Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Vulture Funds

I wasn’t familiar with this term until CoolAqua posted about it. What are Vulture Funds? Think of the sleaziest, most immoral economic activity you know of — loansharking, blackmail, selling heroin to 3rd graders, etc. Now try to imagine this activity on a global scale, and you just might start to approach the coldblooded amorality of Vulture Funds.

A Vulture Fund is a company which buys up (very cheaply) the debt of a bankrupt third world government when that debt is about to be written off. Then the company will sue that government for the full amount of the debt, plus interest. They might end up collecting ten times the amount they originally paid to buy the debt.

Zambia was a recent victim. The average wage in Zambia is just over a dollar a day. A vulture fund paid $4 million to buy up Zambia’s debt. Now they're suing the Zambian government to extort $40 million from one of the poorest countries in the world.

A spokesperson for Jubilee Debt Campaign said “Profiteering doesn’t get any more cynical than this. Zambia has been planning to spend the money released from debt cancellation on much-needed nurses, teachers and infrastructure: this is what debt cancellation is intended for, not to line the pockets of businessmen based in rich countries.”

According to the Jubilee Debt Campaign’s website, the world’s most impoverished countries are paying over $100 million in debt repayment every day to the world’s richest countries. Is this right?

Gordon Brown of the International Monetary Fund said “We particularly condemn the perversity where Vulture Funds purchase debt at a reduced price and make a profit from suing the debtor country to recover the full amount owed — a morally outrageous outcome.”

Vulture funds were invented by Paul Singer, an American billionaire. His latest venture: he paid $10 million to buy up a debt from the Congolese government. He's now suing the Congo to collect $400 million for that same debt.

Paul Singer has been George W. Bush’s largest contributor. He's donated a total of $1.7 million since Bush’s first presidential campaign. Now, in case Rudy Giuliani is your favorite Republican — he's a “maverick,” he's a “moderate” — Giuliani is now Paul Singer’s favorite project. Singer has pledged at least $15 million for Giuliani’s presidential campaign.

Capitalism — like every “ism” — has some ugly stepchildren. But vulture funds are the ugliest stepchild I’ve ever seen.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

American Military Leaders: NOT the Nazi Secret Service

If the United States is ever subjected to a Nuremberg-type trial for war crimes against Iraq (or Iran or whoever’s next on our hit list), the following phrase might be missing: “I vass only following orderss.”

Unlike the German army of 65 years ago, many American military commanders are prepared to resign rather than follow orders to attack Iran. “The British government has learned” (sorry, that phrase always cracks me up) that “there are four or five generals and admirals we know of who would resign if Bush ordered an attack on Iran. There is simply no stomach for it in the Pentagon, and a lot of people question whether such an attack would be effective or even possible.”

Patriotic Americans (true Patriots, not those mindless “don’t you dare question our president” dipshits) should be welling up with pride. Unlike the Axis Powers of World War II and other past aggressors, American military commanders have consciences and values. They're willing to think for themselves — even sacrifice their careers — instead of blindly following orders from a crazed megalomaniac. Is this a great country or what?

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Iraq: We’re NEVER EVER Gonna Leave!!! BWAAHAAHAAHAAA!!!

Might as well cut to the chase. Most of the presidential candidates either don’t know this, or they're pretending not to know: Our troops will be staying and staying and staying in Iraq. We may not be there permanently, but we’re gonna be there for a long looong time.

Presidential contenders are all claiming they have a surefire plan for getting us out of Iraq honorably and on “schedule” (whatever that means). But General Petraeus is saying otherwise, and nobody wants to admit this. His “surge” plan calls for American troops to be hogtied in Iraq for the next ten years. Five years would be the minimum; but ten (maybe more) years seems much more likely. And it’s not gonna be pretty.

Petraeus’ predecessor, Gen. George Casey, had planned on about 60,000 American soldiers remaining in Iraq by 2008. And these soldiers would be cloistered on four giant “superbases” where they'd be relatively safe.

Now — Under New Management — 160,000 American troops will be stationed in hundreds of “mini-forts” all over Iraq. And they’ll be right in the line of fire. Casualties will be higher than ever.

Iraqis are about to “stand up so we can stand down”????? Riiight. Be sure to ask for a left-handed monkey wrench and a skyhook on your way to picking up that bridge you bought at our special price.

