Friday, October 12, 2012

Why Should We Believe That Iran Is Planning a Nuclear Weapons Program?

Isn't it amazing that the American and European media and governments declare in unison that Iran wants a nuclear weapon and is planning to make one? Do they know something that we don't know? Or is this just the dance of the lemmings, blindly following each other over the cliff again? Is this just Saddam's WMDs again?

There is no information available on the Internet that shows any ANY evidence that Iran is planning to build nuclear weapons, much less that it has initiated a nuclear weapons program. There is ample evidence that Iran has decided that it will not pursue nuclear weapons. Ayatollah Khameini wrote a fatwa declaring that owning or building nuclear weapons is a mortal sin, and that declaration has been repeated continuously by the Iranian government for the last 8 years. They have opened all their nuclear facilities to the IAEA inspectors. They have not been found in violation of any IAEA rules. The only place where Iran has refused access to the IAEA is not a nuclear facility, but rather a weapons and ammunition factory in a military base. Iran contends that has nothing to do with a nuclear program. The IAEA inspectors have found no diversion of uranium and nothing else that indicates Iran is planning to build a bomb.

But every article in all the mainstream press assumes that Iran is now or will soon build nuclear weapons. There is no debate about whether or not Iran, left to itself would build nukes. Everybody says it would. There is debate over the right way to deal with the Iranian nuclear weapons program. The press and governments are not perfectly aligned on what should be done now or what should be done later, but the base issue of whether Iran has nuclear weapons pretensions is never questioned. But I see no evidence that there is any Iranian interest in a nuclear weapons program. Where are the translated discussions among Iranians officials debating the advisability of nukes? They don't even talk about it.

So, could all these people in the allied governments and media who assume the worst know something that we don't know? Well, it’s impossible. If all those reporters and state dept. types know that Iran has a nuclear weapons program based on evidence that they have seen, then that evidence would be accessible somehow or other to us as well. Heck, my friends and I at r/EndlessWar knew about the Ray Davis disaster the day after it happened, three weeks before it hit the western press.

The chorus has seen no evidence but they believe anyway. Could the insiders with high security clearances have intel that, upon leaking would jeopardize sources? And could the reputations of the insiders in media and government who expound the narrative of Iranian a-bombs be enough to convince other journalists and government officials who don't have the requisite security clearances? The answer to that question is definitely yes. That is what is happening. There is a blind chorus that repeats the narrative of the Washington/Tel Aviv/London insiders, without any evidence at all. "Serious men" with access to Top Secret intel, such as Mr. Panetta, state unequivocally that Iran has a clandestine plan to build nukes. Does that signify that he and the rest of the Washington/Tel Aviv/London insiders are telling the truth? Does it signify that their intel is any better than the speculative fantasies that were presented as evidence in 2002 and 2003? The answers to those two questions are no and no.

Why there isn't any doubt expressed in the media? Even the Huffington Post and the Nation and other liberal media repeat the Iran/nuclear talking points. The only media that questions it is paleo-conservative, libertarian or socialist.

So how can we get the attention of more people and convince them that we are about to go to war for no reason whatsoever? Again.

The Difference Between Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats think that government employees work hard to help the American people. They think that government employees are generally competent, honest and dedicated to making a net positive difference for the people of the USA. However, they may be a little leery of armed, uniformed government employees, who they see to be potentially dangerous, an inefficient waste of money and a possible assault on our liberty.

Republicans think that armed government employees (AGEs) work hard to help the American people. They think that armed government employees are generally competent, honest and dedicated to making a net positive difference for the people of the USA. However, they may be a little leery of unarmed, un-uniformed government employees, who they see to be potentially dangerous, an inefficient waste of money and a possible assault on our liberty.

Members of both Parties (or both sides of the Oneparty) love government and trust government’s employees with great authority over themselves. I have had plenty of dealings with both armed and unarmed government employees. They are all a waste of money. Every intelligent one of them realizes that his job is counterproductive and that it spends an inordinate amount of money for little or no return. If Americans do not soon realize that the Democratic and Republican Parties are just two flavors of the same ice cream, then the USA will devolve into a totalitarian state. Its on its way.

Don’t vote for either side of the Oneparty. If you’re a lefty, vote Green Party. If you believe in the free market and individual liberty vote Libertarian. Do not believe the “wasting your vote” slogan. Voting between red and blue is wasting your vote for certain. Let’s try to deconstruct Leviathan before it is unstoppable.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

KETO Breakfast — spicy fricassee of cabbage and eggs

I have been on a keto or Paleo diet for four months now and I’ve lost 16 kilos or 35 pounds. There is a great discussion about this diet on reddit. I have much more energy, I’m more alert, feel stronger and better in every way. I never feel the hunger pangs caused by the body craving a replacement of the carb rush that it just consumed.

