November 25, 2007 archive

Kos on my radio show…

So anyway, I finally got out of the South.

Instead of getting in trouble for doing what I want to do on the radio, now it’s part of what they pay me for.

Had a guest on Friday.

More data below the fold.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Former PM Sharif returns to Pakistan

By SLOBODAN LEKIC, Associated Press Writer

1 hour, 15 minutes ago

LAHORE, Pakistan – Exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif returned home to a hero’s welcome Sunday and called on President Gen. Pervez Musharraf to end emergency rule before elections, a fresh challenge to the U.S.-backed leader.

“These (emergency) conditions are not conducive to free and fair elections,” Sharif told reporters at the airport after arriving from Saudi Arabia. “I think the constitution of Pakistan should be restored, and there should be rule of law.”

Sharif, the head of one of the country’s main opposition parties, said he had not negotiated his return with Musharraf, who overthrew him in a 1999 coup. Musharraf expelled Sharif when he first tried come back to Pakistan this year.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective


Long Distance Runaround

Coming to America, SF meetup?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

What does America mean to me?

Chinese food and a meeting with mutants!

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I need to return to the land and city of my birth. I sort of dread leaving my dusty little Mexican coastal town and plunging back into the sea of gringos, lol. But it will also be great to see friends and family….and even you guys! I’ll be getting in too late to get over to Sallycat’s meetup in Marin, but if any of you wish to join OTB and I for a nice dinner on the third or fourth of December in SF, let’s work out the details!

Globalization, Trade And NAFTA: A Defense of Trade Agreements

Free trade is good. Does anyone disagree? Even “fair traders” agree today. We do not hear about nakedly protectionist domestic content legislation anymore. The “fair traders” argue instead for the need for a “fair playing field” on issues like environmental and labor standards.

But is this new emphasis on equal labor and environmental standards really about anything but protectionism? Is there really an expectation of that countries like Peru, Mexico and the Central American countries (not to mention China and India) will meet US labor and environmental standards? the irony is of course that this would be a form of erstwhile globalization – an attempt to impost US standards on the Thrid World – if it were sincere. It is not. It is just a new way of defending an old idea – protectionism.

I think the evidence of this is obvious – in no other context do we see a drive for higher labor and environmental standards in the Third World. Consider the issue of climate change:

. . . George Bush pulled the US out of the Kyoto treaty, which requires 36 industrial nations to cut greenhouse emissions by at least 5 per cent from 1990 levels by 2012. The US president says Kyoto unfairly burdens rich countries while exempting developing ones such as China and India.

Developing nations say rich states built up their economies without emissions restraints and argue that less-developed countries should have the same opportunity to establish their economies now.

But as emissions from places such as China and India grow, environmentalists say action by the developed world alone will not be enough to stop the warming trend.

Does anyone think George Bush shares the concern of environmentalists on this? Or is it an excuse? And does anyone really think Mexico, Peru and the Central American countries are comparable to China and India on this? Of course not. This is pretext for protextionism.


The Age of Phobia

The guiding principles of this country came from the Age of Reason, the Enlightenment. There was light and hope as the Europeans established the charters and documents declaring a new nation of freedom in this land. Of course in practice, there was the attempted destruction of the original American peoples and the importation of other peoples for labor, against their will. In over two hundred years, the nation still struggles with those injustices, even though some progress in that regard has been achieved. It still struggles with the need for cheap labor. The current masters of the capitalist machine continue to “use” labor via outsourcing and importing immigrants, where the rules of fairness and equality can be bypassed. But getting back to light and reason, they are dimming and sputtering with this dawn of a new century, this insane project for a new American century. The light is being snuffed by phobia. This twenty-first century has evolved into the full blown Age of Phobia: intense irrational fear, with all the darkness, anxiety, suspicion, paranoia, suppression, depression and misinformation that Fear with a capital F can propagate.  

Blog Voices This Week 11/25/07

I’m going to move away from my normal content this week. I know this means that I risk two things: first of all, buhdy might get mad that I’m not posting what I was originally asked to write about and secondly, I will make the title of this series meaningless to my content. I must admit that I’m much more nervous about the later.

