Monday, June 25, 2007
In 5-4 Ruling,(with Thomas dissenting on grounds that children should be seen and not heard, God didn’t make little green apples for pipes, and no one listens to him anyway so he has to go over the top,) the Supreme Court has ruled that 1st Amendment as understood by the Founding Fathers was not applicable to all people, especially those running banners at marathons.
Here’s your lighter boys.
July 2-9, 2007 issue – George Washington Plunkitt (1842-1924), who practiced what he cheerfully called “honest graft” on behalf of Tammany Hall (and himself), made up with pith what he lacked in polish when he explained: “I seen my opportunities and I took ’em.”
Oh well, Will, do tell.
The most consequential American third-party candidate was Ralph Nader in 2000. But for his 97,488 votes in Florida, which George W. Bush won by 537 votes, Al Gore probably would be finishing his second term. But even successful independent or third-party candidates have one thing in common: They lose.
Forgetting Teddy Roosevelt and Taft lost, OK. But Gore won Florida, and all the pomp amd circumstance of George Will ain’t going to change the facts, for those of us interested in those things. (Remember what I just said about conservatives changing history to suit their needs?)
A candidate can succeed in giving an aggrieved minority a voice—e.g., George Wallace, speaking for people furious about the ’60s tumults.
You mean the jocks stuffing you in the garbage can in High School, George? Or are referring to the whole shebang, the Beatles, the Stones, the end of white wall tires?
You know this is almost exactly what George said on TV Sunday, but he was succinct on television, and so actually made sense. I can only suppose that George wants to make it all come alive and so had to interject Mr. Wallace into it, because there is his own historical memories of those years, and he lacks another vector for projecting his dislike of those effing freeks onto to todays more urbane dirty effing hippies.
Mr. Will is a perfect example of why some people should never smoke marijuana, since he is already a square baby and can be stacked in the corner anyway.
(I updated the title to keep it in line with the reference. My apologies to Mr. Will, since to be honest I think people may do stupid things, but there are in fact no stupid people.)
Goodbye to the City on the Hill
By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
Cohen & Grigsby’s legal experts describe the strategy for ensuring that no American firm has to hire an American. The advertising requirements can be met by advertising the job in obscure or ethnic newspapers in locations where there are no likely job candidates. If a qualified American candidate turns up, “have the manager of that specific position step in and . . . go through the whole process to find a legal basis to disqualify them for this position–in most cases there doesn’t seem to be a problem.”
This isn’t by any means meant to be a news flash for you, and it definitely dovetails with what Trapper John was saying in the first post this morning.
BALADIA CITY, Israel — In a new, elaborate training center in the Negev desert, Israeli troops — and someday, U.S. Marines and soldiers — are preparing for the wide range of urban scenarios they may confront.
Here, at Israel’s new National Urban Training Center, the Israeli Defense Force’s Ground Forces Command is preparing forces to fight in four theaters: Gaza, Lebanon, the West Bank and Syria.
Built by the Army Corps of Engineers and funded largely from U.S. military aid, the 7.4-square-mile generic city — balad, in Arabic, means village — consists of 1,100 basic modules that can be reconfigured by mission planners to represent specific towns.
QWhat’s the point in training all this military force in invading if we aren’t going to use them?
And with the “reasonable likelihood” of another war on Israel’s northern front — perhaps by summer’s end, according to some intelligence estimates here — that Red Team force may not come soon enough.
And the band plays “Twilight of Liberty” to the tune of the “The Star Spangled Banner,” an old drinking song, at the Brass Balls Memorial of the MSM.
by Trapper John Is worth the read, especially if you haven’t madeup/closed your mind, to the debate. I may take it up again later myself, on its’ merits as policy. Then again, Trapper has always been a pretty tough nut to crack.
The temporary worker program has nothing to do with immigration policy. To the contrary — it is a guaranteed cheap labor program grafted on to an immigration bill. When most people think of “immigration” to the US, they think of people coming to America to build a new life for themselves and their families, just as their ancestors did. But the temporary worker program has nothing to do with building American families and American dreams. Under the program, 400,000-600,000 guest workers would enter the country every year on two-year visas.
Agreed, while most of the debate will swirl around farm and service sector employees, the guest workers will be crafts, or technology workers.
