Saturday, December 21, 2013

Only Surveillance?

The NSA network of global spying is creepy story of the year. Thanks to Mr. Edward Snowden, Mr. Glenn Greenwald & Ms. Laura Poitras !  But can we handle the truth?

The revelations thus far are not very surprising, although the 'unholy' alliances are worrisome: the systematic sharing of huge amounts of information between assorted sleazy governments and private contractors is indefensible.

But reports claim there is much more to come. Unfortunately, those revelations are likely to be terrible.

Surveillance is troubling. But active espionage, extortion, blackmail and state-sponsored corruption are far worse.

Since the Abu Ghraib revelations we've known at least something about our systems of torture, widespread abuse, and militaristic brutalization. Much continues today at Guantanamo We employ tens of thousands of "anti-terrorist" operatives throughout the USA & around the world. Our governments have deliberately weakened hardware & software security and monitor our personal lives. A hidden core of bureaucrats and "allies" spy worldwide on friendly governments and the private sector. Bluntly: foolish information policy analysts have constructed a hugely dangerous system -- infiltration & abuse are inescapable. 

How long can the American people continue funding & support for such costly secretive government operations?  Have opinions about big corporate government changed over the past year? What costs & benefits flow from our huge systems of lies & corruption? We've encouraged too much trespassing.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trust the Neighbors?

Here's (link) an interesting article on  distrust
"Japanese Don't Trust Korea, China"

The Chosun Ilbo article is based on a Yomiuri Shinbun report, citing a Gallup poll of Japanese and Americans.

So we've an inexactly-cited survey with unknown bias and sampling error, with results filtered through two news organizations (and now a blog). What can we learn?

We might at least ask these key questions:
  • What percentage of people distrust their own government? 
  • Who profits most from mistrust?  ( Answer: militarists & right-wing opportunists )
  • Do US military leaders prefer peace? (and dismantling their systems, downsizing manpower, reducing budgets)?
  • Might US military leaders prefer military alert?
If the citizenry is asked "Can media always be trusted?" - nobody should answer "Yes" -- But it's so much more provocative & explosive to hear of unknown neighbors distrusting us.

Gallup political surveys

Monday, December 16, 2013

Donkey: Medicare for All

I don't like the Affordable Care Act.

I don't like President Obama.

I don't like the nickname "Obamacare" -- it's a deceptive label.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act / Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act is a frankenstein from big healthcare. The giant American corporate healthcare industry, especially insurers and accountants, have hobbled the American people & medical professionals as surely as trapping a donkey hoof in a snare.

Medicare for All.

Obama didn't want this Affordable Care Act compromise, though he now acts its champion (it extends coverage to 32 million now-uninsured people). Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana), tool of healthcare lobbyists, was the overpaid weasel largely responsible for the monstrosity. But the bastard Obamacare is an ugly collage - an artwork we can throw away -- an abomination easily adjusted. Humanists: Arise and demand Medicare for All while you still can! True Democrats: find your voice before you're silenced.

Medicare for All. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Killing Criminals

I don't agree that governments should execute criminals.

There are far too many criminal executions in the USA and around the world.

It becomes most perverse in cases of state security. Pyongyang recently executed General Chang Song-thaek (장성택) for trying to overthrow the State. But as much as the South Korean government, USA & allies highlight the case, it then appears more likely "Uncle Chang Song-thaek" was a foreign agent.

Was he "despicable human scum ... worse than a dog" (link)?
We'll never know for certain. Anyhow - he dead.

Why does this execution continue to reverberate in reporting by our many submissive media outlets? Because as the USA & NATO withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan, we need enemies; some militarists would welcome redeploying to Korea ...

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Word from the Dead

Making war in Vietnam was outrageous.

Growing up as a young man in America, I was personally threatened. There's been no apology.

The killed can't complain. The rest of us, American, Vietnamese & their neighbors, people around the world, were brutalized for... what?

Some lost a parent, others lost a limb, many sacrificed years of suffering, decades of sadness. Look around and find wasted lifetimes. Why was this allowed to happen?

Those killed can't complain. 

Change the subject? Pass the remote?  Let's eat dinner?
Must I love the goddamn militarists?

Our "leaders" -- proven corrupt -- deserve no trust.
They are the enemy.  Dick Cheney & Karl Rove are the rusty dirty faces to a pack of rabid animals, Republican & Democrat enemies of the citizenry who'd ensnare and enslave the lot of us. They're like the fucking moles who keep popping-up till the money runs out. We must build accountability and transparency into our social systems -- before rot, mold and treachery finish us off as a nation and as loving decent humans.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Banker's View

--  by Genki

Mr. Banker & Ms. Politician claim:

You're Entirely A LOAN

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

We Citizens ≠ (not) Enemy

Open letter from Peter Kofod & US - UK national security agents
-- from The Guardian 11 Dec. 2013  (quote):

At least since the aftermath of September 2001, western governments and intelligence agencies have been hard at work expanding the scope of their own power, while eroding privacy, civil liberties and public control of policy. What used to be viewed as paranoid, Orwellian, tin-foil hat fantasies turned out post-Snowden, to be not even the whole story.

