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The Long Road to Democracy
Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Fri Dec 09th 2011, 04:28 PM
Blagojevich gets 14 years, but what about these guys?

By Michael Collins

(Washington, DC) Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich just got 14 years in prison. He wheeled and dealed to leverage contributions and other favors based on his position as governor. He was indicted by former special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (who tanked the Valerie Plame case).

Maybe it was the former governor's colorful (and to some vulgar) language captured on audio tapes or his brash style. Regardless of the motives, the time, money and attention wasted on his indictment and trial stand in stark contrast to the crimes never prosecuted, crimes that resulted in death, unnecessary illness and suffering, and the loss of trillions of dollars caused by the perpetrators of the current economic crisis. (Image: michaelpickard)

While prosecutors pick easy targets like Blagojevich, serious crimes go unprosecuted.

President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney lied about the basis for invading Iraq. As a result, they are responsible for the deaths of soldiers resulting from that invasion and occupation.

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Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Mon Nov 14th 2011, 08:00 AM
This Beat Down is for Your Health - the Money Party Must Stop Occupy Movements

By Michael Collins

"The problems we are facing were not created by us, but we deign to shed light on them and so we are blamed for them. The truth is, every person at our protest is there because the system is broken." Samuel Rutledge, Open Newswire, Portland Indymedia
The fascist financiers of the Money Party are growing restless. Occupy Wall Street began with a call to action from the activist online group Anonymous in August. It was barely featured in the mainstream or alternate media. Instead of a small crowd that could easily be ignored then disbursed, fifty thousand citizens showed up at the headquarters for the world financial system, Wall Street. Despite the best efforts of Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD, the Occupy Wall Street continues. The message went out to the country and the world. Now, there are over 100 occupy events in Oakland, Kansas City, Washington, DC, and elsewhere.
Frequent Money Party propagandist, the New York Times explained away local government police actions against demonstrators as arising "amid growing concerns over health and public safety." Establishment tool, Mayor Sam Adams, used this excuse to attack Occupy Portland last night. The occupy camps were not "sustainable." They had to be shut "to restore public health and safety." Mayor Michael A. Nutter of Philadelphia is massing police around Occupy Philadelphia due to his concern about "growing public health and safety concerns" Note the similarity of statements by Adams and Nutter to the New York Times talking points.
Time to Shut It Down

The fascists financiers of The Money Party are now paying attention. They're using the normal tactics they employ against domestic assemblies of citizens who present grievances: lies, misinformation, police bullying, police attacks, claims of "safety and public health" concerns. They'll ramp up soon to massive police actions and claim that citizens caused the coming police riots.

They have no other choice at this point. What if that 43% pubic sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street movement becomes 53% or 63%.

What if there is the possibility, no matter how slim, that real change will occur?

What if they're investigated, tried and put in jail?

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Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Fri Nov 11th 2011, 06:36 PM
The Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Scandal, the Second Mile Foundation, and Penn State

By Michael Collins

Trauma and Recovery

The current focus on Pennsylvania State University, its football program, and former coach Joe Paterno will be replaced by a more pervasive sexual assault scandal in the coming days and weeks. At-risk children and their often disadvantaged single parents were delivered up to a relentless sexual predator with exhibitionist tendencies as described in the findings of a special Commonwealth of Pennsylvania grand jury.

The relentless deviant, former PSU defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, is accused of sexually assaulting children for years. According to the grand jury, he gained easy access to children and early adolescents through a foundation he founded in 1977, the Second Mile Foundation. He continued the assaults at his home and in the PSU showers on at least one occasion. The foundation serves over 100,000 at-risk youth. Sandusky started the foundation as a group home for "troubled boys" in 1977. Since hiring Jack Raykovitz, PhD, a licensed psychologist, as president, the foundation has grown into a multimillion enterprise serving over 100,000 children throughout the state.

What about Victims 1 through 8 (and more)?

We have no way of knowing the level of help received by the reported Sandusky victims reviewed by the statewide grand jury. Any delay to much needed evaluation and treatment is a true shame.

