Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rededication of Berlin's largest synagogue

This synagogue was burned down during Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, November 9-10, 1938. It has been restored and is incredibly beautiful, with a seating capacity of 1200 persons.

Thanks to Irene Rudick for the photos.

Putting Beck's numbers in perspective

[Image from here]

Some have claimed that about 300,000 people attended the Beck rally in Washington today. Following that rally, Michele Bachmann held her own rally attended by about 1,000 teapot crackpots. Bachmann thought there were at least a million people in attendance.

So what? There are 305 million people in our country.

It really isn't a very big deal if a couple hundred thousand are so mentally-challenged they feel the need to truck themselves to Washington, D.C. carrying their great big guns, to hear the moronic lamentations of Beck, Palin and Bachmann.

I don't think we'll ever know the actual numbers. We can't believe Beck or his sponsors, the Koch brothers, aka FreedomWorks.

Glenn Beck the anti-Christ anti-King?

[Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA]

Some biblically illiterate folks have been waiting for years for the advent of the so-called anti-Christ, whatever or whoever that may be. Some of these biblically illiterate folks have told me that President Obama is the anti-Christ.

I don't think so. I think the anti-Christ is Glenn Beck. He spews vitriol and spawns hatred - all in the name of some deity he pretends to follow. He spits on our Constitution by pretending that our founders were Christians and founded a Christian nation even though all the evidence proves the contrary. He is a monumental liar and a sower of chaos and fear. He wraps himself in robes of righteousness that fail miserably to cover the stink of his person.


Okay, Beck is probably not the anti-Christ. I was just yanking your chain. But he sure as hell is the antithesis of Martin Luther King, Jr. And if Martin were walking our streets today, Beck would be one of those out there running him down with bullhorns, dogs and nightsticks.

Yesterday, in anticipation of Beck's rally held today, on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech in Washington, and in the very place King stood those many years ago, Think Progress posted an article titled "REPORT: Glenn Beck's Philosophy Is Opposed To Everything Martin Luther King, Jr. Stood For."

Here are the main points:

1. "KING believed that it was America's collective responsibility to provide economic justice for all. In 1961, the civil rights leader addressed the AFL-CIO on his vision of the American Dream. King said that his vision of America's promise was a country where 'equality of opportunity, of privilege and property [are] widely distributed; a dream of a land where men will not take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few.' ...

"BECK, on the other hand, has repeatedly insulted any government attempt to help the poor. The host has offensively claimed that 'Big government never lifts anybody out of poverty. It creates slaves, people who are dependent on the scraps from the government, the handouts.' The pundit has declared that President Obama 'really is a Marxist' because he 'believes in the redistribution of wealth.'"

2. "KING championed using his faith to achieve social justice. ... [He] saw Jesus's teachings as commanding him to take part in progressive activism to achieve 'social justice.' ...

"BECK has derided social justice and attacked Christians who want to use their faith to achieve it. ... He ... [has] accused progressives of trying to 'hijack churches' with a message of social justice."

3. "KING believed in loving those who disagreed with him and engaging in thoughtful dialogue. One of the hallmarks of King's philosophy ... was his advocacy for maintaining thoughtful and respectful dialogue with those who disagreed with his goals. ... He practiced nonviolence and even asked civil rights demonstrators to not fight back when attacked by white racists. ...

"BECK, on the other hand, has repeatedly attacked his political opponents with vicious and hateful language. He has compared president Obama to the Antichrist and said that it was 'approaching treason' to elect a more progressive Congress. He has said he hates the 9/11 victims' families and derided supporters of cap-and-trade as 'greedy,' 'wicked,' and 'treasonous.' ... "

It's hard to know what today's rally was all about today. Anti-government, for sure. Beck, in his dementia, claimed a "miracle" would occur and the nation would begin returning to God (the Christian god) which would bring the blessings of heaven down upon the land.

Beck also claimed it was non-political, and about restoring "honor." If there is any person without honor in our country today, it is Glenn Beck! He is also a terrible liar. Beck is a political force. Everything he says and touches is political. So far as I know, no liberals, Democrats, or progressives were invited to speak at the rally. The speakers were all people who crawled out from under the ultra-conservative, teapot crackpots, "Christian" right-wing rock.

One reader of the Think Progress article, going by the name Osage, had this to say, which is, I believe, a perfect commentary on Glenn Beck and his "rally" to restore honor:

"Glenn Beck trying to cover himself in the mantle of Martin Luther King is akin to Adolf Hitler sporting a Yarmulke and holding a rally at Temple Emmanu-El."

