• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Trouble is ...

The News:
Ever the runner for Capital, in an article on oil wealth, the New York Times reports that :

“In Venezuela, President Hugo Chávez is pouring oil proceeds into a socialist revolution, creating free health care, free education and cheap food; enabling heavy public spending that has helped fuel four years of economic growth.
“The trouble, said Theresa Paiz, a Latin American director for the Fitch ratings agency, is that “it’s not really clear how the money is invested.” Mr. Chávez’s government is steering large chunks of money to development funds and state owned companies not subject to audits.”

The trouble is that The Fitch is just another pimp for Big Plunder. Ever hear The Fitch whining about the transparency of the Seven Sisters? How about sub prime lend n’ sell? Well ... let’s hear what The Fitch has to say about that:

" As earlier discussed, Fitch is in the process of reviewing its rating methodology and model assumptions for all new issue CDO ratings.
"For CDOs collateralized by structured finance securities, the review includes a reassessment of subprime vintage performance and associated loss severity and correlation. Also, and more broadly, Fitch is reviewing its core VECTOR modeling assumptions and methodology that could impact ratings of all CDOs, including corporate bond or corporate loan collateral.
In other words, our transparency champion really could give two hoots about clarity when it comes to Big Plunder... at least not until it turns out that what everyone thought was the deep cookie jar turned into a deep end meat grinder and the financial equivalent of blood and bits was splattered all over the damn place.

Of course, The Fitch wasn’t particularly troubled when Chiquita Banana Co. invested monies into hiring gangs of “guards” to murder Indian laborers and farmers. Nor was The Fitch hand wringing for transparency when Presidente Salinas steered large chunks of state owned Teléfonos de México to a pal for a pennies on the peso... making Carlos Slim the richest man in the world.

As recounted by the Arizona Republic (2007/11/7) Slim, “searches for businesses that are undervalued, infuses them with cash and uses the size of his holdings to overwhelm the competition.” (Got that? “undervalued”) "[I]n 1990, Slim made one of his most controversial purchases.

“The Mexican government was auctioning off several state-owned enterprises, including Teléfonos de México, the state-run telephone company, also known as Telmex. Slim and his partners, ... paid $1.76 billion for a 20 percent controlling stake. ...Since then, the market value of Telmex stock has rocketed from $7.39 billion to $41.2 billion. ..."
[Remember ... “undervalued”]

"Members of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party alleged that Slim underpaid for Telmex and demanded that then-President Carlos Salinas de Gortari be impeached for negligently selling Telmex at less than market value. A congressional committee, controlled by Salinas' party, later found no evidence of wrongdoing, ... "
No kidding! But where was The Fitch? In fact where was the Times? Transparency was apparently no big deal when the people -- the real people -- of a country were being murdered or ripped off on a colossal scale.

Instead the Times manages to find some “trouble with” a president who is using oil proceeds for “free health care, free education and cheap food” No, No, NO! Much better to have the money go into some oligarch’s off shore sink hole to be spent on keeping his polo ponies and pedicured bitches in style.

I read the Times in the afternoon. I couldn't bear to puke with my morning coffee.

©WCG, 2007


Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Misprint !

The News
: It was announced today (18 October 2007)that AeroMexico had been sold at auction to the Barrazas business group at Banamex (Mexico's Pseudo National Bank). A "misprint" in the auction rules resulted in other bidders' bids being placed two minutes past the deadline and therefore disqualified. Grupo Barrazas had been a major financial supporter of Quisiling Calderon's bid for the presidency which itself was put on auction last year, although the bid amount was not disclosed until today.

The Note: This reminds me of the scene from I Claudius, in which Tiberius and his astrologer break into uncontrollable laughter upon being told that Marcellus died in a "boating accident".

Banamex is owned by Citigroup which is no doubt overjoyed with Mexico's new found democracy.

©WCG, 2007

Monday, October 1, 2007

Islam Hate is Quite Acceptable in Polite Society

The News: The National Iranian American Council is calling on the Bush administration to dismiss a Pentagon official who told a visiting foreign delegation "I hate all Iranians." Debra Cagan, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Coalition Affairs made the comment last month during an official meeting with British MPs.

The Note: Somebody has been feeding at the trough of the New York Post and Sun. Isn't it wonderful to know that "our" military is in the hands of cool, dispassionate professionals? And isn't it curious that the UK's PC-censors were so quick to ignore Cagan's incitement to race hate?

