Archive for March, 2011


Following closely on the heels of a former high-level staffer who admitted recently that “we just make this stuff up,” and that his sole editorial guidance had been to simply “think like an intolerant meathead,” this revelation really leaves one wondering why any credulous person would not figure out that the purpose of Fox News is to deceive and manipulate, and certainly not to inform.

For a “journalism” organization that doesn’t even *have* a standards manual, much less enforce one, to claim that it is “fair and balanced,” truly stretches credulity, so it is hardly surprising that the recent revelation above, considered together with this one, reveal Fox News to actually be what it is often accused of being – little more than Rupert Murdoch’s personal propaganda channel.

The arrogance of capital, the naïve, trusting, intellectually lazy credulity of the conservative Great Unwashed.  No wonder the Enlightenment is on the ropes.



Cruise Ship Confession: Top Fox News Executive Admits Lying On-Air About Obama

Tuesday 29 March 2011

by: Eric Hananoki

In newly uncovered audio, a Fox News executive boasts that he lied repeatedly during the closing days of the 2008 presidential campaign when he speculated on-air “about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism.”

Speaking in 2009 onboard a pricey Mediterranean cruise sponsored by a right-wing college, Fox Washington managing editor Bill Sammon described his attempts the previous year to link Obama to “socialism” as “mischievous speculation.” Sammon, who is also a Fox News vice president, acknowledged that “privately” he had believed that the socialism allegation was “rather far-fetched.”

“Last year, candidate Barack Obama stood on a sidewalk in Toledo, Ohio, and first let it slip to Joe the Plumber that he wanted to quote, ‘spread the wealth around,’ ” said Sammon. “At that time, I have to admit, that I went on TV on Fox News and publicly engaged in what I guess was some rather mischievous speculation about whether Barack Obama really advocated socialism, a premise that privately I found rather far-fetched.”

Indeed, in the weeks leading up to the 2008 election, Sammon used his Fox position to engage in a campaign to tie Obama to “Marxists” and “socialism.” A Media Matters review found that Sammon – then the network’s Washington deputy managing editor – repeatedly linked Obama’s “spread the wealth around” remark to socialism during his October 2008 Fox appearances.

Sammon’s “mischief” wasn’t limited to his on-air appearances. As Media Matters reported, Sammon also pushed Fox News colleagues to play the socialism card. On October 27, 2008, Sammon sent an email to staffers highlighting what he described as “Obama’s references to socialism, liberalism, Marxism and Marxists” in his 1995 autobiography Dreams From My Father. Shortly after sending the email, Sammon appeared on two Fox News programs to discuss his research and also wrote a piece about Obama’s “affinity to Marxists.”



Um, lets see now…  This Libyan defector comes to the U.S. from Libya and just hangs out in suburban Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC, for two decades, with no visible means of support, and now, in a sudden burst of patriotism, feels compelled to go back to Libya to instantly be appointed the head of the opposition army, just at the moment Uncle Barry starts dropping bombs on the Qaddafi’s troops…

…What else is in suburban Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC? Any ideas?  Got a guess?

Why, it’s the town of Langley, boys and girls!  The world headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency!

Where lots of folks with no visible means of support just seem to like to go hang out…  Until a revolution just seems to break out spontaneously back home, of course…

Could it be…?



Libyan rebel leader spent much of past 20 years in suburban Virginia

By Chris Adams | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON – The new leader of Libya’s opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled — even in his late-60s — to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him.

Khalifa Hifter was once a top military officer for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but after a disastrous military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s, Hifter switched to the anti-Gadhafi opposition. In the early 1990s, he moved to suburban Virginia, where he established a life but maintained ties to anti-Gadhafi groups.

Late last week, Hifter was appointed to lead the rebel army, which has been in chaos for weeks. He is the third such leader in less than a month, and rebels interviewed in Libya openly voiced distrust for the most recent leader, Abdel Fatah Younes, who had been at Gadhafi’s side until just a month ago…

…Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Hifter lived in suburban Virginia outside Washington, D.C. Badr said he was unsure exactly what Hifter did to support himself, and that Hifter primarily focused on helping his large family.

