body~politic

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Battle of Manila (1945) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Battle of Manila (1945) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



The Battle of Manila (TagalogLaban ng Maynila ng 1945), also known as the Liberation of Manila, fought between American plus Filipino joined forces and Japanese forces in Manila from 3 February - 3 March 1945, was part of the 1945 Philippine campaign. The one-month battle, which culminated in a terrible bloodbath and total devastation of the city, was the scene of the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater, and ended almost three years of Japanese military occupation in the Philippines (1942–1945). The city's capture was marked as General Douglas MacArthur's key to victory in the campaign of reconquest.




Ursula K. Le Guin on the Future of the Left | Motherboard

Ursula K. Le Guin on the Future of the Left | Motherboard



“The Left,” a meaningful term ever since the French Revolution, took on wider significance with the rise of socialism, anarchism, and communism. The Russian revolution installed a government entirely leftist in conception; leftist and rightist movements tore Spain apart; democratic parties in Europe and North America arrayed themselves between the two poles; liberal cartoonists portrayed the opposition as a fat plutocrat with a cigar, while reactionaries in the United States demonized “commie leftists” from the 1930s through the Cold War. The left/right opposition, though often an oversimplification, for two centuries was broadly useful as a description and a reminder of dynamic balance.
In the twenty-first century we go on using the terms, but what is left of the Left? The failure of state communism, the quiet entrenchment of a degree of socialism in democratic governments, and the relentless rightward movement of politics driven by corporate capitalism have made much progressive thinking seem antiquated, or redundant, or illusory. The Left is marginalized in its thought, fragmented in its goals, unconfident of its ability to unite. In America particularly, the drift to the right has been so strong that mere liberalism is now the terrorist bogey that anarchism or socialism used to be, and reactionaries are called “moderates.”

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Flightradar24 on Twitter: "Pictures by @Missxoxo168 of #GE235 when it crashed into river http://t.co/xzBmvIdG5T"

Flightradar24 on Twitter: "Pictures by @Missxoxo168 of #GE235 when it crashed into river http://t.co/xzBmvIdG5T"

The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment

The Big Lie: 5.6% Unemployment



Here's something that many Americans -- including some of the smartest and most educated among us -- don't know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.
Right now, we're hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is "down" to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.
None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job -- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks -- the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed. That's right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news -- currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren't throwing parties to toast "falling" unemployment.
There's another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you're an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 -- maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn -- you're not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
Yet another figure of importance that doesn't get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find -- in other words, you are severely underemployed -- the government doesn't count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.
There's no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.
And it's a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual's primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity -- it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen's talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.
Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America's middle class.
I hear all the time that "unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren't feeling it." When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth -- the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real --then we will quit wondering why Americans aren't "feeling" something that doesn't remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class.


The Legacy of Debt: Interest Costs Poised to Surpass Defense and Nondefense Discretionary Spending - Real Time Economics - WSJ

The Legacy of Debt: Interest Costs Poised to Surpass Defense and Nondefense Discretionary Spending - Real Time Economics - WSJ



The U.S. has come a long way since the days of trillion-dollar deficits, just a few years ago. The White House projects 2016 will have the smallest budget deficit in eight years. Yet the budgetary impact of the debt that’s been accumulated–$18 trillion in total, $13 trillion of that owed to the public–will reassert itself.
Currently, the government’s interest costs are around $200 billion a year, a sum that’s low due to the era of low interest rates. Forecasters at the White House andCongressional Budget Office believe interest rates will gradually rise, and when that happens, the interest costs of the U.S. government are set to soar, from just over $200 billion to nearly $800 billion a year by decade’s end.

By 2021, the government will be spending more on interest than on all national defense. according to White House forecasts. And one year later, interest costs will exceed nondefense discretionary spending–essentially every other domestic and international government program funded annually through congressional appropriations. (The largest part of the budget is, and will remain, the mandatory spending programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Mandatory spending is over $2 trillion and is set to double to $4 trillion by 2025.)

The total dollars spent on defense and nondefense discretionary spending will continue to rise, albeit slowly, in the coming decade. But as a share of the economy, both categories of spending are poised to shrink for the next decade, squeezed down as interest rates rise. Mandatory spending will rise from 12.4% of GDP to about 14.5% of GDP over this period.
By 2025, the White House projects interest costs will be 2.8% of GDP. The CBO is somewhat less optimistic and expects it will be 3%. Most economists and budget experts would agree that interest payments at 3% of GDP are manageable for an economy. The true cost may be the squeeze to other places the government could be spending a decade from now.


