May 14, 2008 archive

Planet Shit Dispatch: White Trash For Hillary Edition

Clinton Scores West Virginia Landslide!

The bitter and recalcitrant Hillary Rodham-Clinton’s whopping 43 percent win in the West Virginia primary despite the category 5 spin doesn’t mean jack fucking shit. Consider that the mountaineer state’s demographics, the sort of folks that Clinton aide Mickey Kantor so eloquently refers to as “white niggers” make the longtime GOP red state base denizens of peckerwood nation down south of the Mason-Dixon Line look like a fucking master race by comparison. These hard-workin’ (when they are able to even find jobs that haven’t been offshored) white voters are as easily duped with allegations of secret Muslim conspiracies, anti-Americanism by a ‘darky’ who refuses to wear a flag pin or hold his hand over his heart during the ridiculous fucking Stalinist pledge of allegiance and actually gives a rat’s ass about economic conditions in such capitalist desecrated shit holes like West Virginia rather than engage in laying stink bait about guns, gays and God.  

Feeling safe at home?

Other than my occasional irrational reactions to odd noises that go “bump” in the night, I pretty much feel safe in my home. As a matter of fact, it is a sanctuary for me where I can relax, be myself and get away from the everyday pressures of finding a way to make it in this world. There is a reason why, when we have company, the most welcoming thing we can say is “Relax and make yourself at home.”

Because I treasure the sanctuary that “home” is for me, there are two stories that I have come across in the last few days that have haunted me a bit. They have no real relationship to each other besides the fact that they involve a violation of the sanctity of “home.”

25 Years – just part of a lifetime

On this day in 1983 I married my best friend after knowing him for 5 years. We are still best friends 25 years later and looking forward to many more. As friends we support each other and care and make the other laugh. We have shared so many things…and watched as the world changed around us, and we changed.

So…just cause I’m in a mellow mood I thought I’d put up a timeline of important things that have happened along this 25 year road out in the world. And I noticed that the more things change, the more they stay the same. This is by no means a comprehensive list…just kind of a ponder at how much really happens in 25 years.

Four at Four

  1. The Los Angeles Times reports Consumer prices up just 0.2% in April, but there’s a catch. “The government’s main inflation gauge, the consumer price index, rose just 0.2% in April, when adjusted for seasonal changes, the Labor Department reported. Since energy prices normally go up in March and April, the department said, the seasonally corrected index showed energy prices as flat… The government noted that gasoline prices actually rose 5.6% in April, which is about what is expected this time of year. The problem for consumers is that the prices were so high to begin with — the department said that in nominal terms, gasoline prices are up 20.9% nationally over the past 12 months.”

    Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports Food prices see greatest monthly increase in nearly 20 years. “Food prices have risen 6.1 percent in the past three months on a seasonally adjusted annual basis. The one-month rise between March and April of 0.9 percent was the biggest since January 1990, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics… The costs of cereal and bakery products increased 1.4 percent from March to April and have risen nearly 20 percent in the past three months on a seasonally adjusted basis. Prices for fats and oils jumped more than 5 percent in April, on a seasonally adjusted annual basis, and have increased more than 26 percent in the past three months. Prices for sugars and sweets increased more than 10 percent during that same period.”

    The Guardian reports US property foreclosures up 65%. “The wave of misery caused by America’s sub-prime mortgage crisis engulfed more homeowners in April as foreclosures leapt by 65% year-on-year… Banks filed foreclosure papers on 243,353 US properties last month according to RealtyTrac, an online marketplace for repossessed homes. The figure was up 4% on March” and would be higher if not for court backlog.

    The Washington Post adds Standards of living are challenged, burdened by the weight of inflation. “Nearly seven in 10 Americans are worried about maintaining their standard of living… Soaring consumer prices are a major challenge, with many people struggling under the weight of the rising costs of fuel, food and health care… Overall, two-thirds called rising gasoline prices a financial hardship, including a third who said higher pump prices have proved to be a severe burden.” But, “U.S. gasoline consumption has continued to grow gradually over the past five years even as crude oil prices have quadrupled, but there are some signs in the poll that prices have finally hit a level that is altering driving habits.”

