Name: William Rivers Pitt
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,333
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,333
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I posted the following image:
...with the caption, "How Not to Catch Ebola," in honor of the NYC doctor who has inspired the latest media frenzy. Of course, I was scolded: "Not funny. Ebola is killing people."
Upon which I replied:
"Ebola is killing people." So is cancer and AIDS and Parkinson's and diabetes and cigarettes and fracking and oil...
...and, by the bye, so is the very computer you're scolding me with: when you're done with it and chuck it, it will wind up in a town in China, where it will be rendered for its parts and then burned, the toxic waste from which will kill children, but only if they're lucky enough to die without being born with horrific birth defects from the pollutants from the computer you used to scold me. Look it up if you don't believe me; dealing with discarded American computers has become a cottage industry in dozens of Chinese communities, and the process is laying waste to the populace where it's being done. Thanks to the thing you used to scold me.
Are you wearing clothes? Like as not, the tag at your neck has the name of the kid who died to make your shirt.
Ever give a beloved a diamond? Have you any idea of the bloodshed involved in dragging that rock out of the ground?
Got a cell phone? Do you have any idea how much butchery is involved in controlling the mines needed for the basic components involved in your ability to send a text?
Welcome to being an American.
All I have is gallows humor with my left hand, and my effort to change all this with my right hand.
Go scold someone else. Thanks.
Take it to heart.
P.S. If you haven't seen "The Big Lebowski" yet, I despair for you. Rectify that situation at speed, because this aggression will not stand, man.
Posted by WilliamPitt | Fri Oct 24, 2014, 12:13 PM (8 replies)
Don't do this:
If you don't get it, I recommend "The Big Lebowski" the next time you go movie-shopping.
Posted by WilliamPitt | Fri Oct 24, 2014, 09:30 AM (9 replies)
Post: Show me someone who would be turned off voting due to a negative email, and I'll show you someone who never intended to vote in the first place
Reply: Same thing with someone who would be turned off voting due to negative posts on a web site
-- DUer Doctor_J
...for the Win.
Here in NH, I am keenly looking forward to voting against Scott Brown for the third time in four years, because he followed me North a year ago, and I desperately want him to go away.
If you think the critical posts I and others have offered recently are an effort to suppress turnout, you're missing the point with genuinely comic velocity.
Or, in short, what Doctor_J said.
Posted by WilliamPitt | Thu Oct 23, 2014, 05:12 PM (23 replies)
The infamous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,
Hawaii, December 7, 1941.
(Photo: Paul Walsh)
The True History of Blowback in One Sentence
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed
Thursday 23 October 2014
Since you're probably wondering why the Canadian Parliament was shot up and your friendly neighborhood police officer is driving a tank and your savings account is a sad joke and your road is littered with potholes and you can't find a job and three of your friends who joined the Army to pay for college died in Iraq and Afghanistan and two others have brain trauma from IED explosions and won't ever be the same and your tap water is flammable and the ocean is coming for your home, well...
...let me introduce you to the concept of "blowback," which author Chalmers Johnson explained as "another way of saying that a nation reaps what it sows," which basically means that when you punch someone in the face, odds are very good that you're going to get punched back, and maybe they land that counterpunch, or maybe they don't, but that fist is going to come whistling at your face, count on it, and if it misses, there is always another fist, curled and hard and ready to fly...
...so let's talk about blowback, the story of which began seventy-three years ago at Pearl Harbor, when we were attacked by the Japanese Empire, and the United States entered the war in Europe and Asia simultaneously, and President Roosevelt endeavored to manufacture the Reich and the Empire out of existence, and placed the American economy on a wartime footing to do so, and in the fullness of time, it worked, and the war was over...
...but actually, it never ended, because the manufacture of war materiel made the manufacturers rich beyond the dreams of avarice, and they began to exert influence over American politics, and then FDR died, and Harry Truman took the big chair, and then George Kennan, the American Ambassador to the Soviet Union, wrote what has come to be known as the "Long Telegram," in which he described the bedlam of Stalin and Soviet intentions, and Truman along with a bunch of other people read it, and it scared the cheese out of them, and so the National Security Act of 1947 was passed, making America's economic wartime footing a permanent thing that endures to this day, and thus the Cold War was born...
...which was bully news for the weapons manufacturers who got rich on WWII, because now they were indispensable as a matter of policy, "national security" assets, and before long, tank after tank and warship after warship and nuclear missile after nuclear missile and bullet after bullet and rifle after rifle and bomb after bomb rolled down the production lines, each and every one paid for with tax dollars collected from an American populace which was led to believe this was all vitally necessary because the readers of Kennan's telegram decided the thing to do was to make sure everyone felt threatened because a fearful populace is easily controlled...
