Category Archives: ethics

Dennis Rodman is trying to save the planet

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By Joseph Ballin 6/16/2017 5:00 PM EST

The one thing I can’t stand about liberals is how whenever North Korea is brought up their brains turn off. I cannot understand why. It reminds me alot of Saddam. Alot of liberals said they opposes the Iraq War cause Saddam didn’t have WMDs. So my question is, would you support the Iraq War if Saddam did have WMDs? So the hypocrisy from liberals on this issue is overwhelming. The reason I’m picking on liberals is because we expect better. I don’t expect anything good from Trump. Trump is a neanderthal who’s taking back to the 1950s, like announcing today to bring back the cold war on Cuba.

Anyway back to North Korea. Dennis Rodman, sponsored by Hempcoin, has landed in Pyongyang. Now this makes good late show comedy, but in a time when all out nuclear war could start at any second, we should be praising Rodman for doing this. Regardless of what you even think of North Korea or Kim Jong Un, we shouldn’t be pushing for more belligerency with them. Imagine if China had it’s navy do military drills right off our coast, meanwhile have thousands of troops in Canada. The US would fucking freak the fuck up and nuke the planet if that happened.

Back to liberals for one second. So whenever North Korea is brought up people always say “well North Korea is insane and not a rational actor, so we have to take them out.” My response is North Korea is a rational actor. Having nukes to protect their country from regime change is a rational action for the leadership of North Korea. They saw what happened in Libya, Iraq, and Syria for regimes without nuclear weapons. Nor would North Korea ever use those nuclear weapons in an offense manner, it would lead to the death of pretty much every living person in North Korea as a whole. Where is the rationality in that?

Dennis Rodman is going to North Korea, not because he’s this secretly working for the US government to help release Otto Warmbier. I think Rodman generally has a friendship with Kim Jong Un, despite the national differences between the two. And I think Kim Jong Un feels the same. That and I think Rodman is going over there to smug back a shit ton of weed from North Korea back to the US.

Lock Them Up: US Government for prison 2017

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William “Ryan” Owens and Nawar al-Awlaki (remember their names)

By Joseph Ballin

5/17/2017 12:05 AM EST

Nixon faced impeachment, not over blowing up the 1968 Vietnam peace deal and extending the Vietnam War, killing millions more people, or bombing Cambodia, or propping up various dictatorships world wide, but because he broke into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. It had nothing to do with the REAL crimes of Nixon. As Noam Chomsky pointed, Watergate only happened because Nixon threatened one faction in the capitalist state, the Democratic Party.

Now we are seeing the same thing happen again. Trump has expanded the usage of drones, planning on deploying 3,500 US troops in Afghanistan, thousands of US troops in Syria and Somalia for the first time, giving Saudi Arabia a 100 billion dollar arms deal, supporting various other dictatorships world wide, attacking the sovereign state of Syria over a chemical false flag attack, dropping MOAB in Afghanistan killing unknown number of people, and various other war crimes. And what do Democrats and Republicans have to say about all this? Radio silence.

When Napoleon was defeated, he was exiled to Saint Helena. As a 1919 British report on war crimes note “Napoleon was not charged with having during the Hundred Days carried on war contrary to the usages of civilized nations.” This was mainly because the Great Powers that defeated Napoleon didn’t want to be charged themselves with war crimes if they were defeated. It would only be after World War II, with the modern concept of war crime was further developed with the Nuremberg Trials and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East 1946. And since 1945, US has never been convicted for war crimes in a international war crimes tribunal.

Trump is a lying scumbag piece of human shit. He out right lied, claiming he never told the Russians anything, but later revealed that he did revealed classified information to the Russians about airlines and information about ISIS. Now it is revealed that he fired James Comey for investigating Michael Flynn, not for his handling the Hillary Clinton emails. Since becoming president, Trump has done everything that he criticized Hillary Clinton for and more.

