The Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, slipped the other day and actually told the truth - the F-35 is a useless cold-war relic but, at least, it should be the last useless, cold-war relic the United Snakes taxpayers waste money buying from the equally useless Lockheed Corporation.
As the United States military continues to find new uses for unmanned systems, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said this week that he expects drones to soon begin to replace the Pentagon’s fleet of traditional aircraft ...
While the US remains invested in its trillion-dollar F-35 program, Mabus said that the state-of-the-art fighter jets will soon be no match to unmanned aircraft ...
“[T]he F-35 should be, and almost certainly will be, the last manned strike fighter aircraft the Department of the Navy will ever buy or fly ... removing a human from the machine can open up room to experiment with more risk, improve systems faster and get them to the fleet quicker,” Mabus said.
Our rulers are wasting a TRILLION-dollars on something that will never, ever increase the security of the United Snakes by even the smallest amount.
We are ruled by very silly, and egotistical, persons.
There are plenty of evil, racist assholes in the United Snakes. But it's amazing how so many of them, particularly in city management, are able to find each other and partner-up so that they can make poor people suffer even worse, implementing the most oppressive and exploitative policies to squeeze their BONUSES! out of the unfortunate. And the racism makes it feel s-o-o-o good!
Minutes after a court sentenced Adel Edwards to pay a $500 fine for burning leaves in his yard without a permit, the private probation company tasked with supervising his monthly payments told him he actually owed more than $1,000 and demanded $250 up front. Because Edwards couldn’t pay the full amount on the spot, the company had him thrown in jail for several days until a friend came up with the money, according to a new federal lawsuit.
The suit ... charges that Red Hills Community Probation conspired with local police in two small Georgia towns to jail poor people without any court approval or legal authority, effectively holding them for ransom ...
[T]hese stories are reminiscent of reports coming out of Ferguson and the surrounding area, where municipalities exploit a murky labyrinth of court fees and traffic tickets to make money off poor defendants.
Pakistan will not commit ground troops to a land-based operation against the Yemeni "Houthi" rebels. The news arrived on Friday and have stunned several Arab States, mostly Saudi-Arabia, but also the United Arab Emirates. In the US as well, a sense of disbelief seemed to prevail among the usual proponents of the anti-Iran faction ...
In addition to abstaining from any military friction, the Pakistani leadership had something else in mind when it announced its refusal to commit ground troops to operation "Decisive Storm". Almost simultaneously to Islamabad's declaration of neutrality, China announced it would build a natural gas pipeline linking Iran to Pakistan, and possibly continuing further into China once the first part between Asalyuyeh (Iran) and Nawabshah (Pakistan) was finished. This project had long been delayed by US opposition to it, but after the signing of the interim agreement with Tehran, China seems eagertomoveaheadquickly.
Our rulers have decided: any nation that's not on-board with Xi Jinping and his plans for Iran as his pipeline to/from Africa is going to miss out on lots&lots'a PROFITZ!
What better day than tax day to affirm that when it comes to politics, our rulers' media is so stupid, so venal and just plain wrong-about-everything that our brains melt just thinking about it. We are going to have the bash-Hillary, look-who's-GAINING-on-her! idiotic horse-race coverage on the Tee-vee for the next year-and-a-half.
Dustin Laurent Heard, Paul Slough, Nick Slatten and Evan S. Liberty, the 4 Blackwater thugs who massacred 17 innocent Iraqi civilians in Baghdad's Nisour Square on September 16, 2007 - including a 9-year-old child - were convicted of the crimes back in October of 2014. At the time, this blog foresaw them being ultimately acquitted by some corporate-friendly appeals court like the 4th Circuit, using Blackwater's home
office in North Carolina as an excuse. But the Justice system in the United States of America shocked everyone today, and actually upheld the rule of law, by sentencing these four murderers to some serious jail-time.
One by one, four former Blackwater security contractors wearing blue jumpsuits and leg irons stood before a federal judge on Monday and spoke publicly for the first time since a deadly 2007 shooting in Iraq ...
The men ... were convicted of killing 14 unarmed Iraqis in what prosecutors called a wartime atrocity. Yet on Monday, as they awaited sentences that they knew would send them to prison for most if not all of their lives, they defiantly asserted their innocence.
“I know for a fact that I will be exonerated, in this life and the next,” said Paul A. Slough.
“I am very sorry for the loss of life,” Dustin L. Heard said. “But I cannot say in all honesty to the court that I believe I did anything wrong.”
“As God is my witness,” Evan S. Liberty said, he fired only at insurgents who were shooting at him.
