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Commodity brokers.. 3 April 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, WAR!.

So Korea

Guards of honor from the South Korean Army performed at the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul. Photo: Lee Jae-Won/Reuters/NYT

hmm Spiffy unis, epaulets, caps… weapons… flags, martial, institutional, vaguely fascistic building… all the makings.

We’ve all got to keep up… make sure weapons are loaded on to the next Ark.  Old grievances too… we will always be making new ones, but to be certain, load the old ones, just in case.

Other than that… Our Leader told the assorted CEOs (well, they say he said this… ) that …

“My administration,” the president added, “is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

Which means what?

They will open fire on the bonus marchers (so to speak)? .. to protect the business class?  ( 🙄 as if they would not)

Dear CEOs, I’m your Daddy…  Love Barry  ???

Something along those lines.



1. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 April 2009

Something is Rotten at PBS

Last year, former Washington Post reporter T.R. Reid made a great documentary for the PBS show Frontline titled Sick Around the World.

Reid traveled to five countries that deliver health care for all – UK, Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Taiwan – to learn about how they do it.

Reid found that the one thing these five countries had in common – none allowed for-profit health insurance companies to sell basic medical coverage.

Frontline then said to Reid – okay, we want you to go around the United States and make a companion documentary titled Sick Around the America.

So, Reid traveled around America, interviewing patients, doctors, and health insurance executives.

The documentary that resulted – Sick Around America – aired Monday night on PBS.

But even though Reid did the reporting for the film, he was cut out of the film when it aired this week.

And the film didn’t present Reid’s bottom line for health care reform – don’t let health insurance companies profit from selling basic health insurance.

They can sell for-profit insurance for extras – breast enlargements, botox, hair transplants.

But not for the basic health needs of the American people.

Instead, the film that aired Monday pushed the view that Americans be required to purchase health insurance from for-profit companies.

And the film had a deceptive segment that totally got wrong the lesson of Reid’s previous documentary – Sick Around the World.

During that segment, about halfway through Sick Around America, the moderator introduces Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the lead health insurance lobby in the United States.

Moderator: Other developed countries guarantee coverage for everyone. We asked Karen Ignagni why it can’t work here.

Karen Ignagni: Well, it would work if we did what other countries do, which is have a mandate that everybody participate. And if everybody is in, it’s quite reasonable to ask our industry to do guarantee issue, to get everybody in. So, the answer to your question is we can, and the public here will have to agree to do what the public in other countries have done, which is a consensus that everybody should be in.

Moderator: That’s what other developed countries do. They make insurers cover everyone, and they make all citizens buy insurance. And the poor are subsidized.

But the hard reality, as presented by Reid in Sick Around the World, is quite different than Ignagni and the moderator claim.

Other countries do not require citizens buy health insurance from for-profit health insurance companies – the kind that Karen Ignagni represents.

In some countries like Germany and Japan, citizens are required to buy health insurance, but from non-profit, heavily regulated insurance companies.

And other countries, like the UK and Canada, don’t require citizens to buy insurance. Instead, citizens are covered as a birthright – by a single government payer in Canada, or by a national health system in the UK.

The producers of the Frontline piece had a point of view – they wanted to keep the for-profit health insurance companies in the game.

TR Reid wants them out.

“We spent months shooting that film,” Reid explains. “I was the correspondent. We did our last interview on January 6. The producers went to Boston and made the documentary. About late February I saw it for the first time. And I told them I disagreed with it. They listened to me, but they didn’t want to change it.”

marisacat - 3 April 2009

I saw it, I thought it was poor. As I recall, and it set the tone, they OPENED with a mangled retelling of how Switzerland converted to a form of single payer (but iwth an entirely different, I would add, regulatory relationship to insurance cos) but tailored to suit themselves and that we should do that do. A sort a sotto voce, well the Swiss are almost the Swedes, what could be wrong.

Ignani, who has been around for years, played way too big a part… and was allowed to be portrayed as her newly shellacked sympathetic self. Gah. She so understands as she suffers from asthma and would be denied coverage, so she is there! She knows, she cares!

it was a sell out, with a few good stories of suffereing thrown in.. and a too light coverage of MASS FAILURE.

Mandate was totally misrepresented as the reality that will play out. but then people elected a Black John Edwards (car salesman with law deg) with a Hillary heart.

Madman in the Marketplace - 3 April 2009

sad … Frontline used to be so straightforward.

2. marisacat - 3 April 2009

Ben Smith

White House responds to Iowa

The White House’s response to Iowa’s ruling for same-sex marriage today tries to thread the needle:

The President respects the decision of the Iowa Supreme Court, and continues to believe that states should make their own decisions when it comes to the issue of marriage. Although President Obama supports civil unions rather than same-sex marriage, he believes that committed gay and lesbian couples should receive protection under the law.

Advocates note the word “equal” is absent.

I dropped in the embedded link Ben Smith used… to Pam’s House Blend. I was surprised at her sharp reaction (snip bwlow). AND I am really happy to see that “God is in the mix” pisses her off (and probably more) as it does me.

So, let’s see…it should be left to the states so that as gay couples travel across state lines, they are married, not married, civil unioned, domestic partnered…yeah that sounds like equal protection under the law. Oh wait — the press release didn’t use the word EQUAL, did it?

Can the President elaborate on this position with reasoning that excludes anything related to “God is in the mix”? The Iowa Supreme Court brilliantly torched using religion as an excuse to discriminate, so our Constitutional scholar president needs to come up with a better sham excuse. And as massaged as you know that short paragraph was, the omission of the word equal was purposeful.

Wellllllllllll just because you have taught Con law, in the end does nto mean much. He is noticeably mush mouthed on RIGHTS.

Arcturus - 3 April 2009

In the eyes of immigration authorities, Tan is in the country illegally. Federal courts have denied her bid for asylum. But beyond that court battle, she argues that the law discriminates against her because she is a lesbian – and cannot be sponsored for citizenship by her partner.

Later this month, unless her pleas to congressional leaders and the courts are successful, Tan, 43, will be deported to her native Philippines, more than two decades after she fled a murderous relative and began a life in the United States.
. . .
Tan, who came legally to the United States as a visitor in 1989, wed Mercado in 2004, when San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom opened City Hall to same-sex unions.
. . .
If Mercado, a U.S. citizen, were a man, she could sponsor Tan for legal permanent residency, their lawyer said. But because federal law limits the definition of marriage to a man and a woman, the couple has no such option.

marisacat - 3 April 2009

I think it is a pretty clear cut case…. maybe it moves the whole issue forward. Last I heard they got a three week stay… but the responses from ICE were harsh, as of a couple of days ago.

marisacat - 3 April 2009

hmm from the Pam’s Blend thread… I am with Lurleen. All the way… 😆

Disgusting. (4.00 / 1)

I happily voted for him, but, seriously, when is he going to stop lying about not believing in equality and start leading on the issue?

Would it really have been so difficult just to leave out the lie that he doesn’t support marriage equality and just leave all the rest in, if nothing else? Why does he think he has to repeat that lie at every opportunity?

That this is our first President whose own parents’ marriage was illegal in several states when he was born makes the repeat of this lie particularly revolting.

by: diablorobotico @ Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 19:59:24 PM CDT
by: you @ soon

why do you think (0.00 / 0)

the lie part is the part about not supporting marriage equality? i think he’s lying about supporting civil unions.

