• umm, this is off:

    “If you’re lived in this country for the next decade”

    either the tense is wrong or the word “next” should be “past”.

  • factanonverba commented on the blog post Late Night FDL: OpBART-5, The Evolving Aerobic Version

    2011-09-14 03:13:01View | Delete

    “It accomplishes nothing.”

    On the contrary, it has united the city against the protesters. I have to ride BART daily and I am thankful that the BART police are on duty and frankly I do want them to carry a gun especially at Civic Center Plaza. Does mean that the murder of Oscar Grant, which occurred in Oakland, was excusable? No, it does not. But Officer Johannes Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, an appropriate sentence.

    As per Charles Hill, he had a knife and was mentally ill, drunk at the time and had menaced others on the platform including a woman with a baby. I’m sorry that he was killed but I’ve seen the videos and there is nothing there to suggest that the BART police acted inappropriately. He charged at them with a knife after throwing a bottle. I certainly know what it is like. In 2008, I was assaulted on the 27 Valencia bus in the Mission by a Hispanic male who had jumped the fare. He sat behind me and then started poking me in the back so I went to complain to the driver. Well the large 250 pounder, likely a meth addict according to the SF police, came barreling down the aisle and punched me in the jaw before jumping off. The driver at the point called the SF police but MUNI officials actually came quicker. They came within 3 minutes even though there is a police station at 17th and Valencia. MUNI was actually kind enough to drive me home. While I do believe every life is precious and that Charles Hill deserved better, let’s get real. He is not someone who many San Franciscans are going to rally around or have much sympathy for.

    These protests are serving no purpose and all these professional anarchists are doing is pissing hard-working San Franciscans off. I spent 45 minutes in a BART tunnel last month while a mere 150 misguided fools were disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands. Like many other San Franciscans, I don’t own a car and I depend on BART and MUNI to get me around town. Trust me if you had spoken with the people whose lives were torn asunder for a night, you would have gotten an earful.

    At a time when the city is hard pressed to meet its financial obligations, these sophomoric and pointless protests are costing this city money that frankly has more important uses such as ensuring an ever more precarious social safety net or preserving jobs. So while I might have been at one point sympathetic to their cause, the group has done nothing but alienate the citizenry of this fair city.

    They have a right to protest (though they haven’t even bothered to secure any permits) but they do not a right to disrupt the evening commute of hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom think the BART police are doing a damn good job of protecting the public, nor do they have a right to needlessly waste scarce public resources. Go read the comments on any local SF blog – they run 9 to 1 against the protesters. They might as well set up an offering to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes. Rather than raise awareness on issues like why a man like Charles Hill wasn’t in an institution receiving treatment and why homelessness remains a blight on the national consciousness, these protests have actually created a backlash. The sad reality is that there are too many Charles Hills on San Francisco’s streets and given the political mood of the country, the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.

    Lastly, the demand that BART disband its police force is a non-starter. BART operates in 4 different counties and has stations in 23 different municipalities. The system requires its own police force. These protesters are just ineffectual, they’re clueless to boot.

  • This is a horrible, loose with the facts, and ultimately shameful post not worthy of FDL. You assume that Mitch Daniels had corporate responsibility for the marketing of these drugs. He didn’t. Reading this post, it is pretty clear the anonymous author has no idea how corporations work. Decisions are rarely made by one individual. Even the Center for Public Integrity which has also written on Daniels’ tenure at Eli Lilly cautions that “decisions at pharmaceutical companies, whether scientific or commercial, aren’t made by any one executive, so Daniels’ precise role in decision-making about the controversial drugs is unclear. “These things transcend individuals — it’s more difficult to say this is the work of person A, B, or C,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen. “It’s industry-wide corporate culture.”

    Furthermore, the agreements to settle the Evista and Zyprexa criminal allegations did not happen under Daniels’ watch as president of North American operations for Eli Lilly.

    We can and should condemn these corporate practices but to pin them on one individual for political purposes is really shameful. Mitch Daniels is not Rick Scott.

    It’s fair to tag and go after Daniels for his tenure at OMB which saw a US budget surplus turn into a multi-trillion deficit but this accusation that he is a “corporate crook” is grasping at straws. It’s a baseless accusation being made for partisan purposes. It’s more something I expect to find at Free Republic, not FDL.

    Moreover, Daniels and Huntsman are the sane ones in the bunch. The others are certifiable. Given this, it’s unlikely that either can win the GOP nomination in 2012 for theirs is a party that has gone off the rails.

  • This goes against my values. I’m done and finished with this man.

  • factanonverba commented on the blog post David Broder Dies

    2011-03-09 17:19:49View | Delete

    I am so irked and frankly appalled by your comment. It is uncalled for and lacks human compassion and empathy. You are a vile hateful creature no different than Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. You may espouse progressive positions, but in truth, your actions belie that claim. It’s people like you that give progressives a bad name.

