Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oligarchies, American and Russian

russblogger has some video from the 24th in Moscow on Sakhorov Prospecket. The driving force behind these events in Russia have more to do with income inequality rather than so called freedom. Reading the NYT and the WashPO are probably the worst way of following reality in Russia. Americans are only now coming to grips with the fact the country is basically an oligarchic kleptocracy. Both countries show that the real issue in elections is not vote fraud but vote tampering and suppression. Vladimir Putin is not Josef Stalin and U.S. media has great difficulty coming to deal with this. The concerns of the Russian people are quite similar to Americans as they both adjust to former super-power status and acknowledgement of oligarchic kleptocracies that run the world. Luke Harding gives one of the more succinct explanations of power in Russia:
"Putin’s system, Harding writes, has created ‘the most unequal society in Russia’s history’. To keep the have-nots at arm’s length, the wealthiest Russians live in exclusive, walled-off residential compounds like those along the Rublyovo-Uspenskoye Road outside Moscow. But since the highest fliers among Russia’s nouveaux riches lead an essentially borderless existence, their most prized gated communities are located in the West. Those who own real estate abroad include numerous public officials and civil servants: ‘Russian bureaucrats have their houses and families in London, and their children are going to Cambridge and Oxford.’ The reason this ‘very strange political class’ craves an extraterritorial foothold is illuminating: ‘They keep their money outside Russia because none of them believes in Russia and none of them believes in official stability. All of them know that this stability could be finished any day.’ They don’t believe in official stability because, as the ones responsible for guaranteeing it, they are aware of their own limitations. For all their talk about ‘the restoration of Russia’s superpower status’, Russia’s senior political officials have an astonishingly ‘primitive mission’, which is to ‘take this money outside Russia, buy houses outside Russia and give their children a future abroad’. Russia’s affluent classes are irresistibly drawn to relocate their assets to countries where there appears to be a future. Their lack of confidence doesn’t reflect a fear that the government they work for is too strong and may one day initiate mass confiscations. Their worry, on the contrary, is that their government isn’t stable enough to protect their investments."
This doesn't sound a lot different from American Corporations off shoring assets to prevent them from actually assisting the country in which their workers actually live in and products are sold.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fitzwalkerstan 2nd In The U.S. For "Mass Layoffs"

Further evidence for ongoing economic collapse in Wisconsin was reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday released a report showing Wisconsin with the second-highest number of unemployment claims from mass layoff events in the nation last month. A "mass layoff" is any event affecting at least 50 workers, according to the BLS. Its mass layoff report for November estimated Wisconsin with 90 such events in the month, impacting 9,359 individuals. Only California, with an estimated 274 events affecting 19,677 individuals, had more initial unemployment claims from mass layoffs. Read more:
Meanwhile Wonkette weighs in on the latest Walker video effort at calming the masses:
Also: the video ends in their family living room with a particularly AMAZING awkward shot of Scott Walker blubbering like he can’t feel his face from all the Xanax while his sons hover awkwardly in the back of the room looking judgmental and teenager-y. The most comical part is that this is the best that Scott Walker can do even though he has been outspending his recall organizer opponents four to one in the contest so far: At the outset of Wisconsin’s historic recall fight, GOP Gov. Scott Walker and his allies are outspending the other side on television by a margin of roughly 4-to-1, an advantage he’s expected to maintain in the weeks ahead. The governor has already aired more than $1 million in broadcast ads since he hit the airwaves in mid-November, according to the ad-tracking firm Kantar Media CMAG. Ha ha, and that’s been working so well that organizers already have 507,000 of the 540,000 signatures needed to trigger the recall election in just half the allotted time period.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Fitzwalkerstan Looses 14,000 Jobs In November, Scott Walker Gets $5 Million.

The further Implosion of Wisconsin is documented on a monthly basis through the jobs report. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel elaborates: "
"Wisconsin lost private-sector jobs for the fifth consecutive month in November, the same months that the nation has been adding private-sector jobs, according to a report Thursday from the state Department of Workforce Development. The state lost an estimated 11,700 private-sector jobs in November from October, the deepest since April 2009, when the nation was in the throes of the recession. The figures are based on a monthly government survey of employers and adjusted to smooth out recurring seasonal factors, such as winter-related slowdowns in construction or holiday hiring by retailers. The government sector, meanwhile, continued to lose jobs at the city and county level, as it has for much of the past two years. All told, the state lost an estimated 14,600 nonfarm jobs when the losses in the private sector are combined with the losses in the public sector."
As a result of his job creating success Scott Walker has attracted big money as outlined at TPM:
"Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is clearly preparing to bring his best game against the Democratic effort to recall him from office. And he’s raising a lot of money for it. As the Wisconsin State Journal reports, Walker has raised $5.1 million since this past July — much of it in the past month, aided by a state law that allows the target of a recall to raise unlimited funds. In all, Walker has received 18,000 donations since November, the month when the recall process was triggered. Also, $2.4 million of the total has come from out of state — notably a $250,000 donation from Bob Perry, the Texas businessman who financed the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth campaign of 2004, which spread false information about Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s war record."
Savoy Brown's "Hell Bound Train" seems appropriate:

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Thousands Protest Election Fraud in Moscow: Беспорядки 5 декабря у Чистых прудов

Russblogger provides footage of rally of several thousand resulting in the arrest of 300 people protesting election fraud in Moscow December 5th.

Booing United Russia: Коменданте: Против "уплотниловки". Народ освистал "Е.Р."

United Russia gets a less than enthusiastic reception from "Komendante", pensioners, and people concerned about pollution. The outrage against vote tampering in Russian parliamentary elections could be instructive to Americans who are dealing with voter suppression, and tampering with every election. As Josef Stalin (a closet republican) said, " It's not those who vote that count but those who count the votes."

