Saturday, May 23, 2009

Doing the Math?

Obama Expands the American Warfare State

by Sherwood Ross

www.opednews.com

Although the U.S. is not in imminent danger of attack from any country, President Obama’s first budget further expands the Pentagon’s already dominant global operations.

Not even the prospect of a $3.1 trillion combined budget deficit for this year and next deters him. Let them chop the budget for black colleges and police officer death benefits, the Pentagon and its contractors continue to feast at the champagne-and-caviar table.

It’s not as though for eight years the Bush Pentagon hadn’t nearly outspent the rest of the world combined on designing deadlier weapons and employing them in illegal wars.

Obama’s new $664 billion Pentagon budget is $21 billion higher (four percent) than the final Bush budget. It includes $65 billion for Afghanistan and $61 billion for Iraq. Why?

Well, here’s what Defense Secy. Robert Gates told the Naval War College April 17th: “The U.S. must not take its current dominance for granted…its battle fleet, by one estimate, is still larger than the next 13 navies combined---and 11 of those 13 navies are U.S. allies or partners.”

(Get that? “Larger than the next 13 navies combined.” What’s more, nearly every world power is our buddy. So where’s the urgent need to spend billions on expansion? And notice his use of the word “dominance.”)

Gates went on to boast, “In terms of capabilities, the over-match is even greater. No country in the rest of the world has anything close to the reach and firepower to match a carrier strike group. And the U.S. has and will maintain 11 at least until 2040.”

Gates seeks an incredible 2,400 new Joint Strike Fighter planes when the U.S. already is undisputed master of the skies. Think of that: 2,400 warplanes in the absence of an enemy!

At 100 million bucks a pop, that air armada will cost taxpayers over $240 billion.

As Sheldon Filger wrote in the May 16 Huffington Post of the Pentagon’s fiscal 2009 outlay: “This stratospheric expendure is equivalent to the combined totals for the next 25 largest military budgets on the planet.”

To get some idea of the perennial lopsided U.S. military spending requires only a glance at the latest figures from the National Priorities Project of Northampton, Mass.:

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The Pentagon claims it needs to be able to fight two wars at once. However, if it did not go around starting wars it would be hard-pressed to find one. From what quarter does Gates expect an attack? Iran, with a puny military budget 1/100th our expenditure? Recall the last successful strike on U.S. soil was achieved not by a great army wielding sophisticated weapons but by a handful of terrorists with box cutters who hijacked airliners and used our own jet fuel for explosives. Yet the Pentagon expands as if gearing up to fight WWII.

“President Obama’s budget continues the decade-long uptick in Pentagon spending, which has grown by approximately 40% since 2000,” observes military policy analyst Travis Sloan of the Center For Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

He notes the Obama budget “appears surprisingly large at first glance, especially in this economic climate.” Yet he sees reason for optimism as he believes Obama “will institute critical foreign and defense reforms that will make us safer and spend our money more wisely.” That’s his view.

Obama’s Pentagon budget, however, is certainly not going to make the people of Afghanistan safer. His buildup there comes as Afghan President Hamid Karzai pleads in the strongest terms “for the U.S. to halt air strikes in his country, following attacks…that Afghan officials said killed 147 people,” Reuters reported. “We demand an end to these operations…an end to air strikes,” Karzai told CNN. (Demand? Puppets don’t pull strings.)

Defense Secretary Gates informed West Point cadets April 21st that Afghanistan is about “striking back at the staging ground of the perpetrators of the September 11th attack,” claiming “Afghanistan is widely viewed as a war of necessity.”

In fact, USA Today reported just a month earlier that public support for that conflict “has ebbed to a new low,” according to a Gallup Poll. Americans who regard the attack on Afghanistan as “a mistake” had increased from 9% in 2001 to 42%, a sea change Gates conveniently chooses not to credit.

Gallup also discovered a shift in public opinion from March, 2007, when it asked if the U.S. was spending too much or too little on defense. Forty-three per cent responded “too much” compared with 20 percent who replied “too little.” A decade earlier most Americans didn’t think the Pentagon was on a spending binge with their taxes.

It’s ironic that to prosecute what is now President Obama’s war, the Pentagon is inflicting on Afghan civilians the same cruel deaths terrorists visited on New York City. Human Rights Watch dubbed “inadequate” U.S. military measures to safeguard them.

