Monday, February 11, 2013

SAR #13042

"Every American has the right to know when their government believes it’s allowed to kill them.” Sen. Ron Wyden

Once Upon A Time In The West: 'Oversight' and 'Congressional Review' have come to mean 'rubber stamp'. But only after a well-scripted side-show, with clowns and all. witness the Benghazi hearings, the assault on decency (aka Hillary Clinton's day behind the woodshed), and the Chuck Hegel silliness (What Senators are owned by APIC? You, you, you and you, Sir.). And now I'm supposed to feel better because a handful of these guys are going to learn who the President killed, just a month or so afterwards, under the Murder, Incorporated version of democracy?

Oh, and a new secret court. Like the one that has rejected exactly 11 secret applications for illegal eavesdropping warrants in the last 30 years? By definition, secret courts violate the Fourth Amendment. Keep in mind the important point: the executive branch wants to execute people. You, maybe.

Quoted: “... the condition [required for the US to murder someone, anyone] that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”

On Extrajudicial Murder: We aren’t known for torturing people any more. Under Obama we just kill 'em. Somehow, sometime, we fell asleep, as America still fights wars for no visible reason in distant lands. There is no longer an effective constituency for democracy within the American ruling class or its politicians.

Succinctly: “What’s happening with the American people where we seem to be killing democracy to thunderous applause?” Morris Davis, former Chief Prosecutor at Guantanamo.

Droning On: The UN reports that US/NATO aerial campaign in Afghanistan has killed hundreds of Afghan children, “due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force.”

Socialized Theft: Coal companies - those stalwarts of free enterprise that get all upset whenever the government tries to keep their employees alive - are not happy to have to pay 25 cents a ton for the coal they rip from public lands and seem to have been lying about how much they owe us at even that ridiculous price. Then they sell it for up to $35 a ton to China, meaning US taxpayers are subsidizing the world’s largest consumer of coal, which then turns it into global warming gases while making stuff for Walmart. Next, let's talk about lumber...

Asked & Answered: Is the current effort to rebrand the Republican party anything more than a skin-deep propaganda ploy? No.

Rah, Rah, Raytheon: RIOT - Rapid Information Overlay Technology – is social network mining software which lets “the US government and industry” gather literally trillions of pieces of information from cyberspace – from not only Facebook and Twitter, but from all of the net and networks and use it to construct “an entire snapshot of a person's life – their friends,the physical places they visit and their tracks through the web, their credit cards and their bank accounts– with a few clicks of a button. And use that information to predict what you'll do next. Think of it as Google for spies. Or the political police. But don't worry, defense contractor Raytheon didn't sell the technology. They “shared” it.

To-Do List: Fix the filibuster, ensure privacy, fix capitalism's inequalities, stop pushing global warming...

Good Question: Pointing out that there are 11 million people living illegally in the United States, and noting his fellow Republicans' aversion to any steps that would allow these immigrants to earn citizenship, John McCain asks, “What do you want to do with them?”

A Brief History: The Great Recession has accelerated the conversion of the American economy to jobs that are a combination of minimum-wage, temporary, part-time, and benefitless. Think Wal-Mart and Amazon as the models. This was not an accident. And the next round of automation will increase the damage, leaving workers in a take-it-or-leave-it workplace that the Robber Barons would have envied. The next few decades will be interesting. Poverty stricken, socially oppressive, but interesting.

Porn O'Graph: Methy, very, very Methy.

The Parting Shot:



Demetrius said...

Raytheon. Earlier today, I had a mail mentioning this from an expert. The opinion was that it is very easy to do and we should assume that it is being done.

Usman said...

In case people really doubt what's happening with the Arctic.. here's more proof.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Usman - Wow. & Thanks.

HS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HS said...

Succinctly- Three decades of progressively dumbed down public schools have taken their toll. The average American is incapable of critical thinking and let's his/her teevee dictate their opinion. They've finally constructed the perfect consumer.

Blissex said...

«We aren’t known for torturing people any more. Under Obama we just kill 'em. [ ... ] There is no longer an effective constituency for democracy within the American ruling class or its politicians.»

As usual, the Usian ruling class and politicians are very keen to follow democratic preferences. They are not philosopher-kings who know better than their minions or electors.

Those politicians who went for re-election on a platform including PATRIOT, AUMF. torture, TARP, AIG, ... got resoundingly re-elected and their policies were endorsed by voters because those policies are very popular.

Many swing voters are frightened middle aged and old ladies who don't care about what happens to brown or dark skinned nobodies, as long as they feel a tiny bit safer, and who salute heroes of "wealth creation" like Jimmy Cayne or Stephen Fuld and don't mind when they help themselves to to till as long as asset prices go up and up and generate massive tax free capital gains.

As to the popularity of torturing or just killing everybody who looks dark or brown skinned and unreliable, an older article from the Financial Times on the mood of Usian voters:

«But is clear leaders of both parties lack the confidence to challenge the mood of xenophobia that exists outside Washington. Instead they are fuelling it. In some respects the Democrats are now as guilty of stoking fears on national security as the Republicans. Their logic is impeccable.

A majority of Americans believe there will be another large terrorist attack on American soil.

Such is the depth of anxiety that one-fifth or more of Americans believe they will personally be victims of a future terrorist attack.

This number has not budged in the last four and a half years.

«Mr Bush has consistently received a much higher public trust rating on the war on terror than the Democrats.

Without this -- and without the constant manipulation of yellow and orange terror alert warnings at key moments in the political narrative -- Mr Bush would almost certainly have lost the presidential race to John Kerry in 2004.

«In other words, the Democrats have found an effective way of neutralising their most persistent electoral liability: they are out-Bushing Mr Bush.

It is easy to see why key Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, have adopted this strategy. It is easy also to see why their Republican counterparts are following suit. As Peter King, the Republican representative for New York, said last week: "We are not going to allow the Democrats get to the right of us on this issue."

This left Mr Bush holding the candle for the left, as it were.

Note the stakes: the election of Bush probably benefited its sponsors by a few trillion dollars, summing tax cuts and bubble profits, and a little pandering to the baser instincts and demands of voters is what democracy is about...

Anonymous said...

HS seems to claim expansive knowledge of multiple private and public school systems, and thus feels qualified to blame our present dilemma on public education.

i don't.

what i do know is that having attended both public and private schools...

the private school was all about authority, obedience order and compliance

and the public school was replete with teachers who taught how important it was to the survival of a democratic republic that citizens question and even challenge authority

i attended school in 6 school districts between K thru 12 as i was a "military brat" and then i attended 4 colleges-universities over my ault lifetime

that is of course a small sample, upon which i base my observation and im open to different experience of others

by far the best school i attended public or private was "byram hills" and i would guess looking back it was one of the richest school districts in the country

so much for those who claim money and quality education are not related

imho the real culprit is corporate take over of the government and the corporate dominated media

the sheeple ge the mushroom treatment...kept in the dark and fed bull shit

mock turtle

TulsaTime said...

CKM, you have hit the overflow, even for me, with uplifting items for the day. We always knew war was institutional murder, it just took this long to get the intensity down from killing hundreds,to handfuls at a time.

As far as John McCain goes, what days does he take medication? I never know what version any quote is going to be from, tea-bagger or re-election minded.

Perhaps the gubbmint should nationalize Peabody, or whatever their name is these days, since they will never ask a decent price for coal from public lands.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Yes, there was a certain heavy thumping of the drum today, but I spent the weekend being pretty upset by both my leaders and my co-conspirators.

I'll try to keep citations on a single theme somewhat more limited in the future, but my excuse was there were a number of good commentators available.

Loved the McCain/medication riff.