Monday, March 31, 2014


Thursday the AFL-CIO released a new report, NAFTA at 20. The report makes the point that, "On the whole, NAFTA-style agreements have proved to be primarily a vehicle to increase corporate profits at the expense of workers, consumers, farmers, communities, the environment and even democracy itself."


This just in:

That's called CAPITALISM

Monday, March 24, 2014


Ukrainian Soldier Is Wounded as Russian Forces Attack Crimean Base


One Ukraine soldier was wounded after armored vehicles rammed through the gates at Belbek and the forces fired shots in the air and threw grenades. 

this just in...
while that tragic earth shaking wound caused by the evil bear was happening, several americans were killed in traffic accidents , two american women were raped and an american child was victimized by  a sexual abuser.
please send your generous donations for the wounded Ukrainian to the Hillary Clinton Campaign Fund. Thank You.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ralph Nader's Autopsy Of U.S. Democracy

In this era of "embedded" reporters (i.e., they're in bed with the people whose conduct they're supposed to be critically evaluating) it's refreshing to come across a well-read, straight-talking U.S. patriot who refuses to equivocate about the crimes of corporate America and its servants in Washington.  In Ralph Nader's magnificent tome, "Told You So - The Big Book of Weekly Columns" (Seven Stories Press, 2013), we get none of the sound bites and moral posturing we are used to from pundits and politicians, just honest, hard-hitting analysis about everything that matters most, including a fascinating compendium of Nader's political observations going back to the 1970s.  It's an excellent antidote to the nauseating daily fare brought to us by politically illiterate corporate "journalists."

The descriptive language alone is worth the price of the book.  Nader assails the "merchants of debt" in the financial industry, lambasting their "fee-harvesting cards," their "contract peonage," their "orgy of reckless speculation," and their "financial joy-ride" that led the U.S. down the primrose path to economic collapse in 2008.  He relentlessly exposes "avaricious giant corporations" and "mega-corporate Frankensteins" for being the prime beneficiaries of the "Nanny State" they claim to abhor, shamelessly demanding subsidies, hand-outs, give-aways, tax breaks and abatements, waivers from workers pay protection laws, bloated contracts, free technology transfers, toady regulators, and contracted out government functions. He excoriates the "sneering arrogance of the corporate state" for its "Kremlin-style corporate board elections," its "serf-labor" in China, its "induced addictions" and "indentured servants" (politicians), its "continual corporate crime wave," its "massive unregulated rip-offs," its gouging and profiteering, its "bungling corporate contractors," its "criminal fraud," its "profit-glutted oil companies,"its "executive mastodons of the auto industry," its "electronic child molesters" in giant marketing firms, and its "college-payola-giving, obscenely over-compensated (student loan) industry."   For good measure he throws in shots at George W. Bush ("the mayor of Baghdad") and Ann Coulter, "a burlesque performer throwing red meat to audiences looking for off-the-wall entertainment."  There's little to improve upon Nader the critic.

With his encyclopedic grasp of the intricacies of corporate power and manipulation it might be fair to regard him as the Noam Chomsky of domestic policy, but he's no slouch on foreign policy either.  While liberals run for cover whenever the subject of Israel comes up, Nader unflinchingly condemns the Holy State for its practice of collective punishment against the Palestinians, its monopolization of water supplies in Palestine and Syria, its illegal use of cluster bombs in Lebanon, (including against hospitals), and its bombing and shelling of Gazan homes, police stations, pharmacies, mosques, hospitals, fishing boats and a range of public facilities providing electricity and other essential services.  As always Nader does his homework, posing a series of rhetorical questions that makes it entirely clear where the blame lies for the Israel-Palestine horror show:  Who is the occupier?  Who is the most powerful military force?  Who controls and blocks the necessities of life?  Who has sent raiding missions across the border most often?  Who has sent artillery shells and missiles at close range into populated areas?  Who has refused the repeated comprehensive peace offerings of the Arab countries issued in 2002 if Israel would agree to return to the 1967 borders and agree to the creation of a small independent Palestinian state possessing just twenty-two percent of the original Palestine?  Israel, of course.

