Monthly Archives: December, 2007

Israel to integrage its missile system with America’s?!

US to integrage its missile system with Israel ?! House vote- 394-30

Dec-31-07

WTF – Israel to integrage its missile system with America’s?

Our missile defense system isn’t even integrated with NATO and we’re going to integrate it with Israel?

This is effing obscene. Why not just save ourselves a lot of trouble, hand them the launch keys and directly subordinate our military to Tel Aviv?

Bill includes U.S.-Israel missile coordination

Published: 12/14/2007

Congress is set to approve a plan to integrate the U.S. and Israeli missile defense systems.

The proposal, authored by U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), is part of the Defense Authorization Act passed late Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives and due to be considered by the Senate before Christmas break. Under the proposal, the secretary of defense must within six months present a plan to Congress a plan “to improve the coordination, interoperability, and integration of the U.S. National Ballistic Missile Defense System with Israel’s missile defense architecture,” a statement from Kirk’s office said.

Such a plan will help defend Israel against reported plans by Iran to build missiles that can reach Israel, Kirk said. “Israel will be the first and only country to fully integrate with the American missile defense architecture,” the statement said. “It is a symbol of our shared values and a safer 21st century.

Bill includes U.S.-Israel missile coordination

According to The Washington Report On Middle East Affairs Pro-Israel PAC Contributions to 2006 Congressional Candidates, U.S. Rep Mark Kirk (R-Ill) received $66,064 from the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee the 2005-2006 election cycle with a career total of $119,382

Kirk Proposal to Integrate U.S. National Missile Defense with Israel Carries Handily in House of Representatives

Washington, DC – A proposal to fully integrate Israel into the U.S. National Ballistic Missile Defense System engineered by U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday by a bipartisan vote of 394-30.

The proposal, offered in a procedural amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, requires the Secretary of Defense to better integrate the ballistic missile defense system of the United States with the defenses of Israel and to provide “robust protection” against ballistic missile attacks from Iran.

“Democracies are strongest when they stick together,” Congressman Kirk said. “Iranian President Ahmadinejad calls for Israel to be wiped off the map and talks of the Jewish people’s annihilation.

Today America sends a message to the Iranian dictator-Israel will have the full weight of America’s national missile defense system to defend herself.”

In addition to Kirk’s missile defense integration plan, an amendment offered by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) authorized an additional $205 million for U.S.-Israel defense projects, including the Arrow missile program, the David’s Sling short-range ballistic missile defense system and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) fire unit, a follow-on to the current American-Israel Arrow program.

“Today is an historic day for U.S.-Israel defense relations,” Kirk said. “Israel will be the first and only country to fully integrate with the American missile defense architecture. It is a symbol of our shared values and a safer 21st century.”

Excuse me DC criminals. I’d like a little more information on this…

Addendum:
From the comment section at PI:

Sure enough, as stated in that article there was nothing about integrating Israel into our system in the first version that was introduced to the House http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c110:H.R.1585…: [*] nor in the 6th version.

In the final version, there it is, another fact on the ground, snuck and stuck in there as concretely as a settlement on a Palestinian olive orchard.

[*] Note:

There are 7 versions of Bill Number H.R.1585 for the 110th Congress



‘Protect and Serve’ ‘Go out and cause’ PTSD

Police academy says, ‘Go out and cause’ PTSD

BOISE, Idaho – A state police academy leader has disavowed the slogan of the most recent graduating class urging one another to “go out and cause” post-traumatic stress disorder.

Each class at the Idaho Police Officer Standards and Training Academy is allowed to choose a slogan that is printed on its graduation programs, and the class of 43 graduates came up with “Don’t suffer from PTSD, go out and cause it.”

According to the Veterans Association, tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers suffer from PTSD, which causes nightmares, flashbacks and physical symptoms that make sufferers feel as if they are reliving trauma, even many years later. Crime, accidents and other trauma can cause it in civilians.

Black said the class president was ex-military, and that the slogan “slipped in.” He declined to identify the graduate. Black said future slogans would be vetted by academy leaders.

Full Version of Story of Stuff Here and Yes Real Economics for Trevor

Actual quote from Trevor “I Get My Definitions of Capitalism from the Sesame Street Dictionary” Blake:

Capitalism is based on private property. Acts of stealing are, by definition, anti-capitalist. What Blackwater did is just what socialists and thugs all over the world have always done – ‘redistribute’ the wealth. It isn’t capitalism.

Capitalism is fair in that all it takes to get ahead is money and possessions, and everybody is allowed to get or have these through legal means. Capitalism is unfair in that we don’t all start out in life with the same amount of money and possessions, and hard work alone can only get you so far through legal means if you start out with a bum deal.