“The verdict is wrong,” said Nicholas A. Slatten, a former Army sniper who was convicted of murder for starting the melee with a precision shot through the head of a young man stopped at an intersection. “You know I am innocent, sir” ...
The judge, Royce C. Lamberth, strongly disagreed, sentencing Mr. Slatten to life in prison and handing 30-year sentences to the three others ...
NRA spokesman Wayne La Pierre officially changed the NRA hate-speech base talking points from racism to misogyny at the organization's annual meeting last Friday. Wayne announced that "Eight years of one demographically symbolic president is enough!" in his speech defining the gun fairies' opposition to Hillary Clinton's campaign for president. So no more snide, racist dog-whistles in Wayne's speeches about “dismantling our freedoms”. That's been replaced with bullshit like: “Hillary Rodham Clinton will bring a permanent darkness of deceit and despair forced upon the American people to endure.” It is a subtle shift - from "dismantling", i.e. taking away your "manhood" - to "darkness of deceit", the ol' Eve and the talking-snake and all that lyin' females stuff. But Wayne knows his audience - gun fairies with a vigilante complex that feeds on fear, whether it be from a shiftless black man or a deceitful female, the result is the same: booming guns & ammo sales and PROFITZ!
The Tyrannosaurus Rex is the favorite villain of the dinosaur world and now cannibalism has been added to his rap-sheet.
Remains of a mutilated dino victim provide strong evidence for what has long been suspected: T. rex and his kin were violent animals that also practiced cannibalism.
The remains ... are of the large carnivorous tyrannosaur Daspletosaurus, which suffered numerous injuries during its lifetime and was partially eaten after it died.
The clincher is that paleontologists believe that members of Daspletosaurus’ own species inflicted all of the damage ...
Daspletosaurus lived around 77 million years ago in North America. The victim studied by the researchers hailed from what is now Alberta, Canada. It was an older teenager when it bit the dust, so it hadn’t grown to full size yet. Still, this was a large animal. At death it measured about 20 feet long and weighed approximately 1,102 pounds ...
Nothing riles up gun fairies like a popular liberal. And even if the liberal is a, mostly, fake liberal who will wage lots and lot'sa more Wars-4-Israel like Hillary, with her "long-term commitment" bullshit, it is fun to watch the gun fairies peg the fainting & frothing meter.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The prospect of Hillary Rodham Clinton's imminent presidential campaign dropped like a gift from the heavens at the National Rifle Association's annual convention Friday.
A succession of potential Republican presidential rivals slung criticism and cracked jokes about the Democratic candidate-to-be, and NRA leader Wayne LaPierre ... predicted doom for the nation if she should win.
"Hillary Rodham Clinton will bring a permanent darkness of deceit and despair forced upon the American people to endure," LaPierre said. The NRA executive vice president and CEO vowed that the powerful gun lobby would "stand shoulder to shoulder" to prevent her from becoming the next president.
The ReePub candidates will all bow & scrape to La Pierre and his flying monkeys and then ignore them as much as possible once one of them gets the nomination. And Amerikans will keep killing each other with guns at higher & higher rates. All so that some hedge fund manager with a portfolio full of ammo stock can finally outbid the other hedge fund managers next time our rulers release a Cézanne for auction from the family trust.
One of L'il Bushie's most idiotic responses to 911 that wasn't reported very thoroughly in alternatives to our rulers' More Wars-4-Israel media was his anti-ballistic missile grift. This was where he and his Dad's bankster pals at the Carlyle Group grifted billions from taxpayers building a "missile shield" against a bunch of poor, little, pathetic countries who couldn't hit North Amerika with a missile from Catalina much less North Korea or Somalia. In the years since 2001, even though the Air Force knew when and where the target-missiles were launched from, the interceptors failedover & over again. Looks like President Barry has finally plugged the money fire-hose on this stupid boondoggle.
Leaders of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency were effusive about the new technology.
It was the most powerful radar of its kind in the world, they told Congress. So powerful it could detect a baseball over San Francisco from the other side of the country.
If North Korea launched a sneak attack, the Sea-Based X-Band Radar — SBX for short — would spot the incoming missiles, track them through space and guide U.S. rocket-interceptors to destroy them.
Crucially, the system would be able to distinguish between actual missiles and decoys.
SBX “represents a capability that is unmatched,” the director of the Missile Defense Agency told a Senate subcommittee in 2007.
In reality, the giant floating radar has been a $2.2-billion flop ...
SBX was supposed to be operational by 2005. Instead, it spends most of the year mothballed at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii ...