And those employers won’t have to pay their new indentured servants any more than the minimum wage. See, unlike the existing H-2B visa — the visa that governs most “unskilled” temporary workers in the US today — the proposed temporary worker program contains no requirements that employers pay their temporary help the federally determined “prevailing wage” for their occupation and the geographic area.
Which ought to be enough to get you over there to read the whole thing.
One can only hope the American people aren’t as bogus as their government.
The F.B.I.’s surveillance of the guild was part of a broad monitoring operation mounted by the agency under Mr. Hoover against groups and individuals it deemed seditious, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The F.B.I. insisted that the guild was rife with communists who were directed by Moscow. Although some early guild members had been communists, there was scant evidence to show that the group was controlled by the Communist Party.
The surveillance spanned the administrations of seven presidents even though the Justice Department determined in 1958 and 1972 that the guild was not subversive or criminal.
Thousands of people were drawn into the inquiry’s orbit, whether as targets or peripheral figures, and the files provide an unusually revealing window into efforts that often focused on law-abiding citizens. The files include mentions of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the N.A.A.C.P., Students for a Democratic Society and Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Of course we no longer rely on Echelon, Tempest, NSLs, or private corporations to spy on each other at the governments behest, because we are a freedom loving, Christian ethical nation, and firm believers in the Constitution and the ideals of the Declaration of Independence.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
The plot is as follows: Sure, the pot you and your 40-something peers once enjoyed may have been innocuous, but that’s only because it bears no resemblance to the super-potent weed of today– strains with such foreboding names as “Train wreck,” “AK-47,” and “The Purple.” As proclaimed by Drug Czar John Walters recently, “[W]e are no longer talking about the drug of the 1960s and 1970s — this is [in computer parlance] Pot 2.0.”
Pot 2.0? Dillhole. Like THC^2?
I was wondering where all of this was coming from, and now I know. From the people that have brought us Iraq 1.0 or Shock and Awe, Iraq 2.0 Mission Accomplished, Iraq 3.0 Democracy for Free, Iraq 4.0 Fighting Them Over There, Iraq 5.0 Central Front on the GWOT, Iraq 6.0 Al Qaeda Wins if We Withdraw, Iraq 7.0 Surging Viagras, Iraq 8.0 Post Coital Iraq.Iraq 9.0 Refractions on a Boner, Iraq 10.0 Wolf Ugly.
I think that one of the drawbacks of technology is that it is just as easy and cheap to get video footage of a fire in Ohio, as it is to get it from Baghdad, and since a good murder always beats the gruesome truth of war, viola, another missing white woman to titillate the masses.
Back when video was film and had to be physically sent at some expense, one would see the important film video and not crap that would sell other crap. Like the rest of the capitalist society’s infrastructure, it is now built at the cheapest cost to maximize profits.
Contrary to what you may think, this is an observation, and not a judgement. It just is what it is, a soft target.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
On of the biggest pains in every one’s ass is other people. Other people are always trying to figure you out, when there is really nothing there to figure out, since you happen to be an individual that makes a lot of individual choices that wind making you you, or W, if your the pResident.
One of the things that always pissed me off about the sixties was the idea that everyone was supposed to conform to the prevailing non conformity of whatever group you happened to be free loading free loads off of at any particular time, and so there were always those who where cool, and there were always those who were dildos, and depending on what you were doing at any particular time you could be one or another, or both at the same time, so long as no one caught on that you weren’t buying into their trip altogether, and were just there to help them smoke their weed and drink their Sangria/Boons Farm/MD 20-20 and beer.
Some people took those times seriously I’m sure, while others look back and take them seriously, but I never took those people too seriously because I never thought that other peoples perceptions were important enough to either accept or reject, they were always just as entitled to them as well as anyone else was. I still feel the same way. If what you’re doing is making you happy then by all means keep on keepin on, because I sure will, and I don’t quite know where to fit you into this short life span in such a way as to make you that important to me to change what I’m doing if what I’m doing doesn’t help in making you happy. You should, hopefully, be able to do the same with me.
