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Total number of comments: 36 (since 2013-12-10 23:02:41)

Mike Austin

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  • Hyenas vs. Rhinos: Who could the NYT get to write an Op-ed on Iraq? Hmm...
    • To paraphrase Orwell's character from "1984", Goldstein, "the purpose of war is to use up the surplus, so that the proles never realize that there is absolutely no reason why they can't have things that will make their lives better."

  • Global Warming is about to Decimate the Building Blocks of Life in the Ocean
    • That's really just the tip of the potential iceberg, so to speak. Those phytoplankton, along with rain forests (which we're rapidly cutting down), are the primary oxygen "factories" on earth. If phytoplankton decline by 6% the supply of oxygen in the atmosphere declines by a similar amount. I haven't seen much mention of this. We can live without fish (I suppose). Try living without oxygen.

      So, burning fossil-fuels takes oxygen out of the atmosphere and replaces it with CO2 while at the same time we're decimating the organisms that are responsible for replenishing the oxygen supply. That doesn't sound sustainable to me...

      And, Bruce Hall, this isn't hyperbole. It's math.

  • Absolutely Nothing: A Veteran’s Savage Indictment of the Iraq War
    • Some points to consider:

      All wars are about resources. Any exceptions prove the rule. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan, IMHO, was part of the plan outlined in the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) to secure oil and strategic mineral reserves for exploitation by Western (primarily American) corporations.

      These two wars were made possible through the willing collusion of the media. Ninety percent (90%) of all media in America is owned by less than ten corporations. The idea of a gigantic "Liberal" media is a sad, pathetic joke. If we actually had a liberal media, more critical scrutiny would have been made of the Cheney administration's claims, more Americans would have been better informed, and public opinion *might* have swayed Congress not to go along with Cheney.

      The "professional intelligence community" also failed America. Your failure to speak out, to go public with your doubts, to present your "counter-intelligence", co-enabled the Cheney administration. You (supposedly) swore an oath to serve *America*, not your commanding officers, not the Executive branch of government, and not the conservative politicians that most military officers align themselves with.

      I've read that one factor that contributed to our decision to wage war against Iraq was that Saddam Hussein was talking about having Iraq use Euros as the official trading currency and this is, of course, a direct threat to the hegemony of the dollar.

      Isn't the first requirement of being a successful combat soldier the unwavering need to dehumanize one's opponent?

      The Chicken Hawks knew exactly what *you* were fighting for. (See my first paragraph.) The military is an asset to be *expended* in the pursuit of a nation's *policy* objectives. America's (unstated to the public) policy objectives were to secure the oil and mineral reserves along the "arc of instability" (a PNAC designation). They're the masters; you're the servants. What part of that don't you understand?

      Even though the U.S. didn't secure Iraq's oil reserves, the architects of the war (their masters, anyway) came out better than ever. The price of oil now is more than five times what it was in March, 2003. It certainly doesn't cost five times more to pump out of the ground now, does it?

  • The Fall of Mosul and the False Promises of Modern History
    • Unfortunately for you, the commanding general who went before Congress and told them the truth - that "pacifying" Iraq would require 500,000 troops - was unceremoniously sacked.

  • Global Warming Threat: Florida could be overwhelmed by Sudden Sea Rise
    • Look at the bright side: it will dilute all the pollution we're dumping into the oceans...

  • Bush-Cheney Committed War Crimes: Terrorism Czar
    • He should include his former boss and patron, Colon Powell, for his infamous presentation at the U.N. of blatantly fabricated evidence of WMDs and the rest of it. Gen. Powell should have resigned rather than dishonor himself and America before the entire world.

  • Dick Cheney wants Hillary Clinton ‘held accountable’ for Benghazi terror attacks
    • Maybe the Secretary of State who should be held accountable is that super-patriot Colin Powell, who went before a disbelieving world and proclaimed with a straight face that a group of dilapidated trailers that no Alabaman white trash would be caught dead living in was a super-secret installation for Iraq's WMD program.

  • Picture This: U.S. Cities Under 12 feet of Sea Level Rise
    • Horrific as these photos are, the actual consequences will be worse, especially as stronger hurricanes and storms cause larger surges. The damage will be much worse than depicted here.

  • US Military Report: War effort in Afghanistan was bedeviled by Corruption, made it Worse
    • These people are either lying out of every orifice on their bodies or they are fubar-stupid. The U.S. sent pallets of hundred dollar bills to Iraq and Afghanistan to bribe, er, persuade, the tribal warlords to work on our side. IOW, the same strategy we employed in Vietnam, El Salvador and elsewhere, with the same results.

