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A walk on High Street……. 17 June 2008

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, UK.

A pair of swans take their cygnets for a walk down the high street in Perranporth, Cornwall [Picture: SWNS, UK Telegraph, Week in Pictures]

I wonder if they sense they are the property of the Queen. Lately, somehow or other – not even sure why, I feel very much the property of the United States Government. Not a great feeling.

Although wilfred had emailed a warning, I still dropped in on Charlie Rose last night, all three Emanuel brothers were there.  Rahm, Ari and Zeke.  Every other damned word out of their mouths was … yup, you got it:   CHANGE.  They did manage a couple of funny family stories – one about a big family fight, the kids were on the sidelines, it was ’68 and their mother and grandfather were fighting over “Wallace”.  HENRY Wallace, still fighting over it.  That gave me a laugh.

But the roundtable was clearly to jolly the Democrats out there, in the dark, along.  Happy Jewish Chicago family, summers in israel.  What’s not to love.  I ask you.  Plus, you know, CHANGE.

Then up came Lance Armstrong.  Damn if he did not do it again.  Change.  Change.  Change.

Oh shove your fucking change adware.



1. Arcturus - 17 June 2008

It is a telling sign of how hated the mercenaries are that a recent malarial infection that spread throughout Fallujah was named ‘Blackwater’ by residents.



Some may see it as a foregone conclusion that if Barack Obama wins in November, Blackwater’s days on the federal payroll would be numbered. Obama has labeled it “unaccountable” and a danger to U.S. troops in Iraq. (By comparison, John McCain’s top strategist, Charlie Black, has worked for Blackwater.)
But it is far more complicated than that. Obama may want to draw down U.S. troops in Iraq, for instance, but “diplomatic security” is where Blackwater’s bread is lathered with golden butter. Obama has pledged to increase diplomatic activity in Iraq and to keep in place the Green Zone and the monstrous U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Despite his criticism, Obama may have no choice but to use these private forces. His top advisors have painfully acknowledged Obama “cannot rule [it] out.”

Consider the numbers: At present, Blackwater has about two-thirds as many operatives in Baghdad as the U.S. State Department has diplomatic security agents in the entire world, including Iraq. Although Obama has said he wants diplomatic security to be done by U.S. government employees, accountable under U.S. law, the State Department estimates that it could take years to recruit, vet and train a force to take over Blackwater’s work.

In addition, Obama’s rhetoric on Latin America strikes familiar “drug war” chords, which bodes well for Blackwater, and he plans to send 7,000 more troops to Afghanistan, where the company is already firmly entrenched.

have you seen dePalma’s Redacted? we just got around to watching the interviews w/ Iraqi refugees (who he uses in the film) in Jordan that are ‘extras’ on the dvd – if anything, rougher watching than even the film, which despite a few unresolved still-being tossed-about doubts about the mock-doc form it employs, gets a high rec here

2. marisacat - 17 June 2008

People are not listening to Obama’s words … if they think that he will halt the use of paramilitaries, contract war zone workers. Scahill made mincemeat of Obama’s chienne de guerre, Samantha P, over war issues.

What is the big deal with malaria in Fallujah. Bono can send left over netting. Wear a rubber bracelet for malaria.. etc. Feel good. And so on.

No I have not seen Redacted, only read of it and the making of it.

3. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008

Police pretend students killed to teach dangers of drunk driving

A uniformed police officer went to 20 classrooms El Camino High School in California on Monday and announced to students that several of their classmates had been killed over the weekend in alcohol-related car accidents.

He was lying, and he and the school continued to lie about it for two hours to the grief-stricken students. Why? To teach the kids an important lesson about the dangers of drunk driving.

This country is run by cruel scolds.

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008

GWB interviewed on Sky News:

BOULTON: I mean, you’ve talked a lot about freedom. I’ve heard you talk about freedom — I think every time I’ve seen you.


BOULTON: And yet there are those who would say, look, let’s take Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib and rendition and all those things, and to them that is the, you know, the complete opposite of freedom.

THE PRESIDENT: Of course if you want to slander America, you can look at it one way. But you go down — what you need to do — I think I suggested you do this at a press conference — if you go down to Guantanamo and take a look at how these prisoners are treated — and they’re working it through our court systems. We are a land of law.

BOULTON: But the Supreme Court have just said that — you know, ruled against what you’ve been doing down there.

