Sunday, October 22, 2006

A Gusty Wind














A mighty wind blows things away, a gentle wind caresses.

Politics and Politicians, Elections, Campaigns and Finance Reform.

The Wars.

186 comments:

dan said...

From Jim Hightower:
Carl Rove on Abramoff: Jack who?

Cheryl said...

Jim Hightower is always great. Thanks for reminding me to take a look at his site.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

If only there were some way we could get the PBS Moyers documentary about the Abramoff felonies aired on one of the major networks -- on a Sunday evening so the majority of voters can see it.

Even though much time had passed between when the news first broke and the initial airing of the documentary, people reacted just as sharply to what they saw in the documentary, as if the news itself had just come out. Judging from what I read from some of the other on-line commenters at the PBS pages about that scandal, the reason for the undiluted reaction is because it was the first time many of the viewers (including myself) had learned of the gory details of the crimes Abramoff and his Republican connections committed against their own country and against humanity in general. Before that, we were getting mostly sound bites about it from the major news outlets.

I'm certain that the majority of U.S. citizens would be just as outraged after seeing the show, as the small group of viewers that just happened to catch the documentary on a Wednesday evening on public television -- even if it were aired as late as the end of October in 2008. By then, all the players will probably have been completely investigated and legally processed, so an updated version of the documentary could be shown.

Does the Democratic Party have the financial wherewithal to hire someone to create a movie about the Abramoff connections that could be aired on a major network on a Sunday evening just prior to the '08 elections? I mean, they wouldn't even have to take "artistic license" to make it more dramatic -- the true story is already creepy enough in its pure form. Just now, the word "creepy" there made me think of Halloween... Since Halloween comes right before the November elections, could the timing be more perfect for showing the Abramoff horror movie?

Just a thought...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Keeping with the subject of horror movies:

Richard, I got the "Iraq For Sale" DVD -- I'm going to go to the post office on Saturday, so I can send the payment via Certified Mail. Even though it's a small payment, I still want to have some way of tracking it.

I would almost rather take the risk of making an on-line credit card payment than to have one of my checks floating around in the mail, though.

Do you have something set up so I can pay you electronically instead?

A movie based on "Iraq For Sale" should also be created along with the Abramoff movie, so that the general public will know the disgusting truth about the Iraq occupation. Only, that one should air as soon as it's ready -- we can't afford to wait two more years to expose the criminals who are profiting by keeping the death industry in Iraq operating.

Richard Yarnell said...

No, no, no.

There's no reason to add the expense of registered mail.

Just put the check in a letter or a newspaper article. It'll get here.

deb said...

This seems odd. The Plan to Replace the Dollar With the 'Amero'


Notice that the article is from a neocon magazine...I wonder what parts were left out. I'm not much for predicting the economy and would like to hear y'alls opinion on the ramifications of an "Amero".

Richard Yarnell said...

So, we build a fence and keep on borrowing from the Chinese.

Can you imagine anyone wanting to throw their economy in with ours?

John G. said...

No on the Amero.
Why are we building a fence along the mexican border? Is there not a better way to document workers and penalize gorky employers?

Richard Yarnell said...

This follows up on the _habeas corpus_ discussion. If someone else has already posted on this, sorry for doubling up. I do not understand why the mainstream media isn't screaming about this. No wonder the GOP wants to tie up the internet!

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/10/29/162837/62

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/10/18/211033/23

http://finger2006.com/pdf/FINGER_fax_letter_no_logo.pdf

[The letter, which is only fair, is invoked by clicking on the logo at the bottom of the page. I'm going to edit it and submit it over my own signature. Don't know which will have the greater effect.]

I'm not willing to live under a dictatorship or in jail because I write a letter like this.

deb said...

Amen, Richard, thanks for finding the FINGER site. I suppose I've gone numb from the constant attacks on our constitution, but didn't realize the full implications until reading the KOS post and the fledgling FINGER site.

dan said...

Richard, once again you've sounded the alarm about a fundamental issue. I try to stay informed but this Administrations mischief is so frequent that I can't keep up. Thanks for the heads up.

Cheryl said...

I think the new law has something to do with the fight Bush started with Blanco after Katrina. I don't think he liked it when Blanco insisted on keeping her legal authority.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

He may use Katrina as cover but if the true intent of this law was natural disasters then that would be made clear in the law. As it is written, it covers a wide range of scenarios and leaves the final determination of necessity to call for martial law to the unitary executive.

He must be Impeached!

Richard Yarnell said...

It doesn't make any difference whether he had a fight with Blanco. The law is too broad and gives the President powers usually taken only by dictators.

I understand that all 50 governors objected, in writing, to Congress. They were ignored entirely.

Tell you Governor that you support action against the law in court. If possible, before it's instituted.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Our Green-Rainbow Party candidate for governor has made a very good impression on many of our citizens. In every debate, she wins over more and more people – including most of our news reporters. Over and over, she is described as intelligent, articulate, “a pragmatic visionary”, … She doesn’t come across as a “fringe candidate” at all. Most people say that she makes the most sense of all four candidates, and that they would vote for her if she were running with one of the two major political parties, but since she is running on one of our alternative tickets -- as usual -- people are afraid that a vote for her will mean a win for the worse of the two evils. She only makes $30,000 per year, even though she earned both of her college degrees from Harvard University, because she chose citizens’ advocacy as her life’s work. The other three candidates are multi-millionaires, who keep adopting her ideas to add to their platforms because they haven’t a clue what the rest of us live through – she is the only one who does, because she is one of us… During the debates, she offers solutions to doing away with all the obstacles facing low and moderate income earners in this most expensive state.

Why are so many people afraid of being freed from their money-hungry captors – that is, the corporate-variety Democratic politicians, and pretty much every variety of Republican politician? Really, why?

U.S. citizens need to break the shackles and chains of the duopoly (I believe that term fits best) once and for all. Does anyone really believe that the true Progressives are going to be able to take the Democratic Party away from the corporate Dems? Why not just secede???

deb said...

Good question Christian. Quitting is an option. Grace Ross knows she isn't going to win, but by standing up she is able to promote the issues that she stands for, which include giving a voice to univerals healthcare and affordable housing. I sincerely hope that she continues to run, first as a dem and if she looses the primary then with the Rainbow or Green. Perhaps she could be convinced to run for the US House in the next election.

Putting government into the hands of real people isn't going to happen in one election, and can't happen until issues that effect the bottom 95% wage earners are discussed via our media. Ross, by running for gov, is able to bring attention to those issues, at least for MA.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb,
A lot of people are hoping that the Democratic Party will absorb Grace Ross, because they want her in there to help "mind the store".

If Question 2 passes in our state, it won't matter which party a candidate runs with. The focus will be entirely on the candidate, and not on the party.

Richard Yarnell said...

Susan pulled a shift last night calling folks to find out whether
they'd a) received their ballots, and b) whether they'd voted. If
they had not, she was able to tell them where they could drop their
ballots, since Friday was the last day one could mail the ballot and
be sure it would arrive at the Clerk's office on Tuesday. For those
who are housebound, she offered to have the ballot picked up. She
snagged one elderly voter whose ballot probably was intercepted by the
executor of her recently deceased husband's estate. She will get a
new ballot this morning.

The call lists were a couple of days old but listed only those whose
ballots had not yet been received by the Clerk. As of Wednesday in
Clackamas County, 68% of registered voters had voted! In 2004, the
County polled 86%.

I don't vote until the last mail day because I like to get a feel for
who's calling. Once your ballot is received and logged, most
campaigns take your number out of the calling list. The big guns
(National) are out on behalf of the Governor and one of our Reps (a
Democrat living in a predominantly GOP district). The state's heavy
hitters are calling (taped) on behalf of State Legislature candidates
and even for, this year, a contested County Commissioner's slot.

If the trend continues as it has historically, it's possible that
we'll exceed, in the County at least, the turnout for the last
Presidential election. Regardless of outcome, there's something
comforting about knowing people are engaged. It will be interesting
to compare our vote-by-mail results with those of other states.

ry
---
"The American compulsion to take your identity from your profession,
with its corollary of only one trade to a practitioner, may be a
convenience to society but is burdensome and constricting to
yourself."

Richard Gilman (1923-2006)

christin m p in massachusetts said...

According to all the polls, it looks like our next governor is going to be either (surprise, surprise) our Democratic candidate
Deval Patrick

or our Republican candidate
Kerry Healey

I could only find this short clip of our Green-Rainbow candidate
Grace Ross

christin m p in massachusetts said...

My choice for Secretary of the Commonwealth is our Green candidate
Jill Stein

I'd be interested to know any of your thoughts on what she says about rank choice voting.

Richard Yarnell said...

I can't watch the video but will hazzard a few comments on "rank choice" voting.

Unlike some of you, I favor having parties choose their own candidates. Conventions used to do it, now primaries do it, involving many more people. Left to their own devices, parties can become money sinks and cater to the monied "special interest." However, with an active broad base, they serve as the means for voters to organize an agenda.

So ranked choice is a poor idea in the primary unless it is restricted to each party for themselves.

In the General election, I think I like the idea.

Cheryl said...

I can't watch the video either, so what is ranked choice?

If it's Instant Runoff Voting, I've been for it ever since I heard of it. Candidates don't have a chance unless the media proclaims them a contender. There were too many times that I had to choose between the candidate I liked, and stopping the one I hated. IRV gives you the chance to vote for your favorite candidate without throwing away your vote.

I would love to see how it will affect voting patterns.

Besides, look at all the money we could save by not having to pay for runoffs.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Hooray for a step in the right direction with the Democratic victory and a bitch slap to Bush and the Theocons.

Congratulations to Debbie. Her Democratic candidate Shuler won in NC.

