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Saturday, December 13, 2014

"The best political system that money can buy" needs to have its ass kicked out the door

i was reading a post on the naked capitalism blog this morning... in her introduction, yves smith recalled her post from a little over a year ago which i had forgotten about... it's one of the better summations i've read of our current situation accompanied by a call to action complete with all too rare specifics... since so much of what i read and see, particularly in the alternative news media, is primarily composed of metaphorical hand-wringing ("ain't it awful how 'they're' screwing us?"), it's good to see not only a detailed summary of how we're actually getting screwed but also some concrete suggestions on how we might go about getting unscrewed... 

i'm reprinting the initial portion of the post here with the strong recommendation that you visit the site and read the rest (yes, it's long but well worthwhile)... serious and heartfelt thanks to yves smith for her hard work in putting it all together...

The Skunk Party Manifesto

Posted on November 21, 2013 by 
The best political system that money can buy is doing a great job for its customers and a lousy job for the rest of us.
Most Americans do not realize that they are on the losing end of a 40-year war against them. On August 23, 1971, former Nixon Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell circulated what came to be known as the Powell memo. It set forth a detailed program for reshaping American institutions and values to favor the interests of corporations over those of ordinary citizens. The success of this initiative has been so complete that it has not only rolled back many of the bulwarks created by the New Deal and the Great Society, but it is also in the process of pauperizing ordinary workers in order to increase record business profits even further. The fact that the campaign has also produced rampant political dysfunction, curtailed civil liberties and helped cement an out-of-control surveillance state is of perilous little concern to powerful elites as long as their plutocratic land-grab continues.
One of the perverse accomplishments of this campaign has been to place all major branches of government in thrall to the capitalist classes rather than the popular will. Both major parties are in broad agreement on policies that are hostile to the public, such as deficit reduction when unemployment is still high, preserving a higher education system that turns increasing numbers of young people into compliant debt slaves, “reforming” as in cutting Social Security and Medicare while preserving a bloated military, and damaging local water supplies via fracking. A “law and economics” movement and aggressive targeting of elected court positions has produced an increasingly pro-business judiciary that has issued rulings that our forefathers would consider absurd, such as treating corporations as having Constitutional rights. Regulators are at best ideologically captured and at worst responsive to what amount to bribes via the “revolving door” of trading on their contacts and knowledge once they leave government service. And a lapdog media for the most part plays the role of Dr. Pangloss, celebrating this march towards neofeudalism as inevitable, even virtuous, and relegating critics to the fringes.
Promoters of this new order reassured the public that regulations were just unnecessary speed bumps that held back commerce, “innovation,” and progress. We’ve seen what self-serving bunk that has turned out to be. Efficient markets produce meager returns. Businesses understood that less regulation would produce higher profits, via lower transparency and more concentration, which means more pricing power. And they’ve increasingly used those profits to extract not just more waivers but also more direct subsidies from government at all levels.
The time has come for ordinary people to demand to be heard. We are hardly alone in calling for radical change; the recent weeks alone have seen robust debate about the need for revolution. Not surprisingly, pundits and spokesmen of the Vichy Left have worked hard to stuff that impulse back into a box. But the irony is that these “revolutionary” views aren’t even radical. They enjoy considerable, often majority, popular support. They just happen to be inconvenient for our incompetent elites and looting plutocrats.
Thus we are not trying to found a political movement as much as galvanize and focus popular views that the policy elites have marginalized and describe concrete solutions. Look at the anger expressed over long-standing, long-ignored grievances when ordinary folks get a platform for expressing their views. The runaway success of “#askJPM” shows how citizens are mad as hell about predatory banking; the humor and vitriol of the questions stands in stark contrast with the media finger wagging at JP Morgan. Yet in the face of  overwhelming evidence of well-warranted outrage at corporate and government misconduct, the experts prefer to talk about the PR bungling.
Since humor seems to be the only way to get forbidden topics, like the continued criminality of major banks, into official discourse, we encourage you to become a card-carrying member of the Skunk Party!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

I keep coming up empty-handed

maybe it wasn't such a hot idea to resume blogging... as i've looked back over seven years of posts on this site, i find i've just about said it all... i still diligently follow the news but what i see and read merely affirms, extends, and amplifies everything i've put out there since 2005... i'd like to think that the house of cards is about ready to collapse under its own evil, corrupted weight, but i've been poised on the brink of that hope for more than half of my life...

on a different subject, just for the heck of it, let me list off some of the alternative news sites that are on my current "read daily" list (in no particular order)...

