How common are takedowns of dictators?

Note: Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, East Germany, Panama, Somalia, Chad, Zimbabwe, Greece, Peru, Ecuador, Spain, Iran, Philippines, Libya, Iraq, and Tunisia within the past few decades. Some of these “turned out ok”, some not so much. The jury is still out with China, Russia, Germany, Iran, Iraq, and Venezuela.

Utter failures include Somalia, Zimbabwe, [...]

Cow Most Sacred

…Why Military Spending Remains Untouchable Andrew Bacevich

Author of The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism

Posted: January 27, 2011 12:43 PM

“In defense circles, “cutting” the Pentagon budget has once again become a topic of conversation. Americans should not confuse that talk with reality. Any cuts exacted will at most reduce [...]

Doctored information – informed consent

via Miller McCune – By Erik Hayden

“A new study concludes that carefully crafted informed consent laws, rather than discouraging women to forgo an abortion, have zero impact on the amount of abortions performed in the states that choose to mandate these “scary briefings.”

California State University, Long Beach, Economist Marshall H. Medoff, who has [...]


Financial Meltdown Was ‘Avoidable,’ Crisis Panel Finds

First Posted: 01/25/11 05:57 PMÂ Updated: 01/26/11 10:15 AM –

WASHINGTON (By Dave Clarke)

The financial crisis could have been avoided and was the result of poor decision making both in Washington and at top financial firms that fostered a culture of excessive risk taking, according [...]

Americans really are creative

Note: hmm…guys will try anything…

SOTU Address – and its attendees

Note: One feature of a high-def video system is to see details in video which do not appear in SD broadcasts. The SOTU address being a case to consider – where the camera showed the interest, and lack thereof with many attendees. It also vividly showed a lot of old people in the audience, including [...]

It’s about damn time!

Note: The Tunisian Government today issued an international arrest warrant for its former President and members of his staff and family. Riots have broken out in Egypt, and seem prone to escalate dramatically. Residents of Gaza now understand that neither Fatah nor Hezbollah is capable of negotiating with Israel over the creation of a Palestinian [...]

Mark Thoma on competitiveness

“What will we need is “major investments in education, infrastructure, and basic R&D.” That means that if we want productivity to grow, and to provide decent jobs for our citizens, it is vital that we make the necessary investments in our future that will allow that to happen (and that includes investments in economic security [...]

We need someway outta here…

Why Does Inequality Matter?

The Economist asks:

What’s the correct way to think about the rise of the global super-rich? Is there any reason to be concerned about recent changes in the income distribution, in America, across rich countries, or globally? Is there reason to believe that inequality contributes to financial or economic instability?

Here’s [...]

The Palestinian Papers

Palestinian Papers: What the Al Jazeera Blockbuster Means MJ Rosenberg – Senior Foreign Policy Fellow, Media Matters Action Network Posted: January 24, 2011 09:22 AM

“Al Jazeera’s stunning revelations about Israeli-Palestinian negotiations have different meanings for Israelis, Americans and for Palestinians.

The bottom line is that, despite the assurances it gave to the Palestinian [...]

The Competition myth – Krugman 2011

The Competition Myth By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: January 23, 2011 Meet the new buzzword, same as the old buzzword. In advance of the State of the Union, President Obama has telegraphed his main theme: competitiveness. The President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board has been renamed the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. And in his Saturday [...]

Competitiveness – Paul Krugman 1994


Magazine: Foreign Affairs Issue: March/April 1994 (volume 73, number 2)

SYNOPSIS: One of the original papers on trade that put Krugman in the Economic spotlight. Talks about unintelligent concern with International Competition.


In June 1993, Jacques Delors made a special presentation to the leaders of the nations [...]

Competitiveness – American-style

“Competitiveness” Is Peace By: emptywheel Saturday January 22, 2011 8:10 am

“I spent much of the day yesterday pointing out how stupid it was for Obama to put outsourcer, China nut, and TBTF bankster Jeff Immelt in charge of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Meanwhile, Paul Krugman and Robert Reich have been focusing [...]

Page is back…Schmidt is gone

Note: There is a change at Google, with co-founder Page assuming the CEO position after the departure of Schmidt.

Gee, maybe there’s a chance Omidyar could come back to eBay and make it less evil too…

Aflockalypse: massive animal deaths


Aflockalypse, this is what international news sites call the recent massive deaths of animals all over the world. Within the past few months we’ve heard of the sudden deaths of thousands of: bats, bees, fish, crabs, birds, and cows. The latest is an estimated 10,000 dead cattle in Vietnam.

There is a Google map [...]

The “journalists” are at it again…

re: Betelgeuse – a star going supernova may give the Earth two Suns:

Six months ago, an astronomer said that Betelgeuse will go supernova sometime in the next 100,000 years. That’s all he said. The rest is in your mind. http://blo­gs.discove­rmagazine.­com/badast­ronomy/201­0/06/01/is­-betelgeus­e-about-to­-blow/

The media also mistakenly attributed some of the­u article’s conclusion­s to Dr Brad [...]