THE PRESIDENT: But the district court didn’t. And the appellate court didn’t.

BOULTON: The Supreme Court is supreme, isn’t it?

THE PRESIDENT: It is, and I accept their verdict. I don’t agree with their verdict. And it’s not what I was doing down there. This was a law passed by our United States Congress that I worked with the Congress to get passed and sign into law.

BOULTON: But it looked like an attempt to bypass the Constitution, to a certain extent.

THE PRESIDENT: This was a law passed, Adam. We passed a law. Bypassing the Constitution means that we did something outside the bounds of the Constitution. We went to the Congress and got a piece of legislation passed.

Jeebus, words fail …

BOULTON: Which is now being struck down, I think.

THE PRESIDENT: It is, and I accept what the Supreme Court did, and I necessarily don’t have to agree with it.

My only point to you is, is that yes, I mean, we certainly wish Abu Ghraib hadn’t happened, but that should not reflect America. This was the actions of some soldiers. That doesn’t show the heart and soul of America. What shows the heart and soul of America is the sacrifice of our troops willing to defend our country and liberate 50 million people, or the generosity of America when it comes to providing money for HIV/AIDS in Africa, or the fact that America feeds more of the hungry in the world than any other country. That’s the true America.

Sadly, this fucker isn’t an aberation for this country, he IS what a sizable number of us are. I don’t know how the interviewer didn’t laugh in his face.

5. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008

I support gay marriage not because it’s a human right (whatever the fuck that means … human rights are created by human beings saying they exist, that’s all), but because if you’re going to have a legal system with a built-in contractual arrangement with certain benefits, then ANY pair/group of adults willing to sign that same contract should get the same rights (and yes, that includes polyamorists of all stripes). Anyway, I know that legal systems are useful illusions, so if a society is going to have a mass halucination, they should at least be consistent and fair about it.

IOZ begs to differ in his usual interesting way:

Well, the gays, or some of the gays, are clamoring for nuptials. Among more radical queer types, you will mostly hear derision; marriage is an inherently sexist, homophobic, gendered institution–a tool of the patriarchy and the forces of economic hegemony–a mechanism for social control–an anachronism–a farce. I’m largely in agreement with that position, but, sorry my fellow faggotarians, our thoughts on this matter are irrelevant to the mess of gays who took from the civil rights movement the lesson that equality proceeds from inclusion, and who therefore see their own struggle ending naturally with state-approved nuptials and inclusion in the state-run military. It would be understatement to say that this struggle rests on some shaky assumptions, and its self-identification with the civil rights movement represents a–you’ll pardon the expression–whitewashing of that epoch. Cue Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and some very inspirational music. The truth is that the civil rights era was a fraught and riven one, and for all the Satyagraha in the world, there were plenty of loud, prominent blacks who looked at the shit and decided that the shit was fucked: why would they want to wallow in a lot of fucked-up shit? The currents of black nationalisms and separatisms are largely lost in our Tiger-Woods-Barack-Obama post-racial whathaveyou, and certainly no one wants to talk about the fact that Dr. King himself grew increasingly pessimistic about any hope of racial reconciliation in America, and turned his eye increasingly on the wider mechanics of the empire, which he saw driving and fostering racism, and it was then, when he began talking about empire–not before–that he was shot.

In my mind, the question of the value of inclusion remains an open one. Does it really bring about equality? More pretinently: in what endeavor, in what society would such equality come about, if it does come about? Here, I think, the answer is very unflattering. By and large, gays believe that the highest measures of fairness and equity are the rights to be contractually joined by your government and the right to kill for your government in its armed forces. Along with the right to buy and own or otherwise acquire have children, no other seems comparable, especially as it becomes more and more difficult to fire someone for his or her sexuality, even pretextually.

My cosexualists, in other words, largely look at straight, imperial America and say, “Yeah, I want some of that. You guys are doing just fine.” All the caveats in the world don’t alter that base reality.

6. marisacat - 17 June 2008

well I am nto going to roll over and present my stomach to be tickled, not taken in, but I bet the Bushiters, Neocons and all hard core pro war “islamofascists are running amok” 9/11 loons would like to shoot Justice Kennedy.

7. marisacat - 17 June 2008


big big trouble over that… been brewing for days. at first the school defended the action but very quickly they were unavailable to comment…


8. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008

I imagine Kennedy isn’t going to be invited to many DC parties for a while.

