Tuesday, April 30, 2013

‘F@#ktard’ Congress For Fixing Sequester Airport Delays

"If you look  up Congress in the dictionary," said Stewart. "You find "Do-Nothing F@#ktards who couldn't solve a problem if it was eating them alive anus first."

Jon Stewart Slams ‘F@#ktard’ Congress For Fixing Sequester Airport Delays ... and Nothing Else

Sunday, April 28, 2013


HALL OF SHAME: a failure to meet your own standards of behavior

Johann Wagener 4-27-13

In the 8 years after Bush was appointed to office by 5 members of the Supreme Court he was able to accomplish some amazing things; none of which will be mentioned or put on display in the $500 million theme park they are calling a library. In addition to dodging taxes the Bushies threw this money into creating this “hall of illusions” (Decisions Point Theater)   in another desperate attempt to rewrite history hoping that Americans are stupid enough to fall for another con job.

This is what President “Dubya” Bush actually accomplished and to this day is proudly proclaiming was best for the country; and this is the “bill” he left for the American people to pay.

·        He turned a $236 Billion surplus into a $1.3 Trillion deficit.

·        He oversaw the collapse of the economy which we call “the great recession” that cost taxpayers $2 Trillion; $700 Billion of which was used to bail out the people that caused the collapse by claiming that they were “too big to fail or jail.”

·        He oversaw the worse attack on US soil in the history of the country that we know as 9/11. In addition to the loss of 4,000 lives the price tag to American taxpayers is estimated at $2 Trillion.

·        He waged 2 wars; in Iraq and Afghanistan that will ultimately cost American tax payers   $4 to $6 Trillion.

·        He failed to capture the real enemy; Osama bin Laden or ever acknowledge that Ronald Reagan (another GOP hero) was responsible for training and financing these terrorist that were then called “freedom fighters.”

It begins with Bush being the only President in history to be appointed to office by the Supreme Court. That is the environment in which five Republican-appointed justices essentially invented a one-time-only ruling to stop a vote recount in Florida that threatened to tip the Electoral vote to Gore. Yes, Bush v. Gore Did Steal the Election

When President the “decider” Bush, took office in 2001, he inherited a $236 billion budget surplus, with a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion.

When he ended his term, he left a $1.3 trillion deficit and a projected 10-year shortfall of $8 trillion.

The Bush Administration was responsible for taking the country to the brink of financial collapse and then handing the taxpayers a bill for $700 Billion to bail out Wall Street and Banks (both of which were responsible for creating the crisis).

Bush appointed cronies that allowed banks to skirt responsibility for the disaster by shielding them under the “too big to fail” umbrella and, Wat the same time claiming that the perpetrators were “too big to jail.”

One Wall Street insider, Timothy F. Geithner was appointed as U.S. Treasury Secretary in January 2009.
Timothy “Wall Street”Geithner  spearheaded the controversial $2 trillion Financial Stability Plan.  Geithner then became manager of the same TARP fund he coauthored. TARP was funded by the $700 billion bailout package approved by Congress in October 2008. TARP was used to add liquidity to failing investment and commercial banks. TARP was also used to bail out automakers, and provide mortgage assistance through the HARP program. Bush Signs $700 Billion Financial Bailout Bill. TARP was credited by the Congressional Oversight Panel as "stopping an economic panic.” However the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that TARP ended up costing taxpayers $25 billion

The Bush Economic Stimulus Package was about 1% of GDP($168 Billion) which advocates said was large enough to impact the $14 trillion economy.

Perhaps most important, the tax cuts weren't balanced by a decrease in government spending. This led to $500 billion budget deficit.

By the time Bush left office, the Federal debt was already $10 trillion. This contributed downward pressure on the dollar, which leads to higher oil prices and inflation over the long run. Bush Economic Stimulus Package.

Bin Laden Determined to Attack inside the United States

 9/11 happened on Bush’s watch partly because he and his people ignored warnings that the US was going to be attacked.  President Bush was given an intelligence briefing, entitled Bin Laden Determined to Attack inside the United States just weeks before the September 11 attacks, it emerged yesterday. Details of the August 6 briefing in 2001, which warned of terrorist preparations being made for hijackings on American soil, surfaced in testimony given by the US national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, to a commission of inquiry studying the September 11 attacks. Bush told of hijack warning weeks before 9/11
In addition to the loss of life the 9/11 attack carried a big price tag. Counting the value of lives lost as well as property damage and lost production of goods and services, losses already exceed $100 billion. Including the loss in stock market wealth -- the market's own estimate arising from expectations of lower corporate profits and higher discount rates for economic volatility -- the price tag approaches $2 trillion.

