Links 5/8/11

Posted on by


  1. jim

    “The DeVos Family: Meet the Super-Wealthy Right-Wingers Working With the Religious Right to Kill Public Education”

    NWO game plan stepped up in the early 80’s:

    1) Big Pharma lobbies Centers for Disease Control to make biological illnesses seem as though they are psychological to avoid diagnosis and treatment.

    2) vaccinate people to predispose them to chronic conditions such as autism, cancer, chronic fatigue, caused by screwing with DNA and compromising central nervous system.

    3) Send jobs overseas, bust United states budget with wars, tax cuts, Medicare part D prescription drug benefit.

    4) eliminate health care and public education

    5) deregulate government and give corporations complete control to run roughshod over world.

    1. wunsacon

      >> 1) Big Pharma lobbies Centers for Disease Control to make biological illnesses seem as though they are psychological to avoid diagnosis and treatment.

      Please elaborate on this. How does Big Pharma profit by suppressing the diagnosis and treatment ($$) of illnesses?

    2. wunsacon

      >> 2) vaccinate people to predispose them

      Do you oppose vaccinations for measles? Which other diseases should we stop vaccinating for?

      Do you seriously think anyone wants to vaccinate people in order to give them cancer than to, say, protect them from certain diseases?

  2. Malak al-Maut

    “1) Big Pharma lobbies Centers for Disease Control to make biological illnesses seem as though they are psychological to avoid diagnosis and treatment.”

    HAHAHAHAHA. Holy shit. I laughed so hard my head hurts.

  3. DownSouth

    Re: “Obama murdered bin Laden for a fistful of votes” Haaretz

    • The president, who came to power with liberal slogans and a pose of reconciliation with the Muslim world, speaks like Martin Luther King but operates in the international area like a right-wing/conservative outlaw from Alabama.

    • The conservatives have always believed that the threat could be eliminated with force, killing the mosquitoes without draining the swamps. Now Obama has also joined this conservative chorus, and the Great Black Hope has been shelved.

    • Murder in cold blood (especially in a foreign country ) contradicts the principles of international law, but thanks to military, economic and political power – and not for reasons of principle – there is no chance that Obama will have to pay for it.

    Yes, but the American people will pay, and pay, and pay for Obama’s treachery and moral depravity.

    1. CE

      “Yes, but the American people will pay, and pay, and pay for Obama’s treachery and moral depravity.”

      This might seem like a poetic and revolutionary statement to make, but all I can imagine is spittle and foam. Where does the satisfaction come from in commenting like this? All it does is pervert discourse.

      1. DownSouth

        All it does is pervert discourse?

        In what way? Are you saying that Obama is not treacherous and morally depraved?

        Why don’t you try marshalling some evidence to support that position?

        1. CE

          Treacherous and morally depraved are both character judgments. Neither of us have the insight to see into the President’s soul and all those accusations of poor character serve to do is to cloud the issues that you care about.

          1. DownSouth

            CE said: “Treacherous and morally depraved are both character judgments.”

            Morally depraved is indeed a character judgment, but treacherous is not.

            treach•er•ous (trchr-s)
            1. Marked by betrayal of fidelity, confidence, or trust; perfidious. See Synonyms at faithless.
            2. Not to be relied on; not dependable or trustworthy.
            3. Marked by unforeseen hazards; dangerous or deceptive: treacherous waters.

            The Free Dictionary

            I would challenge anyone to watch minutes 7:00 to 14:00 of the documentary film Behind the Veil, which can be seen on the internet here, and tell me with a straight face that Obama is not treacherous.

            But beyond that, how is expressing one’s character judgments “perverting the discourse”? And furthermore, since when does one have to “see into the President’s soul” to make a character judgment? Have you ever heard of notions like “the proof is in the pudding” or “by their fruits ye shall know them”?

            CE, you’re a slick talker, but anyone with two brain cells to rub together can immediately see through your bull.

          2. attempter

            Responsible human beings care about actions, and where one has the power to act, only actions define one’s morality or lack thereof. Only actions define treachery.

            You know that, of course, which is why you sputter nonsense about this gutter criminal’s alleged “soul”.

            “I don’t care what My Leader does, because I’m a fundamentalist of the faith of the infinite goodness of his soul!”