And no, "anti-Semitism" in Europe is not a justification for dispossessing another semitic people from its land. Nader cites a much forgotten quotation from Israeli founder David Ben Gurion that concedes the irrelevance of this much brandished accusation/smear:  "There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their (the Palestinians') fault?  They only see one thing:  We have come here and stolen their country."  It is worth keeping in mind that Osama bin Laden, Sirhan Sirhan, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said essentially the same thing.

Democrats go on and on about how Nader supposedly ruined his legacy by "throwing" the 2000 election to George W. Bush on the pretext that there were insufficient policy differences between the two major parties to justify voting for them. But Nader gets the last laugh, albeit a sarcastic one, by pointing out that Obama has delivered Bushism without Bush.  Obama agreed with Bush that we needed to continue longstanding belligerence towards Iran and Russia; that we had to pour more U.S. soldiers into Afghanistan, escalate drone attacks in Pakistan, and continue the war in Iraq long after U.S. troops themselves wanted out;  that we were obliged to enlarge an already obscenely bloated Pentagon budget that was consuming half of the federal government's operating expenses; that we had to swallow unamended the socialist bailout of "too big to fail" capitalist businesses and later extend Bush's tax cuts for the rich; that we needed more nuclear power plants, more coal production, more offshore oil drilling, all of them proven methods of producing environmental disaster; that we had to support the Patriot Act and the revised FISA act, which helped usher in spying on Americans without judicial approval; and that we certainly had to forget about prosecuting Bush and Cheney for indictable crimes.  Like Bush, Obama still sees no reason to prosecute business criminals on the biggest corporate crime binge in U.S. history.  He favors doing nothing about credit card gouging, medicine price gouging, the hideous deprivation and exploitation of people trapped in inner cities, the constant ripoffs of consumers in ever more obscure and unavoidable ways, the offshoring of the U.S. productive base and its concomitant massive tax avoidance; and the successful looting of U.S. housing equity, pension funds and savings accounts.  And after nearly four decades of stagnant or declining wages for the vast majority of American workers, he cannot even say the word "poor" out loud, although more than 100 million Americans are mired in dismal to horrendous poverty.

Unlike the preposterously misdirected Democrats, Nader knows enough to point out the absurdity of pouring trillions of dollars into pursuing a few dozen Al Qaeda "terrorists" who have achieved a death toll in the low thousands while the awesome terror of widespread infectious disease killing millions goes virtually unaddressed. "The gravest terrorists in the world today," Nader writes, "are viruses and bacterium with their astonishing ability to mutate, hitchhike and devastate human beings." Tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS kill more than five million people every year, but very little of the Pentagon budget (representing half of the federal government's discretionary spending) goes to combat them.   In fact, we are not only failing to significantly combat infectious disease, we are actually breeding the ideal conditions for a global pandemic.  So many antibiotics are being pumped into cows, bulls, chickens, pigs, and fish that we are creating a huge antibiotic resistance, which in turn provokes bacterial mutations that breed ever stronger and deadlier germs.  As of 2008 the World Health Organization only spent $4.2 billion a year on the prevention of infectious disease, while the U.S. contribution to that budget - twenty-two percent - was perpetually in arrears.   Rather than redefine national security to confront the truly massive threats that confront us, U.S. leaders prefer to continue with wholesale corporate crime and fraud, which require massive redundancies to keep the military industrial complex humming with state guaranteed profits.  The "free market" works in mysterious ways.

On Obama's signature achievement - the Affordable Care Act - Nader is scathing.  "The drug and health insurance industry," Nader observes, "swarming with thousands of lobbyists, got pretty much what they wanted."  The HMOs got millions of new customers subsidized by hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars without much in the way of regulation.  The pharmaceutical companies got what they had yearned for - no reimportation of cheaper identical drugs and no authority for the U.S. government to bargain for volume discounts for the American people on their medications, plus a lucrative extension of monopoly patent protection for biologic drugs that excludes competition from cheaper generics.  There is little to celebrate in the Affordable Care Act, says Nader, as the HMOs and drug companies still have the American people by the short hairs:  "For all their gouges, for all their exclusions, their denial of claims and restrictions of benefits, for all their horrendous price increases, the two industries have come out stronger than ever politically and economically.  Small wonder their stocks are rising even in a recession."

