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Stilton, Cheddar, Shatner

October 23, 2011

Who says the moon isn’t made of cheese???

Picked up the new album from everyone’s favorite space cowboy the other day and it is the Shat. More fun than a tub full of tribbles. Highly recommended, especially in the immediate aftermath of an attitude adjustment.

Denny Crane!

53 Comments leave one →
  1. artemis54 permalink
    October 23, 2011 12:03 pm

  2. artemis54 permalink
    October 23, 2011 12:05 pm

    Suzuki tied it all together at occupyvancouver yesterday:

  3. sisdevore permalink
    October 24, 2011 7:32 pm

    I was first thinking Vancouver, WAsh.

    • cometman permalink*
      October 29, 2011 7:07 am

      Hi Miss D, long time no see! How’s everything with you these days?

      • sisdevore permalink
        October 30, 2011 2:23 pm

        Having fun with my min-pin who is full of joy. Well, mischief, too.

        Applied for a different position at the university, and though most people I know say that there is no one better qualified, I am slightly pessimistic.

        since they took the model hiring & scheduling away from me, the models are appalled, writing long tomes to the PTB. last spring I was talking to a model about this eventuality, and he tells me “No organization is going to take someone out of a position that they are doing successfully” Little did he know.

        Otherwise, still warm in Cali.

  4. artemis54 permalink
    October 24, 2011 9:49 pm

    Jesse La Greca interviewed at occupyseattle:

    • triv33 permalink
      October 28, 2011 2:37 pm

      Yeah, I’ve been following all of Jesse’s exploits. What the hell, we’re faceboob friends. I kinda hope he gets some kind of a paying gig out of this, but that kind of thing usually only happens for shitweasels like notJoethefakePlummer. I miss you guys.

    • cometman permalink*
      October 29, 2011 7:41 am

      Pretty sure I saw that guy on a clip from Jon Stewart recently although I can’t put my finger on it. The civil war hat rings a bell.

      Thought the Daily Show had a pretty good take on those who would denigrate the group as a bunch of dirty hippies in this bit (relevant part starts at about the 9:19 mark).

      • triv33 permalink
        October 31, 2011 10:19 am

        yes, you did. Jon Stewart said that muthafucka got game.

        • triv33 permalink
          October 31, 2011 10:31 am


  5. artemis54 permalink
    October 26, 2011 10:06 am

    From 1956 the only known video of the lost Imperial woodpecker, and a fascinating story.

  6. artemis54 permalink
    October 26, 2011 10:09 am

    Video footage of last night’s attack on occupyoakland shows the crowd trying to carry Marine veteran Scott Olsen to safety after the Oakland PD shot him in the head with a rubber bullet. Will try to post here, but who knows if it will work.

    • cometman permalink*
      October 29, 2011 7:29 am

      That seemed like just a bit of overkill. Pretty sure cracking a marine’s skill isn’t going to have the intended effect.

      Meanwhile on the other side of the country, somebody last weekend threw a homemade bomb into the park where protesters were camping. Spoke with somebody in the park and supposedly the police have some leads on who did it based on a fingerprint they found on the bottle but I have no idea if that’s true or not. Can’t say the person I spoke to there was the most reliable. During our conversation, after filling me in on all the personality conflicts within the camp which I hadn’t asked about, they also said they weren’t that interested in acting against the banks because the protest was against the government. Funny since it’s called Occupy Wall Street. Clearly more education needed, but I’m still glad they’re holding fast in Maine for the time being.

  7. cometman permalink*
    October 29, 2011 7:48 am

    In foreign policy news, here’s one that slipped through the cracks. Between murdering al-Awlaki and having his hit squad take out Gaddafi (I’m sure the “rebels” didn’t kill the guy without at least a wink and a nod from Uncle Sugar- no way does he go on trial and tell the world about all the people he tortured on the US’ behalf), Nobel Peace Laureate Barry managed to find the time to splatter al-Awlaki’s teenage son all over Yemen

    Last week, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki — an American teenager — was ripped to shreds by an American drone missile in Yemen. The boy, like his father, Anwar al-Awlaki — had not been charged with any crime whatsoever, much less convicted and sentenced. So what was his offense? He missed his father — who had been in hiding from the Peace Laureate’s publicly stated intention to assassinate him — and he went off to find him.

    His search took him into one of the areas of Yemen where there are groups opposed to the murderous regime now controlling the country and slaughtering its own citizens in cold blood — with American weapons, American money, and the full support of the Peace Laureate and his peace-loving administration of peaceful peaceniks. People in such regions — not only in Yemen but all over the world — are of course subject to instant, agonizing death from the Peace Laureate’s brave, bold robot drones, guided by noble warriors nestled in cushioned chairs behind fortress walls thousands of miles away.

