Sunday, March 30, 2014

A State of Will-ful Ignorance Appreciated by The Plutocrats

I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but inform their discretion ~ Thomas Jefferson (4/13/1743 to 7/4/1826) an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the third President of the United States (1801 to 1809).

What follows is a somewhat accurate commentary by Libertarian blogger Willis Hart, except that most "states", historically speaking, have not been democratic or represented the will of the people. As such, the following is in reality quite dishonest, in that we KNOW Willis is talking about the US Federal government...

Willis Hart: On the State... It is the greatest source of death and destruction known to man (it isn't even a contest), and the fact that there are still people out there who so casually want to enhance its power is exceedingly troubling. (3/29/2014 AT 12:33pm).

In response all I can say is... DUH!! The state is the only entity that has the power to wage war, so OF COURSE it would be the greatest source of death and destruction. However, in a democracy it is THE PEOPLE who make the decisions, through their elected officials... arguably. A democracy requires, of course, that THE PEOPLE are informed and actually vote.

When they do the result will be a Democratic State that is a force for good in the lives of its citizens. But when the people don't stay informed or vote, that is when the special interests step in and take advantage of an apathetic electorate. In other words, it's all up to the people. But Willis OF COURSE completely ignores that reality. In his mind a powerful State representing the people is just as bad as a powerful State that represents the wealthy elites (the problem with our democracy), or itself (the problem with an aristocracy).

At least Mr. Hart makes no distinction what-so-ever with his commentary. He simply (and stupidly) says "State bad". And this from a fellow who SAYS he does not see things in black and white and "does nuance". Here he chucks nuance and goes completely black and white to sell his stoogeishly dishonest narrative that lumps a representative democracy in with totalitarian governments.

And, while it most certainly is true that, even in a representative democracy, we must be wary of a State that does not act in the interest of THE PEOPLE, the answer is not to neuter government by striping it of it's power so it can't do evil OR good. The answer is for the electorate to get politically informed and participate!

Participate by voting as well as running for office. We need more average Joes running to represent their fellow average Joes, and not well-funded Joes who represent the interests of their fellow wealthy and privileged citizens. And the answer to that problem is campaign finance reform.

There is a way by which we can ensure that the State works for us. But Willis clearly does not want that, which is why he conflates a representative democratic State that truly represents it's people with a State that "is the greatest source of death and destruction known to man", and advocates disempowerment instead of fixing what's wrong. Disempower the State (representing The People) and the only ones left with any power will be the plutocrats.

Now, Willis may be eager to give up (stop trying to fix government and disempower it... thereby disempowering The People) - so we can surrender completely to the oligarchs... but I sure as hell am not. And, what I find exceeding troubling is Willis' lying that there are people who want to "casually" enhance the power of the State. The Progressive agenda is to enhance the power of THE PEOPLE while guarding against abuses of that power by our elected representatives... there is nothing "casual" in our desire for achieving this goal.

I certainly wouldn't accuse the Hartster of being "casual" in his call for the disempowerment of the State... he's on the same page as those who wish to shrink government to a size where "drowning it in a bathtub" is possible. His stoogery to those who seek to disempower government and thereby empower the plutocrats, is appreciated, I'm sure.

SWTD #245, wDel #55. See also OST #7.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Belated Praise For Congresswoman Barbara Lee (& Condemnation for Dennis Marks) In Regards to the 2001 AUMF Vote

By unlawfully ceding the war-declaring power to the president, they allowed the president to start a war against Iraq based on whatever evidence or whatever lies he chose ~ John C. Bonifaz (dob 6/22/1966) a Boston-based attorney and political activist specializing in constitutional law and voting rights. Excerpt from his 2/12/2014 article "Iraq Invasion Was Unconstitutional". Bonifaz argued that the President's planned first-strike invasion of Iraq violated the War Powers Clause of the US Constitution.

Barbara Jean Lee, the U.S. Representative for California's 13th congressional district and a Democrat, "gained national attention in 2001 as the only member of congress to vote No on the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), stating that she voted NO not because she opposed military action but because she believed the AUMF, as written, granted overly-broad powers to wage war to the president" (blurb via Wikipedia).

In reaction to blogger Willis Hart pointing out that Lee was the sole NO vote on the AMUF, Dennis Marks (AKA dmarks) said...

Dennis Marks: Lee is the one who voted like the Taliban slipped her a check. She is also a devout racist (1/11/2014 AT 4:28am).

Correction: the "Taliban slipped her a check" was due to her AUMF vote; and the "racist" crack was due to... who knows? I'm going to guess it's because she is Black. Whenever Dennis accuses someone of racism, it seems as though they are always Black. I certainly cannot think of an example of him calling a White person a racist, with the sole exception of Dennis calling me and another blogger "racist" due to our support for Affirmative Action.

In any case... Barbara Lee deserves mucho kudos for being the ONLY one who recognized the FACT that the AUMF granted WAY too much power to the preznit. Only Congress has the power to declare war, and with the AUMF Congress ceded its Constitutionally granted power to declare war to the preznit, which bush used to illegally invade two countries. bush abused the AMUF and lied us into a war with a country completely unconnected to the 9-11 attacks; as well as using it to justify other unconstitutional actions, as the author of the following NYT editorial points out...

NYT Editorial: Mr. Bush used the... law as an excuse to kidnap hundreds of people - guilty and blameless people alike - and throw them into secret prisons where many were tortured. He used it as a pretext to open the Guantánamo Bay camp and to eavesdrop on Americans without bothering to obtain a warrant. He claimed it as justification for the invasion of Iraq, twisting intelligence to fabricate a connection between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks. (Article excerpt from the New York Times website, pub. 3/9/2013. No author cited.)

That isn't to say that the invasion of Afghanistan wasn't illegal or unconstitutional, which it was, given that there was no formal declaration of war... which was the entire problem with the AUMF; it grants "overly broad" powers to the preznit to wage war against an UNNAMED group ("the terrorists" responsible for 9-11). The AMUF should have authorized military strikes in Afghanistan against the al Qaeda camps only, and it should have only been voted on AFTER we determined bin Laden was behind the attacks. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq SHOULD have (Constitutionally) required a declaration of war by Congress... although they would still have been unnecessary (especially Iraq) and illegal under international law (at least they wouldn't have been unconstitutional).

According to Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, "this [the AUMF] is worse that the Tonkin Gulf Resolution". Aside from a Congressional deceleration of war, the President can send the military into armed conflict by invoking the War Powers Resolution, a law that allows the president to enter "armed conflict without the consent of Congress".

However, under the War Powers Resolution the president is limited to conflicts lasting no more than 60 before a Congressional authorization is required. Under the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution the president (LBJ) was limited to who assistance could be provided to. LBJ's resolution said the president was limited in that it "authorized [him] to do whatever necessary in order to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty"... so it at least gave a who and a where, unlike the AUMF, which only gives a "who", and a very nebulous "who" at that.

