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Total number of comments: 1372 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:39)

Bill Bodden

Showing comments 1372 - 1301

  • How Likely are the GOP Presidential Candidates Top 10 to drag us into War?
    • A psychiatric evaluation of presidential candidates seems to be in order, but who would conduct it? The American Psychological Association? "Three senior officials lose their jobs at APA after US torture scandal: American Psychological Association framed the departures of its chief executive officer, deputy CEO and communications chief as ‘retirements’ and resignations" by Spencer Ackerman - link to

  • Top 5 Ways Obama's 'All of the Above' Politics led to Sanders & Trump
    • ... a perfect world ...

      It is beyond the realm of possibilities for a world inhabited by people to ever become perfect, but we can reduce the number and degree of its defects.

      ... your vision for a perfect world garners a miniscule fraction of the vote.

      And, what does that say about Americans who are eligible to vote?

    • ... vision for a perfect world ...

      In a debate or negotiation, it is better to push for the highest desired level of success. Facing reality and conceding a willingness to accept a lower goal as a starting point guarantees failure or something close to it.

    • ... the left’s love of Nader gave us Bush 2.

      The problem wasn't so much that so many people voted for Nader instead of Gore, the problem was that so many people voted for Gore instead of Nader. There wouldn't have been a war on Iraq under President Nader, but there could have been one under the Gore-Lieberman administration. Gore was vice president when Clinton and Madeline Albright administered the sanctions that cost an estimated half million Iraqi children their lives. Presumably, Gore agreed with Albright that "it was worth it."

    • But lets go even further back: the left’s love of Nader gave us Bush 2.

      It wasn't that simple or simplistic. The right wing of the Supreme Court, the machinations in Florida under then-governor Jeb Bush, and the contemptible campaign run by Al Gore and vice-presidential candidate Joe Lieberman (D-CT and Israel) were much bigger factors. Ralph Nader's role is tossed in as a red herring to obscure the facts. I once thought the criticism of Nader had been put to rest but apparently not.

    • Compromise is essential in politics, but some people appear to fail to recognize there are times when they need to draw a line. This would be an excellent topic to engage at this time. In the case of the Israel Lobby it might be political suicide for candidates to be critical of Israel so mealy-mouth statements might be in order, but surely when elected they should draw a line when it comes to endorsing Israeli actions that are deemed international crimes by eminent international authorities.

    • Sanders' virtue is that he gives voice to concepts ordinary citizens care about - income inequality, etc.. But there are other aspects to consider. Obama gave a fair number of signals that he was in the pocket of the Establishment, but in the tradition of hope prevailing over reality Obama supporters bought into the illusions he presented. Some people might have learned from this experience so will question which Bernie Sanders they will be voting for - the "people's Sanders" or the Sanders who has gone along with the Israel Lobby and the M-I complex and is a friend of Hillary? One thing is certain. The plutocrats and the oligarchs they own in both parties will gang up on Sanders if he is elected. The question then will be will Sanders compromise or fight. I say compromise.

  • Top Six Signs ISIL/ Daesh is Doomed
    • Two articles worth considering:

      "The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise: We cling to our belief that barbarism will never outlast the power of the righteous" by Robert Fisk - link to


      "Only Iraq’s Clerics Can Defeat ISIS" by Patrick Cockburn - link to

  • Iran Deal: Winners & Losers in the Greater Middle East
    • Apparently, Turkey can be added to the list of gainers: "Turkey’s euphoria over Iran nuclear deal: While the Iran nuclear deal sparked optimism around the world, Turkey appears to be the one country where both the enthusiasm and expectations related to this new era with Iran are the highest. The overall mood in Ankara is positive,… " By Altay Atli - link to

  • Iran Deal: Why doesn't US Media interview Real Allies on American Policy?
    • Follow up article: "Not everyone is allowed to have a ‘Good Life in Germany’" by Rebecca Burkert - link to

      It would be interesting to know how much the policies of Germany, the US, and other European nations and their corporations have contributed to this refugee crisis.