Now how many in MSM or the US government are calling Trump a war criminal who should face life imprisonment without parole? Not a single one I can think of, because that would implicit them as well, along with every living US president. The REAL crimes of Donald Trump will never see an international war crimes tribunal. This is why there is not two parties in the US, but one, the war party. Chris Hedges pointed out correctly when he said “In mainstream discussion, it is either do we bomb Syria or do we bomb Syria and deploy US ground troops?”

Why is murdering thousands of people worldwide via US troops and bombs any less different from a common murder? Democrats and the so called “#Resistance” are not fighting Trump. Why would they fight Trump? Impeaching Trump would be suicide for Democrats because he’s so awful that it will be a Democratic landslide win in 2018 not seen for Democrats since 2008. The people fighting Trump include Code Pink protesting Senate conformation hearings of Trump cabinet picks that Democrats voted for, or protesting as air ports over the Muslim ban, or Sally Hates refusing the orders of Donald Trump. That is the real resistance.

Links:

https://books.google.com/books?id=wISXAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=napoleon+war+crimes+not+charged&source=bl&ots=4uI65297UM&sig=qLLMaVsXZD-8OEYVdaAA3Xcf7dQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwie2pHg_PXTAhXCPiYKHai7B9EQ6AEIVTAI#v=onepage&q=napoleon%20war%20crimes%20not%20charged&f=false

The Crimes of Donald Trump

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By Joseph Ballin

5/13/2017 7:10 PM EST

The one thing I hate most about being American is the hypocrisy of our views towards life and rule of law. This brings me to Donald Jay Trump, a guy you may have heard of. So Trump paints himself as his good moral god fearing Christian man who cares about muh fetuses, while on the side grabbing pussy. However, Trump has no problem dropping drones on innocent people while the orange cunt eats chocolate cake in Mar-a-Lago. I do not know the exact numbers of innocents murdered under the fascist Trump regime. The Obama regime considered any male 16 years or older killed as “terrorists”. It is hard to tell when the US is propping up proxy regimes like Egyptian General Sisi and funding secret covert terrorists in Syria since 2005. If I had to estimate he’s killed at least a couple thousand if not ten thousand innocent people since January 20.

For all the Trump voters out there who thought he was the peacenik to Hillary’s war mongering, where are you now? He’s given the CIA and generals the power to kill anyone at any time and deploy US ground troops to any country at any time. We’ve seen an massive escalation in drone strikes under the Trump regime, along with a $100 billion arms deal for Saudi Arabia. There is a build up of US ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with deployment of US ground troops in Syria and Somalia. He allowed his generals to drop MOAB on Afghanistan and we still do not know how many people were killed from that strike because nobody has been allowed anywhere near the blast. And he is pushing us towards war with North Korea and Iran, all while striking the Syrian government over a chemical attack committed by the al-Qaeda white helmets. Relations with Russia are at the worst they have ever been and we are already probably in a new cold war with them. Trump’s foreign policy is basically a return back to the times of the Golden Horde.

Again all of this doesn’t mean Hillary was the peace candidate, far from it, but we didn’t have people like Trump supporters out right lying saying she was. If I had it my way I would have Trump, Hillary, Obama, Bush, Bill Clinton, GWB, GHWB, Jimmy Carter, and pretty much almost the entire US government on trial for war crimes against humanity and a sentence of life imprisonment without parole, since I don’t believe in the death penalty. I think Dr. Cornel West summed it up best when he said “That means that a child in Yemen, Somalia, and a child in Pakistan has the same value as a child in Newtown, Connecticut, Southside Chicago, Chinatown, barrio and an Indian reservation. A child is a precious child, no matter what. Somebody’s got to be accountable for that.”

Everyone being treated the same aka equality right? You would think in the good old US of A that would be the case, but equality under the law in US is bullshit. If I kill someone I go to jail, if someone in the US government kills someone they get medals. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, the near dead fossil and AG for the US, is rebooting the War on Drugs (that never ended since it’s declaration by Richard Nixon), telling prosecutors to seek the “most serious” charges and stricter sentences on the issue of drugs. So smoking a plant winds your ass in jail for life because private prisons demand cheap slave wage labor. Meanwhile wallstreet can steal from us and get tax payer bail out in order to keep the gravy train of capitalism going for another 10 years till the next crash.