Our rulers delight in celebrating their bravesoldier-boyz in their media, giving us all tearful and fuzzy feelings with manipulated stories of courage in their phony wars-4-Israel. These stories are all pretty much the same, pitting their invading, multi-billion dollar army against some devastatingly poor, brown, unfortunate persons in the Middle East who were forced into fighting back or merely dying on their knees. But every so often, a true hero emerges on the Tee-vee, always unintended, who displays true valor in the face of oppression. Such a person is Feidin Santana, a 23-year-old barber from the Dominican Republic who was brave enough to keep filming while Charleston, SC police officer Michael Slager shot Walter Scott 8-times in the back.
Police in a matter of hours declared the occurrence at the corner of Remount and Craig roads a traffic stop gone wrong, alleging the dead man fought with an officer over his Taser before deadly force was employed ...
Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer.
The officer then resorted to his service weapon and shot him ...
Just the usual bullshit from our rulers' media whenever one of their white police soldiers kills a brown person.
DirecTV’s ad campaign featuring thesp Rob Lowe’s alter-ego personas — he’s cooler and more confident as a subscriber of the satcaster, while creepy and lame as a cable TV sub — should be discontinued, according to an advertising trade group ...
NAD said it considered whether the ads at issue implied that DirecTV offers superior signal reliability, picture quality, sound performance, more sports programming, and more prompt installation and service than cable companies, among other factors.
The group said that although “... humor and hyperbole do not relieve an advertiser of the obligation to support messages that their advertisements might reasonably convey — especially if the advertising disparages a competitor’s product” ...
NAD said that the claim “Don’t be like this me. Get rid of cable and upgrade to DirecTV” — which appeared at the end of the commercials — conveyed a “comparative and unsupported superiority message.”
As we watch our rulers' media twist facts and lie so that Shit-&-Yahu and the Izzies can keep the more wars-4-Israel grift going, we've discovered that even after the Afghan war-4-Israel closes down we'll still waste $20-Billion per year on that nonsense.
Tony Blinken, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, told CNN that the United States will spend about $20 billion on the continued military presence in Afghanistan after 2014.
In other words, $20 billion is what the U.S. will spend after it has effectively “withdrawn.”
$20 billion is about one-third to one-half of what the United States Department of Education spends on elementary, secondary and vocational education, and comparable to what it spends on higher education ...
[L]awmakers who reflexively support any and all military allocations are often the same ones complaining about “big government” and “wasteful” spending.
One of the best ways to grift money out of people has always been selling the promise of eternal bliss in the Super Sky Bellagio. Tito and Amanda Watts here used the old "golden tickets" scam.
A Jacksonville couple ... Tito and Amanda Watts were arrested over the weekend for selling “golden tickets to heaven” to hundreds of people. The couple, who sold the tickets on the street for $99.99 per ticket, told buyers the tickets were made from solid gold and each ticket reserved the buyer a spot in heaven ...
Jacksonville police stated it is not illegal to sell golden tickets to heaven, but what the couple claimed where gold turned out to be pieces of wood spray painted gold. The couple was selling their product under false pretenses ...
Tito Watts had this to say about the arrest ...
"I don’t care what the police say. The tickets are solid gold… it ain’t cut up two by fours I spray painted gold. And it was Jesus who give them to me behind the KFC and said to sell them so I could get me some money to go to outer space. I met an alien named Stevie who said if I got the cash together he’d take me and my wife on his flying saucer to his planet that’s made entirely of crack cocaine."
When the couple was arrested they were found carrying thousands of dollars in cash as well as drug paraphernalia.
What Tito did here is no different than what happens in every church in Amerika every Sunday, where grifters sell chumps tickets to heaven.
You live. Then you die. That's it. Save your money.
In case there was any doubt left that Darren Wilson and the rest of the police and city government of Ferguson. MO weren't just a bunch of racist assholes exploiting a poor, black populace:
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Racist emails released Friday by the city of Ferguson indicate most were sent by a former city court clerk to two police officers ...
[O]ne message ... compared black welfare recipients to mixed-breed dogs. Several of the emails focused on President Barack Obama, including one that stated he wouldn't be in office for long because "what black man holds a steady job for four years."
It appears that most of the emails released Friday and obtained by news outlets were sent from Court Clerk Mary Ann Twitty to police Capt. Rick Henke and Sgt. William Mudd.
The county clerk in a city the size of Ferguson is an important cog in the revenue-generating machine.
Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy without an absolute monarch and way too much money & influence in the world. It's former King Saud, and current King Salman, were/are not very smart men, easily frightened because they were/are just barely smart enough to realize that they were/are terrible leaders in a dysfunctional government torn by disparate interests. In 2003, after a series of bombings in previously-secure, wealthy parts of Riyadh, King Saud finally acknowledged that the 9-11 hijackers had, indeed, been created & financed by radical, and very wealthy, elements within and around the royal family and he was on the list to be similarly removed. So he turned to Israel for advice on internal security, Saudi Israeli resulted and it's been downhill ever since.
