Monday, May 31, 2010

Barack Obama: Liar, Warlord, and Corporate Shill – Stephen Lendman

(ThePeoplesVoice) – It shouldn’t surprise because no one gets the top job or any government position of power unless they’re safe, yet, naively, most people thought Obama was different. Many still do.

As a candidate, he promised change, a new course, sweeping government reforms, addressing people needs, and “ensur(ing) that the hopes and concerns of average Americans speak louder in Washington than the hallway whispers of high-priced lobbyists” – the same ones who bought and now own him. He promised peace and delivered war; real health and financial reform, not same old, same old; help for millions losing jobs, homes, hope and futures, not handouts to Wall Street and other industry favorites; regulatory oversight, not the usual incestuous government-industry ties, making disasters like in the Gulf possible, and when they happen conspiring with offenders in coverup, distortion, lies, and a total disregard for the environment, wildlife, and way of life for thousands – let alone permanent damage to a vital ecosystem.

At the same time, Big Oil gets billions in subsidies, special tax breaks and other financial benefits, besides operating in a regulatory-free environment.

The 1995 Outer Continental Shelf Deep Water Royalty Relief Act (DWRRA – courtesy of Bill Clinton) exempted royalties on defined amounts of deep water production. After its 2000 expiration, the law was redefined and extended to promote further deep water drilling.

The Minerals Management Service (MMS) defines it as having a water depth of 200 meters (656 feet). To be eligible, leases must be in the Gulf of Mexico, west of 87 degrees and 30 minutes west longitude (the Florida-Alabama boundary), and MMS must determine that the site isn’t economically viable without relief.

Given longstanding MMS-industry coziness, it’s practically rubber-stamp. DWRRA also reduced royalties on pre-November 28, 1995 leases, decided by the Interior Department Secretary on a case-by-case basis – again, practically assured by officials with close industry ties.

The 2005 Energy Policy Act was one of the friendliest ever with over $10 billion in handouts. It lets oil giants pay federal royalties in barrels of oil and grants exemptions on some wells, subsidizes a new R & D program for ultra deep water drilling and unconventional oil and gas development, creates hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax breaks, increases what oil and gas companies can deduct on pipeline expenses, provides more liability protection besides the $75 million cap (established by the 1990 Oil Pollution Act after the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, an amount too small to matter).

As an Illinois senator, six months into his term, Obama supported it, an early clue to where he stood, and how he hoped to gain – the usual “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” payoff.

It worked hugely with BP, the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) reporting that its employees and political action committees gave more to him than to any other federal candidate in the past 20 years.

During his 2008 campaign, CRP reported that the oil and gas industry overall gave him $884,000, more than any to other lawmaker except John McCain, and no wonder. His Senate voting record showed what they bought:

– the right of mining companies to strip mine everywhere, including on government lands;

– vast new powers and handouts to the nuclear industry;

– harmful biofuels production;

– lax regulation; and

– other pro-business, anti-populist measures – besides supporting the 2005 Energy Policy Act.

Obama promised change, and delivered betrayal – evident now in the Gulf, America’s greatest ever environmental disaster, fast becoming the most catastrophic in history, a shameless addition to his resume, already revealing a world class rogue and failed president less than a year and half into office. No wonder calls for his impeachment have begun, including by James Petras on May 27, on the Progressive Radio News Hour, hosted by this writer who wholeheartedly agrees.

Disaster in the Gulf – Maybe Worse than Now Known

According to prominent oil industry insider, Matt Simmons, former head of Simmons & Company International, a private investment bank specializing in energy research, trading and capital structuring, the Gulf disaster is much worse than reported, and a far greater problem to fix.

Appearing on MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Show on May 27, he described the riser on BP’s video as 21.5 inches in diameter with a six or seven inch rip at the top. But that’s the small rupture, in his judgment. There’s a giant oil plume about five or six miles away, getting little attention.

“I believe the eruption blew off the wellhead,” he said. If so, that’s the real story, and “we have an enormous problem,” suppressed and unreported. BP’s video shows a small leak, not the bigger one. It looks like its “top kill” is “chasing a mouse and behind it is a tiger,” the real problem creating two giant plumes of thick oil (discussed below), neither BP or the Obama administration wants to acknowledge or explain.

