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Where There is No Vision the People Perish

September 9, 2010

That, or they just eat low grade dog food at crappy little strip malls. Six of one…

Wasted six excruciating hours of my life that I’ll never get back at the city council meeting last night. The major issue was a bond to refurbish the crumbling high school. Of course, the locals will be footing the entire bill as there were no state or federal stimulus funds that managed to trickle down into our education system, and not for lack of trying. The refurbished school was rightfully described as the cornerstone on which build the future of the city around. The point was made repeatedly that good schools lead to higher property values and more tax revenue for the town. Good schools create an educated workforce which businesses that provide higher paying jobs need. So far so good.

The other issue was paving the way (or unpaving it somewhat) for a local developer currently going through bankruptcy to build another crappy little strip mall in a town already covered by half-empty crappy little strip malls. The council needed to approve a road closing and the sale of some unused city property to create a contiguous piece of property upon which Mr. Bankrupt could build said crappy little strip mall. The local paper proclaimed that Captain No Funds had already lined up a Subway franchise for part of his 34,000 sq ft crappy little strip mall and that would create needed jobs. Whoop de doo! No mention was made of the several other already extant Subways in other crappy half-empty strip malls around town, although they did mention that Sir Empty Pockets was hoping to attract a Radio Shack too someday (in a town that already has a few Radio Shacks as well). Happy days are here again!

The meeting started with public comment on any issue at hand and the first gentleman who spoke said he didn’t know why he had even bothered coming to talk about the crappy little strip mall proposal since his neighbors had told him it was already a done deal, but he spoke out against it anyway as did several others. I should have just left right there.

But I didn’t.

Instead I waited through several hours of school bond discussion (the motion to put the bond before the voters passed) to see what the results of the second issue would be. By about quarter to one AM all of the few dozen other members of the public had left, and it was just me, city officials, the developer and his lawyer there to discuss the crappy little strip mall. Pretty clear at that point that it had been in fact a done deal for quite some time despite the protests of the public and I watched as the majority rubber stamped approval for this latest boon to our local economy.

I can only imagine that the students who get a good education from the refurbished high school (if the bond passes with the voters), after going on to get their college degrees, will be running right back to their home town, fighting each other to be the first to grab a lucrative job at a local Taco Bell franchise in a crappy little strip mall.

I give up.

37 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    September 9, 2010 1:19 pm

    Anything else happen today? Didn’t get to eat last night because of the meeting and didn’t get much sleep either. Too tired and annoyed today to bother looking at the latest news that will probably just piss me off anyway.

    • artemis54 permalink
      September 9, 2010 6:22 pm

      The news is that America’s Got Crazy, but I suspect you knew that. The media seems entirely devoted to crazy today, including the twitter comments of crazy people on the crazy actions of other crazy people.

      • cometman permalink*
        September 9, 2010 6:47 pm

        Just took one of these –

        – feel a whole lot better now :)

  2. artemis54 permalink
    September 9, 2010 7:57 pm

    US District Court in Riverside CA rules DADT unconstitutional: violates first amendment rights of gay and lesbian service members, has “direct and deleterious effect” on the militarty.

    Next up: Obama’s DOJ gets to defend it?

    • cometman permalink*
      September 10, 2010 1:00 pm

      Who knows what Bushwa Barry has up his sleeve on this one. Bet he won’t make a peep about it before the second week in November though.

      I’m sure they could always appeal to a court packed more to their liking, like the succeeded in doing in an effort to make sure torturers will never see prosecution.

      In a 6-5 ruling issued this afternoon, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handed the Obama administration a major victory in its efforts to shield Bush crimes from judicial review, when the court upheld the Obama DOJ’s argument that Bush’s rendition program, used to send victims to be tortured, are “state secrets” and its legality thus cannot be adjudicated by courts. The Obama DOJ had appealed to the full 9th Circuit from last year’s ruling by a 3-judge panel which rejected the “state secrets” argument and held that it cannot be used as a weapon to shield the Executive Branch from allegations in this case that it broke the law.