“If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it” said Mark Twain, a man who was centuries ahead of his time. Until we call out the hypocrisy of both Republicans and Democrats we will never been free of this unless cycle of the War on so called “Terror” and War on so called “Drugs.” These wars are actually wars on the poor and non-white people. A lot of so called liberals hated Bush, but where ok with Obama putting a nice face on Bush’s policies. Now with Trump, the nice face has been replaced with an ugly orange turd, which is good for the left in the sense it wakes people up to just how fucked our government is. We need to move past this D vs R bullshit, end all these bullshit wars for profit, and move together as horizontally organized global workers party.

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Links:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-saudi-idUSKBN18832N

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/12/528086525/sessions-tells-prosecutors-to-seek-most-serious-charges-stricter-sentences

The Biggest Hypocrite – Wall of Shame

Hypocrite in Chief: Cory Booker

In the Wall of Shame premiere edition,  the number 1 nominee is Senator Cory Booker.  Cory Booker is a Senator from New Jersey, where the powers to be have deemed that he is worthy of a presidential primary run.  But, let’s see all the counts of Hypocrisy.  

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Horse Carriage Ban and Jimmy Challenges David Cross

In this winter episode, we freeze our jibbles off as we expose the hypocrisy and lies behind the moronic proposed NYC Horse Carriage Ban and after David Cross puts down my song I Challenges David Cross to a song-writing battle.

NYC Horse Carriage Ban and Jimmy Challenges David Cross

Shout outs this week go to:
-the Majority Report with a call to vote for them as the NUMBER 1 political podcast.
-the Stoned Socialist Podcast
O’Chang Comics for the Maine Style Funnies!
David Cross

The enemy of my enemy is my fellow technocrat

There’s been a recent outbreak of Blogger Warz!! between two of my favorites, Greenwald and Krugman.  It’s good reading, so I won’t bother excerpting (ok maybe a little).  Greenwald wrote an article discussing Obama advisor and current Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Cass Sunstein, and a recent paper he published regarding preferred methods of government propaganda.  Greenwald:

Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.”  He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government).   This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.”  Sunstein’s 2008 paper was flagged by this blogger, and then amplified in an excellent report by Raw Story‘s Daniel Tencer.

Greenwald rightly notes that if it was a Bush Administration official proposing these things, we’d be pissed.  Things start to get hot, however, when later in the article Greenwald makes note of the recently uncovered relationship between “independent health care modeling expert” Jon Gruber and the Obama Administration, namely a $400,000 contract to provide cost estimates on the impacts of various reform proposals.  This is a guy who is an MIT health economist, technical expert and leader in the field.  It’s definitely a good thing that lawmakers are relying on technical experts to help craft new laws that will have sweeping impact on society.  But he has repeatedly failed to disclose his financial ties to the current reform effort, even as he advocates for it (op-eds, NYT, WaPo, etc) and is in turn held out as a technical expert by senators, administration officials, etc, trying to sell their plan.

Krugman leaps to Gruber’s defense (and his own), not because the guy’s actions were particularly defensible, but because the revelations have the potential to be politically damaging in this final hour of healthcare reform.  (These shady things are supposed to come out after the fact, not during!)  He closes with this:

And here’s the thing: by claiming that there’s a huge scandal when nothing worse happened than insufficient care about disclosure, Greenwald and the people at FDL are actually reducing our ability to call foul on real corruption. After all, if everything is a scandal, nothing is a scandal. One of these days, perhaps soon, we’ll have a genuinely corrupt administration again — but when whistleblowers try to call attention to the misdeeds, you can be sure that there will be claims that “even liberals said that Obama did things just as bad or worse.”  The crusade against Gruber is getting really destructive.

As I had hoped, Greenwald responded to Krugman this morning, and pretty much dismantled his argument with the Vulcan logic we’ve come to expect.