I think it is important for people to understand what a short flash life really is, and how you or I go about shining in that flash isn’t anyone else’s business. A hundred years from now we’ll all be dead and broke, and in two hundred years forgotten, and anyone who thinks differently is really full of BS. I don’t think anyone will remember Jobs or Gates anymore than we recall who Eli Whitney or Thomas Edison or the person that invented the wheel was. Most of us just won’t make it to being an historical pain in the ass, either. In short, we’re all trying to be a somebody in a universe of nobodies.
Living well is your own perception of living well, unless you buy into the peer group pressure of the groups collective perception of living well, doing well, etc, whence you can start being either cool or a dildo all over again like you did or were when you were a kid, and that’s what will presumably make you a grown up, but it doesn’t make you free and is probably just moving the goal posts so adolescence perceptions are now adult perceptions, and hence a distinction without a difference.
The only lesson anyone should have really learned in the sixties was that freedom is a head trip, and all the rest of it was a mind game, and not because it was the wisdom of that age, but because it is the wisdom of any age.
I tend to agree as much as I disagree with Lou Dobbs, but at least he covers issues that will have some import, some impact, on the national life, and to interrupt his show to give us all time coverage of a murder is mind boggling.
That is all the further I think I can go, and keep to my own self imposed restrictions on knocking CNN, but I think we just found the straw that breaks the camels back. Unbelievable.
Finally, over the strenuous lobbying of the conservative groups leaching off this particularly insidious form of “bleed the beast” wingnut welfare, Federal funding for abstinence-only sex (mis)education is being cut:
A controversial federal program that stresses abstinence outside heterosexual marriage has been chopped by $28. million.Previously, under the Republican Congress, the federal government spent about $50 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education.
Participating states then provide $3 for every $4 they get from the federal government. Eight states decline to take part in the grant program.
That means 59 Million Dollars when the state funding no longer needs to be ponied up to tell young people to do as we say not as we did.
Updated below, The garbage barge that makes it hard to remember the garbage barge.
These are conservatives who one would think are trying to conserve something, which apparently consists of throwing it all away.
I have always thought that 911 was aimed squarely at the American people because we as a people had failed to control our government, and as such that government had interfered with the worlds economies in ways that aggravated many people to high degree, and coupled with the religious sacrilege of basing troops in the holy land of the two cities, pushed UbL over the edge. I admit I’m being overly simplistic for brevity, but, I have always just assumed that we as a nation, as a whole people were the targets. I may have underestimated UbL. I think he was shooting at conservatives who actually controlled the levers of power of the United States at the time of his attack.
I think, given his upbringing, UbL was well acquainted with the American upper classes, and he and his family fit in quite well as far as business propositions went. I think he understood them better than they understood themselves too.
When you look at the history of this administration and its’ reactions to one crisis after another you start to see a pattern of derangement. The administration not only took out the Taliban and left UbL free to traipse around Afghanistan, which now has an imposed government, but subsequently expanded the terrorist base by invading Iraq, which is completely in opposition to the stated goal of the War on Terror. This is not logical.
In going over the post at War and Piece you notice that almost every activity of the administration has been in keeping with a policy of destabilizing the US government, in a time of war, while increasing the enemies without.
For what ever motivation they may have, and I am sure some people will ascribe a theory or two of conspiracy to it all, there it is. This administration and its’ supporters are attempting to destroy the United States as it has existed under the Constitution, either by design or folly. It really doesn’t matter what reason you ascribe to the activity, the results will be the same.
For a movement that has so long prided itself on law and order, Christianity and doing the ethical things to have come to this pass is mind boggling, as they like to say. This administration, and this conservative movement display none of those characteristics.
The problem with being an economic conservative at this juncture in history is that our economic base is built on empire, which destabilizes democratic political institutions since it is based on the economic interest of the few, the elite.
Ultimately, UbL hit the economic interests of that elite in hitting the Pentagon and WTC. He did not strike a blow against liberal democracy or freedom, and in fact he is quite free and at liberty to pursue his aims, more so now than we who claim those as our highest ideals.
If social liberalism has faltered since 911 it not because the hearts and minds of the American people had changed, but because they had become preoccupied with their own physical security which was fed into the conservatives law and order themes, but hardly changed anyone’s personal views as to their own personal behaviors.
