Feeling Punked over Guns

Everyone knows by now I just am in love with everything democrat. The two party system is the best system ever. In fact, if god himself/herself could have invented the perfect political system it would be one in which two dominant parties could become so confident of their divine calling that they would nobly and bravely ignore all of the voters in the nation and instead tell them whom they should vote for, rather than having to suffer the strain and indignity of having to decide for themselves.

We sure did hear a lot about guns this year. Every time Obama said something like, “whoa, guns” the rightwing media erupted with screams decrying gun grabs by the government. Recall Des Moines and Salt Lake City, in which Obama goons in black armor helicoptered in and confiscated all of the guns. But the media hysteria was the alarm to a public to rush out and buy guns before they were banned. The result, despite an, eh, year for the stock market saw gun profits were through the roof.

I naively asked why Obama was essentially silent and action-less on gun issues of any kind, save for the occasional laconic “somebody ought to do something, sometime,” which translated into “FOX-ese,’meant, of course, GUN BAN! But what if it was all just a game? Hmm. What if both parties really were the same, except to make it competitive and compete for individual fortunes and privilege through the dichotomy of their respective bases. Sort of like, people from both parties went off to lobbying firms, Monsanto, weapons industries, banks and oil companies? Wouldn’t that be a co-inky-dink?

So maybe Obama, who spent far more energy getting TPP passed than he did on single payer, who could have paid the mortgages of damn near every foreclosed homeowner instead of the trillions given to banks, is in the pocket of the gun industry. Okay, maybe just in the pocket of the corporate America, you know like giving insurance companies a windfall which is enforceable under penalty of law, or a backdoor boost to companies who no longer need to offer insurance or fulltime work as part of a compensation package.

And maybe going after whistleblowers as if they were public enemy number one is all just a coincidence, sort of like fining an oil company within their profit margin after a historic oil spill destroyed tens of thousands of lives, killed as many as three dozen (including suicides, but not cancers) and ruined the Gulf of Mexico. That’s all probably coincidence.

So the gun industry finishes the year with record profits. How to start the new year, at a time when the economy is struggling and the stock market is getting pounded by the China market? Let’s put our heads together and find something that isn’t affected by China. I know, GUNS!

So Obama has been silent, or at the very least ineffectual about anything on guns. So why now? Within hours before Obama even said a word on gun violence the gun industry, gun legislation or gun banning. Where were the presidential orders to stop straw purchases or gun show loopholes? So why now? The Gun industry and NRA will happily tell you. It’s because its a new year. Profits are up just on the word of the industry’s best salesman, according to ex-congressman Joe Walsh. And that may be the only time I ever agree with that child support abandoning, self-felating, gun pornographer-pushing, tea bagging, anti-Christian, lying, pretend tough guy, hypocrite and cat raping, Joe Walsh.

I just threw in the cat raping part for purely satirical and political commentary purposes, pursuant to my first amendment rights and antipathy for cats. Still, I can’t help feeling I have been punked, and while my disdain for the right and gun-porn industry remains peaked, I have a feeling Obama’s hands are hardly clean on this one too.

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On Gun Porn. Did you know:

Israel is more anti-gun than Obama.

They regulate, ownership, the type of weapon and the amount of ammo an owner can have or buy. Sales and transfer of guns and ammo are strictly regulated, with stiff penalties for violations. Gun ownership is very low, and so are homicides and gun suicides. The US is first in ownership, Israel 80th. All weapons and ammo are marked. Gun manufacturers must keep records of every weapon produced. In Israel, the law does require that a record of the acquisition, possession and transfer of each privately held firearm be retained in an official register, unlike the US. In Israel, gun owners must re-apply and re-qualify for their firearm license every three years, unlike the US.

In Israel, authorities maintain a record of individual civilians licensed to acquire, possess, sell or transfer a firearm or ammunition, unlike the US. The minimum age for gun ownership in Israel is 27 years. Applicants for a gun owner’s license in Israel are required to establish a genuine reason to possess a firearm, for example self-defense, hunting and sport, unlike the US. The US ranks 91st in the world for per capita murder rate, compared with Israel at 144th.

So the next time you hear gun pornographers from the right and the NRA say we should look to Israel as an example on guns, maybe the Right is, well right!

http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/israel

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_countryjesus with guns1

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Iran letter: Treason or Hypocrisy?

There is a temptation here to give this whole mess a simple talk radio name. “letter gate,” the “Cotton Coup” or the “Netanyahu Surprise.” I like that one simply because it describes the school girl swoon the Republicans have now that they have full abandoned our own president, shoved aside the constitution and how treaties are forced and pushed themselves, for the first time in our history, to the forefront of international diplomacy. Congress persons have always had a certain roll, to be fair, but never by posturing themselves in opposition so publically and aggressively to purposely embarrass the President and unilaterally drive their own international agenda as a dual government.

Don’t like Obama? If that’s the case you may thing this is all about nothing, and that if Obama is so incompetent, or evil in siding with the evil god-hating anti-MeriKan Muslim Mullahs of Iran, then congress should instigate a paper coup and drawn the nation’s proverbial wagons around the 51st state of Israel and their playhouse President Netanyahu. However, if you are not a complete and total idiot…No.

No use in belaboring an endless distraction from growing and pressing real issues; the pundits will play and distract the nation with treason. Real treason has occurred in this nation. Corporations and banks commit treason every day. Halliburton under Cheney was working with the Iranians and Iraqis during US-led and sponsored sanctions and nothing happened. The financial crisis of 2008 which nearly sank the nation put America’s future and security at risk: Not a single arrest. HSBC actually held and shielded accounts for drug cartels and Al Qaeda. Their management should have been dragged into the street and sumari… whew, almost got carried away.

Anyway, it comes down to something simple that even Republicans can understand. They like to filter everything through a corporate business perversion. So, company A is negotiating with company B. The accounting department hates their own CEO, who is conducting the negotiation to a contract. Amid those contract negotiations, a number of salaried accountants decide to disrupt the contract by making it known that they hate the CEO so much that any contract created won’t be followed by part of Company A. The rest of the business world sees that and no longer will do business with Company A, because who can trust them?