One of the Army’s top experts in Irregular Warfare said “This is the right strategy: small mini-packets of U.S. troops all over, small ‘oil spots’ [of stability] spreading out. It’s classic counterinsurgency. But it’s high risk and it’s going to take a long time.”

Well isn’t that special. Come on White House wannabes and Congressional “leaders” (if you're out there). What do you have to say about this?

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Pharmaceutical Giant vs. Religious Right

Whew! Talk about the Clash of the Titans. Mothra vs. Godzilla! It’s a showdown between a huge pharmaceutical conglomerate and the Religious Right. Get your front row seats!

Merck has been lobbying state legislatures to require adolescent girls to use Merck’s vaccine — Gardasil — to protect themselves against cervical cancer. Yes it’s appalling that a large corporation has such a tight scrotal grip on America’s government, but that seems to be a fact of life. At least in this particular case it’s a win-win: more profits for the already-bloated Merck AND a life-saving public health program.

And in this corner: the American Taliban. The Ku Klux Christians. Cervical cancer is often caused by the virus HPV, which is transmitted by sexual contact. And Gardasil protects girls against HPV. Ah yes, you're getting the picture now. We all know that pre-marital sex is EVIL. And this new vaccine will cause millions of 12-year-old girls to run out of the classroom, lie down in the grass and start having raw kinky sex with everything that moves.

This will make God very angry. This infernal vaccine was NOT part of His Plan. Bring on the Fire and Brimstone! If a few of these teenage sluts get cervical cancer — well, that'll learn ‘em.

Merck has now discontinued their lobbying campaign.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

They Helped Us During the Vietnam War, Then We Dumped Them

As you know, the French helped us during the Revolutionary War. Without them, we might’ve lost the war and become just another British colony. 230 years later we've turned against France with a vengeance, just because of a disagreement over Iraq. The French have pretty much been reduced to a caricature — a bunch of finicky wine-sipping surrender monkeys.

The Hmong (a mountain tribe from Southeast Asia) have gotten a much shorter grace period. They fought on America’s side during the Vietnam War. They were ferocious fighters who made a huge difference to our troops. And now they're being kept out of the United States because they might be “terrorists.”

Because of the Patriot Act and the Real ID Act, the Hmong are technically categorized as “terrorists” because of their secret war against the Laotian Communists almost 40 years ago.

The director of a Hmong advocacy group said “Thousands of Hmong veterans and family members are threatened with potential deportation down the road. And there is a clear and present danger they cannot be naturalized in a timely manner.”

Another spokesperson said “Clearly, it’s absurd that people who fought with us — people who have received special exemptions from the law precisely for that conduct — should be barred from coming to the U.S. as refugees as a result of that conduct.”

Ready, all together now: They hate us for our freedom.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

The History of America by George W. Bush

Forget all those sanitized politically correct history books that we were all brainwashed with. It turns out our current president is also a historian, and he's been kind enough to share his inside knowledge and expertise.

For instance: betcha didn’t know that George Washington traveled all over the world, hunting down, capturing and torturing suspicious-looking peasants who might be terrorists. Washington alienated millions of people in dozens of countries, but that didn’t matter. He knew he was right.

That’s just one of many incredible facts you'll learn from Bush’s Presidents’ Day speech. Check it out. You'll be amazed. And you'll be furious at your history teachers for all the lies they told you.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Earth to Republicans: You Lost

We've all seen articles saying that clueless people have no idea that they're clueless. The person who makes the most Godawful chili in the free world always says “oh, the so-and-so’s are coming over; I’ll make my chili.” Etc. Sometimes it seems that Republicans are unaware that they lost the election last November. Consequently they're continuing the same behavior that caused the public to fire them three months ago.

The House has finally had a chance to vote on the nonbinding resolution against an Iraqi “surge.” The resolution passed, 246 to 182. But Republican “leaders” were continually squelching the possibility of even voting on it. What are they afraid of? Iraqmire is probably the biggest single cause of the Republicans’ defeat. And yet they tried to suppress a nonbinding vote on whether to keep on digging deeper into the hole we’re stuck in. Helllooo!!!

Grand Inquisitor Attorney General Torquemada “Alberto” Gonzales has been infuriating the public for years with one power grab after another. Congress has finally attempted to deal with his latest gimmick — firing federal prosecutors for no reason and replacing them with people whose politics he likes better. Diane Feinstein introduced a bill to counter this latest power grab by Gonzales, and Republicans have blocked the bill. What are they thinking?

