February 1, 2010 archive

It’s time to live within our means

  The president had some bold words for the American public earlier this week. He said things that some people didn’t want to hear. He talked about responsibility and sacrifices.

“We simply cannot continue to spend as if deficits don’t have consequences, as if waste doesn’t matter, as if the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people can be treated like Monopoly money, as if we can ignore this challenge for another generation.

 “. . . It’s time to save what we can, spend what we must and live within our means once again.”

– President Obama, 2010

 After saying these bold words he then presented Congress with a plan for the largest deficit in American history. I guess politicians are immune from irony.

China to Clinton: Smell the glove!

The U.S. still wants to declare war on Iran, or short of that, exact barbaric and debilitating sanctions on its people in the hopes of causing unrest and ultimately regime change, but China has no interests in that game:

Clinton had warned China it would come under a “lot of pressure” to recognize the threat from Iran’s nuclear program and to join international calls for further sanctions. She said pressure would come as Washington and other powers “move away from the engagement track, which has not produced the results that some had hoped for, and move towards the pressure and sanctions track” to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, which Tehran insists are for peaceful purposes.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said of the US’s US$6.4 billion arms package for Taiwan that Washington should “truly respect China’s core interests and major concerns, and immediately rescind the mistaken decision to sell arms to Taiwan, and stop selling arms to Taiwan to avoid damaging broader China-US relations”.

According to the official China Daily:

“From now on, the US shall not expect cooperation from China on a wide range of major regional and international issues. If you don’t care about our interests, why should we care about yours?”

In other words, Smell the glove!

In the mockumentary, the original cover, according to recording company representative Bobbi Fleckmann, featured “a greased, naked woman on all fours with a dog collar around her neck and a leash, and a man’s arm extended out…holding on to the leash and pushing a black glove in her face to sniff it.” The production company, Polymer Records, ultimately refused to release the cover because of pressure from retailers such as Sears and Kmart and gave the album a solid black cover instead. Upon learning of the concerns of Polymer, David St. Hubbins said, “You know, if we were serious and we said, ‘Yes, she should be forced to smell the glove,’ then you’d have a point, but it’s all a joke.” Bandmate Nigel Tufnel replied, “It is and it isn’t. She should be made to smell it, but…” which David clarified with the statement, “But not, you know, over and over.”

So much for being Number One.

What an embarrassment.

Update via Pluto: Chinese military going worldwide.  Absolutely precious!  

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

Now with World and U.S. News.  60 Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Ten US Christians may face Haiti kidnapping charges

by Mike Smith and Virginie Montet, AFP

1 hr 36 mins ago

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Ten members of a US Christian group may face charges of kidnapping minors and child-trafficking after trying to smuggle a group of children out of quake-hit Haiti, officials said Monday.

Amid growing concern over the safety of hundreds of thousands of vulnerable women and children left destitute after the January 12 quake, the case could also go to trial in the US courts.

Mazar Fortil, interim prosecutor for the main Port-au-Prince court, told AFP the group may also face a lesser charge of criminal conspiracy.


As we wait for the playing field to clear, another little lecture, lol. Or if you are not completely cynical….another observation on a facet of political effectiveness

Cynicism is a necessary phase in political activism. And like an old comfy pair of jeans, it is a good thing to always keep around, in limited quantities. But it can’t be your whole ‘political wardrobe.’

Too little cynicism and you are just another naive chump, buying the okeydoke from those who have spent their whole political lives doing nothing but honing what is considered a critical political skill by the operatives and politicians they work for……selling the okeydoke to naive chumps.

Too much though and it can kill the spark of life within you, it can rob you of healthy hope just as quick as it can protect you from unhealthy and unrealistic hope.

But it is a necessary phase, cynicism. And once you pass through it’s maze, IF you don’t get lost in the hate and frustration and destructive bitterness at the center of it, you come out with your eyes wide open, your illusions on BOTH ends of it’s spectrum shattered and are ready to get to work.

Peru: The Devastation Continues, The US Traditional Media Ignore It

peru floodDevastation in Peru continues.  Today’s La Republica reports the bad news:

Intense Rains Leave More than 100,000 Affected

The prolonged rainfall that fell on the southeastern Andes Sunday night left over 100 thousand people affected, with particular intensity in the Cusco region, regional authorities reported.

The regional president of Cusco, Hugo Gonzales, told the AP that on Sunday the rains had left “more than 60 thousand people affected, seven thousand homes destroyed, 17 thousand hectares of crops affected and so far 14 bridges that may collapse from being in poor condition.

