Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's OK to tase children...Really!

Wouldn't you know it? Tasing children falls under the guidelines for taser use by law enforcement. In fact it's probably safer for them (the cops AND the kids) - just ask law enforcement specialists. I wonder if parents tasing children would be child abuse; spanking is.

Monday, April 26, 2010

An act of war - Ron Paul to Congress

Ron Paul's message is about as public as it can get. Who doesn't still have a slumbering incling that what is he saying, is true. But he has put it so succinctly to the American people (and the world), I am impressed with his candour. If after reading this short speech, you would like to see the reason why what Paul is saying is true, have a look see at this chart on the 2009 DOE on world oil depletion: The Imminent Crash Of The Oil Supply

An Act Of War

By Congressman Ron Paul

Statement of Congressman Ron Paul - United States House of Representatives

Statement on Motion to Instruct Conferees on HR 2194, Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act - April 22, 2010

April 23, 2010 "United States House of Representatives"

Mr. Speaker:

I rise in opposition to this motion to instruct House conferees on HR 2194, the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, and I rise in strong opposition again to the underlying bill and to its Senate version as well.
I object to this entire push for war on Iran, however it is disguised. Listening to the debate on the Floor on this motion and the underlying bill it feels as if we are back in 2002 all over again: the same falsehoods and distortions used to push the United States into a disastrous and unnecessary one trillion dollar war on Iraq are being trotted out again to lead us to what will likely be an even more disastrous and costly war on Iran. The parallels are astonishing.

We hear war advocates today on the Floor scare-mongering about reports that in one year Iran will have missiles that can hit the United States. Where have we heard this bombast before? Anyone remember the claims that Iraqi drones were going to fly over the United States and attack us? These “drones” ended up being pure propaganda – the UN chief weapons inspector concluded in 2004 that there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein had ever developed unpiloted drones for use on enemy targets. Of course by then the propagandists had gotten their war so the truth did not matter much.

We hear war advocates on the floor today arguing that we cannot afford to sit around and wait for Iran to detonate a nuclear weapon. Where have we heard this before? Anyone remember then-Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s oft-repeated quip about Iraq: that we cannot wait for the smoking gun to appear as a mushroom cloud.

We need to see all this for what it is: Propaganda to speed us to war against Iran for the benefit of special interests.

Let us remember a few important things. Iran, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, has never been found in violation of that treaty. Iran is not capable of enriching uranium to the necessary level to manufacture nuclear weapons. According to the entire US Intelligence Community, Iran is not currently working on a nuclear weapons program. These are facts, and to point them out does not make one a supporter or fan of the Iranian regime. Those pushing war on Iran will ignore or distort these facts to serve their agenda, though, so it is important and necessary to point them out.

Some of my well-intentioned colleagues may be tempted to vote for sanctions on Iran because they view this as a way to avoid war on Iran. I will ask them whether the sanctions on Iraq satisfied those pushing for war at that time. Or whether the application of ever-stronger sanctions in fact helped war advocates make their case for war on Iraq: as each round of new sanctions failed to “work” – to change the regime – war became the only remaining regime-change option.

This legislation, whether the House or Senate version, will lead us to war on Iran. The sanctions in this bill, and the blockade of Iran necessary to fully enforce them, are in themselves acts of war according to international law. A vote for sanctions on Iran is a vote for war against Iran. I urge my colleagues in the strongest terms to turn back from this unnecessary and counterproductive march to war.


I always like to read the posted comments - sometimes they tell more than the article.

Here is my comment: ["He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder." -Einstein]

Zengine · 2 days ago
Always have admired Paul. He speaks truth, even if he can't take a joke.

orbital · 2 days ago
Israel's too smart to launch a strike against Iran. They'll bide their time, ride the public wave of discontent and wait until they can get the US/EU to do their bidding... just like they did with Iraq. It's all about timing.

John S. Hatch · 2 days ago
Sanctions against Iraq didn't inconvenience Saddam in any way, but they killed up to a million innocent Iraqis, including a half-million children, something that ex Secretary of State Madeleine Albright declared to be 'worth it'.

Iran never threatened or attacked the US, but the CIA removed a democratically elected Prime Minister in 1953. His 'crime'? Wanting control of Iranian oil for Iranians. America installed the hated Shah, who could only maintain control through the use of Savak, his savage secret police. Then America wonders why radical mullahs took over and expressed popular hatred for everything American. Who could blame them?

