Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ah, wait a sec. This is not a good idea ...

PDF: Why You Should Oppose the USDA’s Mandatory Property and Animal Surveillance Program from American Poultry Assoc.
"Every person who owns even one horse, cow, pig, chicken, sheep, pigeon, or virtually any livestock animal, will be forced to register their home, including owner’s name, address, and telephone number, and keyed to Global Positioning System coordinates for satellite monitoring, in a giant federal database under a 7-digit “premises ID number.” (St., pp. 3-4, 10-12; Plan, p. 5.)
USDA website -

Here's the Arizona web page about Animal-ID.

All the money that goes into these efforts to ID and monitor all things --people and animals-- would be better spent in setting real standards and performing frequent and random inspections of slaughter houses, stock yards and food production. But I suppose it's just so much more satisfying to just 'list' tons of information. No fun in stopping problems before hand. It's such an adrenalin rush to take off, half cocked, once an emergency occurs, as we learned throughout the Bush Torture and War-on-Terror Years.

Listening? Sessions:
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union Planning to Address NAIS Concerns at Listening Session Sunday May 31st, 2009

The USDA is moving to make NAIS mandatory. In April, the USDA released a cost-benefit analysis produced by Kansas State University. "Their own cost analysis makes it clear that small producers, such as cattle growers with fewer than 50 head, will bear the brunt of the costs," Peppler said.

The "he just doesn’t care" alternative would be my guess ...

With regards to the Jeffrey Rosen gossip column about Sonia Sotomayor
"And Chait either can’t figure out why that is problematic, or worse, he just doesn’t care."
No, it's probably more than that. He probably has monetary and status reasons that weigh heavier in his persona than a concern for intellectual honesty --and he doesn't care.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How in the world ...

... could a list of possible Supreme Court nominees be entirely made up of women? After all almost 50% of the population is comprised of men!

Thank you Obama, for placing a few pebbles in the shoes of some of the pompous blowhards who continue to enshrine sexism and racism in this world.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Irrelevant parallels ...

George W Bush, as he smashed himself through his time in the White House, showed that he was a man who was embarrassingly ignorant, surprisingly lacking in intelligence, and in addition exhibited an unfailing talent for mangling the English language.

In spite of overwhelming evidence of Bush's failures of content and form, there were articles written by people-in-the-know informing us that Bush was certainly not stupid; Bush was not really ignorant [after all he even carried books around so he could be photographed with them]; Bush was really very perceptive, his gut would let him know what to do and even seems to have helped him read Putin's soul.

In other words, don't believe your lying eyes [and ears].

Now we have a new resident in the White House, one who was actually elected [if we ignore the undemocratic Democratic primary process].

This President is definitely not stupid. He's probably way to the other end of the intelligence scale than his predecessor. But even with all his intelligence, education, oratorical skill there still appears to be a need to communicate to the public that which is not borne out by events.

The message being delivered about Obama is that he encourages ideas and discussion and listens to those who disagree with him. In areas of security, military and finance Obama surrounded himself with people who are vested in the ways of the rich and powerful. It's become increasingly obvious that these are the only people to whom Obama listens.

Obama brings in a few of the contrary voices AFTER the decisions have already been made to suit the existing powers that be. That's not listening, that's an attempt to convert and defuse. There's certainly nothing wrong with that as a strategy except when the attempt is made to make it appear as something it isn't.

The overall problem with Obama is that he's working for the US's financial masters; he's carrying over most of wrongness of the Bush torture regime (just without the torture, at least as far as we know and at least at present); his administration is secretive and non-transparent in the same way the Bush administration was. Obama is working for the financial industry and the military industry. Just like Bush. That is not what he promised. And that is not what his oath of office was about. Perhaps Obama didn't listen to it, though, unlike Bush, I'm sure he would have understood it if he bothered to pay attention.

ADDED 05/28/09 --
Another problem with Obama, and ultimately with the US, is that Obama is one more roadblock in the way of the US righting some of the wrongs we've committed in the last few years. The US cannot un-kill all those we have killed but as we will not even look at our own actions and refuse to hold anyone accountable, Obama has insured that future presidents will find it easier and easier to behave as tyrants and despots.

Obama is not doing the US any favor by shirking his sworn duty to uphold the constitution. Instead he is contributing to the downward spiral of the United States.

The joke's on Killer Kyl? ...