      Anybody who says that Barry really wants to change things but is handcuffed by the Republicans blah blah blah is full of shit. All this assclown had to do to get what he promised in his campaign on this issue accomplished is nothing. Just don’t appeal. Easy as that.

      I just have a bad feeling the DOJ will try something similar with this DADT ruling for the usual dumbass wrongheaded political reasons.

  3. artemis54 permalink
    September 9, 2010 8:55 pm


    The Court found Almy a credible, candid, and forthright witness.

    . . . . .

    Even when recounting the mistreatment endured under Toussaint’s command, Rocha testified in an understated and sincere manner. The Court found him a forthright and credible witness.

    . . . . .

    The Court found Kopfstein an honest, candid, and believable witness; she testified with modest understatement about her talent and achievements as a Naval Officer and with obvious sincerity about her desire to rejoin to fulfill her original commitment.

    . . . . .

    As noted above with respect to his testimony on the standing issue, the Court observed Nicholson to be credible and forthright.

    . . . . .

    The Court found Loverde a candid and credible witness.

    . . . . .

    The Court found Vossler, in common with the other former military men and women who testified at trial, a credible, candid, and compelling witness.

    Taken as a whole, the evidence introduced at trial shows that the effect of the Act has been, not to advance the Government’s interests of military readiness and unit cohesion, much less to do so significantly, but to harm that interest. The testimony demonstrated that since its enactment in 1993, the Act has harmed efforts of the all-volunteer military to recruit during wartime. The Act has caused the discharge of servicemembers in occupations identified as “critical” by the military, including medical professionals and Arabic, Korean, and Farsi linguists. At the same time that the Act has caused the discharge of over 13,000 members of the military, including hundreds in critical occupations, the shortage of troops has caused the military to permit enlistment of those who earlier would have been denied entry because of their criminal records, their lack of education, or their lack of physical fitness.</blockquote

    In summary, Defendants have failed to satisfy their burden under the Witt standard. They have not shown the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Policy “significantly furthers” the Government’s interests nor that it is “necessary” in order to achieve those goals. Plaintiff has relied not just on the admissions described above that the Act does not further military readiness, but also has shown the following:

    by impeding the efforts to recruit and retain an all-volunteer military force, the Act contributes to critical troop shortages and thus harms rather than furthers the Government’s interest in military readiness;

    by causing the discharge of otherwise qualified servicemembers with critical skills such as Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, and Korean language fluency; military intelligence; counterterrorism; weapons development; and medical training, the Act harms rather than furthers the Government’s interest in military readiness;

    by contributing to the necessity for the Armed Forces to permit enlistment through increased use of the “moral waiver” policy and lower educational and physical fitness standards, the Act harms rather than furthers the Government’s interest in military readiness;

    Defendants’ actions in delaying investigations regarding and enforcement of the Act until after a servicemember returns from combat deployment show that the Policy is not necessary to further the Government’s interest in military readiness or unit cohesion;

    by causing the discharge of well-trained and competent servicemembers who are well-respected by their superiors and subordinates, the Act has harmed rather than furthered unit cohesion and morale;

    the Act is not necessary to protect the privacy of servicemembers because military housing quarters already provide sufficient protection for this interest.

    The Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act infringes the fundamental rights of United States servicemembers in many ways, some described above. The Act denies homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces the right to enjoy “intimate conduct” in their personal relationships. The Act denies them the right to speak about their loved ones while serving their country in uniform; it punishes them with discharge for writing a personal letter, in a foreign language, to a person of the same sex with whom they shared an intimate relationship before entering military service; it discharges them for including information in a personal communication from which an unauthorized reader might discern their homosexuality. In order to justify the encroachment on these rights, Defendants faced the burden at trial of showing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Act was necessary to significantly further the Government’s important interests in military readiness and unit cohesion. Defendants failed to meet that burden. Thus, Plaintiff, on behalf of its members, is entitled to judgment in its favor on the first claim in its First Amended Complaint for violation of the substantive due process rights guaranteed under the Fifth Amendment.