Last Fall’s election should've been a wake-up call for the American Taliban (Religious Right, Biblehumpers, whatever you want to call them). The vote was an obvious sign that the public DOES NOT want to turn the clock back to the 4th century. The idea that human life is sacred up to the moment of birth (but not beyond); that there's a “homosexual agenda” which threatens to bring America to its knees; that a 2-year-old child could turn gay from watching the Teletubbies on TV — the public trounced those wackoid/sicko ideas last November. This should've been obvious to everyone.

But NOOOOO!!! Apparently, any Republican presidential contender who wants even a prayer of getting the nomination, must get in bed — get down, get funky, get kinky — with Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson. And they’ll be put through their paces. If they can do the smarmy kiss-ass politician’s equivalent of picking up a quarter with their ***BLEEP — this phrase has been censored in case any women or children are reading *** then maybe, just maybe, the Grand Poobah will consider them. But first they’ll have to dance. And squirm. And twist. And ***BLEEP*********

Sorry, but the American Taliban’s stranglehold on the political landscape ain't quite what it used to be. John Q. Public understands this (Hell, s/he was shouting it from the rooftops last November), but apparently some Republican White House contenders don’t get it yet. Any Republican with presidential ambitions who thinks he can go down on Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and Pat Robertson and then get right back out on the campaign trail and say “Hi, I’m a moderate Republican” — two words. Clueless. Unelected.

Republicans must secretly enjoy being the minority party. Because at the rate they're going, they're gonna stay that way for a looong time.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

This Is Our Chance: Bring America Home to Jesus!

Well, that damn Rapture keeps on postponing itself, but keep the faith. We haven’t been whisked up to Heaven yet, but this here is the next best thing. There'll be a gathering of us righteous, sanctimonious Godfearing folk in Tualatin, Oregon on February 23rd and 24th. We got us a Culture War to fight.

The entire Left Coast is nothing but a hellhole of pagans, homasexials and liberals. To the rescue! Godless Liberalism is the disease and we’re the cure. We gonna bring these sinners to Jesus! Praise The Lord!

We’ll have two glorious days away from the secular wickedness that’s destroying America. If you're the laughingstock of your neighborhood because you're the only one who handles snakes and burns books — don’t despair. There are millions of self-righteous little pricks just like you, and this will be your chance to mingle with some of them.

Discussion topics will include: Godlessness in America; the Homosexual Agenda; the frightening ulterior motives behind so-called “Hate Crimes” legislation; and how to mobilize the Christian vote.

Remember: America is a Christian Nation. This was the intention of God, and of our Founding Fathers who spoke through Him. God is demanding that we win the Culture War. (And you know what happens when He is displeased!) You MUST attend this important conference and learn God’s plan for YOU. Onward Christian Soldiers!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bring Back Habeas Corpus

Hat Tip to F/C and Thomas Ware and everybody else who’s posted about this. Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) has introduced legislation to repeal last year’s infamous Military Commissions Act. With that law, Bush and his Harem (aka Congress) deleted the ancient legal concept of Habeas Corpus. Habeas Corpus dates back to 14th century England. George W. Bush was wrong to eliminate it; and now we have a chance to being it back.

Senator Dodd’s legislation is called the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007. If you have any questions, please check out this short video for more information on this bill and why America urgently needs it.

Don’t get complacent and think “it can't happen here.” It can, and it’s already in progress. Please click here to become a citizen co-sponsor of the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007. America needs your help.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Invading Iran: It's Been Planned For A Long Time

Ever since we got bogged down in Iraqmire, we've been learning that this invasion was being planned even before Bush’s election in 2000. And now we learn that Bush’s sudden hysteria over Iran is just the latest chapter in a longtime game plan. Our government has been mapping out an Iranian invasion since the 1990s.

In 1992, toward the end of Bush 41’s presidency, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and Pentagon staffers Scooter Libby and Paul Wolfowitz — don’t those names have a familiar ring to them — drew up plans for the U.S. to act as the lone superpower. These plans included pre-emptive attacks to prevent any other country from becoming a regional “competitor.”