...and so the Cold War unfolded, and in the words of Stephen King, O my Lord how the money rolled in, because conflict for conflict's sake became the operational ethos in Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia and Africa and South America and Central America and especially in the Middle East for decades, and in the process of this multi-generational permanent state of conflict the weapons manufacturers became wealthier and wealthier, and more and more powerful, and exerted that power on the body politic of the United States to such a degree that they eventually began purchasing the news media brick by brick, so the people would hear day after day how the corporations who profit from war are actually keeping them safe and stuff...
...and this went on and on, growing and expanding, even to far-flung places like Afghanistan, where big brains like Zbignew Brzezinski decided in 1978 to give the USSR its own Vietnam, and began a process that Reagan eventually took over to underwrite the Mujeheddin, who took on the Soviet Union and learned, with the help of American money and American weapons and a CIA ally named Osama bin Laden, how to take down a superpower, which they eventually did before metastasizing into the Taliban and al Qaeda...
...because Brzezinski's original plan was to arm, train and fund anti-Soviet fighters in Pakistani religious schools to destabilize Afghanistan and dare the Soviets to invade, and that plan was executed, and it worked, and the word "Taliban" when translated means "Religious student," so congratulations, Zbignew, for kicking the pebble down the hill that turned into an avalanche which came in the fullness of time to deprive the New York City skyline of two very tall buildings and the thousands of people who were in them on a perfect blue Tuesday thirteen years ago...
...which led, of course, to another decade of war after all the other decades of war that came on the heels of Pearl Harbor and the National Security Act, which has in this brave new moment led to ISIS, as well as a dementedly paranoid United States that doesn't blink at cops dressed and armed like soldiers while driving tanks down Main Street because OMG TERRORISTS YOU GUYS...
...lots more here: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/27000-the-true-history-of-blowback-in-one-sentence
Posted by WilliamPitt | Thu Oct 23, 2014, 10:24 AM (38 replies)
I know the Koch brothers exist, and I am all too aware of what they are up to. I know you need to contend with the billionaire neo-oligarchs who think they deserve to run the country because they can write checks with a lot of zeroes to the left of the decimal. Near as I can tell, however, your plan to this point has been to run away from those of us trying to fight these bastards. We're useful right up to the fundraising deadline, but after that, we get the back of your hand.
You support fracking while giving lip-service to climate change? You want Keystone XL approved, despite the fact that it will run the world's dirtiest fuel through our breadbasket and over our main aquifer in a pipeline that is dead-bang guaranteed to leak? You endorse the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement? You're satisfied with the barren lack of accounting meted to the Wall Street brigands who stole our future? You're down with a third war in Iraq?
Wait, you don't support all that? But you won't stand against it, because you're afraid of losing votes or campaign money?
A bunch of braniacs have crunched the numbers and concluded that young people, plus minority voters, plus women, plus old white racist Fox News viewers dying off, means the long-term electoral odds are in the Democrats' favor, and gee wilikers, isn't that nifty news for the party in 30 years...except for the millions of people who will take a deep beating between then and now, and that's only if the party's institutional cowardice and greed doesn't let the oligarchs buy out the whole process from soup to nuts in the meantime.
The police are being weaponized and militarized from coast to coast, making even mild street protest a potentially lethal exercise. The Supreme Court doesn't believe women should have control of their own bodies. There are parts of the country where the tapwater is flammable. The US is spending billions of dollars to bomb the weapons it spent billions of dollars on just a few years ago.
And from the alleged "liberal" party? Silence, acquiescence, and that's only if they're not too busy cashing a check.
Come November, if the Democrats wind up flopping and flailing for an explanation as to why they got routed at the polls, let me offer a succinct reply: You stand for nothing. You are the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters. Everyone expects you to go down to defeat, because you always lay down, because you are paid to do so.
It doesn't have to be that way, but that's the way it is. When the midterms eat you alive, remember what I said. When you stand for nothing, you get nothing in return.
Write me an email about that.
An Open Letter to My Democratic Spammer
Posted by WilliamPitt | Tue Oct 21, 2014, 08:19 PM (187 replies)
Jesus H. Baldheaded CHRIST.
OK. All of you people who love to deploy the OMG REPUBLICANS YOU GUYS argument to explain why the Democratic Party isn't an utterly brain-addled shitshow of an organization, answer me this:
When I get an email titled "Pack up. Go home. It's done." (which I just did)
...what, exactly, am I supposed to think? No hope. Utterly doomed. I may as well not even bother showing up to vote.
Right? Exactly how the screaming purple fuck should I or anyone else interpret "Pack up. Go home. It's done" any other way?