Now is not the time to rest though. Pressure must be put on the Democrats to do the right things and not slide down the money hole of K Street lobbyists.

Internet Nuetrality and The Fairness Doctrine are a good starting place to ensure the people have the ability to affect other needed changes in how we elect politicians and how things get done in Washington.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Cheryl,
She does say that it is also referred to as Instant Runoff Voting. I wonder... Why would anyone NOT favor it?

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Christopher,
Can you sum up The Fairness Doctrine for me?

Cheryl said...

That's great about Shuler. Are any of the most corrupt 13 still in office? I saw that Pombo was voted out.

There's good news even down here in Alabama. Not as good as the rest of the country, but it's something.

Our Representative had a real race. Despite Bonner spending 50 times the Beckerle campaign, she still got over 30% of the vote. Just think what she could have done with a little money and backing. Throw some our way next time.

We now have one Democrat on the Alabama Supreme Court, and it's the Chief Justice. The replacement for the ten commandments judge got voted out. His ads were hilarious. Vote for me because I didn't support Kerry and my opponent did.

dan said...

I'm thrilled with the election results. The Republican revolution that began in 1980 and spread like a plague across the country and has dominated policy for a quarter century has finally been repudiated by voters. I'm hoping that the GOP will rid itself of the neocons who ruined their party and did such great damage to the United States and the world.

Setting agenda priorities by the new majority party is important and I agree with Christopher that "Internet Nuetrality and The Fairness Doctrine" is a good place to start. The biggest threat to our democracy is the uninformed voter who is so easily influenced by propaganda.

I'll also join in in congratulating Debbie on the Shuler win. The experts gave him no chance early on but N.C. newcomer Debbie sprung into action and made a difference.
On a personal note, thank you Debbie for inspiring me to become more engaged in Mi politics. The last few weeks, I
was almost a daily volunteer at the local Democratic headquarters and it was a great experience. I met some wonderful people who care deeply about our country.

We had some good results here in Mi also. We re-elected our Dem. Gov. and Sen. and took back the Mi House.

I've gotta run, but first I want to thank all of you for all the wonderful discussions we've had this year. Let's hope our future conversations can be dominated by hope and less on doom and gloom.

deb said...

WOW...we did it!!!!

Our county had the best little victory party Tues. night. It feels so good!!! Only one of the dem candidates lost by a small margin (County Commissioner).

Fairness Doctrine (Wiki)

You are completely right Christopher...we can't stop. I used to somehow think that people who managed to climb the political ladder were similar to those that excelled in any other field, that the cream rose to the top. Major error on my part. What I have found out is that our little blog is so much more educated on the issues and has spent more time discussing viable solutions than the majority of people operating the political machines.

My intentions are to take somewhat of a break until Jan. except for searching for "below the radar" news from the current admin. In Jan. I intend to call, write, and post on blogs the direction that I believe is best, and do what I can to influence the direction of gov't.

Just undoing what has been done for 6 years is a daunting task. Turning the tide from where the stock market rules all to developing a sustainable future is Mt. Everest.

Tues. was the first leg of the journey of a thousand miles.

Judy B. said...

"A Gusty Wind"...quite an understatement for what the Pacific Northwest has been getting...
We have had drenching rains, flooding, landslides, power outages, phones out, houses sliding into raging rivers, pipeline (natural gas) sliding down the mountain... and all this just keeps going on day after day... I think our place has had a little bit of everthing and extreemly high winds are forcast for tonight...
We are manageing ok, since we are well prepared for emergiencies, but have been isolated by floodwaters, and unable to communicate by phone, and no power meant no computer so have been suffering a little cabin fever.
Will try to read all the blog and links, but you all are so far ahead of me...

dan said...

Judy, glad you're connected again. I hope your blog friends can help ease your cabin fever until mother nature desides to pick on someone else.

Judy B. said...

Well, we made it thru another powerful storm last night..this one moved faster and was over quickly... unlike last weeks storms... too early yet to assess for any damages... and too dangerous to go into the woods to find out how many trees we lost... have heard a few fall this past week... just do not know if they are on our property or adjoining property...
can see one snapped off mid way down the trunk close to the house...
I swear the storm centers have all targeted our property... Portlanmd news stations do not report anything nearly like we have been getting..
Of course we are in the boon-docks and out of every major news coverage area....
We have Dish network for our tv and at this time we are able to pay extra to get channels from different parts of the country... we pay to get the major East coast networks, one Chicago station, three California stations, but we can't get Seattle stations because we are in the Portland service area... that is such a stupid regulation... What it basically means is that we do not get Washington news coverage... we have to dig for it on the internet... I do not understand why big government gets to decide what stations we watch if we are willing to pay for them...

Richard Yarnell said...

I've often thought that the Portland forecast didn't really reflect the rain we were getting. I'm connected to one of those ZIP Code oriented forecast systems. It's better, but still gets the details wrong.

I just (Nov 1) installed a weather station (COSTCO $99) that record temps (in and out), rel. humidity, barometer, wind speed, and rainfall (a neat little tipping bucket gauge, displays it (wireless) and will feed it to the computer. Until you put one of these gadgets in, you have no idea how curious you are about what you can see it's doing out the window.

I do know, though, that we've had almost 12" of rain this month and that the biggest day poured 4.5" on us. Lots but nowhere near some of the astouding totals reported in the Coast Range. Biggest wind was 27 MPH which is not enough to do damage.

Portland gets lots of weather delivered down the Gorge from the eastern desert. Forcasting here has got to be the pits.

Richard Yarnell said...

If big government weren't keeping an eye on the TV delivery systems, you wouldn't even get Portland's broadcast stations.

But the fairness doctrine has got to come back and some control over the amount of air time alotted to commercials.

Judy B. said...

Well, I woke up early this morning (5am)... as i usually do... and turned on the tv to watch my East Coast news feeds... Lo and behold, they were no longer there... It seems that some one in government has decided that it isn't a good idea for us to have a choice in what we watch and have taken the distant channels off or our Paid for choices...

I sent out an email asking for help getting these diatant channels reestablished and would appreciate your help as well... This is time sensitive so ASAP is the request...
Go to
http://www.savemychannels.com/home/

Thanks
Judy

dan said...

Judy, you must feel a little picked on right now. Sorry you're having such a bad time lately. I went to the site and sent the message to my Reps...I hope it helps. Good luck.

Judy B. said...

Thanks Dan...
We have another big storm coming in tonight... Hope it misses us...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Hmmm...

How many of our Democratic congressmen are this type -- and how many are Progressives?

Cheryl said...

Murtha ain't perfect, but he's getting swiftboated. Do a search on Hoyer and AIPAC. There's been lots of coverage on Murtha's failings, but no one mentions Hoyer's failings.

At least Murtha had the courage to stand up about the Iraq war.

Richard Yarnell said...

Yes, but:

Murtha appears not to have the leadership experience. He's a one issue wonder with a past.

The Dems are going to have to work on their sticking together skills if they're going to get anything done. (They may not get much done anyway, given a veto ready 49 Senators of which they can afford to lose 8). Face it, getting the Dems to cooperate is like herding cats. Pelosi made her point by remaining loyal to Murtha. She now has someone with whom she's worked successfully for years.

ry

Cheryl said...

Olberman had an interesting observation on the leadership races last night.

Trent Lott won minority whip by one vote, but it was just politics and nothing much to comment on.

The Democratic race for leader proves there is division within the party, and is a major blow to Pelosi. Can they recover?

Judy B. said...

The gusty winds and rain that have been pounding the Pacific Northwest are still blowing... looks like we are settiong records for November for rain..

And it appears that the winds are blowin' in the rest of the country as well... seems a little late in the year for the powerful tornadoes that are going on back east...

It also looks like lots of water falling as rain, hail and snow in all of the country...

Anyone think there is a climate change in your neck of the woods??

Cheryl said...

I wonder if the intense weather has something to do with the lack of hurricanes this summer. That energy has to go somewhere.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Judy,
So far, this has been an unusually warm November for us in the Northeast, but they're forecasting normal temperatures for the coming week (starting Saturday night). Right now, it's somewhere around 60 degrees. Tomorrow night, it's expected to go down to around 30 degrees, and then stay in the normal range (daytime highs in the mid-40's; overnight lows in the mid-20's).

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

It is good to see you are hanging in there Judy. A winter storm is one thing, one after the other after the other is another matter. I hope you are on fairly high ground.

I do not think that strong winter storms that produce tornadoes in the deep south, particularly close to the coast are all that uncommon.

I will say that in Hawaii there has been a extreme increase in the humidity levels over long periods of time and a shift of our dominant wind from the NE to the E.

Two days ago we had a mini Tsunami from a 8.? quake in the Kuril Islands off the coast of Japan. There were waterspouts photographed off of Kihei in the last big rain we had.

Let's recap. This year we have had two major fires, a large earthquake, small tsunami, waterspouts and minor flooding. Oh and a guy got bit by a shark pretty badly last week 40 feet from shore at a central Kihei Beach Park.

Hmmmm.....

Judy B. said...

We are hanging in here...
Our house is on high ground and far from the flood waters.... but the bottom of our driveway has been covered with water... water up to stop sign level... I have some pictures but do not kno how to send them...
The winds have rocked oour house on several occasions... these winds and rain are blowing in from Hawaii (and other tropical locations)and are nik-named the Pineapple express. Weather maps indicate ther is more on the way...
The way these are coming in kind of remind me of huricane season back east... one after another, with very high winds on the coast, and dumping lots of water inland...
Having come from Tornado Alley, I will take what the Great Pacific Northwest has to offer.

deb said...

It's been cooler and wetter than normal in NC...but I certainly can't complain after reading of the PNW and Hawaii.