Now, using the same tired old lies that led to the illegal and inhuman invasion of Iraq, America, which never seems to learn anything, prepares to attack Iran, perhaps drawing China and Russia into a broader war, maybe the final one.

America remains the greatest purveyor of violence on earth. For shame.

arthurdecco · 2 days ago
My gawd! What a sensible man! (At least on this subject.)

carmen · 2 days ago
I met a friend of mine who get removed from government health insurance because his income of $ 1100 a $ 23 over the limit of eligibility...a government that think $ 23 can makes a difference in a life or death situations to one of her citizen deserve to spit on it...sorry can't find other more polite expressions...but they can spend trillions on a cause that will never benefit us ..benefits our parasite....

oyate · 2 days ago
Here's one of his recent--AND ALL TIME BESTS. He talks to the Teocons and totally puts the whole deal in their faces.

Guest · 2 days ago
Both Houses of Congress have sold out to the jews.

GORBALT · 2 days ago
I don't see Ron Paul as anyone special merely because he can recognize a few facts that any studious high-school boy or girl could also find. But it's a wonder that so few members of Congress are familiar with these simple facts, a wonder that so few can recognize lies and propaganda. What is the explanation of this? Is it that other members are just stupid, or that they have all been bought off? If this is the case then why hasn't Paul been eliminated by the same methods? Why has an opponent not run effectively against him and used lies and accusations of terrorist sympathies and disloyalty to the US to oust Paul from his seat? What the hell makes him immune?

Who are Paul's constituents? I really don't know what part of Texas he's from and why the people there elect someone so different. It's a similar situation with Kucinich, who mouths a lot of progressive principles whether you take him as genuine or not, and who represents people of rust-belt Cleveland who I really don't think are as progressive as Kucinich sounds. I don't understand how even a few reality-based people are still standing. Explain this to me.

BDJUSA · 2 days ago
Was doesn't Ron Paul have the courage to admit that the Israeli Lobby is behind these sanctions and the clamor to murder Iranians? The Israeli Lobby and the high ranking Zionists brought us the Iraq war. Israel's intelligence agency the Mossad masterminded the 911 attacks. The Israeli governments our enemy not our friend

hayate · 2 days ago
The usa is gung ho for war against iran.


Because zionazis run the usa and zionazis want zionazi control over everybody and everything. This is of course ordained by god.

But wont war with Iran further erode an already faltering ami economy.

Who cares, they're expendable, well worth sacrificing to further empower zionazi, inc. And besides, the zionazis own Europe, as well, and whatever drop in baksheesh they skim in the usa, they can squeeze out of the European colonies. The usa is rich enough, and big enough, that they wont go completely under, and will still be useful as cannon fodder and enforcers.

More comments from original article here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

IMF says 'Suck it up, the party's over.'

For those of you who know what this means, read and weep. For those of you who don't, you soon will. It effectively means a democratic loss in creating fiscal policy. The people of the EU PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) countries will understand in short order that all their demonstrations against pay and service cuts, no matter how justified, will be for naught. How EU member states spend their tax money will be overseen by the IMF.

"You will see many headlines complaining and moaning and stirring the pot," Lagarde said, as issues such as pension reform are debated. But ultimately, she said, "there is no way out."

By Howard Schneider
Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In the lingo of the International Monetary Fund, the future of the world hinges on "rebalancing and consolidation," antiseptic words that would not seem to raise a fuss.

Who doesn't want more balance in their life?

But the translation is a bit ruder, something on the order of: "Suck it up. The party's over."

To keep the global economy on track, people in the United States and the rest of the developed world need to work longer before retiring, pay higher taxes and expect less from government. And the cheap imports lining the shelves of mega-chains such as Wal-Mart and Target? They need to be more expensive.

That's the practical meaning of a series of policy papers and statements issued in recent days by IMF officials, who have a long history of stabilizing economies and solving global financial problems, as they plot a course to keep the world economy growing and reduce the risk of another "great recession."

That message has been delivered subtly, woven into documents with titles such as "Resolving the Crisis Legacy and Meeting New Challenges to Financial Stability," and justified by concepts such as "raising retirement age in line with life expectancy," as IMF economic counselor Olivier Blanchard put it this week.

But fully deciphered, it means a pretty serious reworking of expectations in the developed world: changes in labor rules, product prices, currency values and even the social contract between governments and an aging citizenry.

