Archive for September, 2006

Quick Post on SCO

September 30, 2006

I don’t have a lot of time this morning because I have to get to the Democrat candidate function at UTA today (I’m on camera duty for annatopia), so I’m posting the hearing transcript in full on the SCO (see last post). Also, here is a link to a blog by one of the panelists. I will post my critique tomorrow.

More below the fold…..

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A Superpower Awakens

September 23, 2006

While we in the US argue about immigration, Iraq and torture, there are far more important issues being over looked by the media, the political parties and the populace. The reality of the world we live in today is that energy resources, not terrorism, not religion, not the spread of democracy, may very well lead to the next world war.

The US media is too busy to notice, or too controlled by corporations and the government to talk about, what is really at stake in an invasion of Iran and with the growing influence of the Shanghia Cooperation Organization.

Russia and China are fully aware that the US is slipping in it’s ability to control international politics. Thanks to the shortsighted misadventure in Iraq, along with long overdue revolutions against Western imperialism around the globe, the US is increasingly viewed as an agressor nation bent on domination by a growing majority of the world population. US aggression is leading many nations to seek protection through regional cooperation.

South America is doing such through the Social Democracy movement. But in East Asia, the SCO is gaining ground. And what gives the SCO power is control of energy resources, from oil and natural gas of members Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to deals with Venezuela, Sudan, West Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Canada being set up by China.

What we are seeing is two things: first China is seeking to become the economic superpower of the world. Meanwhile Russia is vying to become the world’s energy superpower. Now these two things may seem to be independant, but in reality what is happening is that Russia needs customers and China needs suppliers. And by combining resources, both objectives can, and are, being achieved.

So what is it about this relationship that makes it so dangerous to Western powers, especially the US, and why are these two former rivals combining resources in the first place? Consider this: China is producing pretty much anything and everything, and sees new markets everywhere from Africa, to Europe to South America. Russia is seeking to regain it’s former glory on the world stage. Only instead of competing with China through production of goods, Russia is instead focusing on energy resources. It’s a perfect matchup. China gets to reap the profits of consumer goods while Russia gets to reap the profits of the world’s appetite for energy.

What makes this really interesing is that China is playing the field by going outside of the SCO, making deals with countries like Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Canada. But the Chinese don’t play the old Cold War games of pushing their way into anyone else’s government like the Soviets used to do (and the US is still doing). So they come out as the good guys. Russia on the other hand is playing the part of the bully, pushing it’s weight around in the old Soviet block nations. With anger against the US growing and countries like India, Pakistan and Mongolia, not to mention Iran, courting the SCO, look for other countries to start considering closer relationships, both economical and militarily, with SCO nations.

But what does this have to do with the West? Well, for starters, Russia is cutting the US off at the knees in the Caspian Sea, undercutting pipeline deals that the West thought they had wrapped up. Second, the SCO is starting to come together more and more on energy issues while at the same time holding joint military exercises together. And guess where the SCO is looking to hold it’s unified defense coming out party; Iran.

Now, this doesn’t mean that everything is going smoothly for the SCO. Far from it. China is more concerned about it’s own prosperity then it is with it’s relationship with Russia. But a US invasion of Iran could very well be the incident that convinces both sides they really need each other in order to counter the West.

The EU is stuck in the middle of all this. They don’t want Russia to gain more power over their energy resources, which makes them more dependant on Iranian oil. But US enforced sanctions would put Russia in the driver’s seat of the EU’s fuel resoures as winter approaches. So it is in the EU’s best interests that Iranian oil keeps flowing. In the mean time, the SCO has already agreed to letting Iran in, putting it at odds with US invasion plans.

If there was a different group running Washington right now, I wouldn’t be so worried about war. But with this current regime and their lust for blowing things up, I am afraid they will drop bombs, including the bomb, in Iran. And if they don’t do it themselves, Israel will do it for them. And if that happens all bets are off. The SCO will not only be compelled to respond, I think it will have to in order to save face if it wants to prove it’s really a counter to US influence in the region and across the globe.

Personally, I’m very interested in what comes out of this.

Just A Thought For Today

September 13, 2006

Is there such a thing as sanity? In this crazy fucked up world of ours, is there really a middle ground, a place where we can find hope, hope in ourselves, hope in the future? I have been on this speck of dust for 32 years now, and the more I learn about this thing called life, the more my faith in the human potential diminishes.