Among the big-ticket items:

The loss of four civilian aircraft valued at $385 million.
The destruction of major buildings in the World Trade Center with a replacement cost of from $3 billion to $4.5 billion.
Damage to a portion of the Pentagon: up to $1 billion.
Cleanup costs: $1.3 billion.
Property and infrastructure damage: $10 billion to $13 billion.
Federal emergency funds (heightened airport security, sky marshals, government takeover of airport security, retrofitting aircraft with anti-terrorist devices, cost of operations in Afghanistan): $40 billion.
Direct job losses amounted to 83,000, with $17 billion in lost wages.
The amount of damaged or unrecoverable property hit $21.8 billion.
Losses to the city of New York (lost jobs, lost taxes, damage to infrastructure, cleaning): $95 billion.
Losses to the insurance industry: $40 billion.
Loss of air traffic revenue: $10 billion

As the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan winds down, a recent report by Harvard Kennedy School lecturer Linda J. Bilmes ’80 predicts that the aggregate cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will fall between $4 and $6 trillion. The U.S. has already incurred $2 trillion in direct costs for the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, which began in 2001 and 2003, respectively. In the report, Bilmes claims that the “single largest accrued liability” of the wars is the projected future cost of providing medical care and benefits to the approximately 2.5 million Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Read the report here

  • A tally of all of the war’s dead — including soldiers, militants, police, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers and civilians — shows that at least 330,000 people have died due to direct war violence.
  • Indirect deaths from the wars, including those related to malnutrition, damaged health infrastructure, and environmental degradation, must also be tallied.  In previous wars, these deaths have far outnumbered deaths from combat and that is likely the case here as well.
  • 200,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting at the hands of all parties to the conflict, and more will die in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan as the violence continues. But most observers acknowledge that the number of civilians killed has been undercounted. The true number of civilian dead may be much larger when an adequate assessment is made.
  • While we know how many US soldiers have died in the wars (over 6,600), what is startling is what we don’t know about the levels of injury and illness in those who have returned from the wars.  New disability claims continue to pour into the VA, with over 750,000 disability claims already approved.[2] Many deaths and injuries among US contractors have not been identified. 
Something else that you won’t find in the Bush library are letters from those he victimized; promising them college educations, and great jobs, that wrought nothing more than body bags, flag draped coffins that were hidden from Americans, and thousands of maimed men and women who’s live have been destroyed; Here’s part of what one veteran wrote;

From Young's letter, published on TruthDig:
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

Young goes on to attack the "cowardice" of Bush and Cheney for avoiding military service themselves, and to encourage them to "stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness." (Read Young's entire letter here.)

Bin Laden “made in the USA”.

As absurd as it sounds, the actual enemy; Osama Bin Laden and his band of angry terrorists were “made in the USA”. Bin Laden was a formidable foe because he was taught by the best--the U.S. government. Both he and the Taliban in Afghanistan that protected him were products of the 10-year-long, U.S.-backed war against the ex-USSR occupation of Afghanistan. After Russian troops invaded Afghanistan in 1979, the U.S. trained Bin Laden and thousands of other Arab men. Back then, President Ronald Reagan liked to call bin Laden and his cohorts "freedom fighters."  After the USSR was forced out of Afghanistan in 1989, the CIA-trained "freedom fighters" split into rival factions that fought a civil war during the 1990s. With help from the CIA and U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, the small Taliban militia group emerged out of the chaos, taking over the government in 1996.

The U.S. backed the hard-line Islamists of the Taliban because they thought the group would be able to provide stability for big business. But then the Taliban began to shelter bin Laden and other Islamist movements that the U.S. opposed. Like Iraq's Saddam Hussein before them, Bin Laden and the Taliban transformed from U.S. allies to enemies.

Yes, the 9/11 terrorists were members of an Al-Qaeda terrorist cell but just one of a “global” network none of which have a central headquarters in any specific country.

No, the 9/11 terrorists were not Afghan or Iraqi nor did they have any direct affiliation with the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11.

Al qaeda formed in 1988 after a meeting between Osama Bin Laden, leaders of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Abdullah Azzam. This is in contrast to the Taliban’s’ extremist ideology which is an innovative form of Islam in combination with Pashtun tribal codes with Deobandi interpretations. While the Taliban were restricted to a particular region, the al qaeda had no boundaries. Read more: Difference Between Taliban and Al qaeda qaeda 

As for the hijackers themselves, Terry McDermott, the author of "Perfect Soldiers,” who explores the paths of these central hijackers, believes that they were surprisingly unremarkable men. Mohamed Atta, the leader of the hijackers, did not come from an especially religious family, but led a sheltered life in Egypt until moving to Germany.

In contrast to the serious Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, from the United Arab Emirates, was more laid back, though he grew up with a stricter Islamic upbringing, and often sang and laughed about the joy of being a martyr. Al-Shehhi soon became Atta's shadow after they met, and the two took flight lessons together. Al-Shehhi would eventually follow Atta to death, piloting a plane into the South Tower of the World Trade Center shortly after Atta flew his into the North Tower.

The pilot of Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, was a Lebanese named Ziad Jarrah. Jarrah was apparently the most jovial of the group. After taking flight lessons in the United States in preparation for his mission, he returned to Germany to see his girlfriend. While there, he reportedly almost changed his mind about going through with the plan.