Please click here to read the entire article and the subsequent comments at Think Progress.


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Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

The Real Gaza - Photo #2

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart - Glenn Beck, "I Have a Scheme"

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Rachel Maddow - Astroturf activism of the wildly wealthy or the ungodly shenanigans of the Koch brothers

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Cenk Uygur: White House Circling the Wagons Around Alan Simpson | Video Cafe

Cenk Uygur: White House Circling the Wagons Around Alan Simpson | Video Cafe

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It is beyond perfidy for the Obama Administration to keep Alan Simpson of the fiscal reform commission! Send the son-of-a-bitch back to the wilds of Wyoming where he belongs. As Uygur asks, why the hell did we elect a Democratic president if he's going to suck up to bastards like Simpson?

The Colbert Report - Glenn-Livid

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Mr. Colbert explains why Mr. Beck has nothing whatsoever to do with Martin Luther King, Jr.

On freedom of religion

The following is derived from a post on the blog, Daylight Atheism, titled "The Ingratitude of American Theocrats."

"When America's founders ratified the Constitution, they created something that arguably had never existed in the world before: a republic where freedom of religion was explicity enshrined in the charter, where toleration wasn't just the whim of a benevolent ruler but the immutable law of the land. ...

"This was a radical break with history. At the time America was founded, all the great powers of Europe had state-supported churches and monarchs who claimed to rule by divine right, and religious wars and persecution were the order of the day: ... In fact, the Spanish Inquisition was still executing heretics at the time of Thomas Jefferson's presidency. ..."

On the other hand ... "our founding document offered all comers a wonderful bargain: the freedom to live in peace, practice your beliefs as you see fit, even preach them to others. And in return we asked only, as President Washington said, that believers of all kinds be good citizens and obey the law of the land. ...

"But for members of the modern Christian right, it isn't enough. It's not enough for them that they have the right to practice their beliefs as they see fit, free of government interference. It's not enough for them that they have the unlimited freedom to fundraise, pray and preach as much as they like, in whatever media outlets they choose to publish. It's not even enough for them that they can stud the landscape with churches and staff and maintain them tax-free.

"No, these dominionist believers want more than freedom: they want a special, privileged place in the laws of our country. They want the government to obey them, to issue official proclamations reminding everyone of their superiority, and to underwrite their evangelism with tax money from nonbelievers. They want their dogmas and only their dogmas to be taught in public school science classes, enshrined on courthouse lawns, and used as the basis to decide who should be allowed to marry, divorce, be born and die. In short, they want to be what our founders specifically sought to prevent: a state-established church, an arm of the government, with special rights and privileges granted to members and nonbelievers relegated to second-class citizens.

"What selfishness! What ingratitude! All American believers, Christian or not, were given a priceless gift by the founders, and these ones throw it on the ground and spit on it. They don't want to be one religion among many; they want special privileges and special recognition. ... It's telling that these fundamentalists apparently can't just practice their religion on their own - they need constant hand-holding and head-patting from the government to stroke their egos and reassure them that they're better and specialer than everyone else. It's a clear sign of insecurity.

"Benjamin Franklin had their number over two hundred years ago:

'When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself, and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call on for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.'"

There's more to this post, which you can read at the link above.

The real Gaza

A good friend sent me a number of photographs of Gaza. While I don't know the original source of these pictures, they were eye-opening, to say the least. And it raises the question as to why Israel still sends aid to Gaza. From what we read and see in the media, one would get the impression that Gaza is a destitute mud hole in the middle of nowhere.

The reality is something else.

We will be posting a photo a day over the next month or so.

This is the first look at the "real" Gaza.

Jon Stewart - Republican - the Gay Old Party

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What Einstein really believed...

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Thanks to An Apostate's Chapel!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Faiz Shakir on Countdown discussing Glenn Beck

The "seed" of Islam - according to Franklin Graham

Quiz Show - Bible Contradictions by NonStampCollector

American Christian Taliban on the rise

[Photo of John Fleming]

We'll have more to say in the near future about the rise of the American Christian Taliban but what follows is a good example of this phenomenon.

The Constitution of the United States is simply irrelevant to the American Christian Taliban. The Christian Bible is their "constitution," and their interpretation of their Bible they believe to be their god's will for our nation. There is little difference between the Taliban in Afghanistan and the American Christian Taliban.

