Saturday, December 24, 2011
Letter to Thom: My Green-in-Democrats'-clothing anti-corporatist Congressional campaign | Thom Hartmann - News & info from the #1 progressive radio show
Andy Caffrey for Congress 2012
Annalee Newitz: How ‘Max Headroom’ Predicted My Job, 20 Years Before It Existed
Making sense of it all and putting the show in perspective twenty years later is Annalee Newitz on io9.com:
For those who don’t know the premise of the 1987—88 series, where every episode begins with the tagline “twenty minutes into the future,” here’s a quick recap. Investigative reporter Edison Carter works for Network 23 in an undefined cyberpunk future, where all media is ad-supported and ratings rule all. Reporters carry “rifle cameras,” gun-shaped video cameras, which are wirelessly linked back to a “controller” in the newsroom. Edison’s controller is Theora, who accesses information online — everything from apartment layouts to secret security footage — to help him with investigations.Read More of Annalee Newitz’s essay on io9.com
They’re aided in their investigations by a sarcastic AI named Max Headroom, built by geek character Bryce and based on Edison’s memories. Sometimes producer Murray (Jeffrey Tambor) helps out, as does Reg, a pirate TV broadcaster known as a “blank” because he’s erased his identity from corporate databases.
In the world of Max Headroom, it’s illegal for televisions to have an off switch. Terrorists are reality TV stars. And super-fast subliminal advertisements called blipverts have started to blow people up by overstimulating the nervous systems of people who are sedentary and eat too much fat…
The woman applying for a job in a Florida lemon grove seemed to be far too qualified for the job.
She had a liberal arts degree from the University of Michigan and had worked as a social worker and school teacher.
The foreman frowned and said, "I have to ask you, have you had any actual experience in picking lemons?"
"Well, as a matter of fact, I have! I've been divorced three times, owned 2 Chryslers and voted for Obama."
Friday, December 23, 2011
Medieval, Renaissance, Reformation: Western Civilization, Act II
PART II OF The "Middle" Centuries of Western Civilization - Western Civilization Internet Book ACT II
A WEB BOOK ON THE MEDIEVAL/RENAISSANCE/REFORMATION WORLD
PART II: FROM RENAISSANCE TO THE END OF THE 18TH CENTURY
The streets of Moscow are expected to be taken over by demonstrators by Saturday as more than 50,000 people have announced their intentions to attend a protest. Protesters want the parliamentary election results overturned and for political prisoners to be released, and to encourage people to vote down Vladimir Putin’s potential return to office in the March elections. On Friday, President Dmitri Medvevdev submitted several rules to ease registration of political parties and presidential candidates. But opposition leader Vladimir Ryzhkov has said “it is not an answer – it’s not what Bolotnaya expects and now what Sakharov Prospect expects. Medvevdev didn’t answer a host of our demands.”
December 23, 2011 2:04 PM
What’s a Barack Obama Administration multi-billion dollar boondoggle without a Czar to oversee it?
For the automobile industry bailout, the Lord Overseer was Car Czar Steven Rattner.
This is the same Steven Rattner who late last year reportedly paid a $6.2 million Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fine and accepted a two-year ban from associating with broker-dealers or investment advisers. For an alleged “pay-to-play” New York state pension fund kickbacks scheme he orchestrated after leaving Washington and his Czar-ship.
Ex-Czar Rattner was last week out and about – rewriting large swaths of the history of our $82 billion sinkhole auto “investment.” If this publicity run is any indication – and it undoubtedly is – Ex-Czar Rattner’s book on same may not quite be worth the price of admission.
Let’s take a look at some of what he said.
Ex-Czar Rattner: “It’s unambiguous that it was a success.”
There’s that word again – “success.” It’s magic in the government’s hands.
Like Social Security is a “success.” And Medicare. And Medicaid. And Freddie Mac. And Fannie Mae. And the Post Office. And Amtrak. And….
So let’s look at the auto bailout numbers, and see what kind of a “success” it’s been, unambiguous or otherwise.
The Obama Administration recently, dramatically upped our estimated loss – from $14.3 billion to $23.6 billion. This titanic rise represents the Administration finally acknowledging the GM stock loss we are poised to endure.
