AIG, Arrogance, Incomeptence, Greed, is that true?

•March 20, 2009 • Leave a Comment

As AIG struggles to defend its million dollar bonuses to executives, the U.S. government stands embarrassed and frustrated. Despite the fact that AIG’s CEO Edward Libby should be interrogated and scrutinized, his point that the company had already made legal agreements between AIG and its employees prior to the bailout. “Alex Brill, a former economic adviser to George Bush, the former president, told Al Jazeera that ‘”these contracts were put in place prior to the bailout”.’ AIG’s abuse of tax-payer money is not necessarily a fault of the company’s, the culprit of this mess is Clinton and Bush senior, who had repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 that required banks be regulated by the government. In a quote from an Al Jazeera, “Now the taxpayer has gotten involved, and Washington is involved, they don’t like the agreements on the ground between AIG and its employees, and they’re discovering it right now.”

Discovering it now.
When the agreement to hand out the billion dollar bailout to companies like AIG, the U.S. government failed to properly conduct investigations and make a true assessment of whether the money would be used wisely by companies. Now they are facing the results of an improper assumption that banks could be trusted, and furthermore that by the lack of regulation, stability in the market will occur. Knowing very well that the root of this crisis was the lack of regulation, why did people like Henry Paulson, or Barack Obama allow for these huge bailouts? Because the truth is, they would much rather asser the interest of multinational corporations than protect the rights of tax-payers. The true “arrogance, Incomptence and greed” that Congressman Paul Hodes said about AIG is true of our nation’s government, and its sole purpose is to protect banks and corporations.

It’s too late to point fingers now and cry over spilled money.

New postings to come soon..

•March 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Kim and I were considering redoing our theme and look, so we apologize for the lack of content! We promise more soon!

First 100 Days of Obama and Guantanamo

•January 25, 2009 • 2 Comments

The first 100 days of Obama’s administration has promised to be full of hope, change, and full of solutions to America’s woes. This should be the first warning sign of disappointment- As long as Americans essentially give up their rights and rely on one man to fix their problems, nothing will change. The democratic process is based on civic engagement by citizens of a country, ideally the system would work from bottom to top. Currently, Americans keep the system working frm top to bottom, with the latter, not even trying to influence the politicians on top. It’s rather unfortunate, considering this mentality of a one-man-savior is something rather antiquated and almost child-like. What is the point of Americans proudly boasting how great our system is if the don’t even use? Aside from that, my point is that, as long as Americans refuse to question the administration or even force them to listen to the majority of systems, CHANGE WILL NOT OCCUR.

For instance, the issue of “Gitmo” Guanatanamo Bay- a prison center that should have never been constructed, has been ordered to be “shut down”, but not for another year.

Furthermore, what many people are forgetting is the fact that Guantanamo bay should not have existed in the first place, including those who are help captive. Obama’s administration claims that they will “The order also orders that all prisoners held at Guantanamo be held in a manner consistent with the Geneva Conventions until the facility is closed.” Please take this with a grain of salt, considering throughout the existence of the camp, it has been said that those being held captive have been treated according to the Geneva conventions until 2005 when it was published in newspapers that Bush overruled the UN ruling.
Secondly, even if they are now, I mean a year from now, going to be treated better, what will happen to them? Will they be tried through a military tribunal or the American criminal justice system? They shouldn’t be tried in the first place, considering majority are random people that just happen to cross the CIA’s path. As Tim McCormack, professor of international humanitarian law at the University of Melbourne, points out, “that the US government has a challenge in determining the future of some detainees.

There is clearly a majority of detainees who will never be tried because there is insufficient evidence against them,” he told Al Jazeera.

If they are released, where will they go? It seems that some detainees would face the real threat of persecution and even torture if they return to their home countries.”

A positive point is that Obama has banned “the CIA from operating secret prisons, and forbids them from opening any new such facilities.”

But, it does not end the practice of rendition itself, which is ” the secret detention and transfer of “terror” suspects from one country to another.”

The new Attorney General, Eric Holder, will conduct reviews of each case of rendition that has occurred but has not ordered a stop to this horrendous act.

What the underlying implication behind Obama and his decision to “shut down” Guantanamo in the near future, but continue the use of extraordinary rendition as a method to find enemy combatants, means he is continuing the Bush Administration’s use of fear. This was explicit in his inauguration speech when he stated:

“Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. ”

“We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.”

In both statements he uses the same tactic of emphasizing and implementing fear in the minds of Americans, to scare them into trusting him. This is no different than Bush, but Americans are not reading between the lines or asking the right questions. Yes, it is a step in a positive direction that Guantanamo Bay is going to be shut down, but, we should not stop there.

