To subdue the enemy without fighting is the supreme excellence. - Sun Tzu

Thursday, June 30, 2005

A Tangential Rant/Manifesto... 'Rantifesto'

The problem with Africa is not that we're not giving them enough money- it's that we've given them too much money. And this money is used on all the wrong things, and for all the wrong reasons. It's not exactly cause and effect, but it is a big, steaming mess.

First, some history.

1800's- Europe carves up Africa. Colonial regimes are installed after the African resistance (consisting of countless thousands of spearmen... vs. guns...) is crushed. The Europeans come for the gold, and stay for the plantation labor ("Africa- Come for the gold, stay for the plantation labor!")

So about a hundred years or so goes by. The European mother countries have withdrawn their formal militaries, but the colonial population is large enough (although still a small % of the total population) to keep the natives in line, thanks to their overwhelming wealth (their profit came from the plantations and mines), which allowed them to buy European weapons, such as tanks and air forces. In contrast, the natives had numbers and... uh, spirit?

Eventually, the natives decided they had enough of being second-class-citizens on their own land, and put their feet to the behinds of the Whites. It took a while, and literally millions died across the continent, but eventually Europe had to admit that her profitable colonies were lost. Of course, they made sure to destroy the economic viability of the place (by not training the new owners) before they left.

One of the most successful European tactics that really bought them a lot of times was the time-tested Divide Your Enemies. Before Europeans arrived, Africa was rather cosmopolitan, racially. There wasn't nearly as much tribal or religious rivalry as you might thing. The Europeans used propaganda to turn tribes against other tribes, so they'd waste time fighting each other instead of fighting the Europeans who were their true enemy. So that's the souce of most of Africa's tribal rivalries.

After the Whites generally lost power, thanks to genuine democracy (and do you think the Blacks elected Black representatives or Whites? I'll make it easy: Two guesses, and if you say "whites" it doesn't count), not a whole lot changed for the average African, because it turns out that Black Africans like money just as much as Whites. Educated Africans betrayed their countrymen by selling out to foreign, European corporations in exchange for fat salaries and the illusion of being treated with respect.

What I mean is this: European (by which I also mean American) corporations, bankers, and politicans looked at all the poverty and destruction in Africa and thought, "There's a lot of idle laborers who can be exploited for profit". So they proposed to the generally-well-meaning African politicians massive aid loans. These would either be in the form of lump sums (to spend on European goods, of course, since only Europe has the industrial capacity) or utilities projects (such as dams). On paper, they seemed like brilliant plans- The Africans get lifted up into the First World, where they produce enough to pay off the loans, with interest.

Unfortunately, the projections were always skewed optimistic. So, for many countries, these loans became traps they could never escape, because they could never make enough to pay off the loans and the interest. They had no choice but to default. So these loan organizations- such as the IMF and World Bank- exercised their contractual rights to go into these countries and "fix" their economies so they'd be more profitable. In other cases, the economic control came before the loans!

And this is the point of the most recent betrayal. You see, "reorganizing" their economies meant reorganizing them to be export economies. The idea was that these countries would prioritize things that European economies want and sell them for, hopefully, enough to pay off the loans- Thus, for example, the most fertile area of starving India is producing tulips! South Africa's constitution guarantees clean water for all of its citizens, yet the IMF/World Bank arbitrarily suggested a water rate hike which will put it beyond the reach of millions! Ecuador spends half of its taxes on paying interest on its national debt- and that money, for the most part, goes into the pockets of our corporations.

Do you want to know why Aristide got thrown out of Haiti? He dared resist, so our government and corporations financed and armed his opponents (Didn't you wonder why there were so many American flags in Haiti?).
Haiti is a textbook example of what happens to countries after they follow IMF/WTO/FTAA/World Bank guidelines. Example: Grain. Haiti had tariffs to protect its large farmer population. But the FTAA mandated that they be taken down, 'To encourage trade'. Cheap American grain flowed in, and the farmers were ruined. The economists said that Haiti should switch from the Creole pig to more efficient Iowa pigs. But in fact, the real reason they wanted this was to destroy a swine flu, and to sell millions of dollars worth of pigs! They did not remotely have the best interests of the Haitians in mind. To make matters worse, the Iowa pigs quickly died in the comparatively-brutal Haitian climate. So now, the Haitians, for the most part, have nothing.

Now these same globalizing corporate motherfarkers are in charge of this country today. They told us we had to invade Iraq, for example, for many reasons, one of which was to control the economic resources and virtually enslave the working class. Research Bremer's 100 Orders, the incredibly illegal changes to Iraq's laws (that's banned under the Geneva conventions) which effectively gave multinational corporations and banks control of Iraq's economy. For example, non-Iraqi banks can now own up to 50% of Iraqi banks' stock. Even worse, Iraqi farmers are not allowed to save seed from year to year, meaning they must buy it. This was a totally arbitrary and utterly evil rule to impose. And because there are no seed salesmen in Iraq (why would there be? farmers saved their own seed), there is only one source: Corporations like Monsanto, who stand to make a killing.

And these evil bastards control both parties- Clinton signed FTAA, remember, because they told us it would "create jobs". Bullshiat! Our jobs have gone overseas because the labor is cheaper, because they're not being paid enough (so corporations can make more profit). You think Bangladesh has a minimum wage, or OSHA? China? Our workers are more expensive because they're treated like human beings.

Pick a point on the globe,
and the picture's the same:
There's a bank, there's a church, a myth and a hearse,
A mall and a loan, a child dead at birth.


The only solution is to stop all of our trade with any country that does not have a livable minimum wage, adequate labor regulation, and free public education.

