Wednesday, December 18, 2013 Federal District Judge Richard Leon's Ruling Opposing the NSA's Intelligence Gathering Practices (3 comments)
Yesterday Fed'l District Court Judge Richard J. Leon's ruling questioned the NSA's intel gathering practices whether they were illegal & violated the Constitution putting the onus on the Obama administration to show why the agencies surveillance program is justified. Judge Leon gives one hope sanity, conscience, integrity & respect for the rule of law still exists in @ least one high gov't official.
Sunday, December 15, 2013 Another Provocation by the U.S. in the South China Sea? (3 comments)
There was another incident off the China coast where an American cruiser had to avoid a Chinese ship that came w/in 200 yds forcing the cruiser to take evasive action.The Chinese ship was accompanying China's only aircraft carrier in the S. China Sea.American officials called the Chinese action particularly aggressive.China responded peering into Chinese waters is a practice treating China as an enemy.Which country is correct?
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 The Contradictory Verbal Hyperbole of U.S. Diplomacy with Iran
Since a temporary diplomatic pact was reached w/Iran weeks ago freezing its nuclear program in exchange for easing sanctions minefields aplenty has arisen. Sanctions hawks in Congress, the AIPAC led Jewish lobby & Israel are dead set against any permanent agreement. Thus far the Obama administration has prevailed. It remains to be seen whether it can keep a tether on Congress or Israeli PM Netanyahu & get a final deal w/Iran.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 The Miserly Republicans Being Mean Spirited or Just Another Form of Political Distraction
The latest mean spiritedness of the Republicans has them ready to cut food stamps & cut fed'l unemployment benefits after Christmas. But before casting the Repubs as simply soul less, let's be fair. Democrats also contribute to overall dysfunction. In fact dysfunction is built into the system serving as a useful distraction away from the corporatists who control the political agenda & most of the Congress beholden to them.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 Who is Provoking Who? (1 comments)
On Monday the U.S. sent two B-52 bombers over airspace in the E. China Sea an area claimed by China to be w/in its protected air defense zone. China announced on Saturday anyone flying into the zone req'd them to file a flight plan, radio frequency or transponder info. The U.S. refused to & says China's claim is inflammatory & destabilizing. The bigger question is who is provoking who w/B-52 bombers flying off the China coast?
Monday, November 25, 2013 The "Usual Suspects"
What can you expect from the usual suspects? Led by Israeli PM Netanyahu & Repubs in Congress they denounced the diplomatic deal w/ Iran calling it a bad deal w/ Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. saying it was the equivalent of Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler in 1936. Oh my! The deal is preliminary & a 1st step & a long way from finality. Let's hope diplomacy continues to overcome these usual suspects.
Thursday, November 21, 2013 JPMorgan says it "Routinely" Overstated the Quality of Mortgages and Kept Investors in the Dark (1 comments)
On Tuesday, JPMorgan settled a $13 billion civil suit brought by the gov't. As to its financial conduct in selling toxic securities to investors the bank said it routinely overstated the quality of the mortgages sold to investors. Hardly; the bank knew exactly what it was doing. It didn't alert investors to any flaws in the securities backed by mortgage loans that didn't meet underwriting guidelines it knew to be faulty.
Monday, November 18, 2013 Another Potential Boondoggle for "Big Pharma"? (6 comments)
This week a controversy has developed over a new set of guidelines published by the Amer.Heart Ass'n & College of Cardiology for lowering cholesterol along w/a calculator meant to assess risks. Two Harvard Med.Sch.Profs took issue w/the report w/ their data showing the calculator over predicting risk by 75 to 150% saying overestimation of risk will lead to considerable overprescription, (a potential boondoggle for Big Pharma).
Saturday, November 16, 2013 "Assurances"
We spy every which way technologically possible w/ the NSA intercepting all electronic communications from phone to internet to "back doors" in software sold to businesses & as we now know even to the personal cell phone conversations of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to which the Obama administration has "assured" German officials in the future "her conversations will be safe". Oh yeah!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 "People with Noble Intentions"
Former NY Times Exec. Editor Bill Keller when recently queried about the Bush administrations request in 2004 not to publish an article about its secret program to eavesdrop on Americans w/out a warrant (yet published 13 months later)now says, "The story looks prescient. We now know that people w/ noble intentions can run way out of bounds". What people w/ noble intentions in the Bush crowd is he referring to?
