October 30, 2010 archive

Austerity Fatigue: “Are we Equipped To Have The Debate That Will Follow The Elections?”

Laura Flanders of GRITtv talks with political economist Professsor Richard Wolff about economic collapse, austerity programs, and the recent and growing anger and popular uprisings and street actions in Europe that we may soon be seeing spreading to North America:

“It’s a bizarre idea to fix a global capitalist crisis by breaking a long-term promise,” notes Richard Wolff, economist and author of Capitalism Hits the Fan of the “austerity” measures rocking Europe’s social democracies at the moment. Governments across Europe are implementing drastic cuts to social safety nets, raising retirement ages, all in the name of fiscal responsibility, and people have taken to the streets–in France, between 1.3 and 2.9 million people have come out in protest, a percentage that Wolff notes would be equivalent to between 6.5 and 14.4 million [in the U.S.].

So what’s going on in Europe, and what are the lessons we can learn from the European left? Wolff joins us along with Inez McCormack, Chair of the Participation and the Practice of Rights Project in Ireland, to talk us through the crisis, the lessons, and the ongoing struggle.

Austerity Fatigue and Action in Europe – GRITtv – October 29, 2010

Some of You Aren’t Going to Like This Either!

howard beale Pictures, Images and Photos

Imagine Barack Obama seated in a dunk tank.  Given the current state of affairs, many self-proclaimed progressives would literally elbow aside their Tea-Party brethern in their fervor to fire off a few fastballs, as their compatriots dump bags of ice cubes into the tank itself.

This writer, like many, has been extremely disappointed with Barack Obama, however, unlike many on the left, was unimpressed with his legislative accomplishments at the time of his 2008 presidential campaign.  The search for any meaningful indication of political courage, any instance of swaying others to support a differing point of view, or exerting real leadership on any matter of substance was in vain. Some of us hoped, based upon faith alone, that once safely esconced in office, the promise conveyed by his soaring rhetoric would translate into meaningful action.  

“The Lord Places People in This or That Country – Uganda (Edited)”

Julius Oyet is represented in the video.

Oyet is a self-designated Apostle and leader of the Lifeline Ministries. He has found favor with President Museveni for praying against areas of Northern Uganda once controlled by the rebel Lord’s Resistance Army. Oyet’s Born Again Federation in Uganda oversees over 10,000 churches and estimates 9 million Christians attend these churches.

Oyet promotes what is known as the “7 mountains strategy”; this is the belief that Christianity should advance in a society by taking control of seven domains:

To establish The Kingdom of God on the earth, we must claim and possess The Seven Mountains of Culture namely: Business, Government, Religion, Family, Media, Education and Entertainment.

End the Farce at Least in Your Own Mind

Chris Hedges has written a book called The Death of the Liberal Class that says a lot just by its title. He is saying, essentially, that the liberal class which is the class of intellectuals, professionals and so on that are the cornerstone of any economy or ruling coalition, is finished and reform is impossible. Liberals in our context are people who have been able to “solve” the contradictions of capitalism by putting pressure on the oligarchs to provide reforms that can keep the system functioning. Liberals are and always have been anti-communist and anti-socialist, in this country at least, because they believe that capitalism can evolve into a friendly and progressive system through things like humane treatment of workers, social-safety nets, and universal health insurance (the last gasp of liberalism was the failure of HCR).

But let’s be clear here: liberals exist at the pleasure of the ruling elites. The minute liberal ideas threaten the system in any way liberals are crushed–and this goes for any society not just ours. Hedges is saying that this class in this country is finished as a class because it can no longer deliver reforms to the system. This is what I’ve been saying for some time. There was no need to put liberals in prison or assassinate them. Liberals have purged themselves by accepting cushy jobs in the system and learning to keep quiet all the while engaged in the illusion that they were “doing” something by voting for Democratic Party politicians who are designed and branded by Madison Avenue to keep the liberal class from facing reality or looking in the mirror.

Cross posted at Writing in the Raw.

Telling TEA Party thoughts?!? on Military and Veterans

This comment by Angle, caught it last night on CBS and my head nearly exploded, shows Exactly what she thinks? about the Soldiers we’re sending into these occupations and their families at home waiting, which in turn shows what she, and (R)’s, especially this phony TEA party, think? about us Veterans, All Veterans, as well as National Security!!!!!

Docudharma Times Saturday October 30

Saturday’s Headlines:

Rescued from the shredder, Carlos the Jackal’s missing years


Divided states of America

MGM film studio rescued from bankruptcy


Going underground: Exploring the Paris Catacombs

Turkey’s relationship with west on the line in European missile defence negotiations

Middle East

Yemen Emerges as Base for Qaeda Attacks on U.S.

Iran’s supreme leader demands support of clerics


Who’s Afraid of the Ruler of the Silk Road?

UN funds Cambodia’s prison of the undesirables


No end in sight to DRC’s violence

‘Serengeti highway’ threat to great migration

Latin America

Rousseff on track to be Brazil’s first female leader

UK and US probe terror risk after Yemen cargo finds

The US and UK are investigating the extent of a terror threat after explosives were found in two packages bound for the US from Yemen.

The BBC 30 October 2010  

The packages were found in the UK and Dubai on two overnight cargo planes in transit from Yemen on Friday.

President Barack Obama said the devices were a “credible terrorist threat”.

