Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rise of the Drones: Death & Destruction From America With Love. Warning Graphic.

We drove by the USAF base on a regular basis - and we didn't know a thing about what was happening inside the perimeters. From Africa to Asia and Middle East, the U.S government have, for years, been destroying many lives in the Middle East under the disguise of fighting terrorists, especially the murdering of children.

And the military action starts to happen hidden in plain sight on military bases IN America. By 2013 there were 66 drone bases on American soil. The U.S. has now deployed drones armed with lethal force in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. Some 60 bases throughout the world are directly connected to the drone program–from Florida to Nevada in the U.S., from Ethiopia and Djibouti in Africa, to Qatar in the Middle East and the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean.
According to Turse, for the last three years, Xe Services, the company formerly known as Blackwater, has been in charge of arming the fleet of Predator drones at CIA clandestine sites in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The current and future drone bases can be viewed at:

In February 2013 Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was speaking to the Rotary Club in Easley, S.C when he enthusiastically announced that the drone strikes had killed 4,700 people ( we do not know the actual count ) failing to specify that the majority of these deaths are innocents and children.

How can one justify such massacres let alone be enthusiastic? This is not only bad foreign policy, but cold blooded murder.

I doubt that any grief can equal the grief of a mother or father holding his/her dead child. I also doubt that any anger can be as justified as when a parents seeks out to punish the murderer of their child.

A Pew survey reported that 75% of Pakistanis consider us their enemy. How can they think any differently? A former adviser to General Petraeus stated, “Every one of these dead noncombatants represents an alienated family, a new desire for revenge, and more recruits for a militant movement.” Indeed, militant groups have rapidly been forming, such as Lashkar, which has been attacking U.S. troops across the border in Afghanistan. The sentiment goes beyond Pakistan. A spokesperson for Yemen, also under attack told a U.S. Senate committee, “What radicals had previously failed to achieve in my village, one drone strike accomplished in an instant: There is now an intense anger and growing hatred of America.”

The use of such unmanned aircraft in the area began under President George W Bush, but their use has more than doubled under the Obama administration. Although the US does not routinely speak publicly about operations involving drones, President Obama confirmed that they regularly strike suspects in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Source:

A soldier sets out to graduate at the top of his class. He succeeds, and he becomes a drone pilot working with a special unit of the United States Air Force in New Mexico. He kills dozens of people. But then, one day, he realizes that he can’t do it anymore.
For more than five years, Brandon Bryant worked in an oblong, windowless container about the size of a trailer, where the air-conditioning was kept at 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) and, for security reasons, the door couldn’t be opened. Bryant and his coworkers sat in front of 14 computer monitors and four keyboards. When Bryant pressed a button in New Mexico, someone died on the other side of the world.

The container is filled with the humming of computers. It’s the brain of a drone, known as a cockpit in Air Force parlance. But the pilots in the container aren’t flying through the air. They’re just sitting at the controls.
Bryant was one of them, and he remembers one incident very clearly when a Predator drone was circling in a figure-eight pattern in the sky above Afghanistan, more than 10,000 kilometers (6,250 miles) away. There was a flat-roofed house made of mud, with a shed used to hold goats in the crosshairs, as Bryant recalls. When he received the order to fire, he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof with a laser. The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact.
“These moments are like in slow motion,” he says today. Images taken with an infrared camera attached to the drone appeared on his monitor, transmitted by satellite, with a two-to-five-second time delay.
With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds. Bryant felt as if he had to count each individual pixel on the monitor. Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says.
Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif.
Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

“Did we just kill a kid?” he asked the man sitting next to him.
“Yeah, I guess that was a kid,” the pilot replied.
“Was that a kid?” they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.
Then, someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. “No. That was a dog,” the person wrote.
They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?

The years of directing missiles by laser in so-called “terminal guidance” operations and watching their impact on the ground left him a broken man, he told the GQ magazine in the profile entitled “Confessions of a Drone Warrior.”