Naked Capitalism - yves smith and her erstwhile colleague, lambert strether, do an outstanding job of keeping numbers-challenged and world-of-finance idiots like yours truly informed about the machinations the .01%...

Washington's Blog - whoever is responsible for this excellent site manages to pull together stories and collaborators - such as eric zuesse - that provide perspectives unavailable anywhere else...

The Vineyard of the Saker - this gentleman and his compadres have been doing yeoman's work reporting on the ukraine/eu/nato/russia/u.s. situation with reports from the ground in both the ukraine and russia...

The Intercept - yes, i am fully aware of all the chatter about pierre omidyar's news venture and the corrupting influence of his money and shuttered silicon valley mindset, but i will not abandon glenn greenwald and even less so now that dan froomkin and murtaza hussain are regulars...

Postcards from the End of America - linh dinh isn't a frequent poster but his chronicles and photos of what we often choose not to see or hear in present day america are as rich with gritty reality as anything you're going to find anywhere...

emptywheel - marcy wheeler has expanded her reach and her impact considerably in the years she's been at it... she now regularly appears in salon and other high profile outlets and does a superb job analyzing and parsing the arcane and voluminous crap that flows out of our national security state... - i've followed kevin flaherty for a number of years... he and i share a similar worldview and, when i was deep into digging out ever more scary stuff, he was often a source... he's backed off somewhat recently, which is understandable with two small kids and an off-the-grid homestead in new zealand to keep afloat...

i follow a lot of other outlets too, mainstream included, but i find the above to be regularly stimulating, thoughtful, and, very often, eerily accurate...

let me close by offering this, posted by jimq at washington's blog...
I’m sure my blood pressure would be lower and my mood better if I just accepted everything I was told by my wise, sagacious, Ivy League educated, obscenely wealthy rulers as the unequivocal truth. Why should I doubt these noble, well intentioned, champions of the common folk? They’ve never misled us before. They would never attempt to use two highly publicized deaths as a lever to keep black people and white people fighting each other and not realizing all races are now living in a militarized police surveillance state supported by the one Party. They would never use their complete control over the financial, political, judicial, and media organisms to convince the masses that voting for one of their hand selected red or blue options will ever actually change anything. They would never engineer the overthrow of a democratically elected government, cover up the shooting down of an airliner, and attempt to blame their crimes on the leader of a nuclear power in their efforts to retain a teetering global empire. They would never overthrow or wage economic warfare on countries that don’t toe the line regarding the continued dominance of the petrodollar in global commerce.

Sadly, I’m cursed with a mind that questions everything and trusts no one in authority or associated with the status quo. It’s the reason I don’t read newspapers or watch mainstream media television entertainment propaganda, disguised as news. 

that about covers it...

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Thursday, December 04, 2014

I'm no longer on the outside looking in

i didn't realize how tough it would be to get back in the blogging "saddle"... for one thing, i'm totally out of the habit of even thinking about blogging, so a number of days had already passed when it suddenly occurred to me that i'd decided to resume working on the blog... with that realization came the need to revisit the big questions, where to start and what to say...

this evening i was at the gym plugging away on the treadmill looking at the row of flat screen tv's arrayed for patrons' amusement while they're dealing with the boredom of repetitive exercise... it was the usual assortment of local and cable channels running the typical news, weather, crime serials, talk, and sports, all punctuated by endless commercials... often in the past when faced with such a deluge of american infotainment, and not necessarily even after spending a long time outside the country, i've felt like a stranger in a strange land, an outsider looking in... 

my ah-ha experience tonight was the sudden flash that what's changed for me in the time since i stopped blogging is that i no longer feel that way... instead, i feel like i'm on the inside and all those talking heads are on the outside... it was suddenly very clear to me that our news and entertainment media are now very much out of sync with our reality on the ground, but, despite that, they keep pumping out their no longer viable and very tired "buy everything and buy it NOW," propaganda-filled messaging... i looked around at all the people sweating away and realized that, just like me, most of them had developed such an immunity to that kind of mental and emotional manipulation that it now only barely penetrates their consciousness... yet the people on the tee-vee keep yammering away, totally oblivious to the fact that they are now the outsiders...

there's a wonderful line from stephen king's dark tower series that is repeated throughout all the books... "the world has moved on"... for sure, our world has moved on and maybe, just maybe, the talking heads will notice that fact one of these days...


