The 2 justifications for Capitalist Absolutism

The Bush regime is a simple aristocratic executive. As far as I can tell they only have two (2) rationales for every despotic and destructive piece of policy, legislation, rule, and executive order:

(1) Terrorism;

(2) Reduce Dependence on Foreign Oil.

It’s such a simple mantra, used to justify eveything from anulling habeas corpus to helping mining robber barons blow off the tops of mountains, that the Two Universal Justifications are even conceptually related. The Two Universal Justifications are so simple, all Communications Professionals can repeat them for every single fucking piece of schlock they pump out, as if they were stating reasons for policies and mandates. Thus all discussion and explanation ends, nowhere, and the holy Capitalist Absolutist era may shine on in all its rapacious glory.

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US hegemony and belligerance

Ruminate on this: In the new, comprehensive worldwide Pew poll of public opinion, a majority (42%) of Israelis think that America’s Middle East Policies “Favor Israel too much”.

Glenn Greenwald (2007) writes in Salon.com that “Finally, it is worth noting one fact that is indisputable yet frequently denied in American political discourse, except when it is ignored altogether — namely, that America’s blind support for Israel in its disputes with its neighbors plays a key role — not the only role, but a key role — in why America’s moral standing has collapsed.”

Here is Greenwald’s article (“The Tragic Decline of America’s Standing…”) on how he thinks the US’s slide ever downward in world public opinion matters. I don’t love the article, but it’s a start. Here is the link to Mr. Greenwald’s article, and follow-up articles:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/07/05/

Here is the Pew Global Attitudes Project site:

http://pewglobal.org/reports/display.php?ReportID=256.

Libby pardon

Cutting Libby a break an outrageous move
InsideBayArea.com
http://www.insidebayarea.com/timesstar/ci_6296747
Article Last Updated: 07/04/2007 08:10:21 AM PDT

PRESIDENT BUSH spared former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby of a 2 1/2-year prison sentence in the CIA leak investigation, and while the initial gesture wasn’t a total pardon, it really makes us think:

What more injustice can come from the White House?

Bush only had a few hours to act — an appeals court panel ruled Libby could not delay his prison term; in fact, Libby already had been designated as inmate No. 28301-016 by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. With prison all but certain, Bush made his call merely five hours after the panel’s decision. Bush said he respected the jury’s decision and he did leave intact a $250,000 fine and two years probation — for the moment. Yet our president says, just because Libby was found guilty of lying and obstructing justice, that 30 months was simply too harsh. As a matter of fact, the president says any jail time is too harsh. Would he do that for just anybody? Hardly.

Then the next day, the president had the audacity to leave open the possibility of a full pardon. “I rule nothing in and nothing out,” Bush said. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth for justice?
While nobody ever was charged with leaking the fact that Valerie Plame was a CIA agent to a newspaper columnist, Libby did lie to federal prosecutors about how he learned about Plame and whom he told. Going after Libby, however, was a mere consolation prize for prosecutors because it was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and White
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House political adviser Karl Rove who provided the information for the original article, and they got away scot free.
Is Bush bailing out the fall guy in this affair, considering the Plame incident was done to discredit her husband, who was a harsh critic of Bush’s Iraq policy? Consider Libby was Cheney’s chief of staff — during the trial, testimony revealed extraordinary steps Bush and Cheney took to discredit a critic of the Iraq war.

This also shows the ongoing pattern the Bush administration has taken in attempting to manipulate events in its behalf, be it the Iraq war, Supreme Court appointees, stem cell research or global warming, just to name a few. And what’s Bush’s reasoning for sparing Libby while others are wasting away in Guantanamo Bay without any due process of justice?
While we understand the fine and probation do carry a degree of penalty, we also believe had Libby served his prison sentence, at least that would’ve been a mere shred of justice completed in this episode of coverup at the highest level, a coverup that rivals the Iran-Contra affair and is barely a step behind Watergate. Instead, Bush waved the magic presidential wand and made good on one of his good soldier’s dirty deeds — and we may see a full pardon, stay tuned. This administration continues to act like it’s above the law — what message is that sending to the American public?