    And so a button was pushed, and 16-year-old Abdulrahman — and his 17-year-old cousin — were turned into steaming lumps of coagulate gore by the drones of the Peace Laureate. The Laureate’s minions and satraps then spread the story that the child was actually a grown man, “suspected” of being a “militant.” It was, of course, an arrant and deliberate lie, but it did its work. The first — and only — thing the public at large heard about this murder was that yet another dirty terrorist raghead had bitten the dust, and so big fat what?

    More from Greenwald – The killing of Awlaki’s 16-year-old son .

    And now the US is supposedly withdrawing all troops from Iraq by year’s end. Riiiight. Only because the Iraqis would give them immunity for their warcrimes if they stayed any longer. And then there’s the several thousand mercenaries who’ll be sticking around to guard the “embassy”, just in case. Looks like Muqtada al-Sadr will try to play a larger role after laying low for a while. If I were him I’d wear my missile proof jacket when I stepped outside. Something tells me he’s pretty high up on the assassination list.

  8. cometman permalink*
    October 29, 2011 8:08 am

    More grist for the OWS mill. Not sure how you get away with this bullshit and unfortunately I haven’t seen it get that much notice since the news came out over a week ago- BofA Said to Split Regulators Over Moving Merrill Derivatives to Bank Unit

    Bank of America Corp. (BAC), hit by a credit downgrade last month, has moved derivatives from its Merrill Lynch unit to a subsidiary flush with insured deposits, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

    The Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. disagree over the transfers, which are being requested by counterparties, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The Fed has signaled that it favors moving the derivatives to give relief to the bank holding company, while the FDIC, which would have to pay off depositors in the event of a bank failure, is objecting, said the people. The bank doesn’t believe regulatory approval is needed, said people with knowledge of its position.

    In short, what’s happening is that B of A is moving it’s worthless trash into a subsidiary that is covered by the FDIC. This means that in the event B of A is ever made to admit that this crap isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on, they can recover the funds through the FDIC, which is supposed to be insuring depositors, ie you and me. And if the FDIC runs dry by insuring these worthless derivatives and doesn’t have anything left it’s fund, I guess that’s just tough shit for the rest of us. Basically what this does is force the government into another bailout, which is something they definitely do not want to do at this point.

    Why there hasn’t been a run on BofA yet is beyond me.

  9. cometman permalink*
    October 29, 2011 8:47 am

    And now for this week’s installment of Adventures in Unenjoyment which borders on the surreal.

    At my last mandatory meeting at the local Career Center (which I believe is funded with taxpayer $$$), I was informed of something called the Unemployed Professionals group and it was indicated that there would be “networking” opportunities and employers with jobs to offer there so, after looking at job after job that doesn’t pay as much as I made bussing tables 20 years ago, I decided to check it out this week.

    In the room were a few dozen unemployed people, a Career Center employee and the “job creator” of the week. This latter gentleman was a franchisor and operated a franchise which, I shit you not, was in business to match potential franchisees with the best franchise opportunity for them. The guy reeked of shyster-ness and told us how the business climate in Maine would be much better if there weren’t so many people trying to rein in our Teabagging governor. And then how he was constantly lobbying Snowe and Collins to improve the state’s tax code. Since he was on a roll with the stupid, I didn’t bother to interrupt him and tell him he might get better results with the state tax code by lobbying the state legislature.

    One poor woman did pipe up with the obvious objection, namely that it cost six figures or so to open up any kind of franchise and that not too many in this particular room were likely to have that kind of $$$ at their disposal. Then the career center woman shut her down, accusing her of not thinking positively enough and proceeded on to some ridiculous “if you believe it you can achieve it” pep talk. I thought of mentioning that believing I could fly to the moon by flapping my arms still wouldn’t make me the next Neil Armstrong, but I kept that to myself too. Then she had the audacity to say that what have you got to lose by trying, at worst you’ll wind up more in debt and you can always get a job to work it off it the franchise didn’t work out.

    My jaw nearly hit the floor, but before it made it all the way to the rug she mentioned another great opportunity, namely that Men’s Wearhouse was there in another room and proceeded to order all the men out of the room. I thought that maybe they had some jobs to offer but when I got into the room it turned out they were offering everybody free suits (suits that had been returned by other customers that they couldn’t sell again). When I mentioned that I already had a closet full of Men’s Wearhouse clothes, didn’t need any more and what I really needed was a job, I was pretty much ignored and asked to get in line anyway. Now I suppose it was a nice gesture to offer the suits but my impression was that most of the others in the room didn’t really need them either since several had worn suits to the meeting. Then a reporter from the Press Herald started making the rounds wanting to interview the unemployed who were getting the great boon of a used suit. It occurred to me that most likely this intrepid journalist probably wasn’t just hanging out outside the career center all morning looking for a big scoop and had probably been contacted by the corporation ahead of time.