  • Kochs slammed by GOPer for plan to cripple wind power in Kansas
    • The Koch Brothers and their fellow fossil-fuel overlords are like the buggy-whip manufacturers of 100 years ago, with the difference being that they have orders of magnitude more money to spend corrupting governments to prop up their light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel industries.

  • 8 Plutocrats out-earned 3.6 mn Working Poor & 7 Other Headlines You won't see in MSM
    • In other words, the system is working as intended. As John Jay wrote, "Those who own America ought to govern it." And they have, pretty much since the beginning, with a relatively short interregnum between 1932 and 1980.

  • Jazz legend John McLaughlin Plays Ramallah, Palestine to counteract Palestinian "Isolation"
    • One of my top 5 musical experiences was to sit in a small club (250 seats) ten feet away from the Mahavishnu Orchestra just days after their release of Inner Mounting Flame (without having heard the music beforehand).

      Talk about shock and awe...

  • Is Rand Paul right that Cheney invaded Iraq for Halliburton Profits?
    • All wars are about resources.

      Any exceptions merely prove the rule.

      Everything else is an excuse put forth to garner "public support".

      Corporations extract the resources and market them.

      Corporations (and the people who own/control corporations) own/control our government.

      Corporations used their control of our government to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to acquire access to, and control of, the oil resources of Iraq and the mineral resources of Afghanistan. (Afghanistan, along with China, has some of the world's largest known reserves of several strategically vital minerals.)

  • When it is Feinstein being Spied on, Suddenly she Squawks
  • Edward Snowden: The US is Undermining its own Cybersecurity
    • Maybe we should all just "cc" the NSA on all of our emails. It would help them reduce costs...

  • Rachel Maddow: CIA spying on Congress ‘is death of the Republic stuff’
    • Just a more sophisticate version of what J. Edgar Hoover did for a few decades. Perhaps this explains why congress is usually just a rubber stamp for what our National Security State wants?

  • Not only Big Brother but Big Corporation is Tracking you Online Too
    • Big Government, for all intents and purposes, IS Big Corporation. The "revolving door" now invalidates Einstein's theory by moving faster than the speed of light...

    • If you can monitor your home while you are away, can't people at Comcast also? Can't the government then "convince" Comcast that you're a potential security threat and that the government should be able to monitor your home security feed?

  • The Deep State is Vulnerable to People Power
    • "They do not perceive that the centralized powers have stolen anything from them. If the public ever perceives that a defined entity is stealing directly from them, they will rise-up and fight back in some manner."

      Part of the problem is that the tea partiers see these people and think they're liberals; progressives see the same people and *know* that they're conservatives. Banks/Wall Street are the perfect example. Tea-partiers see them as liberal moochers off of the government/taxpayers; progressives see them as conservative moochers off of the government/taxpayers.

      One thing the power elites have done that is truly masterful is the perfection of the divide and conquer approach against the bottom 90%. To a very large extent, grass-roots people hate the same people but they can't get over their different naming conventions to see that their interests in many areas coincide.

  • Planet, Oceans Burning Up: There is no "Pause" in Global Warming
    • The human race, collectively, has risen several grades above its level of incompetence. It has proven beyond all doubt that it is simply not up to tackling the challenges its actions have created. We are headed for a "Mad Max" future.

  • We're all Living in the World Dick Cheney Made
    • The purpose of torture is to "encourager les autres". In the Shah's Iran and El Salvador, the government tortured its people with the windows open. They *wanted* the rest of the populace to know what awaited them should they too rebel.

    • Quite possibly the most disastrous foreign policy blunders in the history of the U.S. We demonstrated to the entire world that, although we can bomb the living daylights out of any third rate country - and Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries on Earth - we are utterly incapable in conquering anything. The trillions spent on hi-tech weapons turn out to be a complete and total waste of resources. It takes boots on the ground to actually conquer other people and the U.S. didn't have enough boots. Our military is spread out over ~ 140 countries, it is top-heavy with officers (many of whom are just hanging on until their retirement is fully vested), and on and on.

      The real tragedy is that, for a much lower cost, we could have made the lives of Iraqis, Afghanis, and Vietnamese much better, generated incredible good will, taken the wind out of the sails of the terrorist groups, and improved the bottom lines of many more U.S. companies than the defense contractors. But nooooooooo! We are governed by men who are in service to elites who are obsessed with power and believe that might makes right. Even that liberal-socialist-commie Obama believes this.

  • Iceland: Major Green Energy Breakthrough using Magma for Geothermal
    • Hey, with temperatures that hot, maybe they could pump all their sewage down into the magma where it can be vaporized and recycled as steam... (OK, I'm partially kidding, but they could probably do it with sea water...)

  • Billionaire Victimology is the Worst
    • There is a single formula that unites every wealthy person/family: Have lots and lots of people work for you for less remuneration than they contribute to the company in revenue.

