Medicare to Cover End-of-Life Planning Talks By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
WASHINGTON -- Starting Jan. 1, Medicare will reimburse physician discussions with patients about end-of-life treatment options -- a provision Democrats had to drop to get healthcare reform passed.
The new regulation requires only that Medicare cover end-of-life consultations for patients who want it. The "voluntary advance care planning" language was included in a regulation issued in early December that deals with annual wellness visits.
The regulation was issued quietly, the New York Times reported, in hopes of avoiding the hue and cry raised early in the reform debate when opponents claimed such counseling would create "death panels."
The new Medicare rule will pay for elective annual discussions about end-of-life plans, which can, in turn, be used to prepare an advance directive stating what treatments a patient would want and treatments they would not want.
In contrast, the provision that ignited the firestorm of rhetoric in 2009 would have paid for such consultations every five years.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) chimed in a week later, saying the bill would "start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law."
The "death panel" label was given to such counseling sessions by former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin who alleged they would pass judgment not only on older people's right to healthcare, but on others' as well.
-------- Who to believe, who to believe. Is this the initiation of "death panels" and government encouraged euthanasia - or - is it an act of magnanimous politicians because they love and respect us so darn much.
I lean toward the former, and Palin is correct, end-of-life won't be just for seniors. End of Life Planning will eventually cover everyone insured by Big Daddy Government. Big D sees the coming tsunami of much younger folks in poor health. Those younger folk afflicted with major disabling lifelong health problems due to obesity, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, craziness, laziness, bad backs and mood disorders. "Disability" like so many social programs has fast become a career, a generational lifestyle. One in 19 Americans today, give it another decade. The trend now is not only ill health for yourself - but for all the kids in the family. Bipolar babies. It's not hard to find physicians who go along with it.
There will be no shortage of healthcare professionals willing to counsel the space wasters that they really should die sooner rather than later. Not that bluntly of course. And if you think HMO physicians liked those end-of-year bonuses for cutting costs, just wait until Big Daddy rewards physician performance.
Will Big Daddy really want to cover a kidney or heart transplant for 30-somethings who weigh 300+ pounds, having already spent a small fortune on years of medical care for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, depression, insomnia, asthma, knee replacements. Will Big D want to spend a million dollars on medical care for the 40-year-old Neanderthal who was badly burned when his meth lab exploded? Will Big D continue to spend millions on preemies or trauma victims who's future will be decades of drooling on an air mattress in front of the TV?
"Palliative" or comfort care options will be a burgeoning field. Keep you high 'til you die. And you will call it the best in modern medicine. I call it one helluva an undignified and unnatural method to cull the herd of the deadbeats, the stupid, the poor, the unproductive. Pols and pundits are con artists. Swindlers, exploiting the confidence of their victims. Death panel is ominous so I'm curious as to what warm fuzzy phrase will be used to describe your SOL options.
The current bill contains a "utilization review program" which on the surface sounds protective of patient's rights. But basically, and this is already SOP, what it means is the utilization review department, the medical staff, and the hospital/government administrative bodies will work in close harmony to survive these trying economical times, and ... oh, yes, serve your healthcare needs, and in that order. (Name one government program that has not been perverted from its original intent.)
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Medicare to Cover End-of-Life Planning Talks By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Monday, December 20, 2010
Alan Bock: Things we shouldn't have had to learn from WikiLeaks. December 17, 2010|By ALAN BOCK
"There have been expressions of alarm over the possibility that the release of diplomatic cables by WikiLeaks could endanger Americans and others, notably human-rights activists in other countries, leaving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange "with blood on his hands." To date, however, the government has not described a single instance of a life being endangered, or even of a diplomatic initiative threatened, by the document dumps – which you know it would do if it had a credible example.
I'm not saying there aren't a number of things the government justifiably should keep secret, but I've come to believe it's a fraction of what is actually classified. When I worked in the nation's capital in the 1970s, including three years as a congressional aide with limited access to classified material, I got the distinct impression that a significant reason for classifying so much information was to give those with access a boost in self-esteem; yes, they were entrusted with facts about the nation's business that were so vital, only they could know. I can't tell you how many times at cocktail parties staff members, state department workers and others would explain that if we knew what they knew, but which, unfortunately, they couldn't tell us, we wouldn't be questioning policies or actions so vigorously. Out of curiosity I tracked down a few such boasts and found them to be bogus or bravado."
----- Ever notice when someone wants to sound knowledgeable on secret government stuff they always mention they worked X number of years in government, etc. etc.
Of course the amount of material that is classified is much larger than what should be, but not to boost the self-esteem of low level staffers and diplomats so they can feel important at cocktail parties. It's done our of sheer laziness. It's easier to stamp classified or confidential on most everything than to actually make an honest determination and accept responsibility.
If the Assange supporters are correct and the leaks endanger no one - then basically Assange is a dufus, boasting like a puffed up government employee at a D.C. cocktail party, but letting us know the secrets he knows.
According to WaPo Wikileaks "unveiling" of State Department cables exposes the inner workings of U.S. diplomacy. Oh my. Putin is described as an alpha-dog. Karzai is driven by paranoia. Angela Merkel allegedly "avoids risk and is rarely creative." Silvio Berlusconi is "Putin's mouthpiece" after receiving "lavish gifts."
Classified gossip, opinions, or assessments that should remain out of the public realm? Death to diplomacy? Would you want to have a sit down with someone who thinks you're a bit cowardly and uncreative, or a mouthpiece, or a paranoid.
Bock writes: "To date, however, the government has not described a single instance of a life being endangered, or even of a diplomatic initiative threatened, by the document dumps – which you know it would do if it had a credible example."
You know, wikileaks began redacting heavily after its initial leaking. (The military was in the process of notifying some 300 Iraqis whose names were in the documents. You think all 300 dodged that bullet?)
I can think of a couple of reasons the government has not given a single instance. One, the dumps are petty ... crappola ... making Assange yet another among many bogus heroes. Or two, the government, being slow and incompetent, will have a credible "instance" in the future but by that time it will matter only to the person it directly effected - as the crappolistas will be busy unveiling the newest peoples' hero to fill the chattering lives of on-line forum fighters who haven't a clue to what is going on under their nose.
Hopefully, Assange will wikileak those secrets from Russia and China that he claims access to. Although he may end up eating polonium if he does.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:44 PM
Sunday, December 05, 2010
It is amazing how quickly the months pass when giving only cursory attention to the world outside my window. After 5 years of blogging it is pretty much the same ol' same ol' as far as politics and society are concerned. Same reelection of the same corrupt unethical pols, same "outing" of the "truth" by the same old and new players who "speak truth to power." Yawn. Same cinematic reruns.
But, let us hope that we are not subjected to a second term of Reverend Obama the Impotent, or worse yet, a 4 year stint of the rather empty-headed nasal twanging Palin. Both who's stars have burnt, flashed in the pan, but who likely will have lifelong careers in the public limelight - if media moguls deem it so.
Are Palin and Newt the Gingrich the best the republicans have to offer? Who in their right mind would recycle the check kiting Newt, who is as unethical as his democratic counterpart Charlie Rangel, both reelected term after term no matter how many times they are smacked on the wrist. Although granted, Newt is a major producer of conservative Christian propaganda and contracts on America, while Charlie is just your typical pimp and porker working hard for "monuments named after me", cleaning up the Harlem that is never cleaned up, supporting Israel, etc.
What the heck - like all pols, nothing is a disgrace anymore - unethical and immoral is merely an error of omission, a lapse in judgment. Folks don't lie anymore - they misspeak. Folks don't get caught with their hand in the till anymore - they thought the till was their legal personal fund. Folks don't bribe, coerce, or extort anymore - they schmooze for the good of all mankind.
And for those folks who cannot squirm out of trouble, are caught red-handed, have to admit wrong doing, whatever their income bracket, society has an excuse - they couldn't help themselves (insert a syndrome). They're not really evil or dastardly - you just failed to give them universal healthcare to repair their heads being screwed on wrong.
News programs, most evenings, a pundit will mention that "republicans and democrats must come together." That line, as so many others, is so worn out. They are working together - to their own elitist benefit.
Also on a quarterly or annual basis, the crypt keepers Poppa and Barb Bush issue sound bytes of supposed wisdom and warm nostalgia. As does Bill Clinton with his W.C. Fields nose, and the up and coming statesman George Junior Bush who may finally have faked sobriety so long that he really is sober, or perhaps slick Willie has coached Dubya on how to be a highly functioning drunk skunk.
I still shake my head at the level of stupid that is displayed in the media, socially and politically. Movies, music, television, print. For me, it's similar to watching a horror show - I don't like it and don't go out of my way to see it, hear it, or read it, but I usually cringe through to the end. Then swear for wasting my time.
The phoniest shows are labeled "reality" TV. Ghost hunters are taken seriously when they catch a blur or crackle on film or audio, haunted houses and ghosts of animals are real. Jesse Ventura theories are taken seriously - why not, Jesse once fought the predator with governor Arnie of California. Meathead entertainers turned politicians.