We the Taxpayers own just over 500 million shares. For us to break even, these shares must be sold at $53 per. The post-bankruptcy Initial Public Offering (IPO) price was $33. The stock has since tanked – now trading at around $20.
(All of this particular “success” we at Less Government chronicle at www.BailoutCost.com.)
That is – by Ex-Czar Rattner’s definition – an “unambiguous…success.” You might deem it otherwise.
Which brings us to our next Ex-Czar Rattner assertion:
Ex-Czar Rattner: “The auto bailout will cost taxpayers $14 billion.”
But we already know this to be blatantly untrue. Again, the Obama Administration just last month upped our bailout loss from $14.3 billion to $23.6 billion.
Did Ex-Czar Rattner miss that memo?
In a recently published epilogue to his aforementioned tome, Ex-Czar Rattner acknowledged that about $19.4 billion of the coin the government put into GM before the 2009 bankruptcy is “lost money.”
Wait a second.
So is that $19.4 billion lost before the bankruptcy – plus $23.6 billion lost after the bankruptcy? For a whopping total taxpayer auto bailout loss of $43 billion?
It would seem to be so. As the $19.4 billion pre-bankruptcy figure doesn’t figure in any divisible way into the Obama Administration’s before-and-after post-bankruptcy numbers.
And it is obviously not reflected in the “$14 billion” Ex-Czar Rattner just fraudulently claimed the bailout would cost us.
There is then this:
Ex-Czar Rattner: “We never said the taxpayers would be paid back.”
Not at all true – per his ex-boss.
President Obama late last year said we would in fact turn a profit on the auto bailout. Which is more and better than just “be(ing) paid back.”
There is much more to be mined from this recent Ex-Czar Rattner wellspring – which we will do in the near future.
But all of this Ex-Czar Rattner mess is just the latest attempt by the Obama Administration and its minions – current and past – to tell a corrupt story about the government’s crushing auto bailout failure.
To paint the rosiest of pictures, when all We the People actually received – and will receive – are the thorns.
President Obama has been repeatedly, desperately trying to make his patently absurd auto bailout “success” claims a theme for his 2012 reelection campaign.
So as to have something domestically positive – patently false though it may be – on which to run.
And to try to make We the People comfortable with – and indeed instill – the notion of government usurpation of the private sector to this multi-billion dollar, bailout degree.
If reality matters, neither ploy should work. Neither, thusly, should the larger ploy that is the reelection effort.
JW: “We found his character so delicious and Jared is the kind of actor who’s capable of so much, so we really thought there was so much more story to tell with him; to really understand the machinations of him as a human-being, and to learn his true motivations, and to delve into that. We’re pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to find something sensational for him to do. We always felt he was something special that we wanted to highlight again.”
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Middle Eastern media is reporting on what are described as growing tensions between Hamas and the Syrian regime as well as assertions of an unusual criticism of Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi by a Hamas political leader. According to a report on the Albawaba website:
The London-based al Hayat newspaper reported on Wednesday that the relations between the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” and the Syrian authorities have been severely strained over the first’s position regarding the Syrian uprising. The paper quoted source as saying that all the leading officials of Hamas except its Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshal have already left Damascus to other countries. Hamas’s second in command abroad Moussa Abu Marzouk, left Damascus to Amman. His presence in the Jordanian capital is conditional for not having any political or media activity. The source pointed out that a decision by Meshal to leave Syria is yet to be taken. According to the reports, there have been talks with a number of countries led by Jordan in order to receive Meshal. According to the source, the personal tension started as the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime began when Meshal proposed the Syrian leader to reform. Later, Meshal asked for a meeting with Assad, but was refused. After that, Meshal paid a secret visit to Beirut and met with Secretary General of Hizbullah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and asked him to intervene to advise the Syrian leadership regarding the need to respond rapidly to the demands of the demonstrators. Meshal said Hamas could not stand by the Syrian regime amid the bloodshed. Nasrallah promised d Meshaal he would try to arrange him a meeting with Assad. However, asrallah failed to arrange this meeting. Following the tensions with Syria, Iran appeared to enter the frame by applying pressures on Hamas, including suspending financial aid that was delivered each month to the Palestinian movement. This Iranian move led to a financial crisis in the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Hamas has denied comments attributed to Meshal, criticizing Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi over the Syrian uprising. The Palestinian movement said in a statement on Wednesday, the reports by some media were “totally fabricated and unfounded.” The Association of Syrian radio and television has reported that Meshal expressed his disappointment and surprise over Qaradawi’s support of the Syrian revolt. It quoted Mashal as saying that in past years President Bashar al-Assad was the only Arab ruler to protect and support Palestinian rights.