            The credo of every brain-dead Obama hack who’s too ashamed of himself to try to defend Obama’s criminal actions.

          3. CE

            Down South and attempter, you’ve got me on treacherous, its action defined and not a character judgment and thanks also for acknowledging that moral depravement is.

            Saying Obama is inherently good muddies the waters just as implying that he’s evil does because the composition of his soul doesn’t matter, his policies and actions do. There’s plenty of justifiable criticism of Obama to be made I just don’t think it needs to be wrapped in the language of Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck. That’s the language of obfuscation.

            (I’m a slick talker too? Thanks! Sincerely appreciated.)

          4. Patrice

            CE says: “Neither of us have the insight to see into the President’s soul”

            It’s been several months since I bothered to comment here, but then, to the best of my knowledge, it’s also been a long time since anyone talked about “seeing into the President’s soul”.

            As a Haitian American, I can tell you that many of us in the Haitian American community had high hopes for Obama in the beginning. But we have no more illusions, and we haven’t had any for a long time. We now know that Obama is on the side of the banksters and the oligarchs, and against the people, no one doubts this anymore.

            And so, when I hear someone speak about the President’s soul, still giving him the benefit of doubt after all that’s happened, well, it’s a little hard to take.

            I apologize that I’m not a native English speaker and so I will have to say this in French: “C’est tellement chiant, je crois que je vais faire couler une dalle de béton”.

            The expression is much stronger in French, but roughly translated, that would be something like: “I think I’m going to shit a brick.”

    2. CE

      Or maybe I just don’t get your brand of sarcasm? I apologize if that’s the case.

    3. Francois T

      In 1961, Mossad located Adolf Eichmann in Argentina. They mounted a risky and gutsy operation, captured him, brought him back to Israel to be prosecuted. After a rigorous trial, he was convicted.

      We’re talking about the guy who basically organized the Holocaust, one of the most monstrous crime ever.

      Pray explain why the US of A, oh so freaking mighty, couldn’t be bothered to do the same with Osama Bin Laden? Were the risks to the nation so great that it threatened the very foundations of the Republic?

      No a fat chance in Hell!

      Could it be that the obligations of “due process of Law” have become “luxuries” that can be discarded at will in this country?

      If so, tremble you all who do not hold a 2nd passport!

  4. DownSouth

    Re: “I-Team: The Secret Truth About Foreclosures” CBS Miami

    Yep. The American street is upset, but politically they don’t have anywhere to turn.

    I think people believed they were voting for Martin Luther King when they voted for Obama, but what they got was Bush on steroids.

    Let me take this opportunity to plug Scott Noble’s video documentary Lifting the Veil again, which can be seen on the internet here.

    It does the best job I’ve seen at documenting just how perfidious and morally depraved Obama is.

    1. MDBill

      It’s instructive to observe the offhand manner in which the linked article describes the AG “investigation”. There’s not so much as a hint as to the kabuki nature of the exercise. It’s no wonder the American public is as deluded and misguided as it is.

  5. Richard Kline

    Re: Capteur Soleil: Mid-tech solar changing the wide world while tech geeks scramble out idji-apps grubbing for bucks. Technology impacts are quite often at the level we see cited here, things that everyday people can readily put to work to refine how they produce and interact.

    ‘Kill the Grid’ should be the true slogan of the so-called 21st century.

  6. DownSouth

    Re: “Obama murdered bin Laden for a fistful of votes” Haaretz

    In Israel the situation is far worse: It’s the liberal camp (which sometimes calls itself the “left” ) that enthusiastically cheers any U.S. president who fights against poor countries…

    I think the wheels are coming off liberalism pretty much everywhere, including the U.S. Given liberalism’s shoddy philosophical grounding, this was bound to happen:

    The Enlightenment (and post-Enlightenment) exaltation of human individuality is thus in fact a form of radical (although concealed) Pelagianism. Divine or at least quasi-divine powers reemerge although always in disguise. Nature is an embodied rational will; the social world is governed by an “invisible hand” that almost miraculously produces a rational distribution of goods and services; and history is the progressive development of humanity toward perfection.
    ▬Michael Allen Gillespie, The Theological Origins of Modernity

    1. Richard Kline

      It is a fact of socio-history, as near to a law as anything enacted by a society, that when the pinch comes hard the liberals will always sell you out. I’d love for someone to write a text about why this is, though that won’t be me. But yes, when the Earth is shrugging under our misuse and the rich are squeezing the other 90% down into one greasy mass, the liberals are busy selling out everyone even a paygrade lower. Sad litle creatures, clinging to their material possessions and febrile, narrow ambitions. Sez I.