Saturday, December 03, 2011


Doug Stanhope weighs in on the value of our opinions including blogging, which I hate to say, he is probably correct about.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Walker-Putin Conspiracy Against Democracy

In an unintended coincidence both Scott Walker and Vladimir Putin cracked down on democracy in their respective fiefdoms. Putin decided to put a stop to the group Golos (or Voice) from putting out pesky reports about voter suppression in Russia. Meanwhile the Tsar of Fitzwalkerstan has made it almost impossible for citizens to voice their opinions around the state capitol. I for one think we should ask Golos to monitor any elections in Fitzwalkerstan and report the results to the U.N.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Doug Stanhope: Voice of America - FEAR IN THE U.S. NEWS MEDIA

Doug Stanhope visits the role of fear in our American lives. The real fears such as economic insecurity, lack of health care, and the criminal oligarchic kleptocracy which guides our country don't get much play. *OWS was a beginning, violence against it suggests its relevance.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Recall Rally's Memorable Sights and Signage

The innate creativity that comes from thinking for yourself is unmistakeable here and pretty inspiring.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Recall Walker Kick Off Rally Madison,WI Nov. 19, 2011

A crowd of up to 40,000 people assembled at the state capitol in Madison Saturday, November 19th to kick off efforts to depose the Governor. In the the first 5 days of the recall efforts over 100,000 signatures have been gathered. A good start for what will no doubt be a formidable struggle against entrenched and well financed corporate interests.

Friday, November 18, 2011

messer chups - Dead down comedy

I am ready to dance.

Fitzwalkerstan Implosion

The past week brings even more reasons to back the recall of Scott Walker in Wisconsin. First the effects on education from "The Wisconsin State Journal": "Wisconsin shed about 3,400 education positions this year, triple the number from last year. At least one-third of the state's districts increased elementary class sizes. And at least four in 10 districts are using one-time federal stimulus funds to balance their budgets. And then there is the cutting of 65,000 folks from Wisconsin Medicaid. Where do they think these people are going for healthcare at the 11th hour? Here the normally rabid Journal Sentinel sounds reasonable: "BadgerCare is a Wisconsin success story that guarantees health security for more than 775,000 people. Despite its popularity, the program is on the chopping block as the Walker administration implements $554 million in budget cuts to Wisconsin's Medicaid program." And of course is the latest job loss figures: "Wisconsin lost an estimated 9,300 private-sector jobs in October in the state's fourth consecutive month of job declines, according to the state Department of Workforce Development. Losses covered a wide swath of the state's slow-moving economy - from manufacturing to health care and financial services to retail trade. The only sector with a significant increase came in leisure and hospitality trades, such as restaurants and hotels. Abdur Chowdhury, chairman of the economics department at Marquette University in Milwaukee, noted that Wisconsin lost private-sector jobs during the same months that the national economy added private-sector positions, albeit haltingly. At the state level, "the job loss in manufacturing is alarming," Chowdhury said. "At the national level, growth in the manufacturing sector had been driving the recovery. In Wisconsin, despite the presence of a significant manufacturing sector, the job loss doesn't bode well for the short-term growth of the state economy." Tomorrow Madison:

Friday, November 04, 2011

Wisconsin Phone In Crap Dermocracy

Phoning it in now appears to be the safest thing to do especially after allowing gun toting citizens to show up anywhere including your previously safe town hall meetings. Scott Fitzgerald, a physical coward, understands this well as noted here. Faux democracy marches on.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Wisconsin Special Session "Back to Work" A Shitstorm of Stupidity

The so-called "Back to Work Wisconsin" session has proved to be anything but. How ever if you're a fan of bat-shit crazy stuff you have been richly rewarded. Witness the following: Shoot anyone in your house. In reality shooting someone in your home has not been an issue but just in case....Then there is Sex Ed as long as it favors abstinence and marriage, and lastly a bill to make recalls harder, mercifully obstructed by renegade republican Dale Schultz. And jobs, where are they?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

General Strikes Winnipeg and Oakland

I had to post the above videos to give some historical perspective on General Strikes. Winnipeg in 1919 was the largest such action in Canada while the 1946 action in Oakland was the last general strike in the U.S. until now. We need to rediscover our legacy of resistance.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Wisconsin State Assembly Is In Session

The new concealed carry goes into effect tomorrow. Check with the gentlemen above how to prepare for your visit to the Capitol.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street - Chris Hedges shuts down CBC Kevin O'Leary - YouTube.flv

Chris Hedges puts an obnoxious ignorant CBC commentator in his place. A reflection on the state of media in Canada and should give pause to Americans who think Canadians are naturally liberal and intelligent. CBC, I gather, now stands for Conservative Broadcasting Corporation.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wisconsin Capitol: Cameras and the Constitution No, Guns Yes

The Wisconsin State Capitol will soon be a place where guns are OK but copies of the constitution worn in the gallery and cameras are forbidden. We are now in the fascist twilight zone. "A new plan created by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) would allow guns in most of Wisconsin’s state Capitol, while most photos and video cameras would still be banned. Under the proposed new policy, the public would be allowed to carry concealed weapons into the Assembly viewing galleries, but existing rules barring the use of cameras (still shots and videos) would not be changed, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Lawmakers would still be allowed to decide if guns are allowed in their individual offices."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oakland Police Riot

So now an Iraqi War vet is in a coma as a result of exercising a constitutional right to free speech and free assembly. Fuck this.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Assorted Protests

The video from russblogger is entitled Elections Without Opposition is a Crime the others refer to the gradual ratcheting up of response to OWS across this country. The picket in Moscow occurs every Tuesday. The police have their own buses for hauling off demonstrators. I expect soon we will have similar arrangements in the future. As Lincoln Steffens said after his visit to Russia : " I've seen the future and it works." Americans are always slightly behind Russians in this respect. When they figure out that elections don't change anything we will see the next step.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Buddy Roemer The Unheard

I would not normally even consider a republican for anything, however Buddy Roemer is a refreshing voice in a political desert. I say this knowing full well Stalin's observation, "It's not those who cast the votes that matter, it's those who count the votes." A factor they have taken to heart throughout the the country.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

NATO Oppression of Serbians Continues

If Serbians were an Arabic people seeking justice in say Libya or Egypt maybe the U.S. would be more helpful. Instead being Slavs in SE Europe they have to face KFOR on a daily basis while opposing the Albanian drug lords.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Madison The Ongoing Saga

Another Saturday in Madison, arguably the most progressive, revolutionary city in the U.S. Mrs. WINston smITh and I payed a visit to the Capitol as we get ready to plant our recall Walker sign in the yard. Does it matter if we win? Of course but not winning is not the end for our children and grandchildren, living in a just society that values the greatest good for the greatest number is what will be a real victory. The struggle continues.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I AM NOT MOVING - Short Film - Occupy Wall Street - by Corey Ogilvie

The Occupy Movement will always run the risk of cooptation and distortion by the Oligarchic Kleptocracy which has always been a bipartisan effort. When the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Ron Paul, and Michael Bloomberg all profess some sympathy you know the old saying " The Elite will do anything for working people except get off their backs" is truer than ever.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Russia 1992 and now

Protests become more global. Russian communists (the real opposition) come out to the streets to mark the Yeltsin oppression. When I went there in 1998 it took a while for me to understand why most Russians didn't feel that IMF or World Bank "Help" was anything but..."