March 29, 2011

The rebels in Libya are in the middle of a life or death civil war and Moammar Gadhafi is still in power and yet somehow the Libyan rebels have had enough time to establish a new Central Bank of Libya and form a new national oil company.  Perhaps when this conflict is over those rebels can become time management consultants.  They sure do get a lot done.  What a skilled bunch of rebels – they can fight a war during the day and draw up a new central bank and a new national oil company at night without any outside help whatsoever.  If only the rest of us were so versatile!  But isn’t forming a central bank something that could be done after the civil war is over?  According to Bloomberg, the Transitional National Council has “designated the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and the appointment of a governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”  Apparently someone felt that it was very important to get pesky matters such as control of the banks and control of the money supply out of the way even before a new government is formed.

Of course it is probably safe to assume that the new Central Bank of Libya will be 100% owned and 100% controlled by the newly liberated people of Libya, isn’t it?

Most people don’t realize that the previous Central Bank of Libya was 100% state owned. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia’s article on the former Central Bank of Libya….

The Central Bank of Libya (CBL) is 100% state owned and represents the monetary authority in The Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and enjoys the status of autonomous corporate body. The law establishing the CBL stipulates that the objectives of the central bank shall be to maintain monetary stability in Libya , and to promote the sustained growth of the economy in accordance with the general economic policy of the state.

Since the old Central Bank of Libya was state owned, it was essentially under the control of Moammar Gadhafi.

But now that Libya is going to be “free”, the new Central Bank of Libya will be run by Libyans and solely for the benefit of Libyans, right?

Of course it is probably safe to assume that will be the case with the new national oil company as well, isn’t it?

Over the past couple of years, Moammar Gadhafi had threatened to nationalize the oil industry in Libya and kick western oil companies out of the country, but now that Libya will be “free” the people of Libya will be able to work hand in hand with “big oil” and this will create a better Libya for everyone.


Of course oil had absolutely nothing to do with why the U.S. “inva—” (scratch that) “initiated a kinetic humanitarian liberty action” in Libya.

When Barack Obama looked straight into the camera and told the American people that the war in Libya is in the “strategic interest” of the United States, surely he was not referring to oil.

After all, war for oil was a “Bush thing”, right?  The Democrats voted for Obama to end wars like this, right?  Surely no prominent Democrats will publicly support this war in Libya, right?

Surely Barack Obama will end the bombing of Libya if the international community begins to object, right?

Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize.  He wouldn’t deeply upset the other major powers on the globe and bring us closer to World War III, would he?

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has loudly denounced “coalition strikes on columns of Gaddafi’s forces” and he believes that the U.S. has badly violated the terms of the UN Security Council resolution….

“We consider that intervention by the coalition in what is essentially an internal civil war is not sanctioned by the U.N. Security Council resolution.”

So to cool off rising tensions with the rest of the world, Obama is going to call off the air strikes, right?

Well, considering the fact that Obama has such vast foreign policy experience we should all be able to rest easy knowing that Obama will understand exactly what to do.

Meanwhile, the rebels seem to be getting the hang of international trade already.

They have even signed an oil deal with Qatar!

Rebel “spokesman” Ali Tarhouni has announced that oil exports to Qatar will begin in “less than a week”.

Who knew that the rag tag group of rebels in Libya were also masters of banking and international trade?

We sure do live in a strange world.

Tonight, Barack Obama told the American people the following….

“Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different.”

So now we are going to police all of the atrocities in all of the other countries around the globe?

The last time I checked, the government was gunning down protesters in Syria.

Is it time to start warming up the Tomahawks?

Or do we reserve “humanitarian interventions” only for those nations that have a lot of oil?

In fact, atrocities are currently being committed all over Africa and in about a dozen different nations in the Middle East.

Should we institute a draft so that we will have enough young men and women to police the world with?

We all have to be ready to serve our country, right?

The world is becoming a smaller place every day, and you never know where U.S. “strategic interests” are going to be threatened next.

The rest of the world understands that we know best, right?

Of course the rest of the world can surely see our good intentions in Libya, can’t they?

