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Fantastical landscape 27 July 2010

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, The Battle for New Orleans.
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Oily Sand Blown Far — Photograph by Chris Combs, National Geographic

Madman linked to a series of National Geographic photographs taken down on the Gulf beaches, using a high powered UV light to expose oil, where it does not appear to be.

Oily Sand Blown Far

Photograph by Chris Combs, National Geographic

Many yards from the Gulf of Mexico, dunes at the Gulf Islands National Seashore appear dotted with constellations of oil-contaminated, glowing sand under ultraviolet light.

Describing similar dunes, Kirby said that “dried sand particles that were contaminated by oil were blowing into the dunes of the back beach. If you consider how much sand can be moved in a short period of time by wind, this is a big deal.”

If clean-up workers on a beach are using a net to sift lumps of oil from sand, “clean sand goes through the oily net and gets coated with oil,” he said. “You’ve contaminated another quart of sand in order to get a couple of ounces of oil out, and it’ll end up in the [dunes].”

Published July 8, 2010

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1. marisacat - 27 July 2010

I heard an interesting thing today…. that Czechoslovakia has – and not recently – legalised drugs. Small amounts on your person for personal use. 15 grams of MJ, a lot less, couple grams only, for heroin, cocaine and ecstasy.

I had been reading over recent years that Amsterdam has been tightening their laws (nto sure why) on drugs and the old Red Light districts, but that Prague is a new refuge for drug use. Not open selling tho they do openly sell materials and what have you for grow operations for MJ…

It popped back into my mind as I am listening to a dumb as all hell conversation on the Mexican “drug cartels” and how they are moving into the US. [argh Breaking News (not)]

The thrust of the conversation is that we must wage war agaisnt this (vile! horrible! illegal!) incursion, like the War on Terror. Yikes. I think it is called War on Drugs. IT FAILED.

Madman in the Marketplace - 27 July 2010

IIRC, I read somewhere that Amsterdam was tightening things under pressure from the rest of the business community, they didn’t like the kind of tourists the city’s reputation was attracting (not spending enough money on the right things?).

Who knows …

marisacat - 27 July 2010

I wondered if it became an issue with neighboring countries, or with the formation of the EU, because it goes back decades, iirc.

If i feel up to it I might poke around a bit see what I can find.

On the home[land] front, I cannot tell if we are going to pass the legalise MJ initiative on our Nov ballot. One poll, Field which calls Cali with remarkable efficiency, has ti losing, tho there are many weeks left… Another, PPP has it winning.

A lot of big money is arrayed AGAINST it, from big growers (Mendocino, Humboldt) sheriff and police and co coffers (seizure money that flows when they make raids, whcih they still do) …. and what else. Oh ALCOHOL money. Of course.

Add n Mexican army and Mexican mafia (one and the same, some say!) and… it could be a hard slog.

We are so skrwerwrwrweeddd…

2. catnip - 27 July 2010

Uh oh…I just found yet another distraction: Garden Junk.

catnip - 27 July 2010

Yup, there’s a lot of junk there.

3. catnip - 27 July 2010
marisacat - 27 July 2010

I like begonias… for one thing i have never managed to kill one…. somehow.
;)

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 July 2010
5. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 July 2010
6. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 July 2010

NYC Settles for $7.15 Million Over Wrongful Shooting of Groom

Not a penny of it paid by the fucking cops who murdered him.

marisacat - 27 July 2010

I think cities have made the calculation, they are fine with the millions and then more millions in pay outs. Sean Bell and friends should have been somewhere else. Not the cops fault.

And boy the killing of SB and assorted wounding sure was a big mess. But, not the cops fault.

Madman in the Marketplace - 27 July 2010

and we’re constantly told that cops are under threat all the time and “brave” and how “poor” Meserle’s life is “ruined”.

Never mind the bodies they leave in their wake.

marisacat - 27 July 2010

So much that hapened the night Mehserle shot Oscar Grant has completely dropped from the narrative. Other realities never even entered the narrative. Moving the trial and not televising it, striking for cause and just outright striking every black person off the jury, salting the jury with 4 who have cops for relatives or who have worked as civilians FOR cops…

it all added up.