R.I.P. Liberty?

by: Lurleen @ Fri Apr 03, 2009 at 20:18:46 PM CDT
[ Parent ]

Bold is mine…

3. Arcturus - 3 April 2009

flying firarms! that’s quite a pic – here’s a rhyme:

Bill Conroy – Legal U.S. Arms Exports May Be Source of Narco Syndicates Rising Firepower:

The deadliest of the weapons now in the hands of criminal groups in Mexico, particularly along the U.S. border, by any reasonable standard of an analysis of the facts, appear to be getting into that nation through perfectly legal private-sector arms exports, measured in the billions of dollars, and sanctioned by our own State Department. These deadly trade commodities — grenade launchers, explosives and “assault” weapons —are then, in quantities that can fill warehouses, being corruptly transferred to drug trafficking organizations via their reach into the Mexican military and law enforcement agencies, the evidence indicates.

. . . the total value of defense-related hardware and service exports by private U.S. companies to Mexico tallied nearly $5 billion over the four-year window. And that figure doesn’t even count the $ 700 million in assistance already authorized under the Merida Initiative [Plan Mexico] or any new DCS exports [“arms deals . . . known as Direct Commercial Sales ” overseen by the State Dept] approved for fiscal years 2008 and 2009 [which ends Sept. 30].

4. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 April 2009

Troubling, but not surprising

Lawrence Summers, the chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, collected roughly $5.2 million in compensation from hedge fund D.E. Shaw over the past year and was paid more than $2.7 million in speaking fees from several troubled Wall Street firms and other organizations.


Summers, a leading architect of the administration’s economic policies and response to the global recession, appears to have collected the most income. Financial institutions including JP Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch paid Summers for speaking appearances in 2008. Fees ranged from $45,000 for a Nov. 12 Merrill Lynch appearance to $135,000 for an April 16 visit to Goldman Sachs, according to his disclosure form.

5. Madman in the Marketplace - 3 April 2009

Killing Joke

Anybody paying attention knew that the Obama war machine was rolling into town, and that countless liberal admirers would be waving flags as it passed. This is why critics like yours truly were kept out of election year discussions and debates about a possible Obama presidency, because few liberals wanted to consider what was pretty fucking obvious.

And now we’re here, with our Father Leader ramping up for extended slaughter while lecturing those haughty Europeans about their “insidious” anti-Americanism. That Obama also mentioned American arrogance, something Bush wouldn’t do, doesn’t alter the point. He was speaking to a French audience, and his PR team is too savvy to engage in simple Euro-bashing. Obama needs support for the wars he’s inherited, and must repair the US brand so it can “lead” once again.

Obama is a smart imperialist, unlike Bush, who was a stupid imperialist. That’s a real difference between the two, a difference that countless liberals embrace and celebrate, even though the same people, poor people, people who don’t matter, are still paying the lethal price.

marisacat - 3 April 2009

I see Perrin opened with this…

Gore Vidal has often said, usually with a shit-eating grin, that the sweetest words in the English language are “I told you so.” They certainly are among the most tempting. Still, I cling to whatever softness remains in me, so I can’t share Vidal’s nasty glee in being proven right. Because once that’s settled, what comes after?

I have been noticing that Angry Arab never lets a chance go by to say I TOLD YOU SO as he passes on some crushing tidbit of what Obstruction is really up to. Esp with regard to the ME.

Madman in the Marketplace - 3 April 2009

I’ve embraced “I told you so” and taken it as a release from paying quite so much attention to electoral politics. Not that I don’t, but nowhere near as much as I did, and I’ve abandoned the idea that people want to/are willing to actually change the murderous, nasty, hateful, dishonest,self-deluding nightmare that American society is.

I’m personally embracing “I told you so” and trying to enjoy the show as best I can. What else is there to do?

6. BooHooHooMan - 3 April 2009

Israel Expected Stronger Hamas

In a bizarre , historic reversal, Tel Aviv cites “weak knee’d Slavs” and “pussy-ass Poles” as “just asking for it” wrt Hitlers real estate investment “hobby”.

7. diane - 3 April 2009

Marisa last thread

Very sorry, I misread the “way too many of them” part of this, should’ve been clued in by the full text part, but the venom I had stored up over tejano’s dead trees remark sent me in a space of oh nooooooo, where I should’ve known better…………….

However, Europeans, way too many of them, still read papers and read full text of speeches.

yolk dripping along with gooey clear stuff ………….

marisacat - 3 April 2009

No need to say sorry…. I realised I sort of cranked out the comment about “way too many”…

I think I read the tejano piece you mention (I try to get to FSZ a few times a week). he really is a dumb jerk.

8. diane - 3 April 2009

well really, I should have thought on it longer

and tejano..fairly young and cocky seems fitting also…of course if he’s older than he seems..he may well be hopeless…………………

marisacat - 3 April 2009

his nastiest meanest stuff at Peeder’s was … erased.

What a shock.

9. diane - 3 April 2009

of and yeah the era of


and never, ever,….. forget those snow white gloves……

the better to see the blood with…………….?

Speaking of which I read somewhere that SF’s dear Willie the Ascotted Grinner Brown matter of factly informed that the Police are (and implied – should be) a Paramilitary organization ….. buck up and quit whining about race..Jesama and I have………………………..did you clarify the rumor that you dumpety dump dumped your first wife the dance teacher who was said to be a tad bit too dusky for your goals Willster?

10. diane - 3 April 2009


Did you notice that Peeder (user id 7) made a rare appearance the other day, right after beach returned?

everyonce in awhile, I wonder if Jack’s place is actually another Peeder antfarm site experiment …the same “assword” insult one has to repeatedly accept in order to log on…………oh well……probably not…or?

11. NYCO - 3 April 2009

Ya know, I’d like to think it’s because His Obamic Majesty is busy with the Great Work of bullying Europeans right now, that he can’t attend to making any pithier statements about today’s mass shooting, but…

… the victims of this shooting couldn’t have been more representative of everything that Cult Obama supposedly stood for. How much more multicultural and global and hopeychangey could you get than a polyglot of global citizens believing in the dream of America? (have you seen the photos from the evening vigil in the Binghamton church?) How much more tragic and wrong – from an allegedly Obamist view — of an example can you get of a nation awash in guns for all the wrong reasons?

I hate to turn this into politics, because it’s so much deeper and sadder than that (though not much is sadder than politics). But it all just strikes me as either just a little unlucky, or just more evidence of his money not being where his mouth was.

Madman in the Marketplace - 3 April 2009

I haven’t seen those photos. Do you have a link? Not to be ghoulish, but I would like to see a HUMAN reaction, not just pics of militia surrounding the building. Just to reassure myself that people were involved, and not just men with guns.

And not that there is anything wrong with being political, but his mouth has never been where the money is … he’s about speaking FOR the money while pretending to care about people.

12. diane - 3 April 2009
13. diane - 3 April 2009


so much deeper and sadder than that…

seems like the unbeckoned urge to weep is the most consistent emotion discernable at the end of the day among anyone who has an ounce of humanity…..