A like situation afflicts Pakistan, as the U.S.-made Afghan war spills over its borders. According to AP, “Using unmanned aircraft, American forces have carried out dozens of missile attacks in northwestern Pakistan over the last year. U.S. officials rarely confirm the attacks, but say they have killed a string of al-Qaida commanders. Pakistan’s government has publicly protested the tactic, arguing that it kills too many civilians and undermines its efforts to turn tribal leaders away from hard-liners.” The UN says 1.5 million Pakistanis have fled their homes, a repeat of the Afghan exodus.

America’s Afghan war “is not self defense,” writes international law authority Francis Boyle in his new book, “Tackling America’s Toughest Questions”(Clarity Press). “Let’s be honest. We all know it. At best this is reprisal, retaliation, vengeance, catharsis…(it) constitutes armed aggression. It is illegal. There is no authority for this. It is creating a humanitarian catastrophe for the people of Afghanistan.”

Boyle recalls that then Secretary of State Colin Powell promised to produce a “white paper” documenting their case against Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda but never did, and that Bush failed to get a UN resolution authorizing military force in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon’s aim, he says, is to “direct military control of 50 percent of the world’s oil supply” in the Persian Gulf region, which the Fifth Fleet was “set up in Bahrain to police, dominate, and control.”

Can the Department of Defense operations be construed “defensive” when it is operating more than 1,000 bases abroad and those 11 mobile carrier attack fleets? According to author Hugh Gusterson, writing in The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists of March 10th: “These thousand bases constitute 95 percent of all the military bases any country in the world maintains on any other country's territory. In other words, the United States is to military bases as Heinz is to ketchup.” (If only the Pentagon spilled just that!)

Few realize the Pentagon’s collection of bases makes it the world’s biggest landlord, about 30-million acres. Excluding Afghanistan and Iraq, USA spends $102 billion a year just to run its overseas bases, according to Miriam Pemberton of the Institute for Policy Studies.

The Pentagon justifies its appetite for, say, 227 bases in Germany in terms of making the U.S. more secure. In fact, though, “Such forward basing of forces,” writes James Carroll in House of War(Houghton Mifflin), “was designed to control, by means of ‘regime change’ and ‘prevention,’ emerging political trends around the globe, with the unabashed goal of guaranteeing U.S. dominance everywhere.” Indications are the American war machine has triumphed over its closest adversary: the State Department. As Reuters columnist Bernd Debusmann wrote May 14th, “The U.S. armed forces, the world's most powerful, outnumber the country's diplomatic service and its major aid agency by a ratio of more than 180:1, vastly higher than in other Western democracies. Military giant, diplomatic dwarf?”

Debusmann goes on to say, “In terms of money, the U.S. military towers just as tall. Roughly half of all military spending in the world is American. Even potential adversaries in a conventional war spend puny sums in comparison…China's defense budget is $70 billion, Russia's around $50 billion.”

The picture emerging is ugly. No “victory” in its spreading wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq ever will begin to compensate for the vast numbers of Middle Eastern folk needlessly maimed, killed, displaced, and pauperized by U.S. military aggression. “Aggression” is the only word for it and the Middle East’s oil supply is the only reason for it. The Pentagon is on its way to tighten its control of the world---with the help of our newest imperial president’s enabling budget. The American Warfare State marches on.

Sherwood Ross has worked as a publicist for Chicago; as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and workplace columnist for Reuters. He has also been a media consultant to colleges, law schools, labor unions, and to the editors of more than 100 (more...)

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author
and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Public Assistance Scamming Scumbags

I know through working, some real scumbags.

They will collect public assistance, rental assistance, food stamps, and all they can get AND sometimes work and not tell the state. This is way too common.

So, it pays to be a scumbag. They drink, smoke marijuana, have kids at will, don't obey laws, and seem to be well cast as members for a Jerry Springer show. It reminds me of "Gremlins" the movie.

I have never collected unemployment, been on food stamps, or collected welfare. Too many in government have the morals of these "Jerry Springer" types as most are lazy and doing as little as possible "working" for our tax dollars. They just want more pay, less to do, and more help. We, the American People, continue to enable all these scumbags.

Until our tax dollars aren't used to enable these scumbags to degrade America, it will only continue.

Many of our US "workforce" can't show up on time with any regularity, act in a respectable manner, and have absolutely no work ethic.

