December 18, 2009 archive

Two plus two still equals four

  An official from the People’s Bank of China made a statement on Thursday that was mostly overlooked in America.

 “The United States cannot force foreign governments to increase their holdings of Treasuries,” Zhu said, according to an audio recording of his remarks. “Double the holdings? It is definitely impossible.”

   “The U.S. current account deficit is falling as residents’ savings increase, so its trade turnover is falling, which means the U.S. is supplying fewer dollars to the rest of the world,” he added.

  “The world does not have so much money to buy more U.S. Treasuries.”

 What Zhu is talking about is a moment when an unsustainable financial system reaches its logical conclusion. It’s one of those extremely rare times in history when the power dynamics of the entire world change.

  What Zhu is talking about is the end of Bretton Woods II.

California Valley Miwok Tribe, “WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!” (Petition)

Justice for the California Valley Miwok Tribe (Petition)

The entire tribe, elders and children included, is going to be removed by force from their land with no place to go. They are forced to barricade themselves in the tribal office. Using filing cabinets and anything else they can use to secure the building in hopes to protect their culture, their people, and basically everything they have.

We ask that Miwok tribe be allowed to stay in the land they have lived on for 7 years and be given the chance to dialogue with the appropriate legislatures and/or officials about the matter.

Obama No Longer Fooling The Left

We have now reached a point where there is beginning to boil over a lot of open criticism and disappointment finally from the “mainstream”  left over the performance of Barack Obama, and his leadership skills.

Instead of just a few grumblings, made over hushed tones, immediately followed by pronouncements about how it’s only been just 3 months…5 months…8 months… etc., people are now coming to the full realization, even on DailyKos now, that Obama is not going to govern in a manner that brings about any substantial change whatsoever.

Yet many commentators from Ed Schultz, to Michael Moore, to Arianna Huffington, to Markos, to Keith Olbermann etc. generally see the problem as one of being — that Obama is just too unengaged, or not forceful enough, or not providing strong enough leadership. The idea put forth here is that Obama really wants to do the right thing, but he is just a poor negotiator, or isn’t standing up enough, or too happy to compromise away his real “dearly held” beliefs.

But I disagree with this second part of the analysis. I have seen enough now to come to the conclusion that Obama is really executing the agenda that he wants, and advancing the agenda that he and his friends want. He just fooled a whole lot of people during the Primaries with his (deceptive) lofty rhetoric, deliberately left unspecific, and charming speeches and charisma.  

The problem with Obama, however, is not one of ommission, but one of commission. Recall that just as George W. Bush ran in 1999-2000 as a “compassionate” conservative with no critera at all about what that really meant for the middle-class ( a Dick Cheney Presidency-??). Well, Barack Obama ran his campaign very similarily as “Martin Luther Obama” come to save the little people – with no policy program ever put forward for doing any such thing – and an ever accumlating track record for totally backtracking on the few progressive ideas casually tossed about (then later retracted) throughout his campaign. Things like….suddenly being anti-NAFTA during the critical Wisconsin Primary (which he won), only to immediately reverse himself (and align himself with the pro-NAFTA agenda) once that State had voted for him.

But what we continually see is that Obama has no problem whatsoever with twisting arms, pressuring the Senate, asserting his own will, etc. when he wants them to vote against the reimportation of cheaper, generic Drugs (to prevent seniors from saving enormous amounts of money). He has no problem with villifying Howard Dean right out in the open, or outright intimidating progressive Congressman like Pete DeFazio with the open threat “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother“, when he disagreed with Obama’s new Military escalations.  And he has no problem with protecting, and even praising the agenda of Joe Lieberman.

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Thieves steal infamous Auschwitz death camp sign


1 hr 57 mins ago

WARSAW (AFP) – Thieves on Friday stole the infamous Nazi German “Arbeit macht frei” sign from the entrance to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland, police said, an act that sparked widespread outrage.

The sign, which means “Work Will Set You Free” in German, has become a symbol of the horror of the camp where about 1.1 million mainly Jewish prisoners died during World War II, most in the notorious gas chambers.

Police said the theft may have been ordered by a private collector or a group of individuals.

Obama teaching…


Herr Doktor Professor President Barack Obama clarifying how “the long arc of the moral universe that bends toward justice” is really just a best-fitted line based on statistical inference.  “Please note that although it may look as if some data points don’t at all fit the inferred trend, the ‘arc of history’ does not bend on its own,” he asserted. “Legal scientists assure us that we can rigorously identify certain points as ‘statistical outliers.’   “No matter how imperfect…” he paused for effect, “excluding those outliers by such scientifically and legally valid means vastly increases our confidence in the fit of Dr. King’s famous function.”  

