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Total number of comments: 32 (since 2013-11-28 15:54:38)

ernesto, vermont

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  • Obama's ISIL Actions are Defensive, Despite Rhetoric of going on Offense
    • victor ialeggio 09/11/2014 at 2:16 pm

      Very nice parsing, or is it deconstruction, of our feckless leader's oration.

      Of course, for most Americans the response will be, "Yemen? What the hell does that have to do with anything? Do we have a war going there? Really? How long has that been going on?"

      Looking forward to a re-broadcast of the I Have a Drone speech.

  • Are Israelis and Zionists really talking about a Final Solution of the Palestinian Problem?
  • UN Report Conclusive Sarin used on wide Scale, Points to Syrian Regime
    • victor ialeggio 09/17/2013 at 9:05 am

      Appendix 5 also provides photos of clearly legible serial numbers on shell casing fragments -- these would presumably make identification of manufacture & provenance of the munitions fairly straightforward...

  • Top Ten things Americans need to Know about Syria if they're going to Threaten to Bomb It
    • victor ialeggio 09/12/2013 at 9:03 am

      " is not clear that Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles are bigger than those of Russia, the US, Israel, and North Korea."

      You know, I wish someone would quantify the size of this stockpile. For comparison, Russia & US chemical stockpiles were 40,000 and 28,000 metric tons, respectively, just a couple years ago. I thought of this each time the clip of Obama on PBS was rebroadcast, where he called Syria's the largest in world...

      Meanwhile, what happened to the "Bandar al Sultan/chemical canisters to untutored rebels" story. It seemed suddenly to have grown legs last Friday after drifting around the internets for a couple weeks but has largely gone unremarked since then. Anyone know?

  • Not Markets but the People are making the Green Energy Revolution
    • victor ialeggio 08/27/2013 at 9:31 am

      interesting read from last week by Margaret Flowers & Kevin Zeese:

      "A coalition in Boulder, Colorado, is leading the way to create an energy utility that phases out the use of coal while it increases the use of wind, solar and renewable sources of gas. It has done extensive research to demonstrate that this can be accomplished while maintaining similar or cheaper rates and improved reliability. It has developed a roadmap and tools that other communities can use.
      Throughout the process, the Boulder Energy Future Project engaged its current utility, Xcel Energy, but Xcel has shown no interest in negotiation and cooperation. As the Boulder project nears success, Xcel is becoming more aggressive in its efforts to undermine the project."

      link to

  • Is the US Government the Managing Committee of the Pirate Banks?
    • victor ialeggio 08/23/2013 at 8:42 am

      as an addendum to the comment above, consider the following concerning the vigorous ongoing push to conclude negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership by the end of this year:

      Public Citizen: “Public Interest Analysis of Leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Investment Text”

      link to

    • victor ialeggio 08/23/2013 at 8:11 am

      "Many of the ways that Obama has disappointed his base have to do with his being chairman of the managing committee..."

      I'm sorry, but this man has never been anything other than a creature of the financial and energy sectors, a hip neoliberal. There is nothing whatever to be surprised at in his continued upbeat chairmanship of the "managing committee."

      Amusing to think of him as Marxist, however...

  • Egypt's Waco
    • Thank you. I stand corrected. I think. I don't remember the US ever recalling the ambassador from Honduras, however, in the wake of Zelaya's kidnapping. Which is or is not required by US law?
      Sorry to have gone off topic in the first place...

    • What coup??

      @ presser with Josh Earnest, 8/14, in beautiful Martha's Vineyard Q&A:

      Q. Are you reconsidering the position on whether or not this was a coup?

      MR. EARNEST: As I think we’ve talked about a couple of weeks ago, we have determined that it is not in the best interest of the United States to make that determination.

      (Rather like Honduras, I think, where the only one who was willing to call it a coup was the white knight, Lanny Davis, shilling for the Honduran Chamber of Commerce.)

  • Israeli Gov't mocks 'Peace Talks' with announcement of 1200 New Squatter homes in Occupied Palestine
    • victor ialeggio 08/12/2013 at 8:08 am

      St John of Kerry among the Israelites:

      "You have been weighed and you have been measured, and we have been pleased. Kind of. Well, not too damn pleased, if truth be told. In fact, a little pissed off, but what are we going do about it?

      Amen I say to you: raise the siege of Gaza, cease the internal displacement & exile of Israeli Arabs, quit burning Palestinian olive groves in the West Bank and building those crappy Rego Park knockoffs on top of the charred stumps. I ask you in the name of all that is holy. Please. Thank you.

      And next time, I warn thee, O Israel, I'm going to read you my Letter Concerning the Persians. The whole thing.

      Shalom and good night."

  • Obama's Reassurances about Domestic Surveillance are not Reassuring
    • "Mr. Obama in his public discourse absolutely refuses to acknowledge those abuses."