John Fleming, a Republican Representative in Congress from Louisiana, is representative of the American Christian Taliban. He met with the Republican Women of Boissier (Louisiana) along with Sen. David Vitter, also a Republican from Louisiana (Vitter, you'll remember, became famous for his penchant for prostitutes) and here's what he said, according to an article posted to AlterNet by jedlewison:

Fleming told the dear women of Bossier that there is no way bipartisanship can work because Congress is made up of Christians and the godless. Well, he put it this way:

"We have two competing world views here and there is no way that we can reach across the aisle -- one is going to have to win.

"We are either going to go down the socialist road and become like western Europe and create, I guess really a godless society, an atheist society. Or we're going to continue down the other pathway where we believe in freedom of speech, individual liberties and we remain a Christian nation. So we're going to have to win that battle, we're going to have to solve that argument before we can once again reach across and work together on things."

This is mind-blowing! How does anyone so goddamn ignorant of history and the Constitution get elected to office and stay in office? With people like this in Congress, the United States very survival is at risk and President Obama doesn't have a chance. Unfortunately, Fleming is just one of many. Hopefully, the President has come to realize that fact and will finally ignore them to accomplish his goals.

Alan Grayson Saved Our Schools

The president's problem according to the Graham cracker

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Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

The U.S. Government - controlled by a wealthy oligarchy

[Photo of Alan Simpson from the NY Daily News by Roberts/Bloomberg]

We've heard the word, "socialism," bandied about incessantly over the past year or two, mostly by people who don't know the difference between fascism, communism, capitalism or socialism.

Socialism, which in essence refers to a system whereby the government owns the means of production, is the least of our worries at this point. But the word is a problem as it is being used as part of a tactic to scare the ignorant and unsuspecting which is part of a larger tactic by the rich and powerful to subvert our democratic system and take over our government, leaving us with an oligarchy of the wealthy.

Alan Simpson, a Republican and former senator from Wyoming, gives us an imperfect, yet precise look at the collective mind of such an oligarchy. Simpson, who for some unfathomable reason, co-chairs Obama's fiscal reform commission, has it in for seniors and people in need. This commission, sadly echoing Cheney's meetings of oil magnates in the early days of Bush Jr.'s presidency, meets behind closed doors, so we are not privy to what is being debated or planned or recommended. We do know, however, the commission intends to go after the three big entitlement programs. Simpson said, "We are going to stick the big three," referring to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

If there's one thing Simpson lacks, its that so-called compassionate conservatism with which Bush Jr. conned an entire nation. Thus, Simpson derides the elderly among us by claiming that Social Security is "a milk cow with 310 million tits." Every person who has paid into the Social Security system should be up in arms and demand this hide-bound bozo be fired from the fiscal reform commission. That so-called "milk cow" has milk only because we have filled it with milk out of our hard-earned paychecks year after year after year! Social Security is not the government's money, it is OUR money!!!

Simpson is the face of the oligarchy which is, ipso facto, ruling our nation at the moment, an oligarchy, which to his detriment, Obama has not dismantled, but rather perpetrated.

It is an oligarchy which is growing by leaps and bounds, energized exponentially by the recent Supreme Court decision which declared, incomprehensibly, that corporations are people and therefore whatever millions of dollars they donate to political causes or their political lackeys is protected as "free speech" under the First Amendment.

Already the horrific results of this incredibly stupid decision are showing their ugly face. The United States Chamber of Commerce, no longer fettered, is increasing its political budget by 1/3 to help elect candidates and support laws that would benefit the business sector.

But some of what is happening is not so overt. Glenn Beck, who plans to hold a rally in Washington on August 28 (the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech), is being sponsored covertly by a number of right-wing groups. Beck claims this rally is non-political, but as usual, he lies through his teeth. One of the headliners is Sarah "the quitter" Palin!

Beck's rally is being backed by the NRA, one of the most political organizations in the country which has attacked Obama with every means at its disposal since Obama threw his hat in the ring. Beck is also backed by Americans for Prosperity, one of the Koch brothers organizations which also served as a front for the so-called teapot party crackpots.

The Koch brothers, are, by themselves, two of the most important players in the oligarchy of wealth that is committed to taking over control of our government. They have used their resources to fund a plethora of right-wing groups, all of which have focused on destroying the Obama administration and replacing it with people who will play their game.