What's really remarkable is that we've been warned for years that these things were going on: wholesale surveillance of entire populations, militarization of the internet, the end of privacy. All is done in the name of "national security", which has more or less become a chant to fence off debate and make sure governments aren't held to account – that they can't be held to account – because everything is being done in the dark. Secret laws, secret interpretations of secret laws by secret courts and no effective parliamentary oversight whatsoever.

By and large the media have paid scant attention to this, even as more and more courageous, principled whistleblowers stepped forward. The unprecedented persecution of truth-tellers, initiated by the Bush administration and severely accelerated by the Obama administration, has been mostly ignored, while record numbers of well-meaning people are charged with serious felonies simply for letting their fellow citizens know what's going on.

It's one of the bitter ironies of our time that while John Kiriakou (ex-CIA) is in prison for blowing the whistle on US torture, the torturers and their enablers walk free.

Likewise WikiLeaks-source Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning was charged with – amongst other serious crimes – aiding the enemy (read: the public). Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison while the people who planned the illegal and disastrous war on Iraq in 2003 are still treated as dignitaries.

Numerous ex-NSA officials have come forward in the past decade, disclosing massive fraud, vast illegalities and abuse of power in said agency, including Thomas Drake, William Binney and Kirk Wiebe. The response was 100% persecution and 0% accountability by both the NSA and the rest of government. Blowing the whistle on powerful factions is not a fun thing to do, but despite the poor track record of western media, whistleblowing remains the last avenue for truth, balanced debate and upholding democracy – that fragile construct which Winston Churchill is quoted as calling "the worst form of government, except all the others".

Since the summer of 2013, the public has witnessed a shift in debate over these matters. The reason is that one courageous person: Edward Snowden. He not only blew the whistle on the litany of government abuses but made sure to supply an avalanche of supporting documents to a few trustworthy journalists. The echoes of his actions are still heard around the world – and there are still many revelations to come.

For every Daniel Ellsberg, Drake, Binney, Katharine Gun, Manning or Snowden, there are thousands of civil servants who go by their daily job of spying on everybody and feeding cooked or even made-up information to the public and parliament, destroying everything we as a society pretend to care about.

Some of them may feel favourable towards what they're doing, but many of them are able to hear their inner Jiminy Cricket over the voices of their leaders and crooked politicians – and of the people whose intimate communication they're tapping.

Hidden away in offices of various government departments, intelligence agencies, police forces and armed forces are dozens and dozens of people who are very much upset by what our societies are turning into: at the very least, turnkey tyrannies.

One of them is you.

You're thinking:
● Undermining democracy and eroding civil liberties isn't put explicitly in your job contract.
● You grew up in a democratic society and want to keep it that way
● You were taught to respect ordinary people's right to live a life in privacy
● You don't really want a system of institutionalized strategic surveillance that would make the dreaded Stasi green with envy – do you?

Still, why bother? What can one person do? Well, Edward Snowden just showed you what one person can do. He stands out as a whistleblower both because of the severity of the crimes and misconduct that he is divulging to the public – and the sheer amount of evidence he has presented us with so far – more is coming. But Snowden shouldn't have to stand alone, and his revelations shouldn't be the only ones.

You can be part of the solution; provide trustworthy journalists – either from old media (like The Guardian) or from new media (such as WikiLeaks) with documents that prove what illegal, immoral, wasteful activities are going on where you work. 

There IS strength in numbers. You won't be the first – nor the last – to follow your conscience and let us know what's being done in our names. Truth is coming – it can't be stopped. Crooked politicians will be held accountable. It's in your hands to be on the right side of history and accelerate the process.

Courage is contagious.

Signed by:
Peter Kofod  ex-Human Shield in Iraq (Denmark)
Thomas Drake  whistleblower, former NSA senior executive (US)
Daniel Ellsberg  whistleblower, former US military analyst (US)
Katharine Gun  whistleblower, former GCHQ (UK)
Jesselyn Radack  whistleblower, former Dept. of Justice (US)
Ray McGovern  former senior CIA analyst (US)
Coleen Rowley  whistleblower, former FBI agent (US)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Electronic Abuse in Korea

Governments around the world are being criticized for spying & espionage, against each other and against their own citizenry.

But the major espionage scandal brewing in South Korea is extreme. ---> At least we hope it's not common among democratic governments...

Reportedly, the Korean National Intelligence Service was enlisted by the right-wing government to manipulate public opinion & assure their candidate's election for President (and she subsequently "won").

A segment of the Intelligence Service's Psychological Operations Division was instructed to systematically post fraudulent political messages on bulletin boards and chat rooms, and to tweet positively about the favored candidate while trashing the opposition. All this was done secretly using online aliases and fake identities (which itself is illegal in Korea). A recent report (link) calculates more than 22 million Twitter messages may have been generated in this orchestrated spoof. (link in Korean & English) A New York Times article reports Korea's Cyberwarfare Command was part of the deception. (Cyberwarfare Command is part of Korea's Defense Ministry). What claimed to be public opinion was dishonest propaganda manufactured by the government to prolong the Saenuri Party term in power.