Under the AUMF, bush was granted "the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force against those whom he determined planned, authorized, committed or aided the September 11th attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups". The "harboring" part allowed (and continues to allow) bush, Obama and FUTURE presidents to send troops (and drones) anywhere in the world to kill anyone (even US citizens) engaged in terrorism (or innocent people - referred to as "collateral damage").

Indeed, the Obama administration has cited the AUMF for military actions it has engaged in. For example, the dramatic ramp up of drone strikes - in Afghanistan and Pakistan (a country we aren't at war with) - was cited as being authorized by the 2001 law...

John Brennan, while chief counterterrorism advisor to BHO: First, these targeted strikes are legal. ... To briefly recap... the Authorization for Use of Military Force - the AUMF - passed by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks authorizes the President "to use all necessary and appropriate force" against those nations, organizations and individuals responsible for 9-11. There is nothing in the AUMF that restricts the use of military force against al-Qaeda to Afghanistan. ("The Ethics and Efficacy of the President's Counterterrorism Strategy"; Remarks given at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington DC on 4/30/2012).

In addition to be morally reprehensible, given the loss of innocent civilian life - Robert Taylor of PolicyMic says "there are estimates as high as 98% of drone strike casualties being civilians [or] 50 for every one suspected terrorist" (citing a Columbia Law School report that looked at 2011 civilian deaths in 2011 which concludes "drone strike casualty estimates likely understated").

In regards to the Columbia Law School report cited by the Libertarian Taylor, I must concur, and add that these strikes are, in my strong opinion, extremely counterproductive and could be classed as war crimes (according to Amnesty International).

Although, while at the same time using the AUMF to justify other military actions, president Obama has promised to "revise and ultimately repeal [the AUMF] that he worries could lead to a perpetual war". So, at least Obama realizes there is a problem... but I say NO to "revising". The law should not have been passed to begin with. Rep Lee is the ONLY member of Congress to have gotten it right when voting NO on this bad law. The AUMF needs to be repealed - something Rep. Lee has has been pushing for ever since the AUMF was passed.

A 5/23/2013 HuffPo article by Matt Sledge says the Pentagon, in disagreement with the president, believes "the AUMF means they could operate from Boston to Pakistan, for the next 10 to 20 years [and that] it could even be used... in new battlefields like Congo or Syria.

But the idiot Dennis condemns the ONE person who voted correctly in regards to this abominable piece of legislation with a vile lie about her voting "as if the Taliban slipped her a check" - even though she said she voted NO not because she opposed military action against al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan (which she did not), but because she believed the AUMF granted overly-broad powers to wage war to the president (which it did). And then Dennis throws in a charge of the African American representative being a "devout racist" with no explanation at all... other than the obvious explanation, which is that she is Black.

In conclusion I must say Barbara Lee deserves praise for her AUMF vote and her continuing efforts at repeal, while Dennis Marks deserves condemnation for his vile and baseless accusations of the Congresswoman siding with al Qaeda and being racist. The first charge has obviously got much to do with Dennis' utter stupidity, the latter likely due to the Congresswoman speaking against GOP voter suppression laws designed to disenfranchise minorities legally entitled to vote.

Or that is my guess, due to Dennis' praise of the recent SCOTUS gutting of the Voting Right Act. In regards to the SCOTUS ruling, Dennis said the gutting was a "victory for those who want progress toward equal treatment, diminished racial bias, and level playing field".

Rep. Lee, speaking on the House floor on 12/7/2011 correctly pointed out that "Republican legislators around the country are purposefully trying to deny Blacks the right to vote by pushing for voter identification laws". This kind of truth-telling would, given Dennis' support for the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, is probably what makes Lee a "devout racist" in the eyes of the racially biased Dennis. Or it could just be that she's Black.

In either case I again offer praise to Mrs. Lee and condemnation for Dennis. Correctly identifying the GOP strategy of tilting elections in their favor via suppressive voter ID laws that target minorities isn't "racist", although I do believe it is very bigoted and offensive to call a Black woman racist for taking a stand against GOP disenfranchisement tactics. In fact, I'd say the illiberal Dennis is quite devout in his labeling of Black people who take a stand against Conservative bigotry as "racists".

Update 7/1/2014: Dennis, as he often does, deleted his comment. Reason? He says he does it "for the amusement factor". BTW, I did not notice this one until the Google cache had been overwritten... which means his comment is gone forever. You can trust me, however. He absolutely did type and submit this racist slur about Congresswoman Lee.

SWTD #244, dDel #20. See also TADM #32.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Evidence Strongly Points to Willis Hart Being "Total Moron"

It's all about slavery. But I think Americans, unfortunately, don't know our own history, first of all. And, at some point, of course, after the war, the nation sort of came together and decided that it was going to forget what the real cause was, because it was too painful to remember that slavery was what divided the nation ~ Edna Greene Medford, a professor of history at Howard University who specializes in 19th-century African-American history. Quote from a 4/12/2011 installment of the PBS News Hour titled, "Civil War's Causes: Historians Largely United on Slavery, But Public Divided".

In regards to my disagreement with the blogger Willis Hart on the issue of slavery being the root cause of the Civil War (see previous commentary), the history-revising enthusiast had this to say about yours truly...

Willis Hart: He's a total moron... Anybody who's taken as little as an introductory history course knows that slavery wasn't the predominant reason for Lincoln's actions or even the South's ... slavery wasn't even remotely in trouble and so it had to have been economic and nationalistic reasons for those states to secede... But, yes, he has to have narrative and anybody who challenges it he has to label as evil. The man is utterly grade-school... (3/22/2014 AT 2:44pm).

This was after the idiot authored a post titled "on holding on to slights, perceived inequities, etc". He says he's against acting in such a manner, but is that NOT what he just did with this selective criticism of me? I mean, my commentary on the subject has numerous others agreeing with me, and Willis got the same disagreements from at least two other Liberals on his OWN BLOG! (see here and here for examples).

Yet I'm the only one who gets labeled a "total moron" and "utterly grade-school" despite plenty of other disagreement with the Hartster's history rewriting. Not to mention that the dude is totally full of shit in regards to his sureness concerning what people who have taken an introductory history class learn about the Civil War. It just so happens that history was one of my better subjects in school. Not to brag, but I aced my history tests.

For the record, one can find many commentaries on the interwebs in which tariffs and States' Rights being given as causes of the Civil War are correctly labeled as MYTHS, but I, unlike Willis, acknowledge that both theories are out there. Mr. Hart flat out lies about slavery being the root cause not being in introductory history books and his take being the widely accepted one - which it most certainly IS NOT.

I acknowledge there is some dispute, at least... even if I judge those stirring up the dispute to have an agenda of obscuring what really happened for either racist and/or political reasons. But Hart dissembles and says there is no dispute at all, even though all thinking people know this is complete nonsense. Yeah, he knows he can get away with this on his own blog (and the blog of rAtional nAtion), but I suspect many people would laugh at his ridiculous BS about things introductory history books say when they DO NOT say them!