14. NYCO - 3 April 2009

21. Some photos of humans:

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3

Pic 4

others here.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

thanks for those. I had no idea how diverse that area of the state is.

So sad.

15. marisacat - 3 April 2009

Thanks for posting those NYCO…


Just FYI…

having computer problems all day… ugh among other problems… trying different things but in case I disappear for a bit… just to let you know…


Moyers has a good show, starts out with Black who has been around since the Savings and Loan mess… Calls Paulson a filure and Geithner a failure and that (as we know) the game is to hide and cover up.

Wham bam thank you ma’am. NEXT!?

COVER-UP… he is really pushing that (tho hegives them an out from complicity and crimality, saying they are full on panicked).. he says they are afraid of the total collapse.

Geesh, we can see it.

Anyway if I get back on will post the transcript… (later he will have Amy and Greenhoohoo from Salon, forget his name)

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Thanks for that. I’ll record the replay early Sunday morning. I missed it last night.

16. marisacat - 3 April 2009

wow Black just finished. Pretty blunt… and took a swipe at Geithner at the end. Eventually he will come back, my guess would be, and be blunt about Obster (Moyers said he voted for him… )

17. marisacat - 3 April 2009

I am back on and I think i jiggled or goosed the computer a little… gah. It is owrking a bit smoother. We’ll see…


BILL MOYERS: What is your explanation for why the bankers who created this mess are still calling the shots?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, that, especially after what’s just happened at G.M., that’s… it’s scandalous.

BILL MOYERS: Why are they firing the president of G.M. and not firing the head of all these banks that are involved?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: There are two reasons. One, they’re much closer to the bankers. These are people from the banking industry. And they have a lot more sympathy. In fact, they’re outright hostile to autoworkers, as you can see. They want to bash all of their contracts. But when they get to banking, they say, ‘contracts, sacred.’

But the other element of your question is we don’t want to change the bankers, because if we do, if we put honest people in, who didn’t cause the problem, their first job would be to find the scope of the problem. And that would destroy the cover up.

BILL MOYERS: The cover up?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Sure. The cover up.

BILL MOYERS: That’s a serious charge.

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Of course.

BILL MOYERS: Who’s covering up?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Geithner is charging, is covering up. Just like Paulson did before him. Geithner is publicly saying that it’s going to take $2 trillion — a trillion is a thousand billion — $2 trillion taxpayer dollars to deal with this problem. But they’re allowing all the banks to report that they’re not only solvent, but fully capitalized. Both statements can’t be true. It can’t be that they need $2 trillion, because they have masses losses, and that they’re fine.

These are all people who have failed. Paulson failed, Geithner failed. They were all promoted because they failed, not because…

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?

WILLIAM K. BLACK: Well, Geithner has, was one of our nation’s top regulators, during the entire subprime scandal, that I just described. He took absolutely no effective action. He gave no warning. He did nothing in response to the FBI warning that there was an epidemic of fraud. All this pig in the poke stuff happened under him. So, in his phrase about legacy assets. Well he’s a failed legacy regulator. …

catnip - 3 April 2009

That was a damn good interview and it’s actually being debated on dkos’ wreck list. Ouch.

18. marisacat - 3 April 2009


The Democrats were all strongly behind EFCA as long as it had no chance of passing. But now that they have a majority in both houses, they must find a face-saving way to lose the fight (except Dianne Feinstein — shown left, with another fox in the hencoop — who apparently needs no excuse and has thrown EFCA overboard with a shameless barefaced fuck-you grin.)

The photo of DiFi is with Bill C. 😆

And of course there is another wrinkle or two.

So far, we’re wading hip-deep in bullshit, right? Well, hold your breath, because we’re about to step off a ledge right into the bottomless Marianas Trench of bullshit.

The filibuster is a straw man. There is an arcane provision in the Senate’s rules that any measure covered under what’s called “reconciliation” can’t be filibustered. It’s a long story, but the short of it is that what is and what isn’t covered by “reconciliation” is ultimately determined by the presiding officer of the Senate. And that would, of course, be Vice President Joe Biden.

The Republicans used this “reconciliation” dodge a lot back when they were the majority. I think we can safely predict that the Democrats will not — and most especially, that they will not on the EFCA bill. Obie could put a stop to this treachery with a couple of phone calls, but he will not make them.

Obie, and the congressional Democrats, climbed labor’s support for EFCA into office, and now they’ll kick it away — as they did with the public’s warsickness. And no doubt labor, just like the so-called antiwar movement, will take the kick with a shit-eating grin and ask, Please sir, may I have another? …


19. catnip - 3 April 2009

Times co. threatens to shut down Globe
April 3, 2009

By Robert Gavin and Robert Weisman, Globe Staff

The New York Times Co. has threatened to shut the Boston Globe unless the newspaper’s unions swiftly agree to $20 million in concessions, union leaders said.

Maybe if the NYT hadn’t wasted copious amounts of money on so-called “reporters” like Judith Miller and neocon “editorialist” (pffft) Kristol, this wouldn’t be happening.

marisacat - 3 April 2009

Camo costs for Judeeeeeeee. Champagne in her water bottles. All expenses paid vaca at a spa when she gets out of jail (which PinchPunch whatever the son is called did pay for)

I thnk these days she contributes (dully… and in a pretty dull place, so the bar is lowlowlow) at Daily Beast.

20. catnip - 4 April 2009

Bizarre. There are reports in various international papers that Pakistani Taliban are claiming responsibility for the Binghamton shootings.

21. NYCO - 4 April 2009

The Binghamton gunman was apparently depressed about his poor English skills and lack of job prospects, according to the latest reports. His relative (Henry Voong) worked for IBM, not him.

One of the foreign students who got out alive says that many of the non English speakers didn’t know what was going on, and that her teacher, after being informed by the police via cell phone and telling the class they were locked down, simply went on with the English lesson as gunshots were heard from above.

Now I’m reading that the police scanner says there’s a gunman on the loose in a neighborhood across town here.

And that 3 police officers in Pittsburgh have been killed.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

CNN just reported that the gunman gave himself up.

marisacat - 4 April 2009

oh see the news report here did not specify what state.. I assumed Pittsburg over in the East Bay…

Thanks for the update NYCO.

marisacat - 4 April 2009

Here is AP:

Police official: 3 officers killed in Pa. shooting

By RAMIT PLUSHNICK-MASTI – 13 minutes ago

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A man opened fire on officers during a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning, killing three of them, a police official said. Friends said he feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns.

Three officers were killed, said a police official at the scene who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Police spokeswoman Diane Richard would only say that at least five officers were wounded, but wouldn’t give any other details.

Police planned to release more details at a mid-afternoon news conference Saturday.

The man who fired at the officers was arrested after a several-hour standoff. One witness reported hearing hundreds of shots.

The shootings occurred just two weeks after four police officers were fatally shot March 21 in Oakland, Calif., in the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.

Police did not immediately release the gunman’s identity, but his friends at the scene described him as a young man who thought the Obama administration would ban guns.

One friend, Edward Perkovic, said the gunman feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.” Another longtime friend, Aaron Vire, said he feared that President Obama was going to take away his rights, though he said he “wasn’t violently against Obama.”