    • Holt was just doing his job, what he is paid to do. Just like all the others at NBC post-Huntley-Brinkley. Same for CBS, ABC, CNN, Fox and any others in the fawning corporate media.

    • To the 12% of Republicans supporting Trump it is probably a good bet that we can add a sizable number of working class Democrats and independents who fear immigrants taking their jobs.

    • "Donald Trump’s demagoguery is a gauge of America’s demoralization": Spengler By David P. Goldman - link to … "A demagogue tries to sound as stupid as his listeners, so that they will think they are as smart as he is, quipped Karl Kraus, the fin-de-siecle Viennese gadfly. Donald Trump’s claim that illegal immigration into the United States is “decimating the country” is a case in point. Illegal immigration is a bad thing, and the social costs of a mass influx of poor and uneducated migrants from Mexico and Central America are significant, but that is not one of America’s bigger problems. Migration actually fell after the 2008 crash because construction jobs disappeared."

    • Merkel didn't gain any points in this debate: "Angela Merkel makes a 14-year old Palestinian girl cry by telling her she is not welcome in Germany" by Allison Deger - link to

    • We get to hear from Donald Trump, who has never been elected to anything and represents no one at all.

      Given recent polling data, it appears The Donald does represent a sizable portion of the American people who should be a cause for concern.

      Given one commentator's suggestion that the P5+1 should be relabeled P1(US)+5 and given Merkel's submission to US spying and Cameron's lapdog status, perhaps your speculation on a robust debate from that lot is unwarranted.

  • That Time Ronald Reagan opened Iran and Illegally sold Khomeini Weapons
    • A consequence of US double-dealing during the Iraq-Iran war that is surprisingly overlooked was the firing of two Exocet missiles from an Iraqi jet very shortly after Saddam Hussein learned the US had been helping the Iranians. Despite 37 US Navy personnel being killed Washington and the Pentagon bought into the "story" that this was an "accident." Yeah, right.

  • No, Mr. Netanyahu, Iran isn't trying to Take over the world & it isn't ISIL
    • Here are some replies to Netanyahu’s silliness:

      Silliness? Perhaps, you are being too kind.

    • The US military budget is roughly 80 times that of Iran.

      Only 80 times Iran? The Pentagon had better send some of its bemedalled top brass to Congress to get a raise. How can they sleep at night leaving us to face such overwhelming odds?

  • Is Greece's "No" on Debt Referendum another Youth Revolution?
    • While there is much to be said for paying attention to what is happening in Greece and Europe, let's not forget other areas, such as Latin America: "Ecuador, Greece and the Left In Ecuador, Fight for Mankind; In Greece, Fight for Greece!" by ANDRE VLTCHEK - link to

    • A majority of the Greek people voted for democracy and economic justice, but the potentates in charge of European finance are not having anything to do with that civilized nonsense.

  • Donald Trump, Dumpee: Forgetting to use the GOP racial dog-whistle is an Expensive Mistake
    • A past to remember:

      "Trump’s Fixation on Rape and Color: Real estate and entertainment mogul Donald Trump has soared to the top tier of Republican presidential candidates after a rant about Mexican immigrant “rapists” – not the first time that Trump has mixed the explosive topics of rape and color, leading Jeff Cohen to ask if Trump is a “serial racist.”" - link to

    • Thank you for that excellent link.

    • If the Republican Party can choose McCain and Palin as their candidates for the White House, we shouldn't be surprised if The Donald is the party's next choice. All we need then is to have Hillary foisted on us by the Democratic (?) Party to alert the American people as to how far this mighty nation has fallen.

    • Trump and others would do well to ask why there is so much emigration from Central America. They might find that the vast majority of these emigrants really don't want to leave home, but in great part the evil side of capitalism (local and American) has made life hell for many Central Americans. One of the more egregious and more recent of many horrific events was the overthrow of the democratically-elected government in Honduras approved by President Obama and secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Honduras is now another human rights and economic basket case.

