Personal Armageddon first.
Socio-Mom and her lawyer want to sign papers keeping all the assets in a trust the Wall Street fat cats, the IRS, the health care providers and the lawyers can suckle on. My oldest daughter, expecting, unemployed and therefore uninsured is procedurally on her way to being homeless. Huge fight with my other daughter about their financial habits. But that was only after visiting my former employer and getting the news they hired a yuppie twenty something to replace me and a co-worker who had 22+26 years of collective experience.
Obviously getting things done is not a priority here, asskissing is.
July 24, 2009 archive
Jul 24 2009
Personal Armageddon first.
Jul 24 2009
The LA Times reports the U.S. stops giving militant death tolls in Afghanistan. “U.S. military officials in Afghanistan have halted the practice of releasing the number of militants killed in fighting with American-led forces as part of an overall strategy shift that emphasizes concern for the local civilian population’s well-being rather than hunting insurgent groups.”
Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald reports Australian troops are given lighter armour after fatal Afghan battle. “Lighter armour has been issued to front-line Australian troops in Afghanistan after soldiers caught in a fatal Taliban ambush said their protective gear limited movement.”
Elsewhere, the NY Times reports a Rival to Karzai gains strength in Afghan presidential election. Dr. Abdullah Abdullah “has started his campaign late, but in its first two weeks he has canvassed six provinces and drawn growing support and larger crowds than expected. Rapturous welcomes like this one have suddenly elevated him to the status of potential future president.”
“I have no doubt that people want change,” Dr. Abdullah said in an interview after a tumultuous day campaigning in Herat, in western Afghanistan, adding that his momentum was just building. “Today they are hopeful that change can come.”
McClatchy reports the Pakistan offensive failed to dislodge Taliban, residents say. “Taliban Islamists, whose announced goal is to topple the nuclear-armed Pakistani government, continue to maintain a menacing presence in Buner, a district northwest of Islamabad, the capital, that the army says it’s cleared of militants, according to recently returned residents.”
The CS Monitor adds the Delayed offensive in South Waziristan wears at Pakistan’s antiterror credibility. “Doubts are mounting that the Pakistani military will launch a promised ground offensive into the Taliban heartland of South Waziristan. The prolonged delay is threatening Pakistan’s already shaky credibility on battling Islamic militants in its territory.” Pakistan has been ‘softening up’ the Taliban for more than a month now.
U.S. special envoy Richard Holbrooke is giving Pakistan the benefit of any doubt. “I think they’ve got their hands full in Swat and Buner,” said Holbrooke. “They’ve got to make sure when the refugees come back that they have security, so maybe they’re delaying the offensive.”
Meanwhile, Spiegel Online reports Pakistan consumed by violence as Taliban power grows. “The Taliban’s power in Pakistan continues to grow and it now has entire towns under its control. Under US pressure, the Pakistani army is fighting the Islamists — with limited success. Pakistani intelligence says the Americans are doing more harm than good.”
Four at Four continues Goldman Sachs rigs Wall Street, Goldman Sachs guts climate bill, Florida fish die from heat stroke, and AIDS-like disease discovered in chimpanzees.
Jul 24 2009
Join Ed Encho, Gottlieb and I tonight at 6pm EDT on Wild Wild Left Radio, via BlogtalkRadio, for an interesting hour of Political Reporting and Commentary.
From the Gates/Crowley fiasco to the Swine Flu.. everything in our World is now Revenue driven. Where does that leave you? In a Police State with mandated health costs, and no mandated Health Care.
Join us as we ponder the slow boil that has lead us to an utter lack of freedom or rights!
Help us plot the way out….
Call in and add your two cents!
The call in number is 646-929-1264
The live chat link will go live around 5:15.
Jul 24 2009
UPDATE: The link below should work now.
Here’s a video everyone in America should see. If you’ve felt like you’ve never quite understood the whole financial “crisis” that occurred last fall, the repercussions of which persist to this day (and will for, quite possibly, generations), this video explains it all in a clear and concise manner.
Elliot Spitzer than goes on to explain that what was perpetrated on the United States, by collusion between the Fed and the very banks that control it, was a massive conspiracy to defraud the United States — a Ponzi Scheme he calls it.