An earlier post reported on a fatwa (Islamic ruling) signed by Qaradawi that called the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad “heretical.”
Qaradawi, a virulent anti-Semite is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds. He is also considered to be the “spiritual guide” for Hamas and his fatwas in support of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens were instrumental in the development of the phenomenon. A recent post has discussed a video compilation of Qaradawi’s extremist statements.
The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an early media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations. In 2007, a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and in 2008, an Israeli TV station reported that Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” had traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. Hamas is supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood and a NEFA Foundation report has documented the Hamas fund-raising activities of the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Previous posts have also discussed the worldwide campaign orchestrated by the global Brotherhood against Israeli actions in Gaza during the 2008-2009 conflict with Israel. Anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli incitement in Hamas media is commonly reported.
A U.K. media report indicated that Hamas was considering whether or not to pull its leadership out of Syria.
GlobalMB @ December 21, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
All of a sudden President Obama wants us to believe that the very future of this Nation is riding on an additional two month extension of employees not having to "contribute" to their government required "retirement plans" called Social Security. Because they now think that being on the side of "tax cuts" will benefit the Democratic Party, what they had previously called a "contribution" is now called a "tax" for political gain.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
A burst of laughter
of sapphire in the island of Ceylon
The most beautiful straws
HAVE A FADED COLOR
UNDER THE LOCKS
on an isolated farm
FROM DAY TO DAY
preaches for its saint
THE DAILY ARTISAN OF YOUR BEAUTY
of silk stockings
A leap into space
Love above all
Everything could be worked out so well
PARIS IS A BIG VILLAGE
Watch out for
the fire that covers
of fair weather
The ultraviolet rays
have finished their task
short and sweet
THE FIRST WHITE PAPER
Red will be
The wandering singer
WHERE IS HE?
in his house
AT THE SUITORS’ BALL
as I dance
What people did, what they’re going to do
“Ascension” by Leow Hui Min Annabeth
“No, They Dream Of Mechanical Hearts” by Claire Cheong
“Morrow’s Knight” by Viki Chua
“Colours” by Yuen Xiang Hao
“The Morning Glory Incident” by Mint Kang
“Help! Same Angler Fish’s Been Gawking for Eight Minutes!” by Ng Kum Hoon
“Captain Bells and the Sovereign State of Discordia” by JY Yang
—Michel de Montaigne, in the translation by John Florio, 1603
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Small Businesses: Oppose Confusing, Complicated, Cumbersome Senate Bill and Pass a 1-Year Extension of Payroll Tax Holiday | House Committee on Ways & Means
Monday, December 19, 2011
America’s Communist President
|- Alan Caruba Saturday, December 10, 2011 |
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In his extraordinary book, “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century”, the historian, Dr. Paul Kengor, stated in his introduction that “We now know that American Communists and their masters in Moscow were acutely aware that they could never gain the popular support they needed to enlist the support of a much wider coalition that could help them push their private agenda.”
Most threatening, however, was Dr. Kengor’s discovery that “it was nothing short of stunning to research this book during the presidential bid of Barack Obama and hear so many of the names in my research surface repeatedly in the background of the man who became president of the United States of America. The way in which so many names and themes from the Cold War past aligned and made their way into Obama’s orbit was chilling.”
Obama’s December 8th speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, revealed to anyone paying any attention that the President is a Communist. Speaking of the nation’s economic system that has created the greatest wealth for the most people anywhere, Capitalism, Obama said, “It doesn’t work. It has never worked.”
No one would argue that capitalism is “fair”, nor would they argue that life is “fair.” These are things that never were and never will be, but Obama’s reelection campaign theme will be that Americans are suffering because of Capitalism, because of a lack of fairness.
Obama is not a defender of the middle class but has been its mortal enemy
In a December 8 Washington Times commentary, Jeffrey T. Kuhner wrote, “There is only one problem with the White House’s narrative: It’s completely false. Mr. Obama is not a defender of the middle class but has been its mortal enemy. His policies have impoverished working-and-middle-class Americans.”
