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Total number of comments: 17 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:12)

Gary Page

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  • 3 Years after Democratic Revolution, Egypt Decides it Prefers North Korean Model
    • If you want to make comparisons, the Pinochet government in Chile comes to mind. A light version, that is, since that Chilean government tortured and executed around 10,000 people extra judicially. the Egyptians aren't there yet.

  • Argentina's President Kirchner: US Industrial Espionage gave me Chills down my Spine
    • About the only people the US doesn't spy on are maybe NATO allies, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and we probably spy on some of them, too. And we even spy on Israel as they spy on us. No one in positions of authority would be surprised by this.

  • How Egypt's Michelle Bachmann became President and Plunged the Country into Chaos (Cole at Truthdig)
    • One wonders when failure piles upon failure, how long it will be before political leaders come to their senses and reject the Chicago School, austerity economic policies.

  • Biggest Demonstrations in Egyptian History: Millions Demand President Morsi Step Down
    • It almost seems to me that there is a 3 way struggle going on in the Muslim world. In some areas it is Sunni vs. Shiite, such as Syria and Iraq, and in other areas, like Turkey and Egypt it is sacred vs. secular. When you consider the the Muslim religion is about 600 years younger than Christianity and consider that about 600 years ago the West went through a period of religious convulsions, perhaps there is some historical symmetry that reflects a developmental stage in great religions. As the Chinese curse goes, we are living in interesting times.

  • Seven things you can learn from Mandela's Life (CNN Video)
    • I remember arguing with conservatives way back in the mid 60's about Mandela and the ANC. Conservatives were convinced that both were part of the international communist conspiracy. Of course they believed that about Martin Luther King, also. They are so consistently wrong and yet won't even admit or recognize their past failings. Mandela, along with King and Gandhi is one of the greatest moral leaders in the 20th Century.

  • Obama must Make Fighting Climate Change National Project, or Die the death of a thousand Scandals
    • This is a very interesting essay. I agree with much of what Professor Cole says about Obama's personality and approach, but like the poster above, we should not underestimate the amount and extent of the implacable opposition to the President which is unmatched in my lifetime experience. While i agree that climate change is so important that the Obama should make it a goal of his leadership, I think it is highly unlikely that, if he does so, much will change. The elites just have too much control over the political system. To change that, we must strictly limit the role of money in politics. While that will be very difficult to accomplish and will delay change needed in other issues, no meaningful change can come about until this basic reform is completed.

      Finally, I think that Obama has not gotten enough credit for the improvements he has made. He has accomplished more in his first 4 years than any other president in history when it comes to slowing carbon emissions and promoting alternative energy. The doubling of CAFE standards, restrictions on new coal plants, and preparation of EPA regulation of carbon emission is really unparallelled.

  • Belize Construction company Destroys Mayan Pyramid in Latest Refutation of Libertarianism
    • I imagine some entreprenuer will seize upon this chance to take advantage of this now cleared area to put up a nice shopping mall with acres of free parking. That would be a fitting end to the saga. As regards previous comments, the unregulated market (libertarianism) demands that business maximize profits above all else. How this somehow leads to value for society is belied by history and common sense. I call it the economic pixie dust theory. All we need is pixie dust added to this approach and it all works out for the best.

    • In some areas, both are controlled by the mob.

  • Carbon Dioxide Passes 400 parts per million, Threatens Climate Catastrophe
    • I'm 67, so I doubt I will suffer too much before i die. but for anyone under 50, I'm afraid the future looks bleak. Unless there is major engineering improvements that allow a massive removal of carbon already in the environment, even if the amount of carbon being added to the environment is drastically cut back in a relatively short time period (unlikely), it will be too late to stop serious damage to the ecosystems because of the long buildup that has gotten us to this point. Worse, we may be close to initiating feedback loops that set into effect runaway warming. Humanity will probably survive, but on a much smaller scale and no telling how much of civilization will endure. And all because of the uber greedy elites and their ignorant followers who refuse to face the facts. I wish I could be more optimistic, but the political climate right now in the US is more backward, reactionary and downright delusional than at any time in my life.

  • Gates: Administration Critics view of US Military Capabilities in Benghazi "Cartoonish"
    • Ambassador Smith and the other employee were dead within 30 minutes of the attack and the rest escaped in a SUV shortly thereafter. Outside of the CIA operatives who responded, no one else could have gotten there in time to do anything. As for the second attack, it was by mortar. Two guys could set up a mortar in an alley anywhere and fire off a half dozen rounds in 2 minutes, move on and do it again with very little chance of detection, no matter if there were planes overhead or US soldiers on the ground in the area. This is such a non-issue, I don't see how anyone with brains could fall for it.

