Blog Flux Directory Subscribe in NewsGator Online Subscribe with Bloglines Blog directory
And, yes, I DO take it personally: 06/12/2011 - 06/19/2011
Mandy: Great blog!
Mark: Thanks to all the contributors on this blog. When I want to get information on the events that really matter, I come here.
Penny: I'm glad I found your blog (from a comment on Think Progress), it's comprehensive and very insightful.
Eric: Nice site....I enjoyed it and will be back.
nora kelly: I enjoy your site. Keep it up! I particularly like your insights on Latin America.
Alison: Loquacious as ever with a touch of elegance -- & right on target as usual!
"Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it."
- Noam Chomsky
Send tips and other comments to:

And, yes, I DO take it personally

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The failure of social movements in the U.S.

since i'm on a number of liberal, progressive mailing lists (and, yes, a few conservative ones too), i'm astonished at the number of requests i get on a daily basis asking for my support in this or that cause, everything from saving the whales to preserving a free internet to "please support candidate x"... there's no critical mass on anything, particularly anything i would consider important... oh, yes, there are pleas to restore civil liberties, protests against shredding the 4th amendment, but nobody is lined up on anything... it's pathetic...


One failing of the social movements that I’ve noticed over many years is that while they are focusing on extremely crucial and important social issues like women’s rights, environmental protections, and so on, they have tended to ignore or downplay the economic and social crises faced by working people. It’s not that they are completely ignored, but they are downplayed. And that has to be overcome, and there are ways to do it. So, to take a concrete example right near where I live, right now there is a town near Boston where a multinational corporation is closing down a local plant because it’s not profitable enough from the point of view of the multinational. Members of the workforce have offered to purchase the plant and the equipment, and the multinational doesn’t want to do that; it would rather lose money than offer the opportunity for a worker self-managed plant that might well become successful. And the multinational has the power to do what it wants, of course. But sufficient popular support -- community support, activist support, and so on -- could swing the balance. Things like that are happening all over the country.

Take Obama’s virtual takeover of the auto industry. There were several options at that point. One option, which the Obama administration chose, was to restore the old order, assist in the closing of plants, the shifting of production abroad and so on, and maybe get a functioning auto industry again. Another option would have been to take over those plants -- plants that are being dismantled -- and convert them to things that are very badly needed in the country, like high-speed rail -- it’s a scandal that the United States doesn’t have this kind of infrastructure, which many other countries have developed. In fact at the very time that Obama was closing down plants in the Midwest, his transportation secretary was in Europe trying to get contracts from Spain for high-speed rail construction, which could have been done in those very plants that were being dismantled.

To move in the direction that I suggest would take substantial organization, community support, national support, and recognition that worker self-managed production aimed at real social needs is an option that can be pursued; if it is pursued, you move to a pretty radical stage of consciousness, and it could go on and on from there. Unfortunately, that was not even discussed.

chomsky's right... worker self-managed production that addresses the common good isn't even on the radar, and it's precisely a serious discussion on that topic that could be the game-changer we so desperately seek...

Labels: , , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

The Truth About the Economy

robert reich courtesy of moveon...

not bad... if there were traditional news outlets worthy of the name in the u.s., this would be continuing front page news... sigh...

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Friday, June 17, 2011

When Barack doesn't want to call a war a war, he goddam well GETS HIS WAY...!

jeebus... i thought george bush was done and gone... guess not...
Obama Rejects 2 Top Lawyers’ Views on War Power in Libya

President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations.

Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Caroline D. Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, had told the White House that they believed that the United States military’s activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to “hostilities.” Under the War Powers Resolution, that would have required Mr. Obama to terminate or scale back the mission after May 20.

But Mr. Obama decided instead to adopt the legal analysis of several other senior members of his legal team — including the White House counsel, Robert Bauer, and the State Department legal adviser, Harold H. Koh — who argued that the United States military’s activities fell short of “hostilities.” Under that view, Mr. Obama needed no permission from Congress to continue the mission unchanged.

you never know exactly what you're gonna see when someone finally fully emerges from the closet... sometimes what you see is lovely and sometimes it's truly horrifying... speaking for myself, i'm well and truly horrified...!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Juan Cole now, rightly so, questions just how far down the rabbit hole we've gone in pursuit of the National Security State

professor cole asks a question that many of us have been asking for years...
The Congress should revisit the PATRIOT Act in the light of the revelation of what was attempted in my regard, and should repeal the damn thing. Failing that, the federal judiciary should find it unconstitutional, which it is. But one of the things that worries me is that some of the key political and judicial personnel who might want to move against it may themselves already have been victims of surveillance, entrapment and blackmailing. Just how corrupt has our whole governmental apparatus become, that clear violations of our Constitution are blithely accepted?

members of congress and the judiciary all swear oaths to uphold and protect the constitution of the united states... you can't help but wonder why they don't do it...

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Glenn gives us a short guide to understanding U.S. politics

a clear, succinct and devastating indictment... go take a look...

