April 15, 2009 archive

Why The Teabaggers Are Such A Failure

Given what we are seeing with the little Teabaggers the Dog thought that today would be a good day to talk about effective protest and persuasion. There are many tools which we as activist can use. The critical thing is recognizing what works, when it works, why it works and choosing the ones which will achieve our goals most effectively. Today we have seen a failure of epic proportions which will do more damage to the Teabaggers causes (whatever the hell they are) than it will to advance them.

Cross Posted at Square State

Four at Four

  1. The Washington Post reports Arms-control advocacy groups urge U.S. to update nuclear weapons policy. Instead of just counting warheads and destructive power, a new study examined what nuclear weapons are targeted to destroy.

    “From Counterforce to Minimal Deterrence,” a 57-page report released last week by two arms-control advocacy groups, takes a close look at “strike options,” giving their view of the role nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles and strategic bombs play in today’s post-Cold War world.

    Instead of just comparing numbers among the nuclear powers, the authors representing the Federation of American Scientists and Natural Resources Defense Council focus on what the United States is targeting and whether this approach should change.

    The study points out the obvious — that “nuclear weapons are horrific things and nuclear war would be an unimaginable disaster.” But it says current Pentagon plans for using strategic nuclear weapons include “individual strike options that probably range from using just a few weapons to using more than 1,000.”

    The studies advocate keeping the same number of nuclear weapons, but lowering their yields just enough to “remain devastating enough to deter any nation from striking the United States or any of its allies.” Lower yields would result in fewer people killed with “today’s targeting choices”.

    The study’s main purpose is to propose a new nuclear doctrine for the United States, one it defines as “minimal deterrence.” Under that doctrine, the nation would retain enough nuclear weaponry “to deter nuclear use in the first place.” The study creates a new category called “infrastructure targeting,” under which attacks would focus on “electrical, oil and energy nodes” that support war industries. “A minimal nuclear deterrence policy with infrastructure targeting does not require nuclear forces to be on alert or even to react quickly,” according to the study.

    This seriously looks like a utilitarian, ‘first strike’ path to nuclear weapons use.

  2. The Guardian reports Iran offers new package to break nuclear weapons deadlock. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran is “preparing a new package. Once it becomes ready, we will present that package. It is a package that constitutes peace and justice throughout the globe and also respects other nations’ rights.”

    Ahmadinejad remarks seem to come in response to suggestions that the Obama administration may drop a Bush-era precondition from the nuclear talks, which had been a sticking point.

Four at Four continues with deflation, banking, and piracy.

Failed Wall Street Bank Has Yellowcake Stockpile


Not too long ago, the United States used to invade nationalize nations banks for a lot less.

Bloomberg News reports that thefailed Wall Street bank, Lehman Brothers, has a stockpile of as much as 500,000 pounds of uranium “yellowcake” that could theoretically is just about enough material needed to make one nuclear bomb.

The difference between this uranium-oxide and Iraq’s “yellowcake” is, of course, that Lehman’s stockpile is real. It is one of the bankrupt bank’s many assets that liquidators have been trying to offload since September.

A supply of 500,000 pounds of yellowcake is just “slightly” less than the amount needed to make one bomb, or fuel one nuclear power reactor for a year, if the latest enrichment technologies are used, said Gennady Pshakin, an Obninsk, Russia-based nonproliferation expert.

The uranium “might fetch $20 million at today’s prices of about $40.50 per pound”. Once worth $55 a pound, the commodity price of uranium has dropped for five straight months. “More than 43 million pounds of uranium-oxide concentrate, or yellowcake equivalent sold on the spot market last year, more than doubling the 2007 trading volume”.

Lehman’s “yellowcake” is being stored, in part, in oil-rich Canada. Looking back, which was a bigger threat to the United States in 2003? A neutered Iraq or a “yellowcake” stockpiling Wall Street bank?


Obama Faces Torture Test Tomorrow

Tomorrow is decision day on whether Obama instructs the DOJ to release the next batch of memos regarding torture authorizations and techniques. Apparently they are bombshellish. Though I doubt that anyone here will find them particularly shocking. The main effect/test is two fold. First to “Alert the Media” that yes, torture happened and was authorized. A big media splash and hopefully enough outrage to move us as a nation further towards investigations and prosecutions.

But just as important, this is a test for the new administration. They are being heavily pressured to, in essence, cover-up the memos by not declassifying and releasing them. Those urging the cover-up are apparently a combination of Republicans CYAing on their rubberstamping the programs…and the CIA and other intel agencies trying to CYA on, well….torturing.

From the Wall Street Journal ….so take with a grain of salt, this is advocacy journalism.

Obama Tilts to CIA on Memos

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is leaning toward keeping secret some graphic details of tactics allowed in Central Intelligence Agency interrogations, despite a push by some top officials to make the information public, according to people familiar with the discussions.

These people cautioned that President Barack Obama is still reviewing internal arguments over the release of Justice Department memorandums related to CIA interrogations, and how much information will be made public is in flux.