It is treason. Congress can make its disagreements known to their constituents and to the president, but when they invite a foreign leader to speak and afford that foreign leader more respect than their own. When they deride and call him all sorts of dastardly names and when they break both protocol and the constitutional separation of powers-law- that is treason. Sorry, Lefties, however. If this government is so deep in the sack with a large bank who also cozies up and does business with our supposed enemies, the ones who committed the September 11 attacks (feeling played yet) then nobody will be held accountable here either.


Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “Shoot Down: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Free Money from Revolution and Beer

Okay, so I’ve been listening to all this about Ferguson and Eric garner. Regular readers and listeners know my views. I won’t rehash them here. They also know I’m a numbers guy and we have torn up every rightwing and corporatist argument using their own numbers to prove their corrupt perspectives and motives. The other thing about numbers, and this comes from years doing logistics in the commercial sector for two major airlines; a clear understanding of those numbers will help you pull sense out of the confusion of facts. Efficiency! Isn’t it all about efficiency?

So when I heard that President Obama was directing $263 million for cameras and sensitivity training for cops I had to wonder. Is that the most efficient way to solve the problem? Hmm. Let’s see.

According to the United States Census, as of 2010, of almost309 million people in the US, 38.9 of them w ere-and still are-Black. Likewise there are about 28 million Hispanics, 3 million indigenous, who are being really patient and generous with all of us non-natives, that is everyone who arrived within the last 400 years. There are almost 15 million Asians, but for some reason, except for a crazy old neighbor who didn’t go to Vietnam but listens to Rush Limbaugh and wears camouflage pants to work, nobody seems to bother the Asians much. So, for giggles, since this country really has a problem with all brown and Black people, lets combine those folks-except the Asians- which brings us to about 70 million.

Now, the problem seems to be respect and neglect. Part of the respect issue is that black and brown folks are disproportionately poor. The other part is that they live in bad neighborhoods. A major cause of that is neglect. Houses on the south and west side of Chicago, half of Detroit and the part of New Orleans hammered by Katrina more than a decade ago remain abandoned. These minority neighborhoods are poor. Folks don’t have money for good schools, repairs, paying off mortgages, beautification, starting businesses, a strong tax base and investment.

You know who gets respect? Those annoying prozac laced moms who married a lawyer or hedge fund manager then slow down rush hour traffic for working stiffs while they dump the brat off at daycare and trundle off to Starbucks as they enjoy another lazy day. I know, I know…the hardest job in the world. Maybe for a working class mom, but not if your kid’s parental surrogate is referred to as an “au Paire.” They have a couple of appletinis in the afternoon with the girls and then berate the cop pulling them over with pearls of egalitarianism like “don’t you know who my husband is,” and “My husband makes your annual salary in a half hour!” If they get the ticket, they can afford a lawyer to get it dropped or expunged from their record. They don’t worry about politeness, and in white affluent neighborhoods the cops are always as sweet as peach pie.

So, what I propose for the most efficient and productive use of that $263 million is not that we waste it on sensitivity training and cameras. Cameras didn’t help Eric Garner. Instead, split that money among those 70 million minorities. Yep. That comes to a neat $3.76 for every Black, Hispanic and First Nation person in America. Toss in Undocumented folks and it’s still a cool $2.6 million.

Crazy, you say? With that money folks could afford to move, or fix up the neighborhoods they live in. They would start businesses and create a tax base to sustain schools, libraries and community centers for a generation or more. Gang crime and drug trafficking would collapse. Shooting deaths would virtually cease. Police in these neo-affluent communities would have to show respect. Parks would flourish, incarceration would plummet, if only because now poor folks could afford a decent attorney-which is what keeps white folks from overcrowding prisons. Banks would be happy. Imagine Engelwood with sidewalk cafes in the evening and folks strolling along bright vibrant business districts.

All I ask is one simple thing. Remember, my Black, Hispanic and First Nation brothers and sisters who came up with the idea. I think a 1% finders fee is fair…

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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MH-17: Reconstruction of a Disaster

The following is an excerpt from the upcoming investigation into the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 in Ukraine. This reconstruction is based upon credible and verifiable news sources from around the planet…

Inside the cabin, the stewards and flight attendants were busy with meal service. The passengers were contented with in-flight entertainment. The flight so far has been routine, even mundane. There were still more than 8 hours remaining to Kuala Lumpur. The passengers were thinking of their final destination, making connections, seeing loved ones, business meetings and sleeping in their own beds again.

Far below, others are animated for war. Ten miles to the south of quiet little Hrabove a convoy of military vehicles rumbled through the town of Snizhne, one of them was recognized as a SA-11 surface to air BUK missile launcher. A June 29th post by the rebels bragged about being in possession of at least one captured BUK missile system after overrunning an airbase.

Local reports put the convoy in the town around lunchtime. Atop the tracked vehicle four missiles, each18 feet long, were unmistakable for a group of Associated Press journalists covering the war. A man in fatigues cautioned the journalists against filming before the convoy rumble west out of town. Dressed in desert camouflage, unlike the rebel soldiers green uniforms, he spoke with a distinctive Russian accent.

Movements of the missile launcher that day are confirmed in eyewitness statements, video and photographs. In November 2014 the Bellingcat Group of investigative journalists published a detailed inquiry of the vehicle and its movements. That report can be found at www.bellingcat.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Origin-of-the-Separatists-Buk-A-Bellingcat-Investigation1.pdf

The missile launcher and its crew, now near the town of Torez, as well as their command and control support were expectant of an enemy incursion. They were blinded by that perspective, which betrays a complete and criminal negligence at every level in the chain of command. If Russia, in fact, supplied the vehicle then the responsible authorities share substantial culpability for allowing trigger happy, irresponsible and ill-trained rebels such a dangerously sophisticated weapon.

Initially the crew filed a flight plan which would have taken them farther to the south at an altitude of 35,000 feet. Instead they were diverted north, ostensibly for thunder storms brewing to the south, and ordered to 33,000 feet for traffic. Slowing to 490 knots, MH-17 descended 2,000 feet.

