sabrina 1's Journal
Member since: Sun Mar 30, 2008, 05:51 AM
Number of posts: 43,254
Number of posts: 43,254
Cuts to SS, using Chained CPIs or any other cuts, using any other kind of deceptive language, will do NOTHING to bring down the Deficit.
Why? Because the SS Fund is not part of the Federal Budget.
And the Government has no right to touch it without the permission of those who own it. None, whatsoever!
SS is a fund OWNED BY those who paid into it during their working years, an INSURANCE fund that provides a safety net for retirees and now for the disabled and orphaned children.
Raiding this Insurance Fund has become a habit of Warmongers and the Wealthy who want to keep THEIR taxes as low as possible.
When they raid the SS Fund they have to provide US Govt Bonds to ensure that what they borrowed will be paid back.
They don't WANT to pay it back! They want to Privatize it and gamble with on Wall St. We know what has happened to Pension Funds when they were placed in the hands of the Wall St. Gamblers.
This must never happen to the SS Fund.
You will hear lies claiming that the fund is 'empty' and needs 'fixing'.
If that is the case, then every creditor of the US Govt holding those bonds, including China, need to worry that those Bonds have no value.
The US Government CAN NOT default on its creditors, INCLUDING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE who are among those creditors, without dire consequences to this country.
As one of those creditors, the SS Fund receives interest on the Bonds it holds every year.
Even during the recission the SS Fund continued to show a surplus.
The Fund has an over 2 Trillion dollar surplus.
The Bonds it holds are backed by the Full Faith and Credit of the US Government.
The Fund is NOT empty, it is owed trillions by the US Government.
Money that is safe so long as the US Govt honors its debt to its Creditors.
You might see some attempts, even here on DU, to use the CBO report to try to create the impression that SS Benefits need to 'cut' in order to help with the DEFICIT.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Because the SS FUND HAS ZERO TO DO WITH THE DEFICIT.
Therefore cutting benefits will have ZERO EFFECT ON THE DEFICIT.
Raise the Cap on SS and focus on creating jobs and the SS Fund will be good for another 100 years.
Anyone saying otherwise has one giant ulterior motive.
Thanks FDR for the Social Safety Nets that have saved the lives of countless numbers of Americans.
NO DEMOCRAT should ever participate in doing anything that would jeopardize those protections for the least among us.
Just thought this needs to be said periodically, even here on DU.
Hands OFF Social Security!
Pay for your wars and your Tax Cuts for the Wealthy with your own money!
Posted by sabrina 1 | Sun Sep 22, 2013, 02:53 PM (214 replies)
It's called 'The Rule of Law'.
We have the mechanisms in place on an International level. We signed on to various agreements with the civilized world on how to deal with accusations of War Crimes.
It works like this:
Once an accusation is made and there is some seemingly credible evidence to back it up Neutral Investigators are sent to the country in question to verify the claims, or not, as the case may be.
IF they determine, after spending sufficient time there, that there is evidence of crimes against the people, they return with that evidence and present it to the International Court.
There is no fear that presenting this evidence publicly will jeopardize anyone's 'National Security eg. So that excuse for NOT being willing to show the world the evidence, is eliminated.
Once there is agreement that in fact there is enough evidence to prove in court that War Crimes have been committed, indictments are handed down. It's hard to imagine that any civilized nation would not be on board to stop a War Criminal after the evidence has been seen and assessed to be true.
The accused then becomes an International Pariah and the accusations alone, WITH PROOF, cause others to fear being too supportive of his/her crimes in the future. Not only will that person be indicted but all those who aid and abet him/her in the commission of the crimes.
Eventually there will be an arrest or several arrests.
It works, without killing any more innocent people or becoming part of the killing generated by the criminals.
Here's an example of a War Criminal who was tried, convicted and sentenced for his crimes at the Hague not so long ago. The first one since WW11.
Isn't it time to begin to repeat this successful method of removing such people from positions of power where they can cause so much harm?
Charles Taylor sentenced to 50 years for war crimes
The first former head of state to be convicted of war crimes since World War II was sentenced to 50 years in prison Wednesday by an international court in The Hague, Netherlands.
The Special Court for Sierra Leone convicted former Liberian president Charles Taylor last month of supplying and encouraging rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone in a campaign of terror, involving murder, rape, sexual slavery and the conscription children younger than 15.
The brutal dictator didn't look so tough anymore as he was forced to answer for his crimes in a civilized court of law:
Isn't it time to begin to repeat this successful method of removing such people from positions of power where they can cause so much harm?