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

Dr. Cornel West, Keith Olbermann, and Tavis Smiley coherently discuss the Occupy Movement. The same cannot be said of the republican party which is even more clueless than usual about the ramifications of this unfolding event. For some further enlightened commentary Naomi Klein: "If there is one thing I know, it is that the 1 percent loves a crisis. When people are panicked and desperate and no one seems to know what to do, that is the ideal time to push through their wish list of pro-corporate policies: privatizing education and social security, slashing public services, getting rid of the last constraints on corporate power. Amidst the economic crisis, this is happening the world over. And there is only one thing that can block this tactic, and fortunately, it’s a very big thing: the 99 percent. And that 99 percent is taking to the streets from Madison to Madrid to say “No. We will not pay for your crisis.” That slogan began in Italy in 2008. It ricocheted to Greece and France and Ireland and finally it has made its way to the square mile where the crisis began. “Why are they protesting?” ask the baffled pundits on TV. Meanwhile, the rest of the world asks: “What took you so long?” “We’ve been wondering when you were going to show up.” And most of all: “Welcome.”

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Wisconson Confidential-Cheese Abuse

The recent "Grim Reaper Cheesehead" incident sheds light on a little discussed issue in Wisconsin life: cheese abuse.As many may recall recently a small band of courageous, thin, doctors put up a billboard in Green Bay pointing out the hazards of cheese abuse. That is until threats from the Cheese Cartels forced them to alter the message to the Cartel's specifications. Make no mistake, the Cheese Cartels control significant aspects of Wisconsinite life. Attend any function in Wisconsin, weddings, graduation parties, funerals, sporting events of any kind, and next thing you know the cheese is there followed by unspeakable acts. It is well known that the cheese cartels control whole communities forcing them to do their bidding. Monroe Wisconsin, for instance, has its school system run by a shadowy group known as "The Cheese Makers" who indoctrinate the youth of the community as early as kindergarten. In addition to the obvious health hazards associated with cheese, its role as a "gateway" drug leading to brat binging and beer, lots and lots of beer is becoming clearer all the time. Not only that but these profitable Cartels are coming to the attention of international narco-terrorists such as the Mexican "Con Queso" organization. Obviously decisive action is called for before things get really out of hand and the Cheese Cartels take over North America altogether, in other words a new never ending, extremely expensive, amorphous, War on Cheese Abuse should be launched and join its place with all the other wars on everything. No doubt legislation, constitutional amendments, and possibly NATO involvement may be necessary.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Kathy Nickolaus Crime or No Crime?

"A county clerk likely violated the law when she failed to report thousands of votes in this spring's Wisconsin Supreme Court election, but her conduct wasn't criminal, state investigators said Wednesday. Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus couldn't explain how she failed to report the votes, investigators said, but they concluded she probably loaded a blank template into a reporting database rather than a template that contained the vote totals. Wisconsin law requires county clerks to post all returns on Election Night. "A county clerk likely violated the law when she failed to report thousands of votes in this spring's Wisconsin Supreme Court election, but her conduct wasn't criminal, state investigators said Wednesday. Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus couldn't explain how she failed to report the votes, investigators said, but they concluded she probably loaded a blank template into a reporting database rather than a template that contained the vote totals. Wisconsin law requires county clerks to post all returns on Election Night. Read more here. Amazing to believe that this is not a prosecutable crime. If I would have done something like this of course it's crime. So what did they do? Look into her vacuous eyes and decide everything was OK? Besides screwing around with previous elections she personifies the republican penchant for vote tampering (as opposed to voter fraud a nonexistent issue used to justify crappy legislation such as voter ID).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Poverty Intensifies In Fitzwalkerstan

In several sets of dismal statistics the economic implosion in Wisconsin was brought into sharp focus by the U.S. Census Bureau. For example: "To all those Wisconsin workers who feel like they've been economically squeezed in the first decade of the 21st century: It's not your imagination. It's reality. Adjusted for inflation, median household income in the state declined 14.5% between 1999 and 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Thursday. The rate of decline in Wisconsin dwarfed the national drop of 8.9% in median household income over the same period." Even worse was the poverty rate in Milwaukee which is now the 8th poorest city in the United States, worse than Katrina battered New Orleans. "Milwaukee's poverty rate was 29.5% last year, up from 27% in 2009. In all, 171,521 people - including nearly half the city's children - lived below the poverty line in 2010 as Milwaukee remained among America's 10 most impoverished big cities." The rate of child poverty in Milwaukee is now approaching a staggering 50%. "The stark figures detail the continued economic devastation wrought by America's Great Recession. Poverty among Milwaukee's children shot up to 46.1% last year, up from 39.4% in 2009, according to Census Bureau estimates. Among minorities, 41.4% of Milwaukee's black residents and 32.3% of Hispanics were poor."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wall Street Occupation

An uncovered story of great significance, a potential revolution in the U.S. We won't give up as we have less and less to loose.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Politkovskaya Revisited

