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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

Journal Archives

Phil Donahue: Whistle-Blowers, Dissenters and Progressives Are the Patriots

Satan now promoting Nicolas Cage’s movie about the rapture

from Death & Taxes:

Satan now promoting Nicolas Cage’s movie about the rapture

The once powerful Prince of Darkness–once known for such lofty stunts as convincing a lady to eat an apple that would make her smarter, thereby condemning the whole world to have to wear clothes and die and stuff (gee, wonder what the moral of that story was?)– is maybe not doing so well these days, as it seems he has been reduced to writing blurbs for the upcoming Nicolas Cage movie “Left Behind,” along with several evangelical preachers and that one dude from “Duck Dynasty.”

The poster featuring Lucifer’s comment was first posted to the “Left Behind” Facebook page on Monday, and later reported by BuzzFeed.

Satan humbly requests that you, the faithful, do not bring “unbelievers” to see “Left Behind.” Probably because this movie is going to be so good that all of the “unbelievers,” myself included, will be like “Oh man, Nicolas Cage’s acting is just so good and not at all overwrought, I totally accept Jesus Christ as my lord and savior now, and whatnot.” Too bad for Satan though, because I have every intention of recapping this movie in i’s entirety on here as soon as it’s on the OnDemand or Amazon Instant.

If you are not familiar with “Left Behind,” it’s a series of books and Kirk Cameron movies about people getting vacuumed up into heaven, and then everyone else being like “Oh man! We’ve been left behind! Because we weren’t that into Jesus! Better start fighting Satan/the United Nations now, before no one can buy or sell anything without the mark of the beast!” ..............(more)


Noam Chomsky: Keeping Gaza in a Stranglehold

from In These Times:

Noam Chomsky: Keeping Gaza in a Stranglehold
Israel’s brutalization of Palestinians through exercises in “mowing the lawn” like Operation Protective Edge will persist without a change in U.S. policy.


On August 26, Israel and the Palestinian Authority both accepted a cease-fire agreement after a 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza that left 2,100 Palestinians dead and vast landscapes of destruction behind.

The agreement calls for an end to military action by Israel and Hamas as well as an easing of the Israeli siege that has strangled Gaza for many years.

This is, however, just the most recent of a series of cease-fire agreements reached after each of Israel's periodic escalations of its unremitting assault on Gaza.

Since November 2005 the terms of these agreements have remained essentially the same. The regular pattern is for Israel to disregard whatever agreement is in place, while Hamas observes it—as Israel has conceded—until a sharp increase in Israeli violence elicits a Hamas response, followed by even fiercer brutality. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://inthesetimes.com/article/17214/noam_chomsky_keeping_palestine_gaza_in_a_stranglehod

The Future of Work, Leisure, and Consumption...In an Age of Economic and Ecological Crisis

from Dollars & Sense:

The Future of Work, Leisure, and Consumption...
...In an Age of Economic and Ecological Crisis


Economist Juliet Schor is known worldwide for her research on the interrelated issues of work, leisure, and consumption. Her books on these themes include The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure, The Overspent American: Upscaling, Downshifting, and the New Consumer, and Plenitude: The New Economics of True Wealth (retitled True Wealth for its paperback edition). She is also a professor of sociology at Boston College. —Eds.

Dollars & Sense: We wouldn’t expect patterns of work, leisure, and consumption to change overnight, but now we’re into more than half a decade of a profound crisis. Obviously it’s had a big impact on employment, incomes, and so forth, but do you see any lasting changes emerging?

Juliet Schor: Some of the trends that were pretty significant before the crash have abated. I’m thinking most particularly about what I’ve called the “fast fashion model” of consumption—cheap imports of manufactured goods that people were acquiring at accelerating rates, the acceleration of the fashion cycle, and the cycle of acquisition and discard. The trend was people buying things, holding them for shorter and shorter periods of time and then discarding them either into some kind of household storage, into a waste stream, or into secondary markets. You had an amazing period of acquisition of consumer goods. I first started looking at this in the realm of apparel, but it was also in consumer electronics, ordinary household appliances, and pretty much across the board in consumer goods.

Of course, a lot of it was financed by debt or longer working hours, but manufactured goods just became so cheap. The idea that you could buy a DVD player for $19—and yes, people were trampling each other in the stores on Black Friday to get them—but that’s just an extraordinary period. So that has changed, because the economics of that have changed. Going forward, I don’t think we’re going to see that level of availability of cheap goods that we saw before. So I think that cycle has slowed down.

The other big thing has been the bifurcation of the consumer market. That’s something that’s been going on for a long time—the falling out of the middle as a result of the decline of the middle class, the growth of a really low-end in the consumer market with dollar stores and a retail sector where even Walmart is considered expensive. The other side was the expansion of the hyper-luxury market.

