November 6, 2010 archive

Environmentalism and the cycle of commodities

One of the main reasons our era is faced with intractable environmental problems is that we tend to look at the world with capitalist eyes, as an ensemble of commodities.  Specifically, our world is forced into a cycle of commodities, in which the ultimate end of things is determined not by regeneration but by commodification.  When something can no longer be a commodity, then, it is “externalized” — made into trash.  This diary will explore the cycle of commodities, and suggest an alternative way which doesn’t present such intractable environmental problems.

(crossposted at Orange)

Social Security: The War Begins Tuesday, And You Better Say…Oh, No!

It is my job to bring to you not just the news that took place, but the news that has yet to happen.

Today, that’s exactly what we have.

There is a war coming to try to change Social Security from a social safety net to a “revenue stream” for certain corporate interests, and that war is set to begin Tuesday morning, according to information that was provided to me yesterday afternoon.

Follow along, and you’ll be both forewarned and forearmed.

An Astounding Measure of Racial Inequality in the USA

I’m not exactly easy to amaze about economic inequality in the USA, but I have to admit that my eyes literally bulged out of my head when I saw this bar graph from the Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Consumer Finances (via Wolff, 2010).


Median net worth for white households is $143,600.

Median net worth for black households in $9,300.

Median net worth for Latino households is $9,100.

Inequality in net worth dwarfs income inequality, with a ratio between whites and blacks or Latinos of about 15 to 1, and when you leave housing equity out of the mix, as in the third set of bars above, the ratio of financial equity, stocks, bonds, and money in the bank, increases to more than 80 to 1.

Ummm… Caption This!

Open Name


The Clueless Class

Its not always the sneering angry faces that are the cause of our plight here in the Land of Inopportunity… in fact, some of those angry sneering faces have a point once in a while. Take Sarah Palin (Please!) speaking about “Real Americans,” I can totally understand why that resonated with some people as a Mid-westerner. We ARE far removed from the what Elites, even the Upper Middle Classes think of our reality.

Sometimes our worst enemies are the ones speaking “for” us. The nice people, genteel people, with silver hair, impeccable taste, jowls dripping over their collars, sipping champagne at a nice little reception for the patrons of the arts like themselves, having conversations with perfect diction and overwrought British accents on how dreadful it is that the American public doesn’t DO something for themselves.


It is not only the Uber-rich stomping us down, it is those clinging to their entitlement and superiority, telling we working people what we should care about, how to vote, and to rise up and protest.

It is the Upper Middle Classes who have never missed a meal who truly does not get us.

Its easy to be armchair warriors, with all the free time in the World to fly-over us, and be “seen” at protests on the Coasts. Easier yet when you have a home on each coast. Workers have neither the luxury of the time nor the money.

We are barely surviving here.

Barack Obama Deserves A Fair Trial, as George W. Bush Publicly Confesses to War Crimes

No Appetite for Prosecution: In Memoir, Bush Admits He Authorized the Use of Torture, But No One Cares

by Andy Worthington

With just days to go before George W. Bush’s memoir, Decision Points, hits bookstores (on November 9), and with reports on the book’s contents doing the rounds after review copies were made available to the New York Times and Reuters, it will be interesting to see how many media outlets allow the former President the opportunity to try to salvage his reputation, how many are distracted by his spat with Kanye West or his claim that he thought about replacing Dick Cheney as Vice President in 2004, and how many decide that, on balance, it would be more honest to remind readers and viewers of the former President’s many crimes – including the illegal invasion of Iraq, and the authorization of the use of torture on “high-value detainees” seized in the “War on Terror.”

As I fall firmly into the latter camp, this article focuses on what little has so far emerged regarding the President’s views on Guantánamo, and, in particular, on his confession that he authorized the waterboarding of “high-value detainee” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, which is rather more important than trading blows with a rapper about whether or not his response to the Katrina disaster was racist, as it is a crime under domestic and international law.

On Guantánamo

On Guantánamo, the only comments in the book that have so far emerged are insultingly flippant, which is disgraceful from the man who shredded the Geneva Conventions and authorized an unprecedented program of arbitrary detention, coercive interrogation and torture. In addition, Bush’s baleful legacy lives on in the cases of the 174 men still held, in the recent show trial of Omar Khadr, and in the complacency regarding the basis for detaining prisoners of the “War on Terror” – the Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed by Congress the week after the 9/11 attacks – on which Barack Obama continues to rely, despite its formidable shortcomings.


“Christian” Fascists & Cultural Genocide: Burning Native Objects

The burning of the Library of Alexandria is either attributed to Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, to Julius Caesar, or to Moslem Caliph Omar. Regardless of whoever destroyed “The loss of the ancient world’s single greatest archive of knowledge,” the burning was about cultural destruction for the sake of power. Power to control and to eliminate viewpoints that differed with their own. Today, it is “Christian” fascists who strive to eliminate differing viewpoints to acquire the power to control.

“Fascism is definitely and absolutely opposed to the doctrines of liberalism, both in the political and the economic sphere.”

“Fascism most often rears its ugly head in times of turmoil and great economic difficulty.”

Docudharma Times Saturday November 6

Saturday’s Headlines:

Investigators Zero in on Massive Art Forgery Scandal


Republicans map out their agenda of less

n Wealthy hopefuls fail to cash i


Iraqi prisoners were abused at ‘UK’s Abu Ghraib’, court hears

Outspoken French Muslim leader’s views inspire respect and hatred

Middle East

General writes to troops: follow Israel’s moral code

Al-Qaeda claims parcel bomb plot


Burmese junta pushes people to the polls

Union leader warns of violence during G20 protests in South Korea


Greens angered over C4 claims they ’caused starvation’

Latin America

Haiti prime minister warns of triple disaster as hurricane Tomas hits

Pace of U.S. bank failures not seen in 2 decades

Total of 143 financial institutions shut in 2010 surpasses last year’s high


WASHINGTON – Regulators shut down four more banks Friday, bringing the 2010 total to 143, topping the 140 shuttered last year and the most in a year since the savings-and-loan crisis two decades ago.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over K Bank, based in Randallstown, Maryland, with $538.3 million in assets, and Pierce Commercial Bank, based in Tacoma, Washington, with $221.1 million in assets. The FDIC also seized two California banks: Western Commercial Bank in Woodland Hills, with $98.6 million in assets, and First Vietnamese American Bank in Westminster, with assets of $48 million.

Atlantis Found

Breakfast of Champions, For Keith

11/6/10 GF Oats,Aloe,Guinness Stout,Zenyatta's breakfast

Bob’s Gluten Free Oats, Aloe Vera Juice, Guinness Stout beer. Breakfast of Champions, For Zenyatta,  November 5, 2010, Rachel Maddow Show.

Rachel is carefully holding the package of gluten free oats front label away from the camera, but patrons will recognize it anywhere.

Those just aren’t any oats. : )  

They were grown and certified to be free of wheat protein.

Good morning, and good luck.  

Late Night Karaoke

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