More info on the Politkovskaya hit: "The nuanced and explosive case of Anna Politkovskaya continues to stretch its tentacles far and wide, as investigators and a key witness pin the blame on Russian exile Boris Berezovsky. Dmitry Pavlyuchenkov, former Moscow police boss currently under arrest, has made a pre-trial agreement with the sleuths and given detailed testimony on the murder of the Novaya Gazeta journalist, naming Berezovsky as the man who ordered her death. Pavlyuchenkov’s damning indictment tallies with leads already uncovered by the Investigative Committee, Kommersant reported. Recent breakthroughs concerning Pavlyuchenkov and supposed gunman Rustam Makhmudov have won the support of Novaya Gazeta and point to a political will to get to the bottom of the case, Tim Roth in Russia Profile wrote. Not the first time This is not the first occasion that now London based Berezovsky’s name has appeared in the case. In 2008 Dmitry Dovgy, former chief investigator in the Prosecutor General’s office who was sacked and convicted for corruption, told Izvestia soon after he was suspended that Berezovsky had ordered the killing. Berezovsky dismissed the accusations in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio. “This is another attempt to distract the investigation from searching for the real person behind the murder,” the tycoon said, RIA Novosti cited. He has been on Russia’s wanted list for a number of crimes since falling out with Vladimir Putin after his arrival in the president’s office. Killers for hire The latest allegations connect Berezovsky with a supposed group of hired thugs, cobbled together by Chechen crime lord Lom-Ali Gaitukayev. At first engaged in different suspect practices, they are then believed to have turned their hands to murder on demand. The group included ex-millionaire Sergei Kadzhikurebanov, the Dzhabrail brothers, Ibragim and Rustam Makhmudov and Pavlyuchenkov. Kadzhikurebanov is currently serving eight years for extorting money from Pavlyuchenkov and Gaitukayev is doing 15 years for organizing an assassination attempt on businessman Gennady Korban in Ukraine in 2006. Pavlyuchenkov acquired the address and knowledge of Politkovskaya’s usual comings and goings through some of his junior police officers and gave an Izh gas pistol, converted to fire live ammunition, to the Makhmudov brothers. They then shot Politkovskaya in the lift of her stairwell on Oct. 7, 2006, Putin’s birthday, Kommersant reported. One favor for another The Investigative Committee recently finished interrogating Pavlyuchenkov and will soon present the fruits of its work on him to a court. As long as there are no surprises the document will secure the ex-cop at least a minimum term, Kommersant reported. His defense, who did not contest his arrest warrant, did object the terms of his arrest. Given his active cooperation with investigators and the state of his health Pavlyuchenkov’s lawyers hope that he can be moved to house arrest."

Saturday, September 10, 2011


Do something illegal?Statement or command?

9-11 10 Years of Mindlessness

The upcoming 10th anniversary of the 9-11 catastrophe is, not surprisingly, an occasion in the U.S. to renew the Fear. The Fear has become such an ubiquitous feature of American life many Americans can't even recognize it. Its features include the use of Orwellian language such as "The Patriot Act", "Homeland Security", "WMDs", and of course the ever present "War on Terror". A certain sort of mindlessness has been unleashed in the country exemplified by mindless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, mindless immolation of the constitution and human rights in general, mindless persecution of Muslims, mindless support of Israel, mindless militarism, mindless political organizations such as the Tea Party, and mindless political and social conformity. The "War on Terror" is an amorphous never ending blob that indefinitely perpetuates the National Security State and creates more terrorists than ever existed previously. The smoking ruins of the WTC could now just as easily symbolize the collapse of the American economy, which while not solely caused by 9-11, got a good healthy push over the cliff by the trillion dollar wars and financial irresponsibility of the previous administration and to a large degree continued by the Obama presidency. In this context the death of Osama Bin Laden may prove to be of little consolation to Americans now living in a degraded society for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Record Ice Melt Looms

While morons debate the facts reality continues to pile up regarding climate change. The National Snow and Ice Data Center continues the accumulation of facts: "Arctic sea ice extent averaged for August 2011 reached the second lowest level for the month in the 1979 to 2011 satellite record. Both the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea route appear to be open. Throughout August, sea ice extent tracked near the record lows of 2007, underscoring the continued decline in Arctic ice cover. Note: Arctic sea ice extent will likely reach its minimum extent for the year sometime in the next two weeks. NSIDC will make a preliminary announcement when ice extent has stopped declining and has increased for several days in a row. Monthly data for September will be released in early October."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

''i Robot'' by Oleg Kostrov live in Gogolclub

Wish I was there.

Fitzwalkerstanization Or The Rabid Badger

While our oligarchic kleptocrats running Fitzwalkerstan have never been big on facts and figurin the recent numbers suggest that things aren't going so well in the place "open for business". Here's a few things to mull over your Spotted Cow:

"Wisconsin lost 12,500 private sector jobs in July:
The economic slowdown hit Wisconsin in July as the state lost 12,500 private sector jobs on a seasonally-adjusted basis, according to the state Department of Workforce Development.
The state gained 4,300 government jobs during the month, so the state had a net job loss of 8,200 during the month, on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Most of the government jobs (4,100) were added at the local level. The federal government added 300 jobs in the state and the state cut 100 government jobs.
The July job losses cancel out most of the 12,900 private sector job gain and 9,500 net job gain that the state posted in June on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The news is a blow to Gov. Scott Walker’s goal of helping the private sector in the state create 250,000 jobs during his first term in office. The state has now added 28,700 private sector jobs since Walker was sworn in at the beginning of this year. At that pace of about 4,100 private sector jobs per month the state will add only 196,800 private sector jobs by the end of Walker’s term. The state needs to add an average of 5,208 private sector jobs each month to reach Walker’s goal."

"Wisconsin ranks 19th nationally in child poverty":
"Child poverty, across the country, increased in 38 states from 2000 to 2009, according to a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Wisconsin fared better than the national average, but followed the same trend, with children in poverty rising from 10 percent in 2000 to 17 percent in 2009, putting the state at No. 19.

Researchers concluded that low-income children will likely suffer academically, economically and socially long after their parents have recovered.....
Wisconsin came in 12th, showing improvement in teen birth rate and infant, child and teen mortality rates. However, the amount of low-birthweight babies, children in poverty and children in single-parent families grew.

Mississippi had the most children living in poverty, with 31 percent..."

Not necessarily Scott Walker's fault but considering his policies unlikely to get better.

And of course there's Milwaukee, Little Johannesburg, worse than Mississippi:

"One out of three school-age children in Milwaukee lived with a family in poverty in 2005, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released Wednesday.

Milwaukee ranked sixth highest overall among the nation's 70 largest school districts; only Cleveland, New Orleans, Detroit, Fresno, Calif., and St. Louis had higher percentages of children living with families in poverty."

I kind of doubt that this number has gotten any better either.

Monday, August 22, 2011

'Western countries fighting for Libya’s oil fields like piranhas'

What's really going on here? Don't expect MSM to tell you anything. William Engdahl lays it on:

"Engdahl says NATO’s actions in Libya have created a very virulent precedent.

“What we have going on in Libya for some months now is a major effort by the US and NATO forces to pour at least $1 billion by various estimates into the so-called Transitional National Council,” he said. “It’s rival tribal clan warfare that is going on in Libya. This is not a democracy movement by any stretch of the imagination.”