Judy B. said...

While the Pac NW is having a particularly wet and wild November, it is still mild compared to the extremes tha the rest of the country gets...

If you live here you know that the winter is going to be WET, and for the most part, we are prepared for it...

As we discussed earlier, everyone needs to do emergency planning, and we ceretainly had all we needed when we were flooded in, lost electricity and phone service... Maybe it was good practice for what is to come...

What bothered me the most was the feeling of isolation... we had never lost all phone (including our cell phones) service before, and it made me realize how much I relied on our connections to the world...

With all that said, I feel very grateful for the abundance that has been bestowed upon our family and hope that you all have a very wonderful Thanksgiving too...

dan said...

Judy, I can't help but be impressed by your great attitude....preparing for and accepting whatever mother nature sends your way. That said, I hope your Thanksgiving includes a great meal and is the beginning of a long stretch of tranquil weather in the PNW.

dan said...

I just read a terrific letter in the Detroit Free Press regarding Rep. Rangel's proposal to reinstate the military draft. I thought I'd share it with you. (the first letter, from Susan)

Cheryl said...

Interesting idea. Can we start with anyone who has a "support the troops" sticker on their car?

dan said...

Cheryl, that'd be the perfect place to start!

dan said...

Tax increase anyone? I'm likely the most hated man in Michigan for making that proposal on the Detroit Free Press editorial blog this week. They published my blog post in the sunday paper.
___________________________________


Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 6:46 pm Post subject: Shared sacrifice

-----------------------------------

I'm totally opposed to ever reinstating the draft. Having said that, I understand Congressman Rangel's point that if Americans all shared the sacrifice, maybe they'd be more thoughtful about going to war. After all, who was asked to volunteer to fight this war? No one. Who was asked to pay for the war? Not current taxpayers, since this Administration has borrowed all the money for a war that is destined to become even more costly than Vietnam.

So I have an alternate plan that would allow us all to share in the sacrifice. Lets encourage this Administration to do the right thing and propose a surtax to pay for the Iraq war. I was never a supporter of the war, but I'd prefer to pay for it now rather than inflicting this incredible debt on the next generation. The exact figure on the debt to date is hard to determine but I believe a 20% surtax for 2 years should be about right. Surely the conservatives who support the war and hate fiscal irresponsibility will join my campaign. We're all Americans and we have a war to pay for.

Dan Roy
Brownstown

Judy B. said...

That will probably stir up some debate dan... keep us posted

dan said...

Will do Judy. Did your weather ever calm down? Are your roads open?

deb said...

Good post Dan, but I have a suggestion: The tax should come entirely from stockholder profits of companies that have financially benefitted from this war.

dan said...

Debbie, I agree, the war profiteers should be taxed to pay for the war. I raised the issue because it just grinds me that these diplomacy hating, flag waving, stay the course, war loving cowboys, haven't had to pay for any of it. Their friends are getting rich off of borrowed money and they intend to pass the whole bill on to the next Democratic administration. I hope the new congress has a showdown on this issue with GWB in Janurary.

Judy B. said...

Well, after a nice but blustery, Thanksgiving, we woke up this morning to a blanket of snow... This is extremely early for snow at this elevation... I do not remember snow in November for many many years....
We won't try to go down the driveway until it warms up a bit... hope that that happens...
Our Dish satellite is covered with snow so there is no reception so no weather forcasts available except by radio and local stations are not very good at fortune (or weather)telling....
If the snow doesn't melt today, my hubby will have to start up the tractor and clean off the drive as there are doctor appointments to keep tomorrow...
Maybe Great Spirit is giving us the message that it IS time to move..Need to keep paying attention to who is speaking...

dan said...

Judy, I hope that snow melts and you can get out tomorrow.
I know you love your place, but you do seem isolated and vulnerable living there. Lots of my new neighbors left places they loved and have found memories of, and now are perfectly happy here. Change can be invigorating.

Judy B. said...

And the snow keeps coming down...
The ground is so saturated with the record breaking rains that we have had in November and now the heavy sticking snow is weighing down the trees. I imagin there will be quite a few topple down tonignt and in the days to come... That is the way with nature...
The snow is so beautiful.. I took some pictures today. I wish I knew how to post them here....
Can't seem to connect with the stories of the outside world right now...
Just enjoying some popcorn, some juice and a good book... THis is why i enjoy the winters here... breathing time...
It really is a good life...

Judy B. said...

While the snow melted in town yesterday, we are still covered with a beautiful frosting....
The melting snow froze overnight into a dangerous black ice, makind driving impossible in higher, steeper locations.... School busses are on special schedules or schools are closed....
Strong Artic winds still coming so my life is more concerned with the day to day living... keeping water lines from freezing...did laundry all night to keep the water running...
...somehow the rest of the world seems far away....

Dan, i do not want you to think we are isolated... While our piece of property lets us have seclusion, we are only 1 mile to the freeway (I-5) and 5 miles to the nearest shopping center (Three Rivers Mall), and we have great neighbors...
...so even though we may seem vulnerable, I find it very safe...
Just need someone to help with the chores... but we hire help when we need it and are looking for someone to live here in exchange for room and board and a little cash, depending on the work accomplished..
We have one good friend who grew up fatherless who is like a son to us and he is always available when we need him and he checks on us regularly...

dan said...

You're right Judy, I pictured your nearest neighbor being a 4 hr. walk by snow shoe and the nearest town much farther than that. I'm glad I was wrong on that point. You sound very content in your lovely homestead.

Still, I hope mother nature is through testing your resolve for quite some time and that the perfect live-in handyman turns up soon.

Dan

Judy B. said...

Back to politics....

Bartender and small-town Mayoral candidate Randy Wooten probably didn't count on votes from all the people who claimed they'd cast ballots for him - all eight or nine of them. But he figured on getting at least one vote: His own! Yet according to City Hall officials in his hometown of Waldenburg, Arkansas (population 80), Wooten received 0 votes on Election Day. Oddly enough, the two others running for the office each got 18 votes, which forces a run-off scheduled for November 28th. Elections officials are at a loss to explain the discrepancy, since the votes were cast on one of today's electronic voting machines that are supposed to be such a panacea for fouled-up elections. Guess they've still got some bugs to work out.

Cheryl said...

That's so pathetic, it's funny. Computers have their uses, but they're not always the best solution. As people propose security layer on top of security layer for the voting machines, they are beginning to resemble an electronic Rube Goldberg contraption.

I've yet to hear of a better idea than paper ballots. In large districts, we can count them electronically, but keep the paper ballots.

On a related note about voter fraud, what's with all the worry about identification and dead people voting. They managed to handle it in Afghanistan and Iraq with a simple dye. If it's such a problem, we can use the same solution here.

deb said...

Apparently the National Institute of Standards and Technology agrees, Cheryl:

Federal Institute Blasts Paperless Vote Machines

deb said...

I found "Common Dreams" informative this morning. This is another article listing legislation that corporate PAC's are pushing:

Hampering the Efforts of Corporate Crime Reporting

BTW, I respect all that Nader has done or tried to do for the country. He has been "swiftboated" more than a few times, but he just keeps on trying to get corporations to be regulated in a way that is honest, open and moral.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Deb,
I haven't been checking our sidebar links here as much since the elections passed. But I can see now that we still can't take anything for granted. Thanks for bringing that article to our attention.

...and I didn't think the corporate criminal minds could get any more vulgar...
Criminal types sure do plan ahead, don't they?

I was right about them all along -- they don't get that rich by being honest!!!

This one picked up my spirits today:
Blowing the Whistle on Big Oil

christin m p in massachusetts said...

By the way Deb, is there some way we can get the names of the "people" on that Committee on Capital Markets Regulation that are trying to change those laws in order to get away with their crimes?

If we can broadcast their NAMES and what they're trying to do, maybe the general public will be motivated to take action against them.

I know that tactic works in smaller cases. For example, there was a big write-up in one of our local newspapers several years back -- about an absentee landlord who was knowingly renting out apartments to drug dealers. For whatever reason, the police weren't effective in arresting enough of them to put an end to it. So the rest of the neighborhood got together -- found out that landlord's name and address, and over several months' time, pleaded with him to evict those tenants. He just ignored them -- he didn't care about the effects his criminal tenants were having upon their neighbors, because they paid him high rents and the buildings were in a separate city halfway across the state from where he and his family lived. Finally the neighbors -- who refused to stand for it any longer -- gathered together and picketed outside the negligent landlord's home and business -- carrying signs with his name on them explicitly stating that he was knowingly renting out apartments to drug dealers and refused to evict them.

He evicted the drug dealers immediately.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Never mind -- I found them.

Here are the committee members -- and here are the legal advisors.

Richard Yarnell said...

Committee on Capital Markets Regulation

http://www.capmktsreg.org/committeemembers.html

deb said...

Christin, I haven't had the time lately to keep up with news lately and haven't done much research at all. One of these days I intend to organize my pc in a way that allows me to easily find sites that I have bookmarked...right now they are all clumped together and I'm guessing number several hundred. Sigh...my pc (like my desk) is way too cluttered and very unorganized...but it is "on the list" to have easy access to research info.

The committee members list is a "who's who" of the billionaires club...I'm sort of thinking that even if we found out where they were that picketing wouldn't phase them.

I think that the route of making business morally and socially accountable has to be done through gov't regulation, and our dem politicians are forced to listen when we stand up against something. Here's a "who's who" in the dem party: People Party vs. Money Party. I believe that we have a good chance with getting some of the "money party" to lean toward doing the right thing by using pressure techniques with them. Also, those listed as the "people party" are raked over the coals regularly by the media and if we "have their backs" we can lessen that criticism by using pressure techniques with the media (i.e., lots of letters).

Richard Yarnell said...