    And of course when my name was called it turned out that they had nothing that came close to fitting my scrawny frame at which point they suggested that maybe I at least wanted a tie. What I really wanted by then was to get the hell out of there and chain smoke half a pack of coffin nails before I went off on somebody, which I proceeded to do.

    Have to wonder whether the whole thing, paid for with my taxpayer dollars, was really to help me and the other unemployed cause it sure as hell seems like it was geared towards helping out the likes of Taco Bell by steering the desperate even further into debt and by giving out some free PR/advertising for Men’s Wearhouse.

    Pretty slick trick huh, turning an unemployment office into an business opportunity for big corporations? Not sure who you’re even supposed to complain to about such a travesty.

    • triv33 permalink
      October 31, 2011 10:54 am

      Yeah…nobody. Almost every stinking job “opportunity” in this pissant podunk berg is through the various temp agencies…even the dinkiest shittiest little factories and crapola jobs, that way the agencies get a slice off the top of an already inadequate amount of pay with no benefits and no real hope of any future there…not that they’d be hiring my hubby anyway, after all, they do background and credit checks for a paper route now. Somehow what didn’t keep him from being a warehouse supervisor five years ago makes him unsuitable to deliver papers~

      • cometman permalink*
        November 3, 2011 10:52 am

        Same here with all the jobs being offered through temp agencies. Worst part about it is that most of the job postings through the temps don’t even say what company the job is with and many don’t say how much it pays either. I guess the assumption is that people are so desperate they will apply for anything.

  10. cometman permalink*
    October 29, 2011 9:06 am

    The antidote to the above – the squidlette’s grandmom sewed her a ladybug costume for Halloween. She can hardly wait to get out for trick or treat.

    Absolutely adorable.

  11. artemis54 permalink
    October 29, 2011 9:48 am

    • cometman permalink*
      November 3, 2011 11:00 am

      Very nice! Showed that one to the kid and she got a kick out of it too. Not very good about jumping through the regulation hoops myself but still trying to figure out what dance I am good at.

      If you have a few hours to kill, here’s a documentary you might like by Adam Curtis, the guy who did The Century of the Self for the BBC. This one is called All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace – link:

      Very non-linear story which jumps all over the place which I think is probably deliberate in an attempt to make his point that we’re still human beings who often don’t act rationally and machines aren’t going to save us. Thought you might especially like part 2, The Use and Abuse of Vegetational Concepts, which discusses how contrary to popular belief, natural ecosystems are not inherently stable and we probably shouldn’t be modeling other systems (like the “free” market) on them.

      • artemis54 permalink
        November 3, 2011 11:51 am

        Filed for later. That is a very interesting site!

        Don’t know if I mentioned this one: Culture Unplugged

  12. cometman permalink*
    November 3, 2011 11:19 am

    Wow, this is a great development. Occupy Oakland protesters shut down the 5th largest US port with a general strike- link:

    And the cops, after braining that marine last week, are siding with the protesters saying the mayor ordered them to crack down and then hung them out to dry. Nice!

    Off to see what the local group is up to and see if I can help get it back in gear. They had stopped maintaining a street presence and their camp in the park looked like it was turning into an ad hoc homeless shelter when I stopped by a couple days ago. Luckily, there were a couple other activists who felt the same way and we got a few people out of their damn tents and onto the street again. It was amazing how many people rolled down their windows to express support and donate things once they could see people doing something other than just hanging around inside the park. I did notice the local group had acquired a geodesic dome that was set up in the park. Asked around and supposedly it was a gift from one of Buckminster Fuller’s kids although I have no idea if that is 100% accurate.

    Looks like NYC is having a similar problem with people not involved with the movement coming to where the protests are taking place: Don’t have a real problem with the homeless stopping by – I’d probably do the same if I were in their place- but if the activists get outnumbered by people just looking for a hot meal and a blanket, the movement is going to lose popular support and peter out. I know quite a few area activists who do these things for a living and am wondering why I don’t see any of them or the groups they work with joining in. Then again, I haven’t been there 24/7 so maybe there has been some presence from them, but it certainly is not all that large as of yet.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 5, 2011 1:28 pm

      Guess there are a still few kinks to work out between the Oak. popo and OWS with more injuries in a clash after the port shutdown ended. Interesting though that both OWS people and the authorities set the window crackers as separate from the overall OWS group. Still wondering why these masked anarchists are so hard to ever arrest and identify though. Not exactly criminal genius to smash windows in broad daylight especially with all the surveillance cameras all over the place.

      Looks like the local group here is doing OK. Met one woman who seems to have a good handle on things and helped her clean up some excess donations that weren’t needed. Amazing how much people are dropping off to help out (without any MoveOn emails!). We did witness one enthusiast practicing up on his knife/throwing star hurling in the middle of the park which somehow I suspect she’ll bring up at the assembly.