Monday, November 11, 2013 French Scuttle PreliminaryDeal with Iran
French Foreign Minister Fabius publically criticized an apparent deal w/ Iran over its nuclear program reached by the U.N.'s P5+1 contradicting the earlier French position agreeing to the deal in prior negotiations. Iran Pres. Rouhani responded negatively saying sanctions, threats, contempt & discrimination won't intimidate the country. Let's hope the French refusal isn't a deal breaker. Negotiations resume Nov. 20 in Geneva.
Friday, November 8, 2013 FAA Sets Plan for Allowing Domestic Drones by 2015 (1 comments)
The FAA just published a 74 page plan whereby law enforcement agencies, businesses, universities & hobbyists can begin flying drones in the U.S. by 2015. Has the public been considered, polled & a dialogue initiated between the gov't & the people before drones become operational in the U.S.? No. Do we still believe we're not living in a surveillance state? Think again.
Thursday, November 7, 2013 Detente between the U.S. and Iran?
An opportunity has arisen & fallen into the lap of Pres. Obama regarding Iran, its nuclear program & a possible détente between the two adversaries. Negotiations have begun between Iran, the U.S. & 4 other UN Security Council members plus Germany in Geneva, Switzerland. The long knives of resistance on both sides will attempt to scuttle a breakthrough. Lets hope they can be resisted & avoid another potentially devastating war
Monday, November 4, 2013 Sports in America, Playing is supposed to be Fun (1 comments)
Sports may or may not be a religion in America but one would be hard put to deny its significance for many people. It's a mania from rec. sports to top level college & the pros. W/ that mania come the parents & coaches & their affect on the players. Some parents & coaches are overly critical & demeaning. They've forgotten playing sports are supposed to be fun, not drudgery.
Friday, November 1, 2013 NSA Director Alexander says, "There is nothing that anyone from the NSA has done that is wrong." (3 comments)
On Thursday NSA Director Gen'l Keith Alexander gave a talk @ the Baltimore Council of Foreign Affairs. Among his remarks he said, "There is nothing that anyone from the NSA or Cyber Command has done that is wrong". Not so Gen'l when it's been confirmed you lied before Congress. The questions is why haven't you been fired, charged w/ a felony & still allowed to give talks when its been confirmed you've been lying?
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 The NSA Bruised and Beleaguered Implicates its European "Partners" (1 comments)
The NSA battered from the latest disclosures of world wide snooping came out swinging yesterday w/ senior officials implicating their European intelligence partners saying they contributed "tens of millions telephone records in joint surveillance operations" w/ the Agency. It's a U.S. & Int'l house of cards where the immoral & unethical degeneracy of democratically elected gov'ts expose their true nature.
Monday, October 28, 2013 Wolf in Sheeps Clothing, Goldman Sachs as the Corporate Good Samaritan (2 comments)
Goldman Sachs was in the news reportedly having given 1.6 billion in philanthropy since 2008 hoping to be seen as the corporate Good Samaritan. Lets not be deceived by this charitable giving. It's a con game committed by corporate thieves, a smokescreen of seeming civic goodness to deflect attention away from its primary enterprise making billions any which way it can including outright fraud.
Friday, October 25, 2013 "Everybody Does It"
Everybody does it; the simple refrain of many over the revelations of NSA snooping by whistleblower Ed Snowden. The latest has German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone tapped by the NSA. She reacted furiously & called Obama on the monitoring. The White House response, "We're examining our intel practices". Nonsense. These are self inflicted wounds & no amount of dissembling is going to restore trust in the U.S. gov't.
Thursday, October 24, 2013 The Mean Spirited Lady of Baltimore
Mean spiritedness toward the homeless, addicted, unemployed or those simply hungry has been in the local Baltimore news lately though couched behind a façade of phony public rectitude & made into "a safety issue". One City Council woman is on a crusade to rid the city of "this atrocious behavior". America has changed in many ways & toward the poor mercilessly & w/out empathy.