This seems to be the obvious way to get World support for dealing with War Criminals.
The world is failing to see how a 90 day bombing campaign will not result in even more death and destruction.
The doubts about the evidence CAN be wiped away if that evidence is made available for a thorough investigation.
Also possible if we use the Rule of Law, is the investigation of all the allegations on all sides and if the allegations against the 'rebels' turn out to be true, they too can be held accountable. And anyone who is supporting them with arms and finances will be less likely to do so once they are indicted for war crimes.
Then the International Community can act to begin the same process that put Taylor away for 50 years.
What a concept! And why stop at one War Criminal? Why not rid the world of all War Criminals this way? It certainly would have a lot more support than our current ignoring of war crimes when it suits us.
The Rule of Law!
The preferred method of dealing with crime by civilized nations everywhere.
Why have we abandoned it?
Posted by sabrina 1 | Fri Sep 6, 2013, 11:51 AM (146 replies)
And apparently they do not feel confident that they can defend them.
So rather than present a defense, they move to grant them immunity and, using the Westfall Act, move to shift the responsibility for the indefensible to the US Government:
DOJ pursues immunity for Bush and six others for Iraq war crimes
The “Westfall Act certification,” submitted pursuant to the Westfall Act of 1988, permits the Attorney General, at his or her discretion, to substitute the United States as the defendant and essentially grant absolute immunity to government employees for actions taken within the scope of their employment.
According to the DOJ, he was just following orders, he was working for the US Government!
That's quite an admission.
But it does explain a lot!
It explains a whole lot.
The DOJ claims that in planning and waging the Iraq War, ex-President Bush and key members of his Administration were acting within the legitimate scope of their employment and are thus immune from suit,” chief counsel Inder Comar of Comar Law said.
So for the first time that I remember, the US Government has, publicly, not only admitted that crimes were committed by the Bush Administration, but worse, that they were WORKING FOR THE US GOVERNMENT.
That doesn't sound like 'no, they did not commit crimes. It sounds like 'look, they did commit crimes, but they were working for US'! They were just following orders! That didn't work at Nuremberg, but whatever
And doesn't that shift the blame for the crimes to all of us? It certainly isn't an argument that no crimes were committed.
"A Government of, for, and by the people"
I object strenuously to being implicated in that horrific crime. I opposed it from the beginning.
The US Government IS the American people. So, without our consent, they are forcing the responsibility for Bush/Cheney's massive crimes and lies on to the American people.
I reject that completely. Bush supporters, yes, they were complicit, but Democrats never signed on to that war and never believed the lies.
Perhaps now that we have an admission of guilt, Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, who filed the suit can refile it.
This time filing it as:
Saleh V The US Government!
Posted by sabrina 1 | Mon Aug 26, 2013, 10:56 PM (165 replies)
It's interesting how even some Democrats find it necessary to point out that Manning 'stole' and therefore committed a crime, but never mention the crimes he witnessed and tried to stop.
Most of his leaks were from the Bush era. I always wonder why any Democrat would want to defend the Bush administration.
While the Whistle Blower goes to jail, the chief War Criminal is 'honored at the WH'.
The message has been sent to journalists and Whistle Blowers everywhere.
And to make sure there are no 'renegades' in the Independent Media, Diane Feinstein is proposing legislation to 'define' what a Journalist is.
This is a sad day for America.
Bradley Manning, hero!
Thanks for trying, Bradley. It was worse than any of us thought. Now we know.
Posted by sabrina 1 | Wed Aug 21, 2013, 10:33 AM (149 replies)
As you probably have observed there is an ongoing smear campaign aimed at Journalist Glenn Greenwald. It consists of a few 'talking points' which by now we are all familiar with.
This should not surprise anyone who followed the Anonymous Exposure of 'Security Contratctor', HBGary's internal emails.
What we found out from those leaked emails was what these Security Contractors view as their job of taking care of the 'security' of this country. Apparently it is very important for our security to silence Left Wing Bloggers, like Glenn Greenwald.
At the time, GG was a blogger, someone who, like thousands of other bloggers, Right, Left and Independent, Libertarian among others, expressed his opinions on his own blog.
He wasn't even that well known enough to strike such fear into our Security Contractors.
Yet, for some reason, Glenn Greenwald was singled out from among all those other bloggers by HBGary, seeking money in a bid for a contract, with a proposal for a SMEAR CAMPAIGN against him, according to the emails, to 'discredit him'.