I will be surprised if Mehserle is sentenced to more than a very few months, as of Nov 5 he will have been in local jail for nearly 4 months, awaiting sentencing. Time served and a few months is all I expect. And several years ”probation”. Hell we don’t keep track of the worst of the worst, his probation will be nothing.

We are supposed to be thrilled that he was found “guilty”, the first they say (we live in historic times!)… hmm I just don’t see that as being this huge band-aid they tell us it is.

Madman in the Marketplace - 27 July 2010

kabuki “justice”

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 July 2010

Lady Gaga: Pop Star for a Country and an Empire in Decline

Empire Down

There’s always been something deeply problematic about the way war is sold, about pitching the idea of heroism to young men (and now to women too). The Iraq war was sold like it was a pop star, something sexy to look up to, and snuck into video games and YouTube videos, and the mainstream media mostly didn’t question. We saw stronger, fiercer critiques of war from our pop music than we did from the people we were supposed to look to for guidance.

The selling of war has informed our pop culture as much as any previous stars have. Where fame was something that happened to stars before, Lady Gaga launched a full-on assault on the culture and scrambled her way to the top, planted a designer six-inch heel and raised her flag. More so even than Madonna, she has learned her technique from America itself. As much as sexiness, violence and a sense of unease and even voyeurism saturate her music and her videos.

Tom Ewing at popular music criticism site Pitchfork wrote of Gaga entering her “imperial phase,” a line he took from the Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant. Something about the phrase is so right, as he notes: “It holds a mix of world-conquering swagger and inevitable obsolescence. What do we know about emperors? That they end up naked: The phase always ends.”

Command and self-definition are two of Ewing’s requirements for the pop imperial phase. These are obvious: like any nation’s imperialism, they require not only the ability to get there but having a concept that can be packaged and exported. The U.S. didn’t create an empire by invading each time; we have imposed our idea of America on the world, as often through selling and spreading pop culture as through selling weapons and dropping bombs. Gaga is not only a metaphor for American imperialism, she is part of it.

But the third requirement Ewing lists is the most interesting. He says, “Stars have to get through this barrier — they need a kind of permission to become imperial.” But a few sentences later he notes that Gaga “grabbed this permission,” calling into question his own definition of the word — if it’s something you can grab, after all, what kind of permission is it?

Does it mean, perhaps, that Gaga, or the U.S. had to make themselves palatable, package themselves well so that you want to take them home and love them, even want to be loved by them? The popular YouTube video of the former Stefani Germanotta, before she became Lady Gaga, performing on a piano, her hair long and brown, singing her heart out, still an NYU student, is compelling but ultimately forgettable — making herself blonde and pretty as well as covered in glitter and couture is part of the persona. The package is all-important, the right colors and shine.

The U.S. cannot drop its veneer, its own belief in its benevolence, or the whole charade falls apart. We are perhaps more dangerous now under Obama, with a sheen of multiculturalism, change, democracy, than we were under Bush, who provoked the world’s hatred by not caring what they wanted. He imposed American empire; Obama looks for permission.

marisacat - 27 July 2010

Obama is very strange persona.

Thinking of pop culture and how the war – and more importantly the idea of war itself – has invaded everything, children who were 9 when this all started are now of age to join the military and god knows the so called economy is the utter and complete pits.

brinn - 28 July 2010

For the entirety of son the younger’s life these two wars have been going on….son the elder had 2 years before 9/11…he’s been working on his CO status ever since…and, yeah, I’m documenting it all…he’s only got 6 1/2 years until he’s draft age….

marisacat - 28 July 2010

Evntually they WILL get to a draft, even if it takes 20 years. I see that Rangel, who should have other worries, snicker!, introduced a bill for mandatory 2 year service, not necessarily military, to be compulsory between teh ages fo 18 and 42, FORTY TWO.

