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Tuesday 6 October 2009

Posted by marisacat in Brazil - Lula, Divertissements, Viva La Revolucion!.

October 2 – People relax at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro [AP]

I am under the weather… so putting up a shot of a day at the beach in Rio.  And it does look very lovely.


Well… there is this… quite by accident I clicked on Rigorous Intuition which had appeared to fall fallow many months ago.  But by luck there was a new post, from September 3 2009…

There is also a comment from someone who was at the Pittsburgh demonstrations.



1. marisacat - 6 October 2009

Merde alors! and Sacre Bleu!. I had seen headlines about this during yesterday, but avoided it. Gah.

CSTAR - 6 October 2009

I hope the greasy smell doesn’t pervade the whole museum.

Re Rio: FWIW the 1st McDonald’s opened in Rio c1978, a few blocks from where I used to live in Copacabana. Fouled up the whole street with the smell and discarded cups. There had been in Brazil (and still is) a fast food chain called Bob’s with hamburgers etc, but more of local offering. (“Misto quente” which is essentially a “Croque Monsieur”)

2. marisacat - 6 October 2009

This from March but I just stumbled onto it… an interactive NYT map on immigration by foreign birth location, based on the census from 1880 to 2000. Interestingly it looks like the entire South plus OK and TX sat out the 1950 census. 1960 was not much better, but was more diffuse.

marisacat - 6 October 2009

PS.. look at our Northern Border. The green/dark green for those subversive Canadians. Good thing we have beefed up security and raised the bar for border unpleasantness.

catnip - 6 October 2009

Yes, we don’t like to stray too far into your little experiment just in case. Although we do like to take over Phoenix and Florida during the winter months.

3. marisacat - 6 October 2009

hmm wave bye bye to Gourmet mag…

4. catnip - 6 October 2009

From the last thread:

17. Simon Owens – 6 October 2009

There’s actually a peace advocacy group that is marking the 8th anniversary of the Afghanistan war by flooding the White House’s Facebook fan page over the next few days.

I don’t do Facebook but you might as well use the technology you have. Not that it’ll make much difference since Obama is set to get his war on with more troops.

I saw a preview of a show with Amanpour interviewing Hillary and Gates (on sometime today) where Amanpour asked them about “winning”. Hillary, ever the politician, didn’t go anywhere near that word while Gates said he doesn’t like to talk in terms of winning or losing. IOW, this is just going to be one perpetual fight where nobody “wins”. And “benchmarks”?

One corrupt election: check

5. catnip - 6 October 2009

CNN is actually showing a clip of the protests with Medea Benjamin and Cindy Sheehan. Some boneheaded voters who had gone to Obamalama’s inauguration say they’re “disappointed” in him now. Where were they when he was pushing for more war during the campaign?

6. catnip - 6 October 2009

US ‘to cut immigrant detention’

A couple of years ago, there was a story making the rounds about a 9 yr old Canadian boy detained at the Hutto facility in Texas under horrid conditions. He and his family finally did end up coming home. What an eyeopener that was.

“Serious felons deserve to be in the prison model,” Ms Napolitano told the newspaper.

“But there are others. There are women. There are children.”

Proposals for using alternatives to prison detention are expected to be submitted to Congress in the coming weeks.

The Wall Street Journal cited officials as saying the administration would ask the private sector for ideas, including for the construction of model facilities.

She’d better read up on Hutto first. Some “model facility” that is.

7. marisacat - 6 October 2009

hmm ABC’s The Note has never been a big fan of Ob… 😆

[A]t critical times in the health care debate, when the prospects looked bleak and the process looked stalled, the only thing that’s kept things moving has been the illusion of momentum.

The latest White House effort to round up support from former GOP officials falls into that category. (Does anyone think senators started listening to Frist after he left the Senate? Is this supposed to make up for the fact that another week is racing by without a bill out of the Finance Committee?) . . . . .