Tensions with Russia, China and the rest of the Arab world are certainly going to subside after they all see how selfless our “humanitarian intervention” has been in Libya, don’t you think?

In all seriousness, we now live in a world where nothing is stable anymore.  Wars and revolutions are breaking out all over the globe, unprecedented natural disasters are happening with alarming frequency and the global economy is on the verge of total collapse.

By interfering in Libya, we are just making things worse.  Gadhafi is certainly a horrible dictator, but this was a fight for the Libyan people to sort out.

We promised the rest of the world that we were only going to be setting up a “no fly zone”.  By violating the terms of the UN Security Council resolution, we have shown other nations that we cannot be trusted and by our actions we have increased tensions all over the globe.

So what do all of you think about what is going on in Libya?  Please feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

Posted: March 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Madness of a Lost Society

Posted: March 28, 2011 in Uncategorized


Well, if you ever had any doubts that neocons, Tea Partiers and the Republican party are doing their damnedest to drag us back into a medieval, feudalist society, this should put those doubts well and truly to rest.

With the bill in the Iowa legislature to abolish restrictions on child labor, the bill currently making its way through the Wisconsin legislature to abolish ALL collective bargaining rights, and now the ability of creditors to have debtors thrown in jail – about to be codifed into law in Connecticut, we can all read Charles Dickens’ novels and recognize that the conditions described could soon describe the United States of America in the 21st Century.

Aren’t you glad you live in a conservative-dominated country?  Don’t you wish everyone did?



Welcome to Debtors’ Prison, 2011 Edition

Some lawmakers, judges and regulators are trying to rein in the debt-collection industry’s use of arrest warrants to recoup money owed by borrowers who are behind on credit-card payments, auto loans and other bills.

More than a third of all U.S. states allow borrowers who can’t or won’t pay to be jailed. Judges have signed off on more than 5,000 such warrants since the start of 2010 in nine counties with a total population of 13.6 million people, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal of filings in those counties…


Well, Egyptian democracy was too good to last.  The Egyptian military didn’t want it – bad for business.  The U.S. certainly didn’t want it, but worse than that, Egyptian democracy scares the living bejeezus out of Israel.  And so it had to go.  No matter what.

And so it has.

Here are the details of how the new Egyptian military government has opted for repression and is now cracking down – and shows disturbing signs of being even more repressive than was the Mubarak regime it replaced.



Egyptian workers face US-backed counter-revolution
By Bill Van Auken
Friday, Mar 25, 2011

25 March 2011

The promulgation this week in Egypt of a decree banning strikes and protests has laid bare the real character of the military-controlled regime that succeeded the US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak.

According to AhramOnline, the decree: “criminalizes strikes, protests, demonstrations and sit-ins that interrupt private or state-owned businesses or affect the economy in any way. The decree-law also assigns severe punishments to those who call for or incite action, with the maximum sentence one year in prisons and fines of up to half a million pounds [US-$84,000].”

In other words, the regime is attempting to outlaw and criminalize the very methods used by millions of Egyptians to oppose Mubarak and—after 18 days of mass demonstrations—drive him from power on February 11.

Moreover, the decree is meant above all to set the legal framework to violently suppress the heroic struggles of the Egyptian working class, whose mass strikes continued to escalate during the four years preceding last month’s protests in Tahrir Square.

In the wake of Mubarak’s downfall, workers throughout the country have sought to press their demands for increased wages, the right to employment, full democratic rights and the sacking of managers and union bureaucrats who served the dictatorship.

In recent weeks railway workers, pharmacists, doctors, store clerks, media workers, pensioners and even the police have staged strikes, protests and sit-ins that would be criminal offenses under the new law. Just days before the announcement of the decree, over 1,000 temporary contract workers at the Suez petroleum company, Petrojet, staged a mass sit-in to protest layoffs and demand their right to be treated as full-time employees.

The working class has interpreted the successful ouster of a dictator who had ruled the country for 31 years as a victory that should bring with it the satisfaction of their just demands.