Or, at least 38 percent of the public would agree that the Civil War was "mainly about slavery" (plus 9 percent who said it was both about slavery and states' rights) according to a PEW research poll. However, in regards to what historians believe, a 3/16/2013 article titled "the South still lies about the Civil War" reveals that they are largely united on slavery being at the root of why the Civil War was fought. That would be the historians who WRITE HISTORY BOOKS! Those historians mostly agree the Civil War was fought over slavery and NOT tariffs and NOT States' Rights!

"No respected historian has argued for decades that the Civil War was fought over tariffs... or that only constitutional concerns drove secessionists" (i.e. States' Rights) according to American historian Edward Ayers - a professor & the 9th president of the University of Richmond - as well as an author of four, and editor of seven books on the history of 19th-century America.

The real causes were swept under the rug, says Yale historian and director of the Gilder-Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, David Blight, who "describes a national fervor for reconciliation that began in the 1880s and lasted through the end of World War I, fueled in large part by the South's desire to attract industry, Northern investors' desire to make money, and the desire of White people everywhere to push the Negro question aside".

I don't know about you, but if one person seeks out the opinions of the experts, and then finds that the written words of the seceding states reasons for leaving agree with what the experts are saying - and from that concludes that the experts must be right - I surely would not call that person a "total moron".

If, on the other hand, there was an individual who insisted that the history books agreed with his point of view - despite historians (the people who write those books) largely being on the same page in disagreement with him... I might just conclude that this 2nd person was a "total moron".

I might just conclude it with certainty, in fact. Also, I never said a damn thing about "evil", but this sounds like exactly the kind of grade-school insult a total moron would accuse someone of. If the facts disprove the argument they're making - the desperate (and stupid) usually resort to ad hominem.

SWTD #243, wDel #54.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Schmuckery Of Claim That Civil War Began Over States' Rights

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free ~ Abraham Lincoln (2/12/1809 to 4/15/1865) the 16th president (3/4/1861 to 4/15/1865) as quoted in a 8/22/1862 letter to the New York Tribune. This section of Lincoln's letter follows the more often quoted portion that reads "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that".

As commander of the Northern forces during the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant apparently said "The sole object of the war is to restore the Union. Should I become convinced it has any other object, or that the government designs using its soldiers to execute the wishes of the abolitionists... I would resign my commission and carry my sword to the other side".

Or maybe he didn't say that. None-the-less the Libertarian blogger Willis Hart cites this quote as proof that the civil was wasn't about slavery - and on this matter commenter Rusty Schmuckelford whole-heartedly agrees, saying (2 comments)...

Rusty Schmuckelford: As I said before... the Civil War began over states rights... slavery was a secondary issue. [AND] Its unfortunate there are still american's suffering from a bad case of "white guilt". These deluded folks see a racial aspect in everything. They cant fathom the civil war being fought for anything but slavery... of course they are dead wrong, yet due to their guilt cannot accept the truth. (3/18/2014 at 8:42pm AND 3/9/2014 at 12:12pm).

Rusty may have said it before, but he was as dead wrong then as he is now. And a schmuck for thinking "white guilt" is any kind of factor for those who acknowledge the facts. Fortunately bullplop like Rusty's is pretty easy to disprove - all one has to do is take a look at the Declaration of Causes of Seceding States which all cite slavery as their reason for leaving the union. And, as pointed out in a 2/25/2011 WP opinion piece by the historian James W. Loewen "Confederate states did claim the right to secede, but no state claimed to be seceding for that right. In fact, Confederates opposed states' rights — that is, the right of Northern states not to support slavery".

Between 12/20/1860 and 11/20/1861 13 states ratified ordinances of secession, with four states - "Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas also issued separate declarations of causes, in which they explained their reasons for secession". (quoted from Wikipedia).

What follows are brief excepts from the Declaration of Causes documents issued by the four previously mentioned states...

12/20/1860, South Carolina: The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: "No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due". [complaint about the North not returning escaped slaves, as per the 4th amendment's Fugitive Slave Clause].

1/19/1861, Georgia: For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property... [another complaint about the North not returning escaped slaves].

2/1/1861, Texas: [Texas] was received as a commonwealth holding [into the Confederated Union], maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery - the servitude of the African to the white race... a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time.

6/6/1861, Mississippi: ...the prominent reasons which have induced our course. Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery...

As you can plainly see, all four documents cite slavery as the reason the state in question decided to leave the union. None cited States' Rights as a determining factor, or any kind of factor at all. The Civil War was fought because of slavery; case closed. Also, in regards to that "quote" from Ulysses S. Grant - there is serious doubt as to whether or not he actually said it.

The words have been removed from Wikiquote, with the remover giving the reason of... "I hate to admit it but Grant did not say [it]". Also, on the website Dead Confederates: A Civil War Era Blog, blog proprietor Andy Hall concludes that the quote is "given as a years-old reminiscence by a third party and printed in The Democratic Speaker's Handbook [and that no] serious person can attribute [it] as an actual quote, in good faith". (Note: "Dead Confederates" is listed on the Center for Civil War Research's resources page. The Center was established by the University of Mississippi in 2009).

Finally, in regards to the assertion by the blogger being rebutted here that "we could have done what England did and purchased the freedom of the slaves"... compensated emancipation was proposed by Lincoln in a 3/6/1862 message to Congress, but "the southern states, now in full rebellion, ignored the proposals" (source: Wikipedia).

Doesn't the fact that such a proposal was offered by Lincoln pretty much prove that the Civil War was fought over African Americans in bondage and forced servitude? I mean, here Lincoln is specifically offering a solution to the succession problem that phases out slavery. And Lincoln's message to Congress also points to that Grant quote being almost certainly false as well. Are we to believe that Grant was unaware of Lincoln's proposal? If the quote were true wouldn't Grant have resigned his commission and carried his sword to the other side? (Note: both Lincoln's message to Congress on compensated emancipation and the supposed Grant quote have a date of 1862 attached to them).

So that, I believe, pretty much debunks and refutes all (or most of) the nonsense about the Civil War not being fought because of slavery but because of tariffs or States' Rights from the blog of Will Hart. Both assertions are false and a disservice to those who seek an honest accounting of history. Because without such an honest accounting we cannot acknowledge our mistakes and learn from them - which is exactly what many who dissemble on this issue desire. They don't want us to learn from history. Their desire is that minorities should continue to be discriminated against and deprived of their voting rights.

I'm not saying this is Mr. Hart's motivation, but he surely is not a part of the solution with his recent (and numerous) Ahistorical commentaries on the subject of the Civil War and slavery.