    These consequences demonstrate that the Act’s restrictions on speech are broader than reasonably necessary to protect the Government’s interest. Moreover, the Act’s restrictions on speech lead to the discharge pf servicemembers with qualifications in critically-needed occupations, such as foreign language fluency and information technology. The net effect of these discharges, as revealed not only in the testimony of the lay witnesses but also of the experts who testified and Defendants’ own admissions regarding the numbers of servicemembers discharged and the costs of recruiting and maintaining an all-volunteer military force, compel the conclusion that the Act restricts speech more than reasonably necessary to protect the Government’s interests.

    Let’s see Obama overturn this.

  4. sisdevore permalink
    September 9, 2010 9:11 pm

    I’m envisioning this cool scenario where gay linguists save our ass in the Middle East.

    You may say I’m a dreamer………..

  5. artemis54 permalink
    September 9, 2010 11:41 pm

  6. cometman permalink*
    September 10, 2010 1:09 pm

    Shoe chucker sighting! This time they’re aimed at the Poodle.

    Former Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Monday he had canceled a book-signing in London this week to mark the launch of his memoirs, over fears the event would be hit by protests.

    Three people were arrested after eggs and shoes were thrown at Blair, 57, as he arrived to sign copies of “A Journey” at a bookshop in Dublin on Saturday and some of the 200 protesters clashed with police.

    Even that isn’t enough to get tone deaf Tony to cut the bullshit though.

    “I have decided not to go ahead with the signing as I don’t want the public to be inconvenienced by the inevitable hassle caused by protestors,” Blair said in a statement on his website.

    “I know the Metropolitan Police would, as ever, have done a superb job in managing any disruption but I do not wish to impose an extra strain on police resources, simply for a book-signing.”

    Riiiiight. But straining tens of thousands of British troops and millions of innocent Iraqis on based on a lie he continues to trumpet was AOK!

    Check out all the balderdash in just a few short sentences –

    In his memoirs, Blair — now an envoy for the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers, the United States, Russia, the EU and the United Nations — said he could have not have imagined what he called the “nightmare” that unfolded in Iraq.

    He also echoed previous statements that the 2003 invasion was justified because Saddam Hussein posed a threat and could have developed weapons of mass destruction.

    The guy who helped start an illegal war is now a “peacemaker”, then the old “nobody could have foreseen excuse” (W trained his poodle well!), followed by a statement that could apply to anyone who ever existed on the face of the earth! It’s the trifecta of twaddle!

    Rot in hell Tony you gargantuan fuckwad.

  7. cometman permalink*
    September 10, 2010 1:51 pm

    With all the hypocrisy coming from the Very Serious People concerning the guy who wants to burn some Korans, Alexanader Cockburn’s words are quite refreshing

    By the end of the week, the air was so thick with pieties about the need for tolerance and respect for all creeds that one yearned for the Rev. Terry Jones, mutton chop whiskers akimbo, to rescind his last minute cave-in, stiffen his spine, then toss those Korans into the burn barrels outside his Gainesville church in Florida and torch them on this year’s anniversary of 9/11.

  8. cometman permalink*
    September 10, 2010 2:29 pm


    Hadn’t heard too much bad about Steven Chu but now it looks like he’s kissing up to Big Coal.

    Great. That way when the next disaster occurs, whether it’s a few miners dead or a tidal wave of slurry burying a whole town, the coal companies being cozy with government can get away with a slap on the wrist just like the energy company responsible for the recent Cali pipeline explosion will likely do – PG&E, Owner of Exploded California Pipeline, Also Runs Major Political Operation.

    Ho hum. Another day of war, another day of soldiers indiscriminately killing to collect body parts.

    Isaac Asimov rolls over in his grave – Researchers Give Robots the Capability for Deceptive Behavior.

    And regarding the ongoing theme of the Empire’s fall – The End of the American Century? At this point is the question mark in the title really necessary?

