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lunacy 16 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011, Total fucking lunatics, WAR!.
66 comments

First lady Michelle Obama, right, and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, are greeted by Sesame Street characters during a USO and Sesame Street event honoring National Guard members and their families Thursday, April 14, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Lunacy .. and lunatics.

Lesseee… we went to Libya to save Benghazi… right?  I do recall Obby slobbering on about ”saving” Benghazi from a massacre …ooops! which just happened, I guess, in Misrata, but never no mind!

And.. in further reports from the front, we are bombing Tripoli, a city of a million people.  Yes, wonder how that is going…. but!  they are not “our own people!”… You did catch that, didn’t you?

Anyhoo!, Ellen Brown has a piece up in the Asia Times (via Information Clearing House)… with this on the oft mentioned Benghazi:

April 13, 2011 “Asia Times” – -Several writers have noted the odd fact that the Libyan rebels took time out from their rebellion in March to create their own central bank – this before they even had a government.

Robert Wenzel wrote in the Economic Policy Journal:

I have never before heard of a central bank being created in just a matter of weeks out of a popular uprising. This suggests we have a bit more than a rag tag bunch of rebels running around and that there are some pretty sophisticated influences.

Alex Newman wrote in the New American:

In a statement released last week, the rebels reported on the results of a meeting held on March 19. Among other things, the supposed rag-tag revolutionaries announced the “[d]esignation of the Central Bank of Benghazi as a monetary authority competent in monetary policies in Libya and appointment of a Governor to the Central Bank of Libya, with a temporary headquarters in Benghazi.”

Well that clears things up! We went to save the CBB! Central Bank of Benghazi, which no doubt has eyes on the massive amount of gold boullion that allows Qaddafi to be free of many restrictions:

And that brings us back to the puzzle of the Libyan central bank.

In an article posted on the Market Oracle, Eric Encina observed:

One seldom mentioned fact by western politicians and media pundits: the Central Bank of Libya is 100% State Owned … Currently, the Libyan government creates its own money, the Libyan Dinar, through the facilities of its own central bank. Few can argue that Libya is a sovereign nation with its own great resources, able to sustain its own economic destiny. One major problem for globalist banking cartels is that in order to do business with Libya, they must go through the Libyan Central Bank and its national currency, a place where they have absolutely zero dominion or power-broking ability. Hence, taking down the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) may not appear in the speeches of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy but this is certainly at the top of the globalist agenda for absorbing Libya into its hive of compliant nations.

Libya not only has oil. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), its central bank has nearly 144 tonnes of gold in its vaults. With that sort of asset base, who needs the BIS, the IMF and their rules?

So, in addition to oil, which iirc is light sweet crude, Libya has gold. AND they have water, a massive underground aquifer.

We can’t let the man Reagan called “mad dog” have all of that, can we?

Pattern 15 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Divertissements.
52 comments

The recent weather at Noahs Ark Zoo Farm in Bristol seems to have had a warming effect on the relationships between some of the animals. The zoo's male giraffe Gerald has amused visitors and staff by making close friends with the zebra family. The family of three Chapmans zebra named Zebedee, Zara and Zelda and the giraffes share a spacious paddock in the African continental section of North Somerset's award-winning family park.

The recent weather at Noahs Ark Zoo Farm in Bristol seems to have had a warming effect on the relationships between some of the animals. The zoo’s male giraffe Gerald has amused visitors and staff by making close friends with the zebra family. The family of three Chapmans zebra – named Zebedee, Zara and Zelda – and the giraffes share a spacious paddock in the African continental section of North Somerset’s award-winning family park.    [APEX]

I think IOZ’s commenter, Mr Fundamental, has hit on the only right, righteous, right-on! slogan for L’Obster to run on:

Mr.Fundamental said…

FOUR MORE WARS!!1!

11:26 AM

Winning… 14 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Total fucking lunatics, WAR!.
54 comments

Gaza City, Gaza: A man watches from his window while a worker walks on a concrete slab at a construction site [Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images]

Winning the future. 

moiv’s cousin, who has been in SE Asia for a long time, previously in Saigon and now in Singapore, sent this email to her today (she gave me permission to post it):

Singapore dumped some of their holdings of US debt today in response to Ob’s incomprehensible “budget” rant yesterday.

