Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Darrell —"I don't care what it costs, nothing is too trivial or inane if I can nail Obama for it."—Issa
In the spotlight this week is Darrell Issa—who has embarassed himself with a series of self-implosive dead-end investigations that have cost the taxpayers millions of dollars and gone nowhere; e.g.: That the IRS is a secret cabal of liberals, and Fast and Furious -- was a gunrunning scheme headed up by Eric Holder. But wait there's more... Issa is not done with Benghazi.
Darrell Issa just found out that the United States is a target of terrorist attacks and security failed miserably.
And according to the him and a growing number of Republicans—Benghazi was the worst FAILURE of embassy security that it's ever been in American history.
My question is: What turnip truck did he fall off?—Or more to the point: What turnip truck does he think the rest of us fell off?
The truth is —that attacks like this have been the fact of life under nearly every administration—Republican and Democratic. To single out Benghazi as the nadir of these attacks is a manifestation of the current irrational politics of the absurd.
This is only a partial list of attacks on US Embassies and Consulates and includes only those that resulted in death.
26 September 1971 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Attack on embassy softball game TOTAL 1
19 August 1974 Nicosia, Cyprus
Riot outside Embassy; Ambassador and assistant shot by sniper TOTAL 2
21 November 1979 Islamabad, Pakistan
Islamist riots destroy Embassy (see 1979 U.S. Embassy Burning in Islamabad) TOTAL 2
18 April 1983 Beirut, Lebanon
12 December 1983 Kuwait City, Kuwait
al-Dawa truck bomb outside Embassy
20 September 1984 Beirut, Lebanon
Hezbollah truck bomb outside Embassy
November 1984 Bogota, Colombia
Car bomb outside Embassy planted by drug cartel 1—TOTAL 94 ± 241*
al-Qaeda simultaneously attacks both Embassies with truck bombs TOTAL 224 ± 6**
22 January 2000 Calcutta, India
Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami gunmen attack Consulate 5
14 June 2002 Karachi, Pakistan
al-Qaeda truck bomb detonates outside Consulate 12
28 February 2003 Islamabad, Pakistan
Unknown gunmen attack Embassy 2
30 June 2004 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
6 December 2004 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
al-Qaeda gunmen raid diplomatic compound 9
2 March 2006 Karachi, Pakistan
Car bomb explodes outside Consulate 2
12 September 2006 Damascus, Syria
Gunmen raid US Embassy 4
18 March 2008 Sana'a, Yemen
Mortar attack against US Embassy 2
18 March 2008 Sana'a, Yemen
Mortar attack against US Embassy 2
17 September 2008 Sana'a, Yemen
Two car bombs outside US embassy in Yemeni capital 16 —TOTAL 56 ±17***± 2996****
A group of terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya -- killing the U.S. Ambassador, one staff member, and two security contractors. TOTAL 4
This list does not include such attacks as the the *Marine barracks Oct. 21, 1983, Beirut—241 killed on Reagan's watch, **Trade Towers bombing, February 26, 1993—6 killed, on Clinton's watch, and the ***USS Cole October 12, 2000—17 killed and the mother of all attacks, ****9/11 when 2996—people were vaporized on Bush's watch, so please stop with the BS about BEN_EFFIN_GHAZI.
The fact is that we pay billions upon billions of dollars every year into the "black budget" for National Security and the big news is: we are VERY VERY VERY GOOD AT tapping the phones of our allies—REALLY?
I'd say our spy efforts—to keep us safe at "home and abroad" has been a monumental rip-off.
How about we investigate that and how to fix it.
But I am sure he'll find a less politically motivated target like the "FAILURE OF THE OBAMACARE WEBSITE"
Which begs the question didn't he and every born again son of a Republican want Obamacare to fail?
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Suppression of another kind Birmingham, AL-1963
I had always held a highly romantic vision of the latter half of the 18th Century. Partly because my maternal Grandmother told me stories from her youth. She was born in 1886 in Cold Spring MN near present day St Cloud MN. Her stories often aroused in me a lively and rich fantasy of those times.
One day after one of her stories, enraptured me in a vicarious state of nostalgia—I innocently asked, Grandma don't you miss those days. She looked at me with a quizzical look on her face and after a long pause, said, NO "they were terrible."
From her answer I surmised that just surviving was brutal and harsh, that people were cold and often cruel, hardened by living in that environment and in those conditions.
Such is the naiveté of youth and the steep learning curve of each new generation.
She had survived the deprivations and her life had improved with each year she attained. She was 93 when she died.
At times we all, long after some romanticized idea of our past as a Nation. When men were noble, ignoring the fact that magically thinking we are noble and striving to attain nobility are two different things.
We delude ourselves and picture a kinder gentler time of grace and beauty and that in our present modern times we long for the "myth of America" when fact we are still striving to attain "a MORE perfect Union"—which we have not yet attained.
