Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And stalking too ...

The Israeli leadership has all BushCo's best qualities:

In messages that have left many Palestinians rattled, Israel has been placing calls to Gaza residents to personally warn them that their homes, or adjacent buildings, were targets.

Among those trapped in their homes was Wafa Kannan, a 27-year-old Gaza City resident who's been camping out in a narrow apartment corridor with her mother and two brothers since the strikes began on Saturday.

Over the weekend, Kannan's mother received a recorded call on her cell phone from the Israeli military. When she heard who was calling, she hung up. Minutes later, the same call came to the landline in her apartment warning her to leave if she was storing weapons.

So right ...

... Israel's wars are, by definition, America's wars; its enemies are our enemies; its disputes and conflicts and interests are, inherently, ours; and America's only duty when Israel fights is to support it uncritically. ...
This is how the US has responded to Israel for years, nae decades. Why? When and why did we give up our sovereignty to Israel? And does the perpetual excuse making for Israel's German-like heavy hand have anything to do with the willingness of most Americans to invade a country that did not, even could not, threaten us to perform our own German-like deeds?

Today's QUOTES:

As I contemplate how to pry a few dollars from these systems designed to humiliate and degrade my clients, already struggling with being social outcasts, chronic illness, drug addiction and mental illness I sigh audibly. I read of billion dollar bailouts and disappearing pallettes of cash as I ponder how to help a family with $400.00 so they will not be homeless in three days. I am so very tired.
--You Know Who We Really Hate? by Jake T. Snake, Whiskey Fire

... no mainstream politician would dare express the view that 70% of Americans support ...
--George Washington's warnings and U.S. policy towards Israel by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

Now, I'm not saying that the non-violence way of Ghandi is the only way to do it (although that would really freak out the Israelis if the Palestinians did it with the same fervor that the Indian patriots employed it).
--Comment by Paul in KY to George Washington's warnings and U.S. policy towards Israel by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Of course they did ...

Arizona Geology: The U.S. Office of Surface Mining issued a revised permit that allows Peabody Coal to combine the Kayenta mine and now-closed Black Mesa mine despite opposition from environmental groups and members of the Navajo and Hopi tribes. ...
Didn't know there was a US Office of Surface Mining but no doubt the office was created and staffed for the purpose of approving whatever the mining industry wants by those who were, are or will be in the pay of the mining industry.

Wonder why would I jump to such a conclusion ...

Friday, December 26, 2008

If newspapers die ...

Another McClatchy Commentary, this one by Barbara Shelly, The Kansas City Star: Communities will feel loss of newspapers
But if newspapers die, what forum will exist for stories like the fish vendor's? Small in the scheme of things but large to the persons involved.
Haven't newspapers died already? Where are the reporters she talks about. They've been homogenized and pasteurized by corporate control. The Arizona Daily Star here in Tucson was at one time --seems like eons ago-- quite a good paper. They had periodic special reporting on topics of interest to Southern Arizona. Not any more. Today's corporate Star is like imitation vanilla. Superfluous. Tasteless. Insipid. There's nothing there that I am willing to pay for. I visit the online version once in a while hoping to see a change. I would really like an active local area newspaper. But we will not get any 'news' from corporate newsrooms. We will get messages and indoctrination. I don't blame the individuals that still call themselves reporters. They need jobs and wish to do well at those jobs. Well, yes, I do blame them, but I also think I can understand the dilemma for any who would be more reporter-ish in their work.
Internet sites can give you the big stories. Bloggers can give you opinions and snappy lines. Watchdog sites can give you good investigative reports.

But if newspapers die, what forum will exist for stories like the fish vendor's? Small in the scheme of things but large to the persons involved.
Internet sites? Bloggers. Watchdog sites? Something's missing here. Bloggers and internet sites and watchdogs and reporters and commentators etc. are not mutually exclusive.

Blogger is one of those terms that can mean anything and nothing at the same time. I'm a blogger, I suppose, as I have this blog call Arizona Eclectic on a service called Blogger that is on the Internet. Gee.