      1. ambrit

        Mr. Kline;
        I beg to differ. The history of Liberal thought and action is full of things that have completely altered our world. The fact is that effective Liberalism has always had a strong element of the moral crusade in it. Remember Slavery? Child labour? Suffrage for Women?
        I would suggest that you have conflated Liberals with “Liberal Politicians.” Two quite different groups.
        This past May Day I did indeed wear my red tie. No one noticed. Thus has the debate shifted. Now, the red tie represents to people an affiliation with a particular political in group. Oh well.

      2. MDBill

        Actually, Chris Hedges’ next to last tome, Death of the Liberal Class, deals with the abdication of the liberal class in considerable detail (although I suppose it really can’t be described as a “textbook”).

        1. ambrit

          Thanks for the heads up. I’ll get the book and shut up about the subject until I’ve read it. I always suspected there was more to debate then they taught us in High School. Cheers.

    2. Cynthia


      Not even Charlie Sheen inebriated on a fist full of soma could fail to shoot down a sickly old unarmed man in his pajamas. Not even someone with just a few functioning brain cells could possibly construe this as bravery on the part of the SEALs, much less as winning on the part of the US. Not even the combined visionary prowess of Aldous Huxley and George Orwell could possibly dreamed up such a dystopian nightmare for us — a place where we are so inebriated on state-sponsored soma that we don’t have a clue on how to differentiate bravery from cowardice, much less winning from losing.

      How long will it take for the soma to wear off so that we can realized that our perception of the world is the opposite of the actual world around us!

      These thoughts of mine were inspired by Chris Hedges’ piece that he wrote back in 2010 entitled “2011: A Brave New Dystopia”…

  7. Richard Kline

    On the former Mossad chief, Meir Dagan is a most unsavory individual with a lot of blood on his hands. However, the article linked is worth reading in its entirety for the pickings which can be gleaned. The socio-political context surrounding Israel is profoundly shaken, and Israeli policy must and certainly is being redefined on the fly at this time; we’ll see by, say, the autumn what they settle on. Dagan will be one of perhaps a dozen people at most who shape that policy, and his (extremely rare) public remarks in this article are surely a part of signaling his dimensions. There were two things that stood out, to me.

    Dagan’s “Only shmucks want to do Iran” remarks strongly suggest that the pragmatists want to bury that idea deep and full. Of course, Israel was _never_ going to bomb Iran on its own or even as a participant; that is my considered opinion. Dagan himself enumerates some of the most salient reasons why in this very article; he’s definitely in touch with reality in that regard. The whole idea was for Israel to egg on _the United States_ to bomb Iran for them, just like Israel succeeded in doing in promoting the Americans to ‘take care of Iraq’ for Israel. Worked once, didn’t it? All that passing bogus intel, press releases on a steady media drip on the [such and such] threat; all that huffing on maybe-probably we might just be about to go a week from some Tuesday swamp fog that’s been put out. Well, the US didn’t go there, so to speak, and the context has radically changed. So Dagan wants, it would appear, to pull the plug on the media campaign for an action which will never happen.

    The other remark with stood out was Dagan’s opinion to the effect that ‘nothing has changed’ in the Near East during the events of this year. Now to be sure there are definite elements of wishful thinking in that remark. The Palestinian unity deal, should it prove effective, is a significant change, and there are others, mostly incipient rather than realized. But in the broad sweep there is an armature of realist accuracy in his remarks worth bearing in mind. The ‘deep state’ of corrupt elites have been uprooted _nowhere_ so far; not in any country including those where the leadership of recent times was evicted, such as in Tunisia and Egypt. In other places such as Yemen where the elite’s power is compromised the elite is nonetheless not even gone. In others such as Jordan and Algeria, promises of ‘reform’ are utterly worthless and will surely be of now potency, if they aren’t simply buried in a few months behind cosmetic statements as is most likely the intended course. So yes, from the power-political standpoint, ‘nothing of consequence’ is substantively changed. Yet.

