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Memento mori 28 May 2012

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, Culture of Death, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Israel/AIPAC, Total fucking lunatics, WAR!.

A man strolls past a red flamboyant tree on a street in Hai Phong, Vietnam. Red flamboyant is the symbol of Hai Phong, which is also named ‘The city of the red flamboyant’. According to tradition, summer has arrived when flamboyant flowers bloom. | Luong Thai Linh/EPA

“Red flamboyant” beats “rockets red glare…” And it beats most of what is in MSM today for Memorial Day. Such dreck on view. So supportive of war, loaded with knee jerk obeisance to the military….

Is it Slob who is muttering “time for Syria” ? I guess so:  Commander-in-Chief.  And all that.

Long term, I don’t think we survive ‘war forever – forever war’.


1. marisacat - 28 May 2012

ugh an aeronautic blast just occurred over my house… I assume we have the Blue Angels or some such display of mil power in town today.

The Nimitz and another sister aircraft carrier are in town too… (cute little “tiger cruise” down from Seattle, family along for the three day jaunt, so it is reported) apparently Navy people streamed off them at about 4 am and into town.


2. ms_xeno - 29 May 2012

Coming Soon: NATO presents Dear Leader with a Ziploc bag of medals that vets threw at them last week.

Dear Leader is quoted as saying, “Ewwwwwww! It’s so extreeeeeeeeeme!!!” Then he orders all of DC to undergo emergency fumigation.

Sorry. Just trying to give him all the respect he’s earned. (It’s especially funny if you imagine all this being “reported” in that pious, hushed tone NPR always uses.)

marisacat - 29 May 2012

…that pious, hushed tone NPR always uses [suitable hushed golf course clapping]

You might find this of interest… so Bushian:

THE RECORD – N.Y. Times 2-col. lead, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will: Taking Personal Role in War on Al Qaeda,” by Jo Becker and Scott Shane (“A Measure of Change; The Shadow War … the third article in a series assessing President Obama’s record”):

“Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding ‘kill list,’ poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre ‘baseball cards’ of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises – but his family is with him – it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation. ‘He is determined that he will make these decisions about how far and wide these operations will go,’ said Thomas E. Donilon, his national security adviser. ‘His view is that he’s responsible for the position of the United States in the world. … He’s determined to keep the tether pretty short.’

“Nothing else in Mr. Obama’s first term has baffled liberal supporters and confounded conservative critics alike as his aggressive counterterrorism record. His actions have often remained inscrutable, obscured by awkward secrecy rules, polarized political commentary and the president’s own deep reserve. In interviews with The New York Times, three dozen of his current and former advisers described Mr. Obama’s evolution since taking on the role, without precedent in presidential history, of personally overseeing the shadow war with Al Qaeda.”


I bet Slob thinks only he deserves a medal. Er, a halo, I would suspect…

[golf course murmurs, golf course applause]

marisacat - 29 May 2012

This from Greenwald is good too… and I ran nto it at InstaPundit’s page.


3. ts - 29 May 2012

Finally got this up. Well, part one anyway. Who knows if there will be a part two. Work and life have been hellish lately.


Today the 15 month old decided to climb up on a chair, fall off, and crack her head open on her train table. More blood and crying than injury, fortunately. Once she got cleaned up, she made a beeline right back to the chair that hurt her. Still, now dad can’t even check his e-mail if she’s loose, because if the guilt doesn’t kill him, the wife will.

marisacat - 29 May 2012

omigod… once they are sound asleep and you are off duty have a drink. What a stressful day…

thanks for the link!

Madman in the Marketplace - 30 May 2012

good piece

4. marisacat - 30 May 2012

So….. the Zucks went all the way to Rome to eat at ….


brian - 30 May 2012

when in rome …

marisacat - 30 May 2012

Mac alla Romana. I have to say, in the pics taken on the streets and in cafes they look unhappy. Can’t think why, it’s all on paper….

5. Madman in the Marketplace - 30 May 2012
marisacat - 30 May 2012

Same thing with Lybia, we got so little. I am sure most Americans think we went into some huge expanse of desert+rubble with backward people wandering around in a biblical landscape…. and now we are madly and wonderfully rebuilding it.

6. marisacat - 31 May 2012

Snicker… since Ob already does what Bush would do….

Former President George W. Bush speaking at the White House after unveiling his presidential portrait:

“I am also pleased, Mr. President, that when you are wandering these halls as you wrestle with tough decisions, you will now be able to gaze at this portrait and ask: What would George do?”

7. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 May 2012

Globe and Mail turns celebrity photos slideshow into commentary on Quebec protests

The caption writer on the Globe and Mail’s “Celebrity Photos of the Week” department has some trenchant political fun with the feature. Opening with a picture of the mass demonstrations still rocking Quebec, the writer notes “Thousands of Quebec students march through Montreal to protest university tuition fee hikes. Oh wait. Sorry about that, English Canada. You didn’t come here to look at a bunch of self-centred, entitled people who don’t know the value of a dollar and obviously crave attention. I don’t know what I was thinking. You have no time for those kind of people.”