  9. artemis54 permalink
    September 13, 2010 10:06 am

    Luke Russert comes out on Morning Wood, slobbers over Boehner while Scarborough masturbates off camera.

    This seems to be the new meme: Boehner is compromising, thus pulling the rug out from under the recalcitrant Obama.

    That show is disgusting. It should be called Morning Gloryhole.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 14, 2010 7:36 am

      Just goes to show that even people who come from “humble beginnings” can grow up to be complete douchenozzles.

      Hadn’t seen Jr. before but it looks like kissing the ass of those in power definitely runs in the family.

  10. cometman permalink*
    September 14, 2010 7:51 am

    Silly me. I had thought that last week’s city council meeting sealed the deal for the latest crappy little strip mall. Turns out another special emergency meeting was necessary last night in order to hand over some more taxpayer dollars to Mr. Insolvent Developer to assist in moving the utilities buried underneath the ground that needs to be torn up for the crappy little strip mall. Because nobody could have foreseen that there would be utilities buried in a commercial zone already covered with crappy little strip malls.

    Not surprising that I was the only member of the public in attendance. When an emergency meeting (only an “emergency” because Colonel NoCash wants to start digging as soon as possible) gets started with the mayor saying he’d like the meeting to be a short as possible so he can go home, it’s pretty clear the fix is in and they don’t really want to hear from the public at all. Because when the public starts asking too many questions, the shady dealings and overall incompetence of the city manager and city council start to become very apparent.

    Trying to get a straight answers about what’s going on with my tax dollars by attending meetings hasn’t worked. Time for a different tactic.

  11. cometman permalink*
    September 14, 2010 7:54 am

    So Target is now being targeted after pumping huge amounts of cash towards an anti-gay candidate in MN. Just ran across this rather hilarious anti-Target activism –

  12. cometman permalink*
    September 14, 2010 12:06 pm

    Shades of the Louisiana flood of 1927 – Democracy Now! interviewed a Pakistani activist who claims that during the recent flooding in Pakistan, the Indus river was deliberately breached to protect the US military base used to launch Predator drone attacks.

    FERYAL ALI GAUHAR: Well, yes, there is a very real connection, although that’s not the only element that we’re concerned about. But it is well known, if not acknowledged by—particularly by the state, that the base for the drones, where they’re housed before they are automated, is in Pakistan. The current government has literally gone blue in the face denying that.

    But I just happened to stumble across a contractor—and that’s not the Blackwater contractor—the contractor who built the base, who inadvertently, actually, spoke about it. But he was speaking about it in a different context, and that context was the fact that he was there at the time of the flooding—and, you know, this is the worst catastrophe to have hit any state since apparently biblical times. So, he actually mentioned to me that the River Indus, which is one of the largest rivers in the world, carrying now a volume of water which has not been known in contemporary history, was breached on the left bank deliberately in order to protect the base, which is on the right bank. And the breaching caused, consequentially, the inundation of an entire district, which resulted in the displacement of millions, not thousands, but millions, because we have 170 million people in the country, and this particular district is one of the most densely populated. So, yes, there is a connect between, you know, what is considered to be a natural disaster, but then the management of that disaster is not natural at all.

    Can’t find the words right now to describe just how terrible and evil this country has become.

  13. cometman permalink*
    September 14, 2010 12:09 pm

    While the oligarchs of the world do absolutely nothing in response to climate change, walruses head for high ground seemingly confused as their natural habitat changes rapidly.

    Scientists in the Arctic are reporting a rare mass migration of thousands of walrus from the ice floes to dry land along Alaska’s coast.

    Researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS), who have been tracking walrus movements using satellite radio tags, say 10,000 to 20,000 of the animals, mainly mothers and calves, are now congregating in tightly packed herds on the Alaskan side of the Chukchi Sea, in the first such exodus of its kind.

    “It’s something that we have never seen before in this area,” said Geoff York, of the WWF’s global Arctic programme. “As the ice decreases, the walrus are abandoning it earlier and earlier. They are having to swim ashore, or to linger on less suitable drift ice for long periods of time.”