    Changed yet, that one word unuttered in his remarks. Because it is the expectation and drive of the masses which has changed. To someone like Meir Dagan, that quality is meaningless. States are run by men of power, like him; the populace are herds of turkeys. When the turkeys won’t be herded anymore, and in fact begin a general strike, then we see whose surmise holds. So while nothing at the altitude of Meir Dagan has changed, everything at the altitude of Mohamed Bouazizi has changed. Dagan would like to believe that anything happening down there is inconsequential to him and his like. I suspect he is wrong. Place your bets ‘n’ take your stations, folks, the wheel of fortune’s cranked to fine pitch.

    1. DownSouth

      A fascinating book by Rebecca Lemov titled ‘World as Laboratory: Experiments with Mice, Mazes, and Men’ recounts the history of the social sciences in America, including the “blank slate” tradition of behaviorism. Behaviorism was also misused, suggesting that the real problem is how to avoid the misuse of any theory, not just evolutionary theory [Wilson explains earlier how the abuse of evolutionary theory by the likes of Spencer, Galton, Dawkins, Hitler and Rand has greatly discredited it.]

      In retrospect, the early social sciences in America are striking for their grandiose expectations, as if full understanding and control of man and nature were just around the corner. Jacques Loeb, who provided the model for the scientist-hero of Sinclair Lewis’s 1925 novel ‘Arrowsmith’, told a reporter, “I wanted to take life in my hands and play with it—-to start it, stop it, vary it, study it under every condition.” Loeb’s protégé, John B. Watson, echoed the same sentiment: “I believe we can write a psychology and…never use the terms consciousness, mental states, mind, content, introspectively verifiable, and the like…. It can be done in terms of stimulus and response…. My final reason for this is to learn general and particular methods by which I may control behavior.” Continuing the tradition, Clark Hull achieved prominence not for his scientific contributions (which have been completely forgotten) but by acting as a kind of a prophet for the malleability and control of behavior. As Lemov puts it, “he presented his ultra-behaviorism as salvation.” Hull’s radical behaviorism made evolution appear irrelevant. If behavior is that malleable, who cares what happened during the Stone Age?

      These grandiose expectations were combined with a blind faith in authority, as if scientists, politicians, and the captains of industry could be expected to do what’s right without any oversight. Lemov’s account of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Foundation, which empowered Beardsley Ruml to almost single-handedly define the social sciences, captures the spirit of a bygone age…

      Finally, grandiose expectations and blind trust in authority were combined with a willingness to inflict suffering on individuals to benefit society as a whole…
      ▬David Sloan Wilson, Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives

  8. Dan Duncan

    So Obama is a “murderer” now? What a joke.

    Hey Yves…Congrats on being Blog of the Week on The Browser…

    If a reader should visit, be sure to check out two of today’s featured stories which relate back to “Obama as murderer” motif:

    1. Chomsky gives his reaction to Bin Laden’s death.

    Abstract: “It was a planned assassination in violation of international law. ‘We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic'”


    2. The Lonely War.

    Abstract: “Bizarre story of a US accountant who attempted to overthrow totalitarian regime in Cambodia. Now prosecuted and facing life imprisonment in America despite judge admitting he was not a bad man, just unlucky with his country of birth…”

    The two articles highlight the unbridled stupidity of elements on both the Left and Right regarding the overarching issue of terrorism. Chomsky, claims that the operation against Bin Laden violates “elementary norms of International Law”…while The Lonely War highlights what ultimately becomes a perverse “compliance” with International Law.

    Chomsky embodies so much of what’s wrong with the Left: Chomsky and his ilk stand for nothing. Their only belief is non-belief. They exist in the barren landscape of language without value. Which, of course, is fine up to a point. Eventually, however, they cross the event horizon and become black holes of sophistry.

    And The Lonely War embodies so much of what’s wrong with the Right: Fundamentalists with no sense of proportion. Their doctrines gain so much mass…eventually belief is reduced to a binary “You’re either with us, or against us”. They too cross an event horizon boundary, wherein perspective is obliterated. They become black holes…. Pointless without depth.

    1. DownSouth

      Dan Duncan said:

      Chomsky embodies so much of what’s wrong with the Left: Chomsky and his ilk stand for nothing. Their only belief is non-belief. They exist in the barren landscape of language without value. Which, of course, is fine up to a point. Eventually, however, they cross the event horizon and become black holes of sophistry.