Trends in income and wealth are reflected in the consumer sphere. There’s more reluctance to take on debt, so debt-fueled consumer buying is lessened. There’s also less availability of consumer credit for households now. The other big thing that I’ve been looking at is the rise of “alternative cultures” of consumption; that is, people moving out of the branded, advertised goods and the mass- produced lifestyles that dominated in the last couple of decades, into both more ecologically aware lifestyles with more artisanal and self-production. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2014/0914schor.html

Europe Is Crumbling Into Collapse

Debt Rattle Oct 1 2014: Europe Is Crumbling Into Collapse
October 1, 2014 Posted by Raúl Ilargi Meijer at 9:40 pm

For me, the quote of the day is this one: “If there’s a periphery of the eurozone’s periphery, that’s Naples.”. The city of Napoli hosts ECB boss Mario Draghi and the heads of Europe’s central banks this week in some very posh former Bourbon family royal palace, and the contradictions involved couldn’t be more striking.

Napoli is home to an immense amount of poverty and misery, and the advent of the EU and the euro has done absolutely nothing to make life in the city any better. Quite the contrary. And there’s not a single thing in sight that holds any promise of alleviating the deepening Italian downfall. Therefore things can, and will, only get worse from here.

And that’s not just true for Italy, or Napoli. It’s true for all of Europe. That is not because Mario Draghi hasn’t spent enough money, or too much of it, or that he’s spent it in the wrong places. It’s because Napels is not Berlin or Frankfurt, or even Milan in the much richer north of Italy. And because Italy is not Germany, and Greece is not Finland, and trying to force all of them into one and the same economic mold can only possibly end in the poor getting poorer.

Unless there would be a massive wealth transfer from rich to poor, from north to south, but that’s never been in the cards. The intention was always to make the EU a tide to lift all boats, or even, in the wildest dreams, a boat to lift all tides. That intention has failed in dramatic fashion. But not one single one of the architects and present day leaders is ready to fess up to their failures. ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.theautomaticearth.com/debt-rattle-oct-1-2014-europe-is-crumbling-into-collapse/

Robert Parry: Official Washington’s Syrian ‘Fantasy’

from Consortium News:

Official Washington’s Syrian ‘Fantasy’
October 1, 2014

Exclusive: It is perhaps not news that the U.S. government bases wars on illusions, such as the nonexistent WMD in Iraq, but it is rare when there is a broad consensus before the conflict begins that a war’s success rests on a “fantasy” like the chimera of “moderate” Syrian rebels, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

What does it say when the capital of the world’s most powerful nation anchors a major decision about war in what every thinking person acknowledges is a “fantasy” – even the principal policymaker and a top advocate for foreign interventions?

It might suggest that the U.S. government has completely lost its bearings or that political opportunism now so overwhelms rationality that shortsighted expediency determines life-or-death military strategies. Either way, it is hard to see how the current U.S. policy toward Iraq, Syria and the larger Middle East can serve American national interests or translate into anything but more misery for the people of the region.

Official Washington’s most treasured “fantasy” today is the notion that a viable “moderate opposition” exists in Syria or could somehow be created. That wish-upon-a-star belief was the centerpiece of congressional action last month on a $500 million plan by President Barack Obama to train and arm these “moderate” rebels to combat Islamic State terrorists who have been plundering large swaths of Syria and Iraq — and also take on the Syrian army.

Yet, as recently as August, President Barack Obama publicly declared that trust in these “moderates” was a “fantasy” that was “never in the cards” as a workable strategy. Then, on Wednesday, David Ignatius, national security columnist for the neoconservative Washington Post and a prominent booster of U.S. interventionism, reported from a rebel staging area in Reyhanli, Turkey, the same reality in nearly the same language. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2014/10/01/official-washingtons-syrian-fantasy/

'The real objective of the 9/11 attacks was to prompt American overreaction: to goad Washington....'

from Consortium News:

Obama Does ‘Stupid Stuff’ in ISIS War
October 2, 2014

President Obama famously counseled his foreign policy team “don’t do stupid stuff,” but he is now violating his own principle by plunging into an incoherent war policy in Iraq and Syria rather than challenging the stupid “group think” of Official Washington, as Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett explain.

By Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

While President Barack Obama continues — at least for now — to resist redeploying large numbers of U.S. soldiers to fight the Islamic State on the ground, the military components of the anti-Islamic State strategy he has laid out effectively recommit the United States to its post-9/11 template for never-ending war in the Middle East.

In the end, such an approach can only compound the damage that has already been done to America’s severely weakened strategic position in the Middle East by its previous post-9/11 military misadventures.

