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Glitter 25 December 2011

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, la vie en rose.
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Check out the fish crafted from rhinestones and gems in the Aquarium window. A Christmas window from Barney’s NYC | Meredith Galante/Business Insider

Fish?  well, kind of a fish with some centipedal action and big, lobster-like claws at the front…

;)

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1. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2011
Lucid - 25 December 2011

Didn’t you know Christmas is about enforcing property rights?

marisacat - 25 December 2011

omigod, the thread is confusing.

2. marisacat - 25 December 2011

That is the problem, all sorts of things are considered acts of terror under PATRIOT, the first iirc charged and prosecuted were environmental activists….

so….

[T]he detention bill mandates – don’t glide too easily past that word – that all accused terrorists be indefinitely imprisoned by the military rather than in the civilian court system; this includes US citizens within the borders of the United States.

Obama supporters [very dangerous people, imo, Slob supporters - Mcat] have made strenuous efforts to suggest that US citizens are excluded from the bill’s provisions. Not so.

“It is not unfair to make an American citizen account for the fact that they decided to help Al Qaeda to kill us all and hold them as long as it takes to find intelligence about what may be coming next,” says Senator Lindsay Graham, a big backer of the bill. “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.’”

The bill’s co-sponsor, Democratic senator, cosponsor of the bill, Carl Levin says it was the White House itself that demanded that the infamous Section 1031 apply to American citizens.

Anyone familiar with this sort of “emergency” legislation knows that those drafting the statutes like to cast as wide a net as possible. In this instance the detention bill authorizes use of military force against anyone who “substantially supports” al-Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces”. Of course “associated forces” can mean anything. The bill’s language mentions “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or who has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”
 
This is exactly the sort of language that can be bent at will by any prosecutor. Protest too vigorously the assassination of US citizen Anwar al Awlaki by American forces in Yemen in October and one day it’s not fanciful to expect the thud of the military jackboot on your front step, or on that of any anti-war organizer, or any journalist whom some zealous military intelligence officer deems to be giving objective support to the forces of Evil and Darkness. . . . .

So blessed, we are.

marisacat - 25 December 2011

And a bit more:

[S]uppose now we take the new powers of the military in domestic law enforcement, as defined in the detention act, and anticipate the inevitable, that the military delegates these powers to private military contractors. CACI International or a company owned by, say Goldman Sachs, could enjoy delegated powers to arrest any US citizen here within the borders of the USA, “who has committed a belligerent act or who has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces,” torture them to death and then claim “battlefield preemption”.

Don’t laugh. …..

So Bonne Annee? Might as well scream.

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2011

Raise Taxes on Rich to Reward True Job Creators: Nick Hanauer

When businesspeople take credit for creating jobs, it is like squirrels taking credit for creating evolution. In fact, it’s the other way around.

It is unquestionably true that without entrepreneurs and investors, you can’t have a dynamic and growing capitalist economy. But it’s equally true that without consumers, you can’t have entrepreneurs and investors. And the more we have happy customers with lots of disposable income, the better our businesses will do.

That’s why our current policies are so upside down. When the American middle class defends a tax system in which the lion’s share of benefits accrues to the richest, all in the name of job creation, all that happens is that the rich get richer.

And that’s what has been happening in the U.S. for the last 30 years.

Since 1980, the share of the nation’s income for fat cats like me in the top 0.1 percent has increased a shocking 400 percent, while the share for the bottom 50 percent of Americans has declined 33 percent. At the same time, effective tax rates on the superwealthy fell to 16.6 percent in 2007, from 42 percent at the peak of U.S. productivity in the early 1960s, and about 30 percent during the expansion of the 1990s. In my case, that means that this year, I paid an 11 percent rate on an eight-figure income.

One reason this policy is so wrong-headed is that there can never be enough superrich Americans to power a great economy. The annual earnings of people like me are hundreds, if not thousands, of times greater than those of the average American, but we don’t buy hundreds or thousands of times more stuff. My family owns three cars, not 3,000. I buy a few pairs of pants and a few shirts a year, just like most American men. Like everyone else, I go out to eat with friends and family only occasionally.

It’s true that we do spend a lot more than the average family. Yet the one truly expensive line item in our budget is our airplane (which, by the way, was manufactured in France by Dassault Aviation SA), and those annual costs are mostly for fuel (from the Middle East). It’s just crazy to believe that any of this is more beneficial to our economy than hiring more teachers or police officers or investing in our infrastructure.

