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Total number of comments: 66 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:57)

Paul Quintanilla

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  • Top Ten Ways the US Government will Smear, Slight Whistleblower Edward Snowden
    • Snowden has also been put down as an insignificant player. A guy who never even went through high school. A very minor player.

      Well, his employers saw fit to pay him about two hundred thousand dollars a year. And he had some very impressive job titles. And, frankly, listening and watching him speak on TV he appears to be a pretty bright guy, who is not at all unaccustomed to being in the bright lights. Nor does he appear to be small or simple minded.

      Wherever he got his training from he is/was a highly paid computer guru who knew/knows his stuff.

      Diminishing him in that manner (some TV pundits have) won't work. Or, rather, will work only with those who wish it to work.

  • Should Memorial Day include Commemoration of Thoreau?
  • Belize Construction company Destroys Mayan Pyramid in Latest Refutation of Libertarianism
    • Because the honor system, which our Congress and several presidents have too often acceded to, doesn't work....... If the corporations were serious about protecting the environment, consumers, workers, etc., they would welcome protective regulations. What's more, the arguments they use against regulations are merely self serving and bogus. Fantasies which, unfortunately, have often taken root in the national mind, contributing to our mythology.

    • When a corporation cries out that it will comply with health/safety/environmental/workers' rights, etc., it is time to tighten up the regulations.....

    • And, of course, the honor system doesn't work....

    • A quibble. That they are amoral makes them immoral.

  • Israeli Right: Obama Undermined Netanyahu, Endangers Israel with Call for Palestinian State
    • So Obama calls for two separate states, living in peace and in security together. How very nice. The Israelis should be gushing all over Obama for proposing more of the same. Were he serious about Palestinian "peace" and "security" he would call for sanctions on the Israelies for unashamedly expanding their settlements further into the West Bank, stealing more and more land. Breaking international law.

      Look at any map of today's West Bank. The settlements make it appear like a Swiss cheese. If Obama went to the UN to ask for sanctions would he receive them? Of course. Overwhelmingly. But here in the U.S. the fiction lives on.

  • Lawmakers Threaten Brooklyn College for Event on Boycott of Israel over Settlements (Democracy Now!)
    • Yes.

      The hysterics of the irrational. The NRA is offering the same spectacle today, though at least they appear to be widely criticized.

  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know about US Drone Strikes *but Were Afraid to Ask (Currier)
    • My guess is that Obama is so intent on saving the US from another terrorist strike that he is willing to use drones in spite of the "collateral damage."

      Bush made the enormous blunder of attempting to go after terrorists with "boots on the ground." Obama promised to wage a "smart war," saving the lives of American soldiers by using intelligence and high tech weaponry. Bush attempted to fight an old fashioned front-line war with the so-called terrorists. Obama is taking a far more intelligent and sophisticated approach.

      But the problem with his high tech war is that it kills many innocents. Obama appears to have accepted that murderous by product of a hi tech, non conventional war. And it appears most Americans accept this as a price, an unfortunate price, for our "safety." It's time, I think, for a majority of Americans to wake up and say this cannot be, that we have to find other means to insure our safety. That we have no right to kill innocents abroad.

    • American attitudes toward these attacks which kill many civilians are another limited, self-justifying cultural fog we should wake up from.

      Ask yourself: in a cold rational manner: do we have the right to kill hundreds of innocent civilians, including children, in order to protect ourselves from terrorists?

      How can we possibly answer, "yes?"

  • Controversial, Not Controversial (Brennan v. Hagel, Big Oil v. Solar & other Media Hypocrisies)
    • Very good Juan.....

      I find the "non controversial" aspect of the John Brennan nomination especially striking, since it's pretty fresh on the scene, and the contrast between Brennan and Hagel is stark.

      The condonence of torture v. sane diplomacy.

  • Top Ten Reasons Chuck Hagel Should be Secretary of Defense
    • We don't want, though, someone in Defense who would make life harder for gay men and women in the armed services, would we? When Hagel made his unfortunate remarks, though, gay rights still had a long way to go. (And still do.) The overall outlook of the country was still pretty intolerant of the gay world. But the country has changed since then. I think that with Hagel's apology we can assume that he has changed with nation's changing attitudes too.

      Should he be asked about his past comments at the Senate hearings? Certainly. And I suspect his answers will reflect the changes in attitude which have occurred since the nineties.