Found this interesting link: MTV audio blog about impeachment. It’s actually pretty good, some clips of interviews w/ Vets for Peace and Democrats dot com.

9. marisacat - 17 June 2008

well I understand where IOZ is coming from, and he has mentioned this before…

But he also has some very strong classic libertarian NO GOVERNMENT – as in NONE – political opinions. I just say, share the fucking benefits (which of course are federal, really). Til they are taken away. And since no one, on the end of a pycheck can avoid taxes… share the benefits.


It was always going to be a conservative finding, which I think the court said, they found for the foundation of family. Nothing too radical there…

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008

Cynthia McKinney’s Call to Action
in Support of Dennis Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment Against Bush

She is far too complimentary of the whole Obama thing, but otherwise …

With great satisfaction I learned of the courageous action taken by Congressman Dennis Kucinich on Monday, June 9th. On that day, on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, he rose to introduce House Resolution 1258, containing 35 Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush. The litany of documented High Crimes and constitutional abuses by the Bush administration took over five hours to recite.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank and commend Rep. Kucinich for his courage and tenacity, for the comprehensiveness of his research, and for the leadership he exhibited to press forward the democratic demands of the People for accountability and justice.

Under House Rule 9, which Rep. Kucinich invoked in introducing H.Res. 1258–“a question of the privileges of the House”– the full House of Representatives was compelled within 48 hours to bring the matter to a vote. Consequently, two days later, on Wednesday, June 11th, our Congressional Representatives voted overwhelmingly (by a 251-166 margin) to refer the matter to the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Congressman John Conyers.

Kucinich’s Articles of Impeachment effectively lay out the case against a lawless, degenerate regime that places corporate power and profits above the good and welfare of the U.S. Citizenry. In great detail they show that Bush & Co.:

* manufactured a fraudulent case for the Iraq war, lying to Congress and the American People;

* invaded Iraq illegally for the purpose of occupying a sovereign nation indefinitely and expropriating its public oil reserves and other natural resources for their billionaire cronies of corporate America;

* negligently failed to provide protective gear to our troops;

* outsourced the functions of the U.S. military and created a no-bid, private-contractor mercenary force which killed Iraqis with impunity and looted the treasuries of both the Iraqi and U.S. governments;

* tore up the United Nations Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and other binding international treaties to which the U.S. is signatory;

* retaliated against government whistleblowers attempting to shine a light on corruption, malfeasance and unconstitutional abuse of power;

* began illegal detentions without trial or access to counsel of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals alike;

* countenanced kidnapping and torture;

* created secret laws;

* unconstitutionally spied on American citizens without a court order;

and the list goes on and on.

Each fact exhibited in Rep. Kucinich’s 35 Articles of Impeachment is true beyond dispute, and each by itself is sufficient to demonstrate the need to remove this criminal President and his gang of thugs from the Executive Branch–not least of all because most if not all of the crimes are still ongoing.

But, as a Black woman from the South familiar with the struggle against discrimination and racism, I am moved most profoundly, in particular, by three of the Articles of Impeachment that I think serve to point out the real sickness of this regime — the fact that for Blacks, for Latinos, for Native Americans, for all peoples of color, and for much of the white working
class, democracy has never really existed in the United States, and that today the limited gains in the direction of “a more perfect Union” that were won in struggle two generations ago are now being reversed through the deliberate, illegal policies of the gang that has taken over the government. I’m referring to:

* Article 28–Tampering with Free and Fair Elections, Corruption of the Administration of Justice;

* Article 29–Conspiracy to Violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965; and

* Article 31–Katrina: Failure to Plan for the Predicted Disaster of Hurricane Katrina, Failure to Respond to a Civil Emergency.

Therefore, I am hereby putting out an urgent call to all the progressive forces throughout this country–including first and foremost the democratic forces of the Black community, together with my supporters in the Green Party, organizers of the Reconstruction Party, and most especially Katrina survivors–to mobilize specifically around these three Articles.

I propose that all these social movements immediately combine in their local Congressional districts to organize street demonstrations, send delegations to their Congress members, and take any and all other steps necessary, including the formation of ad hoc action committees, to publicize Articles 28, 29 and 31 and convince their representatives to co-sponsor H.Res. 1258. Time is of the essence, brothers and sisters; it’s necessary that we all swing into motion now.