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I'm back

ok, i had a nice sabbatical... time well spent, i might add...

i decided to revive the blog for the same reasons i started it in the first place, to give me a place to vent, rant, muse, observe, and otherwise extemporize on the ginormous number of things going on in my head... since my situation has recently changed, i now have time to pursue such an unpaid and self-serving avocation... besides letting off steam, a big plus for me is, by giving expression to my thoughts, i am inevitably better able to brush away cobwebs and disperse biologically, chemically, and environmentally-induced fog...

in subsequent posts, i'll attempt to offer some perspective on the changes (and there have been many) i've been through over the 28 months that i've been absent from this space... in short, all of my perspectives and opinions have either remained or been strengthened and, in one major instance, an entire package of opinions has been solidly validated, e.g. edward snowden...

i plan to post regularly but not obsessively, a lesson i learned the hard way... however, as was my intent in the first 7 years of active blogging - february 2005 to august 2012 - my posting will focus on pieces i consider to be critical for anyone seeking to exercise their skills in pattern recognition... the signs we are seeing today all seem to point to a global shift of enormous proportions... ironically, i've seen those signs since my journey into full consciousness began in the early 70s, but they do seem to be stronger now than at any previous time...

enough blather for now... ttyl...

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Sunday, August 05, 2012

I think I may be done

it's been since this past wednesday that i've posted and i find that i really don't have energy to keep putting them up... i may or i may not continue but, after all, i've been at this since early 2005... i've done it primarily for my own satisfaction but i'm finding that there's less and less of that to be had... things don't seem to be getting any better and i find myself being boringly repetitive on so many subjects that make my blood boil that it seems hardly worthwhile to keep doing it... i will undoubtedly keep close tabs on many of the same topics i've been following - civil liberties, the national security state, the surveillance society, the on-going shredding of the u.s. constitution, the insanity that passes for our foreign policy, assassination without a whisper of due process, etc., etc., and may occasionally put up a post or two, but it won't be with anywhere near the same frequency or diligence that i've worked so hard to maintain in the past... i know i have a few readers out there who have encouraged me to stay the course and i've greatly appreciated it, but times change and so do people... please know that i'll still be out here...

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Gore Vidal: The only regime change that need concern [us] is in Washington.

i've been waiting for the right quote to mark the passing of gore vidal... it's in the post title taken from the following excerpt of an essay he wrote for the nation magazine in july 2002...

from common dreams...
[N]o matter how corrupt our system became over the last century--and I lived through three-quarters of it--we still held on to the Constitution and, above all, to the Bill of Rights. No matter how bad things got, I never once believed that I would see a great part of the nation--of we the people, unconsulted and unrepresented in a matter of war and peace--demonstrating in such numbers against an arbitrary and secret government, preparing and conducting wars for us, or at least for an army recruited from the unemployed to fight in. Sensibly, they now leave much of the fighting to the uneducated, to the excluded.


Despotism is now securely in the saddle. The old Republic is a shadow of itself, and we now stand in the glare of a nuclear world empire with a government that sees as its true enemy "we the people," deprived of our electoral franchise.

he will be sorely missed...

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Headline of the day from Germany: 'Romney Has Already Disqualified Himself'

ya gotta love it...

from a round-up of german views on romney's big european adventure 

from spiegel online international...

'Romney Has Already Disqualified Himself'

Center-left daily Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

"Travel educates. As a result one should assume that Mitt Romney, the Republican challenger of Barack Obama, wants to learn something during his visit to Israel. Wrong! Almost everything that the candidate organized in Jerusalem fuels the impression that he doesn't want to try understanding how complicated the Middle East situation is. Instead, Romney paints the crisis region in black and white: Israel is good and the rest -- the Palestinians and the mullahs in Iran -- are lumped together."