I want to believe. Seriously, I want to believe that there is a point to this game we play. I have tried to follow two religious paths, tried being a nationalist. Hell, I’ve even tried being an anarchist. But none of it, and I mean none of it, seams to have any real meaning. Any depth.

Now, I know the phrase, “You get out of it what you put in.” I have put my whole self in, or out there, countless times, and all I have are scars and what is left of my fading memories.

Am I crazy for thinking that there is a better way? That the whole Eden story is the casting of ourselves from the reality that the Earth is paradise and it’s us humans who make it hell? Everyone fucking one of us has our own vision of perfection. Is that the problem? Are we so many trying to do so much at the same time that we create chaos?

I remember years ago thinking how great it would be to be there on the last day of humanity, at the final moment, just so I could look who ever was left in the face and say, “Was it really worth it?”. Now, years later, I want to grab every person I meet by the shoulders and scream “Wake up! This is for real.”

I don’t believe in god. I wish I could. I debate the existance of god with myself constantly because I want to believe there is something out there watching over us, something that knows all the answers, something that will make sense of all this when I die. But it doesn’t help me feel any better, because every version of god I have learned about is so flawed it’s impossible to not smell the human ego of it’s creator all over it.

The same goes for nationalism. Who the fuck drew all these imaginary lines all over the planet and said this is mine, that is yours? I know so many people who are caught up in the my country is better then yours attitude that I often feel like maybe something is wrong with me because I really don’t give a rat’s ass about this or any other country.

All I know, all I see as real, is that we are all there is. There is no little green men coming to advance our civilization in the nick of time, there is no eternal whatever floating out there waitng to save us from ourselves. We are all alone, floating on a speck of dust in a sea of infinity. We have all we need, and we have each other.

Maybe I’m fucking nuts, but I find the idea of us being on our own far more freeing then any of the stories we are told to believe in. Let’s stop for a second and consider this: we are animals evolved to and with our environment, which is a thin layer on the outside of an immense rock, floating around a sphere of burning gases. We have a rudimentary understanding at best of our surroundings, and those surroundings are limited in their ability to sustain us. We seem to have this evolved ability, at least from our perspective, that only we have called consciousness. We live relatively short life spans, must constantly breath, shit and feed. We are 100% dependant on the thin layer wrapped around the rock for our survival.

Now, with all this in mind consider one other thing: we are able, through our imaginations and ingenuity to create pretty much any existance we want, within the limits of our biology. And yet this is what we have created. A world filled with hatred, division and greed. A world that hangs under the constant threat of anihilation through war and pollution. A world in which our fairy tales are used to justify horrific acts of barbarism and our own creations control us.

Let me make this as clear as possible. We are all alone. The universe has existed for a very long time without us and wiil continue to exist long after we are gone. Politics, religion, economics are all our creations. We are still animals of the environment in which we exist.

But so what, right? How trite a veiw of the world. A truly aware person plays the game to their advantage, they don’t sit and debate if it’s real or not, because it is obviously real. Wars are happening even as we speak, money is being made. The economic forces are pushing too hard to stop, and what is the alternative anyway?

We have learned nothing from our religions. We have gained nothing from our nation-states. We seek our identities in the falsehoods of our creations. Why? Because at the end of the day it’s just easier to put our faith in our institutions then it is in ourselves.

Look around you, see all that we have created. We have changed the world. We have shaped and altered our environment. We have just done these things for all the wrong reasons. We have poisoned ourselves, our environment, for momentary “gains”.

Is there an alternative? Of course. It’s all in our perspectives. If we see ourselves as trapped, if we believe we must play the games, if we continue to prop up the institutions that divide us, then we are just that, trapped. But if we come together, if we shake off the yoke and put our minds to it, we can make any world we want.

Think about this: most of our “advances” have been driven by lust and hatred through war. What if we focused that same energy into peace and survival. We are learning, hopefully not too late, about the fragile nature of our environment and ourselves. But we have to let go of the institutions that divide us. We have to view our religions and governments with skepticism and dissect them to find why we created them in the first place and what good they have served.

If there is any point behind the evolution of our consciouness, it is awareness. The awareness that our suvival is completely dependant on us. We as creatures, maybe for the first and possibly only time, are completely responsible for ourselves. And we have seemingly endless possiblity. We have dedicated so much energy to destruction, what would happen if we dedicated that same energy to understanding and development?

