Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 44,751
Number of posts: 44,751
- 2014 (2880)
- 2013 (3310)
- 2012 (5564)
- 2011 (122)
- December (122)
- Older Archives
Please, You need to make sure the Dems vote last and not tell Boehner what her whip count is. Put the fuckers on the spot and don’t let them figure out what way the wind is blowing.
Posted by kpete | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 04:16 PM (2 replies)
just TOO Funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by kpete | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 04:03 PM (16 replies)
seeing that while looking for info, all I can find is twerk, twerking, twerked
peace to the lounge,
Posted by kpete | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 02:32 PM (1 replies)
A Dragon In Shallow Waters
Senator J. William Fulbright wrote in The Arrogance of Power in 1967:
The attitude above all others which I feel sure is no longer valid is the arrogance of power, the tendency of great nations to equate power with virtue and major responsibilities with a universal mission. The dilemmas involved are preeminently American dilemmas, not because America has weaknesses that others do not have but because America is powerful as no nation has ever been before and the discrepancy between its power and the power of others appears to be increasing.
I do not question the power of our weapons and the efficiency of our logistics...Our handicap is well expressed in the pungent Chinese proverb: "In shallow waters dragons become the sport of shrimps."
If America has a service to perform in the world - and I believe it has - it is in large part the service of its own example. In our excessive involvement in the affairs of other countries, we are not only living off our assets and denying our own people the proper enjoyment of their resources; we are also denying the world the example of a free society enjoying its freedom to the fullest. This is regrettable indeed for a nation that aspires to teach democracy to other nations, because, as Burke said: "Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other."
We have the opportunity to serve as an example of democracy to the world by the way in which we run our own society; America, in the words of John Quincy Adams, should be "the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all" but "the champion and vindicator only of her own."
If we can bring ourselves so to act, we will have overcome the dangers of the arrogance of power. It will involve, no doubt, the loss of certain glories, but that seems a price worth paying for the probable rewards, which are the happiness of America and the peace of the world.
"In shallow waters dragons become the sport of shrimps."
In Asian philosophy Dragons are the symbols of universal power. They are meant to swim in the unreachable depths or sore the unattainable heights. When a dragon is in the shallows it is a metaphor for wasted power. It is not living up to its full potential, so the little shrimps play with it. make fun of it. The shrimps know they can move around easily in the shallows while a dragon can not. The shrimps who will never swim so deep or fly so high as the dragon take advantage of this situation.
Posted by kpete | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 01:30 PM (1 replies)
Posted by kpete | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 12:15 PM (2 replies)
To the Editor:
So Prime Minister David Cameron cannot wage war without the consent of the British people as represented by Parliament. I guess this is what a democracy looks like.
Brooklyn, Aug. 30, 2013
Obama makes the right choice and will present his case on Syria to the whole Congress for a vote
Obama’s remarks came as senior administration officials were making a fresh round of calls to congressional leaders on Saturday in an effort to bolster support for a potential military strike on Syria, officials said.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were among the administration officials expected to speak to key members of Congress on Saturday afternoon, amid signs that the White House is close to ordering an attack on Syria to admonish it for its alleged use of chemical weapons last week.
“We’re continuing to weigh our options,” a senior U.S. official said. “We’re confident in our analysis that the United States and our allies can handle any contingencies that come as a result of military action should it be chosen by the president.”
Posted by kpete | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 12:12 PM (19 replies)
instead of English Muffins....
Posted by kpete | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 11:23 AM (5 replies)
Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern
Massacres of civilians are being exploited for narrow geopolitical competition to control Mideast oil, gas pipelines
The 2011 uprisings, it would seem - triggered by a confluence of domestic energy shortages and climate-induced droughts which led to massive food price hikes - came at an opportune moment that was quickly exploited. Leaked emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor including notes from a meeting with Pentagon officials confirmed US-UK training of Syrian opposition forces since 2011 aimed at eliciting "collapse" of Assad's regime "from within."
Much of the strategy currently at play was candidly described in a 2008 US Army-funded RAND report, Unfolding the Future of the Long War (pdf). http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG738.pdf
The report noted that "the economies of the industrialized states will continue to rely heavily on oil, thus making it a strategically important resource." As most oil will be produced in the Middle East, the US has "motive for maintaining stability in and good relations with Middle Eastern states":
"The geographic area of proven oil reserves coincides with the power base of much of the Salafi-jihadist network. This creates a linkage between oil supplies and the long war that is not easily broken or simply characterized... For the foreseeable future, world oil production growth and total output will be dominated by Persian Gulf resources... The region will therefore remain a strategic priority, and this priority will interact strongly with that of prosecuting the long war."
