February 18, 2011 archive

So, You Want to Make Millions? Here’s How…

Crossposted at Daily Kos and The Stars Hollow Gazette

Yes, friends, you too can start a blog (just as Art Fern would say it on the ‘Tonight Show’). Invite assorted celebrities to write for you.  For nothing.  Convince them that their brilliant ideas will be exposed to millions of readers.  Add a bit of fluff to your blog a few months later on.  Go on cable tv talk shows and make bombastic statements, preferably in a bad European accent.  Create faux controversies.  Add a few noted “journalists” to your payroll to give oneself a facade of respectability.  Then, find a corporate sucker to believe in all your hype. Walk away with millions of dollars.

Easy enough, isn’t it?  As Cartoonist Matt Bors predicted in 2009, “the future is grim”

Matt Bors

Matt Bors, Comics.com (Idiot Bos)

:: ::

All Huff Everything

This cartoon from 2009 is turning out more accurate than I’d like in light of The Huffington Post’s merger with AOL.  I got it wrong on the Larry King part, but everything else seems on track.

Late Night Karaoke

Six In The Morning

Mubarak’s Youngest Victims  

Cairo’s street kids were duped into resisting the revolution, then shot by police in the chaos that ensued

Robert Fisk: Cairo’s 50,000 street children were abused by this regime

The cops shot 16-year-old Mariam in the back on 28 January, a live round fired from the roof of the Saida Zeinab police station in the slums of Cairo’s old city at the height of the government violence aimed at quelling the revolution, a pot shot of contempt by Mubarak’s forces for the homeless street children of Egypt.

She had gone to the police with up to a hundred other beggar boys and girls to demand the release of her friend, 16-year-old Ismail Yassin, who had already been dragged inside the station. Some of the kids outside were only nine years old. Maybe that’s why the first policeman on the roof fired warning bullets into the air.

Funniest Daily Kos Irony…..Ever.

In a diary titled “The HB Gary Email That Should Concern Us All” at Daily Kos, Happy Rockefeller warns all of the “concern” one should have for somebody possibly rigging the blog system:

According to an embedded MS Word document found in one of the HB Gary emails, it involves creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated “persona management” software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many, while keeping the personas from accidentally cross-contaminating each other. Then, to top it off, the team can actually automate some functions so one persona can appear to be an entire Brooks Brothers riot online.


For those not “in the know”, here’s why this diary is a lollercaust of irony:



….and if you do hate PDF’s, you’re racist.

Basically, the PDF shows a site from a while back where some high-up Daily Kos moderators and political consultants conspired to ban those they didn’t approve of arbitrarily invoking the “rules” at their leisure.

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy…

It was something like reading about Godzilla eating downtown, or the beginnings of an apocalypse, or something…

Maybe some music will help?

A Day In The Life

Reporting the Revolution: February 17 Up Date 1930 hrs EST

Cross-posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

class=”BrightcoveExperience”> The protests are spreading across the Middle East. What started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt, Iran, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain. Two protesters were killed in Manama, Bahrain as heavily armed police made an early morning raid on sleeping unarmed protesters in Pearl Square. Using tear gas and percussion grenades, many men, women and children were overcome and trampled in the chaos. Two people were reported killed and hundreds are in hospitals. In Libya protesters are preparing for a “day of rage” against the 40 year old repressive regime of Muammar Gaddafi. Two protesters were reported killed there yesterday

The best English reporting is coming from Al Jazeera with a Live Blog from Bahrain

The Guardian also continues with live updates from the region.

Up Date: 1930 hrs EST Latest News Reports:

Bahrain’s quiet anger turns to rage

Demonstrators vow to avenge three men killed by police during a pre-dawn raid on their base camp in the centre of the capital

The demonstrators have vowed to avenge three men killed by riot police during a pre-dawn raid on their base camp in the centre of the capital. The raid left their tent city in ruins and temporarily destroyed hopes of a peaceful change. They had spent the day regrouping inside the grounds of the hospital after being evicted from the Pearl Roundabout by up to 500 officers who attacked them shortly after 3.15am on Thursday.

Their numbers had grown to around 4,000 by late afternoon, rallied by calls through social media and by a restless middle class, which until now had not been prominent in protests.

Violent response to Bahrain protest

Troops and tanks lock down capital of Manama after police smash into demonstrators in pre-dawn assault, killing four.

Troops and tanks have locked down the Bahraini capital of Manama on Thursday after riot police swinging clubs and firing tear gas smashed into demonstrators in a pre-dawn assault, killing at least four people.

