October 8, 2010 archive

Don’t believe the unemployment numbers? There’s a reason

  The recent unemployment report was a disaster. Another 95,000 jobs vanished, 18,000 jobs after you subtract census workers.

 However, the story doesn’t end there. Like most months, the MSM mostly ignored past revisions, or even tried to spin them as something positive.

 As part of the employment report, the BLS released the preliminary annual benchmark revision of minus 366,000 payroll jobs.

 Disappearing hundreds of thousands of jobs has become a yearly tradition at the Bureau Labor Statistics. Last year the BLS wiped away 902,000 previously reported jobs, another 89,000 jobs in 2008, and another 293,000 jobs in 2007.

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 All told the BLS has erased 1.65 million reported jobs in the last four years.

That’s more than twice the number of jobs the Obama Administration claims were created this year.

 What we’ve seen consistently through this entire Depression is the government reporting employment numbers that often come in higher than feared, only to revise them drastically down weeks or months later when no one is looking.





Bank Foreclosures: If The Banks Want’em, Tell’em To Come And Get’em From Us

(Cross-posted from The Free Speech Zone)


Senior Democratic lawmakers are calling for federal authorities to investigate tens of thousands of home foreclosures in the US following reports that leading lenders failed to follow proper procedures.

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House, joined other Democratic representatives from California in urging the Justice Department, the Federal Reserve, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to examine “possible violations of law or regulations by financial institutions” in connection with delinquent mortgages.


You know the drill already.

They’ll demand a probe, investigate, say they’re going to do something about it, and then in the end the industry will get a payout while you’ll still owe.

And you’ll put up with it, because you’re all fucking pathetic.

Open Sammy


Obama Listens!

On Monday October 04…

…the Supreme Court said it would not take up a warrantless surveillance case, Wilner v. National Security Agency (NSA), filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The lawsuit argued that the Executive Branch must disclose whether or not it has records related to the wiretapping of privileged attorney-client conversations without a warrant. Lawyers for the Guantánamo detainees fit the officially acknowledged profile of those subject to surveillance under the former administration’s program, and the Bush administration argued in the past that the Executive Branch has a right to target them.

The Obama administration has never taken a position-in this or any of the other related cases-on whether the Bush administration’s NSA surveillance program was legal. In this case they claimed that even if it was illegal, the government has the right to remain silent when asked whether or not the NSA spied on lawyers,” said Shayana Kadidal, Senior Managing Attorney of the CCR Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative. “Today the Supreme Court let them get away with it.”  […]

The plaintiffs [had] filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking records of any surveillance of their communications under the NSA’s warrantless surveillance program, which began after 9/11 but was only disclosed to the public in December 2005. The government refused to either confirm or deny whether such records existed, and the lower courts refused to order the government to confirm whether it had eavesdropped on attorney-client communications. The question before the Supreme Court was whether the government can refuse to confirm or deny whether records of such surveillance exist, even though any such surveillance would necessarily be unconstitutional and illegal.

more at CCR…

Real News Network’s Paul Jay talks with Shayana Kadidal** – Senior Managing Attorney of the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative (GGJI) at the Center for Constitutional Rights about the CRR’s initiative and about this case and the Administration’s eavesdropping.

Real News Network – October 08, 2010

Shayana Kadidal: Government refuses to disclose possible wiretapping of civil rights lawyers

Game Theory Follies

cross posted at FireDogLake

As happy as I am to see game theory applied to politics (I’v called for this myself, many times) and, in particular, it being used against stupid and unproductive lesser-evilist voting, I can’t say that I’m happy about the lack of organization matching such diaries and comments.

Young Voters Are Apathetic? Look Closer.

Some incumbent Democrats in danger of being voted out of office are attempting to lean heavily on the youth vote this election.  I applaud anyone’s effort to reach out to that particular group, though I have to say the act seems tinged with desperation rather than genuine, lasting outreach.  Voting demographics must be cultivated and allowed to flourish with time, not reached for when desperately needed.  Considering this attitude, I find it unsurprising that few politicians can rely on such a crucial group.  Instead of throwing one’s hands up or lecturing in hopes of creating guilt and shame, I argue that politicians, pundits, and columnists need to look at the subject very differently.

Docudharma Times Friday October 8

Friday’s Headlines:

Chilean miners braced for release as drill breakthrough due in hours

HIV infections could hit 3.2m a year by 2031 if funding is not increased


Flawed Foreclosure Documents Thwart Home Sales

History of telecom company illustrates lack of strategic trust between U.S., China


France’s highest legal authority removes last obstacle to ban on burka

Dutch queen approves coalition backed by anti-Islam party

Middle East

Gaza burns as Hamas declares war on drugs

Middle East squeeze on Obama


Afghanistan’s Reservoir Dogs: security firms criticised over ‘warlord payments’

 Hard turn for Khmer Rouge trial


Zimbabwe’s prime minister attacks Mugabe’s ‘betrayal’

World Cup cities want Fifa cash

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself. 

–Rita Mae Brown


Late Night Karaoke

Hey, you

You there — I don’t know what to call you, because if I call you anything, you’ll change the conversation to how unfair it all is and how put upon you all are by the people who really should be standing by your side, arm in arm, your inferior but ever loyal allies who just haven’t been beaten enough to understand how loyal they must be to you, to keep things from getting, well, you know, really rotten and stuff.

But, uh, you, President Obama, you, Barney Frank, even you, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.  You, on the blogs, for whom life is all about being in a big tent except for all those snarkers demoralizing you, you know, and elections, and stuff.

Yeah, you there.  You know who you are.  Because it’s so unfair, and life is putting upon you, and you’re just, you know, working for the good of all us ungrateful bastards, left and right, I won’t unduly burden your delicate psyche’s by calling you a name.  But, you know who you are.