  • Bernie Sanders' 10,000-person crowd in Madison biggest of any Candidate so Far
    • Meanwhile, at the other end of the political spectrum: "What Scott Walker’s Tenure Has Done to Wisconsin’s Workers: As he prepares for a presidential run, the governor’s labor legacy deserves inspection. Are his state’s “hardworking taxpayers” any better off?" By Donald Kettl - link to

    • Perhaps if he had the backing of enough people he could tell The Lobby what he might really believe.

    • In the unlikely event Sanders is elected president he will find another and bigger challenge before him - the Washington Establishment. The oligarchs from both parties through their agents in Congress will gang up on him. The media won't let up. The only way he can succeed is for the American people to do something mostly alien to their character - stand up for what is right. What is left of the union movement had better get its head out and quit supporting the candidate anointed by the contemptuous oligarchs of the Democratic (?) Party.

  • If ISIL had burned down 4 Churches, it would have been Headline News
    • As the old saying goes, "It depends on whose ox is being gored."

      If suspicions of white supremacist arson prove true, this will be another irremediable stain on the Confederate flag.

  • No, GOP, biblical Marriage was not between one man and one woman
    • Despite your scholarly points, Huckabee, Cruz and their ilk will believe whatever they want to believe. Scientists say climate change is a monstrous threat. They don't care. They believe the scientists are wrong because that is not what they want to believe. The war on drugs has been a disaster, but the evidence won't change their minds.

  • Top 6 Achievements of Obamacare: (Hint, millions more insured)
  • If Southerners want a Symbol, Why not the Moultrie Liberty Flag?
    • Best of all, the flag has the word “Liberty” written into the crescent moon, underscoring this key American value, so important for all peoples living in the South.

      Unfortunately, in our Orwellian world "liberty" on this flag would most likely prove to be as meaningless as "liberty" in the pledge of allegiance.

      We have tens of millions of people living in poverty and they have little to no liberty at all.

  • What South Carolina needs to do for Racial equality (taking down the flag is just symbolic)
    • It's not just South Carolina. We need a national revolution based on morality and ethics. We need to make the Pledge of Allegiance - especially "one nation, ..., indivisible, with liberty and justice for all" - a reality instead of its recitation being an act of national hypocrisy.

  • Top 5 Reasons Confederate Flag should stop Flying at SC Statehouse
    • Another reason:

      "The Confederate battle flag is what makes America stupid" By David P. Goldman - link to - in which he notes "As the New York Times reports this morning, not a single Republican presidential candidate has the courage to tell South Carolina to stop flying the Confederate battle flag from its state capitol."

  • How Lindsey Graham & GOP lost the Chance to be Presidential over Charleston
    • I believe many that come from wealthy and powerful families have proven to lack real honesty, wisdom, heart, intelligence and common sense.

      Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin and the Koch Brothers) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-ditto) are two examples of working class progeny who have sold and continue to sell workers down the river.

    • Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina and Israel) is a robot and another example of what a farce the 2016 presidential election is.

  • Our reply to Dylann Roof's Hate: Donate to "Mother Emanuel" AME Church
    • And Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is a prime example of why politicians are no help. Despite reports of the shooter making racist statements, Graham claimed the shooter was anti-Christian:

      Lindsey Graham: Charleston Shooter May Have Been ‘Looking for Christians to Kill’
      by Matt Wilstein - link to

    • The question to be asked now is, "WHY?" Hopefully, some independent journalists will provide honest answers explaining what led this young man to commit this despicable crime. No point in checking the mainstream media or politicians for answers.

  • Another White non-Terrorist Kills 9, Makes Bomb Threats
    • The massacre of nine good and decent citizens in Charleston was a cowardly and dastardly act that will be made more despicable when the course of events that follow will most likely render these deaths, like many others before them, in vain.

      How many massacres over the last ten, twenty or thirty years do average, or even above-average, American citizens remember? Or, conversely, how many have they forgotten? How about the 1984 massacre at a McDonald’s in San Diego that took the lives of 21 people? How about the 1966 slaughter of 16 people by a sniper in the tower at the University of Texas in Austin? How many people pass that tower every day without giving this tragedy a thought?