I'm one of those who "give you opinions and snappy lines." Except that I post other people's 'snappy lines' and opinions. It's how I learn and how I remember. In class I learned to write everything down. Even if I never read my notes (which were mostly illegible), just the process of writing it helped me remember the subject matter. Don't know why but it worked for me.

Shelly, however, seems unaware of the range of skills in this world she so handily writes off as bloggers. There are reporters blogging. Real reporters like the Border Reporter, who writes about a local geographical area. Now just try to tell me that Larisa Alexandrovna at at-Largely is not a reporter AND a blogger.

What about firedoglake.com. Seems to encompass opinion, analysis, research and reporting. Certainly it's no more biased that the corporate controlled GOP media though it's much more intelligent, thorough and rational, most of the time.

Seems to me that the newspapers are already dead in the sense of being a place for real reporters. Local public interest stories, neighborhood stories, community interest stories? When there are reporters with incentive and a way to provide themselves a livelihood then they will find the stories. That environment has already been killed by greed obsessed corporate media. Sex, crime and political gotchas are what they expect us to swallow. And pay for? Sorry, I resist.

When I get calls trying to get me to subscribe (it's probable close to 10 years since I finally got fed up with the Star) to the local paper the callers script never includes any information about the actual reporting in the star. They try to sell me on the coupons. They've become a marketer of coupons. That's how I see them. News quality? Information accuracy. Completeness of facts. All secondary, if that. I would pay for quality, completeness, dependability, facts and a little bit of decent writing and organization skills. I paid for the paper for years. As much as I use the Internet I still like having a paper or magazine or book in my hand and reading it relaxed in a comfortable chair.

Today's QUOTES:

... I don't know who tanked Brennan, but the fact that a whole bunch of people are still whining about bloggers doing it a solid month after it happened strikes me as a sign that something's amiss.
--The Great And Powerful Left by digby, Hullabaloo

... There's the central axiom driving coverage by our American media: the more significant a matter it is, the less attention it receives ...
--Politico reviews the year in American "political journalism" by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

... and more Rick Warren ...

McClatchy has a commentary by Mary Sanchez, The Kansas City Star:
Rick Warren needs to evolve
Rick Warren evolve? He's as evolved as the rest of us. Neither evolution (nor the almighty and usually invisible individual or individuals monitoring or mentoring us from near and far) has seen fit to provide, or even allow for, equality of reason, logic, mental prowess, clarity. We must fight this out amongst ourselves and do the best we can ...

There must be something in there ...

The quoted passage below is a comment to a post Four Letters You Won't Find in the George W. Bush Library in Vanity Fair (via C&L ):
We Canadians would never elect a President such as the one that you will see as the outgoing in the future down the road. We certainly would not throw good money after bad by providing an advance payment on royalties such as those seen (obscene?) for pasturized Presidents and such down there south of the 49th. Parallel that is. Not State as such. And therefore ending on a note such as warranted by the foregoing should leave you all to wonder how it happened. And PLEASE take steps in the future to repair to the club and discuss how it may not again come to pass. Except in fiction and Aaron Sorkin dreams. Thus ending with a note to forewarn against such ramblings as those from countries who do not elect Presidents, except for our private clubs where fine refreshments are served chilled or room temperature such as desired. Hereby I close. --Posted 12/24/2008 by mycanada
Pasturized Bush? Well, why not. Put Bush out to pasture on a pasturage containing meadows of thorn bushes somewhere out of sight and far away from the US. Then all his brave enablers in the media, the Congress and the Corporate Robber Baron worlds can join him there. And just think, such a group will be so very bi-partisan as it will be comprised of Republicans, Democrats, Independents and other assorted crooks, thieves and murderers.

Today's QUOTES:

That we cannot wait to be saved. We have to all do our part to make our place "Home"
--Boyd 2008 - My Overall Conclusions by Robert Paterson, Robert Paterson's Weblog

... most of what the administration did was, with some notable exceptions, either actively cheered on or implicitly justified via this type of obsequious apologetics by our elite institutions: Congress, the media, academia, etc. As demonstrated by the collective attempt now to prettify the "pure-at-heart" torture regime and thus relieve these elites of responsibility for it, none of these apologist efforts has abated in the slightest.
--Torture ambivalence masquerading as moral and intellectual superiority by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

... But should it in fact come pass that in 2010 Obama allows US bases to operate in Iraq from an un-ratified SOFA treaty (I find this scenario hard to believe, frankly) the United States will not have changed from Bush, it’s that simple. Nor will it.
--Will There Be Any Fight? by paradox, The Left Coaster

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Amen ...