The man who allegedly convinced Jarrah to go through with it was Ramzi bin al-Shibh, another member of the original Hamburg cell, who, had he been approved for a visa, would have become the fourth pilot. Instead, that job went to a Saudi named Hani Hanjour, who was already a licensed pilot in the United States. Hanjour joined Al Qaeda after failing to get a job, eventually flying Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Who were the September 11 hijackers? They definitely were not Iraqis or Afghans.

The Bush battle cry was “let’s get them over there, before they come over here” but he went to all the wrong places.

In fact, since the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people at the World Trade Center and Pentagon 11 years ago, 19 people have died in terrorist attacks in the United States that were motivated by ideologies that have nothing to do with the ideas of Osama bin Laden, but rather were the victims of terrorists motivated by extreme anti-government views or virulent anti-Semitic/neo-Nazi views.

Jihadist terrorists, on the other hand, have killed 17 people, according to data compiled by the New America Foundation from thousands of news reports and court documents. ("Jihadist" terrorists are defined in this database as those associated with or motivated by al Qaeda, or its affiliates or like-minded groups.)

There have been 10 deadly attacks in the United States by nonjihadist extremists since 9/11 compared to just four by jihadists. (One of those incidents was at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009 in which 13 were killed.)  11 years after 9/11: Who are the terrorists?

None of these historical facts will be found in the Bush Library. No one will dishonor him for his great (but tragic) accomplishments because the Bushies are hell bent on burying the truth under a $500 million pile of BS, hoping that Americans are too dumb to notice!

God save America!

Friday, April 26, 2013

$500 Million Library Accomplished: Disasterpiece Theater

OXY-MORON a combination of contradictory or incongruous words or elements 

Johann Wagener 4-26-13
I'd like to begin by dispelling the myth that Bush can't read;

OK! So what if he was holding the book upside down. He had other things on his mind at the time; this was on 9/11.

Some people believe that throwing money at things makes everything better. In this THE Bushies are pouring $500 million into a library to commemorate someone who's major accomplishments can't even be recalled because they are buried under a mountain of disastrous mistakes which they hope will be forgotten with a little techno-wizardy.  Will this simple minded individual and his gang of neo-cons that brought this country to the edge of total collapse; both moral and financial, be fondly remembered? 

Click here to take a walk down memory lane; 50 Reasons You Despised George W. Bush's Presidency: 

To add insult to injury the Bushies have erected a monument (that ironically looks very much like the one of Saddam Hussein) which any true Christian would consider idolatry if not downright silly. Here is a man who wasted thousands of American lives and a trillion dollars of our tax money to tear down one monument only to then erect one of himself.

I'm not sure why Bush Senior is there. It's not his library. My guess is that it distracts and confuses in hopes that folks won't remember who did what and when. Like, for example, one Bush I did not invade Iraq in the first Gulf war while the other Bush did just the opposite. Since most Americans can't even find Iraq on a map there's a real good possibility won't know which Bush did what. 

On the Daily Show, (where one can still find real news)  Jon Stewart and senior correspondent Al Madrigal took on the newly-unveiled, George W. Bush Presidential Library. The team took particular shots at “Decision Points Theater,” the absurd exhibit where museum patrons get a chance to relive some of Dubya’s most controversial moments in his shoes.

“But any Bush library is going to have to grapple with some of the damaging decisions made by this administration—Iraq, Katrina, the financial crisis—hopefully the Bush center has found a way to explore these issues that are both informative and objective,” Stewart said before introducing what he calls “Disasterpiece Theater.”

“Decision Points theater: amazing. I aced it by the way,” Madrigal said. “Invade Iraq? Yes. Rescue New Orleans? No. Bail out Wall Street? Pass the checkbook.” Jon, curious, asked, “Knowing what we know now, why did you choose ‘yes’ on invading Iraq?” “Well,” Madrigal replied. “The choices were: (A) Leave a mad man in power that will destroy civilization or (B) be a little bitch,” Madrigal said, further explaining that those who choose B face a video of Bush telling users they made the wrong decision.

“You’re making that up right?” Stewart checked. “No, that’s actually what happens at the George W. Bush museum,” Madrigal said, reflecting a very sad reality.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Library Accomplished: Disasterpiece Theater

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Johann Wagener 4-24-13

It turns out that austerity policies in times of financial hardship is counter productive to recovery. Except for the 1% who hoard the wealth needed for the 99% to recover.

In a "David and Goliath" story the truth was exposed by a graduate student who knew how to read Excel spread sheets.

An economic report that has been used frequently to justify austerity measures in the U.S. and Europe has one flagrant flaw: an Excel error
The 2010 report by prominent U.S. economists Carmen Reinhart and Ken Rogoff, titled "Growth In A Time Of Debt," argues that national economies whose public debt rises above 90 percent of GDP are doomed to stagnate.

But when a team of economists at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst tried to duplicate the study using the spreadsheet that Reinhart and Rogoff used, they soon saw that the rationale for austerity relied on significant errors. For instance, five countries—Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, and Denmark—were mistakenly excluded from the Excel calculations.