Such efforts must especially focus on our Black members of Congress. Most important, activists in districts represented by the Black members of the House Judiciary Committee must most energetically target their representatives: Chairman John Conyers of Detroit; Bobby Scott of Richmond, Virginia; Mel Watt of Western North Carolina; Sheila Jackson-Lee of Houston; Maxine Waters of Los Angeles; my own distinguished successor in office, Hank Johnson of Atlanta; Luis Gutirrez of Chicago; Artur Davis of Black-Belt Alabama; and Keith Ellison of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

In the coming days and weeks, I will be announcing some concrete steps I intend to take to assist in the development of the mass movement it will take to ensure that accountability and justice are imposed upon the lawless Bush gang. Immediately, I am instructing my campaign staff to assist by setting up internet resources through my campaign website, RunCynthiaRun.org, that will be useful to local activists in conducting their organizing.

We have seen in this very election cycle how the mobilized masses, with Black America as their indispensable animating force, can “flip the script” on the Powers That Be. The time is now for us to do it again.

Keep the faith, my beautiful, powerful People!

11. Arcturus - 17 June 2008

geez, that’s not hard – if police are allowed to lie in order to SOLVE crime, why shouldn’t they be allowed to lie to PREVENT crime -save lives!!! – in this, our pre-empptive age? statistics alone say there are future offenders in that audience . . .

12. marisacat - 17 June 2008

arrest them now. only way to be safe.

Must be safe. Must be safe.

Brazil the movies flashes before me… LOL

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008

There is an interesting Frontline on tonight: Young & Restless in China.

I’m only 15 minutes in, but so far it’s very engaging. The pace of change in their lives is stunning. Especially interesting is the snippets of Chinese music: rap and punk and jazz and pop, all filtered thru the Chinese experience.

14. Arcturus - 17 June 2008

totally missed that one – had to look it up – sounds like one for the List

15. marisacat - 17 June 2008

the woman who made the documentary for Frontline was on Charlie Rose this week (or last week I guess)… it sounds wonderful. She showed two segemnts a China national, but educated in the US who is opening the first internet cafe in Beijing. Huge, with 300 outlets.

But the winner was a great young Chinese, who grew up hard in a tough little town (she just called it “nasty”)… and is into rap. He was fabulous. Amazing.

And the woman who made it is interesting too. she has made several documentaries on and in China… and is a third generation Westerner living for years in China…

16. wilfred - 17 June 2008

Watching the Frontline too, it’s very good.

By the way, you have a stronger stomach than I do Marisa, just couldn’t deal with those Emmanuel brothers (although i’ve never seen the doctor before, maybe he’s the tolerable one).

17. ms_xeno - 17 June 2008

I support same-sex marriage because same-sex Americans pay taxes, and that means they’re entitled to the same perks I get. If they can’t marry, they are not full-fledged citizens. Pretty straightforward.

I also support same-sex marriage because in a country where there’s little if any left in the way of a fucking safety net, people have to do whatever they can to save their own asses from getting ground up by the market. What the hell ? I married so I could keep my damn health insurance. I’m not going to look down my nose at somebody else who wants to marry because it’s they’re only way they’re going to get or keep insurance. And I’m sure as fuck not going to squander valuable time and energy to STOP them from marrying.


18. ms_xeno - 17 June 2008

Sorry for the typos. [blush]

Kucinich ought to just defect to the Greens and campaign for McKinney. All right, he won’t, but it would be worth it just to see Kos have a collective stroke, live and in full color. :p

19. Arcturus - 17 June 2008

here’s another of those gum’mint by lawsuit types (which has to be the most ignorant put-down I’ve heard in years from a well-educated liberal) in action:

WASHINGTON — The New York Federal Reserve’s closed-door rule making with top players in the massive $60 trillion credit default swaps market came under legal fire on Sunday, as a fair finance activist filed a complaint questioning why it was done in the dark.

“The Federal Reserve seems to think it can engage in rule making in secret only with the industry,” said Matthew Lee, executive director of the New York-based non-profit group Inner City Press/Community on the Move.

Lee filed the administrative complaint on Sunday with both the New York Fed and the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. In the complaint, he demanded that the central bankers explain why the meetings this month were private and requested copies of all communications and details about the New York Fed-sponsored talks.
. . .
Lee, referring to the Fed-led rescue of investment bank Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase & Co, said, “It was one thing to bail out Bear Stearns without any comments from the public. Now the Fed is trying to bail out or benefit 17 of the largest financial institutions behind closed doors.”

