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marmar

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,624

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Robert Scheer: A Statement of Peace, or an Epitaph


from truthdig:



A Statement of Peace, or an Epitaph

Posted on Aug 6, 2013
By Robert Scheer


August 6 marks 68 years since the United States committed what is arguably the single gravest act of terrorism that the world has ever known. Terrorism means the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, and targeted they were, with the cutely named “Little Boy” atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at a location and time of day when, as the Strategic Bombing Survey commissioned by President Harry Truman conceded, “nearly all the school children ... were at work in the open,” a perfect opportunity for mass incineration.

“That fateful summer, 8:15,” the mayor of Hiroshima recalled at a memorial service in 2007, “the roar of a B-29 breaks the morning calm. A parachute opens in the blue sky. Then suddenly, a flash, an enormous blast—silence—hell on earth. The eyes of young girls watching the parachute were melted. Their faces became giant charred blisters. The skin of people seeking help dangled from their fingernails. ... Others died when their eyeballs and internal organs burst from their bodies. Hiroshima was a hell where those who somehow survived envied the dead. Within the year, 140,000 had died.”

It was followed three days later by the “Fat Man” bomb leveling Nagasaki, with a comparable disastrous impact on a largely civilian population that had no effective control over the decisions of the emperor who initiated the war. Nagasaki was a last- minute substitute for Kyoto, which Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson ordered spared because he had fond memories of his honeymoon in that city a couple of decades earlier. The devastation of those two cities was so gruesome that our government banned the showing of film footage depicting the carnage we had caused.

We have never been very good at challenging our nation’s own reprehensible behavior, but if we don’t take proper measure of the immense extermination wrought by two small and primitive nuclear weapons as compared with today’s arsenals, we lose the point as to why they must be banned. We are the country that designed and exploded these weapons that are inherently implements of terrorism in that, as the nuking of Japan amply demonstrated, they cannot distinguish between civilian and combatant. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_statement_of_peace_or_an_epitaph_20130806/



DWI Attorney Found In Contempt For Showing Up To Court Drunk


Some lawyers have trouble relating to the law-breakers they represent. This one, unfortunately, doesn't.

Attorney John Wayne Higgins, who specializes in DWI law, wasn't scheduled to appear before Albuquerque Metropolitan Court Judge Julie Altwies last Wednesday. But that didn't stop him from hanging out in her courtroom for about 45 minutes before the judge called in a probation officer to check his blood alcohol content.

Higgins had business in the courthouse, but he went into the wrong courtroom, and no one cared what he had to say, least of all the judge.

The 69-year-old attorney's blood alcohol content measured at .11 percent, according to KQRE. The presumed level for intoxication in New Mexico is .08 percent. He was taken into custody and then to an area hospital. ...............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/05/john-higgins-drunk-lawyer_n_3708804.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news



Larry Summers' Enron Connection Is Yet Another Reason Not To Make Him Fed Chairman


Larry Summers' Enron Connection Is Yet Another Reason Not To Make Him Fed Chairman

Mark Gongloff
Posted: 08/05/2013 1:38 pm EDT | Updated: 08/05/2013 4:28 pm EDT


Here's something else to add to the long list of reasons Larry Summers would make a terrible Federal Reserve chairman: He reportedly told California to suck it up when it complained that Enron was manipulating its power market.

According to Kurt Eichenwald's 2005 book about the Enron scandal, "Conspiracy of Fools," then-California Gov. Gray Davis (D) reached out in late 2000 to Summers, who was then the Treasury secretary under President Clinton, for help with the state's little problem of power outages and skyrocketing electricity prices. Davis suspected, rightly, that Enron was toying with the state's electricity supply for fun and profit.

Summers, though, scoffed at Davis's suspicions, according to Eichenwald. The book details how together with then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, Summers geniusplained to Davis that over-regulation was the real problem and that Davis risked scaring away Enron and other power suppliers if he raised a big fuss. In fact, maybe the real problem was that California's energy prices were too low, because of onerous price caps, Summers reckoned, according to Eichenwald.