8. catnip - 6 October 2009

So there was some big meeting of the honchos about Afghanistan today? I briefly saw Pelosi flanked by a silent Harry Reid on CNN…didn’t sound like much of anything happened – as usual.

marisacat - 6 October 2009

well Biden addressed some men in fatigues.. called them ‘warriors of the first order’ and looked like he badly wanted some sun glasses… Squint City. Pale old dead…

Just catching Nan and Hoyer…

Boy the entire whole crowd has gone flaccid. Not even personal energy on display. Something is wrong when John Kerry is the most enervated. I don’t think he’s had muscle twitch for other than grooming and sports in 38 years. Well, sexual perf when commanded. Forgot that one.

Oh god. BOEHNER had more energy… and then we get McConnell the undead voice of the South.

McCain almost stuttering.

The thing is so dead.

catnip - 6 October 2009

Something is wrong when John Kerry is the most enervated.

lol…GREY man walking.

9. catnip - 6 October 2009

Gone phishing. Time to change some passwords.

10. catnip - 6 October 2009

Today’s Bonehead du Jour award goes to this guy:

BOSTON (AP) — A former executive of Biopure Corp. has been sentenced to three years in prison for pretending he had terminal colon cancer to dodge a federal lawsuit filed by securities regulators.

Howard Richman, a former vice president at the Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech company, pleaded guilty to an obstruction of justice charge in March. He was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court.

The 57-year-old Richman, of Pearland, Texas, admitted he had instructed his lawyers to tell a judge he was ill. Prosecutors said he was trying to wriggle out of the lawsuit and avoid a large civil fine.

The Securities and Exchange Commission complaint accused Biopure, Richman and three other executives of misleading investors about the prospects of winning approval for a synthetic blood product.

marisacat - 6 October 2009

well he parsed “bio” and “tech”… and medico-legal mixed with heaping cup of CON. Love the name “biopure”.

11. marisacat - 6 October 2009

hmm just read that axelrod met with roger ailes. i know who won that round… hands down


12. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 October 2009

Cindy Sheehan Moving to Washington

“Sometimes I look at what I think Senator McCain would be doing, and what Obama’s doing and I can’t discern any difference. And I think that Obama’s foreign policy is obviously a continuation. When you have Robert Gates. When you have McChrystal. When you have Hillary Clinton, who is supposed to be the secretary of state, but who has always been for these wars of aggression. I see is clearly a continuation, a continuation of the policy of empire,” Sheehan told ABC News.

Park Police arrested Sheehan and 60 other protestors yesterday, after Sheehan chained herself to the fence on the North Lawn. Sheehan says she refuses to pay the fine and that she and other anti-war activists plan to “step up” their protests until the administration shows a willingness to withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

“We’re going to create a movement that’s going to demand a change of policy,” she said, explaining that her plan is to create large, coordinated acts of civil resistance, “It’s going to be massive.”

13. marisacat - 6 October 2009

oh ffs. Politico is reporting that the WH asked Arnold and Bloomie to speak up in support of Insurance Reform. (It sure ain’t HEALTH CARE)


Politico works to put a good spin on it.. but………… I don’t quite see it.

Madman in the Marketplace - 6 October 2009

Countdown was just reporting that Wellpoint is threatening to raise everybody’s premiums if the Senate doesn’t reinstate the higher fine for not buying individual insurance coverage (the latest version in the finance cmte bill lowered it to $1500, which is a LOT of money for someone struggling).

marisacat - 6 October 2009

ugh last I heard was about 900 single and as much as 3500 for a family.

Or what? wage garnishment? no coverage? prison? more fines? And as they lower the annual income eligible for subsidy.

Wht a mess.

I just caught a segment on TNH… on the new Dutch system… they went from a mix of public and private to all private.. but with the same caveats as in France and Germany, Switzerland. Ins cos are a whole different animal there. The minimum package is 160.00 a month, which all are required to hve. ALL ins cos must provide the same coverage, same prices. The “competition” is to provide good care and keep or add members. AND they must take all comers. Sick old poor whatever.