And who knew there were so many women who didn't know they were pregnant until the newborn dropped in the toilet? Who knew that 16 and pregnant would get your 15 minutes. Who knew fame could come from shopping, ho'ing, petty drama and cat fights, or being bored housewives.
Who would have thought that sleazy skanky folks with no talent could be nipped and tucked into celebrityhood. Or worse, the fat, the bony, the inked up who are Revlon-ed and Cover Girled, and sold as having the talent and bravery to be repo men and women, or chasing bad guys around their mama's house.
How many episodes can anyone really watch of Dog Chapman stalking meth heads and petty thieves. How many episodes of the greasy Kardashians - and now, god help us, David Hasselhoff, the slobbering cheeseburger eater. Commercials for the "Hoff" have a toddler running along the beach with a hairy chest - an oddly perverse way to claim that "some people are born awesome" - seems most folks think the ad is "cool" and "funny" but that's to be expected from a public with a spiraling double-digit I.Q.
Who knew that so many would be so famous for so little.
You know, as cynical as I may appear I did have hope for the Republic, but I can only conclude that folks who pay more than a little attention to anything going on today are either under the influence or were dropped on their heads in childhood. If the garbage that fills the media is a reflection of our political and social ideals - then abandon hope all ye.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:18 AM
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Juke joint (or jook joint) is the vernacular term for an informal establishment featuring music, dancing, gambling, and drinking, primarily operated by Blacks. The term "juke" is believed to derive from the Gullah word joog, meaning rowdy or disorderly. It could also derive from the Irish language "deoch dionta" (drinking roofed place). Classic juke joints found, for example, at rural crossroads, catered to the rural work force that began to emerge after the emancipation. Plantations workers and sharecroppers needed a place to relax and socialize following a hard week, particularly since they were barred from most white establishments by Jim Crow laws. Set up on the outskirts of town, often in ramshackle buildings or private houses, juke joints offered food, drink, dancing and gambling for weary workers. Owners made extra money selling groceries or moonshine to patrons, or providing cheap room and board. (Wiki)
Minnie Memphis - Kissin' in the Dark
It Was You Baby
Posted by Kate-A at 11:01 PM
Monday, November 01, 2010
Wow, October passed so quickly I barely noticed. And here it is time to vote again.
Since 2000 it seems the pundits and talking heads make grand attempts to create drama where there is none. They dissect political speeches and off the cuff comments as if they have great import. Howling and wailing or glowing and supporting one pol over another. One would almost believe elections have meaning. As if the voters don't continually return the same corrupt porkers back to office. As if the president doesn't spend his first 2 years in office stumping for party buddies and his last 2 years stumping for his second term. While the behind the scene national rulers assign them all what to say and which bills to sign.
Elections are like auditions. Rewarding mediocre actors, to play the same roles over and over. Corporate/wealthy casting couches determine national policy, until politicians decrepit, sotted old bones die and they get a week of good reviews for all they have done to us. Many times their spawn carry on the tradition.
I'm flabbergasted that folks still believe their vote for best actors really matters.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:56 AM
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Washington (CNN) -- The Department of Defense recently purchased and destroyed thousands of copies of an Army Reserve officer's memoir in an effort to safeguard state secrets, a spokeswoman said Saturday.
"DoD decided to purchase copies of the first printing because they contained information which could cause damage to national security," Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. April Cunningham said.
In a statement to CNN, Cunningham said defense officials observed the September 20 destruction of about 9,500 copies of Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer's new memoir "Operation Dark Heart."
--- It's that time again. Remember Anthony Shaffer? He was the "confidential source" used by Curt Weldon in Weldon's Countdown to Terror, a book supposedly exposing other dark secrets of the government, the operation "Able Danger" the left/progressives went wild over for a minute.
Weldon served in the House (R-PA) from 1987-2006 (also vice-chair of the Armed Services Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee, and co-chair of the Duma-Congress Study Group, the official inter-parliamentary relationship between the United States and Russia.)
I mentioned Shaffer in this August 2005 KAB post, so I believe I can just use the same idea from 5 years ago, why not - the "activists" and "truth to power" people keep using the same formula for the same phony outrage.
My ending paragraph from that blog post: "Weldon + Shaffer = tabloid news = another distraction. Watch for my future exposé : Countdown to Another Phony Book While Planning the Real Bad Things For America: Top-Secrets Leaking Like a Sieve As Fast As We Can Write Them ... and How the People Eat it Up."
Forget the left/right progressive or whatever spin about Pentagon book burning, censorship, truthsayers, etc. etc. Here's the real scoop: Operation Dark..." is published by St. Martin's Press which is the textbook subsidiary of Macmillan Publishers which is owned by Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, a Stuggart-based holding company.
Georg von Holtzbrinck (joined National Socialist German Students' League in 1931) established a German book club back then and the von Holtzbrincks have been buying publishing houses worldwide ever since. Today run by inherited billionaire
(That reminds me, many years ago when my oldest daughter was in her teens, an old fellow told her to make sure she married a man with a good job. She told him something we did not teach her ... she said she didn't want a man with a job - she wanted a man with an inheritance.)
Now with that worthless info aside ... the truth is that some bigwig in the aforesaid publishing houses called some bigwig buddy in government/DOD and said we got a pointless book we need to hype so you buy the first 10,000 printing (minus the ones we send to reviewers) and let the media know DOD is "book burning."
Yep, with dozens already in the hands of reviewers, who are already publishing excepts from the uncensored first run version, it seems kind of stupid to buy up the remaining 9,500. But I suppose it will make those 500 floating around more valuable, for at least a week.
I hear Wikileaks has a coveted first printing copy. Another thing - average first hardback printing for an unknown/unproven author is rarely more than 5000 (everyone waits for the paperback).
Rumors are the Pentagon paid $250,000 for the books and another $45,000 to pulp or burn them. That's a good margin for the publisher as the book is pre-selling for $14 on Amazon. And in a couple of months you will be able to buy the book for $3 in the can't-give-it-away bin at Barnes and Noble.
But ditto what I said years ago, people eat it up.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:56 AM
Monday, September 13, 2010
Census figures for 2009, to be released Thursday, are expected to show that the poverty rate soared last year to nearly 15 percent. One out of every seven Americans is now living below the official poverty level, the highest proportion since the 1960s. One in five American children is living in poverty.
The Associated Press reported the sharp rise in the poverty rate after interviewing six demographers who have been tracking the preliminary census figures, and finding “wide consensus that 2009 figures are likely to show a significant rate increase to the range of 14.7 percent to 15 percent.”
That rate would indicate that some 45 million people were living below the official poverty line in 2009. The official poverty level, an annual income of $22,000 for a family of four, grossly understates the income required for a decent life. The real number of people living in actual economic distress is much higher, probably over 100 million.
The rise in the poverty rate from 13.2 percent in 2008 to 15 percent in 2009 is the largest year-on-year increase since the US government began collecting such statistics in 1959. The previous largest increase came in 1980, a year of double-digit inflation.
Conditions in the poorest large city in America, Detroit, give a glimpse of the future for wide layers of the working class. Several thousand people lined up at a west side Detroit church Saturday to get free bags of groceries and school supplies. Parents with small children, retirees and low-income workers starting lining up at 8 a.m. for the event that started at 11 a.m., and the queue circled around the city block.
----- Fact is, the US poverty rates from 1959-2006 have ranged between 12-22%, and went just over 15% in 1995. The 22% was 1959. Gotta wonder if the statisticians adjusted how they defined poverty or if the federally funded "war on poverty" was a tremendous success.
As for Detroit, we know what went on there (white flight) and what is going on now. Detroit is today 82% black, 12% white, the remainder "other." It also boasts a family household statistic of 74% "female, no husband present." You can find similar poverty stats for cities like Milwaukee and Cincinnati. That 74% is approximately the same illegitimate birthrate for black America (okay, out-of-wedlock if you insist).
In 1995 Detroit's unemployment rates were also double the national average. That was just after Detroit's first black mayor, 5-term Coleman Young, finally retired.
Many of Detroit's problems could be laid to rest at the feet of "progressive dissident" Coleman Young, power broker, and mayor from 1973-1994. Maybe Young did some good things for Detroit, I try to find the fruit of the tree. He did add more black cops.
He eliminated STRESS (Stop the Robberies and Enjoy Safe Streets), a unit of white cops accused of violent racism against black youth. Although Detroit is still notorious for excessive force. It's just now it's more likely black cops killing blacks so ...
Young was accused of taking kickbacks but was a fierce and often successful advocate for federal pork projects. Many felt he was the mayor of black Detroit, not white Detroit. Young blamed Detroit's postwar (WWII) decline on white racism and claimed his strident black rhetoric did not interfere with his call for racial unity.
By 1976 though the social activist turned mayor Coleman was described by The Workers Advocate as a "... lackey of monopoly capital."