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Police official: 3 officers killed in Pa. shooting

PITTSBURGH – A man opened fire on officers during a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning, killing three of them, a police official said. Friends said he feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns.

Three officers were killed, said a police official at the scene who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Police spokeswoman Diane Richard would only say that at least five officers were wounded, but wouldn’t give any other details.

Police planned to release more details at a mid-afternoon news conference Saturday.

The man who fired at the officers was arrested after a several-hour standoff. One witness reported hearing hundreds of shots.

The shootings occurred just two weeks after four police officers were fatally shot March 21 in Oakland, Calif., in the deadliest day for U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.

Police did not immediately release the gunman’s identity, but his friends at the scene described him as a young man who thought the Obama administration would ban guns.

One friend, Edward Perkovic, said the gunman feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.” Another longtime friend, Aaron Vire, said he feared that President Obama was going to take away his rights, though he said he “wasn’t violently against Obama.”

Perkovic, a 22-year-old who said he was the gunman’s best friend, said he got a call at work from him in which he said, “Eddie, I am going to die today. … Tell your family I love them and I love you.”

Perkovic said: “I heard gunshots and he hung up. … He sounded like he was in pain, like he got shot.”

Vire, 23, said the gunman once had an Internet talk show but that it wasn’t successful. Vire said his friend had an AK-47 rifle and several powerful handguns, including a .357 Magnum.

Another friend, Joe DiMarco, said the suspect had been laid off from his job at a glass factory earlier this year. DiMarco said he didn’t know the name of the company, but knew his friend had been upset about losing his job.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Another detail from the Pittsburgh Trib:

Police were called to the scene shortly before 7 a.m. because of a domestic dispute. Harper said the suspect began firing from window. Neighbors said they heard up to 70 rounds of gunfire.

Four officers were shot when they were going into the house. The fifth officer was shot on the perimeter of the scene, police said .

Harper said the suspect was injured and taken to the hospital, ending a four-hour standoff. [snip]

“He said ‘Eddie, I’m going to die today. Tell your family that I love them.and I love you.’ Then I heard a bunch of gunshots,” Perkovic said.

Perkovic said Poplawski had received a dishonorable discharge from the Marine Corps.

That last tidbit will be allowed to quietly go away.

22. marisacat - 4 April 2009


Snuck into the middle of Tapper’s report on the post NATO meeting presser:

There was no direct answer as to how the other 27 NATO nations convinced Turkish president Gul to allow Rasmussen to become the next secretary general, though we’re told there’s another compelling “President Obama saved the day” story about that.

Oh I am sure of that…

And this at the end…

Merkel and Sarkozy both expressed concern about reports of Afghanistan passing Shariah-based laws allowing married men to rape their wives.

“The rights of women and men are equal,” Merkel said, calling it “unacceptable” for “such a law to become part of Afghanistan.”

Sarkozy said NATO had conveyed the importance of women’s and human rights to Afghan leaders and he believes the “message has been received.”

A few hits at Sarko in the short report too…

Frankly anytime they want to stop touring the secondary cities and get to work, would be fine. I realise it won’t be happening.


First thing I heard today when I awoke was that 5 cops have been shot, responding to a domestic call, in Pittsburg over in the East Bay. Apparently all 5 are critical.

23. NYCO - 4 April 2009

Some further thoughts on Binghamton shooting and maybe I will finally get them out of my system…

I’m trying to overcome my personal bias since it’s just down the interstate from me, but something about this one feels different. It’s to do with the locale. The vast majority, if not all, of these rampage killings have happened outside the Northeast. But in the Northeast, there simply aren’t the political structures that the NRA is used to hiding behind when it comes to fighting the gun wars. (And I suspect Gillibrand is going to swerve from her gun stance so fast that the skid marks will be a mile long.) There isn’t a gun culture in the Northeast similar to that elsewhere in the country. There aren’t fundie religious overtones to it here.

The specific location of Binghamton within the state also seems important: it’s only 140 miles from NYC, and it’s the first Upstate city that downstaters hit when they’re coming up Route 17, which is a major trunk road linking the two regions. Reporters from the huge media center of NYC can get up there more easily than they could to a place like Buffalo or Rochester. It seems to me that the NYC-centric media seems much more interested in debating gun control now; last night’s 20/20 dealt with it tying in to the Binghamton shooting.

Lastly, the Binghamton victims resonate in a peculiar way: it is both a “small town America” crime and a “diverse immigrant nation” crime and in that way, seems to potentially touch many more people. (Although Binghamton is being somewhat misleadingly portrayed as a “small town” – it’s a small, working class, rather blue city, with urban populations such as blacks and Hispanics who are the usual victims of whatever gun violence they’ve had. It is probably more accurately characterized as a miniature Scranton or Syracuse.)

Of course, things have been leading up to this: a Dem president, the bad economy, and a string of shooting upon shooting which continues even on this day. But I do think yesterday’s shooting in Binghamton represents a subtle change in the game. The NRA is going to find it tougher going from now on, I suspect.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

add to that all the publicity of US guns crossing the border into Mexico and all of those murders. The only bad thing is that the donks are such cowards and they’re ALWAYS fighting ten year old campaigns.

marisacat - 4 April 2009

They’ll run against Bush for a couple of decades. Or the memory of Palin. Or the latest comment from Michelle Bachman. Or Cheney ‘latest big breaking news’ from Sy Hersh. Or if pushed they will say, Crucify La Nan… she is a dominatrix anyway.. have at it. I may have stopped voting for Nancy years ago, but it is joke she is actively pilloried and Reid is not.

Enough people will fall for it, I assume.

24. marisacat - 4 April 2009

Gabor in Spiegel:

The West’s Fatal Overdose

By Gabor Steingart in Washington D.C.

The G-20 has agreed on plans to fight the global downturn. But its approach will only lay the foundation for the next, bigger crisis. Instead of “stability, growth, jobs,” the summit’s real slogan should have been “debt, unemployment, inflation.”

Now they’re celebrating again. An “historic compromise” had been reached, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the conclusion of the G-20 summit in London, while US President Barack Obama spoke of a “turning point” in the fight against the global downturn. Behind the two leaders, the summit’s motto could clearly be seen: “stability, growth, jobs.”

When the celebrations have died down, it will be easier to look at what actually happened in London with a cool eye. The summit participants took the easy way out. Their decision to pump a further $5 trillion (€3.72 trillion) into the collapsing world economy within the foreseeable future, could indeed prove to be a historical turning point — but a turning point downwards.In combating this crisis, the international community is in fact laying the foundation for the next crisis, which will be larger. It would probably have been more honest if the summit participants had written “debt, unemployment, inflation” on the wall.

The crucial questions went unanswered because they weren’t even asked. Why are we in the current situation anyway? Who or what has got us into this mess? …

25. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Geithner’s dirty little secret By F William Engdahl

The “dirty little secret” that Geithner is going to great degrees to obscure from the public is very simple. There are only at most perhaps five US banks that are the source of the toxic poison causing such dislocation in the world financial system. What Geithner is desperately trying to protect is that reality. The heart of the present problem, and the reason ordinary loan losses are not the problem as in prior bank crises, is a variety of exotic financial derivatives, most especially credit default swaps.