The irony of this saga can date back to 1999 when another man named George Bush, the father of our current president, made a statement that those who expose names of intelligence sources are “the most insidious of traitors.” We wonder what he thinks about that today.

judge walton snaps evil fuckers

Slightly adapted from:

A Little Help
Dozen Top Legal Scholars Line Up for Libby Appeal
By Carol D. Leonnig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 11, 2007; Page A15

A dozen of the country’s most respected constitutional scholars have leapt to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s aid, asking a federal judge if they could try to convince him about critical legal questions that favor letting Libby remain free while he appeals his conviction in the Valerie Plame leak case.

Within hours of Friday’s filing from the scholars, U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton wrote back. In the teeny-tiny print of a footnote, he said he was delighted to know that such a distinguished group was available to help argue on behalf of criminal defendants on “close questions” of the law.

Walton promised he’d ring them up very soon when there might be poor defendants who need big legal minds to avoid incarceration, as opposed to Vice President Cheney’s well-padded former chief of staff facing the threat of the slammer.

Walton sentenced Libby last week to 30 months in prison and will hold a hearing on Thursday to consider whether Libby can remain free while his case is appealed.

“It is an impressive show of public service when twelve prominent and distinguished current and former law professors of well-respected schools are able to amass their collective wisdom in the course of only several days to provide their legal expertise to the Court on behalf of a criminal defendant,” Walton wrote. It is unclear whether he intends to grant the Right-wing Legal/Academic A-team’s request.

Walton added: “The Court trusts that this is a reflection of these eminent academics’ willingness in the future to step up to the plate and provide like assistance in cases involving any of the numerous litigants, both in this Court and throughout the courts of our nation, who lack the financial means to fully and properly articulate the merits of their legal positions.”

Indeed, it was an impressive group, including former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork and beloved Zionist hatchet man Alan Dershowitz.

Also joining the brief were Vikram Amar of the University of California’s Hastings law school, Randy Barnett and Viet Dinh of Georgetown, Douglas Kmiec and Robert Pushaw of Pepperdine, Richard Parker of Harvard, Gary Lawson of Boston University, Thomas Merrill of Columbia, Earl Maltz of Rutgers and Robert Nagel of the University of Colorado.

The Gang of Twelve argued in a six-page brief that Libby, who was convicted of lying to investigators probing the leak of Plame’s identity, has a decent shot at appeal on the question of Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald’s appointment to investigate that leak. That appointment was likely inappropriate, they argued, because Fitzgerald lacked any supervision that would make his superiors “politically accountable”, presumably to Republican overlords.

Note: In this article, the journalist uses Dershowitz’s own, deeply Orwellian title for himself: “civil libertarian”. Clearly, she was frightened, as well she should be from that monster. When she tries to argue that Dershowitz is “no friend of the Bush administration”, the author also evinces an inexplicable innocence as to the existence of the Right-wing political group known as neocons, to which all the above “constitutional” lawyers belong.

No Child Left Behind: Critical Blog

Want to know the effects of education policy thats main purpose is to remove adult human decision-making power from educators?

Here is a source on No Child Left Behind (NCLB):

http://susanohanian.org/index.html

The Road to Perdition: Charter Schools

The state of Minnesota used to have a good education system. Then the Baptists organized working class voters to vote for those most holy baby-savers, the Republicans, whereupon the Republicans set about destroying public education, among other collective assets of the working class. Sound familiar? The way they destroyed public education was through Charter schools.

How do Charter schools destroy public education, in order to wipe out an organized middle class of teachers, channel (public and private) education dollars to rich kids, and create a big low-educated/low-skill serf population for the local businessmen to use?

(1) Charter schools don’t take enough high-cost students. Students with little human capital, struggling families, or disabilities cost more to educate. The public schools educate them. Charter schools don’t; it’s not financially advantageous for them. This means that there is built-in misallocation of funding in a system with Charter schools. It’s a system designed for failure–to ultimately convince working people that, unlike the rich, they have no collective assets, they’re isolated and powerless sitting ducks. As missionary David Paszkiewicz explained to his missionary subjects in a high school in Kearny, New Jersey, “The purpose of public school is to provide free education for people that can’t afford education. What it’s become is social engineering” (Harper’s Magazine, July 2007: 27).

(2) Charter schools take too much money out of the public trough for wasteful reasons, spending it profligately on lower-needs students. For example, in Minneapolis, all Charter school students are bussed on the public dime. But if a child goes to a public school, she has to walk to school if she lives within a mile of it. Because many Americans are chronically terrified by racist and classist right-wing fear mongering, and also cleave to an obesity lifestyle, families will send their children to Charter schools–if they can–just to avoid having the child walk to school or walking the child to school. That’s only one drop in the misallocation bucket.

