Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Pussy - I know nuthing

A time line of torture, who knew what and when. Important to note that the U.S. government executed Japanese soldiers after WWII for their part in water boarding prisoners. And if they think they can get off via some statute of limitations law they'd better think again. We're still capturing and convicting WWII German war criminals some 70 years later. So according to the following article not only did Bush and Cheney know about the torture they approved its' use.

The CIA director claims they did not know how to conduct such an interrogation program. I say Horse Shit!  They would have looked no further than the School of the Americas for instruction as to establishing such a program although I doubt they had to. They've been interrogating prisoners since the end of WWII. The school of the Americas - The school was founded in 1946 and from 1961 was assigned the specific goal of teaching "anti-communist counterinsurgency training," a role which it would fulfill for the rest of the Cold War. In this period, it educated several Latin American dictators, generations of their military and, during the 1980s, included the uses of torture in its curriculum. In 2000/2001, the institute was renamed to WHINSEC.

To say that torture worked would be far from the truth no matter what they try tell you. We were getting the truth until the CIA stepped in with its' heavy handed and brutal methods. FBI interrogator Ali Soufan  was gaining much information from high ranking suspect Abu Zubayduh about the way Al Qaeda operated. From his own recalling of events Ali concludes that if the president and congress don't act in this matter then it will surely happen again in the future. It also sends a message to foreign countries that any technique is fair game and they're be no consequences if caught. And if anyone should know that torture doesn't work it would be John McCain who was captured and tortured in Vietnam. He stated that under duress you will tell an interrogator what he wants to hear to get him to stop knowing that the information is false.

So will we move forward and put an end to this madness? I doubt it. History has a way of repeating itself from the Civil War onward, but before we mound our moral high horse and cast criticisms on other nations we'd better take a good hard look at how we operate.

Bank fails later...
No fails this week keep spending

Friday, December 5, 2014

Friday Pussy - Us vs Them

Reality isn't always what it's cut out to be. Is there prejudice ? Of course there is otherwise we'd all wear the exact same clothing and hair styles. And note when working on a job site with multi racial folks when lunchtime comes they all gravitate in groups to their own familiar cliques. But that's not to say it's out of some underlying hate. It's just the way we are as humans. May date back to survival of the group. It now seems the police in this country have taken that to a whole new level. It's now an "us against them mentality". If you aren't part of the police force then you're one of "them". So who are they protecting and serving now?

There was a time when a cop could go his entire career and not once pull his service revolver from its holster. Yes they carried a six shot 38 special if memory serves correct. But these days they're looking more and more like they're going to do combat maneuvers. When did the attitudes change? And what ever happened to probable cause? And while other countries might look on us like the old west we're really not. Granted we have more guns per capita then anyone else on the planet but the bulk of them are collecting dust in the backs of closets. But one only has too look at our movies and TV shows to see an ever increasing level of violence the message being might makes right. Sadly that's become a large part of our foreign policy too.

I think part of the problem is that we are slowly becoming totally disconnected from humanity. How so you might ask? We hop in the car and are immediately disconnected from others. Slow moving granny is no longer that sweet old lady down the lane, she becomes a thing an interference in your way slowing you down.
Then of course there's cell phones and texting. What better way to shut out the world than to watch as a person chin down and thumbs racing be focused and devoid of their surroundings. TV used to be the "drug" of days past. What drug could make you sit for hours with a blank stare on your face watching a piece of furniture? In short we're losing our sense of real human interaction. Even this post has its' drawbacks as we can't see the expression on you faces as you read it.

Back to the original idea. We're taught at a very early age to separate items in terms of same and different with no mention of good or bad. Now it seems entire groups are labeled good or bad.  When was it that people started to become just things, objectified as yet another statistic or notch on a belt of a policeman's report ? Then there's the last thing to consider. One slip up or lapse of logic and it could be you lying there dead on the pavement. All because you looked like one of "them".  Didn't think about that did you?

Bank fails later...
No bank fails this week keep shopping.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday Pussy

Caption: Catnip - check, Tuna - check, Play mouse - check. Now where's the masters credit card and when can Amazon have this delivered?

