December 29, 2009 archive

A belated Merry Christmas

Hi Everyone;

    This is a bit belated but Merry Christmas to all those who follow the applicable faith.  I just flew home from Greensboro, NC where I was visiting with one set of parents.  Had a lovely time accept that we all came down with flu Yippy!!!.  (Much better now thanks)  I’d also like to say happy Solstice (thank Gaia the days are getting longer). Happy Kwanzaa, Hannukah, Dakas day, Amtabha Buddha Day etc etc.  

    I guess I was outta touch a bit but I did here about the thwarted bomber, thank the FSM he was unsuccessful.  If it werent so sad I’d laugh, I got back and walked over the the shop where I work and lo and behold got blindsided.  The boss asks what I know about the subject and immediately starts her rant on how she ‘heard’ on a radio program the arguemnt that we should stop the PC shit and just start profiling those Muslims (LOL I’m thinking of converting, just for shits and giggles (thats why I wont)).  Imagine being so ignorant that not only do you support profiling but that you think only ‘Arabic’ looking folks are Muslims or that only Muslims or arabs are terrorists.  Ah So good to be home.

    Happy, Peaceful, and Healthy New year to everyone

Technical Problems

See you when I do.

This is an Open Thread

Open Cute


Reform is a Gift to Others Beyond Ourselves

With President Obama being a major disappointment in some corners, it was perhaps inevitable that Hillary Clinton loyalists would exercise their right to second-guess the inevitable nominee.  Anne Kornblut’s column in The Washington Post entitled, “When young women don’t vote for women” is but the latest effort to chastise young feminists and young women in general for not being more supportive of the first female candidate to make a serious run for the White House.  The column, regrettably, also invokes the counter-productive liberal guilt complex construct of the Oppression Olympics to make its point, which is something I thought we had recognized does nothing to unite and everything to divide.  Pitting women against African-Americans in some kind of twisted priority system has been the demise of many worthy organizations and the beginning of arguments that inevitably lead to raised blood pressure.

Crony Capitalism

Dr. Robert A. Johnson currently serves on the United Nations Commission of Experts on International Monetary Reform under the Chairmanship of Joseph Stiglitz. He is also the Director of Economic Policy for the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (FERI) in New York. Dr. Johnson was previously a managing director at Soros Fund Management where he managed a global currency, bond and equity portfolio specializing in emerging markets. Prior to that time, Dr. Johnson was a managing director of Bankers Trust Company managing a global currency fund. He also served as Chief Economist of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee under the leadership of Chairman William Proxmire (D. Wisconsin) and before that, he was Senior Economist of the U.S. Senate Budget Committee under the leadership of Chairman Pete Domenici (R. New Mexico).

Here Johnson talks with Paul Jay of The Real News about how we got into the current and continuing economic mess, and makes some suggestions for banking and financial reform and a way out of the mess.

Real News Network – December 29, 2009

Crony capitalism unchanged

Robert Johnson: Only public money pushed the economy back from the cliff; it can all happen again

Okay, not goodbye sweet princes

I should not have fallen for the gbwc thing, even in a comment.

My bad.

Though I do consider many of you sweet princes, and even princesses.

However, I’m not writing here to talk about royalty.

I want to talk about the draft.

Docudharma Times Tuesday December 29

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Fury as China executes British drug smuggler

Supreme Court has saved toughest cases for second half

U.S. Struggles Anew to Ensure Safety as Gaps Are Revealed

Nevada reins in horse herds, but critics decry methods

Northern Ireland MP who made anti-gay remarks to stand down

Police urged to scour resort as mystery of missing skier deepens

Body of Mousavi’s nephew taken from Tehran hospital

Iran is moving close to tipping point of revolution

Japan’s army of hostesses break shackles of exploitation by forming a union

South Korea pardons Samsung’s ex-chief Lee Kun-hee

Al Qaeda rises in West Africa

Argentina puts officials on trial over the abuses of the ‘Dirty War’

Close your eyes and think of England

Therefore I say that it is a narrow policy to suppose that this country or that is to be marked out as the eternal ally or the perpetual enemy of England.

We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies.

Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.

Lord Palmerston

A lot of people misunderstand me and my positions and I see that happening with Jane Hamsher.  I called her a sellout to her face on her own blog when she backed off the Strong (Medicare +5%) Public Option, but the position she’s taking with Grover “Drown Government in a Bathtub” Norquist is the exact opposite of a sellout and I feel compelled to offer a public defense.