Of course, the rest of the slideshow is of celebs holding fancy handbags flashing prosthetic dentistry attending red carpet events (“Cannes jury member Diane Kruger hits the Cannes red carpet last week in a dress that hardly resembles at all something Marie Antoinette would have worn”) interspersed with protesters getting forcibly taken down and arrested in Montreal, creating an imaginary dialog with the celebs (“Zac, this is a bad person with misguided values. According to some, this Quebecker is no better than a Greek person who lost his job and isn’t gracious enough to be pleased that his unemployment is helping Wall Street recover from the 2008 recession”).

marisacat - 31 May 2012

Just no words for that… some Globe and Mail editors feel VERY entitled

8. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 May 2012

catching up on the details of the shootings in Seattle. Horrible.

A Man Who Attacked Gunman Saved Lives at Cafe Racer, Police Say

But other details today provide an increasingly brutal picture of what cops call “completely senseless” murders. “I have had the unfortunate opportunity to see the video of what happened at Cafe Racer,” Deputy Chief Metz told reporters. “In my almost three years in this department, I have never seen anything more horrific, callous, and cold.”

Pugel called it “sickening.”

The suspect, who is widely believed to be 40-year-old Ian Stawicki, had walked into Cafe Racer in the Roosevelt neighborhood just before 11:00 a.m. with a “calm” demeanor and seated himself at the bar across from the barista. However, witnesses said he had been kicked out once or twice before. “He knew he wasn’t supposed to be there,” Pugel explained. According to video footage from the scene, Pugel said, “It appears that the barista is calmly declining him service.” The man stayed seated until a customer next to him stood up.

“As the first victim stood up and started going to the door, he shot him,” Pugel explained. “At that point, the suspect stands up and starts shooting, and… goes down the bar. At that time he’s been hit by the stool twice. He completes his shooting and puts the guns in his pockets. Actually took a hat from one of the victims and walked out.” Thought it all, another customer hid in the bathroom, calling 911 for help. Officers responded within five minutes.

Madman in the Marketplace - 31 May 2012

He owned an arsenal and had a history of violence:

Yesterday afternoon, around the time that presumed mass-shooter Ian Stawicki was being rushed to Harborview with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, reporters across Seattle were busy compiling the barest outlines of his character. Today, the City Attorney’s office released its limited rap sheet on Stawicki, which details his concealed weapons permits, details the six firearms—three of them 45-caliber and three of them 9 millimeter—he was known to have registered, and confirms his arrest carrying a switchblade in 2009 and another arrest for domestic violence in 2008.

It’s this last report that might be the most useful for people hoping to glean some motivation or rationale behind yesterday’s violence. These police reports and victim statements, filed over four years ago, illustrate in bruising colors that Stawicki was indeed mentally ill, violent, and desperately needed help, as his family has suggested.

It started on February 27, 2008, when Stawicki’s then-girlfriend of three years stopped by a female friend’s house after work. “The suspect had followed the victim and… was enraged that the victim had not come straight home to him,” writes responding SPD Officer James Moran in his report. After the visit, the woman returned home to find that Stawicki was “in the process of destroying every single thing in the home that they both identified as belonging to [her],” Moran’s report states.

When his girlfriend attempted to dial 911, Stawicki allegedly punched her in the face. “Suddenly, I was on the ground and my nose was bleeding, and Ian had my phone,” she wrote in her police statement in tidy all-caps script.

He took her phone “while she was stunned,” Moran’s report states. A fight ensued. Stawicki reportedly refused to give up the phone and physically restrained the victim from leaving their home. Eventually, she managed to retrieve the phone, escape the house, and lock herself in her van to call for help. Stawicki, meanwhile, “armed himself with a .45-caliber handgun and left the home in a Volvo,” according to the report.

When police arrived, they found the victim with puffy eyes and clutching “several paper towels covered in blood.”

After a thorough search, police found Stawicki hiding in bushes near the house—at some point, the report concludes, Stawicki had abandoned the car and circled back to the home with the gun. In his hiding place, police discovered a “freshly dug hole” in which he’d buried the gun.

Inside the home, “I saw massive amounts of utterly smashed belongings,” wrote Officer Christopher Snyder in a secondary report. “I could identify compact discs, records, mirrors, small art pieces, and clothing, but most of the debris was so completely destroyed that it was not identifiable. All of the living room furniture was pushed against the south wall, and the computer monitor was missing from its living room table.”

Sitting prominently on the pile of debris, carefully, deliberately placed in the center, police found “a Miller Beer can with a small, neat, round hole through it,” Snyder adds.

marisacat - 31 May 2012


marisacat - 31 May 2012

I read or heard that his family said immediately they “had seen this coming”.

Madman in the Marketplace - 31 May 2012

which is why nobody tried to take his arsenal away from him, I guess

marisacat - 31 May 2012

so many stories around of families that do try… but run into thick brick walls. Even if a family can afford private hospitalisation, commitment is an issue. But after that police record from the domestic abuse… Then again even had they managed to pursue a charge against him, I doubt it would rise to a felony.


ms_xeno - 3 June 2012

I love all the people in that thread who blame his beaten ex for the coffee shop deaths, and all the time they say but we’re not really blaming her.