    The flight of the walrus, first reported by the Alaska Dispatch, has reinforced warnings from scientists that the lumbering animal may be headed for extinction because of climate change.

    • artemis54 permalink
      September 14, 2010 2:47 pm

      The powers that be think we can actually live through the looking glass

      “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
      “To talk of many things:
      Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
      Of cabbages–and kings–
      And why the sea is boiling hot–
      And whether pigs have wings.”

    • sisdevore permalink
      September 14, 2010 6:10 pm

      I saw that and can’t get more disgusted.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 15, 2010 6:04 am

      My rhetoric above was a maybe a little too harsh. California did pass legislation to curb greenhouse emissions a few years back.

      So now the oil industry is spending millions on a ballot initiative to repeal that legislation.

    • artemis54 permalink
      September 15, 2010 9:15 am

      Prior to this event, the USGS was already predicting the extinction of the walrus in this century.

      From the CBD: Extinction – It’s Not Just for Polar Bears discusses the threats in this fastest heating zone to walrus, seals, seabirds, and terrestrial mammals. It isn’t going to be a pretty century.

      As documented in this report, climate change in the Arctic is already having profound impacts on wildlife, from vanishing Arctic foxes to drowning seal pups to starving muskoxen and caribou. Without rapid and bold action to slow climate change, these impacts will only worsen. Because many aspects of Arctic climate change are self-reinforcing, strong action today to cut greenhouse gas pollution is critical to preventing catastrophic and irreversible changes. Today, it is still possible to make the changes necessary to slow and then reverse warming in the Arctic. In fact, scientists have set forth the necessary actions. The way forward is clearly signposted and a few of the most important steps are summarized below. If society continues to delay, however, the precious window of opportunity we have today will slam shut.

      “rapid and bold action” This sounds like a job for the US Senate.

      • cometman permalink*
        September 15, 2010 10:58 am

        Won’t be pretty at all. Here’s another study from PLoS Biologogy via the BBC talking about tiger preservation – Pricetag set for tiger conservation.

        The researchers calculate that it would take $80 million annually to preserve tigers in the wild. Seems like that could be an underestimate but conservationists can’t even come up with that.

        Take away a couple bankers’ taxpayer-funded bonuses and it would pay for preserving an entire species. Take away a few more and you might be able to actually start increasing wild populations again. This is chump change compared to what governments all over the world dole out to to line the pockets of their fellow oligarchs in industry and yet it seems there is absolutely no political will to part with even these comparatively paltry amounts. Subsidizing God’s Work Blankfein so he can get a new yacht is far more important.

  14. cometman permalink*
    September 14, 2010 12:17 pm

    Some financial and economic links –

    Scam artists in the construction industry have come up with another way to rip off the public – Resale Fees That Only Developers Could Love.

    REBECCA AND TRENT DUPAIX of Eagle Mountain, Utah, spent a year searching for their dream home. The couple, who have five children, considered 15 to 20 houses before finding “the one.”

    They were thrilled when they closed on a $227,000, rock-and-stucco home with five bedrooms and two and a half baths in March 2009.

    But four months later, when a local television reporter was doing a story on housing taxes in their subdivision, the Dupaixs discovered that their sales contract included a “resale fee” that allows the developer to collect 1 percent of the sales price from the seller every time the property changes hands — for the next 99 years.

    But that’s not all! The developers would also like to securitize future revenue to be generated from such fees. What could possibly go wrong?

    AIG continues to scam the taxpayers and the government who owns their asses continues to let them get away with it. We’re never going to get a dime back from these assclowns.

    Some very good questions raised at the following link about the government’s ethanol policy – How Much Corn Ethanol is the U.S. Exporting and Why?

  15. cometman permalink*
    September 14, 2010 12:23 pm

    Bwaaaaahhahahahahaha!!!! Check out this holy roller- Australian lawyer smokes pages of Bible and Koran, asking ‘Which is best?’