      Danny Schechter mentions that NY city officials may be encouraging potential troublemakers to show up at Zuccotti park. Doubt that’s the case here since the group is much smaller to begin with. Whole bunch of Maine OWSers converging on Augusta today – more later.

  13. artemis54 permalink
    November 3, 2011 11:41 am

    Chris Hedges and the Reverend Bill (of the Church of the Shopocalypse) both just got arrested trying to deliver a verdict to Goldman Sux following a peoples trial in Zucotti. The trial was apparently presided over by Cornel West. Billy says he expects to learn a lot from his time in the slammer with Hedges.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 5, 2011 1:01 pm

      Love to be a fly on the wall for that. Just checked out his site and found this heartening –

      MoveOn made a fundraising offer to OWS, and was turned down by the downward wiggling fingers.

      Sending out more goddamned fundraising emails so you can pay your staff that sends out the emails isn’t what’s needed at all and OWS has already been more influential in a month than MoveOn has in years by just showing up. And I love the fact that West and others of the “intellectual elite” like Naomi Klein are joining in. While I definitely appreciate the more elevated discourse on these issues they bring to the media, in the long run you’re still trying to influence the 1% on their terms and in their jargon in a game they’ve already got rigged. You’ve got to appeal to the 99% on their terms, not with a bunch of statistics and charts and financial jargon. I like that shit but I see a lot of eyes glass over when I bring it up too much.

      Also enjoyed the latest installment of the Rev. Billy’s Freak Storm-

  14. sisdevore permalink
    November 3, 2011 7:50 pm

    I think Hillary should be taken to task.

    • artemis54 permalink
      November 4, 2011 11:59 am

      No kidding but BO campaign is tangled up with them too. I do not have very high hopes unless Republican Nebraska keeps kicking up a stink.

  15. cometman permalink*
    November 5, 2011 1:35 pm

    Couple notes –

    Ex-Goldman Suxer and NJ Gov Jon Corzine gets caught with his mitts in the company cookie jar. Pretty bad timing on Corzine’s part for something like that. Boo-hoo.

    OWS and the banks’ own stupidity) is having an effect with 650,000 new credit unions accounts opened since Sep. 29, more than all of 2010 combined.

  16. cometman permalink*
    November 6, 2011 9:19 am

    Finding it difficult to wrap my head around what’s been going on in Greece lately. The Papman decided to hold on public referendum to allow the public to decide if they wanted to be screwed eight ways til Sunday by the ratfucking bankers. Smart move if you ask me. Pap was facing a no confidence vote by the Parliament so he gets some political cover and it just happens to be the right thing to do.

    So then his finance minister Evengelos Venizelos goes to the G20 and says that the priority is getting the cash from Europe and referendums be damned. The Papster backs down from holding the referendum and manages to survive the no confidence vote but then indicates he’s likely step down anyway.

    So who is playing whom here? The zerohedgers are a bit on the shrill side, claiming it’s all a big conspiracy so that Pap can hold on to power directly or through his minion Venizelos. Not really buying that one. Yves Smith’s take sounds more reasonable. She thinks Venizelos stabbed the Papman in the back to gain power for his own faction and force Pap out. Good vid by Michael Hudson explaining the situation at the last link.

    Who the hell knows the why of it all?

    Meanwhile, the 99% remain extremely pissed off.

  17. cometman permalink*
    November 6, 2011 9:27 am

    Something you don’t hear every day. A bunch of Corsican musicians singing HP Lovecraft poetry set to bluegrass music – Back to Lovecraft.

    Very catchy. Personal favorite –

    Decline And Fall of a man of the world

    Young Damon was a model son,
    With wit and art aglow,
    Till he partook in curious fun
    Of C2H6O.

    His active senses, quickly pleas’d,
    As speedily were cloy’d;
    And soon, that they might more be eas’d,
    He try’d an alkaloid.

    C10H14 and N2
    The stripling first inhal’d,
    But outrag’d Nature takes her due,
    And worse desires prevail’d.

    O3 + H2O
    The hapless youth took now and then,
    And knew De Quincey’s woe.

    But still his tortur’d brain-cells whirl’d
    With cosmic retribution,
    So one dark night he quit this world
    With KCN solution!

    Looks like it just came out so there may be a wait before being able to pick up a CD without making a trip to Europe.