I hate the fucking Stranger and its resident hipster-boy commenters because it’s standard issue with them. It really is. The column itself has nothing to say about the physical and psychological damage done to victims in DV situations, either. So it comes across as a license to stupid redneck male hipsters to point fingers and blame a woman, once more, for what men do to us and to one another.

Fuck The Stranger.

marisacat - 3 June 2012

oh I think blaming his ex GF is a really long, and wrong, reach. Makes no sense to me… I did not bother with the thread….

It seems he had a long history, according to his family….

ms_xeno - 6 June 2012

Wise decision. I seriously need to start treating those things just like Yahoo/MSN “News” comments. Mainlining such boundless levels of (rarely contested) stupid all the time just makes us all stupider.

9. Madman in the Marketplace - 31 May 2012
marisacat - 31 May 2012

ugh I don’t see it ending, esp snce it has come out that the sheriffs’ depts everywhere bill the banks for the process.

ts - 3 June 2012

I just got done reading a bunch of Mark Hanson’s old analysis and did a quick writeup on it here: http://anti-econ.blogspot.com/2012/06/structural-adjustment-in-housing.html

His best piece is this one.

Banks not wanting to lend is a myth. It’s a trendy thing to blame the banks for not wanting to lend, but it’s not reality. Don’t get me wrong…many other problems in housing and finance might be able to be blamed on them, but not this. This is what makes the problem in mortgage and housing so fundamentally grave. It’s just not as easy as lowering rates, doing a mass refi event, or pulling Foreclosures off the market.

After nearly 5 years, if there was an easy fix (HAMP mods, HARP loans, HAFA short sales, printing trillions of dollars in order to try to create inflation) housing would be experiencing a v-shaped recovery already. Housing and mortgage are in a generational downturn for which the only cure is time. Anything done to prevent the market from clearing extends the duration and ultimately, the severity.

Below is a list of headline mis-perceptions and recently proposed intrusions — and my greatest pet peeves — aimed at mitigating the damage from various disasters lying directly ahead. Like everything else to date, they are poorly thought out ideas (mostly proposed by those in gov’t or the private sector that stand to benefit the most from them) that will only loosely patch the gaping hole in the side of the ship via kicking the can or adding leverage to a sector in natural de-leveraging mode.

The ‘fixes’ are aimed at artificially supporting house prices through increased debt, leverage or both; keeping refi money churning in order to temporarily drive bank earnings, lowering the household debt service burden so they can increase spending or increase/pay down other debt; ridding banks of pesky legacy rep & warranty (putback) risk; protecting the banks from resi whole loan and MBS price discovery; giving something to millions of delinquent borrowers for nothing; and getting votes. None of these things alone or combined will promote a sustainable recovery in housing. The only true fix for this housing market is time, jobs, income growth and debt reduction. And this reality always leads to disappointment.

marisacat - 3 June 2012

The only true fix for this housing market is time, jobs, income growth and debt reduction

and I don’t see a way out, for the same reasons… nobody even writes about the late middle aged, elderly who cannot count on their homes value now, when they need it. Sold out from under them.

To me a lot about the housing market, mortgage business, bank fees and levies and the whole marketing of “home ownership” (to say nothing of sprawl for sprawl’s sake) took a dark and deadly turn about 30 years ago. It is a long long germination process to the nasty harvest we are living now.

ms_xeno - 6 June 2012

Having worked so much with property docs (’99-’06), I’m inclined to agree with you.

Not waiting for Clinton the First and his friends to take any responsibility for their hand in it. Since they’ve never done so for anything else they had such a huge role in fucking up.

marisacat - 6 June 2012

I am not hopeful for the next 10 years, at minimum…. it’s been 7 years since the slowdown, I would count from 2005… and it is not over – nowhere near, it is still continuing, despite all the drool of things getting better. Not really… it will take years to get out of this…if we ever do, it won’t be in my lifetime.

10. Madman in the Marketplace - 2 June 2012

Heavy absentee voting suggests big turnout Tuesday

Madison – With more than 182,000 absentee ballots requested, high early voting numbers suggest overall turnout in Tuesday’s recall election will exceed that of the 2010 governor’s race, and in some key locations could even match the 2008 presidential election.

“This is unprecedented,” Appleton City Clerk Charlene Peterson said. “We’ve never seen a statewide recall, so I’m kind of looking at the pulse of the absentee for markers” of overall turnout.

For Peterson, a 20-year clerk, that pulse is steady and strong: Turnout will likely be higher than the 2010 gubernatorial election, when Republican Gov. Scott Walker defeated Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, but lower than the 2008 presidential election.

In Appleton, Peterson reports more than 3,000 absentee ballots have been returned. That’s already more than the approximately 2,000 who voted absentee in 2010, but nowhere near the 10,000-plus in 2008’s presidential race.

Statewide, the Government Accountability Board tracks around one-third of early voting locations, including most major cities.

Of those reporting, 182,000 people had voted early or requested mail-in absentee ballots as of noon Friday, the last day of early voting.

The end totals will likely come close to or exceed the 2010 gubernatorial election’s 230,744 total ballots. The 2008 presidential election easily tops both numbers with more than 600,000 total absentee ballots filed.

