The Gypsy's Caravan

Friday, July 31, 2009

Random Thoughts

As I watched the Beer Summit last night, I had an overwhelming urge to cry "Open Sesame - Shazam!". I got the feeling that this was some strange ritual being played out for the hoi polloi. Watch the President spread some Community Organizing Pixie Dust on everyone, and we'll all live happily together ever after... and yet, the "agree to disagree" poop came out of the trooper's mouth after the meeting. What is this, agree to disagree on basic constitutional rights? We think we have rights and laws - all applying to all of us, and the trooper disagrees with that?

And then there was the news that within the next few days we (the United States) will be the only remaining segment of teh Coalition of the Willing left in Iraq.

There is a good case to be made that the ultimate goal of getting bin Laden and cutting off al-Qaeda's actually-existing capabilities to project power depend on cleaving apart the bin Ladenist coalition on both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border; and that depends on, in part, militarily pressing that coalition to induce state-changes; and that depends on acquiring intelligence from the population preyed upon and passively supporting that coalition's members (a point Biddle, in fairness, made); and that depends on attending to the population's material goals -- security, wealth, access to services. That is a counterinsurgency strategy for a counterterrorism objective. Among the reasons worth supporting that strategy is that not providing for the population stands a great chance of, well, failing in its counterterrorism aims. Why should the population support us, anyway, if we don't give them a reason? (my bolds)

I see the same thing happening here - So many people are getting sick and tired of the police overstepping their mandate to taser and arrest anyone who gives any indication of non-compliance to their stated(or unstated) orders. The police bitch and complain that whole neighborhoods decline to cooperate with their officers. No tips, no information, no heeding the call to support them.

Maybe it's because of their "shutup and comply" attitude when they enter these areas. Maybe it's because the police in general have an ever increasing incidence of violating the rights of those they are charged with protecting and defending.

The US police departments are being supplied with a burgeoning population of ex-military who have served multiple tours in the mideast wars, and who, even if they are not already suffering from PTSD, have an ingrained and practiced disdain for "civilians". With their reflexes on the hair trigger that saved their lives in the war zone, these officers bring the war zone back home to share with all of us.


UPDATE: Ted Rall Agrees

I admit it: I don't like cops. I like the idea of cops. The specific people who actually are cops are the problem. My theory is that cops should be drafted, not recruited. After all, the kind of person who would want to become a police officer is precisely the kind of person who should not be allowed to work as one. But I didn't start out harboring this prejudice. It resulted from dozens of unpleasant interactions with law enforcement.

Race has long been a classic predictor of attitudes toward the police. But high-profile cases of police brutality, coupled with over-the-top security measures taken since 9/11 that targeted whites as well as blacks, have helped bring the races together in their contempt for the police. In 1969, the Harris poll found that only 19 percent of whites thought cops discriminated against African-Americans. Now 54 percent of whites think so.

Don't worry, Professor Gates. We don't care what you said about the cop's mama. A lot of white guys see this thing your way.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Quote of the Day

Goldilocks politics --- one side is too hot, one side is too cold, so lukewarm corporate whores must be juuuuust right.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Amsterdam rebuts O'Reilly

Oh, and here's the scoop on the Canadian Medicine is bad for your health poo too

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Today's Pic

Thursday, July 23, 2009

American Manufacturing:


From: Robert Borosage

Obama has suggested that America must lead in the green industries that surely will grow in the future — new energy, more efficient appliances, more sophisticated building efficiencies — and the supply chains associated with windmills, solar cells, batteries, fast trains, electric cars and more.
Yet, Obama opposed the weak "buy America" provision put into the stimulus bill. His energy bill contained no serious effort at insuring that these products would be built here. Amendments designed to help manufacturers here were introduced into the bill in the dead of night because the administration needed the votes of industrial state Democrats to pass it. And because Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and the Apollo Alliance had put together elements of a new energy industrial policy that House members could elbow into the legislation.
Contrast that with China. China has determined that new energy will be one of its strategic industries. It is now the largest manufacturer of solar panels — exporting 95% of its production, largely to Europe and the US. While Obama felt it necessary to distance himself from the "buy America" provisions put in the stimulus bill, China has no such compunctions. As the Times reports, "when China authorized its first solar power plant this spring, it required that at least 80 percent of the equipment be made in China. When the Chinese government took bids this spring for 25 large contracts to supply wind turbines, every contract was won by one of seven domestic companies. All six multinationals that submitted bids were disqualified on various technical grounds, like not providing sufficiently detailed data."
The European companies weren't exactly foreigners. They had built turbine factories in China to meet the government's requirement that the turbines contain 70 percent local content. But having no doubt benefited from that transfer of technology and engineering experience, the Chinese contracted with home—grown companies, rejecting the bids of the Chinese based European companies while approving those of Chinese companies that had never built a turbine before. European wind turbine makers have now stopped bidding on Chinese contracts, concluding that their bids had no chance.
We should be rebuilding our manufacturing might, and yet right now Pratt & Whitney is finalizing plans to send yet another "profit center" to Singapore, shedding good union jobs that can actually pay for stuff like jets and tanks.

Replacing them with...?


At some point this is unsustainable, and I argue we've already crossed that line.

Now that these huge corporations are multinational octopi, they can play war games with the civilian populations, bringing the Shock Doctrine Troops to every corner of the world with the exception of their own wealthy enclaves.

We are the wage Slaves of the new world order. Our job is to pay the taxes that keep the war machine oiled and ready to bring living hell down on anyone, anywhere, anytime that the whim takes them.

The rightwingnuts bleat and fuss about public insurance covering abortions...

I categorically oppose the use of MY hard earned tax dollars on wars of choice and convienence.

How far do you think THAT will get me?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Big Brother

Is in Yur Kindle

Stealin' Yur Books

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Incredible Post

    WENDELL POTTER: I was very isolated, along with most insurance company executives who deal with numbers all the time—profit margins and medical loss ratios and earnings per share and how many millions of members you have, or things like that. It’s just—they’re just numbers. And I didn’t really associate that with real people as much as I should and as much as most insurance company executives should, until I went to visit my relatives in Tennessee.

    And while I was there, I happened to learn about a healthcare expedition that was being held at a nearby town across the state line in Virginia. And I was intrigued, borrowed my dad’s car and drove up to Wise County to see what was going on there. And this expedition was being held at the Wise County fairgrounds, and it was being put on by this group called Remote Area Medical that got its start several years ago taking volunteer doctors from this country to remote villages in South America, where people really don’t have any access to medical care. The founder realized pretty soon, though, that the need in this country is very, very great, and he started holding similar expeditions in rural communities throughout the country. And this one was nearby. I decided to check it out.

    I didn’t have any idea what to expect, but when I walked through the fairground gates, it was just absolutely overwhelming. What I saw were people who were lined up. It was raining that day. They were lined up in the rain by the hundreds, waiting to get care that was being donated by doctors and nurses and dentists and other caregivers, and they were being treated in animal stalls. Volunteers had come to disinfect the animal stalls. They also had set up tents. It looked like a MASH unit. It looked like this could have been something that was happening in a war-torn country, and war refugees were there to get their care. It was just unbelievable, and it just drove it home to me, maybe for the first time, that we were talking about real human beings and not just numbers.

    AMY GOODMAN: And so, what did you do with that?

    WENDELL POTTER: Well, it took me a while to just really process it. I came back to work. I knew at that time that I couldn’t continue doing what I was doing. It just didn’t seem like it was ethically the right thing for me to do. My first career, I was a journalist, and I had been in PR, though, for many years. And I came to realize that much of what I was doing now—or then—in my PR career was just the opposite of what I was trying to do as a journalist. But still, you know, I had mortgage payments. I had other bills to pay. And it was just—it was difficult to work through this and figure out what do I do and how do I—what do I do next?