Nor that perhaps the “top kill” is a PR stunt, not a serious attempt to cap the well. Worse still, according to the Washington Blog on May 27, it “FAILED In the Attempt to Plug the Oil Leak Using Mud.”

“Now BP Will Try to Add Some ‘Junk’ to the Mix to Try to Seal the Holes,” or at least one of them. It cites a same day New York Times report saying BP “stopped pumping (mud) the night before when engineers saw that too much of the drilling fluid was escaping along with the oil.” In other words, it failed, so pumping stopped for over 16 hours. So far, “top kill” 2.0 hasn’t worked better after two attempts (so-called “junk shots” with chunky debris) – why some experts believe only a relief well will relieve pressure and allow capping.

But completing one is at least a few months away, and even then the big rupture Simmons cites may be too severe to handle. Time alone will tell, but in the meantime, vast environmental contamination grows, wildlife is dying, the lives and livelihoods of thousands more residents are being devastated, and late Saturday BP abandoned its “top kill” approach, admitting what they likely knew all along. It failed because there was no chance it could work.

More Evidence of Industry-Government Ties

A May 26 Josh Harkinson Mother Jones article headlined, “Steven Chu’s Ties to BP.”

On December 11, 2008, Obama chose Chu as his Energy Secretary, the same day he picked Carol Browner to oversee energy, environmental and climate policies and Lisa Jackson as EPA head.

Chu had been professor of physics and molecular and cell biology at UC Berkeley and director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), originally called the UC Radiation Lab.

Today the Energy Department runs LBNL, continuing its radiation research, what it’s done since the 1940s with little regard for public or environmental concerns, true as well under Chu. He was picked for his commitment to nuclear power, while downplaying the risks.

When asked in 2005 if fission-based plants should be a larger part of the energy-producing portfolio, he responded: “Absolutely,” displaying a cavalier attitude about its dangers in advocating for “recycling” of waste, when experts say doing it spreads poisons causing cancer, genetic damage, and premature deaths.

Harkinson asked: “Is Steven Chu too cozy with BP,” given his longstanding ties to the oil industry that “funded the Energy Biosciences Institute at UC Berkeley that (he) founded a year before he joined the DOE.”

BP’s chief scientist, Steven Koonin, gave him a $500 million grant. In return, Chu appointed him DOE undersecretary for science. But instead of them both getting involved in the Gulf disaster, they stood aside, telling reporters earlier that “things are looking up” when, in fact, they’re worsening.

It’s unclear “to what extent Chu has given BP favorable treatment, either in terms of crafting DOE’s research agenda or its response to the oil spill. But what is clear is that the close ties are casting a shadow over the agency, sowing doubt among the public that the government is truly an independent watchdog.”

Also clear is that $500 million buys a lot of influence, expecting payback in far greater amounts and nearly always getting it and then some. When Chu arranged it, UC Berkeley Professor Ignacio Chapela called it “the coup de grace to the very idea of a university that can represent the best interest of the public,” benefitting a man who looks deeply compromised – the same “qualification” as other Obama officials for their close industry ties, serving their interests, not the public’s.

BP’s Specialty: Spill Baby, Spill – Its Other One in Alaska

On May 28, investigative journalist Greg Palast headlined his article, “BP’s Other Spill this Week,” saying:

During the week of May 25, BP’s “Pump Station 9, at Delta Junction on the 800-mile (Alaska) pipeline, busted” – spewing over 100,000 gallons because “procedures weren’t properly implemented,” according to state inspectors. In 2006, irresponsible maintenance caused another one, polluting Prudhoe Bay.

BP “owns the controlling stake in the trans-Alaska pipeline,” but tries to hide it, given its poor management practices. The pipeline is understaffed, corroded, and “basic maintenance” is poor – standard procedures for BP, notorious for having the worst safety and environmental record in the industry.

In his earlier investigatory work, Palast learned that BP was most to blame for the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. As the controlling Alyeska pipeline owner, it was responsible for the spill response, but handled it the same way as now – by “l(ying, prevaricat(ing) and obfuscatin(ing),” making a serious spill disastrous.

BP is a notorious liar, scofllaw, environmental and employee safety criminal. But it’s never been held accountable, nor will it for its Gulf disaster.

