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bito On January - 17 - 2013

The place to post your comments without interrupting the single topic posts. However, be mindful of the strict rules!!

If you find the rules here are too confining, try the Morning Blog.





You know the rules, now follow them! Please?

Every so often I intrude TO/OT with a personal pick of a site that I find important that I feel needs to be shared and not lost in the shuffle of the constant flow of thoughts on The Planet.

And yet with globalization, we seem to have developed a strange apprehension about the efficacy of our ability to apply the innovation and hard work necessary to successfully compete in a complex security and economic environment. Further, we have misunderstood interdependence as a weakness rather than recognizing it as a strength. The key to sustaining our competitive edge, at home or on the world stage, is credibility — and credibility is a difficult capital to foster. It cannot be won through intimidation and threat, it cannot be sustained through protectionism or exclusion. Credibility requires engagement, strength, and reliability — imaginatively applied through the national tools of development, diplomacy, and defense.

The Y Article

A National Security Narrative



Written by bito

Was once a handsome frog until kissed by an ugly corporate princess.----- Like a well honed knife, the internet can be a wonderful and useful tool. It can be used to prepare and serve a delicious meal or it can be used to cause harm. peace

7,302 Responses so far.

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  1. Beatlex says:

    Anyone here? hello.Bill Kristol was at it again today.Why do they have him on ANY show?he is never right about anything and just takes shots at the President and the Dems.And just about every one else that doesn’t agree with him.All with that smirk.

  2. Kalima says:

    A huge thumbs down for Facebook!!

    After reading that they manipulate the Newsfeeds for political motivation, and decide what they want you to read, this is an affront to freedom of speech anywhere.

    Ahh, the sour smell of dictatorship in the morning!

    Facebook blocks Russian page supporting Navalny, Putin’s biggest critic



    Campaign for America’s Future

    Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell knows who he works for, and it’s not you and me.

    He’s announced his first priority when he takes the gavel will be to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

    The TPP is a big, multi-national trade deal negotiated in secret.

    The big corporations love TPP because it will invalidate scores of environmental and labor regulations and let them ship jobs overseas. Consumer laws could be trumped by unelected tribunals.

    The deal is stuffed with provisions that could not survive in the light of day. So Senator McConnell is dead set on passing this deal using a “fast-track” process that will skip niceties like public hearings and amendments.

    We have to stop this. There’s no time to feel sorry for ourselves over the last election. The consequences are too grave. We must raise the alarm.

    The Campaign for America’s Future will organize progressive groups and allies in Congress (even some conservatives). We will create and distribute educational materials and petitions. We will inundate Congress with letters and phone calls.

    Will you help fund the campaign to stop this dangerous, job-killing trade deal before it’s too late?

    This is an on-the-ground, in-the-air and across-the-wires campaign. We have the truth and large portions of the public on our side, but we are going to be vastly outspent. You can help level the playing field.

    Peace you all!

  4. Kalima says:

    Jon Stewart goes through the list of random things in the spending bill, is horrified

  5. glenn says:

    Not sure if this is true or not, because I only read it one site, Crooks and Liars, but here it is”:

    “From this Friday’s Democracy Now: Should Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & CIA Officials Be Tried for Torture? War Crimes Case Filed in Germany:

    A human rights group in Berlin, Germany, has filed a criminal complaint against the architects of the George W. Bush administration’s torture program. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has accused former Bush administration officials, including CIA Director George Tenet and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, of war crimes, and called for an immediate investigation by a German prosecutor. The move follows the release of a Senate report on CIA torture which includes the case of a German citizen, Khalid El-Masri, who was captured by CIA agents in 2004 due to mistaken identity and tortured at a secret prison in Afghanistan. So far, no one involved in the CIA torture program has been charged with a crime — except the whistleblower John Kiriakou, who exposed it. We speak to Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights and chairman of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, and longtime defense attorney Martin Garbus.


    JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A human rights group in Berlin, Germany, has filed a criminal complaint against the architects of the George W. Bush administration’s torture program. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights has accused former Bush administration officials, including CIA Director George Tenet and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, of war crimes, and called for an immediate investigation by a German prosecutor. The move follows the release of a Senate report on CIA torture, which includes the case of a German citizen, Khalid El-Masri, who was captured by CIA agents in 2004 due to mistaken identity and tortured at a secret prison in Afghanistan. So far, no one involved in the CIA torture program has been charged with a crime—except the whistleblower John Kiriakou, who exposed it.

    AMY GOODMAN: In a statement earlier this week, Wolfgang Kaleck, general secretary of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, said, “By investigating members of the Bush administration, Germany can help to ensure that those responsible for abduction, abuse and illegal detention do not go unpunished,” unquote.”

    So, will the dick appear before this panel and defend his position(s) on torture?

    • AdLib says:

      Wow glenn, this is very affirming to hear. With all the pressure the US will throw against the Germans to quash this, I hope more groups and high profile people in Germany will get behind this.

      And one can only hope that this could instigate more of such complaints in other countries. Imagine if numerous countries tried and found guilty Bush and Cheney and their gang of war crimes?

      They’d never go to jail but that will be what they’re remembered for in history and they will never be able to travel outside of the US without fear of being arrested.


      • glenn says:

        To be precise, Ad, this is not the German government pursuing this, it is a human rights group. But I agree with you 100%. The dick and the shrub have already been tried and convicted (in absentia) by a War Crimes Commission in Kuala Lumpur (in 2012), so the more groups and countries that pursue this, the better.

        I’m of two minds about PBO pursuing charges against the dick and the shrub here in the US. Mainly because I think it would divide our already fractured country even more. Although I cannot understand people who defend anyone who had anything to do with this torture program. However, it would only give the extremists in our country more ammunition to scream about how PBO is dividing our country. They will never see that it was the dick and the shrub who did this; but facts never matter to extremists, who will defend torture, but will not defend the current President of the United States.

        But I would sure like to see PBO pursue charges. RWNJ heads would explode that a black President and a black attorney general would DARE to pursue charges!

        As far as the dick and the shrub not being able to travel outside of the country, isn’t that already the case? Didn’t the shrub want to travel to Canada recently and the Canadians “uninvited” him?

        Yes, it is so cool to see that the whole world hasn’t turned right wing.

    • kesmarn says:

      Isn’t it ironic, glenn, that almost exactly 70 years after the Nuremberg trials, Germany is looking into trying American citizens for war crimes?

      “I was just following orders,” and “What we did was legal,” did not fly back then. And I sure hope they don’t fly today.

      I’d love to see Big Dick in Germany. I wish they’d hold his trial in Nuremberg — just to make the point.

      • glenn says:

        Kes, irony or karma?

        Here’s what I would like to see. If the big dick is so sure he’s “right”, he should go to Germany and “prove” how “right” he is. If he won’t go to Germany, this group should try him “in absentia”, just like the War Crimes Commission in Kuala Lumpur did back in 2012.

        The dick is a pathetic excuse for a human being and a stain on MY country.

    • Nirek says:

      Glenn, I sure hope this is true. Furthermore I hope they try to extridite them! We , I’m sure have an extridition treaty with Germany.

      • glenn says:

        Hey Nirek, haven’t talked to you in a while. How are you?

        I found the original story that C&L was quoting:
        http://www.democracynow.org/2014/12/19/should_bush_and_cheney_be_tried -- 96k --

        Why do we need an extradition treaty? If the dick is so sure he is “right”, then he should be traveling to Germany to defend his position, shouldn’t he? Now is the chance for the dick to show the world how “right” he is. Let him try to use “republican logic” to explain how he “kept Americans safe” by using torture. As funksands said last night on VOX, “a nation that uses torture to defend itself isn’t worth defending.” I believe I live in a nation worth defending, and damn the dick to hell for trying to make our nation otherwise!

