Thursday, February 28, 2013

Banker Trust?

Jacob J. Lew has quietly become U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

Let's hope Jack Lew serves the wider population and not simply the banking industry. Wall Street financial flim-flams should raise more protests and penalties from Washington.

I'm a bit skeptical when looking at his signature, a series of squirls and a dot. Perhaps he's iconoclastic, or maybe taking the Mickey? Ask your local graphologist, or wait & see how he performs.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We're Lunch

We're Lunch
                                 by Genki

Each should pay our debt, or die
Assert paragons of wealth
Joe Peon fails to comply
Outmaneuvered, lamed in stealth

As bossman takes his pounds of flesh
His lawyers drain the blood
His busboys keep the silver fresh
Our scraps lie in the mud

The well-endowed grab all the gold
And stand upon the slow
Rich whims are instantly bankrolled
We slaves inherit "no"

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar Night

We enjoy Oscar Night at my house, though the late timing has us next day picking up the pieces...

Jane Fonda wore a bright yellow dress (link). At 75 she still seems in pretty good shape (after breast cancer, knee & hip replacement, and back surgery). Perhaps she's also had other nips & tucks, but yoga clearly helps.

It was only in reading afterward about the Academy Award night show that Fonda came to my attention, as one writer to a news blog commented about honoring her husband's military service:
     "beiing a Vietnam Vets Wife never watch anything when the Traitor lady is on. He was almost killed over there and too many buddies that didn't make it... just had to turn the channel,and miss the rest of show."

Fonda in Vietnam was a bit before my time, but damage & death done by that war and the warmakers is a responsibility others should admit & answer for: Cheney, Kissinger, Kennedy, McNamara, Colby, Rumsfeld, Nixon, Rockefeller, etc. are truly criminals. Killing and assassinating Southeast Asian farmers & their families, shooting antiwar protesting students at Kent State & Jackson State, trying to club & bayonet democracy into submission - these were the worst of deeds by horribly misguided American men.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cheat Armstrong

Lance Armstrong is now an admitted liar and cheat. According to the transcript of his recent interview:
Oprah Winfrey: Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your cycling performance?
Lance Armstrong: "Yes."
Was one of those banned substances EPO?
Did you ever blood dope or use blood transfusions to enhance your cycling performance?
Did you ever use any other banned substances such as testosterone, cortisone or Human Growth Hormone?
In all seven of your Tour de France victories, did you ever take banned substances or blood dope?

Lance Armstrong also defiantly bullied honest people who got in his way. He repeatedly sued, suborned & manipulated. He perverted the legal system.

This is a person without decency. He's surprised his sponsors dismissed him, but America's too lenient. He's a professional thief - an admitted swindler. He's been promoted as a hero when he's a fraud. Armstrong personally stole over US$200 million (link) while his marketing partners traded on his fraud and pocketed billions.

It's tough to find any positive lesson in this cesspit. Lance enjoyed more than a decade of fame & fortune that someone else deserved. Put him in a prison cell with Bernie Madoff, both me-me symbols of corruption and heroic belligerent selfishness.

Lance Armstrong's repeat actions over many years shame his family and his community. Those who wore his yellow bracelet, or purchased products he endorsed, are fiendishly betrayed. He brazenly deluded himself, the State of Texas and his nation. He should be shunned as scum.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

We Fools Pay

Nuclear power plant near your home or work? Take note! Think of your community's future and your home investment. In a flash it could all be wiped away or made forever worthless. "Fukushima" has become a word meaning poison, foolishness & danger. "Experts" wave thick safety studies and smile assurances - but disappear with profits when things disintegrate. You'll be on your own, with few resources, perhaps injured, radioactive, and in deep shit.

"Benefits of atomic power favor the utility companies while the costs from meltdowns & accidents are shouldered by the public."
     --  Jon Queally

“The Fukushima disaster exposes the shameful defects in a system that only requires nuclear operators to pay a fraction of the costs of a disaster and does not require suppliers of reactors to pay anything."
      -- Aslihan Tumer, Greenpeace International

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

If I wus Zionist

The State of Israel is expanding - displacing all who impede or obstruct מדינת הלכה‎ -- our Halachic state destiny.