Monday, October 21, 2013 JP Morgan in the Crosshairs of Federal Prosecutors and a Criminal Investigation in California
JP Morgan was in the headlines yesterday w/ a tentative settlement fine of $13 billion over sale of mortgage backed securities before the 2008 recession. A huge number but in perspective less than 1% of the banks well over $trillion in assets. In the meantime fed'l prosecutors in California have launched a parallel criminal investigation so jail time could be in the offing for some of JP Morgan's masters of the universe.
Thursday, October 17, 2013 Falling on Their Sword, Repubs. Concede The Obvious (1 comments)
The Repubs decided to fall on their sword, accept the inevitable & vote to reopen the gov't. Not before causing unnecessary harm to fed'l workers, nat'l park employees & businesses that were directly impacted by the madness on Capitol Hill where a small handful of zealots held the country hostage to its arcane beliefs. The absurd nonsense is over for now that is until the next fiscal deadline & the tea party crazies try again.
Monday, October 14, 2013 Memo to NSA Director General Keith Alexander, "There is No "Misunderstanding" of What the "Agency" Collects
NSA Director Gen'l Keith Alexander in a 90 minute interview insisted, "We followed the law, we follow our policies, we self report, we identify problems, we fix them". To which we must ask, "Was that before or after Ed Snowden's whistleblower revelations on the NSA's surveillance & data mining on all electronic communications of everyone in the world? To everyone except the NSA there is no misunderstanding of what it collects.
Monday, October 7, 2013 Is There a New Political Money Bonanza on the Horizon? (1 comments)
On Tuesday SCOTUS is to hear arguments in McCutcheon v FEC, a case calling for lifting spending limits by individuals to candidates & political parties during an election cycle. If approved by the Court as was done w/ Citizens United in 2010 where corporate donations savaged the electoral process in its favor it would mean another potential money bonanza to the Republican & Democrat stooges inhabiting the halls of Congress.
Friday, October 4, 2013 The Ultimate Game Plan of the National Security State, Endless War (6 comments)
Endless war is the ultimate end game plan of the U.S. Nat'l Security state. Better to have war, drone strikes, JSOC raids, proxy wars by mercenaries & private Pentagon contractors & the endless war on terror rather than to pursue peace which is the last thing it wants. Peace means no justification for the unnecessary trillion in defense spending. It's also better to keep the people in fear wanting security @ any cost.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 The U.S. "Government", Sinister, Insane and Mean Spirited, Take Your Pick
Sinister, insane, mean spirited; take your pick. Our "gov't" aka the military/corporate/political complex is a cabal of intersecting & overlapping interests exercising control of this country. The shutdown of the fed'l gov't is just the latest instance of the "gov'ts" mean spirited insanity. And since 9/11 the sinister initiation of wars based on lies, a contrived war on terror reveals an unhinged "gov't" beyond redemption.
Saturday, September 28, 2013 The Latest Poster Boy for Congressional Grandstanding and the Threat to Shut Down the Government Again (2 comments)
In the U.S. almost complete gov't dysfunction is the norm, lately evidenced by Senator Ted Cruz R. TX 23 hr. grandstand act on the Senate floor threatening to shut down the gov't over Obama's new health care law about to take effect on Tuesday. This shutdown only hurts people directly, furlough innocent gov't workers, shut fed'l offices, nat'l parks & hurt nearby businesses. The people's representatives in action.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 Are We Getting Ahead of Ourselves Hoping for a Diplomatic Breakthrough Between the U.S. and Iran?
Are we getting ahead of ourselves hoping for a diplomatic breakthrough between the U.S. & Iran? From their addresses yesterday Pres. Obama & Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaking @ the U.N.'s annual Gen'l Assembly meeting it appears possible Iran & the U.S. may be on the verge of conducting serious diplomacy over an impasse that began w/ the CIA coup of Iran's democratic gov't in 1953 & which Obama admitted to yesterday.