The GAB anticipates 60% to 65% turnout Tuesday, significantly higher than the 2010 governor race’s turnout of 50% but lower than the 2008 election’s record of 69%. Typically, turnout in years with high-interest presidential elections exceeds that in years with only gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races.

But several key voting markets could exceed the GAB’s expectations for this difficult-to-predict recall election.

marisacat - 2 June 2012

fingers crossesd… I read that Walker won’t release his internal polling and that Barrett who did release, his internal polling shows a dead heat. SO< here is hoping.

Madman in the Marketplace - 2 June 2012

and this is floating around:

According to lawyers familiar with a Milwaukee criminal corruption probe, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is now a “target” for prosecution.

The legal sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Walker faces “serious legal challenges,” including
a “possible indictment” regardless of the gubernatorial recall election results on Tuesday.

marisacat - 2 June 2012

If he does squeak in, it may all blow up… iirc voting’s just a few days away… This coming week?

Madman in the Marketplace - 3 June 2012

It’s Tuesday.

I think it’ll blow up if he wins, maybe even worse. I think the upcoming Senate campaign to fill Kohl’s seat will continue the battle. I think WI is looking at a decade of very intense political war.

Madman in the Marketplace - 3 June 2012

oops, i meant if he loses.

11. lucid - 5 June 2012

Looks like Walker won…

marisacat - 6 June 2012

the initial 20 pt spread has, at least, shrunk to 11 pts. We’ll see what it is in the am.


Madman in the Marketplace - 6 June 2012

Looks like the dems won the one state Senate seat they needed, so hopefully they can slow these bastards down. Walker won 53% to 46%.

marisacat - 6 June 2012

I was just reading that the last Marquette poll out had it at 7 pts, so they were not far off…

Good news on the senate seat…

ms_xeno - 6 June 2012

On the plus side, you’re spared Hopey trying to take credit for the whole thing. :/

Madman in the Marketplace - 6 June 2012

poor dear would have worn his intern’s thumb off tweeting

ms_xeno - 6 June 2012

😀 You just made my evening with that image, M!

12. m - 9 June 2012
m - 10 June 2012

Any comments on article? Predictions on economy? Ideas on how to get out of this banker’s mess?

marisacat - 10 June 2012

I don’t know mattes, do you see any real structural changes, banks, Wall St, government, etc… that will lead us out of this mess? Do you see any difference in the banks?

I don’t.

As I listen to Axelrod trying to spin on This Week.

m - 10 June 2012

What really scares me, is that NO ONE is in a position to oppose them, not one bit. Look at Spain….and now Ireland wants to re-negotiate…”more opportunities to steal”. Really really scary times ahead when the young have NOTHING to loose….world wide….and they are not all fat and brain-dead from TV, games and fast food like so many Americans

ms_xeno - 10 June 2012

“fat and brain-dead”

Take your moral judgments about how my figure affects my brain power and cram it, m.

marisacat - 10 June 2012

He (the author at Information Clearing House) also seemed to still value McGovern. LOL…. I challenge anyone to read a true telling of the so called vetting of the VPessa, Eagleton, and not figure out that the McGovern campaign had big big problems internally.

ms_xeno - 10 June 2012

The other thing that makes me scratch my head is his claim that Reagan’s election was a bellwether for the entire U.S. populace. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Reagan a minority President? And even then, how many members of the eligible populace even bothered to vote in the first place?

On the plus side, he opted to disappear Nader rather than demonize him vis-a-vis 2000. I guess these days that counts as a blessing. :/

marisacat - 10 June 2012

Reagan had a lot of low points in terms of polling, including when he left office. Most of it hs been post pretzel hoopla, and amplified by his wife, daughter (who once claimed she considered having her tubes tied because of who her parents were, LOL) and so on. Even the son Ron joined in, esp at the death….. and since. Michael and Maureen, always certifiable nuts.

IMO the R wanted an icon/saint, to rival JFK/RFK/Martin. So they worked on it for years.

ms_xeno - 10 June 2012

All right, all all right. I see the dude at Infoclearinghouse also had to get in his digs at the stupid/”obese”, too. I guess one can’t fight political fashions.

But Jesus H. Christ, I can remember when “obese” meant the man in the Guinness Book who was so large that he had to be buried in a piano case when he died. Now “obese” means anyone who can’t zip themselves into a Size 8 pair of hotpants.

It’s fucking tiring. And I love how people who prize themselves on questioning tenets foisted on us by the capitalist machine suddenly let their critical skills fall by the wayside when it comes to weight. The current criteria for determining “obesity” is some shitty chart put out by fucking insurance companies, and makes no allowances for variances in the human condition.

At least when the world famine comes, I’ll still be standing long after the self-righteous skinny corpses of the assholes who think “fat=stupid” have dried up and blown away. :p

m - 10 June 2012

You really think I am some skinny minny?? Hate to disappoint you. 🙂 Just a correlation…..
NOT mutually exclusive. And yes, I do think fast food is a slow poison….
“Kill them off quicker”

ms_xeno - 10 June 2012

I seriously doubt that my twice-a-week cheeseburger is anymore dangerous than yo-yo dieting, or the ten kajillion scam diets shoved daily up our collective noses. Or fucking anorexia or bullimia, for that matter.