        And, BTW, I know that “republican” and “logic” used in the same sentence is an oxymoron.

        • Nirek says:

          Glenn, you beat me to it. I was reading and thought “republican logic”? Then I got to the end and said to myself, that Glenn! We know logic has nothing to do with republicans.

          I’m fine , thanks for asking. My computer got some kind of virus though. I had to run the long scan twice with Norton. I’m far from computer literate and had quite a time getting on POV but, persistant is one of my qualities. It may well be less than a quality as well.

          • glenn says:

            LOL, Nirek. Great minds think alike!

            I think your persistence is a good quality; after all, it gave us a chance to “chat” again, didn’t it? :)

            • Nirek says:

              Thanks Glenn, I wish you a joyous Crhistmas season and a wonderful New Year, too.

            • glenn says:

              Very cool, Nirek. You certainly have had an interesting life. I am so glad we got to have this chat today!

              I wish you a Merry Christmas with all of your grandchildren and the rest of your family, and hope that your New Year is full of the joy that grandchildren and family can bring.

            • Nirek says:

              Glenn, I was in high school while Dad was stationed in the Canal Zone. I swam every day for three years. I even swam in both the Pacific and Atlantic the same day. Hiked from the Pacific to the Atlantic in seven days a total of 117 miles because it was curvy trails through the jungle. Only sixty miles if you drive. I used to have a Honda fifty motorcycle and rolled the odometer over a couple times in Pamnama. We lived there when the Cuban missil crisis was happening. Interesting life.

              I agree that living in other countries and even states gives you a different perspective on life.

            • glenn says:

              Aww Nirek, what a proud grandpa you are! I get completely how you feel that your grandchildren are your world. Once again, you and I think alike!

              How old were you when you lived in Panama? I’ve always thought it would be the coolest thing to see the Panama Canal and even cooler to be on a ship that went through the canal!

              I think you and I think alike because we’ve both lived in different places in the US and abroad. It really is true that travel broadens your mind and I think one should travel as much as possible. It certainly gives you a better perspective, don’t you think?.

            • Nirek says:

              Glen, I was born here but my Dad was a career soldier (1st Sgt.) and we live in Va,Mass, NJ, Germany, and Panama as well as Vt.
              Yes Haley is my 15 year old granddaughter. She is smart and talented. She and her brother and two younger sisters are my WORLD! Haley plays the sax and Merri 10 plays fiddle really well. Evan 11 plays the French horn and clarinet while the little Brooke 3 loves musicand dances.

            • glenn says:

              Nirek, I have to reply to my own comment, since there is no “reply” button on your last post.

              Anyway, I am originally from NJ (a great state to be FROM, IMO), but my family moved to FL when I was a junior in high school. After marrying my husband and living overseas in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Guatemala and in FL and VA in the US, I now live in GA. I live in GA because that’s where my only daughter and granddaughter live. I moved here from the FL Keys after my husband died and I retired.

              I remember once that you told me you have a granddaughter with the same name as mine--Hailey, don’t you? That was you, wasn’t it?

              Anyway, one of these days, I’m going to make it to the New England part of the US, but it will definitely be in the summertime. I’m hating this cold weather here in GA right now, so VT is not the place for me to go in the winter.

              It’s so nice that you enjoy where you live; I think that’s an important component for a happy life. Have you lived in VT all of your life? Oh, and lucky you to have Bernie Sanders represent you in the Senate.

            • Nirek says:

              Works for me, Glenn.

              Chat away. Where are you from? I live in Vermont and love it here. I know we think similarly and that is a plus in my book.

  6. Nirek says:

    CNN just said that the DA in Ferguson knew the witnesses were lying all along and didn’t do anything to stop the lying. He also is not going to do anything to those who lied.
    My question is; if lying under oath is a crime, isn’t he supposed to uphold the law? Should he have allowed them to lie on the stand? I don’t think he is a good DA. What do you think?

  7. AdLib says:


    Major theater chains bow to Supreme Leader Kim Jong UN and North Korea who now control what Americans can see in movie theaters. All hail our new Supreme Leader of Hollywood! We look forward to watching Leader Approved movies in future!

    To commemorate our Supreme Leader, we honor his father in true Hollywood fashion:

    • kesmarn says:

      Isn’t this pathetic? It’s comedy, for Crissake.

      Just because this little martinet is too thin-skinned to be able to handle any criticism, it’s no reason grant him censorship rights.

      Talk about extortion.

      • AdLib says:

        No kidding, Kes!

        I was just skimming through Twitter using the hashtag for The Interview and someone posted the actual segment where Un is UnDone in the film, I was very surprised t find it.

        This may be gone from Daily Motion any minute but here’s what Kim Jong Un is afraid of the world seeing:

        I have to say, it is a bit creepy to see a portrayal of the killing of someone who exists in the real world but it is fiction and the person is a murderous dictator which mitigates that but the bottom line is that the cowardice of corporations and their lawyers shouldn’t hand over control of what Americans can see to the tyrants of enemy nations.

        More than a few tweets referenced Charlie Chaplin’s release of The Great Dictator while Hitler was actually attacking the world. Such bravery from Chaplin and all involved with that film contrasted with such utter cowardice by Corporate America today.

        • kesmarn says:

          Blast! The censors are good! When I clicked on the video link, it had already been removed.

          Ironically, I think a lot of people who had no intention whatsoever of seeing this movie are now determined to see it — just to poke that little sod, Kim, in the eye. I think I’m one of them.

          Robert Reich is suggesting that Sony just go ahead and stream the film in defiance.

        • Nirek says:

          Ad, I wonder if Sony is an American corporation? I bet it is a multinational corporation. I dislike multinational corporations for many reasons.

          • Kalima says:

            Hi Nirek, Sony is a pioneering Japanese electronic company who went into the movie business years ago by buying out Columbia Pictures I think it was, in the 90’s. The chairman and idea man Mr. Morita was a client of my husband’s for many years before his stroke and until he died years later. His wife is still a client. After his death the company was never the same. The saying that “too many cooks spoil the broth” was never truer.

            They invented the “Walkman” which was something that was my constant companion for many years. This decision came from the American side because with over 200 missiles aimed at Tokyo, there is not that much more to threaten and terrorise us with.

    • Nirek says:

      Ad, I sense a post from you on this subject.
      I certainly agree that it is a sad day for the “movie goers”. To be under the thumb of a young stupid Kim Jong Un is crazy!

      The difference between North Korea and Cuba is like night and day.
      Peace, my friend.

      • AdLib says:

        Nirek, is there anything more cowardly than a corporation? Now what message does this send to North Korea, ISIS and Al Qaeda that just hacking a corporations computer and threatening another 9/11, never having to get out of your pajamas or bedroom to do so, can bend America to your will?

        Watch for more of this kind of thing soon and watch our greedy and cowardly corporations give the terrorists whatever they want because that’s “what’s best for business”.

  8. Nirek says:

    The news about the US and Cuba swapping prisors and embasies is wonderful!

    • AdLib says:

      Agreed Nirek, the Repubs railing against it sound like utter morons, Boehner, Rubio, McConnell, all whining that we shouldn’t normalize relations with Cuba until they have a US style democracy and the people are “free”?

      What about China? Vietnam? I guess it only applies to small, weak island nations that pose no threat to the U.S. and works to pander for votes from the old blindly hateful Cubans in Cuba.

      • Nirek says:

        Ad, I did a piece that is about Cuba. It is dedicated to our friend of the past Bito. He was all about history and learning from history. I hope it gets published soon as it is important for us to understand that Cuba didn’t kill 50,000 Americans like Vietnam did but we have diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Not so , until NOW with Cuba.
        President Obama deserves a ton of credit for this!

