Friday, February 6, 2009

Warriors Press For Propaganda

We covered psychological operations (psyops) in an article last month.

Bloggers responding to that thread mentioned that psyops are illegal if they are conducted on Americans (wink, wink - as if making bank robbery illegal stopped bank robbery).

The Mainstream Media (MSM) has now come clean and said what we have been blogging for years:
The Bush administration turned the U.S. military into a global propaganda machine while imposing tough restrictions on journalists seeking to give the public truthful reports about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Associated Press chief executive Tom Curley said Friday.

Curley, speaking to journalists at the University of Kansas, said the news industry must immediately negotiate a new set of rules for covering war because "we are the only force out there to keep the government in check and to hold it accountable."
(Huffington Post, emphasis added). That begs the question "don't we have rules that prevent the military from being a propaganda machine which uses the American press to promulgate its propaganda"?

Our current national schizophrenia would produce the "answer" yes and no, which is what a past president warned us about.

The next post in this series is here.

Sharp Turn For EPA

The Obama Administration has done a 180 degree turn from the Bush II administration, and has asked the US Supreme Court to dismiss a case Bush II had brought to the court:
The Solicitor General, in act likely to be hailed by environmental groups, moved to dismiss the EPA’s position in No. 08-512, EPA v. State of New Jersey. The petition had challenged a D.C. Circuit ruling regarding the EPA’s approach to regulating mercury emissions from power plants. 17 States, the City of Baltimore, 11 tribes, and several public health and environmental organizations opposed the Bush Administration’s position.

The original petition had protested that the EPA had discretion to delist source categories for regulation without making the specific health and environmental determinations required by the Act. But today’s submission indicated that the EPA had determined to follow the regulatory scheme favored by the states and mandated by the D.C. Circuit, which would hold power plants to stricter and less flexible emissions standards and hold the agency to a higher standard for changing source categories.

This motion to dismiss presents a fairly radical policy reversal for the EPA ...
(SCOTUSblog, emphasis added).

"You Are For Us Or Against Us" - Bush II

By the time Bush II high tailed it back to Texas, the "against us" movement around the world was building up an incredible head of steam.

The once unthinkable "against us" side of the Bush II equation is now beginning to clearly, openly, and resoundingly get to the point where it increasingly effects our national security:
Kyrgyzstan says its decision to close a US base that serves as a vital supply route for US and Nato operations in Afghanistan is "final".
(BBC News). They said this as US officials were saying it was still being "negotiated". If countries will defy us in critical military necessities like this one, it would take next to nothing to defy us economically.

We have asked the question about how Bush II policies have weakened our standing in the world over the past eight years.

We have to keep asking these questions and get on to resolving and reversing the damaging acts of Bush II and his cronies who got us to this unfortunate place.

A place where world leaders see little to lose when they harm us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

We Killed More Of US Than They Did

In a recent article here we asked who is the enemy, took ourselves back to a very popular president who warned us to beware of militarism, and mused that we would be better off economically if we just invaded ourselves.

The military is very stingy with data which they think puts them in a bad light. For instance, they have not been allowing the public to even view coffins of the dead coming back from Iraq.

But they, for some reason, have had to disclose that suicides killed more soldiers last month than the wars did:
The Army is investigating a stunning number of suicides in January — a count that could surpass all combat deaths on America's two warfronts last month.
(Fox News, they "lost" the page, so here is the Wayback Machine Copy). I think we must congratulate them for not covering up this news item.

The old saying that "many hands lighten the load" reminds me that they would do well to let many psychiatrists and psychoanalysts, in and out of the military, take a meaningful look at this trend.

Then do some treatment.

The next post in this series is here.

Supreme Arrogance

One of the Supremes who instilled us with Bush II in 2000 via the decision in the still infamous Bush v Gore case, scolded a student who asked him a question during a question and answer session.

Justice Scalia has often said of the Bush v Gore decision, "get over it", when asked about it, as if it was the stare decisis maximus case of all time.

It is as if he has no intellectual position on it, but says we must live with it and that is that. A case that should not be talked about in terms of a good or bad decision?

We are trying to "get over it" Scalia, but your boy just will not go away. His wars are still with us, his voodoo economy is still with us, and his corruption is still with us.

Thank you so much o supreme one for your gift of Bush II to the American people.

One that keeps on giving us pain and suffering to this very day.

President Warns Republicans

The President is becoming relentless in his focus on the political posturing the republicans are conducting.

They seem to think their stonewalling and threatening to filibuster is good politics, but Obama seems to think it is voodoo economics.

He said:
President Barack Obama warned on Thursday that failure to act on an economic recovery package could plunge the nation into a long-lasting recession that might prove irreversible, a fresh call to a recalcitrant Congress to move quickly.

In an op-ed in The Washington Post, the president argued that each day without his stimulus package, now exceeding $900 billion in the Senate, Americans lose more jobs, savings and homes. He painted a bleak picture if lawmakers do nothing.
(The Star, emphasis added). The voters clearly stated which ideas they want and trust and which they do not.

