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Total number of comments: 23 (since 2013-11-28 16:51:21)

Mary Biggs

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  • Comey did it to himself & Us, by gutting Privacy, Encryption, & 4th Amendment
    • So.....there is a hierarchy of bad guys. With people like Dick Cheney at the top, and James Comey somewhere further down. The real question is this -- "Are ANY of these Republicans on the side of right and decency....or are ALL of them thieves, crooks and liars?" My vote would be that they are all "thieves, crooks and liars".

  • Unpopular: Trump's low Polls one reason for Healthcare Defeat
    • Then there's the Republican bubble called "The Big Lie" -- actually many of them:
      - Obama isn't actually an American citizen
      - Obama is a Muslim
      ......and of course the lie which has torpedoed TrumpCare:
      - Obamacare is damaging everyone's health.
      This last Republican lie is clearly false for the twentysome million citizens who now have health insurance because of Obamacare. Thank goodness "The Big Lie" only works some of the time!

  • Trump’s Escalations of War in Syria—Sleepwalking into a Global Confrontation
    • Quote: "Unless foreign powers withdraw, Syria is in danger of being permanently partitioned along lines dictated by outside powers."
      There are precedents for this. In 1916 the Sykes-Picot agreement was made (secretly) between Great Britain and France, and was subsequently used at Versailles to partition land which became Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. I wonder -- is there is a similar (secret) partition arrangement in place today?

  • After Miller's Mega-Lies, time to rev back up the Reality Based Community
  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil
  • Demonization of Putin as "Personally" behind Clinton Hack is old Propaganda Technique
    • More generally still, why do we not hear outrage about American state politicians using "voter ID" legislation as a mechanism for voter suppression? Why do we not hear outrage about American state politicians using very limited polling facilities as a mechanism for voter suppression?

      Once again we have the "big lie" at work -- outsiders are "bad guys" -- but everything "our own people" do is automatically OK.

      And don't get me started about the NSA, GCHQ, and the Five Eyes"...

  • With Ahmad Chalabi's Death, Passing of an Age of Lies
    • The "Age of Lies" HAS ABSOLUTELY NOT PASSED:

      - American soldiers in 130 countries are "keeping us safe"
      - Drone-based extra judicial killings are "keeping us safe"
      - The NSA violating the Fourth Amendment day and daily is "keeping us safe"
      - "Barack Obama created the deficit"

      .....and on and on and on. how many current lies does it take to convince you that the age of lies is still with us big time.....right now!!!!

  • The Final Collapse of Bush's Nation-Building: Kunduz falls to Taliban
    • Juan: Thanks for an insightful commentary on imperial nation building. But it's worth mentioning that "imperial" meddling has been going on for a VERY long time. Geoffrey Wawro's book "Quicksand" describes this history in sufficient detail to make anyone's blood boil. It would appear that each US (and British) generation is completely forgetful of history, and each generation needs to learn the same lessons over and over and over.....

  • Treason of the Wonks: How to Create a National Insecurity State
    • Quote: "an essential corollary.....the only hope of avoiding this cataclysmic outcome is for the United States to vigorously resist the terrorist/Islamist threat wherever it rears its ugly head"

      Another false corollary: In order to resist this "threat", the US government must build a STASI-like infrastructure to spy on its own citizens. The US government must also encourage others (the UK, Australian and New Zealand governments) to spy on their citizens. And all of this spying must be SECRET, never mind that the citizens of democracies should be properly informed of what their democratically elected government is doing on behalf of those self-same citizens.

      And when civil servants (e.g. Clapper) are asked to report their activities to the elected representatives, of course the "threat" is so dangerous, then its perfectly OK for those civil servants to lie under oath.

      What am I missing here?

  • 'Lone Wolf,' 'Self-Radicalized': Islamophobic Buzzwords never applied to White Terrorists
    • So.....was Timothy McVeigh a "terrorist"? He's an excellent example of a white ex-marine who performed a "terrorist" act....and against the US government too! No Muslims in sight here.

  • Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris
    • "War", "violence", "killing"...........all are used by everyone in this mess. Violence and counter-violence. Obama attacks New York. Bush and Cheney attack Iraq. The USA kills Obama. The USA kills all sorts of people with drones.......and now some highly motivated lunatics kill journalists. This cycle of violence WON'T end...........but there absolutely will be a lot more dead people........and all the while EVERYONE thinks that right is on their side! Go figure.

  • Why the Founding Fathers thought banning Torture Foundational to the US Constitution
    • Exposing the hypocricy of those who would be apologists for torture does not need this excellent historical perspective. The US tried Japanese military personnel after WWII for war crimes because those Japanese individuals had been responsible for waterboarding allied military.

      So it is OK to waterboard if George Bush or Dick Chaney says so, but it's not OK when we go back to 1945.

      More to the point, I'm curious, given this fairly recent history to know why the GOP want to use state secrecy to protect people who would have been war criminals in 1945.

  • Iran-Iraq War 2.0? Iran Flies bombing Raids on Extremists in Iraq
    • We need to send Donald Rumsfeld again to the region with golden spurs as a present from the USA to a regional leader who we support. He had the same mission in 1983 to provide support to Saddam Hussein (yup....that Saddam Hussein). See here for the pictures:
      link to

      The only problem in 2014 is this: who should he shake hand with? The Iranian President? The Syrian President? The Pakistani President? The Afghanistan President? The Iraqi President? ...or maybe the Turkish President?