The gradual unfolding of information and evidence over many months has been further troubled by cover-up efforts, press censorship, job transfers & creepy Watergate-like dirty tricks. Korea's government has been more shaken by wider recent global notice of the scandal than by the fraud itself (link). Too many Koreans fear making any comment -- which itself is shameful for government.

Any election misconduct seriously subverts democracy.

Of course, the American NSA were likely watching... if not themselves involved...

Monday, December 09, 2013

Dirty Pilgrim

Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station is situated next to Pilgrim Nuclear Waste Dump in Plymouth, Massachusetts. It's just a short walk to the site of the first Thanksgiving.

But the Nuclear Station is felt by many to be highly dangerous, a Fukushima-like threat to the region. It's operated by Entergy, a US$25 billion outfit headquartered in Louisiana. The plant uses an old design, it's been repeatedly closed for safety violations, and its lifetime has only been extended over many objections.

Now the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC has appointed a new resident inspector.

I don't know this new man, Brian Scrabeck, but he used to work for Entergy (he was Senior Reactor Operator in Oswego, NY). He's been with the "regulatory" NRC just eighteen months.

The job assignment was criticized by Cape Downwinders founder Diane Turco, who labeled appointment of Entergy-insider Scrabeck "a clear conflict" (link).

Scrabeck gained the posting when his NRC predecessor, Brian P. Smith, left to rejoin the corporate sector.

Reportedly, the NRC made the decision to replace Smith, but when asked if Pilgrim Nuclear's long string of unplanned forced shutdowns contributed to the move, Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokeswoman Diane Screnci claimed (link) "Not at all." -- inspectors "routinely move."

(Smith, that last Pilgrim Nuclear resident inspector, vacated his job as an NRC regulator for an industry post with Exelon's Delta, Pennsylvania nuclear plant. Exelon Corp. is a US$42 billion utility services holding company headquartered in Chicago).

As regards new man Scrabeck being back at Entergy, Cape Cod Times reporter Christine Legere asked NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan if it was "somewhat incestuous to have a federal inspector supervise his former employer" -- the NRC said no.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Poor are People

          by Genki

Poor are people.
Our poor people.
Damn many we are..

All of us lazy?
Richy claims we're deadbeats.
'Course he says so.

Our communities
Highly polarized
Generate bad solutions

Barack's done squat for us.
Petty bourgeois mealymouth -
Looking out for hisself.

Nelson Mandela and
the African National Congress
Built reconciliation

Peace won't simply grow
From win & loss.
Perhaps it cannot...

ANC activist (now businessman)
Tokyo Sexwale explained:
"the liberation struggle of our people
was not about liberating blacks from bondage,
but more so about liberating
white people from fear."

Might Our terrorfied Richies
So scared of being mugged
Unclench creativity & compassion
To help poverty relief...?

Better we enlist the rich folk
Than besiege them in their castles

Supporting Education.
Teaching how to fish...
What a wonderful world.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Go Nelson !

As big corporate media tries to sanitize Nelson Mandela, some of his statements commanding activism are available at (link)

Nelson Mandela was self-admitted tip of the iceberg for the African National Congress -- declared "Terrorist" by Reagan, Thatcher, and corporate powers who'd love to tyrannize all the world for private profits and personal overconsumption.

Push back against enslavement.   ...that's Mandela's legacy.

Mandela's legacy is built on the bones of others cruelly murdered in South Africa and elsewhere: Stephen Biko, Patrice Lumumba, Malcolm Little, Maurice Bishop, George Jackson, Chris Hani, and so many people entangled by oppression: racist, colonialist, militarist.

Mandela refused to be a whipped animal - he stood up & struggled for a better world.

Beyond labels & rabid reactions, here was a man who managed to project goodwill and dignity while horrible systems of oppression raged all around. He made our world better.

R.I.P. Nelson Mandela  

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Obama Pretends to Awaken

Nearly six years into his horrible administration, US President Barack Obama gave a speech yesterday seeking remedies for economic collapse he engineered.

Obama and his minions consistently support big finance in raping the American middle class. They began with government-funded bailouts & the TARP program: undercutting all but the largest most-favored mega-businesses.

Obama  continues many militaristic policies of his failed predecessorwe're still mired in Afghanistan, and still maintain our Guantanamo torture center. We kill increasing numbers of innocent third-world civilians with our drone weapons.

Obama spies on the American people, and wastes much of the budget. He's antidemocratic.

Obama claims to be waking up - but he's five years too late. Someone rightly labeled anyone now supporting Obama as either evil or stupid....  !

Friday, November 29, 2013

Pop-up & Advertising Hell

I formerly enjoyed to see details of Swedish happenings.

Their business has been good, and they successfully expanded to other markets in Switzerland & Germany. But unfortunately they now pack their sites with pop-ups and very obnoxious blinking advertising. Looking at their page is frenzied & uncomfortable.

Sorry, people of thelocal -- but your site now sucks.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Regulatory Environment, Thank EU

Thanksgiving Day.