There is a wealth of data concerning the mid and long term impact of adult sexual assaults on children. In summary, victims of childhood sexual abuse have a much higher incidence of depression (major depression, dysthymia), anxiety disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance related disorders. Bipolar youth are more likely to have their first mood episode earlier as a result of sexual assault as are youth with schizophrenia.

Long term problems trusting any authority (Judith Herman, MD) are common if the assailant is a trusted individual, as Sandusky was at the start of his alleged abusive relationships.

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Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Thu Nov 03rd 2011, 11:19 AM

War Crimes in Libya - The Smoking Guns

By Michael Collins

The UN said in its resolution said that they wanted to protect civilians. I am a civilian. I'm asking the United Nations and the National Transition Council for help for the citizens of Sirte. Ali Salah Arzaga, Sirte, Libya. (His home and business were destroyed in the final assault on his city.)

There are very public smoking guns that inculpate the rulers of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and others in war crimes in Libya.
Qatar had supervised the rebels ' plans because they are civilians and did not have enough military experience. We acted as the link between the rebels and NATO forces ,' he said.
Libya's interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil told the meeting that Qatar had been "a major partner in all the battles we fought." Al Arabiya News, October 26

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Cretz provides the proof of NATO knowledge of the major violations of the UN resolution. From the article:
Qatar has played 'a very influential role in helping this rebellion succeed,' U.S Ambassador to Libya Gene A. Cretz said in an interview. Wall Street Journal, October 17

NATO went well beyond the bounds of the UN mandate. It allowed the mission's one nation that was not a part of NATO, Qatar, to violate the arms embargo, to provide troops, and to use those troops to coordinate NATO air strikes with NTC rebels on the ground. As a result, NATO and the NTC rebels were acting as one, fighting an aggressive war against the Libyan government. It was a series of lies that provided the foundation for the Libyan effort, lies that repeated principals that those directly involved were never expected to follow.
By waging war instead of protecting civilians, all parties to the effort engaged in an elaborate ongoing war crime against the very civilians that they were supposed to protect.


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Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Thu Oct 27th 2011, 12:38 PM
From the United Kingdon

Libya is not about who Gaddafi was. It's about what America under Obama has become.

There's a new sheriff in town, NATO. Those who resist will be publicly humiliated in the most primitive way and then killed. And it's not just leaders who will be punished.

By Michael Collins
Originally published in
The Smirking Chimp
23 October 2011

"It's not acceptable to kill a person without trying him," said Louay Hussein, a Syrian opposition figure in Damascus. "I prefer to see the tyrant behind bars." New York Times, October 20

The New York Times reported that a NATO jet and drones disabled vehicles in a convoy carrying Muammar Gaddafi near the besieged town of Sirte on October 20. Loyalists in the remaining vehicles scattered becoming easy prey for the emboldened fighters of the new Libyan state.

Reuters expanded the narrative on the 21st by reporting that Gaddafi fled from his jeep, hid in a drainage pipe, and emerged with an automatic weapon and side arm. He was manhandled and slapped by the soldiers of the new Libya. He allegedly asked the crowd, "Don't you know right from wrong?" They took exception to the question and shot him twice in the head.

He was transported to Misurata, scene of one of the few decisive victories by the former rebels. Gaddafi's corpse was placed on a bare mattress and put on display for the public on the 22nd. It remains there today, although it is now reportedly covered by a blanket (Reuters, October 23).

There's a new sheriff in town, NATO.

On one level, the truth of this story matters a great deal. On another level, accuracy is not as important as the clear message to those who oppose United States, French, and British policy executed by NATO. Those who resist will be publicly humiliated in the most primitive way and then killed. The composite story indicates intent and reveals policy.