In June, despite safety assurances, both British Airlines and Lufthansa decided against risking East Ukrainian airspace. Emirates suspended flights to Ukraine altogether, according to Reuters. As pointed out in a previous chapter the routine of war balanced against marketing and business concerns, it had become normal business practice for International airlines to fly over war zones simply to save money on fuel.

Ukraine was no different. Commercial airlines regularly flew over Iraq and Afghanistan during the wars there, comfortable that insurgent forces lacked the capability to threaten them. When the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull (pronounced: Ai-ya-fyatla-yoy-katl) erupted in 2010 disrupting air travel between North America and Europe and ground more than 100,000 flights, the cost to airlines and more than 6 million stranded passengers was in the tens of millions of Dollars. The costs to the bottom line are powerful drivers in the equation when left to airlines alone.

While indications are abundant and clear that the rebels assumed the incoming aircraft was a Ukrainian military transport there seems to have been a blatant disregard for protocols which would have allowed them to identify the plan as civilian. Visually it may have proved difficult, even with binoculars, to make a proper identification but the BUK system hardly relies on antiquated technology for identification. But while NATO member countries rely on the International Friend or Foe, IFF, the BUK radar has its own IFF system. According to HIS Jane’s Missiles and Rockets editor Doug Richardson:

“Although it has it own Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) system, this is only able to establish whether the target being tracked is a friendly aircraft. It is the electronic equivalent of a sentry calling out “Who goes there?” If there is no reply, all you know is that it is not one of your own side’s combat aircraft. It would not give you a warning that you were tracking an airliner.”

The BUK’s acquisition radar, deployed some thirty miles to the southwest in the village of Styla, allowed the rebel fighters to identify, track and target the aircraft. Whether they believed they were once again targeting a Ukrainian transport, or simply took advantage of a ready target remains unclear. Protocols, IFF, known civilian over flights, flight path, altitude, command structure and time on target removes the specter of the accidental and indicates at the very least negligence if not intention.

Once launched the fate of MH-17 was sealed. The system is highly accurate. According to Army-Technology.com, in association with Defense and Security Systems International the BUK Air Defense Missile System maintains a high kill rate at target:

A single missile can destroy tactical aircraft and helicopters with a probability between 0.9 and 0.95, while the kill probability against tactical ballistic missiles ranges between 0.6 and 0.7. The missile can operate continuously for one day with refueling and has a tear-down time of five minutes. The missile can destroy tactical ballistic missile within the range of 20km and can kill cruise missiles at 100m altitude and within the range of 20km. It has maximum target g-load of 10g and can destroy aerodynamic targets with a maximum speed of 830m/s flying at an altitude between 0.015km and 25km, and within 3km to 45km range. The missile system can operate in temperatures up to ± 50°C and wind speeds up to 30m/s. Its maximum operating altitude above sea level is 3,000m.

“A bird is flying to you,” a spotter told a rebel commander for pro-Russian separatists in Horlivka 15 miles west of the crash sight. He is identified as Igor Bezlor, a mercurial man and a typical character to be found in any conflict who is all too ready to rationalize any moral and ethical transgression to war. In temperament and stature Bezlor reminds one of the late Serbian thug and warlord Zeljko “Arkan” Raznatovic. His features are pallid and severe, an obligatory cigarette ever present and a black cap that seems costume-like.

“Reconnaissance plane or a big one?” asks Bezlor, from his regional headquarters in nearby Gorlovka.

There is no indication from the rebels that they were firing at anything other than a single target. They are very clearly heard discussing the size of the aircraft. If, in fact, there was a shadowing aircraft below or near the 777 the Buk radar would have indicated, and the battery would have had the capability of hitting both. The rebel leaders in those recordings have never officially acknowledged nor denied their authenticity.

On the ground at around 1:20 that afternoon residents of Torez recalled hearing loud explosions. Rostislav Grishin, a 21-year-old prison guard remembered hearing “two powerful blasts in a row.” The time must be viewed as subjective, though with a forward velocity and possibly one working engine, at least for a time, the descent would have been rapid; certainly faster than a simple freefall.

“First there was one, but then after a minute, a minute and a half, there was another discharge. I raised my head and within a minute I could see a plane falling through the clouds.” The two powerful blasts Grishin heard were undoubtedly the nearby launch of the missile followed by the detonation as the missile found its intended target.

The launch would have been powerful and thundering, followed by the long tearing crrrraaacckkk as the missile streaked skyward. Smoke and dust from the launch would have consumed briefly the massive vehicle. The roar of the launch, as recalled by a number of witnesses, carried for several miles in the rolling hills around Torez and Snizhne.

The 9M317 missile required a radar lock to steer it to the target. It is an awesome weapon when launched, a solid fuel rocket with a total burn time of about 15 seconds that finds it target at speeds of up to Mach 3 four times faster than MH-17 was travelling. A rebel Operator steered the missile in flight until the missiles own onboard system locked onto the airliner. For the crew on MH-17 and the passengers there would have been no warning as the missile streaked skywards at better than 2000 feet per second.

“Malaysian one seven,” instructs the ATC controller, “due traffic proceed direct Romeo November Delta.”

“Romeo November Delta, Malaysian one seven,” Mh-17 replied. The UTC time was 13:16:56. It was the last transmission from the aircraft.

The missile is designed to detonate within 65 feet of its target. From video and photos of the wreckage it is likely that the missile did not strike the aircraft directly. A direct impact wouldn’t have been necessary. With a 154 pound high explosive fragmentation warhead an explosion anywhere near the aircraft would have been devastating. What is certain is that the explosion was instantly catastrophic to the 777.

The missile raced up at the aircraft, passing underneath MH-17’s flight path from right to left at three times the speed of sound. Just below and behind where Captain Wan Amran sat the missile exploded with a blinding flash, probably within 20 to 40 feet of the aircraft and likely above the farm fields between the villages of Tymofiivka and Orlovo-Ivanivka. At the controls, opposite Wan Amran, Eugene Choo Jin Leong would have had no warning and no opportunity to react.

