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The Devilfish Returns

February 22, 2011

Haven’t put up one of out tentacled friends in a while. Enjoy.

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47 Comments leave one →
  1. artemis54 permalink
    February 22, 2011 11:38 pm

    Oh god help me, I think I’ve peed myself.

    Be sure and read the highly critical comment thread: More and Better Sex

    • cometman permalink*
      February 23, 2011 10:17 am

      Ha! Have to thank ‘Succulent Filth’ for uprating some comments and keeping the delightful thread from being hidden from my view. My favorite was “heh. you said ‘tongue lashing’ “.

      Thanks for getting the day started with a laugh!

    • sisdevore permalink
      February 27, 2011 10:38 am

      There was a recent dk dairy that bemoaned the “loss of community” in the new version..and I thought, maybe that could be a good thing. I’m certain of it now.

      It really does call for a diary about masturbating with your pootie. Pootie Booty.

  2. cometman permalink*
    February 23, 2011 10:26 am

    Salmon question for you melvin. Do you know anything about wild kings being harvested in the 5 pound range? Seems very small for a wild king. Normally these are in the 10-20 pound range I think.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 2, 2011 1:38 pm

      Not exactly sure of the provenance of the 5 pound wild kings referred to above except that they are from the pacific NW somewhere, but I wonder if the following has anything to do with smaller fish being harvested – Starving bald eagles so weak they fall from sky: Poor chum salmon runs leave birds without any food.

      Starving bald eagles are falling out of the sky in the Comox Valley, a wildlife expert says.

      Maj Birch, manager of the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society, is caring for seven eagles.

      Several others had died before they could be helped, she said.

      “This is the most we have ever had,” Birch said. “Many of them are downed before they are brought in. They are on the ground and they’re too weak to fly away.

      “Some of them are actually falling out of the sky. One of them slid off a roof yesterday.”

      ~snip~

      The cause of the starvation appears to be poor chum salmon runs both around the Comox Valley and on the mainland, Birch said.

      “Bald eagles follow the food sources … Chum are rich in oil and fat and they are in the rivers in late fall and early winter, so it sustains the eagles through the winter months,” she said.

      “The eagles didn’t get the food they needed in January.”

      Now the eagles are waiting around the Comox Valley for the herring spawn in early March, said Birch, who hopes the run will not come too late for many of the birds.

      “By then, the birds could be so debilitated they may not have the energy to hunt,” she said.

      Haven’t heard any specifics about catch sizes for various salmon species this year though.

  3. cometman permalink*
    February 23, 2011 11:29 am

    Looks like protests against Walker and the like are spreading all through the Midwest.

    This type of thing is encouraging, not so much for the song itself but because it’s not 40+ years old and is being sung by somebody the younger crowd, who are growing up thinking our current economic system is business as usual, can relate to. Have to say that in rallies I’ve attended, I get really sick of hearing old people singing 60s folk songs and that’s it. No attempt to bring things a little more up to date with something more recent. The young people need to take the lead and they don’t want to be dragged around by a bunch of fogies humming Peter Paul and Mary tunes. I’ve thought about bringing a boom box and blasting Rage Against the Machine a few times but didn’t want to get angry stares from the geriatrics. Anyway, here’s Morello from RATM in Wisconsin. More of this please –

    And the not-so-encouraging –

    A deputy attorney general from Indiana would like to use live ammo against his fellow Hoosiers.

    These are the type of people leading the charge to do away with the unions. And I keep hearing the argument being made that the unions have already agreed to the concessions that Walker wanted, they just want to keep their bargaining rights. So my question is, Why the fuck would the unions already agree to concessions with people like this when it’s clear that those concessions would have been entirely unnecessary if the republicans hadn’t gutted the budget with tax giveaways first? Hasn’t the left figured out that this is standard operating procedure for these assholes? Even if Walker is forced to relent on the bargaining issue, they will still have won. And they will pass more tax cuts and come back and do it all over again. Seems to me like the left is setting themselves up to get punked again.

    And where the hell is Barry on all this? Unless I missed something, my guess is he’s sitting on the sidelines once again waiting to see which side comes out ahead so he can then offer support to the victor.

    Helluva a way to “lead”.

    • cometman permalink*
      February 23, 2011 12:12 pm

      Priceless. The Buffalo Beast punks Scott Walker. Walker talks A LOT about his strategery to deal with the protesters with a fake Koch bro. Particularly enjoyed the boot licking tone he took during the conversation believing it was his master on the phone.