      How about the Pentagon’s revision of the history of the Vietnam War in which their hired historians referred to the My Lai Massacre as the “"My Lai Incident"? After protests this distortion was revised, still somewhat innocuously, to "American Division Kills Hundreds of Vietnamese Citizens at My Lai." The uninformed will conclude that is the way wars go. Maybe assume it was an American victory.

      If Sandy Hook (20 school children and six staff members) didn’t make a meaningful national impact, what are the prospects for some enlightened consequence resulting from Charleston? Removal of the offensive Confederate battle flag from the state capitol grounds would be a small step in the right direction but one not likely to be taken.

    • Larry: It appears you missed my point that most people will forget this horrible event and go along with something like Obama's dismissive line about "that's not who we are" or "these are not our values" and we are really all good and virtuous people. We do have lots of good and virtuous people, but most of us need reminders many among us are not and that has been the case for a long time. Americans are notoriously deficient in history and their being exposed to a modest measure of erudition might help. Perspective is another way of looking at this event. Then there is:

      ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens link to

    • In our Orwellian world, "terrorist" means whatever politicians, media pundits and other propagandists want it to mean. Same goes for many other words.

    • Charleston shooting: Five charts that show the ugly truth about hate crimes: Hate crime rate remains steady and blacks remain the racial group most likely to experience racially-motivated violence by Christopher Ingraham - link to

    • I should also have mentioned the Tulsa and other massacres perpetrated on black Americans in the past.

    • This latest atrocity is "breaking news"? In the grand scheme of American history it probably won't even register as a footnote in most history books. The few honest history books, such as Howard Zinn's "Peoples History of the United States" are replete with records of much more abominable massacres. How about the ethnic cleansing of the Native American population? How about the workers who died as a consequence of deplorable working conditions in factories, mills and mines? How about the hundreds of thousands slaughtered in the Spanish-American War and making Central America safe for United Fruit and Wall Street? How about the countless dead and maimed in Panama, the Balkans and the Middle East as a consequence of orders from Papa Bush, Bill Clinton, Dubya and now Obama? How about the recurring slaughters of innocent Gazans endorsed by the moral wretches in Congress? Those non-white victims don't count? Then how about the naive young and white American men and women whose lives were sacrificed in vain in those wars?

    • Why are people so exasperated with the Orwellian language applied to this incident? The dominant and loudest voices in the United States have been talking out of both sides of their mouths for generations.

      Fortunately, Governor Haley has the answer, "Please join us in lifting up the victims and their families with our love and prayers.” Just as soon as I click on the "Post Comment" key I'll get down on my knees and join you Governor Haley in prayer. And I'll also pray that no more dipstick fathers give their emotionally-troubled kids .45 caliber guns for a birthday present.

  • Can the GOP live down Donald Trump's Middle East "Policy"?
    • America’s electoral farce by Chris Hedges - link to

    • But the Republican Party establishment is appalled, because Trump will create an image for the party ...

      Make that "Trump will make the GOP's loony fringe more obvious."

      The good news is because the American people are taking the 2016 presidential election seriously, Trump will help provide an antidote and expose this election for the farce it really is.

  • The Middle East Policy of President John Ellis "Jeb" Bush: Iraq, Iran Wars?
    • It speaks to the audacity and shamelessness of the Bush clan and their elite supporters ...

      and to the low levels of intelligence and morality of a sizable portion of the American electorate.

    • So many candidates, each one worse than the next.

      Add to that disastrous lot The Donald.

  • Al-Qaeda in Syria rubs out 23 members of Druze Religious Minority, Persecutes Others
    • Syrian civil war: Jabhat al-Nusra's massacre of Druze villagers shows the group is just as nasty as Isis: The incident last week suggests that the US have let the al-Qaeda affiliate off lightly by Patrick Cockburn - link to

    • It is extremely distasteful that US allies are willing to back a coalition like the Army of Conquest,...

      But, by no means, not unusual.