One hour and fifty-six minutes after takeoff Malaysian Airlines flight 17 disappeared from radar screens. It was 9:20am in Washington D.C.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Obama’s Immigration Speech: the Audacity of a Muslim Marxist Dictator

Thought that I would help out the Right with talking points and a proper dissection of of the President’s speech on Immigration. Amazingly I found it very easy to slip into right wing talking mode. It is almost as if those who normally proselytize to the nation on a daily basis, overwhelming the public airwaves with a singular political refrain are less zealots than salesmen; but that’s just my interpretation.

From the very first words uttered Obama, he lied. “My fellow Americans…”? Ha! We never resolved the birth certificate issue, at least not to Michelle Bachmann’s satisfaction. Besides, even if he wasn’t born in Kenya, as the paragon of knowledge and integrity, Donald Trump, who just took an architectural dump on the Chicago skyline by plastering his name in giant letters on a highrise, asserts, Hawaii isn’t really a state either. There are way too many dark people outnumbering the light people. So, no matter where he was born Obama is a foreigner.

“For more than 200 years, our tradition of welcoming immigrants from around the world has given us a tremendous advantage over other nations.” But the truth of it is, Mr. President, this nation has never accepted immigrants, not since the Mayflower, anyway. Oops, I stand corrected, this country welcomed slaves eagerly, sold and traded them regularly for nearly two hundred years. It was just the Irish, Italians, Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, Slavs, Chinese, Japanese and others who were segregated, spit upon, discriminated against, and in at least one case interned in prison camps. Wow, Jews and Muslims do have something in common; being treated like trash by the dominant culture.

What the right needs to figure out is what these filthy Mexicans, carrying ISIS terrorists with Ebola on their backs across the dirty Rio Grande are going to do here. The deposed representative Joe Walsh on his screed of radio program is concerned these immigrants will take American jobs and go on welfare. Which is it? Are they going on welfare or taking jobs? It can’t be both.

And then there are the anchor babies. Oh, don’t get me started on the anchor babies. That should be stricken from the constitution. Just one problem; that was written into the constitution at a time when most people’s parents had come over from Europe, so if we get rid of that, wouldn’t the rule also apply to anchor grandbabies, and great grandbabies, and great-great grandbabies? I know a few Lakota and Ojibway friends would be damned excited should that law go into effect. Great news though, it would also solve the issue of Obama’s citizenship as well. Of course there is also the issue of black folks with a slave heritage. Since it is, and technically was illegal to sell another human being…well, it gets tricky don’t it.

The fact of the matter is, bringing immigrants-I prefer economic refugees- out of the shadows is just bad for business. Dammit! Now all those people will be covered under federal minimum wage laws, workman’s comp laws and OSHA regulations. They might even have the audacity to sign up for insurance and expect safe working conditions. We might have to pay a few more pennies, a nickel or quarter for services, fast food and lawncare. See, it isn’t the guy making 30, 60 or even 90 grand a year picking up a dozen day laborers to work a construction site, or work in his restaurant, or work his estate.

In fairness, Mr. Obama did say that we are “a nation of laws. Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws…” Indeed they did. Facing crime, poverty, unsafe working conditions in American owned factories, pollutions from those same factories, rape and murder by thugs working for those companies, interference with their government at every level and US partnership in massive bribery and corruption of their government those criminals might feel that we are a nation of laws, but those laws end at the border. At least, nominally, within those borders there are laws and human rights, so why not go there, huh?

“… millions of immigrants in every state, of every race and nationality still live here illegally…let’s be honest, tracking down, rounding up and deporting millions of people isn’t realistic. Anyone who suggests otherwise isn’t being straight with you. It’s also not who we are as Americans.” And I couldn’t agree more. It would be impractical to deport them all. It is far more practical to spy on all of them and collect meta-data on everyone here for future use. We already have that capability. It’s called the NSA and law enforcement.

In all seriousness, despite the bluster of the Right and the ass-kissing of the DNC the deal the president so resolutely laid out is nothing. It said nothing and was spectacular in its vagary. There was no compromise or solution, and nothing of benefit to either the so-called illegals or anyone else. Instead it sounded like a slimy used car salesman doing his damndest to pawn a lemon off on a rube. What it sounds like is a repeal of slavery which says at the end of the repeal that if you are convicted of something that slavery is them acceptable. But you judge for yourself:

“…we’re going to offer the following deal: If you’ve with been in America more than five years. If you have children who are American citizens or illegal residents. If you register, pass a criminal background check and you’re willing to pay your fair share of taxes, you’ll be able to apply to stay in this country temporarily without fear of deportation. You can come out of the shadows and get right with the law. That’s what this deal is…This deal does not apply to anyone who has come to this country recently. It does not apply to anyone who might come to America illegally in the future. It does not grant citizenship or the right to stay here permanently, or offer the same benefits that citizens receive”

His words not mine.

The full transcript: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/transcript-obamas-immigration-speech/2014/11/20/14ba8042-7117-11e4-893f-86bd390a3340_story.html


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Evolution American-style

We started with this:
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.[

and went to this:
SEC. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress ; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section and any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment

And got this under George Bush in 2006:
Sec. 333. Interference with State and Federal law
`The President, by using the militia or the armed forces, or both, or by any other :means, shall take such measures as he considers necessary to suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy, if it–
`(1) so hinders the execution of the laws of that State, and of the United States
within the State, that any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, :privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law, and :the constituted authorities of that State are unable, fail, or refuse to protect that :right, privilege, or immunity, or to give that protection; or
`(2) opposes or obstructs the execution of the laws of the United States or impedes :the course of justice under those laws.
In any situation covered by clause (1), the State shall be considered to have :denied the equal protection of the laws secured by the Constitution

Which led to President Obama supporting this by his silence:
cops


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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I Love Ebola!

I know that democrats, Republicans and corporations love Ebola as well. In fact, they love it so much, they are counting on you to fear it, become obsessed by it and ignore everything else they are sliding by you while their media dangles the shiny keys of the Ebola crisis in your face. Here is the short list of things they want you to forget about:

1. Trans Pacific partnership: This trade agreement will override the constitution, negate congressional oversight, reverse gains on the environmental front and loot the US treasury in favor of corporations. Obama wants to fast track ratification after the election.