      • cometman permalink*
        February 23, 2011 1:53 pm

        And speaking of teabagging governers who can’t tell their ass from a hole in the ground, here’s the latest from Maine’s pride and joy as he attempts to gut state toxics regulations – LePage dismisses BPA dangers; ‘worst case is some women may have little beards’

        “Quite frankly, the science that I’m looking at says there is no [problem],” LePage said. “There hasn’t been any science that identifies that there is a problem.”

        LePage then added: “The only thing that I’ve heard is if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.”

        Meanwhile, the front page headlines today have Susan Collins pleading for “civility”. Well Susie Q, we’ve been pleading “civilly” for years now to no avail so here’s a big fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you to the fucking dumbest senator in Congress.

        The gloves are off all over the world and I’m getting really itchy for a trip to Augusta…

  4. cometman permalink*
    February 23, 2011 1:44 pm

    Love the Greeks.

    Protests flare up again in Athens with tens of thousands hitting the streets.

    More via zerohedge with video –

    Protesters chanting “Don’t obey the rich—Fight back!” marched to parliament as the city center was heavily policed.

    Papandreou equivocates –

    “Economic situation (in Greece) is very difficult, and sometimes even I myself feel an urge to join the ranks of protesters,” Papandreou was quoted as saying to Finnish national broadcaster YLE.

    So far so good. But –

    “But mere protesting leads nowhere. We need decisions that can genuinely help fixing the problems.”

    It’s becoming more and more clear that it isn’t really up to Papandreou or any other “leaders” to decide those things any more. Part of fixing the problems involves removing the motherfuckers that caused them. Maybe Papandreou and the socialists in Greece weren’t responsible for causing them, but they are showing far too much of a willingness to cooperate with those who did.

    But the Greeks don’t just raise a public stink to get what they want and have taken to more subtle ways of doing an end around “austerity measures”

    They blockade highway toll booths to give drivers free passage. They cover subway ticket machines with plastic bags so commuters cannot pay. Even doctors are joining in, preventing patients from paying fees at state hospitals.

    Some call it civil disobedience. Others a freeloading spirit. Either way, Greece’s “I Won’t Pay’’ movement has sparked heated debate in a nation reeling from a debt crisis that has forced the government to take drastic austerity measures — including higher taxes, wage and pension cuts, and price spikes in public services.

    But still the US corporate media can’t help but stick in a few weasel words from anonymous or non-existent sources, not once but twice –

    What started as a small pressure group of residents outside Athens angered by higher highway tolls has grown into a movement affecting ever more sectors of society — one that many say is being hijacked by left-wing parties keen to ride popular discontent.

    ~snip~

    Many accuse left-wing parties and labor unions of usurping a grassroots movement with legitimate grievances for their own political ends.

    Something tells me the continuing tactic of demonizing the unions isn’t going to go over too well.

  5. cometman permalink*
    February 23, 2011 2:02 pm

    Gaddafi’s days appear to be numbered despite his slaughter of his own citizens – Gaddafi loses more Libyan cities .

    Think I read a few days ago that protesters had captured a few military vehicles. Now some in the military are siding with protesters and refusing to fire on crowds . Although somewhat more understandable when there are active hostilities going on, once again, this is dubiously sourced at best; salt required –

    Two air force pilots jumped from parachutes from their Russian-made Sukhoi fighter jet and let it crash, rather than carry out orders to bomb opposition-held Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, the website Quryna reported, citing an unidentified officer in the air force control room.

  6. cometman permalink*
    February 23, 2011 2:08 pm

    Do we have to put back the popcorn?

    …some members of Anonymous have issued a press release disclaiming any threats against the Church. They claim that the Church had trumped up the threat in order to lure Anonymous supporters into launching a denial-of-service attack on the Church’s site, which the Church could backtrack and use as the basis of a series of lawsuits against Anonymous participants.

    I believe it. Close observers of the “Church” have opined that Phelps and his family have no particular strong beliefs, but that rather they are aggressive litigants who use shock tactics to lure private individuals and local police and governments into attacking them or abridging their rights. The family then brings lucrative civil action against all parties. It sounds like a sweet little racket if you’re an utter sociopath.

    On one hand it makes sense that it would be a trap since there really isn’t much for Anonymous to hack. On the other hand though, it doesn’t seem like the nutters would necessarily have the smarts to track down any hackers either. My guess is that it may have been just a few individuals linking themselves to Anonymous who advocated the tactic while the larger body of members disagree. Guess we’ll find out …

    • cometman permalink*
      February 25, 2011 2:59 pm

      Well this was worth a few bites of popcorn.