SWTD #242. See also OST #6.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Delusional Free Trader Taken In By Myth That Civil War Was Fought Over Tariffs

The tariff issue was so unimportant that the groups looking for some sort of compromise did not consider it ~ David Potter (12/6/1910 to 2/18/1971) an American historian of the South who won, posthumously, the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861 (1976), which was an in-depth narrative and analysis of the causes of the American Civil War (quote sourced from pages 42–50). Born in Augusta GA, Potter was employed as professor of history at Yale (1942–1961) and Stanford (1961–71).

In a 3/15/2014 post a blogger who strongly supports the idiotic notion of "free trade" speaks about the Civil War and how he believes we shouldn't have fought it. Regarding why President Lincoln decided to fight a war to prevent the South from leaving the union, blogger (Willis Hart) sez "my personal theory is that he just got so addicted to the tariff revenue... with which he was using to solidify his political power and cronyism that the dude literally couldn't stop himself".

Regrettably for Mr. Hart, a 6/5/2013 NYT article titled "The Great Civil War Lie" points out that tariffs being the reason for succession is a myth. According to the article, the North worried about England supporting Southern independence because of their "reliance on imported Southern cotton [and that] many in Britain thought that the reason was the Morrill Tariff". These English pro-Southern succession believed the tariff "so incensed the Southern states that they left the union".

But the truth of the matter is that "passage of the tariff was possible because many tariff-averse Southerners had resigned from Congress after their states declared their secession". Furthermore, the article states that "Pro-Southern business interests and journalists fed the myth that the war was over trade, not slavery [in order] to win over people who might be appalled at siding with slave owners against the forces of abolition".

And that is a myth that continues to this day. Because Southern history re-writers, still supporting States' Rights (which, today, is code for laws intended to prevent minority voters from casting ballots), don't wish the truth about their shameful past to be known (or accepted). And they surely do not want anyone pointing out the fact that discrimination is still very much alive in the South. And this we know for a fact because, when the Conservative SCOTUS members recently voted to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, a number of Southern States immediately rushed to pass legislation designed to disenfranchise Black voters.

No doubt Willis read about how tariffs were the reason for the Civil War on some Right-wing website - and the gullible fool ate it up. Further debunking Mr. Hart's assertion is the fact that the Morill tariff "replaced the low Tariff of 1857, which was written to benefit the South". Wikipedia notes that the original tariff was passed in "1842, but in 1846 the Democrats enacted the Walker Tariff, cutting tariff rates substantially. The Democrats cut rates even further in the Tariff of 1857, which was highly favorable to the South".

Also bogus are Hart's claims that Lincoln was "so addicted to the tariff revenue" and needed the money to support cronyism. The truth is that "the Treasury was in financial crisis, with less than $500,000 on hand and millions in unpaid bills. The Union urgently needed new revenue".

Hart is incredibly wrong about tariffs causing the Civil War, as the tariff would not have been passed if the Southern states had not left the union. This is a chicken & egg argument, with this individual getting the order of how things played out mixed up. But, given the fact that the dude is a strong supporter of unrestricted American job-killing "free trade", his falling for this BS is not surprising. Given that this old lie feeds into the Southern states desire to conceal the truth about their voting laws designed to restrict the voting rights of minorities, it is quite unfortunate.

Unfortunate, if Hart is given the benefit of the doubt, that is. There are some who buy this "tariff" argument with the motivation of being very much in favor of States' Rights (code for disenfranchising minority voters). Whether their reasons are race-based or ideology based, these people want Conservatives to win - and will endorse the use of any dirty trick available to make that possible.

Another regular commenter on the blog of Mr. Hart is one such individual. According to the delusional Dennis Marks (AKA dmarks), gutting the Voting Rights act was a "victory for those who want progress toward equal treatment, diminished racial bias, and level playing field". Dennis, while not someone I'd classify as an overt racist, absolutely has racial biases that are much stronger than average. And he is on board with the Conservative plan to "win" by preventing as many minority voters from casting ballots as possible.

States' Rights is, and always has been a euphemism for restricting the rights of African Americans. The Encyclopeida Briticanna blog says it is a myth "that the South fought the Civil War not to defend slavery, but to uphold the rights of states against a tyrannical central government [and that this myth] was extremely important to the white South's resistance to post-war Reconstruction".

States' Rights were cited as justification for enacting the post Civil War Black Codes (passed in 1865 and 1866) which were "had the intent and the effect of restricting African Americans' freedom, and of compelling them to work in a labor economy based on low wages or debt". And States Rights "continued to serve as an effective shield against federal efforts to end segregation and discrimination against African Americans - known as the Jim Crow system in the South". And today it's all about restricting the ability of minorities to vote.

So, while President Lincoln may not have been for the equality of Whites and Blacks, and while he may have been willing to allow slavery to persist to preserve the union - and therefore the official position of the North was NOT that they were fighting the war to abolish slavery - the South's position was NOT that they were fighting because of tariffs to obtain independence.

A 2/25/2011 WP opinion piece by the historian James W. Loewen notes that on "Dec. 24, 1860, delegates at South Carolina's secession convention" said the reason they were leaving the union was because of "an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery" and because North states were "interfering with the return of fugitive slaves to bondage".

The conclusion by Mr. Loewen was that "Slavery, not states' rights, birthed the Civil War". This is the accurate conclusion. Whatever reasons cited by those in the North, the South was fighting to preserve slavery. That Mr. Hart has written so many posts to obfuscate this fact is troubling, as in doing so, he is siding with the States' Rights advocates of today who seek to disenfranchise Black voters as well as the States' Rights advocates of the past who used that rallying cry to keep African Americans oppressed.

Regardless of his reasoning (opposition to free trade versus disenfranchising Blacks), the Hartster is on the WRONG side of history in staking out this position. No, the issue isn't as black and white as everyone in the North being in favor of abolishing slavery and full equality, and everyone in the North being pro-slavery forever, but the Civil War WAS fought over slavery. And, in order to move away from our racist past and toward greater equality - that truth must be acknowledged.

Ridiculous comments like "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation is one of the biggest jokes in American history" (because it did not immediately free the slaves as it wasn't recognized by Southern slave holders) only enable the history re-writers who continue to use States' Rights to oppress and disenfranchise minorities.

SWTD #241, wDel #53. See also OST #5.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Regarding Dennis Marks Citing Osama bin Laden As One of His Heroes

There are heroes in evil as well as in good ~ Francois de La Rochefoucauld (9/15/1613 to 3/17/1680) a noted French author of maxims and memoirs. His is a clear-eyed, worldly view of human conduct that indulges in neither condemnation nor sentimentality.

I think it's intensely loathsome and highly repellent. And, yes, I'm talking about the (now deceased) terrorist leader who financed the 9/11 attacks. That Osama is the one who Dennis Marks recently cited as being one of his heroes. I know for a fact that on 9/11/2001 Dennis was walking around with a huge grin on his face. It creeped out his coworkers and family members who all thought he must not be aware of what happened. But when they told him of the attacks in which thousands of innocents perished - that made Dennis smile even wider.