For me, this is the nub of the matter.  I couldn’t disagree more with Krugman’s claim here, as he has it exactly backwards.  What will make it impossible to effectively call out wrongdoing by future corrupt administrations (by which Krugman seems to mean:  Republican administrations) is the willingness of some people to tolerate and defend corruption when done by “their side.”  The next time we have what Krugman calls a “genuinely corrupt administration” which, say, secretly pays people they’re holding out as “independent” experts, the administration’s defenders will say:  “how can you possibly object to our doing this when Obama did it, and not only did you fail to object then, but you defended it?”

I don’t expect Krugman will respond further to this, if for no other reason than it will continue to give oxygen to the controversy.  In many ways this dispute epitomizes the burgeoning grudge match on the left between those who are Democratic true believers, and those who are willing to cry foul no matter who is in charge.  I’m sympathetic to both sides (which I previously would not be, had we not just lived through the Bush administration) and am curious what others think about this.  Here’s those links again:

Greenwald argument

Krugman rebuttal

Greenwald rebuttal

UPDATE:

Marcy Wheeler rebuttal, responding to claims from Krugles that she’s a scandal-monger

Un-Frankenbelievable!

This is another pitch for an all Al TV channel:

Anyone who followed Congress under Republican control until 2007 was absolutely puking in their hat when McCain started spouting his righteous indignation. Anyone who watches a little CSPAN every once in a while knows that people get cut off all the time. But the worst and most egregious hypocrisy of the predictable Republican outrage is how they bent and twisted Congressional rules in meaningful and despicable ways when they were in power. I’m not talking about cutting of a minute of bloviating, I’m talking about literally eliminating the committee’s legislative process alltogether on some critical bills. Bypassing committee amendments, votes and debates. Right to the floor! This is what ‘shutting the democrats out of the process’ meant to the Republicans. If the Democrats had the same balls (and disrespect for the Constitution, hatred of democracy, anti-American sentiment, etc) then we wouldn’t even be talking about meaningless amendments to healthcare relating to illegal immigrants, abortion, etc that score political points for the opposition but don’t really provide substantial changes to the legislation.

Process is important, and the Republicans have written the book on gaming the system. I’d recommend John Dean’s “Broken Government” if you want more detail on the tactics they employed…here’s a review that I think is pretty accurate:

In his latest anti-Republican polemic, ex-Nixon White House counsel and Watergate whistle-blower Dean (Conservatives Without Conscience) moves from policy to process, how necessary government functions are corrupted and hobbled by Republican politicians and their ethos of authoritarianism, secrecy, partisanship and dogmatic contempt for the public sphere.

It’s a long indictment. The last Republican Congress, Dean contends, rubber-stamped Bush’s policies, shut Democrats out of the legislative process, neglected pressing issues and made a shambles of government finances. Meanwhile, the Bush administration–the worst presidency ever–has sought to replace constitutional checks and balances with a unitary executive that brooks no congressional interference and undermines civil rights. All of this is enabled by the swelling ranks of fundamentalists on the federal bench and Supreme Court (some of whom, he insists, committed perjury to get confirmed).

For this, McCain gets my nomination for “Hypocrite of the Week”

Blame it on Bubba

The tire iron wielding Bubba isn’t alone in his hatred, ignorance and xenophobia…the folks over at Wall Street feel the same way toward the poor masses. How else could one explain their continued adherence to the notion that the nations poor are to blame for the worst global financial meltdown in 100 years? This quote from the WSJ Op-Ed pages is patently ridiculous to anyone with even a basic understanding of what caused the meltdown:

Fifty percent of the high-risk loans are estimated to be CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) loans, with much of the remainder useful to the GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises) in meeting their affordable-housing goals.

The flood of CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) and affordable-housing loans with loosened underwriting standards, combined with declining mortgage interest rates-to 5% in 2003 from 10% in early 1991-resulted in a massive increase in borrowing capacity and fueled a house price bubble of unprecedented magnitude over the period 1997-2006.

So the government is to blame for the crisis because they made it so much easier for poor people to buy a home…right.