Gonzales said that “losses translate into almost $ 250 million dollars and that tourism, the largest employer in the region is losing almost a million dollars a day, which is aggravated by the isolation of Machu Picchu from tourists.

(translation by me)

The report from Puno, to the Southeast, is particularly disturbing:

the rains left “more than 22 thousand farmers affected, 23 million acres of crops worthless, and 25 thousand dead cattle including llamas and vicunas.”

But if you’re not going to read Peruvian newspapers on line, you won’t know much about this disaster.  If you’re in the US, just try a Google news search for “Peru floods” and see what it turns up.  Right now the top story is from Brunei.  And that’s one of the very few entries from today.  The rest concern rescuing tourists at the end of last week, some first person tourist stories about being rescued, and the thinnest of reports from Saturday and Sunday.

Long story short, the traditional US media just aren’t reporting about this disaster.  And they are apparently not going to.  That makes it harder to get contributions and other aid from the US for Peru’s relief.  And it also continues the extremely distorted way the US traditional media cover events in this hemisphere.

If we want to end this embargo on news, if we want others in the US to know what’s going on in Peru, the only thing I can think of is writing essays like this one and this one and this one.  And if you, dear reader, would consider doing the same, writing an essay, we might be able eventually to overcome the enforced silence and bring US attention to the devastation in Peru.  And to other events in this hemisphere.

Finally, I urge readers to make donations to Doctors Without Borders and the Red Cross.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles and daily Kos and Wild Wild Left

Haiti: Ripples

Conditions are improving, slowly, steadily, 3 weeks after the earthquake but we have a really long way to go. The rainy season is coming in a other month and there is a need to provide shelter and sanitation needs that must be addressed quickly.

After enduring delays in receiving urgent medical supplies and equipment, as well as continuous aftershocks that threatened already-damaged facilities, MSF staff are now treating patients inside an inflatable hospital.

Originally the plan was to keep the Inflatable Hospital open for 3 months. It was then extended to 6 months, now, the plan is to keep it open indefinitely and expand it from 100 beds to 200 beds by adding 4 more sections to the already existing 9.

Now cross posted at The Wild Wild Left

Open Circle


[VIDEO] Joe the Nerd Protests Senator Specter at PA Progressive Summit

originally posted by Will Urquhart at Sum of Change

The last main event at the PA Progressive Summit this past weekend was a Senatorial Forum with Senator Arlen Specter and Congressman Joe Sestak.

During the Q&A with Sen. Specter, there was one man who spent the entire time standing with his back to the stage. It was rather obvious, one man standing while the rest of the room was seated. We caught up with the protester, Joe Ferraro, better known to the online world as Joe the Nerd, and got a chance to chat with him about what he was doing and why:

Enough waiting. Let’s rebuild the Progressive Party of the United States.

At what point do progressives stop being Democrats’ whipped dogs and start acting like a movement capable of putting the Dems in their proper place as the party of the people?  David Sirota wrote today about Obama’s latest call to increase war spending beyond its already ludicrous proportions.

How many of the extreme right-wing and criminal policies of Bush-Cheney has Obama adopted?  How many of those extreme right-wing policies has he exceeded?  Last month, knowledge that Obama has gone a step further than Bush, authorizing the executive branch to murder American citizens on the flimsiest of rationales.  This sh__ has GOT to end.


Yes the Charolette Iserbyte era of dumbing down is over, all hail the Clockwork Orange era.  I do agree with the consensus that the most Satanically evil concept of global warming will be re-branded as a job creation effort.

Docudharma Times Monday February 1

Monday’s Headlines:

Officials OKd Miranda warning for accused airline plotter

‘Climate emails hacked by spies’

$100 Billion Increase in Deficit Is Forecast

Silverdome’s bargain price reflects financial woes in Detroit suburb of Pontiac

Mahmoud Abbas: Israel’s West Bank occupation leading to one-state solution

Yemen Seems to Reject Cease-Fire With Rebels

Sri Lankan government ‘settling scores’ in media crackdown

Feng Zhenghu, the Chinese dissident living in airport limbo, set to return home

Nigeria militants call off truce in oil-rich Niger Delta

UNECA Official Expects “Consultative” AU Leadership Approach from Mutharika

American church group arrested on Haitian border accused of abducting children

Military Health System, New Leader?

Taking bets on who will place a hold on this nomination. Will it be the usual suspects, especially as to the Veterans Administration and National Security, or will it be another rising star of the “Strong on National Defense” group {just say ‘no’}?

Stay tuned!

White House eyes Army Reservist, surgeon for Defense top doc job

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