Thursday, April 23, 2009

Busy, Busy

Planting season is in full swing, in-laws are arriving from the Netherlands for 10 days, and I've been involved in some local political activism on a huge issue. I'll post as much as I can.

16 comments:

wouter said...

Tell them goedemiddag (goo-duh-mih-dag) which means good afternoon. Your blog is famous n the netherlands

Craig Hickman said...

No way!

Ik spreek een beetje Nederlands.

I can prounce my G's correctly, too.

Graf_sampras said...

And May all that you plant bloom in all the glory that the Mother Earth provides, Craighickman.

along with that. with your political activism...PLEASE, i beg you, speak to your fellow americans:

TORTURE is NOT only "the american way" -- NOT EVEN for the sake of "national security" or "saving life and limb and property".....NOT EVEN to "preserve our freedoms"....

it is NOT HUMAN -- for ANY reason whatsoever.

those that resort to such things only make themselves UNDESERVING of calling themselves human or civilized.

whether it is a child that does not know things of the world that somehow takes pleasure or even curiousity out of removing the wings of a dragonfly and destroying it ...or because a spider has bitten him and so as "payback" resorts to taking out its limbs one by one ....the resorting to torture - HOWEVER political "wisdom" or legal wisdom wishes to NAME them .....

it is PURE EVIL, PERIOD.

and the USA has embarked on this which is just as cowardly as the methods used by terrorists...and in many ways, even MORE so -- for the USA has gone across the world PREACHING about morality and civilization -- and then uses WAR and out of the consequences of such empire building , when BLOWBACK comes -- resorts to TORTURE and MORE war to "protect our national security and interests".......


THAT is nothing else but PURELY an EVIL , MACABRE Dance of Death and Cruelty....which if americans STILL deny it to themselves -- the rest of the world sees is OTHERWISE.

and 300 million people of a MERE 250 year old "nation" borne out of SLAVERY and TORTURING africans in their millions to build WEALTH and prosperity can not POSSIBLY hold unto themselves the RIGHT to decide or even IMAGINE that their so-called civilization holds the right to decide what is "value" -- against the eons of human culture , far , far older and more complex whose histories and realities the USA has long IGNORED to their own rights to destinies in ITS quest to become te world's "global Roman Empire"......


and which the "terrorism" is ONLY PART of the BLOWBACKS of Empire (please read the very important trilogy of books by the former CIA and MARINE in Vietnam and US administration under johnson and nixon Adviser - Chalmers Johnson :

"LEVIATHAN"
"THE SORROWS of EMPIRE"
"BLOWBACK". ).


if Obama, in ANY manner tries to continue the reasoning of the bushes and cia and nsa and pentagon to commit or permit such things "in the name of national security"....

not only HIS humanity will be destroyed beyond REPAIR -- if it is not already --

he will have BETRAYED not only the american people - and the rest of the world and all the GOOD things that america CAN STILL rise to --

he will have betrayed his OWN forefathers -- OUR common ancestors in africa

that in their MILLIONS were long ago TORTURED by the United States to "gather as much of the world's resources unto ourselves -- at the expense of others...that is our real foreign policy" ....

General Smedley Butler, US MARINE General -- 1933 speeches.


PLEASE craighickman...

I , if you recall, was probably the first among us in Bogledance's message board to "introduce" Barack Obama in 2004 - after his convention speech...saying

"HE is presidential material...and if true as he seems - SHOULD be president the USA has long needed".....


but so far -- some steps he has taken are NOT very honorable.

in the end - it won't matter even if it is explained as "that is politics" and the way things are:

the way things are -- are a RECIPE a GUARANTEED recipe for FAILURE -- whether it is about the FRAUDULENT bank bailouts that will soon enough "require" more "money out of thin air" that is SURE to BURST not JUSt the next financial and economic bubbles but SURE to BURST the FEDERAL bubble -- whether it is about "national security" to spy on people for the sake of "preserving security" --

whether it is about the morality and ethics of claiming being an american as the "paragon of justice"...