    But then, you know, just two or three weeks later, I was having to fly to a meeting, and I often would fly on one of the corporate jets. And while I was doing that, I was served my lunch on a gold-rimmed plate, was given gold-plated flatware to eat my lunch. I was sitting in a very spacious and luxurious leather chair. And it just dawned on me for the first time. I had done this many times. But because of the Wise County experience, I just realized for the first time that someone’s premiums were helping me to travel that way and were paying for my lunch on gold-trimmed china. And then I thought about those men and women that I had seen in Wise County, undoubtedly not having any idea that this is the way that insurance executives lived and how premium dollars were being spent. And that got me closer to making an ultimate decision that I had to leave.

Incredible. go read the whole thing.

A thought

If all it takes to get some notice in DC is to threaten to stop paying taxes if some of MY money goes to pay for ....wev(abortion)..

Then we need to start a new meme: No more of MY tax money goes to pay for an illegal and immoral war on the other side of the planet!

More Pics...

We went for our yearly visit to Bill's Seafood down by the shore. My sweetie took the Seafood Platter for two,

While I had teh Fra Diovolo. YUMMMM!

The Gulls keep watch for morsels.

Back at the house

the day was beautiful

and the garden was soaking up what sun it can get...

Meanwhile, I write letters....

Dear Mr President,

This week is the most important week so far in the health care struggle. We progressives can keep the phones of most of Congress ringing, but I think more is necessary this time around.

When you do a press conference this week, you must appeal to all of the folks who are following this but have not yet raised their voices. Ask them to write a letter(the phones are already ringing) or even simpler: a postcard.

Give them five words: Robust Public Option Day One

Let the clowns in congress see the tide of public opinion.

Thank You

Monday, July 13, 2009

Over at Crooks and Liars...

They got the latest Bill Moyers Vid :

"According to one poll after another, a majority of Americans not only want a public option in health care, they also think that growing inequality is bad for the country, that corporations have too much power over policy, that money in politics is the root of all evil, and that working families and poor communities need and deserve public support when the market fails to generate shared prosperity. But when the insiders in Washington finish tearing worthy intentions apart and devouring flesh from bone, none of these reforms happen. Oh, they say, "it's all about compromise, all in the nature of the give-and-take of representative democracy." That, people, is bull — the basic nutrient of Washington's high and mighty.

It's not about compromise. It's not about what the public wants. It's about money, the golden ticket to "the select few who actually get it done." And nothing will change. Nothing. Until the money-lenders are tossed out of the temple, and we tear down the sign they've placed on government — the one that reads: "For sale."

I've been saying it for years: we won't get our government back, We won't get our country back, until we get the money out of politics. They now have a bill in congress allowing even MORE money from the lobbys! Never mind a slow step forward, we're going two steps back as we speak.

The crux of it is mandatory public financing of elections across the board.

Until we have that, we are nothing but slaves to big money.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pic of the Day

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A little perspective

18,000 people die every year in the US because they have no health insurance.

Think about that for a moment: that's SIX 9/11's every year, year after year after year.

Because of 9/11, we have thrown a TRILLION dollars down the toilet that is the Middle East Wars(GWOT).

Flush rinse repeat with Pakistan.

I don't see us spending three trillion on health care... the naysayers in congress say even 1.5 trillion is too expensive, and are cutting the subsidies that would have helped to cover those with no insurance to the bone.

Since the Iraq war started, 108,000 US citizens have died because they have no access to medical care.

Does anyone in DC even care?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Conversation overheard in local grocery store -

The mother looks like one of those tennis moms, kid is boy, mid grade school, in striped shirt and shorts:

Kid: Hey Mom, they have purple cabbage!

Mom: What's purple cabbage?

Kid: It's the good kind! (singsong)Green Cabbage bad, Purple cabbage good. Can we get some Mom?

[you would think any normal parent would jump at the chance to encourage their child to eat veggies of any kind, not to mention having the kid beg for it...]

Mom: Well, how do you COOK it?

Kid: You don't cook it, you put it in salad. Can we get some? It's really yum.

Mom browses off.... totally ignoring the said cabbage.

Hell, I raised my kids vegetarian for the first half of their childhood, and I was still trying to get them to eat more veggies!

Some adults are just too farking stupid to make good parents.

*grouches off to snarl at dog on lawn*

Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday Cat blogging

Yowser, purr engine

Bonus Pics from a lazy 3-day weekend

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