Charles Koch, for example, helped to found the right-wing Cato Institute. David Koch was involved in the organization of Citizens for a Sound Economy, which has morphed into the outfit called FreedomWorks, which is a front for Dick Armey's right-wing hit men.

There are several Koch foundations that exist mainly to fund right-wing groups; giving away millions of dollars over the last 15-20 years. Jim Hightower believes the Koch brothers to be extremely detrimental to the well-being of our nation and has documented their involvement in slimey right-wing efforts. In one article, Mr. Hightower, specified that involvement; you can read it here.

Some of the above material has come from Media Matters, which also referenced comments made by Think Progress in December of 2009:

"David and Charles Koch are the wealthiest and perhaps most effective, opponents of President Obama's progressive agenda. They have been looming in the background of every major domestic policy dispute this year. ...

"At the dawn of the Obama presidency, Koch groups quickly maneuvered to try to stop his first piece of legislation: the stimulus. The Koch-funded group 'No Stimulus' launched television and radio ads deriding the recovery package as simply 'pork' spending. The Cato Institute - founded by Charles - as well as other Koch-funded think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, produced a blizzard of reports distorting the stimulus and calling for a return to Bush-style tax cuts to combat the recession. As their fronts were battling the stimulus, David's Americans for Prosperity (AFP) spent the opening months of the Obama presidency placing calls and helping to organize the very first 'tea party' protests."

All of this is really the tip of the iceberg. Most of us don't have a clue what other creepy creatures slink around beneath the surface of our understanding. But everyone of them is working to arrange for a wealthy oligarchy to remain in control of our government no matter what the cost to the other 95% of our citizens.

Consider that candidates in Florida and California and elsewhere spent millions and millions of their own dollars to get nominated to run for state and national offices. Why would they do that? Why would they risk such huge sums of money? Where's the payoff?

It's coming. And you and I are going to foot the bill. It's going to be very painful. Some of us may not survive. Especially the elderly and the sick and the weak.

Hell! We are footing the bill. Most of the rich pay very little in taxes. Thousands of our largest corporations pay no taxes at all. We subsidize the oil industry and the auto industry and god knows how many other industries, which is not "socialism," of course, but "good business." It's also "welfare for the rich" while the common folk struggle to eat with their dwindling share of America's wealth as evidenced by their dwindling supply of food stamps.

It is already very painful. Some of us have not survived. Especially the elderly and the sick and the weak.

Glenn Beck is NOT Martin Luther King Jr.

Click here if you wish to sign a protest against Beck for defaming the name of MLK Jr.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Greatest Show on Earth now in paperback

Photo from the Friendly Atheist. Thanks for the tip.

The Religious Right wants you for a sunbeam

If you were raised in a Protestant home you may remember the children's ditty sung over and over ad nauseum in Sunday School called "Jesus Wants You For A Sunbeam." It was a call to go into the world and let God's light shine through what you said and did.

Today, the Religious Right wants you for their sunbeam. While that term, Religious Right (it really should be Christian Right), comprises a variety of motley groups they do agree on a couple of things: 1) The U.S. is a Christian nation (or should be), and 2) God's law (as they interpret it) should be the law of the land.

The Christian Right is working very hard to ensure their beliefs are reflected in the election decisions of 2010.

The Christian Right would have you believe that our so-called Founding Fathers walked hand-in-hand, and sang good old gospel tunes as they wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, all of which were based upon the Christian Bible. The Christian Right has re-visioned the emergence of our country as a singular Christian nation, blessed by the Christian God because the founders actively strove to ensure that Christianity defined the essence of the new nation.

That's all bullshit, of course. Most of the founders would not be considered "Christian" in any sense of the word by the Christian Right of today. Many, such as Jefferson, were quite antagonistic to the Christian Bible and Christian churches. By and large they paid religion little mind even though some of them used generic religious terminology on occasion in their public speeches.

But with the Christian Right, facts, evidence, truth mean very little. Lies permeate their discourse. Hatred is their forte and racism is often in evidence (cf. Glenn Beck). They continue to distort history as they try to make history in our day.

Rachel Tabachnick, in an article at Talk2Action titled, "Short Takes - Religious Right Pre-Election Rallies and Training," describes the Christian Right agenda for the time between now and the November elections.

The Christian Right is on the warpath and is looking for unsuspecting and ignorant people to be their sunbeams, spreading their message far and wide in order to ensure their ideologies and policies take center stage in the country's political life.