And if I hear/read one more treatise about the “wastefullness” or “burdensome” or “parasitic” qualities of fatness, well… One of my longer-running temp jobs was for a fitness company that sold shit-tons of overpriced, unneccessary fitness/fashion wear and doodads to rich Yuppies. Most of it comprised of synthetics and made in Asia, then shipped to us wrapped in enough (never-recycled) plastic and paper to populate an entire moon.

And when I think of the pittance I was paid… if you ask me, the rich skinny yo-yo dieters and exercise fiends were “leeching” a hell of a lot more of my hide than I ever could have “leeched” from theirs, in a million fucking years.

Also, I don’t think much of the intelligence level of anyone who pays eighty-nine bucks for an ugly pair of “Hatha Yoga” pants that they probably could’ve scooped up at Penney’s for 1/4 as much. Sorry, I know who the moron is in this scenario and it’s not me.

Madman in the Marketplace - 10 June 2012

Sadly, most Americans have no idea what is coming.

Sadly, most Americans won’t face it when it gets here, and a lot of them will support ideas to make things even worse.

m - 10 June 2012

Last two presidents to confront the money men got bullets in the head….not much incentive…

marisacat - 10 June 2012

Not like Slob would put himself out for anyone.


[I]t will get far worse before it gets better, if it does. The Wisconsin election was widely and correctly seen as a dry run for November, but in fact November is already as over as is May or April. The hapless Obama people may not have gotten the word, but they are as dead as the unions in Wisconsin that they didn’t bother to support. And Obama will go down in near-term, right-wing renderings of history as another Jimmy Carter. Meanwhile, stupid liberals, who slavishly admired a decidedly right-wing, militarist, ultra-statist, corporate-serving Democratic president, will sit holding their heads in surprise at the damage wrought to the president himself, to his party, and to their cherished liberal principles. Um, sorry, but have y’all been snoozing through Afghanistan and Pakistan? Did you miss the whole presidential-ordered assassinations program? Have you not heard what has happened to whistleblowers? Did you forget the tax cuts and the offer to dismantle Medicare? Have you been watching Fox and not heard about the growth of military spending? Did you not know that the health care bill was co-authored by, and for the benefit of, insurance and pharmaceutical companies? Have you not heard that our ultra-progressive president has done nothing whatsoever about the planetary über-crisis of global warming, other than to open vast new oil drilling fields? Did you not see in action the joy and wonder of Obamaism in 2010, the most devastating election for a political party in half a century, and coming only two years after the total meltdown of the GOP under Bush? Sorry, but this is the SOB you adored and went to the mat for? . . . . .

m - 10 June 2012

That was depressing….

13. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 June 2012

This is a good rundown of how/why Walker won:

Sure, Barrett was at a disadvantage, with just $4 million to spend versus Walker’s $30 million. But even if the money was equal, Barrett couldn’t have won, because he never made a case to recall a sitting governor.

Back in the fall, when the Democrats first launched their recall effort, the problems with their approach become obvious. They justified the recall by talking about Walker’s poor record on jobs and cuts in education funding. But did they really expect voters would recall a governor just 18 months after his election for not increasing jobs enough, or over a policy disagreement on spending?

Everyone in the state knew the party had targeted Walker because he effectively eliminated collective bargaining for public workers. The only way to win the recall was to convince voters Walker not only took the wrong action, but did this in a way that was flagrantly anti-Democratic and therefore worthy of a recall.

Instead the party tip-toed around the issue. Barrett was fairly effective — and as fiery as we will probably every see him — accusing Walker of fomenting an ideological civil war, of dividing family members and friends. Most voters probably experienced some of these arguments, and wished Walker had done more to reach out to the other side. Moreover, polls taken back when Republicans first passed Act 10 show a majority of people opposed the elimination of collective bargaining rights.

But as Walker noted, Barrett’s suggested course of action — to reverse Act 10 — would simply recharge the same arguments and reopen the same civic wounds. Why do this unless Barrett could suggest a middle ground: some way to compromise that would reform the system or limit bargaining rights in some way?

In the background of this entire discussion was the issue of how government benefits had been abused. Notably, the Milwaukee County pension plan, which gave a long list of county veterans payouts of $300,000 to $1 million (and this was in addition to a monthly pension they will draw for life). Or the plan passed in 1998 by the Milwaukee School board, which gave a second pension to Milwaukee teachers already covered by the generous state pension plan. This increased the lifetime retirement payment for certain teachers (as with the county, a privileged group of veterans) by as much as 400 percent.

Then there was the 1999 law championed by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson that sweetened an already generous state pension plan, at a long-term cost of $5.5 billion. (Imagine if that money had been available when Walker began talking about the budget deficit) Thompson’s plan, too, was skewed to deliver the big benefits to insiders, the employees with the biggest salaries and longest tenure. The lifetime value of Thompson’s already generous pension, for instance, grew by $111,000. Numerous UW officials gained a $7,000 to $12,000 sweetener in their annual retirement payment.

Generous union contracts enabled 10 state corrections workers to collect $59,000 to $103,000 in annual overtime payments, all in addition to their regular pay. Ditto for the seven Madison bus drivers who each earned more than $100,000 annually, as a result of overtime payments of $40,000-$109,000 a year. None of these abuses sat well with John and Jane Q. Public.

