Saturday, October 31, 2015
Every now and then you should check your internal tape against reality.
Protecting Democracy: Turkey's insecure and paranoid would-be dictator, president Tayyip Erdoğan, faced with an election he shouldn't win but will, has seen cops to seize two TV stations run by political parties that oppose him. He's also imprisoned a couple of children who tore down one of his election posters – a crime that could get them two years in jail. Erdoğan continues his support for ISIS, attacking Syrian Kurds (along with killing Turkish Kurds whenever it's convenient). He's a US ally.
Over/Over: Apple's made $234 billion in profits this year and has north of $300 billion stuck under mattresses overseas – money it has paid no taxes on. Why do we let them get away with this?
Ingrate: An Englishman who has been released from fourteen years of captivity in the US torture/interrogation camp at Guantánamo without either charges nor a trial, wants to sue for damages. Again, why did we let them get away with this?
Over There: A federal appeals court says that federal agencies like the FBI and CIA – or the Agriculture Department for that matter – can imprison and torture Americans as long as it is done outside the US. Nice to know they can't catch you here and torture you there. Not legally, anyway. [Enter chorus...]
Redeployment: Saudi Arabia has flown 500 ISIL soldiers [ISIL is pretty much a wholly owned subsidiary of the Saudi government] from bases in Turkey to an airport in Aden, Yemen where they are to join with Saudi led forces in attacking Houthi forces.
Politics: Dennis Hastert, GOP Speaker of the House speaker for eight years paid over $3.5 million in bribes to keep his sexual misconduct secret, will serve “no more than” six months and may serve no time at all. Where Denny, who went from being a high school coach to a low paid congressman, got that much money in the first place is not a question anybody really wants to answer.
Possession Of Possessions: A US circuit court has ruled that possession is ten tenths of the law when it comes to stolen art. In the case of Van Gogh's The Night Cafe, Yale cheerfully admits that it was stolen from the Konowaloff family during the Russian Revolution and somehow ended up being bought by the school in 1961. Yale was particularly pleased because the ruling will probably let them keep other works of art stolen by the Nazis and later re-stolen and sold.
Democracy Being “Messy”: During the eight years that Nouri Maliki was the US handmaiden running Iraq, he and his henchmen made off with $500 billion – easily one of the most sucessful profitable war profiteers in history. Why didn't we send them a few more pallet loads of $100s and keep our troops at home?
Us and Them: The 100 top paid CEOs in the US have retirement savings that dwarf the combined savings of 40% of all US families. They stole it fair and square, much of it by shipping your job overseas. Note that at least half of US workers lack company-sponsored retirement plans.
Porn O'Graph: Coming and going.
Posted by Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III at 7:34 AM