Monday, September 23, 2013 America in Distress, The Sinister Actions by the Government
America & Americans are not the government. The gov't has become a separate entity completely unto itself. The people are superfluous, necessary foils to that gov't providing a fig leaf of legitimacy & the impression we remain a republic, a constitutional democracy & a gov't of, by and for the people. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 The "Rampage" at Washington Navy Yard yesterday, a perspective (1 comments)
As to the rampage yesterday @ the Washington Navy Yard where ex Navy man Aaron Alexis shot & killed some 13 people one thing is for sure, atrocities against innocents have proliferated in America. They're not yet commonplace but America is a violent culture & gives rise to the types of massacres we saw in D.C. yesterday.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 War Monger Bloviating This Week in Washington
Be prepared for a weeklong charade of war monger bloviating in Washington w/ a full court press by the Obama administration on the Congress for them to vote & give the president cover in sending a missile strike "message" to Syrian Pres. Bashar Assad over his alleged chemical weapons use last week. It still won't be legal & a clear violation of the U.N. Charter. Syria didn't attack the U.S. & is no imminent threat to the U.S.
Friday, August 30, 2013 The White House, The President "Can Go It Alone" in Attacking Syria
Unable to achieve a "coalition of the willing" w/ the British Parliament yesterday nixing Prime Minister David Cameron's plea for Britain to join the U.S. in attacking Syria, the White House now says, "Obama can act alone". Mind you, there's no legal basis for the president to do this just simply he can do it. What else is there? Nothing.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 "Proportional Response, Anyone?
In response to gas attacks in Syria attributed to the Assad gov't, yet unconfirmed, the White House is seeking a "medium" level military strike "just muscular enough not to get mocked, just enough to be more than symbolic" on Syrian gov't installations. No prior legal authorization by Congress or the UN will be sought. But its just another terror like military act by the US gov't disguised as a "humanitarian intervention".
Tuesday, August 27, 2013 U.S. About to Act with Impunity and Attack Syria (1 comments)
Yesterday Sec'y of State John Kerry, over an alleged gas attack by the Assad gov't, laid the groundwork for Pres. Obama to attack Syrian gov't forces & installations. All this w/out confirmed evidence in hand. Even w/ U.N. inspectors in Syria investigating & conducting tests (which could take weeks) U.S. gov't spokesmen say "it's too late to be reliable". Expect a U.S. air attack before U.N. inspectors confirm their findings.
Friday, August 23, 2013 A Tragedy Come Full Circle
The Arab Spring so promising in Egypt almost 3 yrs. ago has ended w/ the military releasing Hosni Mubarak from prison. This has to bring disgust to the protesters who put their lives on the line & were the catalysts behind the military removing him from power. It's a contemptuous spitting in the face of the Egyptian people by Gen'l al Sisi who had Mubarak's released & a sure sign the military is the preeminent power in Egypt.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 New Facial Scanning Surveillance System Revealed
A new surveillance system BOSS (Biometric Optical Surveillance System) is being developed under a contract to a military contractor by Homeland Security to screen crowds & automatically identify people by their faces. Not quite ready for prime time (est. some 5 yrs. down the road) it will add to the gov'ts surveillance arsenal further making a mockery of the Constitutions 4th Amendment against unreasonable searches & seizures.
Monday, August 19, 2013 U.S. Not Trusted As Honest Power Broker to Defuse Political Conflict in Egypt (1 comments)
It's difficult to sort out the truth from reports on the violence & political instability now consuming Egypt between the Muslim Brotherhood & the interim gov't. One thing does seem certain as revealed in Sunday's NY Times, "How U.S. Push To Defuse Egypt Ended In Failure." The U.S. is not a trusted power broker & even threats to end the 1.5 billion in annual aid to the military is summarily rejected by the interim gov't.
Monday, August 5, 2013 Reaping What We Are Sowing
Last week the Obama administration announced the closing of some embassies in the Middle East, N.Africa & East Asia. It extended the closings to next weekend supposedly over a possible al Qaeda plot. But it's U.S. policies initiating drone strikes, night raids & the killing of innocents that are behind attacks of revenge taken against the U.S. in retaliation. We are reaping what we are sowing.