More Shoppers Needed

I can’t buy enough of anything to make up for the fact that millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans can’t buy any new clothes or enjoy any meals out. Or to make up for the decreasing consumption of the tens of millions of middle-class families that are barely squeaking by, buried by spiraling costs and trapped by stagnant or declining wages.

If the average American family still got the same share of income they earned in 1980, they would have an astounding $13,000 more in their pockets a year. It’s worth pausing to consider what our economy would be like today if middle-class consumers had that additional income to spend.

It is mathematically impossible to invest enough in our economy and our country to sustain the middle class (our customers) without taxing the top 1 percent at reasonable levels again. Shifting the burden from the 99 percent to the 1 percent is the surest and best way to get our consumer-based economy rolling again.

Significant tax increases on the about $1.5 trillion in collective income of those of us in the top 1 percent could create hundreds of billions of dollars to invest in our economy, rather than letting it pile up in a few bank accounts like a huge clot in our nation’s economic circulatory system.

Consider, for example, that a puny 3 percent surtax on incomes above $1 million would be enough to maintain and expand the current payroll tax cut beyond December, preventing a $1,000 increase on the average worker’s taxes at the worst possible time for the economy. With a few more pennies on the dollar, we could invest in rebuilding schools and infrastructure. And even if we imposed a millionaires’ surtax and rolled back the Bush- era tax cuts for those at the top, the taxes on the richest Americans would still be historically low, and their incomes would still be astronomically high.

We’ve had it backward for the last 30 years. Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Middle-class consumers do, and when they thrive, U.S. businesses grow and profit. That’s why taxing the rich to pay for investments that benefit all is a great deal for both the middle class and the rich.

marisacat - 25 December 2011

I don’t know why more people don’t understand this… the wealthy and super wealthy can roll in clover, but it won’t fuel an economy… because it can’t

I can’t buy enough of anything to make up for the fact that millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans can’t buy any new clothes or enjoy any meals out. Or to make up for the decreasing consumption of the tens of millions of middle-class families that are barely squeaking by, buried by spiraling costs and trapped by stagnant or declining wages.

Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2011

never has, never will

marisacat - 25 December 2011

It was pretty clear now for a couple of weeks, and esp right before Xmas, that retailers were desperate to dump merch. Deep cuts and get people back in the stores.

ms_xeno - 26 December 2011

I bought some groceries on 12/24!

Oh, and some cheap champagne, and a hoagie sandwich!

[waves flag]

marisacat - 26 December 2011

Signs of Life!!

ms_xeno - 26 December 2011

I’m still waiting for my Xmas card from the White House, though.

Maybe the First Family doesn’t dig hoagies. :/

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2011

Fancy Old Man In Bejeweled Golden Hat Warns of ‘Christmas Glitter’

A creepy old priest-king clad in Prada slippers, flowing robes of silken embroidery and an enormous bejeweled golden hat warned Christians that the true meaning of Christmas was being lost to a sinful pursuit of “glitter.”

The man, former Hitler Youth soldier Joseph Ratzinger of Bavaria, has somehow become the leader of the Roman church supposedly established by Peter, the confidant of Jesus. (It is the birth of Jesus that is celebrated today, on the old Julian calendar’s December 25 — Winter Solstice/Mithra’s Birthdate — and now known as Christmas!) Anyway, the wealthy, powerful old man in the jeweled golden hat lectured Catholics dressed in holiday finery during a spectacular Christmas Eve mass to “see through the superficial glitter of this season and to discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem.”

marisacat - 25 December 2011

Oh cuz he is so pared down and non – glitterised?

Madman in the Marketplace - 25 December 2011

it’s important that his sackcloth be FABULOUS!

BooHooHooMan - 26 December 2011

LOL. Yeh.
From the guy who made Elvis and Liberace look like ascetics.
I just laughed my ass off when I saw that..
Jeezus German-Rhinestone-Irony~Challenged Christ.
Just the guy you need when confronted by Nihilists in the parking lot. :wink: :lol:

marisacat - 26 December 2011

Hole-y Father.

ms_xeno - 26 December 2011

There’s an unavoidable parallel between this shit and the article about secular rich folk above. In both scenarios, the unwashed are expected to be “fed” by an opportunity to observe the pomp and glitter of a party to which they are never invited, except as servants.