Robert Whitmore on Twitter: "DOES EVIL EXIST IN THE WORLD?: http://t.co/Dp4v5BAcXa"

Robert Whitmore on Twitter: "DOES EVIL EXIST IN THE WORLD?: http://t.co/Dp4v5BAcXa"

Latin American Herald Tribune - VenEconomy: Fueling Shortages in Venezuela

Latin American Herald Tribune - VenEconomy: Fueling Shortages in Venezuela



That day, not only Maduro did not report anything at all and repeated the same old broken promises of distribution of wealth for political proselytism purposes, but he also announced that he will step up "inspections" to distribution companies and confirmed that he would carry on with the control policies that have caused so much damage to the national productive system.




Monday, February 2, 2015

Rupert Myers on Twitter: "With Facebook down, leaving live 'status updates' in the real world is the only way I will survive today http://t.co/wFRYW00gUQ"

Rupert Myers on Twitter: "With Facebook down, leaving live 'status updates' in the real world is the only way I will survive today http://t.co/wFRYW00gUQ"

​The Google Search That Took Down Ross Ulbricht | Motherboard

​The Google Search That Took Down Ross Ulbricht | Motherboard



Ulbricht has admitted to starting Silk Road, but argues he quickly passed it along to others who turned it into the massive criminal enterprise it ultimately became. A screenshot of the search that led to Ulbricht’s arrest shows just how careless he was when launching the site, using accounts associated with his personal email to promote it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

David Oksman on Twitter: "A public service announcement from Richard Sherman. #SuperBowI #PatriotsWIN http://t.co/rLNHAeTYll"

David Oksman on Twitter: "A public service announcement from Richard Sherman. #SuperBowI #PatriotsWIN http://t.co/rLNHAeTYll"

Zap2it on Twitter: "Caption this pic, football fans. #SB49 #SuperBowl http://t.co/D7ucKaahnZ"

Zap2it on Twitter: "Caption this pic, football fans. #SB49 #SuperBowl http://t.co/D7ucKaahnZ"

Sporting Daily on Twitter: "That halftime show>>> �� http://t.co/PhYULhD3us"

Sporting Daily on Twitter: "That halftime show>>> �� http://t.co/PhYULhD3us"

Mark J. Westpfahl on Twitter: "No words. RT @jaredwsmith: Welp. http://t.co/lYxUklQv3M"

Mark J. Westpfahl on Twitter: "No words. RT @jaredwsmith: Welp. http://t.co/lYxUklQv3M"

The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce

The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce



OPPOSITION, n. In politics the party that prevents the Government from running amuck by hamstringing it.
The King of Ghargaroo, who had been abroad to study the science of government, appointed one hundred of his fattest subjects as members of a parliament to make laws for the collection of revenue. Forty of these he named the Party of Opposition and had his Prime Minister carefully instruct them in their duty of opposing every royal measure. Nevertheless, the first one that was submitted passed unanimously. Greatly displeased, the King vetoed it, informing the Opposition that if they did that again they would pay for their obstinacy with their heads. The entire forty promptly disemboweled themselves.
"What shall we do now?" the King asked. "Liberal institutions cannot be maintained without a party of Opposition."
"Splendor of the universe," replied the Prime Minister, "it is true these dogs of darkness have no longer their credentials, but all is not lost. Leave the matter to this worm of the dust."
So the Minister had the bodies of his Majesty's Opposition embalmed and stuffed with straw, put back into the seats of power and nailed there. Forty votes were recorded against every bill and the nation prospered. But one day a bill imposing a tax on warts was defeated—the members of the Government party had not been nailed to their seats! This so enraged the King that the Prime Minister was put to death, the parliament was dissolved with a battery of artillery, and government of the people, by the people, for the people perished from Ghargaroo.


#UnIr├│nicoPelaBola on Twitter: "Le abren procedimiento a Farmatodo por las colas y a los Bicentenarios, Mercales etc etc ? #UnaVainaLoca http://t.co/ieDU6Q8j4Y"

#UnIr├│nicoPelaBola on Twitter: "Le abren procedimiento a Farmatodo por las colas y a los Bicentenarios, Mercales etc etc ? #UnaVainaLoca http://t.co/ieDU6Q8j4Y"

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