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The gang rape of lady liberty

By: ubetchaiam Thursday June 14, 2012 7:01 pm

I kept waiting to see if someone else on myFDL would even mention this but no, not that I’ve seen.

So tired, tired of waiting.

Anyway, a great cartoon that the title is taken from is here; kinda says it all, especially the frogs at the bottom. (click on the image to enlarge it)

And read Yve’s ‘update’ ; Letsgetitdone has called for Obama’s impeachment and ,AFAIC, this IS an impeachable offense. Probably be the only time since he was elected that I’d support the House Republican’s.

As OccupySanDiego states, “Inspired to Act? Do It In Sunny San Diego!”

As Yve’s wrote “This is an active effort to undermine US laws and make certain US laws subordinate to a non-US tribunal that sits outside any democratic process. President Obama took an oath to uphold the land.”

Not only that, in his campaign he stated, “”We will not negotiate bilateral trade agreements that stop the government from protecting the environment, food safety, or the health of its citizens; give greater rights to foreign investors than to U.S. investors; require the privatization of our vital public services; or prevent developing country governments from adopting humanitarian licensing policies to improve access to life-saving medications,”.

This ‘negotiation’ of a Trans-Pacific Partnership is truly outrageous, not even counting the lack of transparency associated with it to Congress members.

More on the TPP

“Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them.” —Frederick Douglas

Even if you don’t think Obama should be impeached for this-which I do because selling out national sovereignty to multi-national corporations is one sure path to fascism-, speak out everywhere and in any way you can to stop this travesty on our nation.

More Power to Corporations to Attack Nations

Derail the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Gordon Campbell on the Trans Pacific Partnership leaks

 

It’s ok to rant but ………

By: ubetchaiam Thursday June 7, 2012 8:03 pm

Was watching today’s version of DemocracyNow and those being interviewed about the NYC ‘stop and Frisk’ program and the thought occurred to me that, despite only some success and the obvious need to keep after the ‘pocket profiters’(which includes those who are elected to supposedly represent the voters(laugh track here)) that ‘actions speak louder than words’.

So I got thinking about the petition Teddy Partridge brought to MyFDL, “Create a Do Not Kill List“. And decided to check in on it. Well, the signatures have stopped incrementing. In communicating with friends about it, on the 4th day after Teddy brought it to MyFDL it had almost 5,000 signatures and given what Teddy said about needing 1,000 signatures a day to reach the threshold for a WH response, it looked like it would get the requisite signatures.

BUT here it is 7 days after Teddy brought it here and it’s nowhere near the 7,000 signatures to keep the pace Teddy mentioned. And how many readers are there of FDL, MYFDL, and News, and other carried blogs?
And I wrote at the time that it – Teddy’s diary- ‘should’ be kept on the ‘recommended’ list until the number of signatures needed was obtained by that suggestion fell on deaf ears.

Is this just a place for whiny people who are afraid to exercise their rights under the Constitution? Is it any wonder people of other nations see Americans as massive hypocrites? Rights are like muscles; if not exercised they atrophy.

And if those who frequent this place really see Obama as a murderer (which I do but I also realize he’s just following in the footsteps of previous Presidents as this country has a LONG history of murdering those who get in it’s way), why not get a world-wide petition (and I’d do it if I was skilled in ‘social networking’) to the Nobel Peace Prize committee asking them to rescind Obama’s Peace Prize as he has shown it’s COMPLETELY undeserved.

Never happened before but I bet well over a million signatures world-wide could be gathered fairly easily.

And who is in charge of the blogroll on the mothership? Earlier today Why I hate CCA and Correntewire were on the blogroll and now they’re not. And Raw Story and Daily Kos are?

Food news and it’s relation to immigration,Egypt,foreclosure,and Manning

By: ubetchaiam Sunday June 3, 2012 3:06 pm

Horn of Plenty

In this country we are used to ‘cheap’ food which occurs in large part because those working in the agricultural fields harvesting are paid very little.

And today comes a news item that reflects Obama’s immigration efforts and prosecutions.
Growers in California’s Central Valley struggle to cope with farmworker shortage

And we’ve already heard and read about the problems farmers in the South -like GA- have had .

