October 4, 2008 archive

On the Subject of Revolution

I posted a diary yesterday on the bailout for billionaires, which I adamantly oppose for reasons laid out in that diary.  I was thoroughly pissed when I wrote it and some of my rhetoric became a bit heated (as my rhetoric sometimes will), and my meaning was misconstrued by some who read the piece.  This is an effort to clarify.

Revolution By Internet?

Is that possible?

Historically revolutions have been the last resort of The People. When things get bad enough, The People take to the streets. Organizers organize, rabble rousers rouse, polemicists polemicize, but until The People put the boot to the street it is not a real revolution. There are always years of outrages jointly suffered through to call upon to motivate The People. There have almost always been years of people railing and writing against the current regime and trying to get The People to take to the streets, and finally, some last straw appears on the horizon and bingo, revolution happens.

Can that happen, can it be conveyed to those in power that it is happening, without the boots in the street?

Because The People saw in St Paul what the ‘law enforcement’ minions of the Ruling Class do to folks bold enough to put their boots in the street these days and it wasn’t pretty. Jackboots tasers and streams of peepr spray in the face are pretty damn good deterrents. .


The People aren’t stupid, either.

It has always been the fearful image of the mob, the popular uprising, the revolution knocking down the doors of government that has been the nightmare of the Ruling Class. Year after year they feather their own nest and make decisions that benefit them and their cronies while using various degrees of obfuscation as necessary to disguise the fact that the Ruling Class rules for themselves and only pays the fear inspired image of the torch and the pitchfork the minimal lip service required to keep The People complacent. Eventually though they get too arrogant, or their is some unavoidable conflict between the interests of The People and the interests of the Ruling Class (such as a financial crisis) and they forget to pay lip service. Or gamble that they can keep it quiet or spin it so that The People don’t notice. Or they are forced to choose to publicly and blatantly screw The People or screw themselves. Like, now.

$192 Million Worth Of Rum

The economy looks like a drunk staggering around.

October 04, 2008 – 6 min 45 sec

Bailout bill no relief on foreclosures as 159,000 more jobs were lost in September, markets down again.

The financial bailout package was passed by the US House of Representatives on Friday but 108 Republicans and 63 Democrats still refuse to approve the bill. Markets drop anyway with the Dow Jones losing 818 points on the week. Jobs in September slashed by 159,000 and home foreclosures at 770,000 since August 2007 expected to continue to rise. The Real News Network talks to Michael Perelman, Professor of Economics at California State University, Chico.

Michael Perelman teaches economics at California State University, Chico. He has published 19 books, including, The Confiscation of American Prosperity, Railroading Economics, Manufacturing Discontent, The Perverse Economy , and The Invention of Capitalism . He writes a blog Unsettling Economics: A Progressive Look At Economics and the Rest of the Screwed Up World at michaelperelman.wordpress.com.

The Silver Lining – for Paul and Sheila

In a couple of weeks, we’ll mark the sixth year anniversary of the death of Paul and Sheila Wellstone.


I get emotional every year at this time…missing them and the way they fought for us with such integrity. This year is no different.

But yesterday I learned something that makes those memories all the more poignant for me. Buried in the midst of the bailout package, was final passage of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

I Got Promoted!!!!

Finally! Gosh! There ya go! Well, doggone it! You Betcha! Also!

Uh, it’s not what what you think. I’m retired….so with all the other old geezers, I’m an Election judge. Gets me out of the house, what can I say?

I’m a YOUNG Election Judge! So I get to put together all the booths and set up the Optiscan and Accuvote machines….and get to play around with the “voter Blackberry” named AskEd. The others like to do the ballot counts and pass out the voter sheets and check the registrations. I also get to handle all the forms like Provisional Ballots and Signature Capture.

So I got the news….the Election Commission called and asked if I would be the Technical Judge!!! I told them sure, I’m doing it already. They were so happy!???? Now what am I in for?

A Riotous Time?

** Now as a consideration for my dear friend OPOL as well..whose excellent essay “They Better Hope We Don’t Wake Up” also burns as truth in my soul.

Cross-posted from the Wild Wild Left

(…this started as a response to Gottlieb’s reply to Proximity1 in Ed’s PROMIS essay but grew beyond what I had to say to him into a general essay on the subject…)

I was going to ask first, somewhat glibly, “Would you then come back & help?

Then as thoughts of Pandora’s Box came into my mind, it grew into ponderings too large to be ignored, not a subject for glibness or levity.

This may be the biggest decision America has had to face in light of our current conditions and the available technology in which they will be dealt.

So, this isn’t just a reply to his comment anymore, but a thought to those who would say “riot” lightly.

It is also a question for those who are ready, and say “riot” not lightly, but with full intent.

Read on for my thinking. Consider well before you leap my friends, for when we leap there really is no going back. And most of us would not live to see the fruits of our actions.

Pony Party: Las Vegas Edition

I went to a conference in Las Vegas this week. I didn’t gamble that much because I don’t generally win at games of chance. I dropped maybe 20 bucks on the slot machines but there was plenty of good people watching in the various casinos. I went solo and partnered up with another girl or two who were also going solo. I discovered that it is very common for bridal parties to go to buffets, a large percentage of people who go to Las Vegas have had a lot of plastic surgery. One night we played “find the boobs” and picked out all the women who had breast augmentation. I got to see what a two thousand dollar purse looked like.

