Maturin42's Blog

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Response to LTE, Daily Times, 5-19-2011

Re: Multifaceted approach is needed if we truly wish to solve our nation’s debt problem - S. Lee Smith, May 19, 2011

When Spring, and the feistiness of Wisconsinites in the face of autocratic heavy-handedness by Scott Walker caused the needle on my hope-meter momentarily to twitch, along comes S. Lee Smith to remind me that conservative snake oil still sells, and that their larder is well stocked with really bad ideas, thanks in no small part to a concerted and effective campaign by monied interests and the corporate media outlets to ensure that we get both the Republican AND the Tea Party point of view. Mr. Smith, if he was a regular reader of the Daily Times back when the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were just underway, may have seen one of my letters pointing out that starting expensive wars more calculated to enrich war profiteers and Dick Cheney than serve the vital interests of the United States, and doing it off the books while cutting taxes, appeared to be speeding us down the road to perdition - economy-wise. Well, here we are.

The “solutions” named by Mr. Smith, mainly consisting of Koch brothers’ wish-list items, are mostly not solutions at all, unless the goal is to accelerate our transition to third-world status - a country of hungry, ill-educated, ill-housed, unemployed peasants squatting among the ruins of our decayed industrial base, ruled over by a robber baron class. Is Mr. Smith’s memory so short that he cannot recall that the Bush regime inherited a budget surplus which he promptly presented to his rich buddies in the form of generous tax cuts, on the repeatedly disproven theory that they would create jobs? They did. In China, and Bangladesh, and India, while our infrastructure and economy trended steadily down until the bottom fell out in 2008.

Flinging wads of money at Wall Street was, we were told, necessary to head off a global financial debacle. The chosen players on Wall Street promptly recovered and awarded themselves huge bonuses, but as high unemployment numbers continue to take their toll on families and young people struggling to find ways to support themselves, the middle class appears an endangered species. The wealthy continue to prosper and the gap between rich and poor grows wider, continuing our march toward a feudal society lorded over by corporations.

The Bush deficits were caused by ill-advised tax cuts exacerbated by un-paid-for wars and unprecedented growth in government. Return to Clinton tax rates, and stop the wars, reduce military spending to that appropriate for defense, not empire-building. Punishing poor people isn’t the answer any more than awarding more tax cuts to rich people. And lying to ourselves about who or what attacked us on Sept. 11, 2001 is one of the things that got us where we are.

Shelton F. Lankford

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Excuse my interruption, but...

The last thing I would want to do is be a buzz-kill for the only really good chest-thumping, shoot-in-the-air, “we’re number 1”, party since the days of Shock and Awe, but I feel the need to point out a couple of things that may otherwise get overlooked. Some may recall my claim that Osama has been dead for some time. According to several European newspapers, he died in Dec. 2001 from a lung ailment. At the time, and continuing right up to the recent raid on the Abbottabad compound, the FBI had maintained that the evidence connecting him to the attacks of 9/11/01 was insufficient. “No hard evidence connecting him to the crime” were the words Rex Tomb, FBI spokesperson used. What changed? On Mayday, 2011, late at night, the following events: The CIA and Special Forces on orders of Obama, raided a residential compound 7 days before, I mean that evening, and Seal Team 6 had a fierce firefight, or not, with Osama, or a woman being used as a shield, or not, and shot the terrorist mastermind, or financier, practically in the act of planning new attacks on the homeland of the USA, then spirited his body out to a ship, sailed to an undisclosed location at sea (my personal belief it was in the Gulf of Tonkin) and dumped him overboard, in order to comply with strict Muslim sensitivities, all within a very few wee hours of the morning, after conducting exhaustive and conclusive DNA tests, in what must be record time to make sure that he was “really most sincerely dead”. I have left out some of the variations on the story. The mainstream media immediately joined in a mighty chorus to sing the praises of the “gutsy” call by the Commander in Chief who did his obligatory victory lap around ground zero. Seal team 6 is hailed as heros, medals all around, and the 2012 elections are a foregone conclusion.

Karl Rove famously said that they - the Neocon cabal of the Bush II era, could “create their own reality”. Turns out their reality disintegrated pretty quickly in the face of revelations that WMD’s, nuclear programs, and welcoming of liberators were products of whole cloth, and bore no relation to facts. A lame attempt was made to credit Mr. Bush with setting up the recent action, but that got quickly drowned out by the mighty tsunami of talking points that engulfed the cable shows. It even pushed Donald Trump into the background - not an easy accomplishment. Turns out Rove and company were pikers! Reality creation is a growth industry. At least we are manufacturing something.

After the raid, all the talk about insufficient evidence and the anemic numbers of Al Qaeda melted away. All of a sudden, Al Qaeda was a mighty host, still dangerous to us and our friends, and Bin Laden was, right up to the end, large and in charge. He was always in charge and we must have been nuts to doubt it. Now we can declare ourselves victorious in the waronterra, but first we must guard against the retaliation that is bound to come since we killed Osama, so we have to continue to bankrupt ourselves for a few more decades to keep everyone safe. And here is some white powder just to keep you from getting cockey.

The questions surrounding 9/11/01 are just as valid as ever. The explosives residue in the Manhattan dust is every bit as damning as it was the day the results of the analysis were published. The evidence on the ground at the Pentagon is no more supportive of an airliner crash that it was when CIT teased the threads of the only plausible explanation out of the eyewitness testimony of the only witnesses in a position to know. The juggled timelines of the various generations of NORAD revisions are no more persuasive than they were the first three times they told them, and the stink of standdown and cover-up still hovers over the whole dismal affair. Pantomiming a hollywood-style “24” raid on a forgotton boogeyman didn’t change that.

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