Many whites felt Young hated whites and did whatever he could to screw them over. And sometimes he probably did - but - I think Young was a man on that famous road of good intentions; he just carried too much racial baggage for too long, alienated too many who could have been allies, and felt blacks were owed a debt, and in that I think he set the tone and policies for much of what turned Detroit into a toilet. Dennis Archer, Detroit's second black mayor and Clinton friend, couldn't seem to turn the city around after 2 terms in office, if he even bothered to try. And then came Kwame.
Some believe Young did not marshal his political energy in constructive ways, some believe he was misunderstood. Jimmy Carter called Young "one of the greatest mayors our country has known." In his biography Young spoke openly of his disdain for "pansy ass liberals", Walter Ruether, the white suburban media, the FBI, and the federal government as a whole. Carter would have been a pansy - but Carter promised Coleman a lot of CETA (Comprehensive Employment Training Act) funds and he backed Carter's campaign.
My opinion - Detroit will turn itself around when the people turn themselves around. Ain't nobody and no federally funded program going to do it for you. Ditto for other failed towns and cities. And you might want to do it soon folks because you're losing you base of sympathizers.
Posted by Kate-A at 2:11 PM
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Another September 11 that the progressive/left like to discuss is September 11, 1973 - the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile. With the usual US/CIA bad guys behind it. Particularly with alleged declassified documents that show funds and sterile weapons were handed to Allende's opponents to assist in a coup. A coup the same documents show the US decided it wanted no part of and aborted after the botched kidnapping and killing of Rene Schneider, head of the Chilean military. With Schneider's death, Allende won the election by 39,000 votes.
What the one-siders fail to mention is the part the Soviets played in Chile during that time period.
Vasili Mitrokhin (1922-2004) worked for 30 years in foreign intelligence, archivist for the KGB where, at great risk to himself, he made notes of the contents of highly secret files that passed through his hands. Over many years, he assembled a huge collection of material, some in manuscript and some typed. He retired from his job in 1985, never officially defected; he left Russia in 1992 after the fall of the USSR. In 1999 Mitrokhin published his material in The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB. He first approached the American embassy around 1992 but the CIA was not convinced he was credible, however, the British were and helped relocate him, his family and the retrieval of his documents.
Remember though, this was during the Clinton/Gore era of peace and prosperity and the headiness of having "won" the Cold War, etc. which may have influenced the CIA's reception of an old codger with reams and reams of paperwork on decades of KGB activity, or because US intelligence, after the fall of the USSR had more talkative "defectors" than they could handle. Or maybe the CIA just isn't as spyful as it was in its youth. After all, the CIA has done very little to thwart the recent rise of "socialists" to power in Ecuador, Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc.
Now, granted, we could say Mitrokhin the man spent a lifetime making up things, hiding and hoarding tens of thousands of documents and notes in tin containers under his floor boards, that he invented the intel from the creative recesses of his own mind. Or, he might have genuine KGB information. After publication, the FBI described the archive as "the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source."
In the Mitrokhin Archives, Svyatoslav Kuznetsov, KGB case officer in Chile during Allende, noted that "In the KGB's view, Allende's fundamental error was his unwillingness to use force against his opponents. Without establishing complete control over all the machinery of the State, his hold on power could not be secure... According to Allende's KGB file, he "was made to understand the necessity of reorganizing Chile's army and intelligence services, and of setting up a relationship between Chile's and the USSR's intelligence services", and he was said to react positively... In 1972, Moscow downgraded its assessment of the prospects of the Allende regime. The "truckers' strike", backed by CIA funding, virtually paralyzed the economy for three weeks, which Moscow saw as evidence of the weakness of the Popular Unity (Allende's) government.
Allende was the first Marxist anywhere in the world to win power through the ballot box. He was unlike any stereotype of a Marxist leader. During his visits to Havana in the 1960s, he had been privately mocked by Castro's entourage for his aristocratic tastes: fine wines, expensive objets d'art, well-cut suits and elegantly dressed women. Allende was also a womanizer. He was described as "a gallant with a touch of the old school about him, perfumed notes and furtive rendezvous."
Despite the private mockery which was aroused in Allende's Communist allies, however, his bourgeois appearance and expensive lifestyle were electoral assets, reassuring middle-class voters that their lives would continue normally under an Allende presidency. As even his opponents acknowledged, he had enormous personal charm.
In October 1971, on instructions from the Politburo, Allende was given $30,000 "in order to solidify the trusted relations" with him. Allende also mentioned to Kuznetsov his desire to acquire "one or two icons" for his private art collection. He was presented with two icons as a gift.
---- A man of the people - or an aristocratic fop for himself? Or the typical politician... looking for trusted relations.
In 1972 the mounting evidence of chronic economic mismanagement made Moscow reluctant to provide large-scale support.
The KGB later complained that Allende paid too little attention to its warnings of an impending disaster. When Pinochet and a junta launched their coup in the early hours of 11 September, the Communist leadership, who had also been kept informed by the KGB, were better prepared than Allende.
Allende, however, failed to live up to his promise six weeks earlier to summon the people to arms to defend his regime. Instead of seeking support in the working-class areas of Santiago, he based himself in the presidential offices in La Moneda, where he was defended by only 50 to 60 of his Cuban-trained guards and half a dozen officers from the Servicio de Investigaciones. Allende’s lack of preparation to deal with the coup partly derived from his preference for improvisation over advance planning. His French confidant, Régis Debray, later claimed that he "never planned anything more than 48 hours in advance."
Conspiracy buffs prefer to believe that Allende was murdered by Pinochet's men, but "In reality, it seems almost certain that, faced with inevitable defeat, Allende sat on a sofa in the Independence Salon of La Moneda, placed the muzzle of an automatic rifle (a present from Castro) beneath his chin and blew his brains out."
---- But isn't this what it seems to always come down to? One superpower or the other is going to control the game. Does the domino theory make more sense now? Do you really think the US will be better off as #2? Or are you dufus enough to believe no one is planning to fill the #1 spot? No matter how you look at it, you can squint, wear tinted lenses, cross your eyes but - eventually you have to pick a side. And if you choose the losing side, and there's always a losing side, you may end up on the couch with a muzzle under your chin, especially if your efforts to redistribute wealth result in stagnant production, food shortages, rising inflation, and widespread strikes.
(The backlashes are a bitch - to wit Pinochet, a rancid man. Oddly enough, Mexican drug lords and corrupt officials have murdered more civilians than Pinochet but the American "left" hasn't noticed - or think the solution is open borders and legalization of drugs.)
Régis Debray is/was the 1960s "radical" who's name usually shows up whenever reading romanticized b.s. about Cuba, Fidel, Che, Allende, Bolivia, Chile, etc. A guerrilla warrior with a pen, a sort of traveling cheerleader for revolutions. I probably have a couple of his works in a box in the attic smelling as musty as his ideas.
When "leftist" Francois Mitterrand was elected president of France in 1981 he appointed Debray as a "special adviser" on foreign affairs. "At first sight it was an odd choice. After what had happened to Guevara and Allende, Debray could hardly be seen as a lucky mascot. And given the quality of his previous predictions, the standard of advice he could offer was scarcely guaranteed.
It seems more likely that Mitterrand imagined that Debray's reputation would enhance the president's "left" image while he pursued ever more right wing policies. Debray did, however, do a number of odd jobs for Mitterrand, and acted as ghost writer: "I could churn out kilometers of pure Mitterrand nonstop." Debray finally resigned in 1988, noting that there was nothing socialist or even republican about Mitterrand's policies. True enough, but he took his time noticing it."
---- Hmmm, I guess the "left" is often smitten for those presidents with a "left image" who pursue right wing policies. Remind you of anyone in US politics recently?
In Debray's autobiography Tears of a Clown he bashes the Soviets, Castro, and Che. The "world-weary French writer and ex-revolutionary turned minor statesman" today writes about himself and other uninteresting topics, brooding that the left is not left enough, but too comfortable and too old now for trotting behind phony revolutions. Rumor is Debray has apparently came "to a total rejection of the idea that collective human action could change the world for the better." Well he should, he's 70.
But then ... some folks have always instinctually known that.
Posted by Kate-A at 7:45 AM
Saturday, September 11, 2010
After 9 years has your thinking changed in regard to the who, why, wherefore of the terrorist attacks? Do you believe the official story, the 911Truthers, or some religious icon or prophet of disaster?
I still believe there were "insiders" involved in the attack or had prior knowledge - but have changed my idea on who that might be. They may have been members of the US government or ruling class - but I don't think it is necessarily BushCo. In fact, I think the guilty parties would be names the public is not generally familiar with, perhaps even people with great wealth and clout, yet may or may not be American born.
Also, as for the "how" it's plausible to me because many many people were simply not doing their job. Hard to connect the dots when half the dots fall through the cracks because of incompetence and sheer laziness at the state and federal employee level. So many want a fat paycheck and prestige but not actually have to work for it.
The mantra that the US was attacked because "they hate our freedom" is not enough motive. Although in an abstract sort of way, it might be possible, if freedom were defined as our right to think for ourselves - those who want to control the US wouldn't want us thinking ... and therefore might deplore that trait in us, but most Americans haven't practiced that freedom in the last 50 years, although they swear they think for themselves.