Though many parts of the world suffer from predation without accountability, the European Union has developed many positive consumer protections. EU citizens have greatly benefited from reform of assorted regulatory regimes (and in many nations, building up from lack of protections) toward systematic and uniform safeguards. Big business & lapdog media complain, but most of us benefit greatly.

Lower charges for bank machine usage & mobile phone roaming, clarity in billing, transparent pricing for air travel, etc., these are ways the EU makes a positive contribution to our lives.

The overall theme is to fight against the scam and systemic corruption.

We each enter the world naked & helpless. At your final end comes ...

We need protections.  Thanks for that!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thank You Turkey (Turkiet)

Four months ago, the democratically-elected government of Egypt was overthrown in a violent military coup d'état and key officials arrested. These elected leaders and many family members are still incarcerated in secret military prisons. 

Turkey has criticized the plotters, who seized control of Egyptian state resources, suspended the constitution, and shot dead many hundreds of protestors throughout the country. 

Reboot elections are interminably delayed.

Turkey upholds democracy by refusing to simply accept Egyptian army rule, and they've criticized martial law. Egypt was suspended from the African Union because military overthrow of Egypt's government was unconstitutional, However the USA and assorted other nations back Egypt's military and appointees, who are probably guilty of insurrection, treason & murder.

Thank you Turkey for considering the people's views and speaking out for democracy We need somebody to stand up to illegal militarist overthrow of legitimate governments, (little help from constitutional scholar Barack Obama: please return that Nobel Peace Prize!). There must be consequences to violent sudden raw power grabs. When militarists and their backers control & can cutoff democracy, all freedoms we enjoy, our physical liberty and well-being are held captive.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Limited Liability Losers

We all lose by allowing corporations to operate with limited liability.

No matter spin-meisters and PR, the bottom line for corporate limited liability is they can be irresponsible for debts and problems: allowed to generate distress & walk away.

Regular humans cannot so easily escape. What 99% would consider obligations, the corporation can laugh and defect. Reckless corporate behavior is fundamental to this corporate form & its legal foundations.

Corporations could be held responsible. We've allowed them to run amok with limited liability corporate charters. We put shareholder greed first & foremost. As they shift funds to maximal profit, our system encourages socially irresponsible behavior.

We allow hidden corporate donations to corrupt our political leaders. We allow corporate speculation, bailouts of too-big-to-fail corporations, mark-to-market accounting, and raw favoritism. We've allowed the corporate undermining of our political, economic & social systems. Why allow corporate owners the option to fuck over our communities with no penalty?

We allow limited liability owners to pull funding, shut the sucker down, and escape. Why do we encourage that?  Limited liability  =  no accountability. 

Allowing corporate limited liability, we've put Hyena in our living room...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Oldest Man in Arkansas, Shot Dead

Still little further word on the killing two months ago of Monroe Isadore (link), the 107-year old legally blind black man who was violently killed in his bedroom by an Arkansas SWAT team.

There's yet been no official report of weapon(s) recovery, though the killing was first explained away as justified due to the deceased "shooting at" battle-ready law officers who violently invaded his living space.

The Oldest Man in Arkansas, Monroe Isadore was 107 years old when gunned down (born 20 January 1906). Was he a ruthless chain killer, a frightening Black Panther leader, a dangerous terrorist? Or a frightened, church-going enfeebled old fellow? Did he truly shoot a gun at others? (There are no claims he hit anyone.) Where is the weapon? Were police justified to attack him in his home? Was it truly necessary to kill this venerable old man?

Monroe Isadore in younger, happier times

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

State-Directed Terrorism

Are we to believe German Chancellor Angela Merkel is coordinating terrorism over her cell phone, and that heroic Yank spies are listening & recording only to foil anti-American plots?

Indonesia's President, his wife & staff are also suspected terrorists (Remember: 9/11) -- deserving to be secretly & constantly monitored by American running dogs & spying Aussie lackeys.


And why do we give Israel access to all intelligence? Such spying is the tip of the iceberg. It feeds further espionage and blackmail.

It's a dirty & dangerous system. The public is being suckered by insiders, who operate in darkness to undermine & sabotage a system millions of Americans worked, fought & died for.

Murderous Whitey Bulger & his corrupt Boston FBI friends are filthy drops in a stinking cesspit.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Medicare For All

America's health care outrage continues...
What a silly, stupid, cumbersome health insurance system...

The bloated US system kills people everyday unnecessarily.
Need help? Prepare to be crippled by costs. Instead  wait & see one more day -- If no wake up, no more tomorrow(s) for you.

It's time to implement Medicare for all Americans.

That system already protects 50 million older Americans.

The so-called Obamacare frankenstein was a compromise with industry that Republicans now do all possible to sabotage. Who's causing & gleefully publicizing the Obamacare administrative labyrinth & website problems? It's not helpful nurses or needy patients or jackass Obama. It's big business.

Don't forget: this law is the Affordable Care Act, and scum money is paying big bucks to sink it. The ill and injured are forgotten, these sharks seek profits & easy continuous money.

Helpful medical doctors (and there aren't enough of them) can't offer free & easy treatment. Legal liability comes first (and the paperwork masks greed).