The reality of what happened is pretty well summarized in “Fool’s Gold”…I think this review of the book is spot on. The only way bad mortgages take down the entire financial system is when they are used as the ‘raw material’ for speculation by the investment community, whose insatiable appetite for risk, for betting on just about anything, and unfettered greed will always destroy any sane conventional system of banking. History has shown us this several times…Greenspan’s now infamous ‘shocked disbelief’ is laughable when you consider a historical perspective. Or maybe it was those irresponsible poor people who didn’t read the fine fine fine print on the terms of their sub-prime mortgage, right Wall Street?

WaPo: Your Propaganda Here!

The Washington Post is an honest and neutral observer of current events.

For $25,000 to $250,000, The Washington Post is offering lobbyists and association executives off-the-record, nonconfrontational access to “those powerful few” — Obama administration officials, members of Congress, and the paper’s own reporters and editors.

The astonishing offer is detailed in a flier circulated Wednesday to a health care lobbyist, who provided it to a reporter because the lobbyist said he feels it’s a conflict for the paper to charge for access to, as the flier says, its “health care reporting and editorial staff.”

Clearly the newspapers must be saved!  Whatever will we do without them? 

This is the same paper that recently fired it’s one non-conservative columnist, Dan Froomkin, for no apparent reason, other than doing what journalists are supposed to do, which is to expose the lies and hypocrisy of powerful people.

Maybe the reefer lobby can get a few bites out of this apple before it totally rots away.  Who’s got a spare dollar for some propa-ganja, please?

UPDATE

Apparently it was all a big misunderstanding!

The flier circulated this morning came out of a business division for conferences and events, and the newsroom was unaware of such communication. It went out before it was properly vetted, and this draft does not represent what the company’s vision for these dinners are, which is meant to be an independent, policy-oriented event for newsmakers. As written, the newsroom could not participate in an event like this.

We do believe there is an opportunity to have a conferences and events business, and that The Post should be leading these conversations in Washington, big or small, while maintaining journalistic integrity. 

The newsroom will participate where appropriate.

Media whoring at its finest!

This Vast and Worthless Area

Soon after Robert Kennedy announced his candidacy in 1968, he spoke at Kansas University. I encourage you to read the entire speech…required reading..

As I caught up on the ATH tonight, I couldn’t help thinking about RFK’s heart breaking and tragic run for the presidency. Before you read this quote, if you don’t know William Allen White, as I didn’t, please click the link so you’ll get the sarcasm.

I’m glad to come here to the home of the man who publicly wrote: “If our colleges and universities do not breed men who riot, who rebel, who attack life with all the youthful vision and vigor, then there is something wrong with our colleges. The more riots that come out of our college campuses, the better the world for tomorrow.” And despite all the accusations against me, those words were not written by me, they were written by that notorious seditionist, William Allen White. And I know what great affection this university has for him. He is an honored man today, here on your campus and around the rest of the nation. But when he lived and wrote, he was reviled as an extremist and worse. For he spoke, he spoke as he believed. He did not conceal his concern in comforting words. He did not delude his readers or himself with false hopes and with illusions. This spirit of honest confrontation is what America needs today. It has been missing all too often in the recent years and it is one of the reasons that I run for President of the United States.

For we as a people, we as a people, are strong enough, we are brave enough to be told the truth of where we stand. This country needs honesty and candor in its political life and from the President of the United States. But I don’t want to run for the presidency – I don’t want America to make the critical choice of direction and leadership this year without confronting that truth. I don’t want to win support of votes by hiding the American condition in false hopes or illusions. I want us to find out the promise of the future, what we can accomplish here in the United States, what this country does stand for and what is expected of us in the years ahead. And I also want us to know and examine where we’ve gone wrong. And I want all of us, young and old, to have a chance to build a better country and change the direction of the United States of America.

This morning I spoke about the war in Vietnam, and I will speak briefly about it in a few moments. But there is much more to this critical election year than the war in Vietnam.

It appears today that partisan politics and running the constant campaign is more important than literally everything.

The title of this post also comes from that RFK speech in Kansas (see previous link). In 1824, Daniel Webster opposed expanding the United States further into the Great Plains. Today I think the vast and worthless area is called the Democratic Party.