“Anti-immigration laws and policies, an aging population, and even a raging drug war south of the border all are contributing to a slowdown in the pipeline of Mexican workers that for so long have fueled California’s farm industry, experts say.”

“California growers hope so, too. Early crops such as asparagus, blueberries and cherries are in, but soon will come more stone fruit, strawberries and the salad bowl crops – carrots, lettuce, mushrooms and peppers – all crops that need hands in the soil.”

“But Chuck Dudley, president of the Yolo County Farm Bureau, said the implications for American food consumers are severe if shortages worsen.

“It boils down to the fact that if labor continues as it is now … the ability to get a wide variety of food to table is somewhat in jeopardy,” Dudley said. “If you don’t get it planted, picked and packed, it won’t get to the table.”

And then there’s the forclosure fraud that’s going on and it’s hit a NFL All Pro player.

“I was on the phone (Thursday) with IndyMac and was not told our loan was in immediate foreclosure, nor have we received any additional information from the lender indicating such,” Larry Goodman, George’s accountant said. “The loan modification process in our country is difficult at best, and this is another example of it. … We’re not trying to walk away from anything. They love living there, it’s a great house. Like anybody else who buys an expensive house, it flipped on him.”

And it goes on and on.

In the meantime, Bradley Manning is still being fucked over by the DOJ and Obama Admin.

US government withholding 250,000 pages of damage assessment reports relating to WikiLeaks transmission”

(It’s really beyond sad as an adjective that the foreign press is so much better a news source than the U.S. press)

“In the motion, published in redacted form on his website, Coombs renews his long-standing efforts to compel the US government to hand over information that could prove crucial in preparing Manning’s defence.”

“When the defence asked to see “damage assessments” or “investigations” that the government had carried out into the likely impact of WikiLeaks, he was told none existed.

After much effort was expended, Coombs managed to get the government to admit that what he should have asked for – according to its vocabulary – was “working papers”.

“By morphing, distorting and constantly changing definitions, the government is trying to ‘define’ itself out of producing relevant discovery,” Coombs complains. “It cannot be permitted to do this.”

And then there’s the hidden hand of U.S. in Egypt’s internal affairs:
US democracy aid went to favored groups in Egypt

“They complained that the U.S. group, described as nonpartisan, had excluded the country’s most popular Islamist political organization from its programs, collected sensitive religious information about Egyptians when conducting polls to send to Washington, and ordered employees to erase all computer files and turn over all records for shipment abroad months before the raids.”

(and in case you never heard of the “International Republican Institute” see here. And if you’ve never heard of the “National Endowment for Democracy”, see here.)

“Interviews and documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the workers’ protest and the broader government crackdown with the raids helped expose what U.S. officials do not want to admit publicly: The U.S. government spent tens of millions of dollars financing and training liberal groups in Egypt, the backbone of the Egyptian uprising. This was done to build opposition to Islamic and pro-military parties in power, all in the name of developing democracy and all while U.S. diplomats were assuring Egyptian leaders that Washington was not taking sides. ”

“Despite a U.S. commitment to make public the details of its democracy aid program in Egypt, USAID has refused to identify all the groups that received money and the grant amounts. The official said the agency disclosed the list to Egyptian leaders, but will not release information publicly about grant recipients that don’t want to be identified. That has surprised some State Department officials.”

“Nobody was anticipating the resurrection of the security state,” the official said. “Nobody was fully debating the tenacity of this ministry, that she would be as effective as she was. It never occurred to anybody that this ministry was going to become the most powerful political agent in Egypt over the subsequent year.”

“”Our intrusions into the political scene were just going to catch hell,” Wisner said. “It was the wrong time to be barging into the kitchen. It was full of Egyptian cooks and they didn’t want anyone from the outside.”

There is a saying about making sure your own house is in order and the U.S. has a long way to go before it can lecture others about how to live. But the PTB’s just don’t get it, and so we have a foreign policy that lurches about the room(world) creating havoc and destruction wherever it touches.

Sunday Food for memories,recollections,and just fun

By: ubetchaiam Saturday June 2, 2012 8:19 pm

In ‘conversing’ with WendyD I came across a song I’d forgotten about and it got me thinking about how many others that have been pushed into the spaces between the synapses associated with memory.