Hours after the attack on Manama’s main Pearl Roundabout, the military announced a ban on gatherings, saying on state TV that it had “key parts” of the capital under its control.

Khalid Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister, justified the crackdown as necessary because the demonstrators were “polarising the country” and pushing it to the “brink of the sectarian abyss”.

Speaking to reporters after meeting with his Gulf counterparts, he also said the violence was “regrettable”. Two people had died in police firing on the protesters prior to Thursday’s deadly police raid.

Bahrain uses UK-supplied weapons in protest crackdown

MoD to review arms export licences after Bahrain clears protesters with UK-made crowd-controls weapons such as teargas and stun grenades

The British government has launched a review of arms exports to Bahrain after it emerged that the country’s security forces were supplied with weapons by the United Kingdom.

After a bloody crackdown in the capital, Manama, left up to five people dead and more than 100 injured, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said the government will “urgently revoke licences if we judge that they are no longer in line with the [UK and European Union] criteria”.

Bahrain security forces accused of deliberately recruiting foreign nationals

Al Khalifa regime hires non-native Sunni Muslims in concerted effort to swing balance in Shia-majority Bahrain, say analysts

Bahrain’s security forces are the backbone of the Al Khalifa regime, now facing unprecedented unrest after overnight shootings. But large numbers of their personnel are recruited from other countries, including Jordan, Pakistan and Yemen.

Tanks and troops from Saudi Arabia were also reported to have been deployed in support of Bahraini forces.

Precise numbers are a closely guarded secret, but in recent years the Manama government has made a concerted effort to recruit non-native Sunni Muslims as part of an attempt to swing the demographic balance against the Shia majority – who make up around 65% of the population of 1 million.

Libya’s day of rage met by bullets and loyalists

Gaddafi supporters clash with protesters in al-Bayda and Benghazi on the second day of unrest in the country

Libya’s government has brought out its supporters to express their loyalty to try to stifle a planned “day of rage”, but sporadic violence has continued in the east of the country, far from Tripoli.

Unconfirmed reports said up to 15 people have now died in the unrest.

Clashes were reported for a second day between supporters of Muammar Gaddafi and the relatives of two men killed during a protest in al-Bayda on Wednesday, when unrest also erupted in Benghazi, Libya’s second city and opposition stronghold.

Snipers were said to have killed four more protesters in Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi, where six more dead were reported by the Libya al-Yawm news website. “There are thousands of people in the centre of town, and it is spreading, and they are being repressed,” said Ramadan Jarbou, a leading local journalist.

Egypt detains ex-ministers

Three former ministers close to Mubarak held on suspicion of wasting public funds in an attempt to calm public outrage.

An Egyptian prosecutor on Thursday ordered the detention of three ex-ministers and a prominent businessman pending

trial on suspicion of wasting public funds.

The prosecutor dealing with financial crimes said former Interior Minister Habib el-Adli, former Tourism Minister Zuhair Garana, former Housing Minister Ahmed el-Maghrabi and steel magnate Ahmed Ezz must be held for 15 days.

All four have denied any wrongdoing.

ElBaradei criticizes Egypt’s military rulers

Egypt’s new military rulers came under criticism Thursday from a leading democracy advocate as well as from youth and women’s groups for what they say is a failure to make decisions openly and include a larger segment of society.

Five days after ousting Hosni Mubarak in a popular uprising, Egyptians continued protests and strikes over a host of grievances from paltry wages to toxic-waste dumping. They defied the second warning in three days from the ruling Armed Forces Supreme Council to halt all labor unrest at a time when the economy is staggering.

The caretaker government also gave its first estimate of the death toll in the 18-day uprising. Health Minister Ahmed Sameh Farid said at least 365 civilians died according to a preliminary count that does not include police or prisoners

Yemen clerics urge unity government

Influential group of clerics demand transitional unity government, as two demonstrators are shot in continuing violence.

A group of senior clerics in Yemen has called for the formation of a national unity government in order to save the country from chaos.

The influential figures are demanding a transitional unity government that would see the opposition represented in key ministries, followed by elections in six months.

They say the move would place Yemen in the same situation as Egypt and Tunisia, without suffering bloodshed.

Their comments on Thursday came amid fresh clashes between thousands of pro- and anti-government protesters in Sanaa, the capital.

Dynamic Positive Thinking!