  18. artemis54 permalink
    November 8, 2011 12:11 pm

    Been following occupy Seattle closely, partly because I lived there off and on for twenty years. We all know it ain’t easy, but I am getting more depressed with it every day. They are wasting all their time and energy fighting with the police (“fighting” in the Seattle sense – dense marxist/libertarian mashup rhetoric with hazelnut syrup and a reggae beat) and generally reinventing the wheel. Every night some new moronic resolution forbidding occupiers from talking to cops (good luck enforcing that – your sovereignty is entirely in your head). Like, total freedom, man. Every voice deserves equal consideration, in fact specialized knowledge is itself suspect and anyone who knows what he is talking about is shouted down.

    The livestream bunch are even worse. Last night, the ls reporter was told he couldn’t broadcast the GA, so he didn’t. Meanwhile the ls mods exhort everyone to donate to the cause while forbidding serious discussion of anything at all. They support the GA whatever it does. If it decided to take up human sacrifice or set off a dirty bomb in Olympia they would forbid criticism of that. Every night they know ahead of time that battery life will be the issue, and every night they waste it on the GA intro – what the had signs mean, etc.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 11, 2011 9:41 am

      Sounds somewhat similar to what’s going on out here, although I think there may be less animosity towards the cops since they responded to the homemade bomb that was thrown into the camp here. But there definitely seems to be a problem with figuring out who knows their ass from a hole in the ground and listening to those people. Mentioned earlier about helping one woman clean up excess stuff and bring it to Goodwill to keep the park clean. She seems like she knows what needs to be done – very kind woman and a long time activist. Well a couple days later I went to the park and heard they needed some lumber. I offered some I had in the garage and went with a couple people to pick it up in a truck. On the return trip however I got diverted to a storage unit where the woman with me proceeded to pull out a bunch of junk and bring it to the park. The first woman just kind of rolled her eyes when she saw all the crap being unloaded. Pretty sure the revolution doesn’t need a rusted child sized unicycle. Told her I didn’t know why we’d picked it up either and would help her remove it all again. The same day I asked again why nobody was out holding signs or bringing attention to the issues at hand and was told that they had to get the camp ready for winter. While I did see a few people doing that, I saw many more sitting on their asses waiting for food to show up, and then getting into arguments when it did in front of the people who were donating it. One guy threatened to start slashing tents if anything of his turned up missing. Clearly a lot of the people in the camp were there because they were somewhat disturbed or had substance abuse problems and they were outnumbering the protesters. Luckily I ran into another friend of man who had decided to skip the Occupy park and go back to holding signs in the square where they had started a few weeks before and I joined him instead. And then of course some drunk guy from the park came up and loudly accosted my friend for some confused reason.

      There are people from shelters and medical professionals showing up in the park to see if anybody needs help. Activists are trying to deal with the homeless population with kindness which is admirable but it’s really more then a handful of people not trained to do so can handle.

      Then there was one young guy who was one of the activists who began regaling me with some confused story of his recent birthday. Evidently he made some $$ selling off his gifts but then got partially mugged, but then scared the assailants away with a knife, which he proceeded to produce and show me in the middle of the street. It was a lot more suitable for dressing a moose than any innocent whittling. Then he started livestreaming something or other. Not really the kind of person who I’d want in charge of much.

      I’ve seen so many people who show support and honk and wave, stop to say thank you and ask what they can do to help when people are actually protesting rather than just camping, but they aren’t going to get directly involved if they feel like they might be putting themselves in danger.

      I think the mayor of Portland Oregon had it just about right yesterday when he told the group they had to vacate by the weekend after there had been violence and a couple ODs. Basically he said they had to evolve or die –

      More from his interview with NPR

      ADAMS: I do have – of course, I have mixed feelings. You know, I come from a hardscrabble background, and what the Occupy movement is calling for in terms of better, smarter financial global and national regulatory policies, you know, bringing people to justice that drove this global economy into the ground and we’re still suffering from, you know, more equal access to opportunities. I got into government in part, you know, to work on those issues.

      So that’s in my role as a politician. In my role as a mayor, I have to treat everybody the same. And, you know, I have to both guard free speech and balance that against keeping the city moving and keeping the city safe. So, you know, I look forward for the movement evolving that, you know, this should be about the focus on the reason for which they got together in the first place, and that’s economic justice, not about Porta-Pottys or tarps and the things that too much time in the Occupy movement is being spent on right now.

      RAZ: But what if it is about those things, about being visible, about being outside and with those tarps and under tents and with the Porta-Pottys? I mean, what if that is a big part of why it’s getting so much attention?

      ADAMS: Well, it is, and I think that there’s a lot of the fact that, you know, you’ve got the treasury secretary, you know, recently saying that the Obama administration hasn’t, you know, finished its work on bringing to justice folks, you know, that drove the global economy into the ground. I think that is a success of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and that visibility is important. But every movement to continue their success, the full potential of their success has to evolve.

      And at some point, you know, the occupation becomes so burdensome to the movement – at least here in Portland – or just dangerous that it has to evolve.