Some nations will be enemies, but our Covenant with Yahwe thy Elohim promises:
Exodus 34:24 שְׁמוֹת
כי אוריש גוים מפניך והרחבתי את גבולך ולא יחמד איש את ארצך בעלתך לראות את פני יהוה אלהיך שלש פעמים בשנה׃
"For I will cast out nations before you and enlarge your borders; no one shall covet your land..."

Israel need not stand alone.

Over the past few centuries, the United States of America has displaced or integrated many peoples who are no longer challenging her expanded territories. Likewise, let us cleave to America. We can calm her doubts, find protection in her shadow. America distracts our enemies.

Relations with non-Israelite peoples will be complex, suffering day to day, and year-to-year. But our expanding settlements & outposts, Judea & Samaria and onward, continue outward progress over the longer decades.

Dream of Jerusalem undivided ... and a Greater Israel ...
בשנה הבאה בירושלים

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Poem du jour

A poem's something no one needs
Such efforts ain't considered deeds
Yet reading clever turns of phrase
Can alter life in basic ways.

Please don't imagine this like that
My leisure play that wraps up flat.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Criminal Pass the Buck

Retailers and apologists are claiming that the horse-for-beef scandal is not really a health problem, simply mislabeling. I wholly disagree. Food Fraud is Dangerous to Health

First, this is criminal adulteration of food to gain unjust profit. Substitution of horse for beef is potentially just the the tip of the iceberg. Those companies such as TESCO, ICA, Findus, etc., that have put their brand and label on counterfeit food should be severely penalized. Corporate officers should be arrested and imprisoned. The companies should be fined severely. They must be held responsible for quality assurance.

Findus claims their quality control uncovered a problem, they acted quickly & properly, and they're now being penalized unjustly. But the scale of this problem suggests management was complacent or indifferent in important areas, and lax with due diligence. As with sanitation, it is insufficient to be clean "sometimes" or to say "we washed six months ago" - constant effort & vigilance must be built into operations. Findus perhaps did not properly invest in those dimensions, and instead pocketed that money. What have they done with such past windfall profits? I don't feel much sympathy. Corporate profit-seeking can easily kill. Thousands of children in the USA were killed by "swill milk" before purity became more rigidly enforced; and China's 2008 melamine milk scandal reportedly harmed 300,000 people. Profiteers care nothing for our health; they kill for money.

for more see: Lutter, Randall (2009) "Addressing challenges of economically-motivated adulteration." US Food and Drug Administration. (ppt file) 

Degraded Valor

Lame-duck US Defense Secretary (and former CIA boss) Leon Panetta instituted a new military award for support services that ranks above the Bronze Star awarded for heroism and valor.

"The Distinguished Warfare Medal" can be given to anyone in the military contributing to operations with accomplishments regarded as exceptional. Examples cited by the Defense Department include someone detecting a computer virus, or those stationed thousands of miles from any conflict who operate remote-controlled machinery.

Sly way to dismantle military precedence & honor. For those careful of their own safety it's a boon, allowing them to step over soldiers decorated for valor in battle. Another example of the political game behind American society.

750 tons of Horse

We're told by the French government (link) the horsemeat scandal originated in France, involving 750 tons of horsemeat. That's maybe 1500 horses? A sizable herd... a huge amount of meat, and quite different from beef. Key people claim total surprise. Bullshit.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Aussie Outlaws

Australia has two black eyes in the past two years as regards outreach and citizen support services.

The country appears to have done little or nothing to protect Julian Assange, editor of WikiLeaks, from intimidation & harassment.

Sweden has filed charges  xxx

Sweden has issued a European Arrest Warrant that Julian Assange be detained. Supposedly, the detention and extradition is for further questioning by the Swedish Prosecution Authority over allegations of sexual misconduct. But WikiLeaks reporting has so embarrassed top officials worldwide that it's been suggested Assange is in danger of sudden rendition to the USA, or assassination.