So on a keto diet you avoid carbohydrates, especially processed or purified carboydrates like sugar or flour or white rice or anything that comes in a package with lots of fancy colors. Real food doesn't come in colorful packages. You can eat meat, fish, tree nuts, eggs and certain vegetables as well as some fruit in controlled quantities. Stay away from grain, beans and potatoes. Don't even think about refined sugar.

This blog entry is not meant to explain the diet, but rather just to offer a recipe for a delicious Paleo diet that everyone in my family likes even though they don’t share my diet. I just wanted to give a little background so that the reader might know what I am talking about. If you are interested in more information on this diet, follow the links above. And one warning: if you use this diet, make sure that you are eating plenty of fat. The only danger on this diet is that very low carbohydrates plus low fat will cause your body to metabolize muscle tissue as well as fat for its sustenance. Eat fat. It’s good. Lose the weird new-age anti-fat morality. In fact lose all the weird new-age morality.

So here’s the recipe for two people

Spicy Fricassee of Sausage and Cabbage

Chopping board and a good knife
Wooden spoon
Heavy bottomed sauce pan

- ¼ of a head of cabbage chopped up coarsely
- ½ of a medium onion cut in strips
- 150 grams of fresh mushrooms broken into pieces
- 3 tablespoons of lard (real lard, from a pig)
- 1 or 2 hot chiles, Jalapeños are OK, but I prefer Thai, Vietnamese or habanero chiles seeded and chopped fine OR 1 or 2 Tablespoons of yellow Thai curry paste
- 100 grams of meat – I use whatever is in the house. It needs to have fat on it or in it. Good salami is OK, leftover pork roast, bacon or Spanish chorizo.
- ½ cup of heavy cream (some fanatics want to avoid all dairy)
- 2 eggs
- Salt

1.- Melt the lard and sauté the onion and mushrooms until the onion is translucent. If the meat that you are using is raw it needs to be added at the beginning, if its cooked, add it after the onions are sautéed.

2.- Add the chiles and the cabbage and sauté on medium-high heat stirring occasionally until the cabbage starts to get soft. About 8-10 minutes

3.- Pour in the cream and put it on high heat. Let the cream boil and reduce, stirring occasionally until the cream thickens a bit, then

4.- Add the two eggs and stir the mixture around for about a minute, not more than two

5.- Season with salt

Mmmmmm good!
If you make this for one person, save half and eat it for lunch or dinner. It will be even more delicious later.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What Should the US/NATO Do In Afghanistan Now That The War Is Unwinnable?

Most of the discussions in the western press about what we should do in Afghanistan before getting out and coming home, make suggestions about military strategy, institutions and training without taking the political/historical/cultural situation of the country into account.

Let's start with the most important fact that is never discussed in mainstream American discussions about the political future of Afghanistan and that is the geographic-tribal reality. Afghanistan was never ruled as one country. It has always been an archipelago of small fiefdoms organized in tribal regions, which were loosely organized under a hereditary monarchy in the 18th century. At that time the Kingdom of Afghanistan only encompassed Pashtun areas south of the mountains. The central government of the Kings had very little real power outside of Kandahar, although they received enough tribute to be figureheads for the "nation" of Afghanistan. The Kings were able to unite the tribes to throw out the British Empire twice, they made Kabul their capitol and in the 20th century they built some roads and power lines but the Kings never ruled over most of the country, especially not the non-Pashtun areas north of the mountains, which were only nominally Afghanistan.

The last King, Mohammed Zahir Shah (ruled from 1933 to 1973) united the country more than any of his predecessors. In order to unite the north slope of the Hindu Kush with the Pashtun areas south of the mountains, the King enlisted the help of the Soviets in the early ‘70s. That decision was one of the ingredients of his downfall and the demise of the monarchy. and the series of crises that Afghans have faced since 1973 when the King was deposed by Mohammed Daud Khan, who was subsequently deposed and killed by his allies in the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. As soon as the PDPA grabbed power in 1978 they requested Soviet assistance and rolled right over the Hindu Kush on the road the Soviets built five years before.

Afghanistan's geography is separated into myriad little districts that are divided by uninhabitable deserts and huge imposing mountain ranges. The country is not interconnected like the USA or Europe, and this is especially true in the division between Afghanistan north of the Hindu Kush and south of the Hindu Kush. Until the Russians built their road and tunnels over the mountains in the 70s, there was no way to travel from one side of the mountain range to other in the winter.

The two geographic divisions are also tribal/cultural divisions. North of the mountains there are very few Pashtuns. The population is predominantly Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara. South of the mountains it is predominantly Pashtun. Way over 90% of the attacks on NATO are committed by Pashtuns. The Taliban are all Pashtuns. The Afghan Army is just the old Northern Alliance, armed by the USA.