There’s so much wrong with that quote that it deserves a separate post in and of itself–

(one, since when do “socialist thugs” have listings on the nyse and nasdaq exchanges (?) two, blackwater guards aren’t there to “redistribute” they’re well paid…they’re there to terrorize and murder the populace (usually intellectuals, college professors, and yes atheists get the gun), a salient trait from every core capitalist authoritarian regime from Nazi Germany to Chile in the70s to El Salvador in the 80s and most places where regime change has been orchestrated by the United States. Every fascist regime needs its SS.)

–but your textbook definition of capitalism is nicely deconstructed and its horrific implication nicely drawn out by the author of “The Story of Stuff”. Uncle Scam has already posted part of it in the previous post but here’s the whole thing from Google Video. By the way, if you or your friend Greg choose to rebut it could you watch it? Trust me it helps form the rebuttal.

Planned and perceived obsolescence

Now we’re being sold the idea of self-inflicted instant obsolescence.

Breaking: Bhutto’s Killing Caught On Camera

New film has emerged showing the moment Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. It shows a gun emerging from the crowd and at least two shots fired – apparently contradicting President Musharraf’s version of the cause of her death. Sky’s Colin Brazier reports.

Musharraf a friend of Bush, a liar? No! say it ain’t so!…lol

Bhutto Assassin ‘Captured On Film’

Also see, Bhutto’s Husband And Son Take Charge

Tom the Dancing Bug Offers an Experiment

For some reason our fine alt weekly paper the City Paper dropped the cartoon strip Tom the Dancing Bug, which can usually be found buried in their classifieds section. While it hasn’t been absolutely hilariously funny as of late Ruben’s worst is still funnier than Derf. And his best, especially his rare social and political commentary, is as good as it gets. Here he is talking about this wonderful new group known as the “science racists” (“Look, I hate you, but it’s all scientific don’t you see old boy…”), represented most ably by Gene Expression although it seems more moderate of late now that my old nemesis Godless Capitalist (Who rooted against the Ethan Hawke character in Gattaca…) no longer writes for them. I think white folks should participate in the experiment….


Two Peace Activists Denied Entry to Canada or "Now Youse Can’t Leave"

Now Youse (or Yinz) Can’t Leave.

(For background go see this Youtube clip from “A Bronx Tale”.)

Let’s say, for a moment, that you took a good look at the situation here in the US and you think its time to leave, kind of like Peter Drucker and other prescient Jews who left Germany in the 30s. You’re on a no fly list and you’re pretty sure you’re being watched and you’re absolutely certain that when the Blackwater death squads hit the street after the next natural or manufactured “shock” they’ll be knocking on your door and it won’t be to socialize. So you’ve thought about making a move to Canada. Seems like a nice place.

Well, think again. These guys don’t want “youse” to leave. Nice guys.

Two peace activists were recently denied entry into Canada, now run by a conservative. Jim Hightower has the story. Yes, you should find this frightening. At a certain point, as Naomi Wolfe points out in one of her talks about the signs of fascism, Jews weren’t allowed to leave. They weren’t stopped from leaving because the Germans liked them. In fact, the Germans had other plans for the Jews as history has shown us. And more than likely there are similar Gitmo/concentration camp plans for dissenters. Not a good sign.

Let the mystery be

Iris Dement

Smart Lady…

FBI aims for world’s largest biometrics database

Just as an aside question, is there a functional difference between the CIA, NSA, FBI, BATF, HS, DoD, Secret Service (initializing that one would be too revealing) and DARPA anymore? I’m losing track of the purview of the Praetorian predators these days. It looks to me like they’re all announcing the same projects.

Oh, in case you missed it, Police Begin Fingerprinting on Traffic Stops.

And its a Special Greg Palast Christmas

And here’s a special Greg Palast Christmas Story. You can see this story on Democracy Now this Thursday I believe. I highlighted the notable parts.

Good and Evil at the Center of the Earth:
A Quechua Christmas Carol
by Greg Palast

December 24th, 2007

[Quito] I don’t know what the hell seized me. In the middle of an hour-long interview with the President of Ecuador, I asked him about his father.

I’m not Barbara Walters. It’s not the kind of question I ask.

He hesitated. Then said, “My father was unemployed.”

He paused. Then added, “He took a little drugs to the States… This is called in Spanish a mula [mule]. He passed four years in the states- in a jail.”

He continued. “I’d never talked about my father before.”

Apparently he hadn’t. His staff stood stone silent, eyes widened.