They also fixed their SG$/US$ exchange rate for the 1st time. Singapore is about the size of Houston with twice the population.

But it’s extremely rich & very influential. They’ve been intermediary between China & DC on buying our worthless paper.

Next to Japan, they are our strongest Asian ally.

IOW: they’ve decided it’s time to cut their losses & bail out.

Japan has been holding out on dumping our debt, but that won’t last much longer. They need cash badly.

Yesterday I was out buying a network hub at the big Bangkok outlet mall & met this young Polish woman. We chatted a while. She’d just completed her degree in Australia & lamented that she’d already committed to a master’s program there.

Her lament:
the zloty buys a lot dollars these days. She regrets not applying in the US.

Remember the early 90s when Poles were close to eating newspapers because they couldn’t afford food?

I hope I get home before the crash. I’d hate to be stuck here dependent on my professional skills to make a living.  I’d have to turn to prostitution.

Geesh.  The ZLOTY!  Think of it!!

Winning the Future!!

? 13 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Total fucking lunatics.
97 comments

Joe Biden (right), not asleep before today’s speech by Barack Obama in Washington. Photograph: Mandel Nagen/AFP/Getty Images

How can it even be a question?  Asleep, not asleep.  The proof to me is Jim Daley, Geithner and unknown baldy guy, ALL looking at Biden.

Everything’s fine… 12 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
61 comments

9 April: Earthquake victims line up for food at an evacuation shelter in Fukushima city     [Athit Perawongmetha/Getty Images]

From a gallery at the Guardian, photos taken inside the exclusion zone.

******

Don’t worry.  No danger.  Everything is fine.

Seems inevitable.. 10 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Total fucking lunatics.
67 comments

Rikuzentakata, Japan: A Japanese Buddhist monk prays at an area devastated by last month’s earthquake and tsunami   [Sergey Ponomarev/AP]

Seems inevitable… the incoming, rolling tide of massive disasters, convergences of the natural and the man-made, isn’t over.

Add to that the creepy scummy political class who have been wandering around for decades, forever really, in their unattractive underwear, are currently buck naked.

It ain’t pretty.

****

Panorama 9 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011, U.S. Senate, WAR!.
44 comments

A Lebanese woman (a relative of one of the prisoners) faces an elite fighting unit from the Internal Security Force outside of Rumiya prison  Angry Arab blog

Sure beats this one, snagged from the Ben Smith column at Politico:

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich, left, confers with President pro tempore of the Senate Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, April 8, 2011, after meeting of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va. is at center. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sick old gargoyles. Younger gargoyle from VA in the background…

Line up of gargoyles:

THE SHOWS:

 –NBC’s “Meet the Press“: White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe; House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI); roundtable with Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Tim Shriver, CNBC’s Jim Cramer, The New York Times’ Helene Cooper and NBC’s Chuck Todd

–ABC’s “This Week“: White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe; Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD); roundtable with ABC’s George Will, interim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile, Thomson-Reuters’ Chrystia Freeland and National Journal’s Ron Brownstein; actor and director Robert Redford (“The Conspirator”)

–CBS’s “Face the Nation“: Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

–“Fox News Sunday“: White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA); roundtable with Fox News’ Brit Hume, NPR’s Mara Liasson, The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol and Fox News’ Juan Williams

–CNN’s “State of the Union“: White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe; Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX); Trump Organization Chairman and President Donald Trump; former British Prime Minister and Special Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East Tony Blair

–CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS Live” (SUN 10am ET / 1pm ET): Former Secretary of State and former Treasury Secretary James A. Baker, III; Financial Times’ Martin Wolf

–C-SPAN: “The Communicators” (Sat. 6:30 p.m. ET): FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, questioned by Telecommunications Reports’ Lynn Stanton … “Newsmakers” (Sun. 10 a.m. ET / 6 p.m. ET): RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, questioned by POLITICO’s Jonathan Martin and The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny … “Q&A” (Sun. 8 p.m. ET / 11 p.m. ET): CNBC’s Melissa Lee

–Univision’s “Al Punto“: Peruvian “Peru Posible” Presidential candidate Alejandro Toledo; author and Latin American affairs expert Alvaro Vargas Llosa; roundtable with Democratic strategist Maria Cardona, Republican analyst Helen Aguirre and Hispanic issues expert Arnoldo Torres; Spanish rock band Maná; roundtable with Tijuana Press’ Vicente Calderon and Poder Hispanic’s David Adams

–NBC’s “The Chris Matthews Show“: POLITICO Editor in Chief John F. Harris, CNN’s Gloria Borger, the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Cynthia Tucker and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson

****

God it is all so dreary, amidst weeks, months even!, of too much news.  How can that be.