All That Needs Be Said About The Teabaggers

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Black Sunday

Yesterday was the anniversary of some mammoth multi-state dust storms.  Robert Geiger (AP) wrote on 4/15/35:

Three little words achingly familiar on a Western farmer’s tongue, rule life in the dust bowl of the continent – if it rains.

The name “Dust Bowl” stuck, first coined on today’s date 74 years ago.  The rains didn’t return until four years later.  When the dust settled in April 1935, scenes like this were repeated throughout the high plains region.

Crops were ruined.  Farms produced nothing.  Livestock died en masse.  There was no one to sell to.  People abandoned them in droves, with little more than the clothes on their back to show for many years of hard work building their homesteads.

The 1930s Dust Bowl is often referred to as a natural disaster.  But that’s not quite right.  Human activities, en masse, had everything to do with it.

Goldman Sachs laughs in our faces

The Masters of the Universe at Goldman Sachs are now so confident of their domination of America that they are publicly mocking the press, the government, and the people. They are doing this through shameless displays of market manipulation and disinformation. Any sane observer of the financial world would recoil in disgust at the following pranks.

1. Goldman drops out of their financial reporting the month of December 2008, in which they had significant losses, in order to conveniently shift to a different reporting calendar.

2. Goldman rushes through a $5 billion public offering based on cooked numbers and government subsides. The market responds with a vote of “confidence” by cutting 10% off Goldman’s stock price.

3. Goldman makes a show of intending to “return” $10 billion in taxpayer TARP money, while remaining silent about their continued issuance of huge amounts of debt GUARANTEED BY THE FDIC.

4. Goldman claims that the $12 billion of (taxpayer provided) CDO payments it received from AIG had no material affect on its financial performance. Uh-huh.

The long knives are out for Goldman Sachs. Government regulators, angry investors, consumer activists, blogosphere progressives, and most intelligent observers will long remember how one company used its legally corrupt operatives in the Obama administration to grab taxpayer funds to pay million-dollar bonuses to lying executives whose only ethos is greed. This firm deserves capital punishment. It may duck and twist and dodge for a few more years, but it is going to go down, and it will go down hard.

Goldman Sachs will be remembered like Enron: a textbook case of the pernicious and self-destructive conduct of an uncontrolled corporation.

Pepe Escobar: Welcome To The New “New World Order”

Tuesday ANKOSS wrote here in Obama’s Capitulation Statement that we have arrived at a point of “Capitulation complete; surrender accomplished. The banks are running America, and Obama is now their top PR man“.

These two short videos from Pepe Escobar should help to put that statement into the broader world context that wraps it…

Real News – April 14, 2009

Welcome to the new “New World Order”

Pepe Escobar Pt1: A tsunami of hype around another New World Order

Home from the Teabag Rebellion


All right! High fives all around! Wow! What a rush. Every Tax Day should be Revolution Day. I can’t wait till the next one. Remember what Jefferson said, “the Tree of Liberty shall be watered with the blood of tea-baggers every April 15th.”

Well we certainly made a statement didn’t we? We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore. I feel like going to an alehouse and signing a petition and pinching a wench. Yeah, resistance is good and the timing is perfect right after March Madness and before the NBA Finals. As Robert Duvall said, “I love the smell of Revolution in the morning!”

So, anyway, what’s for lunch?

Solitary Dancing

I sometimes dance alone

Away from other’s eyes

To free my mind’s constraints

That limit what I try

An energetic Cossack

A peering, timid fawn

My repertoire is endless

So long’s the blinds are drawn

My inhibitions fade

Like safe chameleon’s hues

Returning with the knock

Of friends I fear to lose

April 15th, the Day Formerly Known as Prince

Happy 5 in the morning! I’m trying to wrap my head around Obama’s economic Speech yesterday, while cursing this early-bed early-rise loop I have fallen into. Curse you Mr. Franklin, that was utter bullshit, btw.

Barack Obama: “Do no Harm.

Stanley, my Polish Father: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Do no harm to WHOM, Mr President? The Banks or the People?

But Dad? It IS broke, you know, except for Goldman Sachs who turned a nice profit this quarter. But you don’t give a rats ass about that do you? You also used to say “I’ve never seen a Brinks truck in a Funeral Procession,” and there certainly wasn’t one in yours.

But today is the day formerly known as Tax Day; the one the Faux Pundits have tried to rename Teabagging Day. Like Symbol/Prince, you have to wonder if the new moniker will stick.  

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

An Opened Mind XVI

The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment. And if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving reform from within.

– Mahatma Gandhi

Art Link

Design #3


Words are labels

Without words

we cannot


Labels for people


There is Us

There is Them

If our Us

becomes too small

we feel afraid

lonely, unloved

Some react

by pointing out

some other label:

At least I’m not one of Them

Being Not Them

people feel like part

of a larger Us

Down this path is bigotry

All the Us/Thems

Put together divide us

each into our own

separate little box

Is this isolating

leading to depression

thoughts of suicide

or is it empowering?

Us/Them is actually

Me/Everyone Else

but that is

the same for everyone

just individual



all around

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–October 26, 2005

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