The hideous pay-or-die private medical system operative in the US today will not be grilled by Obama for its bureaucratic waste, greed, overbilling, collusion, and fraud, all of which continue under the Affordable Care Act.  The commodification of medicine that leaves tens of millions without coverage and tens of thousands dead every year from lack of access to treatment in time of need does not bother him.  A majority of the American people and nearly three out of five doctors favor a single payer medical system with free choice of hospital and doctor, private delivery of care, and a huge reduction in administrative costs and billing fraud compared to the current system.  But that would require a political battle with the HMOs that the rest of the industrial world banned decades ago, and Obama has no stomach for that.

Read Nader to find out why.


"Told You So - The Big Book of Weekly Columns," - by Ralph Nader (Seven Stories Press, 2013)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Alleged Problems: Real Solutions


There are more than 300 million people in the USA. 492 of them are billionaires. That represents roughly 16 millionths of 1%. In decimal form that’s .0000016, or as a fraction, 16 over 1 million. This is not the 1% the Occupy Movement imprinted on (some of) the national consciousness. Even an innumerate person can understand that represents a teeny, tiny, microscopic portion of our supposedly democratic, equal opportunity, propaganda spouting world’s most deadly military killing machine in history.

But hey, we’re a free enterprise system, right? Those less than 500 of us are brilliant, industrious, hard working people who’ve earned every penny of that money by getting up early and getting off to the foundry, office, factory, school, hospital and sundry other places where people work, while the rest of us – roughly 99.9999984% - are loutish chumps  (except for a small professional elite who were smart enough to become servants to that 16/millionth) who, if we work much harder, regularly attend religious services and even more regularly take good drugs, can also hope to join them up at that fractional faction of a factional fraction at the top. Someday. Sure.

It’s in the Constitution. Or the Declaration. Or the bible? Well, maybe a comic book?

Meanwhile, at the other extreme of our population, far more people, actually tens of thousands, live in and on the street. They sleep in shelters, which put them up for the night if they are lucky enough to get in, and put them out in the morning. Or they sleep in cars, doorways, under bridges and on park benches, if there is no room at the inn – oops – shelter. But not to worry, theirs is not complete despair, abject misery or living death by comparison to the opulence enjoyed by the top fraction and its servant class.

 Our bottom dwelling humans who absorb the most extreme loss that ultimately benefits upper level private profits can avail themselves of free food dispensaries at least once a day. And free health clinics and hospital emergency rooms when their economically and elements weakened state brings on illness or disease. And if they drop dead in the street and are not claimed by relatives, they are guaranteed publicly financed burial in Potter’s Fields. That’s after their bodies have been used to train future doctors and nurses, assuming the ravages of their lives haven’t reduced them to former human but now garbage offering no useful parts or organs as tools for medical education.

We also have tens of millions of pet dogs and cats which live in warmth and comfort, are often loved as members of our human families, are very well fed and have health care from thousands of pet clinics staffed by educated veterinarians, including oncologists. This in a nation where some die in the street and no one even knows they had cancer until their unclaimed bodies are used for medical experiments.

Those may seem uncommon extremes of the social order but they are factual and not the healthiest sign for a nation and culture in which many still believe that we are superior to others, and if not a master race of chosen people, at least an exceptionally wonderful place to have a family, raise a dog, tap a phone or aim a drone. Given that and the fact that the overwhelming majority of what is called the scientific community warns us that our treatment of the planet’s human and other resources is bringing us closer to a failure and possible breakdown of society previously inconceivable, what would you say we should be most concerned about?

 What happened at Downton Abbey? The outcome of the NCAA March Madness? The chances that Miley Somebody’s twerky tongue will grow a foot longer? That Pussy Riot will move to America and host next year’s Academy Awards? Nope, nothing that important. Guess?

Putin, and Russia’s attempt to take over the globe and make us all eat evil black bread!

You’d think as much if you read, watch, listen to and especially believe what you’re told by our nation’s corporate ministry of disinformation, which has been beating the drums of war for years now but most recently over this alleged renewed threat from Russia. And where is the evil Cossack saber poised to strike at the burgers, fries, Fox TV and PBS series we so love, cherish and would die for?

 Right on our very borders at the Ukraine!

Well, though it actually borders on Russia and parts of it like the Crimea have actually been in Russia and millions of its population identify with and speak Russian, you might think it was in downtown Dallas or uptown New York for the way it has been treated by our sometimes telegenically attractive brain dead media mind managers and their pinheaded mentors in our Hollywood-for-ugly-people Government.