The entire holiday stick has just lost its' luster I guess. May be due to an aging population or maybe there's no room left in the closet for the once used Chia pets of Christmases past. Do you really need a computerized electronic nose hair trimmer? Cross that one off your list aunt Martha. Quit chuckling and put it back on the shelf. And what was to be so thankful for this fine holiday season? Twenty five million around the world are parked in tents in the desert or living in bombed out buildings. So what joy do we get? Fifty cents off the price of gas at the pump is no great prize. You can now afford to drive to the mall but the bank statement says that's about it so why bother? Now think for a minute the absolute worst gift you've ever received and pop them in the comments. A certain extended ivory handled shoe horn comes to mind for me which at the time was when I took a liking to wearing boots. Like a comb and brush set for a bald man (bad example I know but it was on the top of my head, pun intended).

Ah but let's get to the meat of this little morning mental excursion:

I once recall one of those magic moments, an epiphany if you will, of the sheer insanity of consumerism that pervades the season. One Christmas morning after the floor was strewn with wrapping paper, precious satin bows had been saved and the excitement of the moment had waned, that core concept slapped me in the face of the absurdity of it all. Sneaking gifts into the house and running upstairs so no prying eyes would be let on to the surprise, then carefully (or not) wrapping presents to be nonchalantly placed under the tree. So in a nut shell it was wrap presents upstairs bring them down to be unwrapped then to be returned upstairs to the recipients' room. (I was older then so no toys strewn about the living room.)

When this epiphany struck me one fine Christmas morning I pointed it out to my father who with his droll sense of humor not bothering to look up from the newspaper he was reading quipped "What fools these mortals be."

No bank fails this past week but there's still a month to go.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday beaver does a temporary encore - Massey mine disaster relook

It was four and a half years ago I reported about this and never thought for once that a CEO might go to jail. The original story from my first posting  Seems I was dead on about what was going on in his mine.

In 1992 Don Blankenship was appointed the President, Chairman and CEO of Massey  Coal Company one of the largest in the U.S. He was the head when an explosion at the Upper Branch Mine took the lives of 29 miners. This happened in April 2010. By December Blankenship resigned saying he was retiring. The year prior to the accident the mine was cited for 458 safety violations 50 of which were failure to comply. (You're talking criminal acts here.)

Four years later
Don Blankenship, the longtime chief executive officer of Massey Energy, was indicted Thursday on charges that he orchestrated the routine violation of key federal mine safety rules at the company’s Upper Big Branch Mine prior to an April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners.

“Blankenship knew that UBB was committing hundreds of safety-law violations every year and that he had the ability to prevent most of the violations that UBB was committing,” the indictment states. “Yet he fostered and participated in an understanding that perpetuated UBB’s practice of routine safety violations, in order to produce more coal, avoid the costs of following safety laws, and make more money.”  Quote from Booth Goodwin United States Attorney.

So Mr Blankenship will face a potential 31 years in prison if convicted. But we all know nobody gets the max when they hand out prison time, none the less, it's nice to know that justice is finally being served. And not stated above was that he made false claims in connection with Massey stocks, an SEC violation.

Bank fails later... and maybe we'll get the goods on them too.
UPDATE: No fails this week

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Pussy - South of the border edition

A story that's gotten little press here in our main stream media from Mexico.

The peace in the little town of Iguala, Mexico has been shattered with the disappearance of 43 students from a teachers college of a neighboring town (Ayotzinapa). The wife (Maria de los Angeles Pineda) of the mayor of Iguala was about to give a speech for her charity when her husband Jose Luis Abarca ordered the police to round up the students and prevent them from protesting. That is the last they have been heard from. As the days past with no word about the students the mayor and his wife fled the town. The Attorney General issued arrest warrants for the two. Eyewitnesses report seeing the students shuffled into police cars the day of the event September 26.

It has been reported that the mayor had ties to a local drug gang and that the police turned the students over to them. The gang leader received word that these were members of a rival gang and ordered their disappearance. They were loaded into pick up trucks and driven to Pueblo Viejo where a number of mass graves were found. The 28 bodies found there turned out not to be any of the students.

The towns' people became furious over the slowness of the investigation and took to burning the mayor's office. Protests have since spread nationwide as even the federal authorities have been slow to act.