Citing the federal Administrative Procedures Act, he said it was illegal to have conducted the meetings.

“We aim to stop it,” said Lee, a fair finance and housing activist whose group has been instrumental in shaping how the Federal Reserve approves bank mergers for more than a decade.

Also present at the meetings were representatives from derivatives and securities industry trade groups who were directed to make no public statements or disclosures about the talks, according to information obtained by Reuters.
. . .
The complaint comes a week after New York Federal Reserve Bank President Tim Geithner announced the initiatives being developed with the companies, including the central bank’s endorsement of the use of a clearinghouse for trading the instruments. The companies that attended the meeting own a centralized clearinghouse called Clearing Corp.

Among those present at the private meetings with the New York Fed were: Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., Morgan Stanley, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, Societe Generale, UBS AG and Wachovia Corp, Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Citigroup, according to the New York Fed.

Also attending were representatives from the buy-side firms and hedge funds AllianceBernstein, BlueMountain Capital Management LLC, and Citadel Investment Group LLC.

20. marisacat - 17 June 2008

bail out or benefit 17 of the largest financial institutions behind closed doors.”

But no real increase (or what little there is in the massive new farm bill, we cannot be sure yet) for Food Stamps… and the R just took an easy electioneering toy away from the Dem babies… hustled along extending Unemployment Benefits.

Otherwise it would languish so the Dems could USE it, then, use it again when in office… or not depending.

21. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008

The rapper is very interesting. The young woman who works as a public interest lawyer and the doctor are both really engaging too. The thread that seems to be running through all of the stories is the massive dislocations going through family structures and through what is expected of people.

The internet cafe owner is VERY frustrated w/ the corruption of local officials, all of the entrepreneurs are.

Frontline is so good … one of the glimmers left of what PBS was before the Republicans made it a target to be destroyed and debased.

22. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008
23. wilfred - 17 June 2008

Nice to see the Cyd Charisse tributes today. She was wonderful in Brigadoon and An American in Paris.

24. Heather-Rose Ryan - 17 June 2008

Oh damn. I ADORED Cyd Charisse. So gorgeous, so elegant, and such a great dancer – the best partner ever for Astaire.

The clips on the Ain’t It Cool News site that you linked to, Madman, cover most of my fave Charisse moments, but not this one:

The Red Blues from Silk Stockings. Cyd leading the dance – magnificent.

25. marisacat - 17 June 2008

She was beautiful… and a wonderful dancer. Loved watching her…

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008

The most amazing thing about watching her was that there was never a hint of submission … she was always a full and equal partner, with power and grace and her own reason to be there. I couldn’t take my eyes off her when she popped up in a movie, and not just because she was beautiful, but because she always seemed so strong. So much power and confidence. Wonderful.

thanks for the link HRH … I actually haven’t seen Silk Stockings.

Forgive my male gaze, but she was one hell of a beautiful woman.

27. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008

Full Story of Suicide in Iraq Finally Emerges

NEW YORK (June 15, 2008] — Last December, a remarkable article appeared in the Army Times (and at Web sites in its Military Times group), titled: “Not us. We’re not going: Soldiers in 2nd Platoon, Charlie 1-26 stage a ‘mutiny’ that pulls the unit apart.”

It was written by Kelly Kennedy, who had been embedded with a platoon in Iraq, and was just one part of a far-reaching series on that unit. E&P went on to profile Kennedy, who has continued to write about the plight of soldiers and veterans as a top Military Times reporter.

Kennedy back then described several incidents that caused many soldiers in the unit to take a stand — and “stand down” in Iraq due largely to the unbearable stress they had been under, particularly after witnessing many colleagues brutally killed. Among other things, they were afraid they would take their anger and frustration out on innocent Iraqis.

One of the triggers for the “mutiny,” Kennedy explained then, was a quite shocking and, as far as we knew, a first in this war: Last July, a much respected first sergeant had taken out his weapon while out on a mission and, after shouting, “F— this!”, killed himself right in front of his men. His name was Jeffrey McKinney.

A preliminary investigation had found that McKinney, after all the recent deaths, felt he had let his men down, although there was scant evidence for this. He had been having trouble sleeping, and even communicating, and was on medication. Beyond that, there was great mystery.

28. Madman in the Marketplace - 17 June 2008

sorry for the inappropriate smiley. WordPress etc.

