Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Health of the State

From a Wired article, citing US's reasons for attacking defenseless countries:

U.S. hasn’t gone anywhere close to suggesting drugs be decriminalized. Gen. Douglas Fraser, the head of U.S. forces in South and Central America, said last year to the House Armed Sevices Committee that “the violence continues to increase in Central America, and that’s where and why we are focusing there.”
Remember the last time you broke your foot, and your doctor decided to break your other one too, for your own good?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

AP Won't tell you: IMF, Morsi, US Government Blocks Democracy To Help Allies Outside of Egypt

At the start of the Arab Spring, Obama said he supports the democratic aspirations of all people, and his administration clarified, especially Egypt.

The IMF is the crucial factor though, because it withholding money on the condition of how much the government in Egypt is going to change itself,  One can easily learn that "Aid packages from the EU, oil-rich Arab Gulf states and elsewhere are contingent on Egypt signing off on the IMF loan" whose governments everybody knows are not at all interested in helping the poor. Let's go back to how AP reports this:

Talks with IMF stalled over differences within the Egyptian leadership. Now that Morsi has taken office and the parliament has been dissolved, agreement might be easier to achieve.
The IMF demands a comprehensive Egyptian recovery plan addressing economic imbalances, protecting the poor and generating foreign investor confidence.
Even according to their own reporting, it's useful to mention that the Egyptian Parliament wanted to do all of that themselves, proposing to do a variety of internal actions while taking on a loan. The reason Egyptian democracy isn't important to the IMF is because they are interested in trying to make a 1.1% profit off of charity and are willing to dismantle democracy, while withholding aid to literally starving people on that condition

The AP summarizes this story by saying it's only the Egyptians who are hampered by and excess of pride.

Going back to US's stated policy, another peculiar phrase caught my eye there, "the commercial and strategic interests" are balanced against democracyThe US government's standard in other words is you can have democracy but only as long as your people there are willing to lick the boot.  Essentially, the IMF is no different. It is doing the same thing as the Obama administration did in relation to "democracy promoting" (political-rigging) institutions that receive our funding, which even by his own administrations standards, did not succeed.

The AP is really just terrible for not considering any of this. The IMF is about opening up markets, not protecting the poor -- that's just cover for their predation. I don't want to say Egypt needs it, I know they had water rationing before the revolution.

It's really up to Egyptians. They deserve their own say, not just because you aren't interested in the truth, but because that's what democracy means. 


And this is just a minor quibble, but why did you make it harder for me to read an older story?

You can see they are one day apart. But put them in your browser. You will get the same story-- today's story.Google them and you will see two separate headlines. 

The original story has been moved here.

Boycott Confusion

Nationalism is one of the silliest things a politician can ever use to justify something because it comes down to Nietzchean power struggles -- my job is too look out for me, and people who are going to keep me in power. This opens you up to irrationality because anything you can use against others is fair game :
Israel is condemning a new South African regulation requiring that products made in West Bank settlements must be labeled as coming from "occupied Palestinian territory."
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor calls the requirement "totally unacceptable."

but also implies you know better than your own citizens, as well:

Prime Minister Netanyahu threatens to withdraw funding from theaters whose actors refuse to
perform in city located beyond Green Line, says 'the last thing we need is boycotts from within.'  

All because one group inside the country is more organized to get you elected, not because you are principled but exactly because you put reason in service of power. Thanks for making it very obvious how little help you are even on good causes, so I don't have to seriously feel humanity itself is evil.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

IMF -- Seriously?

The IMF is withholding billions of dollars from `Egyptians because they want to be promised a " a comprehensive Egyptian recovery plan addressing economic imbalances, protecting the poor and generating foreign investor confidence."

That's the IMF for you, teaching Egypt a lesson in what it takes to help your poor.

I'd be happy to be told off by an actual Egyptian, but I'm pretty sure this goes beyond the white man's burden. The US threatened to withdraw aid too, over some petty political shit, because it's US policy to control the trade there. Funny how the IMF has the same goals!

Our Traitors Are Your Heroes

From the Washington Post:

The Obama administration has granted exemptions from trade restrictions with Syria and Iran to allow U.S. tech firms to make their goods and services available to customers in those countries.

To hold their government accountable, they argue. Like Bradley Manning did, with no outside assistance, who ended up naked and sleep-deprived, and has a lawyer arguing he's just an angry misunderstood gay guy, who really didn't mean it.

Sorry Obama, you know how you said there is evil in the world? Look in the fuckin mirror.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Finally, a Bite

After several attempts, I have finally found the connection between the New Age movement and Buckley's Neoconservatism. As I tried to catalog before, rigid thinking along New Age prescriptions is useful for elites who have to answer questions of why the working person, the foreigner, etc. are not allowed to make a choice for themselves. 

The "two streams overlap" but aren't the same. That's a fair start.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

We Are Being Manipulated!

