinted snapshot from summer 2011 of US Army General David Petraeus (Ret.) accepting a "community service award" from Jill (Gilberte Khawam) Kelley at her home in Tampa, Florida. At the time Petraeus was Director-designate of the US Central Intelligence Agency.

What exactly was this award? Was the award sponsored by "Friends of MacDill" or another group? What's printed on it?

Never Forget...

RIP Hostess Twinkies

Hostess Brands ownership blames the union workers for their shutdown (link), but management grabbed more & more (link), while trying to force labor to work for scraps.

The owners (hedge funds) now weasel again from their huge debts, protected by a "limited liability" system that allows cheating & stealing without proper penalty.

The 1% are bad guys (again). And again they seek to blame everyone else.

My favorite was "Susie Q"...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Reviewing Shenanigans

Assorted anomalies and shenanigans are now under investigation by a wide range of US officialdom interested in the circumstances surrounding David Petraeus, General John R. Allen, and some womenfolk.

This is good. Regardless of the personalities involved.

Hopefully any transgressions thus far are minor, and all our professional military officers can soon return to work.

But there are glaring systemic problems that need fixing. It's clear the system of giving "social liaison" VIP treatment to a civilian by United States Central Command (and probably elsewhere) was a security threat. Again, regardless of the specifics of this case, that loophole needs fixing. The potential for espionage is frightening.

Lebanese-American socialite Jill Kelley (a.k.a. Gilberte Khawam) cultivated friends in the highest military ranks and also in the FBI. Throwing huge fancy parties with open bar for our top servicemembers and public officials is laudable but somewhat scary. The many reports labeling her as "Christian" raise suspicions she's being deliberately distanced from non-Christian interests. Let us hope this case is not dirtier than it seems. Whatever the truth, the public's likely to be misled.


Five hundred and one posts to this blog.
Hurrah !

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Don't Perform

I learned the name of the Perform Group and PIAS today when trying to watch a football (soccer) replay. Perform claims to have a "unique perspective on how to commercialise sports content" --- Are they able to "engage with mass audiences globally" as claimed below? They proved to be tightfisted wankers here -- they don't perform well.

Bad Word Israel?

Interview of reserve US Army Lt. Col. Paula Broadwell by Arthur Kade:

At the 3:45 point of the interview, Broadwell mentions that while at West Point,  "I was able to do an exchange program to the Middle East."

Why say "the Middle East" -- is Israel a bad secret, or somehow a dirty word?

 Further background (link)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Marketing Dennis Power

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) would be a great US Secretary of State, or a brilliant US Secretary of Defence.

But it's unlikely he'll be appointed or confirmed.

Sure, he's not from the Democratic right-wing, and he promises to rock the boat. But what sinks his candidacy is his name.  Too few people know how to say "Kucinich" (koo-SIN-itch), and Americans are too proud or polite to guess & be wrong.

As Obama said - time for CHANGE
AP Photo/Harry Hamburg

Dennis Power        (formerly Rep. Dennis Kucinich)   


Myopic Yes

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Republican staffers gathered on election night to discover their dreams for President Mitt Romney were no more than intestinal gas. Those who worked for the candidate, who were told victory was certain, had a bad evening.

But it got worse. Many Romney staffers were in Boston planning festivities with the candidates. Others were posted to distant parts of the USA as unofficial election monitors, etc. Trying to pay the cab ride back to their hotel, or at checkout next day, they rudely found that scum Mitt, without any prior notice, had cancelled their credit card.

Uninvolved Republicans spun this as "fiscal Conservatism" but it was dumb, and the sign of a weasel. His running-mate, 'Eddie Munster' Ryan, is no better.

Some of these staffers & volunteers were in strange cities far from home. They suddenly went from being part of a large movement to being alone, exposed, and perhaps embarrassed. But best they recognize the feeling. How many young Americans have bled out to die in the dust of Iraq or Afghanistan, at last understanding the same thing - they were used, and now they'd been thrown away. Veterans see this everyday. Mitt ain't inviting you anywhere on his own dime; he doesn't care about you at all. He's a cheapskate piece of shit, "born on 3rd base, believing he hit a triple" -- too rich, too spoiled.

Sweden's Failure

Sweden failed today in its bid for election to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

It's a big black eye for the centre-right Reinfeldt government, and a loss for the Nordic nations, who've "agreed on a Nordic rotation, which means that one Nordic country stands as a candidate at a time." At the end of this year when Norway completes its term, the Nordic states will lose their important voice & influence.

Results of  12 Nov 2012 vote (link): Western European & Other States (3 seats):
USA (131) 
Germany (127) 
Ireland (124) 
Greece (78 - Not Elected) 
Sweden (75 - Not Elected) 

The USA was reelected.

Perhaps the results are blowback for Swedish government mismanagement in dealing with Julian Assange, or Sweden's involvement with USA kidnapping / renditions. Yet the world needs the independent Nordic voice more than ever.

Managers of the Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq and their US government superiors have yet to be charged, tried or convicted for prisoner abuse and torture. Active censorship bans still seek to hide the horrors of torture & murder by the US Government and its contractors.

Many Americans believe Abu Ghraib is old past forgotten history. Billions of other people around the world believe the Abu Ghraib photos of torture & depravity clearly display US cruelty, arrogance, and willingness to ignore violations of domestic and international law.

Violations without accountability fester & contaminate our world.

Monday, November 12, 2012

What Began Benghazi?

The murder of four Americans assigned to the US Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi, Libya continues to be outrageous. Surely a posting to this region was always highly dangerous. Were diplomatic personnel reasonably briefed and protected? It now seems they may have been targeted due to American 'black ops' people imprisoning Libyans believed somehow dangerous.