Boy I sure hope Obama asked potential [Supreme Court] nominees which they enjoyed more, drowning kittens or puppies? Kyl is going to want to know.
Wonder which Jon Kyl prefers -- kittens or is it puppies? Or maybe lizards? Or pulling wings of butterflies? Though Kyl has graduated to bigger things. Like giving away federal and state lands to the rich. Like working to destroy the successful and well funded Social Security program so he can watch the old eat cat food. Like insuring that there will be no national health care. That Medicare can not survive without health care for all. There is just so much for Killer Kyl to enjoy looking forward to ...

Today's QUOTES:

My guess (or is it only a hope?) is that we wouldn't tolerate such reckless endangerment and likely killing of innocent Americans. Why we apply a different calculation when the victims are Afghanis has always escaped me. -- Bombing Afghani Civilians Is Not a Big Deal, Except When It Is by Scarecrow,

... The President who promised a public health plan to compete against the dysfunctional, unsustainable private insurance system is letting the Senate throw advocates of a public plan for all out of the hearing room ... -- David Brooks Weeps/Shills for America’s Tortured Corporate Titans by Scarecrow,

This happens all the time: where people -- mostly self-described "conservatives" -- claim to oppose an outcome-based judiciary, yet decide if they approve of judicial opinions based on their preference for the outcome rather than legal arguments. The most obvious example was Terry Schiavo, ...
Those who scream the loudest about opposing outcome-based and politicized judicial decision-making are so often those who demand exactly that. They criticize rulings because of their dislike of the outcome, not based on any legal arguments. The Sotomayor attacks are proving that as clearly as anything else has.-- False excuses for anonymity and irrationality on affirmative action by Glenn Greenwald,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Ah, yes! Work with us ...

... and help us devise the 'least' objectionable Constitution destroying laws you can get us to make -- then you will own them as much as we do!
Greenwald quoting The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder:
[Obama] was blunt [in his meeting with civil libertiarians]; the [military commissions] are a fait accompli, so the civil libertarians can either help Congress and the White House figure out the best way to protect the rights of the accused within the framework of that decision, or they can remain on the outside, as agitators.
Bbbbbbbuuuuuulllllll Shiiiiiiiiittttttt

Today's QUOTES:

Shorter Joe Biden:
Lebanon, I just came here to say that democracy means voting for who we want or else. Look at the Palestinians.
-- Joe takes a trip by Dick Durata, Blog Simple

... much of the food Americans eat really isn't food but elaborately perfumed chemical goo -- Mark Bittman's Expertise by tristero, Hullabaloo

Are we just entertaining the possibility of indefinite detention because no one is ready to level with the American people that Abu Zubaydah--on whose treatment all the rest is predicated--is not who we were told he was? -- Preventative Detention and Our Crimes by emptywheel,

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Barack Obama assumes the anti-Constitutionalist's George W Bush mantle ...

Obama becomes Bush in the really critical matters of disregarding human rights, the US Constitution, justice and the law.

And he seems to think --or at least wants us believe-- that he's thinking "of the long term."

Does he think he can put the Constitution and the Rule of Law back together just prior to when he leaves office?

Did Cheney leave a virus in the White House that is dissolving Obama's brain cells?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jon Kyl, runs with such a sweet crowd of clowns ...

Lobbying their business-friendly allies in Congress to take up their cause, the bankers discovered that most of their reliable friends didn't want to be seen in public shilling for the credit card industry. Only four Senate Republicans -- Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Robert Bennett of Utah, John Kyl of Arizona and John Thune of South Dakota -- opposed the bill. One Democrat, Tim Johnson of South Dakota -- where the credit card industry accounts for thousands of jobs -- joined them in drinking the industry Kool-Aid (and taken its campaign contributions) that making the industry responsible would somehow kill jobs. Even Senator Richard Shelby, conservative Alabama Republican, supported the bill.

[emphasis added]

Today's QUOTES:

So, let's "interrogate" the lot of them -- Cheney, Pelosi, Graham, Goss, Shelby, Kit Bond, the CIA briefers, anyone on the Senate and House staffs who may have been privy to these classified hearings. In my view, to fail to use these techniques is a slap in the face to all the fine American military personnel who ever went through the SERE program. As far as I'm concerned, we might as well be spitting on the troops if we don't agree to start using torture on members of the US Government.

As Dick Cheney said, "it's a no-brainer."