In the Bill Clinton administration of 2000, the Treasury secretary was Larry Summers, who had just been promoted from number two under former Goldman Sachs banker Robert Rubin to be number one when Rubin left Washington to take up the post of Citigroup vice chairman. As I describe in detail in my new book, Power of Money: The Rise and Fall of the American Century, to be released this summer, Summers convinced president Clinton to sign several Republican bills into law that opened the floodgates for banks to abuse their powers. The fact that the Wall Street big banks spent some US$5 billion in lobbying for these changes after 1998 was likely not lost on Clinton.

One significant law was the repeal of the 1933 Depression-era Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited mergers of commercial banks, insurance companies and brokerage firms such as Merrill Lynch or Goldman Sachs. A second law backed by Treasury secretary Summers in 2000 was an obscure but deadly important Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. That law prevented the responsible US government regulatory agency, Commodity Futures Trading Corporation (CFTC), from having any oversight over the trading of financial derivatives. The new CFMA law stipulated that so-called over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives like credit default swaps, such as those involved in the AIG insurance disaster, (and which investor Warren Buffett once called “weapons of mass financial destruction”), be free from government regulation.

At the time Summers was busy opening the floodgates of financial abuse for the Wall Street Money Trust, his assistant was none other than Tim Geithner, the man who today is US Treasury Secretary, while Geithner’s old boss, the self-same Summers, is President Obama’s chief economic adviser as head of the White House Economic Council. To have Geithner and Summers responsible for cleaning up the financial mess is tantamount to putting the proverbial fox in to guard the henhouse.

What Geithner does not want the public to understand, his “dirty little secret”, is that the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the passage of the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000 allowed the creation of a tiny handful of banks that would virtually monopolize key parts of the global “off-balance sheet” or OTC derivatives issuance.

Today, five US banks, according to data in the just-released Federal Office of Comptroller of the Currency’s Quarterly Report on Bank Trading and Derivatives Activity, hold 96% of all US bank derivatives positions in terms of nominal values, and an eye-popping 81% of the total net credit risk exposure in event of default.

The top three are, in declining order of importance: JPMorgan Chase, which holds a staggering $88 trillion in derivatives; Bank of America with $38 trillion, and Citibank with $32 trillion. Number four in the derivatives sweepstakes is Goldman Sachs, with a mere $30 trillion in derivatives; number five, the merged Wells Fargo-Wachovia Bank, drops dramatically in size to $5 trillion. Number six, Britain’s HSBC Bank USA, has $3.7 trillion.

After that the size of US bank exposure to these explosive off-balance-sheet unregulated derivative obligations falls off dramatically. Continuing to pour taxpayer money into these five banks without changing their operating system, is tantamount to treating an alcoholic with unlimited free booze.

26. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Famed Gitmo Lawyer Facing Six Months in Prison For Writing Letter to Obama Detailing Torture of Client

Lawyers for Binyam Mohamed face the incredible prospect of a six-month jail sentence in America after writing a letter to President Obama detailing their client’s allegations of torture by U.S. agents.

The privilege review team — officials from the U.S. Department of Defense who monitor and censor communication between Guantánamo prisoners and their lawyers — have previously been accused of using their powers to suppress evidence of the abuse and mistreatment of detainees.

Clive Stafford Smith, director of legal charity Reprieve, and his colleague Ahmed Ghappour have been summoned to appear before a Washington court on May 11 after a complaint was made by the privilege review team.

Stafford Smith had written to the president after judges in the UK ruled against the release of U.S. evidence detailing Mohamed’s alleged torture at Guantánamo. The letter [PDF] asked the president to reconsider the U.S. position and urged him to release the evidence into the public domain. He attached a memo summarizing the case because his US security clearance gives him access to the classified material. In order to comply with classification guidelines, the memo did not identify individual officers by name or specify locations of the abuse.

He and Gappour submitted the memo to the privilege team for clearance but the memo was redacted to just the title, leaving the president unable to read it. Stafford Smith included the redacted copy of the memo in his letter to illustrate the extent to which it had been censored. He described it as a “bizarre reality.” “You, as commander in chief, are being denied access to material that would help prove that crimes have been committed by U.S. personnel. This decision is being made by the very people who you command.”

marisacat - 4 April 2009

If a letter passed to the High Holy Pretzelness is redacted then he is NOT COMMANDER IN CHIEF. Nor does he command the DOJ nor the DOD etc.

just a mere salted pretzel.. and kinda stale and limp in fact.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

I found that to be pretty telling too.

27. diane - 4 April 2009

From the other Pittsburgh Paper (Not that you would’ve known off hand Madman, but dick mellon scaife owns the Tribune, this piece spells out the McCain supporter part):

Officers killed, wounded in Stanton Heights standoff
Saturday, April 04, 2009
By Michael Fuoco and Jerome Sherman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

At least three Pittsburgh police officers were killed and possibly two others were wounded after a heavily armed man began firing at them as they responded to a domestic call this morning at a home in Stanton Heights.

The gunman, identified as Richard Poplawski and who told friends he was wearing a bulletproof vest, surrendered to police about 11 a.m., more than three hours after the standoff began at 1016 Fairfield St. His condition was not immediately available, but he told friends who spoke with him by telephone that he had been shot.

The names of the officers were not immediately released. At least one wounded officer was treated at a hospital and released. Shortly after 1 p.m., city 911 dispatchers announced that flags in the city would be lowered to half staff and officers were to place black mourning bands over their badges “in honor of our deceased brothers . . . lest we forget.”

The incident began around 7:30 a.m. after officers went to the address and the suspect opened fire, police said.

Police Chief Nathan Harper said four officers initially were wounded when Mr. Poplawski fired an assault rifle from a window. A fifth officer was wounded in a later burst of gunfire, the chief said.

For much of the morning, the standoff forced police to lock down the neighborhood as scores of officers converged on the house, where Mr. Poplawski had barricaded himself with at least one family member.

Some of the wounded officers remained for a time where they fell because other officers could not reach them because of the continuing fusillade, according to Diane Richard, Pittsburgh Police spokeswoman.

A state police helicopter hovered overhead as more than 100 officers from Pittsburgh, the state, the district attorney’s office and the Port Authority converged along with neighbors and other onlookers.

Authorities as well as members of the suspect’s family were in contact with Mr. Poplawski by phone. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was among the officials at the scene.

Mr. Poplawski is in his early 20s, according to neighbor and longtime friend Joe DiMarco. Mr. DiMarco and his mother, Darlene, said they spoke to Mr. Poplawski on the telephone this morning.

“He told me he loved me and that he’d been shot in the chest and leg,” Ms. DiMarco said.

She also said Mr. Poplawski’s mother and possibly his grandmother were in the house with him.

Another neighbor, Brian Merlina, said he was getting out of the shower at 7:30 a.m. when he heard rapid-fire gunshots. About 30 minutes later, he heard at least two dozen more shots fired.

Shortly thereafter, the state police helicopter landed in a field near his house. He said he drove a trooper who got out of the helicopter to the scene.

Utility crews cut off power to the house at 10:45 a.m. because they believed Mr. Poplawski was monitoring media reports. He surrendered a short time later.