Thursday 7 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Bolivia - Evo Morales, South America.
51 comments

A Bolivian mine worker with a stick of dynamite on his helmet attends a protest rally in La Paz

Bolivian mine worker with a stick of dynamite on his helmet attends a protest rally in La Paz     [REUTERS]

*********

Up. 5 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in Australia, Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
76 comments

In early March 2011, over a period of just six days, the appearance of Australia’s channel country – a region of outback Australia located mostly in the state of Queensland but also in portions of South Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales – changed dramatically. Rainwater filled typically dry river channels throughout the region, particularly in south-western Queensland. Channel country flooding is a fairly common occurrence at this time of year, but the summer of 2010-11 proved to be one of Australia’s wettest on record, leading to extensive flooding. Average rainfall was reported to be 70% above normal. Meteorologists attributed the unusually heavy precipitation to La Niña weather patterns     [MODIS/Terra/NASA]

From an amazing gallery of satellite images, at the Guardian

*****

Peeking out.. 4 April 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, AFRICOM, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011.
51 comments

Children play inside steel pipes that will be used by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System in Manila, the Philippines

Children play inside steel pipes that will be used by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System in Manila, the Philippines [AFP/GETTY]

On top of everything else (of which there is a surfeit) what happens…. an experimental Gulfstream luxury small jet for the corporate trade with two pilots and two flight engineers aboard crashes, burns completely and all 4 die.

Where did it manage to come down?

Roswell, NM

****

A good update on Fukushima by Al Jazeera

[T]hus, radiation from a meltdown in the reactor core of reactor No. 2 is leaking out into the water and soil, with other reactors continuing to experience problems. 

Yet scientists and activists question these government and nuclear industry “safe” limits of radiation exposure.

“The U.S. Department of Energy has testified that there is no level of radiation that is so low that it is without health risks,” Jacqueline Cabasso, the Executive Director of the Western States Legal Foundation, told Al Jazeera.

Her foundation monitors and analyzes U.S. nuclear weapons programs and policies and related high technology energy, with a focus on the national nuclear weapons laboratories.

Cabasso explained that natural background radiation exists, “But more than 2,000 nuclear tests have enhanced this background radiation level, so we are already living in an artificially radiated environment due to all the nuclear tests.”

“Karl Morgan, who worked on the Manhattan project, later came out against the nuclear industry when he understood the danger of low levels of ionizing radiation-and he said there is no safe dose of radiation exposure,” Cabasso continued, “That means all this talk about what a worker or the public can withstand on a yearly basis is bogus. There is no safe level of radiation exposure. These so-called safe levels are coming from within the nuclear establishment.”    . . .

The report notes that this month is the 25th anniversay of Chernobyl and last week is the 32nd anniversary of TMI.

Avoid spring, I guess.  If you can!

****

Pepe Escobar has an update on the deals coming down in The Soon-to-be Libyan Colony (at least the Eastern part)…

[A] curious development is already visible. NATO is deliberately allowing Gaddafi forces to advance along the Mediterranean coast and repel the “rebels”. There have been no air strikes for quite a while.

The objective is possibly to extract political and economic concessions from the defector and Libyan exile-infested Interim National Council (INC) – a dodgy cast of characters including former Justice minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil, US-educated former secretary of planning Mahmoud Jibril, and former Virginia resident, new “military commander” and CIA asset Khalifa Hifter. The laudable, indigenous February 17 Youth movement – which was in the forefront of the Benghazi uprising – has been completely sidelined.

This is NATO’s first African war, as Afghanistan is NATO’s first Central/South Asian war. Now firmly configured as the UN’s weaponized arm, Globocop NATO is on a roll implementing its “strategic concept” approved at the Lisbon summit last November.

Gaddafi’s Libya must be taken out so the Mediterranean – the mare nostrum of ancient Rome – becomes a NATO lake. Libya is the only nation in northern Africa not subordinated to Africom or Centcom or any one of the myriad NATO “partnerships”. The other non-NATO-related African nations are Eritrea, Sawahiri Arab Democratic Republic, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

Moreover, two members of NATO’s “Istanbul Cooperation Initiative” – Qatar and the United Arab Emirates – are now fighting alongside Africom/NATO for the fist time.  . . .