A Second Underwater Oil Plume Discovered

Licensed to the University of South Florida, WUSF broadcasts from its campus. On May 27, it reported that USF scientists discovered “what appears to be a massive second underwater plume (six miles deep, measuring 3,300 feet from top to bottom) in previously untested waters northeast of the leaking BP wellhead…” Its estimated to be six miles wide, stretching 22 miles, heading toward Mobile Bay, Alabama, affecting the DeSoto Canyon area, an important habitat for numerous species, including:

– bluefin tuna, swordfish, king mackerel, grouper, giant tube worms, sea turtles, sharks, whales and dolphins.

It also threatens the continental shelf, including west Florida’s wetlands and beaches. USF oceanographer Robert Weisberg called it “a very serious concern.” Rowan Gould, US Fish and Wildlife Service acting director, said the spill “will affect fish and wildlife resources….for years to come, if not decades,” literally destroying formerly pristine areas of the Gulf.

Calling it “insidious,” chemical oceanographer, David Hollander, believes it contains chemically dispersed hydrocarbons, calling it “an invisible component we really don’t know the short or the long term impact” about. He expressed serious concerns that the oil/dispersant toxicity may cause great harm to fish larvae, “and we also may see a long term response as it cascades up the food web,” endangering human health.

The other plume stretched from the wellhead southwest toward the open sea, heading for the Florida Keys and beyond.

Some Final Comments

On May 27, the Center for Biological Diversity’s Senior Counsel, Brendan Cummings, responded to Obama’s same day Gulf disaster press conference, saying:

No technology exists to deal with disasters like in the Gulf….”even in areas with existing infrastructure and significant spill response assets, containment and response capability to a large oil spill is wholly inadequate. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Obama administration should not pretend that a six-month review of drilling procedures will change anything. Expanding offshore drilling to new areas needs to be permanently taken off the table.”

Obama’s comments follow “a month of half-steps and broken promises by the Interior Department….in which a pledged ‘moratorium’ on oil drilling turned out to be largely a fiction, with multiple drillings plans approved after no environmental review, and drilling permits similar to those given to BP continuing to be used.”

What else to expect from a corporate shill president, spearheading the Gulf disaster coverup from day one, while claiming he’s been “in charge” since it happened, and it’s his “job to make sure that everything is done to shut this down.”

Gulf residents say he “hasn’t done a damn thing but run his mouth,” according to an angry and frustrated Louisianan, after waiting weeks for help, and hearing nothing but excuses, saying BP is in charge. That’s the problem. Corporate interests always run things, presidents and their officials salute and obey, sacrificing people, wildlife and the environment. It’s the “American way,” partnering with business for plunder and profits, the public interest be damned.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Also visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Source: The Peoples Voice

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jus Say No! to the War on Drugs

Some thoughts on the BP Oil spill

This will always be known as the BP oil spill and not anyone else's.

The fact that BP, Transnational, and Halliburton all got to stand before our worthless Congress and point blame infuriates me. It was BP's rig. End of story.

Now here's the part that burns me. If I went to the Gulf of Mexico and changed the oil of my car and dumped it on the beach, I would be arrested. I would spend 6 months in jail. I'd pay a fine. I'd be given a warning that, if I ever did it again, my punishment would be tripled or quadrupled.

Yet, when it comes to these effing oil companies, the CEOs, who don't have a clue how to stop this catastrophe, get to run around doing their dambdest to whitewash this, point fingers, and make excuses. These fucking assholes should be IN JAIL!

Millions of fish will be dead in a few months. Tens of thousands of birds will be dead. Tens of thousands of Families, whose livelihoods depend on fish from the gulf, will be utterly ruined.


At first, BP lied. They said it was 1,000 barrels a day. What liars!

I watched the 60 Minutes interview with one of the survivors. [11 people died, btw.] Two weeks before this apocalypse, they were high-fiving over the fact this was the deepest underwater well that's ever struck oil. They only have guesstimates as to how much oil is down there. It could be 10 billion barrels, or it could be 50 billion.

One thing is for sure though, this oil is under a lot of pressure and it is spewing at least 100 thousand barrels A DAY, and they don't have a clue how to stop it!

