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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 21,520

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It is not "our" nation, sir.

You were almost free of it, but there you go again.

Again you're trying to create a false consensus by abusing the first person plural. You don't get to identify who this nation is. I'm this nation too, and with tens of millions of others I refuse your attempt to make "us" into some kind of abstraction united under one flag (waved by powermongers) and against whatever the Enemy Du Jour is supposed to be ("terrorism" is the best, since it can be anything, literally change by the day).

You're trying to equate NSA with USA. Ain't happening. Not everyone is that much of a sucker.

A secret agency engaged in clearly unconstitutional (therefore illegal) and lawbreaking activities around the globe -- employing a total surveillance system unprecedented in its reach, power and technological prowess -- is by definition a threat to freedom and absolutely must justify itself! (All government must justify itself, obviously. All concentrations of power, public or private, must do do.)

"Terrorism" is an abstraction that has always been used as a political attack word, a way of branding enemies for "us." The NSA programs exposed by Snowden have done nothing against attacks on U.S. civilians. They can't come up with a single example!

The U.S. national security state maintains the capacity to destroy the world many times ever, intervenes to create chaos around the world. It is responsible for the greatest international crime of the 21st century in Iraq, and the killers have not been brought to justice. There is your worst terrorism of the last 20 years.

The national security state exaggerates and invents threats to justify its swallowing a trillion dollars in taxpayer funding every damn year, at the expense to peace. This is why our highways crumble and our schools are overcrowded and some part of our people, mostly children, actually go hungry. So that outfits like your NSA can get their secret budgets to spend unaccountably on whatever the fuck they claim they're doing.

The U.S. national security state is not my country, even if you want to make it yours. It is self-evidently the greatest threat to world peace and to the interests of people living in the Americas, north and south.

I am a human being, a citizen of this world first, and an American second. That's my WE - and it doesn't include deadly military parasites like the NSA, one of the world's worst enemies.

Stop subsidizing crap food.

Start subsidizing good food.

Subsidies are not just on the production side. The government and schools are the biggest single buyers of food. My biggest first step would be for all schools to provide two squares a day to all students, without means testing or any other requirement. Insofar as possible: non-sugary (the key!), minimally processed, locally sourced, in season, organic (minimal use of pesticides and fertilizers, no antibiotics), sustainable, plant-based (fruits and vegetables, not grains), so as to develop these forms of agriculture and food production.

A national dietary standard implemented through good food at all public schools seems a lot worthier to pursue as a federal policy than the imposition of standardized testing and common core policies. It would cost a tiny fraction of the current warmaking budget.

Every school should have its garden space!

Same with physical education, sports, arts, music, martial arts, all forms of moving activity. These should be the national standards for what schools provide, instead of teacher ratings!

Cut the Pentagon in half and put half of the savings into such programs for the schools.

BIKE LANES EVERYWHERE. More parks. Pedestrian zones. Mass transit. Start putting plexiglass cover over sidewalks and bike lanes, to overcome some of the weather obstacles. Make it FUN not to be in a car, at least in densely populated areas.

Don't pretend to misunderstand the obvious.

Ukraine military has its own BuKs, Russian made but purchased from Russia. At least one of these was seized by the Donetsk militias. Thus Kiev and Donetsk forces both have BuKs. This did not require Russia to supply BuKs to anyone (although they did SELL the BuKs to the prior Kiev governments). So there is no evidentiary basis for the assertion that Russia directly supplied BuKs to Donetsk.

Right-wing Telegraph full of bullshit.

I see you are relying on the notorious right-wing attack paper, the Telegraph.

1) Someone using a Russian government computer is not necessarily the "Russian government." How many of you right now are viewing this page from a work computer, or from a public library or other institution that isn't your own house?

2) Given the early state of the investigation, to say that MH17 was shot down "by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation" is a self-evident violation of Wikipedia rules on point of view and neutral language.

