Greetings good people.
I hope that the New Year is a better one than last year for all of us. Yes, we will be hearing way more than we ever care to hear on the Mayan "apocalypse" and the end of the world coming to a location near you on December 21/22 of 2012. Oh joy. Well, fear not my friends, according to some really smart folks, scientists even, the "galactic alignment" that will be a major factor in this coming "end of the world" scenario is exactly what we just went through 12 days ago. Yes, you see, according to astronomers, every year at the winter solstice the earth is in alignment with the galactic center. The same alignment will occur on December 21/22 of this new year(2012) just as it was so aligned this past December 21/22 and has done so since , well damn near forever, at least since the earth formed and started its near endless journey around our sun. No doubt there are those who will shoot down any explanation I may offer to "debunk" the "end of the world" scenario they are pushing. Well, if you can put away any conspiracy theories, just go over to the NASA web site and search 2012. Yes, I know, it is a government web site. They still give you the truth about the solar system as far as I am concerned. I trust that the science there is honest and not any part of a conspiracy. You see, some agencies of the government DO tell the honest truth.
For those who have a problem with any government web sites, so be it. Try one of the observatory web sites of maybe some science museum web site and check what they have to say regards 2012 and the Mayan calendar. Basically, there will be no "world ending" event heading our way, no "mystery" planet entering earth orbit to destroy us all. IF, and it is a very, very big if, there were some "rogue" planet that was going to impact earth this coming December, many astronomers would have seen evidence of it by now. In fact there would have been evidence of it quite some time ago. No way would any group or government be able to silence every astronomer IF such a planet existed. If you still think that the mysterious Niburu is headed our way, well, so be it. Enjoy your ideas, but I don't buy it.
On a "lighter" note, we have just under 12 months left until the campaign for president in 2016 begins. WAIT!! Hold ON you say, what about the 2012 election? It has not happened yet. Yes, I am totally aware of that. Way too aware in fact. On some web sites and TV channels it is about all they talk about. I just figured since the candidates for president seem to start their campaigns the day after, if not the very day of, the current election. Look for the folks who will be running in 2016 to come out in early November of this year. Sorry to be the one to bring up this bad news, but it sure seems like we here in the US are in a basically unending election cycle. As more than one observer of the current campaign put it, Mitt has been running since 2008, if not longer. Ah yes, what money can buy for you. Not for me, probably not for most of you good folks who stop by this old corner either, but if one is rich. Yes, if one is rich, then the "world is your oyster" seems fairly accurate.
Well, we are at the start of another year, many things await us. New laws and of course new challenges, and more than a few old ones carried over from 2011. An example of a new law; Indiana has proposed a new law that would punish those who "sing the national anthem" inappropriately. If this becomes law, woe unto those who mess up while singing the "Star Spangled Banner". If you do make a mistake singing that song, you would be fined $25.00. Schools would be required to keep recordings of each performance for two years. Wow, they take that song seriously in Indiana. Or, do they? Really? How will they judge if the mistake was an honest one? How do you decide? True, it may be easy to point out a blatant butchering of the song, but being nervous singing to a large group, say a full sports stadium, and flubbing a word or line should not be punished. Maybe they will only allow "professional" singers with a long track record of singing the national anthem to sing it at large public events.
Pop quiz, (The first ever on the old corner) How many know the second and third verses of the "Star Spangled Banner"? OK, I will be the first to admit I do NOT know them. Does that mean I am in violation of the Indiana law? I wonder how many law makers at any level of government know all three verses. Bets that you can count them on one hand and have a few fingers left over. But that just may be me, being sarcastic again. Yeah, I'll buy that.
I'll be totally upfront and honest with you all. I do not do prognostications. No, what I think will happen in the US and/or the world. I am not now, nor ever was or wanted to be, any sort of prophet. I have no great insight into what may happen. In fact, I cannot even predict whether or not I'll make it out of bed tomorrow. At least not with 100% accuracy. Also, most every site on the net has done or is doing their predictions for 2012. Yes, that includes many who are pushing the Mayan "end of the world" deal.
What I hope happens is, that OWS and the occupy movement continues and grows stronger. I hope that more and more people wake up to the crap the government and both wings of the war/greed party are pushing. Yes, that is the "new" and "improved" name for the donkey and elephant gangs; the war/greed party, of which the two animal gangs are just the two wings of.
I have decided to add the greed part to the description of the war party. Maybe this year will see the rise of a truly independent third party. True, it may be almost too late now for such a party to have much of a real chance at winning. Still, as far as I am aware, it is still legal to dream/hope in the US of A. I did not see anything about dreams/hope in the miserable NDAA that Gobomber just recently signed.
Which brings me to the first real rant of 2012. The above "rant" on the Mayan apocalypse does not count as a "real" rant, just my opinion.