      Here’s an interview between an Anonymous guy and some freakshow woman from the Westboro Church. Anonymous claims during the interview that their organization was not responsible for targeting the church. However, as the stupid woman keeps shooting her mouth off, the Anonymous guy hacks their site during the course of the conversation just to prove he can.

  7. cometman permalink*
    February 24, 2011 1:50 pm

    Various links –

    Too funny – Another Runaway General: Army Deploys Psy-Ops on U.S. Senators. Really? This dumbass had to use “psy-ops” to get the likes of John McCain to do what he wanted?!?!?!? Last I checked, all that usually takes is handing over a suitcase or two of cash. I’m sure the good general wouldn’t have been too hard pressed to fond one lying around somewhere…

    Looks like the House of Saud has seen the writing on the wall as they attempt to bribe their people to keep them from following through on a planned Day of Rage in March – Saudi’s $36bn bid to beat unrest. But that’s going to be spendy so they’re going to start pumping more oil. Via zerohedge – Saudi Arabia, Suddenly Desperate For More Bribe Cash, Says Will Boost Shipments (As If It Has A Choice).

    Wikileaks continues to yield interesting information. Guess who’s holding Gaddafi’s cash? – Libya placed billions of dollars at U.S. banks-WikiLeaks.

    Wisconsin could face big Federal penalties for crushing the unions that would put another big hole right back into their budget –

    Budget referees and transportation officials in Wisconsin have informed Gov. Scott Walker (R) that if he were to pass his controversial anti-union legislation into law, he could be forfeiting tens of millions of dollars in federal funds for transportation.

    Under an obscure provision of federal labor law, states risk losing federal funds should they eliminate “collective bargaining rights” that existed at the time when federal assistance was first granted. The provision, known as “protective arrangements” or “Section 13C arrangements,” is meant as a means of cushioning union (and even some non-union) members who, while working on local projects, are affected by federal grants.

    It also could potentially hamstring governors like Walker who want dramatic changes to labor laws in their states. Wisconsin received $74 million in federal transit funds this fiscal year. Of that, $46.6 million would be put at risk should the collective-bargaining bill come to pass — in the process creating an even more difficult fiscal situation than the one that, ostensibly, compelled Walker to push the legislation in the first place.

    Now you’d think that if Barry isn’t going to live up to his campaign promise to put on comfy shoes and join the picket line when workers rights are threatened, the least he could do is remind Walker that federal funds will be rescinded.

    But maybe he’s too busy making weak tea remedies for bankers or playing hide and seek with lobbyists to avoid having to mention he visited with them.

  8. cometman permalink*
    February 24, 2011 2:15 pm

    Question.

    So a couple of state reps have proposed legislation that would create a “justifiable homicide” defense for those who killed others to defend an unborn fetus. So if a person is walking down the street with a pregnant woman and some state republican congressperson just happens to bump into the pregnant woman putting her at risk of falling and harming her unborn fetus, does that mean that she and her companion get to beat the republican congressperson into a bloody pulp with impunity?

    Just looking for a little clarification…

  9. cometman permalink*
    February 25, 2011 3:10 pm

    Some links –

    Gaddafi comes closer to getting his wish for martyrdom as protesters torch one of his palaces. No word on whether they were hopped up on hallucinogenic Nescafe when committing the act.

    Nine killed in an Iraqi Day of Rage. That ought to keep heads spinning in the US State Dept.

    From Pro Publica, another very good article on natural gas fracking .

    And lastly, some weekend levity as the British palate once again fails to improve – Breast milk ice cream goes on sale in Covent Garden. Blech.

  10. cometman permalink*
    February 28, 2011 1:22 pm

    Trying to get a read on events in WI.

    125,000 protesters rallied in WI over the weekend with more attending rallies in support in other states.

    More from the Wisconsin State Journal.

    Walker’s attempt to divide and conquer by exempting police/firefighter unions from his budget cuts isn’t working out that well as some police join the protesters and express their support. Nice to see that the guy in the video takes his oath to protect and serve the people seriously.

    Other police reported as of yesterday that they would not forcibly remove protesters from the Capitol grounds.

    But today things have changed somewhat and police are not allowing anyone further into the Capitol. More here. It appears that Walker has issued some new “rules” for Capitol access listed here. That post also mentions that the “rules” are pretty much illegal under state law, but those pesky Constitutions don’t seem to matter a whole lot these days.

    Meanwhile protesters are still wondering where Barry is on this issue.

    And Anonymous has nowset their sights on the Koch Bros. This one seems to be in earnest.

  11. cometman permalink*
    February 28, 2011 1:27 pm

    Back to protests in the Arab world.

