Saturday, September 01, 2007

Labor Day 

From United for a Fair Economy's Labor Day report:

...top executives averaged $10.8 million in total compensation, which is 364 times the pay of the average American worker...


The top 20 equity and hedge fund managers raked in an average of $657.5 million, or 22,255 times the pay of the average worker.... workers at the lowest rung of the economic ladder just got their first federal minimum wage hike in a decade. Over that same decade... CEO pay has increased by 45 percent.


The top 20 CEOs of publicly traded corporations last year took home, on average, $36.4 million. That’s 38 times more than the top 20 in the nonprofit sector and 204 times more than the 20 highest-paid generals in the military.


Top executives of major European corporations…last year earned three times less than their American counterparts.”

"There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning."

-- Warren Buffet

horseshoes and handgrenades 


And, by the way, can someone please explain to me why Clinton and Levin jumped on the dump Maliki bandwagon? This campaign is clearly being orchestrated by the White House. It strikes me as a either a major error in judgment or something much more nefarious --- a signal that the Dems are backing this coup. Am I missing something?


Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.

Friday, August 31, 2007


There seems to be a theme here:

On Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told the Associated Press in Kentucky that Craig's conduct was "unforgivable" and that many GOP senators believe he should resign.

Not just "unacceptable" or "incomprehensible" or even "punishable by some awful form of torture"...but actually UNFORGIVABLE! It makes one wonder how many times that word has been uttered--primarily with regard to "terror," but now w/r/t anonymous bathroom sex--by the band of Christ-rapists that makes up the GOP.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Not-So-Private Idaho 

Of all the stuff I've read so far on Larry Craig's skyrocketing bid for the 2008 Democratic Presidential nomination, this has got to be the absolute worst:

"It reminds us that people who are elected to public office continue to disappoint," Romney said. "And they somehow think that if they vote the right way on issues of significance or they can speak a good game that we'll just forgive and forget."

What an evil, evil fucker.

"The Iraq"?! 

If you haven't yet seen Miss Teen South Carolina's profoundly garbled answer, please do so at once. There are many things to ponder here.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

To understand is to excuse 

Remember that old chestnut from the early days of the GWOT, articulated with such righteous fury by good old Hitchens?

Here it is nicely updated by Terry Eagleton, shortly after that fatal summer day, 7-7-05, in London.

Ever since the London bombings, the question has never ceased to be asked. How could a group of well-educated, comfortably middle-class men perpetrate such atrocities? How could such fanaticism flourish in peaceful suburbia?

Perhaps we will never know what drove them to destroy Fallujah, set up torture camps and leave London so vulnerable to attack. What turned a nice young Harvard-educated failed oil executive into a child-killer? Was it envy of the east, one of the mighty birthplaces of science and medicine, in contrast to the barbarism of Burger King? Tony Blair seemed to have everything to live for - the prospect of a peerage, a wife with an enormous salary - and threw it all away. Did he have these hateful ideas hammered into him at Fettes or Oxford?

There are, to be sure, plenty of explanations to hand: oil, Israel, failing US hegemony, Oedipal vengeance and so on. But plenty of people run out of oil without feeling the need to attach electrodes to other people's genitals. Maybe giving explanations is just a devious way of seeking excuses. Perhaps we should simply accept that such bestial conduct is beyond the comprehension of civilised men and women, and concentrate instead on resisting this violence with all our might. Nobody wants to deport the entire cabinet. Even so, we have to ask some tough questions about whether their liberty is really compatible with our security.

surveillance is the new democracy 

Recently, as protesters gathered outside the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) summit in Montebello, Quebec, to confront US President George W. Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderón and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Associated Press reported this surreal detail: “Leaders were not able to see the protesters in person, but they could watch the protesters on TV monitors inside the hotel…. Cameramen hired to ensure that demonstrators would be able to pass along their messages to the three leaders sat idly in a tent full of audio and video equipment…. A sign on the outside of the tent said, ‘Our cameras are here today providing your right to be seen and heard. Please let us help you get your message out. Thank You.’”


The spokesperson for Prime Minister Harper explained that although protesters were herded into empty fields, the video-link meant that their right to political speech was protected. “Under the law, they need to be seen and heard, and they will be.”


...If videotaping activists meets the legal requirement that dissenting citizens have the right to be seen and heard, what else might fit the bill? How about all the other security cameras that patrolled the summit–the ones filming demonstrators as they got on and off buses and peacefully walked down the street? What about the cellphone calls that were intercepted, the meetings that were infiltrated, the e-mails that were read? According to the new rules set out in Montebello, all of these actions may soon be recast not as infringements on civil liberties but the opposite: proof of our leaders’ commitment to direct, unmediated consultation.

the rest

and in case you didn't get to see the priceless video of the police provocateurs at the summit:

My favorite moment is when the cop who is videotaping the protesters shuts his camera off as the provocateurs get "arrested" right behind him. Surely an arrest of a protester would be an event worth recording, non?


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