Of course such recollection was helped by how youtube categorizes songs even though sometimes it takes a bit of searching to find what one is exactly looking for.

So here are some recordings I hope all will enjoy. There are some I’ll bet some have never heard but will be memories for others. And some of the recordings are in this diary just because I liked them or thought a remembrance of the artist was a ‘good thing’.

Nat King Cole & Harry Belafonte Mama Look A Boo Boo NBCTV ’57Z ; those who have been a father will probably relate to this one; the quote of the PTA is most interesting.

Belafonte is truly a ‘good guy’ and this recording shows the path to reggae

And his influence is shown in this version by Jimmy Soul where Las Vegas is substituted for Venezuela.

Jimmy Soul was so affected by ‘Matilda’ he performed this song:

Stuff you probably didn’t read or hear about

By: ubetchaiam Thursday May 31, 2012 4:02 pm

Early Epiphany

Why is there only one human species? ; Isn’t one more than enough?

Some GOOD news: Acta: Piracy treaty dealt critical blows in EU votes

“The latest round of voting involved the Committee on Legal Affairs (Juri), Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE) and the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). All three voted to express “opinions against Acta”.

Their views will now be considered by the larger International Trade Committee (Inta) which will in turn make a formal recommendation to the European Parliament.”

The best part is this:
“Inta’s appointed rapporteur on Acta, David Martin, has strongly condemned the treaty.
In April, he said: “The intended benefits of this international agreement are far outweighed by the potential threats to civil liberties.”

Now if there only was the same sense of liberty in those who swore to uphold the Constitution of the “land of the free and home of the brave”

(Below items rate a h/t to Roger Erickson)

Frank Introduces Bill to Prohibit Insurance Policies Against Executive Comp Clawbacks

The greedy bastards never stop looking for an angle to play. And the insurance companies never stop looking to subsidize such crap by premiums on real issues needing to be insured.

Southern Europe’s debtor states must pledge their gold reserves and national treasure as collateral under a €2.3 trillion stabilisation plan gaining momentum in Germany.

“We have got to get the ECB out of the game of distributing money, and separate fiscal and monetary policy. Germany has only two votes on the ECB Council and has no way to control consolidation,” he said.

Germany would have a lockhold over the fund, able to enforce discipline. Each state would have to pledge 20pc of their debt as collateral. “The assets could be taken from the country’s currency and gold reserves. The collateral nominated would only be used in the event that a country does not meet its payment obligations,” said the proposal.

This demand could enflame opinion in Italy and Portugal. Both states have kept their bullion, resisting the rush to sell by Britain and others. Italy has 2,451 tonnes of gold, valued at €98bn in March. ”

Guess they don’t remember the Marshall Plan which, if it hadn’t been implemented, would have Germany STILL paying off WWII debts and eating the austerity they’re trying to force down everyones throat in order to bail out the EU financial system.

‘Americans [say they] don’t share global domination policies of their leaders’ Well, at least the majority would say that but no one in ‘power’ listens to them.

Fed still buying up existing long bonds & selling only short bonds? And, again, the cost of the government borrowing goes down as the FED tries to lower it’s balance sheet. YET, there is still the cry of ‘debt burden’ and ‘costs of the debt’ rolling from the mouths of those least suffering.

And in case you hadn’t heard Bill Black was dis-invited from the following with the rationale that if he had been there, the “sense of bi-partisanship would have been spoiled and the Republican’s wouldn’t show up”.
But then this invitation (and the public IS invited) shows up:
“FINANCIAL SERVICES PANEL SERIES
Understanding Derivatives and Title VII of Dodd-Frank
(Republicans and Democrats Strongly Encouraged to Attend)