  • Has ISIL/ Daesh killed 50,000 in one Year? Iraq's Horrors by the Numbers
  • Iraq needs another National Party: Tariq Aziz's Baath Party Ruined the Country
  • Adelson Tabloid slams Obama for Listening to 'Court Jews' in Questioning Israel's Credibility
    • Given the Israel-Saudi Arabia collusion you probably are wrong.

      "The Saudi-Israeli superpower: Exclusive: Egypt’s counterrevolution and Syria’s civil war could herald the arrival of a new superpower coalition, an unlikely alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia, one with great political clout and the other with vast financial wealth, together flexing their muscles across the Middle East," writes Robert Parry. - link to

      And let's not forget the Arabs in Egypt collaborating with Israel in their abuse of the people of Gaza.

    • Absent a response from Bernie Sanders, Joshua Frank appears to have a clue as to what Senator Sanders might say:

      "Why Bernie Sanders is a Dead End: He's a Loser, Baby" by JOSHUA FRANK - link to

    • Nobody thinks Israel will agree to a Palestinian state as long as Netanyahu has anything to say about it.

      Ditto for Netanyahu's allies and rivals.

      Once Netanyahu admitted that there wouldn’t be a Palestinian state, it was like dropping a fig leaf. He stood naked before the world.

      As for its claim to moral leadership, US support for Israel's violations of international law and crimes against humanity means the US is exposed as a naked moralist.

  • Thank you, Edward Snowden: An End to General Warrants as so-called PATRIOT Act expires
    • Daniel Ellsberg credits Edward Snowden with catalysing US surveillance reform: Prominent US whistleblowers applaud Snowden’s Patriot Act revelation for inciting Congress to take action, though they doubt he can ever return to the US - link to

      but as far as the Obama Administration is concerned

      Charges against Edward Snowden stand, despite telephone surveillance ban: The former NSA contractor revealed the banned surveillance programme, but an Obama administration spokesman says they will not review his charges by Dan Roberts - link to

      Apparently, true patriotism is in the eye of the beholder

    • Even senators like Ron Wyden of Oregon, who knew what the US government was doing in secret, could not openly blow the whistle because they would have instantly been arrested.

      But what about their oaths to uphold the Constitution? Similarly, as Dick Durbin revealed in a speech in the senate, the members of the senate intelligence (sic) committee were told a different version of the intelligence leading up to the Iraq war that contradicted the propaganda out of the Bush-Cheney white house, but his oath to keep these briefings secret overrode his oath to the Constitution. It doesn't appear the senate is a place to look for profiles in courage. Which might help to explain why Snowden is in exile.

      On the other hand, given the prevailing indifference and, in some cases, hostility to the sacrifices made by whistleblowers such as Snowden, Kiriakou, Manning, etc. it would take an enormous measure of altruism with which few are endowed to make this ultimate sacrifice.

  • Why Rand Paul is right to Kill the So-Called PATRIOT Act: It was never about Terrorism
    • Rand Paul has the unfortunate tendency to come up with occasional preposterous Ayn-Randian ideas, but he does appear to be the the only presidential candidate on the GOP side to take his oath to uphold the Constitution seriously.

      As for Obama and his relationship to the Constitution it appears to be non-existent unless it involves his primary role of taking care of the plutocrats and oligarchs that helped him get elected.

  • How Mainstream is Bernie Sanders?
    • Finally a candidate I can vote for and not have to choose between the lesser of two evils. I think Bernie is going to do a lot better than the MSM give him credit for.

      Two points: (1) Sanders is probably genuine in his populist statement, but, like Elizabeth Warren and others who give hope to the people, he is caught in the tentacles of the Israel Lobby and, possibly, the war armaments industry, and (2) In the unlikely event he were elected president he would be like Jimmy Carter and have the Establishment - mainstream media, GOP, Wall Street AND the oligarchs in the Democratic Party gang up on him and he would go nowhere. But I'll probably vote for him in the primary against HRC.