      When the mayor of arguably the most liberal city in the nation, a man who wholeheartedly supports your cause and is on your side, tells you it’s time to do something different, those involved should really heed the advice. Hopefully they will not be discouraged and will come back stronger and more focused.

      • cometman permalink*
        November 12, 2011 6:23 am

        I should add that one of the issues with the local Occupy group is that it is pretty small compared to what is happening in other places so it’s hard to get much of anything going. From what I’ve gathered from talking to people, one of the main issues is that people keep taking off to NYC and Boston or the state capitol to be where the action is so there isn’t a whole lot of continuity locally.

  19. artemis54 permalink
    November 10, 2011 11:23 am

    A political career is launched.

    Occupy Denver Elects Leader

    In response to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s insistence that Occupy Denver choose leadership to deal with City and State officials, and drawing inspiration from the notion that corporations are people, Occupy Denver’s General Assembly has elected a leader: Shelby, a three year old Border Collie. “Shelby is closer to a person than any corporation: She can bleed, she can breed, and she can show emotion. Either Shelby is a person, or corporations aren’t people,” said a Shelby supporter at the time of her election.

  20. artemis54 permalink
    November 10, 2011 11:35 am

  21. artemis54 permalink
    November 10, 2011 12:45 pm

    Just about when I can see daylight re getting the bills paid this month and fight off the depression of shortening days and the nearness of Christmas (always a disaster of a holiday for me), along comes today’s update to the IUCN Red List. Note in the linked interview the malevolent influence of a rising China and the consequences of two years of chaos in Madagascar.

    I have had my time and my world. Anger overcomes depression when I think it is the squidlette’s world that is being destroyed and all her cohort’s.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 11, 2011 10:17 am

      Hold on to that righteous anger.

      In this week’s Adventures in Unenjoyment, I was accused of being angry at another mandatory meeting at the local “Career Center” whose main purpose seems to be to spread the ridiculous notion of the power of positive thinking. I spoke up when the cheerleader in charge said, and again I wish I was joking, that we should not “give away everything on the first date” and leave some things off our resumes so we wouldn’t seem overqualified and would have more to talk about in an interview. It was when I pointed out that I likely would not get an interview by leaving off my last job of 8 years and that I found the previous week’s “opportunity” of getting into 6 figure debt opening up a Taco Bell appalling that I was accused of not thinking positively enough and having a bad attitude. I told her that she was damn right I was angry and she would be too if she were paying attention to what was going on in the world. On the way out the door, one man in the session asked me if I liked to read and then proceeded to tell me that I should read “The Secret” as it would change my entire life. I suppose it would if I were a credulous moron.

      So instead I went to the local bookstore about ten minutes later and picked up a copy of the polar opposite – Indignez-Vous! : Time for Outrage – which just came out in English translation. Made me feel a whole lot better.

      • artemis54 permalink
        November 11, 2011 2:44 pm

        If you are told you are over qualified, please respond with my friend’s answer: “You should consider raising your standards.”

  22. artemis54 permalink
    November 10, 2011 1:52 pm

    Kestone XL pipeline decision “delayed” until after the 2012 election. This is being hailed as a major victory. I am not so sanguine, given Obama’s proven duplicity and seeming total indifference to environmental concerns. But it does buy time for McKibben to organize more. He has done an amazing job.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 11, 2011 9:55 am

      I’m with you – it reeks of corrupt politics.

      But speaking of evolving movements, there must be spots along the proposed pipeline route would be a great places for an Occupation.

  23. cometman permalink*
    November 11, 2011 10:25 am

    And speaking of the righteous anger keeping you warm, I watched this movie yesterday – American: The Bill Hicks Story. Highly recommended (and have I thanked you enough times for turning me on to him yet triv?) –

  24. artemis54 permalink
    November 12, 2011 8:40 am

    They finally finished it: Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction

    Not what you would call an hour and twenty minutes of belly laughs, but surprisingly thought provoking and invigorating thanks to some brilliant speakers. Googling those names leads to some very interesting places, esp if one plans on geeking out for these long winter nights. This 21 hour course from UCBerkeley, for instance: Climate Change: Law and Policy.

    • cometman permalink*
      November 12, 2011 12:54 pm

      Excellent movie!

      A few thoughts –

      Glad that they spent some time on the elephant in the room – too many people. As the Sierra Club guy mentioned, nobody in this country wants to talk about it, it’s always about controlling population somewhere else. If we as a nation ever do address it, a good starting point would be to eliminate the tax incentives to have so many damned kids. You get a tax break for two, maybe three, and after that tough shit. Also glad to see the Sierra Club guy being critical of the Sierra Club. They and other well meaning NGOs need to take a look in the mirror, especially concerning their collaboration with the corporate interests. That is simply not going to work, as evidenced by the guy who mentioned that there are a lot more people aware of the problems and working to solve them than a generation ago and yet the problem continues to get worse and worse.