Drew Stadler, 34, who lives nearby on Oglethorpe Street, said he heard loud bangs around 8 a.m. From his window, he saw Mr. Poplawski pointing what appeared to be a semiautomatic rifle and shooting at officers from a window above the garage of the Fairfield Street house.

SWAT officers were pinned down, with their protective shields up, at an adjacent house.

At one point, the SWAT officers pulled away a wounded officer and dragged him down the street, Mr. Stadler said. He also said he heard potentially hundreds of shots fired throughout the incident.

Other friends said Mr. Poplawski had several guns, including an AK-47 assault-type rifle, a .357 Magnum revolver, a .380-caliber handgun and a .45-caliber handgun. They also said they believed he had not been getting along with his mother.

Mr.Poplawski called Edward Perkovic, a longtime friend and former classmate at North Catholic High School, on a cell phone around 8:30 a.m. Mr. Perkovic said Mr. Poplawski told him he’d been shot in the chest and leg, but that the bulletproof vest he’d been wearing had shielded him.

Mr. Perkovic also said Mr. Poplawski told him: “Eddie, I’m going to die today. Tell my mother and friends I love them. This is probably the end.”

A burst of gunfire followed, and the call ended, Mr. Perkovic said. A short time later, he said, a city 911 official telephoned him and asked him to come to Fairfield Street and help to negotiate a surrender with Mr. Poplawski.

By the time he arrived there, however, the standoff had ended.

Mr. Perkovic and other former classmates said they were surprised by this morning’s events. Mr. Perkovic said Mr. Poplawski was opposed to “Zionist propaganda” and was fearful that his right to own weapons would be taken away.

Another friend, Aaron Vire, 23, said he’d helped Mr. Poplawski and Mr. Perkovic with a radio show they’d broadcast on the Internet, discussing “girls and life.”

Mr. Poplawski had supported Republican candidate John McCain in the presidential election and had “very spirited debates” about Democratic candidate Barack Obama, Mr. Vire said.

Mr. Poplawski was opposed to Mr. Obama’s election, which he thought would result in the loss of his rights, Mr. Vire said.

“He wasn’t a racist but thought some of his amendments were overlooked,” Mr. Vire said.

Mr. Poplawski told him he bought his guns “because he felt the quality of life was being diminished,” Mr. Vire said.

“He said he’ll be ready if there’s ever an invasion of the United States and that he had stockpiled foods and guns for that eventuality.”

More details in tomorrow’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
First published on April 4, 2009 at 9:59 am

Very familiar with that kneck of the woods in my younger years. Very tragic. And of course I’ll have to LOUDLY qualify that I don’t hate all cops, and certainly don’t think anyone should be shot down, but it certainly must not have helped that the Police Departments in Allegheny County are loaded with corrupt cops with Belgian Shepards, who in one 2003 incident near ripped apart a very young (7?) black child in his front yard which bordered perimeter of a crime scene.

In another incident that year a young black man in his preteens I wan to say was shot in the back by a black police officer while jumping a fence to run away from a crime committed (as I recollect the young man was part of a theft crime). One of my memorable Cop moments was being stopped for running a stop sign I didn’t run, because the cop wanted to neck right around the corner at Highland Park and the Highland Park Zoo (same Stanton Heights neighborhood).

As I see it we have all been pitted against each other, and some really hideous things are happening to Innocent people.

marisacat - 4 April 2009

In another incident that year a young black man in his preteens I wan to say was shot in the back by a black police officer while jumping a fence to run away from a crime committed (as I recollect the young man was part of a theft crime).

IIRC that case came up in the confirmation of Alito. The case had come before a lower court he was on. He had had no trouble, at all of any kind, with the shooting.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Thanks for that.

I wonder, over time, if we’ll be presented with more of an attempt to humanize this shooter, as opposed to how the guy in Oakland was portrayed as some kind of rabid monster.

I didn’t know it was a Scaiffe paper.

marisacat - 4 April 2009

well nto much can be done for Mixon… Think I read that the definitive DNA testing came back, from samples taken from the body, and he is the rapist of the 12 year old in February. They have not offered proof on any of the other rapes they say they suspect him of doing.

The problem as I see is his extended family is being actively demonised. And a story has come out but is not pushed much that his wife ( they do live separately she is in Newman CA and seems not involved at all at this point, might be divorced) had servied in Iraq. There si some indication he got weapons experience thru her/others. Some indication he may hve had the SKS on a tripod in the sister’s apt where he took on the SWAT team. I mean he did lead a hunting party to an apt with two women and a child living there… The sister whose place it was has now been picked up on an old drugs warrant… after she had been questioned and released on the day of the killings… much is made of a spontaneous comment she made when the media got ot the family, paternal g-mother, uncle cousins and her… she said her brother “is not a monster”. That is being used against her.

I’d rather they determine how much she knew of the weapon/s he had at her house.. but it is clear what is happening.

Lost in all of this is any real look at utter lack of political leadership in Oakland. And it will be used in the coming Oakland mayoralty election, the CA gubernatorial. And so on. Cops will use it for a lot of wrong… (thi is not an endorsement of Mixon who was a killer, tho obviously the story is complicated.) Nor have cops released any worthwhile information on the SWAT team actions that day or even why a second patrol cop showed up at the traffic stop.

All I can say to Pittsburgh is prepare for a big funeral.

And it is a foregone conclusion that Mixon si being conflated with Oscar Grant who died New years day… the bullet in the back at BART… and a foregone conculsion that Mehserle the BART cop (he resigned) will be tried out of town, somewhere white and conservative. And so on.

28. diane - 4 April 2009

Famed Gitmo Lawyer Facing Six Months in Prison For Writing Letter to Obama Detailing Torture of Client

not only no pretense of justice apparently, but worse our masters our maliciously highlighting our lack of justice…can almost hear the giggling…….

evil fuckin people…..just can’t understand why folks are goin so nuts….oops gotta run …loud banging on my door…..

kidding (this time)

29. diane - 4 April 2009

48 Marisa

…just another worthless child……….

and sorry I see my post was alittle unclear here:

In another incident that year a young black man in his preteens I wan to say was shot in the back..

Should have read:

In another incident that year a young black man (in his preteens I wan to say?) was shot in the back

Was definately shot and the back, and most definately is physically dead.

30. diane - 4 April 2009

“Stanton Heights” is in the same vicinity, that saw so very many young young people with barely any hope dying like flies from China White and jumping off high bridges to end their lives in pieces on the cement below.

At least when I lived their the area borders/ed immense wealth.

Somehat of an anology I could think of for Cali Marisa, would be Atherton and East Menlo Park.

31. diane - 4 April 2009


jeez…still unclear….and I haven’t even had anything to drink (would like something about now though, with all of this unrelenting tragedy)

want, not wan

and: shot in the back.

diane - 4 April 2009

..going to momentarily break my “un nesting” commitment because I don’t want to detract from Madman’s poignant post below…..just thinking about fate…and how just a mile or two further and the shooting would have been in OAKLAND, home to Pitt, The Cathredal of Learning, CMU, Carnegie Museum and Library……………………………

gotta run..have as good a day as you can all………………..

32. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Artist in residence

There is one question Peter Bardy didn’t like to be asked: “What do you do?”

He didn’t have a good answer, he thought, often staying close to home.