This would be laughable if not hysterically so, but for the fact that what passes for leadership, like the president, secretary of state, a wannabe president, and half wit critics of those dim bulbs because they aren’t warlike enough, dominate what passes for discussion on an issue that could lead to even greater stress on a failing system, if not a blunder into a war that might just bring on collapse that much sooner.

There has never have been a better time to totally disregard corporate media and to be extremely careful about what passes for its “alternative”. Study a map of the world and also look at the material reality of the USA that’s neglected by those who tell us about it rather than allowing us to experience it. Learn to respect your neighbors and turn anger at those who allegedly represent you but are owned and operated exclusively for the benefit of that top minuscule minority and their servants. Demand and create social transformation before these people and their system destroys us all. Hurry.

You can call that process democracy, revolution, or lunch. The substance is what matters, not the label.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Operation Enduring Stupidity

Operation Enduring Stupidity

by Frank Scott

“I sometimes get the feeling that somewhere across that huge puddle, in America, people sit in a lab and conduct experiments, as if with rats, without actually understanding the consequences of what they are doing. Why did they need to do this? Who can explain this? There is no explanation at all for it.”

Vladimir Putin

Official American policy regarding the Ukraine, Russia, Putin and democracy has left the realm of ignorance and can only be described as stupid. Even the pressure of running an empire and maintaining capitalism are not enough to excuse present behavior and actions, previously labeled by some as demented but presently, and however more dangerous, no more or less than complete stupidity.

Defined by the dictionary as “the quality of being stupid”, that word needs to be clarified in meaning:

Stupid - in a state of stupor, lacking normal intelligence or understanding, slow, dull witted, the quality of incapacity to perceive or learn.


Labeling the president, secretary of state, congressional gas bags and a wanna be president as stupid might actually be kinder than calling them murderous hypocrites, but the quality of being stupid is an important component part of the skills necessary to play the roles of a murderous hypocrite.

Listen to the secretary lecturing about democracy and civility while presiding over a most uncivil and anti-democratic excuse for humanity that bombs and kills all over the globe with the largest military force and budget in history, or the president forced by his employers to mouth off with comments about freedom even he must know make no sense while his regime throws a catholic nun in jail for three years for non-violently trying to warn of the nuclear menace and puts private manning in the slam for thirty five years for daring to tell americans what he felt they should know about their country’s bloody crimes in foreign places. And possibly worst of all given her already under way billionaire coronation as future first empress of the nation, the feminist pretender calling Putin’s actions an equation of Hitler’s, this pleasing to the gallery of mentally poor readers in America but causing sever stomach cramps and hysterical laughter all over the rest of the planet.

Whatever the flaws and faults of the Ukrainian regime, an elected president was deposed under the gun and without even a pretense of an election. If Lord Obama were thrown out of the half-white house by a mob of Tea Party “Patriots”, would there be such support from supposed liberals and progressives? If a force of righteous Occupy Wall Street types threw him out on his butt, would conservatives and slack jawed Ayn Randites rise up in support of these anti-capitalists and call it democracy? And would media stenographers be presenting and echoing the mouthings of experts (?) who should wear propeller beanies to identify their mental capacity as “analysis” of affairs in a nation so far way and foreign that people who know little or nothing about Canada and Mexico can be led to believe after listening to and reading such garbage that they are now expert on a place many could not find on a map?

Hint: it’s right next to a very big place called Russia.

Does a snake have wings?
Is a bluebird blue?
Are you kidding?

Is it any wonder that Americans who know all about Academy Award winners, losers, their mates, dates and latest publicly revealed private conversations, know so little abut the world that they swallow garbage poured into their heads about the menace allegedly created by Putin while remaining relatively deaf dumb and blind to the horrors of the imbeciles running them and their nation into planetary brick walls?

If you are a member of the Low I.Q. Club and are not already on the paid staff of our disabled regime, please send in your resume to fill some of the positions soon to be open by those who will be leaving under the stress of mental breakdown and/or legal actions.

Hey, in this economy, a job’s a job.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An Epitaph For Capitalism

"Rats and roaches live by competition under the law of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy."

                                                                       -----Wendell Berry