    An Australian lawyer, Alex Stewart, has smoked pages torn from the Koran and the Bible, posting the video on YouTube just days after an American Pastor’s threat to burn the Muslim holy book caused worldwide outrage.

    In a 12-minute clip entitled “Bible or Koran – which burns best?” Mr Stewart, who works for the Queensland University of Technology, holds up the two religious texts before ripping them apart and lighting the rolled up pages.

    Have to check and see if PZ has anything to say about this one :P And damn I needed a laugh today.

  16. artemis54 permalink
    September 15, 2010 7:37 am

    Just in: Norah O’Donnell to cohost Lawrence O’Donnell’s new msnbc show. Lineup for the first night includes Christine O’Donnell, Rosie O’Donnell, Chris O’Donnell.

  17. artemis54 permalink
    September 15, 2010 11:01 am

    A note from Alexandra Morton. Interesting in more ways than one:


    From a blustery North Pacific morning. The Fraser sockeye have finally passed Northern Vancouver Island and are heading for their spawning grounds throughout the Fraser watershed. They will feed 60% of the BC province, they have already given towns along the coast $100,000s, returning hope and prosperity to towns abandoned by our governments. But as Dr. Randall Peterman, chairman US/Canadian Pacific Salmon Commission states in the Vancouver Sun today, this year was miraculously positive, but one year does not make a trend. The Fraser sockeye have demonstrated in no uncertain terms that they are capable of thriving amongst us. They are up to the challenge of living with humanity! Now it is entirely up to us if we want this to continue. We have to know why so many returned this year after an 18 year decline in productivity.

    Remarkably, we have just the mechanism already underway, the Cohen Commission. I am in this inquiry and I cannot state strongly enough that Judge Cohen must hear from all of you. He is making a significant effort by traveling throughout the Province before the hearings begin. Please consider showing up at these meetings.

    . . . . .

    Public Frums Schedule

    . . . . .

    Wild salmon are an icon of democracy as they benefit us all and can be destroyed by any. We have to view this fish throughout its life cycle and democratically deal with any who would cut this living bloodline to our coast. Democracy does not just exist, we have to engage in it, make it happen or we will lose it…just like these salmon.

    The opposition have a campaign underway attempting to slander me. Lies are widespread, repeated in meetings, our biggest newspapers and in blogs. To set the record straight. There are no big funders from any country funding me or this movement. It is you, the 18,000 on this mailing list who have made thousands of small donations. This scares this Norwegian industry and government because they can’t believe people can do anything for themselves. You are supporting this movement, but not me. I make a living through This keeps my voice free to say it like I see it.

    So it is up to you. Judge Cohen needs to hear from you. Please check to join us in taking a stand for wild salmon.

    I like the connection she is drawing between salmon ecoloy and democracy. More important than ever that she and the First Nations are all up on their hind legs screaming, as Canada is just as full of idiots as the US and many are saying, based on this one miraculous run, that the problem is solved.

    It is disgraceful if not surprising that she is the victim of a well-financed smear campaign, and sad beyond measure that a national treasure has to beg for her bread on a website.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 15, 2010 12:27 pm

      I still don’t get why anyone would believe these smear campaigns that attempt to link her with “big funders”. Even if that were the case, what would she or the First Nations have to gain? The ability to make a decent living? The horror…

      It’s the same with those who try to link liberal issues with George Soros. Follow the fucking money. Soros is no saint – far from it. But he does advocate for causes where he has little or nothing to gain personally and which may actually cost him money. Same with Bill Gates Sr. advocating for a higher tax rate among the wealthy. He does it because it’s the right thing to do.

      Meanwhile we still can’t stop the incessant bleating from the teabag crowd who are funded by those who stand to gain enormously from the nutjob activists they fund. And once they get what they want those they took advantage of still won’t have a pot to piss in. I just don’t get how so many can be so ignorant. Seems to me they are willfully so at this point. Guess the world has always been full of the willfully ignorant though. Just seems to be far less excuse for it these days with the ease of access to information.