He had studied business in college, at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and then got a job as a salesman for IBM. That lasted only a few years. He didn’t like the corporate world, the product pushing and dress codes. He was in the Army for a few years and later got odd jobs painting houses.

You could say his profession was caring for his parents, something he did for much of his life, first for his mother and then his father, who were ill in succession in the 1980s and ’90s.

On his own death certificate, though, Peter Bardy was listed as an artist.

One day last June, Bardy put a gun to his head and shot himself. He was 64. There was no note.

The medical examiner’s description of his modest west side Milwaukee home was telling and far from the typical.

“The residence was decorated with steel sculptures, tables and other items the deceased made out of . . . items he found at the dump,” the report read. “Other more abstract art items, made by the deceased, were found in the basement.”

Bardy had transformed the house, where he lived alone after his parents died, into an austere installation from found industrial detritus – giant machine parts, swaths of stainless steel, grates, chains and thick burlap straps. He stacked and combined things with varying shapes and reflective qualities, creating sculptures in every room.

In the basement where his dad had made homemade wine and beer, Bardy created a gallery. He carefully selected objects, often metals of supple and fluid quality that seemed to defy their nature. He’d clean and treat them to get the patinas just right, from pristine to gorgeously modeled with rust. With wires and metal hooks, he hung the objects and lit each one like a museum piece.

Throughout the house, there was an interplay of light. Lines and forms were cast across walls, floors and surfaces.

The detectives, medical examiner and woman from the funeral home who came to the house couldn’t help but be struck by what they saw.

NYCO - 4 April 2009

The Outsiders

The second kind of social adaptation [of the gifted] may be called the marginal strategy. These individuals were typically born into a lower socio-economic class, without gifted parents, gifted siblings, or gifted friends. Often they did not go to college at all, but instead went right to work immediately after high school, or even before. And although they may superficially appear to have made a good adjustment to their work and friends, neither work nor friends can completely engage their attention. They hunger for more intellectual challenge and more real companionship than their social environment can supply. So they resort to leading a double life. They compartmentalize their life into a public sphere and a private sphere. In public they go through the motions of fulfilling their social roles, whatever they are, but in private they pursue goals of their own. They are often omnivorous readers, and sometimes unusually expert amateurs in specialized subjects. The double life strategy might even be called the genius ploy, as many geniuses in history have worked at menial tasks in order to free themselves for more important work. Socrates, you will remember was a stone mason, Spinoza was a lens grinder, and even Jesus was a carpenter. The exceptionally gifted adult who works as a parking lot attendant while creating new mathematics has adopted an honored way of life and deserves respect for his courage, not criticism for failing to live up to his abilities. Those conformists who adopt the committed strategy may be pillars of their community and make the world go around, but historically, those with truly original minds have more often adopted the double life tactic. They are ones among the gifted who are most likely to make the world go forward.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

very interesting, thank you.

33. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Bankruptcy as an aid to recovery?

The first time I entered a bankruptcy court I was trying to help unionized workers from Seymour, Wisconsin. Their employer had declared bankruptcy and the union folks were not consulted. Ta Dah! We would help protect them. The workers filled the gallery; various desks were occupied by well-dressed lawyers, all of whom treated me with disdain–an unwelcome outsider.

The well-dressed folks represented those they identified as “stakeholders”–you know, secured creditors called banks, stockholders and unsecured creditors. When the Judge asked us to identify ourselves, the lawyers took turns telling the judge that I should not be allowed to participate because I did not represent any of the “stakeholders”–only the employees! Whoa Nelly! Thirty-nine years in the plant and not a stakeholder?

Even after the judge ruled that I could participate on behalf of the employees, the other lawyers would jump up and object every time I stood to address the Court. Let’s face it. Bankruptcy is, for the most part, designed to help employers, secured creditors and other creditors. They have the home-court advantage.

Often they team up with employers to ask the Court to discard the collective bargaining agreements. The arguement? The company has a better chance of survivivg if the workers get less. I’m not making this up.

If GM files for bankruptcy, don’t expect the workers to gain much, if anything. Ah, the sanctity of contracts! Depending on your side of the class war, forget about it.

34. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Escape from the Zombie Food Court

As psych students, most of you understand that there is no way you can escape being conditioned by your society, one way or another. You are as conditioned as any trained chicken in a carnival. So am I. When we go to the ATM machine and punch the buttons to make cash fall out, we are doing the same thing as the chickens that peck the colored buttons make corn drop from the feeder. You will not do a single thing today, tomorrow or the next day that you have not been generally indoctrinated and deeply conditioned to do — mostly along class lines.

For instance, as university students, you are among the 20% or so of Americans indoctrinated and conditioned to be the administrating and operating class of the American Empire in some form or another. In the business of managing the other 75% in innumerable ways. Psychologists, teachers, lawyers, social workers, doctors, accountants, sociologists, mental health workers, clergy — all are in the business of coordinating and managing the greater mass of working class citizenry by the Empire’s approved methods, and toward the same end: Maximum profitability for a corporate based state.

Yet it all seems so normal. Certainly the psychologists who have prescribed so much Prozac that it now shows up in the piss of penguins, saw what they did as necessary. And the doctors who enable the profitable blackmail practiced by the medical industries see it all as part of the most technologically advanced medical system in the world. And the teacher, who sees no problem with 20% of her fourth graders being on Ritalin, in the name of “appropriate behavior,” is happy to have control of her classroom. None of these feel like dupes or pawns of a corporate state. It seems like just the way things are. Just modern American reality. Which is a corporate generated reality.

Given the financialization of all aspects of our culture and lives, even our so-called leisure time, it is not an exaggeration to say that true democracy is dead and a corporate financial state has now arrived. If you can get your head around that, it’s not hard to see an ever merging global corporate system masquerading electronically and digitally as a nation called the United States. Or Japan for that matter. The corporation now animates us from within our very selves through management of the need hierarchy in goods and information.

marisacat - 4 April 2009

well more children will be on Ritalin. Or Adderall or whatever. I am sure it has helped some very small sampling, somewhere, just as with anti depressents, they too help SOME. But Ritalin is speed and given to small children, how does anyoen know what the effect is. I was on it from about age 4 – 7 and in my case I just went into a bubble. I must have been in teh very first wave or shortly thereafter to be prescribed Ritalin, in the mid 50s. One doctor, a young and still alive and spontaneous entity, told me that drs and shrinks think that young children who were on Ritalin really know what being ‘on drugs’ is. Pretty much, I’d say…

And you know I am pretty much “pro drug”, Pro opiate pain treatment, opposed to prohibition and all of that… partly because the way we are doing it deals with nothing.

35. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

“Holy Hell Has Broken Loose”: Controversial Obama Intelligence Official Blocks Efforts to Release Torture Memos

There is an astonishing effort by intelligence officials to block Attorney General Eric Holder and White House counsel Gregory Craig from releasing torture memos from the Justice Department. A senior national-security aide named John Brennan is leading the effort to block the release with the backing of people at the CIA. It takes considerable hubris given the CIA’s knowing destruction of evidence of torture and obvious motivation to withhold the memoranda to further conceal the agency’s involvement in war crimes. One official is quoted as saying “Holy hell has broken loose over this.” That is certainly the proper venue for officials still struggling to cover-up evidence of war crimes.