Easy: Folders! Then alphabetize the folders and the contents in each folder. I finally realized that I could move things that got into the wrong folders.

Takes a little time to come with the plan but in the long run, saves hours.

dan said...

Debbie, have you've really bookmarked hundreds of web sites? It would be a full time job keeping up with that many. I know they're like old friends but sometimes it's best to let them go. I'd give the delete key a workout then use Richards folder method to organize the survivors.

dan said...

BTW Debbie, I was just toying with you about the number of sites you've bookmarked. You always demonstrate such breadth and depth of knowledge that it clearly works for you.

Richard, Oregon's *vote by mail* got a nice write up in an op-ed piece in this mornings NYTs. The idea is so sensable that I hope it catches on nation wide.

deb said...

I will spread that "vote by mail" article around here. I tried addressing it with people before the election and for some reason most thought I was off of my rocker. Perhaps the article will encourage a more receptive attitude. I'll make sure my state house rep and state senate rep get copies. Thanks, Dan.

BTW, Thanks for the suggestions for getting organized. It has never been one of my strong points and I usually face the facts when, as now, I become burdened by my clutter. I doubt I will get the pc organized before I finish this house, but then want to seriously use the folder system and get it done so that I can easily put my finger on an article or site.

John G. said...

I do not mean to barge in...
The other day I was at a local election office. Present were election officials, Media as well as reps of local government. At issue were the electronic voting machines and the lack of receipts for the voters as to how they voted.
Election officials do not want machines which generate receipts, local politicians (sampling) do.

election officials believe if you provide a receipt for voters the incidents of fraud will go up so much so it could flip the election.

local elected officials believe they must provide voters a record of their vote to give some assurance as to the validity of the machines and individual votes.

Fraud would be possible because some registered voters who do not now vote and have problems with vices, could be encouraged to vote for a particular issue or person and provide a receipt for as low as twenty bucks. Could the same argument be made for vote by mail?
Would fraud be so likely as to tip an election?

Voters do have a right to a record of their vote.
would vote by mail give them this record?
If the state of GA. does not go to vote by mail, do they not have an obligation to provide this record? and could it not be achieved by allowing voters access to the machines in non election seasons (under the supervision of election officials same as going into a booth on polling day) to review their votes to insure accuracy by the elections office?

Vote by mail was brought up at this meeting by election officials whom have received a copy of Richards vote by mail from this blog, however I must admit the two issues previously stated were so emotionally charged, vote by mail amounted to a whisper in the crowd.

your input would be greatly appreciated before the next showdown.

Thanx folks.

Richard Yarnell said...

As I understand the "receipt" issue, the paper record is retained once it's been examined by the voter. If it went home with the voter, it couldn't be used in a recount. (Of course it will never be used in a recount because it would be almost impossible to process those thermal flimsies.)

I've never been given a record of my vote - I've gotten stickers to wear that proclaim I've been a good citizen, but they weren't red or blue stickers, even. I California and New York, we could take the "practice ballot" into the polls with us. In both states, ballots were usually very long and complex. They encouraged the use of the preliminary ballot so that people could vote more quickly. In NY City, where machines (mechanical old dinosaurs fitted with levers) the sample ballot helped to translate the machine labeling shorthand.

So the official who was claiming "receipts" would enable fraud is probably right, but not for the reasons he's citing. The real fraud will occur because, having seen the paper printout of his vote, the voter will assume that's what's been recorded by the machine. Most assuredly, the paper tape and what's recorded have nothing whatever to do with one another.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Run Now, Obama

dan said...

I find it somewhat annoying that conservatives are always so quick to tell Democrats who they should nominate for president and who is or isn't electable. Without their advice, I'm perfectly content to observe all the Democrats in action for the next 18 months then choose based on performance. If anything, any candidate George Will criticizes must be doing something right and anyone he praises should be viewed as highly suspect.

Cheryl said...

From thinkprogress.org:

Time Magazine named “You” — the consumers of blogs and sites like YouTube and MySpace — as its “Person of the Year.”

Today on ABC’s This Week, conservative columnist George Will mocked Time’s choice and blogging generally. “It’s about narcissism,” Will said. “So much of what is done on the web is people getting on there and writing their diaries as though everyone ought to care about everyone’s inner turmoils. I mean, it’s extraordinary.”

Will didn’t mention whether he believes writing columns for the Washington Post each week and appearing every Sunday on national television is a sign of “narcissism.”

deb said...

Time's person of the year completely makes sense to me. This net has empowered people, it's why dems won in Nov. The web has allowed information to flow, whereas the corporate media is working to suppress essential truths.

I'm not sure our elected and newly elected dems realize the importance of net neutrality, or even that a free net is how they got elected in the first place.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I'm betting net neutrality is working its wonders in banding voters together in many countries throughout the world:

The "Ordinary Citizens" Have Spoken

deb said...

I hope so Christen. I dream of logical realists taking the political power away from the control freak warmongers.

deb said...

Gov't Watchdogs Under Attack From Bosses

deb said...

Good news, perhaps the Senate will have another Senator who isn't voting the neocon platform:

G.O.P. Senator in Spotlight After a Critical Iraq Speech

Cheryl said...

This is one of the most profound comments on the Iraq War that I have seen in a while. It could only come from someone living in the middle of it.

"My only conclusion is that the Americans want to withdraw from Iraq, but would like to leave behind a full-fledged civil war because it wouldn't look good if they withdraw and things actually begin to improve, would it?"

http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

After witnessing the barbarism of the Shiite mob against Saddam after he was handed over by American forces there is no option but to withdraw, without delay. We can stay there twenty more years and install a new secretary of defense every year, and the only difference will be more dead soldiers.
That execution showed democracy has no humanity and any support this administration may have had foreign or domestic is HISTORY. If the Iraqi democratic government is strong enough to carry out such barbarism they are strong enough to defend themselves.
George w... bring the troops home!
YOU LOST!

Richard Yarnell said...

Respectfully, may I point out that we execute more people than almost any other nation. We also execute them younger.

We need to clean house here at home.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

The pitiful spectacle of the death of Saddam Hussein is hardly the defining moment in reasons to leave Iraq or to Impeach George Bush before he causes more damage to the country.

At least he was dead quickly when they were done hanging him and didn't linger because they couldn't get the medications right.

Cheryl said...

Terry Jones (of Monty Python) had a brilliant editorial in the Guardian the weekend.

An excerpt,
"Early this year the Bush administration is to ask Congress to approve an additional $100bn for the onerous task of making life intolerable for the Iraqis. This will bring the total spent on the White House's current obsession with war to almost $500bn - enough to have given every US citizen $1,600 each. I wonder which the voters would have gone for if given the choice: shall we (a) give every American $1,600 or (b) spend the money on bombing a country in the Middle East that doesn't use lavatory paper?"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1983863,00.html

Cheryl said...

Good news. My reps are starting to waver on Bush support.

Sen Shelby came the closest. He says the surge might be too little, too late.

Sessions is starting to break. He calls the surge a bitter pill, but still has too much kool-aid in his system to actually question it.

Bonner wants to give Bush the benefit of the doubt.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I’m sure a lot of you have been seeing the major negative reaction to Bush’s “New”; what a joke, strategy for Iraq. I just watched the News Hour on PBS and there was discussion that his hidden agenda is to widen the war to include Syria and Iran. Rice was questioned very specifically on this by Senators Biden and Hagel. If his “New” plan doesn’t work he can blame Syria and Iran for meddling and take action. Bush is a psychopath if this is true and I think it is, that he’s a psychopath at least.

His premise for staying is largely that we can’t leave because it will become an Al Qaeda (sp?) base and spiral out of control. Ha, like it isn’t out of control now!

I know I mentioned months back that it might be in our best interest to let the Sunni and Shia go at it and have a civil war. This is Islam’s problem with itself and we can’t solve it. It would automatically draw in all the regional players, basically the Persians versus the Arabs. Think about what happens when Muslims are all fighting each other, can Al Qaeda continue to focus on and blame the west?

Yes the price of oil will sky rocket very likely, but that may be a good thing for the planet in the long run.

I say the best thing for us to do now is withdraw to the Kurdish region and let them go at it. That will force Iran, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Iraq to deal with it on their own and solve their own issues. If the oil companies get hurt, good!

If Americans are finally made to sacrifice for this war it is about time.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Did Bush already declare a Secret War against Iran and Syria?

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Christopher,

You're right -- let's just protect the Kurds and let the Sunni and Shia (Bloods and Cryps) street gangs put themselves out of the world's misery.

If the price of a barrel of oil gets high enough, maybe we'll finally get that full-blown second Great Depression that all the selfish money-lickers in this country deserve. :)

Then I can just eat the vegetables I grow in a garden, and will no longer have to make non-working shareholders rich by doing warehouse work where I ship hundreds of unnecessary gadgets every day to foolish, wasteful consumers.

I don't think my lifestyle or yours will change a great deal.

I, for one, am pretty content to live in fairly Spartan fashion.

Judy B. said...

Christopher.. I tend to agree with your assessment... If we are going to maintain any troops over there at all it should bbe to protect the Kurds, and I guess by default, protect the biggest oil-fields..

Richard Yarnell said...

I've got to say that it's getting tiresome, this whining about "the selfish money-lickers in this country."

Most entrepreneurs work hard, take enormous risks, show a great deal of ingenuity and drive, and employ a lot of people to make their livings.

There are, indeed, some selfish scoundrels who exploit their position and don't give a farthing about the plight of anyone else. But by far, most reasonably well-off individuals have earned their money. And even some of the people who rely at some point on their "unearned" income, have invested their savings in industry that provides jobs and goods.