In case you hadn’t noticed the big news this week, the ultimate Friday News Dump Black Hole, is that Barack Obama, Rahm Emanuel, Timothy Geithner, and Larry Summers have decided, without Congressional Approval, to give Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not just 800 BILLION but AN UNLIMITED DRAW ON THE EXCHEQUER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (those big, hi-falutin’ words Caribou Barbie mean basically every tax payin’, gun totin’, freedom luvin’, snow machine drivin’ ‘murican) so they can re-inflate the housing bubble.

Now I personally don’t own a house, but I know those that do and even they should be dismayed.  Bailing out Banksters doesn’t create a single job.

And as it turns out Rahm Emanuel is in fact the figure that Tea Bagger Americans have accused Barney Frank of being (though he’s not openly homosexual as far as I know).

So Jane and Grover are getting together to call for an investigation.

Do you support the rule of law for all, or IOKIYAD?

I have perpetual interests instead of eternal allies, but I don’t want you to sign a petition simply because in my little pond I’m a pretty big fish.  As Armando says, I speak only for myself.

It’s a decision you should come to on your own.

A tale of two terrorist attacks

This will be short.  

I don’t know how to deal with this piece except to quote from Chris Floyd himself:

Here is another story in the news: in an isolated rural province in Afghanistan, 10 people were killed in a raid by American-led forces. The Afghan government, installed and sustained in power by the United States, said the victims were all civilians — including eight schoolboys.

But there was no international outcry about this incident; it barely garnered a few mentions in the global press. And even these were quickly shunted aside after a NATO official denied the claims of the Afghan government, and affirmed that all those killed in the raid were evil-doers. As the NYT reports:

A senior NATO official with knowledge of the operation said that the raid had been carried out by a joint Afghan-American force and that its target was a group of men who were known Taliban members and smugglers of homemade bombs, which the American and NATO forces call improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.’s. … “When the raid took place they were armed and had material for making I.E.D.’s,” the official added.

Local officials on the scene in Kunar Province said otherwise. They said 10 civilians had been killed. They said eight of the dead were children:

The governor of Kunar, Fazullah Wahidi, said that “the coalition claimed they were enemy fighters,” but that elders in the district and a delegation sent to the remote area had found that “10 people were killed and all of them were civilians.”

But the NATO official said the Afghans were lying. We will never know the whole truth, of course, for the story will ultimately be controlled by the very force that carried out the attack: the American-led military occupation.

But what an instructive contrast. In one story, an attack which did not happen and which killed no one shakes the entire world. In another story, ten human beings, including eight children, were slaughtered in a sneak attack by night — and the world can scarcely be bothered to notice.

Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

The Yell Softer Thesis

Karmafish at MLW says in the Question of the Day: “Yell Louder!”

Well, no, its not a question.

There are certain people who seem to think that we need to yell louder.  It’s as if they believe that if we wish to bring about positive fundamental change to the American system of governance than what is needed is… well… more yelling.   We need to yell and scream and rant and rage.  We need to jump up and down and shake our fists and howl at the mooon.

But, ya know what?  I’m tired of yelling.  I’m tired of listening to people yelling.  I’m tired of pretending that yelling somehow gets us anywhere.  I’m tired of self-righteous assholes, who barely know what the hell that they’re yammering about, insisting to the rest of us that their every syllable is right and true and good… while any who may oppose them, or merely even question them, are wrong and false and bad.

This is one reading of the “Yell Louder” text. I had a different one.



Choosing the goal.  Well that’s an idea I haven’t done much with and wouldn’t have a notion of how to present it or if it is even worth presenting.

Let’s put it this way … let’s muse about it.

Oh, first, jeffroby has really captured my imagination with his project (the name of which I forget at the moment … oh, here it is, the Full Court Press).  The idea would be to have a Democratic Party challenger in each and every district in the country.  The goal would not be electoral victory.

So I’m looking at goals.

Most folks who run for office have the goal of getting elected so they can have power.  For better or worse, moral or immoral, etc., being elected gives one power to do things one cannot do in the same way if one is not elected.

What if the goal of running for office was solely to reveal and expose how running for office in the 21st Century is a scandal and a joke and all those other “gasp” revelations that folks eat up like apple pie and so on.

Just as an example.

If the goal were different, then the entire view becomes different.

What is the goal?  To me, it’s to wake up as many folks as possible to the shell game that’s going on the US of A.

And I would like to hear some imaginative goals, unbound by convention or the win/lose bullshit mentality we have been spoonfed, like a goal being for everyone to wear blue shirts for one day and see what that would look like.

Just to break out of the box.

Strategy.  I don’t like strategy, it makes my  head hurt, I can play chess fairly well but I’m not a fan of it.  I am more comfortable in chaos.

Oh well.

So I freely admit this essay lacks even a scintilla of understanding or knowledge about strategy.

Except for the goals part.

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