©WCG, 2007

Saturday, September 1, 2007

A Golden Excuse for War

The News: Interviewed on DemocracyNow.org General Wesley Clark, revealed the following policy discussions in the aftermath of 9/11:
"About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, 'Sir, you've got to come in and talk to me a second.' I said, 'Well, you're too busy.' He said, 'No, no.' He says, 'We've made the decision we're going to war with Iraq.' This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, 'We're going to war with Iraq? Why?' He said, 'I don't know.' He said, 'I guess they don't know what else to do.' So I said, 'Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al Qaeda?' He said, 'No, no.' He says, 'There's nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.' He said, 'I guess it's like we don't know what to do about terrorists, but we've got a good military and we can take down governments.' And he said, 'I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.' So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, 'Are we still going to war with Iraq?' And he said, 'Oh, it's worse than that.' He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, 'I just got this from upstairs'--meaning the Secretary of Defense's office--"today." And he said, 'This is a memo that describes how we're going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.' I said, 'Is it classified?' He said, 'Yes, sir.' I said, 'Well, don't show it to me.' And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, 'You remember that?' He said, 'Sir, I didn't show you that memo! I didn't show it to you!'"
The Note: Well then.... how much oil does Syria, Lybia, Somalia, the Sudan and Lebanon have? Not much. This decision indicates it was not a war for oil. What for then? Was ot because they really did not know what else to do except invade a bunch of Muslims countries? Or was it that they thought that whoever did 9/11 it had to be a terrorist organization from or in at least one of those countries and so, bomb 'em all! Or....or... it was all a Zionist plot from the start. Everyone of those countries (except perhaps Somalia) has been in Israel’s sights for some time.

©WCG, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Zio-Con Rampage against Arabic

The News: The announced plan to open an Arab language institute has provoked an outraged reaction from Jewish-Zionist tabloids in New York City. Counterpunch reports that "the anti-Arabic campaign is being spearheaded by notable reactionaries such as Daniel Pipes and Alicia Colon, as well as newspapers in the Big Apple including the New York Post and New York Sun " who argue that the Kahil Gibran Institute will be a breeding ground for terrorism.

Daniel Pipes, a long-time ardent neo-con zionist has written a series of editorials in the NY Sun asserting that "Islamic institutions, whether schools or mosques, have a pattern of extremism and even violence." He argues that "learning Arabic in-and-of-itself promotes an Islamic outlook," as "Arabic-language instruction is inevitably laden with pan-Arabist and Islamist baggage." Pipes feels that the teaching of Arabic may lead to "moral decay," since "Muslims tend to see non-Muslims learning Arabic as a step toward an eventual conversion to Islam,..."

In another Op-Ed for the NY Sun, Alicia Colon argues that it "utter madness" to allow an Arab language institute to open "considering that five years after September 11, ground zero is still a hole in the ground and we're bending over backwards to appease those sympathetic to individuals who would destroy us again."

According to Pipes, the head of the Gibran Institute committed an egregious act of "gratuitous apology for suicide terrorism," by explaining that the word "intifada" meant "throwing off a yoke". The New York Post went further labelled the explanation an act of "warmongering"

The Note: Like Anti-Jew aktions, Anti-Islam hate-campaigns are scooped from the same offal and not surprisingly the arguments and metaphors are the same. We learn that the Muslim, like the Jew, is an infective bacillus who causes moral decay and who secretly aims to destroy "us". We learn that a language is inherently vicious and gives rise to a special and toxic "Jewish outlook" and "Jewish way of thinking" that must be rooted out. Oooops... Did I say "Jewish"? Sorry. I meant "Islamic".

Nor should anyone think that these polemics are merely the ravings of two hysterical Jews on the lower east side. The following web-site banners evidence that they are pen-soldiers in a well honed cadre of political operatives.

"Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here. "
"JWR contributor Alicia Colon is a columnist for The New York Sun, a paper that every pro-Israel, pro-democracy New Yorker should be buying. Comment by clicking here. "

A curious kind of "democracy" that outlaws a language as "inherently" treasonous.

©WCG, 2007

Friday, August 17, 2007

AIPAC Implants Electrodes in Giuliani's Cranium

The News: Writing in Foreign Affairs, Republican candidate and former New York mayor Rudy Guiliani has come out against the creation of a Palestinian state. Giuliani writes the U.S. should oppose Palestinian statehood because it would inevitably encourage terrorism. Giuliani also says he would consider talks with Iran but left open the threat of weakening Iran’s economy and military action.

The Note: It is extremely difficult to conceptualize the mental processes at work in this derangement. It is less difficult to understand who is pressing the buttons. At least we know that Foreign Affairs deserves a rack next to National Enquirer at the Wal-Mart check out.

©WCG, 2007

Domestic Constabulary Forces take Shape

The News: Deputy Attorney General Craig Morford: "It's very important to emphasize that cases like this one are central to the United States government's efforts to neutralize the threat posed by terrorists and those who support them. I also want to mention that this particular case has long demonstrated the importance of integrating intelligence and traditional law enforcement tool in order to protect and to preserve national security and I think it stands as a great example of what can be accomplished when those things are combined."

