As for the media, there is nothing that says that have to report the highly distorted figures the government puts out. The Labor Department has more realistic figures that include discouraged workers, and the media could simply decide to use that instead, or maybe data compiled separately by other organizations.
Instead, we get the usual herd reporting every month.
I grew up in Kansas, and every spring we would have maybe 3 or 4 tornado alerts, usually at night. We had no basement, so we would run to a friendly neighbor’s house that did, where several other families would gather. An alert meant only that spotters outside town had seen a funnel, no mean [...]
pelham commented on the blog post Elon Musk Left Mark Zuckerberg’s Group Due To Group’s “Cynical Politics”
The other inconvenient fact that’s seldom mentioned in this immigration “reform” debate is that the U.S. is turning out yearly 1 1/2 times as many tech graduates as can find work in their field. And these tech grads, by the way, are generally superior to anyone who’s brought in on a visa, having gone through far better programs.
pelham commented on the blog post Film Review: ‘Dirty Wars’ Is a Fine Effort to Bring America’s Shadow Wars Into the Light
It’s up to us to make sure that any U.S. military or intelligence action of violence abroad is firmly defined as an act of war that requires prior congressional approval in every instance, no exceptions.
And then we need to put Congress on a leash that we, as citizens, can yank on a daily or even hourly basis if need be to ensure that the government of, by and for the people is truly representative in a meaningful way. Congress must be the dominant branch of government, and the American people need to be the dominant “lobbyist,” to the exclusion of all other voices.
The fact that this is not the case — and that we the people are sitting on our collective thumbs — means that these types of operations are nearly inevitable, as well as all sorts of other mischief.
I certainly do wish the GOP would repeal the ACA. Apparently, companies providing health insurance will no longer be required to cover spouses, just children. So that leaves out my wife, and there’s a fine chance that next year we’ll have to shell out hundreds a month to find care for her.
Of course, my employer could refund to me the money they save from not paying to cover her. But what are the chances of that?
Democrats and Republicans have been working diligently like a tag team for 40-plus years to produce precisely this result.
But that’s the least of it. Having just finished Stanley Aronowitz’s new book on C. Wright Mills, I’m reminded of what Mills called the “main drift,” the direction of the world set by institutions that accumulate power beyond democratic control. To the military/industrial/paramilitary-intelligence complex we can add the corporate/financial complex, as well as few lesser examples, including pharmaceutical/medical.
If we’re dissatisfied with this steady march of impoverishment (it’s happening in Japan and Europe, too, including relatively robust nations outside the eurozone’s troubled periphery), we need to take it up with these folks, not their avatars in Congress and the White House.
And to do that, we need a party or organization of some sort that takes Mills’ insights to heart and comes up with a program to disable, dismantle or clap a collar on these institutions. Merely mounting endless, successive defensive attacks on a policy here or an atrocity there gets us nowhere.
pelham commented on the diary post Avoid buying Koch Industries products with new phone app! by cgibson.
This is all very nice. But, come on, what are the chances that Buycott is going to have anything more than a negligible effect? Rather, it seems to me that it’s another thing that progressives can do to make themselves feel virtuous and congratulate themselves but ultimately has the effect of diverting us from the [...]
I hope that at some point here we can identify at last, once and for all, the main problem the left is facing. And that’s the Democratic Party. It’s not the Republicans, it’s not the Tea Partiers or conservatives at large. Only the Democratic Party (assisted by its big labor handmaiden) has been and remains in a position to disarm and dismantle the left, along with any hope of a real democracy.
The one faint hopeful sign I have seen recently is Howard Dean’s threat to, possibly, withdraw from the party if Democrats vote to gut Social Security, as now seems likely. Perhaps there’s just a glimmer of a real left within that threat — if Dean follows up.
But, regardless, let’s keep firmly in mind that the first order of business — the very first and by far the most pressing — is to cut the knot tethering the sad remnant of the left to the Democratic Party, thus destroying the party and ridding our country and ourselves of this toxic ballast.
pelham commented on the diary post Larry Summers Says that Reinhart-Rogoff Type Mistakes Are “Distressingly Common” Then Goes on to Prove His Point by Dean Baker.
Precisely. And because the profession of economics singularly subjects its practitioners to such temptations as they’re paid to deliver whatever mumbo-jumbo the corporate and financial interests desire, the science (such as it is) of economics itself is discredited. Sorry to do this to Dean Baker and a few others in the profession. But I think [...]
pelham commented on the blog post Over 55, out of work more than six months? Headhunters say you’re screwed.
“You can’t fire one [an order worker], so why hire one to begin with?”
Gee, my last employer had absolutely no problem whatsoever firing over-50s. In fact, they did so gleefully, despite two suicides committed on the premises.
Related to this: The Federal Reserve in all its magnanimity has a declared policy now of keeping about 15 million Americans who want to work jobless. Now of course, that’s not a fixed and selected 15 million; the identities of the unemployed change over time (although apparently not as much as we tend to think).