While so many like to cite and/or interpret our failure to follow the foreign policy beliefs of the "founding fathers" I no longer feel our foreign policy is a valid motive either. Attacked because we have troops in Saudi Arabia? Puleeeeeze.
Recently I reread some of the writings of Jefferson, Adams, and Washington's farewell address and think it's a false argument when someone uses the notion that Washington's warning of "foreign entanglements" is an admonishment to avoid foreign wars like Iraq and Afghanistan.
Once a believer, I now think the argument that we were attacked because of our foreign policy is the dumbest of dumb ideas. It may be an excuse, but it's not a motive. People looking for excuses always find one, no matter how flimsy or unbelievable, and a grain or two of truth makes it seem on the surface more plausible.
I get the impression that George Washington's idea of avoiding foreign entanglement, was a warning to not be so politically entangled with other nations that the republic would be influenced, particularly by Europe. Understandable as he had just fought the British empire. He believed free trade and free men would set the example. And both of those have dwindled in the last few decades.
Washington was issuing a warning to followers of Franklin and Jefferson, both Francophiles, and the French Revolution going on at the time. The founding fathers were also surrounded by dozens of delegates to the Continental Congress, most had extensive political experience, many with military service, many with European ties. If Washington put his finger in the air in the 1790s I'm sure he felt there were men around him who had not cut the umbilical cord to Europe. Many wanting to be actively involved in the French Revolution, which was not as successful as America's - giving France the guillotine, Robespierre, a reign of terror, and the anti-monarchy revolutionaries who thought naming Napoleon commander-in-chief of the army and then First Consul was a good idea. Contrary to popular bumper stickers the French have never got it right.
The words and writings of the founding fathers must be taken in context of the era and what was politically going on around them. If anything, George Washington sounded more isolationist than anti-war. At the time of his farewell address the US didn't have much of a standing army or navy and he believed a strict neutrality would keep the peace.
The founding fathers and their immediate successors had no problem waging war. Jefferson's Barbary or Tripolitan Wars, the War of 1812, meddling in Hawaii, the domestic Indian Wars, the Mexican-American War, the Monroe Doctrine.
But, back to motive of 9/11. I can think of only 2 viable motives. One is, there are extremists who enjoy perpetrating death and mayhem on others, even if for no other reason than thrill killing. There are hate-filled people in the world who create suffering because they take pleasure in it. Secondly, there are those who would like to collapse the US in order to save it, or slave it. If the two factions work in collusion, or if one uses the other ... they could easily pull off a 9/11 and confuse the hell out of the American public for eternity. And the more confused an American is the more loudly he will shout his certainty about everything.
Another thought I factor in, if 9/11 was an inside job, is the perpetrators would put figureheads in place who lead no trail back to them. That alone would absolve Bush/Cheney of being the inside jobbers. Bush in place because he was slow-witted enough to do as told, Cheney because he could be manipulated by perps who are much more clever.
The "war for oil" meme sounded good initially but it was apparent early on that the US would not be the beneficiaries of the bulk of Iraq/Afghanistan oil and gas. Yes, US companies are getting contracts, but China and Russia are reaping the biggest rewards.
What surprises me sometimes is that no one in positions of power or with a respectable soapbox has even proffered the idea that the US was infiltrated decades ago by those wishing to destroy the country from within. Looking at the social and political insanity today, is that such a far-fetched idea? Of course, anyone who would or does make the suggestion is quickly branded a bigot, or a -phobe of some sort.
Glenn Beck may come close with valid ideas on "infiltration" but he puts most of it at the feet of ObamaCo and infuses too much God rhetoric. Obama and company, like the last dozen or so presidents, are figureheads, who do as their advisors advise, the advisors getting their advice from advisors who got advice from their advisors and so on until only god knows where the advice really comes from. And God, well, some people need god, some people behave better with a god, and some of us are turned off by godspeak. Beck is dopey when he stops the buck at Obama or Bill Ayers or Van Jones or the dozens of other metrosexual radicals at Barry's elbow. They are all only water carriers for the real artists of change, and probably believe the b.s. coming from their own lips, and believe they formed their ideology by deep thought and intellect, not propaganda and narrowed thinking.
Honestly, sometimes I think I need to better research the McCarthy era as he may have been on to something.
What to make of the recent arrests of Russian spies? One was Vicky Peláez who "spent more than 20 years working as a columnist for one of the New York's best known Spanish-language newspapers, El Diario. Her specialty was strident criticism of US policy in Latin America, with a strong defence of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez." Is that part of the "insiders"? Part of the change to the mindset of mainstream Joe Blow - make US bad, and the socialist world warm and do-goody? How many others with a "specialty" live, love, breed, and promote their ideas among us?
If these "spies" are just a sliver of a titanic iceberg ... a second generation of them just might feel they are Americans with a better ideology. In some ways it justifies to me why the US deported or interned Germans, Italians, Japanese, etc in WWII. For how certain can one be of the loyalty an immigrant truly holds when his native country or that of his parents is at war with the US? For decades I've known foreign folks who believe the US should do certain things the way it is done in the country they fled - and some of those things have changed to accommodate these folks in the name of "tolerance." Of course, it also drags the US toward the same sociopolitical structure of those godawful countries immigrants are running from.
We have went from a nation run by intelligent knowledgeable men to one run by pols who think there are 58 states and do not know that Arizona borders Mexico. A nation born of men willing to give their life and fortunes to founding a nation - now to grown men who want the country to give them their life and fortunes.
Whoever the "insiders" and whatever their objective, they are closer - and I will probably live to see even more of a change I don't believe in.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:31 PM
Friday, September 10, 2010
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Moore really plays to a low forehead audience. In this 730 word piece for Labor Day, attacking a fellow "liberal" ( Rahm Emanuel) Moore uses the f-word 30 or so times. He also employs a limited or twisted knowledge of history, but then so do his docutainment productions.
Moore: "Before there were unions, there was no middle class. Working people didn't get to send their kids to college, few were able to own their own f---ing home, nobody could take a f---ing day off for a funeral or a sick day or they might lose their f---ing job. ... Nonetheless labor unions did create a middle class for the majority (even companies that didn't have unions were forced to pay at or near union wages in order to attract a workforce) and that middle class built a great country and a good life. You see, Rahm, when people earn a f---g good wage, they spend it on stuff, which then creates more good paying jobs, and then the middle class grows f---ing big. Did you know that back when I was a kid if you had a parent making a union wage, only one parent had to work?! And they were home by 3 or 4pm, 5:30 at the latest! We had dinner together! Dad had four weeks paid vacation. We all had free health and dental care. And anyone with decent grades went to college and it didn't f---ing bankrupt them."
---- There has been a "middle class" for centuries; the class between nobility and peasants was the "middle" class. Does he define middle class by income, education, upbringing, social network, manners, values, etc. or as the materialistic petit bourgeoisie according to Marxists and other anti-capitalist folks? Maybe it's the proletariat. Or maybe Moore is speaking for and to the blue-collar class, or gray-collar, or pink-collar, green collar, or Lumpenproletariat, or lower middle class, or working class ...
Is Moore, the creator of Capitalism: A Love Affair , a real anti-capitalist ... or just pandering to an unhappy segment of folks who think blame, complain, and using the f-word is cool? How can Mike be all f---ing for the capitalist middle class if he's anti-capitalism?
I remember when we were warned to look to areas other than agriculture/farming because machinery was taking over farm jobs - one of the reasons for the great migration north to factories. Then we were warned in the 1970s to plan for a future in technology because hi-tech automation was one of many things that would change the future of manufacturing jobs. Then we were told it would become a service economy. Your choice to be an RN or aide wiping butts. Your choice to own the franchise or flip burgers in it. Your choice to open a barber shop or just sit and bitch about the price of a haircut. Your choice to have a skill/service to offer or be of no use to anyone and yourself.
Moore believes capitalism in the US today is evil. Maybe he's unaware that capitalism in America has for decades been socialism-lite in disguise. There's no room for a large middle class in socialism - plenty of room for wage earning proletariats and their wayward family members the Lumpenproletariat, and "progressive" limo activist proletariats such as Moore.
Moore: "Had World War II not begun and had FDR not died, there would have been an economic revolution that would have given everyone — everyone — a f---ing decent life."
Yessirree Mikey. "Give" that's the operative word. A revolution that would "give" everyone a decent life. You know, where we can all have free health and dental, dad home at 5 p.m., having dinner together Rockwell style, a month's vacation, college degrees because a mind is a terrible thing to waste, and money to spend on stuff. A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage, no child left behind, every man a king ... and there are no f---ing tomorrows.
Posted by Kate-A at 3:17 PM
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Joseph Hayne Rainey, a slave born in Georgetown, South Carolina 1832, became on December 12, 1870, the first African American to serve in the United States House of Representatives. He was elected to Congress four times as a Republican, serving until March 3, 1879 which made him the longest serving black Congressman during the Reconstruction era. He won his second term by 60%, his third term by 84%, and the fourth term ran unopposed.