THIS is how they're inspiring voters?!
Not a constructive message. Like, at all.
I quote myself, from my 10/3 article:
"Here's a memo to whoever came up with this particularly obnoxious fundraising tactic: You suck. I hope you get fired with such velocity that you can't even get a job drowning puppies in a kill shelter."
Posted by WilliamPitt | Tue Oct 21, 2014, 05:00 PM (164 replies)
Feelings of regret
We've got nothing left
- My emails from the DCCC this morning.
Haiku Derp. Derpku.
Posted by WilliamPitt | Tue Oct 21, 2014, 09:59 AM (21 replies)
"The farmer imagines power and place are fine things. But the President has paid dearly for his White House. It has commonly cost him all his peace, and the best of his manly attributes. To preserve for a short time so conspicuous an appearance before the world, he is content to eat dust before the real masters who stand erect behind the throne."
Posted by WilliamPitt | Mon Oct 20, 2014, 10:11 AM (10 replies)
US Army soldiers take samples from items found
in a weapons cache, Baqubah, Iraq, January 3, 2009.
(Photo: The US Army)
George W. Bush: The Gift That Keeps On Giving
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed
Saturday 18 October 2014
Thirteen years ago, after the Towers came down but before the war started, I wrote a book that claimed there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and therefore there was no reason to go to war there. That book has stood the test of time, but as it turns out, there were WMD in that shattered, battered and bombed-out nation...just not in the way it was explained to us.
On Tuesday, The New York Times published a thunderclap of an article titled "The Secret Casualties of Iraq's Abandoned Chemical Weapons." The gist of it, in short, is that Iraq was littered with thousands of chemical munitions the US and other countries had sold them before 1991. US troops were tasked to police them up and destroy them, a process that injured many of them in ways they still endure today, but because the Bush administration wanted to keep these munitions secret, the troops who happened to scoop up a leaking mustard gas shell and woke up the following day covered in boils and unable to breathe never received proper medical treatment.
But wait, hold the phone: Wasn't the whole point of the exercise about the presence of WMD in Iraq? If US troops found thousands of chemical shells, which they dealt with at their peril, why didn't the Bush administration bellow the fact to the heavens?
Ask Karl Rove:
Starting in 2004, some members of the George W. Bush administration and Republican lawmakers began to find evidence of discarded chemical weapons in Iraq. But when the information was brought up with the White House, senior adviser Karl Rove told them to "let these sleeping dogs lie."
Some very stupid people heralded the Times' article as vindication of their long-embraced belief that Iraq actually did have WMD, and therefore George W. Bush's calamitous war was justified. There are several problems with this premise: 1. One actually has to read the article, which is long and full of words, several of which explain that the chemical munitions discovered were from 1991 or before, and were utterly useless as designed when found during the war; 2. None of it was worth fighting a decade-long war over; 3. The Bush administration didn't announce the existence of these decrepit munitions to the world because the US sold them to Iraq during the last Bush administration, and because pretending they weren't there meant the VA could blow off the affected soldiers.
The rhetoric, circa March 2003: Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX gas, mobile biological weapons labs, and uranium from Niger for use in a "robust" nuclear weapons programs.
The rhetoric in this brave new year of 2014: THE NEW YORK TIMES SAID THERE WERE A BUNCH OF SHELLS IN IRAQ FROM BEFORE 1991 THAT GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH SOLD TO SADDAM HUSSEIN WHICH GEORGE W. BUSH USED AS AN EXCUSE TO PLUNDER THE TREASURY AND SINK US INTO PERMANENT WAR IN THE MIDEAST AND WIN SOME ELECTIONS WHICH MEANS WE WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG YOU GUYS.
I have said this many times before, and will have to say it many times again until either these people are in jail or I am wrapped in my shroud: The single greatest strength of the American right is their utter and complete lack of shame. They will say anything - literally anything - if it moves the political ball even a few inches down the field.
P.S. The region of Iraq where the majority of these pre-1991 US-made chemical munitions can still be found is currently under the control of ISIS.
Thanks, George. You're the gift that keeps on giving.
The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/26898-george-w-bush-the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving
Posted by WilliamPitt | Sat Oct 18, 2014, 11:22 AM (45 replies)
Yes yes yes yes yes, this is a forum dedicated to death-brawls and long-standing grudges, but I thought a moment of shared astonishment might serve. We here in the Northeast are enjoying pretty much the most gorgeous foliage in a generation. I took these today from my office, which has been a soaking rainy day, and took them all indoors.
It's a planet worth saving, I think.
Posted by WilliamPitt | Thu Oct 16, 2014, 04:42 PM (11 replies)