May 28, 2010 archive

Popular Culture (Music). The Quicksilver Messenger Service 20100528

The Quicksilver Messenger Service (hence referred to as QMS because I type slowly) was one the psychedelic bands from San Fransisco that formed in the 1960s.  The history of them is sort of obscure, because few documented sources are available, but there is some information available.

Like many bands, particularly American ones, at the time, their lineup changed often.  The origin is sort of obscure, but as best as can be pieced together it was the brainchild of the following musicians.

Folks at Docudharma get a preview, since only one post a day is allowed at Kos.  I like you, and wanted to let you see it sooner.

Flashing warning signs of a double-dip

“By allowing persistent declines in the money supply and in the price level, the Federal Reserve of the late 1920s and 1930s greatly destabilized the U.S. economy and the economies of many other nations as well.

 – Federal Reserve Governor, Ben Bernanke, 2004

  Ben Bernanke, Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman, and most other economists out there agree that the reason the Great Depression was so deep and destructive was that the Federal Reserve failed to keep the money supply from shrinking. I’m a little more skeptical, but I agree that it would be impossible for an economy to grow without a growing supply of money in a debt-based monetary system.

  That’s why this news article should be extremely distressing.

 The stock of money fell from $14.2 trillion to $13.9 trillion in the three months to April, amounting to an annual rate of contraction of 9.6pc. The assets of insitutional money market funds fell at a 37pc rate, the sharpest drop ever.

  “It’s frightening,” said Professor Tim Congdon from International Monetary Research. “The plunge in M3 has no precedent since the Great Depression. The dominant reason for this is that regulators across the world are pressing banks to raise capital asset ratios and to shrink their risk assets. This is why the US is not recovering properly,” he said.

 As our political and financial leaders are using every tool at their disposal to jump-start the economy, there are fewer and fewer dollars in circulation. That’s not a prescription for a growing economy. It’s a prescription for economic disaster.

Stories Of Impact Will Push Us To Fix The Oil Spill, Homelessness, And Other Big Problems

While I was on a recent radio show, a student called in from a campus “Rally Against 1070,” that challenged Arizona’s draconian immigration law. The rally was a great idea, part of the public outcry that’s needed. But I wish they’d called it something like “Rally Against the Show Us Your Papers Law.” Headlining it with a bill number gave people nothing to respond to emotionally.

Over nearly forty years that I’ve spoken out on various causes and written about citizen movements, I’ve come to believe that people work for justice when their hearts are stirred by specific lives and situations that develop our capacity to feel empathy, to imagine ourselves as someone else. New information–the percentage of people out of work or children in poverty, the numbers behind America’s record health care costs, the annual planetary increases in greenhouse gases–can help us comprehend the magnitude of our shared problems and develop appropriate responses. But information alone can’t provide the organic connection that binds one person to another, or that stirs our hearts to act.  

Surprisingly Beautiful Sunset Tonight

Cross-posted at DailyKos and firefly-dreaming.

I thought you might like to see the sundown over the Hudson tonight just because it came as a surprise package. Just proir to sundown there was rain and thunderstorms going on all over the place.

While watching this through my west window there was lightening flashing my eastern windows.

During this beautiful sunset I was watching a a nightmare. Governor Christie live at the new PBS Lincoln Center studio, was just ten miles south of my window and the exterior shots from the studio was showing people running in the driving rain.  

I loved this view. If you would like to see tonight’s sunset from start to finish, there are twenty more photos below.  

Thursday Night Express: High Speed Rail, Rapid Streetcars, and Democracy

Burning the Midnight Oil for Living Energy Independence

Welcome to the Thursday Night Express. This is a new service joining the Sunday Train.

In Sunday Train, I try to dig into some information related to energy independent transport and share what details I can find.

And of course, some people have time to ride the Sunday Train, and some people do not have the time to spare. The Thursday Evening Express is an experiment that will pick three specific topics, primarily from the previous Sunday Train, and present three short arguments in two to three paragraphs.

On Cannon Fodder

Cannon Fodder

Function noun

Date: circa 1891

1  soldiers regarded or treated as expendable in every battle

2  an expendable or exploitable person, group, or thing

So today, late in the work day my boss says ‘Hey Brunemeyer, lets go.  We’re off to Monmouth County to push up a 30’.  This translated into driving to one of the wealthiest towns in the country to push ups a $2,000 flagpole, on a guys front lawn, in front of his brand new anitque looking 4000 sq ft summer home, a block from the ocean.

On the way back south to our humble base camp we got to discussing the state of affairs we face today.  Things like the, largest environmental disaster ever seen, the riots in Greece and Ice Land, Wall St. bailouts and ‘to big to fail’.  

I mentioned that I’d been listening to the Lord Ramage novels and the Richard Sharpe series on my blinky book reader and how the idea of Cannon Fodder hadn’t changed since the beginning of time.  We, and I’ll be liberal in thinking of anyone not of the ‘mover and shaker’ cast are nothing but cannon fodder.  1% give or take of humanity is and has always controlled the game.  The 99% remaining are nothing but Cannon Fodder.  We the ‘enlisted, drafted, enslaved, pressed’ are of no concern beyond our use as prostitutes consumers, borrowers, laborers, clarks willing of necessity to sell our minds bodies and souls to survive swindled and defrauded with the scam we call the American Dream.  “yep, you too can live the life of luxury and hedonistic over indulgence if ya work hard and do as we say”  

Now you may say  ‘not me, I have a degree, a good job, great future and who knows what all else but think about it.  Loose your job, get sick or have any sort of setback and see how fast all that secure future is real and how much is so much hype.  

It’s the same old tune, cyclical and unending,  I’d hoped we’d evolved to something better than our brutish past proved.  I’d thought maybe just maybe we’d learned at least in some small way that we’re all in it together but no I was delusional, drunk or stoned.  We are still a brutish species.  The revolutionary war in the U.S., the French Revolution, Russia, India, Iran, Cuba et al are but blips in the great theater of history.  The little men behind the curtain still play Svengali and we still march, bayonets at the ready, stocks on, hopes and patriotism swirling in our minds into the breach to die.  To play our parts, no more valuable than chits, or playing cards in the great game of life.

Are We Sleepwalking?

As a nation, are we sleepwalking? Two large business organizations actually rule America: the Republican and the Democratic “political parties.” And political parties are no more mentioned in the constitution than corporations are; they are both man-made contrivances for power and profit. But at what point does the nation say it cannot trust these parties to rule any longer?

Consider the astounding malfeasance the nation tolerates and dismisses among its rulers: terrorists destroy the WTC and damage the Pentagon, a hurricane destroys a major city and the city is left for lost, the banking system fails so badly that the country is thrown into another major depression, and now an oil spill that is an environmental and human disaster. And in all these cases, the two parties have done nothing to protect the nation against these looming threats.

How can this continue to be tolerated? I hope that every incumbent in Washington today loses his seat in November; that is the only way this almost comatose people can ever hope to regain power: fire these malefactors.  

BP Blaming Employees For The Gusher

It now appears that BP while attempting to plug the gusher with their so called “top kill” operation, has moved to trying to blame the Deepwater Horizon platform explosion and the BP oil gusher in the Gulf on it’s employees who were on the platform at the time of the explosion.

In this short clip from CBS Wednesday, beginning at the 1:26 minute mark, you hear CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassman say that…

BP officials have told congressional investigators that right before the rig exploded, workers on it ignored strong warning signs – equipment readings that something was terribly wrong, including contaminated cement and leaking gas, signs that the rig could blow – and two hours later, it did.

Nice try, BP. Directly contradicting BP’s spin was BP’s Chief Electronics Technician Mike Williams who was on the rig at the time of the explosion.

You might remember Williams. He was the technician who appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes a couple of weeks ago, in an interview by 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley, and described the events leading up to the explosion…

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