These plans were drawn up in more detail by the Project For A New American Century in 2000. Libby, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Dan Quayle and Jeb Bush were all members of this illustrious crew.

So when you start hearing frantic reports about Iran supplying weapons to Iraqi insurgents, or Iran threatening to nuke Israel, consider the source. You’ve heard it all before. Remember, Saddam Hussein had Weapons of Mass Destruction, most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Iraq, and Saddam had close ties with al Qaeda.

But don’t worry. When we invade Iran, it'll be a cakewalk. Our soldiers will be greeted as liberators and they’ll be showered with cake and ice cream by throngs of grateful Iranians.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Blithering Boy-King Needs Another Trophy

Our spoiled tantrum-throwing trustfund baby seems determined to attack Iran no matter what, and he isn’t about to let any facts get in his way. (Has he ever?)

It doesn’t matter that Iranian forces captured two al Qaeda leaders who were traveling through Iran on their way to Iraq. And so what if Iran tried to open up diplomatic communication between the U.S. and Iran in 2003 (before Ahmadinejad took over)? Their overture was ignored (and never publicized) by the Bush Administration. Fuck a bunch of wussy diplomacy — we've got sabers to rattle.

Our cerebrally-challenged manchild has to have his way and that’s all there is to it. If he can't invade Iran, he's gonna stamp his foot, thrust out his lower lip and hold his breath until he turns blue.

You know things are bad when Russia — not exactly a beacon of human rights — criticizes America’s foreign policy for its “almost uncontained” use of force. At a security forum in Germany, Putin said “we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations. One state, the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is very dangerous, nobody feels secure anymore because nobody can hide behind international law.”

Yes, it’s the pot calling the kettle black, but that statement needed to be made. It isn’t any less valid just because it was made by the Russian president.

Well, so much for that celebrated friendship and empathy between Bush and Putin. Nobody but NOBODY criticizes George W. Bush and gets away with it. Putin is out of the clubhouse. Off the island! Never again will Bush gaze deeply into Putin’s eyes and look into his soul.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Hilarious New Comedy Website

Let’s take a short break from Iraqmire, Plamegate, global warming, the Bush Crime Family… Sometimes you just need a good laugh, and this site is the place to go.

Some crazed gonzo comedian named Donald Wildmon seems to be in charge of this website, and boy is he a hoot! Yeehaaww!! These guys do a wicked dead-on imitation of a bunch of snakehandling 'bacca-chewin' family-tree-has-no-branches Biblespewing rednecks. They're so good, you might get a sudden impulse to roll around on the floor and start speaking in tongues.

Warning: Don’t be drinking anything while you're visiting this site. These screaming memes will have you busting a gut and spewing coffee all over your keyboard. Check it out.

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Bad News for “English Only” Fanatics: You're Going SENILE

OK, that’s an exaggeration. But this report indicates that multilingual people have reduced and delayed the mental effects of aging. (If the first link doesn’t work, try this one.)

So, along with wolfing down zillions of cherries, berries and fish oil capsules and doing lots of crossword puzzles — start learning and speaking other languages. And quit blubbering about English being the official language.

On the average, people who regularly speak two or more languages start to lose their cognitive abilities about four years later than those who only use one language. Bilingual people in their 70s have scored much higher than their monolingual counterparts in tests for various cognitive skills.

The main researcher, Ellen Bialystok, thinks the increased cognitive ability comes from constantly having to decide which language to use and which language to suppress. She says “every time you want to speak one language, the other language is activated in the brain as well. That means you need a mechanism so that you're only drawing from the right pool of words. It’s going to be a mechanism that works extremely fast…while you're producing sentences. It’s way below your radar for detecting what's happening.”

As a result, bilingual people are more highly skilled in tuning out distractions so they can focus and concentrate; and they're better equipped for rapid decision-making and multi-tasking.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

White Supremacist Hate Groups: Back With a Vengeance

The immigration issue has been much more volatile lately, and the publicity has generated a smelly by-product: a powerful resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and various skinhead and neo-Nazi groups.

These groups have been gaining members, holding more rallies and they’ve increased their presence on the Internet. They’ve been capitalizing on the immigration issue as a way to fan the flames of racism.

The Civil Rights Director of the Anti-Defamation League said “Extremist groups are good at seizing on whatever the hot button is of the day and twisting the message to get new members. This one seems to be taking hold with more of mainstream America than we’d like to see.”