Seasonal Forgiveness My Ass:

The rest of the world needs to STFU about this and very quietly issue arrest warrants. Give it a little while 'til the criminals think all is forgotten, then invite them to come over...

It would be best if we could chew these shitstains out of our national skivvies ourselves, but if we are unwilling to do so I'll settle for somebody else doing it.

Unchristian spirit ...

Men like Rick Warren have been fighting the good fight against Reason since men like him began walking with the dinosaurs. Just ask him ...

To teach that Jesus' goal was to abolish reason and the acquisition of knowledge is to belittle the hopeful --and Christian-- message that Jesus managed to transmit through time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christophopia? Bigot, Rick Warren, strikes again ...

Well we're losing one divider in Georgie-boy Bush and picking up a new national divider in Rickie -- the anti Christ-- Warren.

Suggesting that equating gays to pedophiles and incest is hate speech is itself hate speech according to Rick Warren.

If Obama really did select Warren to be inclusive he made a major blunder. If he picked Warren hoping to get support from Warren's fleeced chicks, I doubt it will work out well. If he picked Warren to show some of his former supporters that he doesn't give a hoot, he did well.

Cathartic ...

Jim Cramer, Mad Money, CNBC
tidbits paraphrased:
  • TARP money, the ultimate betrayal of the Bush Administration
  • If we could get Justice out of the Commerce Dept, where Bush put it ...
  • AIG got 10 times what they gave auto companies and appears most of it went to European banks
  • Community banks? Why should we help them? They haven't done anything wrong.

(via firedoglake.com)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

My sentiments exactly ...

9. Comment by Bradley H. (driver58) — December 21,2008 @ 7:56AM
Ratings: -3 +5

What a pointless article!

The article so aptly portrayed above is here: Napolitano's expected hike in pay not as big as it looks by Daniel Scarpinato Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.21.2008

Scarpinato's scribblings are mostly used to reinforce GOP propaganda. So, on second thought, mostly devoid of any meaningful news might be a more accurate epithet for said article.

Mountain decides to meet the road ...

Arizona Geology: Highway 87 landslide moving

Today's QUOTES:

Rome fell for the same reasons the US will have lost empire and world influence. Like Rome, the US has despoiled the land, waged war upon both the small farmer and the laborer, outsourced it's industry, devalued the dollar and subverted the products of labor --the sole source of 'value' in any economy. ...
--How the GOP, Reagan, Bush Sr, Bush Jr Betrayed, Pillaged, then Sold the U.S. by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Women are being singled out for discrimination because of head scarves? ...

Good grief. These 'scarves' are obviously part of their attire. Forget about the religious indoctrination that forces women to hide themselves, there is nothing wrong about these scarves. I can see where the outfits that hide an entire person except for her eyes could be a concern when security is an issue, but other than that who cares. The only people who could possibly care are the ones who buy into having parts of themselves hidden from public view (and we all do to varying degrees) and those who find it a handy excuse to abuse, bully, intimidate and discriminate.

A judge gave a woman 10 days in jail because she refused to take off her scarf because of her religion.
Hall said Valentine, an insurance underwriter, told the bailiff that she had been in courtrooms before with the scarf on and that removing it would be a religious violation. When she turned to leave and uttered an expletive, Hall said a bailiff handcuffed her and took her before the judge.
[Link: Does anyone else see the irony here?]
Notice something peculiar about all this? The woman was leaving when the bailiff decided to detain her (is that the same as arrest?). Then the judge sentenced her to 10 days for contempt. How dare she attempt to enter the court attired in a manner that gave them the ability to vent their prejudices and then turn to leave when told she couldn't enter. First they insist on being the deciders of what she can wear on her head in the courtroom and then when she decides to leave rather than remove the scarf they objected to they jail her anyway.

Eight years of Bush has eliminated even the pretense of justice in the US.