    Extremely encouraging to see that Tunisian protesters are holding their ground until everyone from Ben Ali’s regime is gone. Just one deadender left –

    Mohamed Afif Chelbi, Tunisia’s industry and technology minister, has resigned from the government, the official TAP news agency has reported.

    Chelbi, who resigned on Monday, was one of only two remaining ministers who had previously served in the cabinet under ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

    His departure leaves Mohamed Nouri Jouini, the minister for international co-operation, as the only survivor in the cabinet from the Ben Ali era.

    ~snip~

    Protesters have been camping outside government offices in the capital Tunis, demanding that the government be purged of ministers with links to Ben Ali.

    “We will continue our sit-in until the formation of a constituent assembly and the recognition of the Council for the Protection of the Revolution,” Mohamed Fadhel, a protest co-ordinator, said.

    Bravo!!!!

  12. cometman permalink*
    February 28, 2011 2:02 pm

    Fascinating. Neutron stars have a cool, gooey center. Or something like that – Exotic Superfluid Found in Ultra-Dense Stellar Corpse.

  13. artemis54 permalink
    March 1, 2011 11:43 am

    Remarkable work: Saving Ethiopia’s “Church Forests”

    There are some 35,000 church forests in Ethiopia, ranging in size from a few acres to 300 hectares. Some churches and their forests may date back to the fourth century, and all are remnants of Ethiopia’s historic Afromontane forests. To their followers, they are a sacred symbol of the garden of Eden — to be loved and cared for, but not worshipped.

    Much more at Canopy Meg, the lead scientist’s website. I wandered around her site for several hours last night and am still curious.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 1, 2011 1:24 pm

      Thanks for that one. Hadn’t heard of those before. Very striking when you see the aerial photos.

      Now I wish I could remember the piece I was reading a couple days ago and didn’t post here. It had to do with a guy in one of these very dry countries realizing that the trees were essential in keeping up the water table and allowing other plants to grow. Something about tree seeds growing out of bird droppings and the guy noticing that if he let the trees grow, the water table there was higher than it was short distances away where there were no trees. Can’t even remember if it was a fictional story or a news piece but it reminded me a lot of the one you posted a while back about the small farms with multiple crops surrounded by fruit bearing trees.

      If I run across it again I’ll post it here.

  14. artemis54 permalink
    March 1, 2011 12:04 pm

    Finally got around to Ron Reagan’s My Father at 100, am almost done with it.

    I don’t know as I would tell everyone they need to run out and buy it, but if you find it lying around it’s definitely worth a quick read. Certainly this attempt by a son to reclaim his father, the man, from all the politicians and hagiographers is much more interesting than anything the worshippers of St. Ronnie the Conservative ever come up with. And as one would expect, there are a few surprises.

    While disagreeing with his father on almost every issue – but not nuclear disarmament and a couple others – he clearly loved him. Perhaps it’s just me; their relationship reminded me an awful lot of my own with my father.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 1, 2011 1:39 pm

      While hearing Ronnie praised is like fingers on a blackboard, I definitely don’t hate the guy. Seems like more of a pathetic figure than anything. Though I’m sure that all the $$$ he took in from being a useful tool to the real power brokers helped ease the pain of me thinking he’s a pathetic wretch.

      Sounds like a good book for a plane ride.

  15. cometman permalink*
    March 1, 2011 1:47 pm

    Libyan soldiers who refused to fire on their own citizens wind up in bodybags.

    Meanwhile, the UN is poised to praise Libya’s human rights record.

    In other news, black is now white.

  16. cometman permalink*
    March 1, 2011 2:30 pm

    Moving on, here’s some more from the up is now down department.

    Barry had promised that whistleblowers would be protected and government transparency whilst on the campaign trail. So here’s what we get –

    Barry’s DOJ fights to prosecute whistleblowers.

    Federal prosecutors go after a 78 year old retired chemistry professor for handing out pamphlets encouraging jury nullification in front of a court house, something with longstanding legal precedent in the US.

    And the trial for “Bidder 70” begins this week as Barry forgets his policy of “looking forward” once again. “Bidder 70” is Tim DeChristopher. Here’s his egregious “crime” – The Case Against Bidder 70 Is an Abuse of Prosecutorial Discretion. Well worth reading in full. A snippet –

    The trial of an environmentalist civil dissenter who, as a student in 2008, disrupted a government fire-sale auction of oil and gas leases near Arches and Canyonlands national parks began yesterday. The then-student, 27-year-old Tim DeChristopher, disrupted the auction by bidding nearly $2 million on leases he did not have the money or intention to actually purchase. He is now known as “Bidder 70” and he is a true hero of the environmental movement.