Ask the questions How did we allow this prison camp to be in existence for so long? Why are you not stopping the torture of randomly generated people whose names may be “Islamic” and thus are considered terrorists?

Does America truly support Democracy?

•January 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

While America may claim that it fights to preserve rights and establish democracies throughout the globe– then why is it when a democracy supports a leader through a voting process, America rejects them?

All across the media are the words “HAMAS MUST ACCEPT ISRAEL” or “HAMAS AS TERRORISTS.”

Why should they? First of all, historically speaking, Palestine was a secure and peaceful nation up until the Franco-British invasions of the Middle East. However, leaving that aside, during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency- the Balfour Agreement, which essentially handed Palestine, without the citizens’ consent, to the Zionists wanting to move into the region and create Israel. Politicians within England had opposed the Balfour Agreement, claiming that it would be an injurious and ridiculous move considering the region was so densely populated with Arabs that an ethnic cleansing of the inhabitants would be necessary in order to do as the Balfour Agreement/Zionists wanted- reclamation of Palestinian lands. Woodrow Wilson accepted and pressured the Foreign Secretary of England Arthur James Balfour to sign the agreement in 1917 in order to receive support from the Zionist lobby in America so he could secure a second term as president.

Not because America supported the idea of Jews returning to their homeland, which had always been there. Prior to the Balfour Agreement, Jews or anyone could live in Palestine alongside others safely. Its forgotten that Islam is not the only religion that exists there, but Christianity as well. Christians, Muslims and Jews- yes they have had their fare share of rivalries, but majority of the troubles they face in this century are results of colonialists exacerbating the contentions between the three religions.

More importantly- America supported an agreement purely for political motives. This is again what is happening today.

America invaded Iraq for oil, it is a well-established fact, but it concealed this motive with lies such as “bringing democracy to Iraq.” If that were true, if America truly meant that, then when an election did happen in Palestine, why have we not accepted the results? Hamas was elected by the majority in Gaza. They are the rightful rulers, yet, Hillary Clinton in her Senate Confirmation hearings claims that she cannot negotiate with them because they are non-state actors.”

This was taken from her full statement, which reads: ” When it comes to non-state actors like Hamas, as I said at the very end of the morning session, there are conditions. Hamas must renounce violence. They must recognize Israel, and they must agree to abide by all previous agreements. ”

Why should they recognize Israel, when Israel was created illegally, it was created on false pretexts. Both Britain and America assumed they had the right to just declare what happened in a country not their own, and gave the approval for Zionists settlers to violently move in and take over- just as they are doing right now.

Even rigid legalists must understand that all of the arguments against Hamas cannot be justified. They were elected within the legal system that the West enforced on the people there, just because you are unhappy with the victors is not a reason to murder them. Post WWI, when the Treaty of Versailles was constructed, France decided to punish Germany because it was not happy with the results of the war- and what happened?

Rapid inflation, a dissolved government, riots, people were so disillusioned that they fell prey to Hitler.

Who got hurt? Jews. Jews also fell prey to the Zionist lobby which has developed into AIPAC.

Now who gets hurt? The Palestinians. For no reason. What will be their future? Chaos? What will be the fate of those children whose only experience in the world is that at any second their life could be taken away? What will be product of a society whose ears only hear gun shos and bombs shot from Israel?

I know the common answer to that will be- wel they’re hearing their own rockets, because of Hamas.
That isn’t true, just look at numbers of people killed on both sides. Over 1,000 Palestinians have been murdered brutally, but only 13 Israelis- 4 of which died from “friendly fires.” The same 13 that died the first day, what does that mean?

That means the rockets Hamas are shooting and are not even touching the Israeli’s, why? Because they’ have the same power as a firecracker. Where would Hamas get weapons anyway? Water, Food and electricity have all been shut off from Gaza. Hamas was busy providing infrastructure, resources and schools to the suffering citizens, that is why they were elected.

Our legal structure also supports the right to defend, so Hamas’s response using their primitive and rather weak defense such as firecracker-level bombs is justified. Afterall, they were the refugees from the genocide after the Balfour Agreement. They have been struggling to defend themselves since colonial times, but they have never been given a fair battlefield or a fair fight. Even if the West isn’t happy with the election results, at least be diplomatic and deal maturely, not with violence that is completely one side. By flexing muscles, America is only creating a doomed future for themselves. Not only will the citizens in Palestine eventually grow stronger not because they necessarily have access to advanced weapons ( we are the ones using white phosphorous-not them!) but because of their will to exist and revolt against the colonial powers.