Said one brimming undergraduate after the heady lecture, “I’m like so aspiring.  It’s amazing how he can so totally account for 99% of the variance in all of human history based on the principle of enlightened self-interest and some statistical thing-a-ma-jig.  The legal science of humanity is just plain poetry.  It gives me a thrill up the leg.”

No matter how imperfect….

If You Don’t Want Republicans In Power, Don’t Act Like Republicans

“If you pressure or criticize the Democrats, the terrorists Republicans will win.”

“You don’t want The Republicans to win, do you?”

The only reason The Republicans will win is if the Dems don’t differentiate themselves from The Republicans.

How do they differentiate themselves from The Republicans?

By giving The People…the base…what they want.

By proving they can govern and legislate FOR THE PEOPLE…not for the System, not for the Corporations, not for the MIC, not for The Bankers…

Not for the Status Quo.

The Status Quo is BROKEN.


NYC Based Dharma Bum Holiday Gathering Thing

The time has come, hasn’t it? Who wants to? There are enough of us in and around the NYC area that this can and should happen.

Figured I’d toss the option out there. People are saying we need to organize, and I agree. Let’s be about it.

Who dares to lift frosty libations in T3H R34L W0RLD(tm) (giggle) with the little Eileen?

F2F needs to start happening if we want to become a serious force for good and for change.

Suggestions for places to have it welcome.

Open Rebellion!


Boo yah babies ! !

Man, I am really all over the place this morning, worse than usual (heh). My apologies.

Goodbye Lady Libertine (the usual me). Hello Sally Panic (the other me).

Oh man… bring it on.

Iraq War Inquiry, Day 15, Breaks for ‘Merry Christmas’

We lead off with the ending of the first part of the Chicot {British} Iraq War Inquiry, as we will shortly celebrate the day of the birth of the ‘Prince of Peace’ around the World, or at least that’s the now myth I was taught all these years. Myth because apparently with the birth of Jesus as well as in other religious beliefs Religious Ideology is invoked and we ask to be protected and blessed by God as we all Blow Each Other Up when ever possible and when reasons can be fixed to engage our War Machines. For modern christians?, just like those of old, the religious ideology has been turned on it’s head, Jesus son of God can’t be a ‘Prince of Peace’ not to believers of who cheer on destructive Wars and Occupations of others, for any reason, as they raise the rhetoric of Intolerance, sounds exactly like the other major religious ideologies doesn’t it, coming from the ones who are on the extremist fringes of them preaching their cherry picked religious quotes to justify their hate and intolerances, non religious, towards others they fear, so much for Peace!

Hugo Chavez: Climate Change Speech in Copenhagen

Hugo lays it on the line!

Introduction at 3:30

Obama’s Million Dollar Gift To Anti-War Organizing

A million dollars a year!

That’s what it costs to put one–that’s right, one–soldier or Marine on the ground in Afghanistan and to house and supply him or her there. This figure comes directly from the White House and was widely quoted in in the flurry of PR around President Obama’s West Point speech announcing his 30,000+ escalation of the occupying force in Afghanistan.

A million bucks a year. That’s a nice round figure. A more useful tool for those of us working to revive the anti-war movement is hard to imagine.

This struck me yesterday when the Transit Authority here in NYC, faced with a severe budget crunch, decided to eliminate passes for kids going to and from school, to close whole subway lines and bus routes, to cut services and crowd trains more, and to limit the Access-A-Ride program for seniors and the disabled. All of this, one report said, would save $139 million in the first year.

The math is easy–simply don’t send 139 troops to Afghanistan next year. That would cover the cost of averting brutal cuts to a public transit system used by more than 5 million people every day.

You get the idea. Call it what you want–a “troop year” perhaps. Anytime some government agency grappling with revenue collapse caused by the economic meltdown announces an increase in fees or a cutback in services, just figure how many troops not being shipped into harm’s way in Helmand Province it would take to make that budget good.

Then spread the word! Use the fact in conversations, letters to the editor, emails to friends and family, leaflets, faxes to Congresscritters who are about to vote to appropriate more money for the war.

People in this country may not like thinking about the war, but they sure can’t help thinking about the economy. This is a nice clear way to help them make the connection.

You know those college students in California who are in the middle of a fierce battle to block an unbelievable 32% tuition increase? That’s right, just bring 505 troops who are already in Afghanistan home in 2010. Some of them might even want to enroll, too.

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