As Mark Gongloff points out, the coding error, as well as numerous other questionable aspects of the research, changes the report's findings significantly:

The most important error appears to be a failure to include years of data that showed Australia, Canada and New Zealand enjoying high economic growth and high debt at the same time. Including all the years of data boosts New Zealand's average economic growth rate under high debt to 2.58 percent, from negative 7.6 percent. Given the small amount of data used in Reinhart and Rogoff's study, this has a huge impact on the overall findings.

The Excel Spreadsheet Error That Justified Global Austerity - In These Times

For those of us who can't; which includes most Republicans in Congress, Stephen Colbert does an excellent job in laying it out for us;


Johann Wagener 4-24-13

Even though 1 innocent death is one death too many the reaction this single attack is mind boggling. The world is fraught with bombings on a daily basis, claiming thousands of victims; men, women, and children.
SUICIDE BOMBS AND SUICIDE BOMBERS - World Topics | Facts and Details

The news media pays little, if any, attention to these attacks, even in the countries they occur. when it happens in the USA all hell breaks loose in covering what, on a global level, is a minor incident. Two men, 2 homemade bombs, 1 pistol resulting in fatalities and injuries none the less, but to warrant the reaction it received?

A major American city is shut down and invaded by an army of law enforcement agencies with enough technology and armament to invade a small country. Then there's another army of media hounds in satellite trucks, armed with mikes and cameras, bloviating ad nauseum about details as minor as dogs barking in a 24/7 non stop cycle that chokes the airways. At least until the next event someone sprinkles catnip on.

After a week of non-stop mass media and law enforcement attention her's what we end up with;

Even though the Tsarnaev brothers made a violent dash from police, allegedly tossing homemade bombs as they fled, police told ABC News they so far have recovered only a single, semi-automatic handgun from the two men now accused of carrying off the Boston Marathon bombing.

The gun, presumably wielded by the older of the two brothers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was recovered by police at the shoot-out scene in Watertown, Mass., and is now with the Massachusetts State Police. Sources told ABC News that no guns were recovered from the boat where 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was eventually apprehended after a stand-off with police.

Single Gun Recovered From Accused Boston Bombers

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


OXY-MORON a combination of contradictory or incongruous words or elements 

Johann Wagener 4-22-13

It looks like a theme park as much as it is a library,” according to Lou Dubose, co-author of “Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America.” Dubose points out the library also includes freedom tower, a freedom plaza, a decision points library, the bullhorn Bush used to talk to first responders from ground zero, and even Saddam Hussein’s pistol.

All of our presidents leave a library behind to hold what they believe to be their “accomplishments” while in office. It’s also where they try to rewrite history by flaunting the positives while barely mentioning the negatives.

Nixon, for example could boast about his detente with China while playing down Watergate.

LBJ went all out in two very opposing wars; one against poverty and one against the Vietnamese. One worth fighting, the other a lost cause.

Clinton balanced the budget but got more attention for his peccadilloes with Monica L.

When it comes to Bush there is almost nothing worth mentioning on the positive side while his negatives soar;

· His policies created the Great Recession

· He started (and could not win) 2 wars

· He authorized torture in violation of the Geneva Convention

· He ignored warnings of the 9/11 attack
Omission accomplished: President Bush uses library to try to rewrite history — MSNBC

According to the library’s official website, it will be ”a results-oriented institute that will have an effect on our country and, we think, on the world,” focusing on areas including economic growth, human freedom, and education reform. But it’s tough to say what results can be gleaned from the legacy of the president who turned a budget surplus into a deficit, left us into a major recession, permitted the use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques, and instituted the “No Child Left Behind” education policy that is widely criticized even by Republicans today.

But Bush has a plan to distract everyone from the more negative aspects of his legacy. As one Bush acquaintance told the National Journal, “He’s convinced his achievement in keeping the country safe after 9/11 will get the attention it deserves as the years roll on,” which is why the library’s signature exhibit will be “a 17-foot, two-ton twisted piece of steel from the World Trade Center.” (It’s a strange quirk of historical memory–almost a form of intellectual jujitsu–that Bush has successfully branded himself as the leader who kept us safe, when in fact he’s the president who disregarded an August 2001 memo warning that Osama bin Laden was planning an attack on America.)

It’s not the first time Bush has used 9/11 imagery for his political gain. He outraged 9/11 widows and firefighters in 2004 when he ran a campaign ad with 9/11 pictures.

$500 million on a building housing trophies of failures may play well in Texas but there's not much there to benefit anyone other than Bush and the neo-cons that pulled his strings. 


Johann Wagener 4-23-13

In 2008, Rick Shenkman, the Editor-in-Chief of the History News Network, published a book entitled Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth about the American Voter. In it he demonstrated, among other things, that most Americans were: (1) ignorant about major international events, (2) knew little about how their own government runs and who runs it, (3) were nonetheless willing to accept government positions and policies even though a moderate amount of critical thought suggested they were bad for the country, and (4) were readily swayed by stereotyping, simplistic solutions, irrational fears and public relations babble.
Why Americans Are So Ignorant

The Americans that make the most noise are the one's that get the attention. 