Again, needy Americans get it up the ass from an arrogant cold-blooded master class of well-insured rich folk.

Medicare for all Americans  !

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sit in your City

Near my house in the city, people come round the corner from a restaurant to stand and smoke on the side street.

I'm not against the smokers. Rather the opposite - they're local workers or residents. They keep an eye on the neighborhood, and help minimize crime.

I'd like to see an open bench. They should bring chairs.

Our city gives far too much space to cars, but doesn't respect regular people in public spaces.

Friday, November 15, 2013

You are So Bad

Might America secretly welcome focus on the Holocaust?

Most Americans think of the Holocaust with dread - a tragedy where millions of innocent people were ruthlessly butchered.

But focus on European genocide draws attention away from America's recent genocide - the slaughter of  innocent local populations & attempted complete destruction of native cultures. America's indigenous people, Native Americans, Amerindians, aboriginals, Hawaiians, the First Nations, have been brutally abused -- their homeland is occupied, their suffering continues.

Diverting attention avoids unpleasant confrontation and indefensible denial.
Our scheming rulers dance & leer on graves of the Redskin.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beyond Fixing?

Some declare the American model beyond repair. The United States of America is deeply in debt. Political leaders of both major parties continuously spend / waste huge resources on overseas militarism. The majority of Americans lurch toward impoverishment, selling their final few valuables. The poor get sicker, dumber, poorer. The 1% other pay a millionaire Congress to yak at each other.

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has proposed a Progressive Budget Blueprint.

Read it. Support it.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Illegal Pre-Trial Confinement

Guantanamo Torture Camp
operated by the bloody US of A
a BushObama exploit

Illegal Pre-Trial Confinement
Uncontested by Americans
As each struggles & dies

In a land of war crimes
Community of guilt
Y no kwik Wealth 4 ME?

Poor Yankee near homeless
Smothered by comfortfoods
Surely "Better'n Gitmo"

                       --- by Genki

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Devil Feinstein

Right-Wing Drift vs. Despotism

The present government of the Republic of Korea is right-wing, and Proud.

Fine. South Korea's democratically-elected government missteps, however, when it bans political activities and seeks to dissolve a rival political party.

Also, South Korea still requires mandatory military service from all young men. But the system is abused (desirable appointments surreptitiously distributed unfairly) and abusive (less-advantaged young men forced into labor) as well as being sexist (in a land of legal equality, why no female service?) and possibly illegal (with no conscientious objector option, the system abrogates Korea's human rights obligations).

Korea suffers growing pains. Hopefully, the Korean people will find good solutions to their problems.

But major danger lurks, in stubborn homogeneity. Koreans are unaccustomed to diverse opinion; rather than seeking to bridge differences, diversity is smothered. Multiethnic mixed communities are rare, and too often considered dangerous.

Korea just now has many opportunities. But sustainable progress requires solving basic problems among Korea's neighbors, and offering opportunity comprehensively across the nation. Korea needs statecraft, not simplistic despotism. We pray President Park Geun-hye will search for creative solutions. Otherwise, Korea's enemies laughingly watch Korea hurry-hurry (빨리빨리) into disaster.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Spies in Your Sink

What can you do to discourage the prying spying infiltration of your family & all aspects of your life?


We're targets. Be good.

But big intel-gathering needs money. If you dislike the system, please implement comprehensive reform, budget cuts & penalizing legislation; change can take place within five years...  Don't forget that government is only a small part of the spying. Edward Snowden has shown us a huge amount of espionage is conducted by private for-profit limited-liability corporations. There ain't oversight or accountability.

We've far too many patriots occupying overseas outposts. The Empire needs spies. But it's better to bring our forces home.

Support the EFF - Electronic Frontier Foundation (link) to impose some checks & balances on America's invasive spying. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dirty Uncle USA

The peeping NSA has dirtied the reputation of the United States of America. We now imagine a lecherous bug-eyed Uncle Sam spying & eavesdropping.

He's corrupted our computers. He leers from every camera. His infection lingers in your mobile phone.


The US President (or his shadowy minions) -- claiming Obama didn't know about the espionage, makes it all worse...

Of course partisan Republican rats will politicize the mess. But it's a class problem: neighborhood people getting shit-upon by our rulers. (Who also spy on each other).  Scummy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

UK & Sweden Shield NSA Spies

Revelations still reverberate of wholesale spying by the US National Security Agency. Documented accusations include eavesdropping on European government leaders and international organizations, as well as intrusive comprehensive spying on hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Nearly four months ago in early July 2013 (link), a meeting of national ambassadors to the European Union sought to create an EU Working Group looking into intelligence gathering. Twenty-six EU nations were in favor of joint fact-finding studies, but the UK and Sweden vetoed common efforts to determine what was going on in areas of espionage and national security.

The governments of UK PM David Cameron & Nick Clegg, and Sweden's center-right Reinfeldt / Bildt axis shielded US spying. Even as people now awaken to sharing their lives with US spies, (and recent statements by UK & Swedish politicians are less obstructionist on uncovering the truth & eliminating abuse), thanks to these four US stooges we're unlikely to learn how much damning espionage evidence was destroyed these past few months.