Obama has been dodging the press, If you haven't noticed. He signed something the other day, and just got up and left. Reporters fired 20 questions at him about THIS SPILL as he walked out the door, which puts him in the same category as George W. Bush as far as I'm concerned, whose general attitude was "Fuck the Commoners." [Commoner = anyone with less than a billion dollars or anyone who isn't in the upper echelons of his daddy's NWO takeover.]

So, I'm sick of these enabling sleazebag politicians and these corporate pirates destroying everything in their path.

If Obama had any gumption at all [if he wasn't just a puppet] he would be giving a press conference outlining what HE PERSONALLY plans to do!

BP should permanently lose their corporate charter to do business in the U.S.

BP should be getting fined their profits for the last 10 years. [$100 billion dollars]

These bastards have ruined the Gulf of Mexico! It's finished! No more vacations down there! IT'S OVER!

And thanks to the assholes in Washington, not only does BP getaway with destroying hundreds of thousands of livelihoods, an entire coastline, and millions of animals, they get to piss every American off, who gives a damn, for the next several decades by stalling and trying to place the blame elsewhere while not forking over the cash they could easily fork over but simply refuse.

Meanwhile, because our illustrious "free press" corps does such a fantastic job of reporting what's important. [sarcasm]

No seriously, I fear that this oil spill will be swept under the rug like so many other things because the elite have other plans, and dealing with an environmental catastrophe isn't part of those plans.

Actually, I'll tell you what the elite are planning. They want to invade Iran, and they can't be bothered with trivia like the destruction of 25% of America's coastline.

So, there you are.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kevin Costner's brother saves the Gulf of Mexico

Who knew Kevin Costner's brother Dan Costner was a scientist?

He invented a machine that separates 99% of water and oil by as much as 200,000 gallons a day.

I really want to see this machine used.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

OK, It's clear! America lost the Drug War! $1 Trillion down the drain!

In 40 years, taxpayers spent more than more than a TRILLION DOLLARS!

_ $20 billion to fight the drug gangs in their home countries. In Colombia, for example, the United States spent more than $6 billion, while coca cultivation increased and trafficking moved to Mexico — and the violence along with it.

_ $33 billion in marketing "Just Say No"-style messages to America's youth and other prevention programs. High school students report the same rates of illegal drug use as they did in 1970, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drug overdoses have "risen steadily" since the early 1970s to more than 20,000 last year.

_ $49 billion for law enforcement along America's borders to cut off the flow of illegal drugs. This year, 25 million Americans will snort, swallow, inject and smoke illicit drugs, about 10 million more than in 1970, with the bulk of those drugs imported from Mexico.

_ $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders, about 10 million of them for possession of marijuana. Studies show that jail time tends to increase drug abuse.

_ $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses.

At the same time, drug abuse is costing the nation in other ways. The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse — "an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction" — cost the United States $215 billion a year.

Oh, but wait! U.S. Banks have laundered trillions of dollars. Then, banks turned around and loaned out $10s of trillions. The CIA has had extra billions to run the black ops.

So, I guess, we get to look forward to a continuation of this War against the American Taxpayer.

Sigur Rós - Staralfur

Sigur Ross - Heima

Sigur Ros - Njosnavelin (acoustic live in Paris)

Sigur Ros - (Untitled)

Sigur Ros - Glósóli

A Love Story (See, not everything I post is depressing)

A SHORT LOVE STORY IN STOP MOTION from Carlos Lascano on Vimeo.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Meltup

The New World Order's Creation of Currency Crisis

Robert Rodriguez proves he doesn't get it with "Machete"

Mexicans have been flooding into America—forty million so far by some estimates.

This is a travesty not because illegal immigrants are flooding into America, but they are not staying to fight a revolution in their own country, which is what they need to do. They are fleeing when they should be staying put and fighting.

Basically, Mexico is still ruled by Spain.

The Mexican people never had a Revolution that resulted in the Rights the Mexican people need to create an economy of, for and by the Mexican people.

So, Mexicans come here illegally instead of confronting the Spanish Government in Mexico.

Here's a video showing 700 illegal immigrants entering the United States on ONE trail over a ONE month period.

This is travesty.

Instead of pointing the Mexican people in the right direction, which is a Mexican Revolution in Mexico, Robert Rodriguez is stirring up revolt in the United States.