      I always wondered what Chomsky’s scurrilous attack on Reinhold Niebuhr was all about. And it took me a while to figure it out.

      The idea of original sin is of course heresy to the paladins of the “blank slate of behaviorism and social constructivism.” As Arthur Schlesinger Jr. wrote in the NY Times:

      The notion of sinful man was uncomfortable for my generation. We had been brought up to believe in human innocence and even in human perfectibility. This was less a liberal delusion than an expression of an all-American DNA. Andrew Carnegie had articulated the national faith when, after acclaiming the rise of man from lower to higher forms, he declared: “Nor is there any conceivable end to his march to perfection.” In 1939, Charles E. Merriam of the University of Chicago, the dean of American political scientists, wrote in “The New Democracy and the New Despotism”: “There is a constant trend in human affairs toward the perfectibility of mankind. This was plainly stated at the time of the French Revolution and has been reasserted ever since that time, and with increasing plausibility.” Human ignorance and unjust institutions remained the only obstacles to a more perfect world. If proper education of individuals and proper reform of institutions did their job, such obstacles would be removed. For the heart of man was O.K. The idea of original sin was a historical, indeed a hysterical, curiosity that should have evaporated with Jonathan Edwards’s Calvinism.

      Now it looks like history and science are both going to come down more on the side of Niebuhr than the social constructivists. I never thought Chomsky was as extreme in his social constructivism as Foucault, so maybe Dan’s comment is a little overwrought. But the following critique of the structuralists, along the same lines as Dan’s critique, highlights some of its shortcomings:

      When the old New Left students of the 60s academe re-entered the university as teachers, they saw the exhilarated hopes of their youth deflate after 1968, collapse under the backlash of the 70s, and become mere archaeology by 1980. None of the beautiful promises came true.

      Their response to this trauma was to shift away from classical Marxism, with its emphasis on economic and class struggle in the real world, and embrace the more diffuse and paranoia-driven theories of the Frankfurt school—-Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse.

      For these theorists, all human life was ruled by repressive mechanisms embedded, not in manifest politics, but in language, education, entertainment—-the whole structure of social communication.

      To this was joined the belief of French poststructuralism, exemplified by Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, that the “subject”—-the thinking, single agent, the “I” of every sentence—-was an illusion: all you had left was language, not mentality: frustration with pervasive systems of repressive undecidability written everywhere in the surrounding culture, but no means of overcoming it. Once there were writers, but now there is only what Foucault derisively called “the author function.” The intellectual, under these conditions, is thought to be as helpless against power and control as a salmon in a polluted stream, the only difference being that we, unlike the fish, know the water is poisoned.

      Thus, by the theory, we are not in control of our own history and never can be. We hold it true that truth is unknowable; we must suspect all utterances, except the axiom that all utterances are suspect. It would be difficult to find a worse—-or more authoritarian—-dead end than this. John Diggins, in ‘The Rise and Fall of the American Left’, puts it in a nutshell: “Today the intellectual’s challenge is not the Enlightenment one of furthering knowledge to advance freedom: the challenge now is to spread suspicion. The influence French poststructuralism enjoys in American academic life…answers a deep need, if only the need to rationalize failure.” The intellectual who imagines he or she can challenge the status quo by arguing the uselessness of language starts with not one, but three strikes against him, and this is why poststructuralism, though it has filled the seminar rooms for the last decade and given us a mound of largely unreadable cultural criticism along with some preachy neo-conceptual art, has had so little lasting effect on the way people in general write, think, or act. It is mostly an enclave of abstract complaint….

      The writer who drops in on this world is bound to feel like Gulliver visiting the Royal Academy of Lagado, with its solemn “projectors” laboring to extract sunbeams from cucumbers, build houses from the roof down and restore the nutritive power of human shit, all convinced of the value of their work.
      ▬Robert Hughes, Culture of Complaint: A Passionate Look Into the Ailing Heart of America

      The Hughes critique without a doubt has great merit, for if we look at political efficaciousness, the Gandhi-Niebuhr-Martin Luther King nexus wins hands down over the Foucault-Chomsky-New Left nexus.