I am reminded at this point of a fellow I used to know who’s name was Henry, only to give you an idea of what an individualist he was he spelled it Hen3ry.

The 3 was silent, you see.

Hen3ry was financially independent having inherited his father’s tar-and-feather business and was therefore able to devote his full time to such intellectual pursuits as writing. I particularly remember a heart-warming novel of his about a young necrophiliac who finally achieved his boy-hood ambition by becoming a coroner.

The rest of you can look it up when you get home. In addition to writing he indulged in a good deal of philosophizing. Like so many contemporary philosophers he especially enjoyed giving helpful advice to people who were happier than he was. One particular bit of advice which I recall, which is the reason I bring up this whole, dreary story, is something he said once before they took him away to the Massachusetts State Home for the Bewildered.

He said: “Life is like a sewer: what you get out of it depends on what you put into it.” It’s always seemed to me that this is precisely the sort of dynamic, positive thinking that we so desperately need in these trying times of crisis and universal broo-ha-ha, and so with this in mind I have here a modern positive dynamic uplifting hymn in the tradition of the great old revival hymns.

This one might more accurately be termed a survival hymn.

News from the Wild: WWL Headlines 2/17/11

Well, holy smokes, its been a week since I last highlighted my friends and subversive partners!

Its been a slow week on WWL, I have been ungodly busy with all things being my husband’s cancer complications, and my son’s flu. Sorry!

This Friday? I get to interview John Kozy again! He is an amazing writer and voice of the Left, you can join us here tomorrow on Wild Wild Left Radio!


I worried about who we choose as allies, and if it is OUR choice at all, thinking that we the PEOPLE should be allying with our own peers abroad, rather than let the Rich choose in, Our Friends.

I also responded to some Obamabots critique of me, by writing Confessions of a Damned Elitist.

Edger graced us with Is B Incompetent – Or The Last Resort? chronicling the same-same of Obama/Bush.

The Mom Cat was in perfect form reporting on how The US Constitution Has Been Suspended by the GOP with some great commentary by our readers.

Al Osorio brought us another Obama comparison, this time imagining McCain won, with a piece called “Obama 2012 ! An interview with President John McCain” !!

My series of Open Threads babbled about living with cancer, random music,the trials of a blog gone down, the need for monetary support to keep WWL alive and general bitching about the insanity of the world… I got some wondrous advice on some of these…





From the Vaults, a vintage gottlieb:

Do or Die

Last but not least? Never piss off a writer! Even a saint will reach her limit after the 3rd strike. Heh.

Booman: Reagan will beat Glen Beck on relative merits.

(cross-posted at boomantribune)

I think booman is correct in suggesting that in the struggle between Obama and House Republicans, Reagan will beat Glen Beck on relative merits.   That’s good enough for booman to continue supporting the president.  Of course, that is looking through an objective that can only resolve issues at the cellular level and range of center-right to right wing nut: one neuron is darkly stained with cresyl-crazy, whereas the one next to it took up less stain.  One would need to zoom out with a much broader, less powerful lens to know whether these neurons were in the left or right hemisphere of the brain, to know which half of the brain stained most heavily for crazy overall.

For example, the very unstable situation in the Middle East is only likely to worsen over time, which was empirically predictable many decades ago, and predictable in principle from any arbitrarily selected moment in history after Malthus.  Either prediction suffices to suggest that there is nothing “routine” about “managing” the Middle East, and demands very different policies to manage the transcendent problems, in any kind of adult-like, proactive fashion.    In booman’s usage, “child’s play” is a relativistic term: Obama is like a cognitive nine-year-old to Boehner’s five-year-old.   If one can call continuing decades of failed right wing policy for all the wrong reasons “statesman-like,” then maybe the right wing is correct in trashing the entire idea of governance.

Glen Ford rightly rips progressives supporting Obama’s center-right/right wing grand unification, and John Caruso presses him a tick further, but neither goes nearly far enough in their relatively tepid denunciations of statesmen and their supporters promulgating more right wing, empirically-failed solutions.

I’ll admit that on the concurrent schedules of permanent global economic collapse, peak oil, climate change, and the sixth great extinction event, it is difficult to imagine what a real statesperson might look like, but I doubt it’s the kind of person with a hankering for further high stakes military and financial gambling,  who pines away for the support of the haves over the have-nots, and is therefore eager to take a blowtorch to governmental regulation, including safeguards against inequality and financial and ecological catastrophe, and who has proven utterly incapable of executing accountability, all in the name of personal or short-term gains.

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