Now Elliot Spitzer’s dick may have gotten him in trouble, and he certainly displayed bad personal judgement by sleeping with hookers while in public office, but there’s nobody who knows the whole NYC-based financial universe better than he does. There’s a reason they were looking at his life with a microscope, trying to find anything they could to bring him down. Because he was one of the few threats to the corruption that has taken over Wall Street and the banks. Now he’s out of the picture as Governor of NY but he is free to speak his mind, which is a good thing. So when he says “Ponzi scheme” people listen.
Trillions of dollars, folks. Trillions, handed to the very banks who robbed us all in the first place. It’s like the gamblers at the casino suddenly ran out of money, so they held guns to the heads of everyone they could find and emptied their wallets to pay their own gambling debts. Watch it.
Hm, well the embedding doesn’t work for some reason. Here’s a link instead:
UPDATE: FIXED LINK (the other one worked before, but now does not):
(if anyone has any tips for embedding MSNBC video, let me know and I’ll try it here. The embed code they provide doesn’t work)
Jul 24 2009
Well ya gotta hand it to Harry. Now that he has 60 votes and can no longer use his patented, whining motto of “We Don’t Have The Votes” as an excuse to be THE WORST LEADER EVER…He has come up with a new strategy for failing the American People.
We don’t have a Bill.
Wait, let me rephrase that.
Harry Reid to President Obama: “Sorry to stab you in the back on your signature issue, Mr President, but I am SO incompetent at “leading” the Senate that I cant even get a Bill out of Committee.”
“So hey, I am just going to give up….again… and go on a nice vacation.”
Jul 24 2009
Happy Friday and welcome to the 12th in the Dog’s First Amendment Friday series. This series is following the syllabus for the class called The First Amendment and taught at Yale Law School by Professor Jack M. Balkin. As with the Friday Constitutional series this is a layman’s look at the Law, specifically the Supreme Court opinions which have shaped the boundaries of our 1st Amendment Protections. If you are interested in the previous installments you can find them at the links below:
“Originally posted at Squarestate.net“
Jul 24 2009
Some of Jorge Luis Borges’s stories seem to be mined from that deep dream filled gap between being awake and being asleep. It’s a magical space: vivid events occur that are at once as real as they are impossible. If the sleeper wakes, sometimes the impossibilities are revealed. And then there’s wondering: how could anything that defies physical reality appear to be so real.
In “The Disk,” a story from The Book of Sand (El Libro de Arena)(1975), the impossible object is the “disk of Odin”:
“It is the disk of Odin,” the old man said in a patient voice, as though he were speaking to a child. “It has but one side. There is not another thing on earh that has but one side. So long as I hold it in my hand I shall be king.”
Ordinarily, objects are in three dimensions. Here one appears that has only a single side. Of course, it would be more or less invisible. And physically impossible on earth.
This, of course, is not entirely correct. The Moebius strip, discovered in 1858, has only one side and one boundary component. But that’s not important to the story.
The person with the disk eventually “opened his hand, and [the narrator] saw the gleam of the disk in the air.” But when he returned to where the disk was released, he couldn’t find it. And he’s been looking for it for years. In other words, the disk of Odin vanishes like a dream.
This kind of impossibility sometimes possesses far larger objects.
When you have forded the river, when you have crossed the mountain pass, you suddenly find before you the city of Moriana, its alabaster gates transparent in the sunlight, its coral columns supporting pediments encrusted with serpentine, its villas all of glass like aquariums where the shadows of dancing girls with silvery scales swim beneath the Medusa-shaped chandeliers. If this is not your first journey, you already know that cities like this have an obverse: you have only to walk a semi-circle and you will come into view of Moriana’s hidden face, an expanse of rusting sheet metal, sack cloths, planks bristling with spikes, pipes black with soot, piles of tins, behind walls with fading signs, frames of staved-in straw chairs, ropes good only for hanging oneself from a rotten beam.
From one part to the other, the city seems to continue, in perspective, multiplying its repertory of images: but instead it has no thickness, it consists only of a face and an obverse, like a sheet of paper, with a figure on either side, which can neither be separated nor look at each other.