  18. cometman permalink*
    September 15, 2010 2:44 pm

    Several links related to environmental issues, and activism environmental or otherwise –

    Utah has decided that 7 days worth of oil is more important than their watershed which serves tens of millions of people and has given the OK for the first tar sands project in the US. At first glance it seems a 7 year project to extract 7 days worth of oil would be a money loser. But even if those figures aren’t exactly accurate it doesn’t change the larger point about the fucked up priorities.

    Democracy Now! interviews Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox and notes that the EPA is finally getting around to looking into the hazards posed by fracking. If that’s any guide, those in Utah will have to wait until their water is on fire before anybody bothers to assess the potential damage to their watershed. This bit about those who protest being labeled as potential criminals –

    JUAN GONZALEZ: Another clip from the documentary Gasland. Josh, your reaction, obviously, for that part of the film? But also, I wanted to ask you about a bulletin put out by the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security that some critics say is casting aspersions on the critics of this drilling as possible criminals and threatens to stifle open debate. Could you talk about that criticism, which actually mentions your film?

    JOSH FOX: Yeah, this is in the memo—the Homeland Security memo about environmental extremists?


    JOSH FOX: Which I think is way out of line. I mean, this movement, as I’ve seen it across the country, and as I’ve hundreds of thousands of people come out on this, literally, because we’ve been touring every day to different places—and those are very peaceful, nonviolent, not the bottle-throwing crowd, exactly. I think they’re listing that in an FBI memo because we were doing this outdoor screening tour. At the same time, it’s disturbing that the Pennsylvania Homeland Security, or whoever it was that posted this memo, accidentally sent it to an activist, alerting them to the fact that they were going to look into this or investigate this. And, you know, to me, it’s unfortunate.

    -leads to the next link on the same subject – When Political Activism Gets Treated as Potential Terrorism. The apology by the Penn governor sounds less than sincere considering his office first voiced approval for targeting activists.

    Perhaps that why Bill McKibben calls for more direct action on environmental concerns but cautions against pissing anybody off too much.

    Lest anyone think that government agents infiltrating peaceful groups is just another “conspiracy theory”, here’s a new revelation that one of the iconic photographers of the civil rights movement, the man who took photos at the scene of MLK’s assassination, was in fact an FBI informant. There is such a thing as a conspiracy FACT.

    A little encouragement here – Vegas drone trial makes history .

    Activists who were arrested for protesting last year at the site of a US predator drone base were not immediately found guilty and the judge appears willing to at least hear their motivation.

    By all accounts, the Creech 14 trial is the first time in history an American judge has allowed a trial to touch on possible motivations of anti-drone protesters.

    No one knows how [judge] Jansen will ultimately rule, but most took it as a good sign when, at the end of the day’s proceedings, applause flooded the courtroom and Jansen sent the Creech 14 — all of them part of a robust Catholic anti-war movement — on their way by echoing the words of Jesus Christ with his call of “Go in peace!”

  19. artemis54 permalink
    September 15, 2010 2:53 pm

    I am really curious about this conventional wisdom on the election. For instance, the national media seem to have written off my senator Patty Murray as a lost cause. But the latest polls show her up by a minimum of 9 points, and talk about motivation. Nothing is more likely to motivate a Dem in this state than the prospect of a senator Rossi. He is absolutely hated.

    If the warped view of this race is typical, maybe the whole thing is bullshit?

    • cometman permalink*
      September 16, 2010 12:32 pm

      Seeing as there is no way to accurately verify election results in most locations these days, my personal feeling is that the media deliberately constructs a narrative (otherwise known as bullshit) surrounding these races so that nobody will be too surprised in the event somebody needs to steal an election.

      Voting machines have been shown to be unreliable and easily hacked time and time again. Funny how those in Congress who got elected on said machines don’t seem to care all that much.