When energy prices kept on soaring, Davis complained again, prompting a video conference call that included Summers and Greenspan and, incredibly, George W. Bush's favorite executive, Enron CEO Kenneth "Kenny Boy" Lay. On that call, Summers declared that Lay was doing a "pretty good job" of supplying energy to California, Eichenwald writes. The book says Summers again suggested that the state's energy prices were actually too low, and that maybe if the state was so in love with low energy prices, what it needed to do was relax environmental regulations to let more power plants get built in a hurry. .........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/05/larry-summers-enron_n_3708137.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037&ir=Politics



Tennessee Man Allegedly Got Drunk, Stole Bobcat 'To Hide His Nudity'


Drunks make for awful drivers and worse thieves. They're pretty good at dumb excuses, though.

Joseph Michael Hall, a 19-year-old Tennessee man, was arrested Sunday and charged with felony theft and a short list of misdemeanors after he allegedly got drunk and stole a Bobcat front-loading utility vehicle from a Knoxville-area nursery.

But according to an arrest warrant obtained by the Knoxville News Sentinel, it was all a case of criminal cover-up.

"Mr. Hall stated that he was drunk and that he was trying to hide his nudity by taking the Bobcat," the warrant stated. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/05/joseph-michael-hall-drunk-bobcat-naked_n_3706757.html?utm_hp_ref=weird-news



Marijuana Poll: Reported Use Remains Stable While Support For Legalization Grows


Support for legalizing marijuana for recreational and medical use is growing nationwide, but a recent Gallup survey found that this shift hasn't correlated with an increase in reported use of the drug.

In a poll of 972 national adults conducted in July, 38 percent reported having tried marijuana, a small increase from 34 percent in 1999 and 33 percent in 1985. The poll had a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Among the respondents, seven percent admitted currently using marijuana. Thirteen percent of liberals reported currently using marijuana and 49 percent said they'd tried it at some point. Among conservatives, only two percent said they currently used marijuana and 32 percent admitted having used it in the past.

Earlier this year, support for marijuana legalization reached a high point when polls showed a majority of Americans were in favor of turning away from federal law, which currently considers the drug a Schedule I controlled substance, alongside heroin, PCP and LSD. Weeks after a Pew Research Center survey found 52 percent of Americans in favor of legalizing marijuana use, a HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 51 percent believed marijuana should be "legalized, taxed, and regulated like alcohol." In both of those surveys, around 10 percent of respondents said they'd used marijuana in the past year. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/05/marijuana-poll_n_3707901.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037



Dean Baker: The Economy Is Awful and Larry Summers Should Not Be Fed Chair


The Economy Is Awful and Larry Summers Should Not Be Fed Chair

Monday, 05 August 2013 09:59
By Dean Baker, Truthout | Op-Ed


In his recent defense of Larry Summers President Obama appeared to be badly confused about the state of the economy. This apparently leads him to believe that the country should be grateful to Larry Summers for his successes, as opposed to furious at him for his failures.

Obama’s story is that the economy was in a free fall when he took office and the program that was in large part designed by Summers helped turn it around. While it is true that the economy was in free fall, there was no reason to expect that to continue regardless of what policies were pursued. Note that in every single wealthy country the sharp drop in output at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 was stopped and reversed by the end of the year. Other countries were not able to rely on the genius of Larry Summers in setting their policies.

This doesn’t mean that the stimulus package that President Obama pushed through did not help. According to the estimates of the Congressional Budget Office and a number of independent economists, the stimulus added between two to three million jobs. The problem is that the economy needed between 10-12 million jobs. The stimulus was far too small and did not last nearly long enough.

How much should we blame Larry Summers for an inadequate stimulus? That’s hard to say. It’s not clear that President Obama could have gotten a larger stimulus through Congress at the time, but it is clear that his team (presumably including Summers) badly underestimated the severity and the duration of the downturn. .....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/17978-the-economy-is-awful-and-larry-summers-should-not-be-fed-chair



The Backyard Shock Doctrine


from TomDispatch:




The Great Eviction
The Landscape of Wall Street’s Creative Destruction

By Laura Gottesdiener


We cautiously ascend the staircase, the pitch black of the boarded-up house pierced only by my companion’s tiny circle of light. At the top of the landing, the flashlight beam dances in a corner as Quafin, who offered only her first name, points out the furnace. She is giddy; this house -- unlike most of the other bank-owned buildings on the block -- isn’t completely uninhabitable.