The program profiled a Dutch American couple who moved to Amsterdam for the coverage.. their one child is high functioning autistic.. and there was no chance for early intervention under their coverage here… AND although they are middle class they get some hours every week of in-home help thru the state. Not a lot, about 8 hours, but enough for a small breathing space.

No chance it will be like that here.

Madman in the Marketplace - 6 October 2009

like every other civil rights issue in the history of this country, those in charge now will destroy the whole system before they’ll allow it to be fair.

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 October 2009

Celebrating Slaughter: War and Collective Amnesia

War memorials and museums are temples to the god of war. The hushed voices, the well-tended grass, the flapping of the flags allow us to ignore how and why our young died. They hide the futility and waste of war. They sanitize the savage instruments of death that turn young soldiers and Marines into killers, and small villages in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq into hellish bonfires. There are no images in these memorials of men or women with their guts hanging out of their bellies, screaming pathetically for their mothers. We do not see mangled corpses being shoved in body bags. There are no sights of children burned beyond recognition or moaning in horrible pain. There are no blind and deformed wrecks of human beings limping through life. War, by the time it is collectively remembered, is glorified and heavily censored.

I blame our war memorials and museums, our popular war films and books, for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as much as George W. Bush. They provide the mental images and historical references to justify new conflicts. We equate Saddam Hussein with Adolf Hitler. We see al-Qaida as a representation of Nazi evil. We view ourselves as eternal liberators. These plastic representations of war reconfigure the past in light of the present. War memorials and romantic depictions of war are the social and moral props used to create the psychological conditions to wage new wars.

War memorials are quiet, still, reverential and tasteful. And, like church, such sanctuaries are important, but they allow us to forget that these men and women were used and often betrayed by those who led the nation into war. The memorials do not tell us that some always grow rich from large-scale human suffering. They do not explain that politicians play the great games of world power and stoke fear for their own advancement. They forget that young men and women in uniform are pawns in the hands of cynics, something Pat Tillman’s family sadly discovered. They do not expose the ignorance, raw ambition and greed that are the engine of war.

There is a burning need, one seen in the collective memory that has grown up around World War II and the Holocaust, to turn the horror of mass murder into a tribute to the triumph of the human spirit. The reality is too unpalatable. The human need to make sense of slaughter, to give it a grandeur it does not possess, permits the guilty to go free. The war makers—those who make the war but never pay the price of war—live among us. They pen thick memoirs that give sage advice. They are our elder statesmen, our war criminals. Henry Kissinger. Robert McNamara. Dick Cheney. George W. Bush. Any honest war memorial would have these statesmen hanging in effigy. Any honest democracy would place them behind bars.

Primo Levi, who survived Auschwitz, fought against the mendacity of collective memory until he took his own life. He railed against the human need to mask the truth of the Holocaust and war by giving it a false, moral narrative. He wrote that the contemporary history of the Third Reich could be “reread as a war against memory, an Orwellian falsification of memory, falsification of reality, negation of reality.” He wondered if “we who have returned” have “been able to understand and make others understand our experience.” He wrote of the Jewish collaborator Chaim Rumkowski, who ran the Lodz ghetto on behalf of the Nazis, that “we are all mirrored in Rumkowski, his ambiguity is ours, it is our second nature, we hybrids molded from clay and spirit. His fever is ours, the fever of Western civilization that ‘descends into hell with trumpets and drums.’ ” We, like Rumkowski, “come to terms with power, forgetting that we are all in the ghetto, that the ghetto is walled in, that outside the ghetto reign the lords of death, and that close by the train is waiting.” We are, Levi understood, perpetually imprisoned within the madness of self-destruction. The rage of Cindy Sheehan, who lost her son Casey in Iraq, is a rage Levi felt. But it is a rage most of us do not understand.

marisacat - 6 October 2009

hmm iirc Primo Levi threw himself down a wide curving stair case.

15. marisacat - 6 October 2009


Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Creigh Deeds said in an interview that he was lagging in the polls entering the final weeks of the campaign in part because of voter concerns over his national party’s agenda.