Saturday, August 3, 2013 Cacophony from U.S. Politicos over Russia Granting Asylum to Snowden Nothing but Bluster (10 comments)
The cacophony from the White House & two Senators the past few days over Russia granting asylum to Snowden is all bluster. Press Sec'y Carney intoned the summit between Obama & Putin could be cancelled. From Sen. Shumer, "Each day Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife. Sen.McCain said it was a slap in the face to all Americans. Nice try boys but Putin's holding all the cards & he isn't intimidated.
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 Main Stumbling Blocks in Palestinian/Israeli Conflict Won't be Overcome in Latest Round of "Peace Talks" (2 comments)
Palestinian & Israeli negotiators were in Washington Mon. & Tues. supposedly to begin a new round of peace talks. Yet polls show majorities of Palestinians & Israeli's believe nothing will come from the talks. In truth, the main stumbling blocks in this 46 yr. old saga (since the 67' war) rests solely w/the policies & actions of Israel w/unwavering support of the U.S. which won't be overcome in this latest round of peace talks
Monday, July 22, 2013 The Government has Become the Real Life Sequel to the Fictional "The Godfather" and Why Leaks are Flourishing
Obama has pursued leakers w/ a vengeance, more than all other administrations combined. Ex Dir. Of Nat'l Intelligence Dennis Blair & AG Eric Holder seem to agree leaks were flourishing because the gov't was too passive in addressing them. Not so. Leaking is flourishing because of the gov'ts massive engagement in illegal activities & leaker's conscience won't let them remain silent knowing what they know about gov't wrongdoing.
Friday, July 19, 2013 Bogus Charge of "Aiding the Enemy" Upheld by Miliatry Judge Lind Against Bradley Manning (1 comments)
Yesterday Judge Lind upheld the charge of "aiding the enemy" against Bradley Manning which could bring a life sentence w/ no chance of parole. Him being in a military brig for life would be a supreme injustice. In the 70's Daniel Ellsberg was completely exonerated w/ all charges dropped for leaking the Pentagon Papers. Now Manning faces a possible life sentence for revealing the truth. It shows how far our gov't has descended.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 Is There Any Wonder Why Cyber Hacking Against U.S. Interests is Growing?
U.S. universities are reporting millions of hacking attempts from China. Then there's the cyberattacks on U.S. corps. Obama complained to China of organized cybertheft of trade secrets.The Chinese pointed to revelations of American spying. Recall it was the U.S. & Israel that initiated cyberwarfare in 2010 disabling Iranian computers controlling the enrichment of uranium.Any wonder why its happening against U.S. interests now?
Monday, July 15, 2013 U.S. Bullying Latin American Countries Offering Asylum to Snowden with "Lasting Consequences" that "Won't Go Away" (5 comments)
Hardly unexpected, the U.S. is putting on a full court press on countries in Latin America that have offered asylum to Edward Snowden pressuring them not to grant it. According to a State Dep't official letting Snowden into Latin America would have "lasting consequences". What they would be weren't made specific yet it seems clear reprisals would be forthcoming if any gov't defied the U.S. in granting asylum to Snowden.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 The Slide into Moral and Ethical Degeneracy (1 comments)
James Comey former deputy att'y general in Bush II administration has been nominated by Pres. Obama to become FBI director. Before the Senate Judiciary Committee he was asked why he signed the memo allowing waterboarding, sleep deprivation & other enhanced interrogation techniques in 2005 when now he says he was against them. So why sign the memo approving torture if you so opposed it? He said, I'm not sure I did it right.
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 In Retrospect Morsi Never had a Chance to Succeed, Part II
As we know the Egyptian army staged a coups deposing legitimately elected Pres. Mohamed Morsi. Coups that overturn legitimately elected presidents & prime ministers (think Iran in 1953 & Chile in 1973) bring terrible consequences for the people. Yesterday more than 50 people were massacred by the army. It's hard to imagine a worse scenario unfolding in Egypt w/ its current descent into societal breakdown & possible civil war.