I'm sorry you haven't been able to find work that's satisfying. I have a hard time imagining what that must be like. But I don't think it's seemly to blame the rest of the world or to lump every entrepreneur or corporate manager into one money grubbing class.

ry

Cheryl said...

I don't think the Kurds need our protection. They have an established military force.

From what I've read, my impression is that our continued occupation of their country is what is causing a lot of the violence. Our current mission appears to be propping up a government that can't hold itself together. While we have a responsibility for creating this mess, I doubt that they will begin to sort themselves out until after we leave.

It's hard to keep up with everything going on in Washington, but two things stood out.

Condoleezza Rice, speaking at the Jan 11 hearings before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,

"It's bad policy to speculate on what you'll do if a plan fails when you're trying to make a plan work."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/11/AR2007011100437_3.html

Second, the plan to have our soldiers spend the night at Iraqi police stations to "win the people's trust". It will be worse than Beirut.

Cheryl said...

The best idea I've seen for ending the war quickly.

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070122/howl

"The Democrats can tax our way out of the war. This would be a Victory Over Terror tax to be levied on incomes of $5 million a year or more. It should be a surcharge of 20 percent over and above what people in that rarified income bracket are already paying. It should be levied on all income, regardless of what form it takes, so it would include stock options, jet plane rides, company-paid-for health and life insurance, retirement programs, golden parachutes, the use of apartments in Paris, cars and drivers."
...
"The tax is aimed at war profiteers, overpaid CEOs and grossly fat cats in general, most of whom carry a lot of weight at the White House. If there is any group of people in the world whom George Bush listens to, it is this bunch of billionaires. Call this a backdoor use of the power of the purse. And since the surcharge expires when the war on terror is won or declared over, those taxed will have a powerful incentive to tell the President it is time to get a move on."

Richard Yarnell said...

Send that tax suggestion to your favorite Rep.

Judy B. said...

Richard at January 12, 2007 3:56 PM

I agree 100%

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Richard,

I don't know where in that post you read "entrepreneurs and corporate managers" (although the relationship between corporate managers and backdated stock options does deserve at least a mention); I specifically stated "non-working shareholders" -- referring to the ones who inherited most of their gambling money and/or acquired most of it through excessive and not reasonable profits from re-sales of assets.

I would have to be pretty naive to "buy" that shareholders are investing/gambling for the altruistic purpose of supporting China's and India’s workers, and not entirely for the financial return they expect to get.

Technically, people who regularly visit gambling casinos are supporting the casino workers' jobs too. Due to an ever-shrinking share of all U.S. companies' gross earnings being allotted for workmen's wages, along with those same companies' now ridiculous price mark-ups on all consumer goods and services, the only difference between major shareholders and casino gamblers is that the shareholders are all but guaranteed huge returns.

That increasingly larger piece of the pie going to shareholders is not only both the cause and result of the shift of manufacturing and IT jobs from U.S. workers over to Chinese and Indian workers -- it is also both the cause and result of price-gouging on nearly all consumer goods and services.

Now those over-inflated prices are in turn robbing more and more time away from the majority of U.S. workers (more so the ones who have children) by way of forcing them to work fifty or more hours per week just to earn enough to cover absolute essentials (shelter, food, and commuting expenses) with absolutely nothing left over to save for the future. Whether or not one's work is "satisfying" is irrelevant in that case. There's no justification for basic living expenses to cost workers that many irreplaceable hours of their lives every week without letup -- and with nothing to show for it.

Somehow I doubt that any of the wealthy shareholders log those kinds of work hours on anyone's time clock over a fifty-year career (from 17 years old to 67 years old).

Then those parasite gambler/shareholders (especially the ones who never knew what it was to punch a time clock for decades like their hosts do) "whine" louder than everyone else when their brokers get too much!

Between the brokers' take and the shareholders' take, it's a wonder there's even ten cents an hour left over to pay all those foreign workers!

And because they fear losing the massive assets they partly inherited and then continued to acquire through passive income, those same parasites also "whine" louder than everyone else does about not having universal health care. Why should someone who can clearly afford private health insurance with just their passive income alone, be carried by taxes extracted from less wealthy people's earned incomes?

THAT is the very DEFINITION of "unseemly".

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Back to subject of the oil...

Why don't we just leave the oil right there in "hell" where it belongs? Let the Sunni and Shiite streetlords fight each other over that too.

So what if more expensive oil causes Wall Street to tank? -- Hey, EASY come -- EASY go, right?

Isn't what really matters in Iraq the innocent PEOPLE? That's ALL we should concern ourselves with. We should be taking care of the refugees -- never mind the freaking oil!!!

US pressed to admit more Iraqi refugees

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Oh and by the way, January 14, 2007 11:53 AM:

Very predictable, but insignificant to me.

John G. said...

"Most entrepreneurs work hard, take enormous risks, show a great deal of ingenuity and drive, and employ a lot of people to make their livings."

Well stated, true to the last word.
Most entrepreneurs are not profit driven, they are family driven and motivated by the freedom to decide "their" own future. The people who work with them are free to leave and pursue other life choices at any time and choose not to. More times than not because of the security and quality of life the
entrepreneur provides them and their families...

christin m p in massachusetts said...

John,
I completely agree. That's why I've never had any criticism for entrepreneurs.

In fact, I hope to have my own small business some day. I would want the product(s) or service(s) my company would provide to be one(s) that people really need, though -- not something frivolous. And I'd try to keep my prices affordable for everyone.

John G. said...

Great! Start a bookstore in underprivileged neighborhoods.
Get your initial inventory from thrift stores and yard sales....
Strive to offer literacy programs or access to some established programs and your business will grow with the neighborhood with the support of your customers and local leaders…

christin m p in massachusetts said...

John, I probably would be better off with a business that deals with one customer at a time, like Christopher's does (except not one that requires being out in the sun for long periods of time like landscaping does). The older I get (even just since a year ago), the less I'm able to stand chaos or disorder -- like heavy traffic or crowds.

Perhaps over the past year, I've become too accustomed to having my own space. And for many years now, I've been doing all my errands and chores during the quieter, low-traffic hours.

A lot of the reason I'd like to have my own business is because I (like most other workers) have grown weary of always having to be on someone else's time clock. I don't care whether I ever have more than just the bare necessities of life -- but the one luxury I desperately want is my own time. As long as the work or business pays enough to cover my basic expenses, there is no other compensation or benefit I would value more than being able to set my own schedule.

John G. said...

Wow! If you had a bookstore in an underprivileged neighborhood and had so much business as to label it a crowd not only would you be able to pay your basic necessities but you would be a phenomenon too!

"But the one luxury I desperately want is my own time. As long as the work or business pays enough to cover my basic expenses, there is no other compensation or benefit I would value more than being able to set my own schedule."

A Direct Sales position (encyclopedia's, Tupperware, Avon, etc.) would fit nicely with your goals and criteria you seem to be comfortable with...

Cheryl said...

Did ya'll see the news about China shooting down one of its old weather satellites? They're using our own money to develop a way to attack us.

Richard Yarnell said...

We're doing the same kind of development only using beam weapons rather than missiles. There are only a few orbits useful for observation satelites. It's ridiculously easy to destroy many satelites at a time.

What the Chinese did, needlessly, IMO, was to have added significantly to the debris cloud that threates almost everything put into orbit.

How do you destroy lots of satelites at one time? you put a vehicle in a retrograd orbit and release a can full of, say, ball bearings. Collision speed, in excess of 35K mph. Result: poof!

The heartening thing about it is that very soon the Chinese will be as dependent on communications, weather, and GPS satellites as we are. If a "rogue" state ever gets its hands on an intermediate range missile, even one could do a lot of damage in orbit. And they'd have little to lose.

Cheryl said...

I found in interesting web site. You can register to get weekly emails on how your reps voted. They include email links and what votes are coming up.

www.congress.org

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Thanks for the link Cheryl. I registered to get the weekly vote monitor e-mails and to receive any action alerts from organizations involved in housing issues.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Also, I found this at that same site. I have already seen the YouTube video of what the letter is referring to. What kinds of creatures raised some of these soldiers? And if it's not their families, then what kind of society do we have that teaches these inferior humans that mistreating a crippled animal is a form of recreation? You can hear in the video that they're actually laughing about it. Makes me wonder whether the human race is worth saving after all.

I fear for our world.

Cheryl said...

Don't be too hard on the soldiers. Some of this is the nature of a war zone. It is a defense mechanism to become indifferent to suffering. Most would go insane otherwise. Read "With the Old Breed" if you can. I couldn't handle reading it. It's an autobiography of a soldier in WWII.

This war has an extra problem. The military is so desparate, that they are accepting people that have no business in the military. People with mental problems, gang members, white supremists. They are also sending back soldiers with PTSD. Some have commited suicide to avoid going back.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I know the majority of our soldiers aren't criminal-minded. It's the ones that enlist for the "thrill" that concern me.

The fact that the military appears to be so desperate that they're accepting white supremacists and gang members, is further proof that this has never at any time been a "war on terrorism" or a "fight for democracy".

I'm becoming more and more certain that this war did not originate with the White House (though the White House certainly does contain willing puppets). And after watching the videos about the Fraudulent Reserve, I'm convinced that General Wesley Clark nailed it when he said that the pressure to attack Iran is coming directly from the "New York money people". His statement was deliberately twisted to look like an anti-Semitic remark in a half-attempt to divert attention away from the truth. Last I knew, Rockefeller (a family that really needs to stop breeding -- along with the leeching, useless Rothschilds) was NOT a Jewish name.

You see, it's not the U.S. military that's so desperate -- it's the "New York money people" who are extremely desperate not to lose this 'war' they've waged for future financial control of the entire Middle East and all of its oil reserves.