      It's a testament to the complete screw up that is American policy in the Middle East that it needs to be either all of the above....or none!!!!!

  • Only 1/2 of 1% of "Patriot" Act Secret Warrants Used against Terrorism
    • So as November 9 brings up the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.................we get this report to remind us that the STASI is alive and the USA!

  • Changing US-Iran Relations: Kerry: Iran has a Role in Defeating ISIL Militants
    • QUOTE 1: Washington Post, February 2014: "Secretary of State John F. Kerry told Iran’s foreign minister Sunday that the United States will continue to enforce existing sanctions on Iran while bargaining over a deal to rein in Iran’s disputed nuclear program."

      QUOTE 2: Juan Cole, September 2014: "Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Iran has a role to play in defeating ISIL."

      Here we go again...."The enemy of my enemy is my friend": The history of this pathetic attempt at policy is a history of failure.

      1. 1986: Saddam Hussein is the ally of the USA (war with Iran).
      2. 2003: Saddam Hussein is the enemy of the USA (US invasion).
      3. 1989: Osama bin Laden is the ally of the USA (Afghanistan).
      4. 2001: Osama bin Laden is the enemy of the USA (New York).
      5. 2011+: Iran is the enemy of the USA (alleged nukes).
      6. Now: Iran is the ally of the USA (ISIL threat).

      When will the USA develop a COHERENT foreign policy? A policy based on shifting alliances and the short term reliance on "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" has been a catastrophic and very expensive choice of policy.

  • The American Cult of Bombing
    • It's simpler than that. If the only tool you know is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. This applies not only to bombers as a tool, but more generally to the use of violence as a tool.

      Look around....Gaza, Iraq.....even Ferguson, MO.

  • Is Zionism/ Jewish Nationalism a Political Cult? The Salaita Firing
    • ......and it's a bad thing to conflate (or confuse) nationalism with religion (in this case Zionism with Judaism). But that is exactly what is going on in the public debate, as when any criticism of the more extreme brands of Israeli nationalism or Israeli militarism is EQUATED with anti-Semitism. This is a useful smear, but is based on the confusion mentioned above.

      I'm perfectly certain that many committed Zionists are atheists, and that many practicing religious Jews are appalled by the pro-violence nationalism of their Israeli leaders. It's a pity that this simple distinction isn't more widely communicated.

  • The Impunity of American Torture: From Abu Ghraib to Sen. Feinstein's Brawl with the CIA
    • Then there is a Chapter Zero also not mentioned. That's the historical fact that Japanese military personnel were tried for the crime of waterboarding at the end of World War Two.........tried by Americans. The hypocrisy of the subsequent Chapters outlined in the article is pretty clear. Torture is VERY BAD when performed by bad guys, but it's absolutely OK when performed by "good guys".

  • Dear Arab Liberals: The Enemies of your Enemies aren't Necessarily your Friends
    • "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is universally false....not just in the context of Arab liberalism. Two examples:
      1. Ronald Reagan sent Donald Rumsfeld to Baghdad with gifts for Saddam Hussein because the US administration believed that the enemy of Iraq was a US friend. This attitude seems to have changed early in the 2000's.
      2. Throughout the Russian occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980's, the USA supported the Mujahideen, and in particular supported ‎Osama bin Laden, because the administration believed that the enemy of Russia was a US friend. This attitude also seems to have changed in the 2000's.

  • Ted Cruz and America's Super-Rich say "Let them eat Cake"
    • There are other signs and portents about the wealthy too. For example:
      - It's OK to spend $50 billion each year on the NSA
      - But Congress needs to impose cuts of $4 billion on the food stamps program

      Who thinks this is equitable? Of course it's Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and all the other wealthy corporate "citizens" who are feeding at the trough.

      And who's actually paying the bills? That would be you and me.

  • How America's 'Espionage Empire' is Paid for: The 'Black Budget' (Queally)
    • According to reports, there's a panic on at the NSA because they CAN'T FIND OUT FROM INTERNAL SYSTEMS EXACTLY WHAT SNOWDON TOOK.

      So how much INTERNAL security (e.g. on the Sharepoint application) does $$52B actually buy? Not much it seems. And these are the people who want to "protect OUR security". Funny if it wasn't so sad.

      But it's actually worse than that! According to reports, the NSA is paying twice for software - once to buy the licences, and again to get the vendor to fix "what doesn't work". This is corporate welfare.....your $$52B taxpayer money at work!

  • Top Ten Republican Myths on Libya
    • I have heard that one reason for insufficient security at embassy and consulate locations was that the CIA were running serious "black ops" out of these locations, and they did not want a high security presence to draw attention to their activities. Is this true?

  • Pot and Partying: Top Ten Signs the Tsarnaev Brothers Weren't Pious Muslims
    • Juan:

      Re: Top Ten Signs the Tsarnaev Brothers Weren’t Pious Muslims

      What point are you trying to make? Do we need an article called "Top Ten Signs Timothy McVeigh Wasn't a Pious Christian" in order to understand that murder is wrong?


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