Correa’s dad took that frightening chance in the 1960s, a time when his family, like almost all families in Ecuador, was destitute. Ecuador was the original “banana republic” – and the price of bananas had hit the floor. A million desperate Ecuadorans, probably a tenth of the entire adult population, fled to the USA anyway they could.

“My mother told us he was working in the States.”

His father, released from prison, was deported back to Ecuador. Humiliated, poor, broken, his father, I learned later, committed suicide.

At the end of our formal interview, through a doorway surrounded by paintings of the pale plutocrats who once ruled this difficult land, he took me into his own Oval Office. I asked him about an odd-looking framed note he had on the wall. It was, he said, from his daughter and her grade school class at Christmas time. He translated for me.

“We are writing to remind you that in Ecuador there are a lot of very poor children in the streets and we ask you please to help these children who are cold almost every night.”

It was kind of corny. And kind of sweet. A smart display for a politician.

Or maybe there was something else to it.

Correa is one of the first dark-skinned men to win election to this Quechua and mixed-race nation. Certainly, one of the first from the streets. He’d won a surprise victory over the richest man in Ecuador, the owner of the biggest banana plantation.

Doctor Correa, I should say, with a Ph.D in economics earned in Europe. Professor Correa as he is officially called – who, until not long ago, taught at the University of Illinois.

And Professor Doctor Correa is one tough character. He told George Bush to take the US military base and stick it where the equatorial sun don’t shine. He told the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, which held Ecuador’s finances by the throat, to go to hell. He ripped up the “agreements” which his predecessors had signed at financial gun point. He told the Miami bond vultures that were charging Ecuador usurious interest, to eat their bonds. He said ‘We are not going to pay off this debt with the hunger of our people. ” Food first, interest later. Much later. And he meant it.

It was a stunning performance. I’d met two years ago with his predecessor, President Alfredo Palacio, a man of good heart, who told me, looking at the secret IMF agreements I showed him, “We cannot pay this level of debt. If we do, we are DEAD. And if we are dead, how can we pay?” Palacio told me that he would explain this to George Bush and Condoleezza Rice and the World Bank, then headed by Paul Wolfowitz. He was sure they would understand. They didn’t. They cut off Ecuador at the knees.

But Ecuador didn’t fall to the floor. Correa, then Economics Minister, secretly went to Hugo Chavez Venezuela’s president and obtained emergency financing. Ecuador survived.

And thrived. But Correa was not done.

Elected President, one of his first acts was to establish a fund for the Ecuadoran refugees in America – to give them loans to return to Ecuador with a little cash and lot of dignity. And there were other dragons to slay. He and Palacio kicked US oil giant Occidental Petroleum out of the country.

Correa STILL wasn’t done.

I’d returned from a very wet visit to the rainforest – by canoe to a Cofan Indian village in the Amazon where there was an epidemic of childhood cancers. The indigenous folk related this to the hundreds of open pits of oil sludge left to them by Texaco Oil, now part of Chevron, and its partners. I met the Cofan’s chief. His three year old son swam in what appeared to be contaminated water then came out vomiting blood and died.

Correa had gone there too, to the rainforest, though probably in something sturdier than a canoe. And President Correa announced that the company that left these filthy pits would pay to clean them up.

But it’s not just any company he was challenging. Chevron‘s largest oil tanker was named after a long-serving member of its Board of Directors, the Condoleezza. Our Secretary of State.

The Cofan have sued Condi’s corporation, demanding the oil company clean up the crap it left in the jungle. The cost would be roughly $12 billion. Correa won’t comment on the suit itself, a private legal action. But if there’s a verdict in favor of Ecuador’s citizens, Correa told me, he will make sure Chevron pays up.

Is he kidding? No one has ever made an oil company pay for their slop. Even in the USA, the Exxon Valdez case drags on to its 18th year. Correa is not deterred.

He told me he would create an international tribunal to collect, if necessary. In retaliation, he could hold up payments to US companies who sue Ecuador in US courts.

This is hard core. No one – NO ONE – has made such a threat to Bush and Big Oil and lived to carry it out.

And, in an office tower looking down on Quito, the lawyers for Chevron were not amused. I met with them.

“And it’s the only case of cancer in the world? How many cases of children with cancer do you have in the States?” Rodrigo Perez, Texaco’s top lawyer in Ecuador was chuckling over the legal difficulties the Indians would have in proving their case that Chevron-Texaco caused their kids’ deaths. “If there is somebody with cancer there, [the Cofan parents] must prove [the deaths were] caused by crude or by petroleum industry. And, second, they have to prove that it is OUR crude – which is absolutely impossible.” He laughed again. You have to see this on film to believe it.

