11 Mar 2015

Where has all the money gone? Savings bond values take a nosedive

It means that Series EE savings-bond-holders have been (and can continue to be) legally ripped off. Government agencies now under the happy control of the top 1% can legally make the rest of us little guys any promises they want — and then just take them back.

“Buying government savings bonds is practically like loaning the government interest-free money,” I told my friend. “But on the other hand, if you had bought $500 worth of gold back in 1998 instead of that bond, it would have cost you $296 an ounce — and an ounce and a half of gold would now be worth $1,808, a net gain of one thousand three hundred and seven dollars.”

02 Mar 2015

Triumph of the checklist: Comparing Netanyahu, ISIS and Hitler

13. Has absolutely no tinges of conscience whatsoever after having caused thousands of families, scores of ethnic groups, an unknown number of combat veterans and even whole countries to suffer from shell shock, battle fatigue and PTSD http://www.unrwa.org/newsroom/press-releases/serious-upsurge-post-conflict-trauma-gaza-says-un:

Hitler: Check
Netanyahu: Check
ISIS: Check

14. Is invited to speak before Congress:

Hitler: No way.
ISIS: Not a chance.
Netanyahu: Roll out the red carpet!

26 Feb 2015

War correspondent: Why a war zone in America is THE place to go

The main question that I would be asking in these particular American war zones, however, would be, “What makes America tick?”

What has made us become the most dreaded and hated country in the world — a country that has more weapons and more money to spend on weapons than any other country anywhere, ever? What gives us the right to call ourselves “patriotic” and “brave” and “democratic” when, in reality, it is America that has killed, maimed, tortured and mutilated millions of people all over the world — and trampled any survivors’ chances and their children’s chances of ever ever having a decent life again.

06 Feb 2015

My own personal list of lies War Street has told us

Sorry, that’s all of the War Street lies I can think of right now. But I’m sure there are many more out there, many many more lies that I’ve missed. Transparency is clearly and obviously not an American value — and democracy doesn’t seem to be one either.

But I will tell you one thing that I know for sure: I won’t ever be fooled again. And the rest of America needs to avoid being suckered down the garden path to War Street as well.

27 Jan 2015

Upstairs Downstairs: The new American class-system economy

And here in America, those of us who grew up being middle-class and who liked being relatively free of money worries are now suddenly appalled at this sudden change in our status from “Almost Upstairs” to “Definitely “Downstairs” because, silly us, we hadn’t realized that our relative economic freedom was only just a temporary economic glitch.

I myself can remember when I used to only have to work weekends and summers in the post office in order to make enough money to put myself through graduate school at Cal — and with no student loans. And before that, back in the early 1960s, I lived in New York City for two whole years with only an occasional part-time job for income. Those days are totally long gone!

But, even more important, what is the average American today doing in response to this tragic new economic turn of events as he or she watches his or her financial status erode from home ownership to unemployment or worse? Do we protest? Demand justice? Seek redress? Try to end corporate corruption? React logically to this dreadful new “Upstairs Downstairs” situation?

Hell no.

20 Jan 2015

The compassion of Vichy France: Why doesn’t war-torn Europe understand war?

Is there anyone at all in France today who can even remember the Vichy traitors, the brave underground Resistance or fascists goose-stepping down the Champs-Elyse? Or even remember reading about it in textbooks at school?

Does no one in Britain even remember the Blitz of London or the heroic rescue of British soldiers stranded at Dunkirk? Or hearing stories about it from their grandparents or watching reenactments of it on the BBC?

13 Jan 2015

Who benefits from being Charlie: “I am NOT Bibi Netanyahu!”

We’ve already wasted a hundred trillion dollars on “war” so far, only to discover again and again that violence doesn’t ever work. Not in the Middle East, not in Ukraine, not in Paris, not at the World Trade Center and not in Ferguson either. Just imagine if we had spent all that money on education, jobs, and integrating our society into a smooth-running democratic machine instead.

To paraphrase Thomas Piketty, “You can’t have a political democracy unless you have an economic democracy too.” And “war” has ruined — absolutely ruined — the economic democracy of both Israel and the USA. And probably France too.

10 Jan 2015

Freedom of Speech isn’t just for Charlie Dodo any more!

I can’t seem to figure out how to post photos on My FDL but if you click here, http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2015/01/blog-post.html, you’ll see a photo of me holding up a sign that reads, “I am Chelsea Manning” — and another sign that reads, “I am Julian Assange”. And of course one more sign that reads, “I am Edward Snowden”.

How come one instance of freedom of speech is honored but others are not????

10 Jan 2015

Charlie Dodo: A deal is struck in France…

Over the past decade or so, the American military-industrial complex in all its glory has moved into the Middle East and killed a million or so people. And it has handled, trained and armed Al Qaeda and ISIS, a pretty much documented fact. However. What goes on in the Middle East stays in the Middle East, right? Theoretically, yes.

But Pappy Bush said, “Let’s go invade Kuwait and kill us some Iraqis.” So he did. And then Baby Bush said, “I can do you one even better than that!” And he killed even more Iraqis — and, being in a generous mood, threw in some dead Afghans, Palestinians and Persians as well. http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2007/05/gwbs-new-iraq-strategy-keep-jane.html

08 Jan 2015

Why white Southerners have no right to be racist

Second, and even more important, is the simple fact that there would be no African-Americans in the United States today to even make racial slurs about — if these same Southern racists’ great-great-grandfathers hadn’t brought hundreds of thousands of slaves over from Africa in the first place. That’s like spilling the milk and then complaining that we are now stuck with spilled milk. Not cool. Not cool at all.

And to add insult to injury, these same bespoke Southern racists also complain about gun violence in the African-American community. That’s hypocritical too. All they have to do is pass some decent gun-control laws and then — poof! — that problem will pretty much disappear.