2. XL keystone Pipeline: The administration put off a vote on this until after the mid terms. The US will see minimal job gains; in the dozens, not hundreds or thousands. The US will see no benefit in lower gas and oil prices. We are essentially the mule for Canada’s dirty fuel which will ultimately be shipped overseas. The Koch brothers will, however, reap tens of billions.

3. Fracking: With the US essentially a pin cushion for frackers communities are being deprived of water, contamination is on the increase, communities are endangered by radioactive waste from fracking, and earthquakes are on the rise in places that have never seen earthquakes before, like Ohio and Arkansas.

4. ISIS The cost not the war: estimates are for $40 billion annually. Pentagon sources say we could be at war with ISIS for 40 years. Sounds like someone is thinking of long term profits. By last count ISIS was thirty thousand men or so. How did we beat the Germans and Japanese simultaneously in the Second World War with a combined force of about 25 million soldiers?

5. The economy: The administration has hit the markers on traditional economic metrics in the economy, like the stock market and the unemployment numbers. The real indicators are private debt, savings and consumer spending. One is way up and two are way down. 85% of the stock market is is controlled by the top 10% earners in the nation. Your 401k, and those of a hundred million other working class Americans is merely the lubricant to the market and represents a miniscule fraction of the market. What they really want is to get a hold of your Social Security. Think of that the next time you are trying to afford the heating bill and there is one of those regular market corrections!

6. Police Militarization: The issue came to light nationally out of the Ferguson issue. A debate on the militarization and growing brutality of the police was just beginning to take shape in the country right about the time the CDC flew home an Ebola patient. A month later the first patient trundles into a Dallas emergency room. Suddenly Ebola is the greatest threat to the union.

That’s just the short list. There are many more things you should be concerned about before Ebola. I didn’t get to government spying, foreclosures, the banks, the next Attorney general, Global Warming, racism, manipulation of gas and oil prices by the government for political gains, global warming induces invasions by insects destroying crops and soil fertility, corporate and special interest interference of the education system, privatization of government services that drive up the cost and inefficiency of government, and more than $1 trillion in subsidies and tax forgiveness to corporations.

If 50,000 people had Ebola your chances, in a country of 380 million, of catching it would be slightly better than winning the lottery. The wife and I have been playing Lotto for about 10 years, 2 tickets per week and haven’t won a penny. The government says that you can only catch it from exposure to an infected person’s feces…never going to be a problem…having someone vomit on you…avoid that…and blood…if you are living in a Law and Order episode! Relax America. There are even worse diseases that are far more common. Heart disease and strokes kill almost a million annually, mostly because people eat way too much fat and salt, but I don’t see authorities setting up checkpoints to confiscate contraband packs of Kraft Mac N Cheese!


CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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Obama’s misteps as tension mounts between NATO and Moscow. An excerpt from the upcoming book, “A TRAGIC FATE: Politics, Oil, the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17and the Looming Threats to Civil Aviation” by Revolution and Beer’s WC Turck

One could not concoct a better scenario for conspiracy and intrigue. The scope and spectrum of the international impact bespeaks the integration of world markets with politics and the micro dynamics of men killing men on an obscure battlefield. The sheer timing of events that Thursday, July 17th 2014 is the stuff of conspiracy, and could not have come together more precisely. Immediately it called to mind the curious and still unexplained activity in the stock market immediately prior to September 11, 2001, when massive bets were made that United Airlines and American Airlines stocks would drop. Stocks sank precipitously for both airlines, which had each lost 2 aircraft in the September attacks.

The problem with history is most often the failure of proper perspective. The trouble with conspiracy or at least the appearance of conspiracy, sometimes is a consequence of a lack of true context, or that it is simply an intentional tool for partisanship. Which isn’t to negate the fact that true conspiracies do occur, and in the aggregate that may well prove true for the tragedy surrounding the shooting down of MH-17. Setting that aside for the moment, what is critical is a consolidation, as best as can be amassed of the context, the events and the human scope of a terrible tragedy and perhaps a criminal act of war.

At the very least, the tragedy indicts all of the parties involved in the conflict. It indicts the Russians and their Ukrainian separatist proxies in eastern Ukraine. While the West may be blamed for missing or even exploiting Russia’s territorial anxieties, Russia cannot simply pander to those anxieties if they expect to interact equitably on the international stage.

Russia is as complex and filled with contradictions as any nation or individual, but basic assumptions can be drawn. These descriptors are illustrative in gaining some understanding of the Russian heart and mind. It is in that understanding that the gaps to building strategies, finding solutions and overcoming issues like the current crisis in Ukraine may be bridged.

There is an exuberant pride tempered by melancholy and stoicism and deepened by the fatalistic resignation to hardship, rooted by a strong and linear traditional heritage. Russia is, by and large, a patriarchal society, with hardly more than a generation, at the time of the MH-17 incident, since the end of the Cold War and opening of the Berlin Wall.

The population of Russia itself, plagued by emigration, poverty, low birth rates and alcoholism has been in decline since that period. Life expectancy for men has remained relatively stagnate since 1959. An April 2012 article in Forbes noted that while Moscow has more billionaires than London and New York, that nearly 20 million Russians lived below the poverty line. Percentage wise in comparison to the United States, the basic number same about the same, however, the standards in either country are much different.
There is a rejection by Russians of the notion of a once great nation broken by the West, and yet that notion nonetheless haunts that rejection. For many Russians the question of who actually won and lost the Cold War is a deeply arguable point. _h0_w628_m6_otrue_lfalse

What all of this argues is that the West has consistently misread and misunderstood Russia and the Russian mind, to the detriment of true progress between nations. In Ukraine, despite the lofty slogans and machinations of democratic principles and sovereignty, Russia feels more than compelled to maintain its interests and security.

The Russians have also acted every bit as bullishly as the West in pursuit of interests outside its own borders, especially with countries it shares a border with. With Ukraine, and the lusty appeal of oil and gas riches in Crimea, the stakes for Russia could not be higher. Add to that an ethnic Russian constituency in strategically import regions of Ukraine and Crimea and the mix becomes volatile. When Russian forces moved into Ukraine on August 29th, 2014 in support of rebel forces fighting Ukrainian forces in key coastal towns on the Sea of Azov, the ultimate strategy was nakedly transparent. The move would consolidate Russia’s direct control over the Sea of Azov, and provide unfettered access to Ukraine along a key road.