Why? Because he was so anti-Bush policies? I think so. Not that he was the only one, we were ALL anti-Bush policies weren't we??
Why would they not go after, say, Andrew Breitbart, or Drudge?
Why a Leftist Blogger who had spent the Bush years since he became a blogger, telling the truth about Bush's Wars, his Anti-Constitutional Policies and relentlessly criticizing his administration for their Torture Policies?
Apparently Right Wing Bloggers do not warrant a smear campaign. No smear campaigns proposed for THEM.
But we are treated on a daily basis to attacks on a Left Wing blogger. Why?
Glenn Greenwald has provided facts about himself to counter the lies and smears so he doesn't need to address them each time they surface.
So rather than go into every thread trying to correct these distortions, this is a public service OP so that people can read the facts for themselves, spoken by the person most likely to know them:
Frequently told lies (FTLs)
He addresses pretty much all of the SIX commonly used smears we are now so accustomed to seeing:
1. I work/worked for the Cato Institute
2. I'm a right-wing libertarian
3. I supported the Iraq War and/or George Bush
4. I moved to Brazil to protest US laws on gay marriage
5. Because I live in Brazil, I have no "skin in the game" for US politics
6. I was sanctioned or otherwise punished for ethical violations in my law practice
Number six is a particularly egregious claim and so patently false and so easily proven to be false, you have to wonder why anyone would continue to try to pass it off as a fact.
If you have an interest in the facts, you can judge these smears against the facts. If not, then skip this OP.
If you see any of these smears and you will, I suppose you could respond with a link to Greenwald's own words, and of course his years of blogging on the issues is still available proving them false even without this.
FTLs = Frequently Told Lies.
It's important to correct wrong information, especially when there is a good chance it is coming from one of those Security Contractors who most likely got the Contract to Smear Greemwald, lost by HBGary after they were exposed by Anonymous, as far as we know.
Posted by sabrina 1 | Sun Jul 28, 2013, 08:35 PM (342 replies)
Remember when Bush was occupying the White House and every day we learned of some new, anti-Constitutional policy he was pushing through Congress, like the Patriot Act eg, the Iraq War, or defending Torture, not to mention his economic policies, his Private Security Corporations, his attempt to Privatize SS (that was one of his failures, thankfully). You can add to the list if you like, it is long and those were nightmare years where we seemed to lose every battle.
I used to check Right Wing forums at the time, and watch in horrified awe at the blind support those Bush loyalists gave to each and every bad policy he implemented.
Democrats opposed most of his policies, marching against his wars, calling, emailing and writing, some going in person to DC to speak to their Reps to register their opposition to Bush's policies.
We railed against Republicans for their blind support, made jokes that no matter what Bush did, 'if he ate a puppy on the White House lawn' eg, his supporters would cheer for him.
As we came close to the 2008 Election, after eight nightmare years of Constitution-destroying legislation and brutal, illegal wars that we had failed to stop, Democrats finally saw some light at the end of the tunnel.
And we won, everything.
I was confident at first that our Party would begin to dismantle the 'security state', infrastructure built by Bush and his fellow War Criminals. And I was equally confident that our side would never blindly follow those WE elected, unlike those Freepers, IF they did not uphold the promises they made.
Now I know we were right, that we on the Left will speak out about bad policies even if our own Party is responsible.
Lately I have noticed on DU that a majority of Democrats support our elected leaders when they are standing up for the people who elected them, but they will not ignore any divergence from what our Party is supposed to represent.
This is why I love DU. It is a microcosm of the larger world of Democrats.
I am so glad to see that rather than remain silent about, or worse, blindly support bad policies, a vast majority of DUers have been doing exactly as I expected Democrats to do, standing up for the issues we elected our Representatives to stand for, and criticizing our elected officials when they are wrong.
Thank you for that!
This will make our party stronger.
Not a weak imitation of the other party which has been so wrong for so long on so many issues.
The last thing this country needs is to keep Republican/Bush policies in place. And it is gratifying to see so many Democrats here on DU speak out against Bush policies, as they always have.
So thank you DU Democrats, for confirming what I once told some Right Wing adversaries, 'we are not a party of lock-steppers like yours, if we see something wrong we will speak out against it regardless of who is in power'.
And we are. And will continue to do so. And thankfully we have many elected Democrats who are doing their jobs and abiding by the oath they all took, to defend and protect the US Constitution.
Just wanted to say that I noticed this ....
Posted by sabrina 1 | Thu Jul 25, 2013, 11:28 PM (140 replies)
Right Versus Wrong is my barometer for who has credibility and who doesn't.
