It’s hard to say where it went wrong,
Decades before me and this song,
Through the banksters and the wars,
I just can’t take it anymore . . .
Aug 19 2012
I Am You and You Are Me
It’s hard to say where it went wrong,
Aug 17 2012
Every Banker Had a Good Time
As the leaders of the People’s Republic of Plutocracy, Inc. prepare for the corporate coronations of Romney and Obama in Tampa and Charlotte, they’re fervently hoping Occupy Wall Street won’t spoil all the fun by sending dangerous American citizens into the streets to tell the truth all over the place. In Beltway offices, Homeland Security meetings, and conference calls with the militarized police departments of the One-Percent, the same questions are being asked about Occupy Wall Street. Who are those people? Why are they going to the national conventions with protest signs and devious plans to say whatever they want about the government, right out loud, in broad daylight where other citizens might hear them? What the hell do they think this is, a democracy?
I’ve got a feeling it’s not going to matter how many riot police are in the streets, pepper-spraying everyone in the twilight’s last gleaming, Americans are going to hear what Occupy Wall Street has to say in Tampa and Charlotte about the “government” and the “job creators” and this trickle down train wreck they call an economy.
Oh yeah . . .
Oh please believe me, I’d hate to miss the train. Oh yeah.
The chorus of our new national anthem is inspiring, isn’t it? Feel free to sing along Fox viewers, low information voters, brainwashed birthers and cable pundits, pulpit pounders of the Westboro Baptist Church and Obamabots of the Great Orange Asteroid . . .
Every worker had a hard year,
Every banker had a good time,
Every general had a wet dream,
Every fat cat saw the sun shine.
May 08 2011
9/11 Myth Signaled the End of Rationality
First, I’m not sure there’s any point to writing this. Aside from the fact this blog has fallen off rather dramatically, the subject of 9-11 is not a big favorite her or anywhere. However, I was taking a nice walk this morning and the though came into my head to write a diary on this subject. It may be one of my last ones–I’m kind of through being concerned about the political and cultural situation in this country. It has gone way too far into fantasy such that any kind of intelligent discussion is almost impossible since we have, even if we don’t admit it, lost sight of the foundations of Western Civilization which is the rationalistic “Great Conversation” as Mortimer Adler called it. Reasonable arguments go nowhere and are, in fact, automatically discounted usually as “conspiracy theories” since it is almost illegal to parse data and seek patterns. I will make absolutely no case for alternate explanations of 9/11, there’s no point–my beef is not with arguing the patterns that present themselves on the basis of available evidence–that’s a worthwhile argument. My beef is, as I’ve indicated, with the fact that any argument based on facts that goes contrary to beliefs that make people feel good is not only discounted but is utterly out of the question.
I want to examine, briefly, just how different the world is now than it was ten years ago. Frankly, if I think about it too deeply I want to weep not just for our political situation but for myself who is now living in an irrational world. I feel I am falling with no place to plant my feet and the sad part is that I see other people in the same situation only they don’t even know it. If you turn off your consciousness, if you devolve, morally, spiritually and intellectually then you are fine–that sense of “falling” I describe is not perceivable unless you are sensitive to the historical and spiritual dimension.
Dec 23 2010
China, France, USA, Your Food, GMO’s and Wikileaks
Dr. Olivier De Shutter, United Nations Envoy, warns that China’s ability to feed its population is waning:
He told the Guardian his main concern was the decline of soil quality in China because of excessive use of fertilisers, pollution and drought. He noted that 37% of the nation’s territory was degraded and 8.2m hectares (20.7m acres) of arable land has been lost since 1997 to cities, industrial parks, natural disasters and forestry programmes.
With climate change expected to increase price volatility and cut agricultural productivity by 5% to 10% by 2030, De Schutter said it was essential for China to wean itself off fossil-fuel intensive farming and adopt more sustainable agricultural techniques, including organic production, and to make even better use of its two great strengths: a huge strategic grain reserve and a large rural population.
He also cautioned against a shift towards industrial-scale farming, which increases economic competitiveness at the cost of natural productivity. “Small-scale farming is more efficient in its use of natural resources. I believe China can show that it is successful in feeding a very large population. ” However, he acknowledged that this may prove difficult in the future as more of China’s 200million farmers move to the cities.