How can the USA reward such valuable allies?
Are they friends, kept ignorant? or actively misinformed?
Was personal blackmail or bribery involved? Surely not...
But official spying w/ corporate collusion corrupts trust.

Cameron, Clegg, Reinfeldt, Bildt
          = free tickets to Disneyland?
          = lifetime FOX-News TV?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Korea Torments Teachers

Last Thursday 24 Oct., the government of South Korean President Park Geun-hye declared the Korean Teachers’ & Education Workers’ Union (KTU) illegal.

Korean President Park seeks to force educators toward the ruling 새누리당 Saenuri Party (Saenuri-dang) position on major issues. The Korean government is forcibly taking away a constitutionally guaranteed right to organize.

The government had demanded the union expel any members who are not full-time teachers. That may sound reasonable, but the small number of 'disputed' members are either retired teachers or those laid-off due to government cutbacks, between 9 and 22 people (link). Why can't labor associate freely?

Now the 60,000 member teacher's union is illegal.

We must wonder if President Park can make such decisions herself, or if she first needs ask Washington & U.S. Pres. Obama for permission? South Korea & ally USA remain technically in a state of war with North Korea, and America bases nearly 30,000 troops (link) throughout the South.

Korean right-wing President Park Geun-hye is the daughter of assassinated dictator General Park Chung-hee, close friend & former puppet of the USA.

The Korean Government Employees’ Union has not been officially recognized, and private sector unions are often quashed by industry. But this latest union-busting decision is sure to raise anger internationally against Korea -- already seen as competing unfairly.

The irony is that Korea is highly competitive in most substantive areas, but myopic and regressive with human rights, gender issues & internationalization. These latter areas have little influence on low priced Korean products flooding the world, but negative publicity for Korea hurts its competitive industries and consumer sales of products from Samsung, LG, Lotte, KIA, Hyundai, etc.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Dead by Govt. Shutdown

How many people were sickened, injured or died due to the US government shutdown?

Stories have been told about a supposed aggregate economic cost, but where are the human stories?

The USFDA (Food and Drug Administration) has 1602 investigators, most were furloughed for three weeks - what went on during the gap?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recalled 30 furloughed staff to deal with a salmonella outbreak among 300+ people who ate Foster Farms tainted chicken.

I'd like to see more news articles about the human cost of government shutdown.

As the shutdown was largely blamed on Republican Party extremists, there would seem ample strategic incentives for reasonable people of almost all persuasions to highlight accidents and abuses that happened during the United States federal government shutdown of 2013 (1-17 October).

The Guardian has offered some coverage - can't other media bring us more of the real stories?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bambozzled by Richy

On the advice of a friend, just watched:
Wealth Inequality in America

Wealth inequality in itself seems natural and OK. Such extremes are not good. Half a nation lumped perpetually as "have-not" is unsustainable. And what is really bad is that the very richest 1% of people actively work & spend to flummox the rest.

Richy 1% should be spending to protect his stash. But he gets the rest to cover many costs such as security, defense & infrastructure. He spends to avoid taxes. He spends deliberately to confuse the key issues.

The modestly wealthy (with more wealth than 90% of other folk), and the quite wealthy (with more wealth than 96% of other folk), are a long distance from top 1% Richy. They know it, but busily work to protect some comforts. Richy's got the system sewn up.

With Republican-led government shutdown, people are led to be angry and want smaller government. Richy will then cheat you at the gas pump (both lower octane & improper volume - who can check?). You'll buy horse or dog meat labeled as beef (no inspectors, no govt. rules). Since Richy owns the newspapers & media, you believe a story that the poor dumfux over the hill deserve to die - and send your sturdy kids to get damaged or killed in war. Richy equips both sides, at windfall profits. No surprise: Richy Wins.

But Richy needs an endgame, an exit strategy. When 80% or 90% of 'neighbors' recognize they work very hard & live shittier lives from Richy manipulation, Richy could be threatened.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Free the Tea Party!

The US Tea Party movement was never Republican. It was stupid to be coopted by Big Business and megawealth.

Populist movements are little people fighting for themselves. They were corralled through the trickery of fatcat politicos and fools For Sale (such as golly-gee Sarah Palin whore).

Following the flag, these red white & blue Americans were sucked into the wastes of Iraq & Afghanistan, at great cost (our money stolen by Big Business) and huge loss of life.

A new party & grass-roots activism are needed. A real fight for freedom.

Withdraw from overseas colonialism, which deflect the American people's needs. It's dumb to beat-up on clueless dusky foreigners (who are also mostly enslaved as well). Fat & pasty Republican Party parasites are at fault.

Republican & Democrat weasel politicians accepted huge 'donations' to build a loophole-filled tax system for giant corporations (such as Apple -- link), who can legally e-funnel resources away from taxes & local needs. Yo money disappears to megarich scumballs, while you tastefully exercise your purchasing powers at Walmart.

Monday, October 14, 2013

We're Republican Livestock

Understanding Threat

Ask your local nuclear operator the following questions:

1) How much nuclear waste do you store on site?