Whatever the case, Assange is a citizen of Australia -- and his government seems to have done squat to help anyone.

The second Australian case is Ben Zygier, imprisoned by Israel, held incommunicado, and a suspected suicide in December 2010. Zygier had apparently changed his name to Ben Allen for espionage purposes; he was also known as Ben Alon, Benjamin Burrows & Benji (link).  More recently he's been referred to as "Prisoner X" because of assorted mysteries regarding his identity, crime(s), and mode of death in custody two years ago. Until this week the Australian Government was quiet about the uncommon incarceration and death. But The Guardian (UK) reports Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade has now "launched a review into how its diplomats handled the case." To prevent reporting about the case, the Israeli government had imposed a gag order until today that began in March 2010, nine months before Zygier's still-unexplained death. Treatment of the Australian, held in secret without charge, has brought Israel's secret prison system back into the spotlight (link)And Australians now ask if their government did enough for the detainee before he died (link) ...

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Food Industry Scams

Consumers are often tricked & scammed. Safety agencies and industry watchdogs offer some protection with purity rules and labeling standards, but regulatory efforts are bypassed by "delay, defang & defraud" efforts by profit-hungry producers.

California consumers were recently led to believe that to label foods containing GMOs (genetically-manipulated organisms) would be prohibitively expensive, resulting in thousands of job losses & an epidemic of lawsuits. Over six million voters wanted labels on food detailing genetic-engineering, but 51.4% of the electorate last November voted against "Proposition 37". The concealment group included Monsanto, the California Republican Party, and Pepsico. This "no" group used illegal tactics, and spent $46 million to defeat the measure, more than five times more than Prop 37 supporters.

Future battles with anti-corporate activists will be tougher.

Nearly Every Daily Newspaper in California is Owned by a Huge Corporation...

The present spotlight on minced meat is scary. We're introduced to "value" products (processed meat products using cheap mince). These products contain mechanically recovered meat (MRM, nicknamed "pink slime") and the disinewed meat (DSM) of assorted creepy creatures. We've not yet been informed during this scandal of mortuaries supplying cheap meat, or any flow of meats from stray pets or animal hospitals into the human food supply. But worst practices of course are kept hidden. We must demand clearer labeling and reward whistle blowers for details of fraud.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Eat Shit

A Luxembourg-based scandal over mislabeled horsemeat lasagna is growing at a gallop.

As the story gets fleshed-out, we're told the UK's Food Standards Agency (FSA) demanded companies test their meat products for adulteration. But according to the FSA website (link): "Tests will be for the presence of significant levels of horse meat." Note the key weasel-words "significant levels"...  And what of significance testing for other creatures & critters?  They should also inform the meat-eating public about levels of phenylbutazone ("bute"), an anti-inflammatory drug no longer approved for human use, but still prescribed for horses & dogs.

We're also told of today's (Sat. 9 Feb) "urgent" emergency DEFRA Summit (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) discussing adulteration of the food chain and rising public concerns. The BBC reports those attending included:
  • Environment Secretary Owen Patterson
  • Food and Drink Federation (Findus is a member)
  • Federation of Wholesale Distributors
  • British Retail Consortium
  • Tesco
  • Sainsbury's
  • Asda
  • Institute of Grocery Directors
  • British Meat Processors Association
  • Co-operative Food 
The Independent notes "Major supermarket chains are at the talks, as well as retail, distribution and consumer groups. Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Lidl were all invited but did not turn up."

In past food scandals, the UK government has reassured consumers about safety when in fact government officials did not know shit. Because this stance supports producer interest, it's important we ask which consumer groups were at today's DEFRA summit? Remember well the broken trust when the UK Agriculture Minister (John Gummer, now the ennobled Baron Deben of Winston) tried to reassure a public scared about vCJD BSE. He sought to feed a beefburger to his four-year old daughter Cordelia in front of the press, asserting we had "no need to be worried" though in fact there was danger.