When he quit the air force in 2011 after six years’ service, he was presented with a list of achievements for his squadron’s missions that counted the number of enemies killed in action as 1,626.
“The number made me sick to my stomach,” he said.
Der Spiegel -

Pakistani family of drone strike victim gives harrowing testimony to Congress 

Translator brought to tears by family's plea as Congress hears from civilian victims of alleged US drone strike for the first time

The family of a 67-year-old midwife from a remote village in North Waziristan told lawmakers on Tuesday about her death and the "CIA drone" they say was responsible. Their harrowing accounts marked the first time Congress had ever heard from civilian victims of an alleged US drone strike.
Rafiq ur Rehman, a Pakistani primary school teacher who appeared on Capitol Hill with his children, Zubair, 13, and Nabila, 9, described his mother, Momina Bibi, as the "string that held our family together". His two children, who were gathering okra with their grandmother the day she was killed, on 24 October 2012, were injured in the attack.
"Nobody has ever told me why my mother was targeted that day," Rehman said, through a translator. "Some media outlets reported that the attack was on a car, but there is no road alongside my mother’s house. Others reported that the attack was on a house. But the missiles hit a nearby field, not a house. All of them reported that three, four, five militants were killed."
Instead, he said, only one person was killed that day: "Not a militant but my mother."
"In urdu we have a saying: aik lari main pro kay rakhna. Literally translated, it means the string that holds the pearls together. That is what my mother was. She was the string that held our family together. Since her death, the string has been broken and life has not been the same. We feel alone and we feel lost."
An Amnesty International report, published last week, lists Bibi among 900 civilians they say have been killed by drone strikes, a far higher number than previously reported. The Amnesty report said the US may have committed war crimes and should stand trial for its actions.
The US has repeatedly claimed very few civilians have been killed by drones. It argues its campaign is conducted "consistent with all applicable domestic and international law". Unofficial reports, however, have suggested that hundreds have been killed in Pakistan alone, with up to 200 children killed.
In poignant testimony, Rehman's son, Zubair, described the day of the attack, the day before the Muslim holy day of Eid, as a "magical time filled with joy". He told lawmakers that the drone had appeared out of a bright blue sky, the colour of sky most beloved by his grandmother and himself, he said.
"As I helped my grandmother in the field, I could see and hear the drone hovering overhead, but I didn’t worry" he said. "Why would I worry? Neither my grandmother nor I were militants."
"When the drone fired the first time, the whole ground shook and black smoke rose up. The air smelled poisonous. We ran, but several minutes later the drone fired again. "
"People from the village came to our aid and took us to hospital. We spent the night in great agony in at the hospital and the next morning I was operated on. That is how we spent Eid."
Zubair said that fear over the drone attacks on his community have stopped children playing outside, and stopped them attending the few schools that exist. An expensive operation, needed to take the shrapnel out of his leg, was delayed and he was sent back to the village until his father could raise the money, he said.
“Now I prefer cloudy days when the drones don’t fly. When the sky brightens and becomes blue, the drones return and so does the fear. Children don’t play so often now, and have stopped going to school. Education isn’t possible as long as the drones circle overhead.”
According to Zubair, the fundraising took months.
His sister, Nabila, told lawmakers that she had been gathering okra with her brother and grandmother when she saw a drone and "I heard the dum dum noise."
"Everything was dark and I couldn't see anything. I heard a scream. I think it was my grandmother but I couldn't see her.
"All I could think of was running."
Rehman told lawmakers that he is seeking answers to why his mother was targeted. The strike has affected his wider family, who no longer visit because they fear the drones might kill them too.
In testimony that caused the translator to stop and begin to weep, he said: "Congressman Grayson, as a teacher, my job is to educate. But how do I teach something like this? How do I explain what I myself do not understand? How can I in good faith reassure the children that the drone will not come back and kill them, too, if I do not understand why it killed my mother and injured my children?"
He said that his mother was not the first innocent victim of drone strike, but that "dozens of people in my own tribe that I know are merely ordinary tribesman had been killed". He said that numerous families in his community and the surrounding area had lost loved ones, including women and children over the years.
"They have suffered just like I have. I wish they had such an opportunity as well to come tell you their story. Until they can, I speak on their behalf as well. Drones are not the answer."
Rehman said that although the Pakistani government accepted his claim and confirmed details, it said it was not responsible and he has had no compensation to help with the medical treatment for his children.
Rehman said: "In the end I would just like to ask the American public to treat us as equals. Make sure that your government gives us the same status of a human with basic rights as they do to their own citizens. We do not kill our cattle the way US is killing humans in Waziristan with drones. This indiscriminate killing has to end and justice must be delivered to those who have suffered at the hands of unjust."
Asked what he would say to President Barack Obama, Rehman called on the Pakistani and US government to work together to achieve peace.
"I would say to President Obama if I had the opportunity to meet with him is: 'What happened to me and my family was wrong'. I would ask him to find an end, a peaceful end, to what is happening."
"I think that's something that the American government and the Pakistani government can work together to achieve."
Missing from the briefing on Tuesday was the account of Shahzad Akbar, an international critic of US drone policy and the family lawyer, who spearheaded the idea of bringing civilian victims of drone strikes to Congress and who was refused a visa for the third time. Reprieve, the British rights group which together with Brave New Foundation, helped the Rehman family travel to Washington, said he had 6,000 letters supporting his visit.
The hearing was attended by only five members of Congress, and Grayson said such low numbers of lawmakers at hearings were not unusual. Those attending were all Democrats: Rush Holt of New Jersey, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, John Conyers of Michigan, Rick Nolan of Minnesota, and Grayson, the Florida Democrat responsible for inviting the family to Washington and for holding the hearing.
Each of the lawmakers spoke about the drone programme to call for more transparency or greater oversight. Schakowsky said she agreed with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and their call for more transparency and debate about the targeted killing programme. Holt and Conyers called for a congressional investigation into drone strikes.
Grayson, a fierce critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan told the hearing: "Invading from the skies is no different from invading on the grounds. We should never accept that children and loved ones are acceptable collateral damage.” Was there any other human activity, he asked “where 10-30% of the dead are innocent?”
It began with a broadcast of Unmanned: America's Drone Wars, a film by Robert Greenwald of Brave New Foundation, which features the Rahman family.