because PART of the story will ALWAYS be NOT ABOUT WHAT AMERICANS THINK or WISH --


it is what the REST of the world thinks and WISH.

and the more the USA tries to "dominate" and as a cconsequence of its actions towards domination -- CREATES conditions for BLOWBACKS --

in all their forms -- the MORE the USA will accelerate towards its OWN self-destruction


EVEN , I predict , in the lifespan of people living TODAY.

and then americans will see -- what THEY have done to themselves. and RUE the day when they denied what an american poet said:

"we americans -- carefully nurture a studied attitude of detached indifference to the suffering of others......even if WE are the cause of it".

for on those times -- americans will see THEIR OWN CHILDREN SUFFER the consequences of what their parents had ALLOWED.


and THAT is NOT a very MORAL thing nor ethical...to make your own succeeding generations PAY for YOUR wins.

even those that are called "terrorists" and barbarians by the USA or the west don't do THAT, inspite of their great poverties.

I beg you Craighickman...

this is a matter of the GREATEST importance to america. far, far more than their "national security".


":THOSE THAT GIVE UP LIBERTIES FOR THE SAKE OF SECURITY, NO MATTER HOW TEMPORARILY, DO NOT DESERVE SECURITY OR LIBERTY".....

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

"....WE SHALL SURELY BANKRUPT OURSELVES IN OUR QUEST FOR ABSOLUTE SECURITY.."

PRESIDENT DWIGHT EISENHOWER


and self-styled "christian america" should perhaps remind itself:


its "hero" jesus christ" was TORTURED by the AMERICAN EMPIRE of 2000 years ag0 --

ROME -- in rome's own version of "afghanistan, pakistan, middle east"...its own version of "farflung provinces" as the USA's OWN 700 military installations worldwide --

declaring christ as a THREAT to security!


OBAMA is either leading a nation either towards a complete acceptance of the most EVIL of things humans have ever devised -- the conquest of others and warmaking as the tool --

and the justification OF IT through torture of those which the Empire building ITSELF has created as enemies!

"we americans largely do not realize that we are Living our Lifestyles -- really, ONLY because it is part of a VERY , VERY vicious system of exploitation that Dehumanizes and Enslaves other peoples".

John Perkins - Former CIA "economic hitman" -- "CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HITMAN".


just as strongly as I said in 2004 -- that Barack Obama "is presidential material" in the SENSE that he represents what is the BEST of america and a human being --

just as SURELY as I had said that in Bogledance's message board....

and just as SURELY as I had predicted years, many years, ago that the Wall Street shenanigans would come tumbling down like the pack of cards they REALLY were all along ,

I AM JUST AS SURELY saying right now, Craighickman:

President Barack Obama WILL destroy himself if he stays "the course" as the USA is going on .

there is no other way -- HISTORY already said it many times before...

and AMERICA is NO exception - no matter what americans think of themselves as "exceptional".

on the contrary - thinking THAT way - only PROVES that americans are NOT THAT exceptional after all........

and it is LONG PAST the time americans ought to LEARN what history has shown.

PRESIDENT OBAMA NEEDS the support from his fellow americans as HIS REAL SHIELD against the forces of EVIL surrounding him ....


support towards what ETHICAL and MORAL and HUMANE americans really ought to know in their hearts -- which goes BEYOND "being american".

for him to become the TRUE great president that he can be -- he needs every support and reminder and INSISTENCE from people like Craighickman.

and to remind him of HOW america was born out of TORTURING and ENSLAVING and MURDERING other peoples....while claiming righteousness

and HE is a representation of the golden chance to the PARTIAL CLEANSING of that FOUL smell of empire that America has become.

he badly needs people like you and your friends Craighickman, to remind him what true americans really ARE and should be...


people who should ALWAYS be IN PENANCE for the sins of what they had done to others in order to amass their own fortune as the "global empire"

until the day that the USA BEHAVES LIKE the civilized nation among nations -- and rightly as the "first" among nations IF it reaches that place.