Robert Rodriguez should be ashamed of himself.

K'naan "Waving Flag"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Panic Is On!

What this country is coming to
I sure would like to know
If they don’t do something bye and bye
The rich will live and the poor will die
Doggone, I mean the panic is on!

–Song from the Great Depression

(RevoltofthePlebs) – As the Great Depression of the 1930’s was getting underway, President Herbert Hoover refused to acknowledge it. In the weeks following the events of Black Tuesday, Hoover called the economy “fundamentally sound.” Months later, he still insisted that the strength of the American economy was “unimpaired.” However, by 1931 he could no longer hide the truth. With the economy in shambles, Hoover was forced to declare that America was indeed in a ‘depression’. He chose the word ‘depression’ because he believed it to somewhat innocuous and far less provocative than terms like ‘panics’ or ‘crises’ that had previously been used to refer to significant economic downturns.

That same semantic game is being played on us today. What we now call a ‘recession’ is what was known as a ‘depression’ back in the 1930’s. As economist John Williams explains:

“The Great Depression was one that was so severe that in the post-World War II era, those looking at economic cycles tried to come up with a euphemism for “depression.” They didn’t want to create the image of or remind people of the 1930s. Basically, they called economic downturns recessions, and most people think of a depression now as a severe recession.”(1)

The lies propagated by our government and their paid shills are perhaps their greatest crime. Deceiving the people concerning the scope and magnitude of our financial crisis denies them the opportunity to prepare for the tough days ahead. Even the word depression does not fully impress upon the people the serious predicament we now face. Perhaps its time we do remind people of the 1930’s and draw parallels between those tragic times and our current situation.

Today’s unemployment rate is fast approaching the worst levels seen since the Great Depression. The official unemployment rate (U3) released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is currently at 9.9%. This is the number often reported by the mainstream media for public consumption but is far removed from reality.

To get closer to the real number we must consult the (U6) figure that is often touted as ‘true unemployment’. This figure adds into the equation those who fall under the contemporary definition of ‘discouraged worker’ and those who can only find ‘part-time’ work. That number puts the ‘true unemployment’ rate at 17.2%. But wait, there’s more!

Today’s definition of a discouraged worker is one who has not found work within the last year. Prior to 1994, a discouraged worker was defined as one who had not found work within the last month. That’s a big discrepancy. If we add those lost souls back into the equation, we come up with a more realistic unemployment rate of right around 22%. That’s just three clicks shy of the 25% often cited for the worst levels of the Great Depression in 1933. That 25% unemployment figure was reflective of all workers both on and off the farm.

Many economists, intent on disproving any comparison of today’s unemployment with that of the ‘Great Depression’, will often site the non-farm unemployment figure of 34%. But it should be pointed out that during that time, 27% of America’s employed worked on the farm. Today that number is only 2%.

Unlike today, The Great Depression of the 1930’s was deflationary. The Consumer Price Index was at 17.3% when it began in 1929. By 1933 it was down to 12.6%. In other words, as the depression progressed, the cost of things dropped; what cost $1.00 in 1929 only cost 73 Cents in 1933.(2)

Not so with the depression of today. Ours is an inflationary depression that is fast becoming hyperinflationary. Hyperinflation comes when the increase in the money supply causes prices to rise so rapidly that the highest denominated bank note becomes less valuable than toilet paper. This is being facilitated by industry bailouts, unnecessary wars, foreign aid to Israel and entitlement programs that were not factors in 1933.

Since 1933, inflation has increased 1,627.23%. To calculate its decimal equivalent you need to move the decimal point two places to the left. So 1,627.23%=16.2723 in decimals. This means that what cost $1.00 in 1933 costs approximately $16.27 today.(3)

The average American’s annual income in 1933 was $1,550.00. Today, that would be the equivalent of $25,218.00. According to the last Bureau of Labor Statistics report for 2009(4), the average American’s annual income was $28,592.00 (mid range between highest and lowest by State for 1 person). This may seem like we’re ahead of the game compared to the Great Depression. However, when you consider that the lowest bracket of income tax was levied at 4% in 1933 compared to 15% in 2010, you can see that we are almost on par. But you also must consider the plethora of other taxes and deductions that have since been siphoned out of the average American’s paycheck. Contemporary sales taxes and compulsory enrollments like mandatory insurance (both auto and health) must also be added into the equation to get a better gauge as to where we are now compared to days gone by.(5)