      And his disingenuous reply to Mr Snowden's late-June revelations was most touching: "I welcome the opportunity to have a national discussion [concerning NSA activities]." Without those revelations, most Americans would have remained completely unaware there was even a discussion to be having!
      (Other than those paying attention to the likes of Th. Drake, Wm. Binney over the last ten years.)

      "It does not speak well of Mr. Obama that he is using this sort of tool [Espionage Act] to govern."

      I have been trying to find, to limn, the moral core of Mr Obama may be since the beginning of his public life. I am still coming up empty. Obama came to DC as a creature of the financial and energy sectors; he has added the military-intelligence card to his deck.
      His public morality seems never to have moved out of the graduate school seminar room.
      I have to stick with Adolph Reed's call, back in 1996: "...a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable credentials and vacuous to repressive neoliberal politics,..." and again, in '08: "He's a vacuous opportunist...his fundamental political center of gravity, beneath an empty rhetoric of hope and change and new directions, is neoliberal."

      "It is one of the problems with having a standing army and a huge intelligence-industrial complex, which the founding generation warned against."

      Take Chalmers Johnson with you to the beach next week: Blowback, The Sorrows of Empire, Nemesis. Heartbreaking and necessary reading for anyone with a crumb of democratic consciousness left.

  • Putin as America's Frenemy: The Snowden Paradox
    • victor ialeggio 08/03/2013 at 9:54 am

      thanks. excellent summary of snowden/putin/obama pas de trois at that link.
      mix in yesterday's "wordwide alert" of imminent al quaeda action supposedly based on electronic interference with obama's thursday stroll down the avenue for coffee with the guys. it's a bit of legerdemain straight out of the cheney/rumsfeld playbook, lacking only the color-coded "level of alert."
      "no one will remember what we were talking about, come september, mr president."
      "very good. let's go get some real coffee. that stuff at the house cafeteria was pathetic."

  • So When will Dick Cheney be charged with Espionage? His Crime was the Same as Snowden's
    • victor ialeggio 06/22/2013 at 9:52 am

      Sorry there, too many "whats" Would it be possibe to add a pre-post edit function, Prof Cole?

    • victor ialeggio 06/22/2013 at 9:51 am

      Wasn't what the information Cheney & Friends disgorged more in line with what Mr Kiriakou was indicted for and convicted of, namely, revealing a covert officer's identity?

      Bythe way, I encourage readers to take a look at Kiriakou's Letter From Loretto Prison to his attorney, Jesselyn Radack, here:
      link to

  • Syria, NSA Spying, Popular Mobilization and History: Cole Interview in La Prensa (Ricky Martinez)
    • victor ialeggio 06/18/2013 at 8:43 am

      "I think that where officials attempt to avoid context they’re probably engaged in propaganda."

      It would do well to stamp this line on the forehead of every government official, local, state or federal, as he or she is sworn into office.

  • Top Ten Ways the US Government will Smear, Slight Whistleblower Edward Snowden
    • victor ialeggio 06/11/2013 at 8:53 pm

      make that "Carlyle" Group

    • Look, this is a much bigger problem for Booz Allen than for the federales. They're in the game for well over $6 billion, and are themselves ultimately an expendable (though expensive) asset of the Carlye Group (assets of $17 billion.)
      The revolving door (a cliche that gags me -- I have in mind a filthy, far more accurate, simile in mind) from Booz Allen and the NSA/CIA/JSOC/FBI clot has been spinning since 1940, one way or another.
      Most recently, uber patriots Woosley, Clapper, McConnell, Hathaway -- CIA, NSA, NSA, NSA, respectively -- all Booz Allen executives before and/or after governmental service.

      In the words of career guy at Booz Allen I've known for forty years who wrote in an email to his colleagues after the 2008 election: "Don't worry. No matter who the President is, we still run things." He claimed this cheered everybody up quite a bit.

    • victor ialeggio 06/11/2013 at 8:30 pm

      make that "were some serious problems..."
      agreement is always a good thing.

      seems to me there was some serious problems with transparency a couple years ago with the editors there and what they had or didn't have or what they claimed to have had but couldn't release concerning the exemplary snitch, Adrian Lamo...
      Could we approach this source with a little skepticism, please?

    • The same m.o. will undoubtedly be used against Greenwald as well. In fact, on June 6th, one day after the story broke in the Guardian the NYTimes (Noam Cohen & Leslie Kaufman) initiated the same "distancing" tactic the paper unconscionably used on Assange & Manning once it had digested and published *their* leaks (Wm. Keller drew the short straw on that one.)

      Deconstructing the NYTimes article (which appeared top- left, above the online fold):

      The lede: "After writing intensely, even obsessively, for years about government surveillance and the prosecution of journalists,..."

      a) Why "obsessively?" Intimation of possible mental imbalance.