The angry white guys who dominate the Republican Party in Congress represent all the angry white men in America who cannot accept what they've lost forever—namely the exclusive right to take all the best jobs, run everything, make all the decisions and, oh yes, keep everybody who doesn't look, act and talk the way they do out of the good old boys club. Anger rules the day

The anger is fueled by the gun industry which makes an enormous profit from fear and paranoi

In the battle for reducing gun violence in America, Tom Diaz, author of The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It, points to the culture wars of white male gun owners and the firearms industry, which tends to stay lurking in the background, signing the checks.

This paranoia gone wild distracts Americans from what the real dangers to our country are;

Too many Americans are unaware of the extreme disparities that have been caused by the unregulated profit incentive of capitalism. Our winner-take-all system is flailing away at once-healthy parts of society, leaving them like withered limbs on a trembling body, even as the relative few who benefit promote the illusion of opportunity and prosperity for all. Concerned citizens armed with facts are not fooled. Instead, the more they learn the angrier they get. And as in revolutions of the past, discontent leads to change.How Capitalism is Dismembering America

The "sucking' sound is your is your country dying;

Recent revelations of hidden money by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have embarrassed governments, large and small, and exposed many rich businesses and individuals. They used places like Lichtenstein, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and, of course, Cyprus. Those countries' private banks wanted the money much as their governments wanted the revenue benefits of hidden money inflows. The rich around the world took advantage of those banks' services to launder money with some illegality attached to it, to evade or avoid taxes, to hide business deals from government scrutiny, and so on.

Reasonable estimates, based on ICIJ and other reports, suggest that many trillions of dollars sit in such hidden money accounts. It follows that debates in most countries about rates of taxation are missing the point. Many among the rich long ago found ways to avoid taxes, whatever the rates. They just needed and used that one "loophole" in the tax law that allows them to hide their money (or "offshore" it) in either personal or corporate accounts or both. The Vampires among us

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Johann Wagener 4-21-13

What's religion got to do with it? He's no different than the Newtown shooter or Aurora shooter, or any of the other "gun-totting" crazies out there. No body asked about the others religious affiliations for fear they might discover they were "fire-and-brimstone" - "vengeance is mine" red blooded die in the wool, Christians!

Every American Muslim's Fear After the Boston Bombing

It might be better to look at the culture of violence we live in to explain acts of violence and heed what the bible teaches about bigotry;

Romans 7:14-25
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Boston --- Saudi Arabia ----- 9/11

Johann Wagener 4-20-13

Glen Beck claims to be a recovering alcoholic but by the way he acts I suspect that the severe brain damage occurred before he hung up the booze.
Glenn Beck Is Undeterred By Reality On Saudi Nationals And The Boston Bombings

However, every once in a while he might make a rational observation as the one regarding a Saudi national who was swept up at the Boston bombing crime scene and is being swiftly deported back to his country and branded  a"national security risk"

What the Boston Bombing and 9/11 have in common are Saudis which, in both instances were involved in situations that appear to be something more than what we are told.

Secret Saudi Flight on 9-13
In the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks while U.S. airspace was restricted,
planes sanctioned by the Bush administration flew about the country gathering some 140
high-ranking Saudi Arabians – including several relatives of al-Qaida chief Osama bin
Laden – who were then spirited out of the country within a week of the terror, according to
a senior official. 

U.S. ‘deporting Saudi person of interest’
An expert on terrorism says the Saudi national who was the original “person of interest” in connection with Monday’s Boston Marathon bombing is going to be deported from the U.S. next week.
The foreign student from Revere, Mass., is identified as 20-year-old Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi.

“I just learned from my own sources that he is now going to be deported on national security grounds next Tuesday, which is very unusual,” Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism told Sean Hannity of Fox News Wednesday night.

The Reuters news agency reported President Barack Obama met with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Wednesday, noting “the meeting was not on Obama’s public schedule.”

After that meeting was mentioned, Emerson told Hannity, “That’s very interesting because this is the way things are done with Saudi Arabia. You don’t arrest their citizens. You deport them, because they don’t want them to be embarrassed and that’s the way we appease them.”


Johann Wagener 4-20-13

When the "drone" squads blow away countless women, children, along with anything else that might be in the target zone, we call it "collateral damage." Ooops, sorry. Can't be helped when you're fighting the enemy. We hand out medals, praise the shooters as "heroes" hold parades and big coming home parties  to celebrate a job well done.

When a "home grown" terrorists slaughters a room full of our children we call him a "disturbed individual" and in the next breath encourage people to buy more guns and "stand their ground."  We wave flags and scream about "rights" and the 2nd Ammendment, as if either are related to the issue; protecting our children from people who's rights to allow them easy access to weapons of mass destruction we defend.