(3) Most Charter School teachers are not unionized. This means (a) that “people” (read: women) who are interested in educating are expected to invest in expensive higher education in order to teach, and then squander that investment on insecure, low-status, low-pay temp jobs. Although we always expect women to work for “love” (AKA free), it’s not an economically rational system; it is designed to fail. And (b) the decline of a unionized middle class sector–educators–means that public policy formation is left to the remaining regional actors with organizational power–businessmen, Republican political organizers, and doctors. If you want to know what rapacious class warfare is, I suggest you study the politics of these men.

Interlude
State Politics Run By Local and National Wealthy Elites Alone: The AMA

For instance, the only non-despotic medical organization is Medecins sans Frontiers. The AMA (American Medical Association), on the other hand, is one of the most regressive, cruel, self-serving cabals that has plagued the American political scene. My study of Oregon state neoconservative politics since 1970 was where I discovered what a bunch of jackals the AMA is. The virulent history of AMA politics is recorded in a number of studies, including Jill Quadagno’s “One Nation Uninsured: Why the US Has No National Health Insurance,” Colin Gordon’s “Dead on Arrival,” and Bartlett & Steele’s “Critical Condition.”

Remember, even though it’s convenient to cloak themselves in a fine veneer of noblesse oblige, most people really become doctors for one reason only: to get rich. To be a doctor you usually have to make plans and follow an education protocol in your teenage years. If that’s not steered by status-conscious mom and dad, then look at t.v. and consider what kinds of “noble” things inspire most young people: tennis club memberships, expensive cars, big houses. The hunger for social advantage doesn’t stop at the examination room door. The AMA is always there to fight competitively against the welfare of the working class. Inequality = poor health = profit.

Back to our Regularly-scheduled Treatise on Charter Schools:

Look, everybody thinks they can do a better job than other working class (AKA “middle” class) people. That’s how you’re *supposed* to think as a non-capitalist in a capitalist system. You’re supposed to compete with others of your lowly station, so that owners might bargain down your price. So it is not unusual to harbor the illusion that all you have to do to get a better education for children is to replace teachers with yourself. My experience is this: the people most likely to decide that they should have or control someone else’s work are the people who are both ignorant and contemptuous of what that work involves. Yes, some people are not great at their jobs. However, if you want to improve education, and you think you’re the gal for the job, then at first, just get a degree in teaching, and teach, and join a union. And then tell us about your ideas for reform, which doubtlessly feature some version of forcing teachers to tapdance while students, lawmakers, and Chamber of Commerce-types throw pennies and vegetables at them.

torture = political corruption

This excerpt shows why torture is not used for gaining truth. Torture’s use is for political manipulation. We can expect that where we find torture and advocates for torture, we find political corruption.

From the BBC interview with Col Lawrence Wilkerson, November 29, 2005.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4481092.stm

BBC: “Did Colin Powell feel that he had correct information about Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction when he outlined the case against Saddam?”

Wilkerson: “He certainly did and so did I. I was intimately involved in that process and to this point I have more or less defended the administration.

I have basically been supportive of the administration’s point that it was simply fooled – that the intelligence community, including the UK, Germany, France, Jordan – other countries that confirmed what we had in our intelligence package, yet we were all just fooled.

Lately, I’m growing increasingly concerned because two things have just happened here that really make me wonder.

And the one is the questioning of Sheikh al-Libby where his confessions were obtained through interrogation techniques other than those authorised by Geneva.

It led Colin Powell to say at the UN on 5 February 2003 that there were some pretty substantive contacts between al-Qaeda and Baghdad. And we now know that al-Libby’s forced confession has been recanted and we know – we’re pretty sure that it was invalid.

But more important than that, we know that there was a defence intelligence agency dissent on that testimony even before Colin Powell made his presentation. We never heard about that.

Follow that up with Curveball, and the fact that the Germans now say they told our CIA well before Colin Powell gave his presentation that Curveball – the source to the biological mobile laboratories – was lying and was not a trustworthy source. And then you begin to speculate, you begin to wonder was this intelligence spun; was it politicised; was it cherry-picked; did in fact the American people get fooled – I am beginning to have my concerns.”