In a speech given on the floor of Congress in 1871, Rainey challenges a New York Democratic representative who made disparaging remarks about the black members of the South Carolina state legislature. That speech appears below.
"The remarks made by the gentleman from New York in relation to the colored people of South Carolina escaped my hearing, as I was in the rear of the Hall when they were made, and I did not know that any utterance of that kind had emanated from him. I have always entertained a high regard for the gentleman from New York, because I believed him to be a useful member of the House. He is a gentleman of talent and of fine education, and I have thought heretofore that he would certainly be charitable toward a race of people who have never enjoyed the same advantages that he has. If the colored people of South Carolina had been accorded the same advantages—if they had had the same wealth and surroundings which the gentleman from New York has had, they would have shown to this nation that their color was no obstacle to their holding positions of trust, political or otherwise. Not having had these advantages, we cannot at the present time compete with the favored race of this country; but perhaps if our lives are spared, and if the gentleman from New York and other gentlemen on that side of the House will only accord to us right and justice, we shall show to them that we can be useful, intelligent citizens of this country. But if they will continue to proscribe us, if they will continue to cultivate prejudice against us; if they will continue to decry the Negro and crush him under foot, then you cannot expect the Negro to rise while the Democrats are trampling upon him and his rights. We ask you, sir, to do by the Negro as you ought to do by him in justice.
If the Democrats are such staunch friends of the Negro, why is it that when propositions are offered here and elsewhere looking to the elevation of the colored race, and the extension of right and justice to them, do the Democrats array themselves in unbroken phalanx, and vote against every such measure? You, gentlemen of that side of the House, have voted against all the recent amendments of the Constitution, and the laws enforcing the same. Why did you do it? I answer, because those measures had a tendency to give to the poor Negro his just rights, and because they proposed to knock off his shackles and give him freedom of speech, freedom of action, and the opportunity of education, that he might elevate himself to the dignity of manhood.
Now you come to us and say that you are our best friends. We would that we could look upon you as such. We would that your votes as recorded in the Globe from day to day could only demonstrate it. But your votes, your actions, and the constant cultivation of your cherished prejudices prove to the Negroes of the entire country that the Democrats are in opposition to them, and if they [the Democrats] could have sway our race would have no foothold here.
Now, sir, I have not time to vindicate fully the course of action of the colored people of South Carolina. We are certainly in the majority there; I admit that we are as two to one. Sir, I ask this House, I ask the country, I ask white men, I ask Democrats, I ask Republicans whether the Negroes have presumed to take improper advantage of the majority they hold in that State by disregarding the interest of the minority? They have not. Our convention which met in 1868, and in which the Negroes were in a large majority, did not pass any proscriptive or disfranchising acts, but adopted a liberal constitution, securing alike equal rights to all citizens, white and black, male and female, as far as possible. Mark you, we did not discriminate, although we had a majority. Our constitution towers up in its majesty with provisions for equal protection of all classes and citizens. Notwithstanding our majority there, we have never attempted to deprive any man in that State of the rights and immunities to which he is entitled under the Constitution of this Government. You cannot point me to a single act passed by our Legislature, at any time, which had a tendency to reflect upon or oppress any white citizen of South Carolina. You cannot show me one enactment by which the majority in our State have undertaken to crush the white men because the latter are in a minority.
I say to you, gentlemen of the Democratic party, that I want you to deal justly with the people composing my race. I am here representing a Republican constituency made up of white and colored men. I say to you deal with us justly; be charitable toward us. An opportunity will soon present itself when we can test whether you on that side of the House are the best friends of the oppressed and ill-treated Negro race. When the civil rights bill comes before you, when that bill comes up upon its merits asking you to give civil rights of the Negro, I will then see who are our best friends on that side of the House.
I will say to the gentleman from New York that I am sorry I am constrained to make these remarks. I wish to say to him that I do not mind what he may have said against the Negroes of South Carolina. Neither his friendship nor his enmity will change the sentiment of the loyal men of that State. We are determined to stand by this Government. We are determined to use judiciously and wisely the prerogative conferred upon us by the Republican party. The democratic party may woo us, they may court us and try to get us to worship at their shrine, but I will tell the gentleman that we are republicans by instinct, and we will be Republicans so long as God will allow our proper senses to hold sway over us. " (My emphasis.)
---- Genealogy: Joseph H. Rainey b.1832 in South Carolina, son of Edward J. (1805) and Teresa Rainey (1810). Brother Edward Jr. b.1831. Edward Sr. was a slave on a rice plantation in Georgetown County, SC, and also worked as a barber; allowed to keep part of his wages he bought his family's freedom in approximately the mid 1840s.
Joseph appears a registered voter on the 1868 Edisto Island, SC voter list. I found Joseph H., age 37 listed in 1870 census in Charleston, SC, head of household, occupation State Senator, wife Susan age 31, born Philadelphia, PA, sister-in-law, Anna Lewis age 33 b. PA, Anna's son Randolph age 8, born SC, and 2 female servants. Later census show Joseph and Susan with 2 sons and a daughter.
The 1880 census shows Susan, age 42, and children Joseph Jr. age 8, Herbert age 6, and Olive age 4, in Windsor, CT, where Rainey had purchased a summer home. Rainey Sr. not listed as presumably he was working in D.C.
Rainey served in congress from December 12, 1870, to March 3, 1879; appointed internal-revenue agent of South Carolina on May 22, 1879, and served until July 15, 1881, when he resigned; engaged in banking and the brokerage business in Washington, D.C.; retired from all business activities in 1886, and in ill health returned to Georgetown, S.C., where he died August 2, 1887; buried in the Baptist Cemetery.
Wife Susan Rainey is in the 1900 US census in Massachusetts living with son Joseph Jr. and his wife Catherine.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:27 AM
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don't Even Know It. By Laurence Kotlikoff:
Let’s get real. The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills. What it can and must do is radically simplify its tax, health-care, retirement and financial systems, each of which is a complete mess. But this is the good news. It means they can each be redesigned to achieve their legitimate purposes at much lower cost and, in the process, revitalize the economy.
Herb Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under U.S. President Richard Nixon, coined an oft-repeated phrase: “Something that can’t go on, will stop.” True enough. Uncle Sam’s Ponzi scheme will stop. But it will stop too late.
And it will stop in a very nasty manner. The first possibility is massive benefit cuts visited on the baby boomers in retirement. The second is astronomical tax increases that leave the young with little incentive to work and save. And the third is the government simply printing vast quantities of money to cover its bills.
Most likely we will see a combination of all three responses with dramatic increases in poverty, tax, interest rates and consumer prices. This is an awful, downhill road to follow, but it’s the one we are on. And bond traders will kick us miles down our road once they wake up and realize the U.S. is in worse fiscal shape than Greece.
----- Kotlikoff may be right that the US is bankrupt. But I'm not impressed with his solutions. Yes, let's get real.
Kotlikoff proposes reforms of the U.S. financial system, tax system, health care system, and retirement income system. His proposes reform of the financial system, transforming all financial companies with limited liability, including incorporated banks, insurance companies, financial exchanges, and hedge funds, into pass-through mutual funds, which do not borrow to invest in risky assets, but, instead, allows the public to directly choose what risks it wishes to bear by purchasing more or less risky mutual funds. --- Hmmm "allows the public to directly choose" ... how would that be accomplished? By choosing what the smartest guys in the room advise?
He proposes "Limited Purpose Banking" which forces financial intermediaries to limit their activities to their sole legitimate purpose—financial inter-mediation. Limited Purpose Banking substitutes the federal and state financial regulatory bodies with a single financial regulator called the Federal Financial Authority (FFA). The FFA would have a narrow purpose namely to verify, disclosure, and oversee the independent rating and custody of all securities purchased and sold by mutual funds. --- Ahhhh, FFA, another federal bureaucracy and its bureaucrats are born.
He backs replacing the federal income tax with a national sales tax. Or consumption tax. Or "fair tax" as the three (sales, consumption, fair) seem to be more or less the same taxation method (government hand in your pocket), perhaps with a tweak here or there. Value-added tax is a similar animal, used in Europe and Japan. China has a consumption tax and income tax (taxed at 25% for a factory worker income plus overtime and bonuses equivalent to US $3670, 45% tax if one of the lucky $100,000 earners). But so much is "free" in China - healthcare, housing, some food, sometimes utilities, etc. and a lifetime membership in the Party.
Sounds good on the surface, only taxed on what you consume, but in the real world, every consumption tax hits low and middle income households to a greater extent than the income tax does. What?! You think the wealthy will never again find a way around taxes? Just ask John Kerry, expert in yacht sales and excise tax. Economists and politicians promise there are "conceptual ways" to avoid any burden on lower/middle households - but you must hold your breath until those concepts are actualized.