      1. Doktor Professor

        As someone who’s read all of the above authors directly and not through secondary literature, I find it curious that Foucault and Chomsky are put into the same camp.

        These criticisms make no sense to me since they don’t seem to have any relation to what Chomsky, Foucault or Derrida actually stood for at any point in their lives. The conclusions you draw from the secondary literature also perplex me.

        1. DownSouth

          Your comment is inane.

          If you have something worthwhile to say, if you want to challenge something I have said, then why don’t you do it instead of making these broad, sweeping, empty gestures that have no meat and no substance?

          1. CE

            Doktor Professor, expressed confusion in regard to your lumping together of writers he felt shouldn’t be lumped together. In the world of human interaction that’s a way of asking you to clarify what you are talking about.

            Of course, in the world of whiskey driven pulpit building, that comment is inane, like you said.

          2. DownSouth


            In “the world of human interaction,” when someone wants to take issue with something someone else says, they normally identify what that something is.

            Is Doktor Professor disputing that both Foucault and Chomsky are structuralists? (they are)

            Is he disputing that both are poststructuralists? (they’re not)

            Is he disputing that for both Foucault and Chomsky human life is “ruled by repressive mechanisms embedded, not in manifest politics, but in language, education, entertainment—-the whole structure of social communication.”

            Is he disputing that they both believe the “intellectual…to be as helpless against power and control as a salmon in a polluted stream”?

            Or is he disputing that they both believe that “we are not in control of our own history and never can be”?

            Doktor Professor gives no clue as to what his beef is. He presents no evidence. Instead, he thinks he fires a shotgun blast in my general direction, hoping he will hit something. Of course he doesn’t, because he’s not firing live ammunition, but blanks.

            In “the world of human reaction” an appropriate response by Doktor Professor would have been to say, for instance, that “I don’t believe that both Foucault and Chomsky were both structuralists for the following reasons,” and then enumerate his reasons.

        2. joel3000

          Indeed. I’m not even convinced the poster has actually read Chomsky. It sounds like a second-hand criticism from some equally ignorant demagogue.

    2. CE

      I agree that the Obama murdered Osama trope seems like non-useful hyperbole especially coming from an economics blog. That article was full of invective and red meat, and seems designed more to tear down Obama than to build a case against Obama.

    3. BondsOfSteel

      Murder implies a criminal act. I think it’s more fair to say he was assassinated. It’s a fine line though considering that assassination is illegal.

      I usually argue that every human life has value and the loss of anyone is a loss for us all. However, capturing Osama would have resulted in a greater loss of life. Not acting would have resulted in a greater loss of life.

      It was the moral thing to murder this man.

      1. DownSouth

        BondsOfSteel said: “…capturing Osama would have resulted in a greater loss of life.”

        Did you even read what Chomsky said?

        There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—-except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them.

        What have we done, declared Naked Capitalism a fact-free zone today?

        1. BondsOfSteel

          I understand that. It’s why I called it an assassination.

          I believe, the greater lives that would have been lost if he was captured would not have been SEALS… but innocents caught up in the circus surrounding his eventual trial and execution.

          Twelve people were killed today in Cairo because there was a rumor some woman converted to Christianity. How many people do you think would have died protesting his trial/execution? Would there have been additional terrorist attacks?

      2. ambrit

        I’m not hearing anything said about what if anything could have been discovered from an “intensive” interrogation of Bin Lauden. It’s almost as if the government were tacitly admitting that the man was no longer operationally relevant. If Hitler had been assasinated after the Nuremburg Rally, a case could be made for the killings efficacy. Looks like this killing was staged to embarass someone else. As I said elsewhere, the man might have been “shut up” to shield the world from unsavoury revelations; who in Saudi society supported him, the same for Pakistan, salacious memories of the late Charlie Wilson and his Neo-Con enablers etc. etc…
        Since the man was demonstrably involved in an international conspiracy, conspiracy theories are perfectly acceptable.

      3. youniquelikeme

        Exactly! The moralists here who say it was murder forgot the eye for an eye speech of GW Bush (who didn’t really mean it … he wanted Saddam because his daddy was upset Bush Sr.s face was made into a floor mat that Saddam wiped his feet on and oil … not sure which was a priority) But it was OK if BUSH did it…

        There was a pact with Pakistan… made in 2001 and renewed.