    You are a hypocrite claiming to hold progressive values but when offered a chance to show compassion, you’d rather urinate on the recently diseased. One has to wonder when did progressives become like conservatives.

    Charles Lemos
    San Francisco, CA

  • factanonverba commented on the blog post David Broder Dies

    2011-03-09 17:06:55View | Delete

    To suggest that David Broder lack principles is beyond the pale. He may not have had yours or mine, but had them he did.

    It’s comments like yours that made me give up writing on liberal blogs and I used to front page on MYDD. You’re no progressive. To write that you would piss on the grave of a man whose body is not yet cold is hardly a progressive value. Get thee to Free Republic where such sentiments prevail.

  • factanonverba commented on the blog post David Broder Dies

    2011-03-09 16:08:50View | Delete

    I met David Broder back in 1981. He is the father of a close college friend, Mike Broder. First and foremost I extend my deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to Mike and his 3 brothers and to Ann Broder, David’s wife.

    The reality is that David Broder’s professional life spanned the transformation of American democracy from a modestly pluralistic one to one increasingly dominated by corporate elites. His political insights served him well through perhaps the Reagan Administration when there was still a noticeable difference between the two main political parties in the US but with the demise of liberalism and the ascent of conservatism and with the co-optation of the Democratic party by corporate elites, Broder’s brand of centrism simply lost its raison d’être. I would not judge the man by his recent pronouncements for if anything David Broder represents a tradition of American politics of negotiation and compromise for the sake of the national interest that served this country relatively well for decades. That, however, died long ago. Another reality is that country became much more conservative during Broder’s lifetime and given his penchant for splitting the difference over time Broder came to espouse positions that he himself in the 1950s and 1960s would have never even considered.

  • factanonverba commented on the blog post Loss of US Flower Industry One of Many Costs of Drug War

    2011-02-11 18:31:08View | Delete

    The US cut flower industry is effectively dead. But its demise is not directly tied to the 1991 Andean Trade Act that granted US tariff preferences to all sorts of Andean agricultural products. Peru, for example, is the largest US source of asparagus.

    There is another factor that comes into play which Mr. Walker averts. The Reagan Administration and the Thatcher government had destroyed the world coffee cartel based in London which fixed prices for producers while guaranteeing supplies to consuming nations. That had an averse effect on Colombia which saw coffee prices plummet. Reagan did this in his misguided devotion to free markets but a consequence was a surge in cocaine traffic. In part, the 1991 Andean Trade Act was passed to undo the damage that the neoliberal agenda had done to what was a very good arrangement for global coffee consumers and producers.

    To your question, the US flower industry has been in decline for 30 years but that’s not just solely due to the rise of Colombia, Guatemala and Ecuador as producers. There are internal reasons for its decline unrelated to the war on drugs.

    Flowers are a very labour intensive industry and only the Dutch have been able to maintain their industry among OECD nations even though their market share has been cut in half over the past 30 years. The world flower industry is essentially a trifurcated one: Holland, Spain, Israel, Kenya are the main European suppliers; Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala are the main producers in the West Hemisphere while Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam are the main producers in the Asia-Pacific region. Still, Holland and Colombia control over 60% of world trade.

    Mind you, the war on drugs is forty year failure. There is no escaping that sad fact.

  • factanonverba commented on the blog post Loss of US Flower Industry One of Many Costs of Drug War

    2011-02-11 17:46:26View | Delete

    This is not true. Colombia made a decision during the government of Carlos Lleras Restrepo (1966-1970) to develop new export commodities to lessen its dependence on coffee which then account for almost 90% of export dollars. One of the industries that the Colombian govt chose to then develop was the flower industry.

    Colombia’s cut flower industry is now the second largest in the world after Holland. Furthermore the US cut flower industry, largely centered in California, face its own internal issues that led to its decline. Namely it was priced out of land which was developed for ever-expanding tract housing.

    To conflate the war on drugs with the growth of the Colombian flower industry is an error. Colombia’s cut flower industry was already the world’s second largest by 1991 when the US preferential tariffs were extended.

    Mind you, the war on drugs is a 40 year failure but the Colombia flower industry is 45 year success story. Lastly this post reeks of US centrism, Mr. Walker is suggesting that without the US tariffs the Colombian flower industry would not be where it is today. Perhaps not to the extent that it is since the US is Colombia’s largest market but even without the US, Colombia would still be the world’s number two producer and the success of the industry is almost entirely due to the Colombian state economic planning. The Colombian flower industry is one of these examples of the state taking an active role in economic development. Examples abound in East Asia but in Latin American, another example is Chile’s salmon industry, now the world’s second largest after Norway.