    • If I remember correctly, Hagel whipped up a storm by puncturing the Neocon lies regarding the need for the war. And opposed it when only a few people did. Today, of course, anyone slightly sane, cognizant, ratiocinative, and aware of any basic truth or reality realizes the war was a monstrous fraud. Hagel stepped out of the ranks of his fellow "conservatives" to speak up. But, yes, he did vote for it initially. And that when tens of thousands of Americans were marching on the streets against the upcoming war......

    • I bet. And what other lobbies are being left out?

    • Let's hope that's true.

    • They're pretty good, too, at moving that along.....

    • The country has moved far on gay rights and marriage. I think Hagel should get the benefit of the doubt. He certainly won't try to institute anything like don't ask don't tell.

      Along with a changing country I imagine Hagel has changed too in that respect......

  • Top Ten Myths about Israeli Attack on Gaza
    • Thanks for your reply.

      They can still accuse critics of being "anti semites" and "self hating Jews." And that charge may still have some bite. Tied to the "sentimentality" you mention. The horror of the Holocaust and of centuries of anti Semitism having prepared the moment which Zionists could exploit to establish themselves in Palestine. Criticism could be depicted as resounding of that immediate past: of anti Semitism in the shadow of the Holocaust. What's more, a form of cultural contempt for the Arabic world was still widespread in the west at the time. The Jews were seen as superior.

      But all that is changing. And the brutality of Israeli attacks on Arabic civilian populations is having its effects on American public opinion. Let's hope the hold on Washington breaks, and breaks soon.

      I hope you're right......

    • When oh when will the US cease to be an accomplice of this ethnic cleansing and land theft?

  • Top Ten Coming Disasters: Romney's America 2016
    • Were these comments meant to be listed in a descending order of importance?

    • "Freedom belongs to the strong," as Richard Wright would sometimes autograph his books...... (I have one here.)

      Let's hope democracy offers the individual enough power to be free. And that ain't any Ayn Randian notions of a superior individualism. Meeting the common good is hardly an assault on individual liberty.

      In fact, I would think of it as an increase in freedom. Since providing universal healthcare, for one, would relieve us from the worry of having to afford decent health coverage. And we would be free to think about other things.....

      Try explaining that to a Libertarian, though. We can not be absolutely free and live among neighbors and fellow citizens, can we? Which is why we have a representative democracy. We vote, and hope our tax money is used wisely. And if spent for the common good - schools, medical care, etc. - services which we need and can not do without - Is that really an assault on individual freedom?

    • I don't think this option 11 is as paranoid as it may sound. With these people power is everything - economic power, religious power, power over women, gays, education, society in general - and the actual democratic process means very little to them.

    • Nixon may have been less flippant about his lies, and less cynical in his confidence that his lies would be readily bought. Since, if I correctly remember, Nixon stuck to a line. Whereas Romney says whatever makes him comfortable and happy even if it completely contradicts whatever he said fifteen minutes ago.....

    • All too possible...... these are considerations which should make any sane voter turn away from Romney. How this election appears so evenly split, in spite of Obama's failings, is a true wonder. The Romney machine is throwing all its last minute hopes into a torrent of lurid lies, depending upon the gullibility of the voters. And it may work, offering a preview of what we can expect in the White House. Stealth and cynicism.

  • Comedian Chris Rock: Obama is the Great White Hope
  • Romney Ridiculed 'Rising of Seas,' Pledged Deep cuts to FEMA (Videos)
    • The Obama campaign should at least make an ad ripping Romney for attacking FEMA. I suspect many voters, even among the thickest, could be persuaded that FEMA has an essential value, especially if they are receiving aid. Throughout the midwest, south, wherever Sandy passed.

      Giving FEMA to the states? Privatizing it? Only the most orthodox would buy that......

    • So, who are your scientific experts?

      Scientists hired by Exon Mobil? The Bible? A list off the rightwing spin machine which doesn't stand up to close scrutiny?

      It's science which is telling us this.

      I don't know who you are so I can not speak for you. But I do know that many deniers of man made climate change do not base their opinions on objective facts. The various (and often obvious) two and twos science offers us. In fact, most deniers offer their own purely subjective conclusions? Are you sure that this is not a case of science conflicting with your assumptions?

      At any rate, we better wake up (we're pretty much alone in the wold on that matter of denial) and soon. And we need leadership in Washington.

    • It seems to me the Obama campaign should immediately make a campaign ad featuring that disgraceful moment. (And listen to the delegates laugh with satiric joy.)

      But was this moment one of the few moments global warming was even mentioned during the campaign?

      Why do I doubt the Obama campaign will exploit this? Because the subject is too controversial? Because he doesn't want to get into it?