For more information:
Read "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man"
Watch "The Fourth World War"
Google "Creole Pigs", Ecuador, Bolivia, FTAA (not the official website, obviously)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

OOHHHHH Snap!

"Persistent vegetative state, which is what the court has ruled -- I question it. I question it based on a review of the video footage which I spent an hour or so looking at last night in my office here in the Capitol. And that footage, to me, depicts something very different than persistent vegetative state."

"I raised the question, 'Is she in a persistent vegetative state or not?' I never made the diagnosis, never said that she was not."

-Bill Frist, Future Ex-Senator

Monday, June 06, 2005

Declaration of Impeachment

I got the idea for this a few days ago, and Surrogate provided an excellent beginning list of greivances. If you (anyone) has anything that should be added, put it in the comments and I'll do so.

New (6-14): Gary Corseri gave me permission to add some from his list.

In CONGRESS, June 6, 2005
A DECLARATION
By the REPRESENTATIVES of the
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
In GENERAL CONGRESS
Assembled.

When in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is in the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Governments, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance so these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the Present King is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let the Facts be submitted to a candid World.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good

He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislator

He betrayed the trust of Congress and the American People by knowingly lying to us concerning the capabilities of Iraq to attack this Country with Weapons of Mass Destruction

He Consciously, and Fully Aware of the Consequences, attacked the Sovereign Nation of Iraq for reasons he Knew to be False, and has, as the War drags on, Killed at least 50,000 Civilians and Seventeen-Hundred American soldiers.

He has continued to provide no Exit Plan for eventual Withdrawl of our soldiers from Iraq

He has charged the people of this Nation several times the initial estimate of the cost of the War

He, despite the Billions of Dollars spent for the War, has not adequately Paid nor Outfitted our Soldiers

He allowed, by means of insufficient planning of the Occupation of Iraq after the Invasion, looting of many important Artifacts from well-documented Museums

He opposed an official investigation of the Terrorist Attack of Sept. 11, then stalled for months on testifying before a hand-picked Committee; His testimony was short and not public

He Set and Enforced an Economic Policy that has resulted in the largest Debt ever owed by any entity, Public or Private, in the History of the World, which shall place Undue Burden upon Ourselves and Our Progeny

He was elected twice under highly dubious and scarcely democratic circumstances

He was Away with-out Leave from the Military as a Uniformed Soldier of this country in Time of War

He started his first business with Funds from the Bin Laden family, a member of which perpetrated the Dire Event which precipitated the Current Crisis

He Commissioned an Abortion for His Own Partner and now seeks to Deny this Right to others

He consumed Illegal Substances and now has neither Mercy nor Compassion for those in this same plight

He continues to foster closer Relations with Saudi Arabia than any other President in history; it is a Country ruled by a Tyrannical Royal Family so Ruthless that they show less mercy to their subjects than Saddam did to his people...

He stated, during the Presidential Debates, that Bi-lateral Negotiations would not be sought with North Korea; and now carries out Bi-lateral Negotiations with North Korea

He supports restricted freedom for Americans even within our borders while ignoring any suggestions to stem the tide of Illegal Immigration that might show how vulnerable our Borders really are

He allows millions upon millions of Cargo Containers to enter our Ports without being even minimally checked, unnecessarily leaving unguarded a possible Avenue of Attack by Terrorist Organizations

He values the lives of the 'Unborn' far more highly than those already alive, and uses shamanistic Religious Beliefs to justify his actions, directly contradicting the First Amendment

He will veto a Bill to allow Research that may harvest Stem Cells from Embryos even though the existing Embryos will wasted be if not used

He has paid persons to write propaganda by dishonestly posing as Journalists

He has allowed Corporations to poison our Air, waste our Soil, and pollute our Waterways, for they value profit greater than environmental dignity

He has exaggerated the solvency danger to the Social Security Program

He has obfuscated the Intelligence Agencies of this country by adding more unnecessary Bureaucracy

He has simultaneously claimed that He favors Democracy; yet allies himself with- and supports- many of the World's most oppressive Dictators, and seeks the removal of several leaders who were elected democratically and serve constitutionally

He has told The People that he shall improve the Education Systems of this Nation, while simultaneously cutting Funding to this most sacred Institution

He has knowingly allowed Torture to be perpetrated upon the Innocent People of Iraq by our Soldiers

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Crimes which they should commit on the Inhabitants of this States:

For forcing our Trade upon all Parts of the World:

For removing taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting men beyond the Seas to be held indefinitely for pretended Offences:

He has plundered seas, ravaged Coasts, burnt Towns, and destroyed the Lives of innocent People.

He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to complete the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our Republican Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That the President of these United Colonies is, and of Right ought to be, GIVEN THE PINK SLIP, SACKED, and SHOWN THE DOOR; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the Texan Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the Neocon Cronyism, is and ought to be totally dissolved. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Signed by ORDER and
in BEHALF OF THE PROGRESSIVES
The Undersigned

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

NCLB

School A is in a wealthy district. Taxpayers happily pay $12,000/student per year for schooling. The students get advanced, comfortable buildings, high-tech equipment, technically advanced classes, and the school board can attract better teachers by offering higher pay.
Result: Student group A does amazingly well on standardized tests.

School B is in a poor district. They can only afford $3,000/student per year. They get run-down buildings, maybe one computer, huge class sizes, and unmotivated teachers.
Result: Student group B does amazingly badly on standardized tests.

The Republican Response: Clearly, School B isn't trying hard enough. Take away their money. Give more money to School A as a reward for doing so well.