When a couple of men with funny sounding last names blow up a home made bomb in the middle of a marathon; killing 3 and maiming others we call it the "worse attack on American soil since 9/11" and I'm sure the call to buy more guns will soon follow. We shut down  a major city and send an army of armed squads to take down 1 wounded 19 year old kid, and then have parties in the streets celebrating his capture as almost an extension of the festivities interrupted when the bombs exploded. It went from celebration, to fear and pain, and back to celebration before the bodies of the victims are even in the ground.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture touched off raucous celebrations in and around Boston, with chants of “USA! USA!” Residents flooded the streets in relief and jubilation four days after the twin explosions ripped through the marathon crowd at the finish line, killing three people and wounding more than 180.


When the enemy celebrates our destruction we call it despicable, inhumane, unconscionable, barbaric. When the roles are reversed and the enemy is destroyed we celebrate just as hard except we refer to it as patriotic, courageous, victorious, justice, and even going so far as invoking the name of God, proclaiming it to be a divine intervention of sorts.

What we fail to see and acknowledge is that, even though the circumstances may be different, the reaction is the same. It just depends on what end of the gun or bomb you are.

In either case violence is a "cause celebre'.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Johann Wagener 4-19-13

It's no surprise to find that Americans have a predisposition to behaving strangely. When it comes to spending billions on transforming themselves into 2-legged billboards Americans are again #1.  When asked they actually say they are "addicted to ink."

This chart describes the percent of people who have regretted in some way getting their tattoo.

Population CriteriaPercentage
1Percentage of U.S. population who have covered up a tattoo with another tattoo5%
2Percentage of people with tattoos who claim they are addicted to ink32%
3Percentage of people who have some regret after getting their tattoo17%
4Percentage of people with a tattoo who are getting or have had one removed11%

Consumer Updates > Inked and Regretful: Removing Tattoos

Annual amount of U.S. spending on tattoos$1.65 Billion
Total percent of Americans (all ages) who have at least one tattoo14 %
Percentage of U.S. adults 18 – 25 who have at least one tattoo36 %
Percentage of U.S. adults 26 – 40 who have at least one tattoo40 %
Total number of Americans that have at least one tattoo45 million
Number of tattoo parlors in the U.S.21,000
Average cost of a small tattoo$ 45
Average cost of a large tattoo$150 / hour
Percentage of U.S. population who have covered up a tattoo with another tattoo5 %
Percentage of people with tattoos who claim they are addicted to ink32 %
Percentage of people who have some regret after getting their tattoo17 %
Percentage of people with a tattoo who are getting or have had one removed11 %

Pew Research Center, Tattoo Finder, Vanishing Tattoo


OpenSecrets Reports: Shadow Money Magic

During the 2010 and 2012 elections, dozens of groups pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the electoral system while dodging the disclosure requirements that apply to almost all other organizations that support or oppose political candidates; it came to be known as "shadow" or "dark" money. The groups took in unlimited amounts of money from people and corporations and spent it on ads or passed it along to friends at other groups that did the spending themselves, all while avoiding more than glancing oversight by federal regulators.
Call it the return of mystery money.

Five Easy Steps That Let You Play Big in Politics, Hide Your Donors and Game the IRS

Shadow Money Magic | OpenSecrets


Johann Wagener 4-19-13

Rather than chasing whistle blowers, governments might consider going after the criminals. Julian Assange has to go into hiding because he blew the top off wrongdoings in high places and the people that are chasing him are the ones he blew the whistle on.

Let's see how well it works this time;

ICIJ’s investigative series on offshore secrecy – which draws from a cache of 2.5 million secret records – has ignited reactions around the globe.
Since the initial release of stories by the ICIJ and its media partners across the world, public officials have issued statements, governments have launched investigations, and politicians and journalists have been debating the implications of the records and the reporting.

Release of offshore records draws worldwide response


Johann Wagener 4-19-13

Now that there's talk about "cutting" the defense budget neo-cons are frantically looking for ways to stir fear and paranoia on the streets of America. What is an American nightmare is a dream come true for neo-cons.

Rogue countries like N. Korea are transformed into threatening supper powers over night. The Boston bombing will stoke these fires especially since the perpetrators are Chechen Muslims. The talking point will be, "we need to get them over there before they come over here."   It would not be surprising to hear call for invading Chechnya. An all out Iraq/Afghan style war.  Had the bombers been "home grown" the talking points would be "just a lone, disgruntled, disturbed individual."  Tragedies like Newton will quickly fade and gun enthusiasts will declare, "we told you so."

Another buying frenzy will begin; guns, ammo, security services, and last,  but not least, defense spending. Understanding how this game is played requires following the money trail and looking at who profits the most from terror and war.

The following reports and articles help;

How to turn a world lacking in enemies into the most threatening place in the universe.