There’s no doubt conservatives exaggerated what the average government worker or teacher earns. Most public employees in Wisconsin are not unreasonably compensated. But there have been abuses, which laid the groundwork for an attack on all public workers, and for Walker’s sweeping reforms. And as the months rolled on, and no Democrat came forward with a counter-proposal, voters began to move more toward Walker’s position. Tuesday’s exit polls showed 52 percent of voters favored eliminating collective bargaining rights.

Add to this that 60% of voters in the exit polls said recalls should be for official misconduct only, and you can see Barrett’s problem: he needed to get more than a majority to agree with him on the issues, because some who disagreed with Walker’s policies didn’t feel this was justification for a recall.

marisacat - 10 June 2012

That’s the problem with public service union contracts, it is a garden of flowers for the Walkers of the earth… About three years ago, a union for top city workers in just one district over in the East Bay came to light. A union for 13 highly
h i g h l y paid people. No one else… LOL

Years ago when I learned what modern union dues are, hundreds of dollars a month, I took the last step back.

Again, the problem is how much damage will be done to the very ordinary worker, making…let’s say under 60K a year. Not like the unions care at all about those people… I don’t think they do.

ms_xeno - 10 June 2012

I do agree with SMBIVA in this case: (Even though I don’t post there anymore.) It tells you how serious the Democrats were about winning when they re-ran the same worthless schmuck who lost against Walker in the first place.

It really is all about de-fanging grassroots agitation. The ineptitude of the Democrats is a feature, not a bug. The real success for them was the de-fanging. Obama’s total lack of interest in doing anything for the (supposed) cause of finishing off bad-guy Walker is testimony enough of that. The Democrats broke the momentum of the grassroots by misdirecting its energies and now it can sit back and let Walker do the rest, all the while insisting to those deeply in denial that it loooooooooves them, truly. [rolleyes]

And Anarchist blogs were pointing out a year or two ago that plenty of sitting Dems in WI paved the way for Walker’s
Labor-hate in the first place, by not opposing him before he became so firmly entrenched.

Fuck the Donkey and everyone in it. It sure never hesitates to fuck us.

marisacat - 10 June 2012

when they re-ran the same worthless schmuck who lost against Walker in the first place.

which they do often… and not in some positive vote building way, where third time out their guy (or guy-ette) wins. OR they pluck someone they are nutty in love wiht from one district over – that nut in Illinois, Duckworth, for one – that Clinton Rham and the Illinois gang are crazy for who got her legs blown off in Vietnam, Oh I mean IRAQ! LOL Same war different CENTURY), move him or her in and pressure the local Dem who has and is building votes, to bow out.

On and on it goes. Always a scam on the hapless voter.

ms_xeno - 10 June 2012

As to overtime, Democrats can’t oppose its abuses (public or private) because overtime has become essentially a means for curtailing increased employment. I spent a (mercifully) brief time last year doing Saturday mandatory overtime for some douchebags who ran a “green” [snerk] recycling center. It’s obvious to anyone who pays attention at this point that companies/public orgs get much more satisfaction from overworking the employees they already have, rather than cutting back existing work hours, modifying wages, and hiring new workers to take up what is now mandatory overtime for those already employed.

I don’t even think any of these fucks have monetary profits as their top priority, because the material toll taken against society by double-digit employment is huge. People can’t spend what they don’t have so the profit bonanza for idling/oppressing us isn’t infinite. (Surprise!)

No, their top priority is the deep satisfaction of dickery for its own sake. Their top priority is finding the person in the room who already has one leg in a cast and then laughing as they kick the other leg out from under the poor bastard.

It’s the “soft” version of fucking drone bombings: Be grateful that we only kicked you, Worthless peasant scum. Kiss our feet. Again.

Madman in the Marketplace - 10 June 2012

definitely agree …

14. Madman in the Marketplace - 10 June 2012

Another child killed for the crime of being black and unwelcome, this time here in Milwaukee:

A black boy shot at close range in front of his near south side home, his accused killer a 75-year-old white man who lived next door. The boy and his family newly moved to the block, the man a decades-long resident of a neighborhood that years ago changed from all-white to a multiethnic mix.

And police officers accused of treating the victim’s family with a heavy hand – questioning Darius’ mother for two hours while the boy lay dead, leaving their house in disarray after scouring it, in vain, for the shotguns, arresting one of Darius’ brothers for a year-old truancy violation.

“It’s just unconscionable,” Rainbow Push Coalition executive Tavis Grant said Saturday of the actions of police described to him by Darius’ mother, Patricia Larry.


Home » News » Milwaukee County
Milwaukee County

Family, friends mourn the death of Darius Simmons

Rick Wood

Patrica Larry, mother of Darius Simmons, is comforted by Bishop Tavis Grant, right, national field director for the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, as the family is escorted from All Peoples Church following the funeral service for her 13-year-old son who was shot and killed by his neighbor.

By Rick Romell of the Journal Sentinel

June 9, 2012

Funeral for Darius Simmons

This funeral never should have happened.

But now that it has, its echoes may ring louder than the gunshot that ripped through 13-year-old Darius Simmons’ heart as his mother watched.

