Monday, September 17, 2007

Oh, Blackwater Keep on Rolling

In what is perhaps the most momentous decision by the current Iraqi government, the operating license of private contractor, Blackwater - the second largest military force in Iraq, has been revoked. The announcement by Nouri al-Maliki was made on the heels of an incident that occurred on Sept.17 in which a shoot-out involving Blackwater followed a car bombing. The violence left eight civilians shot to death and thirteen injured. Blackwater, has long conducted business as they've seen fit with virtually no oversight or repercussions from the U.S., be it military or government. More than a year ago, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held hearings into spending and other abuses in Iraq where testimony revealed the contracted mercenaries indiscriminate civilian killings have been consistent since their entry into the conflict. Rep. Henry Waxman (D. CA), who was present at the hearings and has since become chair, has vowed to investigate this recent event. However, there is little clarity as to whether any entity has jurisdiction over determining punishment.

After the horrors of Hurricane Katrina, the first boots on the ground in New Orleans were those belonging to Blackwater. The city was essentially under martial law. As doctors, medical supplies, food, and drinking water were denied access, the private militia were allowed to ride rough-shod over the town with orders to shoot to kill any and all looters. It would be a full five days before FEMA and other emergency relief would arrive, but trained snipers would be allowed freedom of movement.

In an underreported related topic, Blackwater West is in the planning stages in Potrero, a small town on the California/Mexico border. The intention is to build a massive training camp, where military exercises would be carried out. Not surprisingly, the location has local neighbors as well as Mexicans a bit nervous. Blackwater's involvement in rendition extradition, where detainees have been transported to countries whose interrogation methods include torture, as well as their assistance in immigration detainment, leave an unsettling curiosity.

Founded by former Navy Seal and billionaire heir Erik Prince in 1997, Blackwater's roots have strong conservative and political ties. Prince's father, Edgar, was a domestic adviser for Ronald Reagan. He later became the leader of the Family Research Council and has been closely tied to anti-choice activist, Gary Bauer. Erik's sister, Betsy, was formerly the head of the Michigan Republican Party and is the wife of Dick DeVos, son of Amway founder, Richard DeVos. Amway has been reported to have donated more than $7 million to Republican candidates, and DeVos has personally donated $650,000 to Republicans, $2 million to conservative special interest groups including Focus on the Family, The Heritage Foundation, and The Federalist Society, and $1,000 to Democrat Joe Torsella. Erik himself had once interned for George H.W. Bush, but had decided that he was too liberal and opted to work for Pat Buchanan during his presidential candidacy. Presidential Airways, Inc., revealed by Washington Post writer Dana Priest (who also broke the Walter Reed hospital scandal) to have been contracted to provide air support for CIA secret prisons, is also owned by Blackwater. These are merely a portion of examples that the Princes, DeVos, and Blackwater have their hands in.

And so it seems that Nouri al-Maliki has finally done what our representatives should have done long ago and taken the first step towards standing up to an ideological murderous militia who have been bilking tax payers out of billions of dollars. In fact, if we were simply to pull Blackwater out of Iraq, that would easily equal the return of the escalation that Gen. Patraeus has promised, taking us back to the initial numbers of troops, but who are beholden to laws. The other mercenaries, DynCorps and Triple Canopy, should follow suit. That might be an initial move towards ending this sad, miserable occupation and returning hope to the people of Iraq as well as rebuilding of the respect of other nations.

For more information on Blackwater, see:

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Outsourcing IN The USA

Just in time for Labor Day, this little present from gdub (george bush) and NAFTA.

Kill The Unions!

Yep.. that is EXACTLY what they are trying to do! If you can not outsource the work to another country, then out source the labor within Our Own Country!

Mexico trucks to roll on U.S. highways

Working to kill unions on LABOR Day Weekend! This should be a frickin HUGE story! This story and Our Actions (if we choose to do anything about this) should have legs... Running Loud Stomping Legs!

This WILL Kill Union trucking! PERIOD! How long do you think other unions will survive if the Teamsters are taken down? Remember that trucking and our ports are tightly tied together. Will our Longshoreman Unions be next?

Why do I hear NOTHING from the OCE crowd (obama clinton edwards) when We The People are being f 'd over once again?

What are WE going to do about this? Why are we not screaming about this?!

More here:

The only people this helps is the rich and the corporations. Diluting the work force always has the same goals and and the same outcomes. The loss of jobs, pay and security. This is the continuing saga of the wal-marting of the USA.

Just as corporations and stock holders look for the short term profit, many people here and around the world look for low prices and what is quick and easy. Both of these situations and ways of thinking are destructive, not only to the ones doing it but also to the majority of society.

If We The People are not willing to put a stop to stuff like this, then we can only blame ourselves for allowing it.

Our jobs, our way of life, our security, our health, Our US Constitution are all in danger. It is in OUR hands to do something about the corporatism that has run amok both here and around the world! It is up to all of us to make a choice, to think, to take action, to get up off of Our Dead Asses and make a friggin difference!

By the way, this is not about Mexicans. This is about neo-cons republicans and corporatist selling out the USA for profit (they are also doing this to other parts of the world). Keep us busy, keep us down, keep us from voting... keeps the corporatist in power. This is just one more nail in the coffin of the middle class in the USA.

Speak Up and Speak Out!