    This course of action was more than just civic minded in its desire to prevent the people’s wild lands from being forever injured by development of these oil and gas leases. It was also an act of intervention on the side of due process and the law. It was civil disobedience resorted to as a rogue president in his final days in office rushed to give away more of the American commons to an industry that brought him to power.

    Meanwhile, all the bankers who did commit real crimes are laughing, well, all the way to the fucking bank as not one has been prosecuted for a goddamned thing.

    Really wish I’d known ahead of time that Holder was going to be the speaker at the commencement I went to last summer so I could have brought some tomatoes to throw at this useless apparatchik.

    And a bag of dogshit or two.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 1, 2011 2:57 pm

      Charlie Sheehn! Christina Aguilera!

  17. cometman permalink*
    March 1, 2011 2:41 pm

    And a few more from this bizarro world of ours –

    More are wondering where Barry is on worker’s rights. Nurses offer to buy Barry a pair of those comfy shoes he had promised to don in support of unions.

    The government has no problem continuing to hand out trillions the criminal financial set with no strings attached, but when it comes time to dole out money for the BP disaster, suddenly Uncle Sugar isn’t so sure all the claimants are deserving – BP fund lawyer to refuse 100,000 Gulf spill disaster claims.

    A defensive Ken Feinberg, under fire from the Obama administration, Gulf leaders and local business for the slow pace of payouts for losses due to the BP spill, said the vast majority of the 130,000 unsettled claims did not have adequate documentation.

    “Here is the problem that I continually have to address … roughly 80% of the claims that we now have in the queue lack proof,” Feinberg told foreign reporters in Washington. “That is a huge number.”

    That may be true, but again, nobody had a problem doling out trillions to bankers without due documentation. So why can’t Barry tell this bastard to pay out the money anyway? And if that weren’t enough, this asshole may wind up giving BP some of their money back if not enough valid claimants can be found –

    Any funds remaining from the $20bn would revert to BP under an agreement with the White House, Feinberg said: “My understanding is that if $20bn is sufficient and there is money left over it is retained by BP. That is not on my watch, that is not my responsibility.”

    And in case you missed it, the smear campaign against the CFPB has begun. Elizabeth Warren is now the Supreme Soviet. Or something.

    Today was not a good day for news that doesn’t make me extremely surly.

  18. cometman permalink*
    March 2, 2011 11:15 am

    Got a call from a local citizens’ advocacy group last night. They wanted to know if I was interested in joining them in testifying to the republican controlled state legislature about the need for a state minimum wage hike. I replied that I was well aware that this group asked that their members be civil, polite, and respectful when addressing elected officials and that if I were to testify I would not be in the least bit civil and these people did not deserve my or anyone else’s respect. I suggested that testifying was a waste of time on everyone’s part as it should be clear that these assholes are not listening no matter how polite people are.

    She then asked if I’d be more interested in attending a rally at the statehouse. I replied that if they planned a Wisconsin-like protest I’d be there but I wasn’t really interested in attending a rally with a pre-set time limit like the ones this group usually plans. Now this group played a big role in the past in getting legislation passed against toxics. And now the new republican governor here is trying to gut all that legislation and make sure nothing new along those lines will get through, destroying all the hard work they put in over years with the stroke of a pen. And yet this group still sees politely making requests as a valid tactic for getting what they want.

    Which brings me to this video of Wisconsin protesters from yesterday which to me epitomizes everything that is wrong with our political “leadership” and those would follow them and obey their requests for politeness and civility –

    Starts out pretty good, with protesters hounding a republican legislator, shouting “Shame” with a few “You suck”s thrown in for good measure. But then a DemocRAT hits the scene and pleads for civility again and the crowd dutifully obeys. The Dem says that while he may disagree with his republican counterpart on a lot of things, he is still “a friend” and “a good man”. Well, no, he fucking is NOT a good man if he thinks stealing from the people of his state to hand their money to the already wealthy is a good idea. And if he’s the Dem’s “friend”, what does that say about how much help these protesters can expect from the Democrats?? These people have a right to enter the building that their tax dollars pay for and no new “rules” regarding access can change that. Not legally anyway, not according to the goddamned Bill of Rights that so many of our elected officials see fit to ignore these days. In case you forgot:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Do these people really thinks chants of “peaceful” are going to do the trick????

    At one point, the Dem says that he’s tried everything to get the people into this building to which one guy replies “Except for opening the door”.

    If the Dems were really serious about stopping the republicans, they wouldn’t try to talk down the angry crowds, they’d be helping them bust down the fucking door.