The only path for continued survival for the Saudi rulers is to double-down on their brutal, 13th Century form of Islam called Sunni Wahabbism. But when their Israeli advisers ordered the United Snakes to remove Saddam Hussein from Iraq, that left a power vacuum that the Shia Iranians have filled very efficiently.
One of our rulers' favorite grifts is Privatization - their elected officials take a successful government program that was financed by the people and 'sell' it, for peanuts, to our rulers so they can rape & pillage it into irrelevancy and suck out all the PROFITZ! Ronald Reagan & Maggie Thatcher turned a Privatization cottage industry into a giant revenue-sucking machine. Today our rulers mostly prey upon public school systems with privatized "Charter Schools" that fail at an alarming rate - but our rulers still get their PROFITZ! As the Charter School grift is exposed for the scam that it is, the next grift is taking hold - privatized State Lotteries:
WASHINGTON (AP) - When Chris Christie privatized New Jersey's lottery two years ago, he said its new overseers would "modernize and maximize" the games.
Instead, a lottery once ranked among the nation's top performers is now lagging for the second straight year, trailing its state income targets by $64 million seven months into the current fiscal year. Meanwhile, the company running it has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire lobbyists and a public relations firm with close ties to the governor ...
Our rulers are desperate. Their weapons-factory PROFITZ! are DOWN. And the Iran Nuclear Deal is close. So they've sent some of their top ReePubwar-bitches in Congress to Israel for photo-ops with fake-semite Prime Minister Benny Mileikowski to grift donations and scare Amerikans about the Iran Deal. They need that new war-4-Israel fix SO bad they can't even wait out President Barry's term - they're playin' their trump card right now, Johnny 'War-Boy' McCain.
As Iran talks appear to be coming to a close with a successful agreement that would both lead to the lifting of international sanctions and restrictions that would prevent the country from obtaining nuclear weapons, most in the international community are relieved.
Yet Republicans have teamed up with their counterparts in the Israeli political system to do everything they can to obstruct a deal
But this past week Senator John McCain (R-AZ) ratcheted up this sabotage to a new level. During a floor speech he gave on March 24th, the senator suggested that Israel “go rogue” and that if they don't they may not survive the next 22 months of the Obama presidency:
McCAIN: The Israelis will need to chart their own path of resistance. On the Iranian nuclear deal, they may have to go rogue. Let's hope their warnings have not been mere bluffs. Israel survived its first 19 years without meaningful U.S. patronage. For now, all it has to do is get through the next 22, admittedly long, months.
Yeah. "Let's hope that we get World War III going because I need those PROFITZ! s-o-o-o-o-o bad."
Why do our rulers hate President Barry so much and portray him constantly in their media as being 'weak'? Because they want more wars-4-Israel and more PROFITZ! He has kept us out of war longer than any president since Ike and they can't stand it! Military expenditures worldwide are DOWN for the 3rd year in-a-row and our rulers are pissed. So they've got their Wall St. bitches screeching that the numbers are showing a dangerousdownward trend!
Worldwide military expenditure shrunk in 2013 for the second consecutive year, falling by 1.9% to $1.75 trillion. The 100 largest arms-producers sold a combined $402 billion worth of arms and military services in 2013, also down — for the third consecutive year ...
These are the companies profiting the most from war.
This is Margot Wallström, Sweden's foreign minister - the Swedish equivalent of John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State. She is an intelligent, and very brave woman. She is tired of this fucked-up bullshit and has decided to call out the religiousfruitcake rulers of Saudi Israelia for the misogynistic, paranoid, psychotic, raging assholes that they are.
A few weeks ago Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister, denounced the subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia. As the theocratic kingdom prevents women from traveling, conducting official business or marrying without the permission of male guardians, and as girls can be forced into child marriages where they are effectively raped by [dirty] old men ... Wallström went on to condemn the Saudi courts for ordering that Raif Badawi receive ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website that championed secularism and free speech. These were ‘mediaeval methods’, she said, and a ‘cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression’ ...
Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador and stopped issuing visas to Swedish businessmen. The United Arab Emirates joined it. The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, which represents 56 Muslim-majority states, accused Sweden of failing to respect the world’s ‘rich and varied ethical standards’ ... the Gulf Co-operation Council condemned her ...
Outside Sweden, the western media has barely covered the story, and Sweden’s EU allies have shown no inclination whatsoever to support her ...