It's not just leaders who will be punished

Sirte after NATO bombing and rebel destruction

"You have won your revolution. And now, we will be a partner as you forge a future that provides dignity, freedom and opportunity." President Barack Obama, White House, October 20, 2011

The citizens of Gaddafi's home town, Sirte, were said to be special beneficiaries of the ruler's largesse. The Mediterranean port was prosperous and productive amidst the strangeness and strictures of his arbitrary rule. Were citizens supposed to object on moral grounds because their benefactor favored them? What risk would they have incurred by doing so, even if they wanted to turn away special favors? They had no choice but they got the message from NATO. It's your turn to die.

Hadn't they heard the pronouncements from the United States, Great Britain, and France that Gaddafi was reformed and a member in good standing of the world community? Perhaps they missed President Barack Obama's announced change in that assessment.


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Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Tue Oct 18th 2011, 10:05 PM
Quds ForceII - The Storyline Repeats Itself

By Michael Collins

Did you know that in 2007 General Peter Pace, then head of the Joint Chiefs, and Zbigniew Brzezinski openly challenged President Bush’s claim that the Iranian government was directly responsible for providing weapons to anti-US fighters in Iraq? The challenges in February 2007 pulled the rug out from under Bush’s excuse for military action against Iran.

Today, the Obama administration is revving up for a military action against Iran with recent charges about assassination plots involving Iran and Mexican drug cartel hit men. This time, the response is much more visible and borders on derision. This article describes the remarkable similarities between the 2007 and 2011 storylines.

(Washington, DC) A faction of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard called the Quds Force (QF) is center stage in the War on Terror for the second time in five years. In 2007, President George W. Bush hauled out the group of middle and upper level Iranian government officials as a rationale for military action against Iran. The decisive shutdown of the Bush effort marks a critical turning point in recent history and will be discussed later in the article.

QF II began last Tuesday when FBI Director Robert Mueller and Attorney General Eric Holder unified the terror storyline between the rabid neoconservatives of the Bush era and the low key loyalists to the national security state in the Obama administration. ...

The current version of Quds Force-as-archvillain was met with challenges from the start. Early on in the Post article, an unnamed White House official offered this qualifier: "There’s a question of how high up did it go." That makes sense. The QF is not the entire Iranian government. The anonymous spokesman said that the Iranian government has a "responsibility to explain that."


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Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Tue Oct 04th 2011, 10:27 AM

Why the New Security Zone along the Canadian Border?

By Michael Collins

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just issued an environmental report on its enhanced security plan to cover an area extending from the East Coast to the West Coast, from the northern border of the United States to 100 miles south of the border. While there are few specifics on the new security measures, the environmental report offers enough to see how we will be protected against threats to national security coming from Canada. The Department of Homeland security will enhance efforts and technologies to reduce the danger from "known terrorist affiliates and extremist groups have an undisputed presence along the Northern Border in both the United States and Canada." Northern Border Security Programs, p. 1-3, September 2011 (Northern Borr) ....

Has Canada suddenly become a hotbed of virulent anti-American activity? Are the Mounties and other law enforcement agencies in Canada turning a blind eye to known threats? Are we expected to believe that the nation that turned down a featured role in the coalition of the willing has suddenly become lax on enforcing international law?


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Posted by autorank in Political Videos
Tue Sep 20th 2011, 10:24 PM

We've got a new tax for millionaires. Will it work?
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Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Mon Sep 19th 2011, 11:43 AM
How much solar energy does it take to power the world? The dark discs represent the and mass needed using current
technology to accomplish that goal. Is this accrate? If so, why on earth aren't we pursuing this with a vengeance.

Total Primary Energy Supply--From Sunlight

Sunlight hitting the dark discs could power the whole world:  If installed in areas marked by the six discs in the map, solar cells with a conversion efficiency of only 8 % would produce, on average, 18 TW electrical power.  That is more than the total power currently available from all our primary energy sources, including coal, oil, gas, nuclear, and hydro.  The colors show a three-year average of solar irradiance, including nights and cloud coverage. Matthhias Loster

Full analysis here and original analysis here, with alternate graphic.
Posted in "Tree Hugger"
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Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Sun Aug 21st 2011, 04:50 PM
Murdoch in Free Fall - Credibility Gone Billions to Follow

By Michael Collins
Rupert and James Murdoch conjured up a fictional report that serves as the fig leaf used to cover the naughty secret of News Corporation --- they never investigated phone hacking in general and they never tried to clean house.