The Enemy-Industrial Complex

If neo-cons can't find a real enemy then they pay someone to create imaginary ones

Pentagon planners have plenty to deal with these days – Iran in search of nuclear-weapons technology, suicide bombings in Afghanistan, and the final pullout of US troops in Iraq potentially leaving behind a security vacuum in the Middle East. But in war games in Washington this week,US Army officials and their advisers debated three nightmare scenarios in particular. Here are the doomsday visions that Pentagon planners have been poring over:

Doomsday war games: Pentagon's 3 nightmare scenarios

For those who live on the fringes the Pentagon even spends taxpayer money on fighting "Zombies." This is not a skit on SNL folks. This is the real thing.

Zombies will invade Paradise Point Resort, which covers 44 acres on an island that will be transformed with Hollywood-style sets, including a Middle Eastern village and a pirate cove. Some 1,000 US military personnel, police, and state and federal government officials will be charged with responding.

“No doubt when a zombie apocalypse occurs, it’s going to be a federal incident, so we’re making it happen,” Mr. Barker told the AP.
US military forces train for zombie apocalypse

When it comes to healthcare, social programs, poverty, the homeless there is no money available. In fact we need to cut these programs to balance the budget and not affect programs like this; 

California-based security firm HALO Corp. will be training people on how to fight Zombies during its Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 Counter-Terrorism Summit. Yep, Zombies! The summit is expected to draw 1,000 military personnel, law enforcement officials, medical experts and government workers to Paradise Point resort island in San Diego’s Mission Bay. Here’s what the company, founded by former special operations, national security and intelligence personnel, says about its annual summit this year: will include a realistic tactical training environment using “Hollywood magic” in live action demonstrations, realistic tactical training scenarios and classroom education.
The company says that a crisis could happen from an outbreak of viruses that destroy brain cells making people violently catatonic, like zombies. Whatever gets folks to the summit, right?

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Johann Wagener 4-18-13

If He were with us in the flesh today this is probably where you would find Jesus. Lying on a bench somewhere in uptown USA reminding us that there's more to life than fame, fortune, and celebrity. As the hierarchy put, it was not an appropriate image of Jesus though did not say what was or wasn't appropriate. I believe the opposite is true and the Church does not want people to draw comparisons between the life Jesus lived and how the Church is today.

'Jesus The Homeless' sculpture rejected by Catholic churches In Toronto, New York

Timothy Schmalz’s “Homeless Jesus” isn’t your typical depiction of Christ, and it’s arresting imagery might have hit too close to home for some Catholic leaders. In fact, the life-size bronze sculpture was rejected by two high-profile cathedrals, St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, despite initial enthusiasm by rectors.

“Homeless Jesus had no home,” Schmalz told the Toronto Star. “It was very upsetting because the rectors liked it, but when it got to the administration, people thought it might be too controversial or vague,” he said, adding he was told the piece “was not an appropriate image.”


Carnage and Doublethink
Johann Wagener 4-18-13

The following article skillfully points out how Americans are so self absorbed that they fail to see the affect this "culture of violence" stokes the fires of terrorism and perceive ourselves as victims rather than perpetrators.

The Orwellian Warfare State of Carnage and Doublethink | Global Research

After the bombings that killed and maimed so horribly at the Boston Marathon, our country’s politics and mass media are awash in heartfelt compassion — and reflexive “doublethink,” which George Orwell described as willingness “to forget any fact that has become inconvenient.”
In sync with media outlets across the country, the New York Times put a chilling headline on Wednesday’s front page: “Boston Bombs Were Loaded to Maim, Officials Say.” The story reported that nails and ball bearings were stuffed into pressure cookers, “rigged to shoot sharp bits of shrapnel into anyone within reach of their blast.”
Much less crude and weighing in at 1,000 pounds, CBU-87/B warheads were in the category of “combined effects munitions” when put to use 14 years ago by a bomber named Uncle Sam. The U.S. media coverage was brief and fleeting.
We wail and moan, bring out the candles and flowers, have parades and eulogies to honor the heroes and mourn the dead and persist on ignoring the truth. We suffer from a severe case of "doublespeak." 
In one of the most comprehensive studies of U.S. treatment of terrorism suspects, the panel concluded that never before had there been "the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody."

"It is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture," the 11-member task force, assembled by the nonpartisan Constitution Project think tank, said in their 577-page report.

The scathing critique of methods used under the Republican administration of former President George W. Bush also sharpened the focus on the plight of inmates at Guantanamo, which Bush opened and his Democratic successor has failed to close.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Represent.Us: The Campaign for the American Anti-Corruption Act


For more details about the Act, click here.
  • Shine a light on dark money groups and their secret donors.
  • Outlaw members of Congress from taking donations from the entities they regulate.
  • Close the revolving door between Congress and K Street so politicians (and their staff) aren’t trading their power in exchange for cushy jobs when they leave office.
  • Foster small donor contributions through citizen-funded elections. (If we shut out all the corrupting money, we need to enable clean money. Because like it or not, it costs money to run for office.)
  • Stop Super PACs and dark money groups from coordinating with campaigns.
  • Disempower Super PACs while protecting the free speech rights of Americans.
  • Expand the definition of lobbying to include all types of influence peddlers.