"This one-sided world view is less dumb than it is coldly calculated. Romney is soliciting campaign donations in Jerusalem (the minimum price for two plates at breakfast is $50,000.) And he is ensnaring Jewish voters at home."

"The trip to Israel may help Romney in the short-term. But in the long-term the Republican has done damage. The Middle East needs the US as a mediator. As such, the presidential hopeful has already disqualified himself."

how wonderful that we can send a candidate for arguably the most powerful office in the world to represent us in europe and display his masterful command of foreign affairs and diplomacy... it certainly makes ME lean toward supporting the guy, doesn't it do the same for you...?

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

When the 2012 election is over, here's who will own the country (not that they don't already)

our overlords...

Meet the 26 Billionaires Buying the 2012 Elections | By Sen. Bernie Sanders

So far this year, 26 billionaires have donated more than $61 million to super PACs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. And, that’s only what has been publicly disclosed.

This $61 million does not include about $100 million that Sheldon Adelson has said that he is willing to spend to defeat President Obama; or the $400 million that the Koch brothers have pledged to spend during the 2012 election season.

These 26 billionaires have a combined net worth of $146 billion, which is more than the bottom 42.5 percent of American households (equal to nearly 50 million families in the United States).

note: there are only 23 listed because #2 includes the three koch brothers and #12 includes two marriotts...
Here is a list of the billionaires:

1. Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Las Vegas Sands Casino, is worth nearly $25 billion, making him the 14th wealthiest person in the world and the 7th richest person in America.

While median family income plummeted by nearly 40% from 2007-2010, Mr. Adelson has experienced a nearly eightfold increase in his wealth over the past three years (from $3.4 billion to $24.9 billion).
Forbes recently reported that Adelson is willing to spend a “limitless” amount of money or more than $100 million to help defeat President Obama in November.

While $100 million sounds like a lot, it equals the same percentage of Adelson’s wealth that $300 to $400 does for the typical middle class family (with a net worth of about $77,000).
Sheldon Adelson owns more wealth than the bottom 40.2% of American households or 47.2 million American families.

2. The Kochs (David, Charles, and William) are worth a combined $54 billion, according to Forbes. They have pledged to spend about $400 million during the 2012 election season.

3. Jim Walton is worth $23.7 billion. He has donated $300,000 to super PACs in 2012.

4. Harold Simmons is worth $9 billion. He has donated $15.2 million to super PACs this year.

5. Peter Thiel is worth $1.5 billion. He has donated $6.7 million to Super PACs this year.

6. Jerrold Perenchio is worth $2.3 billion. He has donated $2.6 million to super PACs this year.

7. Kenneth Griffin is worth $3 billion and he has given $2.08 million to super PACs in 2012.

8. James Simons is worth $10.7 billion and he has given $1.5 million to super Pacs this year.

9. Julian Robertson is worth $2.5 billion and he has given $1.25 million to super PACs this year.
10. Robert Rowling is worth $4.8 billion and he has given $1.1 million to super PACs.

11. John Paulson, the hedge fund manager who made his fortune betting that the sub-prime mortgage market would collapse, is worth $12.5 billion. He has donated $1 million to super PACs.

12. Richard and J.W. Marriott are worth a combined $3.1 billion and they have donated $2 million to super PACs this year.

13. James Davis is worth $1.9 billion and he has given $1 million to super PACs this year.

14. Harold Hamm is worth $11 billion and he has given $985,000 to super PACs this year.

15. Kenny Trout is worth more than $1.2 billion and he has given $900,000 to super PACs this year.

16. Louis Bacon is worth $1.4 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

17. Bruce Kovner is worth $4.5 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

18. Warren Stephens is worth $2.7 billion and he has given $500,000 to super PACs this year.

19. David Tepper is worth $5.1 billion and he has given $375,000 to super PACs this year.

20. Samuel Zell is worth $4.9 billion and he has given $270,000 to super PACs this year.

21. Leslie Wexner is worth $4.3 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

22. Charles Schwab is worth $3.5 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

23. Kelcy Warren is worth $2.3 billion and he has given $250,000 to super PACs this year.

we will all be working directly or indirectly for these people (if we aren't already)...