CIA Drone Strikes In Pakistan 2004-2013
Total US strikes: 362
Obama strikes: 310
Total reported killed: 2,629-3,461
Civilians reported killed: 475-891
Children reported killed: 176
Total reported injured: 1,267-1,431

US Covert Action In Yemen 2002-2913 

Total confirmed US operations (all): 54-64 

Total confirmed US drone strikes: 42-52 

Possible extra US operations: 135-157

Possible extra US drone strikes: 77-93
Total reported killed (all): 374-1,112
Total civilians killed (all): 72-177
Children killed (all): 27-37

US Covert Action In Somalia 2007-2013
Total US strikes: 10-23
Total US drone strikes: 3-9
Total reported killed: 58-170
Civilians reported killed: 11-57
Children reported killed: 1-3

Partial List of Children Killed
Name | Age | Gender
Noor Aziz | 8 | male
Abdul Wasit | 17 | male
Noor Syed | 8 | male
Wajid Noor | 9 | male
Syed Wali Shah | 7 | male
Ayeesha | 3 | female
Qari Alamzeb | 14| male
Shoaib | 8 | male
Hayatullah KhaMohammad | 16 | male
Tariq Aziz | 16 | male
Sanaullah Jan | 17 | male
Maezol Khan | 8 | female
Nasir Khan | male
Naeem Khan | male
Naeemullah | male
Mohammad Tahir | 16 | male
Azizul Wahab | 15 | male
Fazal Wahab | 16 | male
Ziauddin | 16 | male
Mohammad Yunus | 16 | male
Fazal Hakim | 19 | male
Ilyas | 13 | male
Sohail | 7 | male
Asadullah | 9 | male
khalilullah | 9 | male
Noor Mohammad | 8 | male
Khalid | 12 | male
Saifullah | 9 | male
Mashooq Jan | 15 | male
Nawab | 17 | male
Sultanat Khan | 16 | male
Ziaur Rahman | 13 | male
Noor Mohammad | 15 | male
Mohammad Yaas Khan | 16 | male
Qari Alamzeb | 14 | male
Ziaur Rahman | 17 | male
Abdullah | 18 | male
Ikramullah Zada | 17 | male
Inayatur Rehman | 16 | male
Shahbuddin | 15 | male
Yahya Khan | 16 |male
Rahatullah |17 | male
Mohammad Salim | 11 | male
Shahjehan | 15 | male
Gul Sher Khan | 15 | male
Bakht Muneer | 14 | male
Numair | 14 | male
Mashooq Khan | 16 | male
Ihsanullah | 16 | male
Luqman | 12 | male
Jannatullah | 13 | male
Ismail | 12 | male
Taseel Khan | 18 | male
Zaheeruddin | 16 | male
Qari Ishaq | 19 | male
Jamshed Khan | 14 | male
Alam Nabi | 11 | male
Qari Abdul Karim | 19 | male
Rahmatullah | 14 | male
Abdus Samad | 17 | male
Siraj | 16 | male
Saeedullah | 17 | male
Abdul Waris | 16 | male
Darvesh | 13 | male
Ameer Said | 15 | male
Shaukat | 14 | male
Inayatur Rahman | 17 | male
Salman | 12 | male
Fazal Wahab | 18 | male
Baacha Rahman | 13 | male
Wali-ur-Rahman | 17 | male
Iftikhar | 17 | male
Inayatullah | 15 | male
Mashooq Khan | 16 | male
Ihsanullah | 16 | male
Luqman | 12 | male
Jannatullah | 13 | male
Ismail | 12 | male
Abdul Waris | 16 | male
Darvesh | 13 | male
Ameer Said | 15 | male
Shaukat | 14 | male
Inayatur Rahman | 17 | male
Adnan | 16 | male
Najibullah | 13 | male
Naeemullah | 17 | male