  20. cometman permalink*
    September 15, 2010 2:58 pm

    Some financial links –

    Two not-too-technical and very good articles via Naked Capitalism. Yves with Why Do We Keep Indulging the Fiction That Banks Are Private Enterprises? Very good points about banks not being able to exist without A LOT of government assistance. But as Marshall Auerback points out, “assistance’ is just another word for enabling fraud – Auerback: TARP Was Not a Success – It Simply Institutionalized Fraud. Both of those articles point out that the talking heads on the TV and members of the political elite would rather have their genitals ripped off by rabid wombats before admitting that just maybe banks aren’t the virtuous private businesses pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps they make them out to be.

    This one explains why Barry’s latest round of stimulus won’t do the trick because it amounts bto another back door giveaway to the financier class – Driving Another Nail Into the Coffin of the New Deal . Saw somewhere else today that some government study if I’m not mistaken put the cost of refurbishing the crumbling infrastructure at $2.2 trillion. $50 bil isn’t going to cut it.

    What would improve things is pretty simple. PAY PEOPLE MORE $$$$$ as wages have been stagnating for decades now. Haven’t watched this one yet, but somewhere in the following video the guy being interviewed by Keiser makes just that point –

  21. artemis54 permalink
    September 15, 2010 3:19 pm

    What hath Gaga wrought?

    Documented over at towleroad: inspired by Lady Gaga’s twitter exchange with Harry Reid on DADT, two of her followers posted video of their call to their Senator, Mike Bennet on Youtube (after some time figuring out just who their senators might be).

    Bennet responded directly to the new activists in a video on his own Yt channel, assuring them he planned to vote for repeal.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 16, 2010 12:40 pm

      Well I guess that’s a start and it’s good they’re deciding to get involved. I wish my elected officials ever bothered to respond to any of my numerous requests over the years.

      Kinda wish movements weren’t begun by people who feel it necessary to tell us “I swear we’re not dumb” though…

  22. sisdevore permalink
    September 15, 2010 7:38 pm

    My position reassignment is the pits. It’s more girlie & secretarial than my previous one (which I am still doing parts of in this transitional phase.)

    This afternoon, I spent most of my time, typing faculty addresses, phone, #s and office hours into a non-workable excel sheet. By that I mean, the person (much higher ranking than me) in the Dean’s office does not do databases. So we have to conform to her format of using excel like a table.

    My new boss suggested that I take part in some Undeclared Majors event, where I sit at a table and pass out literature on the programs. Like some potted plant.

    I see Obama had his little compromise on Elizabeth Warren.

    The fierce urgency of “after awhile, maybe…”

    I think he actually hates being president. He liked beating the odds.

    Maybe he is the original Tea Party candidate. Just get folks juiced up about you.

    • artemis54 permalink
      September 15, 2010 7:59 pm

      I think you may be right about Obama. He very famously passed a note to staff during his first hearing at his first committee assignment in the senate: “Just shoot me.” It may be that he feels he is surrounded by idiots – and he certainly is, in congress etc.

      Bummer about the job. Sounds like having a magazine editor do crossword puzzles all day. Maybe more time to socialize, as you pass out leaflets?

    • cometman permalink*
      September 16, 2010 12:47 pm

      Sorry to hear about the job Miss D. Maybe you can make some extra $$$ teaching me how to use excel :) I’ll have to check and see if we have anything in the budget for that. Whoops – I guess we’d have to have an actual budget for anything whatsoever before I could tell.

      Barry’s compromise on Warren is not likely to make anybody happy including Warren. About par for the course. This article mentions she’ll be a special adviser to Timmeh. That ought to go over real well. From what I’ve heard that relationship is frosty at best. Warren ought to be replacing that clown, not subordinate to him.

      • cometman permalink*
        September 16, 2010 2:00 pm

        Heh. I should get a job writing for The Nation –Obama Prepares to Sort of Appoint Elizabeth Warren to Something .

        Warren should not be reporting to Geithner, whose subservience to Wall Street has done severe damage to the administration’s ability not just to the correct the course of the economy but to crystallize financial issues that continue to play an essential role in our politics.

        Indeed, if Obama were serious about tipping the balance away from Wall Street and toward Main Street, he would replace Geithner with Warren.

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