Today's QUOTES:

Doesn't that look objective and scientific to you: 'the study of gender or sex differences'? I can see the men (and women! there must be a few women!) in their white coats in laboratories all over the country, sincerely and earnestly staring into test tubes or the desperate eyes of monkeys in cages, all studying gender differences without any preconceptions, without any bias. Just a pure-as(s)-snow scientific inquiry into why biology is destiny, but only for women. ...
--Penis Envy by echidne, ECHIDNE OF THE SNAKES

... Indeed, had Obama answered the question affirmatively, he would have broken with a powerful, 40-year-old political tradition that requires government representatives to endorse strictly prohibitionist, punitive drug policies despite mounting evidence of their inefficacy in order to avoid appearing “soft on crime.” [AE: Wouldn't want that kind of CHANGE, would we?]
--Calls for Drug Law Reform Top Obama Transition Website at change.gov by Amy Long, The ACLU's Blog of Rights

Thursday, December 18, 2008

So, Obama rewarded the bigot, Rick Warren...

... Update below ...

Big surprise! What did you really think Obama was? A just, fair, enlightened man? He's a calculating politician who apparently enjoys kicking those who helped make his election possible in the teeth. Kinda like Bush enjoyed seeing (and hearing) the shoe thrower, Iraqi Journalist Al-Zeidi, beaten to a pulp.

I guess Obama plans to have the gay-hating, woman-hating, dark skin-hating, Christ-ignoring 'Christian' evangelists work for his re-election four years from now.

ADDED: There is a difference between Bush and Obama. Several really as Obama is not a murderer and torturer, yet. The difference that I was thinking of was that Bush never forgot who his real constituency was. It was the obscenely rich. Apparently Obama wants his constituency to be other than they currently are.

... Update ...

Religion versus religiosity

Choosing somebody like Warren is an insult not only to political progressives, but to religious believers (and especially politically progressive religious believers). It trivializes religious belief -- which I would bet even most of Warren's biggest fans will recognize as well, thus eliminating any supposed political advantage to be gained from this nauseating little exercise in pseudo-ecumenical posturing.
I wish Obama to succeed as President, but I very much wish him to get a negative slap to his image for playing this disgusting game (and specially for using that Bush-like smirk as he spouted his silliness to our faces).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bank of America takes our money ...

Bank of America takes our money. Let me count the ways.
Congress, take the money back from this traitorous unAmerican corporation.

Today's QUOTES:

Clearly health insurance parasites, aided by their collaborators in the press, are to maneuvering to replace Stark with someone more malleable. ...
--Pete Stark takes on Medicare part D(eath), Corrente
... “You keep focusing on all the death,” a peeved Bush whined to an Irish journalist once. Go figure. So the searing misery continues day after day, America forever in shame from it, a flying shoe a symbol of another real journalist to an American country that has very, very few of them.
--Nice Shoes by paradox, The Left Coaster
The media fixation on the ultimately irrelevant Blagojevich scandal, juxtaposed with their steadfast ignoring of the Senate report documenting systematic U.S. war crimes, is perfectly reflective of how our political establishment thinks. Blagojevich's laughable scheme is transformed into a national fixation and made into the target of collective hate sessions, while the systematic, ongoing sale of the legislative process to corporations and their lobbyists are overlooked as the normal course of business. Lynndie England is uniformly scorned and imprisoned while George Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld are headed off to lives of luxury, great wealth, respect, and immunity from the consequences for their far more serious crimes. And the courageous and principled career Justice Department lawyer who blew the whistle on Bush's illegal spying programs -- Thomas Tamm -- continues to have his life destroyed, while the countless high-level government officials, lawyers and judges who also knew about it and did nothing about it are rewarded and honored, and those who committed the actual crimes are protected and immunized.
--Senate report links Bush to detainee homicides; media yawns by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bank of America, the $15Billion scam artist ...

Bank of America cheats big and small alike. $35 a pop from me and you. $15 billion from the US government (our tax money).
Ah, the sweet smell of your TARP money being used to batter the US economy senseless. First Bank of America gets $15 billion of TARP funds, and issues $9 billion worth of bonds guaranteed by the FDIC, then it spends $7 billion to buy a big stake in a Chinese bank. Now Bank of America announces it's laying off 30,000 to 35,000 workers. ... [...] ... —if a company is in good enough shape to be doing acquisitions, it's in good enough shape that it shouldn't need Federal help.
Congress, it's time to take this money back. NOW!