Prices of things, on average, were much more affordable back during the Great Depression than they are now. Here are some basic items for comparison:

Cost of a new house 1933: $5,750.00 (equivalent to $93,565.72 in 2010)

Cost to rent a house in 1933: $18.00 per month (equivalent to $292.00 in 2010)

Brand New Plymouth in 1933: $445.00 (equivalent to $7241.17 in 2010)

Gallon of gas in 1933: 10 Cents (equivalent to $1.62 in 2010)

Loaf of Bread in 1933: 7 Cents (equivalent of $1.13 in 2010)

1 Lb. Of Hamburger Meat in 1933: 11 Cents (equivalent to $1.79 in 2010)

Can of Campbell’s Vegetable Soup in 1933: 10 Cents (equivalent to $1.62 in 2010)

Dozen Eggs in 1933: 5 Cents (equivalent to 81 Cents today)

Take the equivalent monetary values listed above for 2010 and do your own research. Can you buy the same items today for that little cash? According to the 2009 census, the cost to rent a house is approximately $775.00 per month, on average. The cost of even the cheapest automobile is in the tens of thousands and I don’t need to tell you about everyday household goods. Consider these the good times. When hyperinflation sets in, these prices will soar. We don’t live today like they did back in the 1930’s when people were, at most, one generation removed from the farm. As was pointed out previously, 27% of American workers made their livings on the farm and were able to provide many of their own basic needs from that culture. Today, that number is only 2%.

Despite this data, deniers will refuse to believe that they are living through a depression. Some need tangible, salient evidence. They need to feel the depression, or at least have a cognitive reference point that coincides with the black and white images they have come to associate with a depression. Where are the soup lines? Where are the shantytowns? Where are the armies of disheveled hobos playing harmonica as they roast a can of beans over a roadside campfire?

The complexion of today’s depression is certainly different from the hard luck images of the 1930’s. But these are just cosmetic differences. When you strip away the veneer, you find that we are afflicted with the same problems as they were back then. Today’s soup lines come in the form of food stamps. Public housing and tent cities are today’s shantytowns. Hobos are now called ‘the homeless’, and many of them are disappearing from the streets and ending up in a burgeoning penal system that swallows them up on petty drug charges.

There are other factors that keep this depression suppressed in the minds of the American public. The most significant of these is unemployment benefits. This did not exist during the Great Depression. When you were out of work, you were out of money. This hit people immediately and many had no way to obtain even the most basic subsistence to feed their families. The welfare system is another contemporary mechanism that was not in place during that time. Right now, these are perhaps the only two things that distance the human suffering from our true economic reality. But they weren’t built to last, and the only reason they have lasted this long is because the government has a vested interest in keeping these entitlement programs going. Providing basic subsistence keeps the people dependent and apathetic to their plight. As long as people have a roof over their head and enough to eat they will allow those who provide those things to take everything else they have.

The Federal infusions of funds into the unemployment and welfare systems will continue only for as long as it takes the bankers to fully rob the American people of everything they own. In the meantime, unemployment will continue to rise and the depression will deepen to levels unimaginable as the unsuspecting unemployment recipient spends his jobless days as if he were on a paid vacation. He’ll waste his checks on beer and porn and stretch out on the couch until the final week. Then he’ll get serious, only to find that things are not as rosy as the liars on CNBC promised they’d be.

Unlike 1933, our depression comes at a time when there is increased foreign war spending and many of our potentially unemployed youths are serving overseas. Imagine what would happen to the unemployment rate if these wars came to an end. Then imagine what would happen if unemployment benefits and welfare entitlement programs ceased to exist. When you do, you can understand why all of these things continue to be funded.

This is a robbery, and the hostages are being held in the back of the store learning to love their captors. Most Americans are under a spell best described as the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. In psychology, Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. The syndrome is named after the Normrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28, 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, and even defended them after they were freed from their six-day ordeal.(6)

Until the American people snap out of their trance, they will refuse to believe that they are in a depression, recession, panic or crisis. To them, it will be a loving embrace by a charismatic savior. Only until they feel the peircing bite of cold air on their necks and the pains of an empty stomach will they finally come around to the realization that the panic is not coming—but that the panic is on!