Hizbullah | 10 | male
Kitab Gul | 12 | male
Wilayat Khan | 11 | male
Zabihullah | 16 | male
Shehzad Gul | 11 | male
Shabir | 15 | male
Qari Sharifullah | 17 | male
Shafiullah | 16 | male
Nimatullah | 14 | male
Shakirullah | 16 | male
Talha | 8 | male
Afrah Ali Mohammed Nasser | 9 | female
Zayda Ali Mohammed Nasser | 7 | female
Hoda Ali Mohammed Nasser | 5 | female
Sheikha Ali Mohammed Nasser | 4 | female
Ibrahim Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 13 | male
Asmaa Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 9 | male
Salma Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 4 | female
Fatima Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 3 | female
Khadije Ali Mokbel Louqye | 1 | female
Hanaa Ali Mokbel Louqye | 6 | female
Mohammed Ali Mokbel Salem Louqye | 4 | male
Jawass Mokbel Salem Louqye | 15 | female
Maryam Hussein Abdullah Awad | 2 | female
Shafiq Hussein Abdullah Awad | 1 | female
Sheikha Nasser Mahdi Ahmad Bouh | 3 | female
Maha Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 12 | male
Soumaya Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 9 | female
Shafika Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 4 | female
Shafiq Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 2 | male
Mabrook Mouqbal Al Qadari | 13 | male
Daolah Nasser 10 years | 10 | female
AbedalGhani Mohammed Mabkhout | 12 | male
Abdel- Rahman Anwar al Awlaki | 16 | male
Abdel-Rahman al-Awlaki | 17 | male
Nasser Salim | 19

The United States motto is, "In God We Trust." We need to change that because it would be hard to justify such a hypocritical motto if we continue to do Satan's bidding.  We have met the enemy - and he is us!

Anonymous- The Story of the Hacktivists (Full Documentary)

To the average citizen they came onto the world scene out of nowhere. Internet hackers, associated with Anonymous, Electronic Disturbance Theater, LulzSec and others, who had such advanced skills that they could control the internet, and bring global corporate giants and governments to their knee's.

Often with more than an inventive sense of humor as the front page of the British newspaper, the sun, showed in July of 2011. The hoax story suggested Murdoch had taken [the rare-earth metal] "palladium" before "stumbling into his famous topiary garden late last night".

Or, when LulzSec broke into the website of the US public service broadcaster PBS and published a fake article claiming rapper Tupac Shakur was alive and living in New Zealand.

Most participants in the groups of hackers were socially conscious, human and civil rights activists. They have, combined, changed the world for the better, taking control out of the hands of those who had full control of our lives -  leveling the playing field.