If you guys watch these videos, you'll know that it has always been the Fraudulent Reserve BANKERS (through their hand-picked board of 'governors') behind all of the wars since World War I.

informationliberation

christin m p in massachusetts said...

The more I study the history of our monetary systems, the more certain I am that any attempts at widespread improvement of our world will be futile unless we first reform our monetary system.

Although no other system could possibly be more deliberately corrupt than our present one of (fractional reserve lending), I now have a clearer understanding of why a return to the gold standard would not improve matters:

Roosevelt Redivivus

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Here's a free book for anyone who's interested:
Beyond Plutocracy -- True Democracy for America

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Jake Explains the Fed

Richard Yarnell said...

I've been poll watching:

I do not understand why so many people seem unconcerned about the state of our economy.

We are deeper in debt, both as a government and as consumers, than we've been since the depression. In fact, personal debt exceeds that that preceeded the depression.

The "leadership" doesn't seem to make the connection so long as consumer debt fuels consumption which fuels production which turns profits.

Very dangerous and unsettling.

Cheryl said...

I agree. And what's worse, a lot of the consumer debt is for essentials like health care and education. I'm going to start watching how much time it takes for a politician to go from consumers need to save more, to consumers need to keep on buying in the same speech.

When was the last time they called us citizens?

It's like "The Space Merchants", by Pohl and Kornbluth. We are the consumer class. Our purpose is to keep buying stuff so that the economy will keep running. Which also means that we have to keep working longer hours, so that we can buy more stuff, so the economy won't fall apart.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Richard,

Our hands are tied. For most people today, saving is no longer an option. Costs to cover even the most essential needs have come to exceed median salaries in many parts of the country.

For people who have no children to support, it's not as serious of a problem; as we can choose to do without and live on very little. But people who have even one child do not have that option. They cannot choose to do without, because that would mean impoverishing their children as well.

This is why many people have been forced to fill their gas tanks with credit cards in order to be able to get to work all week -- and worse than that -- to pay their mortgages with credit cards (as the interest payments are usually lower than the late fees on mortgages). Inevitably they do either go bankrupt or their homes go into foreclosure -- or the former followed at some future point by the latter. This has been happening even to families who have never consumed excessively.

It comes down to simple economics: the cost of basic expenses in many parts of the U.S. (as well as other Western nations) now far exceeds what median salaries can bear.

Unless the internet remains neutral, and unless the American Monetary Institute (whose membership includes many Chicago-area bankers, as well as some prominent politicians) is successful in its campaign toward monetary reform – our dollar will continue to buy less and less, and so more and more of the middle class will sink into poverty.

I know you have said before that you're unable to view videos on your computer. I have links to some videos (only around ten minutes long each) that I think everyone needs to see – including people in the upper middle class whose fortunes could be lost in one fell swoop:

Monopoly Men Pt 1
Monopoly Men Pt 2
Monopoly Men Pt 3
Monopoly Men Pt 4
Monopoly Men Pt 5

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Also, the U.S. is far from alone in suffering the ill-effects of this funny money "New World Order" economy. Check out this post about the economy in the U.K. from a contributor in one of the other blogs I frequent:

"I’m not seeing anything about the following post in the US media about it but the news actually comes from America. It comes from Merrill Lynch who are giving a strong warning that the money punch bowl is now being withdrawn globally and telling their clients to switch investments.
In particular, the article (in the business section of the Brit newspaper The Daily Telegraph) states the UK is especially vulnerable to problems as the punch bowl is withdrawn. Debt is now a very serious problem in the UK and government has done everything they can to try and soften the blow by introducing all kinds of “gimmicks” to help cash strapped Brits short of actually saying, “Okay. Let’s wipe that $200,000 off the books so you can start borrowing again tomorrow.”
The UK as a country is in worse debt than the US (hardly seems possible but true). Loans in the UK are 162% of GDP. By comparison, in the US they are 111% of GDP. At the other end of the scale they are just 27% of GDP in Poland.
In fact, the American Disease of easy credit (until 1970 credit cards in the UK were almost unknown and there were just one or two mortgage companies) has now made the UK the most debt ridden country in the world. If you take property prices, it makes US property prices look like chicken feed.
Merrill Lynch advises clients to seek positions in places like China (NOT the Chinese exporters but companies who make things for local consumption) where the massive population of increasingly well heeled upward moving young Chinese who want the latest “things” is a fast growing market. It says investors should also take a small position in gold. (Yeah, I know - buy gold now ’cause it’s going to $1 million an ounce and you had better buy a machine gun an 5 year supply of canned goods as the money system collapses. lol.)
Merrill Lynch also advises investment in Eastern European banks. So, this seemingly never ending party of free money might have hit a wall. It always does and once again we come back to the old, well worn but well proven saying: “If it looks too good to be true - it probably is too good to be true.”
The article states that the lead time (from when the punch bowl starts to get withdrawn) to the actual happening is 12 to 18 months. Just in time for Bush to get out of office and pass the mess he and Greenspan made of the US and pass it onto the next (probably) Democrat president who will take the blame for destroying the “goldilocks economy” (lol).
"

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Ralph Waldo Emerson defined a philanthropist as a man who "gives away what he should be giving back."

Not one charity would ever have been necessary, if usury and price gouging had always been strictly prohibited.

In my search to find as many members of the anti-consumerism movement as I possibly can, I stumbled upon this post at a religious blog. I'm still not any more religious than I was before I read the post, but it did speak to me at another level.

My favorite excerpt (because it is so true) from the post was this one that's talking about the supposed opposing stances of conservatives and liberals:

"Neither side has to lie to make its case, because Consumer Hedonism has in fact corrupted and subverted people on both sides. That’s what it does, and it does it very well. You set out to make the world a better place, and you end up buying things and striking a pose. You try to take The Road Less Traveled, and you wind up at The Road Less Traveled Gift Shop. You try to walk the narrow path, and you wind up buying a t-shirt that says “I Walked the Narrow Path”. Whether you set out to the Left or to the Right, the gravity of Consumer Hedonism is always pulling you back."

Here is the address for the full post:
http://www.nonesoblind.org/blog/?p=400

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Here’s some more cheery news for everyone.

"Now in the book "JEB: America’s Next Bush,” Palm Beach Post Tallahassee bureau chief S.V. Date writes that "it’s hard to imagine Jeb not running for president.”

Date, who covered Gov. Bush for eight years before he stepped down due to term limits, asserts that Bush is too young and too ambitious to remain involved in commercial real estate or think tanks around Miami for very long.

"For Jeb, the biggest factor that will push him into a presidential campaign will be his own boredom,” Date writes.


(MUST BE NICE to have the luxury of looking for a job out of boredom –- instead of for SURVIVAL like the rest of us.)

Date argues that if Bush doesn’t run in 2008 and the Republicans win, he’ll have to wait until 2016 to seek the White House. By then he would be out of office for 10 years – and the family’s big-donors list will have died off or found other GOP favorites, according to floridatoday.com.

"He could be forced to make a serious play next year,” Date said. The writer adds that Bush could also seek the vice president’s post next year, and run for president in 2012 if the Republicans lose in 2008.
"

Judy B. said...

Christin... your last post refers to "the Road Less Traveled"... a favorite book of mine.. It is a book full of metaphors just like life is...
While you travel your road, it leads you to many detours... none of them right or wrong, but there are choices to make about which road to travel....
Coming back to this blog is a detour for me... Why I come and go has no rhyme or reason that I can identify, and yet I have followed this detour for the past year plus...
There have been many lessons learned here...
I appreciate the people in my "real" life more because of the frustrations I feel here...
I Thank God more, for what I have, because this blog points out the many inequities in life.. and I feel that I AM truly blessed with my family and friends that I have made along THE WAY...
I bless the people here and everywhere who are doing their part to make life a little better through their service to the earth and all Her inhabitants...

"The Road Less Traveled"... is a book all of you readers of this blog might enjoy reading

deb said...

Beautiful post Judy!

Wow, Christin. You need to be working for a consumer advocacy group (Nader?). Surely there is a financial watchdog group that needs a nightowl researcher. I believe you could use your posts at this blog for examples of your work.

deb said...

StopIranWar.com

If the neocons go after Iran it will be with nuclear weapons, since our military is already stretched way too thin.

dan said...

Deb, I think you're right that the neocons are itching to use nuclear bombs on Iran..."shock and awe" round two. I've signed lots of petitions, sent letters and made phone calls in protest but Bush/Chaney don't care what the public or world thinks. They'll be tough to stop.

dan said...

Here's Tom Tomorrow's cartoon explaining why an attack on Iran might happen.

dan said...

Whoops, bad link.
I'll try again...cartoon

deb said...

The "news" page at the "stop Iran war" site gives more detail about the drum beating for war:

The Latest Headlines on StopIranWar include

deb said...

Talk about a double standard...dems could never get away with this sort of non-profit.

Taxpayers continue to fund right-wing meetings to assess presidential candidates

deb said...

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/48572

Don't know whether it was me or my pc this morning...sorry again and thanks Dan for the heads up on the links

dan said...

Deb, let me get this straight...the kookiest members of the far right started a secretive "think tank" to pool their ideas on how to ruin our country and maybe the world and the IRS allows their super rich members to fund their group with contributions that are tax deductible...and what?...you don't like it?

Cheryl said...

This is priceless. Cheney flubbed a leak that was supposed to come from a senior administration official.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070228/ap_on_go_pr_wh/senior_administration_official_5

excerpt:
The rules were simple. The official who briefed reporters on Cheney's plane could be identified only as a senior administration official. But the high-ranking official wasn't very careful about concealing his identity as Cheney wrapped up his round-the-world trip with surprise stops in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Pay attention to the pronouns — me and I — that the official uses in describing the vice president's mission.