I might call you lily livered centrists, I might call you appeasers, or I might, as I said to my dad, being one of you all, in a burst, tonight, you who stand for standing still.  And that’s the most accurate thing of all.  You, who think that it works to play both ends against the middle, to say, well, yeah, you might not get your civil rights for a hundred years, but, you know, maybe you agree with me and still want to breath clean air, right, and that’s why you should be united with me, but, you know, with me leading, and you following, despite the fact that I don’t lead much of anywhere, except to nice laws and continuing decay?

And, really, when I burst out to my dad, “You who are ok with standing still,” it was the most accurate thing of all.  It was unfair, he said.

You.  You who call people unrealistic, say they’re dirty fucking hippies, want a pony, and are ungrateful.  It’s time for a little backtalk.

You.  You’re lazy.  Arrogant.  And shooting right wing fish in a barrel.  But, when it comes to debating the left, it’s all so unfair.  We just want a pony.  And, why are you being criticized?  It’s not like you’re not trying your best, after all — well, being lazy and shooting Christine O’Donnel over and over again, as if she’s not already dead — but, really trying your best, right?

Most of all, you just don’t listen, and that, I think, is your greatest weakness.  You listen, of course, to what you want to listen to — I mean, your world is a political world, so of course, you listen to the Rand Pauls of the world.  Or you’ll listen to Christine O’Donnell.  Not to really listen, and think about causes, or the idea of perhaps WHY the far right is so nasty and so crazy and to do some analysis — but just to see a weakness.  Because, you are all one big tent, right?

Even I, I am in your big tent, to be lectured to, whined at, told I’m whining and betraying.  Because, that’s what you’re used to.  Listening, not for hearing, but for sensing political weakness.  And I’m in your big tent — EVEN IF I DON’T WANT TO BE.  Even if I consider myself different and not part of your tribe.  Because all that exists is you, the sensible middle, and the wackadoodle far right.  It is your world.  No colors, no rainbow, and for heaven’s sake, no shades of gray.  So, it’s not like you’re kicking me out of the big tent — don’t have that delusion.  You wouldn’t have it any other way!

So, if I don’t talk about how I want to get rid of the minimum wage, and if I don’t talk about how I want children to work, or to dismantle Social Security — you just can’t process.  You can’t process ME.  I don’t exist in your world.  I am just a disgruntled member of your tribe.  To be laughed at, and at election time, browbeaten.

So, attacking Republicans, but not just any Republicans, crazy insane world Republicans.  But never the left — because that would be very hard, and the left — it just doesn’t exist, except when it’s convenient to exist!  But not when it comes time to talk to them.  Attacking Republicans.  It’s what you’re good at.  Laziness.  Shooting right wing monkey craziness in a barrel, that wouldn’t even be there, or discussed, but that it’s so good for you — not to mention the Republicans and the corporate media — them, too, but you, also.

So anyway, politically, pretty much, my dad is one of you.  It’s not like he’s rich, but, you know, he is set.  He has his medical care, he has his Social Security, his Medicare, and, you know, for him, life is pretty much steady state.  He’s not gonna be eating canape’s, but, he can wake up tomorrow not really worrying if he’ll be out on the street — know what I mean?

“So,” my dad said tonight, as I picked him up for bowling, “Obama’s really been making great speeches lately!  He’s going to unite the Democratic base and he’s, he’s gonna…”

“Uh, I wouldn’t know, Dad, I don’t care and haven’t been listening”.


(Conversation end).

Counter-cultural University?

To be alive and conscious is a miracle in itself. Just that is enough. All we really need to do is contemplate THAT. However, “the world” or human culture will not allow us to do that–or more specifically, the world as reconstructed within each of us, will not allow us to do that. It’s of no use blaming external agencies for our plight. Alienation is in our mother’s milk. It is a direct result of, as Marx said, the capitalist system–but that system is not just something that cruel master foisted on to us. It is, instead, even more seduction than oppression. As currently constitutued it is a system designed to fulfill human desires and, if desires are not growing fast enough, it is a system designed to create those desires. This ability to manufacture desire creates a class of oligarchs who organize this process, a class of craftsmen/women who are the creative people who are just a class below, and the rest of us at various stages of the great pyramid that is modern predatory capitalism. I call it predatory because, as I implied, it goes out of its way to find each and every one of us and hook us in to the system using our own feelings of alienation as a hook. The system is profoundly ingenious and is worthy of respect and admiration. We need to stop calling referring to it (the economic/political/cultural system we live in) as somehow diseased or stupid. For example, I found it difficult to tolerate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as “mistakes” that were based on false assumptions. I maintain that the people who count knew what they were doing and used these wars both for fun (not to be underestimated), profit and power. For those people the wars were not mistakes but boons.

But my subject is not to examine the systems that run our society. I want to establish two things. One, as I indicated above, is that we are each and every one of us, no matter our ideological positions, deeply a part of this system particularly internally. If we pursue courses that are contrary to the general flow of this system we have to recognize that we suffer, that we bleed, that we are more likely to be ill and poor–not so much from external forces of repression but the repression that we’ve internalized into our unconscious from all the unexamined messages hurled at us with deceptive force by the wizards and technicians of mind-control. This is not trivial. You can discount the influence of these forces all you want but inside your psyche these forces are profoundly important. If we reach the point where our intellect, our emotions, our spiritual force objects to these arrangements we pay and pay and pay. I believe there is a way to return to strength by understanding these forces within and without and my goal is to try and start a creative dialogue with as great a variety of people as I can towards finding a structure to pursue a course of strength, vigor and play to benefit all of us that sense so strongly something is terribly, terribly, terribly wrong and don’t feel so fucking powerless.