  • Six Myths about Bush Torture Punctured by New Report (Thompson)
    • Thanks for mentioning Miller. He is up there with the top war criminals. He was in charge at Gitmo from early on and then was sent to Iraq because Rumsfeld thought they were being too soft in Iraq. Abu Ghraib followed after that.

      Also, I should like to mention that in regards to torture, this article is too kind. One of the first books about US torture counted 19 deaths as due to torture and up to 100 more of suspicious nature based on US reports. Subsequent studies have raised that number. As regards to Abu Ghraib, even the army admitted that 80% or more of the detainees there were innocent.

  • Bush and the American Right Wing: Top Ten Ways they are Like the Children of an Alcoholic
    • A few things I'd like to add to this excellent essay. As a former CIA officer said on The Young Turks, it was only those at the top of the CIA who were bowing to political pressure that put the CIA on record about the Iraqi intelligence. The analysts all knew it was bullshit and this former analyst said one supervisor said Bush wanted this war so they were going to give it to him. Regarding Reagan, he probably would have been impeached (he certainly deserved it) if we hadn't gone through the Nixon mess so recently. Also, I find it incredibly ironic that Congress chose the airport in DC to name after Reagan since it was Reagan who fired all the air traffic controllers.

      Regarding supporters/right wingers, I would add that they live in fear and their media outlets foster that fear in order to further their political aims. This fear is maybe the major component of the political control the elite has. Also, the psychological term cognitive dissonance applies so directly and often to their positions. When facts conflict with their beliefs, they just ignore the facts rather than re-evaluate their conclusions. In short, delusion plays a major role in their actions and opinions. Finally, they politicize everything and, at the extremes, spin conspiracies into every little event, convinced that the other side thinks and acts the same way they do. Projection is endemic among right wingers, much more so than among liberals or moderates in my experience.

  • Jesus and Muhammad and the Question of the State
    • Just want to add my thanks and kudos for Professor Cole's excellent article. I have read some of Bart Ehrman's work and one of the things which most Christians don't realize is how much of the Bible has been determined by decisions of people long after the fact and just how indefinite many of the decisions were. Another thing Ehrman points out is that much of the Bible text was copied by illiterates and that they copied letters, not words, all run together. I am not surprised that much of the Muslim religion has the same problem. If only more people knew the actual facts rather than slavishly follow what someone tells them about their religion.

  • Top Ten Ways Margaret Thatcher's Policies Made our World more Unequal
    • Everything in this article, except for Northern Ireland which is Britain specific, can also be said about Reagan and the Republicans. The ironic and sad thing is that in the last election, those Britons voting for the Liberal Democrats thought they were voting for a liberal government. The Liberal Democrats and Labor together got around 60% of the vote, but Clegg sold the voters out, leading to the current coalition and the continuation of austerity and wealth transfer fostered by Thatcher. When they can't get their way democratically, conservatives have shown they are not above stealing elections and/or using deception to get their way. The voters here and in the UK need to wake up to how their wealth and well being is being stolen from them and their children.

  • Republicans not liked, even by 25% of . . . Republicans
    • They look narrow minded and selfish because they are. Could they be the modern day version of the Whigs? Unless they can adopt major changes, it looks likely. We really need two vibrant parties and now we have one that is irrelevant and stuck in the 19th Century and the other that has some leaders who are in touch with the people and modern problems and too many who are beholden to the elite power structure.

  • Instead of offering to Buy East Jerusalem, the Arab League should invite Israel to Join It
    • A constant wartime footing has served the Israeli state well by keeping the citizens in line through fear. That sounds a lot like the US, too. More evidence of Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine being used effectively.

  • Air Power is horribly Expensive and Inefficient, and Drones are no Different (Astore)
    • This is a one sided presentation meant to persuade those who know little military history. It doesn't distinguish between conventional war and insurgency or strategic vs. tactical air strikes. It also doesn't consider the alternatives of ground forces compared to air power. Soldiers on the ground also kill a lot of civilians. While I agree with a number of his main points, there was no need to oversimplify. Tactical bombing and strafing in conventional war is not only important, it is often decisive. Air strikes are not so effective in guerrilla warfare, but then, neither are ground forces. As a former USAF officer he must be aware of these distinctions; the fact that he ignores them makes this article little better than propaganda.

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