    Fuck all this nonsense about civility and respect. We’ve been getting shat upon by the oligarchy for decades now and being respectful has only made it worse, since it’s a tacit acknowledgment to the oligarchs that they can continue to rob the people and face no repercussions.

    Time to push the milquetoasts aside get out the battering rams.

    No civility, no respect, and no quarter.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 2, 2011 1:40 pm

      Side note: good rundown of Walker’s recent lawbreaking here – Wisconsin Governor Defies Court Order to Open Capitol .

      Also a mention of a potential gubernatorial recall in there which I’ve seen making the rounds in recent days. I’d prefer riding him out of town on a rail, but barring that I’ll take a recall.

  19. cometman permalink*
    March 2, 2011 1:49 pm

    Couple more items of note today –

    Mentioned earlier that US banks were holding large amounts of Gaddafi’s cash. Anyone surprised that Goldman Sux, JP Morgan, and Citigroup were among them?

    But that’s not all. The Carlyle Group and Blackstone were also among the ratfuckers helping out. And it sounds like they were doing a little more than opening up a checking account. This sounds more like ring kissing to me –

    Two years ago, the Carlyle Group’s co-founder and managing director, David Rubenstein, and Blackstone chief executive Steven Schwarzman traveled to the Libyan capital of Tripoli to help celebrate the wedding of Mustafa Zarti, the deputy director of the LIA, in a massive tent set up on the outskirts of the city, reported the Financial Times. And when Gaddafi’s son and longtime likely successor, Saif al-Islam, visited New York in November 2008, Schwarzman hosted a lunch for him at the Blackstone CEO’s Park Avenue apartment. The younger Gaddafi was also honored on that trip by Carlyle’s retired chairman, former defense secretary Frank Carlucci, who hosted a dinner for him in a private room at the City Club.

    Also, two US soldiers were killed in Frankfurt

    A gunman at Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s largest international hub, reportedly fired at several United States soldiers in a military bus on Wednesday, killing at least two people and seriously injuring two others. Wire reports suggest the two dead were likely American soldiers.

    German news agency DPA is reporting that police arrested a 21-year-old male suspect from Kosovo following the attack. A police spokesperson said it was too early to determine if the attack had been politically motivated or an act of terrorism.

    More here. Unclear whether the shooter had planned things out or just got in a squabble with soldiers in front of the bus –

    The attacker and U.S. military personnel apparently had an altercation in front of the bus just before the man started shooting, Fuellhardt said. The attacker also briefly entered the bus, and was apprehended by police when he tried to escape.

  20. artemis54 permalink
    March 3, 2011 4:43 am

    I kan haz traktur beem?

    • cometman permalink*
      March 3, 2011 10:01 am

      Fascinating!

  21. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2011 2:14 pm

    Har har har! Another setback for the anti-abortion crowd – FAIL: Fetus refuses to testify to House committee.

  22. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2011 2:25 pm

    Couple of financial notes.

    Although it was excessive leverage that caused the meltdown, banks have been fighting tooth and nail against any requirements to have even tiny amounts of equity on hand. Translation -banks want to be able to continue gambling with money borrowed from other people (ultimately that means YOU the taxpayer) rather than putting any of their own on the line (because that’s for multimillion dollar bonuses).

    Mike Whitney much like other financial writers continues to write the same damn article over and over until somebody pays attention – Wall Street Trash.

    Banks don’t like committing capital because it limits profitability. This is why the big banks have fought so ferociously for deregulation, so they’re not constrained in the amount of money they can make (via credit creation) with little capital. Of course, when the banking system is propped atop tiny specks of capital, it becomes more wobbly and crisis prone. And, if asset prices suddenly nosedive–as they did when the subprimes exploded–the whole shebang can come crashing down.

    The real root of the financial crisis was leverage. The banks were massively over-leveraged (some of them 40 to 1) just like our friend Freddie. This is no longer a matter of dispute. In testimony he gave to the Financial Crisis Investigation Commission (FCIC), Ben Bernanke admitted that 12 of the country’s 13 largest banks were underwater.

    “If you look at the firms that came under pressure in that period… only one… was not at serious risk of failure,” Bernanke told the commission.

    So, the banks borrowed too much and were gravely under-capitalized. So when asset prices fell, they were wiped out and the financial system crashed. It was not “the perfect storm” as Wall Street cheerleaders like to say. It was the inevitable outcome of risky behavior. There’s nothing unusual about a bank run, especially when the banks are capital-depleted and acting like lunatics.

    ~snip~

    So, what did the banks learn from that near-death experience?