I notice this a lot from even “Progressive” religious folk. They freely admit they love the ceremonies and the more ostentatious they are, the better. Then you see how they treat class issues in day to day life and how they love the vicarious “winners’ circle” held by Obama, Biden, et al even as it’s fucking killing them/us, and suddenly it all falls together.

5. marisacat - 26 December 2011

Well… if not glitter then gloss apparently. CBS national news had a tedious non sensical segment with Calvin Butts of Abyssinian Foo Fooo up in Harlem. (Just one more corporate entity, imo)

Looked like lip gloss to me.

Lovely. Thank you. So perfect.

6. marisacat - 27 December 2011

A moment of silence! Please. Davey II is down – in Afghanistan. Or so Iran reports. (Boy they are laughing.)

Afghanistan reports crashed drone, and Interfax now too.

Via Robert Johnson at Business Insider.

PressTV reports that Afghan officials claim the drone crashed in Afghanistan’s southeastern province of Paktia.

The news agency also says a statement released by NATO forces Tuesday confirmed the crash, but is calling it an “emergency landing due to technical malfunction.” . . . .

I think our last transmission from Planet USA!!! USA!!! is going to be:

Apologies for the delay due to technical malfunction. We will be back on the air shortly.

Madman in the Marketplace - 27 December 2011

Davey 2 – Electric Boogaloo!

maybe his distant pilot was overcome with stress, remorse and battle fatigue and dropped the controller.

marisacat - 27 December 2011

Maybe Iran can start a Drone Foundling Society. To collect and better the lives of downed drones.

The thing is ripe for jokes.

7. ts - 27 December 2011

SMBIVA today.

I particularly love the deeply conservative, even Blimpish, barbarians-at-the gates metaphor. The barbarians are not at the gates. The barbarians run the city. Every Senator is a barbarian, every Praetorian is a barbarian, every proconsul and curule aedile and prothonotary is a barbarian. It’s barbarians all the way down. Even before the barbarians won, the anti-barbarians were barbarians themselves.

Naiman understandably wants to prevent the more barbarous barbarians from taking over. But he seems to overlook the fact that the less barbarous barbarians are getting more barbarous every day, half a pace or so behind the barbarissimi.

It’s a kind of freeze-frame view of the world. The Naimans are like the opposite of T. Rex — they can’t see motion.

marisacat - 27 December 2011

oh thanks for that, I ran over and read it. I don’t, as it happens, know who Robert Naiman is, but again, imo the Democrats are scraping bottom.

Where do they get this dumb ignorant uninformed pretty much ILLITERATE idea that Slob is some peacenik? Busllshite, by the tonne.

BTW, here is the link …

http://stopmebeforeivoteagain.org/2011/12/dice_schmice.html

Madman in the Marketplace - 27 December 2011

a person I know started in on the “radical liberal” crap w/ O’Nixon today, and i snapped, “please, he’s to the right of Nixon.”

He said, “well, at least we can agree he’s incompetent and not up to the job?”

“oh, no argument there,” says me.

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 27 December 2011

Wall Street has destroyed the wonder that was America

Well, it never has been a “wonder”, but some predictions I can root for:

But now, I think, the game is at long last over.

As 2011 slithers to its end, none of the major problems that led to the crisis point three years ago have really been solved. Bank balance sheets still reek. Europe day by day becomes a financial black hole, with matter from the periphery being sucked toward the center until the vortex itself collapses. The Street and its ministries of propaganda have fallen back on a Big Lie as old as capitalism itself: that all that has gone wrong has been government’s fault. This time, however, I don’t think the argument that “Washington ate my homework” is going to work. This time, a firestorm is going to explode about the Street’s head—and about time, too.

It’s funny; the Big Lie has a long pedigree. A year or so ago, I was leafing through Ron Chernow’s indispensable history of the Morgan financial interests, and found this interesting exchange between FDR and Russell Leffingwell, a Morgan partner and Washington fixer, a sort of Robert Strauss of his day. It dates from the summer of 1932, with FDR not yet in office:

“You and I know,” wrote Leffingwell, “that we cannot cure the present deflation and depression by punishing the villains, real or imaginary, of the first post war decade, and that when it comes down to the day of reckoning nobody gets very far with all this prohibition and regulation stuff.” To which FDR replied: “I wish we could get from the bankers themselves an admission that in the 1927 to 1929 period there were grave abuses and that the bankers themselves now support wholeheartedly methods to prevent recurrence thereof. Can’t bankers see their own advantage in such a course?” And then Leffingwell again: “The bankers were not in fact responsible for 1927–29 and the politicians were. Why then should the bankers make a false confession?”