Labels: , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My first and last comments on Weinergate

so, the compulsive sex addict is going to resign... woo-hoo...

two comments...

one, what anthony weiner does to pursue his sexual inclinations is absolutely none of anyone else's goddam business... period...

two, how anyone, particularly someone of weiner's purported intelligence and PARTICULARLY someone in his position, can NOT think that anything and everything they do on any electronic network (and that means everything from swiping your supermarket discount card to making an atm withdrawal to sending tweets) isn't being swept up by SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE - whether it's vile-minded hackers working for andrew breitbart or the nsa or the fbi - is SERIOUSLY deluded...

so, while i think it's absolutely insane to hound someone from office for anything based on licit sexual behavior, i think weiner deserves everything he gets based on his sheer STUPIDITY... sure, he should be free to engage in whatever sexual behavior he cares to pursue as long as it's legal, but to think that tweeting, sexting and posting photos of his genitals via open and highly-surveilled electronic networks WOULDN'T make their way into the public domain eventually is just plain idiocy... in my book, weiner is a prime candidate for the next edition of the darwin awards...

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Wikileaks under Obama, Professor Cole under Bush - continuing to gut the 1st and 4th Amendments

i had often wondered if professor cole hadn't attracted the interest of our propaganda and domestic surveillance-meisters... guess so...

from juan cole's weblog...

Eminent National Security correspondent at the New York Times James Risen has been told by a retired former official of the Central Intelligence Agency that the Bush White House repeatedly asked the CIA to spy on me with a view to discovering “damaging” information with which to discredit my reputation. Glenn Carle says he was called into the office of his superior, David Low, in 2005 and was asked of me, “ ‘What do you think we might know about him, or could find out that could discredit him?’ ”

Low actually wrote up a brief attempt in this direction and submitted it to the White House but Carle says he intercepted it. Carle later discovered that yet another young analyst had been tasked with looking into me.

It seems to me clear that the Bush White House was upset by my blogging of the Iraq War, in which I was using Arabic and other primary sources, and which contradicted the propaganda efforts of the administration attempting to make the enterprise look like a wild shining success.

Carle’s revelations come as a visceral shock. You had thought that with all the shennanigans of the CIA against anti-Vietnam war protesters and then Nixon’s use of the agency against critics like Daniel Ellsberg, that the Company and successive White Houses would have learned that the agency had no business spying on American citizens.

I believe Carle’s insider account and discount the glib denials of people like Low. Carle is taking a substantial risk in making all this public. I hope that the Senate and House Intelligence Committees will immediately launch an investigation of this clear violation of the law by the Bush White House and by the CIA officials concerned. Like Mr. Carle, I am dismayed at how easy it seems to have been for corrupt WH officials to suborn CIA personnel into activities that had nothing to do with national security abroad and everything to do with silencing domestic critics. This effort was yet another attempt to gut the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution, in this case as part of an effort to gut the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

without meaning to discount professor cole, i am nonetheless somewhat amused at his shock and outrage at being targeted... given his clear level of expertise in the middle east, his ability to clearly and reasonably articulate his views, AND his visibility, i would have expected him to be a target... after all, he does everything but wear a neon sign saying, "here i am, i dare you to try to shut me up," which, in this day and age, is like waving a red flag in front of a bull... our fearless leaders, backed by our super-rich elites, don't want anybody out there upsetting their apple cart and certainly not doing so by telling the truth...

flash forward to yesterday...

from firedoglake...

A federal grand jury empaneled to investigate WikiLeaks meets again in Alexandria, Virginia today. David House, co-founder of the Bradley Manning Support Network, is expected to appear before the grand jury. He and others in the Greater Boston area have been subjected to this process, which seeks to embroil them in espionage charges for being linked to WikiLeaks.

It is a tired cliché, perhaps, but, with each new development in the investigation of WikiLeaks—in a process that might be considered a part of a larger war on WikiLeaks—more and more individuals are being made to answer the question, “Do you or have you ever worked for WikiLeaks?” (Soon they will be asked, “Are you or have you ever been supportive or sympathetic toward WikiLeaks?”)

House has been targeted consistently by the government for the past months. His lawful association with the Bradley Manning Support Network, which was created to raise funds for the legal defense of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the alleged whistleblower to WikiLeaks now being held at Ft. Leavenworth, has transformed him into a marked man. In November 2010, Department of Homeland Security agents stopped House at O’Hare International airport as he was returning from Mexico.

The agents asked House about his political activities and beliefs. His laptop computer, camera, and a USB drive were all seized. The questioning and seizure of personal property does not appear to have been carried out because House posed a threat to border security. But, House was made to face intrusive and intimidating tactics because he joined a lawful group.

“The search and seizure of my laptop has had a chilling effect on the activities of the Bradley Manning Support Network, by silencing once-outspoken supporters and causing donors to retreat. Our government should not be treating lawful activists like suspects,” explains House.

The ACLU has come to his defense and filed a lawsuit against the DHS. The ACLU has called for the “return or destruction of any of House’s personal data still in the custody of the government and disclosure of whether and to whom the data has been disseminated.” And, if not for the ACLU sending a letter to DHS, House would likely have not been able to get his seized laptop, camera and USB drive back after seven weeks.

