Feb 23

The NATO 3, Thomas Friedman is a Hack, What is going on?


The political activists known as the Nato 3 have been acquitted of the trumped-up charge of terrorism, but have been convicted of lesser charges that still might put them in jail for decades. The’ve already been held in solitary confinement for almost two years. Solitary confinement is, according to international law, torture. Their sentencing hearing is scheduled for Friday, February 28th. I doubt the courts will be lenient. They, like the Obama administration, have made it a point to crack down on protesters, and entrapment is a favorite tactic. (The hypocrisy of Obama’s claims about protesters in Ukraine is glaring, all the more so since there’s evidence that the U.S. is involved in fomenting those protests. Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovichhas been impeached and has fled the country.) -LS

222 Tom Friedman of the New York Times is a self-aggrandizing hack. It’s amazing to me that so many people quote him as if he’s some kind of oracle. Not only does he continually kiss the asses of those in power (remember his support of the invasion of Iraq, with the grotesque metaphor about Bush’s “audacious shake of the dice”?), but he gets stuff wrong, routinely. He doesn’t know sh*t about the rights-busting Trans-Pacific Partnership, yet he opines on it as if it’s a boon for the common man. Will somebody retire this guy already? -LS 


I have long admired Sibel Edmonds, the former FBI translator who now runs the blog Boiling Frogs. I consider her among the whistleblowing heroes of the U.S. But she has written a post recently that’s off the rails. I know she has an on-going beef with Glenn Greenwald. From what I can tell — and I don’t know because I’m not in her brain — she’s pissed that she’s not in the inner circle of Greenwald/Poitras/Scahill, et. al. So now she’s taken to castigating not only Greenwald but Edward Snowden as well. A few months ago, according to her, he was a hero; now he’s a villain.

I’d like to ask Edmonds, and anyone else out there, how, exactly do you expect people to make a living? By magic? Is some fairy godmother going to come along and — poof! — pay our mortgages, our rents, our utility bills, our transportation, pay for our food, so that we can spend all our time on rabble-rousing and political activism? Are we supposed to beg on the streets so that we can remain “pure”? Should Greenwald refuse to accept a salary? Would that prove his social justice bona fides? How does Sibel Edmonds make a living? Is she independently wealthy? Does she live off her husband’s wealth? Where does his money come from? Shouldn’t that make her suspect? According to her theories about Greenwald it should. -LS

Another great post from independent blogger Ian Welsh. Lisa Simeone
by Ian Welsh

I live in the Canadian province of Ontario.  A while back our disastrous Liberal party premier retired, and was replaced by the party, who chose a lesbian named Wynne.

Wynne wants to cut corporate taxes and lower taxes on the rich.

As with Obama, the fact that someone is part of an oppressed group does not mean that they, personally, are progressive or populist on economic issues. They’ll give you some social identity rights, even as they take away the foundation of prosperity for you. People can go on about Obama’s move to raise the minimum wage (which I support), but it is a fact that Obama has increased the wealth of the rich even faster than Bush II did, and that median household income in America has actually dropped under him. And this many years after his election, no, it’s not all Bush’s fault. Obama deliberately chose policies and personnel like Bernanke, Summer, and Geithner who would, predictably (because I and others did predict it) increase inequality.

And that is what he wanted.

Neoliberals love offering left-wing voters identity issues, or the appearance of them. They may love the gay (or at least not mind it), but that doesn’t mean they don’t still intend to create a society in which there are aristocrats, and if the serfs want to marry same sex, let’em.  Meanwhile, they’ll keep you under 24/7 surveillance in case you start acting actually subversive in ways that could actually hurt their power and wealth.

Oh, and African-Americans have done terribly under Obama.


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