They buried Darius on Saturday between two tall maple trees in Lincoln Memorial Cemetery on a perfect almost-summer afternoon, nine days after he was gunned down in front of his home, allegedly by an angry neighbor convinced Darius had stolen his shotguns.

“This was a huge, huge loss – one of those injustices that you can’t even calculate,” said the Rev. Willie Brisco, president of the Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope. “You want to be angry but you realize that anger doesn’t solve it.”

It’s also a tragedy that tears at Milwaukee’s ever-raw racial sores:

A black boy shot at close range in front of his near south side home, his accused killer a 75-year-old white man who lived next door. The boy and his family newly moved to the block, the man a decades-long resident of a neighborhood that years ago changed from all-white to a multiethnic mix.

And police officers accused of treating the victim’s family with a heavy hand – questioning Darius’ mother for two hours while the boy lay dead, leaving their house in disarray after scouring it, in vain, for the shotguns, arresting one of Darius’ brothers for a year-old truancy violation.

“It’s just unconscionable,” Rainbow Push Coalition executive Tavis Grant said Saturday of the actions of police described to him by Darius’ mother, Patricia Larry.

Grant was in Milwaukee Saturday for Darius’ funeral, which drew a couple hundred mourners to http://www.allpeoplesgathering.org/“>All Peoples Church, a multiracial Lutheran congregation at 2600 N. 2nd St.

Mayor Tom Barrett, who on Friday vowed an investigation of how police treated Darius’ mother, was there, too. So were Aldermen José Pérez, Ashanti Hamilton and Milele Coggs; James Hall Jr., president of the Milwaukee branch of the NAACP; and representatives of the Nation of Islam.

Darius attended services at All Peoples, worked in the church garden across the street, cracked jokes frequently, occasionally whispered with friends during prayers but always, Pastor Steve Jerbi said, responded respectfully when called to account.

“The kind of kid who, one quick look from the pastor, he’d quiet down,” Jerbi said.

Jerbi eulogized Darius with passion – now fiery, now soft, giving his message a rhythmic spin and drawing out the “s” sound in peace, a word he invoked often.

Everyone loves peace, he said, but Jesus didn’t say it was the peace-lovers who are blessed but the peacemakers.

“We are all to be peacemakers in this world,” he said. “We are all to go from this place with the word of peace written on our lips and in our hearts.”

“I want to be perfectly clear on this one point: This is not part of God’s divine plan. This is not something that was written in the stars,” Jerbi said.

“And so if we ask ourselves where is God in the midst of this – God is standing on the front porch crying out. God is standing on the street corners saying ‘Why?’ . . . God’s heart is as broken as ours is.”

Jerbi said that Darius’ death raises questions, but that Saturday was not a day to press them but to mourn.

If the questions receded a bit, though, they’re not likely to stop.

Rainbow PUSH Coalition founder Jesse Jackson said he will be in Milwaukee on Monday for the arraignment of Darius’ accused killer, John H. Spooner. The Chicago-based organization also plans to march here next Saturday against the state’s concealed-carry gun law.

And in an interview Saturday, Grant, the coalition’s national field director, expanded on earlier charges he leveled at Milwaukee police about their treatment of Larry, Darius’ mother.

Grant said that after Darius had been shot, officers asked for Larry’s permission to search her home. She consented, but wasn’t expecting what she later found, Grant said.

“Clothes were pulled out of the closet, ceiling tiles were pulled out of the ceiling, furniture was turned upside down,” he said. “Family members that I spoke to directly said they thought that a fight or something had broken out in the home.”

Grant also said that police held a brother of Darius until 10 p.m. that night – Darius was shot in the morning – on the year-old truancy warrant.

“This is just bizarre that people in trauma and shock would be treated like this,” Grant said.

Madman in the Marketplace - 10 June 2012

oops, sorry, that website is hard to copy and past from … didn’t mean to give you the whole page!

marisacat - 10 June 2012

oh I fixed it, no problem… 😉

marisacat - 10 June 2012

Clothes were pulled out of the closet, ceiling tiles were pulled out of the ceiling, furniture was turned upside down,” he said. “Family members that I spoke to directly said they thought that a fight or something had broken out in the home.”

hmm that is what they do in some grudge laden search, like searching the home of a parolee they suspect of something…

Not too much detail on the actual shooting…

In the aftermath of the shooting of 4 cops over in Oakland a couple of years ago, they went after any family members of the shooter who had outstanding warrants… but to do it in the face of a death…

Madman in the Marketplace - 10 June 2012

there is remarkably little detail available locally about it. This in the media market that calls any crime committed by more than two black teens in the same place a “mob”.

marisacat - 10 June 2012

they don’t even mention if he had reported the guns missing/stolen and told the cops of his suspicions.

Madman in the Marketplace - 10 June 2012

here’s more

Milwaukee police said they recognized the area around 19th and Arrow streets address when the call came in about a man they said shot his teenage neighbor. Dispatch records obtained by WISN 12 News show the Spooner called 911 at least 15 times in five years, including four stolen guns after a break-in Tuesday.