She also said “The Klan is increasingly cooperating with other extremist groups and Neo-Nazi groups. That’s a new phenomenon.” The director of the Southern Poverty Law Center said “Whenever you think the Klan is down and out, they find another way to reinvent themselves.”

The KKK has been reviving a lot of their old chapters and opening news ones as well, especially in the South (like you'd expect) but also in Michigan, Iowa and New Jersey. Since 2005, hate groups in general have grown by 33%; the KKK has grown by 63%.

The KKK reached its highest membership — more than 4 million members — in the 1920s. During that period, same as now, their main recruiting tool was hatred of immigrants. The more things change…

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Is America Still Relevant?

That’s the question being being asked in this Newsweek column. The author, Fareed Zakaria, wonders what a post-America world will be like. He's referring to the annual Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland. He says “For the first time in my memory, America was somewhat peripheral. There were few demands, pleas, complaints or tantrums directed at the United States. In this small but significant global cocoon, people—for the moment at least—seemed to be moving beyond America.”

People in Europe and the Middle East seem to think that their views about America’s foreign policy in general — and George W. Bush in particular — have been vindicated. Everyone else is united in their opposition to America’s Mad Cowboy; so it just seems redundant to keep beating the same dead horse by bashing Bush.

This year’s theme at Davos was “Shaping the Global Agenda: The Shifting Power Equation.” The consensus was that Asia is on the rise, and Europe and America are on the decline. Like it or not, the global dynamic seems to be shifting.

The author describes what a post-America world might be like. “It will be free of American domination, but perhaps also free of leadership—a world in which problems fester and the buck is endlessly passed, until problems explode.”

For one thing, international cooperation on global warming could go from Godawful to worse. A high-ranking Chinese official said “The ball is not in China’s court. The ball is in everybody’s court.” India’s planning czar said “every country should have the same per capita rights to pollution.” If the combined population of India and China (2.3 billion) starts polluting at Western levels, we’ll have global meltdown.

Cooperation on trade and tariffs may also start going from bad to worse, especially within the European Union. For that matter, China, India and Brazil talk about flexibility and cooperation, but without any concrete actions. As the author says, “The ball for every problem is in everybody's court, which means that it is in nobody’s court.”

According to Zakaria, the global system — economic, social, political — is not self-managing. It needs leaders to handle stresses and problems. He compares the coming post-America period to the 1920s. Then, as now, technology (electricity, radio, movies, cars) had transformed the world. Britain was declining and America was isolationist. The author describes the 1920s as “truly a world without direction” which begat protectionism, nationalism, xenophobia and ultimately World War II.

The author quotes a British historian who says “the end of American hegemony might not fuel an orderly shift to a multi-polar system but a descent into a world of highly fragmented powers, with no one exercising any global leadership.” He uses the term apolarity. This coming apolarity “could turn out to mean an anarchic new Dark Age, an era of waning empires and religious fanaticism, of economic plunder and pillage in the world’s forgotten regions, of economic stagnation, and civilization’s retreat into a few fortified enclaves.”

OK, so that sounds more like a bad science fiction movie than anything else. But as Zakaria says, “for those who have been fondly waiting for the waning of American dominance—be careful what you wish for.”

Food for thought.

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Friday, February 02, 2007

Stop Experimenting with American Lives

That’s the title of the latest e-mail from Downsize DC, a Libertarian organization. They're asking Congress to sponsor a bill which will de-authorize America's occupation of Iraq.

As their e-mail says, “We got into this mess because Congress authorized it. We must get out of it by having Congress de-authorize it.” Bush and his puppet-masters have spent four years conducting experiments in Iraq. Each one has been a miserable failure. It’s time to stop the experiments and get out of the laboratory. Now!

So far eight representatives are sponsoring H.R. 413. The text of this bill is:

SECTION 1. REPEAL OF PUBLIC LAW 107-243. The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) is hereby repealed.

SEC. 2. WITHDRAWAL OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES FROM IRAQ. The President of the United States shall provide for the withdrawal of units and members of the United States Armed Forces deployed in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in a safe and orderly manner.

If you've had it up to here with our delusional megalomaniac of a “president” experimenting with American lives in Iraq, please click here and ask your congressional representative to sponsor H.R. 413.

Stop the madness now. Enough is enough.

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