April 8, 2011 archive

R2P Bahrain!

The Obama/Power “Responsibility to Protect (R2P)” Doctrine gets thrown under the police SUVs “vehicularly manslaughtered” in the kingdom of Bahrain, home of the US Fifth Fleet:

They must be running out of bullets for their usual point blank

and drive-by shootings,

and plain old machine-gunning of peaceful protestors.

Could we at least send them some extra gurneys?

Or would that offend our gracious hosts?

Today on The Stars Hollow Gazette

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The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is an Open Thread

Imminent Shutdown Good for Neither Party–Maybe Good for Us

I just wanted to comment on this briefly as I was just reading in a WaPo piece by Cillizza how the citizenry probably will just hate on both parties should the shutdown actually happen.

For those of us in opposition this is a golden opportunity to do our little bit to break people out of the hypnotism that the major parties are anything worth supporting–the issues are utterly puzzling to everyone including me and I’m not usually puzzled as much as this by Washington politics–something very strange is going on here.

Divining Our Grieving

Last night, in memory of a Friend who died suddenly, shockingly earlier in the week, we held a Memorial Service in his memory among those who knew him best.  (Quakers do not use the word “funeral”)  One Friend in attendance noted that, in addition to the worship, there is a certain group therapy aspect present.  I agree.  Yet, I think this is quite understandable and necessary.  It’s a part of the grieving process.  Each of us manages coming to terms with tragedy in different ways, but there is also something very human present that augments the purely religious aspect of the event.  

Medicare Fiddling is a real problem!

I had a telephone conversation with my broker re income tax.  I had to stop looking for certain cost bases when I went back thru the years and saw how much money I’ve lost when I began to get chest pains.

Okay – not of any real interest – but it helps me to say it!

Now this guy is an independent who thinks of SS as a Ponzi scheme.  Depending on my mood – I’ll spar but sometimes it’s not worth it.  He is not from a wealthy family but they are comfortable and have a family trust.  He’s not worried about his parents’ income.

Aye, but here’s the rub.  He’s worried about Medicare and about the voucher system.  “Who do you think will have to take care of my parents?” he asks plaintively.  Okay, he’s an independent – a nice young man but not in any sense of the word a liberal/progressive.  So he wouldn’t care if SS hit the dust but he can foresee thousands of dollars out of his parents trust (which would eventually be his! or not!) and maybe come to a point where he would have to cough up some money.  And “some” is not the operative word here.

This is why I think the Paul Ryan grandstanding is a scam
.  Multiply my broker who is in his 30s by thousands.  That’s money that would be coming to them – but whoa, now it’s going to the insurance industry.  (let’s put aside parental love – loss of money is a scary thing in a capitalist system, muchless a rigged one like here.)

I’ve said this before Obama and Ryan may come up with privatization – of course, this is after he is elected.  Or give a further shake to the Catfood Commission made up of billionaires, neoliberals and crazy old men.  But some younger people are noting Ryan’s plan and while they do not scour the blogs as we do (hence my chest pains) – some of them are pretty saavy. And they don’t want their parents’ money p***ed away to insurance companies.

It’s not an value-based thing – it’s a pragmatic thing.  Like the president!  

I await the unfolding of this theme – pass the aspirin!

I saw a comment on Talk Left this morning about how “we handed the Democratic Party over to Obama.” I never considered it in that light. It made me weep.  Well that and the chest pains!

Drifting Over the Edge 2

We can blame “them” all we want but as my first teacher in politics Walt Kelly had his main character Pogo say “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.”

Leaders and media personalities all have their own motivations and little cabals and interests and careers but in the end they reflect who we are. It isn’t just because we are, a democracy (more or less) but that the cultural ambience always has an effect at least for those who interact on various levels with the world. The more rarified and wealthy a person, of course, the more likely they will be out of touch with everyday interactions. But even then there are influences of the media, the music, the arts (both good an bad) and even the language itself. In fact, as an aside, language itself carries inherent values not only in the meanings but in the rhythms and sounds as well. We are, also, influenced by each other in other ways, body language, facial expressions, clothing, hair styles even moods and “vibes.” We are far more connected than we think. Yet, part of that connection involves a culture that is focused on what I describe as narcissistic isolation. To be more precise, the culture encourages people live separate lives focused on fulfilling fantasies. Work life and “personal” life are largely segregated-a person has to put on a work mask and take it off and be “real” when they home. Work is, usually, a place where arbitrary and often inexplicable goals and values are pursued where mysterious and all-powerful hierarchies largely frame your work life. When we get home we play, like children, at life-play fantasy sports, watch porn, shop for clothes so that we can be our very own dolls, and “unwind” (does anybody wonder why we have to be wound up in the first place).  

Deja Vu All Over Again

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

There has been this aura of sameness about the current budget stand off and the past. The impasse is not about money, it’s about ideology concerning women’s reproductive rights and the environment. The Tea Party Republicans refuse to remove the riders that would block funding to Planned parenthood, ban the District of Columbia from using its own funds to pay for abortions and severely restrict the EPA ability to regulate emissions and green house gases. Meetings at the White House, while productive about the amount of money set to be cut from the long-term budget:

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid said Thursday that he is “not nearly as optimistic” as he was last night about avoiding a government shutdown before a Friday deadline, saying of a federal funding gap: “it looks like it’s headed in that direction.”