Here are some of the events planned by the Christian Right:

1. Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor, August 28, at the Lincoln Memorial. It features the quitter and numbskull, Sarah Palin; the faux-historian and liar, David Barton, and Alveda King (a right-wing favorite). I have read that it is being sponsored, in part, by the NRA! Bang, bang!

2. Lou Engle's The Call Sacramento, Sept. 3 and 4 at Raley Field and Capitol Mall. Lou Engle is perhaps one of the nastiest of the christianist fruitcakes, and this event is being pushed by Pat and Gordon Robertson as well as Tony Perkins, long-time soldiers in the christianist right's attempt to imposed their views on all Americans.

"The Call Sacramento is also doubling as a 'National Preparation" for Pray & A.C.T., an initiative of Religious Right leaders. Also promoting Pray & A.C.T. is Newt Gingrich's latest organization Renewing American Leadership ... [Engle] will be joined by Prophetess Cindy Jacobs who warns that God told her that if the nation does not vote for his chosen candidates, there will be a Great Depression from which our nation may never recover."

3. Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference and Strategy Briefing, Washington, D.C., Sept. 9-11. This involved "Networking and training workshops for the election featuring Sarah Palin, Bob McDonnell, Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Karl Rove."

4. America's Awakening Alliance, Cry Out America, Sept. 11 at courthouses around the country.
"America's Awakening Alliance is a large umbrella coalition of Pentecostal and Charismatic leaders."

5. FDI/SIOA Freedom Defense Initiative/Stop Islamization of America, 911 Ground Zero Mosque Rally, Sept. 11 at Park Place between Church and West Broadway. This one will feature Newt Gingrich, John Bolton, Geert Wilders, Andrew Breitbart, Jordan Sekulow.

There are more events planned and you can read about them here.

Without exception the Christian Right and their rallies are about poisoning our political life with hatred (for gays, Muslims, liberals, Democrats, progressives, etc.) and racism (see Beck's tirades about Obama, ditto Limbaugh) and subverting rational discourse about the real challenges we face (a faltering economy; global warming; a dying and rotting infrastructure; universal health care; ignorant and stupid people in leadership positions; hunger in America and the world; illegal, insane and incredibly expensive wars; etc.).

You don't want to be a sunbeam for the Jesus these people preach!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Atheist Monologues

Rachel Maddow - Right-wing fear-mongering finds its target again

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Does almost count?

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Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

The Republicans are responsible for destroying our economy

[Photo of David Stockman from here.]

It would be funny if it weren't so sad to watch Republican "leaders" like weepy John Boehner and the goofy Mitch McConnell try to defend extending Bush's tax cuts for the rich. Part of their defense has to do with the so-called deficit: they don't want to increase it!

But the deficit is their deficit and is the result of two things: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and Bush's tax cuts for the rich. No doubt these facts are the reason they have not spoken out on the deficit sooner, like when Georgi W. Bushki was prezident. It's strange that during the Bush years, the deficit problem seldom raised its ugly head.

Joan Walsh, in a Salon article, "Mitch McConnell's tax cut lies," notes how Boehner and McConnell, when appearing at different times on "Meet the Press" got caught between a rock and a hard place when they tried to explain away the fact that "extending the Bush tax cuts for the megarich - set to expire in 2011 - will deepen the deficit" by some $3.2 trillion."

These Republicans, like most Republicans, insist on claiming that "tax cuts are the secret to job growth." The truth, of course, is something quite different. During the Bush II presidency (8 years), the number of jobs grew by about 1.1 million. Under Bill Clinton, when the rich were taxed at a much higher rate, jobs grew by 22.7 million.

But Republicans care not about truth, nor, it appears, do they care about our country. They care only about power - obtaining it and keeping it. Thus, their mantra for the past two years has been "Do nothing, fight everything proposed by the current president, bring Obama down. If the country goes to hell, so be it. At least we'll be in power!"

But none of this is new. While our economy is in tatters because of GOP policies, the problem began years ago - under Nixon, actually.

Or, so says David Stockman, who served as director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. In a recent op-ed article for The New York Times, titled "Four Deformations of the Apocalypse," Stockman details "How my G.O.P. destroyed the U.S. economy."

Paul B. Farrell, writing at MarketWatch, explains.

Stockman doesn't think much of the Bush tax cuts for the rich. "'If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation's public debt ... will soon reach $18 trillion.' It screams 'out for austerity and sacrifice.' But instead, the GOP insists 'that the nation's wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase.'"