In this context, the report identified several potential trajectories for regional policy focused on protecting access to Gulf oil supplies, among which the following are most salient:
"Divide and Rule focuses on exploiting fault lines between the various Salafi-jihadist groups to turn them against each other and dissipate their energy on internal conflicts. This strategy relies heavily on covert action, information operations (IO), unconventional warfare, and support to indigenous security forces... the United States and its local allies could use the nationalist jihadists to launch proxy IO campaigns to discredit the transnational jihadists in the eyes of the local populace... US leaders could also choose to capitalize on the 'Sustained Shia-Sunni Conflict' trajectory by taking the side of the conservative Sunni regimes against Shiite empowerment movements in the Muslim world.... possibly supporting authoritative Sunni governments against a continuingly hostile Iran."
MORE, LOTS MORE:
Alternative links (for those of you who hate the Guardian):
Obviously this isn't the only factor motivating foreign involvement in the conflict — each faction has its own motivations. But it's hard to see how it's not a factor, especially if you consider the report mentioned below of a meeting between Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar and Vladimir Putin. Bandar, "purporting to speak with the full backing of the US," supposedly offered cooperation on oil and natural gas and promised "not to compete" with a different pipeline planned by Russia, if Putin would drop his support for Assad.
What The US, Russia Are Really Quarreling Over: Pipelines
For both countries, the Snowden affair is just another ho-hum spat in the greater imperial rivalry.
Posted by kpete | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 10:48 AM (141 replies)
UK Asked New York Times To Destroy Edward Snowden Documents; NY Times Ignored Request
from the good-for-them dept
There's been some back and forth concerning the David Miranda legal fight today and it's getting fairly ridiculous. The UK government is making some extraordinary claims about Miranda and the encrypted information he was carrying. They claim that some of the information was potentially incredibly damaging to UK national security interests (the same rhetoric we always hear, but is rarely shown to be true) and they also claim that they found a piece of paper on Miranda that allowed them to "decrypt one file on his seized hard drive." Furthermore, they claim that Miranda (and Greenwald and Poitras) "demonstrated very poor judgment in their security arrangements with respect to the material," in order to suggest that it might easily fall into dangerous hands.
Of course, there are many reasons to suggest that this is all hogwash. The choice of wording from the UK government is pretty precise. Note that they don't actually claim they've unencrypted any of the Snowden files. They make two separate claims in succession: one is that there were 58,000 documents that Miranda had and then, separately, that he had a password that allowed them to get into a file on his drives, and then they use that to insist that there was poor security. But they don't reveal what that one file was, nor do they admit to having figured out what was actually on the drives. Glenn Greenwald says that it's a flat out lie that Miranda had a password on him that would allow anyone to decrypt the documents (suggesting any password he might have had on him was totally unrelated). Greenwald also mocks the idea that Poitras's security was "sloppy," since it appears that the UK hasn't yet been able to figure out what was actually on the hard drives.
However, the strongest response to all of this comes from The Guardian itself, who reveals that after the Prime Minister's office ordered them to destroy hard drives, the Guardian told the UK government that the NY Times and Pro Publica also had copies of all of the documents related to the UK spying by GCHQ... and the UK government didn't seem particularly concerned:
"The government wanted the judge to believe that they have at all times behaved with the utmost urgency because of a grave threat to national security represented by newspapers working responsibly on the Snowden documents and their implications for society," he said. "But for most of the time since early June little has happened. On July 22 the Guardian directed the government towards the New York Times and ProPublica, both of whom had secret material from GCHQ. It was more than three weeks before anyone contacted the NYT. No one has contacted Pro Publica, and there has been two weeks of further silence towards the NYT from the government. This five weeks in which nothing has happened tells a different story from the alarmist claims before the court. The government's behaviour does not match their rhetoric in trying to justify and exploit this dismaying blurring of terror and journalism."
This leads to an even more mystifying situation, in which (as noted above), weeks later, UK officials asked the NY Times to destroy the documents, and the NY Times basically ignored the request entirely:
The British government has asked the New York Times to destroy copies of documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden related to the operations of the U.S. spy agency and its British partner, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), people familiar with the matter said.
The British request, made to Times executive editor Jill Abramson by a senior official at the British Embassy in Washington D.C., was greeted by Abramson with silence, according to the sources. British officials indicated they intended to follow up on their request later with the Times, but never did, one of the sources said.
Ah, freedom of the press. Either way, this suggests that the UK's arguments against Miranda are just misleading FUD designed to paper over the thuggish behavior of detaining Miranda in the first place.
Posted by kpete | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 10:32 AM (11 replies)
Twain’s War Prayer
(note that it was rejected for publication during his lifetime.
The truly important writings often are or sell atrociously.)
The War Prayer
By Mark Twain
It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.
Sunday morning came — next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams — visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation
*God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!*
Then came the “long” prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory –
An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher’s side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, “Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!”
The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside — which the startled minister did — and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:
“You have heard your servant’s prayer — the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it — that part which the pastor — and also you in your hearts — fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: ‘Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!’ That is sufficient. the *whole* of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory–*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it — for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
(*After a pause.*) “Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!”
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.
Posted by kpete | Sat Aug 31, 2013, 12:25 AM (8 replies)