Living History

When I was a kid, my favorite time of the year was summer. My second favorite time of the year was fall.

In the summer and at Thanksgiving, I was lucky enough to go on road trips with my family, to visit Vermont, New Hampshire, and Virginia.

I got to see my beloved cousins and enjoy the great outdoors while camping and visiting resorts, thanks to our grandfather.

One of our trips was to Manassas Battlefield when I was pretty young. I remember there being a lot of walking, and a lot of bugs.

Whenever we all, as a family, got to one of the monuments at Manassas, I just wanted to rest. But the joy of pushing a button on an interactive display kept me going. I push the button, and someone speaks!

When I pushed the button, a tired voice would come out of the monument, a tired man tired of battles would speak to me, and tell me to turn my head and look around at the ground on which he fought. He’d tell me exactly what he saw, that day, that time, way back when. He’d tell me what hardships he went through, and how doubtful he was about his chances to survive.

Living history.

I would hate to see the day that any of us Americans turn our back on history, no matter how much we might not like it.

I would hate to see the day when we silence the voices of those who walked this earth before we did.

I would hate to stop learning and trying to seek answers, when that should be our sole purpose here on earth.

Bernie Won Brooklyn

Bernie won the debate tonight, and I don’t care what the mainstream media has to say.

Hillary Clinton is supposed to have experience and judgment, yes?

Then why is she battling one mistake after another, and trying to deflect answers?

Three times, THREE TIMES, Dana Bash asked why she won’t release her speech transcripts. No one asked about her server, or the fact that the Clinton Foundation accepted money from various groups overseas only to have those same groups overseas gain contracts later through the State Dept. That never came up.

But she still lost, even without those things that hound her on a daily basis. Why? Because she will never win the trust, nor the votes, of those voters that she needs. The youth, the independents, the disaffected Republicans, the women under 65, the people of color from all over the States who have seen their loved ones incarcerated for life for three strikes, you’re out, when all you had was a dime bag in your possession. All Hillary Clinton has behind her is the Dem vote over 65.

Pushed to the edge and really pissed off …

Hunger March – flickr/wikimedia commons

My old education institution in Florida – The Univ. Of Central Florida that was originally called Florida Technological Univ. – has had it’s own brush with a plot for mass violence. The person who was plotting this however committed suicide before carrying it out. Thought he did have the required implements of destruction.

UCF police said they received a fire alarm call around 12:20 a.m. As they responded to that call, police then received a 911 call reporting a man with a gun.

When police arrived, they found a student with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They also found a bag of improvised explosive devices, along with a handgun and an assault weapon. – Central Florida News 13

We may never really know the motivations behind this individual or his actions and proposed actions but it’s safe bet is was some personal problem or agenda that drove him to it.

There a those who like to see such situations as some idealistic political and/or religious or some other kind of plot. In most cases those who are involved are just people who feel they have been pushed too far and are generally just really pissed off and desperate. Desperation can drive people to do things and behave in a manner they would not under other circumstances.

If one looks at the history to most political and/or economic upheavals, they were generally started by people who had “Had enough” and were desperate. Even the Russian revolution caught Lenin by surprise when it began even though he and others had plotted the over throw of the Tzar, it was a spontaneous event by desperate people that initiated it. The same for the French revolution and nearly all other such situations.

And now with the current situation in Europe and the EU ministers decision on the Cyprus bank bail outs, they are sowing and fertilizing the seeds of another upheaval.

There’s been a great deal of discussion of how the deal came about, with a particularly detailed account at the Wall Street Journal. The new stance at the creditor nations and the ECB is that there will be “private sector participation” which is bureaucrat-speak for haircuts to the people who funded the banks. And in the fracas over renegotiating the pact so as to make it less unpalatable to the locals, the Eurozone officials have made clear they don’t care how Anastasiades skins this particular cat as long as he comes up with €5.8 billion from local deposits. Banks were due to be closed Monday on Cyprus for a holiday; officials are now considering imposing a bank holiday on Tuesday. Funds have been frozen in the meantime, producing what is likely to be the emblematic photo of this crisis, of a man trying to break into his bank branch:

. . . . .

Now the EU officials could easily calm nervous depositors by announcing an ECB-backstopped deposit guarantee, instead of the current national system which depends on not-exactly-credible central banks. Germany and its fellow surplus countries have hesitated about proceeding with the necessary steps to further economic integration (notice how the plan to implement eurozone wide bank supervision, which Germany insisted was a precondition to Eurozone-level deposit guarantees, has languished?). Germany is trying to maintain policies that are contradictory: it wants to continue to have large trade surpluses, yet not fund its trade partners; its wants debtors to meet their obligations, yet refuses to allow either enough in the way of fiscal deficits or monetary easing to keep debtor countries from falling into deflationary spirals, which assure default. Germany’s failure to relent on any of these conditions means that what breaks will be the financial system. – Naked Capitalism

It took FDR meeting with the heads of the unions and communists and socialist parties to convince him that this country was very close to another revolution in the 1930s. It was this sort of situation that brought Hitler to power and also brought down a number of leaders in other countries. People are not stupid and when they see that they are being sacrificed for the good of those in the upper crust..when they feel they have no say or recourse…when they feel desperate, they will eventually take matters into their own hands.

The PTB need to realize and be aware that it’s groups of highly desperate and pissed of people that will force a change in the current situation for good or bad. Not some high minded organized plot by some subversive element. Though these elements will often take credit for it, they generally are not the instigators.