An hour before the shooting, Spooner had been eating breakfast with Alderman Bob Donovan. “(Spooner) was telling me about the recent burglary that he had. They stole $3,000 worth of guns. I know John to have been a member, or is a member, of the National Rifle Association,” Donovan said.

“I asked him, ‘Did you call the police?’ He said, ‘Yeah,’ but for whatever reason, seemed a little frustrated with that investigation. I don’t know the details of it,” Donovan said.

“Did he suspect the 13-year-old?” Lyles asked.

“He suspects whoever lives next door to him, that those individuals were involved,” Donovan said.

Donovan said Spooner has lung cancer and seemed troubled, not angry. But after the shooting, he said the conversation stands out.

“He did say that ‘maybe there are other ways of dealing with this,'” Donovan said.

Donovan is our local winger race-baiting alderman, horrible man.

marisacat - 10 June 2012

“He did say that ‘maybe there are other ways of dealing with this,’” Donovan said.

Donovan may have handed the prosecution pre-meditation.

I would suspect the old guy mouthed off to his family, but there he spoke up to an elected official.

Madman in the Marketplace - 10 June 2012

I suspect it’s got more to do with Donovan not wanting anything to stick to him. Donovan is a homophobic racist bastard who does nothing but stir up trouble and conflict, and goes out of his way to block anything remotely like progress or cooperation.

marisacat - 10 June 2012

I suspect it’s got more to do with Donovan not wanting anything to stick to him

yes I can see that makes sense……

ms_xeno - 10 June 2012

Charming man. Can’t wait to meet him down at the next cross-burning. JFC…

Madman in the Marketplace - 10 June 2012

here’s more:

As Spooner remains behind bars, more details have emerged about the afternoon he killed Darius, including the fact that Spooner shot Darius with a 9mm handgun five feet away from him in the chest.

According to Blackyouthproject.com, when Darius was shot once in the chest he had his hands raised and when he ran to escape, Spooner attempted to shoot him in the back, and then tried to fire a third shot.

After Milwaukee police arrived, Darius’ body remained on the sidewalk, while police questioned his mother, Patricia Larry, in a squad car for approximately two hours.

During the police investigation of the shooting, they searched Darius’ home again and found nothing, but arrested his older brother for having truancy tickets.

Spooner’s family was allowed to go into the home and remove “items” despite it being a crime scene.

Spooner is currently behind bars and is charged with first-degree murder and unlike the Trayvon Martin case, there is no controversy as to what exactly happened. Darius’ mother witnessed the shooting and so did many of the neighbors.

marisacat - 10 June 2012

Spooner is currently behind bars and is charged with first-degree murder

Well because there were witnesses to the whole thing, the child/youth did not advance on him, he has no wounds…. and he had no reason, none that he can claim, to shoot.

The case in Sanford FL is rife iwth classic problems, quite aside from the black/white or white-hispanic problems.

Madman in the Marketplace - 10 June 2012

the local media and that politician, Donovan, have been stoking racial fears down there for years.

lucid72 - 11 June 2012

What the hell is a ‘truancy ticket’?

Madman in the Marketplace - 11 June 2012

in the state of WI kids can get fines of over $100 for truancy … I think it’s a trend in the country.

marisacat - 11 June 2012

I think some districts here fine the parents…

I think the biggest liability is that if you are reported as “truant” the cops can, if they want, come after you…

Madman in the Marketplace - 11 June 2012

I read around a little … they’ll apparently make the kid appear in court for a lecture. They also take away school parking permits and even work permits as punishments, on top of the possibility of fines.

lucid - 11 June 2012

Because it makes so much sense to make it more difficult to work if they’re having difficulty staying in school…

15. Madman in the Marketplace - 11 June 2012
16. Madman in the Marketplace - 14 June 2012

The Skills Gap Myth: Why Companies Can’t Find Good People

The first thing that makes me wonder about the supposed “skill gap” is that, when pressed for more evidence, roughly 10% of employers admit that the problem is really that the candidates they want won’t accept the positions at the wage level being offered. That’s not a skill shortage, it’s simply being unwilling to pay the going price.

The “free market” is only allowed to work one way, of course.

ms_xeno - 14 June 2012

Well, there’s also the fact that “Will Train” has gone completely out of fashion, except maybe for scammers and those fuckwits who claim you can get rich selling life insurance. Oh, wait. That’s redundant, isn’t it? :p

ms_xeno - 14 June 2012

I’m also snickering at the commenter who said their buddy whined at having to accept 13/hr. after she’d done her time in college. JFC. 13/hr. would be a king’s ransom to me right now, but I’m poison to the people hiring, because Dog Forbid they should have to train me, or deign to accept anyone who hasn’t managed a 20-yr string of unbroken employment. Spoiled fucking asshole bosses. May every last one of them fall down a flight of stairs in their McMansions and break their entitled backs.

And I’d like to live in the reality where Accounting Queen makes 13/hr. stocking shelves for a Big Box. I got 8.80/hr for that last week, and somehow I felt no compulsion to kiss the feet of anyone involved. JFC.

marisacat - 15 June 2012

May every last one of them fall down a flight of stairs in their McMansions and break their entitled backs.


17. marisacat - 15 June 2012

New Post….


……………… 🙄

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