Engdahl said it is simply an insurgency being supported covertly by US-financed armed shipments to the rebels – in order, he claimed “to simply carve up the oil fields and get them into Western hands, rather than in Libyan state hands, which Gaddafi held firmly on to.”

David Maimela from the South Africans for Peace in Africa Initiative shared Engdahl’s pessimism about Libya’s near future.

“NATO has not achieved anything [in Libya],” he said. “Even if they are to remove Gaddafi and his government at the moment, what we are going to have is a greater form of political instability in the country and a further breakout of civil war in Libya,” he said."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

London Calling

The American media has been careful to portray recent unrest in the UK as just criminal activity as opposed to a reaction to economic injustice and disparity. Religion Dispatches puts a new perspective in "Our Great War Is a Spiritual War". Particularly interesting is the participants interpretation of events:

"“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”


" …with the complicit support of the government, the banks looted the nation’s wealth while destroying countless small businesses and brought the whole economy to its knees in a covert, clean manner, rather like organised crime... These kids would have to riot and steal every night for a year to run up a bill equivalent to the value of non-paid tax big business has ‘avoided’ out of the economy this year alone. They may not articulate their grievances like the politicians that condemn them but this is absolutely political… It’s mad, sad and scary when we have to take to the streets to defend our homes and businesses from angry thieving kids, but where are the police and what justice is ever done when the mob is dressed in pinstripe?"

Who can blame them?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

messer chups go satan go

Enough Wisconsin dreariness, Go Satan Go by my favorite Russian surfers.

Wisconsin Meets The Machine

I have spent the better part of the last week pondering the results of the Wisconsin recall and have come to some conclusions. The recall of republican state senators failed in its ambitious goals. The democratic party failed to grasp what was really at stake at both the state and national level. The state party was disorganized and couldn't get out a coherent message and instead treated the recall as a group of local contests with no common thread. The national party continues to fail by having no values or principles that distinguish them from the republicans except by degree of complicity. The debt ceiling debate was a perfect example. My representative, Tammy Baldwin, demonstrated as much courage as any democrat by voting against this travesty for reasons of principle, namely the lack of sacrifice from the oligarchs and the national security state. President Obama was nowhere to be seen or heard on the subject. He has become a caretaker, holding the place down until the real owners show up. If I would have known this I'd rather left the the presidency in republican hands and let them suffer the consequences of a decade of misrule. In the end I have to agree with the World Socialist Web Site:

"In the end, the recall campaign boosted the fortunes of the Republicans in Wisconsin and nationally, along with their right-wing corporate backers who flooded the state with millions in campaign funding. Going into another recall vote next Tuesday—this time for two Democrats—the Republicans could extend their majority in the state senate, which is currently 17-16.

Even if the Democrats had won the election, workers in the state would have seen no fundamental change. Like the Republicans, the Democrats on every level of government have insisted that the working class must pay for the economic crisis, tax cuts for the wealthy and other supposedly “job-creating” incentives for big business.

In Wisconsin, the Democrats boasted that they had made the deepest cuts in state history, including public employee furloughs and other concessions, under Walker’s Democratic predecessor, Governor Jim Doyle."

In the words of anarchist David Graeber:


Sunday, August 07, 2011

Republicans Burning Down The House

This of course is dedicated to the pyromaniacs currently manning that fire station known as the U.S. House of Representatives. Watching last weeks events with what can only be described as something like morbid fascination I decided to assemble a few of what I thought were some of the more pithy comments out there:

From Matt Taibbi:

"So the debt deal has finally been reached. As expected, the agreement arrives in a form that right-thinking people everywhere can feel terrible about with great confidence.

The general consensus is that for the second time in three years, a gang of financial terrorists has successfully extorted the congress and the White House, threatening to blow up the planet if they didn't get what they wanted.

Back in 2008, the congress and George Bush rewarded Hank Paulson and Wall Street for pulling the Cleavon-Little-"the-next-man-makes-a-move-the-n---er-gets-it" routine by tossing trillions of bailout dollars at the same people who had wrecked the economy.

Now, Barack Obama has surrendered control of the budget to the Tea Party, whose operatives in congress used the same suicide-bomber tactic, threatening a catastrophic default unless the Democrats committed to a regime of steep spending cuts without any tax increases on the wealthy."

Paul Krugman:

"Make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels.

It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away. And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.

In the long run, however, Democrats won’t be the only losers. What Republicans have just gotten away with calls our whole system of government into question. After all, how can American democracy work if whichever party is most prepared to be ruthless, to threaten the nation’s economic security, gets to dictate policy? And the answer is, maybe it can’t."

And Dave Cohen at Decline of The Empire with what I thought was one of best blog titles "Dying Government Fails To Commit Suicide, Will Try Again Later":

"A self-inflicted disaster. The government held a gun to its head and threatened to kill itself (video below). Fortunately—or unfortunately, I can't decide which—the government didn't pull the trigger.

Guess what? There is no "plan" in any time frame which will address both the long-term fiscal gap without weighing heavily on a weak recovery economy. This "plan" doesn't exist! Can't possibly exist!

As I've told you over and over again, it took 30 years to get here. That's why the politicians basically did nothing, for there is nothing they can do so without 1) screwing the special interests who actually elected them or 2) screwing the low- and middle-income people who voted for them. That's why every citizen with an interest in the matter—outside the politicians who negotiated it—is unhappy with the deal. That's why the government is feeling suicidal lately. Forget about the politics, those are mere details. Think about it. It's not clear which is worse: raising the debt ceiling or not raising the debt ceiling. Few Americans can wrap their heads around this. Prepare yourself for a lot of future unhappiness."

Our political system has now devolved to a point where it is totally unresponsive to the needs of the majority of the citizens. On a national level we are confronted with the choice of the ongoing criminal enterprise known as the the republican party versus a national democratic party with no apparent principles worth actually fighting for or identifiable values. My only consolation in the midst of this dermocracy, (taken from the Russian, dermo or shit), is living in Wisconsin where a sizable portion of the populace has awakened and will hopefully begin the laborious process of freeing itself. On to the recalls.