“Frankly, a lot of what’s going on in Washington has made it very tough,” Deeds said in a “Battleground Virginia” interview sponsored by ABC 7/WJLA-TV, POLITICO, Google and YouTube. “We had a very tough August because people were just uncomfortable with the spending; they were uncomfortable with a lot of what was going on, a lot of the noise that was coming out of Washington, D.C.”

As one of two off-year governor’s races — the other is New Jersey — that are being closely watched for signals about the 2010 midterm election landscape, the factors behind Deeds’s struggles to date are being studied closely in both parties.

If the ambitious agenda being pushed by President Barack Obama is what’s dragging down the Deeds campaign — rather than the candidate’s own deficiencies, as some top Democrats believe — then the Virginia race could be a troubling harbinger for the national party. . . . . .

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28000.html

16. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 October 2009
17. marisacat - 6 October 2009

Hellooo Bob! No he does not get it. Does not get it.

Does Obama Get It?

Published: October 5, 2009

The big question on the domestic front right now is whether President Obama understands the gravity of the employment crisis facing the country. Does he get it? The signals coming out of the White House have not been encouraging. . . . . . . . .

I don’t think Bob cares much either way, but it makes a column and might get commentary. His guy – and congress – put together a lousy stumble bill that was not a JOBS BILL.

About it.

18. marisacat - 6 October 2009


hmm any way you slice it… and I hear a tone used here agaisnt Ob that is deadly. Dismissal and disdain.

[U]ndaunted, McChrystal repeats the clichés of classic counterinsurgency, or COIN, as refurbished by his boss, Gen. David Petraeus, head of Central Command. American generals used the same vintage phrases in Vietnam, where efforts to “protect the population” led to forcing rural peasants into fortified “strategic hamlets.”

With only slight variations of emphasis, French generals spoke the same lingo earlier in Vietnam and Algeria, while British generals became the gurus of counterinsurgency from Malaya to Kenya to Cypress. In these conflicts, one problem stands out: The counterinsurgents most often lost, as did earlier invaders in Afghanistan, from Alexander the Great to the British Raj to the former Soviet Union.

But why let all this history get in the way? “Each historical moment is different,” the learned Obama warned us with a flourish from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. “You never step into the same river twice.”

Forget history, then, and stick with military thinking. The new counterinsurgency manual that General Petraeus produced calls for “a range of 20 to 25 counterinsurgents for every 1000 residents” in the area of operations. Afghanistan has a population of some 30 million, which would require 600,000 to 750,000 counterinsurgents, including American, allied and Afghan troops. [well McChrystal does say he wants 400k in Afghani police and soldiers… good luck with that!]

Frederick Kagan, the neo-conservative military strategist who advises both Petraeus and McChrystal, talks of limiting our counterinsurgency to the Pashtun areas of Afghanistan, leaving the Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, and other of the country’s ethnic minorities to fend for themselves. Kagan estimates a Pashtun population of some 16 million, which would bring the counterinsurgent troops needed down to somewhere between 320,000 and 400,000. . . . . .

All Hail War with Pashtunistan!

19. Madman in the Marketplace - 6 October 2009
catnip - 6 October 2009


mooove over

20. marisacat - 6 October 2009

hmm Eugene Robinson is in a tizzy whizzy.

Generals should shut up and salute

hmm wonder if he felt that way when Bush was in… and how about pretzels who are not PUPPETS?

catnip - 6 October 2009

Oh – that’s the actual headline?! Wow.

marisacat - 6 October 2009

Ob looks any weaker, the R in congress will somehow finagle getting Petraeus and McChrystal in front of them. My guess, they would escalate hard.

Good Luck!! Mind the cliff!

21. catnip - 6 October 2009
22. lucid - 6 October 2009

Hi kids… in a maelstrom of my own at the moment… not nearly as bad as most others, but bad nonetheless – hence the non-posting…

When I figure out what is happening with my own housing, I’ll be back…

marisacat - 6 October 2009


kiss the kitts… 😉

lucid - 6 October 2009


23. marisacat - 6 October 2009



…………. 😯 …………..

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