The result has become a more repressive government at home, with an emphasis on protecting the homeland instead of addressing the root causes of terrorism. I think terrorism, like wars, are always economic, and departing with profits is not a capitalistic ideal. It matters not at all if those are just profits, since as has been noted by many, capitalism does not reward virtue. Virtue does however reward capitalism. This is the seam that UbL has split, and now both the lack of virtue in the capitalistic system, and the dynamic tension between capitalistic elites and democracy are exposed nerves to the air.
This week the Center for American Progress issued a report documenting the severe imbalance between conservative and liberal political talk radio (over 90% of programming is conservative) and postulating that structural factors such as consolidation of ownership and syndication practices are at least partly responsible for this imbalance.
Yes, the people who insist that conservative dominance of talk radio is purely a product of the market and mock any suggestion of structural imbalance are the very same people who complain endlessly that every other form of news media is plagued by “liberal bias.” According to conservative gospel, the “mainstream media” is dominated by liberals who continually foist their liberal views upon the public.
Of course colleges do it too, which is why none of the conservatives have a college degree.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Tell me something different
show me something new
tell me how you create it
show me what to do.
Teach me how to say it
and how to listen to it too
how does it become a madness
will it always fade to blue?
Show me how the road goes
forever on and on
and who’ll be watching in the mirror
long after we’re all gone.
I want to know the future
I want to see it in my past
I want to hold you tight
but I know it just cant last.
So please forgive me baby
it had to end this way
I’m going to love you forever
even though it’s only for today.
Yeah I’m going to love you forever
even as forever fades away.
Yeah I’m going to love you forever
even as forever fades away.
I’m going to love you forever
I’m going to love you forever
I’m going to love you forever
even as forever fades away.
If conciliation does move forward, the US will need a long-term strategy, operational plan, and budget tailored to Iraq’s real-world needs. It will need to treat the conflict in Iraq as what it is: armed nation-building and not a counterinsurgency campaign. In practice, the US government must also provide reporting that has the transparency and integrity to build both bipartisan trust in the Congress and give the next Administration time in which to make its own choices and take effective action.
This is an unpopular and perhaps politically untenable reality of the situation in Iraq. The US cannot bring security and stability within the life of the Bush Administration. It can only create a hollow and crumbling façade or withdraw. One key message that emerges from both the content and flaws in the June 2007 report is that success will be limited, uncertain, and take time. When it comes to effective US action in each of the major areas listed above, the time-scale is 2010-2015 and not 2008.
Cordesman’s sober, lucid, unsentimental analysis just lays out the picture in Iraq as it is — not like he or any of us hope it might be. This kind of truth-telling needs much more air time.
From the Radical Center of the Washington Note.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
I said if I insulted CNN once I’d apologize, twice I’d run for office, and since I have done the former, apologies to CNN.
To avoid the other self imposed punishment of running for office I should spend the next week sneaking across the northern border with a Mariachi band in a brightly Mediterranean colored bus running diesel fuel, red pop, of course just to chap Willie and Neal’s asses at the same time as Lou’s and Uncle Sam’s.
That will give me time to think about how I can transition out of opposition and campaign mode into advocacy and consensus mode, and give the beleaguered Democratic Congress a bit of break.
I think I’ve been a little too hard on the Congress and the MSM, since it is the easiest thing to do, be critical. That doesn’t mean they aren’t open to it, Lord knows they are in many, many facets of their jobs, but if I can get into a rut then I can get out of one, and so can these two institutions. I really don’t know the cure for any of us three, and yes,I am an institution in my own mind. I know I can walk away, well, theoretically I can, blogging is a hard habit to break, but the Congress and MSM are kind of stuck doing whatever it is they do when they aren’t intentionally pissing me off. I suppose it’s like Atrios’ advertising. People have to pay the bills.
On the other hand it would probably be good idea to spend time with a Mariachi band just in case Bush declares martial law and I wind up at Gitmo, where I can’t handle Mariachi bands. (I have to say that for a daughter in law who used to play in a Mariachi band, but that isn’t any of your business which makes reading the blogs more real life than real TV, and more entertaining too.) But just so you know, we’re all Merrykins, and for the musically inclined, just because Texas means friend doesn’t mean Texan does.
