NAFTA, New Orleans and pageants of fake democracy

The intrepid pro fair-use and anti-hate-speech activist known as Spocko has a link up to a bit by activist journalist Greg Palast about the “Summit for Security and Prosperity” (“SSP”) of the big cheeses of Mexico, the USA and Canada which recently happened in New Orleans, of all places. Whatever its stated purposes, Palast says, SSP’s real goal is the blending together of Canada, the USA and Mexico for the benefits of the non-national power/money elites under the fig leaf justification of NAFTA. Among many of Palast’s interesting point is that under new rules, Chinese products can come into the USA with all the rights and privileges of “Made in Mexico” products.

He also makes the point that the super wealthy are (perhaps ever have been?) post-national–it doesn’t make sense to think of them as “American” or “Mexican” or “Canadian” or “Saudi” or “Russian” or whatever. How many members of the nominally American upper crust, for example, do you think are serving in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan? Right.

Yet they realize that the trappings of nationalism are important to “the people”, even if “the people” are willing to let go of democracy itself.

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One man is but a pale imitation of the worst president in US history

Google pays me about four cents a month to run adverts on this-a-here policy-wonk & general bullshit blog, and lately they’ve been running an awful lot of the John McBush “one man” animated gif, which may be running to the right of this image even now. On account of which, my friends and family give me a fair amount of grief. I tell them that I’m not crazy about Google’s running McBush ads here, but I need the money.

In any event it reminds me to run the above picture, which I plan to do at least once a week, until I no longer need to.

War Criminal Feith: “Regrets? I have a few. But then again, too few to mention.”

Over on the corporate media Tee Vee, War Criminal Douglas Feith was seen to be spouting his lies, equivocations, rationalizations and deathworship the other night. He’s pretty good at that shit, even if he is the “dumbest fucking guy on the face of the planet”.

Fortunately for us, we have Athenae (also known as Allison Hantschel), who is a bonafide expert on what a horrible lying war criminal Feith actually is, to provide running commentary and expert debunking of war criminal Feith’s lies and omissions.

Her book Special Plans is a fantastic resource for anybody who cares about the truth of how the United States of America launched its disasstrous war of agression in Iraq.

Note to producers of infotainment shows on the TV: How about a little Allison love, OK? So she’s not Alyson Hannigan, I’ll grant you that. But she ain’t bad lookin neither! Put her on the air; the country will thank you for it.

Cindy Sheehan's Question

So now we’re five years into this goddamn war.

Cindy Sheehan, whose camping out in Crawford, Texas, during the August heat of 2005 did as much as anything to get Americans to see George W. Bush for the puny coward he is, had a very simple question for the man who caused her son Casey to die. Bush had said that Casey Sheehan, Cindy’s son– an Army soldier who was killed by a bullet in the head in Sadr City in April, 2004–had died for a “noble cause.”

Cindy Sheehan asked, “What is that noble cause?”

Rather than answer this question, Bush ran and hid. (Of course. That’s what cowards do.) And then he had some bumsucking speechwriter gin up a response about how the brave soldiers who had been killed in Iraq had died for this reason, or for that. An afterthought, really, but a bumsucking speechwriter can usually be found when George W. Bush needs one.

If you listen to Bush or to any of his apologists or whores or spokespeople, or to war apologists on the TeeVee; to wingnut bloggers, television “news” talking heads & radio oh-so-serious pontificators and teleprompter readers; to Christianist preachers, ingnorami in the street, flagwavers and dolts of every hue and persuasion, they’ll give you some bullshit definition of the so-called noble cause that cost Casey Sheehan his life and Cindy Sheehan her son. But the thing is, whatever bullshit answer they give you, it is guaranteed to be bullshit. It’s not going to be the answer they gave in 2003, or the different one they gave in 2004, or the still different one they gave in 2005, and on and on and on. If it comes from anybody in this administration or from any of its supporters (such as John McBush McCain), it’s going to be the latest bullshit. It’s not going to have anything to do with the earlier, inoperative versions of the bullshit. It’s going to be a hollow, empty lie.

If we ever get a truthful answer to Cindy Sheehan’s Question from a president, such as, “there was no noble cause”, then we’ll perhaps be ready to look at solutions to our current situations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Until then, it’s nothing but lies, and sorrow, and waste.

“Online Free Expresson Day” from Reporters Without Borders

Reporters Without Borders has a nifty little consciousnes-raising “virtual demostration” going on today, sort of a SimCity Second-Life kind of deal.

“Today, the first time this day is being marked, we are giving all Internet users the opportunity to demonstrate in places were protests are not normally possible. We hope many will come and protest in virtual versions of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, Cuba’s Revolution Square or on the streets of Rangoon, in Burma. At least 62 cyber-dissidents are currently imprisoned worldwide, while more than 2,600 websites, blogs or discussions forums were closed or made inaccessible in 2007.”

Today they’re also releasing a helpful, newly-revised Handbook for Bloggers and Cyber-Dissidents.

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Where's the goddamn Magna Carta when you need it?

Here’s a story about some shadowy (nominally USian) government agency that’s going around shutting down websites it doesn’t like & snapping up the domain names.

Rankin, the Treasury spokesman, said Marshall was free to ask for a review of his case. “If they want to be taken off the list,” Rankin said, “they should contact us to make their case.”

That is a problematic system, Fitzgerald said. “The way to get off the list,” he said, “is to go back to the same bureaucrat who put you on.”

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The FCC holds a hearing on Net Neutrality, and YOU! ARE! THERE!

So yesterday morning over coffee I was doing what most people do over their first daily cup o’ joe, which is bring up technorati and see if anybody’s talking about me. That process took me to Joho’s page, from which I learned that the FCC was to be holding an hearing on why Comcast sucks, I mean Net Neutrality broadband network management practices only hours thence. Now although to my surprise & delight, Wetmachine, thanks to the work of my fellow wetmechanics Harold Feld and Greg Rose has become quite the FCC policy site with a side-order of net neutrality, I had never been to an FCC hearing. A quick check of the boat and bus schedules showed that I could probably make it to Hahvahd in time for most of the festivities. I decided to go. So, after securing the blessings of Dear Wife and throwing a few things in a bag, off I set to lose my FCC-hearing virginity.

Below the fold, some totally subjective impressions of the day, told in that winsome wetmachine way that you’ve come to treasure, or if you haven’t yet, which you soon will. More sober-styled reports have surely appeared by now, and I’ll dig up some links & post them at the end for those of you who like a little conventional reportage to ballast what you get from me.

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