Source: Revolt of the Plebs

Jim Krupnik on lenses

My take on this lens is that it is an "L" quality optic in a fine, non "L" package. There is nothing else on the market to compete with it (nothing at all), and it produces supurb images. It isn't an f/2.8 lens, but it is close enough for most uses. The competition from Tamron is a full stop slower, not as sharp, and is awful in dim light compared to the Canon 10-22 lens (sorry, Tamron fans, but the Tamron lens isn't even playing in the same ballpark).

I use this lens on a 30D body, and I always keep it on hand if I'm doing any indoor, or tight group photography. It is the perfect solution to the perennial problem of not having enough room to capture all the kids at a birthday party in one shot because your back is up against a wall. This lens will just about get your toes into the picture at the widest setting, yet delivers tack sharp, colorful, and contrasty images. The auto focus is spot on, silent, and fast. It is a must have lens for the active amateur, or any pro using a 1.6 crop factor camera. You simply can't beat this lens with anything available on the market today.

That beng said, do not try to convince yourself that this will make a good "walkaround" lens. It isn't. Even at max length, it is far too short to live on your camera as a standard lens. You need this lens, even if you don't know it yet, but it should not be your first lens, as it will only be used 15 to 20 percent of the time. At those times, it's performance simply cannot be equaled by any other zoom lens on a 1.6 crop factor camera. You will be amazed by the quality of this lens. It rivals the performance of modern prime lenses, presents a bright viewfinder image, and delivers the goods in tight situations.

This is not a casual assessment, nor a Canon "feel good" moment on my part. I developed my first B&W contact prints in 1964, in my own darkroom at the age of 9 (my parents were concerned:)), and have been an avid photographer ever since. Small, medium, and large format cameras and lenses have passed through my hands over the years, and Canon has become my favorite small format brand. Still, Canon builds some trash lenses that should be avoided. The 10-22 USM is not one of them :).

Before you go out and buy this lens, you should already own the EF-S 17-55mm IS f/2.8 lens. That is the king of 1.6 crop factor standard lenses, and includes the awesome Canon IS feature. It will end up being mounted on your camera 80% of the time, and keep you smiling after every shoot. Get that lens first. Then, get the 10-22mm lens. Then, let your imagination run wild, and plan on serious telephoto lenses for the future. Trust me or not, the two lenses mentioned above will provide you with photographic tools that will astound you. Get them in your kit as soon as you can afford them.

A little warning about either lens.... Some here will argue the point, but with either lens, get a GOOD quality UV filter that is multi-coated on both sides, and built extra thin to avoid vignetting at wide lens settings. A good filter will cost a little less than one hundred Dollars, and can cost up to one hundred forty Dollars. The minimum brand would be Hoya Pro 1 multi coated filters, and the ante goes up from there.

Everything else is garbage, including the Canon "sharp cut" filter that costs less than fifty bucks. No kidding, no conjecture. If you use cheap filters, you will never see what your lens can really do. Ever. No doubt that many will respond with claims that their twenty Dollar filter works just fine, but they simply don't know any better, and have never used their expensive equipment to it's full potential. It's akin to a Chevy owner passing judgement on a Mercedes Benz. The Chevy might feel real good, but until you own the Mercedes, you just have no clue.

Bottom line.... Make sure that the quality of your filters exceed the quality of your lenses. Yes, at a hundred bucks a pop for a 77mm filter, it hurts, but you will never regret it. Also, Amazon does not stock lens hoods for all non L Canon lenses. The price is stupid high for those hoods, but they make a night and day difference in in picture quality. Whenever you order a non L Canon lens, find a web seller who has the hood in stock, and get it right now. Again, you will never regret owning it.

That's it for my review/rant. Buy this lens. Buy the 17-55 IS f/2,8 first. Buy the lens hoods for both. Toss any "kit" lenses that came with the camera in the trash bin (where they belong), and be very happy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oil execs want to play the blame game now? Are you f-ing kidding me?

This oil spill is going to go down as the worst environmental disaster in world history, and these assholes want to point fingers.