May 30, 2012
Dear Colleague:
I invite you to join me at a non-partisan moderated panel discussion on derivatives and the current policy debates regarding implementation of Title VII of the Dodd-Frank Wall StreetReform and Consumer Protection Act. Today, as Congress grapples with the public policy implications of new derivatives regulations, it is important to facilitate a robust discussion in which financial experts, economists, and industry insiders with opposing viewpoints can discuss if, and to what extent, derivatives should be subject to enhanced federal oversight. I believe thatboth Republicans and Democrats will benefit from the dialogue, and that the information shared will supplement Members’ work on critical financial services issues.
Rep. Maxine Waters’ Financial Services Panel Series:
Understanding Derivatives and Title VII of Dodd-Frank
When: Thursday – May 31, 2012
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Where: Rayburn 2226
Moderator: William Cohan, Bloomberg contributor and author of New York Times bestseller “House of Cards”
Panelists:
· Mark Calabria – Director of Financial Regulation Studies, Cato Institute
· John Parsons – Senior Lecturer in Finance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
· Chris Young – Director of U.S. Public Policy, International Swaps and Derivatives Association
· Nela Richardson – Senior Economic Analyst, Bloomberg Government
· Marcus Stanley – Policy Director, Americans for Financial Reform
· Wallace Turbeville – Senior Fellow, Demos

I hope that you are able to join me for this exciting discussion. If you have any questions about the panel, please contact Twaun Samuel, Amanda Fischer, or Charla Ouertatani of my staff at extension 5-2201.

Sincerely,
/s
Maxine Waters
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises”

Yeah, she’s the courageous one isn’t she?

How Chief Justice John Roberts orchestrated the Citizens United decision.

AND adding to this diary late is this news story which is showing up in a UK newspaper WHILE NOT showing up in HuffPost or my local fishwraps; it is truly sad when foreign newspapers speak important news and U.S. media gets around to it when they can.
Public sector cuts dragging down US’s already fragile economic recovery

Note the time of the story: Thursday 31 May 2012 17.20 EDT ; and I’m updating thius at 8:40 PM PDT, almost 6 1/2 hours after the Guardian post. One would think that such important analysis of the economic situation in the U.S. would be big time news, but I guess it doesn’t fit with the need for bashing off public sector unions.

“Today the commerce department said cuts to local and state government spending were holding back economic growth in the US. When the US labor department releases its latest monthly jobs figures on Friday morning, government sector jobs are once again expected to be holding back recovery.

“When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009 there were 22.57m government jobs in the US, according to the bureau of labour statistics. In April there were 21.96m. Apart from a brief spike when the government went on a hiring spree to complete its national census, government employment has been on the slide throughout his presidency having soared under both his recent predecessors, George W Bush and Bill Clinton. ”

“Even if the political will to raise taxes could be found, revenue is unlikely to bounce back for local governments until the property market recovers. Municipalities have been reliant on property taxes for the bulk of their revenues. The US housing market hit new lows this week, falling to levels last seen in 2002 across 20 major cities. ”

Help create a movie ! (and other stuff)

By: ubetchaiam Sunday May 27, 2012 1:52 pm

Got around to watching this past Friday’s “Moyers and Company” and company and his ending to the program was surprisingly similar to something I had written in the ‘Roundup’ in the ‘News’ the day before, specifically:

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). ” It’s not even a hundred years later and this country never had a ‘reconciliation tribunal’ so what we confront are the ghosts of yesterday still.

(the bold is what Moyers concluded his show with, speaking about how there never was a ‘reconciliation tribunal’ after the civil war (and that might be the biggest tragedy from the Lincoln assassination.))

And my traveling companions
Are ghosts and empty sockets
I’m looking at ghosts and empties
But I’ve reason to believe
We all will be received
In Graceland

If you believe Jamie Dimon must resign or be removed from the New York Federal Reserve Board of Directors, go here and sign Simon Johnson’s petition regarding that.

From the Moyers show: “BILL MOYERS: But listen to this. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats support keeping Guantanamo Bay open. Seventy-seven percent of liberal Democrats endorse the use of drones, which we know kill innocent civilians. What does that say about the moral compass both of you have talked about?” ; which is EXACTLY why I don’t identify with being a ‘liberal Democrat’. BUT it is also why Obama doesn’t feel the need to pay any attention to so called ‘Progressives’.

Now as towards the movie creation. Go here and follow the instructions. As the creators of this movie ‘set’ noted in their interview with Moyers, “So just take a few minutes, go to the website, pick a document, and somebody reads it and the other person films it. And for both people involved, you know, it will change your life.”