An excellent report on 2011 is over at EFF web site. The following is well worth your time; www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/2011-review-year-secrecy-jumped-shark. Among the outrageous items listed in their review, one really caught my attention. It is disgusting and at the same time absurd, almost what I would expect from Monty Python or maybe Catch 22. I refer you to the following; "President Obama accepts a transparency award.......behind closed doors. And some of you good people think the government is getting(?) too secret? Naw, no way that Gobomber is "obsessed" with secrecy. Not much, when he only accepts a "transparency" award behind closed doors. As others before me have said, you can't make this stuff up. I believe it was Will Rogers, I may be wrong, who said he didn't have to write his material, all he had to do was read the newspapers. I think Mort Sahl may have said either that or something quite close to it. Not that I am in their class, no way, they were masters, I'm still working towards my journeyman status. One last item from this list; The government attorneys insisted in court they CAN censor a book which was already published and available for free on the internet! Yes, the list has many such outrageous items on it. Well with the time to check it out. You will not be happy, but you will have a better idea of where the government is headed. This will not get better this year. In fact, here goes a "prediction" form me, it will get worse. No great "prophecy" that, as you all can see that the government is getting much more secret every day.
Back to that vile piece of legislation; the National Defense Authorization Act that Gobomber recently signed. As you are aware, he issued a "signing statement" as/after he signed the damn thing. He made noises about how he would not detain an American citizen captured on US soil without a trial. Oh? Really? Well, even IF, another of those very, very big if's, He may well decide to actually DO allow a US citizen captured on US soil to have an actual trial and not just be sent indefinitely to Gitmo. What, if anything, would stop the next president, the one who gets elected in 2016, from just tossing Gobomber's signing statement in the trash bin? Answer, not one damn thing. Nope, nothing about ANY presidential signing statement is binding on the next person to hold that office. In fact, there is nothing binding on Gobomber himself to abide by his own signing statement. Yeah, he can just "forget" this signing statement any time he feels like it and "no harm, no foul" and we all get screwed, again.
Now some folks may say that I am ungrateful to Gobomber for his signing statement. Well, they just could be right. He said he would not allow for the indefinite detention of a US citizen without a trial. OK, fine, as far as it goes. But, and it is a kind of big but, he DID kill a US citizen AND his 16 year old son. Neither of them got any trial, not even the kangaroo/faux military tribunal like they run at Gitmo. Nope, Mr. Anwar al-Awlaki and his son were killed simply because Gobomber (and probably his close advisors) thought that Mr. al-Awlaki was some sort of terrorist. Now, how "secure" do you feel with his signing statement? Yeah, I thought so. Me too.When that drone flies over me and fires a missile of some other weapon, hey, no problem. But, he won't detain me indefinitely without a trial. And.............if he doesn't want to waste all that time on so many trials, well......easy solution, just kill off any suspected terrorist/terrorist sympathizers. See, it is so simple even a president can figure it out. Yes sir, ain't 'Merikkka just grand?
For some extra insight into the minds(?) of senior US military types, I highly recommend an article at the Counterpunch web site, the weekend edition of Dec 30-Jan 1. Here is the link;
www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/30/cross-border-incident/. The author Brian Cloughley is a former military officer. He knows Pakistan and its military very well and he has a wealth of information and knowledge on the country, its military, and that general area of the world. I have read all of his articles that have been posted on the Counterpunch web site since about 2004. I count him as a friend and an excellent source of information. Brian writes about the "incident" where the US/NATO attacked a Pakistan Army outpost on the border of Pakistan/Afghanistan and killed 24 Pakistani troops. Odd that this happened as the US military has the exact location of EVERY Pakistani border outpost. Read Brian's excellent article and find out more on the minds(?) of some US military officers and one particular US general. The stupid, it hurts. Sorry, that just needed to come out. I am not sure if it is stupidity, hubris, arrogance, or what that some US military officers think, or even IF they think at all. Brain shows one for what he really is.
A further comment on the current election/campaign. I ran across a quote that I must pass along. Somebody was describing Newt Gingrich and came up with this; "Newt is a dumb person's idea of what a smart person sounds like". I forget who said that, but it captures the "essence" of Newt quite well. Hmmm......essence of Newt, eye of toad, pinch of Mittens, dash of Bachmann, slice of Perry, tea spoon of Santorum, dusting of Paul? Yep, sounds like a "devils brew" to me.If I missed any of them, well, tough beans and hard cheese. I find it quite difficult to take any of them very seriously. Although, even Glen Greenwald has some kind words to say about Dr. Ron Paul. Having read his article on the Dr. I have to agree with Mr. Greenwald here. Ron Paul IS talking about things that NEED to be brought into this campaign. No, I will not vote for him though. He holds too many views that run counter to my way of thinking. No, I will not vote for Gobomber, nor did I vote for either war/greed party candidate in 2008. The LAST time any candidate from either wing of the war/greed party got my vote was in 1980. I voted for Carter. Dad was very much against "saint" Ronnie. He had been a disaster as the governor of California and Dad did not want him as our president. Unfortunately, Dad died the Saturday after "saint" Ronnie won that election. For years we used to say that Reagan killed Dad.
I am going to end this rant with another quote. This is for all of us to consider as we support, however we can, the occupy movement. It is by James Baldwin and I think it applies to all who are working to make this a better world for everybody.
"People don't have any mercy. They tear you limb from limb in the name of love. Then, when they've killed you by what they made you go through, they say you didn't have any character. They weep big, bitter tears---not for you. For themselves, because they've lost their toy."
Something to think about.