This time, I fear, the public anger will not be deflected. Confessions, not false, will be exacted. Occupy Wall Street has set the snowball rolling; you may not think much of OWS—I have my own reservations, although none are philosophical or moral—but it has made America aware of a sinister, usurious process by which wealth has systematically been funneled into fewer and fewer hands. A process in which Washington played a useful supporting role, but no more than that.

Over the next year, I expect the “what” will give way to the “how” in the broad electorate’s comprehension of the financial situation. The 99 percent must learn to differentiate the bloodsuckers and rent-extractors from those in the 1 percent who make the world a better, more just place to live. Once people realize how Wall Street made its pile, understand how financiers get rich, what it is that they actually do, the time will become ripe for someone to gather the spreading ripples of anger and perplexity into a focused tsunami of retribution. To make the bastards pay, properly, for the grief and woe they have caused. Perhaps not to the extent proposed by H. L. Mencken, who wrote that when a bank fails, the first order of business should be to hang its board of directors, but in a manner in which the pain is proportionate to the collateral damage. Possibly an excess-profits tax retroactive to 2007, or some form of “Tobin tax” on transactions, or a wealth tax. The era of money for nothing will be over.

But it won’t just end with taxes. When the great day comes, Wall Street will pray for another Pecora, because compared with the rough beast now beginning to strain at the leash, Pecora will look like Phil Gramm. Humiliation and ridicule, even financial penalties, will be the least of the Street’s tribulations. There will be prosecutions and show trials. There will be violence, mark my words. Houses burnt, property defaced. I just hope that this time the mob targets the right people in Wall Street and in Washington. (How does a right-thinking Christian go about asking Santa for Mitch McConnell’s head under the Christmas tree?) There will be kleptocrats who threaten to take themselves elsewhere if their demands on jurisdictions and tax breaks aren’t met, and I say let ’em go!

At the end of the day, the convulsion to come won’t really be about Wall Street’s derivatives malefactions, or its subprime fun and games, or rogue trading, or the folly of banks. It will be about this society’s final opportunity to rip away the paralyzing shackles of corruption or else dwell forever in a neofeudal social order. You might say that 1384 has replaced 1984 as our worst-case scenario. I have lived what now, at 75, is starting to feel like a long life. If anyone asks me what has been the great American story of my lifetime, I have a ready answer. It is the corruption, money-based, that has settled like some all-enveloping excremental mist on the landscape of our hopes, that has permeated every nook of any institution or being that has real influence on the way we live now. Sixty years ago, if you had asked me, on the basis of all that I had been taught, whether I thought this condition of general rot was possible in this country, I would have told you that you were nuts. And I would have been very wrong. What has happened in this country has made a lie of my boyhood.

There should be more to America, Gore Vidal has written, than who pays tax to whom. It has been in Wall Street’s interest to shrivel our sensibilities as a nation, to shove aside the verities of which General MacArthur spoke at West Point—duty, honor, country—in favor of grubby schemes and scams and “carried interest” calculations. Time, I think, to take the country back.

marisacat - 27 December 2011

Need more than Mitch McConnell’s head on a pike – or under the xmas tree.

Need both clintons for starters. Gore too, that fake. La Nana…. Reid. The list is long. All the financiers – a long list – who traipsed thru the WH kissing supposedly male pretzels, full on the lips with tongue action.

AND: It doesn’t sound like there will be safe fishing anywhere, not anytime in my lifetime or beyond, near the blow from the Macondo stake in the Gulf either. Eat it at your own peril. A bi-partisan destruction across several years. What katrina and Bush did to the Gulf, Slob and BP finished.

Madman in the Marketplace - 27 December 2011

but BP’s gulf tourism ads insist everything is peachy keen!

marisacat - 27 December 2011

yes, over and over and over and over. A new one started here just today

9. marisacat - 28 December 2011

Neue

LINK

……………. 8)


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