      If re-elected he damn well better get into it. Or it's going to get us. Some of the pundits on the MSM referred to Sandy as a "one in a hundred year event." Without even mentioning global warming.

  • Romney's Major Flip-Flops in the Third Debate
    • On this morning's radio (Wednesday) a pollster claimed the "flip flops" have worked. By reassuring the country if elected he wouldn't immediately start a war he has gone ahead in the polls.

      If true, that is really quite astonishing. These elections do appear to come down to some very low levels of superficiality. On TV Romney "appears" presidential. He looks good. No matter what he has said in the past in that bright moment sitting with the president he comes on as a credible presidential replacement. And he promises to be a peace loving president. That ploy must have been contrived. And, at this moment, it appears to have worked.

  • Col. Wilkerson on Romney's Chickenhawk Advisors: They "make me sick"
    • These middle aged politicians who are so willing to start a war often boast about being "tough" and "strong" and claim that the other side is "weak." A complaint the Romney camp is making currently.

      How tough do you have to be to sit in the comfort of the White House and decide to send thousands of young people to another part of the world where they and others will do the killing and be killed? And in the meantime that resident of the White House can watch it all on TV while being served, deferred to, treated to the upmost comforts.

  • Top Ten Things Mitt Romney's Insults to Spain tell us About Him
    • I'm beginning to think the cocoon Romney sprang out of only dedicated him on how to win at a place like Bain.....

    • Dito the above.

      Salt Lake City is a good distance from Spain, and though conservative Spaniards can give one the creeps (try visiting Salamanca during Holy Week) at least you won't have any trouble finding a drink in any Spanish town or city. And as a rule there is a great deal of life on the streets.

      The Romneyacs also blame the poor and the public sector for our own meltdown. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Any gloss will do to cover up their boundless game playing greed....

  • Romney and the Gish Gallop or How Fact Checking doesn't Work (Young Turks)
    • There is always that possibility that science may be wrong. That's what the deniers exploit.

      Considering the stakes involved we ignore science's warnings at our peril.

      After all, though science may be wrong, we know what motivates most of its deniers. And that is far more convincing and apparent than any of the arguments against science.......

    • Speaking of Republicans "going ballistic," when Harry Reid joshed them with his "Romney paid no taxes" routine they went nuts. All Reid was doing was trying to flush Romney out. He pokes him with this and the Repubs go nuts. Yet they, the Repubs, routinely pull this kind of stuff all the time. Aren't the Dems owed at least one blatant untruth, at least in fun?....... Oh, if politics weren't so serious then it would all be just one great joke.......

      (Which does not mean to say that the Dems never tell a lie.... Hah!)

    • Cenk is a good dude.....

  • Caricature: Pamela Geller's Offensive "Savage" Posters Attacking Palestinian Muslims
    • Could this hate and racism be any more blatant?

      A brief look at history and we see that the invaders, colonialists, occupiers, have always called themselves the "spreaders of civilization."

      The west demonstrated its superior "civilization," didn't it, by using force and violence to colonize "backward peoples."

  • Top Ten Mitt Romney Solutions to our Problems
    • That is, if Romney can collect his thoughts sufficiently to construct a coherent plan, approach, and overall philosophy regarding the nation's enormous problems.

      First thing, I bet, he does though upon entering the White House will be to test the windows on jumbo jets. Just to see if they can open at 35,000 feet and let the fresh air in. Along with some sea gulls and birds who happen to be migrating by. He wouldn't want them to be out there in the cold, without any air. And any sea gull worthy of self respect would know how to open one of those tiny tourist class cellophane bags for the candied nuts and junk food inside. Which he would be unfamiliar with anyway......

    • And advanced strapping mechanisms to carry dogs on top of cars.

  • Muslims are no Different, or why Bill Maher's blood libel is Bigotry
    • There approx three million Muslims living in the United States. Do they pose any threat? Do they hate their neighbors? Do they secretly plot an overthrow of their local governments? On the other hand there is an anti Islamic cultural movement in the US which is national in nature. American Muslims do not protest the construction of new churches, while many Christians, in their majority, protest the construction of mosques. Often in the most ignorant and bigoted of terms.

      When we (non Muslims) think about Muslims it might help if we think of our peace loving neighbors......

  • Netanyahu in 1992: Iran close to having nuclear bomb
  • Top Ten Likely Consequences of Muslim anti-US Embassy Riots
  • Top Ten Bad Signs for Romney
    • They are incredible, aren't they? And they expect to win this election by attacking people..... Not just the unions but gays, women, students, Latinos, etc.....