Friday, July 5, 2013 In Retrospect Morsi Never had a Chance to Succeed (1 comments)
All revolutions including Egypt are messy affairs. Pres. Morsi now removed in a coups by the military faced conditions & roadblocks preventing any chance for success. The people w/ a newly found voice helped to get the authoritarian Mubarak to step down. Now it's popularly elected Morsi forced out by millions in the streets. Can any elected Egyptian pres. stabilize the country & be supported by the people? Answer? Unknown.
Monday, July 1, 2013 With a "Friend" like this, who needs enemies? (1 comments)
Reactions continue thru out the world over the NSA's surveillance activities. Outrage was sparked in the EU, particularly in Germany when the magazine Der Spiegal told of the NSA tapping EU offices in Washington, Brussels & at the U.N. The European commissioner for justice & fundamental rights said, "Partners do not spy on each other". Not the U.S. which sees enemies everywhere; "allies" & enemies alike.
Friday, June 28, 2013 Retired General James Cartwright Named by Justice Department as "Person of Interest" (3 comments)
Obama's Justice Dep't just named retired General James Cartwright the former Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman & former part of Obama's inner circle as a person of interest for allegedly leaking info about Stuxnet the secret cyberwarfare virus that attacked Iran's computers controlling the enrichment of uranium. Look @ Stuxnet for what it truly was; an act of war on another country. Cartwright knew it & why he may have leaked it.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 U.S. Bluster and Hubris Having No Impact on Russia's Putin or China
Which countries leaders have been more forthcoming regarding Ed Snowden's whistleblowing saga; the U.S. making threats to Russia & China for refusing to extradite him back to the U.S. to face charges of espionage & theft or Russian Pres. Putin saying Snowden is a human rights activist fighting for the spread of information & the Chinese Peoples Daily saying Snowden's fearlessness tore off Washington's sanctimonious mask?
Monday, June 24, 2013 Edward Snowden Still in Moscow? Requests Asylum in Ecuador
Ed Snowden flew out of Hong Cong a day after the U.S. issued an extradition request to the Hong Cong gov't to send Snowden back to the U.S. to face espionage & theft charges. In light of the U.S. move Snowden requested asylum in Ecuador. He was scheduled to leave this AM for Havana but he was not onboard. Whether he remains incognito @ the Moscow airport terminal is still a mystery. But he had to act swiftly & leave Hong Cong.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 U.S. Corporate Media, Government Officials "Say it", We "Print it", Ergo It Must Be True (1 comments)
The gov'ts propaganda mill is @ full throttle. Yesterday, NSA Chief Alexander came before the House Intel Committee saying more than 50 potential terrorist events was foiled by the Agency's programs since 9/11. Where is the evidence & if true could these plots been prevented by legal investigative means w/o the NSA's snooping? No evidence was given. But the to corp. media, gov't officials "say it", we "print it" ergo it's true
Monday, June 17, 2013 Snowden to The Guardian, NSA and British Secretly Intercepted World Leaders Communications at 2009 Conference
The latest treasure trove of NSA surveillance activities passed on to The Guardian by Ed Snowden has British Intelligence working directly w/ the NSA to eavesdrop on world leaders @ 2009 London conferences. They secretly tapped diplomat communications before Group of 8 industrial conferences and intercepted the communications of then Russian President Dmitri Medvedev; all approved by the FISA Court & shared w/ Congress.
Sunday, June 16, 2013 Snowden's Whistleblowing of NSA Creating "worldwide debate" according to Glenn Greenwald (6 comments)
Ed Snowden, the systems administrator who we now know worked for private contractor Booz Allen Hamilton on a secret NSA surveillance project is so computer competent his whistleblowing of the NSA's secret data mining surveillance operations are posing an existential threat to the whole NSA type surveillance edifice. It's causing worldwide debate & not a minute too soon.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013 Edward Snowden's Greatest Fear, "Nothing will be done."
Ed Snowden said regarding the NSA's surveillance, "My greatest fear regarding the outcome for America is nothing will be done & people won't fight to change things." A poll taken after the NSA leak became known, 56% found it acceptable for the NSA to conduct the surveillance of millions of Americans & 41% found it unacceptable. Most Dems & Repubs strongly support the NSA. Snowden's fear may be realized. Nothing will be done.