2) What distance(s) from active reactor to waste storage?

3) How much such storage is necessary for power generation?

4) If you could easily offload your nuclear waste, how many tons would you give up?

Nuclear power plants also are nuclear waste dumps.  Answers to these questions easily show the nuclear industry is critically suboptimal, dirty and highly dangerous. Fukushima was not a sufficient lesson?

Demand "mile minimum" between waste dump & nuclear reactor. Hundreds of miles is better. Investors in the nuclear industry lump their waste dumps beside 'hot' reactors to minimize complaints - fewer sites, less complaint. Their short term convenience & profit-taking breeds disaster.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


US nuclear power plants should all be shutdown, say an expert panel of two former Nuclear Regulatory Commissioners, a nuclear engineer, a Cape Cod politician, and Naoto Kan (Japan's Prime Minister at Fukushima Daiichi's Nuclear Disaster).

Meeting in Boston at the Statehouse, the panel criticized Massachusetts combined Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station and Pilgrim Nuclear Waste Stockpile.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission hasn't properly protected the public.

US nuke licensing is both MILKSOP and LIMPSY:



Monday, October 07, 2013

Fukushima Cost to You

After the Fukushima nuclear disaster (which is still continuing) people living somewhat near a coastal nuclear plant should be paying much more for insurance - if they're insured at all.

Home insurance, health insurance, the risks are clearly high and much can go wrong.

We foolishly continue to stockpile nuclear waste next to operating nuclear reactors, just off beaches. Crazy.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

NYC Madness

Was it a motorcycle gang that swarmed investment banker Alexian Lien, dragged him from his Range Rover, and beat him? Was it a mob enraged by Lien's seeming callousness? Was this an ethnically-fuelled attack? Or a bike vs. car rivalry? Was it a class war skirmish? Was it common road rage?

A daytime drive in upper Manhattan for a young family quickly turned nasty last Sunday (29 Sept) when they collided with a pack of motorcyclists. Plainclothes police were among the motorcyclists, and at least some of the multiple altercations were filmed over the at-least four mile chase & assault(s). Nobody was killed, but a man was crushed under Alexian Lien's SUV Range Rover, and Lien was subsequently dragged from the driver's seat and beaten in the street in front of his wife & toddler.

The bikers were part of a larger annual rally of some 1000 motorcyclists from around the region converging on Times Square (link), in which police reportedly forcefully intervened - making many arrests & confiscating 55 motorcycles.

The incident makes clear that sudden attacks can easily happen - in New York City or elsewhere, by a mob or by the cops.

Mr. Lien seems suddenly to have been confronted with annoyance, then trouble. How to best react? Conditions escalated / deteriorated quickly. While Lien survived with reportedly minor injuries, it is imaginable he & his family might have been killed. Subsequent reports on Lien's background (link) (link) and financial situation (involving Skrill emoney / Moneybookers, Investcorp and the Bahraini royal family) led to Lien seeking withdrawal from LinkedIn and other social media. Confrontation thus continues shaking-up those involved & peripheral. Of course the "live & let live" option seems most appealing in hindsight.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Bugging Your Bookmarks

It's unreasonably invasive when the secret police can legally sort through anyone's bookmarks & web browser history, secretly devising imagined personality profiles.

Curiosity is important for personal and social development. Creativity is stifled when we must lodge a state-sanctioned censor in every home, office & human mind.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Soldiering the Shutdown


Standing armies


Soldiers soldiers soldiers

No money for nothing.
But  MILITARISM  continues grabbing big funds.

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Republicans Win !!!!

The Republican quest for smaller government has been successful.

The forced shutdown of the U.S. Federal Government is due to the House of Representatives failing to fund the U.S. Federal budget.

Many Republicans seek to eliminate assorted government operations, especially introduction of the Affordable Care Act (dubbed "ObamaCare").

After failing to strip away health care law, they sought to defund or delay it. Failing that, a hardcore "Tea Party" faction determined to shutdown government.

What happens? National Parks shutdown; the IRS stops tax audits; Small Business Administration Loan processing is halted, as are Veteran's benefits proceedings; the E-Verify system stops authentications (to eliminate illegal employment of foreign workers). It's Law of the Jungle: the biggest & meanest slaughter freely.

Programs monitoring illegality, that hamper big industry from wholly dominating American life, are out of operation. Terminating anything holding them accountable, Republicans thus win.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Dirty Bombs from US Spies

The secret police and spy services of the USA have gathered together a dangerous, even deadly system of intelligence gathering. Spying on so many people leaves huge security flaws. They spy because they can - it's what they do. Problems include misuse of security intelligence for commercial advantage, and blackmail.

It's natural we question the patriotism of those ferreting out the most intimate details of our lives, and challenge the widespread use of private contractors in top secret programs.

Ultimately, even when the secret police can point to multiple successes, consider also their many failures. By gathering & packaging confidential private information, they create dirty bombs. Allowing others to misuse intel about our leaders, neighbors, and perhaps our own family is inexcusable. Arrogantly spying on our allies and on prominent foreigners is odious and rude.