Thirteen years after the fact, most of America’s political and policy elites have yet to grasp the strategic logic that motivated the 9/11 attacks against the United States. Certainly, al-Qa’ida was not averse to damaging America’s economy and punishing its people. But Osama bin Laden knew that effects of this sort would be finite, and thus of limited strategic value; he had no illusions about destroying “the American way of life.”

The real objective of the 9/11 attacks was to prompt American overreaction: to goad Washington into launching prolonged military campaigns against Muslim lands. These campaigns would galvanize popular sentiment across the Muslim world against the United States, mobilize Middle Eastern publics against regional governments (like the one in bin Laden’s native Saudi Arabia) that cooperate politically and militarily with it, and rally them in favor of jihadi fighters who resist American domination. .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://consortiumnews.com/2014/10/02/obama-does-stupid-stuff-in-isis-war/

The Return of the Corporate Court

from truthdig:

The Return of the Corporate Court

Posted on Oct 2, 2014
By Bill Blum

Jesse Busk has almost no chance of winning his lawsuit when it comes before the Supreme Court for oral argument Wednesday during the opening week of the new 2014-15 term. His dismal prospects stem not from any legal weaknesses in his case but from one overriding fatal flaw—he’s an ordinary working person challenging the prerogatives of corporate power. Cases like his seldom succeed before the panel led by Chief Justice John Roberts, rated by many observers and scholars as the most pro-business iteration of the high tribunal since the early 1930s.

Busk used to work as an Amazon.com “warehouse associate” in Las Vegas, filling orders placed by customers of the online retail behemoth, earning between $11.65 and $12.35 an hour without health care or paid leave for shifts that typically lasted 12 hours. Technically, he wasn’t employed by Amazon but by Delaware-based Integrity Staffing Solutions Inc., a high-powered nationwide agency that provides temporary workers to Amazon as well as other big-name companies such as Walmart, JPMorgan Chase and Zappos.com.

As depicted in the CNBC documentary “Amazon Rising” that aired in June, the services that warehouse associates perform hoisting commodities large and small off shelves and onto giant conveyor belts for packing and mailing are grueling and unrelenting, relieved only by 30-minute meal breaks and brief trips to the bathroom that are discouraged by supervisors. One former employee interviewed in the film described her stint at the massive complexes that Amazon euphemistically labels “fulfillment centers” as akin to time served “in a prison.”

In 2010, Busk and Laurie Castro, a warehouse associate from the fulfillment center in Fernley, Nev., filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Integrity, alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the New Deal-era statute designed to protect the rights of hourly workers to minimum wages, prompt paychecks and overtime. Among other grievances, they contended they were owed back pay for uncompensated time spent checking out of work each day, standing in airport-like security lines for up to 25 minutes. Together with hundreds of other workers, they were required to remove their wallets, keys and belts, and made to pass through metal detectors and sometimes had their bodies passed over with hand-held wands to prevent employee theft and what Amazon calls “inventory shrinkage.” ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_return_of_the_corporate_court_20141002

Michigan had a long tradition of moderate Republicans, but ...........

....... this current batch of MI Republicans belongs in a right wing insane asylum.

The Michigan Republican Party is being condemned for telling voters to call the ailing mother of a Democrat running for state representative to register their displeasure with Obamacare.

According to the Kalamazoo Gazette, the state GOP sent a mailer to voters in the Michigan House of Representatives’ 61st District this week tying Democratic candidate John Fisher to Obamacare. The mailer provided a phone number and urged voters to call Fisher personally to tell him what they thought of the health care law.

The phone number on the mailer, however, is a direct line to Fisher’s 91-year-old mother in a nursing home. According to the Gazette, the number is registered to Fisher, but connects directly to his mother's room.

“To direct people to call a suffering woman who deserves peace and comfort is beyond the pale," Fisher said in a statement to the Gazette. "Their lack of ethics and contempt for personal privacy is just another reason for people to question what –- or better, who –- the Republican Party stands for, so that they can make a wise decision at the ballot box on Nov. 4." .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/02/michigan-republicans-obamacare_n_5924508.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013

Yikes, just yikes! (trying to bleach history in Colorado)

DENVER (AP) — A fight in Colorado over how United States history is taught is coming to a head in suburban Denver on Thursday, with students and teachers expected to pack a school board meeting where the controversial changes could face a vote.

Turnout is expected to be so high that the teachers union plans to stream video from the meeting room — which holds a couple hundred people — on a big screen in the parking lot outside. Students are making plans to start their protests early in the day.

Students across a majority of the 17 high schools in Colorado's second-largest school district have walked out of classes in droves over the past few weeks, waving signs and flags in protests organized by word of mouth and social media.

The protests started Sept. 19, when the Jefferson County school board proposed creating a committee to review texts and course plans, starting with Advanced Placement history, to make sure materials "promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free-market system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights" and don't "encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law." ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/02/jefferson-county-school-board-fight_n_5920574.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013

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