On healthcare Kotlikoff proposes one system that works for everyone: "Participants - including all who are currently uninsured, all Medicaid and Medicare recipients, and all with private or employer-supplied insurance - would receive annual vouchers for health insurance, the amount of which would be based on their current medical condition. Insurance companies would willingly accept people with health problems because their vouchers would be higher. And the government could control costs by establishing the values of the vouchers so that benefit growth no longer outstrips growth of the nation's per capita income. It's a "single-payer" plan - but a single payer for insurance. The American healthcare industry would remain competitive, innovative, strong, and private."
--- Government already covers over half of US healthcare costs. "Insurance companies ... would willingly accept ... vouchers ... would be higher." Lobby those vouchers higher and higher K Street. What's that sound? Oh, government expansion, but the industry is still private (and war is peace). "Government could control cost ..." ROTFL hahahahahahahahaha. Gimme a minute ... hahahahahahahaha.
You know, simply eliminating corruption and the crooks who game the system, and dumping the hundreds, maybe thousands, of failed programs/departments, would be sufficient - lets call it budget cuts and draining the swamp. Instead, the experts (pols and e-con men) claim we need bigger government to save us from government.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:27 AM
Saturday, August 21, 2010
CDC releases report stating smoking in movie scenes is at an all time low and is a good thing as the experts claim onscreen tobacco use encourages youth to smoke. Amazingly, really cool scenes of sex, drugs, pregnant teens, violence - have no effect on viewer behavior.
Wikileaks boss, Julian Assange, has been accused of rape and molestation by 2 different women in Sweden. Assange and disciples claim it's "dirty tricks" by you know who. How convenient. Even Charles Manson claims the CIA set him up.
A week or so ago Obama signed a $26 billion dollar bailout package for teachers unions that will be paid for mostly by cuts in the food stamp program and the Department of Energy’s renewable energy loan guarantee program. Not to worry, the cuts are supposedly not to begin until 2014 and by then we will all have high paid jobs and lots of money. The teachers unions will send some of the money back to democrat campaign coffers with a thank you note.
Obama takes 6th vacation. Signing bailouts and finagling funnels for political campaign donations are hard work.
A recent Pew poll shows a majority of the American public are in the dark regarding Obama's religion. Christian or Muslim. The real questions are - why is a majority of the American public dumber than the Taliban, and, has Obama pulled his friend and spiritual mentor, Reverend Jerry, from under the bus?
Speaking of Obama's penchant to fire folks - Counterpunch finally has something worth reading. The Other Side of Shirley Sherrod."While it is true that loan discrimination and relentless creditors can be cited for the eventual demise of New Communities Inc. in 1985, NCI’s unfair labor practices and poor leadership, were equally, if not more, to blame. Ask Shirley Sherrod about this part of her history. I know this story well, for I was one of those workers at NCI." -- I'd say poor leadership led to NCI's demise. Sherrod and friends did receive funding from Rockefeller (Cooperative Assistance Fund - New Communities, Inc., 1968-1976). And did receive government loans prior to 1981-1984 (the years she claimed in her discrimination suit). Simple: Sherrod and NCI's poor performance was due to a lot of funds going into someone's purse and wallet. I watched the same programs locally do the same thing - and then yell discrimination when the money runs out. It's the reason she was so quickly "forced to resign." Her bosses know she's a dirty bird from way back.
Spotted on Antiwar.com link to CS Monitor, In Nicaragua, A Return to the Contras? "Hidden somewhere in the rugged mountains of Estelí, in northern Nicaragua, a former contra commando with CIA training says he’s organizing an armed rebellion against President Daniel Ortega." --- No, the former commando is wanted on murder and extortion charges. It must be a really slow news day. There are 3 types of former contras/sandinistas: Those that returned to the same peasant life they had before the war. Those who stayed in Miami. And those who became politicians and/or criminals. Ahhh the beautiful and rugged Esteli - the things I could tell you about ... hmm ... where was I...
The ground zero mosque/community center. Distraction, petty. Not to build would show class, empathy, the high road. But since when do we expect those traits from anyone with power and money and agenda?
The 14th amendment. Anchor babies. Give the baby his/her birthright. Deport mama. Use some of Mexico's immigration laws which are: "Outsiders must enhance the country's economic or national interests and cannot be physically or mentally unhealthy. Do not admit those who show contempt against national sovereignty or security. They must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care." Mexico is cleaning house - we get those unwanted by their own country. Okay, as ugly as it sounds, I'll say it, we get the dregs of society (the least valuable).
But wait, saying stuff like that, according to the black and white Progressive Activist and Organizers Bible, means you are a "...supremacist who wants to "take America back" to 1857, or 1953, or 1968..." but then they probably don't know when Juan calls them "mayata" or "galleta", it's not a term of affection (it's spanish slurs for the "n" word and cracker).
The Progressive Bible also says that focusing on reproduction is racist too and the 14th amendment is sacred (but some progressive Bible holders are anti- 2nd amendment). According to the latest CDC stats the illegitimate birth rates for Asians is 16.5%, whites at 27%, Latinos 50%, native Americans 65%, blacks 71%. Hey, that matches the SAT score statistics I posted a while back, Asians the smartest, then whites, Latinos, natives, and blacks the dumbest. Hmmm....you think stupid and promiscuous are connected?
But, lets not resort to stereotypes, even if there be a grain of truth - because according to NYT more women with college degrees are having illegitimate babies too. For instance, Nadya Suleman - Octomom.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:18 PM
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Gail Dines, author of Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality; should be mandatory reading in high school sex ed. (Thank you to my youngest daughter for bringing the book to my attention.)
While I don't agree with all of Ms. Dines "progressive" views on politics and society, etc. she definitely has it correct on pornography and hypersexualization.
Link to an interview with Dines at Pulse, and to an excerpt from Pornland.
If you cannot see how pornography has shaped (and twisted) society ... you're probably more screwed up than you think (pun intended).
Posted by Kate-A at 3:51 PM
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I'm seeing a good bit of harping from left/progressives and democrats' base about Obama. For many folks it seems Barack is not the president they thought he would be. He has not delivered enough of whatever they thought he was carrying.
One pleasant late afternoon in the late summer/early fall of 2008 I was in the front yard, dead-heading rose bushes, taking cuttings from my jungle of houseplants which I put outdoor every year, when an older white lady walked up the driveway. About my age so we were from the same '60s era. She carried Obama's Dreams of My Father, and wore Obama pins. I'll call her Susan.
We sat on the porch and she asked, no, she assumed I was an Obama supporter. When I surprised her by stating that I was not impressed with Barry, wasn't voting for him, she began a spiel about "hope and change" Ooh ooh ooobama. She asked if I had read his book. Yes yes, but I sped read as I didn't really find the book interesting.
When she realized I was not going to gush with her over the potential "first black president" she sat back puzzled (ain't all folks in the 'hood votin' for Obama), then continued her chatter about the charisma and charm of Barry O. His life, his achievements, his anti-war stand, his proclamations to end petty grievances and false political promises, and how we will walk this common good journey with him. Electrifying. All the Susans across the land inhaled.
She gave the standard excuses for Obama's connections to Ayers, Rev. Wright, his inexperience, his connections to Blago, Rezko, the Chicago political machine, and a myriad of nagging little insulting lies that seemed to bother no one but me, i.e. Barry's attempt to portray himself as a typical black child of a single mother on foodstamps, abandoned by his daddy, an embarrassment to his grandma - rather than a child of privilege, private school, ivy leagues.
I stared in amazement at Susan.
This woman on the surface sounds intelligent - but has poor judgement and understands little on how the social and political system works. She gives me the phrases of her latest favorite pundit, author, blogger, news channel, or political comic. For the Susans of the world, the solution is simple - take from the obscenely wealthy and redistribute to the tired huddle masses.
It will be these white women, many who had flings as '60s flower-type children, who put Obama in the White House. Gone is their fall (hairpiece), the Mandarin style collar on an orange dress, and go-go boots. Their bloom has faded. Now the hair is neatly trimmed every 5 weeks by the gay guy at Blades, now wearing Crocs and beige Chico bermuda shorts. Her brief toe-in-the-water experimentation with drugs and promiscuity from the past are "youthful follies" which she either never admits to or uses as a badge of victory and recovery. Sort of like her hero's excursions into pot and cocaine, and "community organizing."
On and on she talked about her heart knows, just knows, Obama is who we've been waiting for.
Susan probably holds a college degree or at least a couple of years of higher education. But her life is more like her mother's than she originally wanted - 3 bedroom house in a mostly white neighborhood, 2.5 kids, drives a van or SUV, married to her second husband for 35 years, vacations at Disney or Mazatlan or Yosemite. This woman, and many like her, have always lived in a fantasy of "hope and change." For them, reality has always been dull and unfair. For them, electing Obama (or any educated attractive black male) is a validation of progressive whitedom. As if all those years of their struggle to preach we are all "equal" - will once and for all be proven under Obama's wise and caring governance. He will erase our differences and we can all just along. She may even be silly enough to have believed that only a black man could bring true social justice to America.
Susan reminds me of a quote of Libertarian Robert Heinlein who said "Most people can't think, most of the remainder won't think, the small fraction who do think mostly can't do it very well." And only a "... tiny fraction think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion..."