There is also the book “The Torture Report” available in print and online.

From the Moyers interview: “LARRY SIEMS: And interestingly, when you talk about the damage of torture, you know, we’re not only talking about damage to the people who have been tortured. But you’re talking about the damage that we have done to our service men and women, who we’ve put in a position that, you know, required them to violate their training, to violate their consciences. And there’s the damage that’s happened to the careers of many of the dissenters, people who stood up, felt they had to resign, were blackballed within the services, have had to leave the services. And we leave them carrying the burden of conscience.”

So this Memorial Day(Decorations Day) let’s get the reality of torture that the U.S. government encouraged and permitted out in the open so “the damage that we have done to our service men and women, who we’ve put in a position that, you know, required them to violate their training, to violate their consciences.” can be reconciled with their willingness to be of service to their country (no matter how misguided a direction they might have been lead in or so monetarily impoverished, military service was their only option to starvation).

Inculpatory evidence, Medicare, and voter suppression

By: ubetchaiam Wednesday May 23, 2012 5:04 pm

anonymous & inculpatory

I’ll start with the easy one, Medicare, because this just explains how it works money wise. How it works money wise is something I don’t think most people understand or when they call for “Medicare for all”.

“One of Medicare’s most important benefits is helping to cover your expenses if you need to be hospitalized. But what exactly is covered, and how much do you pay?

“Medicare pays for inpatient hospital care and skilled nursing care based on “benefit periods.” A benefit period begins the day you’re admitted to a hospital or skilled nursing facility —- and ends when you haven’t had any care in either setting for 60 days in a row.”

“Part A has a deductible, which is $1,156 for 2012.

After you’ve paid that, there’s no co-payment for days 1 through 60 of each benefit period. For days 61 through 90 of each benefit period, there’s a co-payment of $289 PER DAYin 2012.”

“Keep in mind that Part A doesn’t cover doctor fees or other medical services. That’s where Part B comes in.”

Now granted, that is MUCH better than the for fee ‘insurance’ even under the ACA BUT one better hope for a hospital stay that’s not more than 60 days and that one doesn’t have to go back in after 90 days because that’s a new ‘benefit period’. AND that one has the money for more than the deductible.

Restroom Politics: Grand Oil Party

Now as towards the ‘inculpatory evidence’; this -with a h/t to Fatster over at ‘News’ – shows beyond a doubt where the Republican Congress critters are at:

“The GOP wastes no opportunity to boast of “supporting the troops,” but that support apparently ends where Big Oil contributions begin.”

“Last week, the Republican-led House Armed Services Committee proposed a new Pentagon budget. Tucked away inside it was a provision that would prohibit the Department of Defense from buying any alternative fuels that cost more than conventional fossil fuels.”

“Instead, Republicans have seized on the idea of using the Fischer-Tropsch process to convert coal to liquid fuel (a technology made famous by Hitler — don’t tell the Heartland Institute). Building a plant to do this requires enormous capital investment, running one requires enormous operational and maintenance investments, and the result is … fuel more expensive than oil. This is to say nothing of the fact that it requires mining and transporting coal on the front end and releases up to 2.5 times as much CO2 as oil when burned.”

So take to the phones,media, etc. and let the Republican hypocrisy about ‘supporting our troops’ and ‘defending our nation’ be known !!

Voter Suppression 2008

And now comes the really disgusting part about voter suppression. This is about a county called Shelby in TN.
(As an aside, ‘click’ on “Commodity Schedule” under ‘Special Events’ ; I didn’t know such happened as it certainly doesn’t where I live. Anyone know where this program is in effect elsewhere than Shelby?)

“Shelby County voters owe a debt of gratitude to Darrick “D” Harris (no
relation). This information has come to light because, when I spoke with Harris
by telephone recently, he expressed concern to me about his discovery that his
voting history had somehow evaporated.

An active Democratic voter and political consultant, Harris had copies of voter
databases containing his own voter history. He knows he votes regularly, but as
of Oct. 2011, the voter list reports that he has never voted — not once!

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

When voters fail to vote for two federal general elections, a purge process is
initiated.