Unfortunately the article in the Guardian UK did not mention the fact that China’s mega- hydro power projects like the Three Gorges Dam are also contributing to massive amounts of loss of the best farmland in the now flooded valleys above the dam site – 62,000 acres – which also forced the resettlement of over a million rural people. http://www.arch.mcgill.ca/prof…
People who buck the Chinese government and organize protesters over deadly food don’t do so well in authoritarian regimes. Zhao Lianhai, who complained about melamine contaminated milk formulas, that made 300,000 sick and killed at least 6 babies, was thrown in jail in 2009, convicted and sentenced to two and a half years in prison in November for “inciting social disorder.” see HuffPo http://www.huffingtonpost.com/… Zhao’s son was one of the toddlers who became ill with kidney stones after drinking the bad milk. Melamine was the same chemical that was implicated in the 2006 – 2007 American pet food safety scandal and recall, which sickened and killed thousands of cats, when it was used to adulterate imported wheat gluten, and spread from an importer – distributor in Las Vegas, ChemNutra, to all over the country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T… Ground up melamine powder, a by product of coal processing normally used in plastics like laminated flooring, was added not only to increase the volume but to fool the tests done for “protein” content.
What did Zhao do to warrant Chinese jail time while trying to save sick babies ?
he organized a gathering of a dozen parents of sick children at a restaurant, held a paper sign in front of a court and factory involved in the scandal as a protest, and gave media interviews in a public place.
“I’m concerned this will have a chilling effect on consumers who want to complain,” he said. “You cannot protect the right to food without the right to freedom of expression and organisation.”
Mar 15 2009
Corporate Media, Intellectual Property Law, and the Suppression of Public Discourse
I just finished answering someone on YouTube (in a private exchange, not a comment section free-for-all) who seems to think that any use of copyrighted material in a political commentary or other context is de facto a violation of YouTube’s ToS. That may or may not be true, and I’m sure as a private entity there would be dozens of reasons YouTube’s management could give to take down or mute videos, or suspend an account on the basis that the video maker had used copyrighted material without express permission and licensing fees. That’s really not central to my interest in these musings, though perhaps it should be.
What is central is the net impact of something like the DMCA, and the muting of dissent that can spin off of its exercise, which more or less compels a site like YouTube to take down a video if an allegation of infringement is made by a copyright holder contending (possibly just by pattern matching software rather than any use of human judgement) that a particular piece of video is infringing.
I well understand at least the broad dimensions of the conflict of laws issues that are implicit here. Though not being an IP lawyer, my interpretations may be sketchy. But I’m really more interested in how this may be a contributing factor to the increasing irrelevancy of and difficulty in calling to task, those media conglomerates who may have played a huge role in the levels of distraction that led to the present shambles we seem (at least most Americans) to be awakening to in recent months. Yes, I could have made a video that spelled out in detail my response to Cramer’s statements and obfuscations in my own voice-over narration, and perhaps have presented Cramer and Stewart’s words as on screen quotes. But by my estimate, it would probably have been 60 minutes long or longer, had I chosen that course, at least to “say” what I think I’ve said by juxtaposing audio-only excerpts against images meant to elicit a critical response. That part may be a failure in editing or in concept… I don’t really know how anyone else will interpret my juxtaposings (if that is even a word) — in fact I’m kind of curious just how many disparate interpretations might come of it, if it’s even mildly of interest to any viewer. Please forgive my pretensions… put it down to my seeing too many Kenneth Anger and Luis Buñuel films in my misspent youth.
If you find the time, please tell me in your comments if you think the following video is or is not an example of “fair use” in a political commentary. I’ll grant you in advance that it may be overly subtle and the irony may fly over some heads and strike others as trite or annoying. But try to push away your personal views on this for long enough to tell me, is it or is it not a form of political speech? Also feel free to dismantle the “fair use” rationale offered below the fold, and if this is political speech, suggest anyone who might want to take the case, should Viacom issue a DMCA takedown demand based on the edited audio excerpts.
No need to have scruples about YouTube, the vimeo version is below.
The Game (Commentary) from B Unis on Vimeo.
Aug 14 2008
War is the neocons answer to the Economic and Political Crisis
The Economic Crisis defined by the neocons, isn’t the fact that folks are losing their homes/jobs/retirements, etc. No, Economic Crisis for the neocons is the fact that folks are finally waking up to the fact that our country has been robbed blind and these sleepy folks may soon be seeking justice and/or blood.
