Archive for International
“How many billions of dollars do you have to launder for drug lords and how many economic sanctions do you have to violate before someone will consider shutting down a financial institution like this … What does it take to get you to move towards even a hearing? Even considering shutting down banking operations for money laundering?”
Where is the line? Sorry, that’s Justice. Treasury will not even speculate. Treasury has no opinion. Not their job to even have one.
The world will not actually end tonight when all of these forced budget cuts come down the pike. They have to be phased in by the end of the year if nothing happens between now and then and, as with all things, once it goes from the hyper-partisan theater of Congress to the agencies responsible, actual thought can be put into play to soften the blow to the average person, save as many jobs as possible, and generally make do, as we Americans are supposed to be so good at. Read More→
Only Law Enforcement Officers Will be Outlaws
(UPDATED below: The Zombie Apocalypse is here.)
Via Crooks and Liars,
A Texas state representative says that a bill banning the enforcement of any new gun control laws is constitutional because it would only prosecute police and other state officials.
Texas is the asylum. Guess who’s running it?
I’m aghast at the culture of corruption that seems widespread here and abroad. As if the entire world is becoming post-Soviet Russia run by criminal oligarchs, their sycophants, and their apologists. And that’s just the financial sector. What about drone strikes? Same difference. “Cold-blooded,” suggests Bill Moyers. Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone:
It’s been amazing, watching the histrionics and mental gymnastics some people have resorted to in their efforts to defend this infamous drone program. Extralegal murder is not an easy thing to manufacture consent around, and the signs of strain in the press have been pretty clear all around.
Bush had his fraudulent invasion, torture, rendition and illegal wiretaps. And his corps of apologists. Obama’s got his drone program and his “kill list.” Taibbi writes, “What kind of a people kills children by remote control?”
On the finance side, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren questioned bank regulators this week. It was stunning to see the reaction to her asking federal regulators when the last time was that they brought Wall Street bankers to trial. She concluded:
“You know, I just want to note on this. There are district attorneys and U.S. attorneys who are out there every day squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds. And taking them to trial in order to make an example, as they put it. I’m really concerned that too big to fail has become too big for trial,” she said. “That just seems wrong to me.”
The audience applauded. Wall Street sneered.
Matt Taibbi lays out how banking giant HSBC systematically laundered drug and terrorist money and pursued elaborate end-runs around the law, and how the LIBOR banks defrauded, hell, every person on the planet involved in financial transactions involving banks. Meanwhile, as street thugs with three strikes get life in California, federal regulators lie down at the banks’ feet in supplication:
This is the government admitting to being afraid to prosecute the very powerful – something it never did even in the heydays of Al Capone or Pablo Escobar, something it didn’t do even with Richard Nixon. And when you admit that some people are too important to prosecute, it’s just a few short steps to the obvious corollary – that everybody else is unimportant enough to jail.
And unimportant enough to kill, too.
Go figure. The federal budget deficit is not “the economic equivalent of a giant meteor hurtling toward America, about to hit any day,” says the Los Angeles Times.
“… the fight over deficits and spending has become a surrogate for battles over basic political and ideological disagreements over the role of government and, behind the scenes, over how the economic pie should be divided.”
Wow. It took how long to figure that out?
Because at this special time of year every all-American kid dreams of being an assassin.
Semiauto handgun? Check. Bushmaster? Check. (Picked it up at Walmart’s everyday low prices.) High-capacity magazines? Check. Silencers? Doh!!
In case you’re wondering, the answer is yes, the gun lobby’s grand strategy rests grotesquely on fake concern for child hearing health. Among the opening shots in the campaign was a feature in the February 2011 issue of Gun World, “Silence is Golden,” penned by the veteran gun writer Jim Dickson. “One only has to look at children in the rest of the world learning to shoot with silencers, protecting their tender young ears, to see what an innocent safety device we are talking about here,” writes Dickson. “To use an overworked propaganda phrase, legalize silencers ‘for the sake of the children.’” [Emphasis Salon's]
Or these test subjects. VIDEO: 2009 ABC News Experiment Demonstrates More Guns Unlikely to Stop Mass Shootings
WTVD: “The Tea Party in Asheville is being criticized for a fundraising raffle for two guns, including one similar to one used in the school shootings in Connecticut.”
“Western Carolina University political scientist Chris Cooper says he’s surprised by the tea party’s timing, when the National Rifle Association took down its Facebook and Twitter accounts after the shooting.
Jane Bilello with the Asheville Tea Party says the fundraiser was planned before the shooting. But she stands by the group’s position that gun control does not work.
The raffle includes an AR15 semi-automatic .223 caliber rifle and a .22 Magnum pistol.”
Asheville Tea Party and Asheville Tea PAC Board Members’ email addresses:
Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve arrived in the vast cornfields of Canada…*
Another day, another death. Today’s featured death is Muhammad Ziad Awad Salaymah a 17 year old Palestinian teenager shot dead in West Bank. He pulled a toy pistol from his belt at a Israeli checkpoint, and was gunned down by IDF soldiers. Protests ensued. The use of leathal force against non-violent protesters is left to the discretion of Soldiers in the field. The US give an average of $3 billion a year in military aid to Israel (that’s billion with a “B”).
Israeli soldiers use rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas bombs and stun grenades against non-violent protesters in the the West Bank – in addition to spraying them with water mixed with chemicals. These tactics have led to the injuries of hundreds and even several deaths among protesters.
Here’s some random stuff to read/discuss/ignore (after the break):
It’s 12.12.12. Do with that what you will. In the past 24 hours there have been approximately 153,400 deaths world-wide ( with approximately 356,201 births, do with that what you will), one of those deaths belonged to Ravi Shankar, again, do with that what you will. Also, several people were shot and killed at a mall in Portland, by a man wearing a white mask and brandishing a semi-automatic rifle. He killed himself. Also, North Korea shot something off, and had a parade. They are fond of parades.
Here’s some random stuff to read/discuss/ignore (after the break):