It is time that lawbreakers from George W. Bush down to scammers on the street are punished for their crimes. Why should we pay tax dollars to be ripped off, abused, and lower the quality of life for all Americans?

http://thegetjusticecoalition.blogspot.com/

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Drug Company Cartel Mafia Monopoly




There are so many scandals being covered up by corporate thugs, their friends in government, the judiciary, the police, and the financial barons who conspire to keep the money turnstile turning. The truth is so twisted and seemingly unbelievable, even faced with telephone book size files of proof, little to nothing is done for decades. The truth be told about the Connecticut Lyme Disease scandal, Baxter, Glaxo Smith Kline, and so many in the Big Pharma industry would be exposed for criminal and civil prosecution.

Read in between the lines:


$75 MILLION OFFER

Connecticut Attorney Fights Pfizer Inc.'s Effort To Settle Nigerian Lawsuit

By MATTHEW KAUFFMAN | The Hartford Courant [link]
May 21, 2009

Pfizer Inc. is prepared to pay tens of millions of dollars to Nigerians who were killed or injured when the pharmaceutical giant tested an experimental antibiotic on scores of children during a meningitis outbreak in the African country.

So why is a Connecticut attorney working so hard to scuttle the settlement?

It's the latest twist in a long-twisted court battle that has skipped across an ocean and back again, and drawn on everything from Colonial-era piracy laws to the Nuremberg trials and a John le Carré murder mystery.

West Haven lawyer Richard Altschuler has been suing Pfizer for most of the past decade, but he wasn't cheering when he first got word of a $75 million offer to resolve a case in the Nigerian courts. Instead, he's gone to court in Connecticut to block the settlement, charging that the drug company and lawyers for the Nigerian government are conspiring to shortchange his clients — and slam the door on his U.S. suit.

The wrinkle: Altschuler is not involved in the Nigerian negotiations and, technically, neither are the Nigerian families he represents. But if the Nigerian settlement establishes a pool of compensation money, Altschuler fears that his clients will be pressured to abandon his U.S. lawsuit in exchange for a share of the settlement pie.

"Even with the $75 million, it's certainly nowhere near enough," Altschuler said. "When you divide it up, it's totally ludicrous and unfair. And also: these are our clients."

Altschuler and a New York firm filed lawsuits against Pfizer in 2001 and 2002 on behalf of more than 100 participants in the 1996 drug test.

But they're not the only ones who sued.

Two years ago, state and federal governments in Nigeria brought civil and criminal charges against the drug company in Nigerian courts, demanding as much as $9 billion and raising the prospect of jail time for Pfizer officials.

Pfizer spokesman Chris Loder said that negotiations are continuing, but in recent weeks Pfizer was reportedly close to a settlement that would give $30 million to the governments and $10 million to the Nigerian lawyers, while setting aside $35 million for those harmed during the drug trial. Altschuler says that the victims would do far better in the U.S. courts and that Pfizer has no business involving his clients without his participation.

But Pfizer says it is Altschuler's attempt to block the deal that is out of bounds.

"The U.S. lawyers' complaints about interference with their cases are unfounded," Pfizer said this week in a statement released by Loder. "Instead, their own actions constitute interference with Pfizer's negotiations in Nigeria, where these lawyers are not involved."

And what of the accusation that Pfizer intends to use the settlement to persuade Altschuler's clients to withdraw their U.S. lawsuit? To that, Loder will say only: "We're not going to comment on our legal strategy."

Altschuler said that the Nigerian settlement would give too much money to the governments and the Nigerian lawyers, and too little to the victims. And he unabashedly says he thinks that he's being cheated, too, with the possibility that he'll end up with nothing for his years of court battles.

"The bottom line is: The way you get lawyers to bring cases like this, class actions, is that they gotta be paid," he said.

In the U.S. courts, Altschuler has relied on novel legal theories, alleging that Pfizer — which developed the protocol for the Nigerian drug trial at its Groton research plant — violated the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. And he argues that the suit belongs in the United States under the Alien Tort Statute, a 1789 law that allows foreigners to sue in U.S. courts for violations of customary international laws.

The statute was originally written to address piracy on the high seas and the occasional aggrieved foreign ambassador. But relying in part on the Nuremberg Code — a set of universal research principles developed in response to Nazi experiments — Altschuler said that the law also applies to what he says was a medical study conducted on children without proper consent. During a 1996 meningitis outbreak in northern Nigeria, Pfizer treated 100 infected children with an experimental antibiotic known as Trovan, and gave another 100 children an approved antibiotic,but allegedly at one-third the recommended dose. Altschuler alleges that 11 children died and that others suffered permanent injuries and deformities.