--A Modest Proposal by digby, Hullabaloo

What kind of a country commits brutal crimes and then insists that they can't be burdened with disclosure and accountability because they're too busy or because it's too burdensome?
--Distorting public opinion on torture investigations by Glenn Greenwald,

The successful hijacking of the torture debate by its proponents obscures the underlying facts, as Kagro makes abundantly clear:

1. Private contractors were conducting torture
2. It was torture for political gain
3. Pollsters should be asking if Americans support using torture to extract false confessions for political purposes, because that's what happened
--I Oppose Torture, and Kagro X Is My Hero by Jane Hamsher quoting Kagro X (David Waldman of CongressMatters),

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It would be just terrible ...

... if voters got to make their own choices in primary elections.
Dem Congressman Steve Israel Won't Challenge Gillibrand In Primary -- After Obama Phone Call
Wouldn't it?

Pissant politicians!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Arizona's Jon Kyl continues to swim in the muck ...

Via Arizona Geology:
Kyl blocks Energy nominees to help move land swap bill

U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., is blocking presidential nominees to U.S. Energy Department posts in an effort to move an Arizona land bill forward. ...

Always favoring business interests over the interests of the majority of the voters and residents of the State of Arizona, Kyl and McCain plan to give (or 'trade,' rather) land to the Resolution copper Mine and are attempting to extort the President by holding up appointments to him administration.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

This is the impression I've had about Harry Reid for some time now ...

... It's almost enough to make one believe that the inability to "get 60 votes" to support their claimed agenda is a desired, rather than lamentable, state of affairs.
So much of what Reid does seems engineered to produce results opposite to what he claims to be supporting.

And Obama is apparently supportive of Harry Reid as leader of the Senate. This is one of the reasons why, though I think Obama will get something he can point to as meeting his promise about healthcare, the actual product will not be anything like a national health care plan but, instead, something concocted by the insurance companies with Obama's cooperation to fool the rubes for a few years.

Today's QUOTES:

... the psychologists who helped the military and the CIA develop torture techniques have a special place in hell waiting for them alongside some of the most terrible people in history. ...
--Shrinking Violence by digby, Hullabaloo

... These were murders directly coming out of a program of interrogation approved and directed at the highest levels. But according to the Democratic Majority Leader of the Senate, it was the "right" decision.

And thus the law becomes irrelevant.
--If Homicide Is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right by dday, Hullabaloo

Many people scoff at the notion that the American media propagandizes the American citizenry, but here one sees the vivid essence of that process. Our establishment media loves to point to and loudly condemn the behavior of other governments as proof of how tyrannical and evil they are [...] while completely ignoring, when they aren't justifying, identical behavior by our own government.

[...] complaining about the rights-abridging behavior of other countries while ignoring the same behavior from our own government is worse than a mere failure of duty. It is propagandistic and deceitful, as it paints a misleading picture that it is other governments -- but not our own -- which engage in such conduct.
--Roxana Saberi's plight and American media propaganda by Glenn Greenwald,

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Arizona border reality check ...

Homeland Security: “A Victim of Our Own Success”

I expect the Homeland Security Department to engage in paranoid fantasies; it’s good for budgets, great for morale, and delineates a nice, clear boundary between friend and foe. That’s the game.


... But this we do know; the last time shooting incident involving a Border Patrol agent in Tucson Sector was January 2008; the agent opened fire on the driver after the guy tried driving off with the agent trapped by the door. The last time someone hunted a Border Patrol agent in Tucson Sector was summer 2005 when Los Numeros took down two agents with high-powered rifles near Nogales. Of course, there was that minor incident a few weeks ago when one Border Patrol agent shot another in the back here in Tucson, but apparently nobody wants to talk about that …

Monday, May 11, 2009

Rolling in the aisle ...

The insurance companies as Good Americans

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha and on ad infinitum if one has the breath.

I don't know what Obama really thinks or what he's willing to fight for. Given his actions so far he doesn't push very hard or stand very pat on anything important and is more than willing to hand billions to the rich and thoroughly behind funding stupid wars and actively blocking the rich and powerful from prosecution for various crimes and while claiming himself against torture is protecting the use of torture for future Presidents (assuming his administration is really not using it on the sly). If he gives up on a public health plan, like the current medicare plan, or allows a public plan (or medicare, for that matter) to be butchered into uselessness then health care will be a failure regardless of whatever hype the Dems come up with.

Progress to what ...