What is most disturbing is the role of Brennan who Obama considered as agency director. Brennan was blocked by critics who rightly saw the former senior CIA official as too close to past officials involved in such programs as the torture program. Brennan has now proven his critics to be absolutely correct about their distrust. Nevertheless, the Obama Administration (which has retained a number of controversial intelligence officials from the Bush years) still put Brennan into a high position overseeing intelligence issues at the National Security Council. There is also a concern over CIA Director Leon Panetta who has adopted a highly defensive role in protecting the agency and is now viewed as less than a reformer at the agency.

marisacat - 4 April 2009

A senior national-security aide named John Brennan is leading the effort to block the release with the backing of people at the CIA.

Oh I think they picked Brennan on purpose… in fact iirc they wanted him for a spot that would require confirmation.. and he is too intertwined with our recent (as different from our old and usual) torture history. So they shoved him in somewhere else, pronto. (Like Summers)

I think it was convenient. Will be convenient.

I see in graph 2:

What is most disturbing is the role of Brennan who Obama considered as agency director. Brennan was blocked by critics who rightly saw the former senior CIA official as too close to past officials involved in such programs as the torture program.

And then of course Panetta. Such a pick.

Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

agreed … part of the deal for his elevation is to continue the cover-ups.

36. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Guess who?:

“My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.”

37. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

US Border Authorities Detain German Political Leader and Undermine American Brand

I think that any American should feel embarrassed by the treatment important guests of the United States received this past week at the hands of US Customs and Border Protection officials at Dulles International Airport.

And frankly, when important political leaders from nations allied with the United States are treated poorly when entering the country, one knows that there must be a much longer line of others who can’t garner headlines about their cases that are detained in similar or worse ways.

Former German State Minister for Police Cem Oezdemir, who was the first ever Turkish-German Member of the German Bundestag and then became a Member of the European Parliament and is today the Co-Chair of the German Green Party, was detained by officials at Dulles Airport earlier this week and given no reason.

I met Oezdemir and his wife, radio personality Pia Castro, shortly after their detainment and heard that what frustrated him most about the incident was the unwillingness of the officials to tell him anything about what was going on. A border control official just told him in a loud, aggressively confrontational voice to sit, to be quiet and wait to be called. The problem was that the officials didn’t have his passport or name.

Oezdemir, who had an official of the German Embassy in Washington, DC there to help expedite him through customs, had to go up to the intimidating official and say to him that there was no way Oezdemir would be called from a roster as no one had taken his name or passport yet. So, Oezdemir handed it to them.

The process was, according to Oezdemir and his wife who both frequently visit the US, dehumanizing, excessively rude, and characterized by total lack of information being provided to those who are detained.

Being detained without instruction or comments from the authorities creates fear, tension and uncertainty for those stopped in this way — and one can only imagine how people who barely speak English react to such treatment. Oezdemir and his wife are fully fluent in English and still the border authorities made little effort to communicate — and were rude at the end of the process when whatever concerns about him were obviously cleared.

This kind of treatment of people — anyone, important politically or not — undermines the American brand.

According to some reports, it is believed that Oezdemir was stopped by the official because his name “did not sound German.”

Poor Steve doesn’t understand … that IS the American brand. Fear and distrust and simple-minded profiling and rude aggressive policing. That IS this country.

38. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009

Fighting Demons, Raising the Dead, Taking Over the World

From its early days, New Life Church’s members worked to map out all the territorial demon spirits inhabiting Colorado Springs. At some point in the process, they fed the mapping information into a computer database. Methodically—street by street, block by block—they used prayer-warfare to expel the demons from their city. And they maintained a 24/7 prayer shield over Colorado Springs to prevent demon re-infestations. As with inner-city cockroaches, the price of demon-free living was constant vigilance.

Alix Spiegel called some of the practices she saw at Haggard’s church “medieval,” while René Holvast described this new way as incommensurable with modern Christianity:

Conversations and discussions with some missionary colleagues did not seem to lead to mutual understanding. The usual evangelical ways of reasoning fell mute. It seemed to be not just a different way of understanding, but a different way of reasoning altogether.

In fact, at the very time Holvast and Spiegel encountered it, the ‘new paradigm’ had just been invented. In the period of the late 1980s through the early 1990s, a group of quintessentially American tinkerers grafted new practices of ‘spiritual mapping’ and ‘spiritual warfare’ onto a peculiar and radical theological substrate emerging from the Latter Rain and healing revivals that burst out in Canada and North America during the late 1940s.

They molded their hybridized new Christianity into a standardized package of ideas and practices such that, by the late 1990s, they began exporting the product from Colorado Springs to both the domestic American market and internationally at an astonishing rate.

It was as newfangled as Henry Ford’s Model T had been and, like Ford’s car, it quickly became established, even ubiquitous, on every continent but Antarctica.

In 2009, one can now watch YouTube video footage of Christians from all over the earth practicing the same, very new form of the faith that features the blowing of shofars and the “Davidic dance”—using very distinctive, recently minted, theological terms. There was a common origin. For practical purposes, Colorado Springs was the Dearborn, Michigan of the next Christianity.

39. NYCO - 4 April 2009

A half-hour radio interview with Joseph Tainter, author of The Collapse of Complex Civilizations.

40. NYCO - 4 April 2009

Whoops, that’s The Collapse of Complex Societies.

41. NYCO - 4 April 2009

Bullets from the Drug War

* The US has lost the “War on Drugs”

* The losing side is usually not the one to decide when a fight is over or how it ends
* Unlike other recent defeats, this lost war is a defeat followed by an invasion
* Mexico is the natural staging area for the invasion (inconvenient though it is for the Mexicans)
* New franchises are being set up to service the North American drug market (which is the biggest in the world)
* The CIA has to eat, and all they know how to do competently is run guns and drugs and control thugs; they get a seat at the table
* The narcs have to eat too, and all they are trained to do is deal (with) drugs; they get a seat at the table too
* As the federales grow weak in the US and Mexico, the battle lines will advance north of the border, leaving Mexico a quiet and largely intact backwater
* This is an inter-US conflict, because Americans are the most avid consumers, sellers, and prosecutors of drugs
* Life in the USA gives everyone a pain that is for many people simply not survivable without drugs: either alcohol, pharmaceuticals or illegal drugs…

It goes on for a bit.

42. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009
43. Madman in the Marketplace - 4 April 2009
44. catnip - 4 April 2009

A comment over at Open Left in response to a diary about the Moyers/Black interview:

to put it bluntly, (4.00 / 1)

Obama is the new opiate of the masses.

His function is to keep people placated while these criminal acts continue. War, torture, mass giveaways of public money to private coffers–it’s his job to put a smiley face on all of it and make sure people go along.

He doesn’t consciously see it that way, of course. He’s a man of good will who thinks he’s doing the right thing by trying to do what the establishment wants while making people happy.

But operationally, that’s what they expect him to do, and he’s doing it.
by: limpidglass @ Sat Apr 04, 2009 at 16:10:20 PM CDT

LOTS of tension over at dkos this weekend after that interview. Not to mention justifications for Summers and Geithner.

There are none so blind…

45. marisacat - 4 April 2009

gnu thred…………..


……………. 🙄 ……………

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