BUT -- NOT before it DOES! for it has NOT! the BLOWBACKS, whether in economics, political systems , terrorism, "piracy", etc....are merely the CONSEQUENCES of the USA's OWN empire building for the last 2 centuries.

obama needs to not just have understood this -- but do what is GOOD for america --

and that is to EXORCISE itself of its own demons that are its real "enemies".

if not -- americans will continue to suffer the consequences of their own nation's FOLLIES.

but even as important:

as the writer and traveler who reports on the effects of "american imperium" elsewhere the most americans do not even think about except when blowbacks arrive at their own shores - Pepe Escobar writing for Asiatimesonline , says:

"UNLESS AMERICA ACCEPS FULL RESPONSIBILITY for TORTURE and ITS ILLEGAL WARS...there can be NO catharsis IN AMERICA".......


there will only be continued "CANCEROUS ROT emanating from DEEP in the Center of Empire", as another article says recently...by ANOTHER former CIA operative, John Nichols, that spreads and infects EVERY american household, no matter what they wish to think otherwise.



that is guaranteed by History.,

Graf_sampras said...

OBAMA NEEDS to FIRE GEITHNER and SUMMERS...obama is WELL within his powers for all to see , to do so. HE's the boss and THEY serve "at the president's whim".

THEY don't call the shots and SHOULDN'T.

these two in particular are PART of the group, from Alan Greenspan on -- that were the architects of the global implosion ...that they can stamp:

:"MADE IN AMERICA".

and if obama wants to be the president he OUGHT to be...he should FIRE THEM!

for they are part of the american system that the late and legendary Marine General Smedley Butler in 1933 revealed , after 30 years of "being their Chief Muscleman Enforcer"...

:"OUR BIG BANKS< our BIG FINANCE, our BIG CORPORATIONS...all serving our BIG BOSS...our supernationalistic Capitalism".....


which everyone in the world has seen is the SOURCE of global economic and cultural injustices.

PERIOD.

it is time for america to GROW UP!

starting by FIRING these over-hyped- over "valued" BRAINS of american "finance" which itself has turned out to be a massive PONZI SCHEME

so americans can go BACK or ON to REAL economy and actually creating wealth for REAL rather than by MAKE BELIEVE nonsense!

and HAVE the value of their LABOR and everyone else's around the world - long held HOSTAGE by American Finance -- PLACED on their RIGHTFUL PLACE -- the EQUAL and even SUPERIOR of MONEY wealth!

and THEN that can be called "the american way of justice"......for the FIRST TIME.


lol.

obama needs to FIRE these parasites that called themselves "the Masters of the Universe".

hell -- if they were going to make these "mistakes" anyway (not that they DIDN't KNOW IT) -- they coulda hired ANY of US to make the same mistakes HONESTLY -- for a pittance!!!

==========

The Bailout Is a Fraud That Could Bring Down Obama

By Ruth Conniff, The Progressive. Posted April 23, 2009.

The Obama administration must change their approach to the financial crisis, or Obama -- and the rest of us -- will pay a serious price.
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Goldman Sachs reports better-than-expected profits this quarter. Wells Fargo cleared record profits last week. The President, understandably, points to signs of hope and encourages Americans to be optimistic about the economy. But when do we move from healthy confidence to a confidence game? The banks are reporting profits thanks to massive infusions of taxpayer bailout funds. It's simply silly to be lulled by cheery-sounding reports when the institutions are actually insolvent. At some point we have to take a clear-eyed look at the massive failure of our financial system. Ignoring it won't make it go away.

That's more or less what Elizabeth Warren, the distinguished chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, says in her panel's six-month report on the bank bailout. Warren, the government's watchdog, concedes that there are differences of opinion on her panel, which probably accounts for her very carefully couched discussion of the crisis. Although she told The Observer that it is "preposterous" that the government hasn't fired the bank managers who are responsible for the derivatives disaster, her panel's report is cautious, with a scholarly explanation of the crisis in her video introduction. Nonetheless, the underlying criticism is obvious.