Friday, August 05, 2011

ДДТ "Мама, это Рок-н-Ролл" (DDT "Mama, This is Rock'n Roll")

Wisconsin State Fair Time With Governor Walker

It is heartening to know this guy can't go anywhere without public outcry and protests. The people turning out against Walker are the newly radicalized middle class who are the answer to the question "Will Americans ever start to react to the rampant economic injustice and disparity that characterizes our oligarchic kleptocracy?"
Next week in Wisconsin will be very interesting to put it mildly.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Devotchka - the last beat of my heart

Saw them with Gogol Bordello last year. Truly an under appreciated group.

The Resonating Words of Fighting Bob

"We are slow to realize that democracy is a life and involves continual struggle"

Fighting Bobfest is moving to the Alliant Energy Colesium in Madison on Sept. 17th. Check here for future details.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oppurtunity To Oppose Walker In Fort Atkinson

Soon to be ex governor Scott Walker blew in and out of Fort Atkinson and was greeted by a 100 or so citizens somewhat less than happy to see him. Mrs. WINston smITh provided the above documentation. Interestingly while Opportunities supposedly provides the "disabled" a chance to work at minimum or less wages chances are unless someone will drive them at least 20 miles they will be unable to obtain documentation for voting anywhere locally as the local DMV office is being closed in keeping with voter suppression rules.

Olga Arefeva Night In October Ольга Арефьева Ночь в Октябре

A world of music beyond our door.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gov Walker Unwelcome At The Welcome Center

In case anyone had doubts about Governor Scott Walker's detestabilty quotient, this video of his visit to a state Welcome Center on July 18th outside of Beloit should settle the issue. A similar reception awaits him in Fort Atkinson on July 28th, where he is scheduled to dedicate a building used to improve the lot of the disabled, a group he is normally attempting to render even more destitute through his policies. Anyone interested in unwelcoming the governor can do so starting around 5:00 PM at 100 East Cramer in Fort Atkinson. His Highness is scheduled to speak at 7:00PM

messer chups --- Crash live in st.Peterburg

The weekly serving of Messer Chups and Russian Surf.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Putin's Army

As the Russian election looms a new twist, Putin's Army, willing to do anything though, as per The Global Post, just what isn't exactly clear:

"One group that has managed to find an enemy is Putin’s Army, a collective that formed on VKontakte, Russia’s version of Facebook, last week. In a video calling on “young, smart and beautiful girls” to join their ranks, the narrator points out “those who would throw dirt on him,” their beloved leader. She then announces a contest calling on young women to “tear something” for Putin (before tearing her own tanktop in two) — but the double meaning of the Russian word she uses (porvat) also implies the threat of vicious revenge.

About 20 members of the group gathered in a central Moscow square on Friday evening to “tear for Putin.” Tottering on heels and wearing t-shirts emblazoned with their hero’s image, they didn’t quite know what to do. First, they strutted down a makeshift catwalk — three times. Then, they decided to march, like soldiers, to show their support of Putin.

“I didn’t think it would be such a popular thing,” Maria Utkina, a 19-year-old Putin’s Army leader, said. “Maybe then I wouldn’t have called it an army.”

“We’re ready to do a lot for Putin — we just have no idea what,” she added.

The group, and a similar one called I Really Do Like Putin that formed on VKontakte this month (they’ve already held a Blueberry Hill sing-along and a bikini-clad car wash), have all the hallmarks of Nashi, the Kremlin-connected youth group. But both Putin’s Army and Nashi deny any connection. The racy Putin’s Army video went viral after appearing on Schitov’s blog but he also denies that his Youth Guard movement is involved.

“Any national leader has a huge number of supporters and this is normal,” Nikita Borovikov, the leader of Nashi, said. “Some of his supporters are young girls, this is also normal — they are citizens like any other person.”

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Polar Ice Melting At Record Rate

According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center the polar ice cap is melting at record rate this summer surpassing the record set in 2007:

"Arctic sea ice extent declined at a rapid pace through the first half of July, and is now tracking below the year 2007, which saw the record minimum September extent. The rapid decline in the past few weeks is related to persistent above-average temperatures and an early start to melt. Snow cover over Northern Eurasia was especially low in May and June, continuing the pattern seen in April.....

"Arctic sea ice extent declined rapidly through the first two weeks of July, at a rate averaging nearly 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles) per day. Ice extent is now tracking below the year 2007, which saw the record minimum September extent."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Imagine If London Was Occupied by Israel

Wisconsin GOP Zombie Attack Turned Back

By large margins Wisconsin voters averted an insidious attack by republican zombies in areas scheduled for state senate recall elections in August. According to Dane 101:

"Democratic primary results from the six districts where Republican incumbents are up for recall have been called. The real Democrats defeated all of the GOP's handpicked zombie Democrats.

Wisconsin has an open primary system, so Republicans can vote in the Democratic primary. The Democrats defeated their opponents by a spread of more than 30 percent in all but one district suggesting substantial enthusiasm by opponents of one party rule for those recall races. Shelly Moore, a newcomer to politics, is challenging incumbent State Senator Shelia Harsdorf in District 10 and she came out eight points higher than Isaac Weix. While this doesn't mean there is less enthusiasm for Moore, it does suggest there is less of an enthusiasm gap in Harsdorf's district. Turn out was high on both sides with it being the only race where more than 10,000 votes were cast (as of this writing) for a fake candidate (see official numbers here)."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kismet - Until The Next War

The United States is currently involved in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya. There are also the "wars" on terrorism and drugs. There was also the war on poverty which we gave up on.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Khodorkovsky Revisited

Why the West has latched onto the Khodorkovsky case is something known only the editors of The New York Times and other purveyors of misinformation about Russia. Living in Wisconsin these days my sympathy for downtrodden billionaires is wearing a little thin. Anatoly Karlin gives an interesting take on the Russian Billionaire As Victim Saga:

"Imagine the following scenario.

In the US, a black homeless man “robs” a bank. He only takes a single $100 bill out of the wad of cash offered, because he was hungry and had to pay to stay at a detox center. Regardless, he had the good graces to return the money the day after. Net financial loss to the bank? $0. Years he was sent down to the slammer for: 15.

In another country, a billionaire fleeces the state by using offshore companies to sell his company’s oil production (and sees nothing wrong with it). Politicians and businessmen who oppose him get this nasty habit of turning up dead. Net financial loss to that country’s treasury, and ultimately taxpayers? Many billions of dollars. Years he was sent down to the slammer for: 14.