Her criticism was not just rhetorical. She said that it was unethical for Sweden to continue with its military co-operation agreement with Saudi Arabia ... Sweden is the world’s 12th largest arms exporter ...
One of the best things about Amerika that we all learned about in high school Civics was that our forefathers wouldn't allow debtors' prison in their new country. There was a root difference between the USA and all those old countries in 'Yurp - the 14th Amendment protected citizens from jail for owing money. This became one of the cornerstones of that Amerikan Exceptionalism our rulers like boasting about on their Tee-vee all the time. Except, it's not true anymore.
When Jack Dawley returned in 2007 to his hometown ... he knew getting by would be difficult. He had a felony conviction and a history of past drug and alcohol abuse, although he’d been sober since 1999. He was unprepared for another obstacle, however: A few years later, he would keep landing in debtors’ prison.
Dawley did all right at first. For four years, he worked construction jobs and paid down the $1,400 in fines and court fees he owed the municipal court ... during his drunken years. But in 2012, he injured his back, lost his job and missed a payment on his court debt.
He was arrested and sentenced to jail for 10 days. When he got out, he had 90 days to make a payment. He failed, and went back to jail. A cycle was beginning: jail every 90 days ...
Although the United States outlawed debtors’ prison two centuries ago, that, in effect, is where Dawley kept going.
It is crowded there. The most infamous example today is Ferguson, Mo. There, the ... investigation of the police and courts portrays a system designed to jail the poor for their poverty.
The United Snakes is helping the Shiite-led, Iran-backed government that it left in Iraq, after spending about 3.5-trillion dollars creating it, by dropping Freedom Bombs™ on the Sunni mercenaries that Saudi Israelia is paying to overthrow that government there. At the same time, the United Snakes is dropping more Freedom Bombs™ on the Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by the Iranians, in their fight against the puppet government there, installed by the Saudi Israelians.
One hour, the U.S. is conducting airstrikes to combat Sunni extremists -- ISIS -- in Iraq ... The next hour, it's helping aid Saudi Arabia's bombing campaign against Shiite extremists -- the Houthi rebels -- in Yemen ... The backdrop, of course, is the clear proxy war in the Middle East between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia. But as the New York Times writes, one of the reasons why the United States has taken a more active role in the bombing campaign in Iraq is because it's worried that Iran now has too much influence in the country. "If the Americans did not engage, they feared becoming marginalized by Tehran in a country where they had spilled much blood in the last decade," the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
When MTV and VH1 made the corporate decision to stop playing music videos the medium was pretty much dead. It had choked on crony-capitalist excess that always stalked videos and ruined the opportunity for them to be the something other than a commercials for songs they were supposed to be artistically enlightening. The new video for "Botanica de Los Angeles" by the best post-punk band ever, Xiu Xiu, shows how wonderful this medium can be. Again.
This video is of a police stop of Floyd Dent, a 57-year-old black man and 37-year autoworker for Ford with absolutely no criminal record. The cops claim that when the Floyd opened his car door, he threatened to kill them. Of course, not one of the six cops in on this arrest of the most dangerous criminal in Michigan, that night, has his microphone on to record this threat. Then an otherwise boring, routine evening gets much more interesting for William Melendez, a cop with a record of planting false evidence, and his gang. They beat on Mr. Dent mercilessly, tase him 3-times and plant a bag of crack-cocaine in his car. And this all started because these sterling examples of law enforcement supposedly saw him slow-roll a 'Stop' sign.
As income-inequality grows, police actions like this will become more & more frequent. These types of cops, who we used to call 'Pigs' because of their aberrant behavior, are doing exactly what our rulers want - conditioning citizens to be frightened of 'authority' and more likely to countenance this sort of unwarranted violence and oppression from police.
This is a chart of U.S. Wars (click to enbiggen). On October 14, 2001 the Afghan War-4-Israel began - 13-years-and-5-months ago, making it the longest war in U.S. history. New Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, is in DC working hard for his Military Industrial Complex, neocon and Wall St. bosses, begging President Barry to keep The Troops!™ in his country and, thus, the money fire-hose wide-open, feeding everybody's Swiss bank accounts full-blast.
The White House says the U.S. will keep its current complement of 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2015, instead of cutting the number by about half as originally planned.
It says the size of the U.S. troop presence for 2016 will be decided later this year.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had asked Obama to slow the withdrawal of U.S. troops from his country. That's because Afghan security forces are bracing for a tough spring fighting season ...
The original plan was to cut the 9,800 troops to 5,500 by the end of this year.
Maybe President Barry is using the delayed troop reduction as a bargaining chip?