"It is not that living standards will lower, but they will not increase as fast as they have been," said Domenico Lombardi, a former IMF executive director. The ideas being discussed by world leaders "are coded words," he said. "They don't like words like 'imposing higher taxes' and 'cutting spending.' "


The IMF has long had a reputation as a bearer of bad news -- it dispatches well-educated and diplomatically deft teams to tell economically troubled countries how many people they have to fire and which programs they have to cut to get financial assistance. But the IMF now finds itself in the odd position of having that conversation not with a single ailing sovereign but with the developed countries at the core of the world system, including the United States.

Its prescription is centered on two concepts.

"Rebalancing" is an idea that most everyone endorses -- including the technicians at the fund and President Obama and the leaders of the G-20 group of economically powerful nations. In broad strokes, it means curbing what has been a massive transfer of capital from nations that consume more than they produce, such as the United States, to nations that produce more than they consume, such as China.

The imbalance has been key to China's modernization: The country buys U.S. government bonds by the tens of billions to keep the dollar stronger than it would be and to keep its domestic currency -- and its exports -- cheaper. Looked at one way, the flow of U.S. debt to the People's Bank of China has acted like a giant, collective credit card, underwriting consumers across the United States and driving the business models of major retailers such as Wal-Mart.

The message from the IMF is that the card is about maxed out and that the imbalance in trade flows needs to be corrected.

How to do it? One way is for China -- or Asian exporters, more generally -- to let their currencies rise on world markets. The other way, which IMF economist Blanchard raised this week, would be to devalue the dollar, the euro and other developed-world currencies.

"The advanced economies as a whole may need to depreciate their currencies so as to increase their net exports," Blanchard said.

The less well-advertised side of the equation: If the dollar is worth less, then imports, regardless of their source, will cost more. U.S. exports will be proportionately cheaper -- a good thing for American businesses trying to become more competitive in overseas markets -- but everything from iPods to jeans to the latest Barbie doll would jump in price.

The ideas offered by the IMF "could certainly reorder the balance of the international economy, but not in a way that benefits the average person in the U.S.," said J. Craig Shearman, vice president of government affairs for the National Retail Federation.

He continued: "If a few factories have an increase in exports, that is good for them, but it leaves the vast majority of people paying more for consumer goods. Talking about consuming less and saving more is a nice, ivory tower approach. But it is not real world economics. People have to put clothes on their children's backs and food on the table."

Wal-Mart declined to comment.


"Fiscal consolidation" is another idea promoted by IMF leaders. Again, the aim seems unobjectionable: The United States and other developed-world governments ran record deficits during the crisis, both to pay for stimulus programs and because tax and other receipts cratered. Across the developed world, the IMF says, government debt will rise from about 80 percent of economic output before the crisis to roughly 115 percent of output in 2014.

That's considered a dangerous trajectory, and IMF officials say that by next year, governments need to announce "credible" plans to cut their annual deficits, turn them into surpluses and start paying off what is owed.

The level of the correction needed is large, perhaps 10 percent of gross domestic product. In the United States, that would amount to roughly $1.4 trillion annually, to be cut from government programs or raised through new taxes.

Better-than-expected growth would help, or increases in productivity, or even surprises in the form of new technologies. But what's on the horizon is, more likely, a difficult reckoning -- one that Greece is facing and that other developed nations know is in the offing, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said in an interview Thursday.

"We're all in the same boat," Lagarde said as she looked ahead to a tough debate in France over changes in pension rules that will make not just government workers but also many in the private sector add years before their expected retirements.

The IMF is studying issues such as which taxes should be raised and which programs should be cut to make "consolidation" as painless as possible. But it views a longer working life as an important tool -- one that would save large amounts of money in the future without cutting spending and decreasing economic activity today.

In the United States, a new fiscal commission is beginning to study how to bring U.S. government debt into line.

"You will see many headlines complaining and moaning and stirring the pot," Lagarde said, as issues such as pension reform are debated. But ultimately, she said, "there is no way out."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Group Gathers Signatures for Taser Restrictions

As we come into the age of advanced weaponry and surveillance used against citizens by law enforcement, the laws against abuses will take time to emerge and come into effect: perhaps years. Ironically the surveillance used on ordinary citizens has now captured police officers using the taser inappropriately in instances where such force was unnecessary. Officers Caught on Camera Increase Scrutiny

The internet (and this blog) is awash with horrifying videos of taser abuse. Anyone who hasn't watched at least some of these should have a look-see.