From the start of the crisis in Ukraine the West acted out of a mixture of short-sighted greed and fundamental ambivalence to the Russian perspective. Russia acted like a dog chasing a not-too-distant bone. Caught in the middle, on the ground and in the skies are civilians.

In August 1999, former President Clinton met then Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s handpicked successor for the first time. Yeltsin, the son of a mining engineer. Like his predecessor, Yeltsin understood that rebuilding the fracturing Soviet economy was a lost cause without fundamental political and social reforms. Yeltsin was a true reformer, and championed the cause of battling government corruption. His decision to pick a young and politically astute former KGB agent named Vladimir Putin was hardly a rash or ill-informed action for the ailing reformer, Yeltsin. Putin’s record as he rose through the ranks of Russia’s volatile politics reflected at once one of reform, strength and vision.

Clinton noted in his memoir, My Life, that “Putin presented a stark contrast to Yeltsin. Yeltsin was large and stocky; Putin was compact and extremely fit from years of martial arts practice. Yeltsin was voluble; the former KGB agent was measured and precise. I came away from the meeting believing that Yeltsin had picked a successor who had the skills and capacity for hard work necessary to manage Russia’s turbulent political and economical life better than Yeltsin could, given his health problems; Putin had the toughness to defend Russia’s interests and defend Yeltsin’s legacy.”

The final point is debatable, but Putin had a tough uphill battle to defend or reform a system and society far different from the West. In the vacuum created by the collapse of the Soviet system, corporatism and a rise of an exceedingly wealthy and powerful oligarchy wrested control of the economy and with it the reigns of true power. By 2008, according to Forbes, there were 87 billionaire’s in Russia, with a net worth of half a trillion Dollars. Despite Putin’s efforts at reforms, poverty remains an issue, while the quality of life of the average Russian has stagnated or declined. Former defense secretary Robert gates summed up in a January 2014 interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt his perception of Putin’s shortcomings:

“I think Putin is bad for Russia. And I think right now, it’s the Russians that are paying the greatest cost for him being in power, and he potentially could be president of Russia until 2024. And his refusal to open the country up politically, his refusal to encourage, and provide predictability for foreign investment, his regard of all the natural resources as a kind of a natural patrimony, so not any encouraging foreign investment there, and frankly, stealing from Western companies by expropriating what they’ve invested. Russia just has a number of problems. I think that former President Medvedev, who is now again the prime minister, had a pretty good idea what was wrong with Russia and what needed to be done to fix it. But Putin pushed him out of the way. And my own view is, as I say in the book, is Putin’s a man of the past. He’s all about lost glory, lost empire, lost power. And he’s, while he will cooperate with us in certain areas, and one example is he did let the sanctions on Iran go through the U.N. He did agree not to provide the S-300, very advanced air defense system, to the Iranians. And he did let our military equipment go across the Trans-Siberian Railroad to Afghanistan. Even with all that, he’s not going to miss an opportunity to embarrass us or create problems for us.”

But the fact that Medvedev could be brushed aside by Putin is evidence that is was not the right leader to reign in the oligarchs, battle rampant crime and corruption and satisfy flagging Russian national pride as their patriarchal icon. That speaks to Gate’s over simplification that Putin is a man of the past; about lost glory, lost empire, lost power. In national security, national pride and ego are equally important components. Likewise they are critical to forging a national focus, whether political, social or economic, and that is the key to Putin’s power and perspective.

But the blame is hardly all on the West’s side. Putin also has shown a fundamental ignorance of the Western perspective. From the short-term gains of defense spending and arms sales to exports of gas and oil, while Putin has used these as rudimentary peasant-like marketplace tools to maintain or wield power. He seems not to understand or care that the West, and particularly the Obama administration, convolutes vague notions of freedom with unfettered or predatory market economics. Russian banks are bludgeon tools to the state run defense and oil concerns, spinning their wheels in a bid with China and other nations to create a new monetary alternative, or simply keep the Ruble afloat with the burden of 21st Century oil and gas realities around its neck.

The Russian market reforms of the 1990s saw the privatization of certain sectors of the economy. The exceptions were in defense and oil, which remained solidly, strategically and predictably in the state’s hands. It belies several differences, socially, economically and politically from the West and the United States. The first is that Russia and its economy are ties to the production, refining and sale of oil and gas far more than the US. An estimated 40% of Europe’s gas needs are pipelined from Russia through Ukraine, and some 70% of the country’s exports are oil and gas. A correlation can be made between the rise of oil prices since the mid 1990s and the precipitous rise of Russia’s gross domestic product, GDP. When, following US led sanctions in the wake of the downing of MH-17, Putin remarked that they did not even consider the vast oil and gas reserves in the Crimea region, even the average observer would have believed it a work of fiction.

That, for a nation so animated historically over the vehement, often blind defense of its borders, as in the cases of KAL 902 and 007, the near monopolistic dependence on oil and gas exports is a supreme and potentially disastrous liability. It is that weakness which the Obama administration sought to exploit with sanctions beginning in the winter 2014 over Crimea, and mounting that summer over MH-17, Russian military incursions and rebel support in eastern Ukraine.

At a fundraiser for her eventual 2016 presidential bid, Hillary Clinton was quoted in the Long Beach Press Telegram that Putin’s actions in Crimea sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s, All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying, They’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people,’ and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.”

Nor is Putin, as the hawkish Arizona Senator John McCain described on FOX News in August, a thug with aspirations of reawakening the Russian bear.

Both were ridiculous statements. What Vladimir Putin is not is Hitler and he is not a thug. Crimea is not Czechoslovakia or the Sudetenland. But Putin also cannot be absolved of violations of international law. The recognition of sovereign national borders is a tenant of 21st Century international stability. There can be no dispute that Russia and Putin have failed to adequately respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine in a grab for oil, gas and strategic resources, but then neither has the West. In the case of Ukraine, both Russia and the West are guilty of violating international law with respect to Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence. Putin’s willingness to use the cover of so-called ethnic and national sympathizes is cynical and antithetical to the interests of Russia and its people. Sadly, he is left with few options.