RIGHT V WRONG!
Greenwald earned his credibility over nearly a decade when it came to issues of Civil Liberties and the near destruction of them by the Bush Administration.
And I'm happy to know who was and still is part of the 'Greenwald Left'.
I know I am on the Right side of issues, not just because of my own assessment of the situation, but by who opposes and who supports my position.
1) Dick Cheney
2) George W. Bush
3) Ari (the liar) Fleischer.
4) Peter (we count the votes) King
5) John (where are the jobs) Boehner
6)Sarah (I can see Russia from my house) Palin
7) Almost EVERYONE at Faux 'News'.
8) Rush Limbaugh
9) Free Republic
Well, you get the idea.
Even if I knew nothing about the issues about which Progressive Democrats were, are and will continue to be concerned about, just seeing who is opposed them would be enough to assure me that I am on the right side of the issues.
Thanks Glenn Greenwald for never wavering despite the vicious attacks from the Right and even the revelations that the Big Banks were hiring 'security contractors' to smear you, in the pursuit of the facts.
I always wondered who got the HB Gary Contract to smear Greenwald after they were exposed?
CIVIL LIBERTIES was, is and will always will be of huge concern to Progressive Democrats.
Not so much to the other side.
Posted by sabrina 1 | Tue Jul 23, 2013, 12:38 PM (322 replies)
America is finally showing signs of waking up after more than a decade of looking more like the Land of the Cowardly than the Home of the Brave.
This despite the Corporate Media's slanted coverage of the latest leaks from the latest Whistle Blower regarding the destruction of the 4th Amendment rights of the American people, policies which began under Bush and as has been revealed, continued and expanded under President Obama.
Americans say Snowden isn’t a traitor
Approximately 55% of American voters view Snowden as a “whistle-blower,” according to new Quinnipiac University poll. Only 34% consider him a “traitor” for revealing details on two of the nation’s top secret surveillance programs.
A majority view him as a whistle-blower in every subgroup–political party, gender, income, education, and age–except for African -American voters, among whom 43% call him a traitor and 42% a whistle-blower.
Researchers also spotted a “massive swing in public opinion” when it comes to how the public feels about spying programs in relation to civil liberties. Now, 45% of voters say the government goes way too far restricting civil liberties in regard to its anti-terrorism efforts. That’s a big switch from 2010 when 63% felt the government didn’t go far enough in its efforts to protect the country from terrorists.
A 'massive swing' since just two years ago. That's good news, but it's difficult not to be angry that it took so long because that is what made it possible for all these abuses to take place.
Voters Support Snowden
U.S. Voters Say Snowden Is Whistle-Blower, Not Traitor, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Big Shift On Civil Liberties vs. Counter-Terrorism
The opinions about Snowden were fairly independent of political party association, education level or household income. Only one demographic factor did show a significant effect; that was age, with support for Snowden declining with the increasing age of the respondents.
Take that Dick Cheney, George Bush, Ari Fleischer, John Boehner, and Peter King who once again are on the wrong side of history and a few of them still on the wrong of the prison walls. Some day maybe justice will be done.
The only solution is for the International Community to come together, as they have in the past after a crisis that affects humanity as a whole, and begin the process of ending these abuses against Civil Liberties everywhere.
Posted by sabrina 1 | Fri Jul 12, 2013, 02:35 AM (45 replies)
They made it about Snowden, despite all the efforts to make it about the issues. To most people, it WAS about the issues.
But they insisted, the smears, the lies, the talking points, you can always recognize a talking point by how many times it is repeated.
They failed, they tried the 'ballerina' smear, people laughed.
Then there were the 'boxes in the garage' and people laughed even louder.
Because these smear campaigns are so familiar now.
We know this is going to happen and in fact it was predicted two minutes before it began. Right here on DU airc.
Failure doesn't stop them. It costs big money for these smear campaigns.
Not everyone is paid of course, but they can always count on the freebies. Good business always thinks of the bottom line so the fewer paid operatives the better.
HB Gary's planned smear campaign against Glenn Greenwald which was exposed by Anonymous, forever buried all doubt that this is big business for the Private 'Security' Contractors.
So each day after every failure, they sent out more talking points, and every day they got sillier and sillier.
And then a strange thing happened. Rather than turning people AGAINST Snowden, they turned him into an International hero!
THEY did that. THEY insisted on it in fact!
The whole campaign BACKFIRED!