Other than the utterly brain-dead liberals for whom facts are meaningless, most Americans understand, as Kuhner pointed out, “His massive stimulus failed to restore economic recovery…his trillion-dollar deficits and skyrocketing debt have mortgaged the future of our children…Obamacare suffocates businesses, stifles job creation, and adds another unsustainable entitlement. It is creeping socialized medicine, which is wrecking the world’s finest health care system.”
Rush Limbaugh denounced the speech as “alien to American ideals and principles…your vision for this country is not rooted in any—not one—American tradition.”
Obama’s history, what is known of it given his extensive efforts to hide the facts that are usually available about a candidate or president, is testimony to the fact that he is a Communist and the only reason this remains clouded to many Americans has been the shameful failure of the Fourth Estate, the liberal mainstream media, to expose it.
He remains in office due to the failure of both the media and the Republican Party to cite the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against anyone holding the office who is not a “natural-born” American. Obama’s father was a Kenyan, a subject of Great Britain. He should not have been on the Democratic Party ballot and he should not be in the Oval Office as this is written.
Many of the known facts about Obama were published in Dr. Jerome Corsi’s 2008 book, “The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality.” Thirty-five pages of footnotes citing the documentation of the facts cited were there for anyone to read. Obama was born into a family of Leftists. As a youngster he was mentored by Frank Marshal Davis, a member of the Communist Party USA.
Of his early college years, Obama said in his memoir that at Occidental, “To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.”
Obama’s political career began with a fund-raiser in the living room of two dedicated, self-identified Communists, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. As Dr. Corsi pointed out, “The problem is that Obama sought out his relationships with the Alinski organization, the Ayers-Dohrn radicals, the scandal-ridden (Antoin ‘Tony’) Rezko, Reverand (Jeremiah) Wright and black-liberation theology, and Farrakhan and the Black Muslims. At the time he wanted these ties.” In the course of his 2008 campaign he rejected all efforts to tie him to these individuals.
The appointment of the many “czars” to oversee and guide the actions of government departments and agencies became the subject, first of ridicule, followed by the realization he was infiltrating the government with known radicals of different stripes. The one that quickly gained attention was Van Jones, an avowed Communist. When that became known, Jones resigned.
The Osawatomie speech was classic Obama. In the past he has sought to align himself with former presidents and this time around it was Theodore Roosevelt, a progressive. As Americans have sought to peel away the many layers of deceit surrounding Obama, the single abiding factor in his life is Communism. The views he expressed were a combination of class warfare and an attack on Capitalism.
In 2008, Americans, reeling from the financial crisis that all too conveniently began in the final months of the Bush43 presidency, were duped into believing that a man with nothing more than a message of “hope and change” was a messiah that would lead the nation out of its problems.
Obama was and is the first Communist President of the United States of America
Obama was and is the first Communist President of the United States of America. We have a President who rails against “millionaires and billionaires”, corporations, Wall Street, and all other aspects of our Capitalist economy.
We have a President and a Democratic Party that have tipped their hat to the Occupy Wall Street radicals.
We have a President and a Democratic Party totally aligned with the unions in America
We have a President and a Democratic Party totally aligned with the unions in America, some of which put the auto industry in jeopardy, others in the public sector that have plundered state treasuries with sweetheart deals for pensions and health plans, and who we have seen thuggishly oppose the restructuring of collective bargaining. It is why a close ally of Obama, Andy Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union (SIEU), praised the Chinese Communist economic model in a December 1 Wall Street Journal article.
And we now have a President who says Capitalism “doesn’t work” and “It has never worked.” That is utterly absurd, but it reveals his ideology and his goal of fomenting a Communist revolution in America by bankrupting the nation to achieve it.
Obama is a horrid aberration, the result of a combination of the Democratic Party, the liberal media, and the education community to dumb down Americans and make them ready for the Communist America that Obama advocates.
Communism did not die with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It is alive and well in Russia, China, Cuba, Vietnam and in Venezuela. The soft form, Socialism, has brought a number of European nations to ruin and threatens the U.S.
In 2010 Americans returned power in the House of Representatives to the Republican Party. We must finish the job in the Senate and in the White House in 2012. If we do not, the America we love will perish.