Here is a map of cultural distribution.
(click on the images to see them in larger format)

And a map of the physical characteristics of Afghanistan.

Please note how the cultural and physical areas coincide.

So Afghanistan is really two countries and that is the key to solving the problem of what happens when the USA inevitably skedaddles. While NATO still has some time it needs to design its strategy based on what Afghanistan IS, rather than what the US and NATO wish Afghanistan was.

Unfortunately NATO and the US continue to follow the policy from ten years ago. That policy aims to convert Afghanistan into a western style republic with a strong central government that is democratically elected and which fields a national army and police force to maintain order and combat tribal rebellions, otherwise known in the western press as terrorists. The people who promote these strategies don't know Afghanistan. They know the military bases and they know the insider-Washington, upper-echelon conferences about Afghanistan, but they would not keep advocating the exact same policies that have failed for eleven years if they knew anything about the country in question. Continuing the Obama strategy will mean a humbling defeat and a new Taliban Afghanistan.

There is a possible strategy for a NATO exit that doesn't repeat the Vietnam disaster.

Divide Afghansitan into three independent states which could be associated in some loose federal structure that maintains the name Afghanistan, but which are really independent states, each with its own armed forces. Those three states would be Northistan (I would hope for a better name) on the north side of the Hindu Kush and extending to the border of Iran a few hundred miles south of Herat. The capitol would probably be Mazar i Sharif.
The second state would be Pashtunistan. It would occupy most of Afghanistan not taken by Northistan. Its capita city would be Kandahar.
The third country would be the Emirate or Canton of Kabul and it would occupy the land in the mountain valleys from Bamian in the west to the Pakistan border, including Jalalabad.

Instead of arming the Northern Alliance (Afghan National Army) any further, begin reducing their number drastically and only train the best recruits in order to form the armies of the Canton of Kabul and Northistan. Since the Taliban will be the government of Pashtunistan, they will field their experienced soldiers as the Pashtun Army.

Once the borders have been defined, allow the three countries to choose their own government in THEIR OWN MANNER. If the Pashtuns want to use the Loya Jerga system, thats what they ought to do. In the Canton of Kabul, the US/NATO should probably continue to support Karzai. As the head of state of a little country sandwiched between two warlike countries, he would be happy to have a small US presence and his borders would probably be defensible. He might be able to maintain power with limited American support and he could manage American contacts with all three countries. I believe that the Taliban would be ready to deal with the US on this basis to develop resources, pipelines and infrastructure in Pashtunistan.

This outcome would make Russia and the Stans happy. They don't want a Taliban government on their border again. It would also make Pakistan happy because they would have Pashtunistan as a friendly neighbor to their west. They would not feel squeezed in between a US proxy on the west and India to the east. Iran would be happy to see Afghanistan cut into manageable pieces and would be an ally of Northistan.

There would be massacres of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbecks in Pashtunistan and massacres of Pashtuns in the north until people figured out that they should move to a country where they are safer. Kabul could conceivably remain multicultural and continue to guarantee more rights and opportunities for women.

But for some reason that may have to do with worshipping the state, the Washington elite do not think that making smaller, less multicultural states is a good idea. So this idea that could turn Washington's nightmare into a decent outcome will never happen.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Why Does Government Always Favor the Huge Corporations?

These Venn Diagrams show just a sampling of senior policy-makers in the Federal government that have come from or gone to three well connected corporations. Almost all of the most powerful bureaucrats in Washington come from a small handful of corporations.

Click on each graphic to see exactly who is ripping you off.

Goldman Sachs



My thanks to Economic Policy Journal for these fine graphics

Monday, February 27, 2012

This man has been right for 30 years

We do not need more war. We do not need to do Israel's dirty business. We need to vote for this man, cut spending, cut regulations, cut Federal power and put America back to work.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Please help stop the Endless War


The Endless War that began in 2001 is the central problem facing the United States and the World. It is behind the financial crisis, it is behind the fiscal crises, it exacerbates the moral decay of the western world, it increases the hate and distrust between the west and the Muslim world. The Endless War is pointless. It cannot produce anything but death, poverty and suffering. It does not protect, to the contrary it increases danger exponentially. If the Endless War advances into Iran it very well may ignite World War III.

We have been watching this develop for years as each new war brings us closer to a police state at home. Each new war erodes any remaining goodness or even dignity in the American Federal government. Each new war makes all Americans look increasingly like murderous bullies because the world is watching and the world sees Americans cheer as the President jokes about murdering people with drones, the world sees Americans chuckle as John McCain sings “Bomb Iran”. You and I have to DO something to stop this.