    But Wall Street doesn’t notice reality — just some cooked book numbers from the Bush administration. Instead, the Associated Press reports Stocks advance following better-than-expected inflation read. “Stocks steamed higher Wednesday after a better-than-expected report on consumer prices tempered some of Wall Street’s concerns about inflation. The Dow Jones industrial average rose more than 100 points.”

    And the Wall Street Journal gleefully plasters across the front page: Recession? Not So Fast, Say Some. “Economists also cite swift policy responses, including a sharp reduction in interest rates by the Fed — to 2% from 5.25% last September — and the distribution of fiscal-stimulus checks to millions of Americans, as factors possibly easing the downturn.” All that was done was to shift the blame to the next administration.

    I think the problems are just starting,” said Lehman Brothers economist Drew Matus, citing high gasoline prices and tightening lending standards, saying that prolonged stagnation can be worse than a recession.

    Asked in an interview… whether the U.S. could avoid a recession, Gary Stern, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said, “No,” adding, “But there are recessions and then there are recessions….The average resident doesn’t distinguish between whether the economy is growing half a percent or one and a half percent….It’s more, how does this feel?”

    It feels like the next administration is being set up for very bad things.

Four at Four continues with renewed fears for the Amazon, a contentious objector’s day in court, and the next low-wage stop for globalization.

Between Two Worlds

I am an optimist, but by no means a blind optimist. There are very bad people doing very bad things in this world…one could even use the word evil, depending on how one defines evil, one could possibly even say there are evil people in this world.

(eĀ·vil    Pronunciation[ee-vuhl)


1. morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life.

2. harmful; injurious: evil laws.

3. characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous: to be fallen on evil days.

4. due to actual or imputed bad conduct or character: an evil reputation.

5. marked by anger, irritability, irascibility, etc.: He is known for his evil disposition.

Ok………………..there are evil people in this world!


Re-establishing the Rule of Law for the Ruling Class

We have come to a place unimagined even by Orwell who got so much right.  


Ironing boards for peace

San Francisco organizers are taking it to the streets — their ironing board, that is.

Here’s what they’re suggesting as an Iraq Moratorium activity on Friday, the ninth monthly Moratorium action:

Make a difference – join us in neighborhood outreach! Stand at an ironing board at a busy location with a partner to help you and speak to that frustrated, angry person who doesn’t know what to do. Get them to write a message on a postcard to their congressperson or presidential candidate. It’s fun, people are so appreciative and eager to speak out! In an hour or two you will reach 50+ people. Please help, choose a time and location of your choice, we have materials! Locations: Golden Gate Park, City Hall, Farmer’s market, 9th and Irving, City College, Tenderloin and more.

One woman who’s tried it out lately says that is an effective way to engage people and get them to do something.  Why an ironing board?  They’re portable, quick and easy to set up, and allow people to write standing up.

Progressive organizers have spent many hours over the years sitting behind tables filled with literature, signs, petitions, and buttons — so many that the act of sitting at such a table has developed into a verb.  They call it “tabling.”

One of these days, will we be at a meeting where we hear talk of “ironing boarding?”

The ironing boards are but one facet of plans for Iraq Moratorium #9 on Friday, as evidenced by more than 100 events listed at the Moratorium website.

Cincinnati’s Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center will sponsor half a dozen neighborhood vigils in different parts of the city on Friday night.  

In Manitou Springs CO, Iraq Veterans Against the War will sponsor “Words of Resistance,” an evening of poetry and spoken word from Iraq veterans, and a chance to share your own as well.

In Naples FL, a group of military veterans and spouses from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and parentswho have sons in Iraq will hold a roadside vigil.

In Chicago, it’s Art Against war, with a night of music and poetry at the Heartland Cafe.

And in Laramie WY, there will be a vigil on the corner where there has been a vigil every Friday since January 2003.  In Lansing MI there’s been a Friday vigil at the State Capitol since September, 2001.  Oak Park IL has more than five years of vigils as well.