    Nothing. In fact, they’ve rebuilt the same exact system that blew up less than 3 years ago. And, Ben Bernanke, Timothy Geithner and Barack Obama have helped them every step of the way.

    More from Simon Johnson – Is The New York Fed Making A Serious Mistake On Bank Dividends? In a nutshell, the banks want to pay out big dividends to their shareholders rather than keeping the cash on hand as equity because again, they’d rather gamble with others’ money. Seeing as it can’t be too long before this latest bubble bursts, any dividends paid out will mean that any future bailouts will be larger by a similar amount. And Barry and the banksters say full steam ahead.

  23. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2011 2:30 pm

    One more holdover from the old regime is out in Egypt

    Egypt’s governing military council has accepted the resignation of Ahmed Shafiq, the prime minister, and appointed a former transport minister, Essam Sharaf, to form a new government, according to an army announcement.

    ~snip~

    Sharaf took part in the mass rallies in Cairo’s Tahrir Square which brought down Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s president, on February 11 after three decades in power.

    Shafiq had been picked to head the cabinet by Mubarak before the president stepped down.

    Perhaps having a prime minister who stood beside the protesters will help bring justice to those who were murdered by Mubarak’s goons during the uprising.

  24. cometman permalink*
    March 3, 2011 2:35 pm

    A few notes –

    The Army looks for new ways to fuck over Bradley Manning.

    A push begins in WI to recall 8 republican state senators.

    And in light of the Citizen’s United decision, not sure what to make of this – Supreme Court: Corporations don’t have ‘personal privacy’ rights. And it was a unanimous decision. I can only think that if corporations don’t have ‘personal’ privacy rights, Scalia et al will find some other privacy rights they do have available in order to keep their dirty little secrets.

  25. artemis54 permalink
    March 3, 2011 3:35 pm

    Glen Barry and Ecological Internet – based in Green Bay – endorse the Cheddar Rebellion, declare war on Walker, Kochs, GOP

    Stand with brave protesters for human rights in Wisconsin; and as the deadline nears to clear the capitol, demand that peaceful protesters and capitol occupiers are not be met with violence or arrested. Demand that Darth Walker begin negotiating immediately or resign. And that the Koch brothers stop buying state governments and destroying water with natural gas fracking. Forward and share widely at this important moment in the New Earth Rising, as the media is not telling the story.

    Disseminated at the request of EI.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 4, 2011 10:12 am

      Nice. Over 400,000 emails sent in protest so far!

  26. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2011 11:21 am

    Shame shame shame.

    Tim deChristopher was found guilty of disrupting a government auction and faces up to 10 years in prison for raising his hand.

    deChristopher from outside the courthouse –

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 4, 2011 1:51 pm

      He seemed in awfully good spirits when interviewed by Amy Goodman this morning.

      • cometman permalink*
        March 7, 2011 11:29 am

        Wow. They wouldn’t admit the fact that he had raised at least some of the money to pay for the leases!?!?!? Hadn’t heard that part before.

  27. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2011 1:17 pm

    More from WI –

    Good rundown here on Walker’s continued defiance of the law – Scott Walker Down the Rat Hole with the Palace Guard.

    Among other details, the article notes that one Dem state rep who had moved his desk outside so he could get some work done was tackled by police when he tried to reenter the building. Video of that here.

  28. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2011 1:27 pm

    Been somewhat puzzled by Hugo Chavez attempting to negotiate with Gaddafi. Of course the corporate media likes to paint this as proof that Chavez is just another authoritarian dictator.

    Al Jazeera has a much more balanced approach – Chavez gambles on Gaddafi diplomacy. The article does quote several people who suggest that Chavez could find himself on the wrong side of history, and that could very well turn out to be true depending on Chavez’ motivations. But I think this person is probably on the right track –

    Charles Jones, a Latin American specialist at Cambridge University’s Centre of International Studies, said Chavez probably hoped to bolster his image as an international statesman capable of offering an alternative to western-led diplomatic initiatives, rather than being motivated by any personal sympathy for Gaddafi.

    “Any advantage Chavez might gain from this has less to do with backing Gaddafi as with being seen as the leader of a group that finds some sort of diplomatic solution,” he said.

    Chavez’s offer also draws on a tradition of mediation in Latin America where states have often worked collectively to settle continental disputes, Jones said.

    For instance, Nicaragua and Costa Rica last year accepted mediation from Mexico and Guatemala over a border dispute, while Chavez has offered to mediate between the Colombian government and rebel groups, as well as in Honduras following the ousting of Manuel Zelaya, the country’s president, in 2009.