Your voter history should never vary. If it says you voted in the Nov. 2008
presidential election in 2010, in 2011 it should not report that you DIDN’T vote
in 2008. The only way the database can alter your voting history is if someone
changes the information in the database.

D. Harris did not just have his 2008 voting history erased. Every vote he had
ever cast, going back to 2000, had been erased. I took the official Shelby
County voter list, filedate 2010 (obtained by court order in a lawsuit) and
compared it with the voter history list from 2011.

488 voters had their histories erased.

ALMOST ALL VOTERS WERE BLACK

Of these, according to the 2011 database, 430 are Black. It is against the law
to alter voter records. It is a civil rights violation to select Black voter records for alteration.

WHY DILUTION OF RACIAL IDENTITY IS SIGNIFICANT

Last year, I reported that in Shelby County, they have been diluting the racial
identifier so that thousands of Black voters are now reported as “other.”
Twenty-four of the voters with histories erased had also had their racial
identifiers removed. In fact, 454 out of 488 on the erased list are Black, and
only four are White, leaving all the others marked “other.” Most likely, out of
488 erasures, 484 are Black.

ALMOST ALL ARE DEMOCRAT

Only fiver voters in the erased list show that they have ever voted Republican,
but you’ll notice that I listed that as just four in my opening paragraph.
That’s because Shelby County has also been altering party choice in its voter
records. It is possible that Ruth Ann Phelps, one of the five so-called
Republicans, never voted Republican at all.

Ruth Ann Phelps is reported as selecting a Republican ballot in the May 2010
primary, but her records show she is a lifelong Democrat. I found hundreds of
lifelong Democrats whose voter history preference was altered in the May and
August 2010 elections.

Phelps is an interesting case. She used to be one of the key employees at Shelby
County Elections. She at one time had a password to the GEMS election management
system, but the audit log for the GEMS database shows that Ruth Ann Phelps
password was revoked in June 2010. Phelps at one time worked at the main
elections operation center, where she had access to voter list maintenance
systems, but in 2010 she was transferred to a downtown office. By 2011, her
voter history had been erased. Right around this time, she retired.

THE SELECTIVE PREPARATION FOR PURGE TARGETS U.S. CONGRESSMAN STEVE COHEN

Not only are almost all the altered records Democrat, not only are they almost
all Black, but every single one of them is in Congressional District 09.

POLITICAL TALK

I have heard that Cohen’s seat is not considered at risk, though with
redistricting and a well financed opponent, and paperless touchscreen voting
machines, and selective removal of voters from his voting base, who knows?

I have also heard that the most astute political strategists focus on changing
not just the weather (short term election results), but the climate (long term
voting environment).

At any rate, it doesn’t matter what Cohen’s chances are. The rights that were
violated are those of Shelby County VOTERS, who have a right to vote for the
candidate of their choice, and who are entitled to accurate records.

And I have a question: How widespread is this problem? Are there other counties
where voter histories are strategically eroding? I have spoken with both
Democratic and Republican election integrity enthusiasts, and one of my
frustrations is that the Democrats count on their VAN system and the Republicans
count on their VOTER VAULT system to keep them up to date on voter list data.
Neither of these systems is the real, working data. It should be possible to
detect alterations like this in other counties, but since purges are performed
using the actual county database, skip the VAN and VOTER VAULT: Examine the
actual lists. As we see in Shelby County, there is no reason to believe that the
raw data matches VAN or VOTER VAULT. The raw data is getting altered from time
to time.

To detect this kind of alteration, a database created and saved in 2010 should
be compared for changes with more recent iterations, but the actual county
database should be used for the exam, rather than relying on proprietary party
databases.

THEY SEND A LETTER BEFORE PURGING, DON’T THEY?

Altering the records is illegal, and a civil rights violation, regardless of
whether voters can halt the purge process by responding to a letter. Taking the
position that this is a minor matter, because voters wrongfully targeted for
purge can always reinstate themselves by responding to a purge letter is like
saying false arrest doesn’t matter, because you can always prove you are
innocent.

And there is such a thing as justice.