    • Romney offers a lot to worry about. But if Obama wins then we have to start worrying about him again. Will he cave in budget talks?

      Romney, at least, is giving us a respite from Obama's failings He is so bad that he makes Obama's cautious "moderation" almost appear radical. Neither side in this campaign is going way out on any limb. Ryan has been reigned in and offers himself up with a lamblike innocence. "Who us, destroy Medicare? Never!" In the meantime, the immense problems our country and the world face continue unresolved, barely acknowledged.

  • Dear Mitt: *You* Don't Get to Say That
    • They sit at the golden idol of greed. Whatever holy writ they find to justify their beliefs they cling to with a powerful orthodoxy. "Business theory?" This is religion we're speaking of here. They will fight to the death to defend their god......

    • This election will be a test of the nation's stability and sanity. Or will that be its basic self-interest and intelligence? Differentiating between madness and stupidity can be hard at times to do.......

  • Romney & Bush Disappearance (Bill Maher Poster)
  • Tutu Slams Tony Blair for Illegal Iraq War, boycotts Leadership Conference
    • "The architects of the Iraq War in the United States are now glomming onto Mitt Romney in hopes of maneuvering themselves into a position to get up a war on Iran. That they got away scott free with their earlier atrocities has only whetted their appetites."

      I don't know about you guys but I found the bellicosity at the convention really shocking.......

    • On this morning's news I heard Tutu called for both Bush and Blair to be indicted by the World Court...... Ah, American politics. Rise to the top, become Secretary of State, or President, and once out of office you can't travel anywhere outside the country because you may be arrested..... A good trend, in fact. Too bad Pinochet escaped Garzon's clutches.....

  • Top Ten Clint Eastwood Empty-Chair Falsehoods
    • Regarding the filibuster proof majority.........Lying has become so facile and easy among the Republicans - they have a fantasy world to protect, after all - that one of their minor lies (which, in its own right, is large enough) is that President Obama had a majority in the Congress which would pass whatever he wanted. This omits the tiny fact that there were several conservative Democrats in the Senate and a variety of right to lifers and Blue Dogs and DINOs in the House. And that at the drop of a hat they would join the Republicans........

    • Regarding #3........ Just to be fair we should remember that many Democrats went along with financial "modernization" too. And that Clinton signed away Glass Steagall...... Though, of course, the whole drive to "modernize" banking and finance has been a fundamental Republican impulse.

  • Top Ten Repeated Paul Ryan Lies
    • The Big Lie is certainly alive and well in this election season. Question is, how well will it succeed? There are folks out there walking about who are convinced Obama lopped off 716 billion from "their" Medicare. And they will vote.......

      And then there was the reference to Obama's "anti business/pro government" remarks. Which, his remarks, must really have been toxic to many a Republican since they went straight at the Republican myth that gov can do nothing for the economy except stay out of the way (with a few tax cuts added, thank you.) Yes, the question is: will enough voters buy these lies in order to sway the election?

  • Top Ten Pieces of Bad News for Romney on Eve of Convention
    • For all his faults, these are strong reasons for voting for Obama. I think one has to be seriously demented to go for the GOP this year. But the GOP is offering many opportunities in that regard, from good old fashioned GOP greed (is not Romney the poster boy for that?) to some fanatic form of racism, religious belief, xenophobia, etc.

  • South Africa: Label West Bank Squatter Products; Israel: You Apartheid State!
    • And what prevents the US from recognizing these blatant truths? A miasma of lies and fantasies, which, so long as the Lobby and its supporters have a stranglehold on public opinion, will direct US policy.

      But then when looking at rightwing thought in the US this turns out to be only one more myth, along with denying science regarding evolution, conception, climate change, etc...... But this is all fairly obvious.

  • Romney Hood and his Merry Band (Cartoon)
  • Two Ways Mitt Romney Really Will Kill lots of People
    • In the free market paradise they envision our 65 year old will be overjoyed to go out shopping, among "parasitic" insurance companies, for the "perfect" health plan......

    • Very good.

      Romney appears to have sold his soul to the far right. As for his Mormonism, which he appears paternally linked to, he has bought into the far Christian Right overview to advance his ambitions.

      So how often will Romney sell out his "pragmatic" approaches to solving problems, if he becomes our president, in order to appease his far right backers, who he has fully identified with?