In a financial crisis like the current one, Warren explains, the government has three choices: 1. Liquidate failed banks. (That's what happened in the S&L crisis. The government took over institutions, fired the managers, wiped out investors, but protected depositors. A lot of savings and loans simply went out of business.) 2. Put them in receivership. (That's what Sweden did in the 1990s: failed managers were fired and replaced, depositors were protected, and the banks were returned to private hands under new management with healthier balance sheets.) or 3. Subsidize the banks. This last option is what led Japan to its "lost decade" -- the real value of bank assets are obscured, as the government funnels tax money into insolvent banks, propping them up indefinitely. This last is the approach the United States is now taking.

If you want to hear someone absolutely destroy that approach to the current crisis, check out a round of recent interviews with William Black, the professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri who was deputy director of the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. during the S&L crisis in the 1980s. Black, who liquidated a few banks in his time and earned the eternal enmity of Charles Keating, minces no words in describing the massive fraud by bankers and the regulators, including Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, whom he describes as abetting them.

"This whole bank scandal makes Teapot Dome look like some kind of kids' doll set," Black told the investors' journal Barron's in an interview published in the print edition on April 13. (The interview appeared online on April 9, but you need a paid subscription to access the site). He covers the same points in a highly watchable interview on Bill Moyer's Journal..

vw said...

Cool, I was there once in villages near Nijmegen.

Graf_sampras said...

Craighickman....please read:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/04/23-8

"OBAMA and the BIG DOGS".

as it feared:

Trying to "make nice" with Wall street and Big Money...the source of the mess...

he is already being bitten HARD...and if he is not careful and DECISIVE in what everyone ought to know he ought to do ....he WILL become NEUTERED.

he needs to not just FIRE Geithner and Summers who are really "wall street" AGENTS sent to control his presidency ...but has to do the ONLY thing that remains to be done with these banks and financial organizations-- NO MATTER what it does to the "symbol of american capitalism"..

CLOSE THEM DOWN, or NATIONALIZE them and IMPOSE his will on these THIEVES, just as the Two Roosevelts did.

they are testing him and he is already being weakened. i guarantee you that. but he has the power -- supported by the american people -- to put these banks and organization and the ones that run them and the country -- IN THEIR PLACE!

Graf_sampras said...

Op-Ed Columnist
Reclaiming America’s Soul

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By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: April 23, 2009

“Nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past.” So declared President Obama, after his commendable decision to release the legal memos that his predecessor used to justify torture. Some people in the political and media establishments have echoed his position. We need to look forward, not backward, they say. No prosecutions, please; no investigations; we’re just too busy.
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And there are indeed immense challenges out there: an economic crisis, a health care crisis, an environmental crisis. Isn’t revisiting the abuses of the last eight years, no matter how bad they were, a luxury we can’t afford?

No, it isn’t, because America is more than a collection of policies. We are, or at least we used to be, a nation of moral ideals. In the past, our government has sometimes done an imperfect job of upholding those ideals. But never before have our leaders so utterly betrayed everything our nation stands for. “This government does not torture people,” declared former President Bush, but it did, and all the world knows it.

And the only way we can regain our moral compass, not just for the sake of our position in the world, but for the sake of our own national conscience, is to investigate how that happened, and, if necessary, to prosecute those responsible.

What about the argument that investigating the Bush administration’s abuses will impede efforts to deal with the crises of today? Even if that were true — even if truth and justice came at a high price — that would arguably be a price we must pay: laws aren’t supposed to be enforced only when convenient. But is there any real reason to believe that the nation would pay a high price for accountability?

For example, would investigating the crimes of the Bush era really divert time and energy needed elsewhere? Let’s be concrete: whose time and energy are we talking about?

Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to rescue the economy. Peter Orszag, the budget director, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to reform health care. Steven Chu, the energy secretary, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to limit climate change. Even the president needn’t, and indeed shouldn’t, be involved. All he would have to do is let the Justice Department do its job — which he’s supposed to do in any case — and not get in the way of any Congressional investigations.

I don’t know about you, but I think America is capable of uncovering the truth and enforcing the law even while it goes about its other business.

Still, you might argue — and many do — that revisiting the abuses of the Bush years would undermine the political consensus the president needs to pursue his agenda.

But the answer to that is, what political consensus? There are still, alas, a significant number of people in our political life who stand on the side of the torturers. But these are the same people who have been relentless in their efforts to block President Obama’s attempt to deal with our economic crisis and will be equally relentless in their opposition when he endeavors to deal with health care and climate change. The president cannot lose their good will, because they never offered any.

That said, there are a lot of people in Washington who weren’t allied with the torturers but would nonetheless rather not revisit what happened in the Bush years.

Some of them probably just don’t want an ugly scene; my guess is that the president, who clearly prefers visions of uplift to confrontation, is in that group. But the ugliness is already there, and pretending it isn’t won’t make it go away.

Others, I suspect, would rather not revisit those years because they don’t want to be reminded of their own sins of omission.

For the fact is that officials in the Bush administration instituted torture as a policy, misled the nation into a war they wanted to fight and, probably, tortured people in the attempt to extract “confessions” that would justify that war. And during the march to war, most of the political and media establishment looked the other way.

It’s hard, then, not to be cynical when some of the people who should have spoken out against what was happening, but didn’t, now declare that we should forget the whole era — for the sake of the country, of course.

Sorry, but what we really should do for the sake of the country is have investigations both of torture and of the march to war. These investigations should, where appropriate, be followed by prosecutions — not out of vindictiveness, but because this is a nation of laws.

We need to do this for the sake of our future. For this isn’t about looking backward, it’s about looking forward — because it’s about reclaiming America’s soul.

============


Paul Krugman is 2008's NOBEL PRIZE LAUREATE for ECONOMICS....

IF the man of economics (whose suggestions to the administration are being ignored) - can get out of his "economics is very important" -- to remind obama that NOTHING is more important than saving "america's soul" by INVESTIGATING and PROSECUTING WAR CRIMES committed by the United States of America by its own leaders -- and thus

as IS NECESSARY - to "look back" in order to ensure the world sees america is CAPABLE of rising to its own claims --

even if it means "we have to pay a steep price" for it....

obama needs to listen.

as krugman says:

the USA has committed war crimes that "the whole world knows"......

but better than that -- this is the moment for obama and america to heed the words of a man america likes to boast about as its "great savior"....

on whether "we can't afford distractions from our economic problems and policies by looking BACK" at what America's soul has become:

"WHAT DOES IT PROFIT A MAN -- if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?"

that man was Jesus Christ.

and those words are the EXACT application to the kinds of decisions obama and usa must make:

whether to "save our economics" OR to save our souls


as america LOVES to bray about as part of the moral justifications for having committed war crimes against other nations and people.

IRONIC isn't it?

Beth said...

Are you through?

Graf_sampras said...

Beth said...

Are you through?

Fri Apr 24, 01:37:00 PM

===========

no...

are you distracted from TENNIS by IMPORTANT things in the world like....

your own government launching illegal criminal wars and torture?

while preaching "justice, truth and accountability?"

incidentally --

Barack Obama as president and constitutional lawyer needs to review the BASIC constitutional requirement stating that :

"THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PRESIDENT of the USA is to UPHOLD and PROTECT the CONSTITUTION of the United States of America"


it does NOT say and is NOT EQUAL TO:

"my primary job is to protect the american people" .,


those are TWO different things -- and the LATTER has been USED by the bush crime organization and others to NOT uphold and NOT protect the constitution of the USA as the CONSTITUTION REQUIRES.

in other words -- they are COMMITTING TREASON against the Constitution of the USA.

have you EVER thought of that?


back to TENNIS, so IMPORTANT these games.......

Beth said...