        Are these the same moralists that think it is ok to have killed so many in Iraq under the guise of going after OBL?

        Are these the same moralists who defend torture to save Americans, yet say a bullet to the brain is worse?

        It was an assassination.

    4. Anonymous Jones

      “They become black holes…. Pointless without depth.”

      Actually a good comment. Worthwhile to investigate whether this is in fact inevitable and whether or not it matters or could even be thought “good” from some perspective.

      Provide the facts, make an argument, then let each person decide whether or not it’s desirable.

      One thing for certain: there will be no agreement, and waiting for that is, well, in a word, stupid.

  9. Jim Haygood

    ‘What will the Democratic Party stand for if it follows Republicans in covering up campaign donors?’ plaintively wails the NYT in the subhead to ‘Democrats, Seduced by Secret Dollars.’

    Thanks for the Sunday morning belly laugh! As if a party whose ex officio chief orders the executive murder of American citizens now stands for anything other than globalized gangster-style violence (a sentiment completely shared by the ‘other’ party).

    At least the principled NYT still stands for something: its unconditional, fawning devotion to the country which is America’s best, most democratic friend in the whole world. Y’all know who I’m talkin’ about …

    1. opal

      The NYT stands for and has always stood for American Pravda i.e. the daily propaganda organ of the state. It doesn’t attempt to influence policy so much as it attempts to brainwash and indoctrinate. It is not alone of course. Fox News tries to do the same thing in a more ham handed way.

      1. ambrit

        Heavens to Murgatroyd! Is everyone here today trying to validate or refute Chomsky? Yesterdays thread must have set off some philosophy gene in our collective consciousness! Hooray for a Classical Education!

      2. Elliot X

        Can you imagine the NY Times writing an article such as the one that appeared in the Israeli paper Haaretz? (in the links above) and stating obvious things such as: “The president of the United States has no authority to operate in foreign countries arbitrarily and in contradiction to the principles of international law.”

        Or “The president, who came to power with liberal slogans and a pose of reconciliation with the Muslim world, speaks like Martin Luther King but operates in the international area like a right-wing/conservative outlaw from Alabama”

        (Not that I agree he speaks even remotely like Martin Luther King, although he may have tried to in the beginning)

        But the point is that the Israeli press is much freer than the NY Times, the Times would never publish an article like the one that appeared in Haaretz, not in a million years. It’s not up to their standards of pro-establishment corporate propaganda. If one of their writers tried, they would either be fired or given a leave of absence, and when they came back they would never dare to speak freely again.

  10. dearieme

    “the overarching issue of terrorism”: back when lots of Americans, including Americans in government, were supporting the IRA’s campaign of murder in Britain and Ireland, Americans presumably didn’t view terrorism as an overarching issue. What profound philosophical change occurred?

    1. Ignim Brites

      Communism collapsed and the Twin Towers collapsed. Terrorism became the biggest fish to fry. But you are right. It is worthwhile to recall just how tolerable terrorism seemed in the 70s and 80s.

      1. ambrit

        There is also a closet racialist element to the changed paradigm. The old IRA boyos were “white folks” like the rest of “us.” Thus, their campaign could be nuanced to be a “simple power struggle.” The new terrorists are, to be euphemistic, “Nie Blank,” out to overthrow “Western Civilization.” It’s all a matter of perspective.

  11. eric anderson

    Re “Coast to coast people are moving their money.”

    I applaud efforts to take away profits from bailed-out banks. I wish it was as simple to remove our support for public employee unions. The services they provide are essentially a monopoly, and they’ve bought politicians in many places the same way the banks have bought Congress. The only option to cut my support of the unions would be to move to a different city and state. Which I probably will do, if I am able.

    Just remember, this moving your money business can work in a myriad of ways. Think of all the millionaires who have bugged out of New Jersey, and the businesses which will soon be leaving Illinois.

    1. opal

      Well, you could always send your kids and other people’s kids to private school. That would teach them to demand a living wage!

    2. joe the dumber

      You’ve convinced me eric anderson. I am moving to Wisconsin where life is beautiful. I hate hate hate that public employees are earning more than me simply because they are able to form unions. Back 3 years ago, I was earning more than them so I didn’t hate them as much. I figured they traded a little security for less pay. But now that the banksters and CEOs have looted the country and there’s not enough money to go around, I think we need take away their job security and their pay once and for all. The rule should be, if anyone has more job security than me, or earns more than me (banksters excluded) we should tear that sucka down! Who cares if that makes them more susceptible to bribes.