Now it is going nowhere fast right now… but it joins the several bills for the draft that appeared after 9/11, one I recall was from Rangel… one from Jackie Spiers, who was a House member at the time. There were several….

brinn - 28 July 2010

Yeah, great “service” — kids like mine will get shipped off to war zones and/or get stuck swabbing toilet or some such, while congresscritters’ kids and those of other connected/wealthy will be able to fulfill their service by drinking cocktails in Aruba…

Fuck them all. Before they are making US provide mandatory service, I’d like to see them provide some sort of worthwhile service for all the $$$ we spend on them year in and year out….

marisacat - 28 July 2010

reminds me… I looked once to see where Romney spent hs year or so of mandatory LDS “mission” work. Snicker.

WESTERN FRANCE, on the coast.

No wilds of So America for him

brinn - 29 July 2010

Yeesh. On the coast of western France….I’ll bet the “natives” just loved his sorry ass…NOT!

marisacat - 29 July 2010

He suffered for his religion…

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 July 2010
ts - 27 July 2010

That’s all the Dems have: right wing crazies taking over. Whose fault is that? Ooga booga!

marisacat - 27 July 2010

it really IS all they have…

and a very unpopular health “care” mess. And somehow, MORE racial confusion than we had. A near impossibility, but Obama got us there…

Madman in the Marketplace - 27 July 2010

of course, the really pathetic thing is they have a hard time BEATING the crazies.

marisacat - 28 July 2010

wellll… I noticed that the Dem woman in the run for the primary for the gubernatorial in FL was biting and dismissive of Biden’s recon trip down there, just recently. And she dissed his speech. Think she might have called it embarrassing (can’t quite remember).

Dems do bad walk ons. It just doesn’t work…

NOW Obby and his white boys have sent operatives to the Gulf. Mostly, ti is clear, they care about (as in need) FL in the win column in 2012. The other 3 states, they never had (voted McCain) so it was obvious from get go: piss off you white rubes.

All that glib talk about being pretzel for all, he ends up pretzel for none, but big biz.

ms_xeno - 28 July 2010

I stand by my dual overhead parasite metaphor. Dionne was in the paper yesterday whining about how Obama won’t stand up to the Right. But why should he? The Democrats NEED these people to help define the otherwise barely indiscernable differences between themselves and the GOP. And vice versa, of course.

Watching these “cultural battles” play out over and over again is like watching pro-wrestling. It’s all for show, and to keep the yobs yelling and spending money. People like Sherrod are just minor, necessary casualties. Who cares what happens to them so long as the tickets keep selling and the idiots down below keep carrying on as if the performance were real life?

brinn - 28 July 2010

Nice, msX…I love a good metaphor!

ms_xeno - 29 July 2010

Glad I could be of help. ;)

Honestly, that shit article I posted a link to here a week back (“GOP = “Confederacy”) was what set me off all over again. I can’t believe that people who I KNOW are intelligent in day-to-day life just let themselves be manipulated by that kind of blatant fearmongering. It makes me crazy.

9. ts - 27 July 2010

The new BP honcho is um, the guy who ran the US oil spill response unit

Stumbletongue Tony makes way for the only organization man less qualified to handle the catastrophe he created. Taken at face value, Dudley’s task was immediate and thorough remediation of the disaster. He’s consistently made things worse instead. So of course he’s a candidate for CEO. Where else could he go? It’s too soon for him to run for the Senate.

Always remember, it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

marisacat - 27 July 2010

I figure he will be out in a while. Not too many years as CEO. He never seemed to wake up, and all they have, really, is selling that he’s “from” Hattiesboro, Gulfport AND Biloxi.

Whoop de doo.

ts - 28 July 2010

Maybe he’s from there, but I’m sure he doesn’t hang out with the little people.

marisacat - 28 July 2010

yeah I doubt he does… but they sell it…

10. marisacat - 28 July 2010

Gah

From UK Telegraph:

A crew was scrambled from the Deepwater Horizon clean-up operation after the collision sent a plume of oil and gas 100ft into the air.

The spill in Barataria Bay, which is surrounded by wildlife-rich wetlands, is at least the third leak since in the area since the BP oil catastrophe began on April 10.

The abandoned wellhead burst in the early hours of Tuesday morning after being hit by a tug boat that was pushing a dredge barge.