So, why was Dennis so delighted? It was because he recgonized that 9/11 was the new Pearl Harbor that PNAC had been dreaming of. The PNAC manifesto cited a "catastrophic and catalyzing event" just like this as being necessary to galvanize the public into going to war in the Middle East, and now just such an event had occurred. Dennis whooped and cheered when the twin towers fell - just as loud - if not louder than any of the terrorists. Although he cheered internally and silently, as he knew everybody else would be horrified if he did it externally and out loud. But the smiling he could not help.

That is why bin Laden is a hero to Dennis. Not because he wishes to emulate him, but due to the great gift he handed the Neocons, and to the Republican preznit, George W. bush. reveals that a synonym of "hero" is either a "lead" or a "star". In regards to 9/11, Osama was most assuredly both. Even though it was KSM who planned the attacks, without the bin Laden money none of it would have been possible. And money, in the worldview of Mr. Marks, is the root of everything that is good.

And the attacks of 9/11 were very good, in the estimation of Dennis. The nation was clamoring for the blood of those behind the attacks, and for that reason legislation that gave the preznit unprecedented power to wage war on "the terrorists" sailed though Congress with but one NAY vote (SWTD #244). Given that vote, the preznit did not have to take it up with Congress when it was determined that bin Laden was behind the attacks and was currently holed-up in Afghanistan.

bush desperately wanted to go to war - in order to avenge his daddy, get political capital and steal tax payer money. Dick Cheney's old company Haliburton would benefit from some war contracts, given that it was on the verge of filing for bankruptcy. VP Dick said a war or two would make him extremely wealthy, given that he still held on to some Halliburton stock options. Many other bush cronies could benefit as well. And then, after bush rubbed their backs, surely they would rub his. And he could most certainly profit personally as well. Dick had Halliburton, and the bush family had The Carlyle Group.

Unfortunately there was a problem, which was that OBL was in Afghanistan and bush wanted to invade Iraq. There was no way bush could fool the public into going to war with the wrong country! But Rummy and Wolfie assured him, "we'll do Afghanistan first, and then Iraq". All was good until a second problem arose, which was that Afghanistan's Taliban rulers offered to hand over bin Laden to a neutral third country for prosecution if bush called off the dogs of war. How to deal with that problem? bush decided to make them an offer they couldn't accept.

Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, the Taliban's foreign minister, proposed that the US and Afghanistan should negotiate either "a three-nation court, or something under the supervision of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference". Wakil knew bush wanted war (and he was desperate to avoid it), but he couldn't just hand bin Laden over. Afghani culture demanded aabroh (a Pashtu word for "face-saving formula"). Without aabroh those who even considered capitulating to bush's demands would have been put to death.

But the ultimatum to turn over bin Laden to the United States military by bush was not in the least bit serious. Which is why he made it. bush KNEW the Taliban could not accept. The preznit was simply putting on a act before the invasion began, as he knew it would not be proper if he went to war without even giving the Taliban the option of turning over bin Laden.

Also, if one listens to Dennis, you might think, as he does, that "the Taliban and Al Qaeda were united at that time. In lockstep", but this is false. As noted by Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, "there had always been differences of opinion between the Arab fighters of al-Qaeda and [my] Taliban colleagues". Muttawakil remembers that the Taliban "condemned the attacks because the people targeted were defenseless civilians, women, children, Muslim and non-Muslim. But al Qaeda praised it".

bush knew the Taliban and al Qaeda were not in "lockstep", because, if they had been, he would have simply declared that the attack was sponsored or approved by the Taliban. Instead bush only accused them of "harboring" him. Proof positive that the claims of Dennis do not comport with reality. But Dennis knows, as bush knew, that bringing bin Laden to justice was never a goal of attacking Afghanistan. Because, if bin Laden had been taken into custody the American people would have considered the mission to have been accomplished. And then, what of bush's plans for regime change in Iraq?

No, that would not do. That is why Dennis ridicules the notion of the OIC supervising a trial of bin Laden - referring to it as a "kangaroo court" that would have patted him on the back - even though the Taliban suggested that the OIC only supervise. No offer would have been accepted. War was on the agenda, no matter what.

If an arrangement had been negotiated that brought bin Laden to justice - going into Iraq would have been impossible. That is why the offer was rejected before it was even considered, and that is why the bushies made sure bin Laden got away at Tora Bora. That was the second time that Dennis cheered for his hero, as well as sighing in relief.

After he let bin Laden escape bush decided the time was right to make his case to topple Saddam. So he told some more lies to the American people concerning (forged) documents that showed Saddam was trying to buy yellowcake uranium, aluminum tubes that could not be used in centrifuges, and mushroom clouds incinerating American cities (by way of nukes Saddam had no way of manufacturing).

In regards to bin Laden, bush said "I don't know where he is. I really just don't spend that much time on him, to be honest with you". Dennis heard those words and grinned from ear to ear. That night Dennis kissed the poster of the terrorist leader that was tacked to his bedroom wall and said a prayer to thank God bush was president on 9/11. Because Dennis knew, as Rudy Guliani did, that if Gore were president the US wouldn't have gone to war with two Muslim countries.

"Thank you, Osama... I love you" Dennis murmured as he drifted off to sleep. As he slept Dennis drempt of the incredible riches starting two unnecessary wars was going to yield for both the bush and Cheney families. In Dennis' dream the preznit spoke, imploring Shafiq bin Laden to "pass my thanks on to your brother". Then bushie added "no need for him to worry for his safety, however, as I surely have no intention of ever finding him". Shafiq smiled and replied, "Thank you, Mr. bush. We are defintely on the same page".

Dennis woke the next morning to find his undies were soiled due to an nocturnal emission that no doubt came about due to his dreaming of bush and Shafiq discussing how much wealthier each of their families were about to become. "Good times" Dennis remarked as he removed the sticky undergarment. Dennis' eyes then drifted to the bin Laden poster, and that is when he decided a date with Palmela Handerson was in order. Laying back in his bed Dennis finished the deed, screaming out "Osama!" as he climaxed.

Note: This commentary, which contains some speculation in regards to how dmarks views OBL, was written in response to the vile liar saying "there are some (WD sides with) who want such reform [of the Pentagon] not to save money, but to make the nation weak and strengthen our enemies such as his hero Bin Laden".

Frankly, given how much Dennis wanted OBL to escape, I find it much more likely that OBL is Dennis' hero. Hence this narrative, which is intended as satire, even though it could be closer to the truth than even I realize. As for OBL being my hero, I already identified that as a vile lie. I wanted him brought to justice ASAP, which the Taliban offer would have provided for, 10 freaking years earlier (SWTD #76).

And, the OIC could not have let Osama go, BTW, as their position would have only been supervisory, if they had been involved at all.

Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, Taliban's last foreign minister, told Al Jazeera in an exclusive interview... "Even before the [9/11] attacks, our Islamic Emirate had tried through various proposals to resolve the Osama issue. One such proposal was to set up a three-nation court, or something under the supervision of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference [OIC]"... (Taliban offered bin Laden trial before 9/11 by Mujib Mashal. Al Jazzera, 9/11/2011).

Certainly we could have given it a shot - as opposed to selecting war as the first and only option. It wouldn't have been as if we were throwing away a chance to catch him, as WE DIDN'T CATCH HIM! On purpose, perhaps... (SWTD #33).

SWTD #240, dDel #19. See also TADM #28 and TADM #33.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bullplop On Blowback

Because the United States itself has a long record of supporting terrorists and using terrorist tactics, the slogans of today's war on terrorism merely makes the United States look hypocritical to the rest of the world ~ Lt. General William Odom (6/23/1932 to 5/30/2008) a retired U.S. Army 3-star general, and former Director of the NSA under President Ronald Reagan, which culminated a 31-year career in military intelligence.

In a 3/9/2014 post the Libertarian-leaning blogger Willis Hart (WTNPH) gets all un-libertarianish in disagreeing with the head guru Ron Paul. According to said blogger, "for Mr. Paul or anybody to think that 9/11, the Boston Marathon bombings, and Benghazi wouldn't have happened had only our troops not been placed in Saudi Arabia for a spate is a little bit silly and naive in my estimation".

In reply I must say "what a dope". Our military presence in Saudi Arabia was cited by bin Laden as his rationale for the 9/11 attacks (a "spate" of 12 years), but a LOT has happened since then (both before and after we withdrew from Saudi Arabia in 2003), such as an illegal invasion of two countries and sustained drone strikes in several others we aren't at war. Drone strikes that continue to claim the lives of innocent civilians. The Boston Marathon bombings and Benghazi were blowback for those things, you dolt!

A 5/17/2013 CNN article reports that bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev wrote "in a message scribbled on the boat where he was found hiding [that the] bombing victims were collateral damage in a strike meant as payback for U.S. wars in Muslim lands".

The author of this idiocy goes on to list his problems with "radical Islam", and WTNPH has very valid concerns, but, in my estimation, a large number of those who have been "radicalized" chose the "revenge" route exactly because of our response to 9/11, which was for bush to take advantage of the shock of the nation - as well as the strong feeling at the time that we needed to strike back - and go to war with two Middle Eastern countries.

Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American citizen, and attempted Times Square car bomber acted "because of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. Major Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009 because of U.S. military strikes in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-American, planned a suicide attack on New York City's subway system because of the U.S. role in Afghanistan" (excerpt from the 4/27/2013 Consortium News article "The Blowback from Interventionism" by Melvin A. Goodman).

Following 9/11 bush saw an opportunity to become a "war president", get political capital, use that to further his other agenda items and get elected to a second term. The attacks also presented a wonderful opportunity for the bushies to plunder the treasury by way of "no bid" Afghanistan and Iraq "reconstruction" contracts. A 3/20/2013 International Business Times (IBT) article puts the cost of pilfered loot at $138 billion of U.S. taxpayer money for government contracts. IBT reveals that "ten contractors received 52 percent of the funds" with Halliburton's KBR receiving $39.5 billion "over the past decade".

Dick Cheney, as a result of Halliburton contracts, profited over $7 million dollars (stock options he received while working for the company increased by 3,281%). In addition, Cheney continued to receive a "deferred salary" while VP, to the tune of an average of 200k a year. The IBT article further points out that "the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan [estimates that] the level of corruption by defense contractors may be as high as $60 billion". Halliburton and KBR were in on that corruption.

That WTNPH consistently has defended bush in regards to his lying and thieving is, in my opinion, thoroughly disgusting. Yes, he does criticize him for the way he went about it, but he does agree "Saddam in fact did have to go". And he absolutely refuses to believe that bush ever lied about WMD, even though the evidence proves otherwise. bush lied, Iraqi civilians and US soldiers died (and were maimed)... and bush cronies profited tremendously.

Ron Paul, while I may strongly disagree with MOST of what he believes, is correct when he said 9/11 "was blowback for decades of US intervention in the Middle East". And he was also correct when he said "the last thing we needed was the government's response: more wars, a stepped-up police and surveillance state, and drones".

Yes, OBL "publicly denounced Saudi dependence on the U.S. military, arguing the two holiest shrines of Islam, Mecca and Medina, the cities in which the Prophet Mohamed received and recited Allah's message, should only be defended by Muslims" and cited our military presence in that country as the motivation for the 9/11 attacks, but Al Qaeda was (prior to 9/11) an obscure Islamic movement and most likely faded from existence if not for our military response.

It was our response post-9/11 that continued the blowback (and made it worse). Another response and the problem of radical Islam surely would be a lot serious than it is today. That Willis thinks Ron Paul believes Saudi Arabia is the only reason for the rise of radical Islam is more than a bit silly and naive in my estimation. And, where the usually Libertarian Mr. Hart should be agreeing with Ron Paul he goes the interventionist regime change route. Which is odd, because when it comes to the US economy he is stridently opposed to intervention.

(Also, I think it should be noted that, while the Hartster insists there is "no evidence that Bush KNEW that there weren't weapons of mass destruction and then lied to the American public", he is positive Obama lied about Benghazi).

The main point of the Hartster's commentary is, in my opinion, to push his Islamophobic (and more Republican) POV in which the US is blameless and all fingers should be pointed at the "rag heads" practicing a religion he is biased against. (for the record WTNPH doesn't use the term "rag head", but reading his commentary you very much expect him to).

Further proof that WTNPH is full of bullplop when he says "the argument that U.S. foreign policy has sowed the seeds of discontent and prompted Islamic retaliation - ultimately fails"...

->Sleeping With the Devil: How U.S. and Saudi Backing of Al Qaeda Led to 9/11 by WashingtonsBlog, 9/5/2012. Excerpt: Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski admitted on CNN that the U.S. organized and supported Bin Laden and the other originators of Al Qaeda in the 1970s to fight the Soviets.

->More Blowback from the War on Terror by Jennifer Daskal, Salon 10/1/2008. Excerpt: In late 2006, the Bush administration backed a full-scale Ethiopian military offensive that ousted the Islamist authorities from Somalia's capital, Mogadishu... [That innocents were caught up in the fighting and killed or tortured has] fueled anti-American rancor in Africa.

See Also: Dennis Marks Sez Ron Paul Speaks With One Voice Alongside The Terrorists (TADM #21) 3/12/2014.