What can we do? We can educate each other and what we learn we can share with others. We can pledge to never vote for another warmonger. Vote for a libertarian, vote for the Green Party but do not vote for another murderer. Get active in politics in the USA. If you live somewhere outside the States, write to the politicians that oppose the US military hegemony of the world and give them your support. Comment below articles that address the war. Share insights at the news aggregator that a friend and I moderate called EndlessWar

And here is something that you can do right now. Use your money to stop the EndlessWar by supporting the organization dedicated exclusively to stopping pointless wars. Justin Raimondo, Scott Horton, Jason Ditz and co. write the best blog on the Internet, the only one that could call itself is in trouble, this season’s funding campaign is dying on the vine. Please pull out your credit card and send some money at their donate page.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Message for Occupiers and Tea Partiers - The Most Important Consideration Today Is To Stop The War With Iran

The last ten years have been terrible insofar as American citizens have lost many of their rights and their standard of living. But these years have been much worse for the many thousands of people who have lost their lives in America's insane wars of opportunity.

Those wars and the powers that benefit from them are the drivers behind every other loss that Americans and people from many other nations suffer. SOPA would never happen without the bogus threat of danger caused by America's wars of choice. The NDAA would never threaten Americans with perpetual detainment without trial if it were not justified by the stupid wars of opportunity.

The heart of the problem is the focus of the US government on war. War is now pursued on all continents. War and threat of war are the first tools that we reach for to promote our foreign policy. But war is bankrupting America economically and morally. War is not the solution to any of our problems because it is the *cause* of most of our problems.

We still have troops in Iraq. We are still at war in Afghanistan. This is a war that even the US Intelligence community sees as unwinnable, that the best outcome would be a stalemate. We are now actively promoting war in the Horn of Africa, in Central Africa, in the Sudan and we just finished a war of opportunity in north Africa. We have clandestine forces killing people all over the world. The US war machine is out of control.

And now the US, along with its partner Israel, is inciting war in Iran. Everything that has happened in the last ten years has been disastrous to human life, American law and the economy, but it is trivial compared to what a war with Iran will produce if we allow this tragedy to occur. Read what retired CIA officer Phil Giraldi says are probable consequences of the really bad idea that is war with Iran. In the late '30s the US put embargoes on Japan, cut off their supply of oil and rubber and absconded with their foreign reserves, thereby purposely forcing Japan into war. Today we are doing the exact same thing with Iran. And we are playing with global economic collapse and nuclear war! And we are doing it for the damned 0.01%! Who benefits by war with Iran? Not you, that much is for certain. But the big banks will write a lot of loans that will be guaranteed by the government, the arms manufacturers will haul in the dough and the media conglomerates will see their ratings triple. Congressmen and spies and bureaucrats and every other type of parasitic Washington vermin will puff out their chests and be "serious" on TV, thereby garnering national recognition.

If the occupy movement means anything and can accomplish anything, it had better concentrate on first things first. There is no sense going after Wall Street criminality if we enter into a major war with Iran. No one will care.

Likewise the Tea Party movement's laudable goals of lower taxes, lower Federal spending and an end to deficits will be shot as dead as most of the Iranians in fast attack boats that get close to a US aircraft carrier. The money will vomit forth from Washington in torrents, the Fed will print like never before, new taxes will be imposed and existing taxes will be raised. That is one of the things that always happen in a major war.

So the first thing to do for anyone who is not part of the 0.1% Washington/NYC elite is to stop the coming war before it starts. Be brave enough to speak out against Israel and its program of assassinations that are not aimed at stopping Iran's nuclear weapons program, but are executed in order to prod Iran into an attack that can be used, "like Pearl Harbor", as the *casus belli* that will justify a massive bombing campaign. The bombing campaign will be countered by asymmetrical actions such as Hezbollah firing massive numbers of missiles into Israel. The first acts of hostility will start a series of actions leading to the disaster that is global war, a tragedy the world has not seen in 67 years.

So as a human being, a concerned American, I beg all of you well-meaning, politically active people that read this pathetic blog from time to time to concentrate ALL of your efforts on stopping the rush to war. Call your Congressmen. Educate yourselves (r/EndlessWar is a good place to start) and tell everyone you know that nothing is as important right now as stopping the Iran War before it starts.


Who's the crazy one?

Monday, December 19, 2011

The War Prayer by Mark Twain

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fulttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory with stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.
It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.
Sunday morning came -- next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams -- visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender!
Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation:
God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest,
Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!
Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory --
An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord and God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"
The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:
"I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- excpet he pause and think. "God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, and the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this -- keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon your neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain on your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse on some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.
"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned by God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard the words 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory -- must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
"Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth into battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it --
For our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimmage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!
We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
(After a pause.) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.