  9. pinkpantheroz says:

    Live in Sydney, Australia, Al Shahab terrorist has taken 30 hostages in a Coffee Shop in Central district. no contact as yet. Live streaming on http://www.abc.net.au/news/abcnews24/

    • Nirek says:

      PPO, I hope you and all Australians are okay. ISIS is a cancer and America is not the only place that has it.

      • pinkpantheroz says:

        Nirek, we’re fine here in Melbourne, approx 500 miles south of Sydney. But the security is up in case of copycats. One thing which has shone out is the outreach of people to Muslims here. They are not branding them with the same iron as the queer fella. There is a Tweet/Twitter/somethingorother #Illridewith you, where people are helping each other get home from Sydney City and picking up anybody, whether in Islamic attire or not. That says something. 40 Muslim Community leaders have condemned the action of the hostage taker and are helping the negotiators. It’s nearly midnight here and 15 hours in, but no results yet. Nor has there been anyone hurt, so the negotiators are playing it slowly and carefully. Here’s hoping it all finishes well for everybody.
        Salaam Alaikum. Shalom. Peace.

    • Kalima says:

      Hi ppo. Just watching this on the Beeb already. Have friends in Sydney. Hope that none of the hostages will be harmed.

      LIVE: Sydney cafe siege updates

      Live coverage as police surround a cafe in central Sydney, Australia, where people are being held hostage.


  10. glenn says:

    I just read this on Daily Kos, and wanted to share the first paragraph of the article entitled “The United States Tortures People” by Laurence Lewis.

    “The United States tortures people. It isn’t a matter of rogue agents and rogue government officials, it is systemic. The United States tortures people. One president may order the torturing stopped, but there is nothing to prevent another from ordering it resumed. Those responsible for torturing people are identified but not brought to justice. They are, in fact, given free rein to talk openly about it, to minimize it, to justify it, to continue to lie about it, and to act as if questions or criticism about torturing people is just another partisan political argument. The traditional media, the most powerful mass media, play right along. Some in the mass media all but gloat about it. The United States tortures people. It is known. It is not treated as a crime against humanity. It is normalized. It will happen again.”

    As most of you know, I’m not good at “linking”. This article is in today’s edition of Daily Kos if you want to read the whole thing.


  11. Nirek says:

    Got five turkeys and several deer coming around now. Started with one turkey, then a pair, then three and today five. They seem to multiply. Will take some pics soon and post them.

  12. Nirek says:

    I’m back in operation, for who knows how long. Had to run Norton twice on the long check up thingy. Going to have to buy a new computer next year. Hopefully.

  13. Zeke says:

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s speech today. 3:50:56


    “Mr. President, yesterday I came to the floor to call on house democrats to withhold their support from the omnibus spending bill until one provision is removed. The provision was slipped in at the last minute to benefit Wall Street. In fact, it was written by lobbyists for Citicorp. That provision means big money for a few big banks. It would let derivatives traders on Wall Street gamble with taxpayer money and when it all blows up require the government to bail them out. Just to be clear, I want to read the title of the part of the law that will be repealed if this provision is not stripped out of the Omnibus. The title: “prohibition against federal government bailouts of swaps entities.” that’s what’s on the table to be taken out of the law. Now, I’m here today to ask my Republican colleagues, who don’t want to see another Wall Street bailout, to join in our efforts to strip this Wall Street giveaway from the bill. This is not about partisanship. This is about fairness. This is about accountability and responsibility. This is about preventing another financial collapse that could again wipe out millions of jobs and take down our whole economy.

    If big Wall Street banks want to gamble with their own money, so be it. Let them take their risks with their own money and let them live with the consequences of those risks. That’s how markets are supposed to work. But they shouldn’t get to gamble with government-insured money, and they shouldn’t get to run to the government when the deal goes sour. Opposition to government bailouts on Wall Street is not a liberal or conservative issue. The current law, the one about to be repealed, was put in place years ago because, after the 2008 financial collapse, people of all political persuasions were disgusted by the prospect of ever having to use tax payer dollars to rescue big banks from their own bad decisions.