Alas, the city is a two dimensional solid, another escapee from the chasm between waking and dreaming.
In the moments between sleep and wakefulness these objects seem tangible to me. The city is flat, but it’s a city. The disk glimmers. I know I’m dreaming, but I try to remember to hold onto the dream so that I will be able to examine it more fully when I am awake. But as I awake, as my sleep falls away, the fallacy arises, and the object I am clenching so tightly in my fist, disappears. What was it? I wonder, how could that be? What was that? But it’s gone.
All of this is so reminiscent of the Lankavatara Sutra, “Things are not as they appear, nor are they otherwise.”
Which brings me ever so reluctantly to the elusive dream of a national, single payer health care system. In the dream, I am drinking rum and playing dominoes. Somehow, my empty glass falls off the table, lands on the cement walkway, and shatters. Somehow, probably because of the drinking and the kidding around, I cut my hand deeply on the glass when I try to pick up the shards. My hand hurts and it is bleeding badly. My friends are surprised that there’s so much blood, so they wrap my hand in a bandage, and we head on foot for the emergency room which is luckily only two blocks away. When we enter, a man sitting at a desk says to me and my friends, “I see you’ve cut your hand. Please come with me so we can take care of it.” And then, mirabile dictu, he does. Just like that. I’m out of the hospital in 20 minutes with 3 stitches and a nice, white bandage. It seems strange to me. Nobody asks me questions about insurance or citizenship. They don’t ask me to pay for anything. When I wake up, I realize it was a dream. It was impossible. I must have been in Cuba.
cross-posted from The Dream Antilles
Jul 24 2009
Has Canada Got the Cure?
Holly Dressel, Yes Magazine
Publicly funded health care has its problems, as any Canadian or Briton knows. But like democracy, it’s the best answer we’ve come up with so far.
Should the United States implement a more inclusive, publicly funded health care system? That’s a big debate throughout the country. But even as it rages, most Americans are unaware that the United States is the only country in the developed world that doesn’t already have a fundamentally public–that is, tax-supported–health care system.
That means that the United States has been the unwitting control subject in a 30-year, worldwide experiment comparing the merits of private versus public health care funding. For the people living in the United States, the results of this experiment with privately funded health care have been grim. The United States now has the most expensive health care system on earth and, despite remarkable technology, the general health of the U.S. population is lower than in most industrialized countries. Worse, Americans’ mortality rates–both general and infant–are shockingly high.
The United States spends far more per capita on health care than any comparable country. In fact, the gap is so enormous that a recent University of California, San Francisco, study estimates that the United States would save over $161 billion every year in paperwork alone if it switched to a singlepayer system like Canada’s.3 These billions of dollars are not abstract amounts deducted from government budgets; they come directly out of the pockets of people who are sick.
Jul 24 2009
Here we go. Only a few months after teacherken (over at DKos) gave incoming Secretary of Education Arne Duncan a ringing endorsement of “it could have been worse,” we are now in the Twilight Zone of education politics. Duncan is threatening to withhold money from the already-underfunded California schools if the legislatures here can’t repeal a law which prohibits the state from using test scores to evaluate teachers.
Generally, here, I engage a critique of the “accountability” movement, of which Arne Duncan is the most recent example.
(Crossposted at Big Orange)
Jul 24 2009
I finished this in approximately May of 2008 and wanted to wait till the issue came up again and after I was able to let it go to discuss it. Poignantly, I wish to discuss the issue of “many simply feel they do not belong.”
Thousands of Native Americans are not enrolled in their tribes because their bloodlines have become diluted over the years, as is happening with the Comes Last family. Even some full-blooded Native Americans lack enough of any one tribe’s heritage to qualify for enrollment. .. And, on a more intangible note, many simply feel they do not belong.
Another way of saying “many simply feel they do not belong” is to say that many feel isolated. I’ll offer some thoughts on that and then share the essay I wrote in 2008.
Jul 24 2009
We the Lobbyists of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Profit, establish Pay-to-Play, ignore domestic Tranquility, provide for the common Media, promote the general lack of Welfare, and secure the Extractions of Payments to ourselves and our Clients, do now usurp and re-establish this Constitution for the United Elites of America.