Still, the lessons of history cannot be ignored. The sanctions and pressure from the US and the West may have enlivened many of those old Russian anxieties. Vladimir Putin, who entered the KGB in the dangerous years of the mid-1980s would not have been immune from pervasive, even obsessive fears of a US-led first strike against the Soviet Union. There are indications some of those old Russian fears about outside threats began to surface with Putin. Germany’s Bild Newspaper reported on a telephone conversation between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Obama in which she reportedly wondered whether Putin was “still in touch with reality.”

By July Merkel seemed to have amended those views, which may revealed a moment of frustration for the German leader. Meeting before the World Cup soccer finals in Brazil on July 13th, days before the shoot down, there seemed some small movement towards progress. Spokesman for Putin, Dmitry Peskov told Reuters that both leaders had “stressed the necessity to urgently resume the work of a contact group on Ukraine, possibly in the format of a video conference. It is their common opinion that, in order for the contact group to resume its work, a ceasefire needs to be declared as soon as possible.”

Additional blame in the Ukraine crisis must be leveled directly at the Press. It was natural that the Russian press would side with Putin. In the United States the growing crisis became something far less predictable. A partisan, decidedly anti-Obama American press helped to stir a substantial component of egotism which became a part of the impasse and competition between Obama and Putin, and by extension; the US and Russia. The effect was to convolute the facts of what was happening in Ukraine and to undermine the public’s opportunity to understand the stakes involved in the crisis.

Throughout the winter and spring of 2014 that so-called anti-Obama Press resounded with base and insulting comparisons and contrasts about the two leaders. Charles Krauthammer called Putin and Obama mismatched in favor of President Putin. The level of commentary from sources such as FOX News and others descended quickly from there. Broadcasters gleefully talked about Putin’s manliness in contrast to Obama in the most obtuse and latently homo-erotic manner. Talk host Sean Hannity, with KT McFarland described Vladimir Putin’s “rock-hard abs.” One site put it this way:

On one hand you have the former KGB agent, Putin, who is seen as an uber masculine machine and a picture of physical strength and stamina. Photos have surfaced on the internet with him (shirtless) riding on the back of a horse and a photo shopped grizzly bear in the wild; an image that would suggest he’s a real manly man. He is a proud Russian with a large ego and is precise about what he says and means and does what he says he will do. On the other hand, you have Obama, the former community organizer who is seen as a mom-jeans-wearing “Steve Urkel” type. Instead of horses and bears, he prefers a Daisy 3 speed bike and a safety helmet as his means of transportation…http://clashdaily.com/2014/03/putinobama-phenomenon-james-bond-vs-steve-urkel/

Former Presidential candidate Allen West even went so far as to demean the first lady Michelle Obama’s appearance in comparison to Putin’s wife: “Putin married this soft-spoken beauty…Obama…..well….”

But it may all have been a ruse, or at least a broader effort to delude or confuse the public about what was really at play over Ukraine. At the very least criticism of the Obama administration seemed designed to make broader arguments in support of the Keystone XL pipeline debate in the United States and to shift European dependence on Russian gas with dependence on American gas, or at the very least Ukrainian gas which was more and more under nominal, if not direct US control. In early March Fox contributor and big-energy advocate KT McFarland offered Obama advice on dealing with Putin and the Russians.

“We can do what we did in the 1980s,” she said, “push down the price of oil, in this case by fracking and use our abundance of natural gas resources that we’ve had just in the last few years and start selling them to Europe. What would that do for Putin? If he can’t have high oil prices and high gas prices to Europe, he can’t meet payroll. If the cost per barrel goes below a hundred dollars per barrel Putin is in trouble…”

McFarland was referring to manipulations in the market and a collapse of quotas under OPEC in 1985 that had a devastating impact on the Russian economy, which was emerging as the world’s biggest oil and gas producer at the time. For McFarland, who regularly blusters about the so-called “free market” unburdened by government interference and regulations, the statements seemed a glaring contradiction.

It was already obvious, as the world reacted to Russia’s annexation efforts of Crimea, in early 2014 that the Russian Ruble was Putin’s Achilles heel. It was too closely dependent on oil, of which the total Russian economy was dependent. That would have been obvious to the Obama administration as well. Just three days after McFarland’s remarks Businessweek published an article connecting Ukraine and the viability of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Soon after Senator Mary Landrieu, democrat and chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, began making the case that the pipeline would offer a solution to Europe’s gas worries.

On March 27th,, in the wake of Washington’s first round of sanctions on individuals, many connected directly to Russia’s energy concerns, Landrieu released a statement following passage of a bill authorizing $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine:

“Today’s vote to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to help stabilize Ukraine’s economy is a good first step toward helping the millions of Ukrainians and Eastern Europeans affected by the tyrannical ambitions of Vladimir Putin. I am committed to bolstering this effort. As Chair of the Senate Energy Committee, I will continue my work to increase domestic energy production and make the US a global leader in energy exports. America can and should be an energy superpower that helps our allies across the globe. One of Putin’s greatest weapons is the gas that Russia produces and sells to countries like the Ukraine and Lithuania. By entering the market and giving these nations someplace else to buy gas, we will break the stranglehold of despots like Putin, who use their energy stockpiles to crush the freedoms of neighboring nations. The last thing President Putin and his cronies wants is competition from the United States of America in the energy race, and I look forward to playing a leading role to bring energy security and independence to America and its democratic allies around the world to advance the cause of freedom. ”

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 98-2. A strong case can be made that the Ukrainian people were not the primary reason for the vote.

That spring, on nervousness regarding Russian troop concentrations on the Ukraine border, Crimea and disruptions in oil helped drive the price of oil to around an average of$105 per barrel. The price dropped, unseasonably, and with additional concerns over Islamic State successes in Iraq and Syria to under $95 a barrel; odd given the inherent emotional uncertainty in investors who generally reacted on far less than the market was facing during the summer of 2014. The weakness in the oil market was great news for the US public and helped to spur consumer spending. It also benefitted Halliburton, actively engaged in Ukraine, making its stocks more attractive and accessible to investors.