      There is no way to get rich, much less wealthy, without having other people working for you. Even the "millionaire next door" plumber, or construction contractor needs accountants, tax advisors, investment advisors, and people to do at least some of the grunt work to become a millionaire.

  • Using up Everything Fast: Extractive Capitalism, Sealing and Muslim Slaves in Latin America
  • China Installed More Solar Power in 2013 than the US has in its Whole History
    • With just $1T of $4T we will have spent on Iraq and Afghanistan, we could have installed $25K worth of solar panels on 40,000,000 homes.

      Talk about opportunity cost...

  • Unbalanced: 85 Super-Wealthy own as Much as Half the World's Population
    • Yes, of course! However, if you're honest you'll admit that the vast, vast majority of the world's billionaires heavily lean towards the conservative end of the political spectrum. It's convenient to single out Soros, when in truth the influence he wields pales in comparison to that wielded by conservative billionaires.

    • Concentrated wealth is concentrated power; concentrated power is tyranny.

  • Spain, Portugal show that 50%, even 70% Power from Renewables is Possible Right now
    • Spain and Portugal have this money to invest, in large part, because they did not squander their money on wars of empire.

      With just half the projected 4 trillion cost of the Iraq, Afghanistan, and incidental wars, we could have:

      1. Installed $25K worth of solar/wind on 40 million homes (1 Trillion)
      2. Installed $25K worth of conservation measures on 40 million homes (1 Trillion)

      ... and still had 2 Trillion left over to spend on infrastructure, education, and so much more.

    • America's problem is that a very large percentage of the world's oil, coal, and natural gas companies started here and are headquartered here. Consequently, they own our government.

      America's other problem is that our vaunted two-party system is actually more easily corrupted and *less* representative than most European countries.

    • Repeal the Price-Anderson(?) act and mandate FULL cleanup and restoration responsibility to nuclear power plant operators and see popular nuclear becomes then

  • GOP isn't Getting more Ignorant on Evolution, it is Just getting Older
    • Scientists work for the same people as the rest of us: the ruling elites. A huge percentage of research is funded by corporations and foundations. That which isn't is often designed to benefit corporations, for example, agricultural research. With education being commoditized, why should elites pay $100K for an American scientist when they can get an Indian one for $15K?

      America will be worse off, but the ruling elites will be better off. That's all that matters.

  • India Flap derives from America's Gulag Practices and Far-Right Supreme Court
    • We are one of the most paranoid nations, for sure. Did you happen to see "Bowling for Columbine"? One of the most telling segments in the film, for me, was Michael Moore's contrasting the evening news as it is in Canada and other European nations with the U.S. Network news in the U.S. consists overwhelmingly of scare stories: giant snakes loose in a neighborhood, health scares, sordid accounts of stranger-on-stranger violence, and on and on.

      The fact that this sensationalism is endemic to the entire country and is disseminated by the 7-10 corporations that control 90% of the media in the U.S., is not a coincidence, imho.

  • The 1% is Hogging so much of our Income that it's Holding the Economy Back
    • An important distinction between most European governments and U.S. government is the simple fact that European governments are more representative of their populations that are U.S. Governments. They have more political parties and are more inclusive than the two-party system in the U.S. Proportional representation and "choice" voting provide voters with alternatives if a political party fails to deliver on its promises. In the U.S., it's vote for the lesser of two evils, waster your vote, of don't vote at all.

  • Is the Drought in the US Southwest becoming Permanent?
    • The conservative approach would be to assume the worst and to plan accordingly. Composting toilets, worm composting, and bokashi composting help to reduce water consumption and build up soils. A very aggressive campaign to increase the amount of vegetation, especially trees. Restrictions on grass lawns and other water-hogs. Low-flow showerheads and toilets. You get the idea.

      I live in Oregon and people often say that it's so green here because it rains. It's probably more correct to say that it rains here because it's green. Vegetation creates the conditions that encourage rainfall. When I was in college (forestry), I read that as much water passes over Arizona in a single week as flows down the Mississippi(?) in a year. (It's been a while, but it was a major river.) In Arizona, so much heat is reflected back into the atmosphere that the condensation point of water vapor is never reached. Consequently, all that water vapor is carried over the state, to be deposited elsewhere.

      In 1910, it was estimated that 10% of the Earth's surfact was desert. In 1980, the estimate was 25%. I'd bet real money that the situation hasn't improved since 1980. Over-grazing and over-logging are the culprits and these conditions are also present in the American West.

  • FBi Laptop Camera Snooping and Orwell's 1984: Side by Side Comparison
    • It's long been rumored that the reason Windows has so many security holes is that these are trap-doors for the NSA to get into your system. Makes sense to me...

      I wonder if LInux is as vulnerable?

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