I will end this rant with one last thought. Our yearning to understand and develop a relationship with god is the story of the yearning to understand and develop a relationship with ourselves. God didn’t create us in it’s image, we created god in our image in order to be able to study ourselves. Fine. Let’s truly examine ourselves and what we have done for the past 100,000 years. Let’s actually learn the folly of our ways and quit making the same mistakes before the cost of failure becomes too great.

Will it be worth it?

Whatever

September 10, 2006

It’s the day before September 11th, on what is the 5th anniversary of the day that “changed everything”. The news channels seem all abuzz about Bin Laden, calling him the “world’s most wanted man”. Even the President has decided to mention Bin Laden’s name again. Documentaries on 9/11 are on every channel. I even saw a clip on ESPN this morning talking about the decision to resume sports after 9/11. Of course if you really need a 9/11 fix just go to September 11 News.com.

I pretty much expected all the 9/11 coverage and rememberences. And the President is bringing up Bin Laden to stir up fear and war support with the mid-term elections drawing near, although it does seem odd that President Bush would mention Bin Laden considering how the US has failed to capture him.

So, to the news media, who still to this day has failed to dig and push for the truth of what happened 5 years ago, I say whatever. Go ahead and capitalize on the deaths, the destruction and the drama. And be sure to charge plenty for those commercials wedged in between the images of planes hitting the World Trade Center towers and their eventual collapse.

And the same goes for all the documentaries, whatever. Close-ups of people crying, dust covered survivors running and engineers arguing the structural integrity of beams don’t explain how it happened or why.

And to the American people, who have not demanded the truth and who took the bait for the invasion of Iraq hook, line and sinker, whatever. They even re-elected the bastard and put his party in power.

And to the President most of all, WHATEVER. September 11, 2001 was the greatest thing to happen to George Bush and his cabal of neo-cons. With the collapse of the towers they were able to push forward their agenda of perpetual war. The President squandered the world’s sympathy with his wet dream that is Iraq, and no doubt Iran. He will stand at the World Trade Center site tomorrow and circle jerk with his cronies on the Constitution and the dead.

We will probably never know the truth of what led up to the attacks because everyone, from the people, to the media, to the government seems to be either hiding, or hiding from, the truth.

The day everything changed. Whatever. Nothing changed.

An American Political Tale Updated

September 4, 2006

So one of the good guys decides to run for Congress. You know the type, a concerned citizen who served their country in the military, someone who spends countless hours volunteering for their political party, pays attention to the issues and even speaks out against those destroying our nation. And what does this person get in return? Why swiftboating of course! A campaign of lies thrown out into the media by unscrupulous people who would rather have the public focus on anything but the issues that matter.

I am going to attempt to link to all the relevent posts I can find on this swiftboat attack to create a complete timeline of this smear campaign.

the swiftboating of david harris

whiny trolls emailing the harris campaign

Annatopia Exclusive: Harris Press Release

hi there barton staffers and “anonymous” commenters

A soldier I know…

To Complete the Record

Swiftboating David Harris & Blaming the damn Mexicans!

Swiftboating Iraq War Veteran David Harris (TX-6)

Hope I didn’t miss anything. All I have to say about this non-issue is that I fully support the Harris family and David’s campaign.

Oh, and Barton needs to grow a pair and debate David!

Update-Faith Chatham commenting on DKos sums it up:

NO HE IS NOT UNDER INVESTIGATION

The investigation of Harris is closed. The military has notifed him in writing that he is no longer under investigation and that he is not facing a court martial. He received an administrative reprimand for his relationship with Vaughan in Iraq. The other solider involved lost a strip for long term harrassment of the Harris family. The OPEN INVESTIGATION is of a CONGRESSIONAL COMPLAINT filed in Joe Barton’s office against Vaughan’s COMMANDER who disciplined Soldier Vaughan for misuse of a government computer in relation to the harrassment of Harris’ wife. Vaughan filed a complaint against her COMMANDER for disciplining her for harrassment of the Harris family! This is not a case where two parties tangoed and one got punished and the other didn’t. He was investigated and got a reprimand. That was probably milder than what he experienced at home. Yet the Harris are strong people. They looked at themselves and addressed problems, made decisions, sought help, and moved on as a family. Vaughan didn’t. She continues to attempt to stalk them. This Congressional Complaint against her Commander is POLITICALLY MOTIVATED by a sick, disturbed woman who has no moral fiber. It is not bad enough that she has attempted to steal Michelle Harris’ husband. When that failed, she attacked the family. She targeted Michelle Harris and neither of the Harris’s took that lying down. Despite the race, they took necessary steps to protect their family. They had already disclosed the marital problems on their own blog and the journey they have made as a family since he came back stateside. That is old news. The rest that has been circulating recently is a pack of lies, unsubstantited. There is DOCUMENTATION THAT DISPROVES the disinformation about Joe Barton’s opponent being under investigation.