      "Late Wednesday, Mr. Greenwald, a lawyer and longtime blogger..."

      b) He is a "blogger," not a "professional journalist." Probably subscribes to a different set of publishing ethics.

      "The leak, he said, came from 'a reader of mine' who was comfortable working with him. The source, Mr. Greenwald said, “knew the views that I had and had an expectation of how I would display them.”

      c) Indicative of some kind of possible collusion or collaboration between source and non-professional "journalist"?

      "Mr. Greenwald’s experience as a journalist is unusual, not because of his clear opinions but because he has rarely had to report to an editor."

      d) He is a loose cannon whose publishing ethics have not bee shaped by the guidance of a professional editor.

      "That [Greenwald's] computer is in Brazil, where Mr. Greenwald spends most of his time and lives with his partner, who cannot emigrate to the United States because the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriages as a basis for residency applications."

      e) Lives on the edge of a normative American experience, by virtue of his homosexuality.

      "Mr. Greenwald grew up in Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., feeling like an odd figure."

      f) Difficult childhood (homosexuality/latent?) Probably contributes to possible mental imbalance.

      "By the time Mr. Greenwald was studying law at New York University, “he was always passionate about constitutional issues and issues of equal justice and equal treatment,” said Jennifer Bailey, now an immigration lawyer with a nonprofit organization in Maine, who shared a tiny apartment with Mr. Greenwald in the early 1990s."

      f) Extremely confused as young man. "Passionate" nature noted. Bisexual?

      "As Mr. Greenwald tells it, the last decade has been a slow political awakening. “When 9/11 happened, I thought Bush was doing a good job,” he said. “I was sucking up uncritically what was in the air.”

      g) Evidently harbors feelings of betrayal by his government; revenge a possible motive?

      "Gabriel Schoenfeld, a national security expert and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute who is often on the opposite ends of issues from Mr. Greenwald, called him, “a highly professional apologist for any kind of anti-Americanism no matter how extreme.”

      h) Nice touch: expert opinion solicited of & rendered by someone who will undoubtedly appear as a witness for the prosecution. In March '06, Schoenfeld in fact called for the indictment of several reporters/editors at the NYTimes (of all places!) after that paper broke the NSA wireless surveillance story.He subsequently testified before a congressional committee on the responsibilities of the press in wartime.

      Close: "Ms. Bailey has a slightly different take. Because of his passions, she said, “he is just as willing to make enemies of anybody.”

      i) "Passions" again. Has anger issues, authority issues. Sexuality issues not resolved. He bites and could possibly be rabid.


      from: link to

  • Dear US Government: Your 'Terror' map of the Muslim World is from the Time of Shakespeare (Kurzman))
  • The Lotto Symbolizes the False Promises of Barracuda Capitalism, and it Won't make you Happy to Win
    • victor ialeggio 05/18/2013 at 2:17 pm

      The nicest thing about any lotto or lottery or super-powerball is that you have the same chance of winning, whether you play or not.

  • We've been hurt before: Jon Stewart on Obama's Renewed Pledge on Guantanamo
    • victor ialeggio 05/05/2013 at 9:55 am

      Unfortunate, but his decision-making today reveals nothing that couldn't have been discovered by spending an hour or so researching the young Obama, beginning when he first started poking his nose around South Chicago. As long as he has had a public persona, he has yet to demonstrate he possesses a consistent moral core which animates his public decisions, or that he has ever been anything other than a creature of the financial and energy sectors. On the other hand, maybe he has...

      start here:
      Adolph Reed, Village Voice 1/16/96, shortly after Obama's first successful election (as state senator):
      "In Chicago… we’ve gotten a foretaste of the new breed of foundation-hatched black communitarian voices; one of them, a smooth Harvard lawyer with impeccable do-good credentials and vacuous-to-repressive neoliberal politics, has won a state senate seat on a base mainly in the liberal foundation and development worlds. His fundamentally bootstrap line was softened by a patina of the rhetoric of authentic community, talk about meeting in kitchens, small-scale solutions to social problems, and the predictable elevation of process over program—the point where identity politics converges with old-fashioned middle-class reform in favoring form over substance."

      continue here:
      link to

      a propos de rien, my brother's take on the election, back in 2008: "It comes down to this: would you prefer to be screwed over by a college boy or a Neanderthal?"

