April 3, 2011 archive

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This is an Open Thread

Loughner-Bieber 2012

Loughner-Bieber 2012

“Obama reelection campaign expected to tap big-money donors,” says the Washington Post, and if that sounds like “news” to you, you’ll probably be amazed to learn that a bear shits in the forest!

But while the rest of you waste your votes on a stinking con-man like Obama or whatever freak-show the Republicans put together, or whoever the shoulda-woulda-coulda progressive/liberals eventually dream up, if they ever dream up anybody…

I’m announcing my vote for “The Truth About America” ticket of Jared Loughner and Justin Bieber, because their honest platform of shit-music and mass-murder expresses the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about American culture, politics, and society not only today but for as far into the past or future as any of us can remember or foresee!

Loughner-Bieber 2012!

Violence and Idiocy for the New Millenium!

Caught Between Syphilis and Chlamydia – Enabling the Corporate State

PhotobucketI have never seen so many people up in arms, or as knee-jerkingly rigid as in the great debate around the so-called Liberal blogosphere than the discussion of third party politics and the potential fall out of the coming elections.

I find it patently absurd, especially the FDL debacle that has sprouted as of late.

The two camps divide neatly into “more and better dems” and “the Uniparty is Kabuki – never again” groups, with a few “lets make a protest vote in the primaries then vote for the Corporate Sponsored One” claiming pragmatism, thrown into the fray.

This is not the Scylla and Charybdis, and I won’t be wrapped around their finger, my friend Sting. Hell I won’t even sail into the region to chance it, myself.

The bottom line is everyone has the right to vote or refrain as they see fit.

And I have the right, if not overwhelming compulsion to run my big mouth about my opinion about it.

I would venture to guess, were I to delineate every massive fail in this administration vs Bush’s all of you would agree with my math. What you may not agree with is my conclusions. But, listen to my logic if you’ve a mind to.


Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

“Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.”

Britney Spears, September 3, 2003

“So what should I think about [the war in Libya]? If it had been my call, I wouldn’t have gone into Libya. But the reason I voted for Obama in 2008 is because I trust his judgment. And not in any merely abstract way, either: I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I’d literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he’s smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted.”

Kevin Drum, Friday, in Mother Jones

As part of his consulting work my father comes in contact with law enforcement officials from around the country and one time he chanced to meet up with the CHP officer assigned to teach Britney how to use a child’s car seat.

She’s a moron.

So what should I think about Kevin Drum?

Citizenship duties

by Glenn Greenwald, Salon.com

Saturday, Apr 2, 2011 12:03 ET

(D)eciding that — once they’re in power — you’re going to relinquish your own critical faculties and judgment to them as a superior being, which is exactly what Drum (and Spears) announced they were doing. That form of submission is a definitively religious act, not a political one (Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding“). Venerating a superior being and blindly following its will is a natural human impulse, as it frees one of the heavy burden of decision-making and moral and intellectual judgment, and it also creates a feeling of safety and protection (hence the cross-cultural and sustained strength of religion, as well as the potent appeal of both political authoritarianism and personality cults).

But “thinking” that way is an absolute abdication of the duties of citizenship, which compel holding leaders accountable and making informed judgment about their actions (it’s a particularly bizarre mindset for someone who seeks out a platform and comments on politics for a living). It’s also dangerous, as it creates a climate of unchecked leaders who bask in uncritical adoration. I honestly don’t understand why someone who thinks like Drum — whose commentary I’ve usually found worthwhile — would even bother writing about politics; why not just turn over his blog to the White House to disseminate Obama’s inherently superior commentary? And what basis does Drum have for demanding that Obama inform him or the nation of the rationale for his decisions, such as going to war in Libya; since Drum is going to trust Obama’s decisions as intrinsically more worthwhile, wouldn’t such presidential discussions be a superfluous act?

It’s truly difficult to overstate just how antithetical this uncritical trust is to what the Founders assumed — and hoped — would be the cornerstone of the republic. Jefferson wrote in 1798: “in questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” Adams, in 1772, put it this way: “The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.” Four years later, his wife Abigail memorably echoed the same sentiment in a letter to him: “remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.”

Even the most magnanimous leaders — perhaps especially them, given their belief in their own Goodness — are likely to veer into serious error, corruption and worse if they are liberated from a critical citizenry. Mindlessly cheering for a politician — or placing trust in their decision-making — is understandable a couple of months before an election when you’ve decided their re-election is important. But it’s wildly inappropriate any other time. And subordinating your own critical faculties to a leader’s is, at all times, warped, self-destructive and dangerous.

Perhaps too charitably some have suggested it’s all an elaborate April Fools (h/t Corrente).

Six In The Morning

How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico’s murderous drug gangs

As the violence spread, billions of dollars of cartel cash began to seep into the global financial system. But a special investigation by the Observer reveals how the increasingly frantic warnings of one London whistleblower were ignored

Ed Vulliamy

The Observer, Sunday 3 April 2011

On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else – more important and far-reaching – was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel.

During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo.


Curry powder molecule ‘is cheap sensor for explosives’

Late Night Karaoke

School House Rock: “I’m Just A Bill”

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

At the beginning of the new congressional session, the House Republicans decided that they would read the Constitution, selectively leaving out a couple of amendments. They then passed new rules stating that each bill would meet constitutional requirements and a few other rules that they have selectively applied. A mere three months after reaffirming their commitment to the constitution, they proceeded to trash it and amazingly pass a completely unconstitutional bill that, fortunately, will never become a law, no matter how much Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) would wish.

“What this bill says is it reiterates again the deadline, and that the Senate should act before the deadline, and that’s what the American people are expecting. The bill then says if the Senate does not act, then H.R. 1 [the House-passed bill] will be the law of the land.”

Cantor conveniently forgets that bills, even symbolic ones, cannot become law without also passing the Senate and getting the President’s signature.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) took to the House floor to explain to the how a bill is passed to the Tea Party Republicans (including mine, oy). Weiner laid it out in the simplest of terms using a children’s book, “House Mouse, Senate Mouse,” in which the “Squeaker of the House” and the “Senate Mousejority Leader” compromise on a national cheese.

First Fire

I was not prepared.  Not ready yet the people who love me and those I love most asked for a spring fire.  My wood gathering crew, a four year old and two year old grandsons stood at the ready to pull sticks out of this woodland retreat to give to the master fire builder, me, Grampy.

They so look up to me.  Can I with my skills provide them with a marshmallow toasting fire in ten minutes in this rain soaked environment armed only with a miniature Bic lighter.  My search for dry pine needles and long dried covered dead wood kindling prevailed.  The first fire of in this next season of love was born.

What does all of this mean in the potential continuity of the human species that is my extended human species suburban formerly “American” family?   I have no frigging clue at this point other than the prospects are mighty dim.

from firefly-dreaming 02.4.11

this is an Open Thread

Essays Featured Saturday the 2nd of April:

Late Night Karaoke Won’t Get Fooled Again, mishima DJs

Six Brilliant Articles! from Six Different Places!! on Six Different Topics!!!

                Six Days a Week!!!    at Six in the Morning!!!!

Finding silver linings is on Alma‘s mind in Saturday Open Thoughts

A brand new piece of Saturday Art! from mishima‘s talented hands.


Youffraita does Ramen Soup! (No, not THAT stuff — the real thing!)

The most recent Popular Culture  from Translator “Pat” Boone