That was global. From the Middle East, to the America's, Europe and Eurasia..

But then the arrests and criminal trials started and we saw such a misuse of our court systems as lengthy pre-trial detentions, convictions and sentences far beyond those given to violent criminals became the norm. Many, like Mercedes Haefer,  and the Paypal 14 made plea deals.

Mercedes Haefer, an undergraduate student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who was indicted in July 2011 with 13 others for alleged conspiracy to commit DDoS attacks against PayPal's website, spoke out briefly about her case in the panel session entitled "Anonymous and the Online Fight for Justice."

Nearly two years after the charges made headlines, the case remains an anxiety-provoking daily reality for Covelli and his 13 co-defendants. Though they come from disparate worlds -- drawn from different points on the map and stages in their lives -- the defendants collectively share a sense of unsettling uncertainty, their plans and aspirations stuck in a limbo of indeterminate duration as they await a resolution of their case.
Their wait may be nearing a conclusion. This week, the defendants -- known collectively as the "PayPal 14" -- attended a closed-door hearing in federal court in San Francisco in hopes of negotiating a settlement that could keep them out of prison. Lawyers for both sides declined to discuss the negotiations, but a joint court filing called the meeting "productive."

Some of the early antics were socially unacceptable. Annoying perhaps. but as the movement made the transition into justifiable civil & human rights  activism the reaction from certain political persuasions was shocking. The radical right wing quickly branded Anonymous as "terrorists," just as they had Assange, Wikileaks, and eventually Snowden, totally oblivious to the fact that they were benefiting from the very action they condemned. To risk jail time in order to stop corruption is not a "small deal." It is a huge  risk, for a noble cause.

In the Middle East hackers from around the world became the very backbone of the Arab Spring movement.  In the west, corporate strangleholds started to feel the threatening presence of a movement on the move that wasn't going to be stopped - but would stop the nefarious dealings of the corporate world and governmental deceit.

And as each hacker was arrested... 100 more surfaced and was motivated to action.  My personal belief is that we need these groups of hackers, but my prayer is that they will continue to work in the field of social, human and civil rights and not venture to the dark side.

From Texas:


We are Anonymous. Never mind what you have heard about us in the media.
Create your own opinion. Find out your own facts. Look in to things, for yourself.
The media would have you believe we are cyber terrorists.
This could not be any more in accurate.
Our actions have brought justice to this world.
From Egypt to Libya. Now, we are here, San Antonio.

Our goal is to make this community, state, and country, as a whole,
a better place free from tyrant and corruption.
The bad news is, our leaders are, not our knight in shining armor.
The good news is that, together, as one, we can be our knights in shining armor.
Together, we can be fearless of our unaccountable leaders.

Along with feeding the homeless and less fortunate,
Anonymous has been keeping a close watch on the investigation regarding
the tasering and beating of Pierre Abernathy.

nonymous, would like you to join us in peaceful resistance as
we speak out against such acts of cruelty and injustice. Together, as one, we
can make our community a much better, and safer, place.

We are the local collective of San Antonio's Anonymous idea. We are here to share our information collected by our local citizens about issues happening in our community that we all know are wrong. We are here to tell the city of San Antonio that we will not stand for the unjust and corruptions. We are here and we will be heard. We the 99% are tired of the 1% corruption and greed.

We are SAnonymous Street Crew
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect Us San Antonio, Texas.

Anonymous message to SAnonymous Street Crew:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Don't Get Stuck On Stupid

 Yesterday I was speaking to someone about a US map.  She pointed towards an island below Arizona and asked which island that was. I told her that was Alaska.

Without a blink of embarrassment she started to argue that Alaska was NOT below Arizona, and she knew because they had visited Alaska some years prior.

For a reason few people can understand we have actually started to celebrate stupidity in ways that other nationalities have difficulty understanding.  No one exemplifies this better than Sarah Palin.

Sarah Palin thought the queen is the actual head of the British government. She had no idea that the UK had a Prime Minister.
Neither did she know what "the Fed" was, as in the Federal Reserve System.
The history of World War I and World War II, and Germany's involvement in them was a blank sheet of paper to her.
Lehman Brothers' spiral, and the country's economic collapse in general - she was hopelessly uninformed.
North Korea is the US ally in the dizzy world of Sarah Palin.