The future will stand bleak, as countries like Qatar, Mauritania and Venezula increasingly close ties with Israel, that is also a middle finger to America since Israel is our military base over there. It represents that anyone going against what the West wants will have an Israeli rocket in their face. As it is the prestige that once filled the image of America with dignity is beginning to resemble the mark of shame on Hester Prynne’s chest. Unfortunately, the rest of the world does not have the traditional and strict morality that allowed Puritans to scorn at those who didn’t carry themselves in the most ethical and moral manner- all fingers would be pointing to America. As long as countries begin to cut ties with America, the sinking ship’s turmoil will only continue. How will the deficit be paid off if no one wants to purchase American currency bonds? Or if countries created a blockade against America? It is in America’s best interest to defend its slogan of carrying on rights. Afterall, Arabs have said, they are willing to forgive, if they would just listen to their needs and ensure their right to their own land. For the sake of American values, STOP THESE WARS.

Crisis in Gaza

•January 17, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The crisis has reached its 21st of this uncalled for war on the Palestinian that were restricted to Gaza. For those that may not understand why Gaza is so densely populated, in a short sentence, during the the 1949 Israeli take over of Palestine, thousands were displaced from their homes and fled to Gaza. Upon taking advantage of those seeking refuge in Gaza, it become a contained prison and has been under tight control. Since the summer of 2007, Gaza was under a blockade in which exports of food was cut off, including electricity in water. Despite what Israel may claim as being a defense mechanism against Hamas, since Fatah lost the election to rule in Gaza, it was a planned blockade that would prelude the current crisis.

Watch the current news, notice that despite any attempt at a cease-fire is being dodged, not just by Israel but by Hamas as well– not out of will but because the truth is numerous cease fires have been issued. That is not a solution nor has it provided temporarily relief or security. Contrary to popular belief Israel broke the cease-fire on November 4th, the same day as the U.S. Presidential election night. That is not a coiniidence. Prior to being elected as the nominee for President, Obama had clearly stated his will to invade Pakistan and/or Iran. Olmert and Bush openly wanted to use this current war to somehow begin rocket firing at Iran, drone planes have already been attacking Pakistan for the past year.

Please realize that the current crisis is not meant to be an isolated event but can become a precursor to an unnecessary but very volatile global situation. Post-Iraq invasion, America lost most of its respect and has lost any inkling of it by offering a blank check to Israel. Arab nations may be fearing an American response and thus have chosen not to act aggressively in Palestine’s response, but other nations have:

Venezuela

Bolivia

Qatar

Mauritania

( I am sure the list continues..)

If we choose to live in ignorance the global landscape will change around us and America will be left as a dying empire, with no allies, nor with any prospects. Even if you do not support the right for Palestinians to exist safely and to be able to return to their land, at least support America from making the biggest mistake of the century. Save it from its already tarnished reputation. Help to restore America.

Please give to United Palestinian Appeal http://www.helpupa.com/

ANERA http://www.anera.org/

Israeli Air Strikes: American Tax Dollars at Work

•December 29, 2008 • 1 Comment

As you’ve probably heard, Israel has begun to bomb the world’s largest open-air prison—Gaza—killing 280 people. Most of these victims are civilians, many of them are women and children.

This is happening against the background of an inhumane and illegal blockade, which has left residents of Gaza without food, water, fuel, or electricity. Hospitals in Gaza are (like the rest of the strip) extremely overcrowded and without adequate power supplies; now they are having to deal with an influx of wounded people that can only be expected to increase in the days ahead.

As Americans, we should be aware that these are our tax dollars at work. Three billion American dollars a year subsidize the apartheid state of Israel and its ethnic-cleansing of the Palestinian people:

Israel receives on average about 3 billion in direct foreign assistance each year, an amount that is roughly one-sixth of America’s direct foreign assistance budget and equal to about 2 percent of Israel’s GDP. In recent years, about 75 percent of U.S. assistance has been military aid, with the remainder broken down into various forms of economic aid. In per capita terms, this level of direct foreign assistance amounts to a direct subsidy of more that $500 per year for each Israeli.

(Source: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy)

Rather than taking  care of our own citizens, our government would rather send that money abroad to destroy other countries and terrorize their people. The US government’s support of this injustice is beyond shameful—and I include in this indictment President-Elect Barack Obama, and his upcoming administration. Obama’s record on Israel, from his ass-kissing at the Knesset to his Cabinet picks, suggest that while the face of US imperialism has changed, the underlying policies have not.

Malaysia- Man Stabbed for Hogging Karaoke Machine

•December 5, 2008 • 2 Comments

In Malaysia, “a man was stabbed to death for refusing to stop singing and hand over the microphone at a karaoke bar, police say.

Abdul Sani Doli, 23, reportedly angered some of the customers when he hogged the stage at the bar in Sandakan town on eastern Borneo island.”

Wow, I suppose Russell Peters was right about Asians and our passion for DDR and Karaoke-ing… he was lucky that he wasn’t stabbed when he was yelled at in Singapore: