January 18, 2011 archive

Extremists & Education

PhotobucketThis should have shocked me. It didn’t. Extremists almost always go the “smiting” clause for their perceived enemies. If there is a God? He certainly needs better editors than the plague of the planet called humans. Especially the unholy triad of religions that beget themselves off of the “Old Testament,” Christians, Jews and Muslims. No God of Creation would possibly tell any of these fuckers what the power hungry men who were his editors twisted his words into.

…an Israeli Orthodox “family magazine,” Fountains of Salvation, which suggests that Israel will create death camps for Palestinians in order to wipe them out like Amalek. The article attacks Israeli rabbis who dispute the letter recently circulated from pro-settler extremist rabbis which urged that no Israeli Jew rent apartments or homes to Israeli Palestinians. It chided them for being “politically correct” and refusing to do their jobs and educate the populace in the true path of Torah (which is presumably to hate Palestinians).

(snip – the money quote)

It will be interesting to see whether they leave the assembly of the Amalekites [Palestinians] in extermination camps to others, or whether they will declare that wiping out Amalek is no longer [historically] relevant. Only time will tell…

(a second source, since I am unfamiliar with either)

If that isn’t enough to twist your knickers? Go below.

A Proper Snow

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

“For the first time I can remember…”

But it’s not the first time I can remember because it’s a benefit of Stars Hollow that I could grow up as a kid with snow banks high enough to construct a proper waist high fort with plenty of reserve ammunition, a life size snow person (I dunno, isn’t three balls how we all look?), and a highly dangerous block long sled run through multiple yards and hedges.

Keep your arms inside the car and stop or bail out before you hit one.  Not that there’s much traffic, but you could have an evil look out.

When I was in upstate New York it snowed all the time and I plowed home with positrac more than once which was quite a contrast from the tropical confines of the heated pools where I worked.  One day I walked over 2 miles in sub zero temperatures because the Blue Shark (my car at the time) wouldn’t start.

My friends would cross country ski through the park across the street which I tried a couple of times but found the uphill parts fatiguing and the downhill parts terrifying so I soon gave that up (they were good losers at Flash Bowling though).

Other amusements were Pitch (also called Set Back) which we played at work whenever we had a break, and Wednesday night Season Pass to the local mountain to shiver on a lift and not sweat your way up a slope.  Quite the sight to see all those skis rusting at the side of the pool.

Then there was the year I snooted the last six pack of Knickerbocker (that vile) at the Universal Market which happened to be right next to my dorm.

The point is that while I can remember what I consider “normal” snow I haven’t seen it much recently.  It’s reminded me of the early springs when I used to crunch through patches of dirt frost on my way to the library and imagined I was on a terraformed Mars.  This is the warmest year ever.

The world our children will inherit will be deeper, steeper, warmer, and wetter (not in a good way) than ours.

Senate’s Conrad Cashes Out

North Dakota “Democratic” Senator Kent Conrad, 62, has announced he is not going to run for re election in 2012. He is the current majority Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.   He is also on Agriculture Nutrition Forestry, Finance, and Indian Affairs committees.  Kent Conrad

Conrad said he would serve out his term.

“Although I will not seek re-election, my work is not done,” Conrad said in his statement. “I will continue to do my level best for both North Dakota and the nation.”


He says he’s going to spend his remaining time and energy trying to reduce the national debt and dependence on foreign oil.  And working on a Farm Bill.  http://www.valleynewslive.com/…

Senator Kent Conrad’s legacy will include recommending former OMB head Peter Orszag for his White House position early in the Obama administration (Orszag sharing Conrad’s curious blind spot on what drives the deficit, see more of that here: https://www.docudharma.com/diar…    ) , being a phony “deficit hawk,”  who couldn’t see anything wrong with increased military budgets and decreasing domestic needs being met, and opposing the Public Option during the Health Care reform legislative battle. Voting for reducing the payroll tax that funds Social Security, and for continuing the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest in Dec of 2010 during the Lame Duck Session.  http://www.thestate.com/2010/1…    Oh, and being part of that Democratic Senate Supermajority of 2009 That Didn’t Do Any Energy Policy, Global Climate Change,  or Tax Code Changes.  Other than a lot of stimulus money got earmarked for “research.”

Kent Conrad was also on the President Obama Deficit (“Catfood Commision”) Committee of 2010, which called for cuts in Medicare and Social Security.

“You know, a certain amount of this is shock therapy,” Conrad said. “There are different options and, of course, what everybody has fastened on is the most extreme of the options. But, look, the important thing for people to know is that we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend. That’s utterly unsustainable. It can’t continue much longer, so it’s got to be dealt with.”

“Fundamentally, if we’re going to raise revenue, I don’t think the way to do it is to raise rates. I think the way to do it is to eliminate some of the loopholes that exist in the system,” the senator said.  

November 14, 2010.  Kent Conrad in an interview with Christiane Amanpour on “This Week” about the Deficit Commission


Next Democratic Seat to be Opened in Congress

By now it should be no surprise to anyone who pulls the levers in Washington DC. The big banks. Yet some have still not got the memo …

Message to Democratic Congresspersons … check your in box.

Meet Rep. Brad Miller from North Carolina’s 13th District.

What heinous atrocity has Rep. Miller committed?

Rep. Brad Miller is raising questions about Bank of America’s settlement with the government over soured mortgage-backed securities, asking whether the government got the best deal for taxpayers.

[..]In the letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, Miller and the others question whether the $3.3 billion settlement represents “the real liability” that Fannie and Freddie bear “as a result of the misrepresentations and breaches of warranty” by the two banks. “Specifically, we request information on how the FHFA determined that the combined $3.3 billion settlement represented the best possible recovery of funds available to taxpayers,” the letter said. In addition to Miller, it was signed by Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts and Rep. Maxine Waters of California.

The majority of the settlement payment stems from investor put backs by bad deals from the Countrywide balance sheet. Following me? At the height of the economic meltdown Countrywide was purchased by BofA. Bank of America is based in North Carolina.

Unless Rep. Miller didn’t get the memo he should immediately call Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and ask what happened to his career career after taking on BofA.

Jared Loughner’s Convenient Craziness

Jared Loughner2

Until he started shooting, Jared Loughner was just another alienated semi-delinquent still living with mom and dad, and this demographic is now so populous that one of Obama’s signature “accomplishments” was extending mom and dad’s health insurance to cover their low-functioning twenty-something kiddies.

Then Loughner shot a Blue Dog Democrat and a federal judge, and every little fuck-up retroactively turned into crazy.

This is a very reassuring diagnosis for Blue Dogs and federal judges, while they sell out all of us to “corporate persons.”

“You would have to be crazy to shoot us, no matter how much we fuck you over.”

Miss America: I Do Declare!

WikiLeaks ‘actually based on espionage,’ new ‘Miss America’ declares

By David Edwards

RawStory, Monday, January 17th, 2011

“Everybody’s talking about the WikiLeaks, how do we balance people’s right to know with the need for government security?” Teresa Scanlan was asked.

“You know when it came to that situation it was actually based on espionage, and when it comes to the security of our nation we have to focus on security first, and then people’s right to know,” the teen replied.

“Because it’s so important that everyone in our borders is safe, and so we can’t let things like that happen and they must be handled properly, and I think that was the case,” she added.

Video from ABC’s Miss America 2010, broadcast Jan. 1, 2010

Obama’s comprehensive federal regulatory review.

It appears Obama is gearing up for 2012 fundraising in earnest, offering a triple-threat of proposals favored by big business: first by promoting attacks on the social safety net, then by hiring two Wall Street mugs as chief-of-staff and economic adviser, and now by comprehensively reviewing and slashing federal regulatory “burdens” on business.

Please note Obama’s hack-kneed genuflection to the free market’s virtuous fountains of “dazzling ideas,” “path-breaking products,” and “vibrant entrepreneurialism,” as he simultaneously derides “outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive” with “undue interference,” from a “patchwork of over-lapping rules” and legislative “tinkering,” that need to be “rooted out” when they “conflict,” “are not worth the cost, or that are just plain dumb.”   These are standard right-wing talking points.

However, the cognitive friction generated between Obama’s obtuse insistence that “one of the reasons the free market has worked…” and his acknowledgement of the collapse of the financial markets in the next breath, while forgetting about the BP blow-out of the entire Gulf of Mexico, body-checked the entire order of the universe light years to the right and vastly closer to heat death.

Listen to Obama’s disingenuous logic to get a taste of the crap he plans on feeding us in the State of the Union:

For instance, the FDA has long considered saccharin, the artificial sweetener, safe for people to consume. Yet for years, the EPA made companies treat saccharin like other dangerous chemicals. Well, if it goes in your coffee, it is not hazardous waste. The EPA wisely eliminated this rule last month.

Let’s change a few words, while retaining the core, business-friendly “logic:”

The FDA has long considered thimerosal, the mercury-based vaccine preservative, safe for people to consume. Yet for years, the EPA made companies treat mercury like other dangerous chemicals. Well, if it goes in your bloodstream, it is not hazardous waste.

So, yeah, by all means, feed all the mercury you want to your daughters, because if you inject it into your butt-cheeks (under doctor’s orders, no less!), then it cannot be hazardous.  Amirite?  

Similarly, the use of radioactive isotopes in medicine to improve health outcomes, or ionizing radiation used in airports to improve “homeland security,” proves that radiation is not hazardous.  In fact, it is beneficial!  It’s “dumb” to regulate something beneficial.  The president’s argument is simply stupid, if not devious, and indicates how cunning and deceitful the regulatory review will be.

When the president says he wants “a more affordable, less intrusive means to the same [regulatory] ends,” he is simply indicating what neoliberal deregulatory yahoos and cowboys have meant since time immemorial: The federal regulatory environment will become “leaner and meaner,” for businesses and consumers, respectively, until “nothing stands in their way.”  

Six In The Morning

Who Cares If You Destroy The Environment Profit Margins Are At Stake      

Last refuge of rare fish threatened by Yangtze dam plans

The last refuge for many of China’s rarest and most economically important wild fish has mere days to secure public support before it is trimmed, dammed and ruinously diminished, conservationists warned today.

The alarm was raised after the authorities in Chongqing quietly moved to redraw the boundaries of a crucial freshwater reserve on the Yangtze, which was supposed to have been the bottom line for nature conservation in one of the world’s most important centres of biodiversity.

Muse in the Morning

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Muse in the Morning

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

“To be one’s self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity.”

–Irving Wallace

Pink and Blue 4

Late Night Karaoke

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: The Legacy and the Reality

Russia Today TV had some interesting takes on MLK day, saying that to a large extent Dr. King’s message had been hijacked and distorted for other purposes.  One citation mentioned a Pentagon official, Dr. Jeh Johnson, who wrote that because of the complexity and changed times today, Martin would support our wars in Af-Pak, etc.

Sorry, I can’t get the video to embed, but the link is below.

Hijacking Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy…

… … American hero is invoked for various reasons. But once in a while, that legacy gets hijacked.  First there was Glenn Beck in a rally … , but that is wrong, argued Rudd. Like the movements lead by MLK, change can take place today by learning from the movements …

  Also, the Pentagon wrongly uses King to justify today’s wars.

Find it at…

Hijacking Dr. Martin Luther KIng’s Jr’s Legacy

Last week I heard Cornell West say in a speech that MLK was the greatest human being produced in the United States, on U.S. soil.  I agree with Cornell West.  Take the poll.

My country,’ tis of thee,

Ya know how sometimes you’re just driving in your car, thinking, and you see something out of the corner of your eye, you’re supposed to be paying attention, ya know, you’re driving, but it’s a Stop Sign and you glance over to the right and you see a “hobo” (okay homeless man, but the kids call ’em hobo’s) takin’ a swig off his jug of MadDog and its noon and his shopping cart and his dog are just waiting there patiently beside him, and you’re driving so you can’t really look and you don’t really wanna look but you do and it just… All… Hits you … all at once. And all you really want to do is just curl up into the fetal position and cry.

But you’re driving. There’s no cars coming so you proceed through the little intersection in your little corner of your little section of town in your big city and you just. keep. going.

But somehow you find yourself inexplicably…. singing:

My country,’ tis of thee,

sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;

land where my fathers died,

land of the pilgrims’ pride,

from every mountainside let freedom ring!

No? That never happens to you? Well. That’s what happened to me today.

What have we come to? How could we have allowed this to happen?

My country. My people. Who are we?

And who have we become?

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