Killing Us Softly: Cigarettes and Industrial Food
Here industrial food production has stripped away 1/3 of our nation's top soil, destroyed (and continues to destroy) tens of millions of acres of healthy living soil and its critical biological diversity, introduced synthetic chemicals into the environment which individually and collectively reduce both ecological and human health, pursues monoculture practices with GMO technologies without any idea of its long term impact on ecological and human health, made our food supply dependent on foreign energy, and relies on antibiotics (70% of all antibiotic use) to allow for the industrial production of genetically similar (or identical) animals.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Now here are some scary stories of US immigration gone mad ...

ICE locked up citizen, threw away key — unions say enough is enough!
U.S. citizens like Hector Veloz, a 37-year-old Los Angeles resident, are among tens of thousands languishing in immigration detention facilities without having received a hearing to determine whether their detention is warranted.

“My case was so ironic,” said Veloz. “I am a U.S. citizen, but was held for 13 months and placed on deportation procedure. Because the prison is in Arizona and my family lives in California, I didn’t see my son Geronimo even once in those 13 months.”

The horrible details of his story are included in a report issued last month by Amnesty International.

Even Veloz’s father is a U.S. citizen, a Vietnam veteran who won a Purple Heart. His mother, an immigrant from Mexico, met his dad in the U.S. before he shipped out to war.

Veloz was picked up in Los Angeles by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and flown straight to the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona, where he remained from June 2007 to July 2008. The private detention center is one of several operated by the profitable Corrections Corporation of America, the largest private corrections company in the U.S.

“I showed them my birth certificate and that of my father and my parents’ marriage certificate. But they wanted more proof and kept processing me for deportation, even if none of my documentation was ever contested,” said Veloz.

UFCW, the Food City Bugaboo ...

'Pears that UFCW, the union that Food City/Bashas claim is out to get them worked out a deal with the Arizona Desert Museum where museum employees who are members of the union will effectively get less takehome pay in order to help with financial problems at the museum and to help keep their jobs.
Desert Museum workers to take unpaid time off

Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union Local 99, which represents staffers at the museum, unanimously voted to approve the furloughs Thursday.

"Our main goal with this is to keep our people employed," Vimmerstedt said.

Now that sure looks like the big bad union that Food City is describing, doesn't it. Imagine, employees actually participating in the success of the business through organization.

Why in the US do many think employees should not have the power to organize for their own benefit if they so desire?

Can't be that one group of Americans prefers another group to be isolated and dependent? No, that couldn't be ...

More Food City and Bashas and the UFCW ...

Here's an article that look's amazingly like a plant in on a site that uses 'freepress' in it's name:
Union Campaign To Destroy Grocery Chain by Warner Todd Huston, Sunday, May 3, 2009
The article ends with the following paragraph:

Proving that what workers want is of no interest to unions, rejection by employees is not good enough for the UFCW, however. The food workers union has used every weapon at its disposal to tear down the food chain and force its own will on workers and business alike.

Considering that the laws are written, at behest of big business, to make the organizing of workers as difficult as possible (for the workers, that is) this article could only be written by those opposed to any union. The power is all on the side of the businesses and any workers and the union they wish to join has a long arduous uphill battle. Thuggery, amazingly, in spite of portrayals in the press, is usually instituted by the bosses, not the workers. That is the bosses hire the thugs. And thuggery comes in many forms. Lying flyers, lawyers and law suits, firings, threats and eventually physical violence.

Watching the ponderous Sunday old fogey shows ...

... may not give the viewer a clue as to which party won the election. When Bush 'won' did the Sunday shows load themselves up with out of power Democrats? Noooooo, they didn't.
... The Democratic Party won last election day. Not just a little--but decisively. Democrats now hold the White House and a (theoretically) filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and House. A whopping percentage of Americans not only support our (say it with me now, Democratic) president, but think the country is going in the right direction.

Pretty decisive, wouldn't you say? I'd call that a mandate...some actual political capital, if you will. So who would be the natural choices for Sunday's shows? Why, Newt Gingrich, John McCain and Dick Cheney! That's right, the old faces that have been thoroughly rejected by citizens will be on to talk about the new face of the GOP. ...

But, of course the networks are not trying to influence the outcome of political and legal issues. They are proud of their professionalism and independence. Of course they are ...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Food City (&Bashas Family?) smear what they refer to as the 'UFCW smear campaign' ...

Received a $5.00 Food City coupon in the mail today. The coupon is attached to a mailer suggesting that the UFCW is trying to destroy Food City. Really, as if the employees did not need and want jobs!