There’s a full list on the website, along with some ideas about what you can do as an individual if you can’t find or attend an action where you live.

The whole idea is to do something — anything — to show your opposition to the war, whether it’s wearing an armband or writing your members of Congress or donating to a peace group working to end the war and occupation.  Or get out your own ironing board and do some outreach.  All it takes to have an action is two people and a sign.  Or maybe one person and an ironing board.

Friday’s the day.  Please do something.


In Asia: The Best, The Worst, and the Most Criminal Of Humanity

Some of the worst of humanity, serial bomb blasts in the Indian city of Jaipur, killing 80, injuring 200:

Asia Times Online attempts to analyze the event, including the possibility that this is state-sponsored terrorism used as a type of cheap negotiation tactic.

Pony Party, Morning Pony

More bad news for Myanmar: Another cyclone may hit

As if the devastation from Cyclone Nargis on May 3 was not enough. As if the inability of the government to help the victims or allow international aid organizations to feed and shelter the millions in need was not enough.  As if the people of Myanmar had not suffered enough death, disease, hunger, thirst, cold, and fear.  An estimated 2 million survivors of the storm are still in need of emergency aid.  To date, U.N. agencies and other groups have been able to reach only 270,000 people.

Bottlenecks, poor logistics, limited infrastructure and the military government’s refusal to allow foreign aid workers have left most of the delta’s survivors living in miserable conditions without food or clean water. The government’s efforts have been criticized as woefully slow.


The situation is about to get much, much worse.  Forecasters are now tracking another tropical low that is expected to become another cyclone and track into the already devastated Irriwaddy delta.

DailyKos let me down yesterday. This is important!

Cross-posted at dkos.

Special intro for docudharma version

This diary is written for the dKos audience in hopes of achieving a wide readership.  I had not intended to post it here, as it began as a fairly straightforward plagiarization of tahoebasha3’s diary, Overlooked by Media, Important Torture Testimony.  I was frustrated that the issue had not received more attention, so I wanted to point it out again on dKos.  In the process, the diary expanded to the point that I really want to post it here.  And I do so confident in the knowledge that what all of us care about is stopping our government from torturing.  Yet I don’t want to pull energy away from the great diary which inspired me to stay up most of the night creating this.  If this post pulls attention away from where it is deserved, or if it is in any way offensive to do this, please let me know so I can delete it.  Please save your comments pertinent to the original essay for that essay and only comment here with respect to what has been added.

dKos diary starts here  

I have come to rely on dailyKos for almost all of my news.  In fact, I’m downright smug about it.  When someone offers up an item from the news, I usually say something along the lines of “I know.  What really happened is . . .”  When someone dismisses something I’ve read here as propaganda or wild speculation, I just sigh at their ignorance.  I have learned that if I read something here which has gone unchallenged or uncorrected, then it is virtually always accurate.  And I usually learn it somewhere between a day and six months before any non-Kossack.  But yesterday the great orange glow was dimmer than it should have been.

Fortunately, I have recently begun spending more time at docudharma.  It was there that I learned of important developments which I had not seen reported here.  As a result of encouragement there, tahoebasha’s diary was cross-posted here on dailyKos, garnering little attention.  In searching for it here, I discovered another important diary on the same issue.  This is my attempt to support those diarists, and decent people everywhere, in calling for attention to these matters. Please read on.

Cross-posted at docudharma.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Police report 60 killed by bombs in western India

Associated Press

1 hour, 20 minutes ago

NEW DELHI – A series of bombs exploded across the ancient city of Jaipur on Tuesday, killing at least 60 people and transforming busy markets, a jewelry bazaar and a Hindu temple into scenes of carnage.

All seven blasts were within the old walls of the western city known for its pink-hued palaces, and suspicion quickly fell on Islamic militant groups blamed for a string of attacks in India in recent years. Police said an eighth bomb was found and defused by police.

“Obviously, it’s a terrorist” attack, said A.S. Gill, the police chief of Rajasthan, the state where Jaipur is located. “The way it has been done, the attempt was to cause the maximum damage to human life.”

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