So now, we ALL want to talk about Snowden, to hear what HE has to say.. And people who might not have bothered before ARE listening, because they made him famous.
And he is impressive, when he speaks for himself, people are saying. Daniel Ellsberg is impressed and he should know, better than anonymous people all saying the same boring things on the internet.
If they had ignored Snowden, the world wouldn't be marching in the streets to protect him.
Foreign nations wouldn't be offering him asylum, no one would be thinking about him.
They PERSONALIZED him. They created an image. Not the one they were trying to create, but one that has caused people all the over the world to root for him.
From Hong Kong:
To Missouri, to Denver, to NYC, to London, to Latin America.
He is DAVID fighting GOLIATH. THAT is what they have done:
Just like we rooted for Salman Rushdie. THEY tried to demonize him, they issued a Fatwa on him. People who would never have heard of him, became protective of him. They wanted to save him!! If they had IGNORED him, no one would have ever read his book, which was terrible anyhow, and no one would have wanted to save him.
So let's keep talking about Snowden. It's working, for HIM.
And people are talking about Snowden, all over the world.
They are asking 'what he do' and and when they do, they learn about the information he is releasing.
So when you can't stop them, USE them. After all they are using our tax dollars to pay for all this so we may as well get some use out of it!
Or you could alwys support this man:
'Snowden is a traitor'
Posted by sabrina 1 | Wed Jul 10, 2013, 05:11 AM (189 replies)
One of the latest defenses of the theft of the American People's personal phone data and other personal material, such as personal emails etc is this:
You don't own your records.
I don't recall this defense when Bush was caught using the telecoms to collect people's phone data. All I remember from back then was outrage at the Government intruding into people's private lives, in clear violation of the 4th Amendment.
I have been told that this includes your Bank Records, your Sales Records, Medical Records, and anything you do where someone else, a store, a phone company, a bank etc. is involved in the transaction.
I am also being told this:
It is perfectly legal
Which reminds me of this:
Martin Luther King: ' Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal'
But is it legal? Where are the laws that back up these claims that anyone can have access to your Bank Records eg? Or your SS# simply because you are required to supply it when you open an account somewhere?
If this is true, which I have some serious doubts about, then every thief and stalker and peeping tom iow, criminal, can now freely do, without consequences, what was more than likely to get them thrown in jail just before these leaks exposed the massive surveillance of the American people.
The ramifications of throwing out all the laws protecting people from such invasions of their property, such as their Bank and Medical records are enormous.
If your records don't belong to you, then anyone can access them and you have no say in who these 'third parties' choose to give them to.
So, a disgruntled employee can get his/her hands on the records of his/her boss, 'collect and store them' for future use.
A thief can get into your bank account and move your money to his/her account without too much effort simply by taking the info from wherever he/she can get it, then later claim when you whine about it: 'Your records don't belong to you'.
I was certain there were privacy laws governing Medical Records eg.
Now I am being told this is not the case, those records don't belong to you.
So what laws destroyed all the protections we used to have?
When was the 4th Amendment of the Constitution rescinded?
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Is it time to change the Oath of Office taken by all Military Personnel and by Elected Officials since they have failed so miserably to uphold it anyhow?
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
It varies a little depending on who is being sworn in, but not much, this has been deemed the most important possession we have, the US Constitution!
Not the 'Homeland' or the 'President' or 'The People', but the Constitution.
It doesn't say: 'But you're free to change it when you feel like it'.
Or 'ignore it when Corporations demand you do so'.
Nor does it say that you can ignore it when you are afraid of 'terrorists'.
There are no 'outs' in these oaths.
But clearly we have a government that has abandoned its sworn duty, so why keep up the pretense? Why not just be honest and drop the pretext of what we claim to be?
That would definitely make it easier for the defenders of what is now indefensible.
Change the law to make legal what is not legal? Well, they did it before when they added an Amendment to the FISA Bill to make Bush's illegal acts legal.
I'd rather have the fight out in the open and let's see what the American people have to say about it.
They don't have the guts to do that, they would rather spin and turn themselves into pretzels trying to defend what has no defense under our current system than face the American people with the truth.
Who is right and who is wrong?
That's easy, just read the document everyone swears to defend and protect and if you don't feel any urge to try to change it?
YOU are RIGHT!
And if you find yourself desperately trying to avoid the message, arguing that the anti-Constitutional polices we have learned about, are LEGAL? then
YOU are WRONG.
It's not rocket science.
So, where do we go from here?
Posted by sabrina 1 | Sun Jul 7, 2013, 04:24 PM (4 replies)