“We really had hopes that the new government will support us and look into our demands,” Ali Fotouh, a driver in the public transportation system told AhramOnline. “We expected them to say we have all of your legal demands on our desks and there is a timeline of a month or two within which they will be achieved…This is not fair, why don’t you solve our demands so we don’t go on strike. The tone reminds me of the old days of Mubarak, threats and oppression used by the regime.”

Mubarak’s successors, organized in the Supreme Armed Forces Council headed by Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, who served as the dictator’s defense minister for two decades, have drawn a diametrically opposite conclusion. The military command is bound inseparably to Egypt’s corrupt wealthy elite of which it is a part. It sees the fall of the dictator as a signal that the regime must be consolidated around the massive security apparatus that remains firmly in place, while utilizing the services of bourgeois “opposition” elements, ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood to figures like Mohamed ElBaradei and Amr Mousa, to provide it with a democratic fig-leaf.

In the past few weeks, the counterrevolutionary aims and methods of the regime headed by Field Marshal Tantawi have become ever more open and increasingly directed at quelling the struggles of the working class.

On March 9, armed troops and plainclothes thugs wielding metal pipes, clubs and electric cables violently cleared Cairo’s Tahrir Square, beating up demonstrators who had been there since January 28. Hundreds were dragged to a make-shift detention camp where they were tortured with electric shocks, beaten and subjected to sexual abuse.

Similar violence was used to disperse Coptic Christians demonstrating outside the state television and radio building in Cairo over the burning of a church. There is mounting evidence that the regime is deliberately stoking sectarian divisions in a bid to divert social struggles.

And this week the regime imposed constitutional amendments drawn up by a commission appointed by the Supreme Armed Forces Command and approved in a hastily convened referendum. While the new interim rules leave open when and how elections will ultimately be organized, they maintain firmly in place the state of emergency through which Egypt has been ruled ever since the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981 and continue the absolute powers granted to the presidency that formed the constitutional underpinning of the Mubarak regime.

The developments in Egypt, together with the bloody repression in Yemen, Bahrain and Syria and now the unleashing of an imperialist war in Libya, make it clear that the “Arab Spring” has drawn to a close. They have demolished any basis for illusions that peaceful protest and the toppling of one or another hated dictator can, in and of themselves, bring about genuine democratic and social transformation, or that the aspirations of the workers and the oppressed can be realized under the tutelage of bourgeois parties and politicians.

The ouster of Mubarak was an undoubted victory and a demonstration of the immense social power of the Egyptian working class. Mubarak, the military, the Egyptian ruling elite and the regime’s principal patrons in Washington were unable to impose their “orderly transition” that would have left the dictator in power to directly fashion the regime that would succeed him. They were forced to make a humiliating tactical retreat in the face of the mass movement of strikes and protests that gripped Egypt.

Yet the principal issues that gave rise to these mass struggles remain unresolved; the revolution that began on January 25 remains uncompleted. The removal of Mubarak was only its very first step.

The conditions of mass unemployment, particularly for younger Egyptians, remain unchanged, as do living standards that have fallen woefully behind rising costs of basic necessities. The chasm between the tens of millions living in poverty and a wealthy elite that, in alliance with foreign capital, has looted the country’s economy remains just as wide as ever. And the worsening of social conditions brought on by the world capitalist crisis continues.

And the military, which formed the bedrock of Mubarak’s regime, remains firmly in power, backed to the hilt by Washington. It was not merely a coincidence that the decree banning strikes and protests was announced on the same day that US Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Cairo to praise the “constructive role” of the Egyptian military in maintaining “stability” and to promise to continue funneling billions of dollars in US aid to back its counterrevolutionary operations.

The gains won by the mass struggles of the Egyptian people against the Mubarak regime are threatened. They can be defended and carried forward only by means of a new political strategy based upon the mobilization of the working class in the struggle to overthrow the military regime that represents the interests of Egyptian and foreign capital and replace it with a workers’ government.

The Egyptian events have verified once again Trotsky’s Theory of Permanent Revolution, which established that the struggle for basic demands of democratic rights and equality can be realized only on the basis of a socialist program and the struggle for power by the working class.