Food City has Community Pride; is Clean and Safe; is a Brand You Can Trust; and has Strong Values ... they say so themselves and have nice pictures of two cute little boys (black), a group of employees (mostly brown), a smiling Eddie Basha (immigrant, 3 generations ago), and a man in a uniform (apparently white with light tan) giving a little boy (apparently brown, or tanned) a shot.

A mailer about such an important subject that presents its case as if it were advertising a product doesn't back up their statement that they have Strong Values. If anything if says the opposite.

From the UFCW web site:

Statement from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union

(Phoenix, AZ) – The baseless lawsuit filed by the Bashas’ supermarket company against the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) underscores the company’s disrespect for workers, consumers and the community.

Bashas' appears to be acting out in desperation, naming religious leaders, workers, journalists and their spouses in a lawsuit. It really is a sad day when a company unleashes its high priced lawyers in an effort to suppress the concerns of its customers and the communities where they operate.

Our coalition, Hungry for Respect, was formed by grocery employees, their union and community allies out of concern for the company’s practices.
Unlike Food City/Bashas the UFCW provides some specificity:
In the spring of this year, Hungry for Respect shoppers found and purchased 683 containers of expired infant formula from certain Bashas’ Supermarkets, AJs and Food City stores in Maricopa, Yuma and Pima Counties. We then did what was socially responsible and alerted the public to what shoppers found. The lawsuit does not refute the fact that Bashas’ was selling outdated infant formula to unsuspecting mothers.

In November, Hungry for Respect submitted to the Maricopa Board of Supervisors an analysis of county health inspections that found Food City stores had 47% more major violations per routine inspection than Bashas Supermarket stores from January 2005 through September 2007. We called upon Bashas' Inc. and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to take steps to close the health inspection track record gap between Food City and Bashas' stores.

A federal administrative judge recently found that Bashas’ Inc. broke the law and ordered the corporation to "cease and desist…interfering with, restraining or coercing employees in the exercise of" their right to address workplace concerns through their union.
Food City/Bashas does not address the issues but does claim to be better than Ranch Market, Fry's and Safeway. Oh, and they have "deep respect for the Hispanic community and are proud that their employees come from diverse back grounds."

And don't forget that the Bashas family were immigrants ... three generations ago? All of which must somehow prove that Food City are the good guys and the union and the employees who want a union are the bad guys and deserve no respect or understanding even though Food City absolutely respects and understand its employees and the community it serves so Generously, Trustfully, Pridefully, Cleanly, Safely and with Strong Values.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"It is almost to the point at which if a person is not strongly aligned with a political organization, he has no voice." ...

Worry Wort wrote the above in this post.

Yes, as people, as citizens, we have no voice. And political, corporate, business and governmental organizations represent the voices of those organizations' leaders only.

While Worry Wort's has positive views of Obama, my view is that Obama deliberately ridicules the views of a large number of his own party in order to appease the media (or the village as it's being called).

That's not to imply that I would prefer McCain as President. But I am a follower when I'm listened to and have a role based on knowledge, understanding, input and consent. I am not a blind follower. Obama almost had me with FISA and then his turn around, lies and deceipt resulted in my complete distrust of him. I voted for him because my choice at that point was to vote for him or not to vote. And the fact that he glories in that position does not make me happy nor inspire me with trust.

Today's QUOTES:

In his appointments at almost every agency, Obama has demonstrated a desire to receive a wide range of opinion. But the exception is a doozy: at Treasury, the range of opinion goes all the way from Goldman to Sachs. ...
--Obama's First 100 Days: The Good, the Bad, and the Geithner by Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post

What we are seeing is a failure of the right wing to hire one half of the poor,to kill the other half of the poor, and their most likely next move is not towards a more open society, but to try and find a different group of poor people to do the dirty work.
--Comment to his own post (The Collapse of the Conservative Order and the Search for a Digital “Westphalia”) by Stirling Newberry,

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sergeant Schultz and Condoleeza Rice ...

Remember Sergeant Schultz in Hogan's Heroes? Tell me that our former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice doesn't sound just like him: I see n-n-n-nuuuthink. I see n-n-n-nuuuthink. N-n-n-nuuuthink.

Student: Okay. Is waterboarding torture in your opinion?

Rice: I just said, the United States was told, we were told, nothing that violates our obligations under the Convention Against Torture. And so by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture.

Of course, Rice doesn't project Shultzies bufoonery. And Rice was in a position to make a real difference while Schultz was a guard that tried to avoid all trouble.