29. marisacat - 17 June 2008

fixed teh smiley…. WP declines to apologise… 😉


Last July, a much respected first sergeant had taken out his weapon while out on a mission and, after shouting, “F— this!”, killed himself right in front of his men. His name was Jeffrey McKinney.

That’ll do it. There were horrific stories out of Viet-Nam of suicide in battle.

30. Heather-Rose Ryan - 17 June 2008

Oh, and this one:

All of You

which I think is one of the sexiest dance scenes in movies. Fred lures it out of her (after a lot of work).

The key plot point in this movie is that the beautiful Soviet kommissarette is a former ballet dancer. The unspoken aspect of this, which may not be evident to the youngsters viewing it now, is that she was probably viewed as not good enough to become a ballet dancer for the state, so she was forced to stop dancing and go into “administration”. But in the US, gifted dancers who aren’t suited to the professional ballet corps can go into something else. like jazz. As Charisse did, in her life. Anyway, that was the basic premise of the film – that the US offered artistic freedom. But there are thorns among the roses, and the situation can get quite silly, as you’ll see if you watch the movie.

Here’s the follow-up, at the end – whoever made the clip chopped off the first part of the dance, and the aspect ratio is wrong. But it still gives you an impression of this wonderful dance:

All of You (reprise)

Forgive my male gaze

Pfft. Of course. Gaze all you like. What do you think I’m doing?

Women can watch and admire Cyd Charisse in the same way men watch and admire Tiger Woods or Tom Brady.

31. CSTAR - 17 June 2008

?? Who’s Tom Brady?? OK I’ll look it up on Wikipedia.

I know who Tiger Woods is. He advertises for Accenture. Not so admirable.

32. wu ming - 17 June 2008

13 – if you’re interested in contemporary chinese urban culture, danwei tv has a bunch of interesting video segments.

33. moiv - 17 June 2008


The most amazing thing about watching her was that there was never a hint of submission … she was always a full and equal partner, with power and grace and her own reason to be there.

Then you’ll like this one, Madman.

I’ve watched her all my life, in abject awe. One look at Cyd Charisse, and even as a child, I knew that all those years of ballet school were a waste of time.

34. moiv - 17 June 2008

Mcat, I love the swans. My house is only three blocks from a mid-sized urban lake, and the ducks waddle in groups of three or four from the lakeshore to the drive-through at a nearby Whataburger, cadging bread crumbs and french fries off the customers.

They queue up just like everybody else, and even the SUVs stand back and let them through. 🙂

35. marisacat - 18 June 2008

…the ducks waddle in groups of three or four from the lakeshore to the drive-through at a nearby Whataburger, cadging bread crumbs and french fries off the customers.

SO important to have a local eatery. How great!

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 June 2008

Philly cops raids activists who circulated anti-CCTV petititon

Privacy activists in North Philadelphia who circulated a petition opposing the spy-cameras that were going up in their neighborhood were busted by cops on a warrantless raid. The police captain later gave a press interview where he called them a “hate group” and said he hoped to ” drum up charges against them.”

37. JJB - 18 June 2008

Sad to hear about Cyd Charisse, a magnificent performer who livened up many an MGM musical with her remarkable dancing. However, she did not appear in “An American In Paris.” That was Leslie Caron.

38. CSTAR - 18 June 2008

Hmm.. why should anyone other than her immediate family be sad about Syd Charisse’s death? I agree anyone’s death, including Russert’s, is a good opportunity for reflection. But actually, in Charisse’s case she left behind a lot of performances, which are certainly pleasing for a layperson to watch and she left no apparent loose ends in her life. I’m happy for her.

Thisis supposed to be a Tango, but it is clearly swamped with heavy doses of Hollywood syrup. There is no horizontal desire there, unlike the video link given by moiv in 33. Most likely, it was the realization of the producer’s idea of a suave Latin romantic pairing.

39. CSTAR - 18 June 2008

2 People are not listening to Obama’s words

I’m pretty sure some people are now listening, carefully. Although I agree, even when he takes office and starts doing some not-so-nice things to entitlements etc.,, many people will still not be listening to his words.

40. wilfred - 18 June 2008

#37 JJB , good catch. I meant “Always Fair Weather” which she did with Gene Kelly!