Now what Susan? As the one you've been waiting for continues the policies of the last dozen ethically bankrupt presidents and sinks the nation deeper and deeper into dysfunction, now what?
Posted by Kate-A at 3:28 PM
Friday, August 13, 2010
You can gauge how cash-strapped, broke or near bankrupt a government/society is by the vice it legalizes. Marijuana, casinos, gambling, numbers racket, prostitution, etc.
For instance, while the government spends millions in anti-tobacco efforts it will never completely ban smoking because the high tax on tobacco is big revenue. Even while making smoking socially unacceptable - folks are still subtly encouraged to smoke, we now have social smokers and closet smokers and fatcats with cigars. I wonder which room in the WH Obama hides in to light up.
Pols, who once spouted about drugs and gambling as a "threat to our way of life," change their rhetoric when considering the same vice as a means to generate tax revenue. It's just a matter of convincing the sheople to agree, which is no problem if the vices are easily available anyway.
Soon the fat tax, tanning tax, marijuana tax will be with us. Prostitution too, why should Vegas have all that revenue from an old and now "victimless" vice. We've made pornography an acceptable career choice for women haven't we? What's a little S&M and donkey show filmed between consenting adults. Today's porn industry produces a whole lot of jobs and respectable tax revenue. (Acceptance of pedophilia is on the horizon, trust me.)
Legalizing vice won't stop black market entrepreneurs, never has, never will - there's just too much money to be made in illicit sex, drugs, gambling - but imagine the nationwide revenue on legalizing and "regulating" vice, the jobs created from enforcement and the never-ending cleanup. A libertarian's wet dream.
What the lower classes fail to understand about taxing vice is it's simply another way to tax the have-nots so the wealthier among us can avoid paying more tax. And it has the added bonus of the self-destructive masturbatory have-nots wallowing in the sewer while the haves remain out of touch and untouchable from the profitable stench.
All the revenue collected from the "sin tax", as we've heard so often in the past couple of decades, will be used for education, wildlife, healthcare, environmental programs. Promise, really. Just look how well these areas have done since legalizing the numbers racket/gambling, hiking taxes on tobacco, alcohol, etc.
I suppose I'm getting old - as the vices that make me uncomfortable don't seem to make most folks flinch at all.
I'm appalled at least once a day by what I see either in mainstream media or my local vicinity. I remember years ago being shocked if someone was publicly vulgar - now I'm shocked when someone is publicly polite.
Instead of icons like Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn - we have modern popstar skanks, toting illegitimate children, telling us women don't need men to have babies; greasy tattooed mannequins posed on the red carpet pretending they think for themselves. Some of today's biggest female icons can't seem to exit a car without showing labia. Others are aging gracelessly, nipped and tucked, becoming a "spokesperson" for one cause or another. That reminds me ... Betty White.
I used to like Betty. A sweet, talented, funny lady, champion of animal rights - now reduced to an old woman reading dull sexual one-liners from cue cards on the banal and boring "Hot in Cleveland." Why oh why Betty, why... oh and Sandra Bullock, admirable and classy, now given to swapping tongue with Meryl Streep and Scarlett Johansson - why? Competing with Britney and Madonna? Miley Cyrus? Girls Gone Wild? Since it's obviously not spontaneous, is it planned from the publicist/agent's couch?
Perhaps it's America's culture of randomness that grieves me... random sex, random breeding, random relationships, random lives, millions living on a haphazard course, no purpose ... where anything and everything can be done without remorse, shame, or guilt. People adrift.
Is it just me that misses the days of censorship? When vomit, feces, mucus, semen, urine, blood, were not part of nightly prime time. When heroes didn't have to gut and/or decapitate someone to look strong. When we had to use our own imagination to complete a scene that faded to black. When children were never portrayed as the victim in a gruesome graphic crime scene. When parents were counselors, not props for 10-year-old mini-adults making smartass remarks to canned laughter. Scoff and snort at Ward and June or Cliff and Clair if you want.
Folks are so confused they think debauchery is elegance, think perversity is sophisticated. I remember when we shunned and pitied the coarse and stupid, now we reward them with reality shows, record contracts, book deals, offices, power, status.
I ask myself, is it me getting old now that thinks we're legalizing and accepting social degeneration. Am I just uncool because I see more and more of American society as horribly offensive, repulsive?
John Stevenson, retired Air Force, engineer, old coot philosopher of sorts, says: "The Western Culture came to America with the early settlers from western Europe, primarily the British Isles. It was predominantly based on the Christian religion with elements of English jurisprudence and commercial law. It was a productive and uniform culture which extended into the minute detail of human behavior. It was extremely successful in the development, in a space of only two centuries, of the United States from a small isolated community of pioneers to the productive, wealthy and powerful country that it is today. This culture is now under mortal attack, is severely wounded and will succumb in the near future. It has already lost over half of its supporters and its enemies have the high ground in the media, justice, governing, and education institutions. Its life expectancy is now less than two more generations through our public schools."
There's a lot of truth in that statement.
In my lifetime I've witnessed the denigration of this western European Christian culture's achievements in the US. Seldom a mention of the wrongs that were righted. From a community of pioneers, including people of color, we have become a nation of special interest pimps and whores, appreciating nothing that came before. A citizenry so dumbed down we nod our heads and follow those who flagellate us with our own history. A nation of sociopaths, we participate in our own national suicide ... and call it progress.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:27 AM
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Thank God for the Whistle-Blowers. By Robert Scheer. "What WikiLeaks did was brilliant journalism, and the bleating critics from the president on down are revealing just how low a regard they have for the truth. As with Richard Nixon’s rage against the publication of the Pentagon Papers, our leaders are troubled not by the prospect of these revelations endangering troops but rather endangering their own political careers. It is our president who unnecessarily sacrifices the lives of our soldiers and not those in the press who let the public in on the folly of the mission itself."
--- Scheer's an old leftish liberal journalist from way back. Does he know the Wikileaks documents allegedly come from a low-level analyst who would not have access to high level classified information? Or does he just like hyperbole... The scheers of the world can make all the grand pronouncements of brilliance and revelations they want - fact is Manning did not have the security clearance such info requires. Sitting in Iraq, Manning most definitely did not have access to the systems which store the real "revelations." And, just because something is "classified" does not mean it is fact - at Manning's clearance level there is a lot of low-grade classified junk.
Scheer admits that the 9/11 attacks were launched from Afghanistan "That is, in fact, just how their nation came to be the launching pad for the 9/11 attacks, which is the ostensible purpose of our occupation. We meddled in their history in a grand Cold War adventure to humble the Soviets by attacking the secular government in Kabul with which Moscow sided."
Secular. Is that the word for nonreligious (communist) progressive government? Lets look see:
1973: Mohammed Daoud Khan, Afghan prince and politician, in a bloodless coup overthrew the monarchy of his cousin, Mohammed Zahir Shah, and became the first President of Afghanistan. (The longest period of stability (1933-1973) in Afghanistan was under the Zahir Shah monarchy. ) Daoud Khan was assassinated in 1978 as a result of the Saur Revolution led by the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA). Khan was known for his progressive policies, especially in relation to the rights of women, but even he established a one-party rule.
1978: Nur Muhammad Taraki became president after Khan and his family assassinated. Taraki also belonged to the PDPA.
1978: Nur Muhammad Taraki overthrown and murdered shortly afterwards. The new president was Hafizullah Amin. Also of the PDPA.
1979: Hafizullah Amin held office about 100 days and was either assassinated or died of an "undisclosed illness." General story is he was executed by the USSR who came at the request of the newly installed president and more pro-Soviet, Babrak Karmal. Karmal too a PDPA party member.
1979-1986: Karmal president. He is the best known of the Marxist leadership. In 1986 he left Afghanistan for Moscow, where he died in 1996. Also PDPA.
1986: Karmal is replaced by Dr. Mohammad Najibullah, also PDPA. After the Soviets pulled out, and two hard winters, the Najibullah government collapsed in 1992. Najibullah's career ended with him dangling from a lamp post, at the hands of the Taliban.
What's wrong with the picture Scheer paints... "We meddled .... by attacking the secular government in Kabul with which Moscow sided." Shouldn't that read - we meddled as the USSR meddled and installed the Communist PDPA? If you look closely the only difference between the PDPA and Taliban is the purse strings. Some seem to think the US is always and the only instigating bad guys.
And yes, it was the world renown humanitarian Jimmy Carter who initiated the program to fund, train, and equip the Mujahideen. The b.s. that the US intentionally drew the USSR into Afghanistan, "their Vietnam," is bogus. Moscow had been meddling years before and propping up one puppet after another; their invasion was foreseeable, or at least predictable. But the idea of tricking the Soviets made US intel and Grampa Reagan look like wise men.
As I've asked before - do you really think we "won" the Cold War? Why? Because the USSR "broke up" with itself?
If "meddling" is the meme the "left" and progressives (sometimes posing as libertarianistas) like to use for the 9/11 attacks - it would make just as much sense, if not more, for Islamic fundamentalists to target the godless Kremlin which also fueled a decade of civil war. Not so long ago the Mujahideen's "holy war" fighters were shouting death to Soviet infidels.