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Larry Summers wanted a flagging economy so he could torpedo Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

this goes back to a point i've made countless times here... there is nothing whatsoever incompetent about how our super-rich elites are running the show... the constant carping about incompetence under george bush made me crazy... those bush administration bastards knew exactly what they were doing and so do the bastards running the obama administration... they're carrying on with the same agenda that's been vigorously pursued since ronald reagan - shredding of the social contract and making sure that those who have the money and the power not only keep it but add to it significantly... and, guess what...? it's working splendidly...!

What [Obama’s chief economics advisor, Lawrence Summers] wanted was exactly what he got, a slow, underperforming economy with high unemployment and huge deficits. Does anyone really think that an economist with Summers’ impressive education and experience could be $1 trillion off in his calculations? (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was eventually whittled down to $787 billion) It’s ridiculous. Summers wanted a flagging economy so he could torpedo Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. These were the targets from the very beginning.

As for Obama, well, he probably figured that the $800 billion fiscal package would be enough to carry him over the finish-line in the 2012 elections, but not so big that it would subvert the goals of his chief economics advisor who was beholden to Wall Street and big business. In truth, Obama wanted the same thing as Summers, a justification for attacking the meager programs that keep the elderly and vulnerable from destitution.


Obama could allocate $300 billion per year to rehire the 650,000 teachers and other state and local workers who’ve been laid off since the crash. That would be the easiest thing to do. Skip all the red-tape connected to infrastructure and gov job’s programs and just rehire the people who got their pink slip after the crash. The money spent on jobs would more than pay for itself by raising state revenues and boosting economic activity by many orders of magnitude.

Have you seen a graph of how many (state and local) jobs have been lost under Obama? It’s shocking! Take a look:
We need to get these people back to work so they can feed their families and pay the bills. If we can afford $11 trillion to bail out crooked bankers, we can certainly afford a measly $300 mil for hard-working middle class families. It’s just a matter of priorities.


Obama is just as committed to gutting Social Security as Romney. The only difference is that he’s a better pitchman. Much better.

and where do you suppose all that money will go after social security and medicare lie in ruins...? hmmmm...? that's right... the social darwin .0001% are closing ranks, raising the drawbridge, flooding the moat and heating up the barrels of oil... when the peasants finally storm the castle, they want to make sure their fortress is impenetrable...

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The psychologically destructive conundrum of war: ’Thou shalt not kill’ vs. ‘Go get ‘em and kill for your country’

bill moyers...

What It’s Like to Go to War

excellent interview... i wish everyone could listen and absorb this kind of thoughtful exchange about the ugliness of war...

as a vietnam army vet and with 8 visits to afghanistan under my belt (fortunately not connected with the military), i never cease to be amazed at how constricted and narrow is the "news" reporting from the regions where our prized young adults and the future hope of our country are being psychologically scarred, physically wounded and dying... not only is our media reporting all about glorifying our troops and body counts (theirs and ours), it is also conspicuous in its complete disregard for the fact that the "enemy" consists of fellow human beings who, for the large part, want nothing more than we want - food and clothing for their families, a roof over their heads, access to education and health care, the chance to live in peace and quiet, and the opportunity and means to support themselves... dehumanizing those we are told we must kill is just part of the brainwashing...

i have received my health care from the veterans administration for the past ten years and it is among the finest health care i've been privileged to receive... i would strongly recommend that every american citizen should regard it as his or her sacred duty to spend one hour a year in the lobby of a va hospital to personally witness the ceaseless parade of human wreckage that is the legacy of our endless wars...

as a final comment, i object strongly to the use of the term "warriors"... in our society which has already been heavily indoctrinated to accept endless war as a way of life, substituting terms like "warriors" and "warfighters" for "soldiers" and "members of the military" is a subtle means of further glorifying the means by which our rich elites send off struggling members of the lower classes to insure that their access to even more riches goes undisturbed...

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Friday, July 27, 2012

James Petras: the operation and strategy of our growing police state

yes, it's growing as we watch...

