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And, yes, I DO take it personally: 01/10/2010 - 01/17/2010
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And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday photoblogging from Buenos Aires

actually, these were taken this past tuesday when i was walking through the palermo viejo neighborhood on the way to visit a friend... i'm always taken by architectural detail and how they can almost be works of art in themselves...

A Buenos Aires home

A residential doorway

Another Buenos Aires home
(note the paving stones on the street)

obviously, these are from an earlier era but the city is nonetheless full of them, so full in fact that it's easy to walk down the street and not take notice of the richness of the detail...

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Friday, January 15, 2010

As long as we're talking about greed porn

here's more...
JP Morgan Chase reports $3.3bn profits

Wall Street bank JP Morgan Chase has reported profits of $3.3bn (£2bn) for the last three months of 2009.

That compares with the $702m profits reported last year, at the height of the financial crisis.

Net revenues for the quarter totalled $25.2bn - higher than a year ago but below the previous quarter's.

Total profits for the year were $11.7bn, the bank said, up from the $5.6bn it made in 2008, with $6.9bn made from investment banking alone.

The bank paid a total of $26.9bn in pay and bonuses over the year, with investment bankers earning a total of $9.3bn.

and the ceo has the utter chutzpah to say this...
Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan's chairman and chief executive, said he was pleased with the bank's performance, but said it could perform better.

"Though these results showed improvement, we acknowledge that they fell short of both an adequate return on capital and the firm's earnings potential," he said.

what IS the matter with these fucking people...? is it possible they inhabit the same planet i do...? i guess if you want real live porn, see if you can catch them on a webcam creaming their pants as they open their bonus checks... better yet, do a split-screen with the bankers on one side and people sleeping on the street in haiti on the other...

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Hard-core greed porn: $145B Wall Street payout - 18% MORE than last year

obscenity rises to new heights...
In 1964, Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain "hard-core" pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced . . . [b]ut I know it when I see it . . . "

well, see THIS...
Wall Street’s payout for 2009: $145 billion

If you still needed statistical proof that the folks on Wall Street have become entirely detached from reality in the wake of the massive taxpayer-funded bailout of their colossal mistakes, here it is.

The 38 largest financial institutions on Wall Street will pay out a total of $145.85 billion in compensation for 2009, an 18 percent increase over 2008 and "slightly more than in the record year of 2007," the Wall Street Journal reports.

(By "slightly," the Journal means a 6 percent increase over 2007, amounting to some $8 billion.)

Contrast this with the state of affairs on Main Street, where average earnings increased 2.2 percent in 2009 -- and that number excludes the 7 million jobs lost since the recession began.

over 1 BILLION people around the world don't get enough to eat... innocents are being slaughtered in afghanistan and pakistan... many tens of thousands are dead or dying in haiti... yet our super-rich elites continue to bleed the world of its riches for their own coffers... every day i say to myself, this cannot stand, and every day it continues to stand...

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Certainly one of the greatest disasters of the modern age

truly horrifying in a country that was a nightmare to begin with...
Tens of thousands of Haitians slept on sidewalks or wandered the streets of this heavily damaged city early Thursday, a sign of the vast homelessness emerging after the devastating earthquake.


Bodies lay everywhere: tiny children next to schools, women in rubble-strewn streets with stunned expressions frozen on their faces, men hidden beneath plastic tarps and cotton sheets. Desperate residents turned pickup trucks and wheelbarrows into ambulances and doors into stretchers, the Associated Press reported, trying to ferry the dead and wounded even as they acknowledged that help was almost impossible to find.


In the central Bel Air neighborhood, the streets and sidewalks were covered with people sleeping on mattresses, plastic chairs and bits of cardboard. Survivors set up camps amid piles of salvaged goods, including food being scavenged from the rubble.


Indeed, the neighborhood had largely been reduced to rubble. Flames licked from the shell of one ruined building. Balconies had crashed to the ground. Cars were buried under chunks of gray concrete the size of dining-room tables. The street was littered with bricks, shattered plastic chairs, glittering shards of glass.

Huge crowds swarmed through the city overnight, carrying meager possessions -- a cooking pot, a sack of vegetables -- and shoeless toddlers with terrified eyes. Many people had wrapped themselves in bedsheets, adding to the ghostly air.

it's a heart-wrenching experience to read of a disaster of this magnitude... i'm experiencing a depth of feeling for these people similar to what i experienced as the epic catastrophe of katrina unfolded...

what i don't get is how our erstwhile secretary of state, hillary clinton, can say something like this, an entirely true statement imho, without making the connection that the united states has produced precisely the same situation for the afghanistan people without benefit of an act-of-god natural disaster...

"In the wake of disasters like this, people do get desperate," Clinton said in a televised interview with CNN. "If you have a starving baby in your arms, you're going to find food wherever you can."

yes, hillary... desperate people do desperate things... when they can't feed or take care of their families and are left with no options, they are very vulnerable to doing things they might never otherwise consider... what happened in haiti and what's happening in afghanistan are both hugely tragic but the one was and is preventable...

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Obama received over $20M for the 2008 campaign from the healthcare industry, THREE TIMES more than McCain

ah... change... ya gotta love it...
Obama received $20 million from healthcare industry in 2008 campaign

While some sunlight has been shed on the hefty sums shoveled into congressional campaign coffers in an effort to influence the Democrats' massive healthcare bill, little attention has been focused on the far larger sums received by President Barack Obama while he was a candidate in 2008.

A new figure, based on an exclusive analysis created for Raw Story by the Center for Responsive Politics, shows that President Obama received a staggering $20,175,303 from the healthcare industry during the 2008 election cycle, nearly three times the amount of his presidential rival John McCain. McCain took in $7,758,289, the Center found.

The new figure, obtained by Raw Story through an independent custom research request performed by the Center for Responsive Politics -- a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that tracks money in politics -- is the most comprehensive breakdown yet available of healthcare industry contributions to Obama during the 2008 election cycle.

Currently, the Center's website shows that Obama received $19,462,986 from the health sector, which includes health professionals ($11.7m), health services/HMOs ($1.4m), hospitals/nursing homes ($3.3m) and pharmaceuticals/health products ($2.1m). Miscellaneous health donations (from which Obama received $860,411) are also factored into the current total health sector numbers but are not accessible on the site.

ya see why my posting has all but dried up...? it's really hard to deal with the steady drumbeat of grim news... when the vast majority of the billions and billions of people in this world are desperate for principled leadership to empower them in their efforts to make their lives better, to help them put food on their tables and clothes on the backs of their kids, is THIS what we should be reading about the "leader of the free world"...? i don't think so...

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