If supplies do threaten safety - will we ever hear about it?
What if meat products contain something worse than horse ?   
Animal shelters and mortuaries can also supply cheap meat.

Friday, February 08, 2013

A Mare Trifle?

The Swedish firm Findus recalled it's "Beef Lasagne" (link) after the product was found to contain mislabeled horsemeat instead of beef. The corporation notified Livsmedelsverket (Sweden's National Food Agency) and sought to assure consumers there was no health danger if eating the bogus product.

The news threatens to saddle the firm with serious problems. The BBC reports the Findus supplier Comigel of France supplied the bad meat. Comigel made the meals in Luxembourg with meat sourced in Romania by the French company Spanghero. The UK Food Standards Agency ordered testing for the dangerous veterinary drug phenylbutazone as it became clear Findus had lost control over product ingredients. Many people suddenly are enraged about adulteration and illegal mislabeling of food supplies.

More firms & foods are being questioned, drawing attention to complex supply chains of variously labeled products. Axfood has recalled their Eldorado Lasagna Bolognese, Willys Lasagna Bolognese & Hemköp Lasagna Bolognese. McAdam Foods, Silvercrest & Rangeland Foods of Ireland, and UK-based Freeza Meats have also been tainted by the scandal.   Supermarket chains Tesco and Aldi in the UK, and ICA & Coop in Sweden are also involved. Retailers who stock mislabeled goods mistakenly are unfortunate, but those selling trash under their own-label should be severely prosecuted. By putting their brand name on a product, they assure us of its quality. It's now not enough to claim surprise after profiting from our gullibility; these corporate outlaws must be reined in.

Earlier this year in Sweden it was found that over 95.5 tons of bogus imported pork had been dyed, mislabeled, and sold as beef. An estimated 320,000 "beef tenderloin steaks" (200g) were trustingly eaten by consumers throughout the country before the scandal came to light.

These are prime examples of how corporations need oversight and hefty fines from government. Right-wing corporate interests encourage us to dismantle "too expensive" government -- but we need stricter checks & balances on overgrown, gluttonous corporations. Profit maximization makes businesses prone to cut corners at everyone's expense.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Assassinating Children

People in the US government are allowed to kill indiscriminately.

They give themselves a now semi-official "targeted killing" power.

Most authorization details are secret.

But any "senior operational leader of al-Qa’ida" may be killed.

Enemies marked to die include US citizens.

Two assassination events under Obama are known to have killed Americans.

One killed an American boy born in Denver. A separate attack killed his US-born father and an American journalist.

Anonymous clerks now decide who'll die, with no independent review. 

Nobody is required to assert the 16-year old was a "senior operational leader" of a banned group. In fact, we've a history of butchering family members of enemies (link), starting with squaws & whelps of redskin savages. This kid's assassination, outside Constitutionally-guaranteed due process, is inelegantly classed as "tough shit"

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Poem de Tear

In memory of Johan Ludvig Runeberg

Quick Vigorous the baby's Leap
Refocuses Attention
We share so much, the bright & trite
Live goals exceeding mention.

Friends vs Clients

Who are the client states of the USA?
Many so-called "banana Republics" now enjoy unparalleled freedoms. In my opinion, such possibilities are the chief positive legacies to presidents George W. Bush & Barack Obama: US-led adventurism from the Middle East to Afghanistan and into Pakistan is so costly it's required a focus of energies, allowing freedom to others. But this may not continue... The Philippines, Turkey, South & Central America, Somalia, etc. should strengthen their anti-imperialist defenses before the bully resurrects & returns... think of The Evil Dead.

Puppet regimes of US client states murder their people, rob the national economy, and cripple the community for decades. Their crimes are only possible with coordinated help from predator banks & corrupt media. Let's be clear: it's not a docile media, it's a cheerleading media aimed at us -- creating imperialist opportunity.