It had been vacated, sealed, and winterized in June 2010, according to a notice on the wall posted by BAC Field Services Corporation, a division of Bank of America. It warned: “entry by unauthorized persons is strictly prohibited.” But Bank of America has clearly forgotten about the house and its requirement to provide the “maintenance and security” that would ensure the property could soon be reoccupied. The basement door is ajar, the plumbing has been torn out of the walls, and the carpet is stained with water. The last family to live here bought the home for $175,000 in 2002; eight years later, the bank claimed an improbable $286,100 in past-due balances and repossessed it.

It’s May 2012 and we’re in Woodlawn, a largely African American neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. The crew Quafin is a part of dubbed themselves the HIT Squad, short for Housing Identification and Target. Their goal is to map blighted, bank-owned homes with overdue property taxes and neighbors angry enough about the destruction of their neighborhood to consider supporting a plan to repossess on the repossessors.

“Anything I can do,” one woman tells the group after being briefed on its plan to rehab bank-owned homes and move in families without houses. She points across the street to a sagging, boarded-up place adorned with a worn banner -- “Grandma’s House Child Care: Register Now!” -- and a disconnected number. There are 20 banked-owned homes like it in a five-block radius. Records showed that at least five of them were years past due on their property taxes. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175731/tomgram%3A_laura_gottesdiener%2C_the_backyard_shock_doctrine/#more



The suburbs: No longer the American Dream?





That perfect picture of the American Dream: A white picket fence, 2.5 kids, a dog and friendly neighbors -- they all require a suburban location.

But according to one new book, that picture is changing. Americans are leaving the suburbs. In fact, for the first time a century, cities are growing faster than the 'burbs. Leigh Gallagher, assistant managing editor at Fortune, looks into why in her new book "The End of the Suburbs: Where The American Dream is Moving."

And while many people think of the growth of the suburbs as an explosion of American independence, the buildup of places like Levittown were actually quite planned by the government -- especially with the help of things like tax deductions.

.....(snip).....

Part of the change is also attributed to the "huge demographic bombshell" of young families who are choosing to stay in cities with children -- whereas the suburbs are full of older generation, baby boomers. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/life/big-book/suburbs-no-longer-american-dream



The Backyard Shock Doctrine


from TomDispatch:




The Great Eviction
The Landscape of Wall Street’s Creative Destruction

By Laura Gottesdiener


We cautiously ascend the staircase, the pitch black of the boarded-up house pierced only by my companion’s tiny circle of light. At the top of the landing, the flashlight beam dances in a corner as Quafin, who offered only her first name, points out the furnace. She is giddy; this house -- unlike most of the other bank-owned buildings on the block -- isn’t completely uninhabitable.

It had been vacated, sealed, and winterized in June 2010, according to a notice on the wall posted by BAC Field Services Corporation, a division of Bank of America. It warned: “entry by unauthorized persons is strictly prohibited.” But Bank of America has clearly forgotten about the house and its requirement to provide the “maintenance and security” that would ensure the property could soon be reoccupied. The basement door is ajar, the plumbing has been torn out of the walls, and the carpet is stained with water. The last family to live here bought the home for $175,000 in 2002; eight years later, the bank claimed an improbable $286,100 in past-due balances and repossessed it.

It’s May 2012 and we’re in Woodlawn, a largely African American neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. The crew Quafin is a part of dubbed themselves the HIT Squad, short for Housing Identification and Target. Their goal is to map blighted, bank-owned homes with overdue property taxes and neighbors angry enough about the destruction of their neighborhood to consider supporting a plan to repossess on the repossessors.

“Anything I can do,” one woman tells the group after being briefed on its plan to rehab bank-owned homes and move in families without houses. She points across the street to a sagging, boarded-up place adorned with a worn banner -- “Grandma’s House Child Care: Register Now!” -- and a disconnected number. There are 20 banked-owned homes like it in a five-block radius. Records showed that at least five of them were years past due on their property taxes. ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175731/tomgram%3A_laura_gottesdiener%2C_the_backyard_shock_doctrine/#more



Keiser Report: Financial Tapeworms





Published on Aug 3, 2013

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the good news from China where a worm has been successfully removed from a man's brain; thus giving us hope at removing the 6 foot long financial tapeworms which have sucked the nutrients out of the global financial system leaving behind a malnourished Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) world in which wages fail to keep up with inflation and new workers are put on 'zero hour' contracts. In the second half, Max talks to journalist, author and filmmaker, Greg Palast of GregPalast.com, about Goldman Sachs and John Paulson and about Obama intervening in the case of vulture capitalist Paul Singer versus Argentina only in order to help out Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan.


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