To date 52 people have been arrested including police officers, gang members and local officials but no sign or clues as to the whereabouts of the students. Even the president of Mexico has been confronted by one of the families only to hear silence.

UPDATE: To date 70 people have been arrested and the gang members have confessed to killing the students, burning their bodies and dumping some of the charred remains in a river. Forensic scientists from Argentina are trying to determine identities. 

Bank fails later...
One bank fail this week in Ca.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday pussy - scary edition

What's scarier than a black cat crossing your path on Halloween? The Republicans winning the senate. And why you might ask?

Republicans never let facts and science get in the way of their agenda.
They use the military before diplomacy.
When the military is ill equipped they cut military budgets unless of course it's for some hardware that the Pentagon says it doesn't need.
Republicans have made boogiemen out of Mexicans, Blacks, Liberals and generally anyone else who isn't exactly like them.
Republicans hate any program that might benefit the masses like social security, medicare, medicaid and definitely welfare.
Republicans love tax cuts but only if it's for the "job creators" and not small business or those in the middle or bottom. (Jobs by the way are created by demand and not big corporations).
Republicans want to control a woman's vagina even though they have no idea of the medical science involved. (IUDs do not cause abortions and unnecessary ultrasounds after conception would show little to nothing... idiots)
Republicans want to repeal the Affordable Care Act but keep their state health care exchanges. (Not telling you that the exchanges are funded by the ACA)
Republicans think Africa is a country and anyone coming from there must have ebola.
Republicans hate education. They have after all been the biggest budget cutters of education slashing billions out of state budgets. And we wonder why Johnny can't read after getting a high school diploma.
Republicans leaders have fooled their followers into thinking they too can be rich. (Sorry peons it's a club and you aren't in it but we'll let you think you can be.)
Republicans have no ideas other than being against everything. That's not leadership. That's just being childish.
Republicans say they want to be the "big tent" party all the while slamming potential members like women, blacks and hispanics.

Bobby Jindal and Rand Paul are right when the say it's the "stupid party" and "this party sucks".

And now the scariest thought for your fright night, the next president of the United States - Jeb Bush.

Bank fails later...
No fails this week keep shopping.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Friday pussy - Don't shoot

Armed and dangerous pussy doesn't have a chance

Too many guns and not enough common sense says I. Face facts we no longer live amongst wild bears or mountain lions. The Mongol  hoards are not going to breach the walls of your humble castle and in spite of what the right wing would have you believe there are no islamic mexican terrorists with ebola running across our southern boarders. So you think you're faster on the draw than someone intent on robbing you? Think again Marshal Dillon.

The real problem is that we've made it too easy for people who shouldn't be near a gun to own or get one. Granted putting restrictions on fire arms would not eliminate the problem all together but it sure would slow things down a bit. And think about it. We have more restrictions to getting a drivers license  or a marriage license than to own a gun. And while people may think a gun is a great means of protection, those who have done the most damage have heard voices in their head.

So yes I believe there should be background checks for anyone owning a gun. I'd bet that even McDonalds does a basic background check for its' workers. What makes owning a gun any less important? And let's not forget the other part of the second amendment, it was to arm a militia because there was no formal army at that time of our founding and there were bears and other wild animals roaming the land.

And for those delusional enough to think they're going to go against the government they'd better think again. A pump action shotgun would be no match to an armored vehicle or an assault helicopter they'd be facing.  The military will do its' duty to protect against foreign and domestic threats. It's what they do.

As for the middle east we've never been attuned to what was happening there until it was too late. We supported dictators there for decades not really knowing or caring about what they were doing to their own populations. After all that was "over there" not here. There is now a psychosis on a grander scale and guns seem to be easy to get there. And why not? You can't sell a lot of arms without fear and a division of the population. It's a safe bet that gun sales will go up at least here in the U.S. with the latest shootings and with that will come more shootings. It's a simple matter of numbers and probability. So the gun makers will profit yet again and more people will die and all we can do is sit back and watch. Law makers won't touch the issue even if gun owners would like some common sense regulations. And if that's the case then the NRA is not as powerful as they'd like to believe.

Would you sell a gun to a criminal or someone with mental issues? I know I wouldn't.

One bank fail this week in Chicago, Ill.