Now imagine that one of these cases becomes the focal point of universal condemnation of that country’s brutal, lawless, and authoritarian human rights regime – from Amnesty International and PACE, the US State Department and the German Bundestag, and regular scathing editorials from the biggest media titans. The country’s own liberals work overtime to campaign for the case to be overturned.

Which case would you guess I’m talking about? Surely it would be Roy Brown, the indigent beggar right? No way, sucker."

Very nice blog BTW.

Messer Chups - Lipstick twang -

Friday, July 08, 2011

Slavery Introduced In Wisconsin

A working definition of slavery might be something like forced unpaid labor that normally would be compensated. By that definition the use of unpaid prisoners in Wisconsin to do work formerly done by union workers would seem to fit. From Truthout:

"While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it’s helping a different group in Wisconsinites — inmates. Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state.

As the Madison Capital Times reports, “Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a ‘union-only’ job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place.” Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.

The law went into effect last week, and Racine County is already using inmates to do landscaping, painting, and another basic maintenance around the county that was previously done by county workers. The union had successfully sued to stop the country from using prison labor for these jobs last year, but with Walker’s new law, they have no recourse."

Which begs the question did Walker's supporters know that introduction of slavery was part of the package? Another incentive for corporate investment in Wisconsin?

Monday, July 04, 2011

Tariq Ali - Obama, Pakistan and the US empire

The 4th of July is a good day for a history lesson and Tariq Ali gives a good overview of recent events in America and abroad.

Friday, July 01, 2011

George Carlin -"Who Really Controls America"

The deepest and most critical thinkers in America are not politicians or pundits but "comedians".

Monday, June 27, 2011

Protesting Governor Walker's bill signing ceremony,Fox Valley Tech 6/26/2011

After last minute arrangements (as noted here) to rearrange the bill signing ceremony Wisconsin people can still find where to protest the corporatization of life in the state. Once again sparsely covered in what passes for news in Wisconsin.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Late Night Molvaer

More Bad Behavior In Fitzwalkerstan

The Milwaukee Journal reports today on worse than usual bad behavior in the corporate fiefdom once known as Wisconsin. Sunday was to be the great signing ceremony for Walker's notorious budget bill however the the venue had to be changed at the last minute due to the awkward fact that the CEO of the corporation where this was to take place is a convicted felon tax evader. More here. Mean while newly reelected Wisconsin Supreme Justice David Prosser has apparently been physically assaulting his colleagues according to this report. I cannot even make this shit up.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oligarchs Gone Wild: Artemy Troitsky vs. Lukoil Executive

Грани-ТВ: Концерт в поддержку Артемия Троицкого

Artemy Troitsky, the leading rock critic in Russia has been sued for focusing attention on a corrupt Russian cop who shielded an Oligarch from Lukoil, who killed two women in an automobile accident , and walked away. Yuri Shevchuk and others are seen on the above video doing a benefit concert on Troitsky's behalf. The Moscow News has details here and here. Sounds similar to the asshole in Florida, Ryan LeVin, who killed 2 British tourists and now is under house arrest in a beautiful mansion as "punishment". Oligarchs are treated the same wherever they are which shows they have more in common with one and another rather than the populace from which they come and exploit.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

End Game In Wisconsin

One can only hope that we will be Watching Scotty Go in the near future but the the struggle here is reaching a point of existential survival for progressives of all stripes in the state. This has seen a demonstration of what a unitary corporate state looks like where the executive, legislative, and judicial branches march in lock step to corporate interests over and above the populace. This really opens the question of what recourse is available when the whole game is rigged from voter suppression, unenforced open meeting laws, to a crooked corporate judiciary. Our local representatives of the oligarchic kleptocracy are now looking into how to derail recalls in the future as per TPM:

"Wisconsin is now undergoing a novel summer election season for the state legislature, with six Republican and three Democratic state senators facing recall elections as a result of the political battle over Republican Gov. Scott Walker's anti-public employee union legislation. Indeed, the Republican-controlled state Senate could potentially see a Democratic takeover, depending on how the elections turn out -- and after that, the Dems have vowed to wage a recall drive against Walker himself next year.

So in response, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) says he would like to introduce legislation later this year, making it harder to recall state officials.

To be clear, this could have no effect on the recalls that have already been certified to go. And what's more, the state GOP leaders would be unable to simply pass a bill to get rid of recalls in Wisconsin. The right of recall and the procedures involved are very clearly spelled out in the state constitution, and can only be changed via a long and slow amendment process -- which would require that the legislatures chosen in two consecutive election cycles both pass an amendment by simple majorities in both houses, and then submit the amendment to a statewide referendum."

The time may be coming where the electoral and judicial processes may have to be abandoned and strikes (legal or not), boycotts, and civil disobedience will be the only effective means of expression for the majority of the populace in the face of overwhelming corporate money and influence.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Nebraska Nuclear Accident and Strange Goings On at The TSA

The newspaper The Nation of Pakistan, as well as the Russian nonproliferation site, Nuclear No, report on the near meltdown at the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant near Omaha:

"A shocking report prepared by Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency (FAAE) on information provided to them by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) states that the Obama regime has ordered a “total and complete” news blackout relating to any information regarding the near catastrophic meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant located in Nebraska.
According to this report, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant suffered a “catastrophic loss of cooling” to one of its idle spent fuel rod pools on 7 June after this plant was deluged with water caused by the historic flooding of the Missouri River which resulted in a fire causing the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) to issue a “no-fly ban” over the area.
Located about 20 minutes outside downtown Omaha, the largest city in Nebraska, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant is owned by Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) who on their website denies their plant is at a “Level 4” emergency by stating: “This terminology is not accurate, and is not how emergencies at nuclear power plants are classified.”
Russian atomic scientists in this FAAE report, however, say that this OPPD statement is an “outright falsehood” as all nuclear plants in the world operate under the guidelines of the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale (INES) which clearly states the “events” occurring at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant do, indeed, put it in the “Level 4” emergency category of an “accident with local consequences” thus making this one of the worst nuclear accidents in US history.
Though this report confirms independent readings in the United States of “negligible release of nuclear gasses” related to this accident it warns that by the Obama regimes censoring of this event for “political purposes” it risks a “serious blowback” from the American public should they gain knowledge of this being hidden from them.
Interesting to note about this event was the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chief, Gregory B. Jaczko, blasting the Obama regime just days before the near meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant by declaring that “the policy of not enforcing most fire code violations at dozens of nuclear plants is “unacceptable” and has tied the hands of NRC inspectors.”