Contemplate for a moment the sheer, filthy monstrosity of this: Here’s an official semi-government agency deliberately deciding to keep a large fraction of the working population in what amounts to debtor’s prison, or worse. If this policy were directed against a specific racial or gender group, it would be decried, denounced and deplored. The Fed would be burned to the ground, and quite justifiably.
But since it’s directed against just generic human beings, no one blinks an eye.
We need to dismantle the Fed and put the money system directly into the hands of the people, the 99%, actual human beings. It’s our currency and our country, not theirs.
pelham commented on the blog post Saudis Explicitly Warned U.S. Intelligence Agencies About Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Good point. But who’s to say when or if all the facts will ever be in? It has been 50 years since the JFK assassination and a lot of “facts” have yet to be disclosed to the public.
pelham commented on the blog post Saudis Explicitly Warned U.S. Intelligence Agencies About Tamerlan Tsarnaev
Agreed. Or maybe not even a sting but just something the authorities chose to ignore knowing something would happen, which in turn would whip up more public support for domestic monitoring and spying and whatnot.
I’ve seen a lot of stuff here and there lately “analyzing” why conspiracy theorists are hopping all over the Boston bombings. And, granted, they’re irrational to insist on false-flag and similar scenarios. But certainly they’re not irrational to suggest we consider such possibilities.
Given this evidence, I doubt an active conspiracy by authorities. But maybe a passive one, a conspiracy of silence to just let this happen for domestic propaganda purposes? Sure. Seems just as plausible as a bureaucratic screwup.
And you beat me to it.
Why the Hillary drumbeat? I hope to high heaven Howard Dean pulls out of the party. Maybe that’ll put a wet blanket on speculation about this awful person.
Someone should quantify the number of suicides and other forms of early death as well as unnecessary bankruptcies and other forms of plunder visited upon us in excess due to the economic downturn and subsequent austerity pointlessly and counterproductively — emphasis on pointlessly and counterproductively — inflicted on this country. I know of two people since 2008 who have jumped to their deaths from high windows after being laid off at my last place of work.
We should know precisely how many Americans have died because of these horrid policies. Their names should be engraved on a granite wall. And the people responsible should be held accountable. This is blood on their hands. And that’s not overstating it.
pelham commented on the blog post FDL Live Blog: White House Correspondents Dinner Swag
This shameful event would be a good target for Occupy.
pelham commented on the blog post Why It Would Be Great if Congress Was Forced to Buy Their Own Health Insurance at Full Cost
Interestingly, the Huffington Post prominently linked to the Politico story on this early this morning. But then they “debunked” it with an article by Ezra Klein that, oddly, didn’t really debunk anything, though it did throw up some gorilla dust. Then the whole issue disappeared.
I suspect this is so maddeningly embarrassing for the Democrats that they’re scrambling to find any way to defuse the developing outrage so they can quietly, in the middle of the night, exempt themselves from the ACA. Too late, though, even if HuffPost deliberately fumbles the ball.
pelham commented on the blog post Boy Scouts Propose Expiration Dates for Eagle Scout Rank
I think I can understand why you can’t understand that.
I was in Cub Scouts and got quite a bit out of it, with a kind and wonderful “den mother” and a group of boys who learned a few practical skills we might not otherwise have learned and a bit about honor and fidelity that we might not otherwise have encountered. It was a fine experience (though I’ll admit that the subject of gays, lesbians, transgenders and whatnot never came up). Unwisely, I left before Boy Scouts so I could play football, where I learned very little. It’s a decision I would undo if I had the chance.
To that degree from my firsthand experience and knowing a couple of fine young men who’ve achieved Eagle rank, I can say Scouting has a lot to offer. So even if we allow that any sort of gay exclusion is wrong, it doesn’t paint every single thing about Scouting as sheer, evil rot, in my eyes. But there’s this low and blinkered tendency on the Left — just as there is on the Right with other matters — to condemn as utterly irredeemable anything or anyone who doesn’t hew perfectly to a prescribed set of supposed high ideals. You apparently have succumbed to that tendency.
Certainly, though, you’re not alone. I was reading a bit about college admissions practices a while back and found that certain types of youth activities — such as Scouting, 4-H and FFA — actually count against applicants at elite schools, even if they otherwise have excellent academic records and test scores and other outstanding qualifications that exceed those of other applicants who do clear the bar.
So all the tender concern over Scouting’s position on gays is quite curious and takes on a troll-like quality, given that the liberal establishment instinctively, intuitively or subconsciously seems to dismiss or despise the organization in its entirety, quite apart from the GLBT issue.
At least in that regard you’re consistent — though consistently wrong.
pelham commented on the blog post Late Night: So What Is This Mondragon Thing, Anyway?
For you. Not so much for the many people whose real work you exploit along the way.
pelham commented on the blog post Come Saturday Morning: Breakthroughs for Solar Power
Sounds as if you know what you’re talking about and the Brazilians are, dare we say it, hyping their product.
I’ve been reading about breakthroughs in wind and solar for 40 years. Seldom a week has passed without some “game-changer” being announced but virtually nothing happens. Sure there may be incremental advances. But what’s really remarkable is how little knowledgeable scrutiny is directed at such claims.
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