From Newsweek, this year:
The drug dealer told me how, acting with the full approval of his cartel, he strolled into the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office for an appointment with federal investigators. He walked through a metal detector and past the portrait of the American president on the wall, then into a room with a one-way mirror. The agents he met were very polite. He was surprised by what they had to say. “One of the ICE agents said they were here to help [the Sinaloa cartel]. And to fuck the Vicente Carrillo cartel. Sorry for the language. That’s exactly what they said.”
So began another small chapter in one of the most secretive aspects of the drug war: an extensive operation by Chapo Guzmán’s forces to manipulate American law enforcement to their own benefit.
From Wikipedia  on the drug war a generation ago:

Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, Noriega was able to manipulate U.S. policy toward his country, while skillfully accumulating near-absolute power in Panama. It is clear that each U.S. government agency which had a relationship with Noriega turned a blind eye to his corruption and drug dealing, even as he was emerging as a key player on behalf of the Medellín Cartel (a member of which was notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar)."

I'm sure they're just as outraged that some skyscrapers don't have a 13th floor.

Elites Can't Stomach Democracy Without Feinting

A republican government is forming in Somalia, and my government notes that:

James Swan, the U.S. representative for Somalia, continued with his list of concerns: "Inadequate representation of women and in some cases reports of former warlords who are being nominated by their communities."

while the end of the article says otherwise:

As part of the transition, more than 600 Somali elders earlier this month approved a new provisional constitution that contains new individual rights and sets the country on a course for a more powerful and representative government.
The constitution makes it clear that Islamic law is the basis for Somalia's legal foundation. But it also protects the right to an abortion to save the life of the mother and bans the circumcision of girls, a common practice in Somalia that opponents call female genital mutilation. Those rights were opposed by conservative Somalis.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Math And Personality

Going off of the Wikipedia images of the 9 nominees of various parties, one notices a trend in their facial expressions. From the least "experienced" to the most, here is how they appear to me:

I got something to say, and something to learn.
The things that make me happy no longer do.
At least I'm certain about this one thing.
Ow, ow, ow, I have to be better than you.
Holy shit another day of this?
Hey, someone is looking at me!
Is it time to make the smile face now?

As we all know, "holy shit another day of this" is going to win, which is the best one until "I got something to say and something to learn" who don't propose to poison the world any more.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Keep The Future In The Past

Crime is up these past couple years, but what is instead talked about in the media, is a "peaceful trend" (June, NBC) that is the result of an "innovative public safety approach that is beginning to show signs of tremendous promise" (Eric Holder), although another piece also includes an aging population, video games, the end of the crack boom (Christian Science Monitor). This is keeping with the anti-democratic tradition of viewing people as a mass, not as individuals, a "herd" that must be controlled from above by elites.

One important elite is Eric Holder. The scholars picked up on his message and are sticking to it.

Holder did note in July briefly that "a number of major cities across the country – including Philadelphia – have experienced alarming increases in the number of homicides over the past year" which he reasons, is a problem for the cops, not the citizens. They are "threats that law enforcement officers face every day." Holder is wrong, although it is considered a perfeclty acceptable way to talk about the subject. In quiet voices they recognize that there's a problem, or something, but then proudly boast that they are on top of it. The FBI has refused to release the data required for independent analysis as of yet.

It appears to me communities are not even allowed to take care of themselves. "The same populations—houseless persons, panhandlers,youth of color—that were being targeted for elimination from the downtown area by the BIDs," writes Urban Habitat, "flocked to Occupy Oakland for the sense of camaraderie it created and the services it offered, including food, medicine,and security. Many of the tents pitched in Oscar Grant Plaza housed persons who had been living outdoors or in cars and tents long before the encampment started." With that in mind, Holder's promise to "learn from the successes" of there, where dozens upon dozens of federal agents "surge" into the city during "this time of economic and budgetary challenges" in a form of "targeted assistance and relief" to address "the need for cooperation among all relevant authorities" has a much more class-oriented significance.

Look at those stories again, the Monitor and NBC. People's security resulting from solidarity is not attributed to actual social movements, but to the miserable state they are in.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mitt's List of Hot Air

I like people's lists, because they aren't too well crafted by the ego. They're pure consciousness, pure id.

So what can I imagine about Romney and his political power? (from today's Daily Kos):

Perhaps Romney belatedly caught wind of all this and made one of his patented U-turns Wednesday as his campaign again took him to Iowa:

We have got to take advantage of America’s extraordinary energy resources: coal, oil, gas, nuclear, renewables, wind, solar, ethanol, you name it. We’ve gotta take advantage of all of them.

Boilerplate. But still a change from what he's been saying for months.

Romney specifically noted last week that the production tax credit—which subsidizes wind, solar and geothermal power facilities—should be allowed to expire at the end of the year.


In my mind, in Romney's mind, we can assume it's really hard to remember to say he likes ethanol, it requires the phrase "extraordinary energy" for prompting, quick, brain, we need some more E, we've only got w, h, g, t, o and a and that only covers coal, oil and gas!

And what a running start it takes to consider the audience's opinion! First, solar (the GOP scapegoat for all global warming denier idiots to absolve themselves of responsibility with) and ethanol (proven to be backward). 

To Romeny, I believe, what you want to tell him about how to run the country is something only a backward Obama apologist would put into words. I doubt he's sincerely evil enough to wholeheartedly admit to these opinions, which is why I like to think of politics as a whole batch of perfectly innocent crabs holding each other in a pot of boiling water.