This is a tennis blog, isn't it though?

Graf_sampras said...

yes -- but I took the opportunity for Craighickman's mentioning things that are about political activism. that's Craighickman's prerogative as owner , right? then it opens up the topic for POLITICS if one reports on political activism.

In fact this particular topic strikes right at the heart of what Craighickman , thankfully, has in his heart -- that he is politically active, whatever the local or national meaning of what he is involved in right now.....but SPECIFICALLY because Craighickman and I -- together -- have put SO MUCH hope and support into President Barack Obama -- POLITICS and activism --

because it is SO NECESSARY for the president to succeed in the good things that he CAN do and he represents.

so -- what is your problem?



i leave you with a line from an american poet, little know ;;;


"WE AMERICANS -- CAREFULLY NURTURE A STUDIED ATTITUDE OF INDIFFERENCE TO THE SUFERRING OF OTHERS....EVEN IF *WE* ARE THE CAUSE OF IT"....


that applies to using the excuse of "this is a tennis board" as a way to "carefully nurture a studied attitude of indifference".......


to such things as politics that affect EVERYONE


and as you have seen yourself -- AFFECTS the ECONOMY -- which affects your very PRECIOUS TOURNAMENTS and their sponsors and THEREFORE the MATCHES that you LOVE to follow !!!

it is funny because a few years ago -- in espn and a few other boards i had predicted or at least observed that :

"the day will come soon when POLITICS and ECONOMICS things that tennis fans THINK are "off topic" -- will come TO HAUNT the world of sports ENOUGH to bother and INCONVENIENCE the world of sports".........

i , once again, have proven correct....

as Correct as when I warned years ago :

"THIS BUSH isUP TO NO GOOD. he WANTS WAR by any means is only looking and waiting for a BIG tragedy as an excuse to become a dictator./..and there will be secrets that will explode, and people little known to most will be exposed as the "shadow government".....and americans will RUN around from FEAR and allow things to happen that they will one day RUE...and thge ECONOMY shall suffer and WALL STREET WILL collapse....just watch"....

i often repeated that in some tennis boards

as "off topic"......

but then -- who was RIGHT and what has GOTTEN into economics and THEREFORE the world of sports and TOURNAMENTS?


lol.

but you know -- some people LOVE to put their heads in the sand...even if they are themselves already getting buried in it!

Graf_sampras said...

the world is burning all around you -- your own country USA is imploding and failing in EVERY aspect of everything it has BOASTED about and PREACHED about as the paragon ....

and you wish to talk about butterflies and flowers?

lol.

Beth said...

No, I wish to talk/read about TENNIS. Yes, you are correct, that Craig can have any information he wants on this blog. Absolutely. So I guess I will go to a blog that is really just tennis oriented. (No offense to you Craig but I've reached my limit. Have loved your blog though.)

I have my own political views and beliefs but I don't feel the need to ram them down the throats of everyone who might be reading a blog (as you have). Least of all in an inflammatory and self aggrandizing way. Also, don't pretend to know what I think or believe as it relates to our government.

If Craig is in support of your endless comments (not just on this post but on nearly any other topic he has posted), that is definitely his prerogative.

As it relates to your comments after my 'are you done' post, I don't need to be told by you or anyone else what I should be thinking about the USA. I wouldn't expect anyone else to listen to ME rant like that. I guess this was all 'my bad' for coming to a TENNIS blog and expecting to read about tennis.

lynney62 said...

ok...since this has become a political comments board, that's it for me.....

Beth said...

lynney62, I feel the same, at least in this instance. That's the point I was trying to make.

Pamela said...

So, a well rested Rafa plays Davydenko tomorrow. I know most find Davy boring, but I like him. He's such a quiet work horse kind of player and he's taken it to Rafa at times. Usually on hard courts though. I hope it's a competitive match because Rafa needs it, and so does Davy after coming back from injury. Besides, it's been a boring tournament so far.

I say Rafa vs. Ferrer in the finals again.