Today's QUOTES:

Only the GOP in America or the Nazi party in Germany could have destroyed a nation so efficiently and have the nerve to brag about it. ...
--The GOP --a Parasite That Murdered Its Host, The Existentialist Cowboy

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good signs ...

Obama recognized, and chose, scientific knowledge, accomplishment and intelligence in his selection of Steven Chu as Energy Secretary.

There appears to be at least one fair minded, even handed prosecutor in the United States: U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald. I hope that even handed justice is his goal. And I wish we had more like him. Then, perhaps, instead of corrupt politically motivated prosecutions, the US justice system would actually effect a reduction in the corruption that abounds in the US political scene.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sewage effluent declared navigable river by BLM ...

The sewage (treated sewage) enhanced Santa Cruz River which would otherwise be dry most of the year has been declared navigable by the BLM. Evidently this is a step toward turning over more public land north of the Grand Canyon to the mining industry.
Santa Cruz River effluent designated 'navigable'

A sexist pig in Obama's campaign ...

--Update below--

I find no humor in this. Boyz will be boyz does NOT excuse this. If these creeps are still at this stage of their development then send them back to junior high.

The picture is here. I'm not going to post it ...
"This is a textbook example of the “double bind.” If Clinton called Favreau out on his sexism, she’d be accused of wrongfully and selfishly undermining the Obama transition team. By declining to do so, she gets accused by Campbell Brown of letting down womenkind."
ADDED 12/09/08: Perspective makes it worse as it's not just a few individuals, but the system. Just like Abu Ghraib.

I guess my point is that campaigns are dysfunctional and crazy, and not so much about sexism as they are about hyper-testosterone. (There’s some overlap, but they’re not the same thing.) The younger staffers demonize their opponent and operate from their lizard brains, much like the kind of shirtless guys painted the team colors that you see at winter football games. Yes, what took place in this picture is sexism. But it’s institutionalized and inbred sexism.

These young guys are only acting the way their Wiser Elders have taught them.

The US propaganda machine ...

... and it's embedded 'journalists'
The CIA and its reporter friends: Anatomy of a backlash

... The "reporting" is all from the perspective of Brennan and his CIA supporters. None of these journalists even entertain the idea of disputing or challenging the pro-Brennan version.
[ ... ]
But, as has been historically true, many in "the intelligence community" are outraged by what they perceive as outside "interference" -- as though the CIA shouldn't be subjected to the same set of oversight, limitations, and democratic accountability, debate and restrictions as every other part of government. That something as straightforward as the John Brennan controversy can produce this level of backlash from the intelligence community is a very potent sign of the formidible barriers to real reform of our interrogation and detention framework and, especially, to the prospects for meaningful disclosure of, and accountability for, past crimes.

Today's QUOTES:

[Arizona Eclectic Comment: It's BushCo, Blackwater and the like who are the leaders in US perfidy. The lack of accountability for these vile and depraved individuals and organizations will come back to haunt this country. That the US does not have the moral courage to right wrongs committed by us and ours makes us irrelevant when we speak to the wrongs of others. The hubristic folly in our continuing to speak to what is right for others while assuming that absolutely anything we do is right is glaringly apparent to all the world but us.]
... They are making sure to make it very clear it's an indictment of the five guards, not of Blackwater.

And we're again haunted by the ghosts of Abu Ghraib - kids gets hauled into court and blamed for being part of a situation that wasn't really entirely of their making. Old men and war profiteers say tsk-tsk and cash their paychecks. It's only partial justice, which is almost worse than no justice.
--Abu Ghraib: The Sequel by Lee Stranahan, bobcesca.com

To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, rather than now criticize "the left," it would be better if these insiders just said thank you and went on their way.
--Mandate Watch: Were Democrats Elected to Attack "The Left?" Part II by David Sirota, OpenLeft
... infuriating DC assholes put on a clown show of humiliating Ford and GM CEO’s begging for a pittance $25 billion just because they employ UAW workers, but AIG gets $152 billion on the fly, no questions asked.
--Out of Time by paradox, The Left Coaster

... The 35-hour policy was a "qualified success." But you wouldn't have known that from reading the English speaking press. ...
--"Lunatic Scheme" a Qualified Success by the Sandwichman, EconoSpeak

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ah, so now they admit that what Blackwater did was a crime?...

