…october, all over?…november, remember?…

…that ill wind that blows some, but not enough, discomfort to the 1%…

So, Wall Street ruled the roost completely from 2009, and without pretense. From 2013 the ICT and security folk would get more into the action, and without pretense. A glance at opensecrets.org allows for some comparison with the statistical analysis done by a team of analysts in their post over at nextnewdeal.

What roost? We let the authors, Tom Ferguson, Paul Jorgensen, Jie Chen, assist us with the economics of this national security and ‘terrizm’ thing, Who Buys the Spies? The Hidden Corporate Cash Behind America’s Out-of-ControlNationalSurveillanceState

…Reelect President Obama, they argued, or Big Brother might be back.

But that’s not how this movie turned out: The 2012 election proved to be a post-modern thriller, in which the main characters everyone thought they knew abruptly turned into their opposites and the plot thickened just when you thought it was over.

In early June 2013, Glen Greenwald, then of the Guardian, with an assist from journalists at The Washington Post, electrified the world with stories drawn from documents and testimony from Edward Snowden, an employee of Booz Allen Hamilton working under contract with the National Security Agency, who had fled the country. They broke the news that the U.S. government had been collecting vast amounts of information on not only foreigners, but also American citizens. And the U.S. had been doing this for years with the cooperation of virtually all the leading firms in telecommunications, software, and high tech electronics, including Google, Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, and Facebook. Sometimes the government even defrays their costs.

[Bold added for emphasis] Read the rest of this entry »


…still october – nabila, us president, us media, malala…

On 29 October, a terrific Tuesday in Washington, DC, not to be confused with Terror Tuesday of the US President, five members of the US Congress jeopardized their careers by participating in hearings on the US use of drones and the resulting victims in Pakistan. One indicator to these members should have been clear enough: the US had earlier denied a visa to the human rights lawyer scheduled to appear since he represents the families of many of the killed and injured by drones – more bad PR for the US.

The skies that Tuesday of the hearings were blue, just as were the skies the day the grandmother of two was to be murdered and her two grandchildren injured by a US drone strike – the children’s father would then have incur all the costs, emotional and financial, for this sudden, undeserved and permanent disruption in the lives of an innocent family. And the cost of one of those missiles let loose on that grandmother from that drone?

But for the blogs and their dogged determination to provide timely, accurate and reliable news, however unpalatable it may be for the still trusting in the benevolence of their government, little of the dysfunction of a corporation-influenced US government would be known. A representative sampling of postings… Read the rest of this entry »


…driving miss dulcie?…and still in october…

Erstwhile contractor of the US gets some clearly unwanted but well deserved attention mainly from media sources other than the US MSM. So we now have that eager financier for the thwarted lunatic ‘hit’ on Syria by its ‘enforcer’ superpower in a spot of bother – the régime opposes, forbids women driving – an issue that should have had all feminists in the US and other western countries up in arms (metaphor), yet silence.

Juan Cole on his informed comment posts this satirical look at the modern woman of Saudi Arabia in Saudi Arabia No Woman, No Drive (Saudi Satire Video)

A solution? The Saudi women drivers all go to the US or the UK or Canada or Australia or New Zealand, drive there, then return home? Even have a Saudi Ladies Drive Competition? On prime-time Five Eyes TV?…

…Prof Cole’s other posts highlight the obvious and embarrassing: October is a month that major branches of the US government would have liked to terminate in its first week. And that is evident from some of his blog postings.

Over at emptywheel there is no joy either, as this expert on national security disassembles the extent of the dysfunction and chaos in the US conduct of foreign affairs. Did Lying Keith Just Accuse Obama of Lying? 

And for greater exposure, common dreams cross-posts the emptywheel post as well as one from Prof Cole’s site, which is referenced in Jon Queally’s analysis of the prevarication, obfuscation and state of panicked confusedness of the major actors in the farce. If Obama Didn’t Know About Merkel Spying, What Was It For? 

And when you think it could not get worse, comes this latest comic touch: Broad policy guidelines were agreed with the spying agency; and on only these broad guidelines the agency would report. No report was necessary on niggling details such as economic, industrial, political, institutional espionage committed against countries or spying on a country’s leader, details from which so many can literally profit. And that tidily explains this collective response of the Sgt Schultz Brigade: ‘We heard nothing; we saw nothing. We know nothing’, as the croupier approaches with the winnings (Apologies to Capt Renault).

The hoax perpetrated on the citizens of the US and the rest of the world for so long, now untidily exposed.

.…October, the longest month in this tiresome Liars Competition?…


……trans-pacific partnership?…trust us…

…Tomorrow’s news from some time ago…

As the world revolves, the deal making continues. The US corporate politicians and the corporate MSM continue to spin tales of wondrous benefits that will accrue to the contentedly distracted, as voices of warning are ignored. After the fait accompli, there will be the inevitable, ‘Whocoodanode?’

Which raises the question, what percent of the population of the affected countries has ever heard of some ‘trans-pacific partnership’ (TPP)? And the word to the wise is the word, ‘partnership’, which should raise the alarm regarding principal beneficiary. One clue is the famous trans-national corporation (TNC), also known as multi-national corporation (MNC). And the many to be again disadvantaged may have forgotten the infamous entreaty, ‘Trust us.’ Partnership, you say? Of course, not to isolate and disadvantage China?

A sample of fairly non-technical postings from the blogs that should put things into stark context – even for those in the Atlantic, with the likely TTIP (and Britain as predicable proxy for the US) or the Caribbean and Latin America, saved from the FTAA. The titles are self-explanatory.

From the fair blog, To NPR, TPP Is a Poker Game With a Pot Full of Jobs

Two postings from cepr:

“Trans-Pacific Partnership” is Washington Speak for Corruption and Theft

What Do Latin American Countries Stand to Gain from the TPP?

From angry bear, TPP, Fast track, secret to you

And from firedoglake, The Trans-Pacific Partnership “Legislative Frankenstein from Hell” (Video)

Combine any of these with the continuing disclosures on US violation of personal privacy, its rampant economic, institutional, political espionage against its intended partners and others, and the more defined and accurate picture should start to emerge. Again, no mention of China. Cui bono?

Again, we ask, ‘Partnership?’…


…just a minuet…sunday eventide – in the salon…

As ‘heavenly shades of night are falling…’, we relax a minuet,

And why not a few insights from Mrs Wilbrerforce’s internationally-renowned chamber ensemble?


…the beacon of democracy…the hypocrisy…the fraudulence…

‘The greatest democracy in the history of the world’… And as events continue to unfold – and no thanks to an enabling US establishment media.

Hypocrisy (Is The Greatest Luxury)

Martha Finnemore and I have a piece in the new Foreign Affairs (http://fam.ag/1eGsdT1 should get you past the paywall for the next few weeks) on Snowden, Manning, and how it’s suddenly more difficult for the US to rely on hypocrisy.

As the heat continues to build, as it should have done in the case of Dilma, we have,  NSA surveillance: Merkel’s phone may have been monitored ‘for over 10 years’

But what did the famous Jay Carney say?


Read the rest of this entry »


…the aroma of the brew, that gift of ethiopia…

And as we wait,..

The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it

[The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám]

we savour the moment