The Note: Back in late 1970's when the FISA court was first established it was considered essential to keep traditional law enforcement and intelligence radically separate in order protect national constitutionalism. It was understood that once the two functions and hitherto distinct objectives were fused, limits on ordinary law enforcement would succumb to the demands of secret operations and foreign intelligence. At that point, the combined intelligence-enforcement services become constabulary forces, just like the ones we have in Iraq. [See Constabulism ] At the same time, the fusion produces a terminological inflation whereby ordinary crime (which presents only a minor threat to society) and terrorism (which potentially could present a major threat) also become mentally fused. It was not ex nihilo that in totalitarian states people end up getting Gulag'd or shot in the neck for stealing a bar of soap.

©WCG, 2007

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Four Pillars of Terrorism

The News: An FBI report released yesterday has identified four steps in the process of radicalization: pre-radicalization, self-identification, indoctrination and jihadization. Pre-radicalization, it said, “describes an individual’s world — his or her pedigree, lifestyle, religion, social status, neighborhood and education — just prior to the start of their journey down the path of radicalization.” Self-identification, it said, marks the point where people begin to explore militant Islam “while slowly migrating away from their former identity.” Personal crises — such as losing a job or suffering from racism — can serve as a catalyst for this “religious seeking,” the report said. While people can move gradually through the early phases, over two or three years, they can pivot quickly toward violence, the report said. The Internet, it said, can enable them.

Mark J. Mershon, assistant director in charge of the F.B.I.’s New York office, did not attend yesterday’s briefing. Stephen Kodak, an F.B.I. spokesman in Washington, said, “We have no comment on the report." Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, chairman of the homeland security committee, said the report’s analyses, while similar to those of other studies, were a “breakthrough” in antiterrorism efforts.

The Note: So... any of these “junctures” can serve as probable cause for a police investigation?

©WCG, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

And now, Exit Controls

The News: New Anti-Alien regulations have gone into effect. Under the most significant change, disclosed earlier this week, many employers could be required to fire employees who used false Social Security numbers. At the same time, federal officials would crack down on companies employing substantial numbers of illegal immigrants.

Administration officials told members of Congress on Thursday night that they would speed up construction of fences along the Mexican border, hire more Border Patrol agents and detain more of the immigrants caught illegally crossing the border.

Administration officials also said they would try to match up records of the arrival and departure of non-citizens entering and leaving the United States. Members of Congress say this exit- control system, required under a 1996 law, is essential to securing the nation’s borders, but many lawmakers say the administration has been slow in carrying out the law.

In addition, administration officials said they would train more state and local law enforcement officers to help enforce federal immigration laws. Since 2002, the federal government has trained more than 300 police and correctional officers. But members of Congress say the administration could do much more.

Administration officials said they were also planning to step up efforts to arrest and deport illegal immigrants who were members of street gangs. And they said federal agents would fan out across the country to hunt down “alien fugitives” who had been ordered to leave the United States but failed to comply.

Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, has repeatedly urged the administration to take action against such “alien absconders.” Under a 1986 law, employers must ask job applicants for documents to verify that they are United States citizens or immigrants authorized to work here.

The Note: I've always said, a wall has two sides. Ça commence, alors.

©WCG, 2007

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Solzhenitsyn calls for Honesty in Self-Reflection

The News: Alexander Solzhenitsyn discussed his lates work in an interview with Der Spiegel:

SPIEGEL: Your recent two-volume work "200 Years Together" was an attempt to overcome a taboo against discussing the common history of Russians and Jews. These two volumes have provoked mainly perplexity in the West. You say the Jews are the leading force of global capital and they are among the foremost destroyers of the bourgeoisie. Are we to conclude from your rich array of sources that the Jews carry more responsibility than others for the failed Soviet experiment?

Solzhenitsyn: I avoid exactly that which your question implies: I do not call for any sort of scorekeeping or comparisons between the moral responsibility of one people or another; moreover, I completely exclude the notion of responsibility of one nation towards another. All I am calling for is self-reflection.

You can get the answer to your question from the book itself: "Every people must answer morally for all of its past -- including that past which is shameful. Answer by what means? By attempting to comprehend: How could such a thing have been allowed? Where in all this is our error? And could it happen again? It is in that spirit, specifically, that it would behoove the Jewish people to answer, both for the revolutionary cutthroats and the ranks willing to serve them. Not to answer before other peoples, but to oneself, to one's consciousness, and before God. Just as we Russians must answer -- for the pogroms, for those merciless arsonist peasants, for those crazed revolutionary soldiers, for those savage sailors."