The Bushies hired their buddies in Blackwater. I can just picture cowboy hatted Bush holed up in a back room watching films of Blackwater's 'old West approach to life on the frontier.'

Hire killers and exempt them from laws that cover most human beings, such as US citizens, US soldiers, Iraquis and what not. Then take years and years to search out some law, any law, to hold these goons accountable. That appears to be what has happened. Blackwater was exempt but for some reason the best prosecutorial minds have dug out a law that can be used?
Blackwater Shooters To Be Charged Under Obscure Drug Law
Now that Bush's on his way to do as much harm as he can somewhere other than in the White House, now some fine prosecutor finds one out of all our millions of specially written and targeted laws to cover Bush's arrogant murderers.

Not for murder mind you. Not for war crimes. Not for recklessly firing a firearm in a crowed area. Not for manslaughter. Evidently there are no such laws that cover Blackwater. No, the thing they might get them for is a law covering "the use of machine guns in violent crimes."

So it was a crime? Have we gotten that far ...

Today's QUOTES:

First of all, putting people to work for the police and endangering their lives in the process is a disgusting by-product of the failed war on drugs. Police do not use only "hardened criminals" for this task, but they use anyone that they can. Sometimes they make good on their promises to these people and sometimes they do not, and sometimes these people get hurt in the process. ...
--The Confidential Informants by Bobby G. Frederick, South Carolina Criminal Defense Blog

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Torture, either you're for it or against it ...

... and it sounds like Feinstein and Wyden are for it.
Why do Feinstein and Wyden sound much different on the torture issue now?

Ultimately, only time will tell whether Democrats were serious about their emphatic commitment to end torture with an unambiguous legal regime. I'll be the first to acknowledge, and celebrate, if they carry through with that. But these early signals are not promising. As anyone who has observed Senate Democrats for any length of time knows, this is exactly how their capitulations and backtracking always begin.
Are Feinstein and Wyden suggesting there can be such a thing as just a little torture?

Really, there is no in between. If you accept torture at all you are supporting it. That's unacceptable. Is the lack of basic humanity a requirement for Democratic politicians as well as Republican ones?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

That would make him successful at what exactly?

Punishing your allies while rewarding your enemies is a very unusual strategy, but it seems to be the one the village has set forth as being Obama's best chance of success. ...

Today's QUOTES:

In the end, the Panic of 1873 demonstrated that the center of gravity for the world’s credit had shifted west — from Central Europe toward the United States. The current panic suggests a further shift — from the United States to China and India. Beyond that I would not hazard a guess. I still have microfilm to read.
--The Real Great Depression by Lee Sigelman, The Monkey Cage
There is absolutely no reason to believe that the next time a Republican is elected to the presidency he or she won't pick right up where they left off. That is the story of the last 40 years and until there is some price to pay they will keep right on doing it, escalating each time. For all the Colin Powell's who have come over from the Dark Side, there a many more who were trained in this worldview during this long conservative era. At some point they will try to keep power permanently. All it would take is just the right kind of crisis for them to justify it. After all, the precedents are all lined up --- normalized and legalized each step of the way by Democrats who didn't want to spend their political capital to stop it.
--Torture Zombie by digby, Hullabaloo
What happened in the U.S. over the last eight years is about much, much more than what "the Bush administration" did. It begins there, but responsibility in the post 9/11-era is much more diffuse and collective than that. Shoveling it all off on the administration that is leaving, while exonerating our culpable media and political institutions that remain, isn't merely historically inaccurate and unfair, though it is that. Allowing that revisionism also ensures that the critical lessons that ought to be learned will instead be easily and quickly forgotten when similar episodes occur here in the future.
--Mumbai, the NYT's revisionism, and lessons not learned by Glenn Greenwald, salon.com