    I’d think your average Libyan would probably like to keep the US out of this dispute. Read several articles where the rebels expressed the need for some help but were still very reluctant to ask the US to institute a “no-fly zone”, which would quite likely increase the bloodshed. If Chavez is able to convince Gaddafi to leave and stop the slaughter of the Libyan people, that would set a pretty good example to follow. If he’s just trying to figure out a way for Gaddafi to continue ruling, well that’s another story. Chavez is definitely not the sharpest tool in the box, but I have a hard time believing he’s that stupid.

    Pretty telling though that Barry is willing to start the tough talk against Gaddafi and will consider military intervention there (most likely in exchange for some oil concessions) and yet still can’t be bothered to denounce Scott Walker and fight for US citizens in his own damn country. Is there any oil in Wisconsin? maybe that would explain the apparent contradiction…

  29. cometman permalink*
    March 4, 2011 1:36 pm

    More news of the Brave New World –

    At a recent TED talk, surgeon Anthony Atala “printed” a brand new kidney on stage

    A surgeon specializing in regenerative medicine on Thursday “printed” a real kidney using a machine that eliminates the need for donors when it comes to organ transplants.

    “It’s like baking a cake,” Anthony Atala of the Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine said as he cooked up a fresh kidney on stage at a TED Conference in the California city of Long Beach.

    Scanners are used to take a 3-D image of a kidney that needs replacing, then a tissue sample about half the size of postage stamp is used to seed the computerized process, Atala explained.

    Other researchers have managed to create assembly lines for synthetic cell structures

    While most cellular components such as genes or proteins are easily prepared in the laboratory, little has been done to develop a method of synthesizing cell membranes in a uniform, automated way. Current approaches are capricious in nature, yielding complex mixtures of products and inefficient cargo loading into the resultant cell-like structures.

    The new technology transforms the previously difficult synthesis of cell membranes into a controlled process, customizable over a range of cell sizes, and highly efficient in terms of cargo encapsulation.

    The membrane that surrounds all cells, organelles and vesicles — small subcellular compartments — consists of a phospholipid bilayer that serves as a barrier, separating an internal space from the external medium.

    The new process creates a laboratory version of this bilayer that is formed into small, cell-sized compartments.

  30. artemis54 permalink
    March 7, 2011 9:24 am

    It has long been my conviction that most man-made objects have malign intent, but I never subjected the idea to rigorous Marxist analysis through the prism of the theory of the alienation of labor (because I tend to fall asleep).

    Most amusing: Hostile Object Theory

    A flavor of the thing:

    General hostility: as described above, the structural condition of how enmity is abstracted into the relation of general equivalence that underpins the value-form and is therefore a characteristic of all commodities. It is a hostility not present ‘in’ an object as a supplement or a remainder, but rather in the basic relation between commodities of which human labour – and all its supplementary work of reproducing itself, buying commodities, moving around, sitting in buildings – is one.7 Such hostility is not apparent in normal interactions of exchange and use, and it does not ’cause’ those instances of threat. Rather, in the normally intolerable state of affairs, it takes an exceptional failure for such an encounter with the base toxicity of the value-form to come into view: not just when something breaks down in an expected manner and after a socially reasonable amount of time but when active intervention (sabotage) or a strange, inexplicable failure (auto-sabotage) turns a commodity into ‘just an object’ of busted value before it ‘was its time to go’.

    Particular hostility: Distinct instances of objects whose relation to those using them, or in proximity, appears distinctly malevolent, counter-productive, and weird. Whether or not this is attributed to chance, some lasting trace of the particular circumstances of an object’s production, or, in the often fantasmatic cultural instances I consider here, some volition, appears to direct it. There is something particular about this thing that acts in a manner that cannot be understood in terms of its intended function yet which appears to have it in for us.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 7, 2011 11:43 am

      Heh. That guy must have gotten more than a nick last time he cut himself shaving.

      The essay reminds me of (and reads a bit like) this crazy-ass book I’ve been reading: Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials . Hell if I know what it’s all about but it makes for some interesting reading, especially after having a little attitude adjuster.

  31. artemis54 permalink
    March 7, 2011 9:53 am

    Paging Don King!

    It it so on. I’d pay good money to watch this one:

    • cometman permalink*
      March 7, 2011 11:51 am

      Hmmm. Guess I may have to start watching Glee. Had it highly recommended but haven’t tuned in as yet.

      Griffin is a pretty sharp one from what I’ve seen. Love to see a face to face matchup between those two although perhaps Griffin would decline out of chivalry. The old joke about refusing to fight a battle of wits with the unarmed comes to mind.

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