Nobody looks all that happy while they gamble, they either look intense or zoned out like a zombie. Maybe Americans need to find new hobbies. Like being awake and thinking or making better food choices. I didn’t sleep very well in my hotel even though the bed was very comfortable because they hotel didn’t provide dogs or cats to hog the bed. I was at the Las Vegas Hilton which I think was pretty middle of the road by local standards. And what the fuck is up with charging four dollars for bottled water that I pay a buck for in Tennessee? One night we accidental stumbled into the employee area in the back of some hotels and found a vending machine with bottled water for a dollar so we stocked up.

I took a few pictures…..

I shot this from the top of the Rio Hotel…..


This very attractive young woman was more than happy to pose since  I was not a drunken middle aged man trying to paw her…. down on Fremont Street…


A few more on Fremont Street….




Together or apart? Win or lose? The “my group” game

(edited and cross posted from big O, where it got little attention)

Some people like playing the “my group” game.  It’s an interesting game, because everyone who plays, loses.  Not only that, but they make people who aren’t playing lose, too.

The game consists in trying to decide which group of people got screwed the worst.

You can start off like this….

The Blacks got screwed the worst! Slavery!

The Jews got screwed the worst! Shoah!

The gays got screwed the worst! No marriage!

The women got screwed the worst! No vote until 1920!

and you can write one for your group, whatever group it is; heck, there are even folks who say that men, Whites, and Christians have it badly (really!).  And then you can have another round, and then we can start yelling at each other.  Then you can get into which group got dissed by Obama (or Biden).    

You can

I won’t.

Palin energy deception on national TV … again

During the Vice Presidential debate, Sarah “Energy Expert” Palin continued to demonstrate either her fundamental ignorance about energy realities or her fervent desire to mislead as many American voters as possible with half-truths and un-truths.  We’ll put aside the whole question of Sarah’s dealings with oil companies and the national gas pipeline and the problems of clean-coal discussion at the debate, but lets take a few moments to discuss the implications of Sarah’s various words about “energy independence”.   Remember, Sarah reminded us that energy is her subject:

“governor of an energy-producing state, and kind of undo in my own area of expertise, and that’s energy.”

Okay, what did Miss Energy Expert say about energy issues?

Another pet food scare and recall!

Crossposted at dkos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

A friend emailed me yesterday about this FDA warning (bold mine):

Recall — Firm Press Release

Mars Petcare US Issues Voluntary Recall of Everson, PA Plant Dry Pet Food Product due to Potential Salmonella Contamination

Some of the brands are listed below.

Bob Dylan’s ‘Tell Tale Signs’: The Bootlegs

Thought folks might enjoy this, wether a Dylan fan or not, some good stuff and a free listen as well as downloads

It comes from the NPR Music Notes – All Songs Considered newsletter and site.

Exclusive Preview: Bob Dylan’s ‘Tell Tale Signs’

Docudharma Times Saturday October 4

Undisclosed Location: Population 2

Check Shotguns And Booze At The Door

Saturday’s Headlines:

Las Vegas jury finds O.J. Simpson guilty

Georgia’s Saakashvili: freedom fighter or rights abuser?

Mosley takes privacy battle to Strasbourg

The short cut to the top of Everest

Tata scraps world’s cheapest car factory

Turkish troops killed in clashes

US military: Mastermind of Baghdad bombings killed

South Africa ANC at brink of split

UN envoy says Congo fighting could escalate

For Treasury Dept., Now Comes Hard Part of Bailout



Published: October 3, 2008  

WASHINGTON – It will be one of the world’s largest asset management firms with an impressive $700 billion war chest. Nothing short of the global economy depends on its success. And the Treasury Department has barely a month to get it up and running.

The bailout bill that President Bush quickly signed into law on Friday must do what financial experts have been unable to do for the last year – put a dollar value on mortgage-related assets that no one wants, move them off the books of ailing banks and unlock the frozen credit markets.

Judge: Government not free of toxic trailer suits

Ruling says there’s evidence FEMA delayed response over liability concerns  

Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS – The government is not immune from lawsuits claiming many Gulf Coast hurricane victims were exposed to potentially dangerous fumes while living in trailers the government provided, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The ruling said there is evidence that the Federal Emergency Management Agency delayed its response to concerns about formaldehyde levels in its trailers due to liability concerns. The preservative can cause breathing problems and is classified as a carcinogen.



US shocked by spate of abandoned children

• 14 given up by parents under new Nebraska law

• State to reconsider age limit of 19 after criticism

Ed Pilkington in New York

The Guardian,

Saturday October 4 2008

Authorities in the United States are reeling from a sudden spate of children being abandoned by their parents and guardians under a new law that allows caregivers to leave any child up to the age of 19 at hospitals without fear of prosecution.

In Nebraska in September alone, 14 children were abandoned in hospitals and another was mistakenly taken to a police station, which is not covered under the law. In a further case, an 18-year-old presented himself for safe keeping, but was not placed in foster care because he was too old.

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