What a can of worms! We helped in the overthrow of the Libyan government. Now the anarchy of post-revolution bit us in the ass.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Petraeus Haunted

U.S. Army General David Petraeus (Ret.) has just resigned in a sexual scandal as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Detailed criticism of any D/CIA is unwise.  - 'nuff said.

Let us quickly look, however, at the face of David's father-in-law, U.S. Army General William A. Knowlton (deceased 2008), former Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point -- a ghost now surely displeased:

Public service = hardball & sad...

Friday, November 09, 2012

Reamed !

It's morning in America. Time for a new beginning.

Mega-corporations nearly stole election USA as they funneled billions of corrupt funds into a secret political system. The US Supreme Court still allows non-disclosure of funding sources and unlimited corporate PAC donations. As each huge corporate octopus straddles the globe, foreign funds thus destabilize America. Corporations with any foreign ownership should be banned from giving gifts to politicians. The multinationals are welcome to do business in the USA, but it is a huge mistake to give voting rights in America to Saudi princes, the Chinese Red Army, and other mega-rich foreign brothers.

We the People must demand each elected official fight for us. But with each publicly elected face are five or more administrative hacks, often struggling for funds. The US Democratic Party receives huge monies from corporate puppet-masters. The political parties will continue to actively resist changing their system. Corrupt corporate funds employ many politician's mentors & family members, and offer promise of fat retirement support.

We need new political voices, and to stop enforcing the two-party system. Political corruption kept Obama & Romney from debating Jill Stein of the Green Party. She was on the NY ballot for President; she was at the New York debate, but instead of debating, she got arrested. Far too many Americans are still unaware the two corporate political parties fully control all access to every debate. The two parties will only give up domination when we demand a new format.

The wealthy hold us hostage in many ways. They've destabilized and overthrown governments, funded murders, and paid to create fear. The giants of industry have manufactured energy crises & major wars to advance themselves. Corrupt businesses pushed themselves and the economy to the precipice. They ransacked our communities, sucked out our wealth, and then demanded & received refinancing without penalty. It's unbelievable that people still respect the businessmen who bluntly stabbed us in the heart, went through our pockets, and stole our savings. System fundamentals collapsed, while we slaves still touch our caps to the "owners" -- as we toe the line for field work.

We cheer bailouts letting us keep our scutwork jobs, and don't question why our money was given to the bosses who control us.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Climate Change?

The US Republican Party has resisted the idea of climate change & global warming while the richest segment of its rightist cabal markets fossil fuels. Perhaps via stormy Katrina & Sandy, the Wrath of God will be better appreciated -- she ain't Republican...

Climate change in the political realm is still minor. Too many Americans are dumbly upset over the weaselly poor, while their nation and wealth are shamelessly looted by the weaselly rich. There's been no accountability for the collapse and bailout of the banking system - where politicians pushed trillions of dollars of everyone's wealth to the 1% ultra-wealthy. We're easy pickings for big financiers, and scared by their armies of hired goons (police; military; politicians). We're manipulated ruthlessly by corporate media; and still the swindle continues...

Rube, schmuck & schlemiel, it's time we unite & fight.

Japan in the Toilet

BBC News reports (link) that among Australia's "Top Ten Inventions" is the dual-flush toilet.

The backstory is appealing:  "In the world's driest inhabited continent, water-saving measures are religiously embraced. The dual flush loo has two buttons to dispatch different amounts of water from the cistern - a half-flush for liquid waste and a full one for more heavy-duty deposits.It was invented in the early 1980s by Bruce Thompson and is a ubiquitous feature in Australian bathrooms..." 

But dual-flush toilets were widely used in Japan since at least the 1970s (my introduction was as a homestay student there in 1979). Further, the Japanese designs were superior: in many versions, fresh water runs from a tap into a mini-basin before draining into the cistern -- allowing a rinse of hands or contact with a disinfecting / deodorizing agent. And Japanese home designers typically separate the toilet from the bath / shower into two adjoining rooms, so two people can easily freshen-up at the same time (both logical & an aesthetic improvement - it's gross & uninspiring to bathe looking at a toilet).

Anyhow, Wikipedia, the BBC, and Sydney's Powerhouse Museum must cleanup their reports -- the invention of the dual-flush toilet preceded 1980 and is probably not Australian.

 Choose 大 for big or 小 for smaller jobs... 「水を流すトイレのレバー」


Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Entitled to Swindle?

Much was said in this election about a part of our great nation (fully 47% of society according to Romney) who feel entitled to supports, beggars trying to scrounge other people's energies.


But I personally know more people who are wealthy, yet scrounge other people's energies. They claim to owe nothing to nobody. They believe their successes are wholly self-created. Family, friends & community are betrayed for narcissistic wealth. In the midst of their plenty they defraud, strike out & stab others. Too many Americans living in the midst of community angrily snap at suggestions they've not paid their way.


Perhaps two types of scum, like ticks & fleas, or rats & crows, are similar competitors?

Let's note the words of Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-MA):
"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn't have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along..."

Election... No Comment

Romney Ryan Revealed

They couldn't carry their own home states, where they're best known. Corporate charmers. Empty smiles.

Romney & Ryan, rich right-wing robots, would have recklessly ruined us all. Thank the Lord they lost.

Brown to Brooks Bros.

Scott Brown is out of work in January, after Massachusetts voted Elizabeth Warren into the Senate. Brown reportedly owns homes in Wrentham, Massachusetts & Rye, New Hampshire. He has a further three condominium units in Boston rented out; and is also part-owner of a timeshare on the Caribbean island of Aruba; he also has Washington DC lodgings -- which presumably he'll be leaving.

Anyhow, he's a fancy dude who can soon hitchhike over to the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets to work at Brooks Brothers Factory Store.  Good luck to ya Scottie !