Still, we believe 4 planes were simultaneously hijacked by Al-Qaeda cave men acting alone, or if they had any inside help, why ... it was BushCo and/or Israel ... couldn't be any other old nemesis ... wonder who funds this multinational, stateless jihad army now.
Oh, yes, funding is via the "drug trade," which also funds the Taliban, international drug cartels, the CIA, global ruling elites, warlords and/or freedom fighters in Asia, Africa, Mexico, Colombia, international bankers, worldwide organized crime families, the Sandinistas, the Contras, the Illuminati, Freemasonry, The New World Order, Rothchilds, Russian Jews, Queen Elizabeth, heavy metal music, the ghettos of L.A., the Bush family dynasty and Governor Clinton's cocaine drops in the Ozark Mountains.
So lets say hand-offs Afghanistan - no US meddling - since it seems, according to anti-meddling folks, that the US has no strategic rationale for being there. Let some other world power assume the folly of dealing with the brutality, corruption, ineffective state institutions, thousands of miles of unguarded borders, illiteracy, poverty, and dysfunction in Afghanistan. We have plenty of all that right here at home to deal with.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:44 AM
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Charles Rangel: Pompous, corrupt, egotistical, and believes he is above all others. Fairly common traits in congressional lifers. They forget they are public servants and see the public as serving them. Two things our "leaders" rarely or never mention: Political corruption and term limits. To do so would put 99.9% of them out of work. Rangel is the obligatory political sacrifice at the public's alter so the remaining pols can rest easy for a few years, until the next crook is chosen for public embarrassment with a wrist slap. Besides, Rangel knows where his peers bury their fraud and graft.
Alvin Greene: Uncomfortably heartbreaking to see someone so fumbling and dense in the spotlight of his own making. But, it proves my theory that for at least the last 50 years the average American voter has no business voting, will vote for the first name on the ballot under their party affiliation, will vote for tingles, for personality, or for whomever their momma, daddy, husband, boyfriend, neighbor, or coworker say they're casting a ballot for. Please lord, force folks to pass a literacy and history test for voting eligibility.
Obama Rama: Shameful. Honestly, The View? I have never watched the View as I cannot stomach Joy Behar, never liked her as an actress or comedienne. She's a bull in a china shop - no grace. And how anyone who can listen to Baba WaWa... I have the feeling Obama has little to do with the presidency, he just plays one on TV. It doesn't appear Biden is Barack's brain, so who is really running the sideshow?
Opposers of Arizona Immigration Law: Reality TV, an episode of hoarding. Hoarding millions of unskilled uneducated workers - not because you love them, but because it makes dysfunctional little ol' you feel special, important, or you baby's daddy is from the barrio. If you want to see the future of the US simply look at the worst of Juarez, Tijuana, Nogales. A. Philip Randolph, radical, socialist, black civil rights leader, said in the 1920s: "This country is suffering from immigrant indigestion. It is time to call a halt on this grand rush for American gold which over-floods the labor market, resulting in lowering the standard of living, race-riots, and general social degradation."
It struck me a while back that rather than immigrants becoming more American - Americans are becoming more Latino. Something I noticed in Latin America, at least in a dozen countries, is the average male doesn't do much. Millions of males spend their time at the cantina playing pool or in a hammock, and/or sssssttt ssssssttting at the females. The workforce is predominantly women and children.
The poorest countries have the highest birth rates, the largest informal economies and the weakest social policies – Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Paraguay – and also have the highest female participation in the workforce. I have witnessed the American male shuffling down the same path. Supporting one's family is not a source of pride anymore. Modern American males expect the female to pull her own weight or, and too often, pull his weight too, while he hustles for a disability check or sells dope, maybe works odd jobs now and then, or waits on a settlement from that last frivolous lawsuit. Or, again too often, women have come to believe - who needs a male at all. I've heard more than one woman say men are only good for fixin' lawn mowers and f******.
I'm not saying latinization is to blame for the problems in the US - but if some enemy wanted to drop the US to its knees, what better way than using the structures of social degradation that work so well in third world nations. The "fat cats and hungry rats" method. Change the morality of the average male so that he is no longer the protector of women and children, but the predator.
Phyllis Schlafly's recent comments, bashed by liberals of course, may have a grain of truth. Schlafly says "unmarried women" overwhelmingly support President Obama and are on welfare. But does anyone really care what gasbag Schlafly thinks or says? "Unmarried women, 70% of unmarried women, voted for Obama, and this is because when you kick your husband out, you've got to have big brother government to be your provider," said Schlafly."
But, Obama does have a lot of mommas. Marriage is for white people. I was stunned to learn that a black child was more likely to grow up living with both parents during slavery days than he or she is today, according to sociologist Andrew J. Cherlin. Factor in the employment and poverty stats of single women/mothers, specifically minority women, and most receive some form of government provided aid.
Some day soon the money will run out. Change is coming. If you want to see America's future - just look south of the border. Yessiree, fat cats and hungry rats.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:58 AM
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Antiwar: They said the huge cache of classified documents – including 250,000 diplomatic messages passed from US embassies around the world to Washington – was a fantasy, “boasting” by Pfc. Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst who gave Wikileaks that video of US soldiers laughing and shouting “good shot!” as they mowed down Iraqi civilians. The “hi tech” media, especially Wired magazine, did everything they could do discredit and smear him, including spreading rumors about his alleged sexuality. Now, with the release of over 91,000 internal US government communications, intelligence analyses and incident reports via Wikileaks, the motive behind the determined effort to smear Manning and shut down Wikileaks is all too apparent.
----- I guess I'm out of the loop - I didn't know Manning was being smeared with his demotion for assaulting another soldier and don't ask don't tell sexuality. Or his brief pre-enlistment career in food service and retail. I almost feel sorry for the kid. He has bitten off more than he can ever chew.
Interestingly, the leaked documents tell us Osama bin Laden is alive - and for years the nay-sayers have said he was dead. For years the leakers and knowers and bloggers have said dialysis toting OBL died of kidney disease, and was not Osama, gravely ill and hooked up to dialysis, meeting with a CIA agent in a Kuwait hospital in 2000? That's one of the worldwide "facts" that went around after 9/11. Today I read Osama does not use dialysis - but he does suffer occasionally from kidney stones. Too much black tea...
The documents also tell us the sensational claim of the Taliban having acquired heat-seeking missiles, and that NATO has covered this up or so says the Telegraph. UK Telegraph reports Taliban militants have used a heat-seeking surface-to-air missile to attack a Western aircraft over Afghanistan for the first time. Courtesy of Iran.
Justin of Antiwar says: ”Like all raw intelligence, however, I would take some of these “revelations” with a very large grain of salt, such as one report that says a top bin Laden adviser flew to North Korea to buy weapons."
I think we'll need a few of the salt blocks we used in the cow pasture.
Daniel Ellsberg said he considers Manning and Wikileaker Julian Assange heroes for publicizing information the government wanted suppressed. He said Manning’s alleged leak was possibly more significant than his own, which exposed the secret expansion of the Vietnam War.
Most if not all of this leak reveals nothing we don't already know. If anything comes out of this mass of documentation that's of use to anyone - who will verify it's the truth?
I don't expect to see Manning become anything other than a jailed martyr/cause for the "left" because unlike Jewish Harvard/Cambridge/Quantico PhD Ellsberg - Manning is a grunt born in Oklahoma, reportedly attended secondary school in England, returned to the US, working food service and retail, a few community college courses before enlisting. Ellsberg had his honorable discharge in hand, Manning is active duty. Ellsberg leaked his information to arms of the establishment, the NYT, WaPo, etc. Manning leaked his to a foreign national.
Ellsberg got a lifetime of kudos and boards to sit on. Manning will have a lifetime of grief. If Manning, by some stroke of the gods, has his charges dismissed as Ellsberg did, the best Manning can hope for is to be a temporary folk hero such as Cindy Sheehan or Ehren Watada (but minus the GI benefits and/or general discharge). Maybe a book deal since everyone gets one these days, then fade to a footnote. But I predict the kid will do hard time.
Does one have to be a deserter, dissenter, or defector to be a people's hero? Who are these people who make heroes out of criminals? When history asks what went wrong in Afghanistan will the Manning Papers be a primary source? It should be obvious by now that since WWII the US doesn't fight to win - it fights to enrich international contractors. As one of my sons said years ago from Iraq - the suits are running this war.
Although I'm against the war on the Middle East, Manning's method is not the way to accomplish anything. Neither was Ellsberg's - do you really think the esteemed Mr. Ellsberg, at the time working at Rand think tank, made his treasonous decision all by his lonesome? As always, the public is or will be manipulated to benefit a few, the power and money seekers. Manning will have his supporters and Free Manning followers, but for most of them - he's not a keeper.
Have you seen Julian Assange, the "leader" of Wikileaks? All I can think is who drained his blood and stole his eyebrows?
Posted by Kate-A at 8:59 AM