“Oppressors do all they can to prevent use of the category of justice; they do
all they can to cast the situation in terms of good behavior and bad
behavior…sometimes our frameworks of conviction lead us to discount the
significance of what we see and hear. We regard the one before us as a candidate
for charity, should we be so inclined, or we insist that his condition is his
own fault.”

“I heard the Afrikaners say to the black and coloreds, “We are good people, if
you just behave, we will give you most of what you are asking for.”
– Justice: Rights and Wrongs, by Nicholas Wolterstorff. (Second passage in
reference to pre-apartheid South Africa.)

What happened to the strategically selected voters in Shelby County, whose
records were altered to put them at special risk for purge, is a moral wrong.

And it is illegal.
The full list of voters whose voting records have been altered is here:
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/8/82058.html — If you know someone on
this list, please let them know about this.”

PERMISSION TO REPRINT GRANTED, WITH LINK TO http://www.blackboxvoting.org

So you might want to alert others to be checking their registrations no matter where they live; especially if their skin isn’t white.

Money for nothing but no chicks for free

By: ubetchaiam Tuesday May 22, 2012 4:31 pm

Before I get to the main topic of this diary, let me encourage others to add their name(s) to this petition that calls on the government to require(ing) free Internet access to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research. I mean, shit, if taxpayers have already fund the research, why should they have to pay to access it?

And into my inbox comes:
Germany announces 0% bonds

That’s right; you buy a german bond and get your money back without any interest at the end of the bond term.

“So you’re giving your money to Germany for two years and getting back the exact same amount. You just have the privilege of someone holding it for you.”

As the commenter on my email says “Must be a vehicle they intend to to peddle to all the old little Greek, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese ladies that have been walking out of periphery banks with Euros stuffed in their handbags & bosoms… ”

And then I also get this in my inbox which is an interview (actually a conversation between Niall Ferguson and Ben Laurance, in the Sunday Times of London) which I thought would give others some differing insight into the ‘euro problem’ and Greece and Germany , et al.

Besides it’s got a wonderful graphic that I can’t embed because of the FDL policies.
(If you just want to see the graphic look here.)

(Now I’m poor -monetarily- as the proverbial church mouse, but did use to ‘play in the game’ as a commodities broker and trader and so still get some subs I used to get and besides…I think it behooves oneself to know which way the financial winds are blowing; otherwise one gets blown away.)

From the conversation which is titled “One nation (under Germany)” (and which I find extremely funny in an ironic sort of way):
“”It is still possible that the game of chicken between Athens and Berlin ends with the two cars colliding,” Ferguson says. “But my sense is that both will swerve at the last minute — the Greeks because they see the costs of exit would be catastrophic for them, and the Germans because — if they don’t realise it already, they pretty soon will —the banking crisis that this would unleash as deposits fled the periphery would be highly destabilising for the whole eurozone, Germany included.

“The Greeks say, ‘We’re not going to comply with our commitments’. The Germans say, ‘Then you’re out’. They’re both bluffing.” And so, he argues, Germany — through gritted teeth — will have to concede that Europe as a whole must stand behind the debts of individual nations. Welcome to the era of the eurobond.”

There is, of course, the small matter of having to sell this to the German people. After all, it is likely that there would have to be a referendum to allow the country to commit its considerable economic muscle to a rescue of the European financial project — in other words, to pick up the bill. And would Germans really be prepared to swallow the idea that the strong countries at the European core would be giving regular dollops of funds to the periphery rather than ad­hoc bailouts?

“That’s the hard bit,” Ferguson admits. “But here’s the choice, Mein Herr. You accept the logic of the Mitterrand/Kohl era, which always was ‘we’re having monetary union in order to get to a federal Europe’ . . . The logic of the 1990s was that ‘monetary union will force us to ever­closer fiscal union, which is hard to sell politically, but we’ll make it happen — we’ll back into it through a monetary union’.

That always was the model — which was one reason for being against it as a British Eurosceptic. Now we’re at the moment of truth when you can no longer maintain the fiction that a monetary union can exist independently of a fiscal union.”

And the other option? “On the other hand — and this is the message to Angela Merkel — to use George Bush’s phrase: this sucker’s going down. We’ve reached that point.”

Don’t you just love Sturm und Drang ?