Pfizer has since withdrawn Trovan from the marketplace. But company officials have said that the deaths and injuries in Nigeria were caused by the children's underlying illnesses, not by Trovan or the drug test, which they say was prompted by humanitarian concerns and conducted appropriately.

Nevertheless, the case is frequently compared to the novel and movie "The Constant Gardener," which revolves around an unethical and deadly drug trial in Kenya. Altschuler charges that Pfizer failed to obtain informed consent from the children's parents, failed to tell them that a tested antibiotic was also available and kept children on Trovan even after evidence of dangerous side effects emerged. He also claims that Pfizer backdated a key approval letter from an institutional ethics committee in Nigeria — a committee that did not exist at the time the letter was allegedly written.

If the Nigerian settlement is signed, Altschuler says he still intends to fight.

"I can't figure out how they think they're going to pull this off," Altschuler said. "It would be incredible to think that we're going to accept a letter saying, 'Thank you. Withdraw the suits.'"

* * * *
* * * *

The US Immunization Scam in a nutshell:




The Lyme Disease testing and treatment scam exposed by the patent numbers:


Kathleen Dickson links:

http://www.actionlyme.org/UCONNS_ABUSE_OF_CZECH_CHILDREN.htm
http://www.actionlyme.org/UCONN_NO_HOSPITAL.htm


* * * *
* * * *

The HIV AIDS testing and tainting of 3rd World Country Blood Supplies International Scandal:



Part 2:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My first chocolate orgasm




My first chocolate orgasm occured yesterday about 7 PM Eastern Standard Time in Walpole, New Hampshire at L.A. Burdicks [their website].

This chocolate is known internationally in the chocolate world. It is right next to the main post office in Walpole, NH. It is an extremely quaint New England town and it was extremely scenic from my drive out of Vermont into New Hampshire. I regretted not having my video camera or even a still camera with me.

I had love with a large cup of hot chocolate, a chocolate mousse tort, and an orange and chocolate cake. If it is possible to get high and altered on chocolate, I did last night. I'm not a sweets person, but I had recurring dreams last night, and daydreams today of chocolate ...

If you're in the Brattleboro Vermont/Keene New Hampshire/Greenfield Massachusetts area, this place is worth the drive. They have a store, coffee/hot chocolate shop, and restaurant where entrees seem to be in the $16 to $22 range. They also seem to have a hot international mail order business.

Email into me

I post on OpEd News and [this] is my most recent post accepted as an article submission.

I was emailed [this link] by John Steinsvold, he calls his work, "Home of the Brave?" He emailed me through my email box at OpEd News.

I am not saying the author advocates communism, as I have not read enough of his material. I believe small business should have a fighting chance. Big business has a right to exist, but not at the expense of freedom, the individual, and not for starving out the self-employed and small business.

I do believe in Capitalism, not Corporatism and unrestricted Capitalism.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Some of Connecticut's Corruption History

[click here]



[click here] for:

Continued Connecticut State Police Follies



[click here] for the Connecticut Officer Robert Murtha story

[click here] should White Connecticut Police Police Officers get away with executing Blacks on sight, shooting them in the back in the state of Connecticut. Is ANY Police misconduct okay in Connecticut?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I sell new and used vehicles nationwide



I started working at a used car dealer in Brattleboro, Vermont, and I have made all sorts of connections with dealers all over New England and even all over the US. Because we are a buying group we get quality vehicles at the best prices. It even makes sense for anyone, anywhere in the country, to ask us for prices and consider buying AND paying the shipping expenses AND still pay less than they would in the open market in their general area. So, feel free to email me here at stevengerickson@yahoo.com, subject "motor sales" in subject line, and maybe I can help you get the car, truck, or SUV you want at the best possible price.


I am no longer tied to the lot or to an office chair, so I will be out and about, at auctions, private party sellers, and visiting dealerships personally to start the inspection process for vehicles I have been asked to locate.


International buyers of cars have also contacted us and have bought vehicles for import/export purposes.

I will sell vehicles based on my reputation, I will go through them using an independent mechanic, and can give you full details on any potential purchases. If there is something wrong with a vehicle, there are concerns, I find information out, or if there is any cosmetic concerns on vehicle, I will disclose this information fully to you. I would rather forgo a sale, than to hear complaints after a “questionable” transaction.


Why pay retail when you can get a vehicle at wholesale prices? Please email me, I will see if I can help you out.

-Steven G. Erickson

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