January 10, 2010 archive

Docudharma Times Sunday January 10

Sunday’s Headlines:

Officials Hid Truth About Immigrant Deaths in Jail

Neighbors Challenge Energy Aims in Bolivia

Banks Prepare for Bigger Bonuses, and Public’s Wrath

Even with austere budget plan, California counts on federal funds

Orange sunset as Ukraine poll heralds turn to Russia

Gunman Mehmet Ali Agca who shot Pope John Paul II seeks £3m in book deals

Lost in Cambodia

Powerful Japanese politician Ozawa flexes his muscles as party leader falters

TV star Shahin Mahinfar defiant over son’s death

Yemen fights internal wars as well as al-Qaida

Togo withdraw as sport grapples with terror

Muslims, Christians set homes ablaze in Egypt

Who will pay for Amazon’s ‘Chernobyl’?

Read this. Just read this.

This is one of those essays where I’m just going to send you to someone else’s work.

Read it.  Just read it.

I don’t even know where to begin, as far as paraphrasing this, trying to pitch it, whatever.  You just have to read it.

The title tells you the subject matter:

The Military-Industrial Compex is Ruining the Economy

I’ve mentioned this blogger before.  I think he’s brilliant.  I think, in fact, that he’s the best single blogger out there.

(Sorry everybody else).

His stuff is so dense, yet so readable, that it’s even difficult to blockquote.   But I have to try a sample:

As I pointed out in August, public sector spending – and mainly defense spending – has accounted for virtually all of the new job creation in the past 10 years:

The U.S. has largely been financing job creation for ten years. Specifically, as the chief economist for BusinessWeek, Michael Mandel, points out, public spending has accounted for virtually all new job creation in the past 1o years:

Private sector job growth was almost non-existent over the past ten years. Take a look at this horrifying chart:

Between May 1999 and May 2009, employment in the private sector sector only rose by 1.1%, by far the lowest 10-year increase in the post-depression period.

It’s impossible to overstate how bad this is. Basically speaking, the private sector job machine has almost completely stalled over the past ten years. Take a look at this chart:


Well as can be expected, I`m a little late (which is better than a big latte) maybe.

These images are supposed to distract from the turmoil & travails of your daily lives.

I hope you don`t have any of those but maybe by perusing these images you`ll know

one way or the other.

The titles are a test to see if you are ahead of a curve, (the one I may have missed)

Enjoy & stay warm.

Those in very cold areas, please check on your neighbors or the elderly who might need help.

With that, why not introduce you to my little friend who always greets me with “Hola, Amigo”

A Friend In Deed,



Late Night Karaoke

Open Thread

Here comes the screw job

“The 401(k) system has to be fixed, and I don’t know anybody who can fix it but the federal government.”

– John Bogle

 Late last week the federal government began floating proposals for reforming America’s broken retirement system. The proposed reform centers around the idea of getting people to invest more conservatively and withdraw the money more slowly so that they don’t outlive their savings.

 The U.S. Treasury and Labor Departments will ask for public comment as soon as next week on ways to promote the conversion of 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts into annuities or other steady payment streams, according to Assistant Labor Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi and Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Iwry, who are leading the effort.

 Secretary Iwry developed this idea when he was working at the Brooking Institute in 2008 in conjunction with the Heritage Foundation. The concept involves rolling people’s 401(k) savings into directed distribution plans unless they specifically elect not to participate.

 This probably sounds like a reasonable idea until you dig beneath the surface.

Why We’re Bitches

Full disclosure: I am listening to overtly mellow music as I write this. I work with a woman who claims that she would be homicidal without yoga. Why should I disagree?

Although there is a faux trend in popular culture to suddenly acknowledge the market value of women over 40 as consumers only because of course that is the one things we are running out of in corporate managed capitalism: anybody with money. So we are suddenly faced with “positive” images after years of being ignored or just scorned. As it happens the current cutesy image of the over 40 woman is that of an individual with endless resources. The recent past of Sex in the City the sudden discovery of Meryl Streep as an actress who is not only not dead and dried up but still kicking it and shouldn’t we be happy girls? We have arrived. Haven’t we?

Have we? Try being over 40 and daring to have a fucking wrinkle and be derided as old while mocked if it is evident one has dallied with too much plastic surgery. And don’t wear an ill fitting fucking pant suit lest one be the example of the sexless vagina less power witch. On the other hand don’t try and appear too sexy. That would undermine one’s intellectual credibility. Which isn’t necessarily such a good thing to have either unless the boys approve and it can be used for corporate good and has anybody noticed that men are losing their jobs quicker than women? I can hardly wait for some irrelevant right wing middle aged commentator to drag out statistics about how men have been unjust victims in this recession and the solution is for the girls to go back into the kitchen. You know like the Reagan years when retro was cool and the very roots of your jobs disappearing to other places started.  Oh and note to men you have been fucked and you have been unjustly rearranged and you should be pissed just don’t buy into that blame the chicks ideology.

If you dye your hair you are denying reality ( thanks it has worked for me so far ) and if you don’t and let your natural wisdom show through a la grey hair you are likely to be replaced by the  cuter younger version of yourself in the office. You know the younger cuter version of yourself: the neo bandwagon crowd, the young women who think feminism is silly and they graduated with a 4.0 thank you very much. Dude. Have lunch with me in a few years. Like when you find out your maternity leave is two weeks long and you have to answer your email the whole time. America is so family oriented. Maybe it would be better if we all lived in housing complexes owned by whatever company we work for so the commute would be nice and short. Oh. Didn’t we call those company towns in the day? Nice idea we should try again since nobody can pay their mortgages even though the crisis is supposed to be not getting worse.

And if you’re fat you’re just another stupid cow American woman who can’t please her man and that is why American men are going and getting themselves nice foreign wives if you’re thin you must have an eating disorder. Good luck if you happen to be a woman of any shade or color and you don’t dress the way the Gap or J. Crew thinks you should. Somebody might fear your “ethnicity’ or complain you look too “ethnic’. I don’t know what too ethnic actually is but I know certain hairstyles are frowned upon at my work place. One thing that gets me is the very people who complain about blatant expressions of ethnicity never really show which interest in the various nationalities and cultural variations that swirl around. Never mind that Americans can barely speak one language reasonably well. Shout out to Canada the bilingual country where nobody actually really learned another language. But they talked about it.

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