The Note: Ho, ho, ho... this two headed hydra talks sounds a tad like Vienna Days...

©WCG, 2007


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

U.S. Seeds Love Throughout the World

The News: According to Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former Chief of Staff, the damage wrought by the secret prisons, renditions and torture-like interrogations is still tremendous. According to Wilkerson, the US administration had arrested an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 suspects over the past year. Eighty-five percent of them were innocent, according to Wilkerson. "We really have created a mess here. A terrible mess. This has been incredibly damaging."

The Note: Wait a minute! Wait a minute! You are ignoring Bush's assurances that "our nation is generous and compassionate." By the way, throughout the 1930's the entire Nazi concentration camp population never exceeded 30,000.

©WCG, 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

Success of Security Measures Not to Be Measured by Their Success

The News: President Bush pronounced, "Our success in Iraq must not be measured by the enemy's ability to get a car-bombing into the evening news," he said. "No matter how good the security, terrorists will always be able to explode a bomb on a crowded street. In places like Israel, ....

The Note: The story here isn’t that bush said Iraq should be like Israel but that he’s admitted that “security measures” are useless.

©WCG, 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

New Testament on Net alleged to violate Constitution

The News: Truthout reports that, "At the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Army base, military chaplains have been holding Bible classes for US soldiers using study guides that appear to be anti-Semitic." The accusation was made by "the nonprofit watchdog group, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an organization that seeks to enforce the law mandating the separation between church and state..." [ Hmmmm...] The Officers Christian Fellowship Neighborhood Study Guides were written by Major George Kuykendall, and actually [!!! ] quote portions of the New Testament, including a passage from Galatians that asserts Paul was persecuted by the Jews. [No!] A spokeman for the group denied any anti-semitism and stated that the fellowship was simply discussing the texts as they appeared in the New Testament. "But for Mikey Weinstein, the founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the religious teachings are not only blatantly anti-Semitic, but he believes disseminating it over the Internet tramples upon the Constitution."

The Note: Disseminating the New Testament over the internet violates the Constitution? Amazing! What sort of twisted thinking contorts itself to that conclusion? The Gospel is "anti-semitic" and ergo translates into a violation of the Establishment Clause? Plus ça change. It’s all a dissimulation in service of an ethnical cause.

©WCG, 2007

Fruit from a Poisonous Tree

The News: Uri Avneri,the socialist and peace-activist Israel journalist writes:
"Concerned friends recently e-mailed me some hair-raising quotes from a statement by Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel and the spiritual leader of the settlers and the entire religious Zionist camp. In a letter to the Prime Minister, the rabbi decreed that it is impermissible to have compassion with the civilian population of Gaza if that imperils Israeli soldiers. His son, Shmuel, interpreted this decree on behalf of his father: if the killing of 100 Arabs is not sufficient to stop the launching of Qassam rockets at Israel, then 1000 must be killed. And if that is not sufficient, then 10,000, and 100,000 and even a million. All this to stop the Qassams, which in all the years have not succeeded in killing a dozen Jews.
"What is the connection between this "religious" view and the God who (in Genesis 18) promised not to destroy Sodom if 10 righteous people could be found there?
"What is the difference between this moral perception and that of the Nazis who executed 10 hostages for every German soldier killed by the resistance?
"The rabbi's decree did not arouse any reaction. There was no outcry, neither from his flock nor from the general public. The number of rabbis who publicly support such methods has risen to the hundreds. Most of them come from the settlements. This is a "religious" outlook that grew up in the poisoned atmosphere of the occupation, a religion of occupation. It shames the Jewish religion, present and past.
"No wonder that a person with a strong religious conscience, Avraham Burg, former Speaker of the Knesset and Head of the Jewish Agency, this week renounced Zionism and demanded to abolish the definition of Israel as a Jewish State."

The Note: No wonder that there are those of us who thought that the idea of a Jewish state was poisoned seed all along.

Avneri also points out that the occupation is destroying the Israeli Army. Yep; just as it is destroying the Ah'murkan.

©WCG, 2007

Friday, March 9, 2007

The Unsung Compassionate USA

The News: On Friday President Bush held a press conference alongside Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Said Bush, "I don't think America gets enough credit for trying to help improve people's lives. And so my trip is to explain, as clearly as I can, that our nation is generous and compassionate; that when we see poverty, we care; that when we see illiteracy, we want to do something about it; that when we find there to be a deficiency in health care, we'll help to the extent we can." Chavez's reaction? "Gringo Go Home."

The Note: The utterly astonishing thing -- amazing beyond belief -- is that Bush actually thinks this shit will fly in Ibero-America?

©WCG, 2007