3) It also directly echoes the line and language laid down today by Yatsenyuk himself. "Terrorists" is the Kiev government's designation for its antagonists.

So here's the real lead: Kiev and Moscow government sympathizers are fighting over a Wikipedia page, which makes it like about 100,000 other Wikipedia pages that are the sites of such political fights.


You can't do all those things but...

You can shut down the superfluous "self-licking ice cream cone" that pumps up vague threats so as to justify a universal warrantless surveillance system that doesn't actually do anything against the vague threats, but makes a lot of money (out of your taxes) for some very bad corporate plunderers.

Please don't tell us we need this criminal agency. Thanks.

I'm alleging nothing, unlike you.

No facts have been established as yet except that the plane appears to have been shot down by a surface-to-air missile, while the combatant forces involved in the conflict on the ground have blamed each other. (Also, neocon maniacs looking for World War III, such as John McCain, Ralph Peters as well as spokespersons of your gentle Kiev government with its neo-Nazis have blamed the Russian military directly, which is insane.)

That anyone intended to shoot down this passenger plane and be blamed for it (thus risking their own destruction) seems rather unlikely.

But, clearly, very little is now certain.

Do you think that the 1988 accidental shootdown of an Iranian civilian airbus by U.S. military forces (that somehow found themselves on the opposite side of the planet from the U.S.) was a terrorist act?

Well then you can go ahead and call this act terrorist as well, even in advance of knowing who did it, or if the MH plane was an intentional target.

All of them...

And usually they had a hand in creating them, whether intentionally or accidentally.

Obama can be praised for seeking talks with Iran. Not for backing the coup d'etat in Honduras - a direct cause of the current refugee crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border - and certainly not for backing the current Kiev government with its neo-Nazi element and actively encouraging the violent offensive against the Russian population in the east.

The "Archduke Ferdinand" Moment in Ukraine?


Eastern Ukraine is a warzone with the Kiev military engaged in aerial bombardments as well as RPGs and missiles flying from all sides. I can't believe anyone was still passing passenger planes above that territory, but apparently everyone was! Why, to keep up appearances?

It's near certain that either the Kiev military or the Donetsk forces shot the Malaysian plane down by mistake. Obviously there is no imaginable reason for the Russian military to ever contemplate doing so, and that is an insane idea! Or rather, just the usual bloodthirsty war-mongering from the McCain-neocon faction. (I noticed it was echoed right away by U.S.-based "Syrian revolutionary" spokespeople on social media, so there's definitely a line there. I've also seen Israeli defenders seriously blame the "Hamas violence" on Russia, since Putin is the Hitler du Jour, although he in turn has also been backing Israel.)

There is also no particular reason so far to believe in a Western, U.S., globalist or other "Them" behind this incident, as some people here are conditioned to think predictably. That this can be an "Archduke Ferdinand" moment is obvious, and it's only a couple of weeks after the 100th anniversary.

Yesterday the BRICS announced their initiative to create an alternative to World Bank and IMF. The U.S. news was instead full of an inexplicable escalation in the sanctions against the Russian government for its supposed material support of the Donetsk Republic. This obviously makes for interesting timing.

In recent weeks Moscow has clearly sought to defuse the Ukraine crisis and made no major moves in support of the eastern Ukrainian uprising, despite the murderous offensives by a Kiev government that still includes neo-Nazis in its cabinet. To say so is not to "support Putin" but merely to understand that Moscow acts according to the accustomed rules of power and realpolitik. Russia's interest is clearly not to contribute to the bloodbath or to try to absorb a potentially intractable ethnic civil war within its own territory but to see the situation stabilized and the payments on its gas bills resumed.