The Nuclear No article goes on to make some what appear to be unrelated comments relating to the coal industry and more interestingly, security operations by the TSA, which are confirmed in this report from the Marietta Times:

"Today, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and several federal, state and local agencies will participate in a scheduled exercise designed to enhance security in the Ohio-West Virginia area. TSA has partnered with local law enforcement to conduct thousands of similar operations from coast to coast. This is a scheduled operation, not related to a specific threat.

The exercise will cover approximately 5,000 square miles throughout Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. The participating teams are composed of a variety of TSA assets including federal air marshals, canine teams, inspectors and bomb appraisal officers. They will be joined by state and local law enforcement officials to supplement existing resources, provide detection and response capabilities. The exercise will utilize multiple airborne assets, including Blackhawk helicopters and fixed wing aircraft as well as waterborne and surface teams....
Federal partners participating with TSA in the operation include the Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, FBI and Federal Air Marshals.

State of Ohio participants include the Ohio National Guard, State Highway Patrol, Emergency Management Agency, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Safety, Department of Transportation, Office of Homeland Security, City of Columbus Fire Division bomb squad, Ohio Fusion Center, several sheriff's offices and departments of emergency management.

West Virginia participants include the Department of Military Affairs & Public Safety, Division of Natural Resources, State Police, Office of Homeland Security, West Virginia National Guard, West Virginia Fusion Center, several sheriff's offices and departments of emergency management.

In addition to federal, state, and local assets, several other non-government entities are participating in today's operation."

Altogether strange stuff. The Nebraska near meltdown was an event very much under reported and anything involving the TSA outside of airports makes one wonder.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

American Decadence And Decline: A Potpourri

Peter Marmarek at Tikkunista brings together four sources which highlight yet another few weeks in the Bizzaro world known as the U.S.A. Here are some exerpts:

"Corruption and decadence doesn’t occur all at once; it’s a progressive disease with no clear tipping point. Part of it lies in the rise of the conservative movement post-Goldwater, when wealthy conservatives began to bankroll think tanks and media organs who were more interested in waging political warfare than getting facts right. Part of it is a pop-media culture that lets an ignorant buffoon like Rush Limbaugh or a bizarre whack-job like Glenn Beck become influential voices in our national debate. Part of it is the culture of non-accountability that is pervasive in official Washington, where the frauds that helped produce the financial crisis of 2007 barely get investigated, or where a Deputy Secretary of Defense can play a key role in causing the Iraq debacle and then get rewarded by being named President of the World Bank, screw that up too, and bail out to a safe sinecure at a D.C. think tank. As L’affaire Weiner demonstrates, in today’s America, you’re more likely to derail your career by sending some lewd and idiotic tweets than by sending thousands of your fellow citizens to their deaths (along with tens of thousands of Iraqis) in an unnecessary war......"

"Americans live in a late capitalist society where the rich have gotten many times richer and the middle class has gotten poorer, where Wall Street bankers have stolen us blind and blamed us for living above our means, where persistent unemployment is worse than in the Great Depression, where most politicians and some judges have been bought by corporations or special interests, where authorities actively conspire to keep people from voting, where the government spies on citizens assiduously without warrant or probable cause, and where the minds of the sheep are kept off their fleecing by substituting celebrity gossip, sex scandals, and half-disguised bigotry for genuine news....."

"With Tea Party conservatives and many Republicans balking at raising the debt ceiling, let me offer them an example of a nation that lives up to their ideals.

It has among the lowest tax burdens of any major country: fewer than 2 percent of the people pay any taxes. Government is limited, so that burdensome regulations never kill jobs. This society embraces traditional religious values and a conservative sensibility. Nobody minds school prayer, same-sex marriage isn’t imaginable, and criminals are never coddled. The budget priority is a strong military, the nation’s most respected institution. When generals decide on a policy for, say, Afghanistan, politicians defer to them. Citizens are deeply patriotic, and nobody burns flags.

So what is this Republican Eden, this Utopia? Why, it’s Pakistan."

"Let’s be clear: Prison is for poor people. Prison is not for rich people. Prison is for people who cannot buy their way out.

We can only assume that this is what a judge in Broward County, Fla., Barbara McCarthy, learned back at St. Thomas University Law School in northwest Miami — justice is blind, unless you’ve got money, in which case justice is a cash register.

Maybe you caught the news story over the weekend. An overgrown brat from suburban Barrington Hills, Ryan LeVin, 36, who had run over and killed two men while drag racing his Porsche in South Florida, was sentenced by Judge McCarthy to a mere two years of house arrest — in one of his wealthy parents’ luxury oceanfront condos — after agreeing to write big checks to the victims’ widows.

LeVin could have been sentenced to up to 45 years in prison for killing the two British businessmen and fleeing the police, and in fact nobody in Broward County can recall another time when a person found guilty of such a crime did not serve time in prison…."

Read the whole series here...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Messer Chups - Super Megera

Another helping of Russian surf-lounge music from Messer Chups.Towards the end you can hear Dick Cheney yelling "Torture! Torture! It pleasures me!"

Thursday, June 09, 2011

People Of Walmart

This video lends credence to the words of George Clemenceau:

"“America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.”

Monday, June 06, 2011

Last Canadian Mission In Afghanistan

From the Globe and Mail:

"More than five years after taking charge of security in one of the most violent regions in Afghanistan, Canadian troops wrapped up their final combat operation with a two-week sweep through a rural swath of Kandahar that was undisputed Taliban territory just a year ago.

The offensive, conducted with a bulked-up Afghan National Army brigade in the lead, marks Canada’s last days in the long and deadly war. All combat troops are set to withdraw this summer, 5½ years after the mission in Kandahar began."

And from the Waterloo Record:

"Ten years ago, Canada and other countries involved in the invasion of Afghanistan talked of bringing stability and peace to that famously distressed country. Instead, we succeeded only in exporting Afghanistan’s instability across the border into nuclear-armed Pakistan, which now faces its own fundamentalist insurgencies.

Ten years ago, we talked — as the Russians did during their abortive occupation — of helping Afghan women and girls.

Like the Russians, we probably did help some. But like the Russians (or Soviets, as they were known in those days) we have been unable to transform a culture that is fundamentally misogynist into one more to our liking."

Even a hopeless dork like Harper gets it. When will we?