Such injustices and perversion of human rights will eventually draw heroes from the people themselves - who will demand that laws protect their rights against taser-happy cops who can explain away every taser incident as 'justified'. (Sounds a bit like the bankster rationale - after all, they weren't breaking any laws.)

The story below is of just such people, who have taken to the streets to bring about change to laws involving the use of tasers on citizens. I salute them for their courage.

By Stacia Kalinoski
April 10, 2010

EUGENE, Ore. -- Outrage over EPD's use of taser guns has spurred one man to try and change the policy.

Randy Prince wants a city ordinance that classifies tasers as deadly weapons. He brought the idea before the public at the Saturday Market, recruiting others to help him gather signatures. He's hoping to find enough names to put the proposal on the November ballot.

Though no one has died from being stunned by EPD, Prince says it has happened elsewhere, and therefore says it makes sense to place it under the same restrictions as a firearm.

He wants to limit taser use to the very serious cases, and says an ordinance will help decrease potential abuse of the weapon by officers.

"We think by carrying this petition that it's not enough to advise the police chief through some city council committees. We want the principal established that people shouldn't be killed over lesser offenses, and the problem is, is that the taser does kill," he said.

Prince needs more than 12,000 registered Eugene voters in the next three months to get this on the November ballot. Saturday, he recruited nearly 20 others to help him, and he plans to hit the campus area hard the next few weeks to gather signatures.

Prince said this measure could also regulate civilian use. While not putting a ban on tasers, he said new rules could change how residents use tasers for self defense.

Related: Taser International sued for product causing cardiac arrest

Friday, April 2, 2010

The power you gave them...

"The power you gave them to torture me, rape me ... search me naked and to present me in court, I am dead....

I was dead the first time I was raped.

...I do not consider you a judge, a court!...

This country [USA]. Leave me alone or send me back to my country Pakistan."

-Dr. Aafia Siddiqui during court hearing Feb 2010
I do not wish to preach to the choir on the issue of Aafia Siddiqui: I have blogged several times on her plight. For those of you who are unfamiliar, click on one of the following links and read the first two paragraphs in any one. My purpose here is to get those who are too busy, just living, to ask questions about their own responsibility as to their role in creating governments who have such power and such control over the media, as to inflict upon a person, that which Aafia Siddiqui has, so far, suffered.
My purpose here is to present for all readers the opportunity to awaken in themselves compassion, and courage to take back the power they have given away to their repressive governments, in many countries.
If the people lead, the government must follow. -anon
Before we can run we must walk, and before we walk we must crawl. First though, we must desire to move; and if in tiny episodes of awareness and compassion, we must crawl toward controlling our governments, then I hope Aafia's story is the beginning of a beginning for more and more people. A moment of curiosity is all it takes to stir the best in human nature. All that is required is a willingness to be aware.

Today is Good Friday, the day on which Jesus was crucified. Though I do not celebrate Holy Days in the traditional sense, including Easter and Christmas, I always like to have a good think about the meaning of the event the holiday commemorates.

Many people have been crucified, physically and symbolically, through abuse of power throughout history. They lie in unknown graves,vanquished and anonymous, the pain which they suffered consigned to oblivion. They have been the victims of power weilded by those who wish to rule as much of the universe as they can manage. We shall never know them all.

If the lament of Good Friday is anything, it is the sadness we feel that Jesus, duly convicted in a court of law, was executed on Good Friday for his policy of preaching love and forgiveness. Sedition was his crime. He was convicted by the people themselves and meted the horrible death He suffered, by the people.

I think this should raise some questions in our collective psyche about the individual integrity that is required for a democracy to function for 'good' instead of 'evil'.

I hope this story of Aafia awakens in us the power we possess, unused, to create a better world for our children.

Links for Aafia's recent US trial:

Justice for Aafia


All blogs are really just small snapshots of a person's mind, heart and soul as they evolve together through life....

Small bits of the thread of life we weave together into the fabric of ourselves, in the hope we will make sense of our existence, individual and collective.

On this page, is the cloak I have fashioned from my fabric to warm myself in a universe which often makes little sense.

Inside my cloak, it is warm enough to face the blistering cold winds of the insane world in which I find myself.

If you find some a bit of 'the good stuff' here, it has been my pleasure.