      The point about a whole generation or two growing up with little or no contact with nature was a good one too. This is probably already on your radar but this book on the topic is quite good if you haven’t seen it – The Last Child in the Woods. Haven’t read it yet myself but Mrs. Cometman highly recommends it.

      Have to say my jaw dropped at that clip of some tree harvester downing, limbing, and turning a tree into logs in just a few seconds. Perhaps the tape was sped up a bit for effect but it couldn’t have been that much. I’d never seen a machine like that before. Which makes me wonder, if such a thing exists that appears to be able to selectively harvest trees, processing them before they even hit the ground, why in the hell are they still clearcutting everything???!?!?!?!?!? Part of the argument against selective harvesting was that it was too much work and too expensive, but this thing would seem to put the lie to that.

      • artemis54 permalink
        November 12, 2011 1:15 pm

        I’ve seen those in Oregon. They really are that fast,

        The CBD is the only group I know of that is pushing population control – with their gaily decked out endangered species condoms.

  25. cometman permalink*
    November 12, 2011 9:49 am

    More on OWS-

    Despite the fact that I wholeheartedly support and have participated in and donated to the OWS movement, I feel like I’ve been contradicting myself quite a bit, going back and forth about whether I feel things are on the right track or not. And it’s hard to get down one’s thoughts in a short blog post, especially when this is something I’ve been waiting for for years. Obviously everybody involved is not going to do exactly what I think they should do and that’s part of the beauty of it. So I found myself very sympathetic to taibbi’s latest take on the whole thing – How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the OWS Protests. Well worth reading in full but here are some key bits –

    We were all playing the Rorschach-test game with OWS, trying to squint at it and see what we wanted to see in the movement.


    What both sides [critics from the right and the left – cman] missed is that OWS is tired of all of this. They don’t care what we think they’re about, or should be about. They just want something different.


    …every day is the same life-killing chase for money, money and more money; the only thing that changes from minute to minute is that every tick of the clock brings with it another space-age vendor dreaming up some new way to try to sell you something or reach into your pocket. The relentless sameness of the two-party political system is beginning to feel like a Jacob’s Ladder nightmare with no end; we’re entering another turn on the four-year merry-go-round, and the thought of having to try to get excited about yet another minor quadrennial shift in the direction of one or the other pole of alienating corporate full-of-shitness is enough to make anyone want to smash his own hand flat with a hammer.


    That, to me, is what Occupy Wall Street is addressing. People don’t know exactly what they want, but as one friend of mine put it, they know one thing: FUCK THIS SHIT! We want something different: a different life, with different values, or at least a chance at different values.

    Sick and tired of the rat race, which as the old saw goes, even if you win you’re still a fucking rat. That’s it to me in a nutshell. How did such a world come about? Why do we have an educational system which seems to exist these days in large part to produce good little cogs for the corporate machine rather than teaching people to think? No, I was not taught Microsoft Office as part of my education but every damn job out there asks for proficiency. And yet these are programs that have been dumbed down so that even people ignorant of the inner working of computing (like myself) can learn to use them quite easily. So what’s the big deal? A person who can think can learn this bullshit on the job pretty easily without spending the $$ on 20 credits to learn a corporate tool, $$ which IMO is better spent on maybe a history class or learning some physics or chemistry or literature or anything else that makes the mind reel with wonder and wouldn’t leave the majority of the population so damned ignorant. And why once we are spat out of the school system must we immediately begin scrounging for dollars anyway we can get them for the next several decades just to pay off debts and keep from being kicked to the curb? Why is it so difficult for the vast majority of us to be able to say “I’m going to take a couple months off to enjoy myself, my family, my friends, my life, the only one I’m ever going to get, before I’m in a fucking walker?”. I think of my grandparents who busted their asses busting sod for 50 years with the hopes of visiting friends and traveling in their later years only to get sick and die before they had a chance to do any of it. And they had a much better quality of life than most I have to say. At least they were their own bosses to an extent, but my entire life I have chafed at the fact they could not charge what it cost to make a decent living for their product but were subject to the whims of some unknown commodities trader that set prices no matter what it cost farmers to produce it. And it’s worse now in that regard than it was for my grandparents. How is there any justice in that? (side note: Maine farmer leads group trying to stick it to Monsanto)

    How did this society come about, where venality is lauded, where ‘I got mine so screw you’ is the prevailing attitude, where anyone with a scintilla of integrity and intelligence is immediately suspect and somehow not fit to be among those who decide how society operates? That is what myself, the thousands of those protesting, and the millions who support them would like to know.