"The reason the president wanted me to come, obviously, is because of the continuing threat that exists in this part of the world on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border," the senior administration official said Tuesday.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Cheney, the poor thing. He is probably experiencing a little PTSD.

Richard Yarnell said...

In case you're compelled to defend Al Gore:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-roberts/talking-points-on-the-gor_b_42335.html

deb said...

Thanks Richard, I wasn't even aware of the scandal, but will it will surely come up in conversation (I have a couple of friends who I am slowly awakening...and they try and trip me up with stuff that Fox news spouts as fact).

Cheryl, Chaney has such low ratings that his name is a major turn off to even the ultraconservative voters. The "top unnamed official" is more likely to be listened to than Chaney, and the neocon think tanks micromanage all of the Whitehouse press. It is all such a sham.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

The Libby guilty verdict could very well be the end of Cheney. Andrew Sullivan's blog covers the basic issue in a nutshell way that makes it fairly clear.

deb said...

I don't get why Cheney isn't already indicted based upon testimony in the Libby trial.

Thanks for the link Christopher. I'm still running behind on keeping up...all links appreciated!

Cheryl said...

Sitemeter is just too cool. Someone from the House of Reps spent almost half an hour looking at my blog. No responses, but very interesting.

I'm thinking about starting every post with the names of politicians, even if they have nothing to do with the topic.

deb said...

Cheryl, I lost the address to hens teeth when my pc was cleaned out. I've tried various hensteeth.blogspot.com type addresses, but am still not getting it right.

I'm curious what the House finds so interesting!!!

dan said...

Hen's Teeth

dan said...

Cheryl, you've got me very curious...what is sitemeter? What are you able to learn about who checks out your site? [BTW, if it works than you should know that some guy from Brownstown, Mi is a big fan of your writing :-)]

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Sitemeter is just one of many tracking systems available on the web that tells you all kinds of information about the computers who are visiting your site.

Information like:
Browser being used Firefox, Internet Explorer ect.
ISP service provider
Referring URL, how they got there be it another blog or search engine.
Key words used in a search
Entry and exit pages
Number of pages viewed
Time on site if more than one page is viewed
General location by city and country. That isn't always accurate because someone in California can have an ISP routed through Pennsylvania.

That is just some of the info available with the free service. A paid service is likely to give much more detail. This is all about marketing and knowing who your consumer is.

A site can leave the meter open or closed to viewing by others. Go to Andrew Sullivan and click on one of the site meter icons in the lower right hand column. He leaves his open and you can see all the data it collects from computers that view his blog.

dan said...

Christopher, thanks...I had no idea. Do you use that service at Bread Crusts?

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Christopher is gone on an excursion to Molokai for a few days.

The Sitemeter icon usually appears at the bottom of the main page at a blog. (It's at the far left bottom corner at Cheryl's blog.) Since I don't see the Sitemeter icon on the main page of this blog, I'm thinking that Christopher probably hasn't added that service here.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

It looks like you can put your Sitemeter button anywhere on the page, not just way at the bottom like I had always thought -- Andrew Sullivan inserted his Sitemeter icon at the end of his sidebar links list.

Cheryl said...

Sitemeter can be interesting. For instance, about half of my hits are me checking on the blog. And it's nice to know that your friends keep an eye out for you.

Some people seem to like the random blog button. I've gotten hits from all over the world. Of course they only stayed 0 seconds before moving on.

Judy B. said...

I am continually amazed at how technologically savvy some of you are... Makes my mind boggle just to keep my computer working...
Had lunch with a friend this week... Her 30-something son is living in South America... They have set up a computer ihterface with him so they can talk for free any time that they want... they also have it set up so he can get tv programming from the U>S. thru some sort of a hook up that they have and he connect to...
What an interesting world..

deb said...

Christin, Most of what I have learned of how the fed operates is from you, and I believe that I am getting a good education of it's system and power, thanks. At this time I don't believe that "state" money is the best option, I say this mainly because of the problems of the various currencies in the EU a few years back, and how the euro has helped some of the citizens of EU countries on the lower economic end gain a better foothold into the middle class. But, the advantage of local money is that it forces people to shop and buy locally, which needs to happen for a variety of reasons.

Rules and regulations hashed out by representatives of real people, with the public being made aware of the debates, is what is needed for all public policy, i.e., a democracy.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Yeah, I know that our ability to undo the financiers' damage mostly depends upon a couple of the issues we've been discussing at this blog right along -- especially restoring the Fairness Doctrine, publicly funded elections, and paper-only voting ballots.

deb said...

Christin, I feel like a parent at graduation:-) Question: Any suggestions to help other citizens "get it"?

You have enlightened me as to the banking aspect of the neocon agenda. I've always realized that it is all about the money, but much of my understanding of the "agenda" has always been the war profiteering, overthrowing gov'ts of countries to prevent strong social programs, and overturning laws in this country to quash social programs that stregnthen the middle class (which also lift people out of poverty as a result).

Please take what you have learned and share it, the country (and world) needs that info.

Maybe Kucinich needs a night shift researcher?

dan said...

War...What myths cause us to send our youth to kill and be killed in war? And when we realize the *cause* was a mistake, why do we feel compelled to keep them there?
The 'Support Our Troops' Myth

deb said...

Thanks Dan. Here's another good article:

Phony Fraud Charges

"In partisan Republican circles, the pursuit of voter fraud is code for suppressing the votes of minorities and poor people. By resisting pressure to crack down on “fraud,” the fired United States attorneys actually appear to have been standing up for the integrity of the election system."

Cheryl said...

The US Attorney firing scandel keeps growing. It might be the last straw for Bush & co.

Hand picked republican partisans were fired because they had professional ethics. Paul Krugman has been asking what the others did, or didn't do, to not get fired. There's a post on daily kos about the "at the president's pleasure" phrase. It implies that none of them could have been fired without Bush's explicit OK.

deb said...

I hope so Cheryl, but it seems that those of us who would prosecute this bunch get our hopes dashed repeatedly.

deb said...

I'm in a state of mind numbing shock...I'm sitting here reading the news after working at the house today and ran across this article:

Is the Iraq war a relative bargain?

How can I be living in a society where a major news source (MSNBC) can so callously pose such a question?

I mean, basically, whoever wrote that feels that we have a heck of a deal except that it is being paid for with borrowed money.

Richard Yarnell said...

That is an AP dispatch and was reporting on remarks made by a number of people.

The question, "Can we afford the war?" is a legitimate one and should have been asked again as soon as it became clear there was not going to be oil money to offset the costs, as we were promised.

But overall, I thought the article itself tended to diasprove of the idea that it was a relative bargain.

The thing the struck me was the failure to ask not whether we could afford to be in Iraq fighting, but whether we should be in iraq fighting. I also find it ludicrous that there are politicians, with faces straight, comparing the effort in Iraq against insurgents and terrorists, with WWII.

deb said...

I agree Richard. With any scrutiny the comparison unravels.

As far as terrorism goes, doesn't it make sense to use an extensive spy network to locate, infiltrate, and work to stop them? I really don't see how a standard war does anything against terrorism.

deb said...

Those officials that we worked so hard to elect in Nov. are actually showing some bravery:

Bush Warns Dems to Take Offer in Firings

The neocon hypocrisy has no limits (excerpt):
"Bush said he worried that allowing testimony under oath would set a precedent on the separation of powers that would harm the presidency as an institution." uh, what about the Clinton impeachment?

Maybe you are right Cheryl, maybe this will be their undoing!

BTW, I wasn't sure how to spell hypocrisy so I stuck it in the search engine (a trick i learned from Marilynn) and low and behold almost every article and website is talking about w and company.

Cheryl said...

Deb, there is a deep truth to be found in that search. Interesting how we can find them in the most mundane ways.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

This post at C+L very well could mean the end of Bush + Co.

By law the President is the only authority who can fire US attorneys, Not the Attorney General and Not the AG's chief of staff. They are lying their way into a hole so deep they may never get out.

deb said...

Thanks Christopher, I hope so!

Herein lies the problem (from that article): "Journalists need to force the President to own up to these decisions, to defend them substantively and not just procedurally."

Independent, investigative journalists were the first to go.

Richard Yarnell said...

And it's our job to encourage the media to hire and support independent journalists.

We can do that with letters - stacks and stacks of letters.

One of the weaknesses of the Internet is that we retire to our own groups and talk among ourselves. The great mass of the unwashed, but the ones who vote, don't pay any attention to sites like C&L, about which I know nothing. But they do read their local papers. There's relatively little partisan exchange.

So, when you write a brilliant opinion piece here, edit it and send it off to your local paper's editor, to the local TV station, and to the major papers and Networks.

Be explicit when they fail to report on an important issue. They're in business to please the masses.

I'm convinced it's possible to become massive. Gore delivered nearly 600,000 signatures gathered in 3 or 4 days in support of his Congressional testimony; MoveOn has no trouble rounding up a million people to flood Congress with messages; NRDC, almost weekly, puts 100K signatures on the desk of some poor administrator in Manitoba or Brazil and even more on desks in Washington. It can be done.

deb said...

Thanks Richard, I completely agree.

Also, I still firmly believe that restoring the Fairness Doctrine and strengthening it would be the undoing of the "ruling class". I know that I am sounding simplistic, but it would work. If the TV and radio were forced to give alternative views then newspapers would have no choice but to do the same in order to please those masses.

John G. said...

"Also, I still firmly believe that restoring the Fairness Doctrine and strengthening it would be the undoing of the "ruling class"."

Can I make a suggestion? Refine the fairness doctrine to work with the internet and call it something else.
People are more likely to try something new and exciting which they feel a part of rather than dust off something which has already been debated.

deb said...