We have created for ourselves, just as I had created for myself, as a youth, a mythic time and place, when everyone got along and behaved with dignified respect for the rights of others, a time and place that never existed.
We are NOT a Christian Nation when we do not fed the poor, house the homeless and clothe the naked. We are NOT champions of Liberty when we suppress voting rights under the pretext of voting fraud. We are NOT a nation of EQUALITY when we treat ANYONE in our society as UNEQUAL.
We believe the myth and miss the reality, and in doing so we fool ourselves into believing the times before ours were better, when they never were.
We believe we were virtuous when we were NOT. And in the process we gloss over the near eradication of Native Americans, the genocidal nature of slavery, the shameful 100 years of "Jim Crowe"—that kept Africans-Americans in economic and social bondage until 1965. That INEQUALITY is still reverberating today. In believing the myth, we obliterate the hard lessons that instruct us and makes us wise—preventing us from finally attaining "that perfected vision our founders saw.
Todays "conservatives are preoccupied with taking us back to the beginning of the eighteenth century thereby: nullifying the Federal Government, re-litigating states rights, eradicate voting rights, rolling back women's rights, closing down the democratic process, threatening secession—and threatening to dissolve this Union, by economic terrorism, if necessary and in the process destroy this UNION that was won in bloody conflict 150 years ago. The dishonor they heap upon the dead who fought for the vision of a perfected UNION will not be born without the shame of dishonoring their sacrifice.
Commentary: I was alive and witnessed the visually jarring ugliness of the Jim Crowe South. I graduated high school the year that photo was taken. I lived in the South in the final days of that shamefully tumultuous era. It still shocks me that my beloved America ever allowed that kind of legalized brutally to exist. Yet here we are today fifty years later and we are creating Voter Suppression laws under the pretext of rooting out non existent, "voter fraud". The Southern Strategy embraced by the Conservative movement has unleashed a new breed of hoodless clansmen, they no longer hurl racial epithets, now, they speak in thinly coded phraseology that makes other Americans—"separate BUT NOT EQUAL". Some times I need to remind myself what my grandmother taught me: "the good old days never were that good'. The things I remember from my childhood—that were good and still fill me with pride were the struggles of ordinary Americans who fought and even died to—"perfect this Union".
In memory of my grandma Nellie Fitzgerald
Saturday, October 5, 2013
WORDS OF THE DAY:
verb [ trans. ]
undermine the power and authority of (an established system or institution) : an attempt to subvert democratic government.
subversion |-ˈvər zh ən; - sh ən| noun
ORIGIN late Middle English : from Old French subvertir or Latin subvertere, from sub- ‘from below’ + vertere ‘to turn.’
perversion |pərˈvər zh ən|
the alteration of something from its original course, meaning, or state to a distortion or corruption of what was first intended : the perversion of Marxist theory to justify Soviet policymaking | a scandalous perversion of the law.
ORIGIN late Middle English : from Latin perversio(n-), from the verb pervertere ‘turn around’
1 a twisted perversion of the truth distortion, misrepresentation, falsification, travesty, misinterpretation, misconstruction, twisting, corruption, subversion, misuse, misapplication, debasement.
The raging radical, ideological libertarian anarchists, known as the Tea Party have taken over a small part of the American Government in an attempt to subvert democracy and the underlying principle by which we govern ourselves—majority rule. They claim they are the majority even though they represent a tiny fraction of Americans.
Their flawed and incomprehensible logic is: that they represent a majority of people in their state district and have conflated that to mean that they and they alone represent all of America and are they arbiters of what is and is not Constitutional. That is troubling because many of them have done so by attaining their high office by gerrymandering
the district they represent, a manipulation of boundaries used to selectively exclude anyone from a district that does not share their views.
What follows from that is they have perverted the meanings and application of the rule of law and then with the incomprehensible zeal, and the cynical audacity of irrational fanatics lecture us on they own perceived righteousness and the evil nature of all that hold an opposing idea. They have twisted everything to their own predetermined ideology at the expense of truth, logic, and facts.
The real threat in capitulating to their outrageous extortion is nothing less than the loss of the Democratic principle which is the very foundation of this Republic—the majority rules not the defeated minority within the minority. Their current attempt to subvert the law and extort America to exceed to their unconscionable demands borders on insurrection. And they should be called what they are treasonous.
Consider that if an outside terrorist organization attempted to shut down our government the swift punishment and unanimous condemnation they would face. Does the fact that these are "US citizens" and self identified "American patriots" lessen their culpability?
I would submit to you that their betrayal of democracy is even more egregious than any attempt by outsiders at a subversion of democracy—and offer as an example Benedict Arnold who was a "patriot" until the very moment he betrayed his nation.