Targeting of House is not an anomaly. This practice of searching, copying and detaining travelers’ laptops, cell phones, and other electronic devices in airports or at land crossings has been used on a number of people when DHS knows there is no probable cause to support such harassment.

again, i have to confess a degree of amusement... it was the first of june 2006 that i had my laptop, external hard drive, digital camera, memory cards, flash drive, cd's and dvd's seized at customs in the san francisco airport and kept for three weeks before being returned... i have no doubt that my computer hard drive was copied in full and fully suspect that tracking codes were inserted in my computer to enable remote monitoring... it was then that the full realization of what kind of a police state we were living in finally hit home... sure, i had suspected all along but, like professor cole and david house, the reality of the shredding of our 4th amendment rights is never so real as when it affects you personally...

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Aw, C'MON, Barack...! You must think we're incredibly stupid...

no comment necessary...
War Powers Act Does Not Apply to Libya, Obama Argues

The White House is telling Congress that President Obama has the legal authority to continue American participation in the NATO-led air war in Libya, even though lawmakers have not authorized it.

In a broader package of materials the Obama administration is sending to Congress on Wednesday defending its Libya policy, the White House, for the first time, offers lawmakers and the public an argument for why Mr. Obama has not been violating the War Powers Resolution since May 20.

On that day, the Vietnam-era law’s 60-day deadline for terminating unauthorized hostilities appeared to pass. But the White House argued that the activities of United States military forces in Libya do not amount to full-blown “hostilities” at the level necessary to involve the section of the War Powers Resolution that imposes the deadline.

“We are acting lawfully,” said Harold Koh, the State Department legal adviser, who expanded on the administration’s reasoning in a joint interview with White House Counsel Robert Bauer.

< rolls eyes > puh-l-e-e-e-eze...

Labels: , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A trophy security dog - the latest "must-have" for our super-rich elites

there is nothing that our super-rich elites are not willing to spend obscene amounts of money on as long as it can protect and enhance their totally self-absorbed world of power and money...

from the nyt...

When she costs $230,000, as Julia did, the preferred title is “executive protection dog.” This 3-year-old German shepherd, who commutes by private jet between a Minnesota estate and a home in Arizona, belongs to a canine caste that combines exalted pedigree, child-friendly cuddliness and arm-lacerating ferocity.


[People in] the high-end dog training business say prices have shot up thanks to the growing number of wealthy people around the world who like the security — and status — provided by a dog with the right credentials. Moguls and celebrities now routinely pay $40,000 to $60,000 for a well-bred German shepherd that is certified as an expert in the sport of Schutzhund, which means “protection dog.”

the really sad thing about a story like this is that it deserves any kind of serious news treatment at all when all it really deserves is disgust... but, hey, leave it to the nyt to showcase the lifestyles of our handlers...

Labels: , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

You owe it to yourself to go see Atrios' "junk shot" pic

i love it...
Afternoon Thread

Junk shot edition.

Labels: , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments

Is Obama a co-dependent...?

obama tries to make everybody happy and ends up making nobody happy, a genuine "people-pleaser"...

i somehow never applied the term "co-dependent" to obama but the signs have certainly been there all along... i guess it was this that finally caused me to get a clue...

Obama's Secret Afghan Exit Formula

President Obama is poised to unveil his top-secret plan to slowly reduce U.S. troops in Afghanistan by upward of 30,000 over 12 to 18 months—a plan he hopes will satisfy both those pushing for a quick exit and the diehards determined to stay the course.

in the co-dependency dynamic in dysfunctional relationships, "enablers" of on-going relationship dysfunction are called "co-dependents"... co-dependents are people so intent on preserving a relationship that they give up most of their own identity in the process...

the following is drawn from the wikipedia entry on co-dependency... i have taken the liberty of placing in italics those characteristics i think are particularly descriptive of obama...

Codependency (or codependence, co-narcissism or inverted narcissism) is a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one's relationships and quality of life. It also often involves putting one's needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.


Denial patterns:

  • I have difficulty identifying what I am feeling.
  • I minimize, alter or deny how I truly feel.
  • I perceive myself as completely unselfish and dedicated to the well-being of others.
  • I lack empathy for the feelings and needs of others.
  • I label others with my negative traits.
  • I can take care of myself without any help from others.
  • I mask my pain in various ways such as anger, humor, or isolation.
  • I express negativity or aggression in indirect and passive ways.
  • I do not recognize the unavailability of those people to whom I am attracted.
Compliance patterns:

  • I compromise my own values and integrity to avoid rejection or others' anger.
  • I am very sensitive to how others are feeling and feel the same.
  • I am extremely loyal, remaining in harmful situations too long.
  • I value others' opinions and feelings more than my own and am afraid to express differing opinions and feelings of my own.
  • I put aside my own interests and hobbies in order to do what others want.
  • I accept sex and/or sexual attention when I want love.
  • I am afraid to express my beliefs, opinions, and feelings when they differ from those of others.
  • I make decisions without regard to the consequences.
  • I give up my truth to gain the approval of others or to avoid change.
obama has dramatically succeeded in one thing, that's for sure... ain't NOBODY happy...!

Labels: , , , ,

Submit To Propeller

[Permalink] 0 comments