And to things keep rolling along, the UN has joined military forces with La Belle France (which, in any case, has “an occupying level force” based in Cote d’Ivoire) and sent in armed helicopters to strafe Gbagbo supporters.  All Hail Ouattara.

Shall he be different?

Does it matter?  I mean, to the West.  Obviously it matters to the poor people on the ground.

*****

Lewis Lapham has a lovely essay on Labor.  The labor of work, that is.

[I]t isn’t simply that the consumer markets don’t value work worth doing; it’s that the society’s ruling and possessing classes regard working for a living as the mark of inferior or damaged goods.

The attitude made its first appearance on the American scene during the Gilded Age, dancing with the newly crowned kings of finance under the ballroom chandeliers in Newport and New York. Thorstein Veblen took note of the arrival in 1899, his Theory of the Leisure Class suggesting that it is the conspicuous consumption of the product of other people’s time and effort that makes up the sum of one’s own worth and meaning. Not the doing of the work, the digesting of it. “Leisure, considered as an employment,” said Veblen, “is closely allied in kind with the life of exploit, and the achievements which characterize a life of leisure and which remain as its decorous criteria, have much in common with the trophies of exploit.”

During the years prior to the Second World War, the attitude was safely confined to a small number of people preserved in the aspic of what was then big money. The victories over Germany and Japan fostered extensions of the franchise. Rescued by force of arms from the Great Depression, America seemed blessed with the enchantments of both Croesus and Colossus, the indisputable proofs of its wealth and military power giving rise to the notion that all its children were the inheritors of a vast fortune and therefore deserving of the best of all possible worlds that money could buy. No reason not to have it all — a new frontier, a great society, guns for a splendid little war in Asia, butter for the old folks at home, a house in the country, a boat on the lake, the face and fortune in the ad for one of Ralph Lauren’s tennis dresses.

Much of the world in 1945 was either bankrupt or in ruins, and the refurnishing of it supplied the American economy over the next 30 years with an abundance of jobs that afforded the means of independence and a measure of self-worth, while at the same time bringing forth the trophies of exploit to a consumer market more wonderful than the wonderful world of Oz, seeding ever broader acres of the nation’s human topsoil with the presumptions of entitlement favored by Veblen’s Newport heiresses. Don’t worry, be happy; go forth and shop. Leisure considered as employment.

Which was all well and good until it turned out, somewhere in the middle of the 1980s on the yellow brick road with Toto and the Gipper, that the Wizard was easy access to conspicuous credit. For how else could the American leaves of grass join their top-dressed companions on a golf course unless they borrowed money? The country’s working and middle classes discovered that it wasn’t the value of the work itself, or its manufacture of a decent living (as architect, bus driver, sales clerk, actress, lathe operator, automobile mechanic) that made up the sum of the country’s wealth and well-being.

Their great collective enterprise was the labor of consumption, and with it the derivative of debt, a byproduct, like the methane exuded by factory-farmed pigs, that funded the patriotic service owing to God, country, and the American Express card. The work was maybe mindless, a substitution of what is animal for what is human, but it fattened the gross domestic product, enriched the insurance companies and the banks, welcomed the second coming of an American Gilded Age, and now accounts for the increasingly grotesque disparity between the income earned as wages and the revenue collected as rent, interest, dividend, stock option, and year-end bonus.

Americans with jobs imagine they now work longer and harder hours than did their forebears on Mark Twain’s Missouri frontier; if so, their labor serves a purpose other than the one in hand. Finance accounted for 47% of total U.S. corporate profits in 2007; 58% of Harvard University’s male graduates in that same year (the heirs and assigns of Woodrow Wilson’s small class of persons deserving of a liberal education) took up careers as high-end traffickers in the drug of debt. It’s a lucrative trade, up to the standard of the cotton export from the dear old antebellum South. That it doesn’t add to the sum of human happiness or meaning is probably why the gentry on the lawns of Connecticut, together with their upper servants in Washington and the news media, talk about the lost battalion of America’s unemployed as a set of conveniently invisible numbers rather than as a body of fellow citizens.