It's time to re-institute the boycott.

No more BP.

Catherine Bragg for President!

It's time the shitbags are booted out of office!

I'd say, out of the 535 members of congress, 530 of them need to go!

Ron Paul on Patriotism

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Nick Drake "Northern Sky"

Ron Paul's "What if" remastered

I'm about to go off on one of my profoundly important bitch sessions

I'm watching this BP oil disaster unfold, and I'm thinking to myself—every American should boycott BP until that company ceases to do business in the United States.

Here's another bunch of greedy rich bastards trying to shirk responsibility. BP made about $40 billion dollars PROFIT a couple of years ago.

They've got the money to take extraordinary precautions to prevent this kind of thing as well as go to extraordinary lengths to fix this massive fuck up.

It's now been about 3 weeks since the platform exploded. Maybe more than 100,000 gallons of oil have spewed into the Gulf of Mexico right off the coast of New Orleans. There's no telling what the end result of this environmental catastrophe will be for the people and wildlife in the region—you can bet people and animals will be suffering for decades to come.

Where's BP going to be during all that?

Has BP pledged billions? Has BP said anything meaningful?

Has BP gone on TV and accepted responsibility?

Has BP done the exact same thing every shitty corporation after a colossal fuck up.

Seriously, BP could be doing 10 times what they are currently doing. They could put up something like $10 billion.

But no, BP is behaving exactly the Exxon behaved after Valdiz.

In fact, Exxon still hasn't paid off the victims. They've fighting in courts for more than 20 years, and can already foresee BP doing the exact same thing.

These corporations never learn.

Americans are going to forget about this disaster that's killing millions of animals and wrecking 1,000s of businesses along the Gulf coast. These things will keep everyone distracted: the stock market crash, Iran might be building a bomb, the Greek crisis, Tea Party bullshit, or some douche bag, who couldn't make a bologna sandwich, tried to blow up a car.

BP is going to get away with this, and 20 years from now, you'll hear a news report where BP is appealing the courts decision to pay off the billions they owe. Just wait.

If I'm still alive 20 years from now, and this happens, I'm going to be pissed.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Quite possibly the most important YouTube video you'll ever watch regarding money!

These two guys are probably the only Congressmen in Washington, who haven't been bought off by the big banks, who understand America's money supply's dire circumstances.

Power needs to be restored to We the People.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

MGMT "Electric Feel"

Dog saves Dog

There is hope for humanity after all, or should I say "dogmanity."

This is just another reason why I love dogs more than people.

Understanding Derivatives In Layman Terms

An Easily Understandable Explanation of Derivative Markets.

Heidi is the proprietor of a bar in Detroit. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed in a ledger.

Word gets around about Heidi’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Heidi’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Detroit.

By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands, Heidi gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Heidi’s gross sales volume increases massively.

A young and dynamic Vice President at the local bank recognizes that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets, and increases Heidi’s borrowing limit. He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders transform these customer loans into DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS. These Securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets. Naive investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as AAA secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.

One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Heidi’s bar. He so informs Heidi.

Heidi then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but being unemployed alcoholics they cannot pay back their drinking debts. Since Heidi cannot fulfill her loan obligations, she is forced into bankruptcy. The bar closes and the eleven employees lose their jobs.

Overnight, DRINKBONDS, ALKIBONDS and PUKEBONDS drop in price by 90%. The collapsed bond asset value destroys the banks liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

The suppliers of Heidi’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the various BOND securities. They find they are now faced with not only having to write off her bad debt but also with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds. Her wine supplier claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations, and her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.

Fortunately, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion dollar, no-strings attached cash infusion from their cronies in Government. The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Heidi’s bar.

Now, do we all understand?

Well, there you have it folks… pretty easy to GRASP the concept now eh??


Source: Surfing The Apocalypse

Geraldo Rivera proves he's a useless sack as he reports on Afghans growing heroin

Here's Geraldo talking to troops that are literally watching over Poppi Fields [heroin] in Afghanistan, which ends up going into Europe, Russia, China, and the U.S.

Geraldo should be raising an alarm across America, but here's Geraldo acting like there's nothing that can be done about this.

Anyone who wants to know why our troops are in Afghanistan—THIS IS WHY!!!