Not sure how the fairness act would apply to the net. I did, however, cancel my AOL contract in 00 when it became obvious that their "news" front page favored w over Gore. I do believe that the bill should be shored up to include cable TV...at least with some sort of disclaimer for propaganda presented as news:

"Portions of this program were created by corporate PR firms and political thinktanks. They are designed to brainwash you into having a favorable perception of their product, the necessity of their product, and/or the necessity of national policy that affects their bottom line." (lol, but maybe something along those lines)

Call it whatever (any suggestions?), just get behind telling your Congress people to get it inacted so that TV and radio are forced to limit their brainwashing capacity.

Cheryl said...

Hey, my blog got noticed. OK, I did send a note to sacksessions.com to get noticed, but they have a blurb about my "Senator Jeff Sessions Response Challenge". SackSessions is one of the feeds to leftyblogs, so I'm there too. What fun.

http://www.leftyblogs.com/alabama/

Judy B. said...

Congrats Cheryl....
Y0ur talents are many and varied... There is no doubt in my mind that you get noticed whatever you do...

Once upon a time I thought about inviting you to come West and raise chickens and goats on our property...

Cheryl said...

Thanks Judy, you are too kind. Homesteading still has an appeal. If only it came with health insurance.

Judy B. said...

While health care benefits seem essential, it is interesting to note how often we really use them...

Self insuring has some advantages, particularly when you use alternative methods that are not covered by standard policies...

A major medical policy to cover catastrophic health care, coupled with an income replacement policy come much, much cheaper than a standard policy andif you put the difference into self insurance, you can make it without relying on company benefits..

Then maybe you could do what you love... rether than doing what pays health coverage...

Cheryl said...

Bush tries empathy. I saw this on Think Progress.

George W. Bush, speaking today on Congress' plan to begin bringing troops home from Iraq: "I think it -- I'm just envisioning what it would be like to be a young soldier in the middle of Iraq and realizing that politicians have all of the sudden made military determinations. And in my judgment, that would put a kid in harm's way, more so than he or she already is."

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2007/04/27/bushiraq/index.html

deb said...

Psychopathy

"Though in widespread use, psychopathy has no precise equivalent[6] in either the DSM-IV-TR, where it is most strongly correlated with antisocial personality disorder, or the ICD-10, where it is correlated with dissocial personality disorder. Some experts are working toward listing psychopathy as a unique disorder. However, only a minority of diagnosable psychopaths are violent offenders [7] [8]. The manipulative skills of some of the others are valued for providing audacious leadership [9]. Some have argued that psychopathy is adaptive in a highly competitive environment, because it gets results for both the individual and the corporations [10] they represent [11].

In current clinical use, psychopathy is most commonly diagnosed using the checklist devised by Emeritus Professor Robert Hare. He describes psychopaths as "intraspecies predators [12] [13] who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence [14] [15] [16] to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs. Lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without guilt or remorse" [17]. "What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony."[18]"

Cheryl said...

The latest reason to tell your reps we need to get out of Iraq now.

"On Tuesday, without note in the U.S. media, more than half of the members of Iraq's parliament rejected the continuing occupation of their country. 144 lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal, according to Nassar Al-Rubaie, a spokesman for the Al Sadr movement, the nationalist Shia group that sponsored the petition."

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/51624/

deb said...

I sent my (D) Congressman a note this morning asking why he voted "no" on HR 2237. I'll keep you posted if he responds.

Richard Yarnell said...

[I've sent these to my Congressional Delegation and to the FCC. IMO, this could be the single most important issue facing us - free speech has become synonymous with the internet. I urge you to write yourselves and to log on to the Common Cause site where you can edit their letter as I have done.]
-----
I'm sharing a letter I just sent to the FCC in defense of "Internet Neutrality." I'm sure you agree that the network's content should not be controlled by network gatekeepers. The network should be viewed as a utility. Congress and the FCC have abandoned or at least relaxed control over the media in other forms, already allowing powerful interests to control content in ways that have impeded that public's access to more than one side of many issues.

I'm confident you agree with me and hope you will act to preserve your consituents' access to a free and open internet.

Best Regards,

Richard Yarnell
Beavercreek
-----

FCC

Re: Docket 07-52, In the Matter of Broadband Industry Practices

Unless you believe that an informed public is superfluous to our form of government, you will stand to protect “net neutrality” – the original principle that prevents discrimination on the Internet.

If wider participation in the political process frightens you, you will allow gate keepers to dictate content and close down the heretofore free exchange that has enabled ordinary folks to participate as never before.

As broadcasting comes under the sway of ever more powerful companies more interested in profit and ideological control than journalism, through failures of the FCC and Congress to protect and ensure the free flow of information from a free and vigorous press, the ability of individual citizens to access all sources of information without fear that censorship has denied the access to all points of view has become manifestly important.

If the companies that control the networks that distribute internet content also are allowed to control that content, even if only to the extent that they give preferential treatment to some sources over others, the ability of the public to make informed and well considered choices will be lost. If that happens, the only difference between the Internet here and the same net in totalitarian countries will be that those controlling the gate will be entirely out of reach of the user to persuade.

It does not escape me that that may be your intent. If it is, you have no business being stewards of the tools on which our democracy increasingly depends.

The Internet is our most democratic medium. It has grown exponentially, fueled innovation and altered how we communicate. But this revolution would not have happened if we hadn’t had net neutrality protections in place.

Internet service providers (i.e., telephone and cable companies) have stated numerous times that they now intend to change the way the Internet operates -- from an open and free-flowing medium into a closed system where only the websites and services that can afford to pay hefty fees will continue to operate as they have as the net has grown. Everyone else (individuals, nonprofits, small businesses, bloggers, artists, political candidates, etc.) will find their websites more difficult to find or use. That will be a disaster for our economy, our culture, our democracy and our position in the world.

The Federal Communications Commission must act to protect internet users (your constituents, if you will) like me from companies that would like to discriminate against certain types of content on the web.

I strongly urge you to support net neutrality principles that prohibit broadband providers from blocking, impeding or interfering with any lawful Internet traffic, or prioritizing any content or services.

Of course, if you believe the public needs to be protected from itself; if you believe industry and those in power need protection from the general population; if you, already are in league with those who would exert even more centralized control over public thought, the economy, and political choice, then you'll side with the already powerful, and hand to them even greater power.

I urge you to make a clear distinction between the pipeline and those who provide content. Allow a reasonable profit, but don't, again, sacrifice our free society to higher profit.

Thank you.

deb said...

Thanks for the reminder Richard. Your letter is impressive.

Cheryl said...

From the self-proclaimed ardent free traders, Cokie and Steven Roberts (via David Sirota):

"However, those losers, and their labor bosses, should not be allowed to dictate trade policy. Democrats despise and distrust George Bush, but for the next 18 months, he's the only president we have. Congress should shelve its feelings and renew his authority to negotiate more trade deals. America's economic future depends on it."

http://www.dailynewstribune.com/opinion/x1883525847

deb said...

Cheryl, I see that article as typical corporate BS.

1) Assuming that "all" labor is against negotiating for free trade and the environment. (repeat a lie enough and it becomes real)

2) "Years ago, a labor leader explained to us why his union opposed free-trade pacts." Who was this person and what union did he/she represent?

3)"As announced last week by the Bush administration and key Democrats". I've found that the "key" Dems are usually Lieberman (DINO), et al, and staff.

4) "Clearly, they don't want any new trade pacts of any kind." A bit of a stretch when we are actually talking about millions of people.

5)"In a major study released last February, the Business Roundtable (yes, they favor trade but their research is sound) reported that in 2004 (the last year available), more than 31 million American jobs, nearly one in five, were "positively linked to exports and imports of goods and services." Twelve years before, only 1-in-10 workers, or 14 million, directly benefited from trade."

Uh, I suppose that those jobs would be at Wal-Mart.

Why wasn't the study named?

6) "So do trade deals "sell out American workers"? Absolutely not. But there are losers as well as winners, and any free trader must also support better education, smarter midcareer training and more generous benefits for workers who do lose their jobs to international competition."

Wouldn't these be those Dem "give away programs" that repubs always complain about? And the jobs will still be at Wal-Mart.

7) "However, those losers, and their labor bosses, should not be allowed to dictate trade policy."

Of course not, then we would be living in a democracy;-)

deb said...

Oh, one last thought:

Bit of a stretch to have to dig back to Hoffa in order to tell us about "all" unions.

Richard Yarnell said...

If you give a little thought to it, I'm sure everyone on this list can find a way to use "kakistocracy" in a sentence.

Literally, spread the word.

ry

Cheryl said...

That's a great word. So many examples come to mind.

Would ya'll like to start a word thread? If so, I suggest sardoodledom as the second entry. It's so much fun to say.

Cheryl said...

Richard,
Someone posted a diary on Daily Kos about kakistocracy. It's on the top of the recommend list now. You can also buy a bumper sticker.
I put a short note at Booman Tribune, and someone pointed the kos diary out to me.

deb said...

Cheryl, Richard posted the address to "A word a Day" website some time ago. I signed on and have immensely enjoyed it. In case you missed it the address is http://wordsmith.org

Cheryl said...

My heros.

President Bush was presented with a letter Monday signed by 50 high school seniors in the Presidential Scholars program urging a halt to "violations of the human rights" of terror suspects held by the United States.

http://www.alternet.org/blogs/peek/55199/#more

deb said...

How did we, as a country, ever get to where we are torturing people? The abuses are so widespread and so many people are involved, how are those involved going along with it? When I first learned of the Holocaust, I believed that in order to be so evil a person had to be in fear of their own life, but US military personnel (ie, people who are our neighbors) are participating...how is this possible?

The kids who presented the petition should be commended.