  • Karzai admits taking CIA money; Galbraith: We're not getting what we pay for
    • victor ialeggio 04/30/2013 at 9:43 am

      Peter Galbraith:
      former Ambassador to [Croatia], former UN Special Deputy to the same country, Senior Fellow at the Center for Arms Control. Ten-percent investor, you may remember, in Kurdish oil fields which he knew would devolve to Kurdish control following the Iraqi invasion which he helped to sell, acting "...purely as a private citizen."
      link to

      And now (drumroll) State Senator from Windham County, Vermont, bringing his uniquely high-minded and disinterested sensibility to the capital in Montpelier to derail, delay and generally bung up every possible piece of legislation that comes through the State House, from Death With Dignity, to Campaign Finance Reform, to Short-term Industrial Wind Development Moratorium, with special amendments only a seasoned world-class schmendrick could think of. Every time he stands up in the Senate chamber it turns into a pissing contest. And when he loses, he graciously accuses his fellow Senators of "sham," and "hypocrisy."

      We have a citizen legislature here in the Peoples Republic -- it only meets one semester a year, for God's sake. Can't really afford this kind of international showmanship.
      Somebody please give him a permanent, full-time job in DC...

  • Working America's 40-year Decline (Garson)
    • victor ialeggio 04/10/2013 at 10:03 am

      "Between 1971 and 2007, real hourly wages in the U.S. rose by only 4%. (That’s not 4% a year, but 4% over 36 years!) During those same decades, productivity essentially doubled, increasing by 99%. In other words, the average worker’s productivity rose 25 times more than his or her pay."

      Corollary: very little new wealth has been created over the last thirty-something years, yet the concentration, or distillation, of that wealth to the benefit of a smaller and smaller cohort continues, year after year.

      In order for this situation to persist, and to have persisted so long, entire groups of Americans must be, and have been, periodically "culled," removed from the equation once their 25X productivity has been wrung out.

  • Pope Francis, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Women's Equality: Why Must Religion be Patriarchal?
    • victor ialeggio 03/15/2013 at 4:54 pm

      look: it's indifferent whether you wear a turban, or a yamulke, or a mitre or a john deere cap. religious fundamentalism is the same everywhere: women are chattel. period.

  • America at Peace? Obama Halving US force in Afghanistan, winds down War
    • victor ialeggio 02/14/2013 at 8:56 am

      Sorry...make that $3 *trillion* in untapped deposits. Only missed by three orders of magnitude...

    • Every time I hear or read of these troop draw downs and timetables, I wonder about a kind of important piece of the Afghanistan puzzle that just never gets mentioned. Namely, the $3-plus billion of untapped mineral deposits -- iron, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium -- sitting in the mountains along the southern and eastern regions bordering Pakistan. Lithium & cobalt especially, necessary to every single electronic device in the world.
      “There is stunning potential here,” Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.” (NYT 6/13/10)
      I can't believe the US is going to simply pack its bags and walk away, leaving the exploration & development of this resource to Kharzai & Co. or any other locals. Or China, for that matter. I can easily imagine a significant US presence remaining indefinitely to protect what must surely be seen in some quarters as highly strategic resource and (possibly) a way of recouping some of what the US has spent in the country over last the ten years' war.
      Thoughts, anyone?

      [Risen's article here: link to

  • Top Five Objections to the White House's Drone Killing Memo
    • Just a thought, but think back to press coverage of Yemen in the months before al Alwaki was killed (early Sept '11). There seemed to be a nasty turf war over US policy in Yemen going on between CIA & Pentagon -- drones vs. Yemeni special forces trained & supplied by JSOC, with both sides leaking information to the press regularly, in efforts to influence a White House decision. (Petraeus was himself one of the leakers.) Clearly, whoever got to al Awlaki first would get bragging rights and license to design & execute policy to follow.

      Maybe there's a very good reason why the white paper just released was (intentionally?) written with little care and lawyerly attention -- and why no one outside the White House has seen the actual operational document detailing the assassination of both al Alwaki and his 16-year-old son, a couple weeks later in October. Maybe that call by the Administration was made post-facto. It certainly wouldn't be the first time US policy was conducted by the White House looking in the rearview mirror.

  • Omar Khayyam (162) "Be happy, since once you're upset it goes on forever"
    • the world of dew
      is a world of dew
      and yet, and yet (issa)

      thanks for these translations. maybe you could rig it so there's an audio track of munir bashir & nouna el hana playing when you open the top page...?

  • Morsi Emerges as Key Power Broker in Gaza Conflict
    • ernesto, vermont 11/21/2012 at 8:59 am

      "Because the US has put Hamas on the terrorist list, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cannot talk to the government ..."

      Maybe Mrs Clinton should haul out the fine bipartisan group of shills whose lobbying on behalf of the Mujahedin e-Kaliq -- Dean, Giuliani, Ridge, Card, Dershowitz, Freeh, Goss, Mukasey, Rendell, Shelton -- resulted in group being removed from the US list of terrorist organizations a month or two ago. I hear they can work fast if the incentive is there...

      Thanks for your continuing excellent work here, Mr Cole.

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