41. bayprairie - 18 June 2008

shades of phil sheridan

“John Yoo wanted to use military commissions in the manner they were used in the Indian wars,” Romig said. “I looked at him and said, ‘You know, that was 100-and-something years ago. You’re out of your mind; we’re talking about the law.’ ”

42. marisacat - 18 June 2008

… it’s all cowboys and indians.

43. JJB - 18 June 2008

wilfred, no. 40,

Yes, that’s a good one. To my mind, her best films are “Singin’ In The Rain” (she’s the gangster’s moll in the “Gotta Dance!” film fantasy sequence), and “The Band Wagon,” with Fred Astaire.

44. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 June 2008
45. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 June 2008


Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), the committee chairman, asked: “How on Earth did we get to the point where a United States government lawyer would say that . . . torture is subject to perception?”

Well, it all began when these Indians . . .

46. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 June 2008


In order to prove that he’s no pussy, and to counter McCain’s martial assaults, Barack Obama has formed a “Senior Working Group on National Security.” Among the gang are Madeleine Albright, David Boren, Lee Hamilton, Warren Christopher, Anthony Lake, and of course Sam Nunn, without whom no Dem nominee can be regarded seriously. While many libs are spinning about, anticipating emancipation from the Bush era, their shining star steadily recruits known war criminals, Pentagon hustlers, and Beltway insiders, looking to hit the blood-soaked ground running come January. As Albright needled Colin Powell, “What’s the point in having this superb military you are always talking about if we can’t use it?”

Contrary to rightist mania and liberal fantasy, Obama clearly plans to use it. The only question is, how?

Some libs and related Obama-boosters inform my purist ass that their leader must make militarist noises to win over nervous patriots. It’s pragmatic and necessary. I more or less agree. In fact, I’d be pleasantly stunned if Obama went in the opposite direction. But he won’t and can’t. The difference between me and most libs is that I don’t romanticize what Obama must do as a matter of political reality. The word “pragmatic” assures self-described progressives that while Obama needs to look tough, there lies beneath the Patton pose a rational, decent core. Unlike McCain, who has fallen from liberal favor to become the craziest person ever to seek higher office, Obama will count to ten before unleashing cluster bombs and white phosphorus on civilians. While I do not look forward to Obama’s first imperial steps, it will be interesting to see how “antiwar” libs react to Dem bloodletting. If the Clinton years are any reasonable indication, I think we already know how that’ll turn out.

47. marisacat - 18 June 2008

LOL what a laugh it all is…

Sometimes during campaigns the rhetoric gets overheated and amplified,” he conceded, after I reminded him that he had called NAFTA “devastating” and “a big mistake,” despite nonpartisan studies concluding that the trade zone has had a mild, positive effect on the U.S. economy.

Does that mean his rhetoric was overheated and amplified? “Politicians are always guilty of that, and I don’t exempt myself,” he answered.

You don’t make it to the nom if you don’t agree with what this country is all about.

from Fortune magazine

48. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 June 2008

He’s such a fraud.

49. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 June 2008
50. marisacat - 18 June 2008

jesus… thre are 11 levees that may go tonight, on the Mississippi.

51. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 June 2008

what is that now, over 30?

52. marisacat - 18 June 2008

something like that……….

And in several cities there was nearly no warning. They thought it might not happen, then the sirens, then the water. hmm.

53. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 June 2008

Status Quo-oh

A catastrophe for Iowa farmers will not be just a catastrophe for Midwestern Americans. In the Iowa floods, we’ll see more evidence of how the problems of weird weather (climate change) combine and ramify the problems associated with peak oil. In this particular case they lead to an inflection point sometime around the 2008 harvest season, which will also be our time of political harvest.

These are not your daddy’s or granddaddy’s floods. These are 500-year floods, events not seen before non-Indian people starting living out on that stretch of the North American prairie. The vast majority of home-owners in Eastern Iowa did not have flood insurance because the likelihood of being affected above the 500-year-line was so miniscule — their insurance agents actually advised them against getting it. The personal ruin out there will be comprehensive and profound, a wet version of the 1930s Dust Bowl, with families facing total loss and perhaps migrating elsewhere in the nation because they have no home to go back to.

We’re headed, it seems, toward a fall “crunch time,” and that crunching sound will not be of cheez doodles and taco chips consumed on the sofas of America. I think we’re heading into a season of hoarding. As the presidential campaign moves into its final round, Americans may be hard-up for both food and gasoline. On the oil scene, the next event on the horizon is not just higher prices but shortages. Chances are, they will occur first in the Southeast states because oil exports from Mexico and Venezuela feeding the Gulf of Mexico refineries are down more than 30 percent over 2007.