UK Home Secretary Theresa May said experts were trying to establish whether the package found in Britain was “a viable explosive device”.

Mr Obama’s top counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said: “The United States is not assuming that the attacks were disrupted and isremaining vigilant.”

Eternal Summer, Death, Smile of Steel

This is my heart, this is my soul.  This is my reason.

Anyone can see the road that they walk on is painted in gold,

It’s always summer they’ll never get cold,

They’ll never get hungry they’ll never get old and grey,

Anyone can see their shadows wandering off somewhere

They won’t make it home but they really don’t care,

They wander the highway they’re happy they left today…

If I could have you look at me, a 46 year old slightly aging man, it would be the sunglass wearing drummer boy in the video above.

Watch the video.  See relaxed little drummer boy with the mirrored glasses and the shit eating grin.  Look at 1:25 in the video, exactly.

That’s me.  That’s me, my personality, everything about me, in a nutshell.  It may not be how I look, but that is me.  Although, I do look younger than my age, in most ways.  With the right clothes and the right haircut and the right smile and the right glasses, I could be him.  I could show you him, in me.

I was doing good.  With my haircut and black jean jacket, I looked a little like him, today.

Shit eating grin.  Smile of steel.  This is what a lifetime of hurt and pain has left me.  Stop.  I don’t want your sympathy.  

The shit eating grin.

“Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit in Sightblinder’s eye on the last Day.”

My brother and I, we were latchkey kids.  My mother, she was a roaring mother bear, detested my homosexuality, asked me once whether I ever tried a woman (I did, and had), and died of cervical cancer at the age of 54.  I watched her die in 1997, from a curable disease that had caused her pain her whole life, at the age of 54.

I kissed her on the forehead with her last breath.  She was never even aware I had come to see her.  

The children woke up

And they couldn’t find ’em

Left before the sun came up that day

They just drove off and left it all behind ’em

Where were they going without ever knowing the way?

Obama’s Power to Produce Progressive Legislation May Increase Dramatically Tuesday

It now appears that in all likelihood republicans will win a congressional majority this coming Tuesday. Nate Silver’s projections of Friday October 29…

…found Republicans gaining an average of 53 seats, which would bring them to 232 total. Democrats are given a 16 percent chance of holding the House, down slightly from 17 percent on Wednesday.

Increasingly, there seems to be something of a consensus among various forecasting methods around a projected Republican figure somewhere in the 50-60 seat range.

Several of the expert forecasters that FiveThirtyEight’s model uses, like the Cook Political Report, the Rothenberg Political Report, and Larry Sabato, have stated that they expect the Republicans’ overall total to fall roughly in this range. A straw poll of political insiders for Hotline on Call found an average expectation of a 50-seat gain. And some political science models have been forecasting gains somewhere in this range for some time.

The forecast also seems consistent with the average of generic ballot polling. Our model projects that Republicans will win the average Congressional district by between 3 and 4 points.

The modeling also suggests that there is a 90% chance that after Tuesday Democrats will control at least 50 seats in the Senate, but that there is a 0% chance that Democrats will control at least 60 seats.

It’s not looking good by any stretch of the imagination.  

Late Night Karaoke

Oh, for Criminy’s Sake, Vote

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. Its a fraught political calculus, whether to vote for a wing of an establishment that is committed to the slow destruction of the US national economy and the slow onset of catastrophic climate chaos simply because the other wing of the establishment is committed to the rapid destruction of the US national economy and the rapid onset of catastrophic climate chaos.

But for Criminy Sake Vote. Not voting is not protest, because the power that be want you to not vote. Not voting is, indeed, compliance with our corporate feudal overlords, or corporate feudal overlords in waiting if I am in an optimistic mood.

Not voting is compliance. Not voting makes you a full fledged member of the Suck-Up Society which our corporate feudal overlords (possibly in waiting) is eager to expand and perpetuate.

I am just an economist of small political brain, so I am not going to tell you whether to vote Democratic or Communist Party or Green Party or Progressive Party or WAS(fr)P {White Anglo Saxon (former republican) Party, eg, Chaffee & Crist} or whatever fringe or protest party you can find. If you’ve got a Clown Party to vote for, vote for them.

But freaking vote. You can vote against the Replicants, You can vote against the Democ-Rats. You can vote against the Constitution Party if you care too. Whatever.

Just vote. Install you and your finicky, dogged, whimsical, bitter, jovial, and/or whatever else or whatever mix of the above that you care to name self into the equation.

Delerium of Disorder

“I am just an atom in an ectoplasmic sea

Without direction or a reason to exist.

The anechoic nebula rotating in my brain

Is persuading me, contritely, to persist.”

Random Japan


Tokyo’s former chief medical examiner claimed that there are approximately 200 cases of people masturbating themselves to death in Japan each year, with 20 to 30 in Tokyo’s 23 central wards alone.

In other matters of the heart and hands, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology organized a tennis date for singles looking for a love match. Apparently it’s all “part of a project… to improve the nation through sports.”

A 33-year-old therapist from Kyoto was crowned champion of the Z-1 Grand Prix floor-wiping competition in Ehime Prefecture. Koichi Fujiwara set a new record of 18.23 seconds pushing a wet rag through a 109-meter-long hallway at the Uwa Rice Museum.

A computer armed with the “Akara 2010” system beat the top women’s shogi player, Ichiyo Shimizu, in 86 moves in a match staged at the University of Tokyo.

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