HomeUncategorized2/17 and 2/18 Open Thread
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thanks, la! just got home. looking forward (i think) to meeting the aliens. :O)


With all of the peace, love, and understanding we need today, I’m posting a pic of a new family member, Charlotte, who arrived about 10 days ago. My nephew and his wife are the proud parents. If you click on the image, the picture resumes its native state.

May she always be safe anywhere, anytime.

charlotte Smith.jpg

Indeed. Joy and love to you, little Charlotte! Peace and grace, as well. And fam.



Have fun birdies. :O)


T and R, la58! 🙂


Are Dead Children the Price of Freedom?

Let’s put that number into perspective. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 took 3,000 lives. At an average of 12,500 deaths a year, 200,000 people in the United States have been murdered with the use of a firearm since those attacks 16 years ago. That’s equal to 67 September 11 attacks. That’s equal to filling New York’s Madison Square Garden to capacity, killing everyone inside, and then repeating that process 9 more times. That’s equal to killing every single person in Salt Lake City.

200,000 people.

The most common question asked on this side of the Atlantic is: “Why can’t they see what these weapons are doing to their country?”


The Free Market Threat to Democracy

Interview with John Weeks. Interestingly, he brings up Warren along with Sanders.

la, i’m using this as 2/18 Open Thread, too. thanks. :O)


The revolving door is spinning with Obama energy people.

The Vogtle project has benefited significantly from federal government actions, such as major Energy Department loan guarantees announced last year and Congress’s decision this month to extend the eligibility dates for tax credits for newly-built nuclear plants. …

…At least five of these Obama officials now work for natural gas export companies, four of them for Cheniere and another for Tellurian.

Though pitched as the “cleaner fossil fuel” by many of these former Obama officials, the high levels of methane in natural gas carry a climate punch….

Heather Zichal

One of those Obama alums, former top White House climate and energy staffer Heather Zichal, now sits on the Board of Directors for Cheniere. She also recently was named managing director of corporate engagement for the environmental group The Nature Conservancy….

Keep those names in mind — The Nature Conservancy and methane giant Cheniere.

About The Nature Conservancy, Naomi Klein had this to say:

In her book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, Naomi Klein reveals that The Nature Conservancy actually owns an oil well in Texas and uses the financial earnings which come from it as part of its funding stream. Further, both BP and Chevron sit on The Nature Conservancy’s Business Council.

the article ends:

It’s really hard not to see these actions as venal. Mainstream Democrats — feathering their nest by boiling yours.

It’s also hard not to see these actions as risky. Do mainstream Democrats think they won’t take a hit in 2018 when they do stuff like this? Do they even care? Or do they imagine the blue wave (if it comes) will sweep them to power no matter what they do? (One could argue that Hillary Clinton risked her own election for money: Did she not know, when she gave all those Wall Street speeches, that she’d start running for president two years later — and that they’d make a difference?)

I’m amazed at what we’re witnessing. As low as the Republicans have sink — and they’ve reached a decades-long Party bottom in their attempts to “win absolutely” for big money donors — mainstream Democrats are giving them a run for their money, a downhill run, looking for their own Party bottom.

This story has “national tragedy” written all over it.


And the empire rolls on:

US forces have attacked the Syrian military, reporting over a hundred deaths.The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is calling the air strike a massacre, a war crime, and a crime against humanity.

The US is an invading, occupying force that is in Syria without the permission of its government, yet it is claiming that the air strike was an act of “self-defense” against an “unprovoked attack” upon the US-backed SDF, a mostly Kurdish militia which had occupied an area of Syrian land. No Americans suffered any injuries or deaths in the attack. The SDF suffered a single reported injury.

Here in Australia we joke about being America’s 51st state, but, like Syria, we never will be. We don’t need to be. We’re already answerable to the same corporatist powers which control the US, so we trot right along into every US war, every US trade deal, and operate as a US intelligence asset just the same as we would if they’d planted the stars and stripes on our capitol buildings and called us Wisconsota. Through military alliance, intelligence alliance, corporatist agreements, and a good old-fashioned coup staged by the CIA and MI6, we transitioned smoothly from subservience under the old form of imperialism to subservience under the new. A whole continent full of McDonald’s-eating sheep.

They don’t need to annex Syria in order to do that, or even oust Assad. They’re not interested in the country, they’re interested in the nonlocalized new empire. They’ll control a few oil fields, secure a few shady alliances, unleash a few terrorist armies, all to funnel more and more power into the new empire, one contract at a time. Corporations and banks are not limited by national borders, and neither are the oligarchs who own them.

Nations and governments don’t exist anymore. Not in the sense that they used to, anyway. The notion of meaningfully separate, sovereign governments is at this time a fairy tale told to the masses to keep us from realizing that we’re all being thrown into the gears of an exploitative threshing machine that only exists to feed the avaricious agendas of a few ruling elites.

This has all been made possible by an ongoing war on the societal concept of sovereignty. Our concept of sovereignty is now so weakened that a powerful government can get away with invading another country and claiming “self defense” when it kills the people there, so weakened that constant domestic surveillance by secretive and unaccountable intelligence agencies is now considered normal, so weakened that the public will ferociously defend a police officer that guns down a civilian who reached for his wallet a little too fast.

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