But my motivation this week comes from a series that Nezua has done over at “The Unapologetic Mexican” titled Let’s Have Nexus. I think the content of this series fits very nicely with the goals of Docudharma in that he is stepping above the current fray and trying to find patterns that can help us change direction. He’s also trying to find common ground as a way to build coalition across different interest groups, which I think is the struggle of our times.

Pony Party: Sunday music retrospective

Neil Young

Heart of Gold

Gore (Vidal, that is) on Kucinich and More! w/poll!

Albert Gore is not the only Gore of the Democratic Party.  Indeed, a Gore who’s perhaps even more important (from the intellectual side) is now speaking and writing about Dennis Kucinich!

Docudharma Times Sunday Nov.25

This an Open Thread: So open it already

Headlines for Sunday November 25th.: As Democrats See Security Gains in Iraq, Tone Shifts: U.S. Notes Limited Progress in Afghan War: Losing ground in Alaska: U.S. Scales Back Political Goals for Iraqi Unity


As Democrats See Security Gains in Iraq, Tone Shifts


Published: November 25, 2007

As violence declines in Baghdad, the leading Democratic presidential candidates are undertaking a new and challenging balancing act on Iraq: acknowledging that success, trying to shift the focus to the lack of political progress there, and highlighting more domestic concerns like health care and the economy.

Advisers to Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama say that the candidates have watched security conditions improve after the troop escalation in Iraq and concluded that it would be folly not to acknowledge those gains.

Welcome to the US. Now, Bend Over and Grab Your Ankles…

The ridiculously weak US dollar is supposed to provide at least a few advantages to the poor Americans who are stuck with them. For example, we should expect more international tourism, increased consummerism, and a boost to hotels and restaurants. But that’s not happening. Foreign tourists are shunning the United States because they are appalled by the way they are treated trying to enter this country.

British tourists turn their backs on America

Fewer Britons are visiting the United States than in the year 2000, despite an exchange rate that makes holidays much better value than they were then. This week, when the pound rose to $2.07, its highest level against the dollar for 26 years, the US Office of Travel and Tourism Industries released figures that confirm how badly tourism from Britain has been suffering since the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the measures enacted in response to them.

Now why is that? (As if you couldn’t guess.)

I know there is nothing I enjoy more than a surprise rectal exam upon arriving at my vacation destination. How about you?

With the collapse of the dollar making everything in the US cheap beyond belief, you’d think that the tourists would be clammoring to stay and play. This should have been a record year for the US travel industry, in line with a rapid rise in global tourism and our peso-like currency.

Discover America Partnership (DAP), an umbrella body of leading figures in the US tourism industry, is working to cut waiting times at airport arrivals, streamline customs controls and offer a friendlier welcome in an attempt to attract more holidaymakers.

Unfortunately, it estimates that since 2001 international visitors to Boston have fallen by 25 per cent, to Miami by 33 per cent, to Chicago by 21 per cent and to Los Angeles by 29 per cent.

For starters, our visitors (with their tourist cash) are now required to have prints taken of all 10 fingers. But that is only for starters. Wait… You can’t believe how seriously we demean them…

A spokesman for the Discover America Partnership said: “Ten-finger scan technology will improve security and streamline the entry process. However, deployment of the technology may be misconstrued as unwelcoming and intrusive, further discouraging inbound overseas travel.”

Ya think? Find out how grossed out US visitors really are, below.

Iglesia ………………………..Episode 12


(You can read last Tuesday’s episode here or click on the tag for all the episodes!)


“Oh, you really shouldn’t have said that,” the gravelly, familiar voice behind the blinding light said, “you really should have pretended you didn’t see Ralph’s face. I thought we taught you better than that.”

“Oh Holy Shit.”

The light swung away from his eyes…..and onto his partners, which were wide with shock, as he supposed, were his own. He had to crane his neck to see his partner, who seemed much cooler and more collected than he felt, but that was part of their training too. But his eyes gave him away. Remember to control your eyes next time, he thought to himself. Unbidden, Robert Redford’s voice came into his head and said, “yeah……next time.


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