© Alan Caruba, 2011
Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical. There is not a single statement that the president has ever made in any of our policy assertions that the Taliban is our enemy because it threatens U.S. interests. If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us. So there’s a dual track here:
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Sunday, December 18, 2011
The PJ Tatler » Christopher Hitchens at His Best: Rare Video of Hitch Disemboweling the American Left
(Here’s an exact transcript:)
Hitchens: The decline — not to say the moral eclipse — of the secular left has just been illustrated on this very platform by someone, who makes excuses for suicide murder and tries to trace them to a second-rate sociology.
Hitchens: But, to what I think is the hidden agenda of the question: ‘Is George Bush on a Christian crusade in Iraq and Afghanistan?’ Obviously not, obviously not. Anyone who’s studied what’s happening in either of those countries now knows that the whole of American policy — and by the way a lot of your own future, ladies and gentlemen — is staked on the hope that federal secular democrats can emerge from this terrible combat. We can protect them and offer them help while they do so. We know that they’re there, that we are — I’ve met them, I love them, they’re our friends. Every member of the 82nd Airborne Division could be a snake-handling congregationalist, for all I know, but these men and women, though you sneer and jeer at them, and snigger when you hear applause and excuses for suicide bombers — and you have to live with the shame of having done that — these people are guarding you while you sleep, whether you know it or not. And they’re also creating space for secularism to emerge, and you better hope that they are successful.
Hedges: I feel like I should be reading Kipling’s White Man’s Burden.
Hitchens: What you mean is you wish you had read it.
Hitchens: It’s exact equivalent of the evil nonsense taught by Hedges and friends of his, who say the suicide bombers in Palestine are driven to it by despair. Have you read the manifestos of these suicide bombers? Have you seen the videos they make? Have you seen the manifestos they put out? The propaganda that they generate? These are not people in despair. These are people in a state of religious exultation. Who are promised everything. Who are in a state of hope. Who are in a state of adoration for their evil mullahs. And for their filthy religion. It’s this that makes them think they have the right to kill others while taking their own lives. If despair among Palestinians was enough to create psychopathic criminal behavior, there’s been enough despair for a long time, and enough misery to go around. It is to excuse the vicious, filthy forces of Islamic jihad to offer any other explanation but that it is their own evil preaching, their own vile religion, their own racism, their own apocalyptic ideology that makes them think they have the right to kill everyone in this room, and go to paradise as a reward. I won’t listen, nor should you, to anyone who euphemizes or excuses this evil wicked thing.
Religion consists now, we find, no longer of moral absolutes. It used to be, when I debated with religious types, they would say, ‘Yes, circumcision is good; masturbation is bad. We know this, because God tells us so. Hacking of the genitals of a child with a sharp stone is divine; touching them with a hand — not so great.’ We know — so we knew where we were. We were absolute. Now [gesturing towards Chris Hedges] it’s all relative. Now it’s all completely relative. It’s made up a la carte and cherry-picked by mediocre pseudo-intellectuals who want you to believe that the following thing that would have happened — in the year, in the month of the year that the liberation of Iraq took place, that finally, after an endless thesaurus of United Nations resolutions condemning every aspect of its regime, that Iraq was free from the proprietorship of Saddam Hussein — that was March, 2003 — do you know what would have happened in April, 2003? Iraq was going to be the chair of the United Nations Special Committee on Disarmament. Some people think that would have been a better outcome. More humane, more legal, less troubling, altogether more dealable with. Just as Iran and Libya have just been re-elected to that very Committee on Disarmament at the United Nations. I ask you: You pick that kind of relativism, you’ll also find you’re dealing with a very surreptitious form of absolutism, which is only capable of describing as fascistic relatively comical forces (who I’ve denounced up- and downhill all my life in the United States), but cannot use the word totalitarianism about the religion that actually conducts jihad, actually organizes totalitarianism, actually inflicts misery, pain, unemployment, and despair upon millions of people, and then claims what it has done as the license for suicide and murder. A perfect picture [gesturing towards Chris Hedges] has been given to you of the cretinous relationship between sloppy moral relativism, half-baked religious absolutism, and the journalism that lies in between.
Moderator: Chris Hedges? [Inviting him to respond.]
Hedges: [Waves his hand, to indicate 'No more.']