The Political Crisis defined by the neocons isn’t the fact that our politicians and government have been bought by corporations and are corrupt to the core. No, Political crisis for the neocons is the fact that folks are finally waking up to the fact that our politicians and government agencies have been bought by corporations and are corrupt to the core.
Its a pickle for the neocons…..how can they continue with business as usual when so many folks are on to them.
Jul 25 2008
NN08 – Part II – Where’s our goddam impeachment Nancy?
Note to my good friends at Docudharma: This diary and the criticism it contains is not aimed at you but at the GOS. I post it here for your amusement and out of respect for my brother buhdydharma and for all of you here at DD. Peace.
The fact that we welcomed Nancy Pelosi to Netroots Nation, purportedly a gathering of leftists and progressives, has to make you wonder. For the most part we sat there with our thumbs up our asses, drooling like idiots and lapping up the ‘respect’ we were shown by the mere presence of this illustrious traitor to everything I thought we stood for.
Jul 24 2008
NN08 – Part I – Old Friends/New Friends
NN08 was everything I hoped it would be and considerably more. I saw many old friends from last year, met face-to-face many old friends whom I had not met before and made many new ones as well. There is something totally amazing about meeting an online friend in meat space for the first time. In the Paradise restaurant on 6th Street in Austin on the first night of the conference I witnessed it happen five times back-to-back one right after another. It was pure magic.
Jul 07 2008
The Obama/ Democrat/ Reality Police
And so, the word has come from on high (and I’m sure many others). The ‘Reality’ card has been played.
Now, how can you argue with ‘reality’? Particularly in the ‘netroots’? After all, isn’t that what we’re supposed to be about? Reality?
Of course, we all know that it’s just a catch phrase. It’s just a f’n brand. But, as with most things political, it’s used to try to keep the flock in the pasture. The reality police are the dogs used to keep the flock together.
May 06 2008
Updated – China Talks While Suppressing Speech
First, please take a moment to reflect on the cyclone in Burma, which the AP estimates has killed over 14,000 people. The military junta in Burma has been roundly criticized for failing to enact an early warning system that could have saved lives:
The government had apparently taken few efforts to prepare for the storm, which came bearing down on the country from the Bay of Bengal late Friday. Weather warnings broadcast on television would have been largely useless for the worst-hit rural areas where electricity supply is spotty and television a rarity.
“The government misled people,” said Thin Thin, a grocery story owner in Yangon. “They could have warned us about the severity of the coming cyclone so we could be better prepared.”
Some in Yangon complained that the 400,000-strong military was only clearing streets where the ruling elite resided but leaving residents, including Buddhist monks, to cope on their own in most other areas.
The AP reports that the UN and aid organizations are mobilizing supplies, and that the EU has committed $3 million in humanitarian aid, the Chinese government stands ready with $1 million in cash and supplies, and the US is giving an intial $250,000 in aid with more to come if a disaster team is allowed inside the country.
UPDATE The BBC is now reporting that the death toll has reached 22,000:
The death toll from Burma’s devastating cyclone has now risen to more than 22,000, state media say.
Some 41,000 people were also missing, three days after Cyclone Nargis hit the country on Saturday, state radio said.
Nov 21 2007
“The Violent Radicalisation and Home Grown Terrorist Protection Act of 2007”
I really didn’t want to write this, waited all day to see if someone else picked up on it, especially Tigana (from his 10/25 diary, “This Way to the Camps…”).
This is the next step in the crackdown on dissent / free speech. It’s scarey! Representative Jane Harmon, down there in Rand Corp country sponsored this bill:
THE VIOLENT RADICALISATION AND HOME GROWN TERRORIST PROTECTION ACT OF 2007
It’s H. Res 1955, offered by Jane Harmon with 14 co-sponsors, including Zoe Lofgren.
It passed the house with only 6 nays coming from DENNIS KUCINICH (pardon my prejudice), and Congresspersons Abercrombie, Costello, Duncan, Flake, amd Rohrabacher. Six nays: 3 dems & 3 repubs. Today it was to be reviewed in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Please google & look for more info than I’m able to write right now.
Sep 12 2007
Our war crime in Iraq is going swimmingly!
And our plan to nuke Iran is shaping up nicely too.