If this were a MILITARY INVESTIGATION that would be one thing. Vaughan is referring to her CONGRESSIONAL complaint about her Commander. I doubt that anything will come of that. Vaughan probably wouldn’t have been disciplined if she’d have done what Harris did: ie get the head straight, face the consequence, and move on.

I fight for the protection of women but this woman is misusing the process. She’s a disgrace to the military. As enlisted, she is viewed as the “less responsible.” Under military law she gets the benefit of the doubt. As a woman who lives in the town where she currently resides, I promise you I measure her as a woman who chooses to position herself as a terrorist to another of my neighbors. Texas women know how to close ranks against broads who don’t have the sense to know when to quit. Under military law she lost a stripe. On the pavement of the shopping center, if she spouts off with the wrong Texas gal standing near by, she’ll might regain a few stripes. Believe me, that has nothing to do with the man being a candidate for Congress. He could be applying for a job as dog catcher. There are principles here and this broad is going against all of them!

This woman appears to me to be a nut case. She posed as a reporter in some of the e-mails and made threats to the Harris family. Much of the harrassment was targeted at Harris’ wife. MICHELLE HARRIS and DAVID HARRIS turned over the e-mails to the military and cooperated fully in the investigation. The Star Telegram broke a story without verifying their sources throughly enough. Bloggers picked it up without verifying it.

Since then, documentation has been released which substantiates the Harris statement that he is not under investigation. Vaughah has gone on blogs and stated that she filed a complaint leading to a Congressional investigation of her commander for her losing a stripe after the Harris’ complained of “someone using a government computer to write harrassing e-mails.” Computers and e-mail accounts leave an electronic trail and they led back to Vaughan. The woman appears to be a pathological liar. She is definitely a stalker. Barton turned the complaint over to Kay Bailey Hutchinson’s office. Kay better be careful. This one can easily backfire on her.

Let’s look at the men. Both have children. Both have obviously been less than perfect husbands. Harris got his head straight and went to counseling and together Michelle and David Harris have tackled tough personal issues and gotten to a better place for themselves and their children. Joe Barton divorced his wife, abandoned his three kids and married his sweetheart. Many people do that.

Harris stepped forward and faced responsiblity for his actions as an officer and as a husband. He’s faced official investigation by the military and a more through PERSONAL EXAMINATION by his wife. I’ve met this gal. I bet anything the military can dish out is mild to what Michelle can dish out. She is not a lay down and roll over and stomp all over me kind of gal. She’s a fighter. She’s intelligent, articulate (VERY ARTICULATE) woman. She knows David Harris better than any of us. She believes that he will be a damned good Congressman. She is his strongest backer! That says a lot to me. Michelle Harris understands his strengths and his weaknesses. Every man and woman in Congress has both. I’d prefer to know what we are getting before we vote for them. David told us.

We have two men to choose between for US Congress TX House 06:

HARRIS vs BARTON

Do we refuse to give David Harris opportunity to serve us while returning JOE BARTON TO CONGRESS? Look at Barton’s character. Look at the times he’s said one thing and voted opposite the next day. (For instance on Katrina Funding and on Saving the horses). Do we allow him to continue blocking initiatives to try to slow Global Warming? Speak of MORALS… HOW MORAL IS IT TO VOTE AGAINST EXTENDING THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT?

There are morals and there are morals. David Harris stands head and shoulders above Barton. He’s also a more saavy campaigner than many other higher profile men who’ve had personal involements they shouldn’t have. Most of the others tried to hide it. Harris came forward shortly after he filed for office and told us up front so that we’d be able to make up our minds knowing the truth. I respect that. I wish he were perfect. I regret that he and Michelle and their children have gone through such a difficult time. I respect them for having the spine to tell us the truth. I also repect them for not hiding from the publicity and enabling this stalker to continue terrorizing her.

Barton and Hutchinson can take this and run with it. When they do it will be a black eye for them more than for David T. Harris.