The Democratic leader said that the two sides have essentially agreed on the amount of money set to be cut from the long-term budget but that Republicans have drawn a line in the sand over “ideology”  – including policy issues dealing with funding for Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Our differences are no longer over the savings we get on government spending, Reid said. “The only thing holding up an agreement is ideology.”

The President has reasonably suggested that a “clean bill” to extend the budget for one week and a provision that the troops would be paid in the event of a government shut down was rejected by the Tea Party who passed a bill this afternoon they know the President will veto, if it even gets past the Senate.

We’ve been there before in 1995 with the same issue over women’s reproductive rights and the so-called less government gang insisting on interfering with matters that should be between a woman and her doctor. But no, they can’t give it up:

   “Gingrich and Dole are offering the funding and higher-debt bills but have loaded them with ‘riders’ such as the Medicare bill that the president won’t accept and with other items such as limits on appeals by death-row inmates. [Denver Post, 11/15/95]

   “One of the largest spending bills, for the Commerce, Justice and State Departments, is still being negotiated because it has riders on social issues like school prayer. The spending bill for the District of Columbia has been bogged down over a provision to bar Federal money to pay for abortions in the District and would prohibit public hospitals and clinics from offering abortion services.” [New York Times, 11/29/95]

   “Congress has been unable to send any bill to the president because of the excessive number of anti-environmental riders.” [U.S. Newswire, 12/8/95]

The fanatics just can’t let go of some issues so women should incorporate their uteruses as the Florida ACLU has suggested:

Incorporate Your Uterus

…before some politician gets between you and your M.D.

Of course, you can’t legally Incorporate Your Uterus, but you can online. And by doing so, you can send a message to the Florida Legislature that less regulation and government intrusion begins with a woman’s uterus. So “Incorporate Your Uterus” below, sign-up to receive updates about the important fight going on in Tallahassee and utilize our social networking tools to spread the word about this critical effort. After all, no politician should get between a woman and her doctor.

Learn how you can “Incorporate Your Uterus”

U.S. Society Spending More on Prisons vrs. Education

Anybody know of a state, or national mega, that has a lottery, playing mostly to the lower income citizen, dedicated to prison spending, me neither!

Think about that. Every school depends on the state lottery extra funding, including the suburban campuses right down to the old run down inner city schools, that’s suppose to go towards education funding, wink wink, while the citizens cut their share towards, all while the systematic destruction of public education goes on. Now even more blatant then previous with the attacks on teachers and funding while giving even more breaks to the wealthy and corporate now citizen. And yet the society is spending more to incarcerate then to educate even with those supposed extra funds.

Below is a report that aired last night as well as the recent released NAACP report.

Six In The Morning

Night falls on Abidjan: Looting, gangs, burning corpses – and hungry people afraid to go out

Daniel Howden reports from the perilous streets of Abidjan, as the conflict in Ivory Coast edges closer to a bloody showdown

Friday, 8 April 2011

The roadblocks begin right outside the airport. Rusted barrels and planks are strewn across side streets, manned by boys in filthy vests. The boys are armed with little more than their own strength in numbers. The looting lends the streets of Abidjan the appearance of an earthquake zone. Burnt-out cars are overturned. Emptied streets are carpeted in smashed glass. What’s left on the Tarmac is only what was broken as it was looted.

A line of office furniture reaches as far as a smashed wardrobe and stops. Then the bodies start. At first, the fire seems to be nothing more than a pile of tyres. Then a soldier explains that people have begun to burn the corpses to prevent disease from spreading. Further along, a cloud of stinking black smoke rises from a garishly painted bus stop. A charred leg rises unmistakably out of the flames.

Minority Rapport ~ Note from a 3rd Party Fringer

Good morning. As I whip out a few hundred words with my first cup of coffee, it is so reassuring to know that I am so far out here on the far-left fringes that all 7 people who think remotely like me will be forgiving of its brevity and levity in the face of such a serious topic.

You see, overall the last ditch response to people like me that refuse to be enablers of the Uniparty of the Korporate State reads pretty much thus: “You are a big STUPID HEAD, and no one thinks like you!!” Well, golly surely it is better to be all alone~y by myself out here on the fringiest fringe, than to run with the sheep over the cliff. Sorry cupcake, I ain’t buying it.

Let me state that anyone who has a remote understanding of history, understanding not just rote-recall of dates and names, knows what happens to Empires when they turn their greed and avarice on their own people. Rome, falls, biotches. Hitler burns. Moscow rises. People revolt. Now, understanding that fact also presumes the knowledge that this doesn’t always work out too well for the people. Sometimes revolution just replaces one set of despots with another set. Kinda like ’08 did here. Puts a happy shiney face on the same abuses, repackages the arsenic and not much changes.

So sue me if I cannot see the ‘rigidity’ in thinking outside the rigid parameters of “tried and failed” that is the course of operating under a flawed system, nay a system not just flawed but diabolically stacked against us.

This is where the Smug Liberals lose the working class as much as the Righteous Righties do… they forget that one root, bit by bit can crack a boulder. Count on that lonely buttercup!

The Lonely Buttercup Pictures, Images and Photos

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

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

Is there an existence that is only mine?

–Russell Hoban

Early Spring 5

Late Night Karaoke

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