    This morning senators from both parties, Sherrod Brown, a democrat from Ohio, and David Vitter, a republican from Louisiana, called for this provision to be taken out of the spending bill. And here is what they said: “if Wall Street banks want to gamble, Congress should force them to pay for their losses, not put tax payers on the hook for another bailout. Congress should not gamble on a possible government shutdown by attempting to tuck this controversial provision into a spending bill without having been considered by the committees of jurisdiction where it can be subject to a transparent and rigorous debate.” Senators Brown and Vitter are exactly right. This provision has no place in a must-pass spending bill.

    Conservative activists have jumped in as well. They are raising their voices today to say that this provision has no place in a must-pass spending bill. Here’s what one front-page contributor on the conservative blog Redstate said this morning: “I have no way to refute the basic point that democrats are making about the Cromnibus fight right now. In fact, I might even go so far as to say, they are right. What possible good-faith reason can republicans have for threatening to gum up the whole works over doing a favor to Wall Street? Generally speaking if Nancy Pelosi is opposed to something then instinctively, I know I should be for it. Beyond that, I haven’t the slightest clue why the proposed tweak to Dodd-Frank ought to be anything resembling a hill the republicans should die for.”

    These conservative activists are right. If you believe in smaller government, how can you support a provision that would expand a government insurance program and put taxpayers on the hook for the riskiest private activities? You know, if you thought the Ex-Im bank exposed taxpayers to risk, even though it has never cost the taxpayers a dime, how can you support a provision to prevent another calamity like the one that cost taxpayers billions of dollars just six years ago?

    House republican leaders are moving quickly to try to jam this bill through today before their own members have had a chance to digest this Wall Street bailout provision. The fact sheet that republican appropriators sent around to their members explaining the provision doesn’t even describe it accurately. According to the fact sheet, the provision in question would — quote — “protect farmers and other commodity producers from having to put down excessive collateral to get a loan, expand their business, and hedge their production.” Whatever you think about the bill, that description is flatly wrong. In fact, that description applies to yet another Wall Street reform rollback that the republicans are pushing right now, which is attached to a completely different bill. Now, I don’t know if republican leaders in the house are deliberately trying to confuse their members into voting for a government bailout program or whether they just can’t keep straight all of their efforts to gut financial reform.

    Republican leaders are about to bring this bill up for a vote, so here’s the bottom line: a vote for this bill is a vote for future taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street. When the next bailout comes, a lot of people will look back to this vote to see who was responsible for putting the government back on the hook to bail out Wall Street. To republican leaders in the house, I would ask this: you say you’re against bailouts on Wall Street. I’ve heard you say it again and again for five years. So why in the world are you spending your time and your energy fighting for a provision written by CitiGroup lobbyists that would increase the chance of future bailouts? Why, in the last minute, as you head out the door and a spending bill must be passed, are you making it a priority to do Wall Street’s bidding? Who do you work for? Wall Street or the American people?

    This fight isn’t about conservatives or liberals. It’s not about democrats or republicans. It’s about money, and it’s about power right here in Washington. This legal change could trigger more taxpayer bailouts and could ultimately threaten our entire economy, but it will also make a lot of money for Wall Street banks. According to Americans for financial reform, this change will be a huge boon to just a handful of our biggest banks — Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Bank of America. People are frustrated with Congress. Part of the reason, of course, is gridlock. But mostly it’s because they see a Congress that works just fine for the big guys and won’t lift a finger to help them. If big companies can deploy their armies of lobbyists and lawyers to get Congress to vote for special deals that benefit themselves, then we will simply confirm the view of the American people, that the system is rigged. This is a democracy. The American people sent us here. Republicans, democrats, and independents — they sent us here to stand up for them, to stand up for taxpayers, to protect the economy. Nobody sent us here to stand up for Citigroup. I urge my republican colleagues in the house to withhold their support from this package until this risky giveaway is removed from the legislation. It is time for all of us to stand up and fight.”

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