  • US Kneejerk support for Israeli Nukes Torpedoes UN Disarmament Talks
  • Daesh/ ISIL blows up Shiite Mosque in Saudi Arabia, seeking Sectarian Civil War
    • For some reason the story of Ben Franklin emerging from the constitutional convention in Philadelphia and his reportedly being asked, "What have you wrought?" came to mind. A good question to pose to Dubya, Darth Cheney and their warmongering cohorts.

  • Washington asks, "Who lost Ramadi?" But Washington never had Ramadi
    • So it completely escapes me why John McCain, Lindsey Graham, John Boehner or Tom Cotton (who helped personally with the berlinization of Iraq) think that if only US troops had remained in country after 2011, the people of Ramadi would have been delirious with joy and avoided throwing in with radical anti-imperialist forces.

      Because what they say sustains their beliefs no matter how out of touch with reality they are.

  • Why does the Iraqi Army Keep Running Away from ISIL?
    • How about performance reports? Does anyone have any idea of how many medals and citations for outstanding performance were issued to the trainers who appear to have achieved very little, if anything, to brag about?

    • Could it be the Iraqi troops don't have adequate reasons to put their lives on the line and be the equivalent of cannon fodder?

    • Does anyone have any numbers on what it cost to train this so-called Iraqi army?

  • Cole: Iraq's Ramadi falls to ISIL as Shiite Gov't refuses to Arm Sunni Tribes
    • Thank you for the correction. I got my states mixed, but it was Daniels who projected the $60 billion figure. link to

    • Well other than the war being slightly over budget, (one and a half trillion dollars as opposed to the two hundred million projected cost),...

      Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes estimated some time ago that the total costs for the Iraq war would be in the range of three TRILLION dollars. Stiglitz more recently has revised that number upward to around $5 TRILLION - link to

      Mitch Daniels, Dubya's budget director, estimated the war would cost around $60 billion. Subsequently, Daniels was elected by the people of Ohio to be their governor - and Ohio is a swing state in presidential elections. Go figure.

  • Obama: No Mideast NATO, but US committed to Security of Arab Gulf States
    • Though they did get firm oral commitments, there is no prospect of formal treaty obligations binding the US to defend them.

      If there were a treaty with the US, would it be worth any more than the treaties and conventions the US reneged on in the past?

  • Israel's Government Ratchets even Further Right: Great Moments in Colonialism
    • Israel’s Government Ratchets even Further Right

      And our "leaders" in Washington will make more obvious their moral deficits by continuing to endorse whatever cruel and usual punishment Israel's right wing inflicts on their prisoners in Gaza and the West Bank.

      The politicians in Congress are occasionally exposed to profiles in courage. The words of one, Joseph Welch, appear to be in order today: " You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" And that also goes for the female members.

  • How Muslim-Americans can avoid being Trolled by Israel-Firsters: Look again at the Prophet's example
    • As a student of World Wars One and Two, I find the hate speech emanating from Geller and her friends to echo the anti-Jewish vendetta in Germany in the 1930s. Hate speech condemning an entire race amplified by squalid cartoons.

  • Tom Cotton's 'Chickenhawk' Taunt at Iran FM Demeans Jeb Bush, GOP Field
    • Talking of Harvard:

      "You see, the Russians have already experienced what it is like to comply with U.S. economic edicts. That was tried during the 1990s after the collapse of the Soviet Union when experts from Harvard University descended on Moscow with “shock therapy” for the post-communist society. What happened was that a handful of well-connected thieves plundered the nation’s resources, making themselves into billionaire oligarchs while President Boris Yeltsin stayed drunk much of the time and many average Russians faced starvation." . - link to

      "Why do Harvard kids head to Wall Street?" By James Kwak - link to

      "As Defense Minister in the Guatemalan army, Gramajo played an integral role in the genocide against the country’s indigenous Mayan population. Not only was he given free entry, but Harvard University granted him a fellowship at the John F. Kennedy School of Government." - link to

      But it isn't just Harvard. It's a good bet if you check the culprits who gave us the Wall Street debacle of 2008 and the war on Iraq you'll find a large number of graduates of other Ivy League schools and other so-called top universities such as the University of Chicago were involved.

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