The key to the police state operations of the US in the 21st century is to repress pro-democracy citizens and pre-empt any mass movement without undermining the electoral system, which provides political theater and legitimacy. A police state ‘boundary’ is constructed to ensure that citizens will have little option but to vote for the two pro-police state parties, legislatures and executives without reference to the conduct, conditions and demands of the core, inner and outer circle of victims, critics and activists. Frequent raids, harsh public ‘exemplary’ punishment and mass media stigmatization transmit a message to the passive mass of voters and non-voters that the victims of repression ‘must have been doing something wrong’ or else they would not be under police state repression.

The key to the police state strategy is to not allow its critics to gain a mass base, popular legitimacy or public acceptance. The state and the media constantly drum the message that the activists’ ‘causes’ are not our (American, patriotic) ‘causes’; that ‘their’ pro-democracy activities impede ‘our’ electoral activities; their lives, wisdom and experiences do not touch our workplaces, neighborhoods, sports, religious and civic associations. To the degree that the police-state has ‘fenced in’ the inner circles of the pro-democracy activists, they have attained a free hand and uncontested reach in deepening and extending the boundaries of the authoritarian state. To the degree that the police state rationale or presence has penetrated the consciousness of the mass of the US population, it has created a mighty barrier to the linking of private discontent with public action.


Ideologically, the police state depends on identifying the expansion of police powers with ‘national security’ of the passive ‘silent’ majority, even as it creates profound insecurity for an active, critical minority. The self-serving identification of the ‘nation’ and the ‘flag’ with the police state apparatus is especially prominent during ‘mass spectacles’ where ‘rock’, schlock and ‘sports’ infuse mass entertainment with solemn Pledges of Allegiance to uphold and respect the police state and busty be-wigged young women wail nasally versions of the national anthem to thunderous applause. Wounded ‘warriors’ are trotted out and soldiers rigid in their dress uniforms salute enormous flags, while the message transmitted is that police state at home works hand in hand with our ‘men and women in uniform’ abroad. The police state is presented as a patriotic extension of the wars abroad and as such both impose ‘necessary’ constraints on citizen opposition, public criticism and any real forthright defense of freedom.

open your eyes... it's all around you...

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Glenn and Bruce Ackerman on the extreme advance of executive power under Obama

overreaching executive power and the virtually complete negation of constitutionally protected liberties lie at the heart of the choices we are being presented in the 2012 presidential election which, upon even cursory reflection, are no choices at all...

glenn ...
[Consider] the years-long screeching over President Bush’s mere eavesdropping and detentions without any judicial review or transparency — he’s assaulting the Constitution and Our Values! – compared with the reaction to Obama’s more extremist assassinations without any judicial review or transparency. Or consider how a high-level aide to John Ashcroft marveled with envy over Obama’s ability to prosecute whistleblowers with such abandon, noting to The New York Times that the Ashcroft DOJ was deterred by the prospect of a political storm that Obama simply does not face:  ”We,” lamented the Ashcroft aide, “would have gotten hammered for it.”

This was the same dynamic that led former Bush OLC official and current Harvard Law Professor Jack Goldsmith to explain quite presciently (and celebratorily) back in May, 2009, that Obama — by leading progressives and Democrats to support his embrace of Bush/Cheney Terrorism and civil liberties policies — was doing more to entrench those once-controversial policies as bipartisan consensus than Bush and Cheney themselves could ever have dreamt of doing:
The new administration has copied most of the Bush program, has expanded some of it, and has narrowed only a bit. Almost all of the Obama changes have been at the level of packaging, argumentation, symbol, and rhetoric. . . .

. . . Obama — as he has proven — can get away with far more aggression and belligerence by all but eliminating the pervasive political conflict that arises when done under a Republican President.

an interview on presidential power conducted by lane greene of the economist with bruce ackerman, sterling professor of law and political science at yale...

so, what are we supposed to do in november when facing that election booth handle...? continue to delude ourselves into thinking that we're participating in government by and for the people...? continue to believe that we actually have a choice when voting for president...? whoever occupies the oval office is and will continue to be the bought-and-paid for property of our global ruling elites who have demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are the ones in charge of the world's economic and governmental systems...

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Yes, it's been one of those don't really give a shit periods

seems to happen every few weeks... other than a few more criminal bankers being arrested (see here) - which is always a good thing - there just hasn't been much going on other than the usual shit, and pardon me if i don't give a rat's ass about mitt, barack or the olympics... besides, i've been busy so deal with it...

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