Perhaps more ominous is the discontent on the trucking scene. Truckers are going broke in droves, unable to carry on their business while getting paid $2000 for loads that cost them $3000 to deliver. In Europe last week, enraged truckers paralyzed the food distribution networks of Spain and Portugal. The passivity of US truckers so far has been a striking feature of the general zombification of American life. They might continue to just crawl off one-by-one and die. But it’s also possible that, at some point, they’ll mount a Night-of-the-Living-Dead offensive and take their vengeance out on “the system” that has brought them to ruin. America has only about a three-day supply of food in any of its supermarkets.

54. marisacat - 18 June 2008

IF it hits in thsi country, it cannot be JUST the truckers. It has to be a worker shut down. Possibly the West Coast could be the launch, between docks, truckers and related facilities. Toss in Chevron and you have the start of something crippling.

If one of the god dmaned candidates does not give a speech soon on what the floods mean, well… I have nothing left to resign. having left that terrible party.

Just saw film of Jesus Savior at his security meeting to day… Lee Hamilton on one side and Miss Maddie on the other.


55. Madman in the Marketplace - 18 June 2008

the endless Russert memorial chestbeating is beginning to remind me of that old SNL bit.

56. Intermittent Bystander - 18 June 2008

MitM at 44 – Loved the mini-crane video! The surgical instruments looked like little birdies (working with their beaks) in their own right!

Delightful swans up top, too . . . not to mention moiv’s story about the Whataburger with waddle-through service for ducks.

Will check out the Charisse clips anon. . . .

FYI – If I’m not mistaken, a certain ms_x celebrates something or other today, so I thought I’d drop off a few suitable blooms. Many happy returns.

I think those swans would enjoy a stroll in this black and white garden, too.

57. wilfred - 18 June 2008

50. More levees will break.

Who needs to worry about domestic terrorism when we have the Bush Administration as our in-house source?

58. Intermittent Bystander - 18 June 2008

57 – Jon Stewart has put together quite a little segment with clips and coverage of the floods tonight.

At one point Bush is shown saying I’ve just been to too many disaster scenes, as President.

59. marisacat - 18 June 2008

I heard earlier the Red Cross just moves south, with the flooding.

Flooding in Illinois… where is the new Lincoln?

60. wilfred - 18 June 2008

I saw something this week that said the Red Cross is now almost out of disaster relief funds. And hurricane season is upon us.

61. marisacat - 18 June 2008

they claim to be about where they were when they accessed their lines of credit during katrina and borrowed 400+ million.

62. wu ming - 18 June 2008

new orleans levees STILL unready to withstand a cat 2+ hurricane

i wonder how well they’ll take this bolus of floodwater coursing down the mississippi?

63. marisacat - 18 June 2008

that’s where it is headed, down south.

64. bayprairie - 19 June 2008

glenn ford on obama

…Obama goes race-specific-negative on Black people whenever it is useful in attracting white electoral support. Otherwise, he is studiously “race neutral” – a cynical device he deploys to avoid recognizing the pervasiveness of racial wrongs against African Americans. The candidate periodically offers loud and specific criticisms of Blacks, but prescribes no programs – not one – to address specific Black grievances. He feels quite secure with this cruel and crooked campaign posture, confident that no significant complaint will emanate from African American quarters – they are loyal, no matter what. And for that reason, they need not be respected.

The Black burden is even heavier than that. African Americans are expected to circle the wagons at the merest hint of racist threats to the candidate. Any slight to Obama, real or imagined, must be met with massive Black response, while Obama’s disregard of Black priorities and sensibilities is endlessly forgivable. At the commonsensical level, the entire Obama-Black folks relationship is so bizarre as to seem insane. The candidate has been imposed on the African American polity by corporate forces in the Democratic Party, of which he is a loyal, Harvard-vetted operative. He constantly swears fealty to the white American civic religions of American Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny, both rooted in race supremacy…

65. marisacat - 19 June 2008

“cruel and crooked” is right.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson had a more than decent push back, I found it at Pajamas Media yesterday (oddly enough), but I suspect it was at HuffPo as well…

Here it is, I had sent it to someone and found it.

66. marisacat - 19 June 2008

nu thred……………..


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