The House of Commons committee investigating Rupert Murdoch's United Kingdom media properties released new evidence this week. The evidence elaborates on themes generated at the committee hearing of July 19 and adds new information to the toxic brew that threatens to drown the largest media company in the world. (Images: Hubert Burda Media, L, World Economic Forum)


An imminent risk is the highly profitable BSkyB cable network, the largest broadcaster in the UK. The are over 10 million subscribers and close to 5.9 billion Sterling in revenue ($9.7 billion) for the 12 month period ending June, 2010. Pre-tax profits hit 875 million Sterling ($1.4 billion). News Corporation owns 39% of the network and planned to purchase the remaining 61% of the company, pending regulatory approval. That seemed a lock in January. After the Guardian's July 4 expose of NoW's phone hacking of the by then dead kidnap victim, Milly Dowler, things began to collapse. Just days after the Guardian article by Nick Davies, News Corporation announced it was withdrawing it's bid for the remaining 61% of the company.

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Posted by autorank in Latest Breaking News
Tue Aug 09th 2011, 03:58 PM
Texas Supreme Court Challenges Incest Taboo
By Michael Collins
May 30, 2008

"The Texas Supreme Court just struck a blow at the foundation of civilized society - the incest taboo. On April 28, 2008, the Court overturned a Texas Department of Family and Protective Services finding that removed 130 children from a religious cult compound set up by a convicted sexual abuser. The court found that child protective authorities had not shown a sufficient danger to prohibit the children residing with their parents at the "Yearn for Zion" facility founded by Warren Jeffs, "prophet" and leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS). The Court argued that there were a number of options (counseling, etc.) available to protective services before separation could be justified."

See comments. Gave it back too!

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Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Fri Aug 05th 2011, 11:05 PM
Who in the World would trust Standard and Poor's?

By Michael Collins - Economic Populist

Standard and Poor's finally did it. They downgraded the credit rating of the United States from AAA to AA+. There are serious questions about the reliability of S&P. The White House pointed out that there is a $2 trillion error in the calculations used for the downgrade. Ths is of interest since the two other agencies failed to change the AAA status of the US. (See Robert Oak, Economic Populist)


They Helped Trigger the Financial Collapse

Along with Moody's, S&P abruptly burst the real estate bubble and triggered the 2008 recession. Their downgrading of mortgage backed securities followed years of the highest ratings for these risky financial products. According to a US Senate committee report:
"Although ratings downgrades for investment grade securities are supposed to be relatively infrequent, in 2007, they took place on a massive scale that was unprecedented in U.S. financial markets. Beginning in July 2007, Moody’s and S&P downgraded hundreds and then thousands of RMBS and CDO ratings, causing the rated securities to lose value and become much more difficult to sell, and leading to the subsequent collapse of the RMBS and CDO secondary markets. The massive downgrades made it clear that the original ratings were not only deeply flawed, but the U.S. mortgage market was much riskier than previously portrayed." (Author's emphasis) US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, April 13 (p. 263)

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Posted by autorank in General Discussion
Sun Jul 31st 2011, 10:06 AM
The War on You

Let the word go forth from Washington! The corporate rulers occupying our nation's capital have declared war on just about every citizen.

Have no doubt: those in the upper ranges of the top 1% of wealth in this country (aka The Money Party) want to kick you to the curb.

They want to reduce your social security and make you go broke paying for medical care.

They want to lower your wages and trash your retirement.

They ignore the clear facts that we've had negative job growth since 2000 and the situation is just getting worse.

They want to ship jobs, factories, and entire businesses overseas and give companies that do that a big fat tax credit for doing so.

They've been given so much for nothing for so long. Now, they're ready to take it all. It's their time!

More @ Economic Populist
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