It’s way past time for Microsoft to die!

Note: The licensing mechanism that Microsoft has created for Windows 7Â is ample proof that their time on the stage should be ended!

If I had the time or talent for creating an “app” to take down their hegemony I’d do it in a second.

Three hundred fifteen dollars to “authenticate” a Windows 7 [...]

Do you have one of these unusuals in your circle?

This summarizes some of the common features or behavioral descriptions of sociopaths.

Glibness and Superficial Charm Manipulative and Conning They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They [...]

More journalistic claptrap

(via Union of Concerned Scientists Website: Jan 15th, 2011)

China and Reprocessing: Separating Fact from Fiction

Last week several U.S. media organizations, {including Reuters}, reported that China made a “breakthrough in spent fuel reprocessing technology.” The original BBC story (which the news organization eventually replaced with a less sensational version) described the advance as “a [...]

My eBook Library

Note: I have spent several hours assembling about a hundred eBooks loosely based on the notion “The 100 Books You Must Read Before You Die”. They are available via my website; but due to excessive downloading attempts we must password protect the directory. The eBooks are readily available to serious, and civil folks who will [...]

On the other hand…

Note: Unfortunately a misconception has taken hold in public discourse stating a virtue for bimodal approaches to truth, such that truth resides somewhere at the intersection between two or more dissimilar ideas.

This concept got it’s wings in the political arena, where ultimate truth was generally considered to be somewhere between the Republican and Democratic [...]

CDO’s & CDS Explained – Cautionary tale for current investors

CDO’s and CDS explained by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone Magazine -Posted Mar 19, 2009 12:49 PM

…a collateralized-debt obligation. A CDO is like a box full of diced-up assets. They can be anything: mortgages, corporate loans, aircraft loans, credit-card loans, even other CDOs. So as X mortgage holder pays his bill, and Y corporate [...]

Tunisia protests forces President from power

Note: After 23 years of dictatorship Tunisia deposes its President, who has been granted asylum in Saudi Arabia…where he may end his days as did Idi Amin…and hopefully, in the near future, he will be joined by several other dictators from Africa and the Middle East…including Mubarak, al-Assad, Mugabe, Gadaffi, Kim Jon Il, Shwe, al-Bashir, [...]

Us & Them…

Gated communities, Separation Fences, Blast Walls, and DRM…same/same…

Gated Communities adj: A refuge for people you’d not choose to be marooned with on a desert island under any circumstance…especially if you are “different”.

These new implantees are afraid – afraid of crime, of not having access to water for their green-grass shawl, of the unexpected [...]

Of course the Civil War was about slavery

via Miller-MacCune Dec. 20, 2010 By Emily Badger

Concrete concerns about saving and expanding slavery, and not the nebulous theology of states’ rights, ignited the U.S. Civil War. Why does that message keep getting lost?

Confederate Civil War re-enactors in Long Beach, Calif. While historians agree that the Civil War was fought over issues [...]

‘Targeting’ in politcal discussions – another really, really bad idea

Sarah Palin Criticized Over Gabrielle Giffords Presence on “Target List” Posted by Brian Montopoli, Robert Hendin – Jan. 8th, 2011 (Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

Updated 12:20 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday

We do not yet know what prompted 22-year-old accused gunman Jared Loughner to allegedly shoot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and others, including a child [...]

Stop the appeals to violence!

“I call for and end to all overt or implied appeals to violence in American politics. We must debate, not hate.”


Dangerous outcomes from a culture of paranoia By Harold Meyerson Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Last October, Glenn Beck was musing on his radio show about the prospect of the government seizing his [...]

Sen. John Kerry’s article in WAPO

Sen. John Kerry appeared at the Center for American Progress today to give a speech on “gridlock and globalization.” The address should’ve been a snooze, but it’s not. It’s an ambitious and plausible diagnosis of our country’s economic problems as partly political in nature, and it’s a sensible and complete vision for how we could [...]

Krutch – on the Common Man

Foreword to: “Is The Common Man Too Common” by Joseph Wood Krutch

“In 1922 the late Harold Stearns edited a sensational symposium to which many intellectuals of that post-war generation contributed. Though it was called Civilization in the United States, many of the participants seemed to feel that there wasn’t any, and part of the [...]

Steve Ballmer at CES: The importance of being ernest

Note: Here’s the text of Ballmer’s address on Jan. 5th, 2011 at CES; where he promotes three Microsoft ‘new products’, two of which are first class losers: the TV for the Xbox, the Windows Phone, and Windows 7…and no mention of an Apple Ipad/Google Android competitor.

It’s way past time for MS to sulk off [...]