Senate and House republicans seem to have not received that memo yet.

President Obama also issued and executive directive which will put some wind into the sails of the ship of state.

He directed them to use all dispatch to save energy and promulgate regulations toward that end.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Perfection: The Enemy of The Essential?

What does that mean? Words take on meaning from the context in which they are spoken.

Today it was spoken in the context of taking care of little children. Of denying them care or stopping their suffering.

Bush II refused, twice, to sign the bill President Obama signed today. The bill was not perfect as far as Bush II was concerned, and thus his demand of perfection was the enemy of the essential care some 8 million American children need.

Instead, his war in Iraq was more perfect in his analysis, and therefore required more attention and much, much more money than the suffering children here at home.

Thus, Bush II's perfect war was the enemy of the children's essential needs.

Which led to the perfect political storm we now call the '08 elections. A storm that blew the republican presidency away, blew control of the House further away from the republicans, and blew control of the Senate further away from the republicans.

Undaunted, the republicans still seek a perfect bill, while the nation's economy cries out for essential stimulus. As it turns out, we have "progressed" toward economic death these past 8 years, and now we need some essentials to stop the "progress". So please don't demand perfection now.

Demanding perfection should never send any one person or any nation to the hell of depression. Depression a la 1934 according to England's Gordon Brown.

Yes, President Obama was spot on, all too often in republican political gamesmanship, perfection is the enemy of the essential.

Irony Is Not A Vitamin

This post has been moved to make room for next year.

California Dying, Not Dreaming

Dr. Steven Chu

Nobel laureate, and now Secretary of Energy, pulls no punches:
California's farms and vineyards could vanish by the end of the century, and its major cities could be in jeopardy, if Americans do not act to slow the advance of global warming ...
(LA Times, emphasis added). A Secretary of Energy that calls it like he sees it. He is not afraid to deal with "global warming is the greatest hoax ever" republican senators.

Do we need to be reminded that if we were to make a list including California as if it were a nation, along with actual nations, it would be in the top ten economies of the world in that list?

California is in dire straights to say the least. Some ask is California bankrupt? Now Dr. Chu says it is in danger of loosing its sources of income while others point out California's water crisis.

It is an emergency, and it is our problem. To be sure, as goes California so goes the United States, because it is the most populous state with the largest economy (compared to the other states).

If California is in that much trouble while the republicans in the congress manoeuvre to take the glory of these disasters instead of the blame and shame like they should, we may not recover as a nation.

The next post in this series is here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

For Real - Iran Launches A Satellite?

If this is true what does it portend?

Israel must be very nervous, Secretary of State Clinton must be very nervous (because Israel is trigger happy), and the rest of the Obama Administration does not need these distractions at this time.

I can't believe at the moment that a country which fought eight years with Iraq when Saddam Hussein was Iraq's emperor (neither gained one foot of territory, not one village was captured, and not one victory either could point the world to as a sign of its glory) did this satellite thingy "homegrown".

Iran vs. Iraq in their last war killed each other for eight years, during that war, while standing in place. They are not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier you know.

So what is up with this? Was it Russia, China, North Korea, or all of the above, who gave Iran the gadgets to pull this off (assuming it happened)?

Are they all getting a little "jiggy wid it" because of our post Bush II woes these daze?

Gregg (R-NH) For Commerce Secretary

Obama has gone and done it again. Provoked the edgers on the left and the right.

"He's gonna steal another senate seat and make it filibuster proof" opine the edgers on the right. "He's sold out" opine the edgers on the left.

Those not on the edge and not yet paranoid wonder if it is a ploy to take away their gadfly polemic proclivities to blame the other party no matter what.

What strikes me is that there are a lot of people who feel that no politician can be sincerely concerned for their country enough to put competence first when putting together a team to try and fix what the Bush II regime broke.

Read about Judd Gregg at Wikipedia.

Gregg withdrew after being pressured, by his fellow republicans, not to be bi-partisan.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gaddafi elected as next AU leader

Once an outcast of sorts, and even accused of harbouring terrorists, Muammar is moving on up in today's post Bush II world.

Not as the leader of Arabs, but as the leader of the African Union. His lives on a very important continent.

He even has a vision of a United States of Africa. Is this a sign of what the African nations now think of US foreign policy?

After all, the US has been on his case for years. The US even conducted a missile attack on his nation of Libya during the Clinton Administration.

Is this a sign of the results of the last 8 years of bushie foreign policy?

Evolution We Can Believe In

The raging controversy over Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues.

The debate is sure to be stimulated with the opening of a new university (cf. here) that has a proclivity to favor AI.

Roger Penrose, Alan Turing, and Kurt Godel have raised contrary implications directly and indirectly over the years.

I once owned a book entitled "What is Intelligence?", which was a series of essays on the subject.

It is not to be confused with a book under that name by another author. Nor should it be confused with the "intelligence" that got us into the Iraq war.