 Yet the right wing seem totally oblivious to her lack of knowledge or her inconsistencies. They don't seem to be able to recognize stupidity when they see it.  I am unsure that the left wing do any better. They did vote for Obama after all.. isn't that proof?

So I did a quick web search to find out what the real journalists are saying about this subject and found a wealth of information:

Opinion: America's problem -- we're too dumb - CNN

America the Clueless - NY Times

Are Americans too stupid for democracy ?- Salon. com

How Ignorant Are Americans? - Newsweek

A.A.Gill on America, Europes Greatest Invention. - Excerpt from Vanity Fair.

"Stupid, stupid. Americans are stupid. America is stupid. A stupid, stupid country made stupid by stupid, stupid people.” 

Why Americans Are Becoming Stupid - Huffington Post

Scientists say America is too dumb for democracy to thrive- San Fransisco Gate 

Time to Americans: You are stupid, vapid, self absorbed narcissists.  - Patheos

Kerry defends liberties, says Americans have a right to be stupid - Reuters
 "The reason is, that's freedom, freedom of speech. In America you have a right to be stupid — if you want to be. And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be. "
 And Kerry said this in a speech in Germany. What a wonderful reflection of our society when the representative for the country implies that stupidity is yet another freedom to applaud.  

America The Ignorant - Outside The Beltway

America - An Ignorant Nation - Rense

Looking outside of the United States found even worse results:

Are Americans dumb? No, it's the inequality, stupid. - The Guardian

The Dumbing Down of America- Pravda 

Defending American Ignorance - Francistapo

The author of this letter to the editor of Morehead City, NC's Carteret County News-Times thinks that the term "natural born citizen" in Article II of the Constitution means someone who wasn't delivered via a C-section.

And the editor printed it?

A Gallop poll shows that 1 in 4 Americans believe we won our independence from a country OTHER than Great Britain. Many people said France. Others said China. China! I'll let that sink in. China! Gonna repeat it a few times. China! Nothing against China (!), but China? (!)  

I wanted to know if we are stupid just in the political arena, or if this is an affliction can be found everywhere we turn. 

The writer of the letter to the editor below clearly has nothing against other religions, as long as they are Christian denominations.. it's the people who have no religious affiliation she wants to leave the country.

Has she not heard that the United States practices "separation of church and state?" Perhaps she ought to heed the advice of the letter printed below her letter and go fishing.

This next writer doesn't want to kick anyone out.. in fact she would prefer that we don't see all terrorists as bad. "Terror-ist" 

Is there a new definition for the word terror that I fail to understand?
Is the word "terror

"Fema probe reveals rain caused floods"  
I question FEMA's professionalism and I think they should be made to prove that the rain caused the floods. Perhaps someone left their bath running?

In March 2009, the European Journal of Communication asked citizens of Britain, Denmark, Finland and the U.S. to answer questions on international affairs.
Europe came out on top. Around three quarters of British, Finnish and Danish people could, for example, identify the Taliban but just over a half of Americans could, despite the fact they led the charge in Afghanistan.
Many blame it on the complexity of the U.S. political system.

The problem I have found in America is that people are indoctrinated with political dogma and they never learn to comprehend or digest any information that does not fit a preconceived notion. They literally get "stuck on stupid."

Arguing with anyone from the radical right wing about universal healthcare is like arguing with a 4 yr old child who say's that he hates broccoli when he has never tasted broccoli in his life.

It makes poor bedfellows when ones "ideals" ignore concrete facts and contradictions, and no one can doubt that the political atmosphere fosters the desire to keep trying to make square pegs fit into round holes.

I normally do not prescribe to any degree of selfishness .. but when it comes to knowledge I advocate a selfish approach. Knowledge is more than reading, writing, and arithmetic in an academic setting. It is more than a university degree, or high school diploma. It is beyond the responsibility of schools or educational boards.. it is a personal responsibility. It is one of the most important investments an individual can make for themselves, their future and is critical to understanding the world around us and the complexity of the issues.

Few knew better than Albert Einstein - “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.” One never saw late night comedians mocking Albert Einstein!