SWTD #239, wDel #52. See also OST #2.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

On Juan Williams Defending Condi Rice Re Rutgers U Profs Opposed to Her Being Invited To Speak There

Michelle Obama, you know, she's got this Stokely Carmichael in a designer dress thing going. If she starts talking... her instinct is to start with this blame America, you know, I'm the victim. If that stuff starts coming out, people will go bananas and she'll go from being the new Jackie O to being something of an albatross ~ Juan Williams (dob 7/6/1946) in a 1/26/2009 comment to Bill O'Reilly while appearing on the O'Reilly Factor.

H/T to Lester Nation of rAtional nAtion United States of America for his highlighting of Juan William's defense of the ex Secretary of State regarding her invitation to speak (and receive an honory degree from) Rutgers U, and some professors with a "political agenda" speaking against it.

Juan Williams, who Mr. Nation describes as a "a rational and reasonable liberal", cites Condi's credentials (including a PhD, college teaching, provosting at Stanford U, and working her way up from a working-class family in the segregated South) and concludes that "only partisan hatred can blind the faculty to her extraordinary level of accomplishment for herself and her country".

rAtional strongly agreed, and several Liberally inclined commenters also weighed in and said they said Condi should be allowed to speak. I attempted to submit two comments citing Rice's involvement with an administration that mislead the American people into a war based on cherry-picked faulty intelligence and outright lies, but rAtional was having none of it. No doubt because bringing up such things would fall into the category of "gnawing on old bones".

"Gnawing on old bones" is a phrase rAtional likes to use when anyone brings up crimes or misdeeds of Republicans. This makes rAtional uncomfortable so he dismisses such talk by implying there is a problem with the person who brings up these things. The point being that I agree with the faculty's objections and (if I worked there) would sign their petition (my Liberal colleague's disagreement not withstanding).

It isn't "partisan hatred" to be concerned about misdeeds and lies of prior presidential administrations. That such things are swept under the rug explains why current and future administrations will continue to push the envelope. The Obama administration continued the policies of spying on the American people that began under bush (rAtional professes to be opposed). And the drone strikes in a country we aren't at war with (Pakistan and elsewhere) have only increased (but two examples).

I think "gnawing on old bones" is a phrase rAtional uses to express his opinion that the idea that we could learn from past misdeeds or "mistakes" (and not repeat them) is BAD. So, we disagree on that, as well as the belief that Juan Williams is a "a rational and reasonable liberal".

This time Mr. Williams defends Condoleezza Rice. Previously Juan defended Clarence Thomas when Thomas was accused of sexual harassment. If Williams were a Conservative defending Black Liberals, I think other Conservatives might say he was doing so only because they're Black. I won't say that because I can't think of an example where Williams has defended a Black Liberal. He seems to have a habit of exclusively defending Conservatives.

And remember he was fired by NPR for Islamophobic comments on Bill O'Reilly's "Factor", and then hired by Fox. Because he played to the Islamophobia of their base, IMO. Frankly I question whether Williams is either rational or reasonable. And I have questions regarding how Liberal he really is. Williams agreed with the Rutgers Profs that Rice had a role "in pushing the false claim of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" and supported "using enhanced interrogation techniques to get information from terror suspects", but says she should still be allowed to speak.

Allowed to speak, in Juan's opinion because "all of that is [not] negated by her service in President George W. Bush's administration". No, Condi's accomplishments aren't "negated". We simply should not ignore her participation in the lying-into-war and supporting of war crimes, Juan! "Rational" my ass.

The article by Williams is under a header (on the Fox site) that asks "why do liberals have so much hate Black Conservatives"... even though the text of Williams' article does not mention this "hate". The "hate" is brought up by Sean Hannity in a video (at the top of the article).

According to one protesting prof interviewed by Fox Nooz, it's not about Republican and Democrat. Said prof says "I have good Republican friends who are members of the Tea Party. That's not the issue. For me it's the morality of what was done during the war".

Rudolph Bell, a history professor who signed on to the petition, agreed (who knows why) to be interviewed by Sean Hannity says he is concerned about the choice of Condi to give the commencement speech in regards to her role in misleading the American people concerning WMD Iraq didn't have, as well as her support for EITs (i.e. torture).

Some excerpts from the Hannity program...

Hannity: Did Barack Obama mislead the American people when he said if you like your [insurance] plan you can your plan?

Rudolph Bell: She's absolutely welcome to come. I think $35,000 would be a little high. We normally pay at the most $2,000. Anyway, on academic freedom grounds I would never protest her coming to Rutgers. As a commencement speaker, that is different. That is a faculty governance issue. I'm not trying to silence her. She is entirely welcome to come as anything other than a commencement speaker.

Sounds very reasonable to me, and not "partisan hate", hatred for Black Conservatives or "Liberal lunacy". Allow her to speak, just not in a commencement capacity. That way people who want to listen can attend and those who don't can skip it. This way, people who wish to protest can do so by not attending and not have to miss their commencement. Also, we can avoid an "ugly" scene of people turning their backs on her (as has happened previously). Not that I'd be against that form of protest, but I'd have thought the University might want to avoid that. And I surely would not be OK with giving her 35k either.

As for Hannity claiming that Obama mislead the American people about keeping their insurance policies if they like them... that is a false claim. The ACA contains a provision that grandfathers in plans that do not meet the ACA minimum requirements.

Grandfathered health plans do not have to meet all of the law's new coverage requirements. But in order to be grandfathered, health plans must have existed on March 23, 2010. Those with individual grandfathered plans had to have them before the law took effect. And to maintain their grandfathered status, the plans must not be changed to cut benefits or significantly raise prices for consumers through deductibles or co-pays. (Source).

The insurance companies changed plans to cut benefits or significantly raise prices for consumers and therefore those plans did not maintain their grandfathered status. Obama told the truth. It was the insurers who (in my estimation) changed the plans ON PURPOSE so they couldn't be grandfathered in (so they could try to trick people into paying more) while blaming Obama.

But that is another topic entirely. I only wanted to address it because Hannity lied about misrepresenting - misrepresenting that, it should be noted (even if you think Obama misrepresented) - is not comparable. Telling people they can keep crap insurance plans (plans that do not meet minimum requirements) when some didn't meet the grandfather requirements is NOT the same as lying about WMD in order to hoodwink the public into supporting an illegal war!

In conclusion I must say that Juan Williams is a poor "Liberal" for attempting to give Condi a pass (even given her impressive resume prior to lying to the American people). Also, when the rAtional dude said "I would be most interested in hearing what my more liberal leaning readership has to say about the New Brunswick Faculty Council of Rutgers University request to nix the invitation" he lied. I submitted 3 comments (2 critical of Condi and one of Juan) and rAtional declined to publish either.

Video Description: Proof Condi Rice lied about WMD Iraq destroyed.

SWTD #238, lDel #16.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Rudy Giuliani Anti-American Praise of Pootie-Poot Brings Shame To Our Country

I looked the man in the eye. I was able to get a sense of his soul ~ George W bush (dob 7/6/1946) 43rd preznit of the US (2001 to 2009), reflecting on a meeting with new best friend, Pootie-Poot, or Vladimir Putin, as he is known to everyone else.