No, the book attempted to define human and other intelligence. What intelligence is, not what intelligence is like.

So naturally artificial intelligence came up in that book as well as the notion that if you don't know what intelligence is, you don't know what artificial intelligence is either.

One essay in that book was written by Roger Penrose. His position was that AI is limited to realms that can be mathematically calculated.

He goes on to show that, since our language of mathematics is fundamentally flawed at this juncture (Godel Theorem extrapolated), AI is bound by that imperfection.

In other words since you can tell a lie (falsehood) using either the English language or the language of mathematics, AI is likewise impaired.

My position that there are two types of intelligence, "calculational intelligence" and "mystery intelligence", and that human intelligence is composed of both types.

I think computers are limited to calculational intelligence, and therefore so is AI.

The scientific world is split (dualism or not) on this, because there is controversy and debate on whether or not the human mind is composed exclusively of brain (matter, atoms, cells, etc.), or whether a non-material component also exists in that composition.

Penrose came down on the latter side, and he certainly is a scientist.

Evolution we can believe in suffers from this controversy too, because if we don't know what has actually developed (what is mind, what is intelligence), we can't know whether or not it evolved or was created or how it evolved or was created can we?

If I do not know what something is, I can't profess to you its genealogy can I?

It seems to me that we are primarily left to belief, not knowledge, under those circumstances.

At any rate, the implications are profound, because under one of those scenarios mathematics, and by extension AI, can conceivably be used to predict the future as some have advocated.

You might want to consider machine evolution and mutation a bit further.

Don't Misunderinvestigate Me

Today the full senate is expected to vote on the matter of Eric Holder.

He is likely to be the Attorney General of the United States after that vote. He was recently approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 17-2.

Some believe that Bush II spoke his mind when the photo above was taken.

Some believe Cheney spoke Bush's mind when he told Senate Judiciary Chairman Leahy to go f**k himself; when presidential aids refused to even show up after congress subpoenaed them; and when Bush's Attorney General Mukasey refused to present them to a grand jury after congress held them in contempt.

Thus, the vote on Eric Holder is the most important event to date in addressing those concerns.

That vote is presently scheduled for this afternoon.

Holder was confirmed 75-21, with three senators not voting.

War - Great Stimulant - Let's Invade us

The Iraq war "stimulates the economy". But most of it is not used to stimulate the US economy.

Unfortunately it stimulates the economies of foreign nations. For example, Iraq has billions and billions in budget surplus in their economy.

There was a case where the bushies took a military cargo plane with 13 tons (5 or so billion) of new $100 dollar bills to Iraq to "make payroll".

Yeah right:
In total, more than 281 million individual bills — including more than 107 million $100 bills — weighing 363 tons were shipped to Iraq.
(Official Congressional Report, italics added [original link 'lost', Another Link]). It disappeared like 3 or so trillion dollars of the pentagon budget in 2001. No one knows where it is (wink, wink).

The costs of the Iraq war are projected and tabulated as follows:
* $341,400,000.00 per day.
* $14,225,000.00 per hour
(Cost of War, [cf. this and Wayback Machine]). That doesn't include war in Afghanistan. But hey, what's a few dozen military cargo planes full of your cash or your money going to matter?

Your money is being pumped into foreign lands, like the money we spend on oil. How many economically destroyed Americans here at home would that help?

If we just invade ourselves and spend the hundreds of tons of cash and other money here, that would stimulate our economy.

How far we have fallen under the bushie regime these past 8 years, and how far we have to climb to get out of the republican hell-hole.

The next post in this series is here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

News Weak

For those who do not know Fahreed Zakaria, I used to watch him on "This Week", the Sunday morning MSNBC pundit parade.

Fahreed was delighted in the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war at the onset, but tried to mask his glee. Sometimes. He was all "yes we can". In that sense he was a friend of the early Bush Administration following 9/11.

He had changed his tune along with just about everyone else four or so years into it.

Just about everyone else except President Obama, because he did not need to change his tune. In 2002 before the Iraq war began President Obama said he was not in favour of stupid wars.

Everyone knew Obama was talking about the mistake he thought it would be to invade Iraq. Everyone except perhaps Bush II.

Anyway, now Fahreed and the not-at-all-liberal Mainstream Media, who extolled the bushie invasions, are doing the bushies a big favour now by calling the aftermath "Obama's Vietnam".

Fahreed opines less than two weeks into Obama's administration. What a crock of weak news based upon a convenient amnesia. Since articles and magazines take a while to get ready for press, this was probably written before Obama took office.

The reality is that Afghanistan is obviously Bush's Vietnam, but hey, the right leaning MSM always says what they want to say. They make the facts since they are legends in their own minds.

I urge President Obama to end that war with all due haste, just as he is trying to do in Iraq.

After all, Afghanistan proves nothing about democracy, it only proves why the bushies call Bush I "poppy".

Open Thread

Share what's on your mind here if there are no posts which cover the subject you have in mind.