Tinpot dictators are never really "friends" of the USA. Ruthless thugs-for-hire such as Mubarak, Suharto, Somoza, Diệm (Vietnam), Trujillo, Marcos, the House of Pahlavi (Iran), Pinochet, etc. are made wealthy but ridiculed, and ultimately deeply threatened. When tyrants fall, their resources & secrets can damage US interests. Big capital is as likely to sell their client's safety - death is always near.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Super Bowl

Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the just-concluded Super Bowl XLVII was actually Baltimore Ravens defensive cornerback Jimmy Smith. At a critical junction in the final moments, he seemed to impede receiver Michael Crabtree, thwarted a go-ahead touchdown, likely saving the game for his winning team.

Should the officials have called a penalty for holding? Anyway, they did not.

Some football fans will be distraught at the outcome. Surely that key play defined the result. Some will feel pass interference & cheating determined the game, overshadowing everything else. Others will overlook the incident. "The Winner Takes It All" -- though a few feel shame amidst celebrations -- the shadow of cheating to win.

"Ravens hold on to Win"
"Baltimore held off a San Francisco comeback"
"Ravens are Champions after holding off SF"
(actual headlines)

Let's consider this along with Lance Armstrong's doping. Armstrong - an example of America to the world - amassed a fortune through cheating.

The wider impressions of America's world sporting activities differ from the impact inside the country. Domestically (within the USA), sport throws out many impressions per day. But in the wider world, US sport provides very few impressions each decade:
 -- Lance Armstrong: stripped of all titles for 14 years, banned for life; admitting to doping & lying
 -- Tiger Woods & his women
 -- Marion Jones cheating in track (surrendering five Olympic medals & two World Champion medals in athletics)
 -- Super Bowl scandal ??... more of the same sleaze.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Forget Asia

Narcissistic chauvinism in the USA is never in short supply, but it's artificially boosted as Zionists hijack the American political process (link) -- we're told "It's All About Israel".

Witness the still-ongoing confirmation of  former Republican Senator Chuck Hagel as US Secretary of Defense (properly Secretary of the Military, truly a Secretary of War). Last week's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing overwhelmingly focused on whether Hagel was politically correct and properly pro-Israel.

Evidence that pro-Israeli forces dominate discussions is detailed by Jim Lobe's analysis of the Senate confirmation dialog: Israel was brought up 178 times. China was mentioned 5 times. Suicide problems among US troops? ... noted twice; Japan and South Korea rated one mention each. Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, any of the Nordic nations, India ... - not worth a mention at all.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Voting Out Corruption

This month could have been much worse. Fortunately, the American people shut down Mitt Romney and his bankrupt party from the Presidency & US Senate. Sadly, far too many elitist corrupted scum still flourish like killer-bacteria in American public life. They are the 1%. Vote 'em out.

These weasels own big media. They use their power to confuse & corrupt. They are not simple opponents - they are a dangerous enemy, an enslaving influence. Too many people around the world suffer under the heel of these chauffeured-limousine assholes and their hired thugs.

The Republican leadership & Senator John McCain cripple the American people.

The tragedy of American deaths at the Benghazi consulate has become a symbol of cheap political opportunism orchestrated by well-manicured white Republicans & Rupert Murdoch. Let's be clear, this was Benghazi, Libya - a highly dangerous place emerging from civil war and the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi. It's a place of rogue militias, sectarian violence & anarchy. Oil companies push frantically for billions in wealth beneath the sand. Foreign intelligence operatives from around the world (including our own) are doing who knows what, seeking strategic resource-rich opportunities. Libya has not been safe for many years, and won't be "safe" for the foreseeable future. Americans in Libya work under no illusions - they serve (served) in dangerous circumstances. Republican political-opportunists John McCain, Rand Paul, Mitt Romney, Lindsay Graham, Kelly Ayotte and Ron Johnson should be deeply ashamed of themselves. Hopefully the ghosts of the dead can somehow reach their bony fingers around the necks of these bastards, infiltrate their airways, haunt their dreams & worse.