Stockman would have us believe that Republicans have changed over the past 40 years; that Republicans used to be fiscally responsible way back then, but now, he says, the GOP is operating from a "'new catechism [that's] little more than money printing and deficit finance, vulgar Keynesianism robed in the ideological vestments of the prosperous classes' making a mockery of GOP ideas."

Farrell notes Stockman's "four great deformations of the national economy":

1. "Nixon irresponsible, dumps gold, U.S. starts spending binge.

2. "Crushing debts from domestic excesses, war mongering." This one is especially interesting because Stockman lays the blame directly at the Republicans' feet. When our deficit reaches $18 trillion it will be 40 times greater than it was in 1970. This is the fault of the GOP (NOT the Democrats) because the Republican Party took as gospel "the insidious doctrine that deficits don't matter if they result from tax cuts."

3. "Wall Street's deadly 'vast, unproductive expansion.'" "'Republicans have been oblivious to the grave danger of flooding financial markets with freely printed money and, at the same time, removing traditional restrictions on leverage and speculation." Farrell takes issue with Stockman here, however. He says the Republicans were far from oblivious. "Self-interested Republican loyalists like Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner knew exactly what they were doing." And they were "wrong"!

4. New American Revolution class-warfare coming soon. "Finally, thanks to Republican policies that let us 'live beyond our means for decades by borrowing heavily from abroad, we have steadily sent jobs and production offshore," while at home "high-value jobs in goods production, trade, transportation, information technology and the professions shrunk by 12% to 68 million from 77 million."

There's a new revolution coming, say Stockman; a class war "against greed and the wealthy. Soon. The trigger will be the growing gap between economic classes. No wonder considering 'that during the last bubble (from 2002 to 2006) the top 1% of Americans - paid mainly from the Wall Street casino - received two-thirds of the gain in national income, while the bottom 90% - mainly dependent on Main Street's shrinking economy - got only 12%. This growing wealth gap is not the market's fault. It's the decaying fruit of bad economic policy."

Well, we've known most of this for years. But it's nice to have it spelled out in such detail by a GOP "insider." Unhappily, it won't matter with a majority of Americans who are just plain dumb as well as incredibly ignorant and thus easily swayed by those very people who have taken from them the American dream.

In their dumbness and ignorance they are easily manipulated to get excited about phony controversies created by the rightwing to divert them from their suffering, all the while being played for fools by power-hungry politicians and the shadowy, subversive forces behind them (think the Koch brothers, Faux News, Rupert Murdoch, et. al.).

You may not agree with everything Farrell has to say but his article is a breath of fresh air in an environment stinking of greed and a militant thirst for power that takes no prisoners.

Read it all here.

Jon Stewart - The Parent Company Trap

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Monday, August 23, 2010

The posthuman and the subhuman

[Image from]

This from "Why dogs go after mail carriers," by Garret Keizer, Harper's magazine, September 2010, pp. 6-9.

It is a brilliant defense of our U.S. postal system.

"One looks for the questions that define one's times. Perhaps the key question of our own, a question that applies both politically and environmentally and which, oddly enough, seem related to the fate of the post office, is this: Do we want to be angels, or do we want to be human beings?"

"People who talk about our 'materialistic society" and about getting back to "spiritual values" strike me as having a right sense of indignation and a poor sense of analysis. The delusion of our society is not so much its materialism as its faux spiritualism, its desire to make a heaven on earth, not as a place free of needless suffering and full of what Barbara Ehrenreich calls 'collective joy,' but as one in which the elect live everlastingly and communicate telepathically while flying in disembodied splendor above the heads of the Mexicans mowing the lawn. Already one hears futuristic blather about a 'posthuman' age. I'd say that I hope I die before I see it, except that I have seen it. Your great-grandmother saw it. The posthuman is merely the subhuman that results whenever people aspire to the superhuman. ...

"How about just-human? I don't want to be a seraph or a sunbeam but a citizen, that is, to live in a physical body and a geographical community bounded by time and space and served in full equality by incarnate citizens... [...] I'll keep my email, thank you, but let my 'primary communications carrier' be a unionized worker with his feet on the sidewalk and no wings on his feet. If I have to wait an extra day or two for a parcel, I can bear it. I've already waited half a century for national health care, and I am likely to be as dead as an undeliverable letter by the time all its provisions go into effect."

Keith Olbermann: Countdown - Extreme Views: CNN books Franklin Graham

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Threading the needle

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