      Who needs public services when the private sector does an amazing job with absolutely everything? The free market solves all problems. I want privatized water and sewer dammit! And I want it deregulated so that I can choose whether to buy clean water, or really dirty water! I want privatized roads and parks so I have to pay to leave my home! And I want to get rid of free health care and pensions for old people. These entitlements drive me crazy. Let someone make a profit off of their illnesses I say. And deregulate that too.

      See you in Wisconsin!

  12. XRayD

    Obama’s kill Osama order was simply an American FATWA.

    Surely, OBL must have understood that.

    He so despised our system anyway, that a “constitutional” execution would have been meaningless to him. Perhaps, even a joke.

  13. KFritz

    Re: Obama murdered bin Laden

    1) The geopolitical analysis is spot on. Never heard of the Brandt-Heath plan/conception (Heath was a Conservative!), but the neo-Liberals have triumphed.

    2) I believe that if future historians have a chance, they’ll conclude that from the very beginning of the US war in Afghanistan, our opponent has been the Pakistani military, whose proxies the the Taliban are. The Talibs were indoctrinated in Pakistani madrassas, and trained and equipped by the Pakistani military, especially the ISI. They kept the Northern Alliance, most notably their arch-enemy Commander Masood, bottled up with superior weaponry, courtesy of Pakistan. Very predictably, they were easily defeated by the superior weaponry of the US.

    After nearly ten years of indirect fighting, the raid on Abbottabad was the first direct attack against the Pakistani military on its home turf. It could be said to mirror 9/11. It took the Pakistani military four days to regain its composure, let the initial reactions dissipate, and cop an attitude of hurt indignation, but they’ve done it.

    I hope that someone in the US defense/security establishment has had an epiphany and now conceives of the war from this realpolitik POV.

    It would be very interesting to know the innermost thoughts of Pakistani civilian populations who have to tread oh so very carefully with the military, still the most powerful interest group in their ‘nation.’

  14. attempter

    I think the argument over whether or not the killing of bin Laden (assuming it really happened one of the several different ways the government has claimed) was a murder is becoming misdirectional.

    How many regular and indisputable murders has Obama’s war of aggression killed since Obama’s death? Those just keep piling up, along with additions to the list of atrocities.

    So how bizarre to see certain persons upthread sticking up for Obama against the accusation of “murder”, but isolating only bin Laden’s death.

    Unless you believe the judgements at Nuremburg were wrong, and the Nazi defendants wrongfully convicted, you’re compelled to acknowledge that if Obama, Bush, Rice, Hillary, and so on were put in the dock, indicted on the same charges, and judged by an impartial tribunal, they’d receive the same judgement. If they aren’t mass murderers, neither were the defendants of 1946.

    1. CE

      Right, if its a crime, lets at least acknowledge the proportionality of the crime. There are too many innocent civilians that have died that should over-shadow the legality of killing a stateless, self-acknowledged mass murderer with potential plans to kill more.

      1. attempter

        I didn’t write that to exculpate Obama for this act of lawlessness. (BTW, it’s clear that bin Laden was killed now, and/or his death was announced now, only because bin Laden alive and at large no longer as useful as a propaganda device.)

        I wrote it to emphasize the magnitude of his crimes of murder in general. The point is that no matter what one thinks of this particular killing, there’s no escaping the stark fact of Obama’s being a mass murderer. So to try, intentionally or unwittingly, to make the term “murder” ride on this particular killing is to misdirect from the far greater fact of Obama’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.

          1. Michael H

            Instead of name calling, how about offering some proof or some kind of evidence that we are fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the official reasons that the government has provided us (although they’ve given different reasons at different times: search for WMD, bring about democracy, search for bin Laden, search for Al Qaeda, etc etc). Despite these official reasons, all the evidence indicates that these are simply wars for profit, and this is what many of us believe, including many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

            Or should we just trust our political leaders to always tell the truth and do the right thing? Trust their words, and ignore their actions, since everyone knows that politicians always tell the truth.

            No, I’m afraid the attempter is right and you’re the one who is in denial here.

Comments are closed.