The U.S. demand that the Ukraine-Russia border be altogether sealed is impossible for Russia both politically and physically. As long as Kiev pursues a violent solution to the reluctance of Russian Ukrainians to accept the new status quo, Russians in turn will support their ethnic brethren without need of any orders from Moscow. Meanwhile it's been admitted officially that CIA and FBI both are assisting the Yatsenyuk government in its attacks on the ethnic Russian areas, and very likely that Western mercenaries are mixed in with the forces conducting the offensive, which are largely irregulars recruited from the ranks of Svoboda and Right Sector. There have been cases of disobedience and desertion among Ukrainian army regulars, unsurprisingly.

This is an incredibly dangerous moment for the U.S. to be escalating the rhetoric or the material support, and the neocons and other warmongers with their instant accusations that Russia directly downed the plane (why the fuck?!) are literally trying to start a new World War with Russia.

Let's remember earlier accidents like the downing of the Iranian airbus and the bombing of the USS Stark by the government of then US ally Saddam. Which is to say, patience! No premature verdicts!

From each according to her ability...

to each according to her need!

- Equal rights, duties, privileges, liberties and opportunities for all. Under the law and in all the institutions.

- Freedom for all from proscribed gender roles and conditioning.

- Equal respect and rewards for traditionally "feminine" labor and roles in childcare, schooling, household and the reproductive sphere.

It's such a simple set of ideas, and yet so drastically misrepresented -- in part by some of its adherents who reduce it to the idea of success for some women within a neoliberal order, but mostly of course by all the world's reactionary yahoos.

From each according to his ability...

To each according to his need.

No human society has ever been based on any other principle. Capitalism imposes a set of property relations and economic dynamics, but the underlying necessity of our everyday life is communist.

Or as Graeber puts it:

I define communism as any human relationship that operates on the principle of “from each
according to their abilities, to each according to their needs.” I could have used a more neutral term like
“solidarity,” “mutual aid,” “conviviality”, or even, “help” instead (Graeber 2010).

Prompted by Mauss, I suggest that we jettison the old-fashioned assumption that “communism”
is basically about property relations, reflecting a time long ago when all things were held in common
and the messianic possibility of restoring the community of property—what might be called “mythic
communism”—but instead see it simply as a principle immanent in everyday life. Whenever action
proceeds “from each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”—even if it is
between two people—we are in the presence of “everyday communism”. Almost everyone behaves this
way when collaborating on a common project. If someone fixing a broken water pipe says “hand me
the wrench”, their co-worker will not usually say “and what do I get for it?”, even if they are working
for Exxon-Mobil, Burger King or Royal Bank of Scotland. The reason is efficiency (ironic, given the
conventional wisdom that “communism just doesn’t work”): if you want to get something done,
allocating tasks by ability, and giving people what they need to do the job, is the most effective way to
go about it. It’s one of the scandals of capitalism that most firms, internally, operate in a communistic
way. True, they don’t operate democratically. Most often they are organized by military-style chains of
command. But top-down chains of command are not very efficient (they tend to promote stupidity
among those on top, resentment among those on the bottom.) When cooperation depends on
improvisation, the more democratic it tends to become. Inventors have always known this, start-up
capitalists also, and computer engineers have recently rediscovered the principle: not only with
freeware, but even in the organization of their businesses.

This is why in the immediate wake of great disasters—a flood, a blackout, a revolution or
economic collapse—people tend to behave the same way, reverting to a kind of rough-and-ready
communism. Hierarchies, markets and the like become luxuries that no one can really afford them.
Anyone who has lived through such a moment can speak to the way strangers become sisters and
brothers, and human society itself seems to be reborn. We are not just talking about cooperation.
Communism is the foundation of all human sociability
. It makes society possible. Anyone who is not an
enemy can be expected to respect the principle of “from each according to their abilities...” at least to
some extent: for example, if you need to figure out how to get somewhere, and they can give you
directions, they will. We take this so much for granted that the exceptions are themselves revealing.
Evans-Pritchard reports his discomfiture when someone gave him intentionally wrong directions:

"On the Moral Grounds of Economic Relations"
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