      At least Obama shows signs of sanity, and does good things, from time to time, for the American people. Such as backing gay marriage. Or standing up for women's basic rights. What a novelty! Actually trying to gain votes by doing things which will benefit the American people! Romney doesn't appear to have caught on to that. Unless reinforcing fear of one thing or another can be considered positive, somehow?

    • I think the message of that ad was basically true. That the Bain folks were putting personal profit above any sense of social responsibility. Outfits like Bain are not interested in creating and producing any product. And the "lean and mean" tactics of Bain's approach to its employees was widely applauded during the Reagan eighties. (With 8.3% unemployment there's more sympathy for workers today.) The ad's presentation though was crude. And that may have resulted from a desire not to take on the tenets of American capitalism head on. We know "buccaneer" capitalism produces many casualties among the workforce. That they do not come first. But those basic tenets are a third rail few in politics wants to touch.

  • Top Ten differences between White Terrorists and Others
    • Very, very good. Reading this I'm also watching one Andrew McCarthy speak at the National Press Club (on C-SPAN) on the threat of Islam, who, of course, are imposing Sharia law on American life, etc.

      This stuff is sick and bizarre, manipulating a kernel of truth into a full blown monster. Problem is, many Americans believe this tripe. And the national news media believes that to be objective, and to remain faithful to its journalistic ideals, it has to treat it all seriously. Or is it, more likely, careers and profits are at stake here?

  • "Whoever controls the media . . ." (Allen Ginsberg Poster)
    • Yes, our corporate media defines today's popular culture. The grass roots appear to merely feed the corporate culture and no longer define and develop popular culture. And as for "high" culture there are no great names today. No Picasso, no Faulkner or Hemingway, no Shostakovich or Prokofiev.

  • Top Ten Things Anthony Weiner has Said that are Worse than Sexting
    • Weiner's pro Israel intransigence is pretty disturbing. We should be accustomed to hearing such voices though from New York. Is it all a cultural bubble which doesn't permit for any other point of view? In this case, it leads to more hate. And greater human suffering. No small thing.

      It appears Weiner has his blind spots. One can only wonder at his self destructive behavior on the electronic media. And at his inhuman views of Arabs: the rationalizations he gladly grips to support apartheid in Palestine. Though on progressive bread and butter issues he has been pretty good, and it was a bit of a tonic to occasionally hear a Democrat forcefully speak up and puncture some of the more lurid rightwing lies. But this guy is not perfect, not by far.

  • They used to Burn Catholic Churches, now they Burn Mosques
    • Obama is an admirer of Lincoln, and spent some time reading his speeches before taking office. In that same mood of conciliation which we are familiar with Obama could plead for national tolerance. Evoke "the better angels of our nature." We may need such an expression, too, especially if this pastor down in Florida follows through with his book burning. Our president may save some lives if he disassociates the country from this preacher's acts and words.

    • I think this would be a good time for the president to make a major speech to the country (from the Oval Office, perhaps at a joint session of the Congress) on tolerance and hate.

      It is not just Muslims who are hated but gays and "illegal immigrants" are hated too. Obama himself has received much hate as being representative of the "other." He should speak out against this giddy spell of intolerance and fear which the far right is stoking up and exploiting to the country's larger detriment. That being, too, the environment we live in. The overall mood of the country. And a shameful lapse from our better nature.

  • The Speech President Obama Should Give about the Iraq War (But Won't)
    • There may be more truth here (in the speech) than many Americans care to stomach. Most of this doesn't fit into the overall view we like to have of ourselves. Though wouldn't it be something if a president actually gave this speech. The outcry, of course, would be enormous. But would such a speech made by an American president actually be liberating? Would the people, the American people, in a majority, actually support the truths contained in the speech? Would it lead to a change of course?

      Hard to know, since, as Cole says, this is the speech no president will ever make.

  • Beck Subtext: Obama Planning to Assassinate Tea Partiers
    • What's truly sad is that there must be tens of thousands of viewers who nightly sit before their television sets taking all this stuff seriously. His show is one of the most viewed in the US. And not everyone who watches watches out of sheer fascination, at the gall of his performance. As if mesmerized by his chutzpah.

      Not only must those audience members who take him seriously be enormously ignorant. But susceptible to his kind of mind bends and truly weird logic. A logic anyone should be able to see through.

      Beck has his right to speak, and pretty much to say whatever he wants. It's too bad though he is so influential, and draws so much attention. But when a mountebank gets away with selling his brand of snake oil, what else can we do? Like the bully who pokes his two fingers into your eyes you can't defeat him by ignoring him.

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