    I spoke with one woman on the street a couple weeks ago who was in her mid-70s and remembered as a young child her father unable to find work during the Depression. I mentioned that I was brought up thinking that if you worked hard and were honest you’d do OK in this world, or at least in this country, since that had worked for my parents, and now felt a bit naive for believing it. She said it did used to be that way but things have changed which I found somehow reassuring. I do not believe that there were ever any ‘good old days’ – there weren’t – but for a few decades at least things were far better than this bullshit we all have to deal with now.

    End of incoherent rambling rant (for now).

    • cometman permalink*
      November 12, 2011 10:20 am

      And now back to what’s actually been happening on the ground-

      Violence at various Occupy sites. A man was shot to death in Oakland prompting the authorities to crack down and tell the group they need to disperse. Sounds like it was unrelated to the protests.

      Another man was shot in Burlington VT yesterday in what was apparently a suicide. Difficult to tell how it will affect the occupation but for now the mayor has said that there is no public danger and police will not take apart the camp.

      And it looks like protesters in Portland OR (and other places) aren’t going to leave quietly – ‘Occupy’ protesters dig in against police. I sure hope they really aren’t a bunch of ‘anarchists’ coming to cause trouble in OR. You’d think a real ‘anarchist’ could do whatever it is they do every day and not just show up en masse every so often under the cover of a protest somebody else has gotten off the ground. Don’t think these boys who take their instructions from comic books (Hulk SMASH!) really understand what anarchy is supposed to be about.

      As touched upon in the articles, homeless people dying, people committing suicide, street violence in Oakland, etc., happen all the time and don’t make the news. If anything OWS is bringing attention to these issues by their presence and these events should not be used as a pretense for removing encampments. But as I mentioned above, the encampments have to evolve. There are people in the encampments who are engaging in dangerous activities, many of them troubled, and I can understand that something needs to be done. My suggestion would be to get more people involved like those I saw locally with medical experience and experience dealing with substance abuse, etc who stopped by to try to help. Regroup and come back with stronger camps that can deal with those who wander in needing help and keep focused on the original intent of the movement. Some cooperation with the police is going to be necessary to make sure those whose intent is to disrupt are removed, and if protesters can make nice with some decent cops, those cops might be able to influence their less peaceful brethren who genuinely like the opportunity to bash some skulls. There are definitely a lot of shitheads on the police force, and I don’t like the jacked up muscle bound thug look I see so many of them sporting these days, but as somebody who has been stopped by the cops enough times in my own life, there are still some decent ones out there. If this is going to work, the cops need to be on the side of the protesters. Right now the cops’ benefits aren’t on the chopping block, but I guarantee you that once others’ benefits and wages have been slashed, the cops and firefighters will be next. The protesters need to make it clear they are fighting for the cops’ rights too.

      And not everything needs to happen at the parks. Like the following for example which really warmed my heart-

      More of that please!

      • artemis54 permalink
        November 12, 2011 11:00 am

        Your wish is my command. Bachmann Starship got her ass mike checked in South Carolina of all places.


        • artemis54 permalink
          November 12, 2011 11:02 am

          • cometman permalink*
            November 12, 2011 11:37 am


            And once they chase all the protesters out, who will the politicians have left to talk to?

    • artemis54 permalink
      November 12, 2011 10:54 am

      The movie above also takes on late stage capitalism head on, infinite growth, alienation and all. You will like. I am becoming a big Derek Jensen fan. One of his books will be my Christmas present to self, since I don’t have anyone to trade books with at Xmas any more. I didn’t realize he lives in Crescent City CA, a skip and a jump from my friends in the Siskiyous.

      • cometman permalink*
        November 12, 2011 11:39 am

        About half way through watching it right now. Haven’t heard of Jensen before I don’t think but it’s a very well done movie.

  26. cometman permalink*
    November 12, 2011 10:30 am

    No good news on the economic front.

    Papandreou’s replacement in Greece turns out to be a technocrat banker. I’m sure he’ll be able to get the buses running on time.

    And it looks like Berlusconi is also out in Italy, likely to be replaced by, you guessed it, another technocrat banker.

    Watch out all you NYC housekeepers, because Blankfein et al are sporting wood today. That is if they haven’t already jizzed their pants at the news.

    This little blog post makes an excellent point –

    It should be a good day for Italian democracy. Except that – assuming he really does go – Italy’s longest serving postwar prime minister will have been finally driven from office not for corruption, croneyism, tax evasion or colluding with the mafia; not for the conflict of interests between his media empire and his political position; not for having presided over years of economic stagnation, rising unemployment and crumbling public services, and otherwise generally enriching himself at (almost) everyone else’s expense; not for his outspoken xenophobia, sexism and homophobia; and not even for having sex with underage prostitutes; but because the EU, the IMF and the bond markets think he can’t be trusted to push through the austerity regime they want Italy to enforce, which will almost certainly make everything even worse.

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