The price per barrel of oil is a key factor here, for both Russia and the US. Russia budget’s its economy based on an average per barrel cost for oil of around $114. Below that, given their near monopolistic reliance on oil, the effects of lower oil costs begin strangling the economy very quickly. The effect is opposite that of Europe and, in particular, the United States, in which a drop in oil prices can have a benefit to the economy, particularly on the consumer side. Russia’s best card to play in that dangerous game was to maintain heightened tensions and the threat of direct military intervention in Ukraine, which is exactly what happened at the end of August. In part on rising tensions, reports of Russian regulars fighting in Ukraine and Kiev’s fears of a full scale conflict, the price of crude oil had climbed above $103 per barrel.

The downing of MH-17 changed everything. And there is reason to believe that the Russian leadership was just as shocked by the tragedy as the rest of the world. That eve3ning, meeting with economic advisors he released a statement, which was translated by the Associated Press:

You know that a terrible event occurred today in the sky over Ukraine, an awful tragedy — a civilian plane was killed, 285 people, according to preliminary information, were killed.
On behalf of the Russian leadership and the Russian government, we express condolences to the bereaved families, the governments of those countries whose nationals were on that plane. I ask you to honor their memory.
In this regard, I want to note that this tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine. And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy.
I have already given instructions to the military departments to provide all necessary assistance in the investigation of this crime. And I also ask the government of the Russian Federation through the available civilian agencies that have the capability to do everything for a thorough investigation of this event. We will do everything — everything that depends on us, anyway — in order that the objective picture of what happened is part of the public domain here, in Ukraine and in the rest of the world. This is an absolutely unacceptable thing, and no one has the right to let this pass without the appropriate conclusions and without all of us having objective information about the incident.

But what other consequence could the use of violence and force by both the US-backed Kiev government and the Russian-backed rebels have? MH-17 was a tragedy waiting to happen.

Regardless of who fired the missile the US and Russian leadership had created the environment which allowed the tragedy to take place. All the parties to the conflict had been distracted in the rush for resources and in the folly of what amounted to a national pissing contest that no one was concerned for the safety of international civilian air travel. The airlines placed their trust in authorities whose facilities and priorities lay elsewhere. What appeared at first appeared to be an open window for peace, from those casual discussions between Chancellor Merkel and Putin in Brazil, and which might have prevented the destruction of MH-17, had been extinguished in the blink of an eye.

By late August those strains were showing once more. As Ukrainian forces pressed their assaults in the east and against Luhansk and Donetsk. While government forces appeared to advance in the north east, Russian-backed rebels had suddenly opened up a new front along the northern coast on the Sea of Azov. Putin’s statements on the 29th appeared defiant, but betrayed a growing pressure for the Russian leader as he compared Ukrainian military actions against Luhansk and Donetsk to the Nazi siege of Leningrad during the Second World War.

“Small villages and large cities surrounded by the Ukrainian army which is directly hitting residential areas with the aim of destroying the infrastructure,” Putin said. “It sadly reminds me the events of the Second World War, when German fascist … occupiers surrounded our cities.”

The statement was imprudent; theatre for ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, and for the folks at home. It also illustrates that pillar of Russian national identity and its inherent insecurity forever mired in a past defined through centuries of invasion. It may be an oversimplification in the Russian mind, but what becomes culture and heritage for any nation is of a history and choosing all its own.

As the current figurehead of that culture and history, there are differing views of Vladimir Putin. They are all subjective. What is not in dispute is that he is Russian, and his prime motivation will be towards the security and prosperity of his homeland, and to that task he seems singularly focused.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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The ISIS Overreaction. No strategy may be part of the strategy. A new rant from the FILTHY PUNDIT(He ought to have his mouth washed out with soap) Politics, way over the %$#@ing top!………………..

Do something! Why doesn’t Obama have a strategy? Just go bomb ISIS back to the stone-a…okay, pre-stone-age. I am not an Obama apologist, and I advocate a robust reaction to ISIS, but people, PLEEAASSEE! The just-do-something syndrome is as dangerous in this instance as the don’t-do-nothing paralysis. For all of the experts who either can compel us that war is never the answer and we should just ignore ISIS like a petulant child until they realize their erroneous ways to the war pornographers who want to ride, or ride someone’s kid over the hill in some Yee-ha, cheap beer swillin,’ flag waving sporting event, where are the real questions for all these self-infatuated experts? Jumping in with both feet on this one just cuz ya gotta have a strategy to satisfy most people in this country who would struggle to find Syria on a map, let alone bomb it is dangerous.

But FOX and the Republicans are hysterical over Muslims, Muslims, Muslims everywhere! So we jump in hard. Does that become a giant lightening rod for Jihadists, a tipping point for moderates, a call to arms out of sympathy? And then what? A bombing campaign must be backed up with a longer term strategy on the ground and internationally. What does the US-led bombing of Sunnis in Iraq mean for the ethnic divisions strained to the breaking point in Iraq? Those opposing ISIS on the ground are fractured, factionalized and often beleaguered.

ISIS has drawn thousands to their ranks amid porous borders that would make the Mexican/American border look like the Berlin Wall by comparison. What happens to those people? Who polices them up? Who restores order without turning genocidal or vengeful against otherwise peaceful and victimized Sunnis caught in the middle of the Sunni fanatics of ISIS? What is they scatter and export violence in an ill-conceived war? What stabilizes the region in the longer term that prevents this from flaring again? Because those answers are difficult doesn’t mean we do nothing, by the way.

As for Syria, Assad is not suddenly our pal, but there is a semblance of stability across extremist Sunni and Shia lines, but there is also legitimacy to the original rebellion which was co-opted, and from which sprang this extremism. Here’s the deal. The world isn’t a cartoon. It is complex, which is not a call for inaction, but rather caution, planning, perspective and wisdom. After the major fuck ups of foreign policy the past 40 years by this country, we ought to be wise as old owls! If you absolutely have to stick something into the wall socket, you’d better damn well turn off the breakers feeding the current, or at the very least make sure you are grounded. Jamming something in the wall, otherwise, will likely bring a world of unexpected surprises…and none of them are good.

CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

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