About 6,000 feet of boom was placed around the spill, and the Coast Guard was surveying the scene from a helicopter.

Admiral Thad Allen, the US Coast Guard chief, said the oil platform was surrounded by a sheen and a vapour that was probably a combination of oil and gas spewing from the well. ….snip……

11. marisacat - 28 July 2010

hmm just noticed this at a blog on French politics that I read:

Quilès Calls for French Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Paul Quilès, who was defense minister under Mitterrand in 1985-86, has called for France to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan on the grounds that it is no longer an anti-terrorist war but an anti-nationalist war that cannot succeed.

While I’d question that it was EVER anti-terrist… this is at least headed in the right direction.

12. Madman in the Marketplace - 28 July 2010

Are the American people obsolete?

In contrast, many of the highest-paid individuals on Wall Street have grown rich through activities that have little or no connection with the American economy. They can flourish even if the U.S. declines, as long as they can tap into growth in other regions of the world.

Thanks to deindustrialization, which is caused both by productivity growth and by corporate offshoring, the overwhelming majority of Americans now work in the non-traded domestic service sector. The jobs that have the greatest growth in numbers are concentrated in sectors like medical care and childcare.

Even here, the rich have options other than hiring American citizens. Wealthy liberals and wealthy conservatives agree on one thing: the need for more unskilled immigration to the U.S. This is hardly surprising, as the rich are far more dependent on immigrant servants than middle-class and working-class Americans are.

The late Patricia Buckley, the socialite wife of the late William F. Buckley Jr., once told me, “One simply can’t live in Manhattan without at least three servants — a cook and at least two maids.” She had a British cook and Spanish-speaking maids. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently revealed the plutocratic perspective on immigration when he defended illegal immigration by asking, “Who takes care of the greens and the fairways in your golf course?”

The point is that, just as much of America’s elite is willing to shut down every factory in the country if it is possible to open cheaper factories in countries like China, so much of the American ruling class would prefer not to hire their fellow Americans, even for jobs done on American soil, if less expensive and more deferential foreign nationals with fewer legal rights can be imported. Small wonder that proposals for “guest worker” programs are so popular in the U.S. establishment. Foreign “guest workers” laboring on American soil like H1Bs and H2Bs — those with non-immigrant visas allowing technical or non-agriculture seasonal workers to be employed in the U.S. — are latter-day coolies who do not have the right to vote.

If much of America’s investor class no longer needs Americans either as workers or consumers, elite Americans might still depend on ordinary Americans to protect them, by serving in the military or police forces. Increasingly, however, America’s professional army is being supplemented by contractors — that is, mercenaries. And the elite press periodically publishes proposals to sell citizenship to foreigners who serve as soldiers in an American Foreign Legion. It is probably only a matter of time before some earnest pundit proposes to replace American police officers with foreign guest-worker mercenaries as well.

Offshoring and immigration, then, are severing the link between the fate of most Americans and the fate of the American rich.

marisacat - 28 July 2010

and the American rich may not even bother to live here…

13. BooHooHooMan - 28 July 2010

! Before it’s too Late!

Sen. Franken: Stop the corporate takeover of the media
by Joan McCarter
Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 09:30:05 PM PDT

At Netroots Nation Saturday night, Sen. Al Franken devoted his keynote address, the final one of the convention,
{So Historic! }
to the issue that is the single most critical one for the netroots:
{Ending the War? Jobs? Healthcare? Closing Gitmo?}
{ What are you ? ~ A PALIN supporter? -bhhm}

….the corporate takeover of free speech and preserving net neutrality.

And How’s that vote workin out for ya?…

FBI could get easier access to Internet data

Obama administration wants to add “electronic communication transactional records” to list of items FBI may demand without judge’s approval.

BooHooHooMan - 28 July 2010

Can it get any easier for for Police Powers than under Bush?
Why yes, yes it IS. Thanks Barry! Thanks Dems! NOT

14. lucid - 29 July 2010

Should anyone be interested in sweet dreams.

From a show I did in March…

15. marisacat - 29 July 2010

Gah… New:

LINK

…………………….. 8)


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