CROSS-HAIRS; used figuratively to describe someone or something being targeted

Johann Wagener 4-17-13

There's no doubt that Washington is run like a brothel.

The "Johns" (Big Business) come to D.C. looking for a little action, find a "pimp" (lobbyist) and ask to get hooked up with a "hooker" (politician) who will provide favors for cash. 

It takes a comedian to point out a very serious fact; we are our own worst enemy. By allowing a few corrupt and greedy people dictate how this country runs we by default surrender our basic rights and succumb to the will of the few. This is what happens when over 90% of  Americans want better gun control and our elected representatives turn their backs on us to serve the people that buy them.

The Daily Show host ripped into the US Senate and the NRA during Wednesday night’s show over how they’ve handled a United Nations arms treaty.
The treaty, which would provide regulations on international conventional arms sales, has received global support. The treaty was approved last week despite protests from North Korea, Syria, Iran, and a handful of United State senators.
Stewart asked” “If we don’t preserve our right to give guns to terrorists, what are they going to fight us with?”
What’s the difference between North Korea, Iran, Syria, and the United States? According to Jon Stewart, not much.
Stewart said: “The senate rejected it. They rejected that treaty. I”m sure sure that that in no way puts us in terrible, terrible company. Thank you, United State’s senate. We have literally become one of our own worst enemies.”


EQUITY: the quality of being fair or impartial; fairness; impartiality.

Johann Wagener 4-17-13 

It looks like Americans have been jarred awake realizing that the "dream" was just that; a Dream. The "middle class" status they once enjoyed has been obliterated leaving very little to look forward to in the coming years and possible extending into the next generation who will be worse off than we are.  

52% support heavy taxes on the rich to redistribute wealth

It’s now up to voters to send a message to those who allowed the great recession to happen; our politicians, to get to work and clean up the mess.

When Dante descended into the Inferno, guided by Virgil, he passed through Circles of Gluttony and Greed, and of Heresy and Fraud and Treachery.

The modern-day version is the corporate tax filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Navigation through the hellish form is fraught with anguish and pain and bewilderment, causing the visitor to beg for release from its devilish grasp, to shudder when recalling the sign at the entrance: "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."

Taxation for Prosperity drew a distinction between “a mature economy” and a “mature approach to economic problems.” The immature in a mature economy, Paul noted, preach “the gospel that taxes are for revenue only.”

In fact, Paul would argue, taxes in a mature economy offer us “powerful instruments for influencing the social and economic life of the nation.” With “well-planned taxes,” we could avert a next depression.

By “well-planned taxes,” Paul meant progressive taxes, steeply graduated levies that kept as much money as possible in the pockets of “people in the lower brackets.” Lower-income people, Paul explained, “have a higher propensity to spend.” Their spending keeps “the wheels of industry turning.”

For people in higher income brackets, by contrast, a “well-planned” tax system meant high tax rates.

“The people with high incomes can best afford to contribute to the support of the government,” as Paul noted, “and the failure to impose substantial taxes in the upper brackets would seriously injure the morale of the rest of the taxpaying public.”

High taxes on people of high income, Paul continued, also “perform the valuable service of preventing more saving than our economy can absorb,” soaking up the excess that would otherwise wind up devoted to destabilizing speculation.

Could taxes on the rich ever go too high? That danger, Paul acknowledged, does exist in an economy that “depends upon the profit motive.” So taxes on the rich ought always be kept at a level that “fosters economic activity.”

But the “need for this incentive,” Paul added, fades away “when we reach the highest brackets.” At that point, tax rates ought to rise “very sharply ” to help “counteract undue concentration of wealth.”
In other words, Paul summed up, we need a tax system that keeps “the nation’s wealth” from flowing “into the hands of too few.”

 For anyone who takes a peek at where his or her income tax dollars are going, Tax Day can be maddening. Outsized chunks of our taxes fund the military, rising healthcare costs, and interest on the federal debt. Comparatively tiny amounts go to education, science, alternative energy, and the environment.
Category by category, this is contrary to what Americans want -- and what we the people want is pretty clear. Despite near-constant news about how polarized our nation is, a careful look at opinion polls indicates that a strong majority of Americans actually have a coherent to-do list for Washington: we want more jobs, smaller deficits, more education funding, reduced reliance on fossil fuels, higher taxes on the wealthiest, plus -- the kicker -- Medicare and Social Security benefits preserved.

America’s tax code provides substantial benefits to the rich that working class Americans don’t get to enjoy.
State tax codes are heavily slanted toward the rich, as we’ve highlighted before. At the federal level, huge tax expenditures also make the tax code friendlier to the wealthiest Americans. The United States spends  more than $1.3 trillion a year on tax expenditures, and while some of them help the middle class, many of them are aimed specifically at the wealthy, who receive an  extra $250,000 a year in income thanks to tax breaks. Here are five ways the tax code benefits the wealthy: