July 27, 2010 archive

Schwarzenegger: “I’ll take my toys and go home”: Updated!

Leadership is stated as the “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.”

What makes leadership is the ability to get people to do what they don’t want to do and like it. ~ Harry Truman

Apparently those inspirational words have been lost on California’s Governor. Swept into office on a wave of Republican propaganda and manufactured resentment of the status quo our current debacle sitting in the Capitol has managed to blame everyone else for his shortcomings.

“If I don’t get all of the things that we need in order to be fiscally responsible … I will not sign a budget and it could actually drag out until the next governor gets into office,” Schwarzenegger told reporters after meeting with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce on Monday.

State and local governments prepare to cut 500,000 jobs

  It’s the economic timebomb that we all knew would go off, but kept hoping that a heavenly miracle would save us.

  Well, time is up, and miracles are in short supply.

 The report, a result of a survey by the National League of Cities, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties, showed local governments are moving to cut the equivalent of 8.6 percent of their workforces from 2009 to 2011. That suggests 481,000 employees will lose their jobs, according to the report, which said the tally may yet rise.

 That’s bad, but the real story is actually much worse.

Open Mist


News at Noon

From Reuters

Analysis: Wall Street loathing for Warren lifts regulator bid

By Maria Aspan and Kim Dixon

July 27, 2010

(Reuters) – Elizabeth Warren, clad in cardigans and pearls, has become Wall Street’s public enemy No. 1, but it’s that very vitriol that could earn her a post heading the government’s new consumer watchdog agency.

“I get disgusted every time I hear her speak. It’s like she’s sitting in some ivory tower, not understanding the ramifications of anything she says,” said Anton Schutz, president of Mendon Capital Advisors. “Any person you put in that role really ought to have some industry experience.”

Warren, a Harvard law professor and outspoken consumer rights advocate, is currently a top monitor of the government’s $700 billion bailout of the financial system.

Breathe deeply… clear the mind of distractions… and focus

So what would count as doing something effective about abrupt climate change?  This diary, then, is a thought experiment: what if we actually made abrupt climate change itself a priority rather than mere window-dressing for another legislative report?

(crossposted at Orange)  

The Meaning And Ramifications Of The WikiLeaks Afghanistan Document Release

On Sunday Julian Assange through his whisteblower site WikiLeaks released what has been described as more than 90,000 secret internal US military documentary records of US military actions in Afghanistan over the past six years, sparking anger and early attempts at political ‘damage control’ from the US government. In reality the WikiLeaks release may be the biggest leak yet of documented war crimes in US history since the 1971 Pentagon Papers leak by Daniel Ellsberg.

The documents were first published online by The Guardian, the New York Times and Germany’s Der Spiegel, and include details of 144 incidents in which US and ‘coalition’ forces have killed civilians in Afghanistan and how a secret extrajudicial black ops special forces unit hunts down targets for assassination or detention without trial.

The Obama White House’s immediate response came through US national security adviser James Jones.

“The United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organisations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk and threaten our national security,” ABC News reported that Jones said in a statement, apparently not recognizing that neither he nor the White House is the United States, and that in reality the United States public is who Jones would prefer to keep from knowing what’s happening in Afghanistan.

Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman in their Monday War and Peace report hosted a roundtable discussion about the document release and its ramifications with independent British journalist Stephen Grey, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, former State Department official in Afghanistan Matthew Hoh, independent journalist Rick Rowley, and investigative historian Gareth Porter:

About 59 minutes – transcript below

Also see:

A Reading List to Put the WikiLeaks ‘War Logs’ in Context

Julian Assange On Why The World Needs WikiLeaks

‘Surge’ Smoke Follows Petraeus To Afpak

Our Hero

Docudharma Times Tuesday July 27

Tuesday’s Headlines:

Oil spill plunges BP £11 billion into the red

Millions of Earths? Talk causes a stir


Among House Democrats in Rust Belt, a sense of abandonment over energy bill

Documents leak leaves White House on defensive about Afghanistan policy


Turkey must be welcome in EU, insists Cameron

Vatican admits ‘new Caravaggio’ is a copy

Middle East

Iraqi Militants Stealing Blood for the Injured

Wikileaks Afghanistan: Iran accused of supporting Taliban attacks


Khmer Rouge torture chief: chameleon or contrite Christian?

Pakistani students prefer guns to books


African Union pledges to reinforce its Somalia force

Egypt police on trial for brutality

Latin America

Mexico City’s rainy torment

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

Resist the pleasures of life

And the desire to hurt

‘Til sorrows vanish.

–the Dhammapada

Phenomena XXIV: resisting

Game Pieces


Born into a game

I never wished to play

Predestined to lose

while someone else

controls the dice

Not born a winner

Whole industries created

to enticed me into not

breaking even

Escape from the game


I seek (in vain?)

to avoid becoming a pawn

on someone else’s board

–Robyn Elaine Serven

–June 27, 2008

Natural Gas Vehicles: an ‘ethanol’-like boondoggle?

Despite all the green washing out there (and there is lots of it, lets be clear), corn-based ethanol is far from a panacea in terms of reducing America’s dependence on imported oil, dependency on fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gases and representing a good investment for the taxpayer.  While supporting corn ethanol is, it seems, great politics to get through the Iowa primary, independent study after independent study shows that it is not a good deal for the taxpayer, the economy, and the environment.  The absolute ‘best’ case, from honest analysis, is that this is a very costly and inefficient path for very marginal reductions in fossil-foolish dependencies and minimal greenhouse-gas emission reductions. Other analysts come out with the conclusion that we actually lose ground in GHG emissions in returns for the $billions being pumped into corn ethanol.

Right now, we seem to be watching (in slow motion?) a headlong rush into another “ethanol”-like boondoggle driven, in no small part, by the $70 million or so that T Boone Pickens has put behind promotion of The Pickens’ Plan.

Late Night Karaoke

An Option for Fun

Two parents now showing signs of dimentia related dysfunction.  A house fire, boomerang kids who can’t leave, no prospects of a job and terminated unemployment benefits so I bought a horse trailer.

When I say Last Summer Before Armageddon I am not shitting.