On this hand, it is time to re-evaluate and regroup, which means standing back and seeing which direction the wheels are turning instead which way the wheels say they are turning. Politics is a perpetual motion machine I suppose, because it consists of mostly talking until someone has to give up and go to the bathroom or such. Anyone who has ever debated a conservative knows exactly what I’m talking about. Of course the liberals will start of with policy and then wonk it to death which to a conservative is explaining how a watch is made when all they think they asked for was the time. Conservatives are always trying to figure out the times, don’t you know, not history. They see history as liberals see the future, a thing to be changed to suit ones needs.
One of these days both ends of the spectrum will finally see that it is all a big circle and then Mr. Broder will have his bipartisanship, in a big family of know nothings saying “I told you sos!” When it happens David, you remember I told you so.
I just heard Wolf Blitzer report on Judicial Watch’s FBI report on the bin Ladens bailing out of the US right after 911, which everyone noticed since US airspace was closed at the time. I really don’t have a big dog in the 911 hunt anymore, and I appreciate Judicial Watch’s work on the holocaust museum, but haven’t spent a lot time there in years, which may be my bad, but such is life.
Anyway the only questions I really have about all the cleared bin Ladens since they left is how many of them have been back, and how often have they been back, and how long have they stayed? Just wondering. Knowing our press I’ll take those Qs to the grave.
Yup, he’s still an idiot.
Ralph Nader says he is seriously considering running for president in 2008 because he foresees another Tweedledum-Tweedledee election that offers little real choice to voters.
“You know the two parties are still converging — they don’t even debate the military budget anymore,” Nader said in a 30-minute interview. “I really think there needs to be more competition from outside the two parties.”
Anyone who clings to the fiction that President Al Gore would’ve been no different than President George W. Bush is beyond redemption.
OK Marcos, let’s get real. No one who even supported Ralph Nader in 2000 even thinks that, never did, and never will. (I voted for Gore.)
But the fact of the matter is, was, and shall forever be, is that Gore had the election stolen, and had the Republican’ts needed to steal another 10K votes to secure JEBs Florida they would have. It is just that simple.
The only way a Democrat is going to win the Presidency is if the electoral vote is overwhelmingly Democratic, and hence overwhelmingly so at the polls. If you haven’t figured out Florida in 2000, and Ohio in 2004, then you had a least better figure out 2008.
I’m not saying any of this to be snarky either, but the plain truth is that the Republican’ts have been doing everything they can to create a one party state, and so they have politicized every branch of the federal government to that end, and so the entire weight of the state will brought to bear against the Democrats and democratic forces of the United States in the next election.
The dirt will not just be thrown against the elite, but against everyone that doesn’t toe the line as well. Dirty tricks, I would presume have been and are being deployed against the blogosphere already. You may want to get your house and office TSCM swept once in awhile yourself. I’m sure CNN is more interested in your nasal cleaning habits more than in the news.
The blogosphere will not be sneaking up on the right wing this election, but the right wing will damned sure be hitting back, using every legal and illegal method at their disposal, including using the media as they have for years.
The netroots will get clocked if like our generals and foreign policy eluts we run the same election campaign again. I would say we have about six months to find another gate to crash myself. YM of course MV.
Massing Turkish Army Has Kurds Fleeing Comon June 29.
SULAIMANIYAH, 21 June 2007 (IRIN) – Hundreds of Iraqi Kurds have been forced to flee their homes after up to 30,000 Turkish soldiers massed on the Iraqi-Turkish border and launched attacks against Kurdish fighters, Iraqi border police say.
Local aid agencies said Kurdish fighters had prevented them from entering the villages, which were being targeted.
“The bombardments have forced hundreds to abandon their homes and leave for safer areas. Some houses were looted by Kurdish fighters, according to witnesses in the area,” said Rastgo Muhammad Barsaz, spokesman for the non-governmental organisation Kurdistan Campaign to Help Victims of War.
Of course the MSM will be shocked when the Turks finally have had enough of secure Southern borders.
I wonder how much Israeli gear intended for Iran is ending up in Ankara? I say this because I don’t think Israel is an exception to the rules of unintended consequences, or blow back.
On the other hand it is hard to imagine that with so many foreign governments involved in Iraqi internal affairs that sooner or later some little war monger will set off the big war mongers, and of course the US MSM will profess shock at the whole affair and regale us with the impending threat the situation posses for US National Security. Duh!