It all stinks. We must limit what the secret police are allowed to do, and greatly improve oversight and proper accountability. 

Pity Iraq

Pity Iraq.

First we supported Saddam Hussein with billions of dollars as he sacrificed his people against Iran. Then we turn and bomb the shit out of the country, tearing away infrastructure and allowing our mercenary-terrorists (Blackwater) to kick ass. Now Iraq is destabilized and wounded.

Surely we're partly at fault for their pain. But we've our own chronic creeping problems.

Now we try to ignore Iraqis. But we've done similar things in Egypt & elsewhere. Is retribution inevitable? Why not pull back our overseas armies, secure & keep our own borders safe, and truly beg forgiveness?  Our deadly militarism isn't amusing.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Political Arson

The Republican Party, USA, promises to burn down government. Without enough votes & support to make policy, they are only destructive. Unable to choose the color of a room, they vow to burn down our house.

They'll horribly wound Americans and the world economy. Irresponsible idiots.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hello ?!

Who is served by the Surveillance State?

We're told it keeps terrorists from hurting us, and any level of cost is appropriate.

We're told the secret police spies have "public interest"at heart.

But as the government throws their net, and catches everything we think & do, what do they notice? Are they paying attention to our troubles, our pains, the fact so many are hungry and unsatisfied?

Do the watchers care we live carefully, shop cheaply, smile & greet our neighbors? Surely instead they look for activists, anarchists, and those who might fight against the rulers. It's been the same shit for generations:  "the haves" fear the "have nots" -- it's been so for millenia. Our secret police serve the master class. They don't really care what miserable things we do. We are significant only so much as we're any threat. As we fade to illness and death, we're boring and in the way. Our monies simply fund imprisonment.

Corporate interests pay attention to whether we use Crest® or Colgate®, and how often we brush our teeth. When P&G salespersons visit a home, they look beyond furniture and ambiance to the sink and the brand of dishwashing liquid, and at brands used in the bath. Their systems monitor our purchases. No doubt the Federal secret police also fish in such data streams, not only because they can, but with expectation they can better profile enemies of the state ... enemies of the rich.

But our energies can fuel better living and a brighter world. Work on those positive things, and give thanks if the secret police haven't interfered too negatively in your life to date.  Thank you!

Trust Everyone?

Sir David Omand writes in today's Guardian (link) about secret government spying: "we all need to have confidence that in the hands of our authorities these powerful tools of interception are not being abused. We have to have trust..."

Sir David is no doubt an honourable person. He worked many years for GCHQ (a branch of the British secret police) and as a well-connected senior government official is familiar with this topic. But he misses the point.

Abuse of authority & public trust includes not keeping intelligence data completely secure. Clearly the secret police have failed. Information leaks to private companies, to foreign interests, and to the public. Many key people involved should lose their jobs for such foolishness.

This intelligence gathering will continue to fail. Because some of the information they collect is incendiary, disquieting and valuable, outsiders are eager to tap into the details.

We can increase the guard over the periphery, and automate many processes, but the project is inherently unstable and unsustainable.

We can trust that some people will always seek shortcuts to wealth & power.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Protecting Police

Police officers need to protect themselves, and we can help. Police are not simply on the front line of conflict - these people are the front line of conflict. Because they often deal with riff-raff, lawbreakers & troublemakers, they're on the lookout for troublemakers even when surrounded by friends.

Police are exposed to danger. In the USA, militarization of the police is a major problem. Too many cops carry a military mindset to police work; but the public's very different from a military enemy.

In cases of breakdown, police work hard to preserve community. We can help. Don't allow your community to degenerate into anarchy.

For self-preservation, if not as a vital service, police should meet with local people and listen to their problems. Public outreach can be both with & without elected officials. If common citizenry have much to vent & complain about, it's better to open discussions early - to go without contact until a demonstration or the beginning of rioting is far too late.

It's a failure for police when typical citizens with minor gripes attend a public activity or demonstration and get violently clubbed (or gassed) by aggressive law officers who require instant obedience. The community mainstream becomes radicalized only when brutally abused.

At quiet times, police & their communities must build goodwill. Both sides should understand they are working together. And ultimately the police work for the people. When they don't, of course they feel under threat...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Police Violence

Too much violence stems from police believing they're in charge of our communities. They feel entitled to yell and to attack anything out of line. Peaceful protest is suppressed. Law-abiding citizens are intimidated.

Keeping everything quiet & peaceful can be impossible in conditions of great injustice.

Too many are homeless. Too many are unemployed. And too many people calmly concerned are suddenly abused by police.

The police club people who don't obey. Mayor Bloomberg set the police on the peaceful New York City Occupy encampment - they clubbed, arrested, and ripped everything to shreds. Other politicians in 'their' cities followed after with similar rough tactics, such as Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm.

These are not cases of demonstrators attacking police or buildings - even determined children would cause more damage. "Police success" comes by clubbing non-violent unprepared citizens. So heavy-handed!

Many have complaint. Most of have questions for the powerful.

Have we come to expect any question or complaint justifies a police beating, a violent attack with truncheons or rifle butts by officer-tyrants, summary arrest, or worse?