The oil company lawyer added, “No one has ever proved scientifically the connection between cancer and crude oil.” Really? You could swim in the stuff and you’d be just fine.

The Cofan had heard this before. When Chevron‘s Texaco unit came to their land the the oil men said they could rub the crude oil on their arms and it would cure their ailments. Now Condi’s men had told me that crude oil doesn’t cause cancer. But maybe they are right. I’m no expert. So I called one. Robert F Kennedy Jr., professor of Environmental Law at Pace University, told me that elements of crude oil production – benzene, toluene, and xylene, “are well-known carcinogens.” Kennedy told me he’s seen Chevron-Texaco’s ugly open pits in the Amazon and said that this toxic dumping would mean jail time in the USA.

But it wasn’t as much what the Chevron-Texaco lawyers said that shook me. It was the way they said it. Childhood cancer answered with a chuckle. The Chevron lawyer, a wealthy guy, Jaime Varela, with a blond bouffant hairdo, in the kind of yellow chinos you’d see on country club links, was beside himself with delight at the impossibility of the legal hurdles the Cofan would face. Especially this one: Chevron had pulled all its assets out of Ecuador. The Indians could win, but they wouldn’t get a dime. “What about the chairs in this office?” I asked. Couldn’t the Cofan at least get those? “No,” they laughed, the chairs were held in the name of the law firm.

Well, now they might not be laughing. Correa’s threat to use the power of his Presidency to protect the Indians, should they win, is a shocker. No one could have expected that. And Correa, no fool, knows that confronting Chevron means confronting the full power of the Bush Administration. But to this President, it’s all about justice, fairness. “You [Americans] wouldn’t do this to your own people,” he told me. Oh yes we would, I was thinking to myself, remembering Alaska’s Natives.

Correa’s not unique. He’s the latest of a new breed in Latin America. Lula, President of Brazil, Evo Morales, the first Indian ever elected President of Bolivia, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. All “Leftists,” as the press tells us. But all have something else in common: they are dark-skinned working-class or poor kids who found themselves leaders of nations of dark-skinned people who had forever been ruled by an elite of bouffant blonds.

When I was in Venezuela, the leaders of the old order liked to refer to Chavez as, “the monkey.” Chavez told me proudly, “I am negro e indio” – Black and Indian, like most Venezuelans. Chavez, as a kid rising in the ranks of the blond-controlled armed forces, undoubtedly had to endure many jeers of “monkey.” Now, all over Latin America, the “monkeys” are in charge.

And they are unlocking the economic cages.

Maybe the mood will drift north. Far above the equator, a nation is ruled by a blond oil company executive. He never made much in oil – but every time he lost his money or his investors’ money, his daddy, another oil man, would give him another oil well. And when, as a rich young man out of Philips Andover Academy, the wayward youth tooted a little blow off the bar, daddy took care of that too. Maybe young George got his powder from some guy up from Ecuador.

I know this is an incredibly simple story. Indians in white hats with their dead kids and oil millionaires in black hats laughing at kiddy cancer and playing musical chairs with oil assets.

But maybe it’s just that simple. Maybe in this world there really is Good and Evil.

Maybe Santa will sort it out for us, tell us who’s been good and who’s been bad. Maybe Lawyer Yellow Pants will wake up on Christmas Eve staring at the ghost of Christmas Future and promise to get the oil sludge out of the Cofan’s drinking water.

Or maybe we’ll have to figure it out ourselves. When I met Chief Emergildo, I was reminded of an evening years back, when I was way the hell in the middle of nowhere in the Prince William Sound, Alaska, in the Chugach Native village of Chenega. I was investigating the damage done by Exxon‘s oil. There was oil sludge all over Chenega’s beaches. It was March 1991, and I was in the home of village elder Paul Kompkoff on the island’s shore, watching CNN. We stared in silence as “smart” bombs exploded in Baghdad and Basra.

Then Paul said to me, in that slow, quiet way he had, “Well, I guess we’re all Natives now.”

Well, maybe we are. But we don’t have to be, do we?

Maybe we can take some guidance from this tiny nation at the center of the earth. I listened back through my talk with President Correa. And I can assure his daughter that she didn’t have to worry that her dad would forget about “the poor children who are cold” on the streets of Quito.

Because the Professor Doctor is still one of them.

*****

Watch the Palast investigation, Rumble in the Jungle: Big Oil and Little Indians, on BBC Television Newsnight, now on-line via www.GregPalast.com – and Thursday’s US broadcast of Democracy Now.

For a copy of Palast’s prior reports from Venezuela for BBC and Democracy Now, get “The Assassination of Hugo Chavez,” on DVD, filmed by award-winning videographer Richard Rowley.

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