H/T to Shaw Kenawe of Progressive Eruptions for her highlighting of Rudy Giuliani's disgusting commentary regarding the invasion of the Ukraine by Russian troops with her story "Rudy Has The Hots For Vlad!", in which she discussed the former NY mayor praising Vladmir Putin by saying he's "what you call a leader" (in contrast to Obama).

According to the Progressive blogger SK "the unlawful invasion of a sovereign country is real leadership" and that this insult to President Obama deserves to be called out. Actually, SK referred to Giuliani's praise of Putin "anti-American blather", and with that assessment I agree.

Mr. "a noun, a verb, and 9-11", is the idiot who, after running around looking heroic on 9-11, ran a failed presidential campaign, and then started a security consulting business... as if being mayor during the 9-11 attacks made him an expert at security - when the fact is that the reason he was running around looking all heroic is because he ignored the NYPD's objections to placing the emergency command center in the WTC...

William K. Rashbaum, writing for the NYT: The New York Police Department produced a detailed analysis in 1998 opposing plans by the city to locate its emergency command center at the World Trade Center, but the Giuliani administration overrode those objections. The command center later collapsed from damage in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. (The New York Times, 1/26/2008).

And, there is also the fact that the Giuliani administration was warned about problems with NYFD radios in 1993 but did nothing to fix the problem. Giuliani lied to the 9-11 commission when he said "firefighters heard the orders and heroically decided to stand their ground and rescue civilians"... the International Association of Fire Fighters says "121 firefighters in the north tower didn't get out because they didn't hear evacuation orders" (due to the KNOWN radio communication problem).

It is a horrible joke that Giuliani has been able to use 9-11 (first in his failed attempt to become president) and then to make money off of (security consulting and as a Fox Nooz contributor). That he was running around on 9-11 due to the destruction of the emergency command center should be his shame. That so many firefighters died due to his administration's inaction in fixing a known problem should be his shame. Unbelievably him being mayor on 9-11 is his source of pride (and has made him a LOT of money).

Giuliani was a consistent cheerleader for the bush administration's lying us into an illegal invasion of Iraq, and now he has the gall to criticize Obama while praising Putin? I agree completely with Giuliani's praise of Putin to be "anti-American blather", which makes him a pretty loathsome character, IMO. Even IF you don't take his record on 9-11 into consideration.

SWTD #237

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Severe Conservative Delusions: Al Gore & The Invention of the Internet Edition

The day I made that statement, about the inventing the internet, I was tired because I'd been up all night inventing the Camcorder ~ Al Gore (dob 3/31/1948) an American politician, advocate and philanthropist, who served as the 45th Vice President of the United States (1993–2001), under President Bill Clinton... joking about the deluded liars who think he claims to have invented the internet.

Al Gore, the only person ever elected to the presidency who did not serve, also happens to be the victim of an (old) lie about him having claimed to be the inventor of the internet. Actually, this "lie" is more of a joke... because we all know he didn't say it. That Al Gore claims to have invented the internet has been debunked by Snopes. Follow the link and you will see that the judgment of this well-known resource for validating and debunking "urban legends, Internet rumors, email forwards, and other stories" (Snopes) is that the meme is false.

Yet, this does not stop Dennis Marks (AKA dmarks) from lying and stating that, no, he truly believes that Gore said he invented the internet...

Dennis Marks: Al Gore did not use the word invent, but he did use the word create, and said that he created the Internet. Yes are no: are you aware of the existence of synonyms? And if you are, how can you argue that invent does not mean create? Face it: Gore claimed to have invented it (correct paraphrase), which is untrue since he never did. (4/18/2012 AT 5:49am).

So, Dennis has to resort to synonyms to "prove" Mr. Gore "lied"? How pathetic. At best it could be argued that Mr. Gore misspoke. He surely did not lie, as we know Mr. Gore was referring to legislation he sponsored during his time in Congress. The Wikipedia page "Al Gore and information technology" notes that "in the 1980s and 1990s, [Gore] promoted legislation that funded an expansion of the ARPANET, allowing greater public access, and helping to develop the Internet".

What follows is the statement by Gore; from an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "Late Edition" program on 3/9/1999...

Al Gore: During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

Gore directly references the legislation he sponsored after CORRECTLY pointing out that he "took the initiative in creating the Internet". While it is true that "create" and "invent" are synonyms, defines a synonym as "a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another in the [English] language". In the context of Al Gore's quote, the meaning is NOT the same, as Snopes points out...

Snopes: Al Gore did not claim he "invented" the Internet, nor did he say anything that could reasonably be interpreted that way. The "Al Gore said he 'invented' the Internet" put-downs were misleading, out-of-context distortions... (excerpt from the Snopes article Internet of Lies).

In the context of Mr. Gore's quote an honest person can NOT use the "synonym argument" and thus conclude Gore was claiming to have invented the internet, as a synonym can mean a word that has NEARLY the same meaning and not EXACTLY the same meaning. A honest person would look at the CONTEXT of the word being used and conclude - as Snopes did - that those who claim Gore invented the internet are full of bullplop. But Dennis is not an honest person. Also, he most certainly is full of poop.

Proof that Dennis dissembles is that when I said "he [Gore] was CLEARLY referring to the legislation he sponsored", Dennis remarked...

Dennis Marks: Now that is a flat out lie. You are defending Gore on what you think he said, not what he actually said. He CLEARLY took credit for bringing the Internet into being. Which in fact he never did: it existed before the point in time in which he claimed to have invented it (exact word "Created"). (3/28/2012 at 8:46am). [Note: Dennis deleted this comment, but I quoted him in my response immediately following the deleted comment].

No, Dennis, you delusional lying sack of excrement, Al Gore actually said "I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives..." and he was referring to the legislation he sponsored. The only one thinking (or imagining) Al Gore said something that he did not is YOU. Mr. Gore did NOT "clearly" take credit for bringing the Internet into being.

Conclusion? We should all thank Gore for helping set up the environment that lead to the internet as we now know it. Without the foresight and genius of the ex-Vice President, I would not be online blogging today. If only Mr. Gore had invented a method of ensuring the integrity of elections, then perhaps George bush would not have stolen the presidency from him. It is a shame, as with a President Gore, we may have stopped the terrorists and prevented the tragedy of 9-11. At least we have the internet, I guess... and for that I say... THANK YOU, Mr. Gore... the only man ever elected president who never served. The world owes you a debt of gratitude.

As for Mr. Marks, I think we (all of us in the reality based community) can conclude he is a delusional nutter who will now - if he reads this commentary - start claiming Gore lied about inventing the camcorder.

Video: Al Gore tells the truth about how he took the initiative in creating the internet.

Update 10/6/2014: In regards to the comment by Dennis that he deleted above, according to him he did it "for the amusement factor".

SWTD #236, dDel #18. See also TADM #15.