Europe fiddles on the edge of a financial Event Horrizon

While we are all engaged in the OWS protests and hating those financial institutions that made this all possible, the economic crisis that brought us all this entertainment still bubbles on. Still on the verge of blowing it’s top. This time brought to you by the European banks and the money they have tied up in countries like Greece, Italy, Spain and yes even France. With France being the latest to get its debt downgraded.

With the likely hood of a Greek default being around 97% these days and the reluctance of the Germans and French to want to continue funneling money their way, the plan now is to re-capitalize the European banks that would be a risk when this occurs. But the people of Germany and France now have little stomach for that either and both Merkel and Sarkozy are on shaky political ground now. And in my opinion this would be like closing the barn door after the horse has left, kicked over the lamp, set it on fire and burned it to the ground.

Merkel herself flopping in the wind like a flag in a hurricane. First saying that any resolution would take a while to implement and then announcing that a solutions is nearly at hand. But the banks themselves are not happy about this solution saying that it puts a strain on them to keep so much capital on hand. Of course we all know that the real reason is that accepting the money would be tantamount to admitting they are in deep trouble and continued investing in them would be a really bad idea. By the way, continued investing in them would be a really bad idea.

Meanwhile Sarkozy and the French government are yelling that letting the banks fail and the governments default would mean the end of the Euro and Eurozone, that this would result in the return to the economic and political environment prior to WWII. (cue Glenn Miller and Arty Shaw music)

Add to that the Chinese economy is now contracting and of course the financial sector is blaming the decisions of the Chinese government on that. (Funny how they blame the government when things go sour and take full credit when they don’t)

What has this got to do with us ? Well for one thing our big banks are also heavily vested in the European economy as well. Remember Goldman Sacks ? The one who is most responsible for their troubles. It seems they have posted a third quarter loss. And they say it’s do to market volatility. Funny…they usually make out like bandits under those conditions. Guess they are slipping.

So if it all this goes down the way a number of people have been predicting, I seriously doubt that there will be riots in the streets as some politicos fear.

More like celebrations, I would think.

9/11 … In Memory of…

Today was a day of deep personal reflection.

This is how I spent my last month leading up to and  remembering the tragic events of Tuesday September 11, 2001 and all the unfolding events that have followed. Re-reading the history and the warnings that were there for all to see.

Must Reads from Chalmers Johnson…


Revolutionary Change




The sorrows of empire



Dismantling the Empire

You may click on each book for further info…

Note: I first met Professor Chalmers when I was serving in the Navy in San Diego and he was professor of history at University of California at San Diego in 1968.


Out of Control

I read this Reuters report this morning of the U.S being asked to leave a Pakistani base used for launching drone missions and I am totally blown away by the different stories collected and reported upon from different sources. LINK

We are definitely in a bind. Pakistan is a regional nuclear power but we act as if we have not a care for that fact. Getting OBL, politically, plays great here in the U.S. but in Pakistan the consequences are huge. We have no way out of this mess except for one. $$$$ I don’t know what it’ll cost us to get out of this mess, if it’s even possible, but if so it’s going to be expensive.

Regionally, we are getting in deeper and deeper as time passes with the quagmire growing by leaps and bounds. Washington has to recognize that we’re making enemies faster than we’re making friends. The Bush administration botched this right from the beginning and Obama has only made it worse. Our policy of preemption is a disaster. We can’t go around and completely disrespect other nations borders. And especially not when the reason is to curry political favor in the U.S.

We have got to get out of Dodge. Fast!!

Pakistan has stopped the United States from using an air base in the southwest of the country to launch drone strikes against militant groups, the defense minister was quoted as saying, as ties remain strained between the two countries.

Pakistan has long publicly opposed the missile attacks as a violation of its sovereignty, but has in private given support including intelligence to help target members of al-Qaida and the Taliban in the northwest region along the Afghan border.

The Financial Times quoted Defense Minister Ahmed Mukhtar as saying that Pakistan had ended U.S. drone flights out of Shamsi base in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, long reported to have been used for the covert war against militants.

“No U.S. flights are taking place from Shamsi any longer. If there have to be flights from the base, it will only be Pakistani flights,” Mukhtar told the newspaper.

Ties between the countries, strained since the killing of two Pakistanis by a CIA agent in January, suffered a further setback after Navy SEALs killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in a secret raid last month that Pakistani officials said further breached its sovereignty.

Pakistan’s army has drastically cut down the number of U.S. troops allowed in the country and set clear limits on intelligence sharing with the United States, reflecting its anger over what it sees as continuing U.S. interference in its affairs.
Story: Gunmen kill senior Pakistani Taliban commander
Washington had been asked to remove all its infrastructure from the Shamsi air base, the Financial Times cited an unidentified Pakistan official as saying. The official, though, said, no drone flights had taken off from the base since 2009.

Since President Barack Obama took office, drone strikes have been stepped up, focused on the Waziristan region in northwest Pakistan, a hub for militants from around the world.

These attacks have further intensified since bin Laden’s killing which reinforced suspicion in the United States that elements of Pakistan’s security establishment may have helped hide him.

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

OVERDOSE – A Documentary on the Financial Crisis that is coming.

This is a really good documentary on the financial collapse, why it happened, what was done after, what was not and why the next one will be even worse. The moves made by the government – here and elsewhere – and those not made have set the world up for another financial disaster. The premise they give here is after the bust of the Housing Bubble, the solution has been to inflate a large number of other bubbles all about to burst. It’s fairly log but worth watching. It has Spanish sub-titles and was done by a Swede. Continue reading “OVERDOSE – A Documentary on the Financial Crisis that is coming.”